The development sector hobby of ranking nations is pronounced. Metrics are almost beside the point; these empirical orderings of countries as “free” or “not free”, “fragile” or “stable” drive policy decision-making and affect investments on the ground. And usually, Africa does poorly. But what if the goalposts were moved—or on a different field entirely? I write for CNN:
[E]conomists Ricardo Hausmann and César Hidalgo, researchers at the Harvard Center for Economic Development, have produced…[a] newAtlas of Economic Complexity. In their global ranking of GDP growth to 2020, Uganda comes out number one.
That’s a head scratcher. How could a tiny, land-locked African nation, best known for Idi Amin, lead a list predicting economic growth? There’s more: Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Senegal, Malawi, and Zambia round out the top ten. Hausmann and Hidalgo project that these countries will grow faster than most others in the world, including emerging market favorites Turkey, Brazil, and China. In fact, thirteen of the top thirty countries for growth are in sub-Saharan Africa. Sweden, France and Japan rank 100, 101, and 102.
Do read the whole thing at CNN.com.