Making Africa work: The continent’s future depends on people, not commodities

“IS ANYONE here actually hoping to make any money, or are you all just trying to minimise your losses?” The question, asked at a dinner in London for investors who specialise in Africa, showed how the mood has changed in the past year. The financiers around the table—mostly holders of African bonds—all said they were simply trying not to lose money.

Only a few years ago people were queuing up to invest in Africa. As recently as 2012 Zambia paid less than Spain to borrow dollars. Private-equity funds dedicated to Africa raised record sums to invest in shopping malls and firms making everything from nappies to fruit juice. Businessfolk salivated at the prospect of selling to the fast-growing African middle class, which by one measure numbered 350m people. Miners sank billions into African soil to feed China’s appetite for minerals.

Read the full article in The Economist