Africa Is Rising

By Anelisiwe Miza

The history of Africa begins with its prehistory and the emergence of Homo sapiens in East Africa, continuing into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states – our glittering prize remains our people. Some early evidence of agriculture in Africa dates from 16,000 BCE, and metallurgy from about 4000 BCE. The recorded history of early civilization arose in Egypt, and later in Nubia, the Maghreb and the Horn of Africa – our people have always been innovative since BC and we therefore hold the potential to allow Africa to grow.

As early as the 15th century we have had to fight for our freedom as slaves and from colonialism amongst other things and we remain soaring; gaining our independence and since then growing in our right being governed by our own which indicates the innovation, the resources and the leadership is right here in Africa. As decolonisation took place, we began to rise – this is evidence of Africa and the power she holds in her own right.

"Merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road towards emancipation, you have committed yourself to fight against all forces that seek to use your blackness as a stamp that marks you out as a subservient being." The Definition of Black Consciousness, I Write What I Like, 1978.

Identity is a powerful weapon that can either break or build us as a continent. It is the way we view ourselves which in turn is the way we project ourselves to the rest of the world. It is the determinant of what is to become of our beloved Africa. It will lead us to being a strong continent and this is what Biko was trying to bring to light. Acceptance and celebration of who and what we are and of each other as different nations but one continent. No continent has more potential and infinite possibilities than Africa.

This is the only thing that stands between us and the glittering prize that loiters in the African air. Acceptance and celebration of Africa by Africans. Until we stop demeaning our own land and taking the face other continents place on us, we cannot move as a people, we will not move as a continent. Africa is rising and our people need to own it. Steve Biko continues to say: “It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realise that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth."
We Blacks, I Write What I Like, 1978.

Our glittering prize remains our pride, pride in which we are... African... African and beautiful and everything that entails: Pride, determination and resilience.

As it stands, we have several development banks: African development bank, eastern & southern African trade and development bank, east African bank, Arab bank for economic development in Africa, development bank of southern Africa but to name a few all working to develop trade, the economy and development of Africa as a whole. We have also seen South Africa joining BRICS, a growing power with a development bank emerging from it. A victory not only for South Africa but the rest of Africa with a promise to feed into our continent, Africa is rising.

Africa’s GDP has doubled over the past ten years and is not stagnant. It is emerging as one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. In 2010, The IMF forecasted Africa to grab seven of the top ten places over the next five years. Africa’s economy is growing with economies such as Nigeria booming with its real GDP growth is 7.1% in 2012.Rwanda taking innovative steps in easening African movement with its new visa laws for Africans and we can only hope it is the first of many to follow. We are becoming a united front and this will increase economic activity amongst ourselves. These are just examples of Africa rising.

We still suffer and mourn the political unrest that ravages our nations. However, we continue to fight for equality, stability and freedom. Today, we continue to celebrate the journey we started centuries ago. We celebrate the African Union alongside many other African forums and institutions in their achievements in building a better Africa through adopting conflict resolutions through mediation efforts, peace-keeping missions, transitional justice processes and uniting Africa.

Africa is rising with immense potential and infinite possibilities. Currently, Africa supplies 11% of the world’s fuel and mining is growing. We are rich in natural resources – there lies opportunities and possibilities not only for trade but also to explore innovative energy systems than can sustain us and explore this aspect as we tackle the challenge of the rapidly-deteriorating climate. Africa has seen growth in internet and media communication which has increased the speed of consumption in African households. Development and the adoption of technology have led to the growth of banking systems and e-commerce as a whole. Africa has a growing workforce with Africans becoming more educated, the possibilities are infinite.

The turmoil we are in today is a better advancement than before and it is with that fact that we should know that the darkness that still roams is a potential for light that will shine in Africa; potential for growth and for nations to watch Africa rise once again. And although immense poverty, political instability, corruption and inadequate infrastructure remain our biggest challenges and remains the darkness that shadows Africa, Africa is rising. Our glittering prize remains: the will to change and grow, unity to work together and make it possible, the strength and resilience to see this continent reach its fullest potential and its destiny.

The possibilities lie in our land and in our people. This is our glittering prize and with it AFRICA IS RISING.

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