Saturday, 26 June 2010

Failed States

I've just been in Pakistan.  In fact, I'm posting this from Abu Dhabi airport while in transit on the way back home.

While I was there one of the local newspapers published some think tank's list of failed states (measured on a range of criteria such as security, access to education, wage levels, health, etc).

Somalia topped the list, followed by Zimbabwe ... with Pakistan at No 8.

Did it feel 'failed'?  Well, unfortunately it did, rather. I met some great people but most of them are bewildered and frustrated by an environment in which vast natural resources go untapped, small companies grow into comfortable slightly bigger companies and then stop, corruption is rife, many good jobs are 'political' appointments, the government often bails out failed companies (leaving no incentive to turn it round), only those whose parents can afford to pay for it get a good education, and so on.

The situation is not hopeless ... but its going to take a bold leader to take on this 'climate of cosiness' and create rewards for real success (not just commercial success).

That leader has not emerged yet!

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