Saturday, March 2, 2013

Trends in Africa

Many people are forecasting continued strong economic growth in Africa.  Some of the fastest rates of GDP growth in the world are found there.  But there is a lingering unease about political stability and governance.  Some interesting graphs from the Harvard Business Review blog here, show that is improving too.

Most of us likely think of Africa as riddled by coups and poor governance.  This chart shows coups are on the decline.  There's still a way to go, but the trend is promising.

There's also a heartening trend in the proportion of representative governments, as shown in this chart.

I remember the enthusiasm 6 years ago after the TED Global conference in Arusha, featuring  a variety of talks describing exciting progress that shattered myths about the continent. The optimism was infectious, even to those (like me) who hadn't attended.  

It takes a really long time to reposition a brand, but it would be nice to see Africa's 'brand' start to catch up with emerging realities there.  Such positive rebranding would create positive reinforcement for existing trends and engender an acceleration of opportunities on the continent.

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