My View A good question is whether Africaâ€™s rising economic prosperity is sustainable. Certainly, it should be if conflict is minimized and policy is optimized for present and coming challenges. Some commentators have tried to suggest that Africa has to avoid not only a poverty trap but also a violence trap. I think in many cases, these commentators are surprisingly stuck in their view of Africa from the lost decades of the 1980s and 1990s. Africa is clearly changing and the future looks brighter, from a 2015 vantage point than from a 1995 position. Twenty years of progress in many areas have helped. One, the African Union (formerly Organization of African Unity) has taken a stronger leadership role in handling African problems previously turned over to the United Nations. Second, African leaders have emerged with the gravitas to command respect and attention across Africa. Third, macroeconomic policy making has improved significantly across Africa, as democracy has taken root and now going through maturation, as recently confirmed in Nigeria, where president Jonathan was historically prompt in conceding defeat and congratulating Muhammadu Buhari who had won the election. Fourth, African entrepreneurs and businesses are becoming more competitive across Africa and the world. And of course to catalyze and facilitate all this progress, favorable commodity prices as a whole has been a key driver of growth, benefiting traditional oil exporters, such as Nigeria, Gabon and Angola, and new ones, like Ghana. In addition, demand for natural resources from emerging markets, especially China, has increased in the last decade and remains important, as China continues to be economically and politically engaging in Africa. Over 2,000 Chinese enterprises are investing and developing in more than 50 African countries. Indeed, many estimates now suggest that about a half of the worldâ€™s future population growth will be driven by Africa (not because of higher fertility, which is declining, but because of longer life expectancy). This trend, with conflicts, violence and deaths declining could lead to a â€śdemographic dividendâ€ť of an adult population of 800 million by 2030 (compared to 460 million in 2010). Because of this, and with appropriate policies and technologies, Africaâ€™s resultant burgeoning middle class could generate hundreds of millions of consumers with a much increased purchasing power. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that's my view.
Posted: Jun 10th, 2015 @ 02:36:52 AM