As the West continues to be assailed by authoritarian capitalism, political fragmentation and polarization, and the problems of post industrialism, Africa is seen as offering boundless prospects for wealth creation. Despite the fact that dependence on foreign aid and neoliberalism are the prime hindrances to economic freedom and political self-determination in Africa, it must be agreed that Africa’s investments in its own resources are the primary tools for paving the road to sustainable economic development.
Whereas the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Africa reflect a “shift from global development finance based on a model centered on official development assistance, to a new global framework, that places greater importance on domestic sources of finance;” sustainable development must also demonstrate consolidation and elaborate interconnections between the environment, economy and society.
Convincingly, sustainable development in Africa may not be sustainable, unless they are reinforced by the new method of entrepreneurial capitalism that is now ravaging the continent. Further, with Africa having the highest educated U.S. immigrant group and the highest educational accomplishment of any demographic, a new class of African diaspora entrepreneurs are evolving to enhance Africa’s reputation as the next global economic frontier.
Regardless of the fact, which economists stress, that African economies are forecast to grow by an average of 6.2 per cent per annum, Africa’s growth is the result of an incredible demand for export commodities, and crude oil and minerals. Africa supplies the world economy with more than half its diamonds, platinum and cobalt, and more than a third of strategic minerals.
However, according to new research by Blairite thinktank, the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), “intervention by western governments and western non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational companies in Africa are compounding political weakness, stifling enterprise and making developing states less accountable to their citizens.”
Increasing criticism on Africa’s position as the next global economic frontier details that, “western development initiatives for Africa fail to recognize the level of control wielded by international NGOs and multinationals companies. As a result, offers such as debt relief, investment and aid in return for political reform are simplistic and unrealistic.”
Moreover, the obstacles of neoliberal economic policies are creating economic disasters of rational self-interest through policies such as privatization, deregulation, globalization and tax cuts for the wealthy. As a deified economic orthodoxy, neoliberalism is restricting Africa’s growth as the next global economic frontier, while the harsh structural adjustments of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans continue to display the poverty of Africa.
Critics may argue that Africa’s history of colonization, bad governance, conflict, failed states, complex transitions to democracy, poverty and marginalization must also be considered in order to understand some of the many obstacles faced by African states on their road to economic development. Nevertheless, the imposing optimism of globalization as a promotion of economic growth in Africa now worsen the dangers.
Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Kingsley Moghalu, affirms, “African countries need to re-examine commonly held assumptions about globalization, free markets, and foreign investment if they are to prosper.” With energy being a chief focus of development, there must be “a paradigm shift” from globalization to an economic liberalization theory in order for Africa to reach a competitive position in the global economy.
Thus far, the hope of Africa’s future in its path to economic global development lies in its resistance to globalization. Africa can only attain sustainable economic developments by investing in its own resources.
Although the development of BRICS (five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) continue to promote investments in Africa, foreign aid is not the answer to Africa’s development. Additionally, the future of BRICS as an economy group with enormous growth potential and promising markets for finance capital is disputable because social progress must also affect economic prosperity.
As a region devoted to open borders and entrepreneurship, the Marxist class struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat must also be noted in Africa’s walk to prominence of the economic global frontier as well. Statistics detail that presently Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of oil into the United States, supplying up to 10 per cent of oil revenue. Oil accounts for 99 per cent of all Nigerian export revenue, but the wealth produced by the oil only benefits multinational oil companies and the ruling elite.
This vividly shows that the wealth of Africa is in the hands of the exploiting non-producing class which takes advantage of the exploited producing class.
Consequently, there must be minimal interference of government in the market economy and a ‘laissez-faire’ economic policy must be practical if Africa is to be registered as the next global economic frontier. If the ‘economic liberalism’ theory of Adam Smith that “everyone should be left to their own economic device instead of being controlled by the state” would be allowed prevalence in Africa, then, the result would be an even and more equal society of ever-increasing opulence.