A Eurocentric economic worldview must fall. Africa has a deep history as the cradle of human thought; it was, and still is, the cradle of economics. If we are to have an accurate assessment of the African economic status quo, a Eurocentric barometer cannot be utilized as a primary benchmarking tool for quantifying Afrocentric economic progress. Nonetheless, it can be used as a tool of analysis (Case Study).
We, as Africans, need to be at the centre of decision making pertaining to advancing our economic progress. We should own, control and operate our resources, institutions, and businesses (really the economy at large) from an Afrocentric strategic perspective. We should have a thorough analysis of our socio-economic and environmental dynamics by scratching beyond the surface and formulate specific tailor-made solutions; geared towards solving our economic problems. Moreover we need to reinvent our economic strategies (policies), instead of importing them.
Africa is swiftly becoming a warehouse of imported policies, which is counter-productive towards propelling our economy forward. It does not mean if a certain economic policy is effective and flexible in one particular geographical setting, it will have the very same desired result in another. Economics is a very dynamic phenomena, it is not a one size fits all.
The economic outlook of Africa is widely informed by a Eurocentric worldview, we use imported policies as our primary point of reference to qualify (measure) African economic dynamics. It is the very same policies, which are conveniently used to loot the African resources, in the name of “Africa needs foreign investment and foreign aid”, whilst, essentially, Africa is the one actually aiding the world with its resources. I put it to you that: without Africa there is no economics. Let us take a quick glimpse at South Africa’s economic state of affairs: gold and other resources are priced by foreigners, furthermore, a vast chunk of SA’s, and other African countries, exports are mainly raw materials. You can cut it however way you want, African resources are for Africans, therefore they should be benefiting Africans.
As cliche as it might sound (however it holds a great deal of weight) a vast majority of Africans are economic slaves to those who mask as foreign investors. What are the solutions towards redressing these economic shortcomings? Industrialization must be at the forefront, and innovation must be the cornerstone towards building and maintaining a sustainable competitive edge over super powerhouses such as China, America, Germany and the like. In order to conquer, we must put emphasis on producing products of sentimental value for our people and the world-over. Furthermore, we have community power, therefore, let us mobilize and conscientise our people to redirect their energies and pockets towards black owned businesses which, ultimately, will stimulate the economy in our communities.
We live in the age of globalization, whereby it is much easier to integrate with fellow Africans, with complementary skills, beyond the parameters of artificial borders. Let us, therefore, seize the moment. We also need to go back to the drawing board, analyze and interpret our dynamic environment and, as a result, formulate our own economic systems and school of thoughts that are geared towards an African centered economic outlook. Through all the economic trials and tribulations, let us be victors not victims. An African centered economic outlook must rise against all the odds.
By Khulani Sikhosana