The appalling racist coverage by the western think tanks amidst the Russo- Ukraine war is still fresh in minds. Ukrainian refugees were divorced form “uncivilised” refugees coming from the Orient. Make no mistake; this is not the first time that the racist attitude of the Western media and scholars is out in the open. To paraphrase post-colonial scholar Edward Said, in newsreels or news-photos, the Orient has always been shown in large numbers—no individuality, no personal characteristics or experiences. The monopolistic search engine Google is over flooded with images of mass rage and misery when one searches about the African continent, making her believe that the continent is endowed with nothing but affliction. This is how, as Chomsky often remarks, consent is manufactured.
Deconstructing the academia might take a while, but something is brewing in the geopolitical scenario, which might put to shame the racist minds in the Western world.
Rise of startups in Africa:
Even amidst the Covid pandemic, the startup community on the African continent has continued to draw investment from abroad and it is countries like Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya, often dubbed as Africa’s “big four”, which are leading the charge. The seventh edition of Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startups Funding Report revealed that start-ups in the big four raised a combined $1.9 billion in 2021 — about 92.1% of the overall total investments raised in Africa for that year.
The “big four” countries, according to the AfDB, advance more quickly than other African nations when it comes to start-up funding and investment, largely because of their sizable populations and vast economies.
Nigeria, for instance, is anticipated to rank third in the world in terms of population by 2050 with a GDP of over $440 billion and a population of 206 million. Nigeria is hence a desirable place for startup investment inflows. Similarly, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa each have some of the continent’s largest economies, with respective GDPs of $404 billion, $110 billion, and $420 billion.
Other countries will soon follow suit:
Although there is no doubt that capital funding is increasing in Africa, it is currently more concentrated in the big-four nations.
You see, lack of fintech solutions in many African nations makes them less likely to attract significant startup funding and investments. A number of other elements, including the availability of financial resources, political and socioeconomic limitations, and weak financial systems, lessen the appeal of investing in many African nations.
The report also prescribed a number of recommendations on how other African countries can catch up to the “big four”. It is crucial that African nations start offering fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for venture capitalists to invest in the financial and tech sectors in order to spur venture investments across the continent. African governments in non-big-four nations must also strengthen their institutional and regulatory frameworks in order to foster an investment ecosystem that is welcoming to start-ups and investors. Not only would this change the investment environment of non-big-four nations, it would also make them an alluring location for initial investments in Africa.
The report added that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can be used by nations to attract foreign investment. By lowering investment barriers and enhancing investment governance in their individual nations, African governments in non-big-four African countries can draw in more start-up finance.
Read More: 20th century was Europe’s. 21st century is Asia’s. 22nd century will be Africa’s
The growing geopolitical importance:
The Russo- Ukraine war has ignited the importance of the resource-rich continent Africa. Gasping for oil and energy supplies, the Western nations have started a new scramble for Africa. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently visited three African Union (AU) member-states in August in an attempt to rejuvenate ties. German chancellor Olaf Scholz tried to gain support of the Africa nations during his first visit to Africa in May. Even, French President Macron journeyed to Africa in June to “renew relationships” with the continent.
The list is endless. Governments and corporations from all over the world are flocking to Africa to develop commercial, strategic, and diplomatic connections. This opens up a world of wide possibilities for the continent. And don’t be fooled, the rising economic trend in Africa will only get better with time. Africa is expanding into new frontiers of development on a daily basis. Contrary to the racist minds of the Western world, TFI has consistently covered the optimistic events taking place in Africa. If Africa endeavors the new scramble wisely, our conviction that the 22nd century is the African century will indeed turn into a reality.
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