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African Successes

Shanta Devarajan's picture

In recent years, a broad swath of African countries has begun to show a remarkable dynamism.  From Mozambique’s impressive growth rate (averaging 8% p.a. for more than a decade) to Kenya’s emergence as a major global supplier of cut flowers, from M-pesa’s mobile phone-based cash transfers to KickStart’s low-cost irrigation technology for small-holder farmers, and from Rwanda’s gorilla tourism to Lagos City’s Bus Rapid Transit system, Africa is seeing a dramatic transformation.  This favorable trend is spurred by, among other things, stronger leadership, better governance, an improving business climate, innovation, market-based solutions, a more involved citizenry, and an increasing reliance on home-grown solutions.  More and more, Africans are driving African development. 

The global economic crisis of 2008-09 threatens to undermine the optimism that Africa can harness this dynamism for long-lasting development.  In light of this, it might be useful to re-visit recent achievements.  The African Successes study aims to do just that.

The study will identify a wide range of development successes (see list), from which around 20 cases will be selected for in-depth study.  The analysis of each successful experience will evaluate the following: (1) the drivers of success—what has worked and why; (2) the sustainability of the successful outcome(s); and (3) the potential for scaling up successful experiences.  African success stories offer valuable insights and practical lessons to other countries in the region. 

I welcome your comments and suggestions for success stories. Click here to see the list of what we have come up with so far.

Comments

I am a retiree from UNDIO and peacekeeping missions. Presently I a working as voluntary translator for www:globalVoicesonlineonline.org. I would like to write about a success story in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Guinea, which gives chances up 98 per cent of new born children from infected mother, to be without infection thanks to good nutrition, mother giving milk and improvment of hygienic conditions. But I feel more confident to write about it in Franch. Is OK for you?

Submitted by Alpha oumar Traoré on
I am Alpha Oumar Traoré, I am currenty translator in Helvetas Mali My concer is linked to corruption, it affects badly any society, it increase poverty. Corruption means for me buying human conscious. I propose to look it as subject and to include corruption in school curricula by teaching it effects from primary to higher school. Regards. A O T

Submitted by kyalibulha Stephen on
Please include the following topics for Uganda under the respective topics are referenced. 1) Universal primary education(UPE) and Universal secondary education(USE) 2)Modernnization of agriculture through increased productivity and value addition. 3)Enterprise development and entrepreneurship by Enterprise Uganda for MSMEs and fresh graduates and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda,-grant scheme,rural energy transformation, promotion of export products. Thanks. Stephen Kyalibulha +256772444609

Submitted by Anonymous on
UPE considered a success? Modernization of Agriculture? Enterprise development? Which country are you writing about? All programmes are riddled with corruption scandals, school buildings are collapsing. education standards are falling? increasing number of jobless graduates, falling number of SMEs....the list is endless

Submitted by Ibrahim Kai-Samba on
As a Sierra Leonean, I will first of all commend the services of (inter)national bodies in their tireless support to sierra Leone (SL), among which I wish to mention the world bank, DfiD, and EC. yet my personal opinion has always held one salient view-point, so to spaak, a point without which, the goals of these supporting organisations will hardly be met, if ever. EDUCATION IS SUCCESS. The masses as well as those in leading positions stand to be educated. Firstly, the leaders need to be educated on / made aware of what they were sworn in for. Let them be made aware of the fact that, they stand to derive long-term benefit(s) from their positive/negative contribution(s) to the development of SL; whichever applies. before the launching of any development projects, let the masses (and of course leaders) be made aware of their role(s) in the development of themselves and the entire society. Let the cons of individualism as opposed to the pros of collectivism/nationalism be reinforced. With respect to risks 1-4, 'individualism' prevails over 'nationalism' in SL, and thus impart these risks. To further stress risk 4, resources available that could be developed and utilised by society for the gain of all, is often left to be exploited by a single individual, in form of political compensation. To conclude, mass education is a pre-requisit in SL.

Dear Colleague, This is really a wonderful initiative. I would suggest to massively invest in multimedia products as they are more story telmling and user friendly: pictures, shiort movies, multiedia stories (slideshow + narration). All the best, Chawki

There I was sitting at my computer early one wintery Johannesburg morning when I got a call from Gordon Coburne from Development Bank of South Africa. "Wouldn't it be great to develop an electronic version of what happens at one of our biennial conferences? A space that allows sharing of resources, a place where Knowledge consumers and knowledge producers can make the connection, where African universities and colleges can model knowledge sharing best practice using social networks to students? A space where there is freedom for everyone to participate, to contribute, to share and benefit in Africa's development?. Well, it didn't take long before we implemented the bare structure of the KMAfrica.com Knowledgehub portal using a FOSS software platform. The fire was lit. A few came. And others. Then more. Then some got the vibe and actually started to contribute kindling. Connections and networks formed. New sections added. Comments. Tweets. Messages from unexpected places that face similar development problems to Africa. Homologies. The fire grew and could soon be seen from afar. And so the story goes. The KnowledgeHub portal is steadily growing in visits and membership from all over Africa. Members include a mix of academics, consultants, IK practitioners and development practitioners. We provide an electronic version of what you might find at at conference; registration, Special Interest Groups & streams, formal paper presentations, forums, shared diaries and even a chatroom for ad hoc meetings. Come visit us sometime and find the others http://www.kmafrica.com And KnowledgeHub pays special attention to story and storytelling techniques for KM - as the African idea of the Oral Tradition suggests, all the world is Story. Power is narrative and narrative is power. So becoming deliberate about the stories we tell has the effect of empowering the teller and inspiring action. Steve Banhegyi www.storytelling.co.za

Submitted by Ernst von Collenberg on
Uganda: I would add water supply and sanitation for cities under responsibility of the National Water ans Sewerage Corporation (NWSC). Substantial progress in access as well as in cost recovery has been arrived at. Sambia: A very good and effective regulation framework has been established as well as a specialized institution, the Devolution Trust Fund (DTF), which gives funds to water operating companies in order to better reach the poor by water kiosks.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Easr African region is being left behind in this secotr am one person trying to improve on the same thus seeking investment partners

First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank you for seeking my submissions. Iam Sulaiman Gumila Mbuga and a Ugandan National. I was born at Gombe,Kibibi Sub-County,Butambala County,Mpigi District,Central Uganda. At an early age, I went to Gombe Primary School where I completed my primary school education. I later joined King's College Budo (www.kcbudo.sc.ug). Iam now associated with World University of Leadership(www.worlduni.com) After analysing the growing economic and development trends here in Africa and around the world coupled with natural disasters such as HIV/AIDS,floods and famine causing food insecurities, I realised that an idividual must start local and then act global because the world has now become a global village. But the digital divide has affected the least developed countries particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa because they lack the capacity to acquire technological gargets. For now, Iam the Local Representative of Bukoggolwa Village(www.nabuur.com/en/village/bukoggolwa) and also representing Bukoggolwa Widows and Orphans'Care Centre (BWOCC) a local Non-Governmental Organisation. I have also participated in the initiation of several Ugandan initiatives namely: the formation of NOGAMU(National Agricultural Movement of Uganda,(www.nogamu.org.ug)). Have participated in the formation of the Uganda National NGO Forum(www.ngoforum.or.ug) Iam now very much pleased to be associated with the World Bank. I will continue to contribute in future. Where you can, please do contact me. One again, thank you for now. From: Sulaiman Gumila Mbuga Local Representative, Bukoggolwa Village(www.nabuur.com/en/village/bukoggolwa) And Bukoggolwa Widows and Orphans'Care Centre(BWOCC) P.O.Box 8386, KAMPALA, UGANDA, EAST AFRICA. TEL:+256-712-976679; E-mail:bukoggolwa@yahoo.com

Submitted by Pasquale De Muro on
I have read about the project of World Bank to prepare a study focusing on African success stories to promote replication and learn the lessons of projects that work. While I think that studying success cases is very important and useful, especially regards African-driven successes, I also think that the idea of "replication" has been very harmful in the past and it is still dangerous today, even within Africa. World Bank should be aware of this danger and should avoid to repeat such a mistake. The idea of replication comes from a traditional and outdated approach to development: there are "good" models that "work" and that we should "discover" and "replicate" (or export) elsewhere. In this traditional approach the local context (history, culture, geography, ...) is not so relevant: what matters is some special successful recipe discovered somewhere. Even in Africa local contexts are extremely diverse and heterogeneous. This approach has largely failed in the last 50 years. More advanced and updated approaches suggest, on the contrary, to focus on local (embedded) knowledge and human capabilities rather "ready made" and "one-size fit all" models. These successful models can work very well somewhere but not anywhere. Models can be imported but not exported. People are the real wealth of nations and places: development should be based on their capabilities rather than on special formulas. When the Bank will realize that the development thinking has changed?

Submitted by geert diemer on
Dear Shanta; The list may help communicate the idea that sometimes an investment sticks because it links up with country dynamics. It may then tick on after the donor leaves. So when writing your case studies, you may want to avoid the WB trap of discussing (1) project characteristics only at the expense of country dynamics (pre-project, during the project, post) (2) WB actions only at the expense of contributions by other donors, (3) output only at the expense of unit cost of output. In Mali, the storage and processing unit for the mangoes goes unused for say nine months a year, considerably raising unit cost. It was in fact started up by USAID staff rather than local project staff and received additional funding from The Netherlands. Note also that Mali's rural electrification projects tend to have collection trouble because they collect postpaid rather than prepaid. This also unnecessarily raises unit cost. In addition, they are not allowed to bill on the basis of what it costs locally to produce and distribute electricity but must apply national rates based on urban conditions. You may also wish to consider the greening of Niger. It seems mainly due to the fact that trees, bushes and grass are no longer under an open access regime, which had become an unsufficiently regulated commons, but are now under an individual access regime and used, maintained and protected as a private good. The interesting question is of course under what conditions this switch took place. What role for population density for instance? Any role for research, extension? Similar switches and processes of intensification of land use happened before in quite a few other African countries, pretty much independently of donor action. Best regards Geert Geert Diemer Institutional consultant for irrigation and forestry Residence Pays-Bas Cite du Niger II, Bamako Mali: + 223 640 8393 Mail: Postbus 20061 2500EB Den Haag The Netherlands

Submitted by geert diemer on
Shanta, For your list of African success stories you may also consider the very successfull small-scale irrigation and watershed component of Ethiopia's Social Rehabilitation and Development Fund. I may send you my powerpoint presentation for your information. The ICR demonstrated that · farmer demand for agricultural water control is widespread and strong, · the CDD rules steered investment to previously neglected communities; · irrigated agriculture is the households’ gateway to the cash economy and well-being; · on many upgraded weir schemes, neighboring farmers further expanded command areas that joint investments by ESRDF and the Water User Cooperative had already expanded; · joint ESRDF/community investments in upstream watershed treatment prompted many individual farmers to invest downstream in developing more terraces, springs and canals; · ESRDF favored the emergence of six NGOs capable of implementing contracts to design and build hydraulic hardware and develop institutions through a CDD approach; · Best regards Geert

Submitted by geert diemer on
Shanta Rwanda is turning some valley bottoms into paddy fields in a way that is very economical and enivronmentally practically harmless. This project matches and reinforces farmer swamp development investments and land use intensification. Worth a look. I spent a month there this July. Best

Submitted by Anonymous on
I resally like the idea. Currently I am in the Uk .Most people dont know about Africa, especially the good things. I support the idea 100P.c.

The decolonization and political liberation of the 3rd world was seen as a catalyst of change, and mark by great hope that we were at the start of an irreversible progress of development. But our has become the age of disenchantment. We are in a period of cumulative crises; a crisis in the development models and ideologies underlying countries policies and structures; a crisis of know-how as the field of development breaks up and theory proves to be out of step with poorly analyzed reality. The standard diagnosis of Africa is that the continent is suffering from governance crises, marked by corruption, poor economic policy choices, and denial of human right. “Africa is also sick of itself,” one need only mention of the organized blundering by the ruling class who as in Cameroon for example make corruption a system of government. But it is wrong, many parts of Africa are well governed, and yet even the relatively well governed countries remain in poverty. Governance is an issue but African development challenges are deeper. Indeed, using World Bank indicator, there is no evidence that Africa’s governance on average is worse than elsewhere once we control for Africa’s low income. Controlling for income is necessary in evaluating governance, since good governance requires for wages, training, information system and so forth, and thus improves systematically with income level. However, from the year 2000, we have witness an increase in development practices in this part of the world. This can be seen from the World Bank African success stories, though how efficient is the criteria used in identifying these success story is still a topic to debate on Five structural reasons also makes Africa the most vulnerable region of the world to a persistent poverty trap; see http://sanguvsimonpeterfomonyuy.blogspot.com Some difficulties related to failures of development projects 1. Exteriority of project, that is, insufficient environmental approach which does not takes into consideration the realities of the milieu, and application of inadequate development models which is evident of the lack of adequate knowledge about the real conditions of the environment. 2. Isolation of project in relation to, the national economy, the environment and limited time. 3. Inflexibility and rigidity of project arising from non submission of models of project to the funding agencies, and also, initiators of the projects not taking into consideration changes in the agrarian systems, and insufficiency of staffs of the project. 4. At times most poverty reduction strategies of countries are not up to the task of meeting development challenges How close can a country come to achieving the goals given current constrains? I recommended a four step approach 1; countries need to map the key dimension and underlying dynamics of extreme poverty by region, locality and gender, as best as possible with available data. 2, consistent with the poverty map, countries should undertake a need assessment to identify the specific public investments necessary to achieve the goals. 3, the need assessment should be converted into a 10years framework for action, including public investments, public management and financing. Poverty reduction strategies should be elaborated within the 10years framework, with a key focus on transparency, accountability, human right, and benchmarking and result base management. Conclusively, in addition to making funding available for development project, a lot is still to be done in relation to ; -economic growth -Institutions and governance -Competitiveness and export dynamism -Manufacturing (Improvements in product quality, marketing and management) -Tourism - Agriculture and rural development - providing access and financial products for underserved populations - Infrastructure - improving efficiency and leveraging the private sector -Information communication technology -Transport -Power -Access to safe water -Improving health and education outcomes

Submitted by Anonymous on
How about Ethiopia's deployment of health staff in every kebele of the country through the health extension program?

Submitted by Roxanne Lalonde (PhD), Mulungushi University, Zambia on
This is a terrific idea. We need more good news. I have a suggestion for your presentation of the stories to assist those trying to promote awareness of the Millennium Development Goals: reorganize the stories in ways that highlight how they are contributing to achieving the MDGs and their targets. For example, those stories that address hunger and extreme poverty would come first under MDG 1; those addressing IT and global partnerships would come under MDG 8, etc.

Submitted by bkrdvkel on
What about the KfW funded Sabaki River palaeochannel wellfield near Baricho which enabled a then recently completed but poorly working river intake and waterworks, funded by the World Bank, to be mothballed? The wellfield has been supplying water to Malindi and the Kenya North Mainland, including parts of Mombasa for the last twelve years or so (when the operating authority can keep the pumps working!).

Submitted by anonymus on
During the 2nd East African Investment Conference in Nairobi earlier on this year, H.E. President Paul Kagame in his key note address rightfully challenged the region to invest in education to up skill our manpower. H.E. President Kagame’s observed that “Our people are our number one resource. Let us invest in education for mutual benefits and to propel East Africa to a rapid path of growth”….. Africa has come of age in this field especially in adopting technology (eLearning) as a medium of developing her human resource. This in turn has set Africa on the road to economic growth in a departure from the post colonial curriculum to modern day skills similar to her peers across the world. I think this topic deserves a little more indulgence if we are to truly address an end to poverty by equiping our people with the right knowledge.

Submitted by Nnanna Charles Ukaegbu on
The African skill development bank houses the greatest of the world inspite of several non-acknowledgement of desired respect for our internationally acclaimed daughters and sons. For Nigerian Oil and Gas sector,we have done so well,highly supported by the Federal Government and the National Assembly through the Nigerian content bill facilitating home grown capacity,monitoring participation and the recent drafting of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB). Efforts has been made through the Petroleum Trust Development Fund in the past to further train Engineering graduates in the scare/industry needed skills sets and presently the highly skilled fabrication related manpower.

Submitted by Mamadou Diarra on
I will add that this is a very good idea. It is also important to emphasize on this kind of project because of the many benefits it brings. There are many villages near the frontiers of countries. It will be less costly for the neighboring country or countries to supply power through hydro . There are some very good projects. They need to be worked trough and presented. It will help Africa improve it rural electrification rate. Mamadou Diarra Division Chief Planning Department of studies and Engineering NIGELEC Niamey NIGER

Submitted by Paul Macdonald on
There are various levels of progress in Kenya. My experience relates to 3 small villages around Lake Victoria. At the Government level Ihave seen some very good progress in the last 4 years. The road are much improved and continue to be improved. New power stations are operating and electricity is now reaching more and more villages. Education is well established but could do with more investment by the Government and the local community. There is a good health care system but the linkage with the village needs to be organised. Agricultural support from Government officials is available but again the linkage with the village could be improved. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of residents in three villages and they have organised themselves. They have seven areas where they help themselves and their village: Agriculture: The farmers are trained to farm and to use certified seeds and fertilisers. The benefits have been seen with the increased yields and the enthusiasm for further training and education. The demand for training outstrips the resources. Water: Deep wells have been sunk for one village and large tanks for rain collection supplied for the other two. This committee is exploring sanitation and other relevant developments. The benefits are in health and time. Education: In one village the school has been nearly rebuilt. This is highly motivating for the children, teachers and the parents. Moreover, the Government has supplied support in terms of money. In other words success breeds success. Health: the villages organise health days. The doctors and nurses from the local hospital visit the villagers. The village itself organise these days and supply basic medicine. Business support: the villagers run a small scale microfinance scheme. They also support women's groups and youth groups. Part of this development is to encourage income generation outside agriculture. The challenge here is how you diffferentiate those customers who can receive support from the the larger microfinance schemes or banks and those who just need a small loan. Welfare: there is a noticeable improvement in the wealth of the villages but they are still very poor people. The welfare section is to support the poorest of the poor. This can mean food or clothes or just moral support. However, a welfare recipient in 2008 was a farmer in 2009. Training: the final part of the scheme looks at training. There can never be enough. This scheme has learnt a lot from Bar Sauri (Millenium Village). By organising themselves they are improving their lives on a number of fronts. They are also working with Government agencies who seem to perform better if they are dealing with an orgainsed group. I have not been able to include all the benefits nor the risks with this scheme but the scheme demonstrates the power of the village if it orgnises itself. Overall, you see good improvements made by the Government, and a number of villages are showing improvement. The challenge is to offer a village development scheme to all villagers. Each village or group of villages need two people to ensure success. One is a CEO who is responsible for organising the development of the village. The CEO also needs to be a training officer. The other person is a training officer (probably agriculture) Bar Sauri has been a good success story but it needed a great deal of support from outsiders. My villagers have developed their own programme based on Bar Sauri. In both cases good ogranisation and good interface with the Government agencies has brought success. The next step is to further develop a village development programme. On top of this the Government is bringing roads, electricity, health and better schools. Give each village the opportunity to develop. It will cost at least €50,000 per annum for a village of 1000 people. That is €5 per head. The return would be reduced imports of food and perhaps an export shceme, less health problems, better eduction and most importantly hope and prospects. Interesting some of the best participants in these schemes are the old guys who have worked in the large towns and cities and who have been sent home to retire at 55. A lot of these guys have so much to offer in terms of experience and knowledge. What is more important they offer their services free of charge.

Build African Research Capacity! is an international network of young scientists supporting the advancement of basic biomedical science in Africa and its developing diaspora. Biomedical science is a powerful tool for solving health challenges that cause significant morbidity and mortality in developing African regions. Moreover, innovations in medicine and diagnostics originating from biomedical science discovery can increase competitiveness in the modern global economy. The expansion of basic biomedical research capacity, therefore, is vital for Africa’s development in multiple respects. Currently, Build AfReCa! facilitates the exchange of relevant ideas, information, and resources through Google Groups and a newsletter. Some examples include: Opportunities for research collaboration Awareness of basic biomedical science capacity issues in Africa Sources of funding for facilities development and equipment donation Research training opportunities for African graduate students and postdocs Diaspora mobilization and ”Brain Gain” programs Pharma and biotech ventures in Africa Organizations and networks geared towards building science capacity Global health-related initiatives and conferences Build AfReCa! sets the stage for cooperation among young scientists in Africa, the Americas, Europe and other regions to impact the future of basic biomedical research and development in African nations.

Submitted by LeDit B Guindo on
(a) If possible, please make health and education a stand alone items each, such as below. VI. Infrastructure - improving efficiency and leveraging the private sector Improving health outcomes Improving education outcomes (b) If quantifiable, please add the following item: VII. Conflict resolution/Peace initiatives Successful conflict resolution outcomes or peace initiatives that can be scaled up. Thank you. LeDit B Guindo

Submitted by William Muthama Kinai on
No visit to Kenya is complete without purchasing a traditionally handcrafted memento bought from one of the numerous curio shops across the country or the Masai Markets which are ad hoc market held on certain days of the week often at parking lots of shopping malls. The products sold are an assortment of handicraft products – from carved miniature animals and masks to beaded bracelets to safari themed shirts and dresses – all produced by local artisans, though there is an occasional product imported from Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. A Masai Market shopping excursion completes the Kenyan experience for international visitors. Masai Markets trace their roots to the Akamba ethnic groups “mapisa” or woodcarving heritage. The Akamba woodcarving industry has production centers at Wamunyu, the industry’s birth place, at Nairobi’s Gikomba market and in the coastal towns of Mombasa and Malindi. The industry’s accomplishments are epitomized by the Akamba Handicrafts Co-operative Society an organization first established in 1963. The society operates a mammoth-sized showroom close to the Mombasa airport on a compound that also servers as its main production base employing approximately 3,000 society members and 2,000 other subcontractors. The society is a key supplier to curio vendors through Kenya and exports 30 percent of its output. In recent times, the Society has increased its operational sophistication relative to its contemporaries. It has established an online presence on www.akambahandicraftcoop.com. Operating in and industry that is blamed for the near extinction of some tree species in East Africa, for example the Ebony tree, the Society has taken steps to build green credentials. In association with the Darwin Initiative, the Society instituted a certification of sustainably sourced wood carving programme. The Society grows Neem trees, a fast growing indigenous species, which is a source of raw materials for the wood curving industry. Growing Neem trees contributes towards the conservation of indigenous trees. Indeed, the Akamba Handicraft Cooperative Society and the Akamba wood carving industry are true African success stories. William Muthama Kinai Principal Concert Management Consulting Nairobi, Kenya

From Rwandan cultural value and traditionnal practice of "Ubudehe", Rwanda improved community participation, self governance, village planning and poverty reduction. For further information see: www.cdf.gov.rw adn go to Ubudehe. This community based program lead by Mr KAYIRA Fidele, sociologist, is supported by European Union since 2001. The program won the 2008 United Nations Public Service Award in transparency, Accountability and responsiveness. Ubudehe programme work at village level, near the people and managed by beneficiaries them self. It has 15000 bank account equal to the number of villages. Those bank accounts are managed and reported by community through Ubudehe village committees. From 2001, European Union has disbursed 26 millions euros and ready to add 10 millions euros next year. Come and see. Fidele KAYIRA, National Manager.

The reason is clear, information and communication technology (ICT)is a critical part of the ever more intergrated global economy, where knowledge-based activities have become increasingly important and pervasive. ICT enable people, government, and business around the world to acquire and share ideas, expertise and services, helping to create and sustain opportunities for economic development on an unpresidented scale. In this respect, four main aspect should be address: *access to ICT services *affordability of ICT services *adoptation of ICT application in government, educational systems, local organisations, and business *and finally, challenging issues faced by developing countries on the agenda of ICT for development should be adressed Best regards SANGUV SIMON PETER FOMONYUY FOUNDER OF SUDAHSER FOUNDATION http://petersanguv.blogspot.com http://sanguvsimonpeterfomonyuy.blogspot.com http://ssudahserfoundation.blogspot.com

Submitted by mutende musonda on
Being a Zambian I'd love to comment on the success of my country. I believe governance is pivotal to any form of development. Zambia has progressed in terms of democracy and gender equality and thus individual rights and prevelledges are being upheld much more, especially since 1991 when we transitioned to multi party democracy. As such, citizens are taking up responsibility to improve their lives. the economy is now libralized(free market). There is a rise in enterpreneurship and credit facilities-financial empowerement. The government and citizens have declared war on corruption(zero tolerance) and accountability/ transparency is taking root. International co-orperation has also improved. In conclusion, Zambia is improving in all areas of its economy to the extent that the system of governance is improving. We are getting to a place of participatory management of our country and our resources. I encourage the world to come and see how much we are improving our selves.

As a way of life in our contemporary times,the need to move from Independent to Interdpendent Paradigm as a way of life has continued to be a source of hope to many who could rather have died or lived in disparation due to Poverty,lack of peace and democracy. This way,the Center For Partnership And Civic Enagement,CEPACET Organization,www.cepacet.org has continued to be in the frontline of Promoting Interdependence and being part of organizations such as CYCA to organize a local event on Interdependence day every 12/Sept each year with an objective of Promoting: - Peace. - Democracy. - Reconcilaization and Co-existance. In our link Project,CEPACET continues to act as a link between community based organization and development Partners so as to realize the Millinium development goals. We wish all other great institution working towards making communities a better place to live and by their own rights Promoting Interdependence good luck. May this generation leave behind a Better world. Jared Akama Ondieki Ececutive Director, Center For Partnership And Civic Engagement P.o Box 4855-00200, Nairobi- Kenya. Website: www.cepacet.org Email: center4partnership@gmail.com

Submitted by HATEGEKIMANA JEAN BAPTISTE on
The first source of energy provider is food with complete quality. In our continent Africa, food availability is a problem and the improvement in crop production and livestocks could be the key to development because many young people don't go to school due to the hunger, infant mortalities encountered are due to malnutrition both for their mothers and for themselves. Innovation and technology application in the field using selected seeds, agroforestry, organic fertilizers and irrigation technologies to provide more yield in the light of hunger eradication. The rational practice will save the environmental conditions and next generations will be provided with safe and viable environment. Not only to provide human beings with food and fiber, this revolution will be economically profitable and living standards will be lifted to a desirable level. Our goal to attend to this level is actually to empower young people in order to exploit their energy and skills by letting them doing entrepreneurship, developing innovation and creativity. To trust them will be the first step in order to make them responsible of what they do. Thanks.

Submitted by Jerome Israel Bethea on
Hi Shanta, I saw your credentials and your aim in Africa and I have a very elementary but serious question for you. What can we do about the famine in Africa? Let me further detail the question. We have programs for feeding the poor. Programs for helping with livelihood, jobs, government programs, medical programs, etc. Some people think that sending money helps, others say it gets swallowed by the government and never to the people. With all of the varying approaches, what can one person do? I am asking because I am planning to do something this year. From so far away I first think,"give money". Then, "give money to a reputable agency that provides food for the poor." I want to know if there is a flaw in this thinking, how to change it, why to change it, and what should I change it to? Thank you for your help and insight. You have a much better grasp on what is happening than I do. Jerome Israel Bethea

Submitted by modebitoye akinradewo on
SIR, DESPITE, ALL SUPPORT FOR AFRICA TO ERADICATE POVERTY IN LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, THE ISSUE OF POVERTY IS NOT STILL SOLVED, EVEN GETTING WORST IN SOME COUNTRIES DUE TO CURRUPTION, CRIME, VIOLENCE,FOOD SHORTAGE,LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROBLEM ,LACK OF JOB,MOBILIZATION FROM RURAL TO URBAN PROBLEM, URBAN CONGESTION, POOR BASIC AMENITIES, HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION PROBLEM,e.t.c WITH ALL THIS BAD SITUATION, HOW CAN A PRIVATE SECTOR INVOLVE IN HELPING TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SECTOR OR GOVERNMENT, IN THIS PARTICULAR TIME OF CRISIS,WHEN NO SUPPORT IS RENDERED BEFORE TO PRIVATE SECTOR BY THE GOVERNMENT,TO BOOM THE ECONOMY , INCREASE JOB PROVISION AND IMPROVE STANDARED OF LIVING OF THE POOR.WHAT CAN PRIVATE SECTOR DO TO SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT AND LESS PREVILEDGE.?AS A CONTRIBUTION TO REDUCE HARDSHIP/CRISIS. THANK YOU.

Submitted by Ibrahim Adam on
Dear Shanta: First of all: great blog! Second, I'm amazed that Sudan has not been included as Africa's MOST STELLAR economic growth performer and BIGGEST success story. I can hear a sharp intake of breath, but here's the skinny on why Sudan MUST be included: STELLAR: As confirmed in the IMF's July 2009 Country Report, Sudan is now officially a middle income country (a status shared only by South Africa and tiny populated Gabon on the continent). That's a huge newsflash - and ultimately an outcome that should be applauded enthusiastically (albeit embarrassing for many development experts given the resources that have been poured into other SSA countries that still remain stuck firmly in low-income status). In other words, Sudan is on its way to ending poverty!! (Sudan's economic growth rate has averaged around 8% for over a decade). BIGGEST: Sudan's growth success story has profound, positive implications for the rest of Africa. It shows that Africa can make it on a diet of private capital alone; Sudan has turned the book of international development on its’ head. Sudan’s remarkable economic progress – it is now the third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria – has been achieved in spite of a lack of comprehensive foreign debt forgiveness, US sanctions and virtually non-existent development finance to the Sudanese government from Western donors, the IMF and World Bank. In sum, Sudan is Africa's biggest success story that, sadly, continues to go unmentioned. Regards, Ibrahim Adam

Submitted by Ibrahim Adam on
Dear Shanta: may I make a suggestion for one of the 'links of the week'?. See this posting about lifting sanctions on Sudan on the Making Sense of Darfur blog, posted by a former World Banker - Ahmed Badawi. See this link: http://blogs.ssrc.org/darfur/2009/08/13/call-to-lift-us-sanctions-from-sudan-deserves-praise-not-derision/ Best regards, Ibrahim - El Fasher, North Darfur

Submitted by Francois P. Kabore on
Dear Dr Devarajan, Thank you very much for such a wonderful idea. My suggestions: Emphasis in the Private sector 1. More emphasis on successes in the Private sector: those are easier to replicate or easier to build on than goverment lead successes. 2. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): how conducive is the business environment to innovation and technology transfert ? The Doing Business Better project certainly has valuable information on the issue. 3. Education and Institutions: How the government is doing things great is as important as how it allows private individuals to be creative in the country. I think it's important to tell positive stories to help people understand that they too can make the difference. To that extent, even if indeed projects cannot be replicated, people can still build on and learn from the successes and even the failures of other people. It seems to me that public or government lead projects constitute the greatest share of the successes already listed. With all due respect to government action, I strongly believe that Africa will move on only when the private sector will reach some critical size that allows to create opportunities for Africans. To that extent I would suggest that a strong emphasis be put on the private sector. As for the public sector, it would be good to put the emphasis on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in particular, institutions and education in general. Thanks, Francois P. Kabore (fk7625a@american.edu) Department of Economics American University Washington DC

Submitted by Sunday A. Khan on
1. The cooperative credit union movement in Cameroon The first cooperative credit unions were created in Cameroon almost 50 years ago in the English-speaking part of the country, especially the North-West Province. Their main task was to receive deposits and give credits to members. Today, they are present in almost all the provinces in the country and participate actively in the intermediation process in the financial sector. Together, they have created an umbrella organisation - Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League – CamCCUL. In 1999, they made another big move by creating a commercial bank – Union Bank of Cameroon. As a group, the cooperative credit unions dominate the microfinance landscape in Cameroon today: In 2006, out of the 490 microfinance institutions, 177 were of the CamCCUL network. They contributed CFAF44 billion of the total microfinance deposits of CFAF162 billion. In terms of credits, they had CFAF29 out of a total of CFAF104 billion. The CamCCUL group story might have some lessons to be learned. ________________________________________ 2. Another success story to my opinion is the venturing of Cameroonian financial institutions into foreign countries. Two indigenous Cameroonian banks: Afriland First Bank and Commercial Bank of Cameroon have branches in several countries within the Central Africa sub-region and even beyond. Afriland has even opened a branch in China to facilitate trade between the two countries. Commercial Bank of Cameroon equally has a branch in France. ________________________________________ 3. The explosion in mobile phone subscription in Africa is mimicked in Cameroon. From 5000 subscribers in 2000, there are about 6.5 million mobile phone subscribers in Cameroon today.

The ushahidi platform (www.ushahidi.com) was launched in Kenya at a time when the country was burning, following the outbreak of violence after the 2007 elections. Initially, the platform was meant to help people across the country to post quick updates on the web about what was happening all around, especially in the main trouble-spots. All it required was access to a mobile phone from which a person could text (sms) their updates, and upon some quick verification, the update would appear in the blog. Ushahidi has grown into a bigger tool for "crowd-sourcing" of latest news on crises and disasters as they unfold even in very remote regions. By incorporating google maps, the platform enables people in other parts of the world to know the exact locations of whatever is happening. Ushahidi has since then been useful in several other countries of the world, most recently during the Haiti earthquake. The Ushahidi concept may not be entirely new or unique, but it is an African technological success story nonetheless.

Submitted by Christian Tamack on
I reviewed all postings here and let's be honest, it is pathetic. Probably the only post that got a special attention was the Sudanese "success" story. While all medias in the West are talking only of the misery there, the country seems better of by some indicators than many other African countries with no wars, plenty of IMF and Worldbank experts, good press in the west, and sometimes abundant natural resources. There are too many problems in Africa to be all solved at once. However, 4 major strategic areas should be tackled right away: Energy, Water, Transportation and IT. Everything else will follow with a minimum of discipline. In Africa, so far the priorities have been elsewhere... So, without robust energy, water, transportation and IT infrastructures, Africa will get some isolated successes here and there (like most of what has been published here) but it will never be sustainable and won't lift the people out of poverty, especially with an explosion in demographics. How do you get all these infrastructures if you are poor? This is where we need the African leaders to take some bold, creative and maybe risky moves. Every country should come with an approach that takes into consideration its specificities. Christian Tamack Global Observer based in Houston, TX-USA

Submitted by Chris on
I appreciate your comment but I think you underestimate the real power of these stories. Each one represents, in most cases, a group of organized people working together to solve problems in their own community, most of whom are Africans. Here already is a success in itself as Africans take initiative to solve their own problems in a sustainable way, so it is not lost the minute the leaders decide to focus on something else. And each of these stories are also representative of whole communities standard of living being improved. I do not know if you have seen any of these first hand, or have enough information to compare the before and afters but they really are success stories. Also, your view seems very western-centric if you will, you are proposing Western ways of doing things to solve African problems which sometimes fail (the story of many foreign aid orgs.) They may seem isolated but when you go through many of these countries and see the same things happening over and over again in many different villages and towns, then you get the whole feel for it. In the west there is the order of how things will happen (which is why people find it very wired to her of an African who has a cell phone and radio but not electricity). The difference is that we Africans are realizing that those can be part of the solutions to our problems if well used. therefore a cell phone becomes not an entertainment or luxury tool, but one for connection, planning, information sharing, health and other information and many many more. (so it is obvious for a farmer to get one so he can know when it is best to plant, where to sell and the like, and it becomes a source of livelihood). it may not seem like a big deal to someone from Texas where huge corporations license and steer this kinds of things, but it is life changing in many African villages because the mind set and culture of what these tools can be used for. And i agree the governments of many African countries should do a better job, I think when it is done by the people, it is more sustainable since they have a direct vested interest in seeing projects succeed and keep doing so (as their lives and those of their descendants will keep improving). Also, these people are the ones with the priorities you talked about and when they solve the problems directly, they free themselves from the dependence of waiting for an org. or the govt. or someone to provide the jobs or resources they need. If the communities learn to be self reliant, then they won't have to wait for someone to give them a job or provide clean water or electricity because they have already learned to work together and when they raise enough money from their existing ventures, they can drop a well or drill a borehole. (just an example). The list here is a sample and as you can see from comments, there are many more happening all over the continent with the people directly contributing to solutions and benefiting from them.

Submitted by Patrick Mwendwa on
I do agree with Christian on the insufficient successes being brought forth as triumphant. It is evident that Africa as a continent seems to suffer from similar if not identical problems. Issues such as poor leadership that are accompanied by malignant events seem to be prevalent in almost all regions of Africa. From post-election skirmishes in Kenya, to sectarian wars in Nigeria;the rest of the world watches as Africa goes through a downward self-spiral. Yet, a different story is told of paltry milestones influenced by individuals banking on the continents myriad resources and opportunities. Little focus and energy is being directed towards some imperative issues such as energy, water, transportation-infrastructure & IT. Every year, whenever the budget for the majority African countries is read, one is left to wonder where funds alloted to such initiatives goes. Africa has been rendered somewhat helpless if not disable as a result of the "dis-ability cheque" that it gets from donors in form of AIDs and grants. The people of Africa are taught that it is ok to depend on other developed nations for their core-existence. In fact, since the AIDs and grants are dependable, they are used to fund what tax-payers money should be doing. Africans should be taught that all developed nations did not arrive to where they are at by sheer luck. There is a price to pay and once each and every individual in the continent realizes their committment towards this common goal, then we can start reporting on such issues. Until the day that my grandmother will have piped-water and electricity, I will hold-off from commending any other irrelevant topics. Lets step out of our pathetic, looming comfort-zone and do begin to craft our winning-strategies. Ethnic clashes, poverty, power-rationing are nowhere close to being human paradigms. Lets transform our thought processes and not merely change. Patrick M Native Africa (Kenyan)

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Dear bloggers When we have to name some of the contributing efforts to fight rural poverty the power of the market is a very determining factor, and so is infrastructure in roads and railroads as well as in communication. In this article we want underline the importance of the organizations in charge of training farmers. Just think of the unfolding revolution in communication in rural areas across Africa with the fast growing market for mobile telephones. Although opinions are divided on the Malawian Government’s decision to subsidize fertilizers, there is no doubt that the decision had had immediate benefits for the farmers and the total agriculture production has gone up and changed the market. Of course there are other factors in the same macroeconomic category like access to water, access to financing and market access….. Small scale farmers in Africa are part of the 500 million farmers who produce food to 2 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They are the main players and their contribution should not be overlooked. These farmers are often, ha per ha, efficient growers, given the right circumstances, but the odds are stacked against the small scale farmer. Due to lack of capital and credit, they are often without input, and infrastructure is not developed. Often these farmers are illiterate and have little access to updated know-how and research. Recently new developments have emerged to increase support to the small scale farmers such as the promise of a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food security established in 2009, CAADP, the Africa framework to increase agricultural productivity, and the Millennium Development Goals all demand actions. But by the end of the day it is still the farmers who have center stage. It should be the declared goal of any development model for combating rural poverty to release the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit in any single small holder farmer in Africa. This factor is increasingly being recognized and is also referred to the FAO Rural Poverty Report 2011, where policy makers “also need to look at rural women and men – and, above all, the youth in rural areas – with fresh eyes, as key agents of economic growth and food security, as well as key contributors to better managing and preserving an increasingly scarce natural resource base in the context of a changing climate.” The same conclusion was drawn by The University of Zimbabwe in their evaluation of a 3-year EU supported food-security programme: Farmers Club implemented by Development Aid from People to People in Zimbabwe. In this programme the organization of the 18,000 small scale3 farmers in clubs of 50 farmers was one of key elements. Lessons, field trips, joint purchase of input and sale of products all took place in the realm of the club. The clubs were also the place where farmers could get together and share thoughts, results, and their experience with others. This last element turned out to be one of the most important ones for the participating farmers – in Zimbabwe, as well as in Malawi and Mozambique where a similar programme has implemented. The same was expressed by the Malawian Minister of Agricul¬ture and Food Security, Professor Peter Mwanza, November 2010: “The key aspect of the Farmers’ Clubs program is the organizational structure, which optimizes coor-dination and facilitates communication and informa¬tion sharing. Farmers are organized into “projects” of 250 farmers, each guided by a protect leader. The purpose of this is to allow the networking, informa¬tion sharing, peer support, and to also facilitate re¬source pooling to bolster marketing and financing.” Dorthe Jensen Humana People to People

Dear Shanta and Fellow Bloggers, I started a facebook page to capture a time capsule of the 2020 African generation today - one can say that it is a cultural project aimed at publicising a new African future. Part of my research on how to position ourselves and what information we should be sharing while collecting images and microdocumentaries led me to this blog. Thank you for collating these and sharing them with us because these are the stepping stones for the Next Generation of Africa. We will be showcasing these in a suitable format for the 2020 African youth. Thank you. Suzana Moreira moWoza

Submitted by Thierry Kangoye on
Africa’s growth performance has historically been characterized by volatility and stagnation. Africa, which just ten years ago, was labeled as “the hopeless continent” has however seen a remarkable turnaround in economic performance over the past decade that has created optimism for its future. Against this historical background, the sustainability of Africa’s recent positive trends in political and economic conditions remains of concern. While Africa still faces significant challenges to development, and still has more to do to realize its full potential, a review of recent publications illustrates that there is a consensus that Africa is on an upward trajectory, economically, politically and socially. My research fellow colleague at UNECA A. Atta-Krah and I recently challenged ourselves to summarize the main arguments raised by various authors who have written on the subject. It’s interesting to see how most of the reports converge towards the same conclusion that there is solid evidence that Africa is really on the rise. Below is a summary of the key issues: 1) Since 2003, many African countries have attained high economic growth rates, and in some cases, managed to sustain relative high rates throughout the crises . • Numerous African oil and non-oil exporting economies alike, registered not only high, but sustained economic growth rates. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from an annual average rate of less than 2 percent in 1978- 95 to nearly 6% over 2003-2008. Whereas the likelihood of growth accelerations between 1985-1994 was 0.21, it rose to 0.42 between 1995- 2005 (The World Bank, 2011). • Africa has been the third most rapidly growing region in the World since 2000; the continent’s real GDP rose 4.9% per year from 2000 to 2008, more than twice its pace in the 80s and 90s ; the growth acceleration was widespread (27 of the 30 largest economies) (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). • Africa’s growth performance was first led by a natural resource boom, which directly accounted for 24 percent of the continent's GDP growth in recent years. According to the 2010 McKinsey Global Institute report, Africa greatly benefited from the surge in global commodity prices over the past decade (including oil, grain and other raw materials). • Agricultural GDP growth averaged nearly 3 percent a year over 1980-2004. Given that Africa, (excluding North Africa) is a region where two thirds of the population is rural and 70 percent of the poor derive their livelihood from agriculture, increased and sustained agricultural growth has positive implications on food security, economic growth and poverty reduction. Moreover, the incidence of poverty fell from 59 percent in 1995 to nearly 50 percent in 2005, a decline of 1 percentage point a year in the poverty rate (The World Bank, 2011). • After stagnating in volume and value terms in the 1980’s, exports doubled in volume, and rose fivefold in value between 1994-2008. As a result of improving economic prospects in Africa, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region grew by more than 17 percent a year between 1995 and 2008. Total foreign capital flows into Africa rose from $15 billion in 2000 to a peak of $87 billion in 2007 (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). Although, extractive industries account for the bulk of FDI, significant amounts are being recorded in the construction, communications and banking sectors. Export growth in Africa has been led by extractive resource exports, fueled by a commodity boom. Africa’s exports continue to be dominated by extractive and agricultural commodities, with only few manufacturing exports. The diversity and sophistication of exports has unfortunately, not changed much over the years (The World Bank, McKinsey Global Institute report, 2010). • Non commodity drivers of growth such as i) the application of technology, and ii) political stability has significantly contributed to growth in Africa. Mobile phones, in particular have had positive effects on information sharing, communication, and banking. The rise in democratic nations, as witnessed by increased political awareness, frequent elections and smoother government transitions etc. has enhanced growth (The Economist, 2011). • While the needs of the continent to raise substantial financial resources to support its adaptation to climate change and its transition towards a green economy are important, some African countries are making important efforts to set green growth strategies which will contribute to foster sustainability. The role of agriculture and food production in supporting Africa’s economic performances are indeed expected to gain much importance in the decades to come given the increasing food prices across the world (Adejumobi, 2012). 2) African countries have witnessed notable improvements in the general macro economic environment. • With the aid of improved economic management, structural policies and debt relief, inflation rates in Africa (excluding North Africa) have reduced. Median inflation has in fact fallen from double-digit levels in the 1970s to well below 10 percent between 1996-2007. Similarly, exchange rates have also been maintained at competitive levels. Increasingly, many African countries have opted for trade liberalization and increased reforms, which has helped to bring down tariff rates (The World Bank, 2011). • Governments greatly contributed to the surge of growth through their actions aimed at ending political conflicts, improving macroeconomic stability (through adequate reforms aiming at reducing inflation, reducing foreign debt and budget deficits), creating better business climates (through state-owned enterprises privatizations, trade barriers and corporate taxes reduction, and regulatory and legal systems strengthening) (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). • According to Radelet (2010), the slowing down of the debt crisis and the softening of the debt burdens also supported the raise of Africa’s growth through freed up financial resources for policy making and improved macroeconomic preconditions for donor countries’ support. 3) There has been an increase in strategic and timely institutional reforms, as well as improved governance in many African countries. • The improvement of economic policies across the continent accounted for a substantial part of the boost of the economic performances since the 80s (Radelet, 2010). More broadly, institutional improvements (especially democracy and accountability) are one of the main drivers of growth acceleration in Africa (Radelet, 2010). Furthermore, from 1989 to 2008, the number of democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa dramatically increased from 3 to 23. As an outcome of these, budget and trade deficits were made more sustainable, business environments improved, and trade and investment barriers decreased. 4) There has been an improved business environment in many African countries. • The 2011 Doing Business report noted that Africa’s positive growth prospects are likely to be supported by adequate reforms in the trade sector. In Angola for example, customs revenue increased by more than 1,600% between 2001 and 2008 due to trade reforms. In Ghana, the customs revenue grew by 49% in the first 18 months after implementing an electronic data interchange system for customs procedures. About half of all trade facilitation reforms in 2009/10 took place in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. • As a result of governments’ actions, Sub-Saharan Africa was in 2011, the most active region in the world in start-up reforms (i.e. regarding the number of Doing Business reforms making it easier to start a business). The 2011 Doing Business report also highlighted that many of the reforms were motivated by regional integration. Some of these efforts built on existing initiatives such as the Southern African Customs Union. In East Africa single border controls sped up crossings between Rwanda and Uganda. Overall, 27 of 46 Sub-Saharan African economies implemented 49 Doing Business reforms (2011 Doing Business report). • Perceptions of investment prospects in Africa are generally positive, particularly in the medium to longer-term. 68% of survey respondents believe that Africa has become a more attractive investment destination (Ernst & Young, 2011). Africans themselves are especially optimistic about the prospects for the continent, with 88% noting an improvement. • Intra-African investment is growing strongly, underlining growing self-confidence, belief and potential in Africa. Between 2003 and 2010, there was a 21% compound annual growth rate in intra African investment into new FDI projects. Comparatively, new investment activity from emerging economies outside of Africa grew by only 9% (Ernst & Young, 2011). • Respondents from emerging markets are more positive about Africa’s attractiveness than respondents from developed economies (Ernst & Young, 2011). • 43% of investors are considering investing further in the region and an additional 19% of business leaders confirm they will maintain their operations on the continent (Ernst & Young, 2011). • Capital investments are set to grow, reaching a forecasted $150b in 2015. Capital investment from emerging market investors grew particularly strongly (at 13% CAGR between 2003 and 2010), with high concentration in the extractive and manufacturing sectors (Ernst & Young, 2011). Nevertheless, the overall trend, albeit slow, is toward greater diversification of investment. 5) As a result of improved macroeconomic conditions, Africa has successfully attracted increased FDI in recent years. • FDI has been robust despite the economic crisis. New FDI projects into Africa are forecast to reach $150 b by 2015, creating 350,000 jobs per annum (Ernst & Young, 2011). • In 2010, total FDI was more than $55 billion- five times what it was a decade earlier and much more than Africa receives in aid. (The Economist, 2011). • Substantial new business opportunities are being created in consumer-facing industries (retail, telecommunications and banking), infrastructure-related industries, agriculture and resources. These sectors could generate $2.6 trillion in revenue annually by 2020 (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). The McKinsey report highlights that the agriculture sector in the continent especially holds a great growth potential mainly due to the availability of uncultivated areas (Africa holds 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land) and to the low crop yields that make a green economy more likely to happen on the continent. The boom of the infrastructure sector also supports these opportunities, due to the need for the countries to pursue their investments for the provision of power, water and transportation (McKinsey Global Institute report, 2010). 6) Africa is well endowed with natural resources, which to a large extent, are still untapped. • About half of the world’s gold reserves and a third of its diamonds, as well as copper, colt and other minerals and metals are found in Africa. Revenues from mining in the 1960s funded key developments and led to employment creation in various countries. The continent’s natural resources therefore present great financial potential that could enhance development on the continent. • Increasingly, intra-African trade, as well as trade between other key emerging countries has increased. While a generation ago, Brazil, Russia, India and China accounted for just 1% of African commodities’ trade, today, these emerging markets make up 20%, and are expected to account for 50% of Africa’s commodity trade by 2030 (The Economist, 2011). • Africa’s trade with the other emerging economies has also been on the rise for some years. The continent’s new trading partners (notably the BRICS) are continuing to show robust demand for Africa's primary commodities and greater appetite to invest across the African continent (Siddiqi, 2012). Africa-China trade has increased at an average annual rate of 33% since 2002 and China-Africa trade in 2010 amounted to $126.7bn, 13,7% of Africa's total trade with the world (African Business, 2012). • The future growth prospects of the continent as a whole are expected to be positive, this being partly supported by the new types of partnerships that are being forged with the natural resource buyers around the world and which are giving incentives to trade partners to provide up-front payments, make infrastructure investments and share management skills and technology (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). 7) Africa’s steady population growth, if maximized, could yield positive returns • In 2010, the percentage of the population of working age in Africa was 52% and is forecast by the United Nations to reach 62% by 2030. Urbanization of the continent has also increased over the years with 40% Africans now dwelling in cities with increasing incomes, up from 30% a generation ago. By 2025, the number will likely be 50%. This potentially, will increase the continent’s productivity (with appropriate human capital development), (The Economist, 2011). • The rise of the African urban consumer and the growing labour force are expected to fuel long-term growth. The number of households with discretionary income is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 10 years, reaching 128 million. By 2030, the continent’s top 18 cities could have a combined spending power of $1.3 trillion. Africa’s labour force is also expanding and is projected to reach 1.1 billion by 2040, (McKinsey Global Institute report 2010). • Undoubtedly, Africa will need to intensify efforts to ensure that its citizens and labor force are sufficiently equipped to not only contribute maximally to the continent, but to also compete globally. Nevertheless, there have been some notable areas of progress: with regards to primary school enrollment, for example, Africa increased 14 percentage points, from about 59 percent in 2000 to 73% in 2008- the fastest improvement of any region. More girls are attending school than ever before. Sources Cited Adejumobi, S. (2012). Can Africa be the new miracle economy ? African Business, N°382, January. African Business (2012). Will the African Lion Roar again in 2012? N° 382, January. Ernst and Young (2011). It’s time for Africa. 2011 attractiveness survey. McKinsey Global Institute (2010). Lions on the move : the progress and potential of African economies. Radelet, S. (2010). Emerging Africa : How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way. CGD Brief. Center for Global Development. Rao, M. (2011). Mobile Africa Report 2011. Regional Hubs of Excellence and Innovation. MobileMonday. Siddiqi, M. (2012). World Growth now depends on Africa. African Business, N°382, January. The Economist (2011). The sun shines bright. The continent’s impressive growth looks likely to continue. Published on December 3rd 2011. The International Finance Corporation (2010). Doing Business 2011. Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs. Co-publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. The World Bank (2011). Yes Africa Can: Success stories from a dynamic continent,” The Word Bank Group, The Africa Region.

Submitted by onychomycosis on
Africans must be trained that most developed nations did not arrive to where they are in simply by sheer luck. There is a price to pay and once each and every individual in the continent realizes their committment when it comes to this common goal, then we can start reporting on such issues. Until the day that my grandmother will have piped-water and electricity, I am going to hold-off from commending some other irrelevant topics. Lets step out of our pathetic, looming comfort-zone and do begin to craft our winning-strategies. Ethnic clashes, poverty, power-rationing are usually nowhere close to being human paradigms. Lets convert our thought processes and never merely change.

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