This is Volume III of a four volume set that reports on progress with economic, political, and social development in Africa over recent decades. Volume I deals with the essential issues of social stability and other prerequisites for growth. Volume II covers health, gender, and education, all of which are of first-order importance if people are to benefit from and contribute to economic development. Volume III focuses on specific issues of modernization and three key sectors or types of economic activity: finance, mobile phones, and exports. The papers in Volume III contain some firm-level analysis, studies of specific sectors, and cross-country econometrics. We did not attempt to build a comprehensive picture across all countries, but there is a great deal of information about what is going on in wide range of countries – the chapters in this volume contain more in-depth studies of Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Our main goal was to provide a catalyst for applied research on Africa, and this set of papers demonstrates how we set about achieving that objective. The authors include top researchers, among them people with a great deal of Africa experience and those for whom this was their first time digging into African realities.