I think my major philosophy is rooted in two aspects. The first aspect is that we should believe in institution building and not personalities. Institutions should be _______ our activities. All our activities must be based on institutions and not personalities. So in Africa our challenge is how do we build good institutions? How do you build a value system? And we should always depend on institutions and value systems; but it takes time to develop value systems. It takes time to build institutions; but there is no alternative to institution building and the development of a value system. The second piece of my philosophy is around science and technology – that we need to make sure we use science and technology as key drivers to bring about economic transformation, which then empowers our people economically so that their ________ conditions are improved in terms of access to health, access to education, access to jobs. The right to a job should be understood as a human right. And that there has to be some degree of equitable distribution of wealth so that the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” is not draconian; but at the same time respecting the role of the market, competition, creativity, innovation. But there has to be an element of social justice that says inclusiveness – participatory democratic existence that says the people must participate in the economy. These are the ideas that drive my philosophy on the economy and around economics.
It has to be a collective definition of a good life. The definition of a good life to me is a society, a world where the majority of the people have the fundamental, basic rights – freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom from poverty. A world where the right to a job is an economic right. A world where the lives of all human beings is meaningful. It doesn’t have to be a luxury. It’s meaningful. People are content. People have the basic needs. And we can’t . . . We’re not talking here about equal outcomes. We’re talking about equal opportunities. If we can guarantee equal opportunities to citizens of the globe, that will be a measure of success.
Recorded On: 7/ 5/07