The African Growth and Opportunity Act gave African businesses preferred access to American markets; Africa's female entrepreneurs quickly took the gap, selling their unique products on an international scale to boost their countries' economies.
Infrastructure matters. If Africa wants to play on the global field, a network of well-constructed, well-maintained roads is crucial. Until recently, work on the Trans-African Highway Network was sporadic, hit by conflict and constrained budgets. But now, nations see the value of the system for growth.
As the economies of Europe and North America wane, Africa is seen as a new centre of demand. This idea drives Australia's five-point Brisbane Action Plan, as it helms the G20 for 2014, to stabilise the world's economy and lift the continent out of poverty.
Up and coming businesses are in the final leg of the selection process for the Medo International Trade Programme, which will take them on a steep learning curve in the United Kingdom. On the trip, they will be exposed to what it takes to be a world-class player in a competitive field.
South Africa's recent establishment of a dedicated Ministry of Small Business Development reflects a growing national and global recognition that entrepreneurs and small enterprises are powerful drivers of economic growth and job creation.
To achieve its goals of economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality, South Africa's National Development Plan needs broad buy-in from across society. Only in Utopia could a plan of this scope achieve instant, unqualified assent from all quarters, writes Simon Barber.