Until very recently, any conversation about emerging players in the global economic scene was dominated by talk of India and China. But more and more these days Africa, and its population of over 900 million, has worked its way into the global dialogue on economic opportunity. And while there are still many obstacles to be overcome, Africa is fast becoming a legitimate force in the global economy, thanks in part to an abundance of natural resources, a steadily growing economy, and some long-awaited political stability.
"I think the climate for business in Africa has never been better than it is right now," says Dr. Tukur, Chair, NEPAD Business Group. "We are witnessing many opportunities for productive long-term investment and public-private partnerships that will facilitate and sustain economic growth and development. Africa is now being taken seriously within the global economic community and it won't be disappointed."
This sentiment is what led IBM's Global Innovation Outlook to focus on sustainable long-term economic development in Africa as an area ripe for collaborative innovation.
To better understand the new economic realities across Africa, IBM brought together dozens of business leaders, policy makers, and academics from around the world. Together, we explored new approaches that could effectively address the issues and opportunities of this transformation. The GIO Africa Report highlights the strongest insights from nine deep dives on the topic, held in seven different cities: Nairobi, Dakar, Paris, Lisbon, Atlanta, Beijing and Cape Town.
Essays contributed from GIO partners, such as Nepad and Uganda's Makerere University, IBM, and other GIO alumni, explore topics as varied and wide open as the continent itself. For example, there is a compelling look at the African wireless industry, which boasts unprecedented new mobile applications and services. And there is an analysis of how African industries are beginning to move up the value chain, capturing more of the total value of the continent's vast natural resources.
In all, the GIO Africa report examines eight key economic drivers in Africa, including infrastructure, finance, skills, non-governmental organizations, women, and informal economies.
For additional information on GIO Africa, view the accompanying videos and the GIO blog.