It’s no secret that Africa has become a major success story. In 2012, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. In 2012, growth hit 5.3 percent and it is predicted to increase this year. Meanwhile technology is transforming the continent. With 650 million subscribers, Africa’s mobile phone market now exceeds that of the U.S. or EU — a development that is changing lives. In addition to these startling figures, there is Africa’s young population, which, according to projections, will double over the next four decades.
These findings are a source of enormous excitement but they also require thoughtful consideration. I suggest that in looking to Africa’s future, six principles should govern decision-making in business and policy: independence, investment, incubation, innovation, infrastructure and inspiration — the six ‘I’s.