Income is Development: KickStart’s Pumps Help Kenyan Farmers Transition to a Cash Economy
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization | Winter 2006Innovations, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 9–30.
By Martin Fisher
Excerpt: Within less than a generation, poor families in Africa have been thrown from essentially a subsistence lifestyle into a primarily cash-based economy. Ability to earn an income is suddenly a paramount skill. Yet approaches to encouraging development continue to be based on the assumption that the primary need of people in poor places is something other than a way to make money—better healthcare, education, water, housing, and so forth. This is misguided. Providing these will not end poverty. In a cash economy, money is the primary means to securing other vital resources. Except in a few very remote areas of the world, if you ask a person in a poor place what they need most, they will tell you that it is a way to make more money. The way to address the challenge of persistent poverty is to create sustainable income-earning opportunities for millions of people. Income is development.
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