"The channel through which thoughts, strategies, hopes and ideas meet, combine, and evolve into effective solutions to the questions that face the many"... KV

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Population Expansion and Urbanisation...

Excerpt from a http://zbmafricancities.blogspot.com/ report. The blog is part of the ZBM Family of Blogs. [Series Part 1]

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Population Expansion and Urbanisation...

Africa is expected to witness some of the highest rates of population growth in the world, especially in the years leading up to 2030-2050. Uganda, one of East Africa's larger economies, is said to have an annual population growth rate of 3.1-3.2%; one of the highest in the world. In 2007, Uganda is estimated to have a population of in excess of 30million people, where at independence in 1962 the country had fewer than 10million citizens. By 2025 Uganda could have witnessed its population almost double to very near 60million people, and amazingly, by mid century (2050), the country could have become the world's 12th largest nation by population with 130million citizens.
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Global Context of Ghana's Population Issues

I have to agree with the majority of the article written by 'Energy' in the recent GhanaWeb commentary section of the article on population issues in Ghana. Many of the points he raised are key to the understanding of the issues that face us.

Ghana is a nation of around 20million citizens, and is expected to grow at around 2% a year for the foreseeable future. This said, Ghana is a nation which has so far been unable to spread the base of development in any significant way, outside the urban centers of Accra and Kumasi. In considering this, it is important to note that by 2020 Ghana could have a population of up to 30million people. If we think in the vein of 'conventional thought', this means we have a potential population problem on our hands. Let's look into that a little further...

One key factor that I feel has been overlooked for too long is the fact that as Africans we are still far too inward looking. We need to expand the base of enlightenment; schools and public facilities need to be available to the masses where it is needed, not to the middle and upper class urbanites. Let the grassroots understand that what one African state faces WILL affect and heavily impact upon all other African states in one way or another; whether we like it or not.

Let us not forget that Africa is completely different to Asia, the Americas, and Europe. We are the only MAJOR continent which stands on its own geographically; and to add to this, we are heading towards CONTINENTAL POLITICAL UNION,which would make us the LARGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD (ahead of Russia, Canada, China, and the USA). And as 'Energy' said, we are also substantially underpopulated in terms of where we should ideally be to reach the an economic 'critical-mass', widely believed to be neceessary to spark off exponential economic expansion in the near future; although from the figures I have available, the current total population figure is closer to 850 million [2005]. We can support a population of over 10 billion people without scratching the 'India threshold' (around 350 people/sq km) in terms of population density. That means an average of around 189 million people in each of Africa's 53 States.

If you consider this figure of over 10 billion Africans citizens, not being enough to warrant panic in terms of population turmoil or economic meltdown, and we consider that this figure is over '11-times' (1,100% higher than) the current population figure, is this recent fuss over our countries running out of resources, space and capital actually warranted? Remember that all the factors above, are widely expected to lead to the almost opposite effect; this being that it will enable planning (economic, social, legal, and political) to be undertaken on a more comprehensive level, leading to vastly improved economic prospects and the ability of the Continent to provide services to the masses at a greatly improved level of service and quality, all at economically-efficient costs.

Getting back to Ghana, these facts above demonstrate how the terms of development can easily be shifted so far off course, even if just in our minds, that we will essentially miss possibly the greatest opportunity we have ever had. We need to grasp the realities of our individual and collective situations in order to make the best of this unique situation.

It is my opinion that we need to work towards collaborative systems between ourselves (African Nations), which will allow us the opportunity to forecast, integrate and establish efficeint means of executing policies; and that the organs of the African Union should be taking the LEAD ROLE in this, in anticipation of a 'SINGLE AFRICAN GOVERNMENT', whilst continuing on the path toward REAL self-governance; be it FEDERAL or otherwise.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Response to GhanaWeb article on US Bases in Ghana, W.Africa, and the AU as a whole

It looks like a whole lot of people are forgetting about the sacrifices that have been made by our leaders past and present.

Since 1900, all the true leaders of Africa have been working not only to secure our freedom, way of life, and our ability to determine our common future; but also to be able to control the security of our land. Their efforts resulted in the OAU which made huge strides in so many areas; it would be a disservice to attempt to condense them into this small commentary.

From the OAU, has emerged the African Union [AU].

Now bear with me here...

The AU, under international norms and regulations, is a Federal Republic following the signing of ‘The Union Act’ [March, 2001]; incidentally making the AU the world's largest country by size (29,800,000 km2), and the third largest by population (880 million). Our Federation has a Parliamentary government, led by a Head of State; Hon. President Gertrude Ibengwe Mongella; who is also the head of the Pan-African Parliament [PAP].

Ghana is therefore one state of 53, of ‘The Federal African Union’, meaning that our sovereignty is effectively passed onto the highest institution of the AU government; the Pan-African Parliament.

The AU has set in motion the process which will result in the creation of a Pan-African ‘African Defence Force’ [ADF], with its own African Chiefs of Defence Staff; previously called the ‘Joint African High Command’. Combined it currently has a force numbering 3,500,000 (3.5m) active men and women, over 1,000 units in the Air Force, and an ever expanding Naval Force; capable of patrolling, securing and defending the territorial waters of the Federation which measures 30,490km. The AU is currently operating peace-keeping missions in Sudan and Congo, not to mention having mediated and overseen the ending of the long-standing Chadian-Sudanese conflict. AU forces are also heavily involved in humanitarian missions all over the world, and have played an active role in a vast number of international missions in collaboration with the UN.

The ADF is focused on ending Intra-African conflicts, allowing us the people to concentrate our efforts on the developing of ourselves and the social, economic, and cultural fabric which surrounds us.

Plans are well underway to establish regional command-centres for the A.D.F. all across the Federation, as well as to improve and expand upon the military training centres and officer training institutes around the AU.

Now bearing all this in mind, how can we as Ghanaians, in any way, shape or form, allow any country; superpower or not; to simply ‘decide’ to place their military bases on the sovereign soil of the Federal African Union? How can we betray those who have come before us? How can we forgo the brotherhood and unity between us and the rest of the African People; at home and abroad?

This goes for all the other AU states that have considered the advances of the American army.

If the USA is truly concerned about the security of the oil-fields from which they plan to source over 25% of their oil-based energy, they should request to set-up a meeting with President Gertrude Mongella, The PAP (Pan-African Parliament) she heads, and the African Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Federal African Union. Through this dialogue, they can together, as equals, come to an agreement on the best way to utilise the ADF Naval, Ground and Air Forces to secure the energy exports that the Americans are so concerned about.

This goes for N.A.T.O. and any other army forces aside from that of the Federal African Union’s A.D.F. We respect their sovereignty, and they must in turn respect ours; at all times and in all situations.

President Gertrude Mongella should be the first to be consulted on such an issue. When we speak of ‘Unity’, all of us being part of ‘One Africa’, etc.; we should come to realise and accept that we have now well and truly passed the point where we simply spew rhetoric without taking concrete steps in the right direction.

Maybe this is the time forge “The African Dream”. Maybe we need to start taking responsibility for our own future. Maybe, just maybe, we need to realise our own potentials and responsibilities in the global economy, and collectively stand our ground and make it known that we will control what happens on African soil. In any case it is still the fact that the AU seeks to continue the cordial relations we have with all our trading partners and allies. So why should the USA be so concerned?

These are the realities of today’s Africa; we are only one state of 53 in the AU. We can no longer act unilaterally on such issues. This is something that we are simply going to have to get used to. After all, it is this unity of thought and unanimity of action that we have been working toward for well over 100 years.

How Big Is The African Union?

As you can see, in comparison to the world's dominant 'superpowers' The Federal African Union is considerably larger than even the more sizeable countries.

This is just to give some idea as to the comparative size, and to give an idea of the potential of the AU, economically, politically, and socially.

[Many thanks to the compilers of this map]

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Welcome, to The Zuberi-Mongoose Reports...

Welcome All;

Thank you for taking the time to read this brand new blog. As you will come to see in the times ahead, I will be posting articles on a wide-variety of topics, in a range of styles; from heavily formal, to straight-talking informality.

I hope you will come to enjoy the blog, and that you will involve and immerse yourself in the areas of discussion.