By: Paul Ndiho
When it comes to emerging economies, Africa is receiving a lot of positive coverage, especially in the western media. Perhaps, it is because the continent boasts some of the fastest growing economies, best tourism spots, abundant natural resources, rich culture, great music, and a growing middle class.
If you were to read any economic forecast on Africa written by the World Bank, IMF, African development bank or other multinational corporations in the last couple years you would notice that Africa’s narrative is changing.
Many economists say in 2016 Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is expected to grow at 4.5%, making it the fastest-growing economic zone in the world. As a result, many international firms are setting up local and regional operations.
Tourism on the continent is set to spur more economic growth and directly employ more than 7 million people by 2021, according to a World Bank report.
Another study, titled “Millionaire Tourism in Africa,” says that around 43,000 multi-millionaires visited Africa. South Africa was the most visited destination for the super-rich. Other major destinations include Cairo in Egypt, Nairobi in Kenya, Masai Mara in Kenya, the Serengeti in Tanzania, Gorilla safaris in Bwindi Forest and Bujagali Falls in Uganda. Other places include Swamps in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The U.K based World Travel and Tourism Council, says the influx of tourists means more money coming into the continent, accounting for nearly US $50 billion in revenue in 2015.
The continent prides itself on having the best land for exploring real beauty, for example, Africa’s mountains, savannahs and rivers, are by far the natural assets found in the continent.
The hospitality sector is experiencing unusually rapid growth. According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa, is benefiting most from the expansion of hotel chains and the corresponding increase in the number of available rooms.
The vast continent is so rich and diverse in its culture. This is not only from one country to another but within individual countries, where many different cultures can be found.
Africans are rocking the Fashion runways in New York, Paris, and London, primarily promoting Africa’s fashion industry and Lifestyle brands. Perhaps even, more importantly, Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry is rising in popularity. It’s a $5 billion dollar industry churning out nearly 3,000 movies each year.
Since its inception, over 20 years ago, the Nigerian movie industry has remained one of the largest employers in the country, and analysts say the industry earns the third highest revenues in the world after Hollywood and Bollywood.
We certainly cannot talk about Africa’s Beauty without talking about Music, which is very much a part of the continent’s culture.
If you appreciate authentic African food, then you have something in common with a lot of Africans. They are passionate about making Africa’s mouth-watering food locally and even continental dishes that has earned them the title of “best cooks in the world.”
Africa has a rich culture, one that it has managed to hold onto for centuries, especially African cuisine. It features traditional dishes from each ethnic group, tribe and clan. Most African dishes comprise of a rigid portion and sauce or fish, goat meat or beef soup. This trend is evident everywhere go in Africa.