As over 900 participants prepare to travel to our World Economic Forum on Africa, which begins next Wednesday in Abuja, here’s a quick reading list to bring you up to speed on some of the issues we’ll be discussing.

Africa’s economy

Africa is refuting the usual economic pessimism. The real story is rather different: It includes the stuttering spread of democracy, impressive economic growth and a continent that now has more people who are overweight than go to bed hungry each night. There’s more detail, country by country, in the Forum’s Africa Competitiveness Report.

How can Africa develop its infrastructure? Governments need the right tools to attract investors.

Slowdown in commodity demand could hit Africa, warns the IMF

Rising inequality in Africa weighs on new consumers. The fragility of its new middle class is evident in cities like Abuja, which hosts this year’s meeting.

Africa’s path to prosperity. It needs to start by fixing inter-regional trade.

East Africa’s new great oil game. With new railways and road networks, together with new pipelines and electric power grids, East African nations are forging political alliances that will allow them to reshape the region.

How Nigeria’s economy grew 89% overnight. Explaining April’s GDP recalculation, which made the country Africa’s biggest economy.

Africa and the world

China’s presence in Africa. Not as big as you might expect: “China’s investment in and trade with Africa represents 3 percent and 5 percent of its global investment and trade respectively.” Germany could help Africa’s industrialization, but for Europe generally the relationship is shifting from aid to trade, and Russia is reasserting its role in the region.

Indian exports to West Africa hit a record high. They are up 22 percent this year. But until 1999 India’s trade with Africa exceeded China’s.

America Is ‘Coming to Africa’ - an African perspective on this summer’s US-Africa summit in Washington DC.

Nigeria

Terrorists have declared war on girls’ educationkidnapping some 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram is the terrorist group believed to be responsible.

How Bitcoin is moving money in Africa. The continent is experimenting with the virtual currency.

Nigeria’s Nollywood. The average movie costs just US $25k. One World Economic Forum Global Shaper on tackling the Nollywood pirates. 

Homosexuality is not un-African. It is legalized homophobia that is un-African, argues a Ugandan professor. The background on Africa’s anti-gay laws.

Image: REUTERS/Joseph Penney