Before one indulges in the economic issues that surround the continent, and the opportunities and threats that are visible in the short and long term, it is paramount that the first post is dedicated in exploring what Africa is, and what it has to offer.
So What do we know ?
Although the term Africa is often used as one item, it is important to not treat the issues of the continent as homogeneous. Africa is one continent but just like the number of playing cards in a deck, there are 54 countries that make up Africa, each with an separate identity that somewhat differs from one another. Out of the 54 countries, 52 were colonised by foreign countries which included France, Portugal and England.
Adding to this, Africa consists of approximately
- 2000 spoken languages, a remarkable accolade that demonstrates such large-scale diversity. People have different traditions in relation to their native language, and ultimately have a different outlook on life.
- 1.1BN people in Africa, roughly about the size of Europe and the US combined, and is forecast to continue growing at an alarming rate. 1 in 6 are Africans!
- Half of the population are under 25, which has led to the calling of Africa being the home for the young. Who said young people can’t rule the world?
Again, some of Africa’s problem lies with the fact that it is often treated as one of the same. Olu’s cultural influences in relation to his country, Nigeria, will vastly differ from Samir in Morocco, and so there are limited room for comparison aside from that they are both Africans. Breaking down Africa into sub regions gives a better reading in discovering what issues are worth talking about, otherwise one will not be able to fully understand the dynamics of the continent.
The Last Frontier…
The African continent boasts of one of the most sought after riches that the world has to offer in resources, and is widely seen as the continent that has yet to fully unlock the rewards that it has long been promised.
Often described as the last frontier of the world, there is strong indication from the emergence of countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, that something is working, and it is crucial that efforts are made to continually improve economic conditions.
There is no better time in discussing the issues Africa has to address in order to move forward.
Ignore Africa at your peril..