Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi
RRecently, precisely on Wednesday May 25, the world joined the African continent in celebrating the annual Africa Day, a day set aside for the anniversary of the signing of the OAU (Organization of African Unity ) which became the current African Union. (TO). It originated on May 25, 1963, when the leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed the founding charter of the organization in Addis Ababa.
Since then, it has been reported that the commemoration of the historic day by Africans and Africans in the Diaspora has served as an opportunity for each country to organize events with a view to fostering rapprochement between the African peoples. It has now become a deeply rooted tradition in all African countries, and it represents the symbol of the struggle of the entire African continent for liberation, development and economic progress.
This year’s celebration focuses on nutrition, with the African Union’s theme for the year 2022: “Building Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent”. Alongside the commemoration of the day, the extraordinary summit of the African Union is currently being held in Malabo.
While the continent’s leaders are celebrating the continent’s flashes of socio-economic achievements, there are, however, reasons for Africans and true lovers of the continent to feel concerned about the happenings on the continent. for it confirms more than anything else as true the argument of some European scholars that even though Africans have recently witnessed remarkable improvement in their culture and civilization, there remains a black continent lit only by the flashes of foreign penetration and which has contributed nothing to world civilization.
Indeed, Africans may have, in my view, openly manifested a remarkable improvement in their culture and civilization. This notwithstanding the fact that after almost 60 years of independence, African countries are continually looking to other continents aid, tells the story of a continent that lacks the capacity to assume responsibility for its actions and initiatives for values.
For a better understanding of this piece, Chinese development aid to Africa, according to reports, totaled 47% of its total foreign aid in 2009 alone, and from 2000 to 2012, it funded 1,666 projects. public aid in 51 African countries. Additionally, the Brookings InstitutionAidData study found that at least 70% of China’s foreign aid went to Africa from 2000 to 2014.
The realization that the second is the most populous in the world (1.2 billion people) also resonates apprehension, but unfortunately only represents 1.4% of global manufacturing value added in the first quarter of 2020. This is further exacerbated by the fact that out of more than 51 countries in Africa as a continent, only South Africa has qualified as a member of BRICS, an acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Similarly, a book titled: Technology and the Wealth of Nations chronicled the oblique and unsustainable efforts that various African governments have made in the past to get their nations out of the technological wood, and outlined the way forward.
Apart from the thoughtful and masterful examination of the inspiring relationship between technological development and the economic progress of nations, the book ably argues with facts that the starting point of all economies is the introduction of manufacturing or technology. ‘industrial economy. The author establishes that Africa’s protracted economic situation centers on the two fundamental challenges of a manufacturing economy.
It traces Africa’s economic backwardness to its roots – a key problem that has kept our policy makers disabled and our economies paralyzed. With documented facts about the institutionalized crippling policies and organized sequences of stagnant events of the colonial masters, the author asks: “Why did Europe, which hosted industrial revolutions in the 17th and 18th centuries, not she did not allow technological education in Africa in about 50 years of colonization, and prefers to send aid afterwards?
Of course, the above question, in my opinion, may not lack merit considering that Africa is currently dotted with projects built with aid from Europe, the United States of America (United States) and, more recently, China.
Whatever the actual situation, I believed and still believe that there was something technologically troubling that further characterizes Africa as a dark continent.
More so, looking at current events and commentary on the continent, it is evident that fair-minded and far-sighted Africans support the position as expressed by the book. Coming out of the continent’s technological debacle and the current wealth disparity between nations (industrial economies), Oragwu argued that the current disparity in wealth between nations (industrial economies) represented by highly industrialized Europe, North America and Japan on the one hand and most developing countries (non-industrial economies), especially those in ‘Sub-Saharan Africa on the other hand is mainly the difference in the technical capacity and ability to produce and manufacture modern technologies and to use the technologies to produce and manufacture globally competitive industrial goods and to support the dominant tasks of science and technology in the economy
The disparity, he added, has since widened considerably and will continue to widen as long as developing countries become almost totally dependent on industrial nations for the technologies and industrial inputs they need to sustain their economies.
Therefore, the only way to close the wealth gap is for the developing countries of the world to strengthen their national endogenous capacities and their capacities to produce modern technologies and competitive industrial goods in their own economies. He concluded.
Catalyzing the process will again require African leaders to borrow bodies from Asian tigers in order to uplift Africa’s industrial soul.
Utomi writes from Lagos