According to The Economist, during the decade just ended, Africa was the fastest growing (economically) region on the planet. Fast population growth means that the gains for individuals were not as great as they could have been, but nonetheless there was still a big improvement in real incomes for a lot of the continent. Certainly, the Kenya I visited in 2007 and 2009 was much changed from how it was in 2001 – and it wasn’t just the mobile phones, it was enterprise of all kinds going on. Still kind of feel you need to hold your breath regarding Africa though; there are so many undemocratic regimes, the fighting in Congo and Somalia doesn’t look like stopping, there’s the Ivory Coast thing… Also it looks like another food price shock is on its way, which would be bad for everyone but obviously people who spend a large proportion of their income on food most of all. Still. Nice to see a positive Africa story in the media.

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