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Africa is the birthplace of humanity. In a way, the continent’s historical past is a macrocosm of all historical past, bearing the load humankind’s most unforgiveable sins, from slavery to colonialism to environmental malevolence. But immediately, on the daybreak of a brand new millennium, Africa’s most vital narrative will not be of historical past. It is of the long run. That story – advised right here with readability and scope – is considered one of hope, dynamism, and a relentless march in direction of progress. Factors that have been as soon as thought-about detriments to Africa’s progress at the moment are its best energy. The legacy of colonial domination that when noticed strife in its wake immediately interprets into pan-African resilience and resolve. A footprint of neglect by industrial powers that left the continent wanting for much-needed funding for thus a few years now implies that most of Africa’s sources are nonetheless within the floor, left to be harnessed in additional accountable – and extra indigenous – methods. An absence of infrastructure through the telephonic increase of yesteryear hamstrung African’s inclusion in world commerce; immediately it’s a deft benefit, as Africans embrace wi-fi and good expertise unencumbered by legacy electronics and protectionist incumbent suppliers. We stay in a world the place the standard world powers are stuttering underneath the load of social discontent, political partisanship, declining demographics, and a creeping skepticism of financial engagements and integration. Africa as an entire stands in refreshing distinction. Its younger inhabitants is extra open and uncovered to the world than at any level in historical past. Regional financial unions are of their heyday, from the East African Community (EAC) to the Southern African Development Corridor (SADC) to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). And entrepreneurs, like this e-book’s writer, stand united in selling a imaginative and prescient of hope. The challenges, it have to be acknowledged, are mammoth. At least half the continent doesn’t have electrical energy. Financial inclusion is decrease than wherever on the planet. And lots of Africa’s political constructions nonetheless embody the plutocratic corruption and instability which have scared away potential traders for many years. But Africa’s new technology appears to implicitly perceive the Norman Vincent Peale dictum: “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.” A determined want for electrification – mixed with ample solar and water – is driving a renewable-energy breakaway, doubtlessly positioning Africa as a vanguard of the world’s most vital epochal shift. Massive numbers of unbanked folks spurred the event of cell cash, a expertise pioneered in East Africa that isn’t solely altering the monetary panorama of the continent but in addition being adopted globally. And international locations like Botswana and Cape Verde, (the latter being the writer’s mom nation) are rising as more and more seen and influential fashions of peaceable, clear democracies. As Peale mentioned, should you don’t have issues, you don’t get any seeds. The following is a complete take a look at Africa’s many seeds, advised by an African who himself is a headspring of the optimism and ambition he narrates. These pages maintain a first-hand account of classes realized, a take a look at the affect of the present geopolitical complexities, a roadmap for the way in which ahead, and a supply of actionable data for these contemplating investing or doing enterprise on the continent. It is a narrative for the long run, of nations on the rise, and of the newest—and doubtlessly final—frontier of worldwide enterprise. It is as vital for the worldwide financial system as it’s for the on a regular basis residents who populate this rising continent known as Africa. I hope that many learn it. by Leland Rice Editor in Chief The Business Year

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