One of the pillars of economic development is governance.
Programs like the broad-based Washington Consensus relied upon improving governments to ensure that economic reforms such as trade liberalization and privatization of public enterprises. The alphabet soup of major donors like the World Bank, USAID and DfID have a applied wide-stroke solutions to governance.
The policies that made up the Washington Consensus did not help out Latin America, says BU Associate Professor of International Relations, Kevin Gallagher in the Guardian.
The 30-year record of the Washington consensus was abysmal for Latin America, which grew less than 1% per year in per capita terms during the period, in contrast with 2.6% during the period 1960-81. East Asia, on the other hand, which is known for its state-managed globalisation (most recently epitomised by China), has grown 6.7% per annum in per capita terms since 1981, actually up from 3.5% in that same period. Continue reading
- Tony Blair and Paul Kagame
Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to end aid dependence by fostering better governance, especially in Africa.
Since moving off the geopolitical center stage, Blair has inserted himself into several new supporting roles that could generally be lumped together as world betterment consultant.
For one such role, there is Blair’s African Governance Initiative. One of his shining examples of good African governance is Rwandan President Paul Kagame — a leader widely credited with reviving Rwanda’s economy over the past 15-plus years and building up strong domestic institutions. Unfortunately, Kagame is also increasingly becoming widely ‘celebrated’ for fueling warfare in neighboring DR Congo, acting like a dictator at home and committing various human rights violations.
“At the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), we believe that the developed world has been quick to act against bad leaders, but slow to support good ones,” writes AGI head Kate Gross in the Stanford Social Innovation Review recently. She then proceeds to talk about the work that the AGI has done with Kagame, describing how it has “fundamentally shaped our model.”