Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Africa Rising.

June 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) We seldom hear any good news here in the United States about the African continent but there are many positive indicators about its future. According to an article in the Washington Post by Salih Booker and Ari Rickman from the Center for International Policy:

Since 2000, at least half of the countries in the world with the highest annual economic growth rates have been in Africa.

By 2030, 43% of all Africans are projected to join the ranks of the global middle and upper classes.

By that same year household consumption is expected to reach $2.5 trillion, more than double the $1.1 trillion in 2015 and combined consumer and business spending will total $6.7 trillion.

So, in addition to Africa’s many challenges, tremendous opportunities await those who will invest in that future.

Unfortunately, the United States, to date, has mainly looked at military options in Africa as evidenced by the tragic deaths of 4 soldiers in Niger earlier this year and the more recent death of a soldier in Somalia. While other countries like China, India, Brazil, Turkey and Japan are deepening diplomatic and economic ties with African states. Certainly, their interest has been heightened with the signing last March by 44 African nations onto the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

Once fully implemented, this will be the worlds’ largest free trade area, in terms of number of countries, and will encompass 1.2 billion people in a common market. But all we continue to hear about Africa in the U.S. news is war, famine and disease. We need to embrace the opportunities that a transforming African continent presents and help shape and direct U.S. foreign and economic policy for that part of the world. I don’t know where the Congressional Black Caucus is, but they should be all over this.

I am reminded of the biography of Edward de Valera, born in New York City to an Irish mother in 1882, who returned to Ireland to engage in its struggle for independence and, subsequently, went on to serve as

Head of State. One of many stories of people in diaspora, who were born or lived in the United States, re-establishing ties with their native countries to help shape their destiny. Who among us, or yet to be born here in America, will help some nation on the African continent fulfill its destiny?

Rich in minerals and other natural resources, Africa has everything it needs, and yet needs everything. What it needs most of all are skilled professionals of all stripes – teachers, entrepreneurs, builders, financiers – to help it reach the potential being forecast. This represents opportunities for those of us fortunate enough to have received a “first-world” education and the chance to pursue a profession, and for the next generation looking to build careers and businesses in their chosen fields.

We hear the term “globalization” all the time to describe today’s business environment, and the major U.S. corporations – i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon – are all multinationals. If we don’t want to be left behind (again), we too have to begin thinking about the roles we can play in the global economy. And places where we can not only be workers, but also owners of companies providing needed goods and services. Where else would be a more natural fit?

It’s not farfetched and, on a limited basis, it’s already being done. We need to do more. Build successful enterprises that can employ our people and import and export goods and services all around the world. Collectively, we African Americans have the skills and capital to make a difference in Africa’s future, and our own. We are only limited by our imaginations.

Staff Writer; Harry Sewell


One Response to “Africa Rising.”
  1. James Davis says:

    Africa Is Indeed Rising!

    The United States has to aggressively widen the number of countries it actively trades with, in order to make the policy of reciprocal trading work. Africa with a population that is expected to reach 1 billion people is an area worthy of consideration, as it is composed of as many as 54 nations. The next natural low wage market is Africa. The U.S. is already buying oil from the most populace democracy on the continent, which is Nigeria.

    What you are suggesting, may happen a lot sooner then you project, as the U.S. globalizes away from China, due to its violations of trading agreements and militaristic posture.

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