Cautious Optimism

Harvard Business Review recently posted a summary of a new book which outlines the Seven Reasons Why Africa’s Time is Now. The book looks to be good and is a must read for anyone who is interested in the topic of global business, worldwide development, or, like a former professor of mine, just generally interested in stuff. Each of these seven points, listed below, are extremely valid and well informed. There is however always more to the story.

Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States once said, “Give me a one handed economist! All my economists say, ‘On the one hand… on the other…'” The purpose of this post is to provide the other hand to these seven points. To present the data in an alternative perspective. To broaden our gaze onto Africa’s horizon. My goal is not to discredit the optimism for the future but simply to raise some areas of caution to keep in mind. So, here are some notes and thoughts from a young development economist (not yet) on the work of a much anticipated new book and a recent HBR blog post, consider the following at what it is worth.

Continue reading