It is still worth debating and reflecting if the world is becoming a better place, including Africa. More importantly, many other contributions on this blog are trying to shape a discussion on what can be done to help end poverty.
In terms of Africa’s economic trends, there are also several viewpoints and this debate in the Economist gives you both perspectives: http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/954
My summary is as follows:
Today, Africa’s social indicators are also looking up. More kids are in school than ever before and most African countries will also meet the primary enrollment and gender targets of the MDGs. Now the continent is contemplating a double “demographic” and “education dividend” as the numbers of secondary graduates ready to enter the workforce are rising rapidly. They will outnumber primary graduates in the next 20 years with a high premium on economic growth. Each year, the UNDP is producing its Human Development Index (HDI) capturing these critical facets of developments. The last report contained an astonishing fact: 9 out of the 10 countries with the greatest gains were from Sub-Saharan Africa. If this does not exemplify Africa’s rise, what else possibly could?
In terms of Ireland, the long-term performance remains remarkable. Ireland used to be a relatively poor country, especially by European standards 40 years ago. Now it is a rich country by all metrics, despite recent economic challenges.