Richard Rorty may differ, but Charles Kenny and Andy Sumner report this:
Even gold and diamond-producing Ghana, which declared itself 63% richer at the end of last year than previously thought, didn’t suggest the newfound riches were the result of mineral exports. Instead, the recalculation was driven by the fact the country’s services sector was a lot bigger than previously calculated. Part of that will reflect the incredible success of the telecoms sector – 75% of the country’s population are mobile subscribers. And, of course, the expansion of telecoms is a worldwide phenomenon. So a lot of the growth we are seeing in poor countries is broad-based, not just reliant on the current commodity boom – which is good news for the future.
They also serve up this zinger:
One prominent Zambian, Dambisa Moyo, has written of her country that “a direct consequence of the aid-driven interventions has been a dramatic descent into poverty. Whereas prior to the 1970s, most economic indicators had been on an upward trajectory, a decade later Zambia lay in economic ruin”. In the 1980s, aid to Zambia averaged about 14% of the country’s GNI. In the 2000s, a decade of strong growth, the same proportion was 17%. If Zambia’s ruin in the 1980s was the result of aid, is Zambia’s graduation to middle-income status in the new millennium a sign that aid now works really well?
Hat tip goes to Chris Blattman.