In late August 2014, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, made a controversial speech at the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Mugabe was accepting his new position of chairman of the SADC, an inter-governmental organization whose headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana. The goal of the SADC is to foster socio-economic intergration and cooperation between the 15 member countries such as Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In his speech, Mugabe urged the members of the SADC to seek out ways to move toward more widespread industrialization, boosting their economies and creating a more advanced infrastructure, including creating jobs on a large scale, by leveraging Southern Africa's natural resources. He touted a method of doing so known as "beneficiation," which is, in very basic terms, a way of adding value to the resources for export. For instance, Botswana could enhance its profits in the diamond industry by doing the cutting and polishing of diamonds prior to exportation, thereby creating new jobs based on an expanded exploitation of a natural resource.
However, Ricardo Hausmann, a well-respected Professor of the Practice Economic Development at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, disagrees strongly with Mugabe's assertion, noting that "some ideas are worse than wrong." According to Hausmann, Mugabe's plan keeps the SADC countries locked in a limiting cycle of relying on extant economic development possibilities rather than seeking "opportunities that lie elsewhere."