President Lazarus Chakwera has said Malawi is ready to draw inspiration from Asia’s remarkable economic transformation.
Chakwera said this in Lilongwe Wednesday during the launch of the book The Asian Aspiration – Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia seeks to answer. Co-authored by Director of The Brenthurst Foundation. Greg Mills, Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo Olusegun Obasanjo, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn and an economist at The Brenthurst Foundation Emily van der Merwe.
The Asian Aspiration chronicles the untold stories of explosive growth and changing fortunes: the leaders, events and policy choices that lifted a billion people out of abject poverty within a single generation, the largest such shift in human history.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part showcases the “growth stories” of 10 East Asian and South-East Asian countries. They are Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Vietnam.
It analyses the developmental paths of these countries, pointing out what they did well to power their rise as well as their policy missteps.
The second section discusses five lessons for success from Asia and illuminates these with comparative examples from both Asia and Africa.
In his remarks at the launch, Chakwera said: “What we must leverage is the power of global partnership with those of you who share our values, respect our vision, think outside the box and understand the urgency of our situation.
“What we must leverage is the power of good development examples and the book does that in ways that are practical and measurable,” he said.
The Malawi leader also called for a new approach to development and economic transformation based on mutual respect and multilateral partners working together.
He argued that the African continent had clarity about whose prescriptions have helped and whose prescriptions have failed over the past 50 years.
“We, as Africans, have clarity about what foreign powers are here to fight their turf on African soil in a new scramble for Africa that pits West against the East and what foreign powers are here as true partners in development,” Chakwera said.
On his part, Obasanjo said Africa could achieve what Asia had achieved, just that African nations needed to set their priorities right.
He also called for strong leadership supported by strong institutions that will focus on priorities that should be pursued continuously.
“There is nothing Asians have done that we [Africans] cannot do,” Obasanjo said.
This meticulously researched, well-written and solution-oriented book is a call for action. It exhorts African leaders and other actors to shun parochial mindsets and ideological dogma, and to enact policies that prioritise the collective interests of their nations.
It does not confine itself to providing a diagnosis of the problems afflicting Africa. It also offers well-considered and tested ideas on how the continent can overcome them.
The lunch was also attended by State Vice President Saulos Chilima who commented that the book calls for “unprecedented pragmatism” in the pursuit of African success.
Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda also attended the launch.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :