There is a popular modern idiom about the rise of Africa. In other words, a narrative that says the African continent is now emerging and reaching greater heights than in the past.
However, if one takes a closer look at the urban and rural population of Africa, the wealthy class, the impoverished class, the economy, etc., the African continent is hardly able to stand on its own two feet to attain the level of prosperity for a majority.
This article will expose the Africa Rising narrative as false. For Africa to really rise, a mass of Africans in the private sector must develop and develop solutions that create jobs and careers for the youth.
According to the 2017 population of the African Union in Africa, countries in North and West Africa are more urbanized compared to East Africa. The population in urban areas is currently around 40 percent and is expected to increase, resulting in a larger urban population than the rural population in about twenty years.
Urban growth in Africa poses major challenges for sustainable development, as migration to cities requires access to land, infrastructure and basic services. This has also put a strain on health services. In addition, this trend is having a negative impact on the growing youth population. Therefore, this has an impact on the total population in Africa.
According to The Globalist 2017, 41 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa live in extreme poverty and survive just $ 1.90 or less per African per day. Half of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide live in Africa, one of six other continents.
According to the AfrAsia Bank Africa Wealth Report 2017, there are 145,000 millionaires in Africa today with total assets of around $ 800 billion. Mauritius is the richest country in Africa and is ahead of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Egypt and Angola. The wealth per person living in Mauritius has risen to $ 4,000 in recent years. At the other end of the spectrum, people living in Zimbabwe are the poorest, which is about $ 200 per person. Other African countries in deep poverty are the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Liberia and Niger.
Now that we have a snapshot of the urban and rural populations of Africa, as well as the rich and poor parts of the same Africans, let’s take a closer look at the flow of money on that continent.
According to The East African 2017 Business News, African countries received around $ 162 billion in 2015, mostly for loans, personal transfers and grants. In particular, African countries received around US $ 19 billion in grants and US $ 68 billion in capital flight, mainly from multinationals. Although the continent received $ 31 billion in remittances, multinational corporations have returned $ 32 billion in profits to their home countries. The African governments received approximately $ 33 billion in loans and repaid approximately $ 18 billion in debt interest and principal payments. An estimated US $ 29 billion is stolen each year through illegal activities in Africa
FDI to Africa in 2017 was $ 42 billion. Venture capital funding was $ 560 million in 2017. As seen in previous years, South Africa (167.9 million), Kenya (147 million) and Nigeria (114.6 million) continue to dominate as investment destinations, which accounted for 76 percent of total financing in 2017. Hence, there is an imbalance between money coming in and money going out of Africa, causing setbacks for this continent’s ability to move forward and thrive.
Regardless of location and financial status in Africa, the informal economy has a high level of employment and also contributes to the fight against poverty. Income from the informal sector keeps many individuals and families across Africa away from extreme poverty. Even in countries like South Africa, where informal work makes up only a small percentage of the workforce, it has a significant impact on reducing poverty
For Africa to really rise, a mass of Africans in the private sector needs to develop solutions that create jobs and careers for the youth. According to the African Development Institute:
It is estimated that the continent’s population will increase from around 1.2 billion people to 2.2 billion people between 2015 and 2050. Approximately 41% of the people on the continent are under 15 years old, while another 19% are teenagers between 15 and 24 years of age.
As you can see, there will be a new generation of young Africans who need a prosperous and vibrant Africa to live. A continent where food is healthy and nutritionally suitable for human consumption, water is clean for cooking and showering, and protection is running water and electricity around the clock, health care is readily available and treated immediately, education prepares young people for a world full of people Technology and automation before, institutions work for the people and not for a few elites, the infrastructure is built by locals takes a long time and so on.
As Africa is seen as a developing continent and emerging market, there is still a long way to go before it can see and experience an upward movement and progress towards this supposed African concept of ascension.
The day when the fictional story of “Wakanda” becomes an everyday reality in Africa is the day when one can safely say “Africa Rising” loudly and proudly. Until then, however, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially by people of African descent who care about the future and future generations. Africa will be resurrected in due course!