According to United Nations estimates, Africa’s population was 1,420, 587,823 as of Friday, December 30, 2022, as tracked in real time by Worldmeters. According to the source, this equates to 16.72% of the total world population. Several sources also indicate that children, women, and youth make up a large proportion of the population, indicating the continent’s youth and the ability of women to continue reproducing in multiple folds. This has always been linked to the continent’s potential contribution of an additional 1.1 billion people to the global population by 2050.
Aside from the continent’s population size, it also has several natural resources that have yet to be fully utilized by political and business leaders for the genuine benefit of Africans and residents. The continent contains 40% of the world’s gold and up to 90% of its chromium and platinum reserves. Africa has the world’s largest reserves of cobalt, diamonds, platinum, and uranium.
It is a continent that has been linked to a number of socioeconomic and political conflicts and crises as a result of a failure to identify individual differences holistically and develop better strategies for establishing mutual interests and benefits. Despite this, the continent has never been too neglected by countries in the global north and some in the global south, including China and Iran, for natural resource exploration and people harnessing for economic growth through migration.
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A quick navigational search using “Africa” as of December 30, 2022 yields approximately 5.8 billion results in published information. The continent came in second to Europe, which had 6.1 billion results (see Exhibit 1). Examining Africans in terms of people, professionals, business leaders, and political leaders yields a variety of results. Our search yielded more results for African people and professionals than for business and political leaders. We also discovered that opportunities in Africa produced more results than opportunities in African countries (see Exhibit 2).
Exhibit 1: Volume of publications about continents on search engine as at December 31, 2022
One of the most important implications of these outcomes is that the world is very interested in Africans and African professionals. With this, our analyst observes that Africa’s growth is in the hands of its people, particularly professionals in various sectors and industries. Our analyst also notes that having a strong interest in opportunities in Africa indicates that people all over the world are interested in advancing Africa, which is an opportunity that the people of the continent must seize wholeheartedly as it prepares to join the rest of the world in 2023.
The poor performance of African political leaders in comparison to business and professional leaders suggests that the world does not value political leaders as dominant players in exploring Africa and its investment and/or business climate. It demonstrates the importance of business leaders and professionals forming strong alliances across sectors and industries in 2023 in order to assist pan-African political leaders in righting the wrongs in the areas of socioeconomic indicators. Already, Africa appears to be in the grip of a severe debt crisis at the state, regional, and national levels. According to our analyst, escaping the debt trap will necessitate multidimensional and multicentric strategies from business leaders and professionals across the continent.
Exhibit 2: Volume of publications about key indicators for Africa on search engine as at December 31, 2022
We have seen how political leaders have visited the West and Europe in the belief that the two geopolitical powers have solutions to the continent’s numerous socioeconomic and political challenges. We have seen how countries on both geopolitical axes scrambled for natural resource exploration in 2022 through their business investors. We’ve also seen a large number of Africans migrate to the global north and some countries in the global south in search of greener pastures. In all aspects, Africa requires radical changes to achieve radical growth in 2023 and beyond. And it is up to business leaders, professionals, and pan-African political leaders to make it happen. Failure to use the key judiciously in 2023 and beyond would have disastrous consequences for Africa’s development by 2050.