Building the foundation for economic growth in Burkina Faso

Guest blog by Gillesamadou Ouedraogo

This is a blog series written by the alumni of the Leading Economic Growth Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. 65 Participants successfully completed this 10-week online course in May 2021. These are their learning journey stories.

“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.

A saying that paints well what I’ve gleaned from this insightful journey. This class has helped me come to the realization that growth stems from a meticulous, intentional, minute, and coordinated ensemble of efforts deployed to a very specifically determined end, it will never occur accidentally. If planned growth efforts often fail it’s because it is a process, iterative in nature, that is disruption averse and responds well to consistent application of policy translated into action. It requires a concerted coordination of efforts from government, civil society, private sector, investors, banks, industries, and a slew of different stakeholders, to grow the pie. But one must know the recipe. And depending on where you are, the ingredients, and ultimately, the flavor might be different. That is why it important to ensure a future for tomorrow. Alas, the future in my society is a very volatile and neglected concept. The future has never been a priority for us, as the now has always been enough of an enigma that we live for today and hope for tomorrow. But slowly, we are getting into a mindset where we understand that planning for tomorrow has its advantages. That is why it is crucial for us to invest in our children being left with more than what we found when we came into this world. Otherwise, we risk leaving nothing to our descendants in the next generations.

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