Interview with Khaled Igue: “The African continent wants to tell its story and for this we must create the future”

On September 20th, the second edition of Africa Time for a New Deal will take place in Paris. This meeting will be hosted by the Think Tank Club 2030 Africa, whose purpose is to reflect on African solutions to the problems of Africa. On this occasion, Khaled Igue, its instigator, talks to ANA about the last year and the new challenges of the continent.


Before we talk about the next edition of Africa Time for a New Deal, which will take place on September 20th in Paris, tell us what has happened since the first edition a year ago?

The first edition saw the birth of a report with recommendations that was the subject of discussions with companies, African associations, African chambers of commerce and also some governments, particularly, from West Africa and Morocco. The recommendations that we make beyond institutions represent real tools for raising awareness among the general public in Africa, who is really interested in the development of the continent.

It was the goal of the 2030 Africa Club that you founded, to accompany African countries in their process of development….

Africa is defining its own episteme; schools of thought are needed to reflect on an African vision of Africa and an African vision of the world. The African continent wants to tell its story and for this we must create the future.

Concerning this second edition, what are we waiting for?

We are addressing the subject of economic transformation of the continent to meet all these challenges. For more than fifteen years, 2016 will remain the year of the destabilization of the African continent growth. With a rate of less than 2%, some African economies are beginning the year 2017 with serious handicaps … The drop in raw materials prices has plunged the giants of Africa such as Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Ghana and Egypt, who had not anticipated the impact of this price decline on their economies. To recover starting from 2017, these countries must diversify their economies, especially towards agriculture, which could become the main source of income for some of them. At the same time, to create a business environment of the future, they must fight against their political instability and build the necessary infrastructure needed for their economic development. This will in particular help to reduce poverty and unemployment rates that are still higher in some of these countries.

What role should, and can the diaspora and the Think Tank like the 2030 Africa Club play in this respect?

Today, the African population is 1.2 billion, the diasporas are about 30 million people around the world, who enrich the cultural, political and economic scene of the host countries. Everyone in his own way, some by their agility, others through their mental fitness or through their know-how, which can make it possible to give a new breath to their countries of origin. From a cultural point of view, they can improve the erroneous view towards the continent. Geographer George Kimble had said that “the only obscure thing about Africa is our ignorance about it.” They can therefore introduce the culture of their country in order to enhance its cultural and tourist potential. This would allow for greater attractiveness in terms of foreign direct investment and would lead to an increase in the tourist influx to different countries. In terms of capital, their contribution is so important that it could be the macroeconomic response to the problems of a highly indebted Africa. The capital that flows from the diasporas is in fact higher than the aid paid each year to the continent by Western countries. Through the implementation of diaspora-based own funding schemes, the level of debt of African countries could be reduced. A source of funding could be created, thus reducing countries’ dependence on international organizations and putting an end to their very restrictive supervision of the granted credits.


Interview by Dounia


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