Africa: A Rising Continent – OpEd


Africa, a continent that has been plagued by misconceptions and false assumptions, is today on the verge of an incredible transformation towards a future full of endless possibilities. With a sizable portion of its populace under the age of 25, it has one of the youngest populations worldwide. Africa is incredibly rich in natural resources, including minerals, oil, gas, and agricultural land. These resources can increase economic growth, draw foreign investment, and provide employment. In recent years, the development of infrastructure, such as roads, ports, and energy infrastructure, has advanced in many African countries, particularly in Northern and Southern Africa and also some parts of the East and West which have not only increased trade but also reduced transportation costs, and attracted investment. As a result, Africa’s geopolitical weight in the world is growing now. 

In the 21st century, Africa is the center of attention as the rising continent. The continent indeed has immense potential for economic growth and development as it presents numerous opportunities for innovation and investment. Africa is currently working as a magnet for consumer markets and goods, making it a desirable location for supply chains. With significant contributions, it continues to be a prime investment target for leading nations in competitive power centers. 

When it comes to Africa’s geostrategic location, it’s truly incredible. Africa is a key center for connectivity and trade because of its location between Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Major waterways like the Nile, Congo, and Niger rivers are found on the continent, which facilitates trade and transportation. Africa is an advantageous site for maritime trade since its coastal regions have access to key shipping lanes. These geographic advantages have encouraged economic growth, drawn international investment, and established Africa as a rising continent in the world.

Africa’s rapid progress towards success is due to the strong foundation of mutual collaboration among African countries as they are building a bright future for the continent which promotes cooperation, trade, and development through programs such as the African Union and Regional Economic Communities. For instance, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to expand intra-African trade, which is expected to expand the size of Africa’s economy to US$29 trillion by 2050. This regional collaboration not only positions Africa as a rising continent but also creates economic growth and prosperity opportunities. Also, Sahel is gradually overcoming the burdens of its colonial past by establishing a security alliance. Countries like Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso are actively engaged in combating security challenges and promoting stability. Their actions represent a region that is determined to build a better future, learn from the historical failures of the past, and move forward on the path of development for the days ahead. The continent also offers chances for sustainable supply chains by utilizing its potential for green hydrogen and its abundant renewable energy supplies, particularly solar energy. After years of relatively modest development, Experts unanimously concur that Africa is currently experiencing significant growth. The changes the continent has undergone in recent years have been notable, and today Africa is shaping its own future. 

Africa is currently on the rise, and it is an exciting time for the continent. The continent represents the next global economic frontier. At present, Africa enjoys a positive trade.  The trade with India reached $100 billion in 2023 and trade with China reached $160 billion, which will make the continent one of its largest trading partners, helping many African countries execute large infrastructure projects such as roads and dams. According to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Africa can and will rise to growth of 7 percent or more per year consistently in the coming decades. 

The continent is succeeding in many areas despite the obstacles it has faced. The economy is growing, and there are more chances for investments and businesses. The continent remains a treasure trove for smart investors globally. A wave of transformation driven by business and modernization brought about by a new generation of brilliant Africans is remarkable and today Africa is no longer isolated from the rest of the world but is instead becoming a center of the world’s urban future, so that it may not be called “The Hopeless Continent” again. A new Africa envisions a future where it is more connected to the rest of the world, its leaders and people have major economic, cultural, and political clout, and foreign investors will be more likely to buy African stocks and work for companies doing business in Africa. This would not only benefit Africa but the world overall, as the growth of Africa would be the growth of our Global Village.

Shahzadi Irrum

Ms. Shahzadi Irrum is an Assistant Research Fellow at Balochistan Think Tank Network, Quetta.

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