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Everything posted by GarYaQaaN

  1. Oops! I meant oodweyne...suldaanka iga raali ahow...Peace
  2. Originally posted by Mr. Oodweyne: [QB] My Dear Mr. Suldaaanka, "It had always strike me as a perverse notion for some to accuse the International Crisis Group(ICG), as a self-serving interesting party to Somalis Institutional dilemma; given that it is a premier think-tank institution, that has the unsurpassed reputations in dealing with the international crises across the world; not just Somalia/Somaliland or even in the much of Sab-Sahara Africa; but in every part of the world, their analytical arguments towards the various troubled spots around the world seemed to be recieved with worthy considerations from the international policy-makers." Self-serving? Suldaanka do you really believe that ICG is "working to prevent conflict worldwide", as they claim? They also claim to be non-governmental organization even though more than 40% of their funding comes from WESTERN GOVERMENTS, Japan, and Taiwan (which is secessionist entity that has little diplomatic recognition outside tiny nations in the Pacific and Africa). Also its board is filled with people who formerly served in these same governments, so how could they claim to be objective in their work? Do you actually believe that ICG would recommend policies that in any way negatively affect its supporters? Or is it just “highly respected think-thank†that simply acts as a smoke screen and mouth peace for Western interests in conflict zones? In summary ICG definitely has ‘conflict of interest†problems both in its funding and board members. Also it lacks independent scholarship, and the absence of an objective standard theoretical framework. Check out its website: A different viewpoint:
  3. Interesting article. The mutations hypothesis has always been there, but now seems to be established with this new data. Have you ever seen an albino Asian? They have blond hair and blue eyes!
  4. If you Qualify please apply. Thanks SOMALIA: RESIDENT SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER Summary NDI seeks a Senior Program Manager to oversee the implementation of a program designed to support the executive branch of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Resident Senior Program Manager will report to the Director of NDI's Southern and East Africa region in Washington, D.C. Background Activities under this program will focus on crafting a customized training curriculum to meet the TFG's specific needs and implementing capacity-building activities targeted to support core executive branch institutions, including the Office of the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, and the Office of the President. Primary Responsibilities # Design and implement a targeted training and capacity-building program tailored to the government's set of needs, priorities, and challenges. Training areas will include but are not limited to good governance, executive-legislative relations, conflict management, security reform, and women's political participation. # Provide technical advisory services to the TFG regarding aspects of the transition toward a democratic system of governance, with special emphasis on the executive branch. # Support leaders of the TFG in its transition, particularly the Council of Ministers Secretariat, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of the President, and key staff therein. # Ensure programmatic goals are achieved and operational and reporting requirements are adhered to. # Draft and submit field reports that monitor and measure program results and political developments. # Build and maintain relationships with donors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the TFG of Somalia. Qualifications # Master's Degree, preferably in International Affairs, International Development or Political Science. # A minimum of nine (9) years relevant work experience in democratic development and governance. # Intimate understanding of the history and recent developments in Somalia, particularly the recent peace process, regional political dimensions, applications of Islamic law, traditional leadership structures and conflict dynamics in the country. # Extensive knowledge of the functions of the executive branch of government. # Experience developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with donor agencies, international organizations and NGOs. # Exceptional interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, policy makers, foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations and donors. # Exceptional analytical skills for interpreting complex program and political issues. # Strong written and oral communications skills. Computer literacy is required. # Fluent written and oral English skills. # High degree of organization and initiative. # Experience in financial management and reporting. # Knowledge of program evaluation techniques. # Experience living and working in Eastern Africa. # Some proficiency in Arabic or Somali is desirable, but not required. Non-US citizens applying for internships and entry-level positions based in the U.S. must possess work authorization which does not require employer sponsorship. Comments This positions will be supported by NDI staff in Nairobi, Kenya as well as by NDI staff in Washington, D.C. Salary commensurate with experience. A benefits package is provided, including an in-country housing allowance. Application Instructions Interested applicants can apply now using our on-line resume tool. Please cite the exact position title in the cover letter. Application deadline May 30, 2005. No phone calls please Posted May 6, 2005 NDI is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, political affiliation, religion, gender, disability, and/or sexual orientation.
  5. Thanks for the article... But I really have a deep dislike for this guy (Freeman). Do you read his Opeds in the Times? His anti-Arab/Islamic rhetoric is overwhelming. He is Zionist, and might be a Neocon! Peace
  6. Oh click 'Home Page' to access the whole site... Khaalid lol, So u familiar with BNU? Nah actually I am at PKU. When were u in Beijing? Yes China is one big basketball crazy world. From time-to-time I give dem a taste of my wicked cross-over… Ni de Zhongwen zenme yang? Jamaal, Wellerstein’s explanation of this phenomenon is correct, however his works often attribute this to the unequal international division of labor, and the unequal distribution of the political/economic influence in the world. But I think the unequal development between Urban/Rural areas are part of the development process and to be expected. However, this is not easy to manage since it poses tremendous pressure on governments to limit the side effects.
  7. Salaan, The article below discusses Zenawi's visit to Beijing last fall. Personally I think it was a failure for Zenawi since many believed that the intended purpose of the trip was to get military aid. The Chinese are not willing to get involved in the Ethio-Eritrea arms race. Also the Chinese are already in trouble waters with the US over their close cooperation with the Sudanese. The only reason Sudan hasn’t been sanction so far is because of China’s ‘vague’ threats to veto such measures in the Security Council. While at it Check out the link and explore the Fighting Capabilities of the PLA ------------ President vows to further ties with Ethiopia    PLA Daily 2004-11-04    President Hu Jintao shakes hands with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Nov. 3, 2004. ( Xinhua Photo)   BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- China's President Hu Jintao said here Wednesday the country is ready to expand cooperation with Ethiopia and other African countries and make such cooperation more fruitful so as to bring benefits to the people of both sides.   Hu made the remarks during his meeting with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the Great Hall of the People.   Hu said China places importance on developing its relationship with Ethiopia and is willing to strengthen exchanges, enhance friendship and expand cooperation with Ethiopia and other African countries through the effective mechanism of the China-Africa Forum.   Noting that the two countries have maintained sound relations since they established diplomatic relations, Hu said China and Ethiopia have achieved positive results in exchanges and cooperation in such areas as politics, trade, economy, culture, education and public health, as well as in international and regional affairs.   In recent years, Hu said the two countries have stepped up their efforts to explore new ways to deepen bilateral relations and expand mutually beneficial cooperation, adding that bilateral relations have entered a new era.   Hu highly praised the government of Ethiopia for its adherence to the one-China policy and its firm support to China on Taiwan and human rights issues.   Meles described the Ethiopia-China relations as close, friendly and substantial, adding that marked progress has been made in various areas.   He thanked China for the high quality assistance it offered to Ethiopia, saying that Ethiopia highly values China's experience in social and economic development and poverty elimination.   Meles expressed the hope that the two countries will further increase exchanges and expand cooperation.   He said China has earnestly carried out its commitment in Africa-China cooperation under the framework of the China-Africa Forum. He said Ethiopia and other African countries spoke highly of China's efforts in this regard.   Ethiopia is ready to join efforts with China to push forward the friendly, cooperative relations between Africa and China, he said.   Meles arrived here Tuesday for a six-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He held talks with Premier Wen Tuesday afternoon. During his visit, the two countries have signed agreements on economic, technological and educational cooperation.
  8. Jamal it’s nice to hear from you sxb. Yes I figured if my yankee Asss could navigate through the streets of Kings Cross at night, I could conquer Beijing! But to tell you the truth China can be described as two countries. One is very modern, industrial, and could rival any developed country. The other is where 75% of China's people live—in the countryside where conditions are not far better than those of the poorest African countries. What you read in the Western press in indeed true. China has over the past two decades embarked on a daring experiment with market liberalizations that propelled it to become one of the top ten trading nations in the world, and achieved the fastest economic growth of any national economy—GDP averaging nearly 10 percent per year and foreign trade at 15.5 percent per year. China’s economic transformation hence, has been successful compared to other developing nations. Accordingly, hundreds of millions of China’s citizens have risen out of poverty. This is confirmed by China’s phenomenal growth, and its rapid integration into the world economy, reflected not only in vastly increased per capita incomes and trade flows but also in record levels of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and unparallel access to international capital markets. Nonetheless, China still faces huge challenges that threatens its domestic stability and if not addressed soon would lead to disastrous consequences. For example, the prevailing world consensus over the last 25 years—with few exceptions, has foresaw a Chinese economy that will be able to sustain high rates of economic growth for the indefinite future. This outlook of the Chinese economy is inconsistent with major economic and societal weaknesses that still remain in present-day China—mainly incomplete liberalization of the economy, chronic unemployment, growing individual, urban/rural, and regional income gaps. Rampant official corruption, environmental deterioration, reckless borrowing and distorted banking and financial systems are also other sources for potential domestic instability, especially if there is an economic downturn. Therefore, I don’t think China is in a position to challenge the U.S. anytime soon. It would take China perhaps 50 or more years to become the next superpower, or at least reach parity with the U.S. I haven’t subscribed to Huntington’s thesis because A) there is nothing ‘Confucius’ about China. Confucianism has died long time ago in China, thanks to the Qing Dynasty, and later the Communists. Confucianism as a philosophy no longer holds any relevance to the average Chinese. And B) China is weak on most of the components that determines national power. Its political system is stable now, but could face problems in the future. The size of its economy is still 1/3 that of Japan (its historic enemy by the way). China also still depends on Russia, and increasingly Israel for most of it sophisticated military hardware. China’s Foreign Policy for at least the next 20 years is basically straightforward: 1) Internationally isolate Taiwan to keep it from declaring Independence, and 2) Maintain year-to-year economic growth (GDP) to at least 7%. If the ruling Communist elite does not meet these two objects they would simply be overthrown. There is no doubt the Chinese will increasingly gain more influence in global geo-politics. However, they would work with the EU, Russian, and maybe India to create a Multi-polar world. NOT a Bi-polar world as you have put it Jamal.
  9. As the article correctly states, Ethio-Chinese relations have been warming up since the late 90's. There are thousands of Ethiopian students in china enrolled in universities and even some in the military schools. The Ethio Embassy in Beijing is huge. Most Chinese analysts think Ethio holds the keys to better economic/political ties with Africa because of the AU, and its 'glorious' history. Zenawi was in Beijing last fall and met President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao. They sign several accords that dealt mostly with promises of future Chinese investments in Ethiopia.
  10. Salaan, I haven't posted here in a long greetings to everybody (specially the London folks). Having travel in western china and some central Asian countries since last summer, I have discovered nomadism isn't something unique to us Somalis. geel, ari, iyo idohu are very important to the economy and the lively hoods of the ppl that inhabit in these regions. Even their social structure is similar to our own. Made up of sub-clans, clans, tribes, and then nations. Check this article frm the monitor, and let me know what u nomads think. from the March 31, 2005 edition - Lenin and sheep on main drag set tone of Kyrgyz revolution By David Mould ATHENS, OHIO - The noisy demonstrators who took to the streets of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, last week not only chased out President Askar Akayev. They probably also scared off the sheep. I thought about the sheep as I watched TV pictures of the "tulip revolution" - protesters breaking into the presidential White House and hurling stones at the parliament building. The sheep used to graze on a patch of scrubby grass a couple of blocks away, next to the National Library and across from the Wedding Palace (that communist relic of a time when civil ceremonies replaced church weddings). The dusty sheep were a reminder that Kyrgyz city-dwellers had not forgotten their rural roots. It's difficult to imagine that the Bishkek of demonstrations, looted shops, and burned cars is the same city where I lived in the mid-1990s, and have visited several times since. Although it's a national capital with a population of around 800,000, Bishkek feels more like a sleepy Midwestern American town. It's a city of tree-lined boulevards and dirt side roads where each little house has a vegetable garden and an apple tree. Rivers flow down from the snow-covered Tien Shan mountains, watering the trees and flowers of the shady parks. There are street markets with meat carcasses hanging from hooks, old women selling buckets of fresh apples and raspberries and medicinal herbs, touts hawking cheap Chinese watches and bootleg CDs, and locals with blankets spread on the ground selling used clothes, household appliances, and greasy auto parts. It's a city with the best and the worst of communist architecture - imposing public buildings with overstated classical facades and drab apartment blocks. There's a gentle air ofpost-Soviet decay in the fading facades, overgrown gardens, and gaping holes in the sidewalk. Children run and play on the steps outside the White House and rollerblade around the statue of Lenin in the main square. The Lenin statue, like the sheep, has something to say about a society where many people are only one or two generations removed from a nomadic lifestyle, and where political loyalties are defined by family ties rather than by ideology. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the first public symbols to fall were the statues of Lenin, pulled down by cheering crowds in city squares from Vilnius to Vladivostok. But not in Bishkek, where no one cared enough about what Lenin stood for to tear down the statue, let alone put up something more politically correct in its place. Although the central square with the Lenin statue was the symbolic center of Soviet Kyrgyzstan, the heart of the country is outside Bishkek. But not too far. Within half an hour's drive is an almost pristine landscape of towering peaks, clear lakes and streams, hot springs, and forests of walnut and juniper. Apartment-dwellers escape to the mountains on weekends, and some return for the summer, tending sheep, yaks, and horses, and living in a yurt, the traditional tent made from animal hides. Rural traditions are never far away, even in the middle of the city. When an elderly neighbor in my apartment block died, his relatives set up yurts in the courtyard for two days of formal mourning. One morning, I noticed a horse tethered to a railing. I came home later to find it butchered and roasting over an open fire, and family members toasting their relative's memory with kumiss (fermented mare's milk), the tipple of choice of herders. The nomadic lifestyle helps explain the fractiousnature of Kyrgyzstan's politics. Unlike the well organized opposition in Ukraine or Georgia, Kyrgyzstan's "people power" movement was a motley collection of regional, local, and ethnic groups, united not by ideology but by social and economic grievances with the Akayev regime that had held power since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the spinoff of far-flung republics into individual nations. The main political force in Kyrgyz society is not the party but the extended family, or clan. Ask a Kyrgyz "Where are you from?" and you'll learn as much about genealogy as about place. The kinship ties that held together this society of herders have been transplanted to urban settings, and to the political system. For ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan, who live in urban areas, politics is mostly about issues and strategy, and the Russian-language press reflects this in its analytical coverage. But for the Kyrgyz, it's all about family. "When a political appointment is made," a Kyrgyz colleague once told me, "the Kyrgyz press never asks about policy. They just want to know who he is, where he's from, who he's related to, and whether he'll find jobs in government for his family." Mr. Akayev did just that, appointing members of his immediate and extended family to key government posts. That may sound like nepotism, but it makes more sense in a culture where for thousands of years people have relied on their extended family for food, shelter, and protection. In Kyrgyzstan, a successful career in politics or business carries a moral duty to help family members. Western observers no longer call Kyrgyzstan an "island of democracy," but it is still a relatively liberal society among authoritarian Central Asian states. It is strategic host to both Russian and US military bases, and has the outward trappings of a modern political system - an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary; political parties; nongovernmental organizations and civil-society groups. But traditional and rural values remain strong. This is a society where counting sheep is a serious business - wealth and social status depend on it - and where there's still a pasture in the city center. • David Mould teaches mass communications and international studies at Ohio University. He was a Fulbright senior scholar in journalism and mass communication in Kyrgyzstan, and has worked as a trainer and consultant to TV and radio stations there.
  11. HS: biology & calculus College: International Relations & Chinese Ps. Kafi, I am taking the general GRE's this summer...sorry I don't know much about the subject exam...which subjects u considering?
  12. HS: biology & calculus College: International Relations & Chinese Ps. Kafi, I am taking the general GRE's this summer...sorry I don't know much about the subject exam...which subjects u considering?
  13. ^^^^^My point precisely. Naturally I am not a pessimist, but when it comes to Somalia I am. I used to have high hopes for my country and countrymen/women, but as I grow older and notice the world around me, I am forced to lower my expectations. Most people blame Somalia's ills for Warlords and elders, but I think its deeper than that. The whole social fabric that holds Somalis together has broken down, and it will not be easy to reconstruct. Instead of working together we are too busy scheming against each other. As the previous poster said, Somalis do not think of themselves as a nation but rather as individual clans and tribes. Worse yet, the majority of us have a zero sum mentality, in which one Somalis gain is another’s lost. Just last week I met this Somali brother at an elite American law school. After few minutes of conversation, he started to grilled me on where in Somalia my family came from and what clan I belonged to. I was stunned. If the supposedly ‘educated’ people are still behaving like this, what else is there to do but remain pessimistic about Somalis and the future of Somalia?
  14. GarYaQaaN


    It had suddenly dawn on me—that Somalia’s tragic situation could continue on for another 14, 20, 30 years or more. Ridiculous? What do you know and see that the rest of us don’t? Certainly there are other countries in the world that went through 30 or more years of civil wars (e.g. Angola, Columbia, Sudan). Plus I do not see anything to be optimistic about these days in Somalia. I expect Somalia to be the way it is for at least another 10 years or more.
  15. My god...I heard the drunken guy story used in a lecture tonight by Ben Cohen (one of the founders of Ben & Jerrys ice cream), the only diff. is that he was describing the Bush Administration’s appalling domestic/foreign policies. But I agree with cannot get peace by appeasing thuggish criminals who caused the problems in the first place. Rewarding warlords with a seat at the table would set a dangerous precedent in Somali politics. Any disgruntle politician would then only need to pick up arms and become a warlord. But this a double edge sward—ignoring them would continue the bloodshed and the suffering, and excepting them would reward them for the mess they have created, ensuring more trouble down the road.
  16. This has always been a mystry to me too. Does anyone know the kind of arguments the somali government used to become a member or was it envited? Where are the historians...please clear up things for us! Peace.
  17. You gotta be kidding me...this Dictator is a good muslim? do you follow Malay politics?
  18. I think its time we stop blaming our problems on others and take responsibility. Yes Ethiopia wants to contain any future Somali government by controlling the Warlords, but that is understandable since it is acting in its own interest. The problem is not Ethiopia but its Somali lackeys!
  19. Nomads, do you think the U.S. should/could play a role in the Somali peace process? --------------------- AP news report: Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki asked US President George Bush on Monday for more American help in stabilising Somalia, an East African neighbour that terrorism experts say is a concern because of the lawlessness there. "I emphasised that in order to maintain the democratic gains and to sustain the war against terrorism, it is essential that Somalia stabilises," Mr Kibaki said during a joint news conference with Mr Bush. "In this respect, it is important for the US to increase its involvement in this search for peace in Somalia. It is pertinent that all parties involved in the peace process remain engaged. I requested the US government to assist in this regard." Mr Bush made no public commitments on expanding the American role in Somalia, where 18 US soldiers died in a fierce street battle, a clash that spurred the exit of American peacekeepers during the administration of president Bill Clinton. But Mr Bush said he hoped "Somalia will continue to work with Kenya to bring unity and reconciliation to a badly divided land." "The establishment of an effective representative government in Somalia will help stabilise the region and dispel the hopelessness that feeds terror," Mr Bush said. The two leaders faced reporters as part of a state visit by Mr Kibaki. It was just the fourth state visit Mr Bush has hosted since becoming president, underscoring the importance that he attaches to America's ties with Kenya. Terrorism, and Kenya's efforts to combat it, took center stage during the visit. Last November, a car bomb detonated in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa killed three Israeli tourists and at least 10 Kenyans. The attack has been blamed on al-Qaeda. Almost simultaneously, surface-to-air missiles narrowly missed an Israeli charter jet taking off from Mombasa airport. "In Nairobi and Mombasa and beyond, terrorists have made Kenya a battleground," Mr Bush said. But, he added, "The president affirmed the fact that the Kenyan people refuse to live in fear." He cited steps Kenya has taken to fight terror, including arresting suspects. "My government will continue to give them the help they need to do so," Mr Bush said. Mr Bush and Mr Kibaki also discussed peace efforts in Sudan, where Kenya is trying to broker a permanent truce. Formal negotiations resume this week. Earlier, Mr Bush praised Kenya's "historic election" last year as a major step toward democracy while pledging to help the African nation fight terrorism. "There can be no compromise with this evil, and the government of Kenya is a vital ally in the ongoing war against terror," Mr Bush said. The two leaders were also discussing Kenya's democratic breakthrough over the past year and its problems with terrorism and AIDS. It is estimated that 700 Kenyans each day die of the disease. "My government is determined to uphold democratic values, human rights, good governance and the rule of law, and to empower people," Mr Kibaki said.
  20. Indeed...why not exploit financial Aid instead...?
  21. People PLEASE stick to the subject! This thread is about Federalism in Somalia...have your juvenile squabblings somewhere else :rolleyes: Thanks Admin I think Federalism should be instituted right after the talks, but then again I do not want some States holding the Federal government hostage, therefore I also want the Fed to have some teeth and not be another Arta. I am also very suspicious of States having the right to have political/economic relationships with foreign powers. Any political/economic contacts with foreign countries should go through the Federal government (that’s what its for), or should be in harmony with the Federal constitution. I would like to see these constitutions…so where could I find a copy? Thanks in advance Peace
  22. This is an article about the Chad-Cameroon pipline and its potential to change the lives of Chad's residents. Enjoy and Let me know what you think of it. Striking It Poor: Oil as a Curse By DAPHNE EVIATAR he pipes are already laid in southern Chad, where they snake south underground through tropical forests from the oil fields of Doba to a marine terminal off the coast of neighboring Cameroon. At the port of Kribi, the 660-mile pipeline will empty up to 250,000 barrels a day of coveted crude into tankers waiting to transport the unctuous black gold to Western markets. The largest energy infrastructure development in Africa, the Chad-Cameroon pipeline is to begin operation later this year. Built by a consortium of oil companies led by Exxon Mobil, it is expected to provide average annual revenue of $50 million. The World Bank Group has invested more than $180 million in the project, insisting that the pipeline's profits could significantly improve the lives of Chad's residents, most now living in squalor, by paying for services like health care, education, paved roads, electricity and sewer systems. Many critics find that assessment surprising, given that scholarly studies for more than a decade have consistently warned of what is known as the resource curse: that developing countries whose economies depend on exporting oil, gas or extracted minerals are likely to be poor, authoritarian, corrupt and rocked by civil war. And now a draft of a report commissioned by the bank itself has essentially concluded that the bank's previous efforts to promote such projects in poor countries has done more harm than good. Both former bank officials and outside academics have complained that bank policy often contradicts the expert research. "There's a big disconnect between World Bank operations and World Bank research, said William Easterly, an economics professor at New York University who spent more than a decade as a senior adviser at the bank. "There's almost an organizational feud between the research wing and the rest of the bank. The rest of the bank thinks research people are just talking about irrelevant things and don't know the reality of what's going on on the ground." In this latest case, using the bank's own internal documents, the report's author, Melissa A. Thomas, found that the bank had for years focused on promoting foreign investment in these industries without considering how the countries' governments were managed and what they were likely to do with the money. As a result, she said, in most of the nations studied — Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania — the bank's work had not achieved its development goals. Even when the bank made loans conditional on a country's promise to make public how it had spent its revenues, the projects did not produce economic benefits. Ms. Thomas, a political economist at the University of Maryland, concluded that the bank should stop financing these so-called extractive industries in countries "whose governments lack the capacity to benefit from or manage such investment." Rashad Kaldany, director of the oil, gas, mining and chemicals department of the World Bank Group, said it was "awkward for me to comment," because the report was still a draft, but added: "We certainly feel that the issues of good governance and corruption are of paramount importance for development. This is what we're focusing on more and more in all our activities." But scholars are skeptical. "You get the sense that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at the World Bank," said Scott Pegg, a political science professor at Indiana University. He relied on World Bank research for a recent report — commissioned by Oxfam America, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense, Catholic Relief Services and the Bank Information Center — that sharply criticizes the impact of extractive industries in Africa. Academics hired by the bank have criticized its work before. Some of the most important research on the resource curse has been done by bank economists. In a pioneering 1988 book issued as a World Bank Research publication, "Oil Windfalls: Blessing or Curse?," Alan H. Gelb, chief economist for the bank's African regional office, found that contrary to assumptions popular at the time, oil wealth had made conditions in most countries worse. And Paul Collier, an Oxford University economics professor who now heads the bank's development research group, has demonstrated repeatedly that oil, gas and mining wealth has fueled brutal civil wars. Advocacy groups have used these findings to urge the bank to stop supporting oil and gas projects. Bank officials say they have taken steps to respond to the failings pointed out by critics. Last year the bank began a formal review of its support for these industries. "We said from the outset that if there's a broad consensus that these projects don't contribute to development, and if the World Bank Group's role is not clear or questionable, we would pull out," Mr. Kaldany said. But he added, "I feel confident we will be able to convince all stakeholders that there is a positive role for the bank to play." At a conference on this issue held last month in Washington, Clive Armstrong, principal economist for the bank's oil, gas, mining and chemicals division, said the bank, for the first time, had made its loans to Chad on the condition that the country's notoriously corrupt government use the money earned by the pipeline for its people. "In Chad, we've gone as far as we can to ensure that revenues are used well," Mr. Armstrong said in a telephone interview. To receive bank loans, Chad had to adopt anticorruption laws and promise to spend most of its oil money on projects like health care and rural development. It pledged to publish reports on how the funds were spent and to create an independent oversight committee to ensure that it followed the rules. But critics in the academic world and at nonprofit groups point to large loopholes in the plan. Chad can unilaterally change the rules about allocation of oil revenues after five years, even though profits are not expected to start flowing until four years from now. The revenue law applies to the country's three existing oil fields, but not to future ones, and the criteria used to allocate the profits among the companies, the government and the different regions of the country are unclear. Already, a bank inspection has disclosed a long list of areas in which the project has been violating bank rules and has warned that while pipeline construction is years ahead of schedule, the government lags far behind in carrying out the promised social and environmental programs. As Ms. Thomas wrote in her report about the Chad project, "It seems likely that the bank has underestimated the governance risks." What is more, in a violation of its promise to spend the oil money on social services, Chad's president, Idriss Déby, spent the first $4.5 million he received in 2000 as a "signing bonus" from the oil companies to buy weapons to use against rebels. Mr. Kaldany called Mr. Déby's action "one big hiccup early on," but added: "After this was disclosed, we took a very active role. The president agreed to repay these funds and to use them as originally intended." Bank officials add that without their involvement, the pipeline's impact would surely be worse. For the countries concerned, these industries are "seen as a major source of development," Mr. Armstrong said. "You can't realistically say, `Don't develop them.' The issue is: how can you make sure they're developed in a way that leads to positive benefits? That's what we're trying to do." But some scholars disagree. Terry Lynn Karl, a political science professor at Stanford University and author of "The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States" (University of California, 1997), argues that Chad would be better off without the pipeline. "Revenues flowing through incapable or corrupt structures will give you perverse outcomes," she said at the Washington conference. Not only is the money going to be put to bad use, she predicted, but encouraging dependence on natural resources also tends to result in corruption and a single-industry economy: "When the crisis comes, it's much worse than it would have been otherwise." Mr. Easterly, who used to work at the bank, said that given their poor record, the bank should not finance these industries. "The bank can try to influence management of those natural resource revenues, but it doesn't have that much leverage," he said. "And its record on enforcing codes of conduct on the part of borrowing governments is dismal." To some extent, the World Bank's limited ability to change governments is built into the institution. The bank was created in 1944, along with the International Monetary Fund, to help finance the postwar reconstruction of Europe. The bank was conceived as a nonpolitical instrument that would lend money to governments and finance private investments based on technical economic considerations, Bruce Rich, a lawyer with Environmental Defense, explains in his book, "Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment and the Crisis of Development" (Beacon Press, 1994). Although over time the bank's focus has shifted to development, its original charter states that "political or other noneconomic influences" are strictly off limits. For decades, a government's human rights abuses or rampant corruption were not supposed to affect lending decisions. As the bank's president, James D. Wolfensohn, has famously noted, corruption was long the forbidden "C-word" inside the bank. Although that climate had begun to change by the mid-1990's, it is still difficult for the institution — whose board consists of countries that finance and borrow from it — to criticize its members openly. So, to some critics, the safeguards for the Chad project signal a step in the right direction. "There are some innovations in that program that I'd like to see used in other countries," said Michael Ross, professor of political science at the University of California at Los Angeles, who has written several articles showing the connection between a dependence on natural resources and poverty. Mr. Armstrong acknowledges, however, that the bank is not likely to replicate such stringent conditions elsewhere. A bank report released in May recommends a purely voluntary strategy to reduce corruption and improve management of resource-dependent countries. A government's participation in the plan would not be a condition for receiving bank loans. Critics are skeptical that such limited measures will work, and they complain that the bank is not really open to questioning its continuing support for oil, gas and mining projects. As evidence, they point to a conference held in Bali, Indonesia, in April as part of the bank-sponsored "extractive industries review." There, members of 15 environmental and other advocacy organizations walked out in protest, claiming the process was a sham: the group of reviewers set up by the bank had already circulated its draft conclusions supporting the bank's oil, gas and mining investments, even though more conferences organized to gather information from concerned groups and individuals in Asia, the Middle East and Africa had not yet taken place.
  23. I agree with you on everything u said... but I don't know about "Japanese efficient government" lol. Have you read about Jap politics lately? Its not as rosy is you think!
  24. A parliament would be created by the Nairobi talks based on clans, Seems to me this meeting is Institutionalizing, and therefore Legitimizing the Somali problem (Clanism) rather than solving it for good...which serves the interests of the warlords.
  25. Shujui-1 thanks for the article man. But do you guys distinguish between churches that do strictly humanitarian work and don't try to convert you and those whose main mission is to seek converts? I know also many Islamic NGO's in non-Muslim countries (Latin America for example) that just provide humanitarian care. Is the "Church World Service" the same or does it have a hidden agenda?