Our industrialization program, worth 1,000 billion euros over 20 years, will set sub-Saharan Africa on the road to success.

Industrie femme jidf 2022

Most Africans no longer believe the promises made by governments and international institutions. African Agenda 2063 is not taking off. Official Development Assistance (ODA), considered condescending or even post-colonial, has been failing for 60 years, and ideological thinking is sclerosing development. As long as there is no secure, non-dogmatic global project, capital and industry will not come.

A model of intelligent capitalism that will reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition          

In 2020, I wrote in Tribune Afrique: "Sub-Saharan Africa: capitalism could succeed where official development assistance (ODA) has failed for 60 years". The creation of an investment fund, a tool for financing and implementing the program, endowed with 1,000 billion euros over 20 years and matched by France, the EU and financial institutions, will make it possible to carry out the first voluntary and credible project for the industrialization and development of sub-Saharan Africa.

The breakdown, albeit variable, of financing requirements over 20 years would be as follows :

300 billion euros to finance the creation of 100 modern, scalable and secure industrial and commercial zones of varying sizes, in some 40 countries, whose occupants - foreign or local companies - will then pay rents and services to the management fund. To create self-sufficient, energy-efficient living spaces, these ecosystems will be complemented by agricultural activities within a perimeter of just a few dozen kilometers.

400 billion will be devoted to loans to local and foreign companies, as well as to equity investments in high-potential projects. However, we will need to back the fund with external investment and compensation mechanisms to ensure profitability and stability.

300 billion euros to build 100 ecological new towns, at reasonable distances from the 100 industrial and commercial zones. Eventually, they will be home to 150/200 million inhabitants, including families of workers who will benefit from energy, transport, education, health and other infrastructures.

One of the key activities of our "Program for the industrialization of Sub-Saharan Africa in less than 20 years" strategy and management consultancy will be to canvass and convince major companies in France and around the world, with production process diagrams in hand and financial projections to back them up, to include Sub-Saharan Africa in their global value chain (GVC) stages.


The development of industrial and commercial activities, which will be less and less informal, will provide new tax resources. A country's ability to raise taxes is one of the criteria used by financial institutions. As development progresses, governments will be able to borrow from banks to buy up infrastructure or invest alongside our fund.  

Program could save France more than 1,500 billion euros over 20 years

It's doubtful that France has a choice. Its destiny and that of French-speaking Africa are linked. Without industrialization and development of the region, and under the weight of sub-Saharan demographics, exponential immigration fleeing extreme poverty and hunger will overwhelm France and shatter its social model. My article in Le Figaro warned: "If Europe does not help sub-Saharan Africa to industrialize, immigration will explode". French ODA is approaching 16 billion euros for the world in 2022 and, with the target of 0.7% of GDP, will exceed 20 billion in 2025. It will double or triple if humanitarian chaos affecting 1 billion Africans occurs over the next decade.

Our program could save France more than 1,500 billion euros over 20 years, if we take into account any direct or indirect costs associated with related phenomena, as well as the savings generated by the gradual abandonment of our Official Development Assistance policy.

Why the EU and financial institutions will also agree to contribute to our fund

Admittedly, the total financing requirement of 1,000 billion euros over 20 years may seem considerable. However, the project involves some forty countries, and will also benefit the entire African continent. When we compare this annual global investment of 50 billion euros with the 2,400 billion dollars a year recommended by COP 27 to help the countries of the South and "change the climate", i.e. almost 50 times higher, or with the 27,000 billion euros by 2030 demanded by the NGO Oxfam, it's clear that the investors - developed countries and multilateral institutions - targeted to put their hands in their pockets, will prefer to invest in our transparent and serious program, whose investment fund will also, in time, provide a return on the capital invested. The EU is spending 80 billion euros in ODA by 2023, but the method seems haphazard. In 2016, Brussels had envisaged funding of 1,000 billion euros, but for lack of a structured plan, had to give up.

Financial markets, which in an unstable environment sometimes struggle to find investments to house the trillions of euros entrusted to them, will supplement the contributions. At a time when every investment must be adorned with CSR and inclusivity, a development program and its investment fund, likely to ultimately save several hundred million Africans from malnutrition, humanitarian chaos and death, but whose investment methodology would comply with the requirements of security and return on capital, will appeal to international finance.

The geopolitical and geostrategic stakes are not lost on the US government either, which fears the rise of China and its stranglehold on the rare earths of digital technology. The Africa Atlantic Axis will open up a new avenue. Similarly, it's hard to see how the UN, the World Bank, the AU, the AfDB and other institutions could refuse to sign up to the only concrete, far-reaching plan to reduce extreme poverty and hunger in the sub-Saharan region in 60 years, unless they wanted to keep sub-Saharan Africa where it is for ideological reasons.

But without the protection of industrial sites and their employees and families, capital and business would not flow. Security is therefore a key component of the agreement. The African signatory countries will provide personnel. Their training and remuneration are budgeted for in the program. 

Construction entrusted to expert companies who will do their utmost to preserve flora and fauna  

Companies with environmental expertise will contribute their excellence to this innovative project, which will place the preservation of flora and fauna at the forefront of its concerns. High levels of air pollution in African cities are the 2nd leading cause of premature death after malnutrition. We will therefore be asking major automotive groups to build, in partnership with new local companies that will create numerous jobs, affordable, adapted and fuel-efficient hybrid and electric bus and car models. They would gradually replace a fleet with deadly emissions. African industrialization and new trade links could help to revitalize the economies of France and other countries whose growth has stalled.

An enterprising African youth living in Africa, and a diaspora that is often well educated and attached to its dual culture, disappointed by past policies, are showing a growing interest in our "program for the industrialization of sub-Saharan Africa in less than 20 years". A broad endorsement of this program will facilitate its realization. Together, we must try to disprove predictions that 90% of the world's extreme poverty will be concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, against a demographic backdrop of population doubling and possible unprecedented humanitarian chaos. Sub-Saharan Africa has the opportunity and the power to offer itself a new destiny.

Francis JOURNOT is a consultant and entrepreneur. He directs the Program for the Industrialization of Sub-Saharan Africa in less than 20 years, or the Europe-Africa Production Regionalization Plan and Africa Atlantic Axis.  He conducts research for the International Convention for a Global Minimum Wage and maintains the Collectivité Nationale website.

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