“When Kirinya drops into the iHub café to buy a latté, he pays his bill of 100 Kenyan shillings (€0.85 or $1.16) by text message. First he types in the café's telephone number and enters a PIN. Then he hits "send" and the transaction is complete.”
Here are the facts beyond fiction:
- No other continent has developed as rapidly in the last decade as Africa, where real economic growth was between 5 and 10 percent annually. In oil-rich countries, such as Angola, it was a possibly record-breaking 22.6 percent in 2007.
- A World Bank study shows that 17 of the 50 national economies currently displaying the greatest economic progress are in Africa.
- China the world's largest economy has overtaken the West to become Africa's most important trade partner. The volume of Sino-African trade amounted to nearly $200 billion last year.
- Many countries have become better governed, and Africa as a whole is more peaceful and democratic than it once was.
- At the same time, a revolution is taking place in the information and communications sector, as Africa connects itself to the world via modern data highways. Nowhere is the spread of the Internet as all-encompassing as it is between Cairo and Cape Town, and nowhere is mobile-phone use increasing as explosively. There are now 650 million African mobile-phone users -- more than in North America.
- By 2050, at least 2 billion people will live in Africa, accounting for one quarter of the world's labor force.
- Child mortality, illiteracy rates and AIDS infection rates are declining, and life expectancy has increased by 10 percent.
To access the SPIEGEL Online series, follow this link -- A Giant Awakens: Inside Africa's Economic Upsurge.
Nile Capital Management
We Know Africa: From Cairo to Cape Town
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