Week 4



In Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries are Leading the Way by Steven Radelet, he introduces the terms “Cheetah” and “Big Man” as references to the generational differences occurring in Africa. The cheetah generation consists of a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs that are rising to the top of government bureaucracies, civil society organizations, and businesses (126). This new way of thought is particularly popular in the emerging countries. Other nicknames that have been given to the cheetah generation include “Africa’s new hope” and “Africa Two.” (126) This contemporary movement is hopeful in restoring the name of Africa through democracy, transparency, and a dynamic private sector. The cheetah generation is also encouraging communication and relationships with all countries. The cheetah generation is currently making advances in technology that are creating new opportunities and solving old problems. They are also bringing new entrepreneurial energy to business enterprises. The cheetahs are also a powerful consumer force (137). The cheetahs are not so much a thing that is changing, but a driving force that is bringing about that change (138).

In Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries are Leading the Way it is stated that the cheetah generation does not relate to the old colonialist paradigm, slave trade, or Africa’s post-colonialist nationalist leaders. Which brings me to the “hippo” generation. The “hippo” generation is set in their ways of thinking. The group is stuck in the past, complaining about colonialism and imperialism. Ayittey claims they are slow-moving (127).   The “Big Man” movement was at its peak in the mid 1980s. Democracy was not in the picture. The political and economic systems were deeply intertwined (50). Our reading also states that because of the authoritarian governments had little need to implement policy that would benefit the majority of the citizens; instead they funneled economic benefits to their key supporters. These supporters included: civil servants, protected businesses, labor unions, the military and urban consumers.

Through the progress of the cheetah generation over the past 20 years, Africa has gone from almost no democracies to nearly half the continent under democratic rule (55). NGOs play a role in the cheetah generation. There are many NGOs that support the cause and movement of the cheetah generation. They believe in promoting democracy and including ideas about innovation and rebranding of Africa.



Women also play a key role in the cheetah generation. The cheetah way of thinking is not stuck in the past, so they are open the equality and involvement of women in the process. The cheetah generation is moving forward by educating the women and allowing them to earn an income.



In Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty, some of the major issues and problems plaguing developing/emerging countries include:

  • AIDs wipeout in Malawi due to unaffordable medication by the government
    • 900,000 are infected and only 400 are being treated properly
    • wipes out the working class, leaving a lot of orphans
  • Malaria is also another major problem in the developing countries
  • Being a landlocked country makes it harder to pull out of poverty, as opposed to countries near water
    • Landlocked countries also have a greater risk of being drought ridden weather or flood, subsistent agriculture, no educational institutions, and no clean water
  • A major problem in Bangladesh is the sweatshops
    • Factory collapsed with hundreds of workers in it
  • Family planning/contraception is also a problem

In general, for a country to make improvements, they must have some means of economic growth and improving health. Another problem that is seen is the labeling of the Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. It cannot be treated as a single entity. Hardship and strife in one country does not cancel out the gains in another country. Labeling the countries as a whole is setting them back because the areas that need to make progress are being ignored.

The diagnostic checklist Sachs proposes includes seven categories:

  • Poverty Trap
  • Economic Policy Framework
  • Fiscal Framework/Fiscal Trap
  • Physical Geography
  • Governance Patterns and Failures
  • Cultural Barriers
  • Geopolitics




Cultural Barriers: Lesotho is ranked first in Africa and sixteenth in the world on bridging the gap between the sexes, and has adopted several gender-sensitive law.

Governance Patterns: In May 2012 the results of the general elections led to formation of the first-ever coalition government by three parties: All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). This tripartite coalition currently rules Lesotho.

Physical Geography: The country is very young demographically and predominantly rural. Owing to low agricultural productivity and with only 10% of its land surface available for arable agriculture, the country relies heavily on imports from South Africa




Physical Geography: Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighboring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. There was also a 46% improvement in rural areas receiving water. Also, Zambia holds 6% of the worlds copper reserves and is the fourth largest copper producing nation in the world. Zambia is internationally recognized as a major producer of emeralds, aquamarines, amethyst and tourmalines and the quality of the gems are highly competitive with world markets.

Poverty Trap: 60.5% poverty headcount ratio at the national poverty line.

Cultural Barriers: Zambia’s contemporary culture is a blend of values, norms, material and spiritual traditions of more than 70 ethnically diverse people. After Independence in 1964, the government recognized the role culture was to play in the overall development of a new nation and began to explore the question of a National identity.


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