In this seven-minute video, Economist Jeffrey Sachs explains why economic development in Africa remains elusive. He summarizes the geographical, technological, social, and political conditions that held Africa back but propelled parts of Asia forward (he compares to India). Development, he notes, is not simply a matter of wishful thinking and hard work on the part of Africans (as many like to claim), nor is it a matter of just doing what worked elsewhere (as others like to say), but instead requires institutional commitments, economic resources, and global political will.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.