By DrCosmas Ochieng, Executive Director, ACTS


A combination of robust economic performance and an uptick in scientific and technological indicators over the last two decades has given rise to exuberant assessments of Africa’s development prospects in the 21st century. Loose parallels are being drawn between development in Africa today and economic development in East Asia (i.e. the ‘East Asian tigers’) and the rise of ‘Silicon Valley’. This article argues that Africa’s economic and techno-scientific progress is being lionized prematurely, to the detriment of its long term development. The ‘Africa rising’ narrative masks a poverty of development strategies: lack of coherent development policies and capacity for strategic thinking necessary to consolidate recent gains and to harness future global mega trends.

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The Unsung Heroism of Thabo Mbeki

By Dr. Cosmas Ochieng, Executive Director, ACTS

“In our world in which the generation of new knowledge and its application to change the human condition is the engine which moves human society further away from barbarism, do we not have need to recall Africa’s hundreds of thousands of intellectuals back from their places of emigration in Western Europe and North America, to rejoin those who remain still within our shores! I dream of the day when these, the African mathematicians and computer specialists in Washington and New York, the African physicists, engineers, doctors, business managers and economists, will return from London and Manchester and Paris and Brussels to add to the African pool of brain power, to enquire into and find solutions to Africa’s problems and challenges, to open the African door to the world of knowledge, to elevate Africa’s place within the universe of research the information of new knowledge, education and information”.

Thabo Mbeki, 1998

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