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Long Reads

The African Threat

Although international engagement with Africa has evolved over time, it has never succeeded in putting the region on a path toward long-term and sustainable growth and development. Today, continued failure could expose the world to a new age of pandemics, terror, and mass migration.

NEW YORK – If the world never had to hear about Africa again, would anyone care? Setting aside Africa’s cultural contributions, I suspect that for many people the honest answer is “no.”

Ten years ago, in my book Dead Aid, I highlighted how a narrative backed by international aid policy cemented Africa’s status as the world’s problem child, rather than one destined for greatness.

Over the years, false starts on the continent have led to cynicism and despair. Once a repository of progressive aspiration, Africa has become the source of some of the greatest threats to the global economic order. Rather than capitalizing on opportunities, international engagement is increasingly focused on mitigating risks.

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