AFRICAN leaders in politics and business are currently in Davos, having joined other heads of state from the rest of the world, as well as global business executives at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland.
The business leaders from the continent include Africa Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina, who is sharing the investment opportunities that are available.
The AfDB should be commended for its untiring efforts to fund and support the continent’s business activities, including a US$500 million fund for businesses in Africa that are producing power in a decentralised way.
In the Namibian context, the AfDB has given the country a N$10 billion loan, including for strategic projects linked to agriculture and infrastructure, which recently received cash injections of N$1 billion each.
Last year, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which holds N$1.6 trillion in assets, spread their wings into Namibia, urging local entrepreneurs to come up with projects, mainly infrastructure development, while saying that they have N$80 billion for financing Namibian projects although there has not been any uptake yet possibly owing to a dominant tenderpreneur mentality.
In Davos, newly inaugurated Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s message will be simple.
He will be telling the delegates at the forum that the new Zimbabwe, following decades of economic hardships under former President Robert Mugabe, is open for business, and looking to the future. And that Zimbabwe is ready to take its place among the family of nations.
This is a message he also articulated when he met with President Hage Geingob at State House recently, and it is indeed good news for Namibia that economic recovery is ready to take off in the neighbouring country.
Mnangagwa also seems to have taken a leaf out of Geingob’s book, when his government this week gave so-called bigwigs, including ministers, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries, who have benefited amid the economic miseries, at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans, until 28 February to declare their assets.
With Geingob as Namibia’s Head of State, Mnangagwa continuing reforms in Zimbabwe and a business-friendly Cyril Ramaphosa as African National Congress (ANC) leader in South Africa, and possibly that country’s Head of State very soon, after the expected removal of Jacob Zuma, the gloom and doom is slowly lifting in Southern Africa.
However, in the sub-Saharan context, tough times may still lie ahead.
The World Bank projects economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa to continue to rise to 3.2 percent in 2018 and to 3.5 in 2019, on the back of firming commodity prices and gradually strengthening domestic demand. However, it adds that growth will remain below pre-crisis averages, partly reflecting a struggle in larger economies to boost private investment.
In terms of the chess game of global politics, development and industrialisation, to ensure value-addition to raw materials, and an accompanying economic revival, is critical, in terms of creating an Africa that can speak with a louder voice on the challenges facing the globe.
With ethical leadership rising in Southern Africa, it is becoming more and more paramount that African leaders proactively and intellectually reflect on the evolving state of the global chess game, and the emerging challenges to global stability.
These include the continued mass involuntary migration of millions, as a result of conflicts, the collapsing of states, including Libya and Syria, unemployment, as well as the ongoing threat in the Middle East and the emergence of an American Head of State that threatens to overturn the whole global chessboard. As Africa looks inward, to strengthen itself, it must also speak truth to power, and raise its voice in the context of these and other challenges.
Critical is the reform of the global system, including the United Nations, which creates a hierarchy of nations in which Africa and other developing nations remain the runts of the litter. It is time for the continent to rise and become a beacon for others to follow, as it shows strong and progressive leadership, committed to upholding strong democratic principles and oversee
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015