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What is needed to build a nation? Is it education? Or perhaps good government structure and law? Is it access to clean drinking water? What about food, infrastructure, technology? Developing nations and stalled nations need all of these things. And while people in the west give tens of billions each year in humanitarian aid, this is applied haphazardly in whatever area seems to be garnishing the most media attention at the time. What is needed is a stable platform with which to build sustained growth. This needs to be a long term commitment, it needs to fix the underlying problems, not to merely treat the symptoms, and most importantly, it needs to produce at least modest returns for the investing nation(s)/individuals.
So I would like to put out the idea of sustained partnerships which cover all the aspects of nation building. It would be a comprehensive partnership between the developing nation and its more developed partner that is bound by treaty. This means providing Government assistance with law enforcement, basic infrastructure, educational resources such as training teachers in the developing nation, and medical assistance, as well as more traditional aid such as donating food. The law enforcement assistance should be limited to serious crimes, of course, in order to protect assets of investors and encourage more investment both domestic and foreign. Just as important would be the reduction of trade barriers with that nation which would allow for more economic opportunity.
The key differences between this and conventional development and humanitarian aid would be the long-term depth of economic strategy, the comprehensive scope of the aid/investment, and the fact that this would produce returns for the investing nation. The importance of producing returns can not be overstated. Without returns, donations would be the best that could be hoped for. Security is also paramount. The developed nations of the world pour untold billions into investment into countries like China and Taiwan where returns are almost guaranteed, but relatively little goes to nations in Africa. This is largely due to the stability of the receiving nation. Nobody wants to invest in a nation that is highly corrupted or may succumb to civil war within the next five years. This kind of partnership would reduce that risk.
I'm not saying that this idea is perfect, or even completely thought out. There are, however, a great many experts on this who could perfect, or if need be, throw out the idea. I would just like to put it out there, and maybe make a difference.