Africa is not a continent of unbridled optimism, or is it of chronic hopelessness. African countries can achieve and exceed the remarkable economic growth by their Asian counterparts. The continent only needs to wake up and shine some light on their leadership, mindset, and policies. Through inclusive and sustainable growth policies, Asia has managed to remove a billion people out of poverty in a single generation.
Asia’s Economic Growth
Asia’s economic growth in recent decades has attracted global attention. The region’s development models and strategies have been subjected to scholarly and policy debates.
Can we put all the blame on Africa policymakers for not being immune to the worldwide allure with the “Asian miracle?” Something needs to be done, and if it’s being done, it should be done urgently. African officials and leaders have also benchmarked in countries such as Singapore, China, Vietnam, and South Korea in the recent past. This might be a good sign if these leaders customize what’s going on in the countries of a visit to suit the African environment.
Asian countries have also traveled the rough road before attracting global attention with its remarkable economic transformation. African should not cross the same path but can glean from Asia’s successes and failures. Then emulate the achievements of Asia while avoiding its mistakes.
African policymakers should wake up and research Asian countries-more so the remarkable East Asian and South-East Asian countries. While doing this, they should focus on the country’s development path, note what they did well to rise. After a keen analysis of the strategies put in place by these countries to power their growth, they should be able to take lessons for success in Asia and modify them to develop policies and strategies that are best for Africa.
The case of Japan
Japan acts as an example for East Asia countries. The country has made significant development when it comes to innovation. Its industrialization process has been borrowed from three different countries-that is British, German, and Africa industrial model. The other East Asian countries tap their energy from a country that clearly shows the power of innovation.
Japan’s technocracy played a significant role in the country’s considerable rise in the post-war period. Strong collaboration between business and government was the heart of Japan’s development. This was facilitated and guided by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Taiwan and South Korea later copied this government-business prototype to elevate themselves to the top. Is it time for Africa to rise by replicating the successes of such countries?
Taiwan gives credit to majorly three pillars that have seen its success a reality. These are careful planning, institutionalization, and macro-economic stability. South Korea transitioned from agrarian to high-tech society, and this hasn’t disappointed them either. The world grows, and so should we adapt to changes that it brings with it. We can only do this if we aren’t held captive to our past experiences and focus on achieving the set goals according to the world standards of growth.
Singapore’s success is highly respected across Africa. The city-state took advantage of the separation from the Malaysian Federation in 1965 to focus on development and national growth.
Singapore’s success lays its pillars on long-range thinking, focus on meritocratic talent, and expert rule. The city-state exemplifies the pinnacle of technocratic governance.
African countries should not look at this country’s growth entirely from an authoritarianism perspective and consider the three robust pillars it emulated for their success. Other key factors include an adroitness at fusing the political and expert components, a meritocratic civil service, and policy pragmatism.
Let it not be forgotten by either African policymakers, officials, and its leaders that these countries place plenty of stores on hard work, education, innovation, discipline, growth, and incentivisation. Vietnam has absorbed and replicated such experiences for their excellent.
For Africa to realize the kind of growth by Asia, then it needs to go their way, but with a better focus on the continent and what works for them. When Africa realizes that they should not be prisoners of the past, get the fundamental right for growth, build and integrate, open up to keep control, and master the art of premium leadership and institutions just as said in the book. “The Asian Aspiration—Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia.” A book Co-authored by Greg Mills, then that’s the turning point for our continent.