Seven reasons to be optimistic about Africa
When I meet young Africans who have graduated from overseas universities, I’m struck by their excitement for Africa. They have a vision for their countries of origin, and a passion to return to, and invest in, their homelands. This new desire for engagement is a sign of incredible optimism and hope. There are many other signs of hope. The reason
1. A communication revolution, a data revolution
The communication revolution is a boon for Africa. The rise of social media will lead to more transparency and more sophisticated forms of democracy, both in Africa and elsewhere. Citizens now have extremely powerful tools to hold leaders to account and ensure funding is correctly channelled. The communication revolution has spawned a data revolution, and mobile phones will help Africa catch up with other continents in the gathering of data. Africa sorely needs more, and better, data collection. I’m confident that new technologies will help level the playing fields and give poorer countries a chance to generate the data they need for better decision-making. In 2001, only 25 million Africans had a mobile phone subscription; today, Africa has over 650 million subscriptions.