Short Overview of African Countries

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Resource mobilization To halve poverty by 2015 countries must reach the 8 percent growth in GDP each year, instead of present 4.4 %. To reach this rate investments must be 40 percent of gross domestic product. Even with major increase in domestic savings, there are still huge financing gaps. Africa’s rate of return on Foreign Direct Investment is 29 percent per year, higher than any other region of the world. Annual average foreign investment flows have increased from $1.9 billion in 1983-87 to $6 billion in 1993-97. But this is just 4 percent of the total investment pouring into developing countries. In the face of global financial volatility, Africa's nascent capital markets have also remained buoyant. Yet institutional investors remain resistant to the possibilities in Africa. African countries have undertaken significant economic reforms, but investment has not come.

Regional co-operation Regional integration is the key to Africa's success in the 21st century. The challenge is for the subregional initiatives to march together and in step with the World Trade Organization.

Information technology Information and communication technologies present some of the most exciting possibilities for Africa in the new millennium. “With new ways to communicate we can leapfrog through several stages of development; cut the cost of doing business; and narrow the gap of huge distances. …At ECA, we want to make sure that Africans are drivers, not passengers, on the information highway…” says Dr. K.Y. Amoko, executive secretary, Economic Comission for Africa. at the National Summit on Africa held in Washington D.C. 17 February 2000. There was registered a significant growth in Internet spreading through the continent. E-Commerce, television and radio are also developing rapidly.

Governance Ensuring and sustaining good governance must be an African responsibility, first and foremost.

Social investment. Social spending has become a major casualty of recent budget cuts in many African countries. To expect that Africa can progress when investment in its human capital is declining is a classic case of being penny wise and pound foolish. Social investment challenges of health, education, housing, water supplies and sanitation are enormous and demand the creativity and partnership of all caring parties.

Gender equality Excluding Islamic countries, Africa is the most remarkable region in terms of discrimination against women. Since the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the world better understands the need to free women to become equal participants in development. This is not just a matter of rights but of good economic sense. “It is past time to lead by rhetoric; it is time to lead by example.” (from the National Summit on Africa documents”)

Preventing conflict The world has learned expensively that it is cheaper and far more humane to prevent conflict than to fight a war. So it is one of the most actual problems for African countries. To quote the UN Secretary General, "in the past twenty years we have understood the need for military intervention where governments grossly violate human rights and the international order. In the next twenty years we must learn how to prevent conflicts, as well as intervene in them." Peace can no longer be just about peace making and peace keeping. It is also about peace building.

African diaspora must also take part in ongoing processes. A lot of Africans live in European countries as well as in United States. They are able to help their historical homes in three major ways.

First, Become an Advocate for Africa: For every devastating image of Africa they see on television, not far from that camera there is an image of people striving to develop. As a start, they should visit Africa, spread the word about it, become a personal lobbyists for Africa. They must lobby for African products in their stores; lobby for strong US-Africa ties.

Second, Invest in Africa: Investing in Africa could be profitable. Now is the time for African-Americans to put their money where their mouths are. They can invest in Africa, through such convenient ways as the mutual funds that concentrate on Africa. Members of other diasporas have accelerated development in their ancestral homelands through widespread individual investments. Surely African-Americans can do it, too.

Third, Invest politically in Africa, 40 percent of United Nations assistance is currrently going to Africa. When the US and other flourishing countries pay their UN dues, when someone pays voluntary contributions to United Nations he/she helps Africa. Foreign aid helps building schools as well as improving governance in terms of efficancy.

While many write off Africa as the continent of despair, other enterprising individuals and organisations have recognised the huge, untapped potential of Africa and are actively pursuing business ventures across the continent.

Реферат опубликован: 5/02/2007