The world gathered on Tuesday in Johannesburg to commemorate Nelson Mandela.
Much has been said. In a way it was Nelson Mandela who heralded the big change on the continent and the era of modern Africa.
Until the 1980s many African countries were paralyzed by “anti-growth syndroms” – excessive control regimes, clientelism, excessive debts, failed governments. Then, starting with Ghana in 1983, several countries embarked on reforming their governance and their economic policies. When Mandela was released from prison in 1990 most of these programs had not shown positive impacts yet and many countries were still part of the “hopeless continent“. But then in 1994, when he became the first black president of South Africa this was a very important signal for other African countries’ embarkment into a new era.
“Africa 3.0”, as some people label it, is the Africa of at least 23 nations (out of 54) which are meanwhile part of the globalized world system, part of the global knowledge society and part of the global communication society.
Times of colonial rule (Africa 1.0) and ideological post-independence struggles (Africa 2.0.) are finally overcome in most parts of the continent.
And the incredible story is, that it was the sole personality of Nelson Mandela, his way of thinking and being, and his doing which contributed immensely to the change.
Mandela’s heritage is also a call to change the world.