Education and Academic Achievement
Did you know that Black immigrants from Africa have more college education and higher rates of degree attainment than any other immigrant group in the United States? According to U.S. Census data, Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in the nation, surpassing whites and Asians. Eighty percent of the population of the Caribbean Diaspora hold college degrees, says one World Bank study.
African and Caribbean immigrants are also among the most educated in other countries, such as Canada and England.
According to the study entitled, “African American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” between 2000 and 2009, the number of African-Americans with some college education or earning academic degrees has grown: 45 percent of men; 54 percent of women.
In ”Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey: Africa for Africans,” the Pan-African leader is quoted as saying: “Education is the medium by which a people are prepared for the creation of their own particular civilization, and the advancement and glory of their own race.” In other words, the purpose of education is to prepare people to solve the problems of their society.
The Black world suffers from a severe brain drain because the most educated among us are usually busy solving other people’s problems. If the spirit that drives Black people to achieve the highest levels of academic success were harnessed for the benefit of our people, imagine how much progress could be made.
That Africa is set to become the world’s economic engine within the next 10 years and during the 21st century is a well-known fact. Sub-Saharan Africa is the second fastest-growing region of the world today, trailing only developing Asia. In 2012, sub-Saharan Africa maintained solid growth, with output growth at 5 percent on average.
As a result, Africa now has the fastest-growing middle class in the world. Some 313 million people, 34 percent of Africa’s population, spend US $2.20 a day, a 100 percent increase in less than 20 years, according to the African Development Bank. It is also acknowledged that Africa’s middle class is on course to becoming larger than that of India. By 2060, Africans living below the poverty line are estimated be in the minority – 33 percent.
The African-American population has also developed into an economic force to be reckoned with, with a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015.
According to the United Nation’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014, growth in Latin America and the Caribbean decelerated in 2013, to a pace of 2.6 percent. The report, however, forecast growth in the region to improve to 3.6 and 4.1 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Advancements in Technology and Infrastructure
From mobile payments to telemedicine and advertising, there is a common pulse of innovation throughout the continent of Africa and the Diaspora, driven by an irrepressible combination of aspiration and necessity.
Nigeria is becoming a technology giant with great potential in the industry. In recent times, the country saw the now-famous demonstration of a urine-powered generator developed by school teenagers; technology that would enable Nigerians to use the moringa plant for water treatment, a significant move toward increasing the accessibility to portable water; and its first-ever indigenous auto maker. There are also many achievements in mobile and web applications development in the country.
In Kenya, a Nairobi startup named iHub is an informal melting pot for local techies, investors, tech companies, software developers, engineers and other creative minds to come together and discuss new ideas.
The world’s largest solar-powered hospital is currently operated in Haiti. The cutting edge facility boasts over 1,800 solar panels installed on its white roof, natural ventilation and lighting, sun angles, motion sensor lights, healing gardens and courtyards, and water-efficient plumbing and highly effective waste-water treatment.
From its establishment in 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) identified the need for the economic integration on the continent as a prerequisite for economic development, and the establishment of new African institutions to better address conflicts and political instability.
Africa’s current integration landscape contains an array of regional economic communities, eight of which are considered to be the building blocks, including Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) ,Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEEAC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) seeks to establish the same concept, with 15 island nations, and the “buy Black” initiatives by African-Americans in the U.S. also share the goal of economic development through economic integration.
Marcus Garvey said: ”Negroes should be more determined today than they have ever been, because the mighty forces of the world are operating against the non-organized groups of people, who are not ambitious enough to protect their own interests.”
While these efforts have not been perfected, they are a good start in the right direction of organizing to solve the problems facing the Black world.
Identity and Black Nationalism
Garvey identified this reality when he said: ”That we suffer so much today under whatsoever flag we live is proof positive that constitutions and laws, when framed by the early advocates of human liberty, never included and were never intended for us as a people.”
Although some progress is being made in several places throughout the Black world, Black people should recognize that our problem is global, and an effective solution can only be achieved if it addresses our collective interests first. This was the central idea to Garveyism.