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Is Africa the land of the future? It is not a given!

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Abstract:

PurposeThis editorial aims to summarize the outcome of the Special Issue exploration on the theme "Is Africa the land of the future?". Design/methodology/approachThe paper contextualises and synthesizes the set of Africa-themed foresight papers included in the journal issue. FindingsThe exploration concludes that Africa faces a range of internal and external opportunities and challenges. These are historical, geopolitical, economic, demographic, psychological, and intellectual. Key drivers and analyses identified by seven authors are briefly presented. Research limitations/implicationsThe restricted number of papers that could be included in the single issue required a narrow selection from a large set of good papers and subject coverage. The issue and editorial therefore only address a few of the key drivers, in addition to some broad, foundational issues. Practical implicationsNeither mere optimism nor pessimism will determine Africa's ultimate trajectory. Concerted ownership, foresight and collective action by Africa's leaders and followers are the key to positive futures for the continent. Originality/valueThe Special Issue is a unique contemporary African foresight contribution, which aims to provide a deeper understanding of the emerging challenges and opportunities for the continent.

Keywords: Africa; Economic development; Emerging markets

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14636681111138721

Publication date: May 31, 2011

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