Dr Greg Mills heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation, which was established in 2005 by the Oppenheimer family to strengthen African economic performance.
He holds degrees from the University of Cape Town and Lancaster University, and he was the national director of the South African Institute of International Affairs from 1996 to 2005. He has directed numerous reform projects in African presidencies (including in 2019 and 2020, for example, with the governments in Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Somaliland and South Africa); he has sat on the Danish Africa Commission and on the African Development Bank’s High-Level Panel on Fragile States. He has also served on four assignments to Afghanistan with NATO as the adviser to the commander.
A member of the advisory board of the Royal United Services Institute, he is the author of the best-selling books Why Africa is Poor: And What Africans Can Do about It, Africa’s Third Liberation: The New Search for Prosperity and Jobs (with Jeffrey Herbst) and Making Africa Work: A Handbook (with Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis). In 2018, he completed a second stint as a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, completing a book on the state of African democracy, which was published in 2019 as Democracy Works: Rewriting Politics to Africa’s Advantage (with Olusegun Obasanjo, Jeffrey Herbst and Tendai Biti). The Asian Aspiration: Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia (with Olusegun Obasanjo, Hailemariam Desalegn and Emily van der Merwe) followed in 2020, which identifies the relevant lessons from Asia’s development and growth story.
His leisure interests include cycling and motorsport. A grandson of the pre-war Grand Prix driver Billy Mills, Greg received his national colours for motorsport in 2016. In 2019, he headed the first South African team to participate at Le Mans, driving a Bentley GT3, and he was appointed as the president of the Western Province Motor Club in Cape Town in the same year. He has written eight books on southern African motorsport for various charities, the last being Saloons, Bars and Boykies: Legends of South African Motorsport.