« Ce n’est pas parce que cela fonctionne au Brésil que cela fonctionnera au Burundi. » C’est vrai. Et ça semble évident. Pourtant, ce genre de critique continue d’être matraquée aux chercheurs, qui pratiquent des évaluations d’impact aux quatre coins du monde. Les institutions varient. Les niveaux d’éducation varient. Les cultures varient. Ainsi, un programme qui a réussi à autonomiser les filles en Ouganda, ne marchera pas forcément en Tanzanie.
This peculiarity cannot be explained only by the fact that the region is poor. The company has found a market in about 30 countries with GDP per capita of less than US$ 3,000 (in constant 2005 US$) at the time of their first McDonald’s opening. Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, and Big Macs are also on offer in a dozen of low-income countries as well. When the first McDonald’s opened in Shenzhen in 1990, China’s GDP per capita was less than US$ 500 per person. Of course, Shenzhen’s per capita income was several times higher, but the company has also found a market in Moldova since 1998 when the GDP per capita of the 3 million person country was less than US$ 600 per capita. There are many cities in SSA today that have higher income, population concentration, and tourists than what Chisinau had in 1998; yet they do not have a McDonald’s. As a matter of fact, 22 SSA countries today have higher income per capita than what Moldova or Pakistan had when the first McDonald’s opened there, and 15 of them have higher income per capita even than what Indonesia or Egypt had at their McDonald’s openings (see chart).