17 Mar Africa on the Rise …again
“Ideas are the mightiest influence on earth. One great thought breathed into a man [or woman] may regenerate [them.]” William Ellery Channing
Prompted by the claims that in its 30 year Comic Relief, a UK founded charity which supports UK based and international causes, has raised over a billion pounds sterling it made me ask will Africans across the globe always be viewed as in need of assistance from benevolent, philanthropic types?
Africans and people of African descent are entrepreneurial and resourceful. I cast my mind back to a trip to the Gambia where I met children turned out pristinely in their school uniforms travelling miles for an education because they and their parents understand the value of education and its ability to transform lives. A trip to the Dominican Republic where the day before the start of the school term children again dressed in their school smarts were happily washing windows and carrying out other domestic chores to ensure that the school environment was conducive to learning. On a visit to a school in Fiji where there was all but the shell of a building the children read and spoke in English and were keen to showcase their many talents. All this against a backdrop of very little financial resources in comparison to schools in the UK. Imagine what more could be achieved if we operated on a level playing field?
Africa has more than half the world’s 20 fastest growing economies (Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). According to the World Bank Sub- Saharan Africa’s growth improved for the second consecutive year to 4.5% in 2014 and predictions are that it will reach 5.1% by 2017 in spite of a plethora of risks which include the anticipated renewed spread of Ebola.
Kirra Motors Corporation (Uganda); Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (Nigeria) and Kantanka Automobile Company (Ghana). These three companies are developing vehicles “made in Africa” for what is potentially a very lucrative African market where currently approximately 21.6 million passenger vehicles are on the road. The growth of the African middle classes coupled with the desire to demonstrate success through the purchase of consumer goods could be the recipe for success for these three manufactures and those who follow in their wake if Africans stand united and elect to buy African.