Explanations for African poverty

In: Uncategorized

6 Jun 2007

This month’s Prospect magazine includes an essay by Paul Collier, director of Centre for the Study of African economies at Oxford university, on why African countries are poor (the first paragraph of the article is available here). He examines several competing explanations including the naturalistic (it’s the environment or geography) and the moralistic (it’s corruption or institutions).

Collier puts the blame on crooked and misguided opponents of reform within African governments. His preferred solution is a return to empire (see 14 May 2007 post).

Many of Collier’s recent papers can be downloaded from his university homepage. His book, The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press), is endorsed by the likes of George Soros, Sir Nicholas Stern and Larry Summers.