Biti set to speak at Obasanjo’s book launch

Tendai Biti

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s former Finance minister Tendai Biti will today speak at the launch of a book titled ‘Making Africa Work’.

The book was co-authored by former Nigerian president chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Greg Mills who heads the Brenthurst Foundation in Johannesburg, Jeffrey Herbst an American political scientist and current president of the Newseum in Washington, and Dickie Davis, a former British army general and author who works with the Brenthurst Foundation.

Biti’s opposition political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said it was glad to have a leader recognised the world over for the work he has done both at home and abroad.

“He has been invited to many forums to provide thought leadership for the continent contrary to pseudo politicians who travel to New York on tax payers’ money just to go shopping with their families under the guise of attending summits.

“President Biti’s record speaks volumes, the PDP while grateful, is therefore not surprised by the invitation to speak at this important event,” the PDP said in a statement.

During his time as Finance minister, Biti presided over an impressive economic resurgence in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean economy grew at an average of seven percent per annum in 2011; the economic growth rate was 11 percent, making it the fastest growing economy in the world. It is an achievement which earned him international recognition; he was named the best Finance minister on the African continent.

Since then, Biti has been a fixture at several economic platforms including delivering public lectures at international universities.

His work also includes spending time at the Centre for Global Development writing papers and presenting on fragile states, debt management, re-engagement with international financial institutions and economic recovery.

This comes as many African States are in debt or risk being in debt, many African States are drowning in fragility and some may suffer State failure.

The book Making Africa Work was a “timely intervention, a concerted effort to try and provide solutions for the African Continent,”   Biti wrote in his editorial review.

He said the book “provides sufficient hardware for economic and political progress in Africa.”

It is a book that has been endorsed by many other African leaders including former president of Malawi Joyce Banda.
“I wish I had this handbook when I was president of Malawi. It not only offers convincing arguments on what to do, but practical examples and steps on how to get things done,” Banda said.

Renowned South African pressman Mondli Makhanya said of the book: “The go-to guide to informed choices for a better Africa.”

Donald Kaberuka, a renowned banker and formerly the president of the African Development Bank also wrote, “Beyond the hype and clichés, a blueprint for a prosperous Africa.”

South African politician and Democratic Alliance president Mmusi Maimane said: “At last, a book on how rather than what to do to improve the fortunes of Africa’s people.”

In the Holistic Programme for Economic Transformation, Biti’s PDP mentions the importance of regional and international integration.

Biti said he was committed to the establishment of a stable and sustainable Africa.

In 2016, Africa Centre for Strategic Studies held a gathering dubbed the Seminar for Senior Leaders, in a paper titled “Global Security Trends: Implications for Africa” presented at the forum, Biti explained how problems in the region can affect the neighbours through spillover effects.