Next thought Monday: beyond ‘Africa rising’ – the emergence of the not-quite middle class

The past five years or so have seen a number of exuberant studies and predictions that Africa’s rapid growth was creating a new middle class. This new group of consumers, it was argued, would become an engine of domestic demand, reducing reliance on exports and sustaining economic growth in the same way as they have in China. There were even predictions that this new middle class would transform governance and politics. This was the hopeful and optimistic story of “Africa Rising.”

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