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Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed mni of UDU Sokoto

Africa’s economy: Issues and way forward By Dr. Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed

Dr. Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed of UDU Sokoto

Being the contributions of Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed, mni, Department of Sociology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria at an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICA’S ECONOMY.


Organized by Global Patriot Newspapers,

VENUE: The Rotunda, Newark City Hall, Newark, New Jersey, United States of America.

DATE: Saturday, 22nd October 2022.


  1. Characteristics of Africa’s Economy:

         Essentially a Raw Materials Producer for other economies, (Agricultural, Mineral Resources and Human Beings),

  1. Terribly Undeveloped Infrastructure,

(Map of the World at Night= Africa is the Dark Continent),

(Air Travel between African Countries THROUGH Europe),

  1. A very low level of trade among African Countries (5%?)
  2. Strong linkages with former Colonial and Western Powers, (Monocultural Economies, Import Dependence and Use of Foreign Currencies, Foreign Military Bases,),
  3. Rise of the New Imperialism in Africa,

(China, Russia and the European Union),


  1. The Way Forward:
  2. All African countries and Institutions (Public/Private) should THINK AND ACT PAN AFRICAN in the planning as well as implementation of their economic programmes,

(Trans African Highway, Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline, East Africa Railway, Dangote Cement Factories in 10 African Countries, Nigerian Banks in several African Countries, South Africa’s MTN, DSTV, Stanbic Bank, Shoprite in several African countries, Nollywood, Fashion Design ,etc.),

  1. Transformation from Raw Materials Producer to Manufacturing and Industrialization, (Refineries, Petrochemicals, Iron and Steel, Machinery, Cement, Fertilizer, Textiles, ICT, etc.),
  • Expansive Development of Infrastructure on the Continent linking countries across the region,

(Roads, Railways, Airports, Seaports. Telecommunications: AfDB sponsored Lagos-Abidjan Highway, West Africa Gas Pipeline, Kenya-Uganda-Rwanda Railway, Nigeria-Niger Railway, Ethiopian Airline, Kenya Airline, Rwanda Airline, Egypt Air, Maroc Air, Proposed Nigeria Air),

  1. Strengthening of the Sub-Regional Blocs in Africa: Economic Community of West African States, East African Community, Southern African Development Community, The Maghreb, Central African Community.

(This will vigorously enhance trade among member states and other sub-regions of the African continent leading to realization of the objectives of African Continental Free Trade Agreement).

  1. Decolonization of Africa’s economy through replacing disadvantageous linkages with past colonial masters/Bretton Woods institutions by developing Pan African Economic Institutions and operations.
  2. Negotiating more favourable deals with the New Imperialist Powers of China, Russia and Turkey. The rapacious pillage of Africa’s resources and the strangulating threat of a new Debt Trap by the New Imperialists must be reversed.
  • Diaspora Investments can make some important contributions to the development of Africa’s economy through the establishment of industries and institutions in various sectors such as ICT, Education, Health, Hospitality, Tourism, etc.,
  1. The Underbelly of Africa’s Economy
  • The Weakness of Democracy in Africa:
    • Leads to authoritarianism, tenure elongation and military coups,
    • Votes of the citizens don’t count in elections,
    • There are no “dividends” of democracy in form socio-economic development,
    • Prevalence of poverty, diseases, low school enrolment, unemployment, corruption and violent conflicts,
    • Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons,
    • High level of insecurity and instability,
  • The Population Question:
    • The Youth Bulge (over 50% of the population),
    • Inadequate educational facilities,
    • Unemployable graduates due to lack of relevant skills,
    • Drug addiction,mental disability,
    • Anti-social behaviour= rape, robbery,kidnapping, banditry, insurgency, separatist agitations,
  • The Leadership Deficit:
  • Inadequate and unprepared leaders,
  • Low level of education and experience of leaders,
  • Role of “God Fatherism” and Money in recruitment of political class,
  • Divisive politics in the absence of manifestos with development agenda(ethnicity, religious chauvinism, lack of inclusivity),
  • High level of corruption due to perception of Politics and Public Service as sources of personal enrichment,
  • Poor conflict management capability by leaders,


  • Weak Institutions:
    • Public Policies are not implemented,
    • Regulations are not enforced,
    • Failure to develop the productive Informal Sector,
    • High turnover of public institutions and Chief Executive Officers,
  • Poor Integration and Cooperation:
    • Lack of People-to-People Diplomacy,
    • Absence of Common Services Organizations,
    • Bureaucratic bottle necks/isolationist and protective policies of African governments,

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