Category: Africa

Which country is the most developed in West Africa?

Whether you are planning to move to live in West Africa permanently or temporarily, you are likely to ask the question ‘which country is the most developed in West Africa?’

This article takes you through some important information that helps identify the most developed country in West Africa.

There are 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Country NameCapital
BeninPorto-Novo
Burkina FasoOuagadougou
Cape VerdePraia
GambiaBanjul
GhanaAccra
GuineaConakry
Guinea-BissauBissau
Ivory CoastYamoussoukro
LiberiaMonrovia
MaliBamako
NigerNiamey
NigeriaAbuja
SenegalDakar
Sierra LeoneFreetown
TogoLom_

To know the most developed countries in West Africa, we first need to understand what it means for a country to be classified as developed.

It’s actually disappointing that the majority of West African countries are still classified as developing not developed.

West Africa still has a long way to go to be called developed but at least we are not living on trees and in caves as some people have been brainwashed to believe.

Let me extract a text from United Nations’ development agenda statement for us to understand what they mean by development.

Just before we look at what development means from the United Nation point of view. My own basic understanding of development isn’t about high-rise buildings and massive highways.

For me, development simply has to do with the ability of a community to provide basic human needs and also be able to solve societal problems. I am referring to basic things like sewage, waste, address systems, roads, medical care, leisure facilities etc.

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Back to United Nations. According to United nation 

Development is a multidimensional undertaking to achieve a HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE for all people.

Note the last part, “High quality of life for all people”.

The United Nation’s statement also put enfaces on sustainable growth which was further explained in the following statement

Through such growth, which should be broadly based so as to benefit all people, countries will be able to improve the standards of living of their people through the eradication of poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy, the provision of adequate shelter and secure employment for all and the preservation of the integrity of the environment.

The integrity of the environment is something that makes me laugh. All the mineral resources have been extracted from Africa, I don’t think all these companies care about the environment.

Let’s leave this aside because that isn’t the main focus of the discussion.

West Africa Literacy Rate

Let me pick up on literacy. I think this is one of the major differences between the so-called developed countries and the underdeveloped or developing countries.

Take a look at the literacy rate in West Africa, here you can see the countries that lead in literacy rate and the ones not doing so well.

Another factor to look at is the unemployment rate which has a link with poverty. And when dissecting this further literacy has a significant impact on the development of a nation.

The literacy rate average for West Africa is a lot lower than that of the European Union for example. This might be one of the factors responsible for the development classification difference. 

Please stay with me as I go on to talk about physical development. Another factor I must mention is Human Capital Development which I will touch on later in this article. 

Physical Development

There is another factor we can look at which is physical development in terms of infrastructures like roads, healthcare, transportation methods like rail, airports, and even quality of housing. 

Why it might not be an easy task to measure this to know which West African countries is the most developed. I think there is a common phenomenon in West Africa about major cities and towns versus rural areas.

In most West African countries, once you are out of the major cities like the capital of the countries you begin to see massive underdevelopment in terms of basic amenities like quality roads and housing.

Some of the countries with large economies like Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast have more bigger cities than the other smaller countries in West Africa.

This means their big cities do a bit better in terms of infrastructure and physical developments. For example, in Nigeria, you have cities like Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugun, Ibadan.

And in Ghana and Cote D’vouire, and other West Africa countries you have cities like Accra, Kumasi, Abidjan, Lome,Yamoussoukro, Freetown etc

The other countries also have their capital cities which have a reasonable physical infrastructure. The infrastructure in small towns and villages outside the major cities is very mediocre or unexceptional

When we compare west African countries to Europe there is a striking difference. For example, I live outside London in the UK and I have been to a lot of rural areas or the countryside of the UK.

Most places have all the basic amenities that you will see in major cities. And, any amenities that isn’t available will usually be within commutable distance to reach.

West Africa Human Development Index

As promised, let me touch on Human Capital Development which is a very important metric. Human capital development is vital to the growth and productivity of a nation. It is a report usually prepared by the World Bank.

The Index measures which countries are best in mobilizing the economic and professional potential of its citizens. The index measures how much capital each country loses through lack of education and health.

When you think about it, these two factors education and health are very important in productivity. If a country cannot look after the education and health of its citizens you can almost guarantee that the nation will struggle to develop.

While it might be difficult to draw a conclusion about which country is the most developed in West Africa. I think most people who have traveled around West Africa do say the likes of Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast are possibly the most developed in West Africa.

This does not mean that these countries mentioned have all the required infrastructure to be called developed.

In summary, in West Africa and perhaps in Africa, we need to focus on solving all the basic problems around us like sewage, food security, quality housing, and so on.

If I must identify the most developed country in West Africa, then it will be Cabo Verde. Let me tell you the reason why Cabo Verde is the most developed in West Africa.

Cape Verde has the highest GDP per capita of all West African countries and ranks highest in Human Development Index.

The country is an island and is the least populated country in West Africa but the country is doing well in a lot of areas. The country has a stable economy and has one of the best infrastructures in the West Africa region.

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Tayo Aina YouTube Academy: Does it worth it?

You are absolutely correct to be looking for information about Tayo Aina YouTube Academy. Does it worth it to spend your hard-earned money on the Tayo Aina YouTube training course?

This article will give you all the information you need to decide if the Tayo Aina YouTube course is worth it or not. You will get to know about Tayo Aina’s how to start a successful YouTube Channel in this article.

Tayo Aina is one of the finest YouTubers in Africa. He decided to invest his time to create an online resource which no African Content Creators has ever done. Youtube Academy or course is most common outside Africa.

Tayo Aina’s how to start a successful YouTube business specifically focused on training upcoming African creators. The course is not just for only beginner YouTubers as you will find out as you read on.

It’s a sensible thing for anyone who wants to spend money on any online resource or training programme to find out before making the decision. If I were in your shoes I will check for reviews from someone who already bought the course.

I can tell you categorically that I am one of the students of the Tayo Aina YouTube Academy. This is what gives me the credibility to talk about it.

Who Am I

I run a Youtube channel called I am Afrikan. I originally started the channel to promote my book 700 Facts About Africa.

I started I am Afrikan originally with the name Facts about Africa. When the channel started gaining traction, I decided to change the name to I am Afrikan.

My passion for motherland Africa influenced me to write 700 Facts About Africa.  Creating content to educate people about Africa really excites me.

Tayo Aina

Why did I sign up for Tayo Aina YouTube Course?

My YouTube channel has already been monetized which means I am not a beginner in the YouTube space.

However, there is always the next level top go. I signed up for Tayo Aina’s course because I wanted a step-by-step guide on how to succeed on Youtube.

While I already know some parts of the course, there are a lot I didn’t know which I thought the course will help me to learn and take my youtube channel to the next level

As well, I wanted the opportunity to meet Tayo Aina and other creators. Basically, I want to build my connection and get inspired by other creators in Tayo Aina’s YouTube Community.

A small section of Tayo Aina YouTube Course

The price

The price of the course is affordable in comparison to a lot of YouTube courses you will see in Europe and America.

I think Tayo is passionate about helping upcoming African YouTubers. This is the reason why his price is affordable.

You can sign up to Tayo Aina YouTube Academy by clicking here

Community and Networking

Tayo’s intention for this course is to build a community of African Content Creators. I personally think this is a good move by Tayo.

Content creations can be very lonely. Having the opportunity to connect with other creators in the same journey can help you mentally and psychologically.

As well, it can enhance your productivity because you will be able to learn from other people and you can also contribute to other creators’ learning processes.

There video call where Tayo will have discussions with people who paid for the course. This will be the opportunity to answer questions that students have. Students also have the opportunity to network with Tayo Aina and other students.

This is important because people are in different niches and the course cannot address all the questions the students will have.

The video call will give an opportunity for specifically tailored solutions to problems encountered by people who have already made a step forward to start their Youtube content creation journey.

It is worth mentioning that the video call will not last forever, it is only for a few months. The video calls are for early support which is very important as the foundation.

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What I learned from Tayo Aina YouTube Academy

YouTube channel process

There is a lot that is involved in running a successful YouTube channel. I am not a beginner on YouTube but there is a lot I didn’t know which I have been able to know from the Tayo Aina course. The entire course in my opinion is Tayo’s experience of running his channel.

His channel is successful so learning all the strategies he used to take his YouTube channel to the level he is is something I found very useful.

I particularly like the second part where he shared his strategy about how to get sponsors which can help you earn money outside YouTube Adsense. Let’s face the fact, YouTube is a business, and making money is not a bad thing if you run a business.

The entire course is very valuable and provides very useful information that will help shortcut your journey to success on Youtube.

Tayo shared some very important tips on how the title your videos and also how to get your videos ranked on YouTube.

Tayo also had a section of the video where he showcase how he edit his videos. That part is very useful for me.

Meeting Tayo

I have the great privilege of meeting Tayo and this is because of his youtube academy.

Tayo is a very talented man who has been able to achieve everything he has achieved through hardworking and consistency. He is passionate about helping others succeed.

He is kind and learning from him is really a blessing. His attitude

Final Thought

Tayo definitely put a lot of time and effort to create this course. I commend him for the job well done.

The course is surely a beginner-friendly course that will significantly help someone just starting their YouTube content creation journey. Tayo Aina YouTube Academy is also for people who are at their early stage like me that want to grow.

I will not finish this review without writing about a few things that can be done better. Whenever Tayo is thinking about updating this course, it will be useful if he can include some effects he uses in his editing.

These can be added to the editing module of the course.

As well, people interested in drones might want to see more tutorials about drones.

Tayo has a Patreon account. I think some of the above-mentioned additional might also be fit for people who join Tayo’s Patreon. I must say I haven’t joined Tayo’s Patreon so I am not sure what he offers for people who join.

Will I recommend Tayo Aina YouTube Academy and does it worth it?

Definitely, I strongly will recommend Tayo Aina YouTuibe Academy.

I had the great privilege of interviewing Tayo Aina about the future of digital content creation in Africa. We also had some discussions about his YouTube Academy. You can watch the video below.

You can sign up to Tayo Aina YouTube Academy by clicking here

 

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15 Business ideas for Diasporans moving back to Africa

Many Africans migrate abroad for greener pastures but over time a lot of people start thinking about coming back home. Of course, they can’t go back home to nothing. This is why diasporans look for business ideas when moving back to Africa.

Africa’s population alone makes it a market with huge opportunities. According to a UNICEF prediction, Africa’s population will increase by 1.8 billion people. This means that business opportunities will continue to be on the increase.

People move abroad for opportunities for a better life and standard of living. But most start to feel homesick after years and even decades of staying abroad.

So many plan to move back home to settle down eventually. But what to do after coming back home you ask? What do they do with all the money they have gathered and saved up in the diaspora?

Here are 15 promising business ideas that you as a diasporan moving back to Africa can invest in.

Agric-business

While agriculture is the backbone of most African country’s economy, it, however, has not been fully exploited as a business opportunity. Every year, over 257 million Africans starve while 12 Africans die of hunger every minute.

Everybody knows that with every growing population, so does the demand for their needs increase. And with a population growth like Africa, this definitely sounds like a business opportunity.

The World Bank suggests that by 2030, the food demand in Africa could equal $1 trillion.

One of the factors causing this is the shortage of canned and processed foods. A knock-on effect of this is that food prices are high. This is because, at the moment, most food products can’t be transported to distant locations without expiring.

When this happens, produces increase their prices to make up for their losses.

This is just one problem. There are several agricultural opportunities you can still look at.

Pharmaceutical products, Medical Clinics and Healthy Food

Did you know 80% of African pharmaceutical products are imported? But the African pharmaceutical market is a rapidly growing one.

Covid 19, however, exposed the true situation of the pharmaceutical and medical industry in Africa.

Only a few African countries manufacture their own medicine while the majority of them import from abroad. While it may require billions of dollars to invest in, the profits earned sure are outstanding.

It is also not news that many of our medical facilities are substandard. Most don’t even have a good working environment.

Perhaps, the easiest of the three medical challenges mentioned is the healthy food industry. Yes, it would require a great deal of knowledge on the production side but it is still doable.

There are however several challenges to face. From funds to various government licenses and regulations. Not everyone might be interested in manoeuvring these barriers.

If you are thinking of investing in any of these industries, go for it. It is a good opportunity for anyone willing to invest.

Construction and Real Estate Industry.

The world is changing and so is Africa. Change is inevitable, you could even tell from the tall buildings sprouting from the ground up, from the roads now snaking their ways into villages.

Construction and real estate as industries bring in massive profits.

The African population is ever-increasing and this leads to serious housing deficits. Examples can be seen in Accra, Kampala and even Cape Town.

According to World Bank, the urbanization rate in sub-Sahara Africa is suggested to increase from 36 percent to 50 percent by the year 2030.

Day in day out, it is not uncommon to see roads or buildings being constructed. From cement to sand, beams, and even roofing materials, all these things bring in massive profits to investors.

With the knowledge of when to invest, where to invest and where to get the raw materials, the construction industry is definitely profitable.

Automobile industry

‘Car dealers’ as we like to call it. The number of cars being imported into Africa will definitely shock you.

In Nigeria for example, you simply have to take a drive down to Tin Can in Lagos to see the number of cars being offloaded from shipping containers every day.

Every year, 28.45 billion dollars is spent on importing automobiles while the profits earned will shock you even more.

An advantage you have over people doing car business in Africa is your nearness to resources. By this, I mean depending on the country you are living in, you have a first-hand inspection of cars that are to be sold.

For example, let’s say you live in the US and you see a car for auction near you. You have the opportunity to see those cars live and know the true working condition.

This is different from car dealers from Africa who just buy cars and hope the condition is not worse than what was stated on the auction site.

Invest in Mobile Phone Market

Thanks to the marketing plan of smartphone manufacturers as well as the effort put in by importers, Africa’s smartphone market has experienced a boom over the years.

Companies like Transsion, the manufacturers of Tecno, Itel and Infinix are the leaders in smartphone sales in Africa for a reason. The strategy of offering their low-end devices at prices as low as $100 or less have made smartphones affordable for everyone.

Also, we have an increase in demand for fairly used phones.

The impact of social media on phone demands can’t also be underestimated. Almost everyone now has digital devices. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and WhatsApp have popularized them even further.

The things you can do with mobile devices nowadays are boundless.

Smartphones and other smart gadgets from all over the world have been flooding the African market with astoundingly huge profits gotten from it.

According to reports from the Nigerian Communications Commission, the mobile phone market in Nigeria is worth about N484 billion.

Should you want to invest, then an investment in the smartphone market is worth it.

Information Technology (IT)

The IT sector in Africa is one of the fastest-growing industries. Even the U.S. Department of Commerce identifies it as one of the fastest and most profitable sectors in Africa.

We live in an age where connectivity is a priority. Companies and governments are always looking for ways to make their systems more effective.

If you are currently an IT professional abroad, you will quickly find out that systems and technology there is far superior to those in Africa. Already you have a problem you can solve, you just have to take action.

Commercial Food Services

Clothe, housing, transport and food are three industries that stay evergreen.

Food services like restaurants nowadays have become a sure way of reining in profits. From the young to the old, everyone must eat. It is not uncommon in Africa to see new restaurants spring up one after the other.

All over Africa, you will find few fast-food restaurants dominating the food sector.

The profits made from these restaurants are jaw-dropping.

Delivery or Logistics services

Thanks to the growth of eCommerce platforms and the impact of social media vendors, the demand for delivery or logistics companies have increased enormously.

These days, it is not uncommon to sight delivery vehicles every time you go out. Everyone wants something delivered.

Delivery services are surprisingly making huge profits in Africa.

Nowadays, people opt to buy goods online be it within Africa or abroad then have them delivered to either their homes or workplaces at a certain fee.

Should you want to invest in a business, then delivery or logistics service is worth looking into.

Invest in Education

Did you know that the under 18 demographic represents one-third of the African population?

This means that the education sector is a big potential market.

Also, thanks to the poor state of public schools, most people strive to send their kids to privately owned schools.

Investing in education, more so, in the private sector certainly does bring quite a lot of profits.

With the teacher to student ratio at the public schools being 1:60. Most parents opt to take their children to schools where there is no scramble for resources. Where their children’s needs will be catered for easily.

This opens up a lot of opportunities for new schools to enter the market.

Hair, Beauty and cosmetics products

The growth of the beauty and cosmetics industry over the years is truly phenomenal.

According to Euromonitor International, the beauty industry is worth about $25.4 billion in the Middle East and Africa. They also suggested that the market will grow by 6.4 percent over the next four years.

Reports have also estimated the market for weaves, hair extensions and wigs at over $6 billion a year.

All over Africa, there is a huge demand for hair, cosmetics and beauty product with profits earned being triple the amount invested.

Perhaps even more surprising is that these industries have not peaked in Africa. The global personal care industry is worth about $400 billion with Africa representing only a 3% share of this.

There is still significant room for growth and money to be made here.

Join The Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is huge anywhere in the world and it is no different in Africa.

Did you know that the footwear and apparel market in Africa is estimated to be worth about $31 billion?

The industry is worth about $2.4 trillion globally.

When you look at the African population, you will realize that there is still so much money to be made from this industry. Like many industries in Africa, people are only just starting to understand the true worth.

Imports of used clothes, bags and shoes have been found to make tremendously huge amounts of profits.

Fintech Industry

Perhaps there is no emerging industry that is making as much rave as the fintech industry in Africa right now.

A testament to this is that as of 2018, Africa had only one unicorn startup company, Jumia.

In 2021 alone, the continent has seen 3 unicorn startup companies. Flutterwave, Interswitch and Fawry are the three companies to achieve unicorn status this year.

There is no other industry in Africa that is getting as much international capital and backing as fintech at the moment.

This boom in the industry is however not surprising.

Did you know that more than 60% of Africa’s adult population are unbanked?

Over 350 million African adults own smartphones but a high percentage of them do not have a bank account or access to formal financial services.

The market here is huge.

Apartment Hotels

The growth of apartment hotels in Africa is rather sudden but unsurprising. Africa’s real estate sector itself remains a prime industry and is ever-growing.

Apartment hotels which is a real estate niche is still an emerging market in Africa. The huge demand for it is however easy to understand.

Apartment hotels are fully furnished apartments that offer the comfort and privacy you can get in your very homes.

Serviced apartments can also cost 20-30% less than an equivalent extended stay at conventional hotels.

Apart from comfort and privacy, global business travel is also a driving factor for the rise in serviced apartments. This market is estimated to spend more than $1.2 trillion annually.

Supermarket (Grocery Retail Sales)

The supermarket industry has always been a lucrative one. It is not uncommon to see various minimarts almost everywhere you go.

Food is an essential part of our everyday lives and the demand for it will always be high.

It is also not uncommon to see multi function supermarkets with sectors divided into grocery, fashion, pharmacy and the likes. Supermarkets are popular for bulk and cheaper buys.

In 2017, Nigerians spent $44 billion on food with grocery sales accounting for 75% of it.

In the same 2017, the value of grocery retail sales in South Africa was about $44.9 billion.

Keep in mind that there have been more demand for food since then and the effect of inflation and recession.

The biggest aspect to be considered when opening a supermarket isn’t only capital. Your location probably plays the biggest part in the survival of your business.

You must choose a prime location.

Importing and Exporting

The importing and exporting industry has always been huge. With a little research, you can become an importer or exporter in no time.

Importing business can allow you to do business in your home country without really staying there. All you have to do is find products that you know is in demand in your host country and begin from there.

You have to be careful of greed when you start though. It is best for you to focus on only a few products so you don’t spread yourself too thin.

You can also choose to find products in Africa that you can export abroad.

If you are dealing with farm produce, for example, you can either export raw materials or processed commodities.

Products like coffee, honey, Shea butter and flowers are available at cheaper prices in Africa. You can take advantage of that.

Also, exporting from Africa is cheaper than importing back to Africa.

All you need to do is to source for reliable companies in your home country that you can sell to.

In Conclusion

Go east or go west home is always the best. Home is where our roots are. While most African countries are underdeveloped, it is a continent rich in resources. The population alone makes it one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the whole world. There is a market for virtually any business you want to do in Africa, all you have to do is decide. Over time it should become a worthy investment.

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Is Africa too rich to be poor?

As an African, I never stopped to ask myself this question. Is Africa too rich to be poor?

I grew up in Nigeria and was already an adult before I travelled to the UK to study for my master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

When I arrived in the UK in the summer of 2005, I was blown away by the difference in the infrastructure in the UK as compared to my home country Nigeria.

I have also had the opportunity to travel to France and Cyprus. They both have a similar setup as regards the regional planning and architecture of the cities.

Obviously, Europe has its own problem but the problem has nothing to do with poor infrastructural facilities and surely not an inadequate supply of food or quality water.

Please don’t get me wrong here. African is home to some of the happiest people in the world and it is not all Africans that are poor.

It is normal for countries or continents to have their poor and rich fractions. However, statistics show that there are more poor people in Africa than in Europe.

According to FocuEconomics, the top 5 poorest countries in the world are from Africa. These countries are DR Congo, Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe.

It is really difficult to understand why Africa is poor.

Honest Account published in 2017 through a collaboration by a few organization shows how the world profits from Africa’s wealth.

According to the report

African countries received $161.6 billion in 2015 —  mainly in loans, personal remittances, and aid in the form of grants. Yet $203 billion was taken from Africa, either directly — mainly through corporations repatriating profits and by illegally moving money out of the continent — or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change. This create an annual net financial deficit of over $40 billion.

So why then are African countries poor? Does it have more to do with mental poverty than financial and resource capabilities?

Please stay with me as we look at some of the reasons why Africa is too rich to be poor.

Map of Africa

Natural Resources

This is a good place to start for obvious reasons. Africa is home to an abundance of resources.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme,

Africa is home to some 30 percent of the world’s mineral reserves, 8 percent of the world’s natural gas, 12 percent of the world’s oil reserves; the continent has 40 percent of the world’s gold and up to 90 percent of its chromium and platinum.

Cocoa bean. The cacao plant which is the source of cocoa bean and chocolate arrived in Africa through the Europeans.

It is worth mentioning that the Europeans took the plant to Africa for their own benefit because Africa’s climate suits cocoa plantation.

Cocoa pod, cocoa bean, and cocoa powder

Africa is now the largest producer of cocoa beans. In fact, West African countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Nigeria produce about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa beans.

With this abundance of resources, I am puzzled as to why Africa is still poor.

Of course, these resources are just raw materials that can be used to make finished products. The resources are extracted from Africa to fuel factories around the world including China which is now considered as the manufacturer of the world.

This again begs the question, is Africa poor as a result of mental poverty?

Other resources found in abundance in Africa are crude oil, diamond, rubber, and a lot of other resources.

Young population

One of the major factors helping china boost its manufacturing industry and the economy is the labour force.

Africa has the youngest age population in the world, unlike Asian countries. Asian countries have an average age population of 32 years.

According to Pew Research,

Africa has the youngest population of any region, with a median age of 20 — roughly a decade less than the global figure. All but one of the 20 countries with the lowest median ages are in Africa.

 

There were always going to be disadvantaged when the young population of a continent is more than the old population.

Having a youthful population isn’t a crime but a disadvantage is that it increases unemployment as it means more people fighting for jobs in the future.

Jackie Cilliers, the author of the book Africa First! had some very interesting things to say about the growing African population in relation to economic growth.

According to Cilliers, an increase in population alone will have no positive effect on economic income growth. What affects income growth is the ratio of the working-age population to that of dependants (children below 15 years and the elderly, aged over 64).

There is a very unhealthy belief among Africans that its growing population – which by the way is set to rise to 1.3 billion by 2040 – is a positive to the continent.

But is this really true?

Cilliers argues that the annual addition of millions of children is also at a detriment to the Government.

It means that governments end up spending so much more on health, education and infrastructure just to cope with the larger numbers.

A knock-on effect of this is that they are unable to improve the quality of services for those already in the system.

To buttress this point, even the World Bank attributed one-third of East Asia’s growth during its economic miracle to a growing labour force to dependants.

However, a reduction of the young population in the future is not enough.

These young people need guidance, good governance, and leaders. Sadly, this is not something many African leaders are known for.

Intelligent people

The continent of Africa is blessed with a lot of intelligent people.

It is unfortunate that some of the brightest African men and women are using their brains to serve other nations of the world especially the West.

If all the African Medical Doctors in the US and UK go on strike, the health system of these two countries will feel the impact.

A blog on the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2018 shows the big problem of brain drain in Africa.

Below is a statement from the LSE website.

“A poll citing the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), reported that there are about 72,000 nationally-registered Nigerian doctors, with only 35,000 practising in-country.”

The above statement means that 37,000 Nigeria Doctors and Dentists are practising outside Nigeria.

I know you must think that some of them might be practising in other African countries. While that is true, the majority of those figures are practising in the UK and the US.

According to the BBCA, about 4000 Nigerian doctors are reported to be practicing in the USA, with 5000 currently registered in the UK.

Canada and Australia are also some of the destinations for African Doctors.

Something that makes me sad is the fact that when Africans travel outside Africa to the West, they tend to maximize their potential.

Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, FACP, FIDSA. Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine

 

For example, Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu was raised in Nigeria and graduated from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. He later studied at Yales University and became an Associate Professor. He took part in the investigative trial of the COVID-19 Vaccination. Below is a text from Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu CV on Yale University School of Medicine website;

In response to the COVID pandemic, I am Yale’s principal investigator on multiple investigational therapeutic and preventative clinical trials for COVID-19 including remdesivir (now FDA approved), leronlimab and remdesivir and tocilizumab combination therapy as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine trial.

Thomas Mensah is a Ghanian who contributed to the development of fibre-optics and nanotechnology. He possibly wouldn’t have been able to make that contribution if he was in Africa.

Without leaving Africa, Silas Adekunle wouldn’t have made the contributions he has made to the Robotic Engineering field. He is a Nigeria born inventor and entrepreneur.

These are just very few of Africa’s gifted and intelligent people.

I don’t want this to sound as if I am blaming the governments in Africa. However, if you think about it, is electricity, security or crooked infrastructure on the list of what entrepreneurs in Europe and America have to worry about? I think the answer is no.

There are some things that are out of the capability of individuals. Things like security, infrastructure are supposed to be provided by the government.

Fertile Land

The Grow Africa Partnership was founded jointly by the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), and the World Economic Forum.

The title of one of the articles on Grow Africa website reads

60% of the world’s arable land is in Africa and it has billions of investment potential.

There is some part of Africa suffering from drought and global warming issues which are affecting planting. However, most parts of Africa have fertile soils that can enable us to produce food in abundance.

I am not sure why we are not leveraging on the lands we have in Africa.

Maybe the reason for our poverty has a continent really is mental poverty.

Tourism

Africa has huge potential when it comes to tourism. Africa is the mother of the whole world. Africa is where every human originates from.

Going to Africa should feel like going back home to people all over the world regardless of race.

There is almost no continent with an enviable array of culture and history like Africa.

Millions of people go to Africa on vacation. Most of the tourist destinations in Africa are concentrated in North, East, and South Africa.

North Africa especially is known for a lot of archaeological sites and has the advantage of its proximity to Europe. I think this region of Africa still has the potential to develop the tourism industry even more.

The East and South Africa are hotspots for safari holiday to experience the beauty of Africa’s wildlife. Kenya and Botswana are some of the top destinations for wildlife. I think other parts of Africa also have potentials.

One of the issues the tourism industry generally face in Africa is inadequate security and communal conflicts.

The less exploited area in Africa when it comes to tourism is West Africa. With the beautiful beaches, wildlife, and incredible vegetation, there is huge potential for this area.

Most parts of West Africa is reasonably peaceful apart from Nigeria that has had a lot of insecurity recently.

The people of Africa are generally peaceful, hospitable, and welcoming.

There is a lot of potential in tourism in Africa that needs to be harnessed.

The weather in Africa is calm and beautiful and always suitable for a good holiday.

I must also mention that Africa art and music can be incorporated into a big branding for Africa tourism.

Major challenges facing Africa

Political Institution and Accountability

Archaeological evidence proved that Africa is the origin of humankind. So why is the cradle of humanity still considered poor with all the resources she has.

I think the major problem with Africa is that her political institutions have not lived up to expectation.

All the countries doing well around the world have people who know what they are doing as leaders. Sadly, in Africa, politics often look like a battle between clueless oppositions.

Leadership is very important.

If the head is sick, it is likely going to affect the whole body.

Africa’s political institution is just not doing a good job at governance.

If you have lots of money in the middle of the desert or in the forest. What will you do with it? You will need intelligence and good management skills. Political institutions are just too bad in African when compared to other parts of the world.

As well, corruption in Africa is at another level and also a big issue. African elites continue to steal money and deposit in foreign accounts.

The stolen money from Africa abroad is enough to pay all of Africa’s debt.

There is no accountability in governance in Africa. Most African leaders just do anything they like.

An article by Financial Times in 2020 shows how Angola President is trying to recover billions of dollars stolen under the administration of his predecessor.

If we can just stop being selfish in Africa and think about making life better for ordinary people. I think Africa can rise up and be great.

Mindset

Colonization caused a lot of damage to Africa. The damage caused is more spiritual than physical.

When a white man arrived in Africa. He is treated like a king with a lot of respect. It’s the reverse when a black man arrives in Europe or America.

African people have been brainwashed to think everything from the West is better than what they have in Africa.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a human being or a commodity product. As long as it is from the West, people generally believe in Africa that it is the best.

Consumer vs Producer

We just are not producing enough physical products in Africa.

We depend too much on imported goods. Only consuming and not producing is bad enough.

Combine it with importing almost everything you need, no country can strive economically by exporting its raw materials and buying the finished products.

A good example of this is Nigeria. Crude oil is on top of the list of what Nigeria export. And, refined oil is top on the list of Nigeria import.

Thousands of jobs which suppose to come from manufacturing are not there because there are no industries.

If it is imported it is good but if it is locally made it is not good enough.

It’s the reason why manufacturing is almost not existent in the majority of African countries.

 

Final Thought

So why truly is Africa poor?

I think Africa is poor as a result of mental poverty. The inability of the citizens and government to be progressive thinkers in itself is a huge detriment to the continent.

How do you progress when you have refused to psychologically move along with the times? Many African countries are stuck in the past and archaic way of doing things. And I am sorry but no progress will come from that.

To step out of poverty, the first thing we must do as a continent is change our mindset.

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Facts about Africa (700 Interesting and Random Facts)

As a Black African born in Nigeria, Africa. I have always had a strong interest in things about Africa especially facts about Africa.

Africa is the cradle of humanity. There is a lot of archaeological evidence that supports the fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity.

The fact that Africa is where all human being originates from makes Africa have a lot of interesting and amazing facts.

There are archaeological and fossil evidence from Afar Triangle in East Africa which suggest Africa is the Cradle of Humankind.

My interest in facts about Africa on the various subject led me to compile these facts from various source and put them in a book.

700 Amazing facts about Africa is available on all Amazon marketplace.

                         

Below are some of the facts that make 700 facts about Africa an interesting read.

Extract from 700 Facts about Africa

General Africa Facts

  1. Africa is a vast continent, with 54 countries. Although some confuse the entire continent with being a single country. 
  2. Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. The largest being Asia, of course.
  3. Africa is home to over 1 billion people – half of which are younger than 25.
  4. More than 1500 languages are spoken across the continent. 
  5. Population: 1,415,045,928.
  6. Land area: 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles).
  7. Most spoken languages in Africa are Arabic, English, Swahili, Amharic, French, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Igbo and Zulu.
  8. Islam and Christianity are the two most common religions in Africa.
  9. The smallest country in Africa is the Seychelles, which is also an island. 
  10. Algeria is the largest country by area with 2,381,741 square kilometres. It’s the 10th largest country in the world.
  11. Time zones: From UTC-1 to UTC+4.
  12. The origin of the name “Africa” is greatly disputed by scholars. Most believe it stems from words used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Important words include the Egyptian word Afru-ika, meaning “Motherland”; the Greek word aphrike, meaning “without cold”; and the Latin word aprica, meaning “sunny.”

Interesting and Random Facts

  1. Nigeria has seen the most twins born in the world. This has earned the country the nickname “The Land of Twins”.
  2. Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
  3. Plastic packaging and non-biodegradable polythene bags are 100% banned in Rwanda. They’re not allowed in the country at all and all luggage are searched at the airport to make sure of this. 
  4. 90% of the world’s malaria cases originate in Africa. Thankfully this is only a problem in certain areas, and there are plenty of safe African countries to visit.
  5. One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
  6. The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
  7. Almost 40% of adults in Africa are illiterate – two-thirds are women. Adult literacy rates are below 50% in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
  8. Over 25 million people are HIV-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already.
  9. Arabic is spoken by 170 million people on the continent, followed in popularity by English (130 million), Swahili (100), French (115), Berber (50), Hausa (50), Portuguese (20) and Spanish (10).
  10. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
  11. The northern most point in Africa is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia. The most southerly point is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.
  12. Rainfall variability is very high – from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year near Mount Cameroon.
  13. Neo-colonialism is a real threat with over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.
  14. Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  15. All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  16. Before colonial rule, Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
  17. The famous singer Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, a group of islands just off the coast of Tanzania. 
  18. Nigeria, with a 2013 estimated population of 174,507,539 is the most populous Black nation and the 7th most populated nation in the entire world, trailing after—from least to most—Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, India and China (1.3bn).
  19. Libreville, Gabon is one of the most expensive city in the world to live in. Tokyo is the most expensive city.
  20. Nigeria, with 521 languages has the fourth-most in the world. This includes 510 living languages, two-second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages.
  21. The Portuguese reached Nigeria in 1472. In 1880 the British began conquering Nigeria’s south. The north was conquered by 1903.
  22. Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and their bloodlines worldwide have the highest rate of twinning (having twins) in the world.
  23. South Africa is 5 times the size of Japan and 3 times the size of Texas.
  24. Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia
  25. The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  26. Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  27. The population of Lagos today is about more than the total population of all Eastern states combined.
  28. Benin Kingdom: The high quality and highly sophisticated bronze work of the Benin Kingdom dating as far back as the 13th century is a world wonder. Great works in iron, wood, ivory, and terra cotta products also highlight the empire’s history.
  29. Benin Kingdom: Lourenco Pinto, captain of a ship that carried missionaries to Warri in 1619, described Benin kingdom, ‘Great Benin where the king resides is larger than Lisbon, all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see….’
  30. Pretoria (SA’s capital city) was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius. He named it after his father, Andries Pretorius.
  31. French is spoken by more people in Africa than in France. And Portuguese is spoken by a larger number of people in Africa than in Portugal. 
  32. The largest annual Christian gathering in Africa is hosted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and it is called the Holy Ghost Convention. This was in Nigeria.
  33. Nigerian immigrants in the US are one of the most educated
  34. Over 55% of Africa’s labour force working in food production with vast areas of arable and pastoral lands supporting agricultural economies.
  35. Africans are one of the biggest contributors to sculptural art. 
  36. Important climatic regions of agriculture in Africa include tropical wet, savannah, desert, Mediterranean, and highland.
  37. Africa has 135 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across the continent.
  38. Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt (200+ pyramids). But the largest pyramid is actually found in Mexico!
  39. Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is technically bigger than Hollywood.
  40. 100 million Africans have Facebook accounts.
  41. The movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, had many of its most dramatic scenes shot in Maputo, Mozambique. 
  42. The Western Cape of South Africa is home to the longest wine route in the world. Route 62 spans 850kms and boasts some superb wineries. 
  43. It’s considered rude to decline an offering of meat at meals in Morocco – vegetarians may have a hard time with this. 
  44. There’s an African beer brewed from bananas. This is widely made in East Africa and goes by various names in different countries.
  45. In rural markets in the province of Limpopo, Mopane worms can be found being sold as food. These are high in protein and the locals love them as a smoky snack.
  46. In countries like Morocco and Algeria, couscous is a popular dish served with meat and vegetables.
  47. In Western Africa, it is common for people to grow and eat cassava, maize, millet and plantains.
  48. People living in what is currently Swaziland were the world’s first miners. In the late 1960s a hematite mine was found in the Ngwenya mountain range along with 300,000 artifacts and stone-made mining tools that were later dated to be 43,000 years old!
  49. Egypt is the most popular tourist destination in Africa, attracting around 10 million visitors per year.
  50. The oldest known mathematical object is the Lebombo bone, which was discovered in the Lebombo Mountains of Swaziland. It dates to approximately 35,000 B.C.

 

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