Africa still faces many challenges
Political instability, poverty and a lack of development are but a few challenges still facing the African continent. As Africans and people of African origin celebrate Africa Liberation Day or Africa Day is it is commonly known, on Friday 25 May, these issues will take centre stage.
This year, Africa Day will be celebrated under the theme, “Africa and the Diaspora”. The day coincides with the Global Diaspora Summit which is slated to take place in South Africa on 25 May. In Namibia, Africa Day celebrations will be held at the Sam Nuyoma Stadium. Utoni Nujoma, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will officiate at the event. Hundreds of people are expected to flock to the stadium as the City of Windhoek has offered free transport to the stadium with buses being boarded at designated pick up points.
25 May 2012 marks the 49th anniversary of Africa Day and the 10-year existence of the African Union (AU), previously known as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
On 25 May 1963, 31 African leaders convened a summit meeting to find the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). They renamed Africa Freedom Day to “African Liberation Day”. The founding date of the OAU is also referred to as “Africa Day”.
Almost half a century after the African Liberation Day was first celebrated, many Africans are still not at peace in their own countries. The Global Diaspora Summit comes at a time when many unanswered questions about the economic challenges facing the continent continue to haunt African leaders. The exodus of African citizens to other countries in search of a better life is but one of the challenges facing Africa.
In recent years, Namibians were seen flocking to Canada to seek “asylum” because they felt unsafe in their own land. Others simply went to search for a better education in countries such as Russia and China.Whatever the case, Africa will be left with very few qualified people as many do not return to their home countries upon successful completion of their studies.
Political instability, poverty and lack of development are but a few economic contstraints facing the continent. However, despite its challenges, many foreign investors are willing to trade in Africa. Intra -Africa trade is booming as revealed in the 2012 African Attractiveness Survey report by Ernst & Young. The report states that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa has accelerated as investor perceptions begin to shift.This means that FDI projects into Africa have more than doubled from 339 in 2003 to 857 in 2011.
According to the survey, Intra-African investment has also grown exponentially, increasing from 27 in 2003 to 145 in 2011, totalling to 17% of all new FDI projects on the continent last year. Further more, 60% of respondents say the perception of Africa as a business location has improved over the past three years, while three quarters say attractiveness will improve further over the next three years.