The objective of this article is to briefly remind us of the alarming youth unemployment problem on the African continent. What have Africans, not just their leaders, done to help address the problem? The high rates of unemployment will continue to have serious impacts on the rights of Africans to earn their living. The consequences of unemployment are already self-evident: population movements into bloated cities; migration to Europe and elsewhere that often leads to the death of young, educated people in foreign seas, and the abuse and incarceration of those who make it to foreign land. Youth unemployment also threatens the national security of all 54 African countries, and by extension that of the Western nations as more young Africans become susceptible to the rhetoric of extremist groups.
By all accounts, international trade is in trouble as anti-globalization sentiment continues to grow across continents especially in the U.S. and Europe. Some say it’s the slow economic recovery that has fueled protectionist, xenophobic and nationalistic politics that has given rise to Donald Trump and Marine LePen. It is undeniable that there is a popular sense of disenfranchisement or being left behind by many citizens in these nations.
The long standing problems with remittances to African countries and the need to address the factors that currently impede the full benefits of remittances from materializing must be the focus of African governments immediately.
The twenty-first century has ushered in an era of ever-heightened power of ideas and knowledge. Although natural resources, such as the ones that make the African continent one of the wealthiest regions of the globe, remain vital to economic prosperity through industrialization; and although labor-intensive and capital-intensive activities are central to the creation of such prosperity, the current revolution in information and communication technology makes ideas and knowledge all the more critical. Contrasting the decline of Detroit, the former automobile hub of America, and the rise of Silicon Valley, the information and communication technology capital of America and the world, may seem to be a cliche. It does, nevertheless, speak to that critically.
Tackling hunger and poverty on the continent of Africa evokes different responses but corporations together with rich countries are pushing through just one response: increase corporate control over land, seeds and farming inputs –all at the expense of small farmers who are the bedrock of food production on the continent.
“Infrastructure projects can be very successful in supporting growth if countries pick the right projects and carry them out in an efficient fashion,” Lipton said in a interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on Tuesday. “Mistakes or inefficiencies can leave a country with more debt than benefits, so it’s important to strike that balance.”
by Binta Terrier—Founder of PLAD and Africa Syndicate Blog
As reported on June 15, 2015, all 54 Heads of States and Governments of the African Union unanimously agreed to create an African Agency for electrification, dedicated to finance, and especially coordinate electrification projects in Africa. A vote of the Heads of State and Government was also supported on October 7, 2015 by a vote of the Pan African Parliament, the consultative assembly of the African Union comprising representatives from 53 African countries. The objective is to increase Africa’s access to electricity from 25% to 100% in less than ten years. Though this is a welcomed development, there is no indication as to how this electrification of Africa will be carried out, and especially how the participation of Africans, businesses, national and international investors is contemplated.
The African Growth and Opportunity, originally enacted in 2000, was renewed in the summer of 2015 for an additional ten years until September 30, 2025. It is described by the U.S. as the cornerstone of the U.S. economic relationship with sub-Saharan Africa and the most generous trade preference program offered by the U.S. While it is good news that AGOA was renewed, at the same time both the U.S. and sub-Saharan countries have entered into trade agreements with third countries and other developed countries such as the European Union and Canada have migrated away from trade preference programs to reciprocal trade agreements. This has led the U.S. to consider policies and approaches beyond preferences for sub-Saharan Africa. Both the Administration and the Congress in reenacting AGOA have expressed an interest in exploring such changes.
Welcome Remarks: Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of AfDB Group Panelists: - H. E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda - H. E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya - Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission - H. E. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, former President, Republic of South Africa - Hon.