Below is a viewpoint from Chapter 2 of the Foresight Africa 2019 report, which explores six overarching themes on the triumphs of the past years as well as strategies to tackle the remaining obstacles for Africa. Read the full chapter on managing debt and mobilizing resources.
The dawn of 2019 brings new possibilities for advancing human progress in an inclusive and sustainable world.
As our information society expands and new technologies with the potential to advance human development emerge, we are still confronted by deepening inequality within and across national boundaries. In parts of the world, technological progress is taking place in the midst of social and political regression. Nationalism, xenophobia, and unilateral action are undermining established institutions of global governance.
Despite this turbulence, African governments, civil society organizations, and citizens will remain focused in 2019 on the realization of “the Africa we want,” as outlined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. As part of advancing this agenda, the African Union is engaged in an institutional reform process that seeks to create a self-sufficient, independent, and effective organization that promotes peace and stability, industrial growth, infrastructure development, universal health care, and skills development.
This reform process will complement the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which promises to significantly increase intra-African trade and investment and enhance the integration of African markets into the global economy.
South Africa’s contribution to Africa’s march forward will be enabled by our own efforts to end a decade of economic stagnation, which include a drive to raise $100 billion in new investment in our economy. Such investment is needed if we are to make meaningful progress in reducing poverty, unemployment, and inequality in a society that still bears the scars of apartheid.
To enable this shift in our economy, we are working to improve the ease of doing business and undertaking policy reform in key growth sectors. We are implementing an economic stimulus package to reignite growth and create jobs, and we have taken the fight against corruption to individuals, companies, and institutions implicated in plundering public assets in recent years.
During 2019, our focus on economic renewal and the restoration of ethical conduct in government and business will coincide with our celebration of 25 years of freedom and democracy. This anniversary will serve as inspiration for all South Africans to build the inclusive, peaceful, prosperous, and stable South Africa envisioned in our Constitution and will keep us focused on our efforts to create a better South Africa, a better Africa, and a better world.
Africa is the world's breadbasket—or should be. It has vast arable land, grows a wide variety of crops and has vast irrigation potential with seven major rivers. Yet, Africa imported $43 billion worth of food items in 2019. Digital technologies ... are eliminating the traditional inefficiencies of smallholder food production and helping to close the yield gap.