Beyond Our Ignorance

There’s another way to look at Africa besides wars, famines and corruption. The business and economic research arm of the McKinsey Global Institute paints a very different picture. Since 2000 316 million people have signed up for cell phone service, that’s more than the entire population of the U.S. And what’s more the one billion people who make up the continent spent $860 billion in 2008, that is more than did India’s population of 1.2 billion. Despite the economic downturn, Africa was one of the two regions (Asia was the other) where collective economies in 2009 rose by %1.4 through the global recession. In addition, surprisingly the number of serious conflicts, that is where at least 1000 people die annually have declined. The report had more interesting figures, but one lesson remained: Too often we allow our ignorance of a subject to determine our perception.