Guo notes that while "pervasive corruption" remains a problem in many places, Africa enjoys an "expansive base of newly minted consumers" and "the world's highest rate of urbanization." He relates tales of Nigeria's nouveau riche, and runs down a list of factors contributing to growth:
Spurred by eager investors, governments have steadily deregulated industries and developed infrastructure. As a result, countries such as Kenya and Botswana now boast privately owned world-class hospitals, charter schools, and toll roads that are actually safe to drive on. A study by a World Bank program, the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic, found that improvements in Africa's telecom infrastructure have contributed as much as 1 percent to per capita GDP growth, a bigger role than changes in monetary or fiscal policies. Shares of stocks in recently privatized local airlines, freight companies, and telecoms have skyrocketed.This optimism stands in contrast--if not in contradiction--to the accounts of human-rights violations from Nicholas Kristof and other international commentators.