DAVOS, Switzerland – Asia's still the economic darling, but it's hard to find anybody in government or business who isn't optimistic about Africa as the hot new continent for trade and investment.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is optimistic. So are Ethiopia's president, Zimbabwe's prime minister, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and business executives from South Africa, Egypt, India and elsewhere.
But at the same time, there is also concern at the exploitation of poor nations by corporations and conglomerates as well as red tape, regulations and taxes in some African countries that hinder investment.
Nonetheless, at a World Economic Forum panel Thursday, participants were enthusiastic about the continent that is always relegated to last place when it comes to economic progress.