So says the FT:
Economic stagnation in the last two decades of the 20th century in Africa was followed by annual gross domestic product growth of 4.9 per cent a year in 2000-08, says McKinsey. Today, Africa has a level of urbanisation nearly as high as China’s with 52 cities of more than 1m people.
Collective GDP in 2008 was $1,600bn (£1,057bn, €1,266bn) – equivalent to that of Russia or Brazil – and combined consumer spending totalled $860bn.
“If you visit Nigeria, you can feel the energy. You can smell it,” says Funmi Akinluyi, investment director for sub-Saharan equities at Silk Invest, breathing life into the dry numbers.
Global executives and investors “must pay heed” to this vibrant continent, McKinsey has said, and pay heed they have.
Africa regional funds attracted inflows of $484m in the first half of 2010, according to EFPR Global, and total investment fund allocation to Africa was a record $1.39bn.
Against a difficult global economic background, Africa regional funds have enjoyed 43 consecutive weeks of inflows totalling $579m since September 2009.
“In terms of sustained interest in Africa, this marks a real turning point,” says Cameron Brandt, global markets analyst at EPFR Global.
And it's all because of South Africa's success of the World Cup apparently.
“The South African World Cup has been a major window of opportunity to shed light on Africa and rediscover it,” says Koffi Vovor of Kusuntu – Le Club, an association of diaspora executives that promotes change and investment through private equity in Africa.
“People have started to realise they are perceiving the continent with a 20 to 30 years old lens.”
Read all of it (And it's free to register w/the FT!).