The west African nation of Ghana is quickly becoming a hub of global business in a region long known for its economic, political, and social challenges. As Nitasha Tiku reported in our April issue, "The country's GDP has posted gains for six consecutive years, the government has lowered trade barriers, and the stock market in the capital, Accra, is bustling."

So bustling in fact that now Hilton is jumping into the Ghanese market, building a luxury hotel in Airport City, a newly developed part of Accra, according to the web site Hotel Business News. (To see the article, click here.)

Hilton is also considering new properties in Equatorial Guinea and Uganda.

Is the development of business-traveller hotels across Africa a sign that the continent is finally becoming an integrated part of the global business community? Consider this additional fact: Our latest survey of Inc. 500 companies, to be published in September, shows that America's fastest-growing firms are currently doing business in at least 12 African countries, led by cosmopolitan South Africa but including such once-hard-luck cases as Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.