chapter  2
26 Pages

At the Dawn

Few images convey Africa’s turnaround as powerfully as two covers of The Economist, separated by eleven years and depicted in

figure 2-1.

In 2000, the editors of the Economist saw in Africa a continent in a

spiral of violence and despair. As the Economist’s editors described it in

their lead editorial, “Mozambique and Madagascar have been deluged

by floods, famine has started to reappear in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe has

succumbed to government-sponsored thuggery, and poverty and pes-

tilence continue unabated. Most seriously, wars still rage from north

to south and east to west.” It was a damning safari of sorrow, one that

ended fatalistically. “Brutality, despotism and corruption exist every-

where,” the Economist reported, “but African societies, for reasons

buried in their cultures, seem especially susceptible to them.”1