‘Hand­book’ on Africa launched

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - SHANNON EBRAHIM L’Afrique en Marche Mak­ing Africa Work Mak­ing Africa Work

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.

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