The McKinsey Quarterly Report suggests that Africa is on the rise and in particular, Sub-Saharan Africa is a land of economic promise. The region is weathering the global downturn better than Latin America, Europe and Central Asia. The article suggests this is largely due to macroeconomic and political stability, in particular private investment into infrastructure and education. Average years of schooling are catching up to developed countries which means this growth has hopes of being sustained by an educated and progressive younger generation. Natural resources and renewable resources will be some of Africa’s most valuable assets as it is positioned well to develop solar and hydro energ.
Of particular interest to me, given my interest in eHealth is the fact that Africa’s mobile market has grown to 400 million and that 65% of the population lives within reach of a mobile phone network. I had previously heard at Med-e-Tel that by 2013 98% of the world would have a mobile phone so this number did not surprise me. The article makes an important point that despite the increased and impressive access to wireless technology, other sectors have been slow to capitalize on this access for development.
For so long we only heard of Africa in the context of civil unrest or corruption in the government. By allowing private investment, Africa is changing its reputation and prognosis, it’s exciting to hear African countries being referred to as ’emerging markets’.