My story about Chasing Destiny using Development Finance
A South African case study.” culminated from two previous sectors I had worked within.
Having spent time in pension fund Management Company which managed at the time the biggest infrastructure asset fund on the continent, and navigating between a policy research think tank, and development agency I saw that there existed a resource gap. In the largely rural Eastern Cape I headed up a Development Agency that had a capital constraint, though viable projects existed.
I needed to find a solution, it was in development finance tools using capital markets to resolve our own problems I realized therein lay the answer. Having completed the MPhil in Development Finance I was not yet sure of the key issues and knew I needed to engage further research. This is how in consultation with Professor Ikhide, we formulated a topic.
I want with all my heart to see a developed Africa, fulfilling her destiny as a continent and her people. A flourishing people who reach their greatest heights and fulfil their continental mandate on their shores, moving not because of dire circumstances but rather from the vast array of opportunities the world offers (also offered on their shores). Thus my passion for development finance and using it as a vehicle of ensuring we see African development is close to my heart, beyond academia. I came to academia with an intent to use this education to help advance continental development.
It is exciting that as Alumni of both USB’s Masters and Doctoral programmes the message of African development by Africans, thought of using African scholars can reach the shores of many different parts of our world. The ability to reach different audiences and integrate poetry, issues of women economic participation and gender parity in our economy, and development finance issues occurs well through USB Alumni related events and chapters. It is my belief that USB Alumni should bring change after receiving their qualifications.
This is what I have encountered in the various Alumni chapters I have attended, both East, West and Southern Africa have welcomed the theme “Grow Africa using Development Finance”. In Port Elizabeth, Southern Africa we experience robust discussion with the emphasis on political will and ensuring private sector participation and buy in to the national programmes and goals.
West Africa had the same emphasis of political risk and the stage of financial sector development. Lagos had a good turnout and amazing coverage post the event as the media was present during the very engaging discussions¹. Nairobi with former Minister of Finance attending the session and various delegates deeply engaging the project planning, preparation and soft skills within the sector.
Traditional USB alumni is different in each province and country, with the face of alumni changing. This allows changing narrative and discourse on how to approach development coming from different parts of the continent. It is encouraging to see how Alumni chapters participate in the transformation of Africa debate and the triad being formed across the East, West and Southern Africa. One thing is clear across the continent, we must grow Africa.
Question is what will we each contribute to this growth and transformation having the skills developed from years of working and education? The Alumni network theme of “Grow Africa” is perfectly positioned to integrate and pitch student and possibly academic research outcomes towards this end, thus more alumni with research and industry experience should partner with the USB Alumnus and continue making an impact.
Making sure we all pursue our destinies, which is entwined with the continents future. May we all chase destiny and make a difference whilst at it.
Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, October 2019
Author of Book #BeenChasingDestiny and part time Academic at USB, also Deputy Chairperson of Commission for Gender Equality
¹https://guardian.ng/news/nigerians-heed-the-call-to-grow-africa-using-development-finance/ and Business Day Sunday on 29 September 2019
Business Day, Nigeria, 29 September 2019