Wealth creation in Africa has been stunted because countries have focused too much on the state to create new businesses, foster development and industrialise the economy. Sadly, poor Africans may have to come to terms with using development vehicles other than the state, which generally failed in the postindependence period, captured by corrupt interests or lacking competency. State-led development demands high levels of capacity to co-ordinate, integrate and implement complex policies, strategies and partnerships. Such capacity requires not only political will, but pragmatism — not ideological rigidity — and a public service employing the best talent available. African governing parties have invariably lacked the political will, ideas and competent people to use the state effectively and intelligently to foster development. The missing link in Africa is the social enterprise sector, which does not involve the state or foreign companies, but centres on social, community and nongove...

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