Julius E. Coles, president of Africare, recently spoke as part of a series of talks on Global Health where he asserted that Africa’s prospects point to a bright future for the continent.
Hosted at Washington, D.C.’s Cosmos Club by Dr. William E. Matory, a top African American surgeon, the talk was attended by other leading African American physicians and medical professionals. Former governor of Virginia, Douglas Wilder, kicked off the six-month long series.
Coles’ speech entitled “Africa in the New Millennium,” detailed major positive changes occurring on the continent and displayed optimism about its prospects. According to Coles, the expected growth of the African population to over 2 billion by the year 2050 will offer the global business community both a young and talented labor force and a much lower tax burden than the ratios offered on more advanced continents.
Pointing out the recent economic growth trends on the continent Coles said, “In the last decade, 10 countries had a growth rate of over five percent with three countries over seven percent.” Other indicators of progress on the continent are democratically-elected presidents advocating good governance while developing sound economic polices and the formation of the African Union.
In his concluding statements, Coles stressed the strategic importance Africa has become to other continents when presented with the statistics of Africa’s rich supply of natural resources. Africa supplies the United States with about 15% of its oil imports, a figure which is expected to double in the next decade. The abundance of important resources can give Africa an opportunity to enjoy a sustained period of high commodity prices for the first time in modern history.