Africa’s economic growth is steady despite the global financial crisis. The World Bank confirmed that growth in gross domestic product has been higher than the world average for five years and is predicted to grow in 2009 and beyond.

The size of Africa (click to enlarge)

An article by Frank Aneke from October 2009 provides some positive perspective for the new year:

One-third of Africa’s total trade is now with markets in emerging economies, namely China, India, Brazil and Malaysia among others. Africa is marking a shift away from previous reliance on traditional trading partners in Europe and North America.

While many of Africa’s traditional trading partners are in a recession, many of its new markets, particularly China and India, show relatively healthy growth prospects.

The image of Africa as a continent bedevilled with sufferings and wars still exists in minds of millions through television images and news reports. Most media outfits in developed nations continuously mirror the worst pictures out of Africa to maintain the stereotype. There may be drought, disease and corruption. Still, there are new generations of young, educated, savvy entrepreneurs running businesses in Africa. A great number of professionals and business managers in Africa are educated in the world’s best universities, and have worked in high profile organisations in developed economies across the globe before returning home.

As more emerging economies defy the media blitz on Africa and invest in key sectors that are generating jobs and return on investment, Africa is slowly but surely heading towards economic transformation

The map above comes from Strange Maps, where you may find quite a few interesting maps.  As the map above shows, Africa is far to big to think of it as one place or one group of people.