Africa has extraordinary potential for economic growth and development. But its many plans and noble aims rarely translate into reality. This policy brief summarises Jakkie Cilliers’ new book Africa First! which examines the continent’s current development pathway and how it can deliver on its potential. Cilliers presents an ambitious but realistic scenario to 2040 that sees improvements in economic growth, average income and poverty reduction.The book looks at Africa’s recent history and today’s situation. It examines the potential impact of climate change, conflict, a changing world order, trade integration and opportunities presented by technology. Cilliers then uses a current path forecast to 2040 as a backdrop against which he models 11 interventions required for rapid improvements in African wellbeing – demographics, health and basic infrastructure, education, agriculture, impact of social grants, manufacturing, technology leapfrogging, trade, security, governance and external support. Many of the interventions are interdependent and have different impacts at different stages of a country’s development. Africa First! concludes with an ambitious but realistic scenario to 2040 of Africa’s prospects for economic growth, improvements in average income, and reductions in poverty and inequality.