Promotion, Investment, Development, Empowerment (PRIDE)
On the cover of The Economist in May 2000, Africa was described as “The Hopeless Continent”. But on the December 2011 cover, it was a different headline, this time, “Africa Rising”. What changed? How did Africa (re)discover its PRIDE (Promotion , Investment, Development, Empowerment)? How can this PRIDE be maintained and improved? What challenges are encountered?
In intellectual discussions and circles around the globe, Africa is shifting from a continent of have-nots, gaps, wants and deficits to an ocean of opportunities, businesses and investments. How can these opportunities be taken advantage of to the benefit of the continent?
There is no denying that apart from a few countries in Africa, there is a sore need for “connectors”. Roads, rails, airports, electricity and IT are needed to improve the economy. It is important for these “gaps” to be filled and many investors are making the wise move to fill these needs thus uplifting African PRIDE.
The digital transformation of Africa is another way in which Africa uplifts itself. In the world, Africa leads the way in the adoption of mobile technology. Many companies and businesses continue to adopt cashless transactions and other technological advancements. These developments attract investors to the continent.
Africa is also a continent with incredible natural resources. There are so many reserves of oil, gas, and other forms of energy. Apart from the sources of energy, there exist huge reserves of gold, uranium, platinum, bauxite, diamonds iron ore to name but a few. Africa is home to a huge number of people. Of this number, a large percentage of the large, cheap and educated labor force is made up of youths. This demographic led the UN World Population Prospects reports to say that “by any measure” Africa will be the fastest growing continent in the 21st century. The empowerment and development of Africa, according to Tony Elumelu, The Chairman, Tony Elumelu Foundation, is dependent on the youths of the continent.
Despite the positives, though, there are still challenges faced.
Corruption has been the bane of African PRIDE. Despite the huge amounts of funds generated by the African economy, poverty is still widespread. Foresight Africa puts this dilemma succinctly “No reasonably democratic government in Africa has seen a rupture from corrupt and clientelistic modes of resources distribution”.
Another hurdle faced is the marginalization of women in the African society. These women make up a large percentage of the population, but their potentials have not been harnessed. Practices such as child marriage, gender-based violence and others have held them back. Though governments and other organizations strive for equality, the sad truth is there is still a long way to go.
Despite the challenges faced in Africa, there are still advancements made and policies implemented to improve and maintain African PRIDE. AFIDEP Switzerland was established with the aim of bridging investment and economic collaboration gaps between Africa and the rest of the world. AFIDEP's mission is to develop Africa using alternative model. One of AFIDEP's main objectives is to empower Africans through job creation while pursuing its PRIDE goals. For more information, visit www.afidep.com.
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