Pan African Connection
Bringing Literacy, Education and Development to disadvantaged communities across Africa
In the 1950's and early 60's the GDP per capita between Asia and Africa was very similar (see charts
below) since that time the economic gap has widened and unless focused efforts are made to lift the
standard of living in the rural communities; the gap will only get bigger. The author of the paper cited
makes the point that the differentiating factor is education.
Just as the focused efforts to place a man on the moon in the 1960’s gave us miniaturization of
components, computers and electronics, giving rise to a variety of devices including the handheld
calculator and setting the stage for advances in computational skills that helped spawn a host of
related industries; in a similar way, globalization, whichever way you choose to define its terms and
conditions, is the process once embraced that can help African nations end the cycles of poverty.
We have noted the historical anchors that held back the economies of Africa before; coupled with the
tinkering with Socialism after liberation and the erroneous ways they went about dismembering the
centrally planned economies; once they had embraced open markets and free trade.
But the positive benefits of globalization and free trade can only be made a convertible currency as they
become informed, are able, willing and have the skills to make intelligent decisions about their own
surroundings and finally when they are economically empowered. Sustainability will not be a pill or a
program run extemporaneously to them.
That is why the need for the comprehensive plan of action that Pan-African Connection seeks to bring to
these vulnerable communities. The accelerated process of globalization has been fueled by the
information age, the uptake of the knowledge based economies of the industrial world and the timely
exercise of entrepreneurial skills.
In its proper context, globalization and free trade, can and should be positive movements in our target
communities. However, they must be lifted up with the tools of the information age and not the
outmoded model of incremental agricultural productivity that would take generations to show its full
failure to lift these communities up from the cycle of poverty in which they are mired.