Any American or European entrepreneurs or non-profits wishing to begin or upgrade their involvement in Africa can take heart that the economy on the continent is in the midst of some very promising changes. As the three reports below point out, their is every reason to be optimistic.
The World Bank sees an expanding middle class in Africa. Those expecting to do business in Africa would do well to concentrate on this upwardly mobile segment of society who will are much more prepared to fully participate in sustainable development and wealth accumulation that will have a trickle down effect.
From the World Bank Blog, Feb. 22, 2012, “The East African ride to Middle Income”[box] The fact that most of East Africa can reach Middle Income in the next ten years is remarkable and more important than the ultimate ranking of the frontrunners. Today, the EAC is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. If Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda maintain their ongoing growth momentum and if Kenya accelerates, all four countries will reach Middle Income status within the next ten years. For the first time since independence, sustainable development appears possible for East Africa, even for countries that started off from very difficult positions.[/box]
As the Atlantic article points out, Africa has considerable wealth and it rise hidges on distributing that wealth to the masses. The redistribution of the wealth is not coming from government or foreign handouts but from the creation of jobs and new revenue streams.
From the Atlantic, Feb. 25, 2012, “Africa’s Amazing Rise and What it Can Teach the World”[box] The poverty mafia once controlled the development debate in Africa. No longer. The old approach was about how to prevent Africa from getting poorer. All development goals were essentially negative, as experts wallowed in risk-aversion and promoted various doomsday scenarios of an Africa with a rapidly growing population. The new thinking on development is to share Africa’s wealth more equitably. That’s right: Africa’s wealth.
The advent of mobile telephones has brought instant communications to hundreds of millions of Africans, rich and poor, urban and rural. Africans are now on the move. Text messaging and digital money-transfer services, such as Safaricom’s M-pesa in Kenya, have transformed ordinary life. Yet this most visible of all African advances, this gigantic step forward in linking Africans to each other and to people around the world, occurred with virtually zero assistance from the professional development community of donors and economists, aid workers and development agencies.[/box]
The following report recounts how East African countries increasing investment in infrastructure. This infrastructure upgrading will greatly facilitate entrepreneurs and non-profits aspiring to invest time and money in Africa.
Africa Mentor is continuing to network with and facilitate entrepreneurs’ entering what what some analysts are calling, the world’s fastest growing economy. What are you planning? What do you have to offer?