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Agenda 2063 and prospects for success in Africa

Opinion & Analysis
The AU has come up with many different initiatives towards addressing issues of decolonisation, self-reliance and economic development.

AFRICA has always been on the losing side when it comes to global politics. In quest of a healing from the shackles of dominance by the industrialised countries, the founding fathers of Africa’s political independence, Kwame Nkrumah and others, decided to form the Organisation of African Union (OAU), which was later transformed to the African Union (AU).

The decision to relaunch Africa’s Pan-African organisation was the outcome of a consensus by African leaders that in order to realise Africa’s potential, there was a need to redirect the focus and attention from the fight that focused on decolonisation and ending apartheid, which was mainly OAU’s focus area to the one with emphasis on increased co-operation and integration of African States to drive forward Africa’s growth and economic development.

The AU has come up with many different initiatives towards addressing issues of decolonisation, self-reliance and economic development.

Agenda 2063 is one of the blueprints meant to rewrite the colonial injustices by transforming the lives of all Africans to an upper-middle-income continent at least by year end 2063.

Agenda 2063 was a unanimous agreement signed and ratified by Africa’s Heads of State who vowed to leave behind a blueprint or a path to success for the young man and women of Africa as well as future generations to come.

The purpose of this article is to conduct a feasibility analysis of the Agenda 2063 blueprint as a whole in trying to predict the possibility of it being realised, or the prospects of it being a success on the continent against the realities on the ground by year end 2063.

The nature of economic relations between the Global North and the Global South have always been detrimental to the latter.

The north are the developed and permanent members of global affairs. The likes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and others are the global economic power force, and they have institutions to fund their multilateral projects and to fund through aid the so-called developing or underdeveloped States.

Much of the Latin countries as well as India, to some extent, again with southern parts of Asia are classified in this category of developing regions.

The most complex one of these regions is Africa. Africa as a continent has a population of close to two billion people. This population is a rival market to global trading in as much as the fifth and sixth industrial revolutions are concerned.

The so-called developed countries are the leaders of the manufacturing industries and they undoubtedly need a market for their products.

The post-colonial structures were set in a manner that Africans remain the hewers of wood and the drawers of water in the global affairs.

The AU, therefore, exists to represent the interests of the two billion Africans who have a collective gross domestic product of not more than US$5 trillion.

The leaders of Africa in their collective wisdom drafted Agenda 2063 envisioning Africa to have been transformed to an upper-middle-income region in the next 40 years.

This blueprint is meant to transform Africa from being the receiver of aid to being self-reliant and self-sustainable in all sectors.

Economically, Africa is the hunting ground for the developed world. Its development has been greatly hindered by many organised conflicts around the region. Not only rampant conflicts, but also the disintegration that have been in existence for a protracted time.

The disharmony and lack of collectiveness in politics, trade and development issues have opened floodgates to modern economic exploitation of the continent.

It has remained a fact that the destiny of Africa lies in the hands of the indigenous people.

The late former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, would always emphasise this in his influential speeches.

As well, fathers of Africa’s political independence the likes of Nkrumah were as eloquent as they were clear in calling for one Africa that was going to heal the continent, not only politically, but also economically such that Africa would create its own system and institutions to regulate its growth and development both at home and internationally with other civilisations.

Agenda 2063 is a sign to the African populace that the current African leadership has realised the mistakes of not having listened to Nkrumah when he suggested “one Africa now” in 1963.

Africa’s economy no doubt needs to transform. Although the blueprint is there as a  guide to follow for whichever political government will take over in any State in Africa.

To fully transform the economy, the continent needs to rely on its own resources for development and refuse aid, like what Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other African leaders are doing.

Aid reliance will not lead to the realisation of Agenda 2063. Africa needs to fully own the land and indigenise her different economies by calling for more indigenous private sector participation in areas of manufacturing.

This will push initiatives like the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to become a success and speed up Agenda 2063.

My conclusion is that the Africa Agenda 2063 Master Plan is a commendable initiative and a most noted one.

It serves to rewrite the past colonial injustices in the context of Africans. It will change the legacy of Africa for generations to come.

It will decolonise the African mentality and way of doing things such that Africa’s cultural beliefs and heritage are preserved and dignified.

It will transform Africa into a digital continent with all it requires to produce anything it wants.

However, the prospects for the success of this theoretically well written blueprint remains elusive and complex because more realistically the current African political and economic environments are not that much conducive for growth and development.

With the current level of environmental negligence, corruption growing across different continental regions, organised crime, abuse of human rights and a whole lot of other abuses committed by the majority of the regimes in Africa, also the growing rate of military coups in Ecowas and a rising number in refugees across the continent, Agenda 2063 remains a pipedream unless the majority of the African youths and women at large take charge in advocating for the public awareness of the blueprint to the majority of the African populace.

Agenda 2063 belongs to the young men and women of Africa as well as future generations and it is the duty of this demographic group of Africa to take the lead in making policies that address its dictates, not to rely on the current leadership which has very few chances of still being with the world by 2063.

Africans need to unite in their regional blocs and take charge and effect the AU as an institution to regulate African affairs.

AfCFTA is one of the initiatives which Agenda 2063 calls for. AfCFTA will allow intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global parallel market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.

According to Transparency International 2020 report, intra-African trade will grow from 18% to over 60% by 2050 if AfCFTA is implemented well.

Indeed, the political organisation of the continent is in dire need of being addressed as Africa cannot continue with the current disjointed setup if Agenda 2063 is to be a success.

Action must be taken now to put in place a one African government to regulate and dictate how Africa’s trade and economic relations with other civilisations should be and what system should the continent adopt whether federal or unitary.

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