Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

How Marginal is Africa?
Yesterday I came across a very informative article written by David Hale of Resource Investor, regarding Africa's role in the global village. He argues that although many have written off Africa as a strategic continent since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Africa is still a critical factor in the global socio-political sphere.

He argues that Africa matters due to factors such as:

1. The war on terrorism
2. The provision of skilled labour to supplement Europe's declining population growth rates.
3. The global provision of raw materials (including oil)

He goes on to note the political governance requisites to be able to leverage these factors, as well as the historical provision of aid to African countries to meet these ends. He then extrapolates what the global powers need to do to assist in this process, including:

1. The G7 bolstering their aid and focusing more of it on the governance process.
2. The G7 opening their markets for agricultural products to developing countries.
3. The G-7 countries promoting more investment by their private sectors in Africa.

It's a well constructed, well researched and fascinating article, well worth the rather long read. The entire article is available here.