TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is the future of Africas economy? Which sectors are key to economic development?

as late to the party I am, i am still quite stirred by this talk. He touched on a couple of ideas I too hold in high regard. However besides agriculuture, mineral and lumber exploitation and tourism and hospitality, what are the idustries we as africa should invest in

Share:
  • thumb
    Feb 3 2014: Yours is a very good question, Abraham. This is my opinion:
    The problem of Africa is very complex. It has not only been a continent plundered by the great powers (most of them), but that in some way, it is still so.
    Some countries are raw materials (gold, oil, diamants, coltan... even ivory, if possible) and then try to sell their industrial or pharmaceutical products in Africa. To make that easier, in some african countries, Governments are not exactly elected democratically but supported by others.
    The education of children and young people in Africa is not enough; This helps the exploitation of its treasures. Health level isn't the ideal.
    It is common to find non-governmental organizations dealing with what some Governments do not, as fetch water for drinking and for irrigating the fields. The men and women of that continent must also emigrate to other countries to work and still earn little money for very hard work.
    Africa has a huge potential for growth, but it seems that not too many countries are interested in it to grow and progress. Simply they leave the matter 'being there'.
    I hope that Africa could grow and develop quickly: it would be good for all... less for some operators, of course which are many and from very different places.
  • Feb 13 2014: i believe Africa's future is bright, all we need is for the liberation war heroes to step aside and let the countries be run by the youth. War heroes tend to spoil the whole idea of democracy because they think they own the country and everything in it, corruption!!! They would serve the country better in advisory capacity. Africa lets farm, mine and invest. Let us think of the future generations, lets work for them.
    • thumb
      Feb 15 2014: Kudos, Tineyi. You are what I call an optimistic realist. Keep on pursuing your dreams. Wish you the best of luck.
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2014: "What are the industries that Africa should invest in or What are the keys to Africa's economic development?"

    Africa, or any continent or country for that matter, should invest more in improving education. Good education is a fail-safe formula for success. Africa and other poor nations have been dominated, exploited, and plundered by more powerful nations throughout history.

    Educated and enlightened citizens:
    - are difficult to expoit
    - are more imaginative, innovative, and inventive
    - tend to be more problem-solvers than problem-makers

    No country can go wrong by investing in the education of its people.

    Africa should entice its most intelligent people to become teachers. It should also invite the best minds of the world to come to teach and share their best ideas. But for Africa to entice the best citizens of the world to visit, work, and invest there, it must first become a more peaceful and hospitable place.

    Educated and enlightened people:
    - make good citizens
    - make good decisions
    - make good leaders and out of good leaders ... good government.

    Africa needs a lot more Nelson Mandelas.
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2014: Learn from the developed world's mistakes and ensure not only that business is sustainable but also the environment.
  • Feb 20 2014: The productivity of an economy relies mainly on constant growth. This growth can for example come from filling out potential industrial output (as seen in UdSSR economy until the early 80's). Most african countries have a high potential, as some countries furthermore have huge resources of valuable materials, and as their actual productivity is at the moment rather low. The problem is in most of the cases the ruling politicians. Governmental institutions are highly extractive, enriching the countries' elites, but not using money to invest into social systems or stable economical situations. Therefore the countries' inhabitants have no appeal to even invest into a start-up or buying machinery for an existing firm, as the political system is unstable, and they know that either the government maybe takes the generated return from them or take the machinery or so on. There is therefore no trigger for growth of the countries' economies. Often times governmental institutions also block people from entering in the market with new companies, as they are corrupt, and generate a profit from the already existing firms paying them for not allowing competitors. African countries often times also have a widely spread population, with many living on the countryside, so there's no possibility of gathering many people to demonstrate or fight against the existing institutions. Even if political leaders are changed, the new ones try to generate money from extracting in the same way as their forerunners, as there's no public that controls them like in democratic countries.
  • thumb
    Feb 15 2014: Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent:
    - 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands
    - it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area
    - 1.1 billion people as of 2013
    - 15% of the world's human population
    - 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries")
    - 9 territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition
    - population is the youngest among all the continents.
    - 50 percent of Africans are 19 years old or younger. Wikipedia

    UNLIMITED POTENTIAL, if all Africans unite and cooperate ... and the whole world helps.
  • Feb 15 2014: Vera:

    I can agree with your take

    Thanks,
    raj
  • thumb
    Feb 15 2014: African nations should hold a summit where the main agenda is collaboration and cooperation - similar to what European nations did many years ago. Borrow the ideas and principles that work for EU and blend ideas that are uniquely African. Cooperation toward peace and progress should be the African nations' mantra.

    Imagine Union of African Nations or United States of Africa.
  • Feb 14 2014: None.
    Africa does not have an economy.
    There are, depending on your model, several to dozens of economies in Africa, but Africa cannot be treated like a single unit. It has INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES in it that are all able to have independent policies, etc.
  • thumb
    Feb 5 2014: My approach to the latter, consist of a mass collaboration of different entities within and outside of each and every countries of Africa. Undeniably, corruption is one of the factors that hinder development in Africa, the latter can be reduced through the help of global anti-corruption organisation and collaboration of the government. However some may argue that the government itself is corrupted, if that is the case, we need to raise awareness about how the citizens can actively help change this fact. For instance seeking an open government would be in my opinion the first step that will be necessary for any development to flourish and the transparency between the government and its citizen will lead to a "healthier" relationship among everyone, the citizens, the investors, and the government. We are in a global world and many of us are seeking an education to ensure our future and helping mankind to live in a sustainable world through peace and technological innovation. This amount of educated person is increasing every day and every year, there are some countries where this amount of person is significant enough to where we can take advantage of it and stir their curiosity through education, debates, invitation to take parts in polls, surveys through different media, but the most effective one nowadays would be social networks. They need to be convinced to join a movement for the righteous cause with ideologies that everyone deems to be worthy for their nation; Martin Luther King Jr. has done it, so has Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and many more. I am willing to be the change that I want to be in the world, I am inspired to create a movement that will agree that we need the help of several different professionals to set up a political body that the citizens can trust and also understand that that those persons will work for the best interest of the nation and provide tangible data to back them up. I will invest my time to create such an organisation.
  • Feb 4 2014: You know Abraham Africa is a great continent, you know why? Because it's the dark continent no. It's because it's the forgotten continent. And that means the people of Africa can and do come up with their own solutions - free from the interference and tyranny of others. You should be grateful you live there, where you and many other peoples of all types of religion and color walk in peace, free from the prejudices of others. So invest in the people of Africa, they need it.
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2014: Africans should not focus on particular sectors because they would bring money in. We should invest in human resources; education, the empowerment of citizens so that they could maximize their potentials.
  • Feb 4 2014: Population control. Food Production and animal production for consumption
  • Jan 26 2014: To develop these resources, Africa needs stability - not necessarily democracy or capitalism - but stability. Investors need to know they can make their money back with a good return - they are not philanthropists.
  • thumb
    Jan 25 2014: Factually Africa is a big continent it's cultural diversity is remarkable, geographivally varied, i think it is hard and impractical to prescribed a model of development on such diverse a continent.
    In general,i also think an investment into the development of Human Resource will sustain any country for a long time.

    ideally, Africa should try and originate an African Model of Development, and this can be found in the ingenuity of its people, history, cultural capital.

    Apart from other countries, China has made a headstart but Africans must realise that real development does not come from outside but from within. Aiming only for growth (GDP) is not enough, in the long run, Sustainable Development has be be adopted.

    Health, Education, Environment, Eco-Tourism along with the development of physical infrastructure like roads, electricity etc are needed to given higher impetus and consideration.
  • thumb
    Jan 25 2014: The cost of labor in China has made it less competitive so jobs will go to lower cost producers. Africa will be the new low cost producer because of cheap labor. Bill Gates predicts that there will be no poor countries by 2035
    • Feb 4 2014: if he predicts that, then he is an idiot.
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2014: I know it directly opposes everything the TV tells us?

        He has to be one of the richest idiots in the world?
        • Feb 5 2014: So he has more money??... that does not make him more right.

          You've got to learn that money does not automatically make one right or implicitly tell the truth. Ask the senate hearing committee if you have any doubts.
  • Jan 24 2014: Make no mistake about it, Africa has no economy! The continent is and has been carved up amoungst other major countries and is and will continue to be raped of it's natural resources until there is nothing left. Then they will disappear leaving a barren and desolate land in their rear view mirror of their limo's on the way out of town.
    • thumb
      Jan 24 2014: Make no mistake about it, Africa is not a single place. There are great differences between countries and their economy in Africa. Just like there are in Europe. No one would say that the economy of Greece and Sweden are the same but people tend to think that the economy of Nigeria and Angola are the same...

      However when it comes to the "raping" of the continent I agree.

      The World Bank (which was created to help these countries) is taking much more money out of African nations then they've ever put in. We keep charging interest for loans that have long been repaid many times over. Not to mention the corporations and their actions.

      But I disagree with your conclusion that it will be left barren and desolate, I think that Africa will prosper more than anything we've seen through history. It's coming and it's coming fast.
      • Jan 24 2014: I never said it was a single place I simply referred to the continent as a whole. I believe also that the same countries that are raping it now will continue to prosper as they are now, but I do not believe that the native Africans will see a penny of it and yes when the resources are depleted those countries that are there now for the resources will leave behind nothing and the native people will be either dead or in jail. Very similar to what the corporations did to the native Americans and are doing to and in the USA and everywhere else for that matter. And when they have finished wrecking the world they will be sitting on another planet figureing out where to go from there. The same thing they did to the Hawaiians and are doing to the native Brazilians, Mexicans, Icelanders on and on it is the same old story just a different day.
  • thumb
    Jan 24 2014: To encourage serious investment from Europe for developing African economy/communities we all need to learn about benefits of PEACE: peaceful mutual collaboration, agricultural, industrial, cultural and political. Learning and even perhaps, developing Better Global Ethics, among ourselves. Practicing Ethics and Peaceful Behavior among natives themselves, is absolutely crucial.

    Looking at recent Africa I see something very similar in the bloody history of the "uprising" Soviet Union in the beginning of the 20th century.

    First, blind hunger and hostility drives the desperate majority to the extreme, who is murdering the hated class they so blame for their problems and misery, and also brainlessly demolishing the best of what has been created and built, infrastructure, factories, farms and homes.

    In the Soviet Union the upper class was wiped out, leaving only uneducated people who had no knowledge about how to start rebuilding the bleeding country. We witness the very similar bloody scenarios and afterwards devastation in African countries, especially where some traits of European civilization has been already developed but mostly destroyed by the madness of hate.

    The results are always horrific - no one is left to restore economy. The great lack of knowledge among survived revolutionaries about how to produce basic products and sustain their own living, leads to more problems, and vocalizes more hate and hunger... the revolution becomes more devastating than any natural disaster.

    I think that learning how to Peacefully Collaborate, and learn endlessly and respectfully about other cultures, is the key to success. We all need to learn these lessons no matter what color of our skin is, or what kind of background we have.
    Africa has a chance to become a leading place for PRACTICING Global Peace and Global Collaboration.
    • Feb 15 2014: Africa does not need in a traditional sense. They need education. All the aids given to them goes to politicians and rich people. It does not percolate. Bill gate should stop his health project/ It creates more people and less jobs. Then there is this big expectation western style and no where to go.

      After education, they have to decide how to make their future in their situation. Educate doctors, teachers, engineers, managers and then send them back to their countries/ They are in serious need of family planning and stop making babies. Western Aid is explotative.
      • thumb
        Feb 15 2014: Education in western schools is Not a guidance for building the future.

        It is something for knowing what kind of mistakes have been done in the West.

        You're right - Bill Gates program is simply stupid. It does not really help much.

        Small sustainable communities can be developed based on natural environment, climate and some simple but intelligent technology. For instance the traditional sun-oven devices do not need any energy but the sun itself. There are sustainable heating, cooling, water and sewage systems etc,

        When everyone is involved in building and creating sustainable lifestyle on premises, learning how to support themselves within their own community - this would be the right way to survive and prosper. I also believe that there is a fantastic way to invent a new sound infrastructure within every small community - and after all - even make other people come and learn first hand from this success.