Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kleptocracy

I learned the word kleptocracy today. Here's the context:
Last year Ghana struck oil for the first time off its coast. But the Ghanaians, wiser after their descent from high hopes to kleptocracy, kept their celebrations muted and are now inviting the Norwegians in to advise them on how to exploit their windfall sensibly.
(The rest of the article, "Opportunity Knocks", is really good, by the way. Take a look if you're interested in Africa.)

A kleptocracy is a government that advances the interests of a small group at the expense of the general population. Ghana is in that boat, as it is "some 30 times poorer in wealth per person" than it was when it gained independence in 1957, despite its plentiful natural resources.

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