Many countries in Sub–Saharan Africa are now enjoying significant economic growth and political progress. The new Africa has begun to banish the miseries of the past, and appears ready to play an important role in world affairs. Africa Emerges draws on a wealth of empirical data to explore the key challenges Africa must overcome in the coming decades, from peacekeeping to health and disease, from energy needs to education. Ainsley Elbra finds that this book is replete with data at all levels and on a wide variety of measures that should be of interest to any reader keen to develop an understanding of recent changes taking place throughout Africa.
Robert I. Rotberg’s latest book, Africa Emerges, provides a valuable update on the progress of one of the world’s most vastly misunderstood regions. Written by a pre-eminent scholar of African affairs, and governance more broadly, the author utilises a raft of quantitative data to outline a more nuanced picture of the continent’s development. Overall, the book reveals trends in a variety of areas of interest to development scholars, such as population demographics, disease, conflict, infrastructure and the role of China in the continent’s progress. Rotberg’s book is well balanced, reflecting on the progress being made (including growth rates exceeding those in other developing regions) as well as the challenges facing the translation of this growth into true development across all groups in society.
Despite any misgivings from the title, the author avoids the common mistake of assuming a continent-wide trajectory at the expense of specific local experiences. Rotberg instead provides key statistics detailing progress at the regional, country and sub-national levels. Continue reading