Monday, May 08, 2006

One More Reason to Believe It's A Crazy World

Here is a comparison of "two" African countries, both small with a population around 1.6mn.

Country A:

  • According to CIA World Factbook, this country "has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, (this country) has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $10,000 in 2005.

  • It has the world's highest per capita export of $1050.

  • Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have given his country "A" rating, making it the best credit risk in Africa.

  • The World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Index 2005 ranked this country 48 (out of 117 countries), making it the most competitive in Africa, and even leading the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.

  • The country was ranked 30 (out of 157 countries) on The Index of Economic Freedom 2006, making it a better investment destination than even countries such as France, China, South Korea, Brazil, India, Italy, etc.

  • Transparency International ranked this country 32 on Corruption Index (out of 159 countries), putting it ahead of countries like India, China, Italy, Hungary, South Korea, all the Latin American countries, most of the middle east, etc.

  • It has a multi-party democracy, with universal suffrage. The voting age is 18yrs.

  • Compared to even some of the advanced countries, the gender disparity is low. Women hold 11.1% of parliamentary seats, and make up 53% of professional and technical workers. 31% of administrators and managers are women.
    etc., etc.

    Country B:

  • This is a poor country which ranks 94 (out of 103 countries) on Human Poverty Index.

  • Around 33% of the population of the country lives below poverty line ($1/day). A total of 61% population lives on an income of less than $2/day.

  • Nearly 50% of its population is employed in informal sector, surviving on subsistance farming and animal husbandry.

  • The life-expectancy at birth is just around 33 years, the second lowest in the world.

  • It has the world's highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection. 37% of its adult population is infected with the disease.

  • On UN Human Development Index 2003 (which is based based on life-expectancy, health, education, literacy and income), this country ranked 131 out of 177 countries.

  • In 2004, its official unemployment rate was 23%. The unemployment rates of the country since 1999 have varied from 20-to-40%.
    etc., etc...

    The irony is that Country A and Country B are the same country - Botswana!

    ...which makes it the 14th Reason to Believe that We Live in A Crazy World!

    Index of Economic Freedom 2006
    Human Development Index 2005: Botswana
    CIA World Factbook 2005 - Botswana
    World Mapper: Valuable Exports (pdf)
    Transparency International's Corrption Index 2005


    raghu said...

    I some how have lost belief i the data that is posted by CIA world fact book...

    When you go to each of the countries there are a list of diseases that you may catch in that country .. all countries have it .. African countries , Asian .. all .. except the elite US which does not have any diseases in its list .. check it out yourself ...

    Madhukar said...

    Perhaps true, Raghu

    but this data is not only from the CIA World Factbook... it is also from UN, Trasparency International, WEF, Moody's, S&P, etc...

    and while CIA book may not report diseases in US, HIV/AIDS is an epidemic of unprecedented proportion in Botswana

    Sunil Natraj said...

    This is a fantastic blog Sir. I am subscriber of your feed, and I must admit, you are a great read.

    I dont know why I am saying this, but i guess I am impulsed at the sound of XLRI, that I am a prospective MBA candidate, and XLRI PM& IR is one of cherished courses.

    Hopefully, next year ut shall be.


    pranav said...

    There are two interesting facts abt this country which are not mentioned here...

    1) Its a goldmine (lots of gold)
    2) It never got colonized.
    3) It does not have a tribe system.

    The answers for its steady growth but still prevailing poverty and inequality lie in this..