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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Africa Day: Africa is slowly finding her voice and the world needs to take note

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Cape Town – Today is Africa Day, and with all the crises the world is facing, Africa holds the key to bringing unity in a broken world.

Africa is finding her voice, and the world is panicking, instead of embracing her.

Centuries of oppression, looting of Africa’s mineral resources and systemic racism are some of the main issues that Africans are talking about, with a firm tone, and the world needs to take note.

Africans are tired of being seen as laughing stocks by the Western world. We’re tired of being depicted in the media as poverty-stricken and sick: case in question, the recent coverage of the monkeypox outbreak in the US and UK.

And no, I am not denying that we have our issues, such as the ongoing conflict in Central and West Africa, growing insurgency across the region, coups, hunger crises, climate change, political fighting and the last effects of colonialism.

Yes, the continent has its fair share of problems, I’m not denying that, but I also feel that it is imperative that we celebrate the gains made, because it’s the gains that are going to propel us even further as a global player in every sector.

So what gains have we made as a continent in the last few years, let us take a look.

– West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa in particular, are expected to reach a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $29 trillion (about R453 trillion) by 2050, according to the World Bank.

– Africa’s cryptocurrency market grew by over 1 200% in a year between 2020 and 2021. Although the continent has a small cryptocurrency economy, with around $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency received between July 2020 and June 2021, it is one of the most dynamic.

– The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. According to the World Bank, the pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined GDP valued at $3.4 trillion.

– Although the continent had to fight for life-saving Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate its people, and only really received15% of the vaccine share, African leaders managed the Covid-19 pandemic pretty well, considering the world thought that Africa would see millions of people die.

Out of the negative situation, Africa has emerged as a global vaccine manufacturing hub for future pandemics, further lessening our dependency on foreign nations.

Africa, which is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse continent offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and eradicate poverty in the region.

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