Category — Uganda
[The greatest opportunity for wealth creation in many poor countries is oil and gas development. In particular, subsoil privatization can incite resourceship and democratize wealth as explained by Guillermo "Billy" Yeatts in Subsoil Privatization for Energy Sustainability. The following post by Cyril Boynes, Jr. co-chair of the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda, contributes to this discussion.]
I am of a Christian background. However, one of my favorite people was Jewish, and another is Muslim.
The Jewish man was business professor and author Julian Simon. He taught that people are the world’s most valuable resource, and the “ultimate resource” is our creative intellect.
The Muslim is Bangladeshi banker and economist Muhammad Yunus. He says “poor people are like bonsai trees,” planted in a little pot. “There is nothing wrong with their seeds. It’s just that society never gave them an adequate soil base to grow.”
“Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity,” Dr. Yunus continues, “poverty will disappear very quickly. The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world. All we have to do is free them from the chains that governments have put around them.”
We need freedom, and opportunities to get an education and open businesses. We need a government and legal system that protects our property rights and contracts, regulates dangerous pollution and activities, and protects us from criminals and unscrupulous business people, but without having so many rules that people and businesses cannot function properly.
But even if we have all these things, we still cannot have opportunity, health and prosperity unless we also have energy. Maybe most of all we need enough affordable, reliable electricity to power lights, ovens, refrigerators, computers, machinery, fans and air conditioners, office and hospital equipment, mobile phone chargers and other modern devices.
These technologies let us work past sundown, create good jobs, make products that people need, and provide clean water, surgical centers and countless other benefits.
That’s why Mr. Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality in America, calls energy the “master resource.” He says our ingenuity is the ultimate, most important resource, because it lets us design, build and operate so many things.
However, without energy that families and businesses can afford, energy that is there every time we need it, even the most modern, creative, educated, technologically advanced country cannot function properly. People in poor countries are even more constricted, like bonsai plants in little pots.
Right here in Uganda, we have many educated, energetic, creative, hard working people. Our legal system lets us open businesses and do many other things. But outside of Kampala and other growing municipalities like Ishaka, Jinja and Gulu, most families, villages and businesses still don’t have electricity – and even in these municipalities frequent power outages create problems. Almost 30 million Ugandans never have electricity or get it only a few hours a week. [Read more →]
March 23, 2011 1 Comment