By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: It was estimated by the United Nations, last year that the population of Africa was about 1,316,164,487, equivalent to 16.72% of the total world population.
In a continent, riddled with bad leadership and socio-economic problems, coupled with the mass exodus of its bright minds, moving to North America and Europe, for better working and living conditions, the continent has been left gasping for breath.
A report of the World Bank on Africa, also, stated that Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth rate is, projected to average 3.6% in 2019–20.
The problem here is this; the slow economic growth will find it hard to sustain the large population, thus, creating a snail pace of economic development.
To be able to combat this and give the necessary boost to the economy, some major African countries, are mulling over legalizing Cannabis.
Across the African continent, most governments (Except Lesotho) have frowned at the use of cannabis and have passed into law, stiff punishment for those dabbling in it, but that seems to be changing.
Uganda, however, landed deals to supply marijuana products to Canada and Germany to the tune of $160 million annually, for the next 10 years, from 2018 and of course this will boost the economy of Uganda, in years to come.
According to a UN survey, more than 10,000 tons of cannabis are produced on the continent of Africa, each year, which could be worth billions of dollars.
If a proper and well-monitored policy is introduced and effectively, carried out, Africa’s cannabis market will be worth a fortune, as the industry in Africa, is projected to worth more than $7.1 billion, annually, according to research findings, culled from The African Cannabis Report.
The market is expected to be huge, with a lot of economic and job creation potentials that will boost economic growth.
“With affordable land, low-cost labour and an experienced agricultural workforce, Africa offer an enormous opportunity, to local start-ups and foreign companies looking to expand”, states a section on African Cannabis Report.
Below Are 5 Countries Set To legalize Cannabis As Uganda Is Still Sleeping;
Prior to making the move, towards the legalization of the cannabis industry, the Nigerian government had taken a tough stance, to cut off the use and abuse of marijuana, from the general populace.
Recently, however, the Nigerian government started to realize the political-economic importance, that comes with the cultivation and growing of cannabis.
2. South Africa
In 2018, the constitutional court in South Africa passed a rule that banished all criminal offences attached to the recreational use of cannabis and two years was given to the government of South Africa to merge the cannabis laws with the constitution.
In 2014, an opposition party in the Moroccan parliament proposed a bill that will lead, to the legalization of the production of marijuana, for medical use, but the bill was rebuffed, and it failed to pass. Although, Cannabis has been tolerated, to an extent in the country.
As of today, Morocco, employs over 800,000 people and worth $10 billion annually, in sales. Although cannabis is tolerated for personal use, it is, still illegal.
There have been divers calls around Ghana for the legalization of Cannabis, as the huge potential of cannabis is, much more pronounced than before.
According to Myjoyonline, the legalization of Cannabis, still faces a major snag, as government officials and mental health experts, still frown at it.
In 2018, a bill containing the legalization of marijuana was introduced by a member of the Kenyan parliament and this sparked a series of debates.
“A controlled cannabis industry benefits, (Medicinal and Commercial), overshadow the need for its outright ban”, according to Kenneth Okoth, the parliamentarian, who proposed this bill.