Determinants of National Prosperity Beyond the Scope of Economics (Evidence from Proverbs 14:34)
Despite tremendous economic potentials, Africa - the second largest continent in the world is ironically described as the continent of backwardness. Though rich in natural and economic resources, which are foundational to economic growth, development and welfare, its population of over one billion has more than 50 percent living in abject poverty. This paradox of poverty in the midst of wealth has often been attributed to poor and corrupt leadership which is unable to appropriate the vast wealth and resources of the African nations into enviable potentials. Poor and stagnating countries which exhibit economic backwardness are often associated with leaders and followers with poor moral values, ineffective and corrupt public policies that confer rents to a privileged few. This makes it evident that economic waste, fraud and misuse of national resources which makes these countries stagnant are issues of morality. In the same vein, businesses cannot operate in a moral vacuum, the absence of decency and trust breaks down commerce, an aspect of economic activity that drives trade and exchange. The objective of this paper was therefore to reconsider the determinants of national prosperity. With highlight on Nigeria, this paper explores the concept of “righteousness and sin” and their usage in Proverbs 14:34 as determinant of national prosperity. Using the historical-grammatical approach, the study examines the pericope to unravel principles foundational for national prosperity. We proposed that adhering to moral principles, as echoed in Proverbs 14:34, could form the bedrock of prosperity for nations particularly in Africa. We concluded that anchoring the economic principles that drive productivity with moral infrastructure might salvage the African nation from perpetual obscurity.
Keywords: Moral Infrastructure, National Prosperity, Reproach, Righteousness, Sin