The book illuminates Africa’s opportunities and challenges, emphasising Africa's massive potential for profiting from globalisation.
Praise for The Convergence of Nations:
‘At a time when risks elsewhere have been growing − whether in China, Europe or Latin America − this book spells out how, for once, Africa could be a winner. Of course, the precondition is that the continent tackles its problems of corruption, weak governance and misallocation of resources.’
Jacques de Larosière, former Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; former Governor, Banque de France; former President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
‘A thoughtful account of Africa’s problems and opportunities from an important group of writers, of whom thankfully many are Africans. The book contains both realism and vision. This is a balanced and sensitive view of people who have thought hard about how Africa can realise its potential.’
Lord Simon Cairns, Member of the Board, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
‘A compact book that packs a weighty punch, filled with large amounts of useful information about a continent that is changing rapidly and becoming more important in the global community. Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais and his co-authors have identified the most important issues and challenges that confront Africa today.’
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Senior Advisor, The United States Institute of Peace, Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
‘We have to assess the capabilities that the people of Africa carry to the global arena. What counts is not only mineral resources or infrastructure. We have to look, too, at the arts: it is the ability to create and communicate, to innovate and energise, that will help Africans shape their future. This is an important collection of essays that afford valuable insights into the many diverse strengths and promises of Africa.’
Prof. Lord Meghnad Desai, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science
‘A concise volume on Africa reflecting on the most relevant issues, from human capital to financial capital, from social infrastructure to physical infrastructure, from dreams to pathways. A must read for all who are passionate about helping Africa achieve its full potential. After all, Africa’s potential is humanity’s potential!’
Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer, International Finance Corporation
Africa must embrace globalisation and use the opportunities of cross-border flows of capital, ideas and technology to take rapid strides in realising its potential in areas ranging from energy and mining to agriculture, capital markets, infrastructure, manufacturing and public services. These are among the conclusions of The Convergence of Nations by Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, published by OMFIF Press, a broad account written with a team of 30 authors from 13 nations of the way Africa can benefit from changes in the world political and economic environment.
Although it ranges, too, across a series of challenges including corruption, disease and terrorist conflicts, the book highlights the ‘demographic dividend’ from Africa’s young, dynamic and increasingly well-educated population, contributing to more openness and democracy and better-run governments. It sets down new precepts for ‘African capitalism’: open to global investment, establishing its own economic practices based on best international ideas, and generating inclusive growth that genuinely benefits African societies.
In the foreword, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, writes ‘As always, Africa must aim high. This time we can and we will achieve our aims. This expertly written book will heighten international understanding of and interest in our continent. This is a compellingly realistic summary of all the big themes affecting Africa’s future, and I warmly commend it.’
The book sets down precepts for extending renewable energy, curbing Ebola, modernising plantations, fighting wildlife poachers and building industrial parks. It delves into the lives of private equity entrepreneurs and unnecessary deaths of low-paid workers deprived of health services. It includes developments in culture, the arts and creative industries, describing the fluctuating styles of Accra and South African House music, the diverse faces of Kenyan fashion, and the flamboyance of Nigeria’s Nollywood films.
Shivani Shah, a Kenyan pharmacist and amateur artist, has contributed the design for The Convergence of Nations, having won an Africa-wide competition for an original work of art organised by OMFIF Press. In the artist’s own words, describing her work Reflections and Connections, ‘The use of red symbolises man’s most primitive instincts of self-preservation; gold and silver evoke the tremendous wealth found throughout Africa; and the 3-D effect of the wires shows the increasing importance of the internet and mobile technology.’