Reflections on Ghana: Africans Will “Save” Africa

Traditionally, Africa’s growth has been quantified in terms of Foreign Aid, good governance models and foreign investment.  However, statistics are now proving that those ideas are in fact wrong.  The popular notion in most sectors, both domestically and internationally, is that African nations achieve growth through investment from large multinationals that mine natural resources, wealthy nations that bestow special trade agreements and bloated loans with high interest rates from international banking institutions.  This notion is based merely on an idea about the capability of wealthy nations and international institutions and not on actual fact.

According to CIA Fact Book figures, remittances to Africa by Africa’s diaspora accounted for nearly 40 percent of African nation’s GDP in 2013.    Remitting a massive $160 billion USD a year, Africans of the Diaspora are a huge part of the driving force of the continent’s growth.  It appears it has been a mistake all of these years to think that Western commercial and non-commercial money, no matter how plentiful and lucrative would be the catalyst for growth and change in Africa.

What is clear, is that many development initiatives have failed or produced such middling results as to be ineffective.  Initiatives by some of the foremost minds in the development space have not been able to achieve in decades what one immigrant in New Jersey has been able to do in just a few years sending $40 dollars back to family.  The idea that Western institutions, banks, trade organizations and loan agreements will save Africa is in fact laughable, as it is clearly evident that it is Africans who will “save” Africa. Years of trade policy, loans, academic studies and lectures on good governance have yielded far inferior results compared to the robust economic good that Africans of the Diaspora have been able to do for themselves.

It is also unimaginable to realize that yet another poor assumption about economics is being made by overlooking the invest power of Africans of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (African Americans), Black Britons, Afro-Caribbeans and Afro-Latinos.  African Americans alone churn through $2.1 Trillion USD and Black Britons £300 Billion GBP every year in consumer spending.  Imagine if African-Americans were buying and selling with Africa?

More importantly, these figures show that when Africans and African nations can operate freely in the market, they are keen to understand their own economic needs and create opportunity with real value to the African economy.

The facts are in—Africans will save Africa.  And Africans will grow Africa. It appears that we truly are the ones we have been waiting for . . . The truth is out; Africa just needs to see it.

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