Home Community Insights Rebranding Africa and Re-imagining its Role in International Relations

Rebranding Africa and Re-imagining its Role in International Relations

Rebranding Africa and Re-imagining its Role in International Relations

Africa’s weak positioning in the global economy has continued to contribute to its poor image and the pithy alms, in the form of financial aids, that is often extended to it by other parts of the world especially countries in the global north. Africa is generally seen as the poverty home of the world. This explains why Africa often appears to be a default location for most humanitarian projects or poverty alleviation programmes of international organisations.

The big challenge however is that many of the resources that have flown into the region in terms of financial aids from the first world countries and international non-government organisations have not been able to save the continent from its perennial economic turmoil. Rather than being used to address fundamental problems, much of the aids that come into Africa have been centred on nursing the symptoms.

In light of the above, many African thought leaders have pointed to the urgent need to reconstruct Africa’s image and redefine its relationship with other parts of the world, especially countries in the global north.

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One of Africa’s thought leaders who have been quite vocal about Africa’s emancipation from foreign exploitation is Nigerian financial luminary and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu. His core propositions is that the international communities should consider a new engagement with Africa, moving beyond just giving aids to a more socioeconomically impactful relationship such as sponsoring empowerment programmes for the African youth and supporting a sustainable private sector. It is not farfetched that a genuine interest to re-engage Africa is one that is done in a way that prioritizes mutual benefits and self-reliance.

Speaking at the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations which held on September 20, 2023, Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu also stressed on the need for the international non-government organisations and government of the first world countries including their private sector players to begin to see Africa’s development as a priority, not only for Africa but also for their own interest.

It cannot be emphasised enough why Africa needs to invest more in the arts and creative economy where many of its youths are thriving and showcasing its sociocultural richness to the world. Many of the challenges that Africa face today such as poverty, climate change, insecurity, food security, education etc will certainly be brought to nought if more efforts are made to empower the youth through entrepreneurship and the creative economy.

Africa’s private-sector players also have a very huge role to play in the development of a deepened Africa trade and investments relationship with other parts of the world. A key foundation of this, according to Mr Tony Elumelu, is a seamless payment infrastructure between Africa’s private sector players and their trade partners from other part of the world. More importantly, Africa’s business leaders need to begin to change the narrative domestically through corporate social responsibilities.

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