Africa presents both an upside and a downside. Following Asia’s remarkable economic success, many regard Africa as the last great development challenge. Now successful Asian countries like South Korea and Singapore were impoverished as recently as the 1960s. Meanwhile, Africa is arguably in an economic and social position comparable to 1960s–1970s Asia. If economic development goes well, perhaps in fifty years Africa will look like the current Asia incorporating a new set of international players. On the other hand, there are obvious issues that might interfere with successful African development. The 2014 Barnes Symposium examines issues associated with South-South economic cooperation, Boko Haram and the ebola pandemic as competing sides of the coin under current conditions.