Sunday, May 24, 2009

Papua New Guinea heading in the "failed states" direction because of its lack of emphasis on education and health

Hi everyone
Last night I was talking to a couple of geologists who have worked in many countries in the world and we were talking about conditions in PNG as compared to other parts of the world.   They mentioned Botswana in Africa (which I had always considered a failed state) as being one of the most successful countries in Africa, having  pulled themselves out of the mire
because of stringent rules that have turned the country around.
They mentioned some of the reasons for this.
Education and Health were two of the areas discussed and they stated that Botswana has very efficient health and education systems.   One of the reasons given for this is that politicians and leading public servants are not allowed to send their family members out of Botswana for Health and education purposes.   Accordingly they have ensured that the services within Botswana are among Africa's best.
Imagine if we could do that here in PNG.   If we improved our Education facilities and forced all politician's children and those of leading public servants to return to PNG we would have multiple benefits.   All other children in the community would also benefit because of the improved education facilities.
Think of the money being spent overseas that would no longer be sent out of the country but would remain here to benefit the country as a whole.
Similarly if a ban was placed on people being sent overseas for medical treatment.   Facilities within the country would have to be improved initially but having done that and the ban being placed on people being treated outside the country the benefits to PNG would be immense.
Like education there would be a vast saving on money going out of the country and all services within the country would improve as a consequence.
Some of the other factors prevailing in Botswana should also be looked at. The Public Service is most efficient and the penalties for corruption include execution and forfeiture of property to the State.    If this law applied within PNG there would be a significant drop in corruption both within politics and the public service.
Do any of you have knowledge of Botswana or other similar states and, in the latter case, how they have improved conditions for the benefit of their people as a whole.
The 6 million people of this Nation need better conditions than they are presently receiving and if we can use the state of other nations and the history of the way that they have improved their conditions since their Independence then we should.
Input please.   We all need to help our country as much as we can.   If I have been given false information and if Botswana is a failed state then I would appreciate being told.   But if we can use their conditions and/or other countries to improve our own country, then we should work together to do it.



1 comment:

  1. Em Nau !!!

    I absolutely could not agree more.

    Until this country refocuses itself on providing basic services to the MAJORITY of its people, rather than supporting a regime of abject corruption, greed and perpetuation of a 'cargo cult' political system, there will be no real development, and the region's richest nation (in resource terms) will remain its least developed.

    Political stability does not come from merely having the same despot sitting in the Haus Tamburan for 5-10 years running. It comes from meeting the basic necessities of life for its people. The old crocodile in Waigani needs someone to point out to him that 'poverty' is defined by far more than whether or not his people have kaukau and bananas for their bellies!