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28 September 2010

Mozambique: Balancing Development, Politics and Security

The link above leads to a media comment on Mozambique which uses as its hook the recent food price riots, but which also references the report I wrote with Markus Weimer "Mozambique: Balancing Development, Politics and Security".
Mozambique is a complex environment in a complex region.  But development programming in Mozambique seems not to recognsie this.  That development investments are political is clear as soon as you drive around Maputo.  Hoardings for the ruling party, FRELIMO, cleverly co-opt donor poverty reduction rehtoric deliberately giving the impression that basic services funded by donors have in fact been delivered by the Party.
And, whilst portraying themselves as pro-poor, many of the elite are in fact enriching themselves on the back of infastructure investments and - in some instances - criminal enterprises.  This raises two distinct but related issues: (i) the extent to which ordinary Mozambicans can access economic opportunity on an equitable basis; and (ii) the damage done to the security and justice systems of the country through corruption.  Re-balancing access to the economy and expanding its base; and refocussing the security and justice sectors on the delivery of services to poor people are two dominant themes in the report.

27 September 2010

Sudan - now; in the run up to the referendum; and beyond

Sudan seems to be popular all of a sudden.  It is almost as though everyone in Europe and north America is getting back to the office from their summer holidays and thinking "Goodness!  Isn't the referendum in Sudan due soon?  Better do something about it." 
That's all very well.  But the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) had a life of six and a half years and it is a bit rich waking up in the last six months!
It seems pretty clear that the South will vote for independence.  Not, perhaps, because the population has weighed up the options and chosen independence.  But because no-one seems to have made the case for unity.
The African Union may welcome a new member state next year.  But Southern Sudan also risks joining the ranks of poor, conflict prone landlocked states in the Horn of Africa. 
As though we needed another one.