I want to start by paying tribute to the Africa Research Institute for giving me the great
honour of delivering its 10th Anniversary lecture. My invitation to deliver this lecture and the
courtesies I have been shown since my arrival from Abuja yesterday is totally in keeping
with ARI’s approach of giving Africans the platform to tell the story of Africa in their own
voices, with first-hand knowledge, insight, dignity and respect. In the last 10 years, ARI has
encouraged debate that has often gone against the grain, and ventilated research that has
challenged accepted wisdom about Africa in the fields of Agriculture, Urban Development,
Land Use, Governance, Institutions, Democracy, Human Development and Rule of Law.
Ensuring that Africans have a platform to tell the story of Africa is an invaluable addition to
academic and policy research, particularly as a review of twenty years of the application of
management theories to developing countries found that 95% of these studies focused on
developed countries, with only 5% trying to test the theories on developing countries (Hafsi
and Farashahi, 2005).
Text of the 10th Anniversary Lecture of the Africa Research Institute,
delivered in London on 5th October 2017
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* Dr Joe Abah is the Country Director, DAI Nigeria, and a visiting lecturer, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University, and a Former Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms Nigeria.