Africa Information

African Diaspora Development Institute Forums ADDI Africa Information

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    Denham Goulbourne

    Africa Information

    Africa demonstrated its ability to withstand the shocks of the global economic crisis and is moving towards recovery. In fact, Africa is moving out of the global recession faster than the world with an expected GDP of about 4.5% in 2010 and 5.2% in 2011, according to the African Development Bank.
    Africa also has natural resources and commodities in abundance to feed the requirements of domestic demand globally, including that of emerging markets like China and India as well as traditional markets like Europe. Nwakego Eyisi, an economist and writer at Afribiz also adds that, “the drive for re-invigorating exporting in North America and many countries in the Eurozone, so they can reduce their debt, as well as the fact that Asia, particularly China, will continue to export provides a double push for natural resources and commodities. Africa is a natural location to seek these out since it can supply them less expensively.”
    And, Africa has its own growing consumer markets totaling 1 billion people this year. The combined markets are expected to exceed 2 billion in 2050. African regional economic blocs like COMESA, EAC, SADC, and ECOWAS are moving forward to consolidate fragmented markets into larger common markets, strengthening the buying and economic power of Africa not unlike the purpose of forming the European Union.
    The other element in Africa’s growing economic influence has not been clearly articulated or stressed. Africa is positioned as an epicenter and gateway for global business and trade. To me it seems as if this element snuck up on the world while the world was focused on the economic crisis.
    If you look at the number of trade agreements being introduced between Africa and the rest of the world at this time, e.g., between the United States and Angola, between China and many African states, between India, Brazil, and South Africa, you will see that they are increasing and expanding. In the last few years, heads of states from around the world, e.g., Iran, Russia, Brazil, United States, France, have visited Africa to improve diplomatic and economic ties.
    These activities do not occur unless there are significant benefits sought by these nations. It’s obvious that Africa has something the world wants. During the Cold War era, Africa served as a geopolitical map of opposing political ideologies between the U.S. and Soviet Union. But now, the primary focus is economic, because strong economies bolster governments, those in office, communities and citizens. This is not to ignore other benefits that countries might seek, like cultural exchange, from ties with African nations.
    Also, there is increased south-south and developing country cooperation, which means trade and business flows are moving in new directions. The developing economies that will lead global trade in 2050 are increasingly trading more amongst themselves, but not to the exclusion of developed countries. In this, Africa is increasingly part of the engagement. Look at the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Forum activities and the China-Africa Forum activities.

    I challenge all of you to read through this entire section and learn about Africa then do whatever you can do to help develop Mama Africa, no matter how small or how great, she needs your help. A reasonable amount of Africa is developed, but there are still a lot of sections that are not develop and she needs our help. United we stand.

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