Africa has been the protagonist in the last 6 million years, all these changes have taken place in a continent that is today marginalized. The almost 7,000 million people that inhabit the five continents have a common origin since about 100,000 years ago, a small group of African homo sapiens began the colonization of the world. In African lands arose one of the greatest civilizations of all times, the Egyptian, today we know thanks to the studies of Cheick Anta Diop, of the very strong relationship between Africa and the Egyptian civilization. Diop also analyzed, among other subjects, Africa’s contributions to humanity.
It is not out of the question, then, to think that the first monotheistic thought in history arose in Egypt with the figure of Akhenaton (1300 BC). [Africa has a history. Africa is the cradle of humanity and where history was born. That is why every African, every African must be, here and now, an added value. Each generation has to build pyramids (Joseph Ki-Zerbo). In the last centuries, African civilization interacted with Islamic and Western growth. Two external religions, first Christianity penetrating North Africa and later Islam, will take root in Africa. Perhaps that is one of the greatest threats facing Africa: a possible clash of civilizations, especially in the Sahel. Let us also remember that Africa was perhaps humanity’s greatest stigma, for 400 years it was one of the largest slave trades in history; UNESCO (2007) estimated that between «25 and 30 million people were deported, not counting the number of deaths on ships, wars and raids». A slave trade that will be one of the foundations of the dominance of Western civilization.
In the 21st century, Africa has made clear progress in democratization, political participation, and conflict resolution. By 2020, six of the economies with the highest GDP growth rates in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa and 26 African countries were on track to become middle-income countries in the same year. Accelerated population growth on the continent, which will double its population in 30 years, could, under the right circumstances, contribute to some demographic dividend. Central and West Africa are the world’s fastest growing areas, home to 166 million adolescents, 32% of its population.
Africa has the youngest middle class in the world. Some 18 million Africans enter the labor market each year. However, several challenges remain. 433 million Africans live below the poverty line, and areas of instability persist. Social and gender inequalities and climate change could compromise sustainable and sustained development and fuel destabilizing tensions. This situation is particularly acute in the Sahel, where the more than 4 million children between the ages of 6 and 14 who are out of school, mainly due to violence, are at risk of having their development curtailed and living their lives on the margins of society.
I invite you to read Matias’ post on the topic of the day.
Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being