Building an Economy that Benefits Current and Future Generations

Kandjengo Kamkwaanyoka

In my recent reading, I bumped into something I wanted to read, hear and scream out for so long, that the “African economic building doctrine has been dominated by the Western ideologies, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank”.

I was so excited to read that in the African Development Bank 2024 Economic Outlook — I wanted to summon all universities’ economic faculties and public studies to a workshop.

Surprisingly, this piece is inspired by Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, the institution that has been directing a development agenda around the world with its capital muscles and research advantage.

She was inspired by an essay by economist John Maynard Keynes written in 1930, ‘Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren’.
In every conversation, you will hear how people feel the economy is not working for them.

Many are not only anxious but also angry raising the specter of an “age of anger” as Georgieva put it.

Perhaps it is about time we accept that the structure of our economy and the empowerment projects and policies are rooted in the Western ideology too much, failing to address the situation on the ground.

Maybe we should finally sit down without any Western economics on our table, so we can devise an economic structure that suits us — population dynamics, informality, rural setting and all that.

Maybe it is about time our academics come up with well-guided and informed theories on how the African economies should be structured.

Because I find it mind-boggling for any African currency to tremble every time they implement any anti-western policy — the rand fell because MK and EFF were gaining momentum.

It got me to realise that our economic structures are rooted in Western ideology and we never restructured.

Young people specifically are the ones feeling the pinch of our exclusive economic structures, from paying for their education, finding work and buying a home, to grappling with the costly impact of climate change.

Moreover, few go through the formal channel of university or vocational training, majority are in informal sectors and have given up on buying houses or owning land.

With such a reality, I strongly suggest we start asking each other difficult questions.

The more relevant one is, can we build an economy that can benefit us now and provide a good and strong foundation for the next generation?

Can you team up with African university researchers so we can agree on how we can tweak things for our children?

As a young person, I am competing with Chinese investors funded by their government and Canadian investors who can borrow homes cheaply, while my leaders are threatening to revoke my licence if I don’t do exploration and auction my land in the municipality if I don’t develop it.

All such scenarios surround the black child on their continent, thus, in my observations I recommend we rethink every piece of legislation we implement.

It requires deliberate efforts from leaders and economic facilitators to dump old and western-driven agendas of foreign direct investment and all the raw material export-oriented strategies.

It will be the most painful journey, as your currency will tremble and some so-called investors will shy away but your people will benefit.

Restructuring is a must if we truly want to build better.

Solutions exist and are possible if we can just work together as a continent.

Start by supporting the Zimbabwean currency and their restructuring phase.

If Zimbabwe makes it in the journey of self-reliance, Namibia can follow.

Secondly, work with Botswana in the quest to have a share of the global diamond value chain— support their quest to buy a share of the diamond conglomerate.

Restructuring comes in different phases.

Namibia leaders and economic facilitators, enough with travelling to Europe for benchmarking and begging for investments.
Awaken what you seek out there from your people.

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