cover image The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa's Economic Miracle

The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa's Economic Miracle

Ashish J. Thakkar. Palgrave Macmillan, $27 (240p) ISBN 978-1-137-28014-5

Businessman Thakkar, founder of the pan-African Mara Group, enthusiastically disagrees with the common depiction of Africa as a continent of famine, disease, and war. On the contrary, he views Africa as the continent of the future, an optimistic view he bases on positive developments from the last two decades. Thakkar draws examples from his own rags-to-riches childhood, spent variously in England, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well as from the rebuilding and rebranding of Rwanda after the 1994 genocide (which the author survived), the scope and reach of Nigeria's "Nollywood" film industry, and many instances of successful business endeavors by Africa's millennial generation. He notes that almost 80% of Africa's 1.1 billion people are under the age of 35, writing that it is this younger generation, largely free from direct experience of colonialism and the Cold War, that will pave the way for "the African century." Thakkar's love for his fellow Africans and optimism for the future at times seems to lead him to understate the struggles still facing the continent, but readers will admire his drive to show the world the true economic, social, and technological potential that Africa possesses. (Aug.)