Africa Day: Addressing Challenges Facing Continent

As Africa observes another Africa Day with the slogan ‘Our Africa Our Future’, there are threats the continent must deal with to secure a better future.

Development Diaries reports that Africa Day 2023 marks the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU).

Three of Africa’s largest security concerns include intra-state conflict, terrorism, and unlawful political transitions.

Also, the economic, social, and environmental growth of the continent is seriously threatened by climate change.

In a 2016 report the African Development Bank (AfDB) noted that out of Africa’s nearly 420 million young people aged between 15 and 35, one-third were unemployed and discouraged.

Evidence posits that the health, livelihoods, and food security of people in Africa have clearly been impacted by the large increase in warming that has occurred in Africa over the past 50 to 100 years.

Thankfully, the continent, during COP27, signed an agreement to establish a ‘loss and damage’ fund for countries badly affected by climate change.

However, much remains to be done to operationalise the fund and advance progress on climate adaptation, mitigation, and awareness.

As a result of numerous difficulties and shocks such as the rise in the frequency of droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events and other challenges, Africa’s food systems have become more vulnerable, putting the continent’s ability to feed its growing population at risk.

Many African children are out of school as a result of challenges like climate shocks, and violence, which has negatively impacted their academic performance.

According to a World Bank report, nearly nine in ten children in sub-Saharan Africa are unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of ten.

It further revealed that about 160 million students in eastern and southern African countries were out of school for some period of time due to Covid-related school closures, and an estimated 34 percent of adolescent girls remain out of school today.

As for the heavy burden of debt servicing by African governments, there has to be genuine cooperation between the continent’s lenders, transparency from African governments and prudence in managing public resources.

For Africa to thrive, initiatives for equitable and sustainable growth must be implemented.

Within the context of this year’s Africa Day slogan, Development Diaries calls on African governments to work together towards addressing the economic, environmental, security, educational and other challenges facing the continent to achieve a better future for Africa.

Photo source: Pxfuel

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