Africa: A Glimpse Into a Future Prosperous, Assertive Africa

Advanced, developed, empowered, inspired, independent and united are some of the main qualities Africa will possess in the near future.

This is according to a futuristic letter written by the African Union (AU) Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and delivered to African leaders at their recent summit in Ethiopia.

Dlamini-Zuma presents a remarkable imagery of achievements recorded in Africa by the year 2063, addressing the letter to a friend called Kwame - presumably Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and one of the founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU).

By 2063, Africa is expected to have formed the Confederation of African States (CAS). In the same year, the continent will be celebrating its centenary since the establishment of the OAU in 1963.

"My friend, Africa has indeed transformed herself from an exporter of raw materials with a declining manufacturing sector in 2013, to become a major food exporter, a global manufacturing hub, a knowledge centre, beneficiating our natural resources and agricultural products as drivers to industrialization," reads part of the letter.

"Pan-African companies, from mining to finance, food and beverages, hospitality and tourism, pharmaceuticals, fashion, fisheries and ICT are driving integration, and are amongst the global leaders in their sectors. We are now the third largest economy in the world."

Furthermore, pan-African companies would not only be dominating the domestic market, but have overtaken multinationals from the rest of the world in their own markets.

Most significantly, intra-Africa trade reaches the 50 percent mark by 2045, from less than 12 percent in 2013.

This tremendous growth for Africa was made possible through various innovative measures, including robust infrastructureand agricultural development, industrialization and promotion of deeper economic integration among the eight regional economic communities in the continent.

Investment in the youth would play a critical part since young people would take a keen interest in the integration agenda by forming African Union clubs in schools and universities across the continent.

"We were a youthful continent at the start of the 21st century, but as our youth bulge grew, young men and women became even more active, creative, impatient and assertive, often telling us oldies that they are the future, and that they (together with women) form the largest part of the electorates in all our countries," Dlamini-Zuma says.

She told her imaginary friend that the long walk to greatness for Africa had been achieved through the implementation of Agenda 2063, developed to galvanize and unite all Africans around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.

"Planning fifty years ahead, allowed us to dream, think creatively and sometimes crazy as one of the Ministers who hosted the 2014 Ministerial retreat said, to see us leapfrog beyond the immediate challenges."

With regard to the green revolution, the future should see Africa being able to feed its people and harness the vast natural resources that are in abundance throughout the continent, she said.

Smallholders, who make up the majority of farmers, mainly women, will have unlimited access to farming markets, financial resources and agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizer.

Africa, come 2063, will find its own solutions to challenges, including the use of indigenous knowledge systems to adapt and respond to climate change.

"By the intelligent application of centuries-old indigenous knowledge, acquired and conserved by African women who have tended crops in all seasons, within the first few years bumper harvests were being reported," Dlamini-Zuma says.

"Agronomists consulted women about the qualities of various grains - which ones survived low rainfalls and which thrived in wet weather; what pests threatened crops and how could they be combated without undermining delicate ecological systems."

In respect to energy development, Africa will be in a position to provide its citizens with clean and adequate power.

"We lit up Africa, the formerly dark continent, using hydro, solar, wind, geo-thermal energy, in addition to fossil fuels."

In the imaginary letter from the future, Dlamini-Zuma highlights the need to increase the visibility and influence of the continent in global politics when she sees CAS taking a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

Currently, the UN Security Council has five permanent members, which are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom the United States as well as 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

Such a composition is not positive for the continent as it may be sidelined on key decisions.

Dlamini-Zuma said by 2026 Africa will have attained a permanent seat at the UN Security Council to become "a major force for global stability, peace, human rights, progress, tolerance and justice."

By 2026, Africa would have a single common language - KiSwahili, having done away with colonial languages.

African countries will be interconnected, allowing goods, services and people to move freely across the continent.

"The continental rail and road network that now crisscross Africa, along with our vibrant airlines, our spectacular landscapes and seductive sunsets, the cultural vibes of our cities, make tourism one of our largest economic sectors."

Dlamini-Zuma ends her letter by saying, "I will bring along some of the chocolates from Accra that you so love, which our children can now afford," highlighting the full economic independence of Africa.

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