Africa is a vast and varied continent, covering about one-fifth of Earth’s total land surface. It straddles the equator and the prime meridian, making it a global destination. The origin of humankind, Africa, is also rich in natural resources ranging from arable land, water, oil, natural gas, minerals, forests, and wildlife.
The people of Africa are also very diverse, with over 3000 tribes and over 2000 languages spoken on the continent. This diversity is one of Africa’s strengths, as it offers the continent a unique perspective on the world.
So why is Africa important to the world?
10 Reasons Why Africa is Important to the World
1. Mitigate Climate Change
The world is currently facing a climate crisis. The average global temperature has risen by 0.08 degrees Celsius (0.14° Fahrenheit)per decade since the Industrial Revolution, and it is predicted to rise by another 2-4 degrees over the next hundred years. This rapid increase in temperature is already causing drastic changes in our environment, such as more frequent and intense natural disasters, extinction of plant and animal species, and displacement of people due to rising sea levels.
Africa is the least contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and has the opportunity to mitigate climate change. With over 60% of the world’s unused arable land, Africa has the potential to become a key player in global food security. The continent can also lead the way in renewable energy, effective land use, planning, reforestation, and afforestation.
2. Preserve Biodiversity
One of the most important reasons why Africa is important to the world is its role in preserving biodiversity. The continent is home to many unique ecosystems, such as the Sahara Desert, the Congo Basin, and the Serengeti. These ecosystems are vital to maintaining the Earth’s climate and supporting a diverse range of plant and animal life.
Africa is also home to some of the world’s most endangered species, such as the African elephant, the black rhinoceros, and the mountain gorilla. The continent’s unique wildlife is an important part of the global ecosystem and deserves our protection.
With such biodiversity and beauty, the tourism potential for Africa is off the charts.
3. Support Global Food Security
Another important reason why Africa is important to the world is its role in global food security. The continent has vast tracts of arable land and is a major producer of crops such as maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum.
There is potential for Africa to become a leading producer of organic food. Much of the continent’s land is suitable for organic farming, and there is a growing demand for organic products globally. With the right support, Africa could become a key player in the global food market.
In addition to its agricultural potential, Africa is also home to many fisheries. The continent’s waters are teeming with fish, and the sector has great growth potential.
4. Provide Essential Minerals
Nearly half the world’s gold and one-third of all minerals are in Africa. According to the UN, Africa is home to over 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, 12% world’s oil, and 8% of its natural gas reserves. Most of this data is under-reported, and the real value of Africa’s minerals is likely much higher.
As the world’s needs and technological demands grow, Africa’s minerals will become increasingly important. The continent’s reserves of rare earth elements, such as cobalt and lithium, are essential for producing electric vehicles and mobile phones.
5. Promote Sustainable Development
In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that range from ending poverty and hunger to ensuring access to clean water and sanitation.
Africa is a key player in the achievement of the SDGs. The continent has made great strides in reducing poverty and hunger, but much work still needs to be done. With the right support, Africa can continue to lead the way in sustainable development.
6. Enhance Cultural Understanding
Africa is home to a rich and diverse culture. The continent’s traditional music, dance, and art are beloved by people worldwide. Africa can help create a more peaceful and tolerant world by promoting cultural understanding.
The continent’s cuisine is also gaining popularity globally. With its unique flavors and healthy ingredients, African food is becoming increasingly popular among foodies.
As the world becomes more connected, we must learn about and appreciate the cultures of our fellow global citizens. Africa has a lot to offer in this regard, and we should take advantage of its cultural riches.
7. Provide Humanitarian Assistance
With years of suffering and poverty, Africa has received much humanitarian assistance. The international community has provided billions of dollars in aid to the continent, saving countless lives.
The lessons African countries have learned from dealing with humanitarian crises can be applied to other parts of the world. By sharing its knowledge and experience, Africa can help other regions better prepare for and respond to disasters.
Africa’s resilience was witnessed in the 2020 pandemic. The continent was not hit as hard as other parts of the world “due in part to its experience with previous epidemics, young population and favorable climate.”
8. Offer Human Resource
One beautiful thing about Africa is its people. The continent is home to a young and vibrant population. According to UN reports, 70% of Sub-Saharan Africa is under 30. This demographic dividend has the potential to fuel Africa’s growth and development.
Africa’s young population will become increasingly valuable as other parts of the world age. The continent’s people can help drive innovation and creativity and provide the world with a much-needed workforce.
9. Provide a Market for Goods and Services
With 1.4 Billion people and a fast-growing economy, Africa is an attractive market for goods and services. The continent’s middle class is expected to reach 1.1 Billion by 2060. This growing consumer base presents a major opportunity for businesses.
Many factors have held back Africa’s economic growth, but the continent is beginning to overcome these challenges. As Africa continues to develop, it will provide an ever-growing market for goods and services.
10. Home to Innovation and Creativity
With a young and dynamic population, Africa is a hotbed of innovation and creativity. The continent’s entrepreneurs are developing new ways to solve old problems. From mobile banking to solar energy, African startups are leading the way in innovative thinking.
Africa’s creative industries are also booming. The continent’s music, fashion, and art are gaining global recognition. African designers are dressing some of the world’s most celebrities, and the continent’s music is being played on radio stations worldwide.
Africa is quickly becoming known as a center for innovation and creativity. The continent’s young people are driving this change and making Africa a force to be reckoned with.
In summary, Africa has a lot to offer the world. Its rich culture, natural resources, and young population make it an attractive partner in the global community. As Africa continues to develop, it will play an increasingly important role in shaping the world’s future.