Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 01/2011

Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way

Steven Radelet

September 2010

Center for Global Development


Since 1995, seventeen African countries have defied expectations and launched a remarkable, if little-noticed, turnaround. These countries are putting behind them the conflict, stagnation, and dictatorships of the past and replacing them with steady economic growth, deepening democracy, improved governance, and decreased poverty. Five fundamental changes are at work: (1) more democratic and accountable governments; (2) more sensible economic policies; (3) the end of the debt crisis and changing relationships with donors; (4) the spread of new technologies; and (5) the emergence of a new generation of policymakers, activists, and business leaders.