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The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse Hardcover – Import, 21 Jul 2015
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“The future of Africa is a daunting subject handled with acumen by Bright and Hruby...This is a welcome and extensive addition to the dialogue about an oft-undervalued continent.” ―Publishers Weekly online
“The Next Africa captures the pulse of a continent on the move, detailing the events, trends, and people reshaping Africa's relationship to the world. It includes one of the best accounts I've read on the rise of Silicon Savannah and the technology movement driving Africa's transformation.” ―Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom (purveyor of M-PESA)
“Historically, Africa has been viewed by many as a problem to solve - but now there is a growing recognition it is in fact an opportunity to seize. This book explains why Africa is now open for business - with entrepreneurs leading the way.” ―Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution
“In this bold and intelligent work, Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby give insight into the trends the GE saw that influenced their prioritization of Africa as a region of choice for investment.” ―Jay Ireland, President and CEO of General Electric Africa
"The Next Africa authors Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby are two well-informed, influential policy wonks and business consultants focusing on all the new opportunities in the 54 countries in the continent of Africa, which is larger than the USA, China and India combined." --Hazel Henderson, seekingalpha.com
About the Author
JAKE BRIGHT is a writer, consultant, and Whitehead Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association focusing on global finance, business, and Africa's transformation. He contributes as an editor and independently for publications including Fortune, The Financial Times This Is Africa, Bloomberg LP, and U.S. News & World Report. Bright speaks frequently on international business topics in media and thought leadership forums.
AUBREY HRUBY is an advisor to investors and companies doing business in Africa. In her decade of working across 20 plus African countries as the former Managing Director of the Whitaker Group and through her own companies, she helped to facilitate over $2 billion in investment and capital to the region. She is a Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center and speaks regularly on African business issues.
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Since moving to the US, I was fortunate enough to graduate and transition in various financial roles. Still, more than ever, I am determined to return and focus on financial opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. I give all this background to say that this book not only has been instrumental in helping me understand the culture, geography, and growth of the nation but it also has been incredibly effective in destroying the biases I had from my childhood in Nigeria.
The book warrants a read to understand the past of Sub-Saharan Africa. It succinctly answers the question "what on earth happened to this continent that is so rich with resources" and "where could it go from here" (side note: I had a fun time testing my dad about the major events and what his thoughts were about said events at the time).
Yet, the reason why this book has a special place on my shelf is how much it's aided me in my professional career (and it's only been a few months since I've read it!). I've been able to communicate with senior executives in a range of industries by bringing up key topics, discussions, and arguments made in this book. I have a better understanding of the business landscape, the multi-national players, and the key risks. I'm able to make informed opinions and have a more balanced view on the continent (although I'm admittedly a bit more cautious vs. the authors).
In addition, I enjoyed the frameworks and foundation the authors teach in regards to conducting business in the area. I appreciated the anecdotes from their personal experiences as it helped bridge the gap between theory and practical experiences.
I'm headed back to West Africa this year and I'm even more excited to witness the innovations and opportunities on the continent. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is even just somewhat curious about Sub-Saharan Africa (had to give my dad my copy just to challenge his preconceived notions).
"The Next Africa" should be required reading for anyone seeking to work or do business in or with the continent, not in the future alone, but today.
Authors: Jake Bright & Aubrey Hruby
By: Irwin Barkan August-2016
In April 2014 Nigeria quietly passed South Africa as the largest economy in Africa, its GDP registering at $510 Billion – a staggering increase of 1,600% from its 1990 GDP of $31 Billion. The country also proudly announced the completion of a historic $1 Billion bond placement with J.P. Morgan to global investors. Then the primary facilitator of the bond issuance – Lamido Sanusi, the respected governor of its Central Bank – was fired by Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, after he exposed a $20 Billion fraud involving state oil revenues being perpetrated by the President’s associates.
So goes one of the world’s most dynamic economies; always seemingly moving two steps forward and one step backward. And since reaching these economic milestones in 2014, the Nigerian economy has been beset by plummeting oil prices, currency devaluation, energy shortages and the continuing Boko Haram insurgency – resulting in its slowest economic growth in decades.
Despite this series of developments and the resulting slowdown, Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world. This is reflected its foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in 2015, where FDI project numbers increased by 7% and despite all of this tumult Nigeria successfully transitioned to a new elected government affirming its commitment to democratic traditions.
In all these ways Nigeria reflects the enormous potential of Sub-Saharan Africa which is being realized in fits and starts, not unlike any region moving into second-world status. However, after spending the last five years traveling throughout Nigeria, Ghana and many other regions of the continent while developing shopping center and mixed-use projects I have no doubt that the “African Century” will not be denied despite all the obstacles that lie in its way.
In their new book “The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes A Global Power”, authors Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby have provided a succinct and readable analysis of where Nigeria and the other fifty-plus countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are headed. It’s a must-read for anyone wants to know the inevitable future of Africa and its dramatic impact on the globe in the next 50 years.
Written with personality and laid-out in well-organized chapters that delineate the major trends in demography, consumerism, economic growth and artistic contribution occurring in the continent; Jake and Aubrey provide the compelling numbers and factors along with an interesting set of personal stories about the people they have met during their extensive travels. The easy to follow narrative with its strong factual support makes this an ideal read for investors and other readers interested in how Africa will become an increasingly important global story over the next few decades. The book ends with insightful advice on how anyone can take part in this historic shift of people and wealth.
If you want to know “Why Africa?”, and you should…read The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes A Global Power.