Public & private leaders agree: Africa’s future looks bright

In the News

10 Reasons to Watch Africa in 2016 – Caroline Kende-Robb, Africa’s Progress Panel’s Executive Director, shares her view of unfolding scenarios
Africa’s time has come. Having spent the last twelve years working in partnership with governments, donor groups, NGOs and private companies to bring systemic improvements to the wellbeing of people on the African continent, it’s gratifying to read Kende-Robb’s recent article.
Kende-Robb acknowledges the complexity of our interconnected world, writing, “The global landscape is certainly challenging, with the political and economic news dominated by slowing growth, rocky stock markets, falling commodity prices, risks in emerging markets (especially China), increasing numbers of refugees, geopolitical tensions and the threat of violent extremism. Behind the gloom of the 24-hour news cycle, there are many reasons to be optimistic.”
What’s good for the world is good for Africa — What’s good for Africa is good for the world
Yet, Kende-Robb predicts 2016 to be a year of positive transformations in energy, finance, technology and global partnerships with profound effects on Africa. Despite uncertainty and volatility, she sees huge opportunities for significant progress. Africa Progress Panel’s ED summarizes the prospects this way, “Africa stands not just to gain from these major shifts, but also to lead some of them.”
One of the positive changes she references in her article is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” a term used to describe the transformative potential of the fusion of new technologies. The term was coined by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum and co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship that awarded me and John Sargent the honor of 2015 Social Entrepreneurs. Kende-Robb advocates for harnessing the convergence of new technologies to seize opportunities in Africa, writing, “Venture capital funds are ready and waiting to increase investment across Africa. The next step is to bring together public and private sectors to drive the deals as quickly as possible. In 2016, rapid technological changes have the potential to create new industries, reduce inequality and drive structural transformation.” BroadReach views aid as a catalytic investment for genuine sustainable, profitable growth.
Our organizational focus is on the power of public-private partnerships buttressed by data-driven technology solutions. We are working with government leaders to effect systemic change in many arenas Kende-Robb outlines in her article: healthcare, clean-energy, economic diversity, agriculture and technology innovation. Our work over the past 12 years makes it abundantly clear—optimizing resource investments and creating sustainable progress requires tapping big data analytics, operational best practices, and a deep understanding of emerging economies. With $200 billion in government spending and aid focused on the developing world, including initiatives linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, the time is ripe for investments in Africa that will pay huge dividends to all involved worldwide.
Thank you to Caroline Kende-Robb, Africa’s Progress Panel’s Executive Director, for raising awareness of the huge opportunities ahead “for Africa” and “from Africa” in her recent article, 10 Reasons to Watch Africa in 2016.

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