Duncan Mabona

Risk Manager,

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Given a chance to run a country in Africa,18 million people, 86% literacy, agriculture based economy, poor infrastructure what would you do?

If you were given a chance to run a country in Africa,18 million people, 86% literacy, agriculture based economy, poor infrastructure, least developed, low life expectancy, high infant mortality, High HIV/Aids prevalence, Acute shortage of Forex, Fuel and Unreliable Electricity Supply, what would you do?

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    Aug 4 2011: free trade. as free as possible. remove red tape, tariffs, quotas, subsidies, regulations. strictly defend property rights. fight corruption with iron fist.
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      Aug 4 2011: Love the part about fighting corruption with an 'iron fist'.
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      Aug 5 2011: all empier are corrupt in essence. thats what happens when u have a ruling class..
      just in some places in the world they hide it better.
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    Aug 5 2011: chanllenging yet interesting question! i think it would be like problem-solving process. ll start with setting up priorities.TO form a team since i believe in collective wisdom and generates questions to find out what and how and then try different ways(make prediction of the harms and how that can be minimised too)in various small areas. and then evaulate and make adjustments.
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    Aug 5 2011: i would approach elders and tribe leaders and together try to create a new system of non-goverment state structure
    that is rooted in small communities and tribal society. it seems to me that african way of life survived just fine (for hundreds of thousands of years before civilization) without the concept of government, and when ever european social structure was introduced, it had horrifying consequences. im not at all sure that its possible to turn back the clock, but i would look into history of what worked in africa and try to learn from THEIR heritage, to construct a sustainable nature based nation.
    the important lessons i believe we would learn could very well be implemented in the Western world.
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    Aug 4 2011: I think I would start with trying to find a way to get the people themselves involved in the rebuilding of the infrastructure as that would help with the poverty issue. I would turn to the IMF for funding and ask each nation in the world to contribute some money to help rebuild the infrastructure. Then I would try to bring in business at the microeconomic level that would let the people be independent. I would work with groups like doctors with out borders, unicef, and others to get the medical system going. I would try to move more to local fuel development and stay away from things like mass generation of electricity on a huge scale but work in small increments that would then work together to bring the country alive. I would look to the natural resources and see which ones could be used by the people to live, have energy, and develop economies that they can sustain. All of this would require input from leaders in each area both secular and religious. With the local leader on board to a common idea it could be sold to the local people. May in the end we could generate hope in what sounds like a hopeless situation. My hope goes out to you and I hope you can get peoplel to help yo spread your idea locally.
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      Aug 5 2011: "I would look to the natural resources and see which ones could be used by the people to live"

      James, it is my impression that over the last 2 million years, humans in africa have been doing just that,
      where did all the resources they lived on all this time disappear?
      anyone?
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        Aug 5 2011: Maybe the world has changed enough to eliminate the natural resources. Science has shown that the Sahara Desert is expanding, there are lakes that are disappearing due to dust clouds from other parts of the world. I have no expertise in this area at all. Maybe over use?
    • Aug 6 2011: sir yours is intresting commit i to also had a plan of forming a group of my friends to make a ngc to avoid poverty to little extent which we can do
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    Aug 4 2011: I would write to Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates and The UN to ask for advice.

    I would use the most successful democracies and their legislations as templates rather than reinventing the wheel for wording and legislative time. South Africa looked to other nations for its own constitution.
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      Aug 4 2011: gates could also send some cash over :)
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        Aug 4 2011: I wonder what would happen if a country offered to sell itself to Gates? Would he be able to create a utopia if it was run like a corporation? Canada once had the opportunity to buy a Caribean Island and we declined because our Prime Minister at the time decided that we could not afford to pay the citizens of the country old age pensions (which was their major demand). I thought it would have been a great investment for Canadians who are eager to find a sunny destination in the winter!
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    Aug 4 2011: I would say "Thanks, but I don't fit the role". Because otherwise I would certainly screw things up badly. Then I would recommend Paul Collier for advices.

    http://www.ted.com/speakers/paul_collier.html
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    Aug 16 2011: Educate the women, starting from grade school.
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    Aug 7 2011: -Hopefully, I could take advatage of the problem of overaging in western societies and there fear, to become unimportant because of the sheer amount of people in China and India by inviting industrial countries, to found immigrant preparation centers all over the country, were people can learn there languages, get trained in needed professions and tested on there health, skills and political opinion.
    This would bring mony to the local food markets, increase the number of persons, who work in a richer country and support there families at home, it would provide the hope for a better life and channel the energie of those, who are dissatisfied. The centers also might help, to build up infrastructure. The country would save mony on education using the partly trained dropouts and it would be easyer to outsource jobs to this land because of the language skills.

    -I would make prostitution formally gouvernmant-controled, treat all sexual activety of not marryed couples as prostitution allow only healthy people to get married and spend not much mony on enforcing this.

    -To increase there dependency upon each other and to connect them with the internet, I would encourage the village communities to build a man powered telegraph-network with the technology described in this talk:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/harald_haas_wireless_data_from_every_light_bulb.html

    Just for a start.
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    Aug 6 2011: literacy rate is excellent . This country can achieve good easily.
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    Aug 4 2011: I would start with fair and free election in truly democratic setup first, improve infrastructure second, improve health profile of the population on third priority and boost foreign trade on fourth priority.
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    Aug 4 2011: Given a chance to run a country in Africa,18 million people, 86% literacy, agriculture based economy, poor infrastructure what would you do?

    Teach to teach.
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      Aug 5 2011: i would rather learn to learn. why do all of us think we know better?? cause we can make machine guns and wear suits? its much hotter out there, id rather be singing all day and hunting,
      wearing some fabric round my waist
      then programing software and paying taxes.. wouldn't you??
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      Aug 5 2011: no disrespect intended Thomas, im just a passionate dude..
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        Aug 5 2011: Hi Gad,

        No disrespect inferred.

        It's a good point.

        One of the things I do is teach; for example, at the moment, I am dedicating some of my time to training, Chinese business people.

        One of my foundational premises is we already know what we need to know.

        By creating situations where we teach each other what we already know, several things happen: one, the "teachers" become even more committed to the values and principles they teach; two, others are exposed to deeply held cultural (maybe universal) values; three, there is usually a recognition that, "hey, we're on the same page here;" and so on.

        Sometimes, I provide information, teach skills, and coach, but the idea is the people I am teaching to teach know more about what they need to teach, and learn, than I do.

        It works out okay.
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    Aug 4 2011: first of all, security as you don't want your work run away in accidents.

    second ,education
    86% literacy is very good , so you can build universities

    making people busy in education,science will lower HIV prevalence and you will get specialists in all the fields
    you will get specialists in agriculture for example ,so the income of agriculture will increase.

    third, health
    money you get form agriculture income is used in investment in health.

    but you should know what you have,
    you can make money from tourism if your country has tourist attractions.
    you can cut wood in a condition not harmful to nature if your country has a part of the jungle.
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    Aug 4 2011: Probably I would have started with investing on information technologies . You don't need food, water or even heavy industry to build on. You can focus on software based solutions. You can make some huge tax advantages for foreign investors. And 50 years from now you could be the silicon valley of Africa.