When people tell me that Africa will be the new China, I'm not as incredulous as I used to be. The continent is showing potential, and progress could come from what many consider to be a highly unlikely area: manufacturing. All across Africa, investors - many of them private entrepreneurs from China - are building factories. Others from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are joining in, while car companies from Japan, Germany and South Korea are declaring their intent to put assembly plants in places such as Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana.

Meanwhile, overall African growth is looking impressive. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that six of the top 10 fastest-growing economies will be African this year...

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