Africa within a World View: The Motivation for Progress

By Williams, Stephen | African Business, August-September 2013 | Go to article overview

Africa within a World View: The Motivation for Progress


Williams, Stephen, African Business


Emerging Africa

How the Global Economy's 'Last Frontier' can Prosper and Matter

By Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu

Bookcraft (Nigeria)

ISBN: 978-978-51621-1-0

KINGSLEY CHIEDU MOGHalu is deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The founder and CEO of Sogato Strategies SA, a global strategy and risk management consulting firm based in Geneva, Switzerland, he previously worked for 17 years in the UN on strategic planning, legal, development finance and executive management posts at duty stations in New York, Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Switzerland.

As well as studying at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka), Moghalu also read for his MA at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US and for a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds an International Certificate in Risk Management from the Institute of Risk Management in London, UK, and has participated in executive education programmes at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School and the IMF, so he is a highly qualified commentator.

Just in case African Business' regular readers may have a sense of deja vu in reading the title of this book, it should be clarified that this book is Emerging Africa while the book review published in the July 2013 issue was Africa Emerges, by the US academic Robert Rotberg. And there are differences between these two works--not least because Moghalu writes as a practitioner within Africa's economic landscape whilst Rotberg has more of an observational, scholarly role.

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For this reason, Moghalu's book conveys more authority and credibility. Certainly, there is a realism to his analysis of what is happening today in Africa. And no one could accuse him of viewing the continent through rose-tinted spectacles. He is, in all regards, a practical optimist--recognising the continent's recent achievements but urging for even greater effort in both cementing Africa's past successes and ensuring even greater future accomplishments.

Presented in four parts (including a concluding segment that pulls together his thoughts on risk management on the path to Africa's transformation, and the continent's relationship with China), this is an ambitious study of exactly why it is that Africa is in the position that it is, and the opportunities it has to shrug off the centuries of historical constraints it has been struggling with and take its rightful, equal place in the global community.

Part one is pertinently titled 'Globalisation and its Malcontents' and presents an argument that Africa should view it as a priority that it must take control of its own destiny "putting in place strong institutions, and putting in place an enabling environment for private sector-led growth without abandoning the guiding hand of the state". You could summarise Moghalu's prescription as calling for a new African posture, and that requires in his opinion a fresh world view perspective.

In short, he argues that it is no longer good enough nor relevant to see Africa's path to progress as being perpetually blocked by the Western world as a result of Africa's colonial experience, tempting as that may be. Rather, we must accept that the limits to Africa's rise, as the author describes it, are those "that the continent's leaders and citizens have placed on themselves". He goes on to aver that, "only a transformation of the minds of Africans will lead to a world view that becomes the ever-constant motivation to transform the continent economically, politically and sociologically".

The path to transformation

Having already argued in the previous three chapters of the first part of this book "that the private sector is undoubtedly the best engine for wealth creation in African countries, but that African governments have the responsibility to support effective private-sector growth by making and executing good public policy choices" the author chooses to use Nigeria as an exemplar. …

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