Studies of African ecomic development frequently focus on the daunting challenges the continent faces. From recurrent crises to ethnic conflicts and long-standing corruption, a raft of deep-rooted problems has led many to regard the continent as facing many hurdles to raise living standards. Yet Africa has made considerable progress in the past decade, with a GDP growth rate exceeding five percent in some regions. The African Successes series looks at recent improvements in living standards and other measures of development in many African countries with an eye toward identifying what shaped them and the extent to which lessons learned are transferable and can guide policy in other nations and at the international level. The second volume in the series, African Successes: Human Capital turns the focus toward Africa's human capital deficit, measured in terms of health and schooling. It offers a close look at the continent's biggest challenges, including tropical disease and the spread of HIV.
Sebastian Edwards is the Henry Ford II Professor of International Economics in the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship and professor of global economics and management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. David N. Weil is the James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics at Brown University. All three editors are research associates of the NBER.