The Next Africa: An emerging continent becomes a global powerhouse

TRAVERSE CITY — Author, former NMC student and Traverse City native Jake Bright will speak on "The Next Africa: An emerging continent becomes a global powerhouse" at the next International Affairs Forum lecture at 6 p.m. May 21 in Milliken Auditorium.

The lecture takes its name from the title of Bright's book, to be released in July, which recasts the African continent as an emerging powerhouse. Bright details cross-cutting trends prompting Silicon Valley venture capital funds and firms like GE, IBM, and Proctor & Gamble, as well as global players like China, to make major investments in African economies. He describes how Africans are stimulating Milan runways, Hollywood studios, and London pop charts, causing the old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy to fade. A wave of transformation driven by business, modernization, and a new cadre of remarkably talented Africans is thrusting the continent from the world’s margins to the global mainstream.

Bright graduated from Traverse City High School (now Traverse City Central) in 1991 and attended NMC in 1991-92. The oldest son of the founders of Mabel's, a popular, now-closed Traverse City family restaurant, Bright says his experiences both in school and working in the restaurant were instrumental to shaping his career today. His resume includes extensive international travel, from Sweden to South Africa, and a stint working on the White House staff. He now lives in New York City and is Whitehead Fellow at The Foreign Policy Association and a contributing writer for The Financial Times.

IAF lectures are rebroadcast on UpNorth TV public access cable television three times a week, and available online for streaming on demand. Board members also produce “Beyond the Headlines,” a roundtable-style interview program that focuses on current foreign affairs issues and airs on UpNorth TV.

The IAF is affiliated with NMC and the World Affairs Council of America. All lectures are held in the Dennos Museum Center's Milliken Auditorium on the NMC campus at 6 p.m., with a reception prior to the lecture from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Admission is free to all students and educators, and $10 for others. Subscriber tickets for the entire season are available; visit or call (231) 995-1700 for more information.

Release Date: April 30, 2015

For More Information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.