Senior Governance Specialist. Public Speaker. Writer.

Raw productions and economic development

This article provides a point of view on how raw material such as timber, cocoa, coffee, minerals, etc., can – or cannot contribute to a country’s overall economic development and the wellbeing of its inhabitants, from macroeconomic theories to practical examples of a developed country (Canada) and a developing one, Cameroon.

These two cases clearly show, from studies by various national and international authors that, whereas timber first, fishing then, and wheat later on enabled Canada to embark on a virtuous cycle of internally induced economic development with wheat for instance giving way to various indigenous industries and trades such as the production of tractors and other machines needed to plant, harvest, stock and transform wheat into flour, then bakeries producing bread, cakes, and other locally consumed goods, this has not been the case form Cameroon. Although timber has been exploited there for at least one century, cocoa, coffee, cotton grown there and sold abroad since the colonial times around 1890, this did not give way to any sustainable and strong economic development.

Download the entire article (French only)