Ongoing Poverty in LEDCs and Transport Systems
a) Social Crime
Criminal activities have been on the rise in LEDCs, and this has been facilitated by the need to survive in this hard economic times. In Kenya, for instance, the rate of crime is devastating especially in the urban centers. There is no equality in the region when distributing resources and national income. With the high crime rate, extra-judicial killings have risen to an extent where human rights activists are against the trend. Investors will direct their investments to regions where criminal acts are not rampant, and Kenya faces a threat of investors avoiding investing in these regions.
In Malawi, the rate of crime is also high and most of young people are involved in drug abuse like cocaine. With such an effect, the life expectancy in this region is quite low (Chen and Sapsford, 2005). Government systems are not playing their role and have forced communities to adjust by channeling investment in new forms of social capital. The latest statistics denote that China is one of the leading countries that executed its citizens following criminal acts (Amnesty, 2013). There is concern that Chinas government has not educated its citizens on the adversity of the situation. With its population growing rapidly, taking into consideration the limited resources in the region, it is perceived that the situation is going to worsen. On the hand, Sudan and India are experiencing the same problems. Increase in Indias criminal acts is attributed to lack of proper housing for its citizens (Jain and Ohri, 2010). Social crime has been facilitated by corruption. The corrupt nature of political leaders has meant that the scarce resources available are scrambled by the huge population and this leads to social crime.
LEDCs have corrupt governments and corrupt leaders. Aid in terms of money and resources, given to the country by richer nations, is often squandered. Where there is unequal distribution of resources, the marginalized communities will continue to live in poverty. Though new policies and transparency have been implemented in these LEDCs, it has been difficult to achieve equity due to limited resources. In addition, the increase in population in relation to the limitation in resource base is the reason for the increase in corruption in these economies.
The population of LEDCs is expected to increase in the near future and this will place a huge strain on the regions natural resource base and on governments ability to provide even minimal social services. The increase in the labor force and the high proportion of young people has put considerable pressure on the labor market unless employment opportunities increase substantially. With such an increase in the population growth rate, it is difficult for the government to plan on the future generation, as the available resources are continuously being depleted. As such, the few individuals who are in power can use the available limited resources to benefit themselves and their close friends and relatives. This will increase the crime rate as the poor communities would have been marginalized. The foreign aid received from foreign financial institutions, such as World Bank and IMF, can be used by the few individuals for their own benefit, and this will plunge the economy into debts as the money has not been used effectively.
c) International debt
With the excessive reliance on foreign aid, international debt has increased. Most of the LEDCs finance there operations using foreign aid, and, in the recent past, it has been difficult to offset the huge international debt. This has led to growth of income in LEDCs to be dismal. Where the economy would have used the amount to grow the economy rather than financing recurrent expenditure, it would have easily offset its international debt. At the root of the low economic growth are the ill-conceived foreign and international aid policies that impact negatively on employment opportunities and social development (United Nations, 2008).
Neo-colonialism has played a key role in the escalating international debt in African countries. For instance, instead of having industries in their own countries, they export large quantities of raw materials to China. The finished products are sold to Africans and, in the process, China makes a considerable high profits. In addition, China offers to provide them with financial aid that they can use to produce and supply more raw materials. Borrowings from China and global financial institutions cannot only be used in financing agricultural products, but can be utilized in building infrastructure, providing job opportunities for the youth. This will minimize criminal acts, and fostering a transparent leadership.
d) Infrastructure Development
China has demonstrated its efficacy in infrastructural developments through its diverse transport network. It has the best companies that other economies rely, especially in the development of roads. Development of infrastructure is crucial in demarcating poverty in regions that are adversely affected. China and India are industrialized economy. Therefore, there is need for a reliable transport network. Unlike realization of economic endowment, China and India needs to attract tourism and investors in order to provide employment to their citizens.
India and Sudan mostly depend on their manufacturing prowess in order to sustain the economy. Lack of planning in these economies; have meant that investors cannot invest in these regions as they have unreliable transport system. Economic growth and development depends extensively on the net worth of the economys infrastructure. Though a substantial budget allocation is normally directed to infrastructural activities, corrupt nature of the government officials has mitigated the achievement of the road worthiness in LEDCs. As such, the poor people may have little to offer to the economy, but lack of reliable transport system renders them ineffective.
Significance of Transport Systems on Economic and Social Development
Economic development depends on the availability and utilization of various natural, human, and derived resources. Apart from the problems confronting the growth process in every developing economy, it has to address the pressing problems of regional imbalances, unemployment, capital formation, surplus generation and export compatibility among others. Such a scenario calls for strengthening of the economys infrastructural base. This would mean an unflattered and unfettered availability of road, rail, sea, and air transport system. Healthy and adequately dispersed infrastructural facilities act as a catalytic agent in promoting growth and minimizing other ills of the economy. Infrastructure is necessary for all kinds of production, like agriculture, manufacturing or service industries, consumer goods, capital goods or export goods.
Road and rail transport, for instance, has great influence on the economic activity of a nation. In the developing countries it is essential in that it facilitates the marketing of agricultural products and provides access to health and education. Rwanda, immediately after the genocide, experienced significant challenges in accessing efficient factor mobility. Commodities and resources were not easily transported from one region to the other. This hindered economic development and growth in the region and it was denoted by the low living standards in the society (Ocampo and Khan, 2007).
Transportation is an essential ingredient of almost everything man does to supply himself with the necessities of life. In the United States, for instance, road transport cost accounts for more than 15% of the Gross National Product and 84% of total expenditure on transportation. With an effective road and rail system in United States, the region enjoys competitive advantage as compared to other economics. However, other regions such as Zimbabwe have poorly developed roads and this inhibits accessibility; thus mitigating economic and social development. Nevertheless, the contributions of transport to national development may be difficult to quantify in economic terms.
There is more than one way in which transport and communication affect the economy of a country. Rail, road, air, or sea help in expanding the size of the market, hence the availability of these facilities are very important for sustainable development. According to Williams and Brathen (2010) a dependable transport network, for instance the Panama canal, has enhanced tourism and tourists feel confident when they understand that they can travel with ease in the countries they are destined. Apart from Panama Canal, the airport in Maldives and the seaport in Singapore have also played key roles in the development of tourism. Singapore has developed economically because of the efficiency in their tourism sector.
Besides widening the market, the development of English Channel and Panama Canal helped in breaking the barriers that prevent interaction. Lack of transportation and communication brings about regional imbalances and makes other areas to be in perpetual poverty and deficiency. There are so many benefits associated with improvement and extension of transport facilities, among them is the reduction in the transport cost per unit of freight haulage. This is attributed to the improvement in the quality of sea ports along the coastline which include faster, safer, smoother, and more reliable. Quality transport services promote the efficient use of resources through facilitating productive activities and increasing the output of resources used.
In South Africa, the availability of transport network and dependable airport has opened the doors for economic and technological advancement. The new initiatives have been realized through the endowed transport and economic situation of the region. The development of a country is depended on the communication facilities and therefore, developmental activities, particularly in agriculture and rural development, education, among others, are more important in defining the course and pace of development of any nation.
The availability of efficient transport and communication network facilitates the movement of labour force and other factors of production. Jetli and Sethi (2007) argue that in so far as there is imperfect mobility, a recommendation for partial remedy is the improvement of transportation, communication, and information. Efficient systems of transport and communication facilities are sine qua non for prosperity of an economy. If agriculture and industrial sectors are regarded as the body and bones of the economy, transport and communications constitute its nerves.
The growth of air transport has been particularly striking and the Soviet Union, with its great difficulties and vast distances, has become an unusually air-minded country. Not only is air travel over such great distances immensely quicker than land travel, especially in territories not served by railways, but it is also cheaper than even first class rail travel. With this reduction in cost outlay, Aircraft are ideally suited to journeys across immense Siberian lands lacking roads and railways. Air transport has been recognized as a key to the economic development of these remoter areas, where the helicopter has begun to play a major role. In the Soviet Union, the share of the different means of transport in the total traffic is conditioned not only by their economic and technological suitability to handle particular traffics but also by allocations of resources determined by central planning policy.
Special attention has been given to the eradication of wasteful cross-flows of the same or interchangeable goods. Regional planning has aimed at minimizing the demand on the limited transport capacity available by reducing as far as possible the contrasts in levels of development between planning regions. Wide differences still remain, however, and will continue to remain because of the widely variant potential of the different regions. Density of the transport network in China is, for instance, a crude index of the degree of current development.
In the Chinese economy, infrastructure has contributed to a sustainable economic growth as it has reduced transaction costs and facilitated the flow of goods and service in and outside the country. China is one of the economies that enjoys dense network of transport systems, as it understands that effective transport system is the key to economic and social growth. They have diversified their operations and trends to the rural parts of Chinese economy. In addition, with efficient infrastructure, individuals, organizations, as well as governments respond to new demands that come from different regions. Employment has also been created in the road construction industry and this has made the Chinese government to increase their tax revenue collected, which has enhanced their GDP.
According to Fitzgerald (2013), the absence of unanimity in the opinions of development economists about the precise linkages between infrastructure and economic development notwithstanding, the aggregate economic growth definitely benefits from adequate infrastructure facilities of high quality at reasonable cost. In recognition of this fact the Center as well as State governments have consciously been promoting the growth of infrastructure facilities in India (Jain and Ohri, 2010). Apart from the objective of attaining a higher rate of economic development, it was felt that judicious growth of infrastructure shall help in minimizing inter-regional and intra-regional disparities. As such, due to the peculiar geo-climatic conditions of the state characterizing vast differences across different regions, the provision of adequate and effective infrastructure network assumes an added importance in India.
In conclusion, the ongoing poverty in LEDCs can be mitigated where the government and the public fosters transparency in their operations, which will lead to equal distribution of resources. Employment rate would increase lowering the rate of crimes associated with unemployment. With transparency in practice, international debt will be offset and infrastructural development would be imminent. Infrastructural development has enhanced economic and social development. LEDCs can enhance their economic development through building infrastructure, including development of roads, railways, seaports and airports.
Amnesty. 2013. New death penalty figures: despite setbacks in 2012, trend is toward global abolition. Available at http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=20725>
Barber, N., 2012. Fighting Poverty, Raintree, LaSalle.
Carlsen, J. & Butler, R. 2011. Island Tourism: Towards a sustainable perspective, CABI, Wallingford.
Chen, J. & Sapsford, D., 2005. Global development and poverty reduction: the challenge for international institutions, Edward Elgar Publishing, London.
Fitzgerald, R., 2013. The state and economic development: lessons from the Far East, Routledge, London.
Jain, T. & Ohri, V., 2010. Indian Economic Development, FK Publications, New Delhi.
Jetli, N. & Sethi, V., 2007. Infrastructure development in India: Post-liberalization initiatives and challenges, New Century Publications, Indianapolis.
Ocampo, J. & Khan, S., 2007. Policy matters: economic and social policies to sustain equitable development, Zed Books, London.
United Nations., 2008. Least developed countries report 2008: The growth, poverty and the terms of development partnership, United Nations Publications, New York.
Whitehead, M. 2007. Spaces of sustainability: geographical perspectives on the sustainable society, Routledge, London.
Williams, G. & Brathen, S., 2010. Air transport provision in remoter regions, Ashgate Publishing, London.