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  • [SW Column] ( SHASNA MediaWatch) African Leaders and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD))  :Posted on 29 June 2002

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of SW.


 SHASNA MediaWatch

Nairobi, Kenya

[June 28, 2002]

African Leaders and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
What Good is a "Peer Review" scheme between
African Despots and Dictators?


All recent UN and developed world campaigns to promote African development have slowly contributed to millions of Africans joining in the ranks of the impoverished. Not only have poverty and deceases increased in Africa, but the meager African infrastructure left behind by the colonial powers have deteriorated. Because of this lack of reliable infrastructure, the movement of goods and services has taken a turn for the worse. Goods and services are getting more expensive and hard to come by. In management of economic and political affairs, because of corruption, nepotism and despotism, the economic decline and the African brain drain continues. With this economic decline apparent and nakedly visible - to all willing and capable to see - in most of the African countries, then Just like WorldCom, these African despots continue to cook the books and claim an average economic growth of "...only about 3%," when in reality it is in the negative territory. Yet after all these failures; after all the billions in Swiss and French banks, Africans are again being spoon-fed with the same failed prescription of more aid for the already well-off African despots!

We at SHASNA are familiar with the Horn affairs and East African Leaders in general. We are also familiar with the Nairobi based UN Somalia economic development and political officers. They are all self-serving and have rather been not very impressive. Now, with more goodies and stuffed turkeys soon to be on the table, some East African leaders have met in Nairobi to discuss their plans for the new economic development dollars. They have and will talk about a "new shift in partnership" and about promoting good governance and democracy; about improving infrastructure; and about developing fair and transparent laws. Yet these leaders including the now famous Mr. Ghelle's Djibouti - the most corrupt and the least developed nation at the Horn - have been in power for generations, and have done nothing to promote good governance and build or repair the existing infrastructure. Yet, they have the courage to talk about more aid, and about putting new "Peer Review" mechanism in place to measure the progress of each other. This is like telling Mr. Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya to measure the successes of projects implemented by his counterpart in Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omer Ghelle! What purpose will a "Peer Review" scheme between despots serve?

As U.S. President George W. Bush indicated, the developed world should reward those regions and nations that implement democratic and market reforms. In other words, they should only help those that help themselves. A case in point is Somalia's Recovery Zones. These zones have succeeded against the odds. All businesses are privately owned; their meager infrastructure is being improved and new ones developed. The political process is transparent and is being developed from the grassroots level. Political participation is transparent and new and fairer laws are being implemented; peace is prevalent throughout, and major Recovery Zone cities are safer than Nairobi, Harare or Lusaka.  These zones are truly helping themselves and that is an example NEPAD can use and the developed world should help. But what do the Recovery Zones get in return for their achievements? They get nothing, nada, zip, zilch! Actually they even get worse than that. Indeed their Arab neighbors have banned their sole exports of healthy livestock. The Recovery Zones are not even allowed to trade freely with their neighbors. We hope NEPAD changes that.

As to the UN and their Somalia economic development plan, they have already failed Somalia by taking sides. They have sided with the corrupt Djibouti despot; they have sided with yesterday's Somalia butchers and today's warlords. The UN Somalia offices have failed us and can't play any important role whatsoever, let alone resolve our differences "and keep aid flowing." An aid which in reality is no more than the overhead costs of their UN operations in Nairobi and are therefore solely self-sustaining.

NEPAD is a novel idea, and its future resources should not be wasted on rich African despots. NEPAD resources should be solely used to help those who help themselves. Of course, we can't think of a better and needy example than Somalia's Recovery Zones who already meet the NEPAD conditions. Please help those who help themselves. And please help Somalia trade freely and achieve Freedom and Federalism.

SHASNA* Editorial Board
cc: SHASNA Members
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*SHASNA is a worldwide advocacy group. It stands for the unity and peaceful coexistence of Somali people. It supports the creation of a federal system of governance to safeguard the emerging free markets of the Recovery Zones and all other safe zones. It supports the promotion of good governance and democracy. SHASNA encourages corporate and individual investments in the Recovery Zones in areas of health, education, information technology and media. It has presences in both Puntland (Boosaaso, Garoowe, Buurtinle, Bacaadweyn and Galkayo) and Somaliland (Hargeysa, Berbera and Burco).

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Relevant Readings & Prior Reports:
Click here: SHASNA MediaWatch on the New Djibouti and the Arab League Destabilization Plan
Click here: Latest PUNTLAND PRESS RELEASE about the New Djibouti Spearheaded Arab Destabilization Plan
Click here: Somalia 101 - Understanding the basic facts...
Click here: Democracy, The West, UN, Djibouti and Somalia
Click here: SHASNA Reports on the Situation in Somalia...
Click here: The INVADERS & the Beginnings of Land Struggle in Somalia
Click here: Arta Budget Scam; Arab Donations; and a Note to Donors

Special Reports on Djibouti:
SHASNA MediaWatch: Special Report on Djibouti 
SHASNA MediaWatch: An Interview with Djibouti President


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