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Charles Robertson
energy—is also rich in the youth of its population and the intensity of the desire
of its peoples to succeed in growing their economies to match the living stand-
ards of the pioneer industrialised nations. The whole world is expanding links
with Africa, so they can be part of the success of this last continent to join the
world’s largest economies.
Renaissance wants to take you on a journey to show you what is happening.
You will see a continent that is thriving, that is demonstrating rates of growth
which will surpass that of all other continents, whose populations are becoming
wealthier more rapidly than at any time in Africa’s history, and whose peoples
have seen that they can achieve and succeed in this modern competitive world.
Africa will be the fastest continent to reach the fourth economic age. It is and
will continue to generate huge financial benefit for its peoples and for those who
invest in its future. Renaissance is unequivocal in its enthusiasm. We are there
now—we believe you should be, too. Follow us through this exploration of what
is making Africa the most exciting continent to do business in and see why we
believe that Africa will be the most exciting and rewarding continent for the next
30 years.
Africa has firmly shifted into the high-growth camp after the stagnation of
1980–2000, in line with the transition so many have made from the undemo-
cratic post-feudal poverty that was the global norm in the 18th century to the
high-income, low-corruption and generally democratic norms of most OECD
countries in the 21st century. It is a combination of the demonstration effect
of other emerging-market success stories and the higher aspirations from Af-
rica’s youth to its leaders that perhaps form the most important catalyst. Others
include Africa’s success in attracting foreign capital seeking higher returns.
We believe that should inevitably benefit Africa today when returns in more-
expensive developed markets threaten to be so low for years to come. A further
catalyst is that productivity gains are made ever easier by technological transfers.
The pace of technological innovation globally is now so rapid, and technology is
so easy to transfer—as evidenced by the boom in mobile phone technology and
the roll-out of broadband across the continent—that Africa is not just the recipi-
ent of technology, but via M-PESA banking is becoming an exporter of it.
The process of accelerating growth never happens overnight, but it is ac-
celerating. What took the UK centuries can now be a matter of decades, or even
years. The US and Germany “borrowed” and then improved on UK technology
in the 19th century, Japan did the same more quickly in the 20th century and