Collier told me. Like the silver mine in Joseph Conrad’s novel “Nostromo,” the Simandou deposit holds the promise of supplying what Guinea needs most: “law, good faith, order, security.”
In developing this ambitious agenda, Cameron had been closely advised by Paul Collier. “This is Africa’s big opportunity,” Collier told me.
Paul is currently Advisor to the Strategy and Policy Department of the IMF, advisor to the Africa Region of the World Bank.
As an economist, Collier's call to arms is founded on hard-headed cost-benefit analysis, not post-colonial guilt or emotional hand-wringing. He calculates, for example, that the cost of a badly governed 'failing state' to itself and its neighbours in lost economic growth is a staggering $100bn. On that basis, spending a few million on parachuting in skilled administrators to support the government, bankrolling infrastructure projects or even sending in troops to put down an incipient coup looks like a bargain.
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