As we set forth into a new year, there were some facts that were revealed in Africa in 2015. We will be reviewing just 5 of these facts although there are hundreds of them.
I. In the previous year, Ethiopia’s growth continues to set the trail ablaze —between 2004 and 2014 it grew an average 10.9%, only China has ever managed to exceed 6% annually. But this growth, which the World Bank terms “statistically exceptional, was delivered in rather non-orthodox ways, which together the development lender admiringly terms the “Ethiopian Way”.
II. Ethiopia in the past year has been a revelation to Africa, from planning to become Africa’s power house to the introduction of modern trains in its transport system. Ethiopia surely is one country that deserves to be celebrated in Africa for the year that just ended.
II. Last year, the government of Gabon set its name in gold after ensuring that majority of its population has access to electricity and there is a massive urbanization of the country. Some 89.3% of Gabonese has access to electricity. This is the highest in mainland sub-Saharan Africa, second to only Mauritius and Seychelles. The oil-rich Central African country is already the most urbanized on the continent, according to the UN, with 87% of its 1.7 million people living in urban areas.
III. We also reported towards the end of the year, a report which showed that Zimbabwe has the highest quality of life over the past 4 years. The South African country has recently been seen as an economic basket case, but is seemingly possible for donors to carry a country past its level, despite the best efforts of its politicians. The UN report showed that the country improved in the quality of life rankings being the highest in Africa.
IV. The previous year also saw China revealing its military ambitions in the continent, despite vigorous protestations and friendly summits within the continent. Beijing, which this year for the first time sent in its first peacekeepers to Africa, is now finalizing a naval base deal with strategic Djibouti, with Namibia seemingly next. The Chinese-Africa partnership also grew stronger in the previous year with the China-Africa summit which gained massive patronage across the continent.
V. Finally, for the day, the African Union became more serious this previous year, as it had threatened Burundi with the forcible deployment of troops, citing extreme circumstances of the conflict in the country. If it manages to deploy it, the action would have silenced critics, they are endless, who see it as toothless and nothing more than a strongmen’s talking club. But across board, the union became very active in the affairs of its member nations just like other continental bodies are across the globe.
So, that’s all for the day on the 5 things that was revealed in Africa in 2015, I will continue on the series some other time and maybe tomorrow. Cheers and have a wonderful year ahead, Africa.