Sunday, August 07, 2005

 

grand plan to eliminate world poverty

I was thinking, the only thing that keeps world moving is the profit motive. Every time people complain about world poverty and the massive amount of aid needed to deal with it, the american government would always claim in response that despotic governments are responsible for poverty. Even with the massive amount of aid being poured into Africa, corrupt officials manage to siphon off the aid to off shore bank accounts or to reward sympathisers of their governments.
Here is an idea, many countries in Africa need basic infrastructure. Rather than the aid money going through the local governments, the money only flows through the foreign government and the foreign company that builds the infrastructure. No one then complains about corruption. The only corruption to deal with is within the foreign governments. One would have to be careful that the contracts to build the infrastructure are competitive. In addition, one has to make sure that one large private company does not have the monolopy on the government contracts like the case of Haliburton in Iraq. The contents of the contracts would have to be open to the public, the progress on the construction would have to be open to the public especially to all these private interests group that are keen on monitoring progress in Africa. One bypasses the World bank. Of course you do not want a situation in which the construction is done but there are no skilled native workers to maintain or no funds with the state governments to pay skilled native workers to maintain the infrastructure.
This is complicated, already one sees the need to develop a plan that both builds the economy and build the framework needed to sustain the economy. One can start small, with the construction of water treatment plans, roads and the like.
I guess the idea is that the American government gives their aid money to its companies, allow competitive bidding on the contracts and so the profit motive.

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