The policymakers of the African continent face some of the toughest challenges in the world today. James Eedes lists the eight most noteworthy figures who have worked to stabilise, reform and improve their respective economies.

UK chancellor Gordon Brown has emerged as champion of Africa’s cause, arguing for a better dispensation for the continent. UK prime minister Tony Blair is getting in on the act. And ageing rocker Bono of the band U2 is also a campaigner. In all this, it’s easy to overlook the fact that even with debt relief, more aid and fairer trade, Africans themselves have to implement the right policies, justify often tough measures to uneasy electorates and resist fierce opposition from reluctant or corrupt elites. It is a job requiring leadership, tenacity and political nous.

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