Is Africa the next Asia?
A texitile factory in Uganda, photographed in 2003.
April 18th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Is Africa the next Asia?

Editor's Note: Richard Aidoo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Geography, Coastal Carolina University.

By Richard Aidoo, The Diplomat

The rhetoric surrounding Africa, or at least the continent’s economic development, appears to be changing.

Despite the ongoing global economic turmoil, a number of African nations have been making impressive strides in their development, a point underscored by The Economist’s decision recently to run a leader describing Africa as the “hopeful continent,” drawing a clear contrast to its cover story “The Hopeless Continent” a decade ago.

And the continent’s leaders are now looking east for their inspiration. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, for example, has said he hopes to eventually transform his country’s economy into the “Singapore of Central Africa.” Such sentiments tap into the vast and growing repository of Afro-optimism, an optimism that sees sustained economic growth as the future, even as the north of the continent is embroiled in domestic political turmoil and uprisings.

So, is it Africa’s time to replicate the economic growth feats of Asia? This may seem like a herculean task, but given the recent economic gains made in countries like Ghana, which posted 13.5 percent growth last year as it casts off the failed economic policies of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the success of recent BRICS addition South Africa, there’s now hope for an “African miracle.” FULL POST

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Topics: Africa • Economy