Market Solutions Growing an African Middle Class
Market-based reforms are helping to create a service and manufacturing-based African middle class. As a result, populations are more likely to demand fairer government rule.
What's the Latest Development?
New business opportunities in Africa are offering a burgeoning middle class the opportunity to escape the continent's infamous cycle of poverty and violence, empowering larger sections of the population to hold their governments accountable. "According to the African Development Bank, this middle class already includes 313 million people, or 34 percent of the total population." Commodities like oil, natural gas, old and diamonds represent a shrinking share of economic output, with service sector and manufacturing jobs expanding. Market-based lending programs, rather than corruption-prone foreign-aid packages, have helped along the way.
What's the Big Idea?
Richard Kimani, who lives in Nairobi, Kenya, is a good example of the power of market-based reforms. After securing a low-interest loan worth millions from a German investment company, Kimani has built a successful juice bottling business. Shipping the manufacturing equipment from Germany, however, is not easy, as local officials still require bribes to turn the wheels of industry. But, says Kimani, budding industries demonstrate to the middle class that there is a lot to lose. As a result, he expects that Kenya's leaders will be held to higher account in the presidential election scheduled for next spring.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.