Development 55.4 features 'African Strategies for Transformation'
The last issue of the 2012 volume of the SID flagship journal Development features 'African Strategies for Transformation'
Development Vol. 55.4 brings together reflections on African development strategies over the last decade highlighting the myriad of innovative activities for African-led economic and social change.
Throughout this issue, the authors emphasize and provide their thoughts on what they believe the transformation of Africa means to them and where they see the trajectory of Africa heading. It strikes a critical balance in appreciating the general optimism associated with Africa today but it is keenly aware of the many challenges that can easily reverse the positive trajectory taking place.
African countries have undergone a transformation, one that is part of a shifting geopolitical reality that is displacing traditional development partnerships of Africa with Europe and opening up to Chinese and Middle East investors. Global powers are no longer simply seeing African countries as being a ‘donor-recipient’ relationship but more on an equal footing centered on economic partnership and mutual respect.
In his introduction, the guest editor Mr. Charles Onyango - Obbo mentions a variety of factors that are facilitating the transformation of Africa, including the Internet. He explains that, ‘not only is the Internet providing new channels of distribution and enabling new winners to emerge, but also globally it is allowing the stardust from the success of African companies to rub off on others.’ This is the reason why a series of articles exist in The Economist and other international media outlets about the success and groundbreaking applications like M-Pesa and Ushahidi, this is why you have constant ‘Africa Rising’ articles and it’s the reason why Forbes Magazine ranks top 20-startup companies in Africa. There is an energy and excitement about Africa that in many respects is unprecedented.
Perhaps the best way to explain Africa’s transformation, contemporary Africa and in many ways captures the essence of this edition of Development is ‘be ready to be surprised, and by surprised, you could be elated or heartbroken.’
The journal begins with three interviews with distinguished Africans, who all together, have unique perspectives on their vision for Africa and its future. SID International President Ambassador Juma V. Mwapachu shares his views on Africa’s transformation in ‘Rethinking Africa,’ while Dr. Donald Kabureka, President of the African Development Bank appreciates the world’s optimism on Africa but heeds warning in ‘Africa Makes Progress, but Risk of Reversal is Real,’ and finally Hadeel Ibrahim, Director of Strategy and External Relations for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, takes stock of the Arab spring and how effective leadership and good governance are critical to fostering Africa’s transformation in ‘Fertilizing the Fields for Honest Government: Reflections on Leaders, Leadership and Africa’s Challenges.’ These interviews set the tone for vibrant debates and discussions that are argued throughout by our distinguished group of authors.
* Read Wendy Harcourt's editorial Reclaiming a continent and the guest editor's introduction The cynics, optimists and pirates are all making Africa beautiful by Charles Onyango-Obbo