Africa’s Growing Middle Class

This article is a repost from a past contribution I made on In The Black 2020. The story of Africa’s growing middle class is still relevant today, especially considering the unique challenges that have arisen. Let me know what you think.

Accra MallA recent article in The Guardian highlighted a study from the African Development Bank, titled The Middle of the Pyramid: Dynamics of the Middle Class in Africa. The results of the study led to the conclusion that one out of every three Africans can now be considered middle class. As a business researcher and scholar, I found the results of study particularly interesting. With these results in mind, I think we can now call the American Dream the (insert your favorite African nation here) Dream. I think its about time that Africa is recognized for something more than a continent of hopelessness and despair. No longer should Africa be the place where governments and individuals seek to give handouts for tax breaks. Despite the fact that the continent has a long journey ahead, there are examples of prosperity across the board. Recently, Economy Watch named the West-African nation of Ghana as the fastest growing economy on the planet for 2011, with half of the top 12 countries on list belonging from Africa. Maybe with this type of news, the global media will start focusing on the numerous positive attributes of the Motherland instead of the negative stereotypes that have been portrayed for generations. I also hope that the government leaders on the continent focus on sustaining the growth of the middle class, instead of squandering opportunities due to greed and arrogance. If they were smart, they would concentrate on growing their small business sectors, butI’ll save that for another blog post. For now, we’ll just have to see what the future holds. Until then, Africa and her people should enjoy the ride.