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Opinion - Global Warming And Africa's Future By Michel Nasibu

If not dealt with, global warming can have dire consequences for the African Continent.
A quick study of the history of civilization as we know it reveals that the first traces of humanity were found on the continent of Africa. Should that have been a head start for the continent? Logically, yes. We should have been ahead of the pack.

Since then the progress of the continent has experienced an inversed hockey stick syndrome. Africa reached the peak of its power around the year 2050 BC when the middle Kingdom of Egypt was at its most powerful. However, a series of invasions followed in the subsequent years. The downhill slope did not stop at that point; many woes such as slave trade and colonization ensued. The fight for independence seemed to signal a change of fortune. However, no sooner had we started building our economies that vices such as bad governance, brazen corruption, tyranny, misuse of funds started cropping up.

By now one would think that the continent is now immune to pain. Yet, I still feel like the worst is yet to come. The mother of all troubles has already started rooting her tentacles all over the continent: Global warming.

Global warming is a phenomenon that will destroy all the facets of our economy if it is not dealt with immediately. Global warming will affect the agricultural sectors of our countries. Africa has traditionally been known for its beautiful climate. However in the last decade, the continent has been drying up. This means that the food insecurity situation that we are currently experiencing now will not get any better. What does that means for the economy? The death of agriculture has many implications:

#1-Loss of lives and unhealthy workforce: this is the most obvious consequence of food insecurity. And this leads to a slow and, in the long run, inexistent manpower for the various industries. This will translate itself into a very slow death of the various sectors of our economy. Human capital is necessary for any sector of the economy to function; lack of it will either force acute underdevelopment of the continent or there will be need to encourage immigration of people from other continents. That is now the problem. As Africa is slowly becoming a desert, all the other cold parts of the world like Russia, Scandinavia, Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica are becoming warmer and will become friendlier places to live in and there will be more vegetation. Who would want then to migrate to an underdeveloped dry Africa whereas there is an option of a developed friendlier Europe and America?

#2-Fewer raw materials for industries: Lack of raw materials for industries means a sure degradation of our already struggling economies. Fewer raw materials will lead to an escalation of demand that the sector will not be able to satisfy locally. So, importation will be the only option. Regardless of the options available, the price levels will increase even more. High prices means that the level of poverty will increase and people’s standard of living will worsen. The gap will be even wider.

#3-Rural Exodus; the death of agriculture will also lead to a great congestion in urban centers because there will be a very big exodus of people who are running away of a lifeless rural area. This means more unemployment, more poverty, higher crime rates, more slums, filthier towns.

Due to the overpopulation in urban areas, African governments will not be in a position to possibly provide an efficient housing system. As a matter of fact, the bulk of the government revenue will be used to feed people and to fight crime. What does this mean? Less money will be used on infrastructure and other development ventures. The amelioration of infrastructural development is one of the backbones of the economy; lack of infrastructural development is synonymous to death of development dreams.

I do not think I need to continue describing what is in store for our continent. After reading this article, people will ask themselves the obvious question: is Africa doomed? Is Global warming the element that will just destroy us all?

The answer can be yes if we do not start taking serious measures that will help us avert this phenomenon. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and is the most important contributor of our overall gross domestic product. Its destruction would lead to a catastrophic loss on top of the woes described earlier. And global warming attacks agriculture more than anything else.

This, however, does not mean that the African continent is completely doomed. Global warming should be dealt with before the situation gets out of hand. Next time, I will proffer some solutions and policies we could implement to minimize the catastrophic effects of Global warming in Africa.
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  1. Most urban centres in Africa are located in coastal aream and it has been said that most global coastlines will be submerged in the oceans. So if inland floods will obstruct agriculture and mining in the rural areas, the urban centres Will no be availabe as a refuge.

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