Daniel Runde , Forbes Magazine:
How U.S. Higher Education Partnerships Can Promote Development In Pakistan
Despite a very poor country brand with the international media, Pakistan has undergone a series of positive developments that merit recognition. These developments set the table for the sort of policies and investments needed to move the country on a path traveled by Indonesia or Brazil. The country had its first peaceful democratic transition in 2013, and for now, the military, the civilian government, and civil society are broadly aligned on security issues.
Pakistan’s growing middle class, which will expand from an estimated 40 million people today to 100 million people by 2050, represents a powerful engine for change, demanding both improved services and greater access to opportunities. One key area of expanding demand and potential growth lies in the energy sector.”
Pakistan’s abundant coal reserves and access to water flowing from the Himalayas mean it could be the “Saudi Arabia of Coal” and the “Saudi Arabia of Hydropower.” Pakistan also has significant wind, solar and geothermal potential.
To seize its full potential, Pakistan is going to need more capable people to lead industries that will carry its future growth; run it’s national, provincial and city governments; and grow its universities. The government has made some increases in spending on education, up from 1.9 percent of GNP in 2004 to 2.5 percent in 2014; Pakistan aspires to spend 4 percent of GNP on education so it is still not where it needs to be.
The Pakistani government knows you can’t have a twenty-first-century economy with eighteenth-century basic education levels for girls in its rural areas.