Somaliland: Gains Praise for its Successes
Below is an article written by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times published by Twin Cities:
Here's the ethos of
That enterprising can-do spirit has turned most of
But wait! North of Somalia's carcass is the breakaway would-be nation of
Relying on free markets and a general exhaustion with violence, the people of
Walk down the streets of Hargeisa, the capital of
Continue down the street, and you see that Hargeisa has police cars, DHL service, cable television, orthodontists, a multitude of Internet cafes and traffic jams (including the horses and camels). There are public schools and hospitals — even a public library.
This is a conservative Muslim country, yet it is generally pro-American and tolerant. In the last election, more women voted than men. Women's groups are fighting the traditional practice of genital mutilation, administered to 97 percent of girls here.
The lesson of
As President Dahir Rayale Kahin told me: "There is a proverb in our country: 'You can wash your body only with your own hand.' Outsiders can help, but the indigenous people must find a solution themselves."
One lesson is that Western countries should not only increase their financial aid but also their pressure for better governance. It's great to forgive debts, but not to support graft or anti-market policies. The U.S. Millennium Challenge aid program, which promotes good governance, is a useful step in that direction. So is Tony Blair's program to battle corruption in
One useful kind of Western aid is support for civil-society groups that battle corruption. Here in
More peer pressure from within
Another essential kind of foreign aid is supporting market-friendly economic policies, especially those that would nurture manufacturing industries. In
And in the end, the tax would amount to 104.3 percent of the profit, according to the World Bank.
All that explains why you don't have any shirts in your closet labeled "Made in
So let's be more generous with foreign aid, giving more than 22 cents per $100 of national income to development assistance (the average for rich countries is 47 cents).
But those of us who call for aid and debt forgiveness also need to push just as hard for recipient nations to improve their governance, for ultimately the best way for poor countries to prosper is to adopt pro-growth policies.
And in the meantime, it's time to recognize