What the Future holds for Africa


In the age that is governed with an unprecedented global prosperity, Africa is the continent which is lagging behind. It is a continent on spotlight due to the challenges facing its developmental prospects. Comparing to the other continents, a majority of the countries in Africa are in the developing phase; they are either middle developed or developing. The challenges are collectively summed in the respective countries leadership that directly affects their developments. The large population in distinct countries in Africa is projected to be at risk if appropriate measures are not taken. Globally, the joint nation consensus on the world’s development forecasted that the inability of Africa’s advancement would threaten the future of its population besides being an international problem. Although Africa is dictated to have negative challenges that have an impact on the global arena, it has positive influences like the wide array of resources that may have implications in the global community if well tapped. Beside this, it is destined for the best because it is an optimistic continent that has grown in leaps since the colonial era. Since countries in Africa are in different phases of growth regarding social, economic, and political development, the paper will give an analytic insight of the current situation, pointing out both positive and negative challenges to this continent and possible recommendations for future enhancement.


A View of the Current State of Africa

Basing on the past, the present, and the future of Africa, it is destined to improve from its initial state exponentially. Clarke describes that the countries on the continent are yet to be developed, to unlock their full potential in natural wealth. They have grown from the colonization era in spite of the politics that is etched on their financial entities illustrating the natural powers in political classes and governments showing their competency level. Clarke reiterates that Africa has a better future even though it is labeled and portrayed as an impoverished continent. The major problem arising in its arena is underperformance in different state managements. Clarke elaborates that the existing and future potential of Africa lies in the abundance of natural capital, existing resource-based industries, and the underexploited mineral energy. Also, the deindustrialization that has taken place over time, the manufacturing competition and agrarian failure are the reasons for the current state in Africa. Since there are no agribusiness firms and green revolution in Africa, there is a possible continental economic transformation in the future.

Africa also extends its path from the old ways. A closer view of individual states indicates that the practices in the 19th century were assimilated in their leadership styles. For instance, the Africa’s traditional economies rarely participated in the industrial revolution compared to the European continent sweep. Its survival method, along with other constraints, necessitated survival at little income and minimal subsistence levels. The Malthusian style in the 19th century shaped the economy that was minimally affected by foreign technologies and investments. Africa, being an economy of subsistence production, buckled under these established conditions with fewer states changing their model on survival strategies in modified economic constraints. The activities defining Africa still influence its current state. According to Fourie, Africa’s economic history only thrived in the optimism of post-independence. The rapid economic transformations have alluded to the late colonial and early post-colonial period that led to exploding trajectories that, however, declined in time, such as the present South Africa that is still thriving. The declines in the economy are said to have affected regions that had massive slavery and colonialism. It is evident that Africa has the necessary resources to lead the economic world if the various countries within its jurisdiction commit to proper governance and utilize technological developments.

Positive Prospects in Africa

1) Population Increase

According to Ahmed and Mlay, Africa has a large population that is essential for developments. The population has grown from the 1980’s by three percent, which is a resource that needs to be tapped. It was evident that in any summit overpopulation was an Africa’s “thing.” Harsh (1992) projected the population increase of Africa from 502 million to approximately 1.3 billion in 1990. The Africa’s share of the world’s population was a predictive factor for human resource necessary to run industries, a major factor in economic development. The World Population Review estimates Africa’s population presently to be approximately 1.2 billion, which is the second-largest on the planet. African countries are said to be all growing due to a large number of women that are inaccessible of family planning. Though it is the case on the ground, the young people are the majority. For instance, approximately 41 percent of the population is below the age of 15 years. The staged population differences between Africa and other continents is expected to be diverse that will shift the world’s growth back to Africa. Nonetheless, the population may grow out of control to make Africa the poorest country on the planet because the population is said to double by 2100.

Another factor is the unutilized agricultural land, rain basins, forests, and mineral reservoirs. Ahmed and Mlay explain that Africa has barely utilized its rain-fed agricultural lands and other resources that are enough to create the necessary wealth to sustain the population demands shortly. Contrary to the countries in Asia and Europe, Africa preserves the environment at the consequence of development. While the growing population pressure acts like a stimulus in other developed countries, Africa remains adamant in assimilating new technologies for an economic take-off. In a continuous population growth, it is set to increase its portion of cultivable land and nurturing the available resources regarding population sustenance. As a result, the future dwells in the overutilization of cultivable land by assimilating the use of technology, the use of environmentally damaging methods for the benefit of the continent’s people. The mineral deposits and oil reservoirs in Africa remain unexploited due to the absence of finances. While it is true, it needs to develop agriculture to provide the necessary capital to fund the excavation of land to exploit oil, a significant contributor to economic development.

Prospective changes in the Future

1) Social and Political Governance

The principal factor that will change the position of Africa is social governance and political leadership. While it boasts of multicultural variance and dimensions within the continent in addition to vast religions, they are also undoing social and political growth. Although the challenges faced on the continent are barely structural, an analysis of the continent’s static growth is hard due to tribal and religious differences in the diverse countries. According to Magesa, the crises are evident in South Sudan between two tribes while in the Central African Republic they were humanitarian in origin between the Muslims and Christians. Also, Libya is in the recovery phase because of political wars. The political instability in these countries is a weakening factor of the African economy, impacting the gains achieved in the adverse situations. Also, the presidents, who refuse to concede defeat in a democratic arena, have also led to the deteriorations of the economies. It indicates that these scenarios trample developments. Though it is a trending problem, countries like Rwanda and Sierra Leone have risen from similar situations in a positive manner with a spiking political growth. It means that if suitable political structures are made in Africa guaranteeing the rise above social and political differences, its economy will grow.

2) Environmental Changes

Currently, Africa is the world’s largest tourist scenery attracting individuals from all over the world. The promoting factor is the favorable weather and climate. Ahmed and Mlay describe Africa as a continent the environment of which is still intact. The climate, weather, and environment support unique species of wild animals in various regions such as the island of Madagascar that spreads to the Ghengoni Rock region in Malawi. The current state with a projected growth in the population of Africa dictates that land will be utilized to sustain humanity. Land excavation and utilization for agriculture and mineral and oil mining will threaten the continent with the eradication of biodiversity. The principal concern in Africa is the illegal and unregulated logging that will wipe out the indigenous rain forest across the central belt if not prevented. Also, poaching will increase due to an alteration of the wild animal ecosystem and a decrease of grazing land as a result endangering the rare species. Mining in the prospective regions along the oil field will increase pollution in the environment. For instance, Nigeria’s Niger Delta is documented to be the most polluted area in Africa with more than 6800 oil spillages. If other countries set to start mining oil like Kenya and Uganda, then the entire Africa will have a devastating pollution in the name of harnessing the continent’s natural resources.

3) Educational Developments

According to Otara, education in Africa is as old as the pyramids in Egypt. While the higher education remains to be the center of professional growth and orientation, the models used are archaic and require change. The concern about the current situation in education quality is on the rise since a majority of African countries are adopting systems that are capable of initiating change towards growth. Materu acknowledges that African nations invest in tertiary education to make a significant contribution to economic growth and competitiveness in the global arena. It is through education that countries tap skilled workforce for formal and informal sectors of the economy and the productive capacities of the labor force. Besides being a catalyst in encouraging modern attitudes, it plays a critical role in support of the Millennium Development Goals. UNESCO describes that Africa is the merge of education development essential in achieving environmental and ethical awareness consistent with sustainable developments. It signifies that with an elaborate school system, given the sustainable developments is the quick baseline for a strong science and technology for Africa’s modern era.

4) Trade

Africa is set to increase its jurisdiction in the WTO. It is because its countries are united for globalization in the global trade community. In the future, when it will have attained economic growth and development, while pursuing important goals in alleviating poverty, fostering environmental protection and promoting public health, it may rule the global market owing to the fact of its countries unity. It will encourage more developments because its countries will be flexible in implementing the system’s agreements that make them influential in the World Trade Organization. The World Trade Organization states that the technical assistance loophole used by developed countries to benefit themselves will end upon Africa’s growth. Also, there will be an equal negotiating platform for Africa and its counterparts on trade matters in the future.


Though Africa is unprecedentedly affected by poverty, it holds a prosperous economic future. If inappropriate measures are taken in Africa, then the inability of Africa’s development would threaten the global community’s future due to its rising population besides other aspects. The current problem triggers the continent to take up strategies for economic growth and development. Though labeled poor, its potential lies in abundance of natural capital, existing resource-based industries, and underexploited mineral energy. Africa's population of 1.2 billion is expected to double in the future and that will instigate economic growth besides being a human resource continent. Its untouched resources will be exploited, especially the rain forests and mineral and oil reservoirs. Socially individual countries will adopt new strategies for governance geared towards growth. While there is a set to increase the level of education geared towards sustainability, the environment will undergo degradation in the future. The exploitation resulting thereof will affect the climate and disrupt the wildlife ecosystem that will affect the tourism sector.

Apr 28, 2020 in Economics
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