The objective is to attain a more prosperous continent. In a statement, member of the executive committee at the WEF and head of the Africa regional agenda Elsie Knaza said “Africa’s successful development depends on building the right conditions for its new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.”
Continental integration is a term that has become recurrent in Africa and a top priority in practically all the meetings or gatherings holding on the continent to discuss its progress. It would also be occupying the discussion table of participants at the 28th WEF on Africa cognizance of the fact that integration or connectivity is an important aspect to growth and prosperity. Stakeholders, African leaders under the auspices of the African Union have begun strategizing on how they can materialize this. But what can be done to ensure continental unity? Like pundits have always had it, for Africa to eventually be connected, countries would have to lose autonomy on several aspects. The following factors need to be addressed:
- Visa policies; travelling from one African country is still a nightmare for many Africans especially entrepreneurs due to stringent Visa policies, thus, a hindrance to integration. Likes like former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama have made repeated calls for all leaders to do away with the visa policies and ensure no-visa movement across the African continent. This would be a major boost to the renowned African continental free trade area.
- Closed borders: Due to fear of the unknown and infiltration of arms and terrorists, most African presidents have tightened security on their borders to prohibit bad elements from getting hold of their territories. This, to an extent is an impediment to regional integration, thus, is it important for WEF 2019 to address these obstacles to regional unity.
Employment is another pivotal factor that WEF 2019 has resolved to discuss. Both direct and indirect employment is a major concern on the continent. Youth unemployment is really alarming in Africa, which is not a favorable factor for the continent’s stability. Lack of jobs, especially among young Africans has witnessed an upsurge in radicalization, terrorism, among others. Unemployment has equally pushed millions of Africans to engage in perilous activities in search of greener pastures. Many have perished in the Mediterranean for this same purpose. In the first quarter of 2019, department of statistics South Africa Stats, reported that unemployment is very prevalent among youths aged between 15-24. Knowing the vulnerability of young Africans, it is of utmost interest to tackle the topic of employment at the pending World Economic Forum on Africa.
The world evolves, information evolves and man evolves. In this present era, so many beliefs and philosophies have changed due to the fact that science and technology are advancing at an unexpected rate, thus the need for the world or people to adapt to the changing times. Human intelligence has attained a laudable advancement, hence, the need to brainstorm on how to fit in this period of the fourth Industrial revolution.
Article from AFRIC editorial
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