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Submitted by Zanda on
A friend once joked that the most perplexing question you can ask an African president is "how he wants to be remembered". The joke being that he thinks he will live for ever and continue to be president. This joke would be funnier if it were not the reality. The one certain intervention that I know could change the economies of developing countries overnight is not advocated nearly enough by the Bank and the international community. The Bank turns to "studies" too often when the issue is often one of common sense. For instance, why all the studies of poverty? People need jobs. When people have jobs, they can buy food, pay bills and feel empowered. But you have irresponsible governements in place that do nothing to attract foreign private investment. So there are no private sector jobs. Do we need so many poverty studies for this? As long as develping country governments know that there is no real accountability and that they can continue to stay in power (inspite of attrocious policies), I cannot foresee any longterm economic change. The greatest gift the World Bank and donor agencies can give to the developing world is to concentrate all their resources on strengthening the in-country governance. As long as these governnements know that they cannot be voted out, there is no way they can invest in any real longterm changes. Based on this "theory", I am certain Ghana's growth will dwarf all its neighbers in the years to come.