Wednesday, July 1, 2009

G8: Africa Must Rethink Development Model

Extract from article commenting on the recent G8 meeting.

Development is the Ability to interpret/understand the World and creatively/efficiently respond to the challenges that confront humanity in order to increase the levels of human comfort on earth. The current development model sustains Africans on the "scratch the soil" level while they (G8 and re/emerging economies) import raw materials and add value to them. Adding value to African raw materials enables importing countries to grow their industries, financial and knowledge sectors while the African is left with hoe in hand scratching the soils for minerals and crop. Please note that even chicken in Western Kenya scratch the soil. Little ingenuity is needed in the scratch the soil model!

Africa should not wait for the G8 group; they should open up their countries to free movement of people on the continent. Movement coupled with legal safeguards to promote individuals keen to be original, imaginative, inspired, ingenious and innovative enough to put their dreams in practice will spur a wave of real development. The G8 is only keen to throw money at our challenges, but that will not help change our century old attitude of applying "monkey see - monkey do economics." As my village illustrates, Africa indeed needs infrastructure, but focus too must be on developing the people - and this is not synonymous to access to Western education.

Development is not highways and skyscrapers. Development is about people (and not G8 on Africa's behalf) creatively responding to nature in order to enhance their levels of living comfort on earth.

I look forward to adding Zambia to my ongoing intra Africa exchange program currently targeting Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe!

By James Shikwati

For full article, see:

James Shikwati is Director, Inter Region Economic Network

No comments:

Post a Comment