The July 29 edition of the New York Times featured an op-ed by Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills, director of the Brenthurst Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two have collaborated on a number of publications analyzing economic conditions in Africa, including Africa’s Third Liberation — The New Search for Prosperity and Jobs.
A version of this op-ed also appeared in print on July 30, 2012, in the International Herald Tribune.
Herbst and Mills study Africa’s “ever-changing development agenda” and the potential for prosperity among its many countries. “If Africa’s first liberation was from colonial and racist government, and its second stage involved freeing itself from the tyranny and misrule of many of the liberators, the third stage must involve a change in focus in politics itself,” they wrote. “This will require concentrating on economic development to the exclusion of racial, tribal and religious issues that have plagued much of the continent in the past.”
A related change they predict is the diminished impact of celebrity support and Western aid on how political priorities are set. ”Those countries nimble enough to exploit the real market advantages open to them have the opportunity to lead the rest of the continent to prosperity.”