Beyond skyscrapers, what is development?

Prince Youlou
2 min readDec 18, 2023

Numerous criticisms abound regarding the state of development in countries, with often simplistic comparisons between the infrastructures of global metropolises and those of nations such as Congo. However, before condemning a country, it is essential to question the basis on which we evaluate development.

What is the foundation of your development report?

In the logical management of projects, the establishment of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is one of the fundamental elements aimed at increasing the chances of success. KPIs, also known as ICPs (Indicateurs Clés de Performance) in French, are quantitative measures used to monitor the progress of a team, organization, or project.

It is striking to note that some people approach the subject of development without truly reflecting on its meaning, definition, and what constitutes a developed country from their perspective. It is worth emphasizing that the concept of development is relative to each country, its ecosystem, and its population, among other factors. Recognizing this relativity is crucial to fully grasp the complexity of this idea.

Who defines development?

Do we really need skyscrapers, interchanges, or other elements often perceived as symbols of development by many? Should we engage in a frantic race towards progress, unquestionably adopting these elements? Should we throw ourselves headlong into a race towards what is perceived as progress?

Instead of mechanically reproducing the development models of others, it is fitting to define one’s own priorities based on specific wealth and needs. The relevance of a construction, project, or program may vary depending on the context and challenges to be addressed. That being said, it is imperative to review development criteria so that they faithfully reflect local realities and aspirations.

Stop repeating and start reasoning.

The next time you use the term “development,” ensure that its meaning is clearly defined, with particular emphasis on this definition emerging from your own reflection rather than a simple repetition drawn from a book written by a so-called “intellectual.”

Thank you so much for making it to the end. I’ll make sure I come up with useful, thought-provoking articles every time. You can find more of my publications on my blog at

Written by Prince YOULOU



Prince Youlou

Prince Youlou is the CEO and co-founder of Niochi, the start-up whose mission is to make tourists feel at home across Africa. He does everything with intensity.