Strong economic growth, driven by resource-rich Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, has helped sub-Saharan Africa shed its image as a war-torn region plagued by famine, disease and political volatility. In recent years, amid a surge in Chinese investment, a new “Africa Rising” narrative portrayed the region's 46 countries as making impressive economic progress, with a growing middle class and rising democratic aspirations. That narrative became less persuasive, however, after world commodity prices began to fall in 2014. In addition, some autocrats, while professing democratic ideals, have been suppressing human rights and clinging to power. Like the rest of the world, African countries face the long-term consequences of climate change, which could erode economic progress and the quality of life on the continent. And automated manufacturing ...

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