The 21st century belongs to China—but the 22nd will be Africa’s
It is evident that the 21st century will most likely belong to China and be reffered to as the Chinese Century. But with a rapid increase in Chinese investment and African innovation, the 22nd century may see the rise of the African Century.
China’s investment in Africa will create an infrastructure for African culture and innovation to thrive. Chinese investments and contracts in sub-Saharan Africa total $299 billion from 2005 to 2018, according to the China Investment Global Tracker, and in 2018, Chinese president Xi Jinping vowed to invest a further $60 billion into African nations. So my question is, will most of us still be alive to see Africa finally claim it’s right as the most influential continent in the world?
One of the factors that will help Africa is its immense geographic size which will command our attention in positive, sustainable pathways well into the 22nd century. The population of the African continent will double to 4.2 billion by 2100, ensuring that soon two out of every five people on this Earth will be African. Secondly, as Africans become more upwardly mobile and move out of the continent and across the world, it will place the full breadth of African culture on display. This African diaspora will also send back a net inflow of money to enrich their urban and rural economies: African migrants sent back a record-breaking $37.8 billion in cash to sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, and this amount will likely reach a high of $39.6 billion this year. Lastly, Africa and its diverse nations reflect our core ancestral cradle with their strengths in fashion, design, and the potential for plant-based medicines. The continent’s capacity to advance its urban middle class while retaining its culturally rich, dizzying variety of cultures provides Africa’s real power.
As Italy led the European renaissance, it is for these reasons that Africa will lead the next. The 22nd Century belongs to US, it belongs to Africa!