It is no news that the continent of Africa still depends on foreign aid from advanced countries around the world, despite the vast amount of natural resources in the continent.
According to the president of the African Development bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Africa accounts for 75 percent of the global production of cocoa, and the continent reaps only 2 percent of the $100 billion annual market for chocolate.
The same goes for the mining industry, speaking at the second conference of African ministers, Jean Noel Francois, who is the Acting Director, Department of Trade and Industry at the African Union (AU) Commission said that even though Africa’s mineral resources are fuelling growth and development in many industrialised and emerging economies of the world, Africa still remains poor, underdeveloped and dependent on donor assistance for national budget support.
“This model can no longer create the desired wealth for Africa. Africa must no longer be stuck at the bottom of the value chains. Africa must now rapidly diversify its export mix and add value to all of its raw materials by developing efficient and competitive value chains. This is especially critical, as Africa only accounts for 1.9 percent of global value added in manufacturing, and this has not changed for decades. It is now time to industrialise Africa,” said Dr Akinwunmi Adesina
The AfDB, which is one of the financiers of development in Africa, loaned $9 billion to African countries in 2015. Also announcing that it is leading the charge to industrialise Africa, the Bank says it will triple its climate finance on the continent to $5 billion annually till 2020.
There are claims that most governments of the individual African countries lack the political will to drive decisions that will cascade into economic benefits for most of their citizens. It is evident that the rate of mismanagement of the countries in the continent is very high. This corruption and illicit flow of funds out of the continent cost Africa $60 billion every year. According to the Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research and advisory organisation, Sub-Sahara Africa is the hardest hit region suffering the largest illicit financial outflows—averaging 6.1 percent of GDP.
The earlier Africa starts producing its own goods and seals all the holes through which unauthorised funds are leaving the continent, the better. It will provide an avenue for Africa to actualize her dreams of being self-dependent.