Global influence – Africa as a light to the nations
Like Joseph, timely action in response to an opportunity will allow us to feed the people of Africa and build the economies of our nations. There is also potential that, like with Joseph, our surplus will be able to feed and influence the rest of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of traditional economic systems as it swiftly catalysed the largest global economic recession since the Great Depression. The financial systems that made many aid-offering nations wealthy have been driving the ecological crisis. Traditional economic systems have been shown to be vulnerable and are unlikely to survive the coming environmental emergencies without significant shocks.
A new type of Abundant African economy that simultaneously reduces poverty and inequality, honours human dignity, and nurtures the environment, could also be an economy that will lead the world. Africa has many advantages when it comes to innovating and pioneering new sustainable economic practices.
Africa has fewer large corporations, communities and governments with huge investments in dirty industries that would oppose climate-friendly changes than more developed nations. Old, expensive polluting technology can be leap-frogged, with investments going directly into clean and sustainable technology. The need for resource-hungry, centralised systems of control can be bypassed using technology and local governance networks.
At a time when many other nations are turning to nationalism and away from multilateral organisations, Africa is implementing cross-border, inclusive political ideas, such as the African Union (AU) establishing new institutions and an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Africa’s young people are open to new ideas and have the energy to implement them. Many of them are people of faith. The church in Africa is the new locus of world Christianity. We know from both scripture and history that God often uses the marginalised to bring change, or the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Joseph himself was a young man, a slave and a prisoner, yet God used him to save Egypt and the world around it. If young Africans, filled with God’s Spirit, are able to hear his voice, envision a different story for the future, and have the courage to make different choices, then an Abundant African economy becomes the logical option to develop Africa. Africa could lead the rest of the world by living out a practical model that solves both poverty and the environmental crisis.