If there is one thing that everyone interested in international development issues knows, or thinks they know, it is that the countries of Asia, and especially East and Southeast Asia, have performed much better in the international development stakes since 1960 than the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The principal metric used to measure achievement is growth in per capita GDP, although other indicators have also become widely used, including those such as the Human Development Index, which combines per capita GDP with other measures of social achievement such as literacy rates, school enrolments and infant mortality rates. But whatever measure we use to construct league tables of development progress, at the end of the twentieth century almost all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa were clustered at the bottom while those of Asia were more spread out across the spectrum. Some nations, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Brunei had, by 2000, achieved the status of “high human development”. Most other countries in Asia were in the “medium human development” category, while most countries in sub-Saharan Africa were either in the bottom twenty of the “medium” category or in the “low human development” group. Of the 35 countries in the low development group in 2001, almost all were in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).