Home Questions?? Can An African Country Rise To A World Superpower In This Century?- By Nicolas Dean

Can An African Country Rise To A World Superpower In This Century?- By Nicolas Dean

by DReporters
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In this century? Unlikely but not necessarily impossible. There are many facets that make a nation a superpower, but of course not all are needed.

The qualifications for a superpower are as follows:

Economic Strength

Military Strength

Technological Strength

Political/Cultural Strength

Diplomatic Strength

Not all of these are required but having all puts you well above the rest.

Now we should look at the superpowers of recent history. There have not been that many as to be considered a superpower you need influence on the global scale. The only nations I could qualify in this right are the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, and of course the United States. The Soviet Union no longer exists and the United Kingdom is no longer the global hegemony it once was. However, both are still good examples of what makes a superpower. I could also consider the EU as a whole a superpower and whilst they make up a large bloc of the global economy, this is not influential outside of their union.

Firstly lets go ahead and compare the two superpowers that were first qualified as such; The United States and the Soviet Union.

The Cold War saw both rapidly increase their global influence and made them the premier powers on the world stage.

The Soviet Union had created itself a strong economic and military bloc with the Warsaw pact that utilized its immense hard power to push its influence on Europe as well as Asia. There were of course also incursions into the middle east as well as many socialist regimes propped up and/or supported by the Soviet Union in the Americas as well as Africa. This ideological/political influence demonstrated the reach they had on the world stage. The Soviet Union mainly utilized its vast military might to fund/supply various insurgencies and push its agenda on the world stage.

The United States had this immense hard power as well which had allowed them to cement themselves in hundreds of army bases across the world as well as allowed them the means to influence or directly involve themselves in various proxy conflicts. They had also with the creation of NATO as well as the Marshall Plan cemented themselves as dominant in Western Europe as well as North America. This generally became contested of course within various pushes for influence in both the middle east and Asia. However, with various bases in the Pacific as well as Japan as a erstwhile ally, had allowed them to easily involve themselves in conflicts such as the Vietnam and Korean war. However, whilst their military hard power allowed them to force their influence the US also had economic power to spread its influence indirectly. As mentioned prior the Marshall plan had helped establish American influence in Western Europe. They became tied into the American sphere and fed into the increasing growth of the American economy. One of the main facets of its influence came from its currency, the dollar. It became and still is one of the most powerful and influential methods of exchange in the world. This made them the center of global commerce and very little did not pay attention to its activities. I would say the main success of the United States that has made it such a superpower is how, for good or bad, so many people discuss its activities at home and abroad. This leads into its largely forgotten but exceedingly influential cultural soft power. Many seem to take for granted the various facets of American culture in this day and age such as Hollywood and American food, and more so the vast cultural/technological giants of Google/Youtube, Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat, etc. There are very few places in this world that does not have some semblance of an American product in one’s home.

However, of course we still need to address the original superpower or at least pseudo-superpower, the United Kingdom.

They had territory on every continent and as such were the center of global attention. They were a part of major part of global trade and became embroiled in conflicts across the globe. This of course mostly materialized in interventions or declarations of war in Europe, but also extended to Asia as well as the Americas. They had the immense hard power in their navy that allowed them to be involve in any part of the world. This created the environment that allowed global trade to travel safely unless it angered the global hegemon. It also spread its language into some of the most populous parts of the world, and even to this day is heavily encouraged as a second language. India, Australia, Canada, and the UK still have semblances of sympathy to the past empire as well as hold good ties between each other.

Lastly we need to talk about the PRC/China. It had a meteoric rise in such a short time in the midst of the cold war and especially so in the modern day. Its influence is mainly an economic one as it does not involve itself in global affairs outside of its surroundings. However, its economic strength has given it influence over global trade and as such leaves it in a permanent position to push its agenda. It has utilized this to increase the size of its economy as well as increased its presence in regions such as Africa and some cases the Americas. There is no part of the global economy that isn’t heavily influenced by the input of Chinese goods/resources.

For any such African nation to become such an influential power it will first need to solidify itself as superior amongst its many neighbors. It requires stability, economic strength, and the ability to influence its neighbors. It needs to be a nation that has diplomatic strength on the world stage to push back against nations such as China and the United States. If it cannot push forward a global agenda or be influential in Culture and Economy across the globe it can only hope to be a great power. It must be in the minds of the world a large portion of the time, as either a threat or worthy proponent. I do not see any such nation in Africa attaining such a thing but I do see a few that could become powers in the region and at least have a notable voice. However, I see this as more equivalent to the UK, or the various members of the EU.

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