Ahead of Obama’s Africa Trip, the DC Launch of The Next Africa

On Tuesday, July 14, the Africa Center hosted the official Washington, DC launch of a new book, The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse, by Africa Center Senior Fellow Aubrey Hruby and coauthor Jake Bright.

Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham welcomed attendees and gave a short introduction. He noted that President Obama’s upcoming Africa trip and his welcoming of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to the White House next week are indicative of what Hruby and Bright call the “twenty-first century’s great turnaround story.”

20150714AubreySecondaryFrom left to right: Lesley Wroughton, Aubrey Hruby, Jake Bright, and Eghosa Omoigui.

Hruby and Bright gave an overview of their book, noting that the impetus for The Next Africa came from an interest in broadening the conversation about doing business in Africa. Their goal in writing the book was to show that Africa’s challenges will not vanish, but progress across select countries, people, and organizations will begin to overshadow the continent’s problems. As such, the authors said that they hope to see a normalization of Africa in the global dialogue.

The Africa of today is different from the “Old Africa,” noted Hruby and Bright, but it is also not the “Final Africa.” It is simply the “Next Africa,” and one which is driven by rapid economic growth, a surge in investment from international and African entrepreneurs, a young and increasingly urbanized workforce, and modernization—both of markets and infrastructure.

Hruby and Bright were then joined by Eghosa Omoigui, Founder and Managing General Partner at EchoVC Partners, a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on underserved and emerging markets, and Lesley Wroughton, Senior State Department Correspondent at Thomson Reuters. Wroughton moderated the panel discussion, which covered a range of issues, including the rapid expansion of Africa’s tech industry, non-US companies competing for African business, and the difficulties of investing in Africa.


The book will officially be released on July 21, but pre-orders are available on Amazon.

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