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Sen and the art of Green African Keynesianism
by g kohler
08 March 2002 15:41 UTC
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"Global construction is the needed response to global doubts." That is
pravda No. 10, written down by Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize in economics,
now in London, brain-drained from Bangladesh (?)) in his article "If
It's Fair, It's Good: 10 Truths About Globalization" (July 14, 2001,
International Herald Tribune).

Global construction sites are many - one of them Africa. By African
Keynesianism I mean transnational policies which inject, in Africa, more
capital for investment in factories and infrastructure and engage in
related Keynesian policies. "Green" refers to the political colour
"Green" - which stands for "ecologically sound". Whether you call it
liberal green or Keynesian green or solar communism (Schwartzman) - the
main point is that a new civilization based on ecologically sustainable
technologies is thinkable and desirable. Africa could be the pilot
project for that - there is so much sunshine that all of Africa's energy
needs could be "based on" (better word "pulled down from") the sun.
Solar collectors replacing petroleum wells. Hydrogen-powered vehicles
replacing gasoline-driven automobiles. Battery-powered dirigibles
replacing kerosene-fueled air planes. Solar-powered pumps irrigating the
deserts. No air pollution. Africa as the globally preferred provider of
ecologically sound technology, dazzling new software, hospital and
health care services, and of adventure vacations. Africa as the new
garden of Eden. [Apples and snakes are also available, as in the
original Eden.]

Sen's "global construction" might as well start in Africa. Africa is so
poor that relatively small amounts of financial injections can double
their current gross domestic investment. If I was Bill Gates, I would do
that with my own money. If I was the prime minister of Japan, I would
take this project on, in order to cure the Japanese economic disease,
develop a Japanese comparative advantage in ecological technology, and
be twenty years ahead of the Canadians and other competitors.

Gert Kohler

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