"But this is a qualified yes, conditional on Africa's ability - aided by its development partners - to overcome the development traps that kept it confined to a vicious cycle of underdevelopment, conflict, mismanagement, international dependence and untold human suffering for most of the 20th century."
The report also highlighted challenges facing the continent in repositioning itself within the international community, and repositioning the world with regard to its own continental objectives, particular development agenda. While celebrating Africa Day, I wish Africans reflect on the continent's 21st century challenges.
Over the past decade or so, there have been new and serious attempts by Africa's leaders to start fixing most of the problems afflicting the continent. Most African countries once raven by civil war, state coups, corruption and human rights abuses are now enjoying political stability and tiger-like economic growth.
Thanks to better leadership, improved administration and increased foreign investment, the Africa of today is more focused, collective, co-ordinated, co-operative and united behind one vision and purpose than it has been in 100 years. Africa's image and reputation have drastically changed and now reflect a continent that has embraced strategies for ushering in self-reliance, self-serving, self-interest, self- reinforcement and self-empowerment in its quest to occupy its rightful place within the global community of nations, bearing in mind the ineluctable process of globalisation.
The shift in the world's economic balance, from West to East, has presented significant challenges and opportunities for Africa.
Africa is vigorously banding together and utilising the leverage it has with its abundant natural resources, huge labour and consumer markets and other strategic advantages in pursuit of the continent's strategic interests and aspirations.
Between 2010 and 2015, growth in Africa was correctly predicted to be slower than in India and China, but faster than Brazil and Russia. Africa has started demonstrating that the continent is now a strategic player in the international political, economic and social sectors.
Africa is now seen in a new light, and is currently referred to as a waking economic giant by global nations. Hence Brand Africa has become a household name in the international markets.
How can Africa accelerate democracy, development, peace, prosperity and its renaissance, and claim sufficient benefits from globalisation? While Africa needs all the help it can get from developed nations and institutions such as the World Bank, WTO, IMF, G8, and donors, as well as corporate multinationals, Africa remains the primary solution to its challenges.
For Africa to improve her performance in her quest to compete, claim the 21st century and even win globally, the continent needs to strengthen its policies that:
Media is an irreplaceable public watchdog, providing a platform for a well-informed citizenry to endorse or sanction its leaders, curbing corruption, incompetency and maladministration; and for achieving and maintaining good, responsible, accountable and caring governance.
Addressing Africa from Ghana in 2009, president Barack Obama said "an independent media is part of a capable, reliable and transparent institution that will lead Africa to success in the 21st century"
"Africa needs African-driven development initiatives that build on communities' indigenous knowledge and past successes and recognise social capital".
Such initiatives should be developed and presided by African intelligentsia. Africa needs to depend on its intelligentsia as its educators and no longer mere conveyor belts of knowledge generated by others outside the continent about its citizens on matters of democracy, economic policy, good leadership, fair trade, sustainable development and continent's relations with the rest of the world.
Such a recognition will assist the continent to retain talented African technocrats in Africa, and to bring back African technocrats in Diaspora.
Former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki says that it is necessary that the peoples of Africa gain the conviction that they are not, and must not be wards of benevolent guardians, but instruments of their own sustained upliftment.
"Critical to this is the knowledge by these peoples that they have a unique and valuable contribution to make to the advancement of human civilization, and that Africa has a strategic place in the global community."
Brand expert, Thebe Ikalafeng points out that "to create distinction and success in the global world, Africa will have to 'think locally and act globally' - to create ideas that are distinctly African, but resonate with globally connected consumers. And "Made in Africa" must now represent not just the fauna and flora, safaris and sun, but innovation across all sectors".
Promote fair and strong trade and investment activities within Africa and between the continent and the world. Africa too needs to develop and grow the continent's domestic markets by protecting them against unfair trade by overseas nations.
The continent is shaking off its war-torn, famine-ravaged, dependency and hopelessness image, and now marketing itself as a destination for political stability, economic diversity, innovation, increasing economic competitiveness, entrepreneurial excellence, better governance, huge consumer and labour markets, foreign direct investment and social development.
Surely, Africa is flexing its muscle in response to the World Bank's 21st century challenges. However much still remains to be done to further improve good political governance, good economic governance, good corporate governance and resource management.