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Africa is Rising: From Poverty to Promise


The world has believed Africa is a hopeless continent—from HIV/Aids, to civil war, to poverty. In January 2000, The Economist Magazine called Africa the Hopeless Continent. Then just last year, The Economist said, “We got it wrong. Africa is rising.” There is a new Africa on the horizon. Here are a few surprising, yet encouraging, statistics:

  • Africa’s population is set to double from 1 billion to 2 billion over the next 40 years
  • Africa’s economic growth: 6% per year
  • 6 of the 10 fastest growing countries in the world
  • Half of the population increase over the next 40 years will be in Africa
  • More cell phones than America or Europe
  • Productivity growing 3% a year, compared with 2.3% in America
  • Wealthiest Black person in the world is Nigerian
  • Trade has increased by 200% since 2000
  • Inflation dropped from 22% in the 1990s to 8% in the past decade
  • Foreign debts declined by 25%

The World Bank said, “Africa could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago and India 20 years ago.”

This new story is moving Africa from the land of need to the land of opportunity, from the continent of poverty to the continent of potential—about people not projects, about prosperity not poverty. The new story is about the African church, empowering every member to be a minister of the Good News in every community until Christ has been proclaimed across the continent.

Spiritual movements do not come from the economy, they come from spiritual people—people discipled to believe God can use them to do great things.

“Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” —William Carey

Transformed African leaders are equipping their congregations to move beyond the four walls of their churches into the four corners of every marketplace in every town in every corner of their countries. The new Africa demands that leaders and congregations be transformed in order to transform the world. The ICM Goal: Transformed leaders, transforming Africa, to lead the world, to fulfill the Great Commission.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Matthew 9:37–38 (NIV)

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