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Fabulous Reads

The Next Africa. An emerging continent becomes a global powerhouse. Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby

The Next Africa, an Axiom Best Business Book Award winner, will change the way people think about the continent. The old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy, depicted by conflict or corruption, and heavily dependent on outside donors is fading. A wave of transformation driven by business, modernization, and a new cadre of remarkably talented Africans is thrusting the continent from the world’s margins to the global mainstream.

In the coming decades the magnitude of Africa’s markets and rising influence of its people will intersect with other key trends to shape a new era, one in which Africa’s progress finally overshadows its challenges, transforming an emerging continent into a global powerhouse. The Next Africa captures this story.

Authors Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby pair their collective decades of Africa experience with several years of direct research and interviews. Packed with profiles; personal stories, research and analysis, The Next Africa is a paradigm-shifting guide to the events, trends, and people reshaping Africa’s relationship to the world.

Bright and Hruby detail the cross-cutting trends prompting Silicon Valley venture capital funds and firms like GE, IBM, and Proctor & Gamble to make major investments in African economies, while describing how Africans are stimulating Milan runways, Hollywood studios, and London pop charts.

The Next Africa introduces readers to the continent’s burgeoning technology movement, rising entrepreneurs, groundbreaking philanthropists, and cultural innovators making an impact in music, fashion, and film. Bright and Hruby also connect Africa’s transformation to its contemporary immigrant diaspora, illustrating how this increasingly affluent group will serve as the thread that pulls the continent’s success together.

Finally, The Next Africa suggests a fresh framework for global citizens, public policy-makers, and CEOs to approach Africa. It will no longer be “The Hopeless Continent”, nor will it become an overnight utopia. Bright and Hruby offer a more nuanced, net-sum, and data-rich approach to analyzing an increasingly complex continent, reconciling its continued challenges with rapid progress.

The Next Africa describes a future of a more globally-connected Africa where its leaders and citizens wield significant economic, cultural, and political power–a future in which Americans will be more likely to own African stocks, work for companies doing business in Africa, buy African hits from iTunes, see Nigerian actors win Oscars, and learn new African names connected to tech moguls and billionaires.

Architects of Intelligence. The truth about AI from the people building it. Martin Ford

How will AI evolve and what major innovations are on the horizon? What will its impact be on the job market, economy, and society? What is the path toward human-level machine intelligence? What should we be concerned about as artificial intelligence advances?

Architects of Intelligence contains a series of in-depth, one-to-one interviews where New York Times bestselling author, Martin Ford, uncovers the truth behind these questions from some of the brightest minds in the Artificial Intelligence community.

Martin has wide-ranging conversations with twenty-three of the world’s foremost researchers and entrepreneurs working in AI and robotics: Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Ray Kurzweil (Google), Geoffrey Hinton (Univ. of Toronto and Google), Rodney Brooks (Rethink Robotics), Yann LeCun (Facebook) , Fei-Fei Li (Stanford and Google), Yoshua Bengio (Univ. of Montreal), Andrew Ng (AI Fund), Daphne Koller (Stanford), Stuart Russell (UC Berkeley), Nick Bostrom (Univ. of Oxford), Barbara Grosz (Harvard), David Ferrucci (Elemental Cognition), James Manyika (McKinsey), Judea Pearl (UCLA), Josh Tenenbaum (MIT), Rana el Kaliouby (Affectiva), Daniela Rus (MIT), Jeff Dean (Google), Cynthia Breazeal (MIT), Oren Etzioni (Allen Institute for AI), Gary Marcus (NYU), and Bryan Johnson (Kernel).

Martin Ford is a prominent futurist, and author of Financial Times Business Book of the Year, Rise of the Robots. He speaks at conferences and companies around the world on what AI and automation might mean for the future.

Meet the minds behind the AI superpowers as they discuss the science, business and ethics of modern artificial intelligence. Read James Manyika’s thoughts on AI analytics, Geoffrey Hinton’s breakthroughs in AI programming and development, and Rana el Kaliouby’s insights into AI marketing. This AI book collects the opinions of the luminaries of the AI business, such as Stuart Russell (coauthor of the leading AI textbook), Rodney Brooks (a leader in AI robotics), Demis Hassabis (chess prodigy and mind behind AlphaGo), and Yoshua Bengio (leader in deep learning) to complete your AI education and give you an AI advantage in 2019 and the future.

How we made it in Africa. Learn from the stories of 25 entrepeneurs who’ve built thriving businesses. Compiled by Jaco Maritz

From the founder of the award-winning website (www.howwemadeitinafrica.com) comes the stories of 25 entrepreneurs who’ve built thriving businesses.

* Be inspired by the experiences of Africa’s most dynamic entrepreneurs
* Gain insight into the continent’s business opportunities
* Find the courage to make your own dreams and ambitions become a reality

Discover why Ken Njoroge is building a billion-dollar pan-African digital payments company (it is not because he wants to drive a Ferrari); Find out how Jean de Dieu Kagabo grew a Rwanda-based industrial group from a simple product: toilet paper; And be inspired by the extraordinary tale of Hassan Bashir who created a booming insurance company from nothing but grit and persistence.

Each entrepreneur’s story is told in an honest and sober manner, not shying away from the mistakes made and the considerable hurdles they had to overcome. And there were many tough times: from being betrayed by long-time senior managers to losing vast sums of money because of poor market research. Pursuing their business ambitions also had a toll on their personal lives: one entrepreneur was too broke to afford diapers for his baby, while another had to sell her house to keep the company alive.

The Prosperity Paradox. How Innovation can Lift Nations out of Poverty. Clayton M Christensen,Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon

Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.

Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way. The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation. Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.

The ideas in this book will help companies desperate for real, long-term growth see actual, sustainable progress where they’ve failed before. But The Prosperity Paradox is more than a business book; it is a call to action for anyone who wants a fresh take for making the world a better and more prosperous place.

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