Africa: The Back Yard of the Global Economy is Experiencing a Big Boom

African Update – 22/01/13

While most the world is still recovering from the Great Recession, one region is going through an incredible boom. This discussion is not about Asia being powered by the Chinese engine, but about Africa, a continent that until recently was associated primarily with bloody civil wars, diseases and poverty. The region, which seemed to be only living off humanitarian aid organized by pop stars, now attracts international investors through business opportunities that are yielding promising returns.

“Compared to the dismal rates in the rest of the world, Africa’s growth is exceptional,” Gustavo Galindo, a portfolio manager with Russell Investments, was quoted saying in the Daily Beast. He also found it surprising that a greater number of people in Europe and the USA still do not realize that in many African countries some African stocks were earning up to 15 percent to 20 percent returns.

This fact is most pronounced in telecommunications, primarily in the area of mobile technologies. Mobile operators estimate that there will be 761 million customers this year. According to a London-based company Telecoms & Media there will be 1 billion of them by 2015.

“What’s happening in business on the continent will reshape everything people know or thought they knew about Africa,” said Rosa Whitaker, a longtime Africa business expert and CEO of the Whitaker Group consultancy.

Fast growing economies

She points out how the perception of Africa is leading to a lessening of stereotypes. This is happening in relation to the economic crisis that has on some level affected most of the world. In the first decade of the new century, six African economies were among the fastest growing economies in the world. By 2015, it is expected we will see 7 African countries within the top ten. Ghana showcased such growth in 2011 when its GDP rose by 13.6 percent.

Economies are growing all across Africa, for example in Botswana and Nigeria, as well as in Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola -i.e. countries where there are no civil conflicts.

Africa still has to rely often on foreign investment. In addition, “local human recourses” based development is often hindered by endemic diseases, such as malaria or AIDS.

The Chinese are also penetrating Africa

When Africa is spoken about, we also hear about the Chinese penetrating African markets, which in the past, used to “belong” to the former European colonizing powers. In some parts of Africa highways have started to be known as “the Chinese roads”.

Big American companies are also trying to hop on the fast moving train. For example, business giant Walmart has already completed the acquisition of the South African chain Massmart for $2.4 billion. IBM has invested $1.5 billion into an African technology company Bharti Airtel. The purchasing power is estimated at a trillion dollars, which is approaching India’s GDP. In addition, even long-term estimates offer promises of greater opportunities in Africa where the population is projected to reach 2 billion in 2050.


Original paper in Czech langage : Afrika: Zadní dvorek světové ekonomiky zažívá velký boom

Upcoming AIC events
There are no upcoming events at the moment.
Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

New arrivals

New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

African information centre

Ječná 2, 120 00 Prague 2

Opening hours

Tuesday, Thursday: 2 – 6 pm

Humanitas Afrika, občanské sdružení

We're supported by:

Pokladní systémy

Hl. m. Praha Česká rozvojová agentura

Fair Trade Logo

AIC je prodejním místem
produktů fairtrade

Our partners: