The seventh book by Salim Cripton Valá, entitled “Globalized Economy & Development Paradoxes: Inconclusive Reflections” was launched on June 28, 2021 (Monday), at 4:30 pm, at the BCI Private premises, in Maputo. a book with 373 pages and the seal of Escolar Editora.
The world population continues to grow rapidly, with an estimated 9 billion souls in the 2040s. These billions of people seek to take their place in a world economy increasingly linked through trade, finance, technologies, production flows, migration and social networks. The vast global economy is growing rapidly, with extreme inequality in income distribution, a paradox marked by fabulous wealth and extreme poverty. For the poorest of the poor, facing the daily challenges of poor nutrition, lack of health care, unsafe housing and lack of clean water and sanitation is a matter of life and death.
Many of the world's poorest countries, located in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, have been “pressured” to adopt free market policies so that they can borrow money from international financial organizations and rich country governments. The institutional weakness of many developing countries has enabled the mechanical implementation of free market policies, even if they do not directly benefit the majority of the population of the countries, that is, they perpetuate poverty, do not generate jobs or reduce inequalities social. The most serious thing is that the people who most need help are those who are asked to “tighten their belts”.
The dialectical debate between the globalized economy and the true meaning of development has been tilting in favor of the first variable, due to its strength, influence and ubiquity. Globalization had notorious positive externalities, lifted many people out of poverty, but many development paradoxes persist, many unanswered answers, many uncertainties, risks and unpredictable and improbable phenomena, such as COVID-19, which challenge our imagination and leave us devastated poor families and bogged down governments in poor countries.
This dichotomy between globalization benefiting the few and poverty affecting the many is causing a paradigmatic crisis in development economics and demanding a new theoretical basis and analytical tools to clearly see the logic and essence of the movement of tectonic plates from West to East, from Western Europe and North America to Asia, as if heralding the collapse of the “Washington Consensus” and the emergence of a new international economic order. Many uncertainties hang in the air, and we do not have a frame of reference that helps to interpret the current global economic context, full of adversities, risks and uncertainties.
Structural adjustment, induced development and poverty alleviation programs and initiatives have not only failed to reduce external dependence and indebtedness, nor to strengthen institutional capacity, reduce the public deficit and balance the trade balance, much less improve the quality of essential services. , promoted inclusive economic growth, fought corruption and improved governance. Either the recommended policies were wrong or the way they were implemented left a lot to be desired, and given the number of countries that were unable to escape the trap of poverty and deprivation, it is imperative to recognize that the "prescriptive recipes" stamped in the framework of the "Consensus of Washington” did not bring positive results globally.
There are authors, such as Carlos Lopes (2020), who advocate that boosting agricultural productivity continues to be “the most obvious gateway to achieving the much-desired structural transformation” of the African continent, emphasizing that the alliance between agriculture and industrialization has based on the need to modernize and formalize economic systems. In the same line of thought, Chang (2014) is positioned, which refutes the myth that we live in a post-industrial era, even in developed countries like Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Singapore and Sweden. In developing countries like Mozambique, it is utopian to think that industrialization can be bypassed and prospered on the basis of services, the knowledge economy or just the agrarian sector.
In fact, most services show slow productivity growth and most services with high productivity growth cannot be developed without the presence of a strong industrial sector. The commitment to industrialization, to be initially dynamized by raw materials from the primary sector, is crucial not only to drive structural transformation, but also to ensure proper regional economic integration and take advantage of the multiple opportunities opened up by economic globalization.
After 456 years of independence, Mozambique continues to struggle to achieve full economic prosperity, social cohesion and political stability, being also negatively affected by the volatility of commodity prices on the international market, by external shocks such as economic and financial crises, extreme weather events. instability and conflicts and epidemiological crises such as COVID-19. Promoting human development, making the entrepreneurship virus a mass phenomenon, improving the business environment, providing better services to citizens and deploying more sophisticated and resilient economic infrastructure are strategic economic objectives for the present and for the future.
The path to be followed involves making difficult choices, undertaking profound changes in domestic revenue mobilization, accelerating financial and digital inclusion, promoting trade integration, competition and competitiveness, fostering transparency and good governance, and having more resilient strategies. external shocks.
Economic globalization will continue, leaving a new special footprint with the advent of COVID-19 and its effects. Countries like Mozambique cannot help but resent the passage of this new virus, but what will last for a few years are also the other viruses, which coexist with us from the “long colonial night” to the last 46 years of political emancipation, which are hunger, poverty, unemployment, low human development and social inequalities. Changing this scenario requires a better understanding of the meaning of development and the need to rethink the economic development doctrine followed until today, promoting the structural transformation of the economy, industrialization and human capital.