Writing the future
Like a novel with two possible endings, ours is a story yet to be written in this new century. There is nothing inevitable about the spread—or the collapse—of prosperity. More than we know (or perhaps care to admit), the future is a matter of human choice, not mere prediction.
Despite the ongoing economic crisis in Europe and the US, the developing world has sustained rapid economic growth. While the International Monetary Fund forecasts that the advanced economies will grow by just 1.5% in 2013, developing-country growth is projected to reach 5.6%. Asia’s developing economies, now the world’s pacesetters, are expected to grow by 7.2%, with output in Sub-Saharan Africa set to rise by a healthy 5.7%.
What is happening is both powerful and clear. Technologies that were once found only in rich countries now belong to the entire world. Mobile phone coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, has gone from nearly zero subscribers 20 years ago to around 700 million today. And those phones are helping to bring banking, health care, education, business, government services, and entertainment to the poor.
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