On 29th January, His Excellency the state president of the republic of Malawi launched his sixth book titled The African Dream at Sheraton Addis Ethiopia. Launched live on MBC and Ethiopia Television and relayed via satellite, 0ver 100 million people were for 1 hour engaged into an intellectual discourse on issues affecting them and were more finely honed into vivid and intelligently articulated construct and or manifesto which has originated from the mind of a rare political thinker.
In those brief moments, those present at the time of the launch and millions of Television viewers across Africa got inspired. They could realize a future in which many an African can finally begin to dream in audaciously bright colors of previously unimaginable possibilities without any mental constrain to perceive unlimited abundance.
The eloquent summary of the book by Hon Dr Ken Lipenga minister of tourism, wildlife and culture, a prolific writer and linguist himself summed up the African Dream as an impressive work of art.
He observed that “The African dream represents a watershed moment of dynamic and practical political leadership”
Going by his scholarly account ,Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is a unique mind and a rare African leader whose economic and political insights - captured in The African Dream - is set to catapult him into the records of Africa’s future history as an innovative custodian of a visionary, new beginning
The size of Martin Meridith’s book “The State of Africa ”, the 600 + paged book, is a recollection of the author’s life experiences that, seeks to challenge its reader to tap deep into an inner well of passion and aspiration. But unlike "The State of Africa", in which Meredith's writing has been described as authoritative and well-documented, despite the pessimism inherent in his subject matter; The African Dream represents a sequence of contemplative suggestions that seek to point the discerning African mind onto a lofty plain of emancipation and renewal.
The power of thought that is embedded in The African Dream will effectively drive Africa’s disciplined generational thinkers towards a unique and inspiring quantum of enlightenment based on which steadied steps towards true economic emancipation can be achieved.
Directing the launching ceremony of the book, the internationally renowned broadcaster Phil Molefe famous for directing proceedings at Nelson Mandela’s birthday party in Cape Town where the Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman was a guest of honour, declared in a valedictory narrative thus:“The African Dream is a powerful basket of thought that will stimulate the minds of Africa’s Visionary leadership into the origination of novel solutions for a needlessly hungry with a deep yearning for change and a dispirited continent that desperately wants to change for the better”
Phil was not alone for George Twumasi; CEO for Africa Broadcast network who flew all the way from London to witness the launch of the book alongside other international media gushapats like Jean Marc Belchi of radio france, William Wallis of financial Times, and Patrick Smith of Africa international who could not hide his excitement.”I have been looking for this moment” He said. “
”The African Dream represents a seminal point of introspective reflection, which mirrors Africa’s new reality of hope. It is the catalyst that will reframe Africa’s socio-economic and political dialogue. I like this man and his vision “George concluded.
In the eyes of the European, Virginia Woolf’s apt observation in her book A Room of One’s Own that
“one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” The African Dream has for far too long come to represent a disparaging reality of hopelessness which Africa must now overcome. To the American mind, the words of O. Henry, one of that country’s most prolific writers, “love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man’s starving”
However in the African Dream, the author’s rhetorical question to Africa’s current and future leadership when simply rephrased is summed up as follows:
“Our people expect us to resolve issues of hunger and poverty once and for all within our lifetime.
Posterity will judge us harshly if we do not take action now. If not us then who?
If not now, when?”
Of the unease of being in the global world by adopting foreign habits and the precarious antidotes to its tedium, toil, and troubles; of living a life examined yet still not lived; of the entangled desire and reluctance to articulate obstacles standing in the way of a developing African continent, the author comes to agreeing on and believing in a common vision for the future when he observes:
“Of even greater importance is the search for new directions in Africa. A partial answer is to create a united front by defining a common identity. An identity provides the means by which a person, tribe, society, nation, country or continent is recognized and described. It is how an object is recognised as having characteristics distinct and separate from other objects.
True, Africa is not a homogeneous entity, but Africans do share common origins. Therefore, the African identity is how African people show and recognise who they are, how their cultural and traditional beliefs distinguish them from other people. It is also how they show or prove to other nations across the globe that Africa does exist, requires recognition, and has an important role to play in the shaping of human and world relations.”
When it comes to developmental frameworks,the author notes with impish wisdom,the issue of children as central theme to development.
“A child denotes a human being under the age of sixteen years. Children in any society, whether developed or underdeveloped, rich or poor, white or black, represent future human capital”
As a scholar, leader and observer of international politics, the author makes a brilliant observation , sharing a strong feeling of inequality and injustice by powerful nations of the global North against smaller nations from the global South:
“The struggle of small nation-states for their mere survival has become more complex. Political reforms, multi-party democracy and good governance, essentially motivated from the outside, have now been firmly imposed by donors as the main prerequisites for assistance.”
"The African Dream” is an incredible work that demonstrates relentless effort and abilities in four main intellectual disciplines, History, Economics, Politics and Philosophy. The application of the elements in these four disciplines to the continent of Africa by the author, culminates in a recital of the rich history of democracy and governance, the application of science and technology to life by early Africans as well as an in-depth analysis of the recent past and finally a prescription of how to align the factors of economics and politics in order to grow the tools that will achieve the African Dream of self reliance and an equal competitive player in the global market.
The author says something about every aspect of economic and political life, agriculture and production, mining and wealth creation, regional and sub regional economic integration, the future role of the African Armed forces, the role of women and youth, civil society and private sector, donor community and politics of ruling and opposition parties.
Towards the end of the book, the author asserts his authority by challenging the skeptics and critics when he says:“This is not a small dream, and it is not apologetic"
All of the conclusions drawn and the prescriptions offered spring from two points of strength: :
1-As an observer of the process.
2-As a participant in the process at the highest level as President of Malawi and Chair of the African Union. Launched simultaneously in French and English,The African Dream is available both paper back and hard cover. Certainly, a must read