Trade: the Key to Development?

Posted on March 11, 2021
debtdevelopmentfinanceHannah Muthoni Ryderinternational tradeKenya

For too long, ‘the western development model’ was seen as the standard, and ‘the way to do development’. In more recent times, that thinking has changed.

Following on from the Make Trade Fair movement that started in 2002 to Dambisa Moyo’s book Dead Aid in 2009, both the way aid is distributed, and how development works have been challenged.

One challenger to the ways things have been done for so long is Hannah Muthoni Ryder, CEO of Development Reimagined, the first-ever wholly foreign-owned Kenyan enterprise in China. Ryder sees trade—particularly Sino-Africa trade—and development as going hand in hand.

According to the values of Development Reimagined,

“An African business person may benefit more from one change in trade duties by China or the UK than a decade of aid.”

COVID-19 has only accelerated this line of thinking,

“The Covid-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the need for more finance rather than less. Development Reimagined has recently collated a detailed debt guide and flagship report that elaborates on this point, but let me summarize it here. The fact is that more finance is needed to provide adequate internet access for children that cannot go to school and to ensure trade can flow across borders while avoiding huge queues of trucks.”

Hannah Muthoni Ryder will be joining us in our discussion on March 24, when we address big questions surrounding this subject.

“What are the costs of the forgotten perspectives, who is paying for them and how? What promises do forgotten truths hold for living in the 21st century? What are the new pathways that can be unlocked once we acknowledge that the next big thing will not come from Silicon Valley, but from Jakarta, Bogota or Dubai?”


Join us for the “Questioning Identity and the past » – Session 2 « Paradigm Lock-in: “Don’t do it like Denmark” – what after the WESTERN model of development?” session on March 24.


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