The book has been launched at events across Africa, and Archbishop Justin Welby, who has decades of experience of the continent, hosted a UK launch at Lambeth Palace on Friday.
‘Making Africa Work: A Handbook for Economic Success’, which is co-written by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, with Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst and Dickie Davis, all of the Brenthurst Foundation, is an analysis of the continent’s economic fault-lines and a handbook of best practices to redress them. It has come out of vigorous research covering various practices and experiences in and outside Africa.
The event was chaired by the Bishop of Woolwich, the Rt Revd Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu. Jonathan Oppenheimer, a South African businessman whose family set up the Brenthurst Foundation, was present at the launch.
Speaking at the event, the Archbishop said: “The future of Africa depends on Africa. Too often it has been outsiders that have told Africa how it should be shaped, and that has always been a catastrophic error."
He added: “This book is an important one, and I hope that it will be read by the people who should read it, and that they will pay attention to it."
The Archbishop said the roles of the church, politics and business are “utterly intertwined, because when they are at their best, at their heart is the question of human flourishing... this [book] has that human flourishing at its heart, for a whole continent which needs to take its place in the world, as it is close to doing, as one of the focal points of the future hope of our globe.”
President Obasanjo said: “His Grace has said we must be the architect of our own fortune. I think so far we have been the architect, if not of our own misfortune, of our own inadequate performance. Now we want to be the architect of our own fortune, our own adequate performance, and our own getting there – making [Africa’s rapidly growing population] not a liability, not a disaster, but an asset: an asset that will make Africa to be in its rightful place by the middle of this century. That can be done, and this book is saying how it can be done and how it can be achieved.”
Bishop Dorgu said: “When I was invited to take part in the launch of this book, I felt a new sense of hope. My prayer for us as people not of the diaspora, but people of the continent of Africa and our world, is that we would look to the hope that God gives us through the effort that’s gone into writing this book.”
More about ‘Making Africa Work’:
‘Over the next generation, Sub-Saharan Africa faces three big, inter-related challenges. Its population will double to 2 billion by 2045. By then, more than half of Africans will be living in cities. And this group of mostly young people will be connected with each other and the world through mobile devices.
Properly planned for and harnessed, this situation is a tremendously positive force for change. But without economic growth and jobs, it could prove a political and social catastrophe. With these population increases, old systems of patronage and of muddling through will no longer work. Instead, if leaders want to remain in power, they will have to find a more dynamic means of promoting growth.
A first-hand account of a rapidly changing region, Making Africa Work is a handbook for ensuring growth beyond commodities and creating jobs across the continent.’
Read more on the publisher’s website: http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/making-africa-work