aNewCenturyForAfricaJust 10 years ago with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, tuberculosis, and malaria all exacting a heavy toll on Africa's future, the Economist magazine's cover story labeled Africa "The Hopeless Continent." But a few weeks ago, the cover story of that same publication signaled a more optimistic tone exalting the "Rising Africa."

Africa has indeed been a rising giant over the past decade with its economy growing faster than most of East Asia, including Japan. Organizations like the IMF are predicting that African growth for 2011 will be in the order of 6% and by 2012, its growth rate could equal that of Asia.