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Forum LockedThe Future of Africa

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    Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 10:07
Somewhat inspired by this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/27/chris-mgreal-africa-final-dispatch) article I read today, what do you think the future holds for Africa? Time and time again the world has felt let down by its leaders, who at the start of their reigns always look so progressive and dynamic, but turn out deeply flawed and corrupted as time goes on.
 
I suppose the real debate is whether the world economy can actually sustain a developed Africa? Is it even possible for all of the world to enjoy a reasonable standard of living, when we are so used to transferring our manufactures abroad, in order to keep the cost of our imports ludicrously low? Will something have to give, a new economic theory perhaps, that can see both a global balance in living standards associated with equitable economic performance?
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In what time period?
In 400-600 years Africa is likely to be very rich, and very powerful. Now I think it is like Europe was in about the 14th century (more or less).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 05:18
Progress don't happens authomatically. It is hard for me to believe people is so optimistic about African when everything there seem to get worst by the hour.
Africa needs urgently stop the population explosion and get serious about education and development. I don't see how that could happen spontaneously in a few years.
I expect Africa will continue to reproduce fast up to it reach a 4 billion mark or something, and then literally colapses, bringing waves of refugees all over the world.
 
I hope I am wrong, but I can't see any future at all in that part of the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 05:40
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

 
In what time period ?

In 400-600 years Africa is likely to be very rich, and very powerful. Now I think it is like Europe was in about the 14th century (more or less).               
 

 
 
My initial reaction Shocked wishful thinking ! LOL
 
Then again,that continent has as much chance ( as Middle East & East Asia ) to regain its prominent status in the world to the equivalent of Egyptian Empire in antiquity but not with the Sub-Sahara Africans in the leadership though. 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 06:45
I don't think so. Overpopulated, perpetually warring areas, have spawned great nations too often throughout history to be discounted.
If a massively popular charismatic and capable leader were to unite half of west in a years time they would suddenly become a player.

Power is little more than population and organisation. Remember what India & China have done in the last 100 years
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 12:34
Africa can very much be the power, if that political leadership-unity can be found first. They have already have the resources and the people. Until then they will continued to be exploited by whites, Arabs and whoever else is better organised.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 12:44
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

...Power is little more than population and organisation. Remember what India & China have done in the last 100 years
 
India and China are thousand years old civilizations that were cought by the West in a decadent state. SS Africa was a set of tribal peoples witn very basic lifestyles.
China and India have taken 100 years in waking up and problably they will have to wait a whole 100 years more to develop fully.
 
Other regions, like Latin America, have had 200 years of chaotic and dramatic events just to reach a level where they can start to develop advanced societies. It was a huge effort that took too long, not because people were dumb. but the problems to overcome where too difficult to solve. 
 
Africa is still at the beginning. It has a long way to go.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 13:07
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:

Africa can very much be the power, if that political leadership-unity can be found first. They have already have the resources and the people. Until then they will continued to be exploited by whites, Arabs and whoever else is better organised.
 
Resources and people aren't the factors that produce development. Resources are either left unexploited or taken by foreigners. People without the proper education and skills are more a liability rather than an asset.
 
What is needed is investment and migration of skillful foreigners. However, they won't come while Africa is in turmoil, I am afraid.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 15:15
Hello to you all
 
I think the future is quite bright especially with their current alliance with China.
 
The Africans gained nothing from the current economic slavery but wars and famines while Europe and the US preach free trade they do their best to undermine nationalist African leaders (regaedless of being dictators or not) and helping insurgents directly or indirectly.
 
China on the other hand helps Africans by establishing a farer (not by any means equal) relationship with African nations. They help them economically, employ Africans and give them a chance to gain experience and education, they help diversify their economies from basic resources based like farming and mining to light industry and even heavy industry. And more importantly there is not the civil wars that once plagued the continent and the only problem they face is Aids which is manageable.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2009 at 15:40
That's interesting. Let's hope Chinese and perhaps in the future Indians get interested in Africa. However, what Africa needs the most is skillfull workers, professionals and enterpreneurs. How is the migration of Chinese people that could start new business going on in Africa? If there is really masses of people that move there to build new manufacturing plants and everything Africa need, then it could mean the beginning of a new age. Otherwise, if they are only interested in extracting resources and go, it could only be a form neocolonialism.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 00:12
Originally posted by Pinguin Pinguin wrote:

India and China are thousand years old civilizations that were cought by the West in a decadent state. SS Africa was a set of tribal peoples witn very basic lifestyles.
China and India have taken 100 years in waking up and problably they will have to wait a whole 100 years more to develop fully.

I know you know that's misleading. India & China have their fair share of tribal people living very basic lifestyles, and SS Africa has its fair share of thousand year old civilisations. I can name a handful of the recent ones, and I really don't have much African history. Admitably, you hear less of them, because the educated Chinese, Indians (and MErners & Americans & Europeans & so on) make sure you hear about their history, but most of SS Africa isn't in a position to do that.
Quote Africa is still at the beginning. It has a long way to go.

For sure, I did wager 500 odd years
Quote Resources and people aren't the factors that produce development. Resources are either left unexploited or taken by foreigners. People without the proper education and skills are more a liability rather than an asset.

A lot of united motivated people are the factor that produces development. Once organised into a power structure, people will naturally try to improve their position & education.
You also don't require foriegners to migrate, studying & working overseas & translations are an efficient method of skilling up a country. For example, China never really imported foriegners, rather exported people.

A different time I know, but Europe also skilled up by exporting people - spices weren't the only thing they brought back from the Indies. Its the new world that has been more involved with skilling up by importing people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 06:31
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I know you know that's misleading. India & China have their fair share of tribal people living very basic lifestyles, and SS Africa has its fair share of thousand year old civilisations. I can name a handful of the recent ones, and I really don't have much African history. Admitably, you hear less of them, because the educated Chinese, Indians (and MErners & Americans & Europeans & so on) make sure you hear about their history, but most of SS Africa isn't in a position to do that.
.
 
To be sincere, I didn't get clearly what you mean. However, if you mean I am not informed about the past of SS Africa you are wrong. I know most cultures that existed in that region, including Ghana, Mali, Eredo, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, etc. I know they have farming and cattle, iron and bronze, I know about theirs bronze statues, and theirs knowledge of fractal math. However, I am not impressed by its development as much as I am of classic China or India. SS African cultures were simple technologically speaking and also in the degree of complexity of theirs society. That's what I know from what I have learned.

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:


A lot of united motivated people are the factor that produces development. Once organised into a power structure, people will naturally try to improve their position & education.
You also don't require foriegners to migrate, studying & working overseas & translations are an efficient method of skilling up a country. For example, China never really imported foriegners, rather exported people.
.
 
You are dead wrong. China during the Tang and Sung dynasties had hundred of thousand of foreign merchant and technician in mainland China, many of the muslim. The trend continued during the Ming dynasty, and remember that later the Jesuits influenced the development of science in China very much. Foreigners make a difference, and most of the economical miracles have been fuelled by the migration of skilfull workers, scientists, professionals and enterpreneurs.
 
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:


A different time I know, but Europe also skilled up by exporting people - spices weren't the only thing they brought back from the Indies. Its the new world that has been more involved with skilling up by importing people.
 
That's true. Here most of the countries, the U.S. included, have captured foreigners to increase the educational levels and to acquire new technologies. The single exception is Haiti, which closed the doors to foreigners, particularly whites. And you know what was the final result: Haiti is today the poorest country in the Hemisphere.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 09:35
Quote
You are dead wrong. China during the Tang and Sung dynasties had hundred of thousand of foreign merchant and technician in mainland China, many of the muslim. The trend continued during the Ming dynasty, and remember that later the Jesuits influenced the development of science in China very much. Foreigners make a difference, and most of the economical miracles have been fuelled by the migration of skilfull workers, scientists, professionals and enterpreneurs.

I meant the PRC. Earlier dynasties like the Tang, Song & Ming were definitely importers! The bottom line is a desire and appetite to learn. Whether you go overseas and bring information back (like Europe) or encourage people to come to you (like the Americas), they both have the same effect!

Currently, Africa is exporting poor. Once upon a time it was Europeans, Turks, or Arabs exporting poor - before the rise of each of their civilisations. So long term I am optimistic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 11:51
If the recession continues indefinitely, the first to fall in chaos will be India and China.

Edited by Spartakus - 29-Mar-2009 at 11:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 12:14
 
 
Why aren't we discuss Africa issues,instead of sidetracking to a different continent ?!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 15:58
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

...Currently, Africa is exporting poor. Once upon a time it was Europeans, Turks, or Arabs exporting poor - before the rise of each of their civilisations. So long term I am optimistic.
 
Africa exporting poors? Well, refugees you mean? Europeans, Turks and Arabs settled foreign lands, which was a different social development. SS Africa today is just a region that exports people because there is nothing there... there is no future for local people.
You really have to be optimistic to believe that just by "exporting people" Africa will progress the slightest bit. It won.
 
It is time Africans start to build theirs future by working, controlling theirs population growth and importing labour and capital. There is no other way to do it. Being a source of refugees have not taking any country away from poverty. Otherwise, Cambodia or El Salvador would be developed already.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 16:50
Africa is exporting poor much like how Ireland exported poor until 20 years ago. Their young instictively look abroad for work and their future, just the like the Irish did for so many years by going to Australia, the USA, Britain, etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 17:26
ok, I'm much less (much much less) optimistic than you about China helping Africa. In the past 3 years their humble foreign policy has totally shifted towards a more assertive display of their now amazing force.

One episode some of you may have missed happened this month in Madagascar. A South Korea company has tried to rent (for a very very long period) 1.5 million hectares of land in the island (between a third and a half of the total useful agricultural land in the country). The conditions were so bad for the peasants that they actually revolted and toppled the government! At the same time Chinese companies are trying to buy millions of hectares in RP Congo. This is neo-colonialism at its purest (the projects paid for in infrastructures imply little indigenous workforce and are solely destined to produce rice for the Chinese market).

The other thing is that I think we're wrong to think in terms of Africa as a whole. Some parts are fairing much better than others. For instance, the small states of the Gulf of Guinea are developing slowly and with numerous setbacks but step by step they are going somewhere whereas others for instance on the Horn region keep falling at new lows. I don't know for the continent as a whole but I believe that a moderate optimism is possible for some countries/regions.

Lets talk aid for a moment. Some direct aid of course is sorely needed. I think in particular about everything health and education-related. But whatever regards the so-called development aid, I believe it hurts the regions that receive it more than anything else. A famous case took place in Cameroon for instance: an international initiative gave tractors to a rural community. Within a year, all the tractors were out of order, people simply did not care about things that had been given to them, so they drove their tractors to the surrounding villages to party and had numerous accidents while drunk on their way back. Here, in Morocco successful entrepreneurs complain that less-than-profitable farms are still running because aid money allow them to stay afloat (the US recently gave $350 million to these "poor" farmers). As a result successful farmers can't buy more land, can't reach the volumes their clients demand and they loose market shares.

A number of simple policies could be adopted to help African countries and they'd be much more efficient than all the aid in the world. One would be to help African countries to build up a good financial system (so that people who have money don't keep it in their mattresses and those who need investment can have it too). Pinguin has mentioned the demographic explosion in Africa as a source of its poverty, he is quite right, but what he forgets to say is that most of the demographic excess could be absorbed in Europe and America if Africans were allowed to migrate there (and of course European industries would benefit from plentiful and cheap labour).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 17:36
Ireland developed thanks to the geographical closeness with Britain and the rest of Europe. I just don't see the relation between exporting poors and development, because there isn't any. Besides, shipping people abroad it isn't the solution either. You can't put the 600 million poors of Subsaharan Africa in Europe and just expect they are received there happily. After all, Ireland only has 4 million people!
 
If you talk about importing skillfull workers and enterpreneurs to help Africa, then I may agree.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2009 at 22:29
it's funny how you talk about africa as some sort of unified single country without numerous ethnicities or issues or something. how making predictions as far as 500 years from now on? how do you know the changes in everything that might (and certainly will) occur up to them, that can change anyhting as it is now. of course there is potential but with guys like Mugabe and shit, nothing will come to fruitation anytime soon.


Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:


I meant the PRC. Earlier dynasties like the Tang, Song & Ming were definitely importers!


 LOLLOLLOLLOL come on man, i don't know why you keep playing blind but China now is economically even more so the bitch of the west than 100 years ago. what China has now is the result of copy and opening up to foreign investors, remember the great leap thing? to make it short, it didn't worked. Chinese got it and did the opposite which led to what we have now. and btw Maharbbal is dead right in what he said.
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