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Here are Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda in 2020

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Prodigal Son, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Prodigal Son

    Prodigal Son JF-Expert Member

    Mar 26, 2010
    Joined: Dec 9, 2009
    Messages: 963
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    Charles Onyango-Obbo

    The lead story in last week’s issue of TIME magazine was entitled “10 Ideas For The Next 10 Years”. It got me thinking about what are the 10 Big Ideas for East Africa, or better still, for the next 10 years. There are several, but here are my nine (there’s no space for 10):

    1.THE RISE OF PLASTIC SURGERY: The dramatic expansion of the private sector in Africa of the last two decades in Africa has altered the demographics of the retirement market.

    Where previously most retirees were worn out teachers, nurses, and civil servants with puny pensions, today there are many former managers and CEOs with generous pensions and golden parachutes.

    Apart from their money, they are bringing a greater image consciousness. To succeed in retirement, they will need to look youngish, so they will sink their money into the nascent plastic surgery market that is already fuelled by the increasing number of private hospitals.

    2.SOLAR POWER WILL COME OF AGE: In all probability, the big energy generating companies in Africa will not have got their act together, and the cost of electricity will remain. Where electricity is available, it will remain erratic.

    Solar is the future. Over Christmas, we went to a village on the shores of Lake Kyoga in eastern Uganda. Along the road, even at small towns where the usual onions and bananas were not on display, one thing was – small solar panels. Along with this, we will see a huge growth in solar-powered mobile phones.

    3.THE RETURN OF PRE-FABRICATED HOUSES: After the 2008-2009 global recession, we are not going to see the astronomical salary rises of the previous 30 years. Increases in salary and earnings are going to come from lower inflation and reduced prices.

    The one area that is going to play out in interesting ways is housing. The present skyrocketing cost of land and houses is not tenable.

    In the 1960s and 70s when post-independence African governments were faced by a boom in school-going children, they resorted to prefab schools to meet classroom demand. Over the next 10 years, we shall return to mass-produced prefab houses to make homes affordable.

    4.DECLINE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF HUSBANDS—AND MEN: I live in a part of town where, I am told, there are “very many rich widows and divorced women”. The African male is already in crisis, especially in the rural areas. With the increasing number of women in the work force, over the next 10 years there will be an explosion of single parent-homes (led by women). Men, and husbands, will be a less valuable commodity.

    5.FISH WILL BE THE NEW GOLD: Fish stocks all over Africa are dwindling as lakes disappear, and large ones like Lake Victoria, are overfished. Fish is going to be the richest export from East Africa – even more precious than the oil that has been discovered in Uganda, and seem likely to be lurking beneath Kenya. If you want to be a future billionaire, own a lake.

    6.A NEW AGE OF AFRICAN PUBLISHING: The last 10 or so years has seen the emergence of exciting African authors, after a drought of nearly 20 years. New publishing technologies and devices like e-readers (think iPad and Kindle), which will circumvent traditional publishers, is going to unleash a new wave of African writing. Wait for it.

    7.THE NEAR-DEATH OF STATE EDUCATION: Continuing corruption in education ministries, and overcrowding of public schools caused by Universal Free Primary Education (or Universal Primary Education, and now Universal Secondary Education in Uganda) have led to a sharp rise in private schools.

    If you want to see the future of government schools, go to Uganda. It is over. By 2020, on average 75 per cent of the top students in national exams will be from private schools in most of Africa.

    8.THE SECESSION OF THE RICH: It happened in the West, and is already happening in Africa. As traffic chokes our cities and crime make them too dangerous, the rich will flee far beyond the present suburbs into colonies for the wealthy, with their own security services, water, fuel stations, groceries, schools, helipads, and non –denominational churches.

    9.EAST AFRICA WILL HAVE AFRICA’S LONGEST-SERVING RULER: Uganda goes to the polls next year in February. President Yoweri Museveni will be 67 then, and will run for his sixth term in office (two of them unelected). He always “wins” elections, Mr Museveni.

    By 2016, he will 72 years old, younger than President Mwai Kibaki today, and will run again (thanks to the removal of presidential term limits in 2005). By the election of 2021, he will have been in power for 35 years, and will be the longest serving African leader.

    Chanzo; The citizen