World Economic Forum meet that was marred by a series of uneventful outrages in Cape Town, fortunately did manage to strike a balance between attacks and way ahead for Africa. However, it did not stop leaders from questioning the regional stability of South Africa and the way forward to deal with such situations, especially after Nigeria announced its withdrawal.
The statement meant that meetup dented some hopes of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who could otherwise have easily boasted about his nation being the best investment avenue in the continent.
Nonetheless, leaders who came together to discuss the future of the continent, still had a rallying point: the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Thus, working on the same lines, the meeting disclosed that the agreement would bring down trade barriers, boost economies and unite continent to establish stronger links with European, American and Asian powers.
President Cyril Ramaphosa to which said, “The future is great, it looks very bright for the African continent, and if there was ever a time when Africa can definitely be said to be on the rise, this is the time.”
The bigger picture for Africa isn’t how it would maximize ties with various regional superpowers, but how its policy can ensure equal opportunities for all. The challenge to actually implement the scheme still lingers on, and even if Africa is hailed for its gallant decision, the risk ought to multiply, especially because the number of youth is really high.
Also, if AfCFTA is implemented, how poorer African nations are presumed to deal with economic disparities draws another dispute. “The consequences of liberalization can really damage some of the poorest in these countries, but that’s not a reason not to do it, that’s a reason to have really great policies of support,” Ngaire Woods, professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University said.
In fact, a complete session at the World Economic Forum was dedicated to the theme “Delivering the Promise of Africa’s Youth,” at which the president of Botswana called the existing unemployment ” scary”.
“Eighteen percent for a country like Botswana is a scary figure. And when you unpack it, even the more … out of that 18% the majority are young people, fairly well educated … with a lot of expectations for the future. And yet the burden of frustration of not being able to find jobs could easily be offset and cause such people to venture into other things that may not be as desirable,” he said.
Apart from it, the continent also has the lowest levels of medical experts, majorly affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is rigorously fighting the Ebola outbreak.
Overall, the World Economic Forum was a reality check for a continent that still needs a lot of work to control the extent of epidemic in various areas.