Is Urban Life Overrated?

Drawing from lessons learned by a Seattle-based economic development organization working in Africa, Chuck Wolfe notes that "[s]ometimes, finding a way to keep a meaningful rural existence trumps city life."

Wolfe interviews the founders of Lumana, a Seattle-based organization started by young, multi-national entrepreneurs. In Ghana, Lumana facilitates community economic development that increases opportunities for rural Ghanaians and makes it easier for them to thrive in the villages they choose to call home. With a rural village focus, the city takes a background role.

According to Lumana's Director of Programs, Cole Hoover:

"Although there is an amazing potential for growth and innovation in cities and urban areas in Africa, I think it is important to recognize that it's not for everyone. Many people do not have the resources or connections to migrate to cities and some, quite frankly, even when possible, do not want to do so...[m]any young people are not rushing to the cities because they want to, but because it is their only option."

Ironically, Hoover notes, "many are looking for ways to advance their careers, become educated and then return to the rural communities they love best."

Wolfe concludes: "Sitting with Lumana representatives back home in Seattle, I could only wonder whether recent emphasis on cities risks losing sight of universal principles, easily forgotten in an all too competitive world".

Thanks to Chuck Wolfe

Full Story: should the 'creative class' be more rural in the developing world?


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