Source: President of South Africa –
Colleagues and Friends,
I wish to congratulate the Institute for Security Studies on the launch of this new knowledge platform on the long-term prospects for the African continent.
The research, analysis and technical support provided by the ISS to strengthen governance and policymaking has been invaluable over the years.
I am certain that this new initiative will follow in a similar vein.
While the focus of the Institute has traditionally been on peace and security issues, it has increasingly paid attention to Africa’s developmental pathway.
This new resource will help answer a number of pressing development questions, such as whether the growth of Africa’s populations and economies will be sufficient to improve overall well-being.
In his 2020 book, Africa First!, Dr Jakkie Cilliers writes that: “Africa has a bright future if Africans get behind good governance, take responsibility for the continent’s development and seize the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution.”
The African Futures website will help us to imagine and work towards that bright future.
The website covers a broad range of issues that are vital to Africa’s transformation.
These include health, education, agriculture, technological innovation, manufacturing, trade and infrastructure.
What stands out from the scenarios described on the website, is the huge potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area on the continent’s growth and development.
The scenarios make the point that, for many countries, agriculture has the greatest potential to ignite more rapid growth and alleviate poverty.
At the same time, there is both a great need and plentiful opportunities for Africa to harness the power of rapidly-changing technology.
This will be vital as African countries make the transition to low-carbon, inclusive, and climate resilient economies and societies.
The scenarios on this site should inform and inspire us as leaders, business people, academia and civil society as we look for new ways to understand the complexities of development.
This site should assist us collectively to develop more appropriate policies, build our capacity and ultimately deliver better developmental outcomes.
By aligning its work with the priority areas of Agenda 2063, the Institute for Security Studies is lending its weight to the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.
I commend the Institute on the work that has gone into mapping out Africa’s potential futures.
I have no doubt that this venture will greatly enrich public discourse and policymaking – and it will contribute to a better understanding of how Africa can harness its vast resources and extensive energies in the cause of common prosperity.
I thank you.