June 10, 2014
On May 20, a new book Africa 2050: Realizing the Continent’s Full Potential was introduced at an official side event to the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) held in Kigali, capital of Rwanda. The book published by Oxford University Press in January 2014 was a collaborative undertaking between JICA-RI and Centennial Group International, US-based think tank.
This side event assembled 102 people, including Raymond Zate Zoukpo, First Vice President of the AfDB, ministers from the member countries, and representatives of think tanks and international organizations. Senior Special Advisor Kunio Okamura representing JICA delivered the opening and closing remarks.
The book is based on a report predicting economic and social structures in Africa in 2050. JICA-RI and Centennial Group International released this report on the sidelines of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Yokohama in June 2013. From JICA-RI, Director Hiroshi Kato contributed as one of the editors and Senior Research Fellow Tomonori Sudo authored a chapter on climate change.
The volume lays out the vision for Africa 2050 that the Continent will see burgeoning population and accelerating urbanization towards 2050. Thus it indicates that creating job continuously to absorb the redundant labor force will be a key factor for the stability in economic and social order. Furthermore, the book points out that transformation of the economic structures will be an essential challenge for sustainable growth in Africa. It also emphasizes the need to develop market and investment climates in order to prompt the private sector to invest and to foster human capital through enhancing education and health services.
During the launch event, Dr. Callisto Madavo, one of the editors of the book, voiced his view that while the economic growth in Africa since the 1990s has led to an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), Africa might face a risk of losing its economic growth unless the economic transformation is sustained. He expressed his expectations that African people and their governments will share the vision laid out in the book and take concrete actions.
Dr. Theodore Ahlers, another editor, explained that the book offers concrete action plans based on the three strategic frameworks—(1) prosperous people, (2) competitive economies, and (3) the integrated continent—while highlighting the importance of job creation. He stressed that capable states, strong institutions, and rule of law along with achievement-oriented, pragmatic, and proactive leadership are imperative to achieve the proposals in the book.
During the Q&A session, ministers and senior officials from each country engaged in a lively discussion, focusing on the long-term vision for the future of Africa in 2050. Many opinions and comments centered on the regional integration, economic integration including the single currency, and the role of the private sector.
|Day||May 20, 2014(Tue)|