January 24, 2017 Print

Burundi, a small nation in central Africa, has been marked by decades of regional unrest, periodic civil war, and an unstable democracy. Individual liberty and economic freedom are necessary for Burundi to achieve a prosperous future, and African Students for Liberty (ASFL) is helping to instill these principles in a new generation of youth. Throughout November and December, the Burundi chapter of ASFL set up events at 10 different universities to distribute 500 copies of The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won’t Tell You.

“Given the principles of capitalism in a culturally and morally closed Burundi, the truth of the morality of capitalism can change the lives of our members,” explains Burundi ASFL leader Aimable Manirakiza. He notes that the project attracted media coverage and spawned video reports that brought the message of freedom to many more people than just the event participants.

“At the beginning of the conception of the project, we thought of a distribution of the books … but after a thorough study of the richness they contained, we saw fit to prepare a PowerPoint document to help our members understand much more about the mechanisms of capitalism,” Manirakiza continues. “Participants had the opportunity to follow several chapters of this rich work, including: the values of capitalism, the virtues of entrepreneurial capitalism, voluntary interaction and self-interest, world capitalism, and justice.”

The Morality of Capitalism is a collection of essays produced by Atlas Network and Students for Liberty, edited by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network’s George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and executive vice president for international programs. Contributors to the book include economists Deirdre McCloskey, Vernon Smith, Ludwig Lachmann, and Temba Nolutshungu; Whole Foods founder John Mackey; philosophers David Kelley and Leonid Nikonov; Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz; Kenyan entrepreneur and film producer June Arunga; Chinese civil rights activist and Unirule Institute of Economics founder Mao Yushi; and Nobel laureate novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.

Manirakiza held events to discuss and distribute The Morality of Capitalism at the University of Burundi (Mutanga campus), the University of Burundi (Kamenge campus), Ecole Normale Supérieur (Kigobe campus), the National Institute of Public Health, the University of Lake Kigobe Campus, Light University (Mutanga campus), Light University (Kinindo campus), Wisdom University (L’Afrique Campus), the University of the Great Lakes (Saint Michel campus), and Ntare Rugamba University. Altogether, Manirakiza reports, 860 people participated.