Building Wellbeing Economies in Africa

Progress Namibia - Building Wellbeing Economies in Africa
05 December 2016

Economic instability, social inequality, poverty and depletion of our natural capital (the base of our survival) make it necessary to call into question the conventional development paradigm based on the exploitation of nature, continuous production and consumption, social exclusion and privatization of common resources. Last year, the global human community agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals as a vision for global progress in the coming decades. This framework urges nations to find new paths towards successful societies, ways beyond the narrowly defined economic growth narrative.

Africa now sits at crossroads (in fact, it has for a while). We can carry on the current trajectory of economic growth, widening the inequality gap and continue destroying our life support system, losing our cultures, and increasing the natural, social and spiritual divide. Or we can embark on a new development trajectory. One that reflects the spirit of Africans thriving. To address today's complex and interrelated challenges, Africa needs a strong movement of progressive scholars and activists, development practitioners and community leaders, policy makers and business people that are dedicated to exploring, promoting and practicing alternative ways of achieving wellbeing for all.

The WE-Africa Lab (Wellbeing Economy Africa) is an opportunity to stimulate collective change for a wellbeing-centred development model in Africa. A new economic approach that should not only improve the lives of African people and the quality of our ecosystems, but can also become the inspiration for the rest of the world, especially at a time in which conventional approaches have glaringly failed humanity and the planet.

Justine Braby has been invited to take part in this lab. Through dedicated sessions focusing on personal transformation, collective action and strategic thinking and through forward-looking orientation based on this skills, experiences and initiatives already developed by the participants, the lab aims to inspire leaders across the African continent to lead sustainable change and generate ripple effects through society.

The WE-Africa Lab was launched in Cape Town last week, and will be combining three meetings in different African cities, local inquiries and dialogues, and online exchanges in a one-year process. The 28 participants of the WE-Africa Lab come from diverse backgrounds and sectors, from 8 countries across Africa. They are academics, business leaders, social innovators, policy makers, civil society activists, and others. All of them are united in their passions for a commitment to the economic transformation of the continent.

'Our aspirations reflect our desire for shared prosperity and wellbeing, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons.'
Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want