January 21, 2005
Time for a rubble index
It's time we had another way of measuring the size and growth of Ethiopia's economy. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is just old hat. The dollar purchasing power parity (PPP) used in C.K. Prahalad's The Fortune At The Bottom Of The Pryamid sounds great. But it goes way over my head.
How about a rubble index? There must be some sort of relationship between the amount of building debris and construction activity in our streets and the prospects of the economy. Just a five-minute walk from our house shows that something big is happening in Addis Ababa. The city is one huge building site. Shining blocks are shooting up, whole roads are being ripped up and widened.
It is not much fun to live nearby - our water was cut off for three days after the diggers moved in and our electricity comes and goes as it pleases. Local storekeepers turned up one morning to find the front of their shops had been demolished to make way for the widening (they just shrugged their shoulders and re-built everything in an afternoon). And when we had two days of unseasonal torrential rain last week, the area turned into a mud bath.
But it is all development, albeit rather messy development.
Posted by aheavens at January 21, 2005 9:06 AM