To those who look around the continent and see the bad infrastructure, the galloping unemployment, the electoral alleged frauds, the corruption and more, how does Mr. Abou DIENG sustain the case that Africa has potential and is indeed the continent of the future?

We all know that Africa has billions of tons of natural resources that are still not exploited, and we have many more natural resources that are not even discovered yet. If you take a nation like the Republic of Guinea, this nation alone has enough natural resources that can develop the entire continent. I can say the same thing for other nations like Liberia, Sierra Leone, the two Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and the list goes on. So, the potential from the exploitation of the natural resources alone is very exciting. Other factors that will make a big difference are the potential in Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing. Africa is at the same level where India was 25 years ago in terms of wanting to increase the education level of the population. Africa is at the same level where China was in the 1980s with the Agriculture needs and investment.

Africa is also at the same level where Turkey and Mexico were 15 years ago in terms of Manufacturing increasing investments. So if you combine those 3 levels of readiness, you can conclude that Africa is heading to the same path that led India to its boom because of Education, Africa is heading to the same path that led China to its boom in Agriculture and Industrialization, and Africa is heading to the same path that led Mexico and Turkey to their boom in Manufacturing. This is exciting. But the most exciting factor yet for Africa is its young population. As Walt Disney once said, “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children”. More than 60% of Africans are between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. The number of young Africans is going to continue to get bigger year after year till 2050. The Middle Class is growing, and the current urbanization rate is at 37% same as China and bigger than India.

This is why I can say that Africa will be where Turkey and Mexico are today in the next 8 to 10 years and where China is today in the next 15 to 20 years. Demography is destiny. Finally, we can also mention that we have better quality of Leaderships today compare to few years ago, and they are putting the right reforms for economic growth, and it will keep improving due to social pressure.

The debt level is low 10 t0 30% to GDP in most African countries compare to 130% to GDP in China, more than 200% to GDP in US, UK and Spain. So, when you put together all of these factors that I mention, Economic growth becomes inevitable.

This is part of an interview from published September 19 2016. Follow the link for the entire interview.