Last’s week’s blog title of a “letter of resignation” caused some alarm to some of you who may not have read the whole email, so I just want to assure everyone that I have not resigned from DML, just from acting in the place of the Holy Spirit!
Last week we learned of a coup by the military in Niger. This makes a swath of sub-Saharan Africa currently under military rule through coups in the last four years – Mali, Guinea, Niger, and Burkina Faso. There are similar reasons for why this happened in all four countries, with terrorists being a primary cause. Security crises and a lack of integrity in the leader are the two key reasons for coups. Experts say that this is leading to a “dangerous self-perpetuating instability.”
Yet another contributor to instability is economic freedom, which directly relates to the flourishing of the citizens in a nation. Economic freedom is based on the freedom for individuals and businesses to make economic decisions. You can see a map of Africa, in which each country is ranked out for economic freedom based on four key factors:
- Rule of law: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity
- Size of government: tax burdens, fiscal health, government spending
- Regulatory efficiency: labor freedom, monetary freedom, business freedom
- Open markets: financial freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom
Globally, the top three countries for economic freedom are Singapore, Switzerland, and Ireland, with scores around 83. In North America, Canada is #16 with a score of 73.7 and the US is #25 with a score of 70.6. [A score of 80-100 is free; 70-79.9 is mostly free; 60-69.9 is moderately free; 50-59.9 is mostly unfree; and 49.9 and below is repressed.]
Africa is the region with the least economic freedom in the world but the most potential for economic growth. Because the population continues to grow in Africa (although that growth is slowing) the opportunity for innovation and a labor force are very strong. Botswana scored the highest for mainline Africa (#52) and Sudan scored the lowest at 172, with a score of 32.8.
China ranks at #154 globally with a score of 48.3, which is categorized as a repressed economy. India is at #131, with a score of 52.9.
While we continue to work toward the flourishing of all, we also need to step back and look at the big picture, understanding what is going on behind the scenes that are holding people back from being able to fully release their potential. We continue to both pray for individuals to do work as worship, while at the same time praying for these other situations to see significant change for the better in years to come.