25. Jan, 2008

When Iceland was Ghana

Believe it or not: in 1901, Iceland’s per capita national economic output was about the same as that of today’s Ghana. This is remarkable because it took Iceland just three generations – a hundred years! – to lift the yoke of centuries-old poverty from its shoulders and become one of the world’s most affluent countries, ahead, as we speak, of Denmark and Sweden. This observation raises two burning questions. First,
can Iceland’s rags-to-riches story be replicated in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa? Second, if so, what would it take?