Geography refers to the physical characteristics of the earth’s surface in a certain area. These features include the nature and distribution of life on Earth, including human life and the effects of human activities on the physical appearance of Earth. It is significant to note that the World is full of natural resources that enhance the sustainability of human life. Adherence to regular care, maintenance and development of these resources would assure human beings to have a healthy life, characterized by easy access to crucial services. Since creation, human beings have always and constantly endeavored to come up with a variety of new ideas and materialize them into tangible assets in a bid to prove that they are the most intelligent beings on Earth.
Over the years, human beings have consistently shown significant changes in their lifestyles, coupled with relevant development in all aspects of life. This has always been spearheaded by the human capacity to exercise a relatively higher degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in making the world a better place to live in, as far as designing solutions to different problems in the daily life, they are concerned about. The development objective is always widely and not narrowly distributed among many people, living in this world. Despite all these human efforts put forth in making a better world for the tomorrow’s generation in decades to come, there are numerous challenges and setbacks that always seem to slow these industrious efforts and hence affecting the general development of a country.
Geography indeed poses enormous challenges and problems that hamper the development of a nation. Acemoglu (2003, p28) affirms that such problems may include small populations, high economic poverty, prolonged droughts which results in hunger, high mortality rates among youths and the working population, unhealthy water supplies, poor education systems, corrupt government, war, poor sanitation, and land-locked countries experiencing trouble integrating with global markets among other development constraints. However, countries can adopt certain voice measures and policies in a bid to avoid severe impacts of these problems that may affect their lives. These policies should be incorporated into the government system in order to be reinforced effectively.
Among other possible solutions that countries may adopt to help solve these supposed problems include developing an industrial policy to promote manufacturing, ensuring environmental protection, increasing the productivity of small firms and investment in relevant education and health. Austin (2008, p 34) confirms that these policies may in one way or another help to change the direction of development in the country if they are adopted and implemented effectively. Excellent governance policies could also play a vital role in transforming people’s lives in the society and hence improving on the general development of the country.
The federal government is expected to be at the forefront in spearheading the overall growth of the country. Availing funds and loans at lower interests to private investors as well as lowering tax levied on private businesses would encourage these individuals to invest in different spheres of activity of such a country. Ross (1999, p. 299) confirms that the international community tries to help those developing countries to implement policies and measures that help to solve to a greater extent their development problems and hence, keeping in pace with the global development goals.
This essay explicates the appropriate investments in infrastructural development, health care facilities and embracing of technological changes that aids a country’s quest to suppress the problems of development, associated with geographical disadvantages.
Firstly, investing in infrastructure can be preferred as one of the best alternatives that can be adopted in a bid to spur growth and development in a given country. Chang (2003) opines that investment in infrastructure allows for growth that contributes enormously to the society’s well-being by helping to spur the economic growth of a country while improving the sustainability of the environment hence, realizing development in different sectors. Infrastructural investment may involve the government in a series of investment from the government budget as well as subsidizing investment for private businesses and coordinating investment activities since the government is considered to be the prime mover in the development by reinforcing vital strategies in realizing this development. In the field of infrastructure investment, the government can consider to avail funds for construction and maintenance of schools, modern roads, well-equipped hospitals, sustainable energy sources and availing communication facilities to cater for the growing needs and wants of the population.
Collier (2007, p. 56) emphasizes that the construction of roads, highways and feeder roads would render those places considered inaccessible to be easily accessible because of the simplified linkage of such areas with other areas, which ensures even development. In cases, where the transport sector is improved, other sectors such as labor, raw materials and finished goods are easily set mobile encouraging development. As a result, private businesses have the advantage of venturing into new business opportunities and ensure proper utilization of resources both regionally and internationally. The construction of air-strips for easy accessibility of certain places can also help to exploit resources easily, since quick transportation of materials is assured.
Land-locked countries face numerous challenges in making contacts with the global markets, which hinders their development. To counter this problem, such countries can resort to the construction of modern international airports that encourages international investments and businesses that, in turn, bridge the gap of international integration with the global market and thus, translating to development. The construction of railways and highways that link such countries with other distant neighbors would help to solve the problem of transportation of both raw materials and finished goods. Collier & Hoeffler (2013) assert that adopting such measures could significantly contribute to the development of other sectors by improving the provision of job opportunities to the citizens of those countries, which, in turn, improves the living standards of such individuals.
The topography of rugged, remote and environmentally sensitive areas in some countries hampers the construction of roads, bridges as well as railway lines. Developing other means of transport such as air could prove to be extremely expensive. David (2007, p. 71) opines that in such situations the development would be achieved by ensuring that roads, rails and other associated infrastructure fit seamless with the natural environment while continuously meeting rigorous standards for safety and performance. It is vital to note that more business opportunities are created, as movements are made easy and affordable to all individuals. This will also encourage easy access to educational facilities as well as health care facilities among other services that reflect a positive image in embracing the development.
Proper industrial development is meaningless without the industrialization. Industrialization through diversification and decentralization of industries is an imperative strategy that, if considered, could significantly help to solve the problem of hunger, unsafe water supply as well as reducing the levels of economic poverty and improve the living standards of people in a given region. According to Gallup, et al. (1999), the decentralization of industries encourages proper utilization of resources by encouraging the wide spreading of industries that processes and manufactures products into finished goods, which are consumed either locally or internationally. This means that there will be plenty of food available for consumption and hence solving the problem of hunger (Woods 2004). Again, rural electrification is a vital measure that aids in the growth of industries within all corners of the country. With the construction of dams to act as water catchment areas, a country is able to realize significant improvement on ensuring the success of its development strategies.
Secondly, in a county’s quest to solve problems, associated with geography, it is becomes crucial and relevant to encourage appropriate investment in health care facilities and hence, better health care services. In most of developing countries, individuals are locked out of better health care facilities because of poor and substandard measures, taken to counter the demand for health care. Isham, et al. (2005) confirms that the health care sector entails different industries such as pharmaceuticals, devices, health insurance and generally hospitals and clinics. The dynamics, as experienced in each of the aforementioned industries, are extremely distinct from each other and therefore, need critical inquiry to the emerging issues as far as the development in health care services is concerned. These may include a variety of changes such as positive trends which are closely related with demographics and negative trends, associated with reimbursement (Rodrik & Subramanian 2003). Health care investment is reliant on a multifaceted approach that focuses on understanding of underlying processes and procedures in order to make effective decisions that would spur the development.
The government should always endeavor to ensure that each citizen, irrespective of the social status, is entitled to better health care services. This could possibly be made effective through the construction of modern and better health care facilities. These facilities being the cornerstone of health care, when evenly distributed within a country’s territory such that they are easily accessible and affordable, it would translate to a healthy environment, where people engage in their daily activities and thus increasing development (Khan 2007). Well established and developed health care facilities will also reduce case of premature deaths due to improved health care services.
Considering the possibility of embracing advanced technology in hospitals and clinics is also a vital step to realizing the development. The availability of new procedures, concepts and devices, relevant in carrying out of medical research and clinical practice, could positively influence development. Therefore, embracing the latest and correct technology in the provision of health care services will improve patients’ care in hospitals as well as improve staff productivity in terms of quality service delivery. This would also help in avoiding of human errors that poses fatal consequences in the administration of health care services to patients with serious illnesses. In addition, choosing a proper approach to reforming health care facilities would help to solve many of new challenges, which, in turn, will aid to cater for the growing expectations of the population.
Rodrik (2007) agrees that the provision of better health care facilities may also involve investing so much on both pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies which engage in vigorous research and development with the aim of discovering new compounds and thus, able to manufacture drugs for treatment of people. Nevertheless, the government can also encourage its citizens and companies to purchase medical cover insurance whereby, the purchasing company or individual may either assume the risk of paying all the bills, or the health insurer assumes the risk. This would help to cover heavy medical bills when an individual ails without necessarily selling one’s properties in a bid to raise money to pay for his/her medical services. Investing in this field also demands constant monitoring in a bid to ensure effectiveness and relevance to the current trends in the health care field.
The world is considered to be a dynamic society that demands constant monitoring of the environment in order to identify the forces behind such challenges as well as designing solutions to such problems. Khan (2010) emphasizes that technological advancement is a crucial step to realizing the general development of a country in all life aspects. Technological innovation plays a key role in solving geographical related problems and hence promoting sustainable development. It helps to improve accessibility to remote parts of the country such as by use of communication and transport lines (Snowdon & Vane 2006). For instance, in the field of medical technology, the rapid development of microcomputer technology and its implied benefits would increase the research in instructional procedures and processes and the invention of new devices and equipment to aid those individuals, who experience health problems. More so, it assists individuals with physical incapacitations, as well as sensory impairments. Accordingly, many individuals have seen the significance of technological innovations and investments since some of them are dependent upon medical technology to stay alive or otherwise they are enable to function normally outside of hospitals and other medical settings. In addition to promoting people’s lives, technologies such as these can enable individuals to take active roles in school, community, and work activities despite their health problems. Therefore, this makes technological investments to be ideal in solving of medical problems that hinder the development.
Additionally, information technologies are significant and worth investing due to their importance in solving human problems brought about by the geographical disadvantages. Landes (1999) agrees that information technologies provide easy access to knowledge and resources on a very wide range of themes. The availability of the internet and its World Wide Web component is one of the most prominent examples of information technology that provides an easy and instant access to abundant knowledge, rich in information and resources despite the geographical location of an individual.
Notably, technological investment helps in the innovation of unique devices and components that can be used to predict and assist to ascertain the extent of distraction of certain natural disasters before they happen and warn people to avoid such areas. Besides, areas that are considered inaccessible can be made accessible through technological innovations since the availability of devices, like mobile phones can easily link individuals irrespective of the distance between them. North (2005, p. 4) opines that this enhances the flow of information without necessarily having to make movements to far places in the name of passing information. Again, technological investment can encourage improved security such as the implementation of closed circuit television in very strategic areas without necessarily having to assign somebody to be there in person. Such innovations translate to development of a country.
Nonetheless, technological investment can be effected in the attempt to improve technology productivity tools (Sachs 2003). Technology productivity tools include computer software, computer hardware and other related systems that enhance us to do our work more effective and efficient. For instance, some computer software such as database programs can be useful in the storage and retrieval of information; word processing programs can be used to easily edit text material. FAX machines can facilitate the transmission of written documents over long distances. Additionally, expert system computer programs can aid in making decisions that are very helpful, such as weather forecasting; and video conferencing facilities can reduce the need for travel (Przeworski & Limongi 1993). This measure helps to eliminate the geographical problems which may otherwise be costly and tiresome as far as disaster management is concerned.
In conclusion, to avoid adverse effects of geographical disadvantages on human life, it can be said that proper investment decisions should be adopted with the aim of solving these problems, so as to foster development. To overcome these shortcomings and stumbling blocks, it is imperative to consider the role of effective investment decisions with regard to the infrastructure development, health care facilities and technological advancement. These aspects are preferred in the economy since they are key indicators to realizing the success of the economy and hence, the development of the country. The environment continues to pose numerous challenges that require proper investment decisions, which will enhance the development of a nation and its people.