Hidden Africa – Different than you Think

africa.jpgWith all the negative news one hears about Africa these days, the entire continent is often shrugged off as a disaster area. That’s bad thinking on all sorts of levels, but from a business perspective it’s just plain short-sighted. The Washington Post has a great article on Africa (reproduced here) that outlines a lot of surprising successes, the Ghana stock exchange for example, is among the world’s highest returning, and Botswana has a government savings rate rivled only by Singapore. But most importantly, throwing aid at Africa’s problems is only a small part of the solution. Investment and business confidence are, perhaps, the key missing ingredients to a new and prosperous continent.

Yet while Africa, according to the U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corp., offers the highest return in the world on direct foreign investment, it attracts the least. Unless investors see the Africa that’s worthy of investment, they won’t put their money into it. And that lack of investment translates into job stagnation, continued poverty and limited access to education and health care.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He was instrumental in the creation of TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years as well as an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.