Is Haiti Poor Because of its Design?

I was just reading a article on Forbes Magazine which raises the question that bad governance and Haiti's dependence on foreign aid may not be the only reason why Haiti is poor... Design may also be the reason...

Haiti Open For Business

Here are some highlights from the article "Designing An Entrepreneurial Haiti" by Elmira Bayrasli:

Is Haiti poor because of its design?

Port au Prince is nearly impossible to navigate... Public parks and spaces have been turned into tent cities. Makeshift and precarious dust trails on cliffs outnumber the number of paved roads....

There are few street signs. Public transport is a byzantine maze that somehow shuttles people across town and back and forth into the deforested suburbs...

It takes hours to travel just a few kilometers.

Especially in Port au Prince, Haitians have few places to experiment, congregate and network...

Incubators are non-existent as is a central marketplace where entrepreneurs can convene to brainstorm and share best practices....

Compounded by bad roads as well as weak security, the population is disconnected.

Port au Prince's successful business men and women are isolated in one section of the city (Petionville) from promising entrepreneurs in other parts.

That's a problem in a globalized economy where mobility and space are vital to entrepreneurship and innovation.

To read the article in full click on "Designing An Entrepreneurial Haiti"


Elmira, the writer, did not even address how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to network across the 10 departments of Haiti, across the major cities, she only address the difficulties in Port-au-Prince alone, and she only focuses on mobility and insecurity...

Does she have a point?

Is Haiti poor because of its design?

What else do you think needs, in forms of infrastructure, in order to encourage entrepreneurship and inovation?

Reply with your comments

Write a comment  (13)

You might also like

Return to Articles List

All Comments (13)

Janet says...

oula je vois que le debarquement est difficile.

Bon p'tit punch et caguore pour la suite qui s'annonce difficile.

P'tits bateaux, nous pensons e vous et nous vous envoyons un peu d'air frais (grrrrrrrr, gla, gla, ..) de notre debut d'hiver.

Reply  ... More

Ian Joseph says...

Listen we are continuing to make the same mistake Port-Au-Prince is not Haiti, she also missed the point that the small groups who control the economy are also the cause of many of the ills that disable

Reply  ... More

Rocksana says...

I think that the author wrote about the Island of Haiti.

You should carefully read the article to understand what the author writes.

thesis writing

Reply  ... More

Cesaire Estime says...

the point use in this article to prove the reason we are poor is putting up side down because these are the characteristics of a poor country but not a poverty reason.

As soon as we get out of that mess call poverty the design will change.

it require money for a good design and vise versa.

Reply  ... More

Ronald says...

Like you said the observation was only built on Por-au- Prince.And the way I see it in the 50's and 60's Haiti did not look like that.

Maybe because I did not travel yet I did not see it .One thing is sure though: decentralisation.This is the key

Reply  ... More

Sergo Jean says...

I am strongly agree with you, but 206 years ago after our freedom, our leaders do not have plan or vision.Lack of vision, plan put Haiti this way.But before Haiti was a place calling paradise;Because of the land, grass,trees, all plants, fish in the water, animals and more.All are still there but we need hard workers with vision, plan and dream.

I do not believe a president have power to do that, but I do believe a president is one of them that elected by people to carry that dream on the right way, or destroy

Reply  ... More

Cj says...

Ms Elmira definitely has a point.

Her critics are facts.

I'm in my mid-thirties, I was born in Haiti and resided in the US a year after President Jean-Claude Duvalier departed to this day. I still refer to Haiti as HOME not only my country but HOME. I visited at least twice a year for the past 25 years.

Reply  ... More

Qween says...

I agree.

Haiti's roads have poor design.

People build houses anywhere that has space, without taking safety into consideration.

It takes forever to travel from city to city, which is just a few km. the street market (marche salomon) are dirty, unorganized.

Haiti need real engineers to build the roads and bridges for easier and safer travel.

Also an attractive country will attract tourist, which is a money

Reply  ... More

Jj says...

25 years ago I Comment with my family and group of friends about the poverty of Haiti it is because #1 is design unappealling is poor layout contruction not attractive lack space between houses lack building requirement no zoning regulation lack organization rules cleaness the overview is not pretty at naking eyes side walk is need appearance...

appearance is less desirable roads not flow easily no accessibility one point to other Once I had a big argument regarding about the design the layout to put my point and set off the argument I compare Haiti to Bridgeport Connecticut POOR DESIGN LAYOUT and CORRUPTION I close my argument "C'EST DEJA VU HAITI AND BRIDGEPORT"my country and my city c'est triste/sad today I am happy some one else see what saw and thought years ago now I hope Our new President will have a vision to rebuilt with new design and layout I hope Mr president Martelly get right off corruption, drugs traffic and kidnappingand reestablish a strong military Haitian we need our own military to protect us haitians no more

Reply  ... More

Sergo Jean says...

I do not support the topic, I do believe Haiti is a rich country .But people we put to serve the nation do not have vision, plan or dreams.

si Haiti pat yon peyi kite rich neg sa yo ki anba pa tap la. Resource ayisyen yo poco janm utilize, tout nan ter a, paske nou gen yon pep ki vle travay men li pa gen lide ki gen plan e vizion pou develope Haiti.Jou ke Haiti jwen lide sa map di nou lap peyi noi ki pli rich sou ter sa ke tout lot peyi, paske tout sa nou posede yo naturel e se yon pep ki manje fruit nan chac sezon l.nou pa tue mounn avec produi chimic pou fe lajan vit, nou pa prese paske ter Haiti se pou nou e tout mounn mwen we ki vle rive vite yo ap tounen pou aprann la verite yon jou.Se sans la vi genyen men le yon mounn prese si lap condui yon machine gen yon policie cap tann li pi devan pou fel pran men l avec yon tike.nou doue contante nou de sa nou genyen pou fel produi.

Reply  ... More

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 comments | Read More Comments »
« First  ‹ Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Next ›  Last » Showing 1 - 10 of 78 Comments

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

E-mail (required, will not be published)

Subject: Is Haiti Poor Because of its Design? edit

» »