Africa has a long standing reputation of being the changing nation of the twenty-first century. A continent rich in history, culture and natural resources, the "Lion" has had the unfortunate burden of being the wealth pool for a majority of its neighbours who have left it devoid of development. The troubled past has plagued Africa with poverty, civil and racial tension, and a lack of proper infrastructure that ultimately amplify the concept of how a continent with so much can do so little with it. This article attempts to capture the challenges the nation faces and stresses the importance of moving past them.
1) Segmented Countries - Having being ruled by plethora of Pan-European countries for a vast majority of the nation's early-development stage, the continent is broken by cultural and civil divides. Language, race (and race equivalents), and governing styles are a few of the many reasons why Africa has yet to truly represent a United Nation. Countries rarely indulge in the benefits of cooperative development, primarily concerned with preserving their own natural wealth and not of the unison benefits that freedom of trade and resources tends to allow. This feeds into political conflicts where the opportunity of civil rights is a common topic of conflict that countries that share borderlines tend to engage in. Africa is home to senates, monarchy, presidents and such all of whom require an incredible amount of upkeep that would otherwise be better served in undertaking development.
2) Sustainable Development is the way of the Future - This is a myth / A wrong conceptualised viewpoint. Nearly a decade ago, the concept of "Develop based on what's available and suited to you" was at the forefront of how developing economies should engage in slowly adapting and improving upon their often vast rural landscape. This I personally feel is a limited and narrow concept that was induced by more advanced nations as a token viewpoint to their poorer neighbours as to how they may eventually catch up. Evolution as we've clearly seen from countries such as the UAE, Japan and Iceland, all of whom are prone to either severe weather, natural calamities or unforgiving environments, is not determined by the adaptation of technology to suit the needs of the environment but rather the creation of the tools and building blocks that can change a nation's future. Take mobile banking as a prime example of a technology that clearly has had a massive impact on the financial industry within Africa. Standard Chartered, a leading lender in the market has recognised the technology's potential, scaling back alternative platform development and solely focusing on using phones as the main form of financial movement. Africa has yet to recognise the growth plan that would ultimately not help it catch up to the other 6 nations but rather champion them for the centuries to come.
3) Human Capital - An interesting concept to think about. A majority of the developed world now recognises the need for racial inclusion of individuals from ethnic minorities who are classified as those with exceptional skill. While this is a gratifying and valued platform that the world has unitedly agreed upon, it begs to question why Africa still has great difficulty in retaining its young talent to ultimately lead and progress its changing economy. A vast majority of individuals prefer to study abroad, often on fully-funded scholarships, and work hard to stay in their respective foreign countries, possibly to build a more prosperous life. This deny's the continent a chance to develop its own inherent talent over the years, the way developed nations did so in past, in order to create a wave of generational advancements that would allow it the chance to build a talent pool of skill-sets. People development, granted while supported by other nations, is in my view of two types, both of which leave the continent with little to desire. Either individuals are helped by aid, which is often displaced and wrongly targeted to allow proper benefit, or assisted in leaving and going abroad to study, which often leaves them with an inclination to stay. Growth needs to be internal and targeted in a tactical fashion. There has been too much of alternate support that the pure benefit of it has been dissipated throughout. A blanket strategy governed by an educational body of development would possibly be better.