Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution

Using 11 scenarios, Jakkie Cilliers shows in concrete terms how Africa can take millions out of poverty and into employment.

“A roadmap that would turn Africa’s potential into prosperity. Africa First! is deeply insightful and full of hope despite the hard work that lies ahead. Africa has a bright future if Africans get behind good goverance, take responisibility for the continents development and seize the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution. Jakkie Cilliers lays it all out in plain language.”

— President Cyril Ramaphosa

What prevents Africa, with its bountiful natural resources, from translating that potential into prosperity? Well-known Africa analyst Jakkie Cilliers uses 11 scenarios to show, in concrete terms, how the continent can ignite a growth revolution that will take millions out of poverty and into employment.

Africa needs much more rapid economic growth. The challenges the continent faces – competing in a globalised world, delivering health care and education, feeding growing populations and grappling with climate change – demand determined leadership and far-sighted policies.

Along with the opportunity that technology offers to leapfrog into the future, Cilliers identifies and models the impact of fundamental transitions needed in agriculture, education, demographics, manufacturing and governance and how these can be brought about.

By offering achievable solutions based on African realities, Cilliers shows how the continent can capitalise on its boundless potential. Authoritative and engaging, this work offers a roadmap for how Africa can catch up with the rest of the world.

About the author

Dr Jakkie Cilliers is the Chairman of the ISS Board of Trustees and Head of the African Futures and Innovation team in Pretoria. Jakkie co-founded the ISS in 1990 and was the executive director until 2015. He is an Extraordinary Professor in the Centre of Human Rights and the Department of Political Sciences, Faculty Humanities at the University of Pretoria. He serves on the advisory boards of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Center on International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, New York. Jakkie is also on the World Economic Forum’s Think Tank Leaders Forum. He has a DLitt et Phil from the University of South Africa.

Development partners
This publication is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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