May 1, 2019 Print

[ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 1, 2019] Atlas Network is delighted to announce the Center for African Prosperity, a new opportunity to focus on the role that free markets, property rights, and the rule of law have in creating the conditions for people to thrive in the region. 

Under the direction of internationally-recognized business entrepreneur and speaker Magatte Wade, the Center for African Prosperity will support Atlas Network’s regional partner organizations in their efforts to promote economic freedom and strong institutions, and to build the capacity for reforms that lead to broad-based prosperity across Africa. 

“The evidence is clear that entrepreneurship, combined with clear and transferable property rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom, is crucial to the creation of prosperity anywhere,” says Wade, who has built a successful business career while advocating for regulatory reforms that promote greater opportunity for all. “Atlas Network is the world's leading organization promoting economic freedom in developing nations, with an amazing network of human beings as well as a deep body of research that demonstrates an understanding of the prerequisites of prosperity globally.”

With 20 active organizational partners in Africa, Atlas Network is well-positioned to engage local civil society groups that are working to solve complex issues with home-grown solutions that address local needs.  

“We’re delighted by the growth of local civil society groups in Africa that understand how communities in Africa will prosper if they protect the economic rights of all people,” remarked Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips. “For too long, Africa’s advance has been held back by top-down solutions imposed by outsiders. Magatte Wade is the perfect person to run our Center for African Prosperity and scale up our support to locally-led strategies that improve the climate for the enterprise.” 

Wade believes that the “cheetah generation,” a new cohort of dynamic African entrepreneurs and professionals identified by Ghanaian economist George N. B. Ayittey, will create local pathways for change that will shape the future of African prosperity. “Perhaps the most unique challenge we face is that the world has come to perceive that Africans themselves are not capable of creating prosperity—and require charity in order to survive,” she said. “This simply isn’t true. The combination of negative perceptions of Africans, combined with widespread ignorance regarding the need for economic freedom is a toxic combination.” 

With Wade’s knowledge and experience guiding the Center for African Prosperity, Atlas Network will help build inclusive prosperity, fight negative stereotypes, and share a message of freedom with an international audience.

About Magatte Wade 

Magatte Wade is a serial entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and visionary business leader with a passion for creating positive change in Africa. She is the founder and CEO of SkinIsSkin.com, “the lip balm with a mission,” and is dedicated to reducing discrimination while creating jobs and prosperity in her home country of Senegal. Throughout her career, she has created successful high-end retail brands inspired by diverse African traditions. She is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa”, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow, and "Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner by the Global Wellness Summit. Wade also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Planet Foundation, of Whole Foods Market. She has written for The Guardian, HuffingtonPost.com, and Barron’s, and is a frequent speaker at business conferences and on college campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, and the Wharton School of Business.

Watch Magatte Wade in “How We Thrive: Made in Mekhé,” A FEE documentary about doing business in her home country of Senegal
Watch Magatte Wade on “The Power of Entrepreneurship” at FEECon

Watch Magatte Wade’s TED Talk, “Why it’s too hard to start a business in Africa—and how to change it.”