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The Lede, Africa Rising

The Lede, Thursday, June 7, 2018
By David Royse

Because I write here a lot about emerging industries, I tend to write a lot about China and the rest of Asia, the United States and Europe. Those three places are where industries are emerging that are changing all of our lives. They’re all also really big markets. When markets are big, innovation follows, of course.

But the biggest market in the coming decades may be somewhere else entirely – if Africa’s economic development keeps pace with its population growth.

Some interesting numbers from Salih Booker and Ari Rickman,of the Center for International Policy, writing yesterday in the Washington Post:

“Beginning in 2035, the number of young people reaching working age in Africa will exceed that of the rest of the world combined, and will continue every year for the rest of the century. By 2050, one in every four humans will be African. At the end of the century, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population will be African….”

Since 2000, at least half the countries in the world with the highest annual growth rate have been in Africa.

The piece bemoans the fact that the U.S., at least in terms of its government foreign policy, isn’t ready for this. The piece in yesterday’s Post barely mentions the counter-case, but I will. While the United States appears to see Africa as only a place for American military intervention and not much else, much of the rest of the world sees it as key to the future of the global economy. China has gotten tons of attention, of course, for spending $60 billion in investment and aid on the continent. We here in the United States don’t seem to see much value in foreign aid, unless it’s military. China, meanwhile, is building the electric grids that will power Chinese factories in Africa, the roads, airports and ports that will allow for the delivery of Chinese goods to Africa – and you can bet that someone will build the education technology and infrastructure that will help create the buyers. It won’t be us, I would wager.


Rwanda is becoming Africa’s tech leader. 

Remember Rwanda. What comes to mind for me – and most people, I’d guess – when I hear Rwanda is genocide.

But “Rwanda is beginning to leapfrog developed countries in fundamental areas such as smart city infrastructure, vocational training, and strategic foreign investment. As of January this year, 4G/LTE networks cover more than 95 percent of the country, and a mix of public and private players are working together on a national roll-out of fiber-optic broadband. As its citizens and businesses get connected, Kigali is becoming an African hub for multinational tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon.”

More from Lauren Razavi on Medium


Wants to get rid of your remote. Seattle Times

Thinks medical bills should make more sense. Hypepotamus

Is starting an electric truck group – rolls out semi to compete with Tesla. Electrek

Bitmain Technologies
Cryptocurrency mining chip company may be headed for an IPO. Bloomberg

Is testing out using drones for delivery to ships just offshore in partnership with Wilhelmsen. Ledetree

May be about to become the first city to put a lid on surge prices for ride hailing apps. Ledetree


O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo (Canadian cannabis conference)
STARTS TODAY June 7-9, Toronto

MedCity Converge, Where Healthcare Meets Innovation.
July 11-12, Philadelphia

Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo
Sept. 26-29, Los Angeles

Thanks for reading!



About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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