Friday, May 07, 2010

Something to consider

Here is something remarkable that I was contemplating in my morning reading. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the United States for 2009 was over 6.25 times greater than that of the entire 53 countries of the continent of Africa. The GDP (GSP in this case) of the state of California alone in 2008 was over 80% of the GDP of the 53 countries of Africa for 2009. I know California is currently experiencing significant difficulties, as are many of the rest of us. I do not mean to downplay anyone's struggle, nor am I trying to build an argument based upon such a simple comparison. But as we engage in the very necessary debate about foreign aid (Sachs) vs. internal development (Easterly)-and attempt to discern what we feel is "Africa's responsibility"- I think it is critically important to continue to reflect upon and contemplate how much material wealth is controlled by the west. It seems that as Christians such contemplation could provide us with a strong measure of sobriety as we have these conversations. Perhaps it could help us to incarnate Christ in this debate (as well as the other, even more intense debates, about our own nation)?

List of African countries by GDP (PPP)
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This is a list of African nations ranked by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Figures are given in 2009 International Dollars according to the World Bank[1] 2009 figures.

This list excludes Somalia.
African Rank World Rank Country 2009 GDP (PPP)
millions of International dollars

— — Africa $2,200,100

1 25 Egypt 467,600
2 27 South Africa 403,900
3 37 Nigeria 294,800
4 38 Algeria 268,900
5 55 Morocco 127,000
6 61 Angola 93,100
7 62 Libya 90,600
8 66 Sudan 80,500
9 67 Tunisia 76,900
10 73 Ethiopia 61,600

List by the International Monetary Fund (2009)
Rank Country GDP (PPP) $M

— World 69,808,807
1— European Union 14,793,979
2 United States 14,256,275
3 People's Republic of China 8,765,240
4 Japan 4,159,432
5 India 3,526,124
6 Germany 2,806,266

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if only we could build factories, engage in more open pit mining and the related smelting, and get the world buying what Africa crafts, things would be so much better over there and they could be like US.