After having read the myth of development, the truth about capital and the end of poverty (even though I honestly have only vague impressions of the books now) it is clear that they have varying views on how the growth and development of Africa, the next frontier will be.
So let’s ignore the fact that our world needs population control, better environmental maintenance and a complete transition to clean energy and focus on what history has taught us.
As far back as the Mayan, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and British empires, civilisation expanded rapidly due to increased productivity either based on improved labour or capital and then looked outside their domain for more land to conquer and colonise in other to support their growing decadent population.
So basically we were initially a zero sum game with winner takes all (until the winner implodes from corruption and inner strife and the next hegemony appears).
However, as this fundamental principle of economics which could even be called a law states trade is a good way to organise markets. So instead of conquering everything under the sun, forcing the people to obey you, monitoring and threatening, just give them what they need in exchange for what you have – awesome, leave it to the invisible hand.
So now that my version of history is summarised, lets throw in the wrench in this equation…emm the western world thanks to Great Britain has been industrialised so we farmers in Obosi with hoes can never measure up to their steam engines.
Darg nabit, we just got things sorted.
Okay, okay economics tell us again what to do. Well its not a rule per say but if I am better at X and your better at Y we can specialise and create better overall output. What’s all this X and Y, you saying America will give you cars and computers and Mexico will provide corn, sugarcane and wheat. Alright lets match them up!
But here is where Myth of development comes in with a hammer…Umm corn, sugarcane and wheat can only go so far (first year, second year,…., 99th year) but America is now making electric cars, artificial intelligence, 3D printers and machine learning….where we going to find all that corn (or all that tea in China)
Now Sachs on the other hand is like we need to be raising everyone equitably. Yes Mexico urbanisation is slower than North America (hence Trump’s need of a wall) and Libya will keep seeing tourist looking for a cruise to Europe unless we make their own homes almost as nice as ours.
And his right you know, because owning capital does not mean you get most of the returns from it…Take crude oil rich Nigeria who lacks a refinery. So the well to does are charging into the new frontier for their own peace of the pie as ‘Angel’ investors, VC, PE and development agencies. So come, build, grow but Sachs is not the only one talking about the inequality and if you don’t raise the minimum standard of living significantly world wide…then you will see a french revolution that no SDGs is going to stop.