Africa Day

26 May 2015 17:11 (UTC+04:00)

By Vusala Abbasova

Africa-the second largest continent with the largest number of countries in the world celebrates Africa Freedom Day on May 25.

Africa has gone a long way to ridding itself of the shackles of colonialism, generally through a long-term marginalization in world politics. Since the 1990s, Africa's economy has began to take off, hereupon its international status rose. However, African has yet to make its proper mark on the world scene and emerge a superpower in its own rights.

May, 25 annually marks Africa Day of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where 32 independent African states signed the founding charter.

The process of massive decolonization and independence in Africa started with the founding of the UN in 1945 . The UN initial goal was to act a safe-keeping force, protector of human rights within the framework of international law and promote values such as international justice and economic and social progress in Africa. Today, the African Union boasts 53 independent member States.

Unfortunately, Africa faces massive challenges: extreme poverty, illness, desertification, malnutrition and the awful toll taken by ongoing regional conflicts.

The UN works closely with Africa's regional cooperation mechanisms for promoting the development of democratic institutions toward the establishment of peace between warring nations and the protection of human rights. In this effort, the UN also has six active peacekeeping operations at present in the African continent. UN peacekeepers serve in two missions in Sudan, including one in Darfur (with the African Union), in Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Western Sahara.

The UN continues to support African development and security until now by such program as the New Partnership for Africa's Development, a strategic framework adopted by African leaders in 2001.

Africa is a continent of great economic opportunity: rich flora and fauna reserves, mineral raw materials, abundance of land and water resources as well as a fast-growing population.

But agriculture in Africa remains mostly backward - the long-lasting heritage of centuries of colonialism and economic stagnation.

Africa, especially the south Saharan region is the poorest area in the world. However, not all African countries are poor. The most developed country in Africa is South Africa, which economic freedom score is 62.6, making its economy the 72nd freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is essentially unchanged from last year, with a 0.1-point gain reflecting improvements in labor freedom, fiscal freedom, trade freedom, and freedom from corruption that are largely offset by declines in investment freedom, business freedom, and the management of government spending. South Africa is ranked 6th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is higher than the world and regional averages.

As in developing country, South Africa is expanded its business sector - its average tariff rate is 4.2 percent. Government procurement favors domestic firms. The government canceled bilateral investment treaties with Germany, Spain, and several other countries in 2013. The financial system has undergone modernization, and banking has been resilient and sound. Four big banks account for over 80 percent of banking-sector assets. The capital market is well developed.

However, there are exist reverse side of the medal. Africa contains an eighth of the world's people. African population is much smaller than in Asia, but the growth rate is the highest of any continent. As African population explodes, it will contain a larger percentage of the world's population, perhaps 20% by 2050. This could cause a problem of overpopulation in the future.

Africa has about a fourth of the world's countries, and each country has a seat in the United Nations, so their vote is potentially highly influential. The current Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan of Ghana, and the previous one, Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, are Africans, showing the importance of Africa in leading the world. Some of the top candidates to be the next Pope are Africans, and Africa has the largest and fastest-growing number of Christians of any continent.

Africa is volatile. There are many ethnic conflicts, and military power is highly concentrated into a few hands. It threatens to be the world's most war-torn area in the near future.


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