A HEAD of the Bandung Asian-African Summit in Indonesia last April, statements from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s office suggested a long-range view for enhancing relationships on the continent. Driven by “commitment to strengthening cooperation” and achieving “prosperity through South-South cooperation”, Malaysia is expressing great enthusiasm and commitment to exploring opportunities in Africa.
Africa needs infrastructure development and investment. Good infrastructure is necessary for growth and development, which should provide jobs and opportunities as well as increased standards of living. In order to address this infrastructure gap, Africa needs contributions and investments from Africa and the rest of the world. The African Development Bank is making Infrastructure development one of its five operational priorities. Asia, which equally has massive infrastructural gaps, is addressing the problem through a number of approaches, including creating increased access to infrastructure funding, and utilizing the experience of other countries within and outside Asia. Singapore, a small city state, has made sustainable contributions to infrastructure development in Asia and is now going beyond Asia. Singapore is now venturing into Africa and would do well to increase engagements with Africa for mutual benefit.
South Africa does not face a crisis despite high crime, unemployment and inequality, though weak growth and poor governance have made it more likely things could go badly wrong, according to a new paper from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
Africa is a critical continent to watch in 2015. The year ahead holds incredible opportunity – as well as considerable risk.
Africa is poised to receive the global attention it deserves at top-level international meetings on financing for development, new global development goals and climate change.