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Africa isn't a lost cause, and global consumers are making a difference

In spite of conflicts and humanitarian crises, there's change afoot in Africa. Seven of the ten fastest-growing economies during the next five years will be in sub-Saharan Africa. To support them, global consumers can use the Internet to gain direct access to the goods of African artisans.

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The news from Africa has been pretty grim lately. In the Horn of Africa, 30,000 children have already died, and the UN estimates 13 million people are at risk of starvation in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

The mounting Kenyan military campaign to defeat Somali’s Al Shabab terrorist militia and recent outbreaks of violence in refugee camps – supposed havens from surrounding conflicts – will also fuel the perception that Africa is a continent in chaos where warring factions make it impossible to deliver basic services.

Fortunately, that isn’t the whole picture.

In spite of conflicts and humanitarian crises, Africa is not a lost cause. Seven of the ten fastest-growing economies during the next five years will be in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Development Bank sees a growing middle class, and The Economist magazine projects Africa will soon have a higher growth rate than Asia.

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