World News /26 Apr 2018

What African Countries Could Learn from Wakanda

Black Panther is more than just a movie. The affairs and tribulations of King T’Challa were perfectly presented on the silver screen. Wealthier than DC’s Bruce Wayne, the King of Wakanda had the support of his subjects who could hide their technologically advanced city with force fields. It was the comic-book version of Shangri-La, or the famous city of gold, El Dorado. But how?

The movie and the books attribute Wakanda’s success to vibranium. Yes, the rare metal that costs a fortune, the metal Captain America depended upon to protect himself from Iron Man’s blasters in Captain America: Civil War. A gram of vibranium can cost upwards of $10,000 or more, almost 250 times the price of gold.

Vibranium first appeared in Daredevil #13 (1966), where it was dubbed ‘the anti-metal.’ In that issue, vibranium could cut through any metal on earth. It is precious because of its resilient properties. It has the ability to absorb incoming collisions and store the vibrations and momentum.

Some of the awesome applications of vibranium were used in weapons, such as spears used by the Dora Milaje (female bodyguards of the King of Wakanda) and bullets used by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and superhero Maverick. However, the most prolific use of vibranium was in Black Panther’s suit.

The Black Panther’s suit is made entirely from vibranium. Not only is it bulletproof, but it absorbs and stores kinetic energy. The energy can be used by Black Panther to create shockwaves and punch enemies through walls like One Punch Man.

Wakandans use vibranium in all aspects of their life. According to Marvel villain Ulysses Klaue, every technology Wakanda possesses, from cutlery to cars to clothes, everything has vibranium components. The versatility of vibranium, the lack of external aggression, no internal strife, and a land laden with natural resources helped Wakanda turn into a futuristic city.

Although fictional, Wakanda proves to be an ideal blueprint for any number of African countries, minus the farfetched futuristic technology. The country progressed due to four factors that if some African countries apply, they will be able to overthrow poverty and stabilize their economies:

  1. The African nations need to identify their most invaluable exportable resources and establish an infrastructure to proliferate their trade internationally.
  2. They need to minimize internal and external aggression.
  3. Their economies should never be dependent on a particular commodity, they should diversify.
  4. Practicing abstraction will help cover up important development from competitors.

The continent of Africa is peppered with natural resources. Africa happens to be the home of the world’s top five oil-producing countries. Oil and gas-rich African countries include Kenya, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Cameroon, Sudan, and the Republic of Congo.

These countries still haven’t paid attention to further exploration to recover oil and gas resources nor strengthened the existing infrastructure that processes the resources. Wakanda used Vibranium to strengthen its infrastructure without even exporting it. In the real world, modernizing agriculture can revolutionize the African economy.

Africa is lagging behind due to colonization, slavery, and violence. Bloodshed still ails the continent as colonization and ‘divide-and-rule’ policy of many colonizers left the natives battered and fueled in-fighting. The African violence has been a subject of many films, including Hotel Rwanda and Tears of the Sun. Africa needs to let go of religious and cultural segregation and break the cycle of violence. The wars have damaged infrastructure and pushed back development by several decades.

Wakanda used vibranium to develop its other sectors. This is what Africa should concentrate on. Diversification is important for the African countries. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, the founder of the Angolan investment company, Quantum Global, reiterates this fact.

“Economic diversification is not a swift course that will change the business sphere of Africa instantly,” says Jean Claude Bastos de Morais. “Rather, it’s a long-term process that can only proliferate on a strong and stable base. Diversification depends on a lot of factors, the biggest one being the country’s economic policies,” he adds.

The economic policies of Africa should include abstracting information about their resource discoveries and financial system. It might sound paranoid but there still exist powers who wish to exploit and abuse the weak African countries that have abundant natural resources. Wakanda has hidden its ahead-of-its-time infrastructure and technology with the help of force fields and presenting itself as a really poor country.

Another important thing the African nations require is a strong and just leadership like Wakanda’s. In reality, African leaders, who are supposed to serve, are served. There is also the problem of corruption. In Black Panther, Wakanda did face a similar problem, but King T’Challa understood the root of the problem and battled his cousin, Erik Killmonger, graciously.

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