The Real Reasons Africa Is Poor—and Why It Matters

Did you know that by 2050, fully a quarter of the planet’s population will reside in Africa? Yet despite abundant natural resources and a young and ambitious population, the continent remains the poorest of them all.

Born in Senegal and now residing in Austin, Texas, Magatte Wade is director of the Center for African Prosperity at the Atlas Network, a nonprofit that supports think tanks and activist groups in the developing world. A serial entrepreneur, she’s currently the CEO (and founder) of SkinIsSkin, which sells a series of skin and lip products sourced in Africa.

Wade is also the author of the new memoir and manifesto, The Heart of a Cheetah: How We Have Been Lied To about African Poverty—and What That Means for Human Flourishing. The solution to Africa’s problems lie with what her mentor, the late economist George Ayittey, called “the cheetah generation,” young Africans who embrace free markets, individualism, human rights, and transparency in government.

Reason‘s Nick Gillespie sat down with Wade to discuss her book, “conscious capitalism,” charter cities, and how cryptocurrencies are helping people like her build the Africa—and the world—they want. 

  • Video Editor: Adam Czarnecki
  • Audio Production: Ian Keyser

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