While strife and instability may mark much of world’s perception of Africa, the continent is strengthening its efforts to be viewed as economically viable on a global stage. To further this goal, Senegal will host Fesman 2009, a two-week arts festival set to kick off Dec. 1.
In making the announcement at the NAACP’s centennial celebration in New York Wednesday, Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade stressed an abundance of untapped investment opportunities that Americans, especially black Americans, are missing out on.
“Africa is now the only continent that has plenty of natural resources,” Wade said. “This is why we have to prepare our people for this next opportunity. People will come to Africa, because Africa will be the last frontier.”
Wade and leaders from other African nations will use the festival to promote private and public sector partnerships with Africa. Fesman 2009 is slated to be the largest ever gathering of artists from Africa and the African diaspora worldwide.
Even greater than establishing business and investment opportunities in Africa, the festival also seeks to push forward the goal of a united Africa by 2017.
A United States of Africa would hold more weight in international affairs and command global recognition, according to Fesman2009.com. Proponents said the unification would better equip the continent to fight instability without Western interference and also “fight poverty, and…face the challenges of globalization.”
But, with only eight more years left in reaching this goal, Wade’s initiative may prove to be a bit ambitious for continent with hundreds of languages and a multitude of cultures.
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com.