|The Courier N° 159 - Sept - Oct 1996 - Dossier: Investing in People - Country Reports: Mali ; Western Samoa (EC Courier, 1996, 96 p.)|
AFRICA-CARIBBEAN-PACIFIC - EUROPEAN-UNION
Mali, which used to be the centre of great appears hemmed in by its frontiers, colonisation having culminated in the break-up of the old 'French Sudan'. Following the marxist regime of Modibo Keita (the 'founder' of the nation) and the dictatorship of Mousse TraorMali has discovered democracy. It is still one of the world's poorest countries but recent macro-economic trends are highly encouraging and there is a new dynamism. It seems that the ending of the Tuareg conflict has provoked a surge of optimism- even among ordinary citizens whose wallets have yet to feel the effects of an improving national economy.
Pacific island nations have a reputation for idyllic scenery and rich cultural traditions. Western Samoa has both of these assets in abundance, but it also faces many development challenges. With a population of just 165 000, the country has a limited local market, and it is a very long way from potential overseas customers. It is also susceptible to destructive tropical storms. Despite these constraints, there have been some promising signs of economic progress in recent years.
Investing in people
To say that investing in people makes economic sense is to state the obvious. But to what extent are the implications of this statement fully understood in the developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, in these days of constantly shifting development theories? We look at this subject in our Dossier.