Klaas Knot: Innovation in finance makes Africa work!

Keynote speech by Mr Klaas Knot, President of the Netherlands Bank, at the conference "Africa Works!", Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, 10 November 2016.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I'm delighted to speak here today. How could I not be?

For one, the purpose of this conference is to inform, inspire, connect and catalyse the Dutch private sector with Africa's business opportunities. 

This is something I wholeheartedly support. 

For if there's been one continent that has seen many changes for the better in the last two decades, it is Africa!

Indeed, only 16 years ago, The Economist portrayed Africa as the "Hopeless Continent", a nickname which would make every businessman or woman hesitant to invest. In less than one-and-a-half decennium, The Economist changed its mind and came up with the pet name "Hopeful Continent". 

What made The Economist, like many others, change its mind? Well, basically two developments, I think.