The 12th Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture focusing on the achievement of the African Union (AU) since its inception two decades ago, has laid bare the challenges that the continent still contends with, despite its goal of unity.
Delivering the lecture in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, Professor Toyin Falola lamented the challenges that continue to plague the entire continent, including the state of poverty that most Africans continue to live in.
“The 59 percent fall below three dollars a day and 80 percent live below five dollars a day. So many worries have been expressed. The estimated number of Africans living in extreme poverty has been put at 478 million. That is a large number, and as a result of the global commercial and the economic shut down caused by COVID-19 epidemic, this figure climbed to 490 million Africans, living below two dollar a day.”
Africans are survivors
Professor Falola has also lauded Africa’s ability to overcome adversity and turn harsh situations into gains.
Falola said that there is much to be celebrated in Africa.
“Africa will be defined by success, the success of our humanity, which nobody can take away from us, the success of our humility, which is well known, the success of our resilience. We survived the Atlantic slave trade, we’re still here, we survived genocide, we’re still here, we survived imperialism, we’re still here, we survived colonisation, we’re still here, we survived poverty, we’re still here, we survived COVID, we’re still here. There’s nothing we’re not going to survive.”
VIDEO | Thabo Mbeki Annual Lecture delivered by Prof Falola: