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Morgan Tsvangirai Speaks at the Launch of Africa’s Third Liberation by Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst

Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst & Morgan Tsvangirai

The launch of Africa’s Third Liberation: The New Search for Prosperity and Jobs by Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst was the biggest ever book event to take place at Kalk Bay Books, as Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo were billed to appear.

Africa\'s Third LiberationAnticipating an enormous response to the event, book shop owner, Ann Donald, planned ahead, erecting a marquee that seated 350 people in the grounds of the neighbouring Majestic. “Many, many disappointed fans of the bookshop had, very sadly, to be turned away,” she said. Donald thanked Andrew Rush of Civil 2000 who had transformed the site of the marquee into a habitable space – It had been a pile of sand just two days before.

Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, introduced Tsvangirai who appeared, somewhat unsurprisingly, with a coterie of body guards, and read a note of apology on behalf of Obasanjo who was unable to attend the prestigious event. Then, keeping a tight reign on the evening’s proceedings as the Zimbabwean Prime Minister was later due at vital negotations on the Zimbabwean Constitution, Zille welcomed and congratulated the authors, Mills and Herbst.

Zille referred to the recent policy conference where the debate had focused on whether South Africa was heading into a second transition or into the second phase of the first transition. “There is much debate about that, so we’re very pleased to be here to discuss at this book launch what actually is needed – Africa’s third liberation.”

Tsvangirai evoked loud cheers by responding to the provincial premier with the greeting, “Prime Minister Zille”. He described the book as offering valuable analysis of the economic and social failures of governments and offering solutions that would go a long way to achieve not only a new Zimbabwe but also a new continent.

“Failure of policies have taken the country to its knees,” said Tsvangirai. “Africa, having got our liberation, our independence, should be talking about what is economically correct in forming our policy, not what is politically correct. Our economics should define our policies. Not the other way round, which is a disaster.”

Tsvangirai concluded with a reflection on the value of Mills’ and Herbst’s collaboration, acknowledging its importance as a valuable guide to which areas we should focus on in order to “pull the so-called ‘dark continent’ out of a quagmire.”

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Liesl Jobson tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:

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