It’s nice to be wanted, and after 42 African heads of state were recently hosted in Washington by US president Barack Obama it looks like our continent is wanted more and more.
I don’t know what the long-term results of the US-Africa Leaders Forum will be, but in the short term the event put us on the news agenda in the States. The flurry of pro-Africa insights included a posting on World.Mic by Aubrey Hruby and Eliot Pence that provided 16 ‘incredible facts’ about Africa. The material was presumably an eye-opener for most Americans and I must confess some of the information came as a surprise to me as well.
The list is an impressive breakdown of some of the developments taking place in our continent and it’s worth passing on. However, anything worth sharing is worth shortening so I’ve repackaged the facts and kept the list to 5 main points. 1. In the ‘70s, Africa’s population was half of Europe’s. Now Africa’s population is more than double that of the European Union 2. More mobile money transactions are carried out in Kenya than in the USA – Kenyans did more than $12.5 billion worth of business this way in the first six months of the year 3. More than 100 small business incubator projects have been launched in Africa in the last four years 4. At 64%, Rwanda has the world’s highest incidence of women parliamentarians. 5. Africa has four wireless cities, including Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, and the Rwanda capital, Kigali.
Another fact in the posting was put into a positive context, but highlighted a big challenge. Apparently, one in 10 of the 300 000 educated Africans in the African diaspora have Ph.Ds. We can’t afford to lose talent like this. Come on home. We’ve got a continent to build.