The Rise of the Africans

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Or Sierra Leone, now increasing the minimum wage and personal income tax.

Africa is an opportunity for the world: Overlooked progress in governance and human development

Or how South Africa ensures everyone over 60 years old receives a pension, except the very richest. All can do more — but they prove action is possible. African political and business leaders must feel the heat about the choices they are making. They can stay on the path of ever-spiralling inequality and poverty.

Or they can start building another path, to a more prosperous, equal Africa built for the many and not just for the few.


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Surely, there is no other way. World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with our Terms of Use. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. I accept. Predictions for What if we get things right? Read the series. Most Popular. To build a circular economy, we need to put recycling in the bin Alexandre Lemille 15 Nov More on the agenda.

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We can do far better. Have you read? A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda - is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa? License and Republishing. Written by. Featured: Africa View all. Lifting the lid on policy decisions across Africa Adeola Akinremi 19 Nov This country planted 10 million trees in Uganda Charlotte Edmond 28 Oct Sustained economic growth is important as it improves incomes and thus the livelihoods of the populace, says Dr.

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But sustained economic growth on the continent has largely been elusive, in part because of the over-reliance on commodities, which are vulnerable to price shocks. Yet, according to Associate Professor Soko, economic history has often revealed that without significant diversification into manufacturing and services, and away from resource extraction, economic growth prospects of countries are generally always bleak. Going forward, it will be imperative for Africa to focus on boosting the manufacturing sector, which is vital particularly in terms of job creation.

Africa should also harness technology, including artificial intelligence, to boost economic growth. Indeed, the world at large has made major progress when it comes to machine learning which has transformed the efficiency of public and private sector organisations alike.

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However, Africa has generally struggled to harness these cutting-edge technologies to improve public and private sector operations and boost economic growth. The continent is also less constrained by legacy than other regions, creating a clean sheet upon which innovators can develop new business models and blur industry boundaries.


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  • With agriculture being the largest employer in Africa, innovative technology is increasingly important to modernise the sector and improve the livelihood of a large farming community. Innovation in education, healthcare, energy and finance also offer a significant opportunity for the continent — some of this is already unfolding.

    In the past two decades financial innovation has increased exponentially and is now radically changing the very concept of a banking-centred financial system and African innovation has been at the forefront of some of these advances — think of M-Pesa in Kenya for example. He says most countries on the continent now have stronger democracies; there are fewer civil wars, and stronger institutions such as the judiciary and central banks [which could explain why most African countries have recorded single digit inflation rates in recent times]. Constraints that have held Africa back have largely been loosened.

    The continent basically now has all the pre-conditions of catching up with the rest of the world, Chelwa points out. It is thus imperative for business schools on the continent to drive this message home: Africa is rising once again and is an ideal place for business. Higher education can be a key driver to narrow the gap between African countries and developed nations via targeted skills development. As renowned professor William Gumede once stated: African higher education institutions will actively have to research what needs to be done to make current African industries globally competitive, develop new production chains around them, develop new strategic sectors, introduce value-added services and find avenues for beneficiation.

    Africa is on the cusp of something great.