Ordinarily the trajectory of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) determines its place among the community of nations. Last weekend, Africa’s most populous nation suddenly became its most dominant economy.
What does GDP rebasing mean? Nonso Obikili captures it in this fictional story about Emeka while Chuba Ezekwesili’s essay weighs the merits and demerits of rebasing.
However, the miraculous assent of Nigeria over night into the big nations club is not rocket science. Uri Friedman in this post in the Atlantic explains this rational miracle:
It was, in fact, a miracle borne of statistics: It had been24 yearssince Nigerian authorities last updated their approach to calculatinggross domestic product (GDP), a process known as "rebasing" that wealthy countries typically carry out every five years. When the Nigerian government finally did it this week, the country's GDP—the market value of all…
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Nigeria's home video industry popularly called "Nollywood" is second only to India's "Bollywood" in terms of number of movies produced. Both beat Hollywood. The industry earned six billion dollars in 2013. The graphics below show how it compares to both the Indian and US film industries.
Modupe Cole Memorial School in Lagos is home to mentally and physically challenged people 8 years old and above. Members have multiple schelorsis, Down Syndrome and after effects of either congenital polio or Jaundice. The care they receive in this home is reminiscent of the African's respect for the dignity of human life. Though some children with disabilities may be abandoned after birth or given up for adoption, African mothers prefer this to denying the children a chance to life.
Nneoma Anieto paid her first visit to the school in order to deliver some donation to the school on behalf of her brother, and here she kindly shares her impressions.
If it weren't a serious matter, Museveni’s letter to Barack Obama on homosexuals would be funny. Uganda has just joined the growing list of African countries to criminalize homosexual unions and public displays. It is also increasing the tally of African countries making a choice for poverty rather than betray their consciences, seeing some western countries (US, France, etc.) threaten to withdraw economic aid on account of their stance on gay unions. What is however novel for me was the Ugandan president's apparent dominion of both logic and rhetoric in his counter-barb to US Barack Obama, the supposed master of words and double-speak.
If Obama stands on respect for public opinion, Museveni stands on public morality. In the latter’s view Obama has no right dictating what happens in an African setting, if Africans (though they disagree with much going…
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Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the BRIC acronym, has invented another one, MINT, predicting Nigeria as one of four countries that will be the next world economic giants. The countries are Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
The four MINT countries have several things in common, their large population, an asset of human resources seen by some in the west as retrogressive, but a treasure which the countries in question guard jealously. With 250 million people Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world, while Nigeria has 170 million.
O’Neill also believes that within the next 20 years, these four countries will see an improved “inner” demographics where the number of people eligible to work outpace those without work.
Another common feature of three of the countries apart from Turkey, is that they are big commodity producers, another huge plus.
Africa has a bright future, with its young and growing population and strong social ties. The media highlights the dark side of the world's fastest growing continent; MercatorNet is far more optimistic in its unique blog Harambee. Here are the year's top posts.
Over the last decade Kenya has experienced a boost in its economy. This can be attributed to a shift from a largely agricultural and tourism based economy to a service and technology based one, especially in the area of telecommunications. But just as the face of a clock hides behind it a complex mechanism of gears and moving parts, each interacting in a cause-effect relationship, Kenya´s economic growth has had several factors behind it.
For one, the increasingly accessible primary and secondary school education has led to a higher literacy level among both urban and rural youth, with the added result that more boy and girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are sitting for the annual national examinations required for university admission. This translates to more than 750,000 students per year.
Danie van Loggerenberg had his own company, he was rich but he was not happy. He then thought of doing something unique for African children, most of whom were often in need of food and clothing. He thought that children really should not have to worry about these, but should also play. How about giving an African child a toy - not just any used toy, but a brand new toy of the child's choosing. He founded "Toys for Africa" to do just that.
“Four years ago I had a marketing company and was making a lot of cash, but I wasn’t happy. I prayed about it and felt that I needed to start working with children. I wanted to make a difference to people who cannot repay you; children appreciate everything.”
The world’s most formidable light-manufacturing machine, China, has traced a rich curriculum from which sub-Saharan Africa can learn. Chinese industrialisation is largely run by private entrepreneurs and is home to hundreds of millions of jobs. In two decades, the country’s share of global manufacturing exports rose from nearly zero to 15 per cent, and if you were to count only labour-intensive products, it counts for over 30 per cent.
So what lessons can African policymakers learn from the oriental industrial giant?
For one, China integrated itself globally, regionally and sub-nationally, by opening up borders both within and internationally. This facilitated foreign investment, new technologies, and knowledge of what other societies like and want to buy. It also called for fluid trade with countries in the immediate South-East Asian neighbourhood, to form “value chains” whereby final products are assembled from components manufactured within reach.