In addition to David Sawe's noting that shortcuts can occur in
technological development, and that there is not only one linear path of
progress that all must doggedly follow, his posting contains another
interesting point that should perhaps be emphasised. The 'death of
distance' means that those talented, and sometimes more fortunate folks
from poorer world regions who are educated and live abroad indeed can now
contribute to the development of their 'very own countries'. There are
several ways in which this can be done, especially with new ICTs, but one
is the UNDP Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN)
Program (see for example the call to the Somalia Diaspora to engage in
rebuilding that country) at <>

John Lawrence
UNDP consultant, and
Adjunct Professor, SIPA
Columbia University.

On 12/30/04, David Sawe <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: 

> Well it seems that this particular "chicken-and-egg problem" is rather
> multi-dimensional. Hence there is need to include, in addition to
> "crawl, walk, run, fly", some provision for "leap-frog" and indeed even
> "cheetah-polevault" where that may be possible. In this case, Nigeria's
> Government has decided to move boldly.
> It is an inescapable fact that people in developing countries are going
> to be receiving training in basic -AND- advanced sciences, either in
> their home countries or abroad. This is not necessarily from the
> government's funding, but also from scholarships, private resources, and
> all kinds of other sources. However, such people will not be able to
> contribute meaningfully to their own country's development if compelled
> to live and work abroad where they'll be helping solve the problems of
> developed countries instead of those of their very own countries.
> Additionally, one of the key advantages of ICT -- that of the death of
> distance -- offers opportunities for development activities, training
> and education, access to capital, etc. that far out-reach anything that
> would have been imaginable just twenty years ago. In the context of
> developing countries, this is significant because all too often our
> populations are spread out thinly across a large geographical area, but
> are entitled to consistent services wherever they are. They constitute
> the engine of growth that is being revved up by establishing centres of
> excellence which will focus on listening to and addressing their needs,
> by harnessing those technologies that can best deliver the most
> affordable and sustainable solutions to their problems.


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