Written by: Ms Amanda Akuokor Clinton, (MSc. in Africa Politics, SOAS, London)
"With the wind of Coronavirus change, a global economic fallout has and will continue to reverberate around the world.
Africa is however strategically positioned to capitalize and not fall during this time for the following reasons:-
1. We are currently in the position to write our own narrative with good policies that ensure we stem the pandemic from further reaching and expanding on our shores so that the virus does not cause major infection and fallout throughout Africa. Our motivations being that we are not prepared to absorb such devastating catastrophe therefore the short term loss of staying at home will lead to the long term gain of re-entering world markets.
2. We can ensure that essential industry carries on, with people also working from home and connecting with individuals abroad online as the West realigns their economic focuses and allegiances, turning to Africa for some of that solution
3. We can map and tap into the industries that are going to do well despite the change that has come: gold, wellness, grocery, online education, remote work apps, entertainment (gaming and non-gaming) etc.
4. We can create opportunities with the knowledge that in every economic downturn globally, there are winners and losers, therefore we must choose to win and to win big in order to improve our currencies; define with more clarity who enters and doesn't enter our territory and altogether establish the type of sovereignty foreseen by Nkrumah and those that founded the African Union
5. Africa is familiar with pain and suffering, therefore, we have become stronger in knowing how to adapt in the face of adversity. Therefore in planning, strategizing, capitalizing and reaping rewards that were not previously available to us, we will turn this continent around for the greater good of our nations
6. We can plan ahead for when our African borders reopen since with the coming into force of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in multiple African countries we will be able to strategically take advantage of this massive free trade area in due course
The general objectives of AFTCA are to:-
Create a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent
Establish a liberalised market through multiple rounds of negotiations
Aid the movement of capital and people, facilitating investment
Encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security
7. We can spend time at home and decide what we do and do not want individually and as a nation, strategizing and not panicking for the spoil is truly available for those who know what they want, work towards that and change the narrative that has so far defined our position in world affairs."
The writer is the founder of Clinton Consultancy: a global consultancy house based in Africa.
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