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South of the Revolution

PRETORIA – Over dinner in Algiers recently, we asked each other whether the youth-led revolutions unfolding in northern Africa presage the awakening of economic lions throughout the continent. Could the changes unfolding in the Arab north usher in an Africa-wide industrial revolution?

If so, it would mean shifting from production of commodities to higher-value manufactured products. It would also mean looking objectively at the concept and aims of international development cooperation beyond the lifespan of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).