Dr David Kamati
In the past, Africa had been variously described as the dark continent, the centre-stage of stagnant economies and a place rife with military insurgencies and political instability.
For the past 60 years, our dear continent has been treading on a thin line with agonising developmental agenda, a less meaningful economic development and an overall economic growth, incapable of lifting hundreds of millions of its inhabitants out of crippling poverty.
However, I foresee the breeding of new crops of African leaders in the near future with cunning planning abilities, effective policy implantation and inspirational leadership acumen, who are capable of lofting high the developmental cause of the African populace.
The new crops of African leaders will usher in the new era of pro-developmental agenda in the areas of continent-wide educational reform, value addition to our natural resources, research into new industrial uses of our natural resources , diversification of our industries, declaration of free continental trade area, adoption of Africa’s common monetary area or use of a single continental currency, adoption of internationally competitive means of production, international promotion of African goods, the vigorous marketing of Africa as the emerging preferential tourist destination and a continent that attracts direct foreign investments.
The continent-wide educational reform is an economic area that needs an urgent attention. Properly educated people are an inseparable ingredient to the much-anticipated realisation of the dream of industrialisation of Africa, capable of producing products that competitively enter the international markets and deliver much needed monetary benefits to the continent.
In our efforts to bring about the educational reform that will help kick-start development on the continent, we must be mindful of the pitfalls awaiting us on our path, such as out-dated curricula, recycled and ineffective ideas, and cheats who masquerade as international educational experts who will ill-advise us.
The value addition to our natural resources is a critical field that needs to be looked at in our quest for industrialisation of the continental economies. At the moment, we ship the majority of our natural resources, such as minerals, crude oil, fishes and timbers, to the rest of the world – and these return to Africa as expensive finished goods produced somewhere else.
We need a game-changer and start to add value to our natural resources – and in the process, help create employment opportunities for ourselves, and the financial benefits of making semi-finished or finished goods will be immeasurable.
There is no limit to discoveries that can be brought about by research – and, as such, we need to look into how we can uncover new industrial uses of our primary resources and craft such resources into new finished products.
The new Africa-made goods may not only make Africans earn respect from their peers from the rest of the world, but they may equally help create lucrative markets for African innovative goods.
The diversification of our industries will help us strengthen our mutually beneficial trade with international trade partners and increase our pool of goods from which our customers world over can choose from.
Such diversification can also help cushion our continental economies from fluctuations in the prices and demands of the primary commodities, thus making our economies robust, rigid and resilient.
The declaration of a single currency for Africa will help our national economies integrate and contribute towards an efficient and barriers-free intra trade among the nationals and businessmen of Africa.
This may also result into a competitive African currency that trades favourably with the world major currencies, such as the US dollar, Euro and the British pound.
The adoption of competitive means of production and international promotion of African goods enable competitively-priced African goods to find a customer base in the international markets and, thus, creating brand loyalty among such customers.
The vigorous marketing of Africa, as a preferred tourist destination and as an investment hub, will go a long way in generating revenue necessary for our continent’s economic survival.
The rise of Africa is on the horizons, and the ordinary people of Africa will have to rally behind those who charter the way forward.