播下非洲发展的种子

印第安纳州西拉法叶市——经历了数十年的低迷后,非洲发展终于出现了三大良好势头: 这三大势头为全非洲的农村家庭带来了更大的机遇。 这些势头发展非常缓慢,很难成为报纸的头条,但它们合在一起却为农业和农村发展领域的公共和私人投资提供了更为诱人的回报。

每个国家每年面临的发展情况都不尽相同。 新鲜事物总是最先引起人们的关注,比如由外来投资者控制大片耕地的可能性。 空间多样性也十分重要,因为这样才能保证每个地方都能保留自己的特色。 但就非洲整体而言,三大势头发展虽然缓慢,但却在不久前为企业家和政府提供了改变局势的全新动力。

首先是政治转机。 世界银行对比1955年来世界各国农业政策的全新研究数据首次揭示现任非洲政府竭尽全力降低前任向农民收取的出口税、农产品销售费及其他各项干扰性收费(www.worldbank.org/agdistortions)。 非洲地区由政策导致的价格扭曲在20世纪70年代末达到了顶峰,此后实行的改革政策减轻了农民负担的三分之二,极大地推动了生产力和扶贫事业的发展。 进一步推行改革措施可能带来的好处更多,但后殖民地政府强加在非洲农民身上的不利因素现在多数已经去除。

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