Africa's third liberation, by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills
Growth that produces jobs, especially for Africa's growing youth population, should be the number one priority for all African leadership. In Africa's third liberation Jeff Herbst and Greg Mills show how this can be done.
The start of the second decade of the 21st century is a good time to consider how Africa1 can accelerate its development. There has already been much progress across Africa in the past decade, and the immediate future is brighter than at any time for a generation. Growth has averaged approximately five to six per cent across the continent and prospects for many countries are improving, especially given the demand for African commodities from India and China, the policy reforms implemented by several African governments and the continent's relative insulation from the financial tumult that has buffeted Europe and the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, six of the ten fastest-growing economies world-wide were African (namely Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Chad and Rwanda, the others being China, Burma, Kazakhstan and Cambodia). Growth is important. So, too, are the improvements in telecommunications that have enabled new connections with the world, and among communities, citizens and states. Through this, Africa has become increasingly integrated with the global economy. In the mid-1990s African telephone connectivity was just one-tenth of the global average; by 2011 it was half, even though the global figure had increased fourfold to 70 connections per 100 people. The number of subscribers on the continent grew almost 20 per cent each year between 2006-11. Africa's third liberation is specifically devoted to the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. While many of the trends and processes we discuss also apply to Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Libya, those North African countries require a separate analysis. Throughout this book, then, Africa refers to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. While much of Africa's recent growth is thanks to better prices for the commodities it produces, previous commodity booms have not always led to development. Given this newly favourable environment and what we have learnt from previous experience in Africa and elsewhere, how do Africans make sure jobs and poverty reduction follow? Now is the right time to ask this question. Many African countries have moved beyond the old debates. They no longer depend on donors to drive development programmes, and they can, for the first time in their histories, consider how economic growth and political liberalisation should reinforce each other. Now that many African countries are looking ahead to another 50 years of independence, they are finally in a position to write their own future. This is a profound moment for countries that have struggled for so long - and acknowledging that does not deny all the challenges that remain. The growth surge of the 2000s shows that nothing is inevitable, that the once denigrated 'hopeless continent' could transform itself. Along with higher commodity prices fuelled by Chinese demand, this surge also, as will be seen, reflects improved systems of African governance, underpinned by the spread of democracy continent-wide. Translating growth into development - and jobs — requires other steps however. For one, African countries will have to diversify their dependency away from exporting raw materials, which is good for the fiscus but does little for local jobs. With one-quarter of the world's population under 25 projected to be from sub-Saharan Africa in 2025, ensuring the conditions to create employment is a continental imperative. Today eight in every ten Africans are self-employed. Examples from Asia and Latin America show how such a transformation is not only possible but can be rapid. Only 50 years ago Asian countries were themselves seen as developmental backwaters, and Central America trapped in a vicious cycle of regional wars, economic mismanagement and faltering social cohesion. [...]
This is an excerpt from Africa's third liberation, by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills.
Title: Africa's third liberation
Subtitle: The new search for prosperity and jobs
Authors: Jeffrey Herbst; Greg Mills
Publisher: The Penguin Group (South Africa)
Cape Town, South Africa, 2014
ISBN 9780143538820 / ISBN 978-0-14-353882-0
Paperback, 13 x 20 cm, 276 pages
Mills, Greg und Herbst, Jeffrey im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Africa’s political evolution points to a third liberation: from political economies characterised by graft, crony capitalism, and social inequality.