Thursday, 10 May 2012

Africa a continent in transition and searching for a bold way forward.

 Photo/ Courtesy Derek Bacon -    

Africa needs a greater focus on entrepreneurship to help spur competitiveness, growth and job creation.
However, low exposure to entrepreneurship, combined with the lack of role models, makes the barriers to entry in African countries significantly higher than in developed countries.

This month many from the African Continent converge in Ethiopia for the World Economic Forum to address its transformation and seek solutions to challenges it faces.
Many have spoken about Africa’s growing potential, with many coming together to formulate ideas to sustain the fast economic development.

I may not be that good, in giving the best analysis to the way the African economy is growing; I will use what many have spoken about this tremendous growth.

Africa is poised for growth on the world stage —there are plenty of issues and obstacles that need to be tackled — resources, poverty, corruption …

 in December 2011 described Africa as: “The hopeful continent” After decades of slow growth, Africa has a real chance to follow in the footsteps of Asia.
But at a dark time for the world economy, Africa’s progress is a reminder of the transformative promise of growth.

World Bank Lead Economist for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Eritrea      in his “Five reasons why Kenya and Africa shouldtake off” he says:

Second, Africa will be the new demographic powerhouse of the world. All continents will grow older, and many economies will have a shrinking working population. Africa on the other hand is still young (as a matter of fact, it is also growing older, but from a very low base), and the working age population is rapidly expanding.

This is concurred by    who said “Africa has the youngest population and the oldest leaders." 
Wolgang further says, “The expansion in education is paying off. Africans are better educated today than they were twenty years ago. Among the Millennium Development Goals, education is likely to be achieved."

Here, education is for all both the youth and women. Many who attended the Forum tweeted:

  There is a change in African mindset. The youth do want to engage and want involvement not just handouts.

The only way this can be achieved is formulating policies that must in a way reflect youth’s demands and interests.
Youth have to make sure they involve themselves in policy making platforms for their views to be heard and included. They have to follow up and make sure implementation takes place in accordance to the budget. If youths’ demands are given a considerable attention, they will in any way bring about desired socio-political transformation.

Self reliance is vital for positive transformation. Doing things in our style, wish, way and in our own abilities, without any external forces will direct us to better transformation.

   we need new mindsets, new models, new solutions for turning governance into growth" - & don't forget new skills.

How do we do this to make a turn around?

  Consistency is key in Africa; governments change policies all the time & ruin cycle of entrepreneurship. Aliko Dangote, Richest African.

In an African context particularly, this journey often begins with food security. It is an issue that requires a long-term approach that creates resilient communities, said, Bekele Geleta, the Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Geneva.

Then, if agriculture is the way to go, how can we “Grow Africa: Transform African Agriculture"

 This can be made possible by:

There should be a focus on: improving co-operation between the public, private and voluntary sectors, and on strategies to identify strengths and weaknesses, and on fostering knowledge based economy.

Fostering opportunities for new businesses in emerging sectors; creating conditions that will help small innovative firms grow; revitalizing the local economy including considering the role for economic diversification; building community capacity; enhancing knowledge resources, and institutional, human and social resources; shifting to the knowledge economy; and, maximizing the benefits of the stimulus packages while reducing the downside risks.

Access to timely information by rural communities cannot only increase agricultural productivity but enhance social and economic development; many farmers in rural areas lack even the basic access to information.

Communities should be fully involved in this process and supported by local and national governments. This goal will be more attainable if these communities also have adequate access to inputs and markets. The key to improving food security in Africa lies with the move toward agricultural independence, with wide-spread and well-managed rainwater harvesting systems.