Welcome to Africa in Focus, a new blog by the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings, featuring views and commentary on African politics, economics, and current affairs from Africa watchers and experts based across the continent, in Washington and beyond.
Over the past few years, Africa has received a lot of attention, and much of it has been positive. Those in the media, civil society and business have begun to refer to Africa as “emerging”, “rising” and “hopeful”. Indeed, sub-Saharan Africa is now home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, and parts of the continent have witnessed a technological revolution, which is helping to improve the lives of millions. Many African countries now have a growing middle class and the continent has become an important frontier market for international investors.
Despite all these gains, Africa still faces challenges and all this attention on Africa has not always been positive. The continent continues to struggle with security challenges, including those from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, and al Shabab in Somalia and in Kenya with recent attacks in Nairobi.
It is our goal that Africa in Focus provides deeper insight and analysis into the daily African stories, events, and current affairs that are grabbing headlines and people’s attention, both good and bad. There will be regular posts from me and my colleagues from the Africa Growth Initiative. In addition, we will have regular contributions from AGI’s partner think tanks based across the continent since one of the core missions of AGI is to raise the African voice in global policy debates on Africa.
Going along with this mission, we want to extend the debate on Africa beyond the walls of Brookings and the Washington policy community. With more and more attention focused on the continent, African issues have become truly global ones. China, India, Brazil, and other emerging markets are now more and more focused on their relationship with African countries and are interested in deepening their diplomatic, business and commercial relations. Thus, we hope Africa in Focus can serve as a forum to discuss and debate policy issues that impact Africa with informed perspectives from Africa, the U.S. and other parts of the world. We therefore encourage you to join the debate as well by leaving a comment, sending us an email at AGI@brookings.edu, or tweeting me at @MwangiKimenyi.