‘Handbook’ on Africa launched
ON WEDNESDAY night, French Ambassador Christophe Farnaud hosted the launch, at the French residence in Pretoria, of or – a handbook for economic success written by Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Dickie Davis and Olusegan Obasanjo. About 80 people, including African ambassadors, attended.
Former Nigerian president Obasanjo presented his vision for the continent and recalled the role he played with other leaders in the creation of the AU and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad). Its chief executive, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, was also invited to elaborate on the issue. Both highlighted the fact that there was a need for better implementation of the development plans that were drafted in Africa.
“The time has come that we should be the agents of our own fortune, and we are not as weak as we think we are,” Obasanjo said. The former statesman noted that he would like to see a passport launched by the AU soon.
The book focuses on the fact that sub-Saharan Africa faces three big challenges in the next generation, and that its population will double to 2 billion by 2045. By then, more than half of Africans will live in cities, and this group of mostly young people will be connected to each other and the world by mobile devices.
If these challenges are properly harnessed and planned for, it would be a positive force for change. But without economic growth and jobs, it will be a political and social catastrophe. The book argues that if leaders want to remain in power, they have to promote economic growth in a more dynamic manner. is a handbook for how to ensure growth beyond commodities and create jobs on the continent.