Most of Africa has had independence for around 60 years now, and the continent of more than 1.3 billion people is more conscious of the challenges stifling its development. And now with an African seat at the G20 summit, there is a sense that Africa is the coming place.
“We as Africa have come to the world, not to ask for alms, charity or handouts, but to work with the rest of the global community and give every human being in this world a decent chance of security and prosperity,” Kenyan President William Ruto said.
In recent years, Africa has been clear about its capacity to become a global power, from efforts to tackle climate change at home — such as the existential threat of climate change upending lives and livelihoods in the region, despite Africa contributing by far the least to global warming — to helping to foster peace elsewhere, like in Russia and Ukraine.
One example right now is Kenya’s willingness to take a lead in bringing some semblance of law and order to the anarchy that is Haiti.
In his address, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo blamed Africa’s present-day challenges on “historical injustices” and called for reparations for the slave trade. President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa said the continent is poised to “regain its position as a site of human progress” despite dealing with a “legacy of exploitation and subjugation.”
Nigeria’s leader, Bola Tinubu, urged his peers to see the region not as “a problem to be avoided” but as “true friends and partners.”
“Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future,” said Tinubu, who leads a country that, by 2050, is forecast to become the third most populous in the world.