27 May 2019 – A beautiful one it was to have another Africa Day celebration marked on Saturday, 25 May 2019 with the theme of the year ‘The year of Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa’ chosen in line with Aspiration 1 of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 which is a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive and sustainable development’ .
Sure enough, there is a vital connection between the harsh variables of poverty, a high incidence of unemployment and underemployment, crime, corruption, violence, terrorism and the menace of forced displacement in Africa. It is indeed a welcome development to see the AU leadership poised towards collectively seeking a reality for Africa significantly or totally void of the causative factors that drive forced displacement therein.
Indeed, the need to see this become a reality for all humanity making up the African people cannot be overemphasised. Yet it all boils down to whether or not the political leadership of the AU member states as a collective front can in solidarity exercise the political will to do the needful. In doing this, the AU leadership must learn to collectively demonstrate sound political leadership on the continental front void of imperialistic influences while yet collaborating with the wider world along mutually beneficial lines to effectively address both the traditional and non-traditional human security challenges driving forced displacement in Africa .
The goal of a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive and sustainable development may remain a mirage for many years to come for the African people if the political will to break off the yoke of exploitative relations with its past colonial masters  and other such countries is not evident as well as if the cooperation among member states is not cohesive enough to pursue a development agenda that puts Africa on the path of inclusive and sustainable development.
With 60% of African youths accounting for the jobless population of Africa according to the World Bank, it is clear that a healthy lifestyle that prolongs life for the 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 constituting the largest continental population of young people in the world remains a farce at present. Evidence also shows that young women feel the bite of unemployment more painfully than their young male counterparts, as the African Development Bank (AfDB) discovered .
It may be a difficult one for any good student of economics to see how the problem of poverty, unemployment and underemployment, and so on bedeviling Africa’s economic and social development process can be effectively solved with the AGOA act still being one having African countries remain signatories to. The AGOA act may need to be tinkered with to reflect fair and not free trade for Africa and if not allowed, may be put away all together. To this end, trade unions and civil society across countries of Africa have repeatedly called for favourable economic and social policies to have local industries thrive, provide qualitative jobs and comparatively far more beneficial inclusive economic and social development returns to the African people.
This observation informed the decision of the East African Development Commission (EADC) to evolve favourable economic and social policies to curtail some observable inimical economic and social development effect of the AGOA act on survival and growth of local industries and their comparatively far greater contribution to Africa’s inclusive economic and social development. The political will to implement this unanimous decision reached was only however exercised by the head of state of Rwanda, Paul Kagame .
Appointed to lead the process of the AU institutional reforms in July 2016, this same Rwandan president commissioned a report into institutional reform – a topic often spoken about but improperly followed through as Lynsey Chutel observes . Yet as any good student of the economic history of developed nations of the world as well as of the BRICS emerging global economic giant nations knows, to create a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive and sustainable development, Africa needs fair trade not free trade.
Until African political leaders unanimously exercise the political will to implement policy decisions that put Africa on a path of inclusive and sustainable development, such a vision of a prosperous Africa may remain a lofty goal begging to be significantly acted upon to be excellently translated from the realm of dreams to that of reality. Happy Africa Day Celebration!
 African Union Celebrates Africa Day and launches memorial wall in honour of African heroes and heroines https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20190527/african-union-celebrates-africa-day-and-launches-memorial-wall-honour-african
 Challenge of Tackling Terrorism Threat Can Be Achieved through Solidarity, Secretary-General Tells African Union Peace and Security Council https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sgsm18874.doc.htm
[3b] The CFA Franc: French Monetary Imperialism in Africa https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2017/07/12/the-cfa-franc-french-monetary-imperialism-in-africa/
African Union to Launch 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year… https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20180122/african-union-launch-2018-african-anti-corruption-year%E2%80%A6
[3c] What is the Commonwealth if not the British Empire 2.0? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/17/commonwealth-british-empire-britain-black-brown-people
 Africa’s jobless youth cast a shadow over economic growth https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/special-edition
 African unions condemn global trade in used clothes as it suffocates textile sector http://www.industriall-union.org/african-unions-condemn-global-trade-in-used-clothes-as-it-suffocates-textile-sector
 The African Union has a brilliant plan for Africa, if it could get it right https://www.msn.com/en-xl/africa/top-stories/the-african-union-has-a-brilliant-plan-for-africa-if-it-could-get-it-right/ar-BBTHfb2
Olubankole Daniel Olulana
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the author in this article do not reflect the position of Humanity Voice Watch as a development communication oriented media social enterprise. Such views are the personal views of the author.
Afriscope is a periodic column of Humanity Voice Watch that offers a sound data-driven analytical reviews of policy issues and challenges with a bid to tracing out possible recommendations that lead to the adoption of policies that realise inclusive and sustainable development in the common interest of all humanity, their societies and planet.
Olubankole Daniel Olulana is an international development career oriented governance, management and media professional. He conducts research, advocacy as well as strategy and innovation inclined consulting on policy issues and challenges that border on governance and (inclusive and sustainable development. He can be reached at email@example.com