Development Cases

Development Cases

Development cases








Key facts:

Population: 195m (2010)

GDP per head, at PPP: $10,800 (2010)

Average Annual Growth Rate (1990 – 2010): 3%

Agriculture as a share of GDP:  5.8%

Debt as a % of GDP: 54.7%

Inflation (2010): 5%

Life expectancy: 72 years

Infant Mortality Rate:  60 per 1000 births

Adult illiteracy Rate – 10%

HDI – 0.8

Gini index – 53.9 (2009)

Below poverty line – 35%

Adult HIV/AIDS rate – 0.7%

Brazil has the world’s largest rain forest. Only 15% of the land is arable – urbanisation has created massive slums.

Population growth is 2% per annum, which outstrips jobs growth, hence rising unemployment. It is less dependent on coffee, though it is still the world’s biggest coffee producer.

Its major economic problems over the last decade are:

  • inflation
  • High levels of debt
  • Excessively planned economy
  • Environmental degradation


The key facts about Nigeria are:

Population: 155m (2011)

GDP per head, at PPP: $2,500 (2010)

Average Annual Growth Rate (1990-2005) – 2.4%

Inflation (2007): 12%

Agriculture as a share of GD: 43%

Infant Mortality Rate – 92/1000 births (2011)

Life expectancy:  47 years

Adult HIV/AIDs rate: 3.4%

Adult illiteracy Rate: 59%

HDI – 0.49

Gini index – 43.7

Population living in poverty: 60%

It became independent from Great Britain in 1960.

There are over 250 different ethnic groupings, with Muslims the dominant group.

Its economy was transformed in the 1970s by the discovery of oil, which now accounts for 85% of its exports. This led to a period of structural change.

Its major economic problems have been:

  • Unstable oil prices
  • Neglect of agriculture
  • Corruption
  • High levels of debt
  • The rise of AIDS


The key facts about Cuba are:

Population: 11.07m (2011)

GDP per head at PPP: $9,900 (2010)

Inflation (2010): 2.9%

Agriculture as a share of GDP – 11%

Infant Mortality Rate – 10 per 1000 births

Illiteracy Rate: 6%

Population growth: 0

HDI – 0.76

Cuba is the largest Caribbean Island.

The modern ethnic mix derives from Spanish, who cleared the Island of its original inhabitants in the 16th and 17th Centuries, and African, who were brought as slaves from Africa by the Spanish.

Cuba was invaded in 1898 by the USA, but became independent in 1902. The USA still retains a military base on Cuba – the now infamous Guantanamo Bay camp. In 1959 Fidel Castro took power from the Batista dictatorship. Wholesale nationalisation followed, and Castro turned to the Soviet Union for trade and support.

Life expectancy increased, and literary and educational levels reached ‘Western’ standards.

The dominant crop was sugar, but after the collapse of the Soviet economy in the early 1990s, the Cuban government undertook a dramatic adjustment programme, including ‘opening up’ to FDI, especially associated with the development of tourism.

Main exports (2007): nickel (57% of exports), tobacco (6%), sugar (5.5%)

Main imports (2007): machinery (30%), fuel (24%), food (17%)


The key facts about India are:

Population – 1189m (2011)

GDP per head at PPP- $3,500 (2011)

Average Annual Growth Rate (1990-2010) – 7%

Agriculture as a share of GDP: 19% (2011)

Life expectancy: 65.77 years

Infant mortality rate- 56 per 1000 births

Adult HIV/AIDs rate: 1%

Adult illiteracy Rate: 34%

HDI – 0.54 (2011)

Gini index – 36.8

Population living in poverty – 25%

India has the world’s second largest population, after China, and the world’s largest democracy.

It became independent from Great Britain in 1947. 75% of the population works on the land.  During the 1980s the focus of development efforts had been export-oriented growth. During the 1990s India began to adjust to embrace market economics, including privatisation of key industries and liberalisation of markets.

Its major economic problems are:

  • Deforestation of farmland
  • Excessive population growth
  • Rising income inequalities
  • Insufficient savings levels
  • Inefficient use of labour
  • Ethnic tensions between fundamentalist Hindus and Muslims


The key facts about China are:

Population – 1336.7m (2011)

China has the world’s largest population, and is the third largest country by area, but only 10% of the land area is cultivated.

GDP per head at PPP:$7,600 (2011)

Average Annual Growth Rate (1990-2010):  11%

Agriculture as a share of GDP:  20%

Life expectancy: 74.7 years

Infant mortality rate: 24 per 1000 births

Illiteracy Rate – 27%

HDI – 0.68

Gini index – 41.5

Population living in poverty – 10%

The Peoples Republic was established in 1949.

Between 1966 and 1976 China experienced a ‘Cultural Revolution’ and became very inward looking.

In 1979 a ‘one child’ policy was introduced to help control population growth.

Following the death of Chairman Mao Zedong, China adopted a less ideological and more pragmatic approach it itself and the rest of the world.

In 1980 a new strategy was introduced, focussing on agricultural reform, liberalisation of markets, and the encouragement of FDI.

As a result China grew rapidly, becoming self sufficient in many products.

This led to a period of structural change.

In 2002 China joined the WTO, and quickly benefited from freer trade and globalisation. Inward investment has helped create the framework for greater economic growth. In 2005 it devalued the Yuan against the US$, which gave a further boost to its rapidly growing exports – in 2005 China enjoyed a $30b current account surplus. In 2009 exports fell by 16%, reflecting the downturn in global demand.

Its major economic problems have been:

  • Corruption and crime
  • Increasing inequality
  • Rising unemployment in rural areas – total unemployment was 20% in 2005 (9% in urban areas – 2011)


The key facts about Angola are:

Population: 17.4m (2007)

GDP per head at PPP: $4,842

Growth Rate (2005) – 11%

Agriculture as a share of GDP – 8%

Subsistence agriculture provides a living for over 70% of the population.

Life expectancy – 38 years

Infant mortality rate – 191/1000 births

Adult HIV/AIDs rate – 5%

Gini index – 44

Population living in poverty – 70%

Angola gained its independence from Portugal in 1975, and then endured a 27 year civil war ended, which ended in 2002. Oil production contributes 45% to GDP (2005) and around 90% of its exports.

Recent problems:

Trying to recover from the effects of civil war – most food needs to be imported

Soil erosion and desertification

Deforestation of tropical rain forest

Inadequate water supplies

Unemployment and underemployment, affecting over 50% of the labour force