The Real African|| By Dumani Mandela
When I used to work at Nextwork consulting company in Sweden in 2000, I would often sit with some of the best scenario planners, and futurists from the world like Adam Kahane, Peter Schwartz, and Peter Senge the author of the fifth discipline.
They were not constrained and could design scenarios that went hundred years or three hundred years into the future. The Pentagon in the United States used many of their scenarios, and some were sold to top movie houses as movie themes. Their scenarios were largely technology driven and looked at the impacts of technology on the future, like the development of Nano technology in the case of Peter Schwartz.
Their scenarios mostly focused on the United States and what impacts future changes in the United States would have on the world. This scenario from the edge we are going to describe in this piece was largely influenced by Ged Davis who was the head of Shell Global Solutions when I used to work at Nextwork.
I would often sit there and try and imagine the futures that they discussed and think to myself would it be possible to cast similar scenarios like that about Africa?
He designed some future scenarios for Africa looking at future markets for renewable energy sources for Shell back in early 2000. I found the scenarios enlightening but I thought they did not paint a positive enough picture of Africa and therefore I decided to write my own scenario.
I was always a bit more optimistic about Africa when I worked at Nextwork, perhaps even suffered from a childish exuberance about the continent. When I thought about this scenario I thought what would the world look like with some of the present global inputs like the resource battles with fossil fuels.
Secondly I thought to myself what would the world look like if the new millennium was truly an African century. How would Africa impact the rest of the world?
Lastly I added some disruption within the scenario from a technological perspective and also added the dimension of possibly engaging other intelligent life form in the universe.
The scenario is meant to be simplistic and easy to read and not meant to be an intellectual challenge. I stress that scenarios are not a prediction of the future, but an alternative to how we look at the future and how we can look at how we develop our current ideas about the future in the now. This scenario was for fun, and is not a statement of what the future will be.
A Global Birds Eye View – What will the World look like in 100 years?
The world in 2118 is a vastly different place than modern day with advances in medicine and technology completely eliminating the divide between the haves and the have not’s.
Nanotechnology is adapted to the human genome by the African Government leading to an increase in human life span of over 300 hundred years. AIDS is eliminated as a leading cause of death in Africa leading to one of the youngest and most economically active continents.
A corporation between the African and Latin American governments, leads to mankind no longer having to do manual labor and finally perfects artificial intelligence. A.I. penetrates every aspect of society leaving mankind more spare time to pursue the arts and humanities.
Africa has managed to consolidate the African Union with one government for Africa with a common monetary Union. The African Rand trades at 1:1 with Latin American Peso as the strongest global currencies.
Africa in the years 2017 – 2025 starts looking seriously at the issues around continental integration and making NEPAD ideals a reality for Africa beyond common purpose to true African continental integration. Between the years 2025 – 2030 there is a continental reorientation of African states with a move to consolidate Africa under one nation.
The African Union manages to do this but not with a common currency. There is discussion amongst the African states about bringing Africa under a common monetary union but there are dissenting views about which currency to use as the common continental currency. Some of the African states do not want to abdicate their legislative bodies to the African Union. There is a new study, which is carried out by the African Union into what is known as Ubuntunomics.
The African Union through the study of Ubuntunomics tries to identify a new financial system that could be used in Africa which would offset some of the negative consequences of globalization, capitalism and the free market, of the divide between the haves and the have not’s.
Ubuntunomics begins to question the ideas of capitalism and the free market vies a vies the unfair global trading regimes that exist which impede African growth.
An interdisciplinary think tank is set up by the African Union comprising of top academics, businessmen and women, leading social scientists and artists to look at the ideas around Ubuntunomics and how they can lead to a common monetary union in Africa.
There is consensus after years of deliberation that the Rand will be used at the common continental currency. The common monetary union in Africa leads to a resource policy for African nations on how resources are to be exploited for local and global use in African states.
By 2030 the African continental Union of Nubia is established replacing the African Union.
In the year 2030 there was a third global war over fossil fuels between Arab Nations lead by Iran and the United States, leading to economic isolation by the United Nations and participant nations. China tried to intermediate during the Great War but was pulled into an armed conflict by American sectarian right wing terrorists whom bombed the Chinese parliament.
This was as a result of China developing and switching to renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels. China refused to share its technology with the US but rather uses it to develop African nations and fast track their development.
There is a massive resource shortage in China in the years 2025 – 2035 leading to China developing a more intimate development relationship with Africa to meet its resource needs. The United States is forced after the Great War to step down from the United Nation Security Council, and the rest of the United Nations participating nations places economic sanctions on it.
China after the Great War becomes the largest beneficiary of the United Nations and moves the headquarters of the UN to Beijing. Arab nations and America not having made the switch to renewable energy sources sign a new compact with another to form their own version of the UN called the Pax Americana headquartered in Tehran Iran, and withdraw from the UN.
Due to the corporatization of Middle East and American politics they find it difficult to move over to renewable energy sources because of the economic hold of some of the biggest oil producers not wanting to make the switch to away from fossil fuels.
In 2035 American and Arab nations, as a result, suffer hyperinflation leading to a consideration of a bail out by China, which opts to keep targeted sanction on America and select Arab Nations.
By 2040 Africa has the highest economic growth patterns in the world with 25% GDP growth per annum.
This is as a result of coming up with a continental policy for its resources which are largely being consumed by China, whose economic growth patters have stalled as a result of a further 500 million people being brought out of poverty, and the servicing of a larger population by government and need for natural resources. Food prices escalate out of control in China and there is not enough space to house its growing population. Africa becomes the savior for China by offering food at affordable prices and also providing some arable land for Chinese multinationals to grow crops.
America and Europe also lobby Africa aggressively in the hopes of being able to have access to some of its raw materials and arable land for food growth.
By 2035 over 60% of the worlds food source emanates from Africa along with 50% of the global fresh water needs. The resource scarcity in the world propels Africa to having the strongest international currency in the world with global trading being done in Rand terms.
The Africa rising story becomes a global reality.
In 2050 CERN research institute in Switzerland discovers how to open up wormholes as means of interstellar travel. Humanity identifies a number of new planets, which host life and are inhabited by human like beings. There is a resource shortage in some of those planets and a deal is made by African states for them to settle on the African continent because Africa still has uninhabited land whilst the rest of the world is suffering from over population.
The extraterrestrials bring new technology to Africa and therefore leapfrogging Africa 100 years ahead of the other global nations.
Africa in 2055 signs a development treaty with Latin America with free labor movement between Latin America and Africa. By 2065 Africa and Latin America are the most developed continents in the world. A new Global Development Bank is started in Johannesburg to facilitate economic and technological development to America, China and Europe.
By 2070 the United Nations collapses due to underfunding by the Chinese government and a lack of global buy in. A new global governance organization emerges called Nubian Parliament, which is based in Cape Town South Africa with Africa, Latin America, Germany and Japan being the only four members of its security council.
Africa and Latin America send peacekeeping troops to America, Middle East, China and Europe to avert another global conflict as a result of the scarcity of global resources. 2100 is the year of convergence where nanotechnology is combined with the human genome and therefore exponentially increasing human life span by 300 years.
Capitalism as a result of A.I is restructured and a new form of economic management appears out of Africa called Ubuntu-Capitalism. The monetary system is done away with and a more egalitarian system of economic management in introduced where people get equal credits no matter what their employment is.
Innovation is run and controlled by the state with massive benefits for its populous from free housing made and designed by AI to free universal education across the board. Food is no longer a paid for commodity and is free.
Because of the longer life span of people procreation is tightly controlled with each family being able to have two children every 150 years.
By 2116, the world has realized its vision of peaceful co existence with the last global war being the Great War of 2030. Humanity and extraterrestrial life live side by side in harmony.
The African version of Ubuntu-Capitalism goes global and markets across the world are shut down and remembered only as vestiges of the past. The world remembers the century as an African century and academic institutions all around the world are set up to study African philosophy and how to entrench it in their societies as way of creating equitable and sustainable societies. Africa is the world’s moral superpower in the new century.