Building North-South Bridges
It is interesting to note how stubbornly we seem to admire the US-model of capitalism across Africa even though it has been the cause of major exploitation and harm across the ages. By advocating for the primacy of a materialistic definition of success (aka The American Dream) and a “winner takes all” model of darwinist social development, it goes against the essence of an African “Leave no one behind” ethos of human progress that does not rise at the cost of others.
But there is movement on this front as many advanced countries are moving beyond indicators like GDP to measure progress. One of the most comprehensive reports that documents socio-economic development across the world is the World Happiness Report and it has some clear direction in terms of where to look for inspiration.
From the first time it has been published until now, there has been little movement at the top of the table with all the Scandinavian countries outperform their peers year on year. In fact the authors have added a special section on the US that outlines how far it’s lagging behind in terms of all major performance indicators.
It is very useful and instructive to study the Nordic model of progress as well as he underlying mindsets behind their special social contract, so we will dedicate some space to this as well and see how we can adopt some of the thinking in our context.
See here for a current view on this from the authors.