New Economist Report Suggests Africa is the Place to Invest

Is Africa the new frontier for innovation? That’s what The Economist Magazine is asking in their latest report Into Africa: Emerging Opportunities for Business. The report discusses the implications of increased trade, urbanization and development for the region in the next decade. It focuses on changes to Africa’s macro economy by highlighting that 28 of the 52 counties are projected to increase GDP growth by 5% or more in the next five years. In addition, Sub-Saharan Africa’s real GDP growth is expected to increase to more than three times that of the United States’ by 2013. One such example cited in the report is the progress of Sierra Leone, which is expected to post a rate of 25% growth in real GDP by the end of this year.

The report also highlights how the continent has become increasingly urbanized, with 49 cities having metro populations of over 1 million people and 5 of those cities having populations of over 7 million. The Economist explains how these cities serve as vehicles for trade and commerce, receiving much of their imports from Europe, but seeing more potential in trading with China. Additionally, the report finds advances in technology to be the leading drivers of increased integration in the world market, with the continent surpassing over half a billion mobile subscribers in 2010.

Still, the report points out that more work is needed. For one thing, it makes the point that the continent’s “production potential does not match its needs.” It finds that Africa has had tremendous success in its oil and mining industries, but fails to supply the refining capabilities necessary to retain that success. In addition, bureaucracy continues to halt employment and educational opportunities, scaring away investors who would otherwise take risks to fix those problems if it weren’t for increase corruption and turmoil. It concludes by pointing out that many African economies have enormous potential for future economic growth, but if they cannot tackle many of the underlying problems that still exist than it will be harder for them to continue growing in the future.

Posted By: Jonathan Sherman

Sources: The Economist Magazine Intelligence Unit

Photo Credit: Johannesburg courtesy of Flickr user Austinevan


You Are Invited: Lessons from Africa for Europe on the financial crisis and regional monetary policies

New Rules for Global Finance, Heinrich Böll Stiftung – North America, and the Woodrow Wilson

International Center for Scholars


 Lessons from Africa for Europe on the financial crisis and regional monetary policies

Wednesday, April 18, 2012   9:30-11am

 5th Floor Conference Room


Steve McDonald, Director, Africa Program and Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity, Woodrow Wilson Center

Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center


 Professor Victor Murinde, Director, African Development Institute

Professor Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist, African Development Bank

More Discussants TBD


Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center

This event will be live webcast and can be viewed here.


RSVP (acceptances only) to

The Woodrow Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Federal Triangle Metro stop on the Blue/Orange Line). For a map and directions see:

Please bring photo ID and allow time for the security checkpoint.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, DC  20004-3027

Tel: 202-691-4000  Fax: 202-691-4001

Event Summary – Brazil and Africa: Cooperation for Innovation in Agriculture and What the U.S. Can Do

The following is an event summary from an event co-hosted by the Brazil Institute and Wilson Center on the Hill.

On Monday, May 16 the Brazil Institute and Wilson Center on the Hill, part of the Program on America and the Global Economy, jointly hosted a lunch event focusing on African agriculture and opportunities for partnership and development in this area.

Paulo Sotero, the director of the Brazil Institute, opened the discussion by introducing the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa).  Embrapa was founded in the 1970s and has made enormous achievements in improving the productivity of tropical agriculture.

Ladislau Martin-Neto, the President of LAPEX-USA, Embrapa’s ‘virtual’ laboratory in the United States, also introduced Embrapa, reiterating that before Embrapa was created, Brazil was a net importer of food.  Thirty years later, Brazil is the second largest net exporter of food in terms of countries. Read more of this post

STEM Education in Africa

In the United States of America there is currently a nationwide push for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  The U.S. is not alone however; Africa is also in the midst of encouraging STEM development.  Recognizing that advances in science and technology contribute to the social and economic development of Africa and its full integration into the global economy, the African Union came together on January 2007 for the Addis Ababa Declaration on Science, Technology and Scientific Research for Development.  In the declaration, Heads of State of the African Union nations encouraged “more African youth to take up studies in science, technology and engineering” and invited Member States to pay special attention to the teaching of science and technology.

In response to the declaration, the STEM Education Centre (STEM-Z) was established in Lusaka, Zambia on December 2009.  The key mission of the STEM-Z is “to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the Education System” and its Motto is “Towards a Science Culture.”  In order to achieve this goal, STEM-Z will address current challenges in science education, including curricula development, the lack of well-trained science teachers, and lack of access to appropriate laboratory facilities and teaching materials. To date, some of the Centre’s activities include science and technology awareness camps, student mentoring and coaching, and teacher training on specific STEM courses.

Since STEM-Z intends to be a model to be replicated in neighboring Sub-Saharan countries, the Centre’s progress will play a critical role in shaping the future of STEM education in Africa.

Posted by: Hyun Kyong Lee

Sources: South African Association of Science & Technology Centre, African Union, Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog

Photo Credit: Grateful Children courtesy of flickr user Biggs_I

You are Invited: Cooperation for Innovation in Agriculture and What the U.S. Can Do

Invitation to a Wilson Center on the Hill and Brazil Institute Event

Brazil and Africa: Cooperation for Innovation in Agriculture and

What the U.S. Can Do

Monday, May 16, 2011 

12:00-1:15 p.m.

B-338 Rayburn House Office Building

Brazil has been a leader in turning tropical savannah soils into productive land for agricultural development. Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, has established an office in Africa and is working with more than a dozen African countries, in partnership with developing agencies and foundations, to improve agricultural productivity and food security in the continent. Panelists will discuss the importance of agricultural innovation in Brazil and Africa and what role the U.S. can play.
Panelists include:


ERICK FERNANDES, Adviser, Latin America and Caribbean Region, Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank

MARCELLA SZYMANSKI, Foreign Affairs Officer, Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Textile Trade, U.S. Department of State

Moderated by: PAULO SOTERO, Director, Brazil Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Please rsvp acceptances to or 202-691-4357

Wilson Center on the Hill is a nonpartisan forum that focuses on current issues related to international trade and security, sustainable development, and globalization. It sponsors 15 to 20 seminar programs each year on Capitol Hill that feature leading independent analysts and experts from the 22 programs of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Funded by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Wilson Center on the Hill also sponsors congressional study trips, allowing Members of the U.S. Congress and senior congressional staff to examine these issues first-hand.

Posted by: PAGE Staff