For decades, investors have been hearing that the Next Big Thing will be Africa. I wonder how many people missed out on inflection points in India and China because they were looking at Africa? No matter.
Africa, of course, is a continent. The Republic of South Africa has as much in common with Sudan as Point Barrow, Alaska has with Cancun: on the same continent, yes, but very different in terms of economy, climate, and interests of the people. Many African countries are poor and have irresponsible governments. And many African countries are prosperous and democratic. (None is rich – yet.)
One of the features of Emerging Markets for Dummies is a guide to each of the world’s emerging and frontier markets. It has information on the economy, the challenges, English-language business publications, and other items to help people research the markets. Most of Africa’s emerging markets are in the north, along the Mediterranean. That’s not surprising; the proximity to Europe has allowed these nations to establish strong traditions of trade and commerce.
However, it seems like every nation in North Africa has changed since the book came out! The Arab Spring has been amazing to watch. And, to the point here, it shows just how much fluidity is in emerging markets. The reason that they have great opportunities is that they also have great risk.
In coming weeks, I’m going to update the information on North Africa’s emerging markets here. Something to watch for, eh?