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jerryking : misgovernance   11

Trump, Niger and Connecting the Dots
OCT. 31, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

It is easy to ignore the recent story of four U.S. servicemen killed in Niger, the giant state in central Africa, because the place is so remote and the circumstances still so murky. That would be a mistake. Niger highlights a much larger problem — just how foolish, how flat-out dumb President Trump is behaving.

Trump is a person who doesn’t connect dots — even when they’re big, fat polka dots that are hard to miss. ..... To understand why groups affiliated with ISIS and Al Qaeda are popping up in that region of central Africa, you have to connect a lot of dots, and recognize the linkages between a number of different problems....As defense systems expert Lin Wells once put it: To ameliorate problems in places like Niger, you must never think in the box. You must never think out of the box. “You must always think without a box.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linton_Wells_II]

Why? Because what is destabilizing all of these countries in the Sahel region of Africa and spawning terrorist groups is a cocktail of climate change, desertification — as the Sahara steadily creeps south — population explosions and misgovernance.....Desertification is the trigger, and climate change and population explosions are the amplifiers. The result is a widening collapse of small-scale farming, the foundation of societies all over Africa. And that collapse is leading to a rising tide of “economic migrants, interethnic conflicts and extremism,”......Trump’s response to this reality? It’s to focus solely on using the U.S. military to kill terrorists in Africa while offering a budget that eliminates U.S. support for global contraception programs; appointing climate-change deniers to all key environmental posts; pushing coal over clean energy; and curbing U.S. government climate research.

In short, he’s sending soldiers to fight a problem that is clearly being exacerbated by climate and population trends, while eliminating all our tools to mitigate these trends.
That’s just stupid, reckless and irresponsible — and it evinces no ability to connect the dots or think without a box......Nothing Trump ever says has a second paragraph. His whole shtick is just a first paragraph: Build a wall, tear up the Iran deal, tear up TPP, defeat ISIS, send troops to Niger and Afghanistan to kill terrorists, kill climate policy, kill family planning, cut taxes, raise military spending. Every box just marks an applause line he needed somewhere to get elected. Nothing connects — and we will pay for that.
Donald_Trump  Niger  ISIS  climate_change  Tom_Friedman  Africa  connecting_the_dots  the_Sahara  terrorism  the_Sahel  misgovernance  desertification  sub-Saharan_Africa  weak_states  failed_states  farming  population_growth  U.S._military  mismanagement  destabilization 
november 2017 by jerryking
On a milestone of misrule, Mugabe fumes as Zimbabwe falls apart
Apr. 21 2014 | G&M | GEOFFREY YORK.

Mr. Mugabe’s rule is unchallenged these days, after a landslide victory in a 2013 election that was widely seen as tainted and rigged. But while he dominates the country, the Zimbabwean economy is continuing to slide towards disaster – even though Western sanctions on the Mugabe regime have been largely eliminated.

Consumer spending fell by 30 per cent in February (the most recent data available); government revenue dropped by 10 per cent in the same month; civil-service wages have been delayed because the government cannot pay them; and dozens of factories have shut down in recent months, eliminating more than 9,000 jobs at a time when unemployment is already estimated at about 60 per cent...Just 14 years ago, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest economies in Africa. Today it has fallen into the bottom half of the continent’s economies. Mr. Mugabe’s misrule has cost Zimbabwe about $96-billion (U.S.) in those 14 years, according to an analyst at the U.S.-based Centre for Global Development. The country’s GDP would be more than twice as big today if it had followed the growth pattern of neighboring Zambia in that period, he noted.

“Mugabe has the ignominious distinction of being the only African head-of-state to preside over an average decline in both economic output and life expectancy since 1980,”
Zimbabwe  Robert_Mugabe  Geoffrey_York  indigenization  tyrants  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  poor_governance  decline  GDP  life_expectancy 
april 2014 by jerryking
There needs to be a sober examination of our state of affairs Georgetown, Guyana
December 6, 2013 | Stabroek News | Frank Fyffe.

Said Fenty: “I now lament the stark fact that politics, governance, discrimination, corruption, management of resources and lack of employment among other factors, have caused young Guyanese to yearn to leave this homeland still rich with resources. Do you realise what national hopelessness means amongst the larger portion of our population?” But who can honestly look you in the eye and deny that? And I’m not denying the hard, perilous and precarious times many are faced with abroad, but the very fact that they crave madly the opportunity to leave paints a picture and tells a different story ‒ too many things are amiss and adrift.
Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  failed_states  misgovernance  hopelessness  brain_drain  emigration  politics  governance  discrimination  corruption  mismanagement  unemployment  precarious 
december 2013 by jerryking
Good leadership is Africa’s missing ingredient
Mar. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Robert Rotberg.

Because so many of sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 countries are preinstitutional, and not yet fully nations, leaders matter immensely, more than they do in the developed world. Leaders call the shots, as they have in most sub-Saharan African countries since independence in the 1960s. They set the ethical tone. If leaders are greedy, as many are, their citizens become more cynical and the quality of governmental discourse suffers enormously.

In Africa and elsewhere, governments are expected by their subjects to provide security and safety, rule of law, open political participation, sustainable economic prospects and a large measure of human development (educational and health opportunities and services).

In states where political institutions are weak, legislatures are subordinate to executives, the media are barely free and the judiciary is subordinate rather than independent, the manner in which leaders behave as presidents and prime ministers is much more decisive than it might be in a fully-formed nation where political institutions work and constrain overweening political executives.

A majority of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are still controlled by men who are motivated not by what they can do for their people but by what their people can do for them. Such leaders exist to prey on their own citizens, to extract from the body politic corrupt rents and other privileges that benefit the ruler and ruling class, their families, and their cliques or lineages.
leadership  leaders  leadership_development  Africa  CIDA  capacity-building  weak_states  judiciary  institutions  greed  rent-seeking  institutional_integrity  failed_states  ruling_classes  sub-Saharan_Africa  Non-Integrating_Gap  autocrats  misgovernance  predatory_practices  developing_countries  independent_judiciary 
march 2013 by jerryking
Caribbean in greatest crisis since independence : Kaieteur News
November 18, 2012 | By KNews | Sir Ronald Sanders.

This is a worrying condition for the CARICOM region. For, if the public has lost faith in the willingness of governments and institutions to act swiftly and together to extract them from crisis, the consequences will be even more serious. They will include increased emigration of the skilled persons in our societies, shrinkage of investment by local business people, and a general malaise in the productive sector. In short, it will lead to a worsening of the crisis.
The sad aspect of all this is that every leader in the member-states of CARICOM, in its institutions and in the private sector know very well that deeper integration of Caribbean economies and closer harmonisation of their external relations would be an immediate stimulus to pulling CARICOM countries out of what Dr Anthony rightly describes as “this vicious vortex of persistent low growth, crippling debt, huge fiscal deficits and high unemployment”.
Caribbean  crisis  Caricom  failed_states  misgovernance  low_growth  brain_drain  unemployment  debt  sovereignty  downward_spirals 
november 2012 by jerryking
Liberate Africa From Its Political Elites - WSJ.com
July 5, 2005 | WSJ | By MOELETSI MBEKI.

African political elites have systematically exploited their positions in order to line their own pockets. They have given favors and won influence through the funding of huge loss-making industrialization projects. They have exploited the natural resources of their countries and then transferred profits, taxes, and aid funds into their own foreign bank accounts at the same time that they ran up enormous debts to finance their governments' operations.

What were the results of those predatory policies? According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have become Africa's fairy godparents, Africans are poor and getting poorer.
Africa  political_elites  crony_capitalism  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  corruption  poor_governance  IMF  World_Bank  poverty 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
Even the Prostitutes Have Degrees - WSJ.com
January 31, 2003 | WSJ | Daniel Henninger.

Accountability and responsibility may well be the two words Mr. Bush hopes most to deposit in our political vocabulary....Africa is the one big place in the world no one in politics wants to think about. Africa is "hopeless." Our leaders in Washington, however, can't escape Africa's realities entirely because they spend each day in the back seat of taxis driven by black men who have fled from Africa's non-functioning economies. It is always disconcerting when one talks with these African taxi drivers to find they are often better educated than American blacks in similar jobs. They are in America not because Africa is stupid but because Africa's politicians are often corrupt and have stupid ideas that ruin the people beneath them.
Daniel_Henninger  HIV  Africa  Kenya  Non-Integrating_Gap  hopelessness  failed_states  politicians  misgovernance  misrule  corruption  poor_governance 
june 2012 by jerryking
Op-Ed Guest Columnist - Africa Reboots - NYTimes.com
April 17, 2010 | New York Times | By BONO...."We managed to
hear a surprising thing. Harmony ... flowing from two sides that in the
past have often been discordant: Africa’s emerging entrepreneurial class
and its civil-society activists.

Civil society as a rule sees business as, well, a little uncivil.
Business tends to see activists as, well, a little too active. But in
Africa, at least from what I’ve just seen, this is starting to change.
The energy of these opposing forces coming together is filling offices,
boardrooms and bars. The reason is that both these groups — the private
sector and civil society — see poor governance as the biggest obstacle
they face. So they are working together on redefining the rules of the
African game.
Africa  entrepreneurship  infrastructure  Mo_Ibrahim  misgovernance  Bono  civil_society  mismanagement  misrule  corruption  poor_governance 
april 2010 by jerryking

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