Africa has greatly transformed over the decades. It has proven wrong the old narrative of picturing it has a bedrock of political instability, poverty, forced migration, diseases and tinderbox for terrorism. In fact, Africa is now sending a message to the World telling the World that they are no longer called, “African threat,” and should and must be called by the new name; “ African opportunity.” It will be shortsighted to fail to realize the progress made by African countries.
THE ROAD TO POLITICAL STABILITY AND GOVERNANCE GAIN
Africa has widely pushed for greater accountability and democracy over the years. It has had over 27 leadership changes since 2015 that highlights the long struggle and hunger for the end goals. Countries like Mauritius, Namibia, and Ghana just to mention a few are good examples that deserve a thumbs up when it comes to political stability and democracy. These countries and other rising democracies act as an eye-opener to other countries in the content and send a word of encouragement to the international partners that stability can be a reality through the continent. 34 countries, home to 72 percent of Africa’s citizens have shown considerable improvement since 2000 as far as governance is concerned. A significant improvement has been observed in their participation, rule of law, rights among other categories. To add on, many countries in the African continent have shown improvement in transparency and accountability over the past five years.
Corruption remains a bigger challenge in Africa. However, the African State isn’t ignorant about the challenges. Africa Union went a step and dedicated the entirety of 2018 to “Winning the fight against corruption.” Many African citizens are more vocal and more equipped to hold their elected officials accountable to the needs of the people as they become more educated.
IMPROVING HEALTH AND REDUCING THE IMPACT OF DISEASES
Over the decades, Africa has made significant strides in matters of health improvement. Since 1995, there has been a substantial decrease in maternal and child death, and chronic malnutrition of children under five years have decreased by 10 percent. Good progress on matters preventable childhood illness and communicable diseases are being realized by most countries in the Continent. In as much as HIV/AIDS and malaria still remain a challenge and having detrimental effects among Africans, there are great things being done and in place is better treatment options. Needless to say, life expectancy and healthy life expectancy are on the rise.
OVERCOMING SOCIAL CHALLENGES
People living in extreme poverty in Africa has greatly reduced. Ethiopia is showing positive results and promising to eliminate extreme poverty by 2050. However, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo still project to accommodate 40 percent of extremely poor people by 2040. The greatest challenge will be eliminating poverty through Africa as a whole. On the other hand, many African countries have recorded positive progress in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030. The number of enrolled children in primary schools has increased from 60 million to 150 million. Adult literacy has improved by 10 percentage points since 1995. Workers, citizen of democratic countries, leaders have enjoyed and appreciated the power of inclusive participation and gender equality. Young leaders are up and making connections with the diaspora and connecting Africa to the rest of the World. They are Keen to show Africa as a continent full of the opportunity and not a threat as it might be perceived. What is your take on an African position in the World in the next coming decade?