Africa has garnered heightened attention in recent years, framed by impressive economic growth and increasing prosperity. Indeed, the gushing new narrative celebrates an ascendant continent neatly captured by the catchphrase, “Africa Rising”.
Africa’s share of world output, exports and foreign investment is markedly higher than 20 years ago. Critically, also, progress has been extensive, capturing middle- income and low-income nations, mineral-rich and poor economies, as well as coastal and landlocked nations.
However, while emboldened with optimism and expectation, we must readily acknowledge that based on the experiences in Brazil, Argentina, India and other developing and developed economies that Africa’s continued ascent is neither guaranteed nor inevitable.
To be sure, reforms that lock-in the essential building blocks and which inspire new growth triggers form the cornerstone of Africa’s economic promise. Thus, while we seek to reimagine Africa’s future, it is instructive to draw on historical lessons.