column has been getting some recent attention; I received a link from a Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi email. Kenyan economist James Shikwati pleads for an end to economic aid to Africa, arguing that it actually contributes to Africa's economic woes. Brief summary: it funds bureaucracies and discourages the entrepreneurial spirit. Read the whole thing.
Then read this
January 2004 post on the relationship between economic freedom and per-capita gross domestic product. Pay close attention to this chart:
The data haven't changed much in a year. If you go to the Index of Economic Freedom search page
and do regional searches on North Africa/Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, you'll find that NO African nations score in the "free" range (1.00-1.99), and only seven
are "mostly free" (2.00-2.99): Botswana
(2.68), South Africa
(2.78), Cape Verde
The CIA Factbook's current ranking of per-capita GDP
shows three nations with per-capita GDP higher than the world average of $8,800, all with "mostly free" Index
scores: Mauritius ($12,800), South Africa ($11,100), Botswana ($9,200).
Economic reform must begin with political reform. Free those markets, and maybe one day there'll be some African nations as rich as Greece (per-capita GDP of $21,300).
Labels: Economics, Politics, World