"Times change, we need to change as well"- Nelson Mandela
Development is crucial for any country, be it from an economic perspective, living standards, urbanisation, or just about anything. Since it is so important, governments tend to focus on them through schemes or even laws, however why is it that some countries are stuck in the same place, or simply unable to grow faster?
Different countries have their own strengths and weaknesses which they play upon. Japan, for example; don't have natural resources to work with and import almost all of their raw materials like oil, coal, copper and more. So how do they make it work? Japan doesn't invest in its natural resources (deep sea mining which is possible but they don't have the technology needed yet) like India and Russia, they invest in their human resources.
So how is Japan the world's second largest developed economy? Consider this, you are a farmer who is growing cotton. As of now everyone needs cotton due to the sudden rise in temperatures and the growing trends. However after a few months silk dresses and technologies such as air conditioners have taken over. You've been growing cotton for years and it is still being bought, however the prices have decreased due to demand and you aren't making as much. Now change the scenario, you decided to take a loan and start farming silk. It is a long process and you don't make much due to the higher qualities of silk out there. Thus both ways your fate is sealed.
These two models didn't work out for one common reason. Not moving with the changing times and trends. This is one of the many reasons due to which countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic are among the world's least developed economies, their sole dependance on the primary sector.
So how is Japan, a country which invests in human resources do so much better than DRC and CAR which are so abundantly blessed with natural resources? In the hypothetical scenario I presented above, it is evident that there is only so much you can do and make with natural resources. There isn't room for innovation and creativity. However by investing in human resources, it's a whole new story.
DRC exports petroleum, CAR exports coffee and cotton and Japan exports electronic equipments and cars. By investing in the same things DRC and CAR aren't making any progress as demand isn't going to increase on these resources supplied by many other countries for higher qualities and cheaper prices. However Japan can develop new cars and make new technologies with the changing times and trends through their human resources.
Though there are undeniably other factors for DRC's and CAR's economic state today, it wouldn't be wrong to count this as one of them.
With the current times, the world is changing. The focus is on technological advances such as rockets for space, electronic cars and robots. If we don't move on the world isn't going to wait either. As Gregory House said ,"Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were".