Africa is of top priority for Europe -officials

Mario Pezzini and Romano Prodi jointly emphasized that Africa should be of priority for European Union’s future development policies.

Africa is of top priority for Europe -officials

World Bulletin/News Desk

Director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mario Pezzini and former president of European Comission and United Nations’s former special envoy for Sahara Romano Prodi jointly emphasized that Africa should be of the priority for European Union’s future development policies.

In the article published by “Le Monde”, Pezzini and Prodi pointed out that there is some updated data on African economic, social and political agenda, such as growing middle class and higher growth rates. So based this agenda, they suggest that Europe have to share its recources, such as its know-how, but not financial aid, if it really wants to undertake its responsibility about African continent's prosperity and its up-and coming future. Even though the tragic terror attacks and large-scale uncontrolled epidemics depict a contrasting gloomier picture. The article follows up with more detailed information about how should be the future relations, particularly social and economic ones, between African and European continents.

These are the two faces of the same reality. In order to respond to such reality appropriately, we have to understand it first. Thanks to its middle class, raw materials, demographic dynamism and middle class's swelling desire, the continent has enriched with an annual average rhythm of 5.1%, since at the beginning of 2000s. This means that the numbers doubled more than previous decades and tripled more than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, over last ten years.

The oil producer countries, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), have been the major exploiters of these favorable circumstances. However, after50 years its independance, Angola have become a country in which a position of proposing help for its former colonial power Portugal, hit by recent economic crises. Or some of other countries needed less raw materials, such as Etiopia, appears to be developing. The new fortune of the continent is largely due to the re-emergence of China, which carries 83 emergent countries, in which growth rates per capita at least doubled more than those of the countries of the OECD, over the last three years.


If we recognize as the best performance of Africa, then we would be wrong to be satisfied with it because what the continent needs is a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable growth. In fact, with very low income levels rates, the majority of African economies are growing at a rate far below the three decades of growth at 10% as China has just experienced. Their saving rates are still much lower than those of Asian economies when they mount and many are still highly dependent on external financial flows.

Otherwise, the development of Africa still created very little employement, compared to the economic indicators, were in green, on the eve of Tunisian revolution of January 2011. Nothing understood from the frustration of a population, which is enamoured of liberty, and particularly those, whose unemployed youth with diplome and excluded. On the African continent, less than 10% of young people already have some decent job. The rest of them work without remuneration in familial exploitation.

The institutions of continent, the African Union is in the lead, have posed better diagnosis: The recent development is not enough. It's a social and economic transformation just as the form of what Africa needs. The strategies and public policies will be necessary to encourage an economic diversification, to reinforce competitivity and to promote the activities in order to generate more jobs, and make use of on the African lands.


Governments have graduallly positioned these strategies on considerable natural resources of the African continent, which have a great geopolitical importance. But there remains a huge amount of work needs to be done. Expenses' average for researches Africa's natural resources more than three times, per square kilometer, those in Canada, Australia or Chili.

Also exploitation of resources and the revenues that Africa should serve for diversification of its industry and exportations. But also there have been considerable amount of enterprises particularly small-size and, a fregmentation of those newly emerged, accross the African continent.

We may applaud the increase in African trade --four times over 10 years. But its participation to the global exchange of intermediate goods as a good indicator for the capacity of a country benefits from the international commerce and the global chain of values, hardly passed %2. Africans largely dwell on supplier of basic materials intended for being valorised in Asia or in the OECD countries.

Finally, economic development doesn't turn automatiquement into prosperity of a population. To establish stable and efficient institutions, which is a gauranty for peace and prosperity, It's required to be a long-running process. So the supply of public services - health, education, security, justice, etc.-does not follow the growth curves, nor within Africa and outside. The failure of the countries affected by Ebola a health crisis to face is an example. We would be wrong, if we see these problems only the effects of bad governance and corruption. These problem exist, but if the efforts is sincere then the progress may get slower, but not stop.

Collected taxes by the African States, which have to finance these public services, are found in many cases mainly royalties paid by multinational energy companies, agricultural and mining sectors. As for the taxation of local businesses, it strangle too often SMEs, while too many and important transactions "informal" escape taxation. This is not of a base for strong social contract between state and citizen.

Economic transformation should strenghten the enterprises through African producers and consumers so that they can become, with fair taxation and efficient public policies, the primary producers for their prosperity.

Europe shouldn't be happy just hoping these changes. It should push its financial, human and technological resources on to adapt its capacity of cooperation with the updated African strategical and geopolitical data. It's needed to be shared the experience, technology and know-how with Africa, rather than financial help. Europe have to undertake its solidarity with the transformation project for the continent.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Aralık 2014, 12:38