Africa aims at catching up with Asian Tigers



VICTORIA FALLS — African countries, with abundant resources and through economic transformation, can catch up with Asian countries in 50 years, said Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission yesterday.  Africa can do the same in the next 50 years as what the Asian economic powerhouses did over the past decades, lifting its people out of poverty and becoming prosperous, said Dlamini-Zuma, addressing the 34th Summit of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government in the Zimbabwean resort town of Victoria Falls.

The Sadc region, made up of 15 member states including Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, is home to an array of mineral resources with roughly the world’s vanadium, platinum and diamonds originating from the region, along with an estimated 36 percent of gold and 20 percent of cobalt.

Despite being endowed with vast natural resources, the region remains severely underdeveloped and heavily relies on exportation of raw materials to prop up its economies, observers say. According to the AUC chairperson, to achieve a prosperous, integrated, people-centred Africa, the governments need to transform their economies, and use the continent’s diversed resources through value addition and beneficiation.
“We need to skill hundreds of thousands of our people, focusing more on science, technology , research and innovation, she said.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma also emphasised on the development of high speed projects that could link African capitals and commercial centres. These projects will help accelerate integration, intra- African trade and industrialisation.

The annual summit, Sadc’s highest decision-making body, is being held on August 17 and 18 Zimbabwe. The theme of this year’s summit is “Sadc Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Beneficiation and Value Addition.” – Xinhua

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  • Honky Tooty

    50 years? That sounds like forever. What if Jesus Christ comes back tomorrow? The question is, what is being done TODAY (as in today). You cannot just dream yourself into getting to where China is. It’s achieved through significant work and curbing corrupt tendencies.

    • Savanhu

      At independence in 1964 Zambia’s GDP was the same as that of Malysia- $6 billion. Today Malaysia’s GDP is a healthy $220 billion plus compared to Zambia’s $14 billion. Maybe madam Zuma did not do some research before opening her mouth or she simply had to say something.

      There is no disputing Africa has unmatched resources, but we do not have the leaders who can lead us to prosperity. The level of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement in Africa is not conducive to properity. Out of all the SADC countries, only Botswana is showing potential to rival the Asian tigers. South Africa already has a huge economy but they need competent leaders to make the economy more inclusive.

  • Honky Tooty

    For an example, Russia around the 90s at the crumbling of Soviet Union was a broken country. They’ve achieved a lot in almost the same period as South Africa post-democracy 1994.

  • Said O. Ali

    We’ve been there before. African leaders and their cronies are good at shouting about dreams but what they do leaves everybody skeptical. What is this about dreams in Africa? If they were not able to steer their countries for the last 50 years, why do they think we’d believe them now?

  • moyo

    There is no strategy on the ground to achieve that dream.Let us get real in Africa.Hard work,integrity,good planning,etc is what we need instead of wild dreaming.