Excerpted from NY Times, July 1, 2011
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
After a half-century of underperformance, Africa’s economy is growing significantly faster than America’s or Europe’s. In the last decade, 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa, and, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton noted in a recent speech in Ethiopia, that proportion is expected to rise even higher in the next five years. The global economy has turned upside down: Europe risks imploding, while much of Africa is booming.
The poverty is heartbreaking and the insecurity ominous. But the giraffes and villagers alike are hugely welcoming, and the progress is now effervescent. The backdrop is a continent that is chipping away at poverty and disease, while doing a better job of educating its young. Africa seems likely to become a much more important part of the global economy in the 21st century — a place to admire, not to pity.