The leader in the September 2023 issue of New African magazine, by the editor Anver Versi and titled “Is Russia a true friend of Africa?” has encouraged me to put forward some reflections that I believe may be of use to the continent’s policy makers going forward.
In the leader, Versi raised two very critical points that are having existential impacts on Africa, its future development trajectory and the fate of its burgeoning young population.
He pointed out that the UN Sustainable Development Goals, set in 2015, have lost their way at this half way point (only 12% have been achieved) and that in 2022, over 20m people and at least 10m children faced severe food shortage in Africa.
“The ECA calculates that Africa’s annual food imports bill, which was $15bn in 2018, will increase from the current $43bn to $110bn by 2025,” he writes.
According to UNCTAD, developing countries face a $4 trillion annual financing gap in achieving the SDGs and…