Congo is #2 Failed State

Paul Carlson Partnership just posted this blog , Congo is #2 Failed State, with the news that according to the Fund for Peace’s Failed States Index, Congo is now the #2 failed state.  What strikes at the heart in the articles and blog links is this comment:

“The article in Foreign Affairs continues, “What’s tragic is that this failure is by design. These states collapse because they are ruled by what we call ‘extractive’ economic institutions, which destroy incentives, discourage innovation, and sap the talent of their citizens by creating a tilted playing field and robbing them of opportunities. These institutions are not in place by mistake but on purpose. They’re there for the benefit of the elites who gain much from the extraction . . . at the expense of society.”

This is consistent with what we have been learning from colleagues, friends and readings.

I recommend the links in the PCP post.  The Postcards from Hell is depressing but worth watching.

Also recently, reported on the US Development Program’s Africa Human Development Report.  While there is much depressing in the report:  “Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the potential to become sub-Saharan Africa’s breadbasket, yet it has the highest estimated prevalence of malnutrition in the world. Nearly 70 percent of the country’s 68 million people are classified as under-nourished by the United Nation, and 38 percent of children have stunted growth due to malnutrition”  I am encouraged by the reports of the work being done to rehabilitate agriculture in Congo.  See:  Efforts Under way to Rehabilitate Agriculture Sector.  Much, much work remains to be done, but it is started.  Locally, improved cassava varieties are being spread throughout the area.  These varieties resistant to the mosaic virus which can diminish production by up to 50%.  More productive corn varieties are also being introduced.  So there is some encouraging news amongst the much that is discouraging.


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One Response to “Congo is #2 Failed State”

  1. Dave Wood says:

    Is this progress? The last I had heard was that Congo was #1 on that list. It is so sad.
    I’m looking forward to the Grande Fête! I FedExed my visa application at about noon on Monday, the 16th—and I received it back today (the 19th) just after noon!
    Does this thing put my name down automatically?

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