Showing posts with label Rwanda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rwanda. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Free Markets And Government Spending Can Stabilize A Country

When someone mentions Rwanda, the first words that come to mind are violence and instability, not free markets and prosperity. This recent article in the Times shows just how far Rwanda has come and you can thank the power of capitalism for their recent success. One of my add-ons to the "teach a man to fish" saying is "teach a village to fish and they create a free market economy" and that is clearly what has happened in Rwanda.

Rwanda offers an alternative model, analysts say, a country where the economy has grown an average of nearly 8 percent over the last four years because of increased agricultural productivity, tourism and government spending on infrastructure and housing. Despite having a population of just around 12 million, the consulting firm A.T. Kearney last week named Rwanda the most attractive African market for retailers in its first ever African Retail Development Index. 

As the article notes, there are still challenges ahead for Rwanda but the simple fact that it has made it to this point illustrates that with the right balance of free market principles and government involvement stability can be achieved anywhere.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

19 Years Later

Say the word "Rwanda" and the first thought that comes into your head after that is usually genocide. But recent gains in health care in the tiny African country are so staggering that I'm hoping the first thought will now be of a more healthy nation.

19 years later, however, Rwanda is on pace to become the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to meet all of its health-related Millennium Development Goals, and the tiny pocket of Central Africa has posted some of the world’s most staggering health gains in the past decade, outpacing nations that spend far more per capita on healthcare.

In the past decade, deaths from HIV have fallen 78 percent – the single largest decline in the world during that time frame – while tuberculosis mortality has dropped 77 percent, the most significant decrease in Africa. 

Between 1994 and 2012, they wrote, the country’s life expectancy climbed from 28 years to 56 and the percentage of the population living in poverty dropped from 77.8 percent to 44.9 percent. 

Amazing! But how did this happen?

The government took the aid that was pouring in and put it directly into social programs and enacted universal health care for the small nation. In addition to the numbers of above, the chances today that a child in Rwanda will die by the age of five has fallen 70 percent.

These are all truly remarkable accomplishments that demonstrate how real results can be achieved very easily within a generation if government corruption is kept to a minimum and level headed leaders are put in charge. The rest of the countries in Africa should follow this model and bring their nations into the increasingly prosperous global marketplace.