The Cheetah Generation: Nurturing Africa’s Economic Prosperity in the Right Direction | Elorm Kobla Awuye

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Africa is a continent rich in history, and culture and a land of immense diversity. Africa has a youthful population that has an untapped potential that will lead Africa onto the cusp of a transformative era. Kenyan author and economist Dr. George Ayittey refers to the transformative force as the “Cheetah Generation”. A Generation born and raised in the era of globalization and technological advancement, which holds the key to Africa’s fortunes, especially in economic prosperity. 

The Cheetah Generation embodies youthful zeal, innovation, adaptability and a commitment to progress. Unlike the people of old who endured colonization, political turmoil, and economic challenges, these young Africans, comprised of Africa’s dynamic and forward-thinking youth, have grown up in a different environment. This new environment has led them to be exposed to globalization, technology, and access to information which is easily available at their fingertips.  This exposure has ignited a desire to create positive change not constrained by the limitations of the past. 

One of the most significant contributions the Cheetah Generation can and is already bringing to the table in Africa is its entrepreneurial spirit. This generation is not content with traditional paths to success but is venturing into various sectors, from technology startups to creative industries. They see social problems as a means to drive up job creation which will create wealth to dampen the economic woes of Africa. They see challenges as opportunities for innovation and are eager to create solutions. Africa’s economic future lies in diversification and the establishment of new industries, and the Cheetah Generation is at the forefront of driving this change because they are fully aware of the times in which they are. 

The Cheetah Generation catalyzes the continent’s economic prosperity by attracting foreign investment and fostering innovation. Foreign investors are increasingly turning their attention to Africa as an untapped market teeming with potential. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Cheetah Generation, coupled with their tech-savviness, is a magnet for venture capital and foreign direct investment. These investors recognize the vast opportunities for growth and expansion offered by African startups driven by the youth which spans from fintech and agritech to renewable energy and healthcare. Flutterware, a Nigerian fintech company had $170 million in capital injections from investors. As these startups continue to thrive and scale, they are not only solving local issues but also setting examples for the world. Success stories like this reshape perceptions and demonstrate the immense potential Africa holds to impact beyond its borders, making them key players in Africa’s journey toward economic prosperity. 

Another key factor to economic prosperity is Education and the Cheetah Generation prioritizes education like no other generation. Because education plays a pivotal role in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and ensuring economic growth, the Cheetah Generation actively pursues valuable skills and proper education to be well informed to contribute to various sectors of the economy. The World Bank in the Financing Higher Education Africa Publication in 2010 said the total number of higher education students in Africa has tripled, increasing from 2.7 million in 1991 to 9.3 million in 2006. This shows the increase of Africans pursuing higher education. Knowledge coupled with skills is what is needed to elevate Africa’s economic prosperity and that is what Daniel Amoako Antwi, Co-founder of Africa Internship Academy (AIA) set out to do. AIA provides work readiness and entrepreneurship programs for secondary and tertiary students and graduates to gain entrepreneurial and employable skills.  People like Daniel help change the narrative of Africa’s educational landscape by producing both a skilled and knowledgeable workforce that can contribute to economic growth. 

The Cheetah Generation is instrumental in Africa’s economic prosperity. It represents a new hope and dynamic force in Africa’s journey towards economic prosperity. Their adaptability, digital prowess, entrepreneurship and commitment to education make them a force for change. As they continue to shape the future of the continent, they hold the potential to unlock Africa’s vast economic potential and create a brighter future for the entire continent. African leaders and policymakers must recognize their importance and create an enabling environment for them to thrive and lead the way towards economic prosperity.

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