Adoptar la ciencia

El progreso económico de largo plazo proviene principalmente de los inventos y de la difusión de tecnologías mejoradas. La revolución científica fue posible por la prensa, la revolución industrial por la máquina de vapor, y la India se libró de las hambrunas por el aumento de la producción agrícola -la llamada " revolución verde". La era actual de la globalización surgió con la propagación de las computadoras y el internet. De esta manera, cuando buscamos soluciones a algunos de los problemas más difíciles del mundo es muy probable que también se encuentren, al menos en parte, en tecnologías nuevas que puedan resolver problemas viejos aparentemente irresolubles.

Consideremos la pobreza en África. Se han dado todas las explicaciones concebibles, que normalmente se centran en lo que los africanos hacen mal. Pero una visita por los pueblos de África deja claro que los problemas tienen más qué ver con la lucha por la supervivencia en condiciones físicas difíciles que con cualquier problema especial único de las sociedades africanas.

Los agricultores africanos producen aproximadamente una tercera parte o menos de alimentos por hectárea de tierra cultivable que sus contrapartes alrededor del mundo, lo que da como resultado una hambruna masiva que se agrava por una pesada carga de enfermedades. La malaria plantea un reto único, que se debe en gran parte a las especies africanas de mosquitos, especialmente aptas para transmitir enfermedades. De modo parecido, otras enfermedades tropicales parasitarias significan cargas extraordinarias en África. Sumemos las dificultades prácticas de las malas condiciones de los caminos y la escasez de autos y camiones y lo que sigue es el aislamiento económico. Así, los retos a la supervivencia son enormes.

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