Not that “Africa” is a country, of course, but it helps to look at broad, continent-wide trends. People are reluctant to the idea of demographics as the great driver of history. In the general case, this might be true. But the 21st century will see an unprecedented situation: one where every continent will face large-scale aging and slowing demographic growth. Every continent, that is, except one: Africa (or, to be more specific, sub-Saharan Africa). Africa is young whereas the rest of the world is graying, and any strategic thinking about the 21st century must take this into account.
Add to this Africa’s steadily improving situation with regard to governance (there are still many problems, but steadily less war, steadily more free elections, and so on), and a technological landscape and future that will allow Africa to leapfrog many aspects of the rich life that the rich world takes for granted. And national resources are just icing on the cake.
As is frequently remarked upon, and as a book review in this week’s Economist touches upon, China has a very deliberate and ambitious strategy of investment in Africa. The old categories of “neocolonialism” miss the point. So does the remark that China is only interested in Africa’s natural resources in order to fuel its own manufacturing-driven growth and put its strategic eggs in more than one basket.
SOURCE: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry