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September 18, 2008

News & Opinion: And Africa Rises.

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:15 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The GDP for the entire continent of Africa is greater than India's. And their populations are comparable -- Africa weighing in at 900 million people and India at one billion people.
The clout of the African economy has plenty of room to grow. For that very reason, Vijay Mahajan set out to research and tell the world about Africa with his book Africa Rising. He found like that, like many growing regions in the world, there's a growing middle class in Africa. It includes secretaries, computer gurus, merchants and others who by virtue of education, geography or luck have benefited from economic growth of around 6 percent annually in such countries as Uganda, Ghana and Kenya, and around 8 percent in Rwanda.
That group of people is numbered at 300 million. Vijay dubbed this group (Africa 2s) to describe people who are neither desperately poor (Africa 3s) nor obnoxiously rich (Africa 1s), and says the middle group is one of the most important drivers of economic growth in Africa.
Earlier this month, Jack wrote a review on Africa Rising. The book has since had plenty of media coverage. Perhaps it's because it's one of the first times we Americans are hearing about the upside of Africa. It's rare that the Africa portrait is painted with optimism rather than bleakness. Thanks to Vijay for giving us an opportunity to see the big continent through different eyes.
If you're looking for more on the book, start with Vijay's video.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.