Dr. Yassir M. Alobied
If we want to analyze the economic, social and political conditions of Africa during half a century, to stand against the background of the situations of the African continent until the advent of the third millennium and the world around it, in the midst of tremendous developments in the field of various sciences and modern technology industry, including the amazing changes in international economic and political relations that controls fierce competition in the commodity markets, money, business, stock exchanges, stock and bond markets, and globalized financial markets, Africa is lacking.
What it lacks is driven and nourished by the products of the information revolution in the fourth industrial revolution and the modern world of communication that made the world a globalized village, in which there is no place for those who chose to fail in the ride of development and prosperity, or to close behind the walls of marginalization and isolation away from poverty, desert and disease.
Therefore, most of the international regions in the continents of Europe, America and Asia hastened the bias to keep up with developments and coexist with economic, social and scientific transformations, to take advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization in technology, information and communication revolution has managed to achieve a great qualitative leap in societies, while Africa remained laggard, marginalized and closed in on itself preoccupied with tribal, ethnic and racial conflicts and civil wars.
The gaps between Africa and the modern world have been expanding and expanding, especially since the average rate of economic growth in Africa in the past two decades, despite relative improvement during the last half of the nineties, is still about half the growth rate in developing countries.
Africa is the poorest continent in the world. It contains 42 of the countries classified in the least developed countries out of a total of 49 countries, or about 86% of the world’s least developed countries.
On the other hand, groups around the world have moved from developing countries from Asia and Latin America during the past three decades, thanks to technology, to groups of countries classified as emerging economies that compete with major industrial countries in international markets and impose their industry in the field of manufacturing, engineering, technological equipment, consumer goods and military industries.
The experiences of African countries in their attempts to bring about an economic and political transformation during past eras, not forgetting that the process of economic development cannot take place through a mechanical process that does not take into account the political and social dimension, account for some of the most important reasons for the failure of economic development programs and projects in Africa was that was carried out by top-down decisions.
Things to Consider
In the context of central planning or by dictates from external financiers, as in structural adjustment programs that failed to bring about qualitative economic and social transformations in the country context, economic stability has become a regional issue due to the impact of the economic imbalance and the movement of economic indicators in any country on the economies of other countries of the region.
This is particularly true in the field of trade exchange and in the field of capital movement between the countries of the region, in light of the liberalization of foreign exchange and financial liberalization, which considers economic stability and the pursuit of sound and balanced macro and partial economic policies among the most important conditions and requirements for membership of international organizations.
In order to avoid the negative effects that may be produced by improper economic performance in a member state of the organization, requirements of rational and wise financial policies state that the financial restructuring cannot be implemented at the expense of the poor classes or sectors in rural or urban areas.
The scarcity and fluctuation of external resource flows and the weak ability to mobilize domestic resources is one of the most important challenges facing African countries in achieving their economic and social goals, especially since the international loan flows for development events that Africa obtained during the seventies failed to bring about a real economic transformation as the economic crises exacerbated many failures.
These failures were birthed from failure by African countries to meet external debt obligations, which led to the accumulation of external debt, which led to a decline in loan flows, official aid and private foreign investment.
An African Plan
The rapid and real process of economic and social transformation capable of addressing the major problems and crises facing Africa must take place within the framework of leap programs.
Big push, comprehensive, consistent and sustainable – an African Marshall project! This is evidenced by the experiences of Europe after the devastation caused by the war necessitated the provision of huge financial resources through the (Marshall Project).
Africa must move away from the traditional historical financing channels and open new channels in economic relations with the countries of the South, especially with emerging market countries in Asia, which have become a prominent figure in international economic relations and are now playing an important role in the fields of foreign investment in African countries, such as what China is doing in Africa.
Therefore, it is possible to activate the role of these countries in bringing about real economic transformations and to create a smart partnership between the two continents with the possibility of developing the southern-southern relations to extend to the countries of Latin America, especially since all the analysis and extrapolations confirm that the countries of BRICS China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa will play a vanguard role in leading the countries’ economies in during the next few decades.
The analysis also states that the relationship with them must be in the strategic framework.
We conclude that the mobilization of financial resources in order to bring about the process of targeted transformation requires an institutional structure, and most African countries are yet to provide the appropriate climate for this and to create a stimulating and attractive environment for official resource flows and private foreign investment.
The New Partnership Initiative for Development in Africa is still underway.
The NEPAD is unable to mobilize resources and financial flows to the countries of the continent. However, it is still an opportunity to realize through it a true African Marshall Plan, if the will of African leaders and elites is true.