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A Tale of Two Countries – South Africa vs Nigeria

As they say, different strokes for different folks

The two giants of Africa could not have been more different yet similar in their socio-political and macroeconomic challenges. Despite the stark contrast in their level of sophistication and industrialization, their similarities range from being the two largest SSA economies to high income inequality. From protests to underlying macroeconomic conditions, the fate of the SSA region lies in the use of a defibrillator to resuscitate these two countries back to life and keep them from underperforming regional growth.

The #EndSars protest in Nigeria and Pro-Zuma riot in South Africa are quite different but have certain things in common. While the events were triggered by diverse circumstances – Police brutality in Nigeria and conviction of an Ex-president in South Africa – underlying the public eruption was strong macroeconomic hardship and  rising misery index in both countries. Unemployment rate has risen in South Africa (32.6%) and Nigeria (33.3%). The lesson here is that politicians can struggle for votes but they must remember that economic hardship will likely lead to a political backlash, no matter how long it takes.

The Wind of Change in Africa

The Greek alphabet, Delta (Δ), represents change in statistics. Africa is currently facing the winds of “change”.  The continent has gone from the wretched of the earth (in the words of Frantz Fanon, a foremost French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher) to the market of the earth. Africa is fast becoming a digital hub. This is so because of social media and its thriving young population. The median age in Africa is 19.7 years compared to the global median age of 29.6 years. These factors are driving the fast adoption of crypto currency and the rise of fintech giants like Flutterwave and Paystack.

This edition of the FDC Afriscope contains a cocktail of interesting economic and political stories about a continent that will likely define the future of the earth.

Do enjoy your read!