Executive Summary 19 - Emerging and Non-Emerging African Countries

Executive Summary of Research Paper 19 

Monique Theron, February 2012

In his well-received book on Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way, Steve Radelet distinguished between Emerging, Threshold and Non-Emerging countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He pointed out that the Emerging countries, especially, had performed particularly well in terms of their growth rates and democratization processes. 

The explanation for these achievements will of course be complex. But in this new paper, Monique Theron draws on the DLP African Heads of State database, to explore the potential contribution which leadership may have made to these stories. As in her previous paper on African Heads of State, she compares the Heads of State from both Emerging and Non-emerging countries with respect to their level of education, fields of study, age, career history and political backgrounds. 

The analysis indicates that the Heads of State in Radelet’s category of Emerging countries have in general had higher levels of educated, are more mature, have a different and more diverse career history and less military experience than (a) their counterparts in their own countries before the mid-1990s and (b) the leaders of Non-emerging countries.

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