A Response to “Botswana: An African Model for Progress and Prosperity”


Botswana, a prosperous African nation (population: 2 million), where I worked a long time ago fits very well with one of Mancur Olson’s most explicit thoughts on the conditions of economic growth and prosperity of a nation. i.e. (a) having a small population and (b) that population being homogeneous. It is a development on Olson’s Logic Collective Action in which the smaller the group (numerically) and the more they have compatible shared interests (shared incentives) which should minimise or eliminate free-riding (getting something for nothing), the better the economy will perform. Multi-ethnic societies like Nigeria (250 ethnic groups at least in 6 distinct geopolitical zones) with a large population (at least 160 million) can never emulate Botswana, according to Olson’s logic and I agree. However, there are alternative views on the subject of economic development and growth. Take a look at China and Indonesia.
Grimot Nane

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