“It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world,” – Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Africa’s blueprint and masterplan for its transformation begins with a prosperous continent based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, where an integrated continent is politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and vision of Africa’s Renaissance. An Africa where good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law is observed and protected.
An Africa that is peaceful and secure with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics; whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of the African people – especially its women and youth, and caring for children. An Africa that is strong, united, resilient and influential with global players and partners is the ideal Africa we want.
The blueprint and masterplan for transforming Africa must consider and work toward an Africa that has an integrated high-speed train network with an African commodities strategy and an established, functioning African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) operating an African passport whereby free movement of people is enabled. The Africa we want must silence the guns, be able to implement the grand INGA Dam project and establish a single African air-transport market, an annual African Economic Forum, an African financial institution, the Pan-African e-network, the Africa outer-space strategy; an African virtual and e-university so we can be enabled to put in place cyber-security; and Great African museum as well as an encyclopedia about the continent.
The world’s population reached 8 billion on November 15, 2012 according to the latest United Nations estimates and revisions from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, released in 2022. It is projected to reach 9 billion in 2037 and 10 billion people in the year 2058. It is said to have doubled in 40 years from 1959 when we were 3 billion people to 1999 when we were 6 billion. We are currently (2022) growing at a rate of around 0.84% per year, adding 67 million people per year to the total according to 2022 estimates from the United Nations.
Africa is not a country but a continent, and civilisation began in Africa. The population of Africa is now around 1,416,097,444 (1.4 billion) as of November 2022, based on the United Nations estimates. Let’s then know and understand the Africa we want in the Agenda 2063 blueprint. I serve you the Africa we want blueprint including its 7 aspirations and 15 flagship projects, focusing on one of the flagships projects of Agenda 2063.
According to The Organisation of African Unity (OAU): “Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and masterplan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal of inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.”
As an affirmation of their commitment to supporting Africa’s new path for attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, African heads of state and government signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the OAU/AU’s formation in May 2013.
The declaration marked a re-dedication of Africa toward attainment of the Pan-African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena; and Agenda 2063 is the concrete manifestation of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50-year period from 2013 to 2063, thinking of the Africa of the future.
Agenda 2063 not only encapsulates Africa’s aspirations for the future, but also identifies key flagship programmes which can boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to rapid transformation of the continent. Agenda 2063 also identifies key activities to be undertaken in its 10-year implementation plans which will ensure Agenda 2063 delivers both quantitative and qualitative transformational outcomes for the African people.
Agenda 2063 seeks to deliver on a set of seven aspirations, each with its own set of goals which if achieved will move Africa closer to achieving its vision for the year 2063. These 7 aspirations reflect our desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons where the full potential of women and youth are realised, and with freedom from fear, disease and want.
The flagship projects of Agenda 2063 refers to key programmes and initiatives which have been identified as key to accelerating Africa’s economic growth and development, as well as promoting our common identity by celebrating our history and vibrant culture. The flagship projects encompass infrastructure, education, science, technology, arts and culture as well as initiatives to secure peace on the continent.
According to information available from the AfCFTA secretariat, AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating – with a combined gross domestic product of US$3.4trillion as it connects 1.3 billion people, now 1.4 billion, across the 55 countries. As at December 2022 54 out of the 55 AU member-states have signed the AfCFTA agreement. 44 African countries have deposited their instrument of ratification with the African Union commission. The interesting bit of the discussion is that the AfCFTA has a potential to lift 30 million people from extreme poverty, as it’s expected to boost Africa’s income by some US$450billion by the year 2035 – representing a 7% gain.
The creation of this single market for goods and services will allow African countries to trade among themselves duty-free and quota-free. The agreement to establish this AfCFTA was signed far back in March 2018, in Rwanda on the 21st day in Kigali; however, trading officially commenced on January 1, 2021 – two years down the line. And commercially meaningful trading officially also started in October, 2022 – exactly on the 7th day of the month.
The creation of this one single market for goods and services will facilitate movements of people in a bid to deepen economic integration for the African continent. As an objective, this ideal, prosperous Africa must promote its development to be people-driven. This it can achieve by creating a free market for goods and service, wherein the possibility of successive rounds and negotiations is possible. When AfCFTA is people-driven, this will contribute to the movement of capital and natural persons, which will facilitate investments building in party states. A people-driven Africa must promote as an objective industrial development achieved through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security among others.
When its people drive, it will create and increase employment for the people of each African country, enable the citizens to take advantage of economies of scale and become more competitive. It will also support the countries to enjoy better terms of trade while promoting favourable market access to the world’s largest single market.
To become a member, African countries are expected to sign the agreement and deposit their instrument of ratification with the African Union Commission. Ghana has been a state party to AfCFTA since May 2018.
To export under this trade arrangement, there are some conditions to be met. One must comply with the AfCFTA rules of origin and goods, and must be in the liberalised tariff schedule of the destination country, among other additional procedures to be looked at in subsequent editions.
The Africa we want is possible. Let’s face neither east nor west but rather face forward.
“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.” – Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Baptista is a conference speaker, Hybrid Professional and the Executive Director of ProHumane Afrique International, a charitable, development & think-thank organisation working with communities & individuals to create sustainable solutions to transform communities through diverse pro-poor initiatives. Follow this conversation on our social media sites: Linked-In/ Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram: ProHumane Afrique International. Hashtag: #behumane #thegivingcapsules #prohumaneafriqueint #fowc