The recent 2013 Ibrahim Forum (held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) that attracted over 200 participants drawn from various professional backgrounds to discuss the major opportunities and challenges facing the continent made crucial observations that if observed, could put Africa on the growth trajectory.
The participants called upon Africa to take full ownership of its institutions and fund them; be courageous enough to tell its own story; pursue intra-Africa trade; dismantle barriers that hinder mobility; nurture and plan for its bulging youth population; and use its vast wealth to benefit the citizenry.
The above observations show that Africa does not suffer from a dearth of brilliant minds that can catapult the continent to prosperity. The challenge however is to harness sufficient goodwill to make the observations practical. Endowed with tremendous intellectual and natural resources, the continent has no reason why it should not make this century its century. It can borrow a leaf from Switzerland, a small landlocked country that has a difficult terrain and has no natural resources, yet it is so competitive, innovative and prosperous, allowing it to grow into one of the largest banking centres, shipping powers and commodities player.