There is something really exciting coming out of the African Union. Whether it is rhetoric or a commitment to focus on keeping the dream of Africa Rising alive, the essence of this new narrative of growth, prosperity, security and advancement must be good news for all. For the African diaspora, looking to the motherland for new prospects, it is even more important as it must be for foreign investors.
The jury is really out on whether the AU has served Africans well so far. Tangible achievements are hard to define. Aljazeera has created an interesting interactive dashboard which examines the history, successes and challenges facing the group.
The African Union’s vision 2063 is the 50 year plan for an integrated continent with a definitive and powerful position in world affairs. For ordinary Africans in the diaspora, their aspirations can be captured in 10 principles:
- Peace and security across the continent
- A common agricultural policy to secure food self-sufficiency.
- The free movement of goods, people and services across the continent on a single passport.
- Regional infrastructure that places the continent at the forefront of technological innovation. The continent is being built from scratch for the next 100 plus years. It creates a one time opportunity to invest in cutting edge technology and lay the foundation for technologies yet to come such as high speed railway networks, continental expressways, water way and sanitation systems, air, satellite networks and computerisation.
- Regional power programmes to sort out the lack of electricity and kick start a new entrepreneurial drive, that Africans are well known for across the world.
- Prioritisation of intra-African trade to build home grown wealth
- Sponsoring the creation of regional technical colleges and universities with a focus on science, mathematics, engineering and the strategic building skills that for so often, require countries to go round the world to recruit talent at the expense of developing their own.
- Driving the creation of jobs and the protection of home grown industries and businesses as it rides up the value-added curve
- Facilitating financial markets that provide access to credit that will drive entrepreneurialism
- Creating a continent wide policy that incentivises African’s in the diaspora to use their skills, knowledge and finance to contribute towards building the continent.
So as African leaders meet in Addis Ababa to map out Vision 2063, their priorities could never have been clearer. Everybody knows what needs to be done. It’s a case of action now. The world is watching. Is Africa Rising real or just another flash in the pan?