Unlocking the Potential of Africa – Ideas by Alexander HAMILTON, Cédric Mbeng Mezui’s new book, was presented at the Palais Brongniart, Place de la Bourse in Paris, on April 05, 2019. The audience included industry professionals private, the institutional, the academics of the place of Paris and all these economists, thinkers and strategists on the lookout for new trends. The author’s bias on Alexander Hamilton’s ideas, to the detriment of those of Malthus, who are back in force when it comes to reporting the flow of migration to African demography, is daring. intellectual.
The author considers that during this 21st century, the anticipated size and structure of the African population will give these countries the opportunity to become a reservoir of long capital and increase the mobilizable labor force. This situation is at the center of discussions and geostrategic issues. It is an upheaval that induces enormous responsibilities. It should mark the rise of many « African champions » in industries, infrastructure and services.
The drivers of the continent’s growth are its large labor force, a rapidly growing middle class, technical progress and better political and economic governance. The use of Alexander Hamilton’s ideas is an invitation to the debate on the art of governing, especially on issues of industrialization and credit. « Africa needs women and men who can invent what has not existed yet, » he said.
This book puts into perspective the activation of Africa’s potential to put productive forces and creative energies at the service of the continent. He recalls that population growth is not a danger because the resources of the human spirit are infinite.
Industrialization remains a priority because the productivity of industries leads to the productivity of other sectors as seen in the industrialized economies. First, productivity is much higher in the manufacturing industry than in agriculture or mining. Then, this sector can employ / absorb a greater variety of profiles (from less skilled to more advanced). Then, the prices of manufactured goods have the advantage of being more stable than the price fluctuations experienced by commodity markets. These are the arguments defended by Alexander Hamilton in his report on Manufactures in 1791. He favored government intervention through incentives to encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector. For Africa, it is to implement the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA), a flagship project of the African Union. It is expected to increase investments from USD 751 billion to USD 1,720 billion over the next decade.
Unfortunately, the indicators show that the share of the continent in the value added of the global manufacturing industry (GVA) is marginal. It would have gone from 1.9% in 1980 to 1.5% in 2010. African industry generates on average 700 USD of GDP per capita, behind Latin America (2500 USD) and East Asia ($ 3,400).