1 in 4 People will be African by 2050. Will that Change Global Power Relations?

One in four people will be African by 2050. Global population is predicted to rise to between 9-10 billion people by 2050. More than half of these will come from Africa.

By 2050, half of the world (except the USA) will come from Asian and African nations, including Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia and Uganda. Europe, by contrast, will see a decrease in population by this time.

In 2012, “British whites”, for the first time, made up London’s minority, with 45% of the capital city’s population. British newspapers ran alarming headlines about the state of London’s ethnic population, blaming this minority status on an influx of immigrants.

The BBC would use maps of the UK to represent the “Ten largest decreases in white British population” both within and outside London. In a tale of racial mobility, it would chart the history of white migration into London, juxtaposed with the migration of ‘minority ethnic groups’ into the city, as minorities struggled to catch up with the financial success of white Brits.

Africa’s Population Growth

In 1986, the World Bank published a report which stated: “For sub-Saharan Africa, the need for reductions in population growth rates is a critical component in achieving greater economic development and higher standards of living.

“Slowing population growth in the next few decades, as part of broader development strategies, can help to relieve poverty and raise living standards for Africa’s people.”

While some of Africa’s problems today can be attributed to a large population growth, other factors, including climate change, indebtedness to the World Bank, and corruption, are as much to blame. However, like China, it is this population growth which will project Africa to global power.

1 in 5 people in the world today are Chinese. In 2016, following accelerated population ageing, and a rapidly changing and unsustainable demographic, the country modified its one-child policy to a two-child policy. China faced the same problems as Africa, yet the nation-state has been financially successful.

In 1950, Africa made up 8.25% of the world’s population. Seven years later, Ghana’s independence from Britain, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, was seen as a victory for the entire continent. Pan-African leaders worldwide would herald Nkrumah’s leadership as the beginning of a bright future for Africa. The assassination of Pan Africanist leaders, the corruption of those in power, and the indebtedness of the continent would delay that dream for the next seventy years.

Today, China, Japan and Russia are seeking cooperation with Africa, as the continent enjoys lasting economic growth. On the 24th of this month, President Vladimir Putin will host the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. For Russia, the goal is: “the expansion of the political, economic, technical and cultural cooperation” between Russia and Africa.

Africa’s population and financial growth, however, has come at a cost. Systematic violence against black people worldwide remains high. In the USA, as white racial insecurity continues to grow, the white power movement grows stronger. Black people in the USA are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people.

On October 5, police officer Amber Guyger, was sentenced to prison for the murder of Botham Jean, a black man. Two days later, Joshua Brown, a key witness for the prosecution, was murdered, in a move similar to the post-slavery lynchings of African Americans. His lawyer would claim that he was “assassinated”. The President of the USA, Donald Trump, has habitually fuelled racial tension in the West, spreading propaganda against non-white people and supporting the white power movement.

Racial anxieties over Africa’s rise to a position of global power has led to panic in the West about the declining birth rates of white people. Last week, the US Supreme Court announced that it would judge its first abortion case since Brett Kavanaugh – accused multiple times of sexual misconduct – was confirmed as a Supreme Court judge. Critics have argued that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, which legalised abortion in the US, will be repealed by this new lawsuit.

Anti-abortion laws continue to pass in many US states, criminalising abortion in a panicked attempt to stem the decline of the global white population.

In Africa, many hoped that the post-independence decades of the 1950s and 1960s would catapult the continent to global power and agency. In the decades to come, the continent would top the world’s poorest nations list, as it struggled to reach the Pan Africanist dream.

It continues to top this list today, but population growth and financial growth will see the continent begin to achieve world power in the second half of this century.