Africa has more than potential

© EDITOR — In 2009, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including the world’s largest reserves of coltan and significant quantities of the world’s cobalt.

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The United States Geological Survey estimates that the DRC has one million tonnes of lithium resources. The mineral industry of Africa is the largest in the world. Africa is the second largest continent, with 30 million km² of land, which implies large quantities of resources.

The 10 African minerals of highest economic value are:
1. Oil and gas.
Petroleum oil and natural gas is the driving force behind many economies in the continent
2. Gold.
Gold is the most mined resource in Africa
3. Diamonds.
African countries greatly contribute to the world’s share of natural diamonds.
4. Copper.
5. Coal.
6. Platinum
7. Uranium.
8. Aluminium.
9. Bauxite.
10. Iron steel.

Agriculture in Africa has a massive social and economic footprint. More than 60 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa are smallholder farmers, and about 23 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture.

Yet, Africa’s full agricultural potential remains untapped. Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries, as a sector it can therefore contribute towards major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger, boosting intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialisation and economic diversification, sustainable.

Tourism remains a key driver of Africa’s economy and contributes to job creation. Tourism has become an important source of income for many regions and even entire countries. It also generates opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy associated with tourism.

Underdevelopment in Africa is as a result of many contributing factors which include poverty, illiteracy, very large extended families, corruption and lack of accountability. Poverty is one of the causes of underdevelopment in Africa. Unfortunate events such as the slave trade, wars and other bad incidents also contributed.

Poverty in Africa is caused by a number of factors including corruption and poor governance, limited employment opportunities, poor infrastructure, poor resource usage, wars and unending conflicts, poor World Bank and IMF policies, among others.

The poor World Bank and IMF policies have also contributed to the downfall of the economies of several African countries.

Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies implemented by African countries, intended to control inflation and generate foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased unemployment, poverty and economic polarisation.

In May this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that African countries could face revenue shortfalls if the continent starts the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement as planned.

The IMF maintained that, although the agreement will boost trade on the continent, it will negatively affect earnings and employment opportunities in some sectors of the member countries’ economy.

I believe that Africa tariff-free access to a huge and unified market will encourage manufacturers and service providers to leverage economies of scale; an increase in demand will instigate an increase in production, which in turn will lower unit costs.

Consumers will pay less for products and services as businesses expand operations and hire additional employees. We look to gain more industrial and value-added jobs in Africa because of intra-African trade.

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