Paul Lachine

Werken aan de toekomst

ADDIS ABABA – Wat heeft de toekomst in petto voor de wereldeconomie? Zal de levensstandaard wereldwijd stijgen, als de arme landen van vandaag via een technologische inhaalslag op gelijke voet komen met de rijkere landen? Of zal de voorspoed ons door de vingers glippen, doordat hebzucht en corruptie ons ertoe zullen brengen onze vitale hulpbronnen uit te putten en de natuurlijke omgeving te verwoesten, waarvan het menselijk welzijn afhankelijk is? De mensheid staat geen grotere uitdaging te wachten dan ervoor te zorgen dat de wereld in voorspoed kan blijven voortbestaan en niet zal worden geruïneerd.

Alsof het een roman is met twee mogelijke eindes, is ons verhaal er één dat deze nieuwe eeuw nog moet worden geschreven. Er is niets onvermijdelijks aan de verspreiding – of de neergang – van de welvaart. Méér dan we weten (of misschien willen toegeven) is de toekomst een zaak van menselijke keuzes en niet louter van voorspellingen.

Ondanks de aanhoudende economische crisis in Europa en de Verenigde Staten is de snelle economische groei van de ontwikkelingslanden op peil gebleven. Terwijl het Internationale Monetaire Fonds voorspelt dat de geavanceerde economieën in 2013 met slechts 1,5% zullen groeien, zal de groei in de ontwikkelingslanden naar verwachting 5,6% bedragen. De opkomende economieën van Azië, die nu de motor van de wereldeconomie zijn geworden, zullen naar verwachting 7,2% groeien, terwijl de productie in het ten zuiden van de Sahara gelegen deel van Afrika waarschijnlijk met een gezonde 5,7% zal toenemen.

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