So, Mr. Ricardo Inzunza regaled the class with tales of his adventures with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the opportunities he has had to help improve the state of some of the world’s developing economies. We are fortunate to have a professor who has traveled and worked in a number of the countries we’ve studied (and whose economies reflect some of the problems we’ve examined). We are further advantaged by having Mr. Inzunza as our guest; a real, live, World Bank consultant that could give us insight on several of Africa’s troubled economies from the perspective of an immigration specialist.
Equally important as the troubles of a few of those Sub-Saharan economies, Mr. Inzunza was able to share successes and continuing challenges of some of those countries. Ghana’s airport and Mali’s tourism were his examples of pure successes. It is a bit disheartening to know that countries are able to make forward steps in economic development only to see those changes slowly erode—Mozambique’s customs service or Lesotho’s hotels were Mr. Inzunza’s examples. However, it is very useful to hear of small successes and learn about the practical results of private sector development. He seems to agree that aid is useful but needs more coordination and is more effective when it is implemented with a more concentrated focus. It was also particularly encouraging to hear that all of the governments embrace private sector development in theory. Hopefully, practice will follow theory.
Even for a person that may have negative feelings about illegal immigration, Mr. Inzunza had stories to elicit sympathy. He has experiences that date back as far as the people the media called ‘boat people’ of the post-Vietnam era to Nadia Comăneci of the 1980s and later. It is rare that we get to enjoy someone with such broad experiences. Thanks to Dr. R for inviting him.