Africa Rising

A speaker series on ag and nutrition for a growing continent

Sponsored by the UC Davis International Programs Office at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the World Food Center

Two billion more people will inhabit the planet by 2050. Most of them will live in Africa. Nearly all of that growth will take place in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa, posing an enormous economic burden to lift these populations out of poverty. As one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Africa is also experiencing slow economic growth, due mainly to declining commodities and other factors. That trend can change through agriculture, which continues to play a key role in poverty reduction as an engine of economic growth. 

This is the topic of "Africa Rising," a speaker series organized by the UC Davis International Programs Office and the World Food Center. The series will look at the positive trends and strategies for addressing risks to food security and poverty reduction in this region. 

Bright is a writer, consultant, and Whitehead Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, with a focus on global business and Africa. He also covers Africa’s technology trends at TechCrunch.

In The Next Africa, he and co-author Aubrey Hruby outline historic trends in business, investment, technology, and entrepreneurship that are shifting the continent from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy. They referenced more than 1000 sources, conducted more than 100 interviews, completed six research trips and worked directly with organizations, including GE, IBM, the African Development Bank, McKinsey & Company, Safaricom, and iHUB. Bright’s research suggests a fresh framework for global citizens, public policymakers, and CEOs to analyze an increasingly complex continent and reconcile its continued challenges with rapid progress. The Next Africa won an Axiom Best Business Book award and was recently featured at TEDx.

Jake Bright will provide a briefing on The Next Africa’s most pertinent findings. Bringing UC Davis insight to the event will be a followup panel discussion with Tu Jarvis, a professor of agricultural economics and the director of the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, and David Miller, the director of the UC Davis Research Innovations Fellowship in Agriculture program.

Top photo: A farmer in Malawi watering his sugar cane. (Alida Vanni)