While NGOs announce one of the most serious humanitarian crises in Africa over the last sixty years, no short-term response is envisaged. Despite the most important reserves in terms of natural resources, Africa is not always in a position to meet the vital needs of its populations, starting with access to water. Reporting in Ethiopia, on the sidelines of the 2017 Tana Forum, the theme of which was “Governance of Natural Resources in Africa”
By Charly Celinain, Special Envoy to Ethiopia
While Africa has the largest reserves of natural resources (12% of the world’s oil reserves, 40% of the world’s gold deposits and about two-thirds of the world’s most suitable land for agriculture and Forests), the continent struggles to meet the most basic needs of its population, starting with access to water. With a major economic impact: the poor assessment of natural resources in Africa results in a loss of $ 50 billion US per year, more than foreign direct investment and development aid combined in Africa. But also safe, as in the last 60 years, between 40 and 60% of internal armed conflicts were linked to natural resources according to ADB…
A loss of 50 $ billion US dollar per year
And if, on the eve of a human drama without a common measure for nearly sixty years, NGOs are alerting and national and pan-African public players have no short term response, starting with the African Union which, at its inception, had promised to ensure the independence of Africa, including its natural resources. However, its leaders met recently to reflect on the issue.
Valuing and preserving
They also participated in the 2017 Tana Forum, the theme of which was specifically “Governance of Natural Resources in Africa”, held in Ethiopia on April 22 – 23. Valuing and preserving these resources is the challenge of the Africa of tomorrow. How do the leaders of the countries concerned prepare to counter a major humanitarian tragedy on the short term… but also on the long term basis, while the African population is slated to double by 2050?
The only alternative: training the leaders of tomorrow
All these issues were discussed on the sidelines of the Forum which brought together institutional, public and economic players as well as representatives of associations. For those we met, the only alternative is education: training tomorrow’s leaders to ensure better management of natural resources is what is at stake for the years to come.
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