Development 55.4 African Strategies for Transformation out now!

There are two worlds, two narratives, two distinct ways of feeling African today in Africa: the old Africa of failures and the disappointments of recent decades with their persisting pessimism, and a new Africa seeking change, innovation and new opportunities, with a new class of young leaders in the public, private and civic sectors pushing beyond the old stereotypes and cultivating new energies and a new sense of optimism. 

This issue of Development, the quarterly journal of the Society for International Development (SID) on ‘African strategies for transformation’ tries to captures the dynamic changes that African countries are undergoing right now, with all its new enthusiasm, as well as inner contradictions. 

The journal takes stock of various African successes and innovations over the years highlighting the myriad of innovative activities focused on bringing about economic and social change. With six of the world’s fastest growing economies in sub- Saharan Africa, a new wave of inter-generational debates around what is tradition, what is modern, and what it is the nouveaux African identity has begun.  

The journal issue 55.4 begins with interviews with three distinguished Africans - Amb. Juma Mwapachu, former secretary general of the East African Community and President of SID, Donald Kabureka, President of the African Development Bank  and Hadeel Ibrahim, Director of Strategy and External Relations for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation -  who share unique perspectives on their vision for Africa and its future. 

Nearly all authors agree there is no hard and fast formula to predict outcomes and also recognize that Africa’s development has not and probably will not be linear (pp 435). What is clear is that Africa’s positioning in development is changing, and the views and experiences of Africans are vital to that debate (pp. 434).

As the journal traditionally explores economic justice rather than economic growth as the goal of development, the discussion suggests these rapid changes being undertaken in Africa, while leading to economic growth, are not necessarily leading to economic justice. There continue to be deep contradictions and increasing inequalities that are intensifying as African economies rapidly grow. It is clear that this economic growth is uneven and little is being thought about by way of equitable distribution. The journal 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.

Through the voices of African scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs, civic society and government leaders, this is a unique journal issue that gauges the mood of African countries in transformation today. 

Table of Contents | Editorial | Introduction

Development issue 55.4 ‘African strategies for transformation’ is guest edited by Charles Onyango Obbo, Executive Editor for the Africa and Digital Media Division with Nation Media Group. 

SID ( The Society for International Development is a global network of individuals and institutions committed to the promotion of participative, pluralistic and sustainable development. Since its inception in 1957, SID has sought to facilitate dialogue between different development actors and bridge the gap between development theory and practice. The journal Development is SID’s flagship publication and has been published continuously for 55 years. It enjoys a broad readership within the development community and is published by Palgrave Macmillan on behalf of SID. The Journal is produced with the support of the Italian Directorate for Development Cooperation.