The media in the developed countries never offer positive
news of the developing countries. They only talk about Africa, Latin
America or Southeast Asia when there are hurricanes, terrible diseases,
wars or famine, but without mentioning that they are caused by the war
lords that have converted hunger into the weapon against their enemies.
I want to highlight two positive news in Africa and Asia, which can help
us change our attitude in front of the existing lack of motivation.
During half a century, South Africa suffered a gruesome apartheid
in which the white minority, 13 percent of the population, subjugated
the black majority and exploited the resources in its own benefit. But
that regime failed and, since 1994, gave way to the Republic presided by
Nelson Mandela and by a chosen group of excellent black collaborators
that won the struggle against the apartheid.
Starting twelve years ago, yesterday’s excluded people are in power
and have moved away those who enslaved them, but letting them live
peacefully in the country. Something not very usual in such a revolution
because it is an authentic revolution without blood or paybacks. When
the regime change took place, some prophets of doom declared on
newspapers, “Those blacks are incapable of making the economy of a
developed country work. South Africa will crumble like Zaire did.”
But we have seen the success in Nelson Mandela’s management in the
first place and in Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet afterwards until it received a public
acknowledgement from the IMF: an annual economic growth of 4 percent, a
controlled inflation, order in the financial system, a solid currency,
enough monetary reserves and an excellent reputation in front of
investors. Let’s not forget that during the apartheid, economic
growth never surpassed a 1 percent and always lived under the shadow of
True is that poverty has not disappeared and that unemployment, as well
as inequalities, continue to be scandalous, but in a couple of decades,
with this economic model and without making experiments with imposed
wars, the economic miracle will become a reality because they have
chosen the right path.
Therefore, we go from the ideological domain to the political one: when
black leaders have access to power, they are not worse than the white
European ones if they count on honest and prepared guides as it has been
the case in South Africa. It was not a matter of the skin, but rather of
adequate training, about responsibility and of knowing they are backed
by a democratically elected majority whereas, during the apartheid,
leaders obeyed to an oligarchy.
Another admirable case refers to the most populated giants of the
planet: China and India.
The former has an autocratic regime directed by a party that still
denominates itself as Communist; it controls the political and the
economic powers. The latter refers to a surprising democracy that works
since sixty years ago and is the largest democracy in what democracy
concerns: more than one billion people.
China launched itself in 1978 to an unstoppable economic growth,
reaching an annual 9 percent, based on exports and on foreign
investment. A less centralized India and with more democratic
institutions and controls has a slight delay in comparison to China, but
it glides more cautiously.
The different attitude in front of two monumental challenges lies there:
in the fight against poverty, China has rid 30 percent of its people
(400 million people), while India has been able to do the same with 70
million people, around 7 percent of the total population.
In the struggle against hunger, India comes first. They have eradicated
the famine that diminished the population during the colonial period and
has not experienced a single one in the last fifty years. In the
meantime, Mao’s China came across with a terrible one that killed 30
million people from 1959 to 1961 due to the communist planning error.
In the beginning of this century, one-party China maintains a faster
development than the one in democratic India, and the average annual
income of the Chinese reaches 1,300 dollars, compared to 650 dollars in
Could we say that an oligarchic dictatorship is more efficient than
democracy when a fast economic development to pull out a country from
poverty is at stake? It is not proved that the stagnant Chinese system
is not going to burst in some way due to its incoherent model of “one
country, two systems.” While in India, with a less rushed system where
the control of democratic institutions allow the power alternation.
The good news is that polls have been done, asking the population of it
would prefer a faster growth (8 or 9 percent instead of 6 or 7 percent)
with the risk of losing their democratic conquests in which they live
since sixty years ago. The majority said no: in India, people prefer to
become developed at their own rhythm while they preserve their
We are overtaken by hope when not everything is
disaster and corruption in developing countries But this does not seem
to catch the media’s attention, or that of the people who control