The core principles we managed to extract are, Self-sufficiency, People care, Accountability, Reinvestment and Health consciousness.
AIMING FOR SELF SUFFICIENCY: - There is no doubt that this works in stabilising the economy, alleviating poverty or minimising the impact of hunger. The period just before 1980 proved that an earnest effort put in using available resources and reinvesting profits, to provide for the daily necessities, works. But it has to be coupled with other principles in order to create sustainability, for instance, in the late 70s, growth of the economy was affected by war and sanctions, because the principle of people care had not been given much consideration. The other contributing factor to the reduced rate of economic growth was beyond anyone’s control, a ‘global recession’.
LACK OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY:-
This is made clear by a continuously growing high budget deficit since after independence. It does not matter whether the intention is a good one or a bad one, as long as more is being taken than is coming in, the end is always a deficit. For example redistributive objectives were a great move, but they could have looked at a bite sizeable and realistic approach until they could afford to finance a bigger aim. Then a more self-centred act was the failure to adjust expenditure because of fear of political unpopularity. All the other things which occurred and further crippled the economy, are more of effects of the desperate environment caused by over spending, against minimum production, and a motive which drove away attention from productive activities. This led to actions that were not, well thought of or fully assessed and some ideas would be partially implemented and again lack of people care increased as the decades progressed and this brought back sanctions. Decline in input availability, collapse in savings and investment, high production costs…etc., are some of the products of this environment.
We need to put some conscious effort in aiming for a healthy lifestyle, in the food we eat, how we keep our environment…etc. We need to strive for more than just feeling our stomachs. The HIV/AIDS pandemic reduced the human capital and left a considerable number of dependence and this negatively impacted productivity. This is one example of how health has a great impact on sustainability.
We constantly witness similar decisions at a micro level, as at the national level. We barely make well informed assessments of critical things, from basic things to small business start-ups and income generating projects, and they almost always flop or never grow into long term businesses (in any field). Examples: A need to fit into a certain lifestyle at all cost, has seen a boom in the building of big houses and buying of cars, and no attention is paid to what the pocket can truly afford. We are also sometimes expected to care for extended family without consideration of whether it is sustainable or not. These are just but a few examples of how we are all at fault both at macro and micro levels in the ability to account and balance our expenditure vs. our income be it, it is for a good cause or a selfish gain.
As for self-sufficiency and health, currently, having a lot of money and “looking successful” takes precedence.
The greatest thing about the above is all these things are very achievable though at different degrees maybe depending on exposure, coupled with economic and social status.