"Africa’s economic growth is creating substantial new business opportunities that are often overlooked by global companies,” said Damian Hattingh, an associate at McKinsey & Company, which produced the report “The Changing Face of the African Consumer” last month.
For those who are used to headlines about Africa that include “war” or “rape” or “child soldiers” – let’s exclude readers of The Christian Science Monitor, who know better – all of this may come as a bit of a shock. First, how can Africa grow when the rest of the world is shrinking? The answer is that a number of African countries have gotten better at managing their own fiscal affairs, avoiding crazy social spending or loose credit schemes that load up public debt. Some countries with massive oil deposits, such as Angola, Nigeria, and Uganda, have been watching the cash roll in as the global price for oil hangs steadily around $100 a barrel. Others, such as Kenya, South Africa, and Rwanda, have diversified their economies into technology and services, so that they aren’t so dependent on commodity prices for their economic future.