Private companies and public interest: an oxymoron for A2J?

By Antonin Milza

With this blog post, I want to speak not only about ICT4D but more generally about development. The notion of development has interested me for several years. It can be very difficult to give an exact definition of what development is. For me, when I think about “development”, I refer to the development of societies and of all nations in the world. I don’t have a different mental image for “development” whether it is for southern or northern countries. In my mind development is above all else the process that able a Nation to develop itself in order to improve its economy and the living conditions of its citizens. In the northern countries, it was the industrial revolutions in the XVIII and XIX centuries that enabled these Nations - by a better understanding of how scientific knowledge can be transformed into real applications that improve the economy – to increase their GDP, more than in the 1800 previous years. For several reasons, including colonization and decolonization, other Nations in the world, especially in Africa and Asia, didn’t be able to use this phenomenon of industrialization to develop themselves. Today, several countries in Asia, like India and China are catching up with northern countries. Tomorrow, I am sure it will be the same for African countries. The world has changed a lot since the XIX century, and today the solutions and the methods available for a Nation in order to develop itself are thus very different.