By Benedict Tembo
THE African Union Commission says in this new world order, the onus is on Africa to create her future and actively participate in global affairs by promoting inclusiveness and contonent-wide interdependency in her socio- economic development.
AUC Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and Industry Albert Muchanga says the net result of each African country working in isolation would be Africa’s continued marginalisation in the global economy and councils of global leadership.
Ambassador Muchanga observed that the emerging market of the African Continental Free Trade Area offers the continent a strategic platform to meet challenges of the emerging world order.
“We also need to improve on governance driven by developmental and transformational leadership. As part of governance, we also need to begin generating tangible results from the efforts of implementing the programme on elimination of illicit financial flows from Africa,” he Muchanga said.
He was speaking recently at a forum comprising the Technical Study Group consortium on AUC, African Development Bank and AUDA-NEPAD.
Ambassador Muchanga said Africa needs among others, to boost investments by the African diaspora, African private sector as well as African sovereign, mutual and pension funds.
He noted that the Economist newspaper characterises Africa as the richest region in the world, in terms of natural resources endowment, and, the poorest in terms of economic development.
“A key indicator of that poverty is that out of the currently 46 least developed countries (LDCs) of the world, 33 (72 percent) are in Africa. Of those 33, a majority have limited prospects of graduating to lower middle-income countries at their current trajectories of economic growth and sustainable development,” Amb. Muchanga said
He said statistical profiles of African upper middle-income countries shows that from time to time, some of them slip down to lower middle-income and thereafter, retain the classification of being upper middle -Income countries.
“None of the African upper middle-income countries, other than the African small island developing countries has come near to the minimum threshold of being classified as a high- income country or economy.
With this status of underdevelopment, Africa also has the status of having a growing and young population,” he said
Ambassador Muchanga said Africa currently accounts for 17 percent of the global population.
“According to policy makers and scholars, this figure will rise to 25 percent by 2050 and 38 percent by 2100.
This growing population can be a source of social and political tensions that could spill into conflicts if it is not empowered with decent jobs and productivity. If skills development and decent jobs are generated for Africa’s youthful population, this would translate into empowering the African population with productivity and higher purchasing power,” he said.