That\’s roughly what Paul Collier is saying here to the Guardianistas.
We need to ignite those processes that can scale up without limit, that are "explosive".
I don\’t want to be negative [about Katine]. That\’s where there are poor people – let\’s help them. But it\’s not transformational. You have got to find what\’s going to be explosive – like textiles were in Bangladesh, for example.
AP: Why not something that is more local?
PC: Cities are not bad things. We have to get away from this middle-class obsession with villages. Cities are where productivity increases. Double the size of a city and you raise its productivity five times.
Globally, relatively dispersed populations are unproductive, and unproductive means poor. They\’ve got to be concentrated. Africa is striking because there are very few large urban areas. Compare it with India. Because Africa is so politically fragmented, it has completely missed out.
Kampala may be much bigger than it was, but it\’s not big enough.
Rural living condemns people to poverty. Building e-services in Kampala might be less poetic, but it does mean small interventions can explode upwards.