A country and continent’s true strength and potential is its young people. Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050. However, with the population increase comes new opportunities and challenges. Brain drain has increasingly become one of Africa’s biggest problems. The continent is suffering from brain drain as its young, skilled workers depart from the region, is search of greener pastures, leaving skilled and educated professionals in short supply. Last year the IMF in its World Economic Outlook report noted that the outflow of skilled labour and young people seeking better educational opportunities outside the continent’s borders will continue rising, and the trend is worrying.
Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100, reaching 4 billion. Young people make up a large part of Africa’s population but the continent is home to aging and many of the world’s longest-serving presidents. Unemployment is a reality across the continent and with the projected doubling population by 2050 new political, social and economic challenges face Africa. While African youth still remain marginalised in terms of political and civic engagement/involvement, the trend is beginning to change, and Africa’s growing and large youth population presents great opportunities.
Africa has seen some of its leaders clinging to power for decades. Some of these leaders will rather die hanging on to power than to handing it over to someone else. There are cases where some leaders continue to cling on by changing the constitution, removing term limits to stay in power. In recent years, a number of leaders have been successfully removed from power (Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia, more recently), but there are still a number of leaders prepared to manipulate the political processes to extend their stay in power.
This is a call for contributions on all things pleasure. This Is Africa is producing an anthology that explores ideas of pleasure on the continent.
Amagugu International Heritage Centre in Zimbabwe, hosted the Matobo Heritage Festival, an unforgettable music, dance and drumming experience in the Matobo Hills. Today we bring you some of the pictures taken by This is Africa during the festival.
The succession debate in Zimbabwe’s governing party Zanu PF has reached a crescendo following recent revelations by the country’s First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe (52) that President Robert Mugabe should now name his successor and any discussion on the issue should involve Mugabe. Zanu PF has been rocked by factional fights as two opposing groups are angling to succeed the 93 year-old who has been at the helm since the country’s independence in 1980. One faction is widely thought to be led by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (74) and the rival group, G40 (Generation 40) is believed to enjoy the backing of the First Lady. Grace Mugabe has previously said Mugabe’s corpse could rule even from the grave. Elections are due in July next year.
Today an African literary giant Prof Wole Soyinka celebrates his birthday. Soyinka is considered one of the foremost African poetry, and prose writers. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category. As we celebrate Prof Soyinka’s birthday, we look at some moments in his life in pictures.
France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, has come under fire for the racist remarks he made during a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg on why there was no Marshall plan for Africa. In his response Macron said that Africa has “civilisational” problems and the continent’s challenges also have to do with “countries today still are having 7 to 8 children per woman.” These racist statements have led to wide condemnation on social media. It seems, the more things change, the more they remain the same as far as racist attitudes and stereotypes about Africa are concerned.
Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, has donated 300 cows to raise money for the Africa Union (AU) Foundation to help stop dependance on foreign aid funding. President Mugabe handed a $1 million cheque to the AU after the cattle were sold in Zimbabwe. The cheque was handed to the AU at its leaders’ summit in Ethiopia, and Pres Mugabe said his friends helped contribute to the noble cause to help end AU’s aid dependancy. However, President Mugabe’s donation has been met with strong criticism considering that the gift comes amid a severe cash crisis in Zimbabwe.