What should Africa's main priority be in 2023?

What should Africa's main priority be in 2023?

Our planet has undergone significant changes since January 2022. The unexpected Russian invasion of Ukraine rocked the world economy and drove up the cost of food, petrol, and fertilizer. Supply networks were already under strain when sanctions against Russia led to commercial and logistical delays. The relentless efforts of the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks to control inflation ushered in a new age of high-interest rates and made it more difficult for numerous countries to fulfill their international financial obligations.

As this was going on, the unequal COVID-19 pandemic recovery was still making headlines both in Africa and internationally. Instabilities on the African continent in some areas and unfavorable weather conditions in 2022 slowed the region's economic growth.

It is simple to be negative about Africa's future given these global and domestic challenges. Nonetheless, Africa has consistently demonstrated its resiliency, as we have witnessed in the cases of the Ebola crisis, HIV/AIDS crisis, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. A single narrative can be dangerous, especially given that many African nations will continue to prosper against all the challenges. Even though it's unlikely that the region will be completely out of the woods by 2023, the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts 3.2% total growth. Much of this development will be driven by medium-sized economies, like Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya, which are expected to grow at rates of 5 to 7 percent in the upcoming year. On the other hand, weaker development is anticipated in the region's economic powerhouses, South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt.

Despite these difficulties, a hopeful approach should be taken, having in mind Africa's resilience and demonstrated capacity to weather heavy headwinds. This optimism is supported by a number of factors, including improved cooperation that led to the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the cooperation of African institutions (the African Union, the African CDC, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Export-Import Bank, and others) to secure funding for vaccines, and the region's rapid adoption of technological innovations to address practical problems.

In 2023, we anticipate stronger African unity and cooperation to handle the confluence of crises, as there have been a few times in history when the globe has endured such a plurality of simultaneous shocks.