Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - Page 9 News List

The prosperity of nations matches their democracy

By Jeffrey Gedmin

And, lo and behold, progress is being made in several crucial areas. Mobile phone ownership in Botswana has nearly doubled in the past couple of years. (Can you imagine a thriving economy without modern communications?) And Botswana’s success in reducing business start-up costs since 2010 has given entrepreneurs the confidence to borrow money, hire more employees and take calculated risks on their way to success.

While there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for prosperity, it is apparent that establishing well-managed systems, guided by democratic principles, is a particularly effective route to progress in crucial areas like education, healthcare, security and regulation. By highlighting the factors that correlate with success, the Legatum Prosperity Index should spur policymakers and citizens to reconsider their priorities.

If they glean only one insight from this year’s index, it should be this: “It’s governance and the rule of law, stupid.”

Jeffrey Gedmin is president and CEO of the Legatum Institute.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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