How Africa could one day rival China | The Economist

published on July 2, 2020


this is one of the most populous cities

in sub-saharan Africa more than 4

million people live here among them

eight-year-old Ida a coding wizard Emma

bet test by the manager of a big flower

farm and ass affirming Geshe a pioneer

in Ethiopia's solar power industry all

three illustrates how Africa's fortunes

might change in the coming decades the

continent faces many challenges

including the recent spread of kovat 19

but in the long term there is reason to

be optimistic by the end of this century

Africa is set to play a much bigger role

in world affairs the Asian growth

miracle is likely to slow Africa's rapid

rise could be next


some 8 million natives whom the fights

still look upon in the words of Rudyard

Kipling as the new court sullen people's

half devil and half child for hundreds

of years Africa was dismissed by much of

the rest of the world today Africa is

too big to ignore

it's population is growing faster than

any other continent the UN predicts that

by 2100 one human being in three will be

African doomsayers worried about

overpopulation they fear that the number

of mouths will grow faster than the food

supply and people will starve but the

UN's population predictions may be wrong

if Africa continues to grow at the

expected rate its population will almost

double by 2050 to two and a half billion

people but in the second half of the

century forecasts diverge depending on

different rates of fertility the medium

rate which the UN expects implies the

population would almost double again by

2100 that forecast is based on the

belief that the number of children each

woman has were decline only slowly that

underestimates the impact of education

on girls like Ida my name is Ida I am 88

and a half years old my birthday is

coming and live India

at school either isn't a star student

she loves learning and so do many other

girls in Ethiopia primary school

enrolment rates for girls increased from

around 34 percent in 2000 to 81 percent

in 2015 we acted education has a strong

influence on fertility rates a woman

with no formal education will have six

or more children this full staff or if

she finished primary school and – about

– if she finished secondary school I

want to go like this first time in Katy

prep and then I go to grade one after 12

and then I go to high school and then I

go to college and then I go to


according to one study if the rate of

social development in particular the

education of girls doesn't change the

population of Africa will be as high as

the UN predicts but look what happens to

the population size if there's even a

median improvement and development and

if there is a rapid rise towards the end

of the century the population will

decline which means the more girls are

educated the lower Africa's population

is likely to be

I'm telling you that girls could do

anything they want everyone in Ethiopia

knows that girls could do whatever boys

could do which raise out car there

both Ida's grandmother and mother were

well-educated and have had successful

careers educated women are more likely

to enter the workforce

despite being half of Africa's

population women generated just 33

percent of the continents collective GDP

in 2018 if women enter the workforce at

the same rate as men Africa could add 10

percent to its GDP over the next five

years and it's not just what girls like

Ida learn in school that will affect

Africa's economic future but what they

learn outside school

Eider is learning to code how many sides


my brother wanted to code efforts he

told our mom can we go to coding school

and then she said okay I'll sign it up

when we grow up we could be wonderful

coders we can teach more people to cook

goodness me with Olympus Ebola yeah I

cook anyone can code nine time tomorrow

but project manager me by discarding

school was set up by better hand se who

like Ida started coding at a very young

age on my ninth birthday I asked my

father for some money and he wouldn't

give it to me we made a deal that if I

made any money on the computer that we

had I'll be able to use it to celebrate

my birthday I would pitch my services

which were basically editing their

videos and storing some apps on their

phones I made about $90 that day so I

figured okay this is what I need to do

so that's when I first started coding

another more scratch I'm gonna scratch

battle hem is just 20 years old but it

already has a clear vision for the

future of Ethiopia's tech scene

artificial intelligence blockchain and a

lot of other things are happening around

the world this also will happen to us

eventually so we need to be ready more

than ever this generation needs to learn

how to be smarter than the machines

they're using but also have the skills

to really be in the job market in the

next five to ten years

not everyone can code however to prosper

Africa needs to create for your kinds of



at the Eastern industry zone outside

addis ababa thousands of Ethiopians are

arriving for their chefs

the manufacturing park was built by a

Chinese firm to house factories making

textiles and shoes Ethiopia's

manufacturing industry is a success

story the value of its textiles and

clothes exports tripled over the past 10


and whereas manufacturing share of GDP

is shrinking in much of the rich world

in sub-saharan Africa has been growing

since 2011 yet for all the positives the

path to prosperity has potholes

productivity is lower and exports are

growing more slowly than expected

employee turnover is high what's more

covert 19 has men the borders have

slumped in the past few weeks

Ethiopia is unusual in Africa for its

focus on rapid industrialization across

the rest of the continent there's been

an expansion into what are known as

industries without smokestacks sectors

such as tourism IT and flour family it's

picking time Ethiopia's Highlands Laura

Rose farm under the watchful eye of fur

manager and abet Tesfaye federal butter

Tara wood every day 80,000 stems are

harvested from the farms 31 vast

greenhouses to be exported all over the

world the flower industry is new for

Ethiopia it's really a challenging

business because we compete with other

countries to grow the quality you have

to keep the start the international

standard this is exported commodity it's

helped us for the country for foreign

exchange Ethiopia's horticultural

industry employs 180,000 people it's

Africa's second largest flower exporter

after Kenya Emma Beth's farm employs

almost 500 local workers most are

unskilled laborers who are trained on

the job I think it's good for the


because if the industry is nearby to

them I think they get access to come and

to work otherwise it will be really very

difficult for the workers just to live

and survive to help create jobs for

their growing populations African

governments are faced with the decision

Lila so spider made Victor some think

the quickest path out of poverty is to

copy China to industrialize rapidly

giving workers jobs and factories others

reason the since China already dominates

manufacturing the best bet is to do

something else some see opportunities

and services such as IT and industries

without smokestacks such as horticulture

regardless of the route Africans take

they need to invest in technology Emma

bets farm is run by a computerised

system controlling temperature sunlight

and irrigation

how many waters would be perfect

in total per hectare is around 40 with

EQ this is smart agriculture ideas like

this need to spread more than half of

Africans make their living from farming

it's highly unproductive

although most Africans farm they

generate just 15 percent of Africa's GDP

that's because the way many people farm

has not changed much for hundreds of


modernizing farming could increase

yields to help feed rising populations

it would free lots of farm workers to go

and find better paid jobs in the cities

for one of the biggest obstacles to

successful agriculture or indeed other

industries is Africa's poor

infrastructure including its power

supply in a compound outside Addis Ababa

Machado is showing off her public shower

rotini a magazine Tunisia interrogators

would eat or dinner concerned animal

system what is the first radish Ethiopia

like many African countries is beset by

chronic electricity shortages

the bisciotti has found a way to keep

her business running by using power from

the Sun until the day it's too hard you

know the solar-powered water heater was

a gift from ass affirming Geshe the boss

of one of Ethiopia's first companies to

manufacture them people started coming

to take sure they start coming from

three towns around this area because

there is no public shower in all of them

people come in pain especially from

thirsty up to Sunday she's busy she made

a lot of money it makes money from the

Sun as Affairs business also shows one

way that Africa can help curb a global

threat climate change Africa emits just

2 percent of global greenhouse gases but

some experts predict it will be the

continent that suffers the most from

climate change Ethiopia is a growing

economy when if a starts developing


establishes many industries then she

needs industry energy Ethiopia has ample


so why don't we take advantage of this

the Ethiopian government is spending

billions of dollars building a giant dam

on the Blue Nile River to generate

hydropower the ossifer is struggling to

get investment into his business and is

frustrated by bureaucracy Ethiopia is

more readable

especially in the last four or five

years government organization talked

about in terms of practice I don't know

how far it went

ultimately the key to addressing

Africa's problems is better governance

many countries have terrible

infrastructure rampant corruption

obstructed officials and occasional

armed revolts but Africans have more

political choices than before in the

1980s most African countries were

autocracies thirty years later most have

become substantially more democratic in

2018 a br mads became Prime Minister of

Ethiopia we promised democracy infuse

his work won him the Nobel Peace Prize

yet what all this points to a more open

Ethiopia the country could still be torn

apart by ethnic uprisings you can read

more about this by clicking on the eye

Ethiopia is one of many countries in

Africa that are making encouraging

progress in the short term the continent

may be severely damaged by covet 19 but

in the long term there are good reasons

to be optimistic more girls are going to

school economies are growing and

countries are adapting to climate change

but to match China's economic success

Africa can't just copy China

it needs more competent and accountable

governments that provide basic services

uphold the rule of law and educate their

growing populations if it does the next

century could yet be African century

you agree more of the economist

reporting on Africa by clicking on the

link opposite that will take you to the

special report of Africa's future as

well as our ongoing coverage on Africa

and covered 19 don't forget to like us

subscribe to our Channel and thanks so

much for watching


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