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Submitted by Gabriel Negatu on
I believe it's a false choice we are making by arguing whether HR is necessary to achieve HD. As in everything else in life, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Technically speaking, HR may not be necessary to achieve HD, and Shanta and co have demonstrated that case very well with examples from of why it is neither a necessary nor sufficient. However, it is also true that achieving the HD numeric targets becomes meaningless unless citizens are able to enjoy those achievements in peace and under a predictable environment of rule of law. What is the point of having healthy and well educated citizens if they are all in prison? However, Shanta & co have touched on the key issue of why we need to move away from the notion that governments must always provide such services. The notion of rights is a euphemism for entitlement, and that is wrong. The role of the state in such areas must be limited to areas where others are not able to step-in and provide such services, not as a provider of first and only choice. Cases of failed attempts to provide such services or provision of sub-standard services by the state are plenty. However, and more importantly, we as African citizens need to radically shift away from a culture of relying on our state to be the provider of all services. Our states and their institutions are simply not equipped nor financed to provide such services. There is indeed a role for them to partially finance the provision of such services, and with the right types of incentives and robust regulations and oversight, I believe the private sector can do a better job in ensuring better quality and more efficient delivery of health and education services.