Review of The Next Africa

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Analytical
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples

Review

Africa experts Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby lament Westerners’ misconceptions about the massive continent. They communicate what they see as a compelling growth story unfolding in a place Westerners often disregard. Skeptics may find their analysis too full of cheerleading. Many believe that civil strife will dominate, that growing public debt will yield defaults, and that informal economies, weak regulatory schemes and spotty infrastructure cannot produce double-digit growth. Bright and Hruby advise moving past the criticism and focusing on Africa’s opportunities.

About the Authors

Jake Bright is a Whitehead Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. Aubrey Hruby is a senior adviser to investors and Fortune 500 companies doing business in Africa.

 

For Africa’s Economy, A New Image

Africa experts Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby detail how, in 2010, McKinsey & Company issued an optimistic report on Africa, “Lions on the Move.” The consulting firm, the authors report, projected sharp economic growth and calculated that Africa’s gross domestic product in 2008 totaled $1.6 trillion, matching the economic output of Brazil and Russia. In early 2011, The Economist compiled a list showing Africa as home to six of the world’s fastest-growing economies from 2001 to 2010, with Angola’s 11.1% leading the way. McKinsey’s report dispelled old notions about Africa’s economy being dependent on commodities. Bright and Hruby explain that wholesale and retail trade, transportation, telecommunications and manufacturing drive today’s African growth.

Bright and Hruby summarize these reports as recasting Africa as a center of economic opportunity and emerging growth. The bullish sheen sparked new interest on Wall Street, which hosted a spate of panel discussions and investor conferences. Globally, investors and corporate leaders, the authors note, could look past Africa’s war and poverty to see a growing cohort of consumers.


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