Is authoritarianism (e.g. China, Singapore) a prerequisite for breakneck growth?

In 1970 Singapore was poor, with a GDP per capita of $950. Thirty years later it was one of the richest countries on Earth.

There is much to learn from Singapore’s speedy metamorphosis from a colonised, third-world country to a very wealthy high-tech hub, says Brenthurst Foundation Director Greg Mills in a Daily Maverick article on the late Singapore founder, Lee Kuan Yew.

However, says Mills, there is a danger that Africans might take the wrong lessons from Lee and Singapore.

Is an authoritarian government essential for transformative growth in a developing country? Can democracy deliver Asian Tiger results?

Listen to the audio (scroll down) in which Mills answers these questions and more.

Since 2000, only nine out of 85 autocracies have sustained economic growth and more than half of those suffered dramatic economic collapses during this period. The longer you are democratic the more chance you have of growing economically. Singapore grew despite their lack of democracy, not because of it.

Greg Mills

Singapore is NOT a yes-man society.

Greg Mills

We’ve already tried the non-democratic model in Africa and it was a disaster!

Greg Mills

We obscure the many components of Singapore’s success by focussing only on its authoritarian nature.

Greg Mills

This article first appeared on 702 : Is authoritarianism (e.g. China, Singapore) a prerequisite for breakneck growth?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Eish wena! Fuel prices to go up – yet again – in October

Eish wena! Fuel prices to go up – yet again – in October

Got an arm and a leg left? Or, at least, a good pair of tekkies? The AA has some terrible news for Mzanzi.

How to start and grow your own business with funds you find yourself

How to start and grow your own business with funds you find yourself

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Aurik Business Accelerator Pavlo Phitidis.

Did Floyd Shivambu and the EFF benefit from the looting of VBS Mutual Bank?

Did Floyd Shivambu and the EFF benefit from the looting of VBS Mutual Bank?

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Business Day financial journalist Warren Thompson.

What it'll cost to educate your kid abroad (and how much you must save a month)

What it'll cost to educate your kid abroad (and how much you must save a month)

Bruce Whitfield asks Galileo Capital Financial Advisor Warren Ingram about the cost of educating a child overseas.

Sanlam makes largest investment in its entire 100-year-old history

Sanlam makes largest investment in its entire 100-year-old history

It will pay R16 billion to outright own Morocco’s Saham Finances SA. Bruce Whitfield interviews Sanlam Group CEO, Ian Kirk.

Game over, Tencent (i.e. Naspers)? No, it remains a profoundly good longterm buy

Game over, Tencent (i.e. Naspers)? No, it remains a profoundly good longterm buy

It’s not the beginning of the end of Tencent, says portfolio manager Francois Strydom, despite it losing R3.2 trillion in value.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Understanding your inner child

[LISTEN] Understanding your inner child

In the wellness feature, psychologist, couch and writer Yasmeen Engelbrecht chats about understanding your inner child.

Tito Mboweni, Pik Botha, VBS and Floyd Shivambu - no holds barred on The Debrief

Tito Mboweni, Pik Botha, VBS and Floyd Shivambu - no holds barred on The Debrief

Politician Lindiwe Mazibuko, economist Refilwe Moloto, and journalist Rose Rogers have discussed the biggest topics this week.

'Everyone told me I can't be bi' - experiences of black bisexual men in SA

'Everyone told me I can't be bi' - experiences of black bisexual men in SA

Activist Mpho Ndaba, software developer Kabelo Thwala and photographer Youri Sunguza reflect on living life as bisexual black men.

Snakes season is here and if the crawlies visit you, here's what to do

Snakes season is here and if the crawlies visit you, here's what to do

Snake handler Willem van Zyk of Blouberg Snake Rescue says he's already being kept busy with callouts.

'VBS stolen money bought the most useless things like Ferraris and helicopters'

'VBS stolen money bought the most useless things like Ferraris and helicopters'

Deputy editor at Finacial Mail Sikonathi Mantshantsha says it is mind-boggling why no one has been arrested in the VBS saga.

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

Spokesperson for Education department says the fact that this learner is still in Grade 10 at 17 may indicate there is a problem.