Africa's Economic Prospects Have Never Been Better

Fifty years after British prime minister Harold Macmillan spoke of a wind of change sweeping across the African continent, the sort of development he envisaged may finally be arriving. As nation after nation won its independence half a century ago, the hopes were high that freedom would bring those fledgling countries prosperity. Sadly, for most of those that showed so much promise, there have been lost decades during which military dictatorship and corruption, civil wars, foreign invasions and genocides and a combination of ideological imperatives and ineptitude held back their development to such an extent that many outside observers wrote off the entire continent as a basket case.

As a new wind of change blows across Africa, those who believe the continent is a lost cause are becoming an endangered species. Outside of Somalia there are fewer conflict zones than in living memory. There are more, and better-functioning, democracies. And while some African nations still score poorly on transparency, human rights and corruption, improved governance is gradually spreading through the continent as the economic benefits of playing by the rules become self-evident.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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