It is telling that both Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi have prioritised visits to Mauritius and the Seychelles in recent years.
Because of its extraordinarily young population, Africa will benefit from favourable demographics, but perhaps less than most Africans assume.
More than 50 years ago, six footballers from northern travelled to England. Famously playing barefoot, they defeated the Great British Olympic team 2-1. One of them, Okot p’Bitek, remained to study, going on to become a renowned East African poet.
“If prayers were enough”, said American preacher TD Jakes, “Nigeria would be one of the richest countries in the world”.
He has written dozens of letters marked “SOS” and seeking financial assistance. When they go unanswered, an already-poor Halilu often takes out personal loans to make sure feed patients get fed.