By Dr. Suleiman Walhad
Saturday - January 8, 2022
The extractive industries led by the oil and gas will continue to
dominate events in the continent, as was always the case, over the centuries.
Minerals that would be needed much in the future such as cobalt, nickel,
manganese, copper, coltan, rare earths and even sand, will dominate and the
competition for these products will only exasperate the continent, as it is, fortunately
or unfortunately, endowed with all these riches, which the world needs. The
search and hence competition for oil and gas industries have now reached the
Horn of Africa, and the East and Central Africa regions. It has already led to
a suffering of the populations over the past three decades and this is not
expected to slow down, but to increase and weigh down on the affected regions.
New conflicts in regions that were thought to be stable has now cracked and
splintered. Ethiopia is one such country. Other than Somali troubles, the
country enjoyed, relatively a peaceful environment throughout the past century,
but it is being tipped over and the year 2022 does not hold well for Ethiopia,
according to many.
However, a new phenomenon is shaping up and that is a co-operation among
the states of the Horn of Africa, which have been at each other’s throats for
over a century. A new conglomerate is taking shape and that is the Horn of
Africa States (“HAS”), which is the creation of a greater Horn of Africa
consisting of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. The new entity, which
will operate much like the European Union, is to shield the region from being
individually targeted, by the menacing forces beyond. HAS is to be an economic
and a political partnership of the member countries. At present only Djibouti
is outside the fence, but the other three are working together towards that
goal. HAS enjoys a true historical background, which witnessed that it always
remained an important region of world affairs from time immemorable, including
but not limited to trade and empire-building. It enjoyed and still enjoys a
strategic location, coveted by many a nation, outside the region and it also
always enjoyed a military prowess, that was comparable to nations that existed
throughout history, and we are referring to ancient Egypt, ancient Persia, the Greeks,
and the Romans and even during the Islamic domination of the world. The Horn of
Africa and the mother continent, Africa, are looking at a new year that may not
be much different from those of the past century or centuries and that is,
international interference, in its affairs. We present below our general
thoughts on what we see as to what the year 2022 holds for Africa, from the
perspective of the people of the continent:
Covid-19 pandemic will continue to weigh on Africa, taking into consideration
the low vaccination rates, the gatekeeping of vaccines from the sources, and
the travel restrictions, thereof, into and out of it.
continuing and growing competition among the major powers of the world on
Africa’s resources and hence impact on its governing and political systems will
continue to pull down the continent, this time ever more heavily, because of
the fear of the West for losing its supposed turf to the new and growing powers
such as China, India, Turkey, and the moneyed West Asian countries.
hotspots will continue to be hotspots, and such are the regions of the Sahel
(Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, etc.) and the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia,
Eritrea, etc.). The ongoing conflicts will be further exasperated by the
continuing competition, between the United States and China, with the Europeans
and the Russians trailing behind them. Turkey has found itself, new markets for
its growing industrial power and would not let it go easily, while the Chinese
will continue to be the biggest investor in the region.
Southern Africa region will fare well during 2022 as it comes back to an
economic growth cycle. Southern Africa will stay on a growth trajectory,
although this hinges on how vaccination against covid-19 will be rolled out.
The region’s economy will continue to grow. According to the African
Development Banking Group (AFDB), the region is expected to grow at some 2% on
average. Zimbabwe will remain the weakest economy as it is marred by
hyperinflation. Namibia will grow at some 6.3%, while other countries will
recover from deficits and non-growth situations. SADC is now stipulating its
common parliament and overall, the region, is generally expected to fare well
during the year.
migration will continue to weigh on West and Central Africa, despite being some
of the richest real estate in the world. Some evil forces must be working on
those regions. It is difficult to explain, why people must leave a land that
can feed millions more than is already there.
markets for Africa’s resources, expand and this may help Africa to alleviate
some economic pressures. Generally, as Europe, the Americas including the
south, continue to decelerate, Africa will continue to accelerate, albeit at a
technology is expected to grow as the young population adopts the digital
revolution of the world information and chain supplies, thereof.
of Africa will take center stage in Africa’s malaise, as the conflict in
Ethiopia, involving such powers as the USA and China, continue to expand their
involvement. The USA, some nine months ago, appointed a special envoy, Jeffry Feltman,
who recently advised, he would leave the post after having failed to sway the
region in favor of the USA and the West. He will be replaced by a more veteran and
field-experienced envoy, David Satterfield, who is currently the USA Ambassador
to Turkey. The Chinese have also announced to be appointing a new special envoy
for the region, denoting even more, the importance of the region. Maybe we shall see the Russians also
appointing a special envoy or for that matter Turkey or India and others. The
Ethiopia conflict, is therefore, expected to expand or at least linger on
during the coming year 2022.
governing system, a system totally messed up by the desires and ill-wishes and
blatant interference of some countries, including some newly moneyed West Asian
countries as well as some African countries as tools for others, will continue
to bring in flashpoints during the year. But a new administration will come in
during the year, despite it being staged and staggered, unlike any other
election process in the world. As usual, the United Nations will continue to
discuss in international platforms about the famines and droughts of Somalia
and how most of the population will die of hunger. We ask ourselves, is it
natural hunger or induced hunger? It certainly is the latter for they were
talking about this hunger for the past thirty years and the population is still
growing and not dying. When would they stop lying? They should have taught the
continent, if they were genuine, how to fish, although, they did not need them
to be taught anything, anyway.
Sudan conflict will continue to linger on. Why shouldn’t it? The United Nations
has appointed Nicholas Haysom as its envoy to the country and this gentleman,
was chased away by the Federal Government of Somalia, when he was caught interfering
in the country’s fragile governing system, to disable an already disabled
system. South Sudan, will, therefore, continue as a result, to suffer in the
coming year and the usual malfateurs will continue to be blamed such as famines
and droughts, poverty, and tribal fighting, using the latest and modern
weaponry, despite the claimed poverty in the country. South Sudan was extracted
from Sudan and has not since enjoyed one peaceful day. Is this natural or some
evil conspiracy is being executed in the country?
mother country of South Sudan, is also suffering the same fate as its southern
child. Military coup after another, is still the modus operandi of the
governing system and the troubles of the population, because of a messed up
governing system, which continues to wreck the nation. Sudan is some 65 years
old and out of this, it spent some 52 years under a military rule. How does one
expect it to transition to a civilian democratic rule overnight?
rest of Africa, we see autocratic rulers, presiding over their populations for
decades. Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Museveni of Uganda, Paul Biya of Cameroun, Al
Sisi of Egypt and before him Mohamed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and so on and so
forth. What are they teaching their future leaders? That it is all fine to
impose oneself on a population. Bad apples spoil the whole and, indeed, these
bad apples in the continent, have messed up it up, for its future generations,
for they will also do the same – impose themselves on the populations through
sheer force and other malevolent means.
The African continent fed the world throughout the
ages through its free labor and material resources. It enriched Europe and the
Americas and now the Chinese and other Asians are coming to the continent for
their share. The question is, neither asks, what the Africans want. This
remains the main concern of the continent in the year 2022, as it always was. A
tiny country cannot negotiate with a country that is home to over 1.4 billion
people. Africa should regionalize and create new boundaries for themselves
leaving the old colonial boundaries behind, in the relics of history. It is
time the AU law on boundaries was revisited.
(Dr. Walhad writes on the Horn of Africa economies
and politics. He can be reached at