« Serenity », scale model of screen. JPRA
STRENGTHENING MALAGASY INSTITUTIONS FOR GREATER EFFECTIVENESS
The deterioration of Madagascar, a country with immense potential is something of a mystery to its friends.
For instance, we are witnessing the unexpected resurgence of endemic ills whose origins and effects must urgently be eradicated.
Such measures require that well-established principles be rigorously implemented supported by unwavering political determination.
« Serenity II », scale model of screen. JPRA
WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MALAGASY INSTITUTIONS ?
Public and private institutions in Madagascar are in a weakened condition for a multitude of reasons, not all of which are necessarily linked to the incapacity of Malagasy leaders to strengthen these institutions.
First of all, Madagascar is a major victim of globalization and the resulting , such as:
. the predatory behavior of large multinational corporations that some believe to be a thing of the colonial past continues and their increasing power over the Malagasy state is intolerable;
. too many resources still remain underutilized;
. the degree of human misery has reached scandalous levels;
. trade flows among the other continents – North and South America, Europe, and Asia – are increasingly distant from Madagascar;
. the crushing burden of debt prevents any economic or social program from developing in a significant way;
. The spiral of speculation and the impenetrable spheres of high finance encourage evasion of Malagasy financial resources;
. paradoxically, certain technical innovations lead to social disorganization in that they are accessible only by the elite classes of Madagascar and thus accentuate social disparity and deepen the gulf between rich and poor.
We must address these diverse causes together.
It is clear that an awakening of a political and ethical conscience centering on fundamental issues that can federate the ruling classes, civil society, and the population as a whole has become a crucial step in finding a solution to the Malagasy crisis.
. We must realize that education is the keystone to any kind of progress. It is an essential building block in reinforcing institutional capacities (a topic we will cover later on);
. We must both protect and reinforce progress in democracy in all fields;
. The available workforce must find avenues to use its energy and its skills must be recognized;
. Women’s rights must be enforced and protected, and gender parity between men and women must become an institutional reality;
. Situations where an official misuses his position for private ends must be eliminated;
. respect for difference must become a concrete principle of action to eliminate all discrimination.
If these obstacles are overcome, the sustainability of public and private Malagasy institutions will become a reality.
« Serenity III », scale model of screen. JPRA
HOW CAN BUSINESS AND ACADEMIA CONTRIBUTE TO BUILDING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY ?
On this point, we must effect a fundamental change in mentalities to ensure that a new culture, based on the principle of solidarity, can grow.
And the basis for such a change is, again, education. And we have to add: humility ! Indeed !
These remain of Madagascar’s major challenges.
In addition to the fight to reduce illiteracy and auto-satisfaction, our primary imperative is to narrow the gap between urban and rural areas, ethnic and linguistic groups, and social classes.
Next, we must invest to fight against deschooling, especially at the primary level, due to the collapse of public educational systems.
Finally, when we realize that good management of education, training, skills, research, and cultural enrichment is usually ensured on a global level by a number of large multinational corporations, it is not difficult to understand how very dependant we are on money and business criteria, especially given that these same corporations also control production – through patents and other industrial and intellectual property rights) – as well as distribution and information.
Now, it is in these areas that the necessary link between academia and the business world has a privileged position.
Thus it has become essential that, here too, a new institutional order be created in the country. But it is also just as essential to relay this new order on an international level, supported by a new development culture – first regionally in Madagascar through implementation of cooperative ventures in research, knowledge, education, training, and cultural enrichment, and later on a global level.
This also depends, for Malagasies, on a specific capacity to negotiate internationally and impose these views.
An alliance between the business sector and education must, in addition, be based on certain intangible principles.
This alliance must adopt as its primary objective the need to respect fundamental human rights, the rule of law understood as a existing reality, and the link between democracy and economic and social development.
Using this objective as a starting point, the alliance must define a number of actions guided by certain principles:
. consolidation and strengthening through synergy;
. partnerships with organizations that pursue like-minded goals;
. promotion of mechanisms specifically designed to foster new types of solidarity based on a new perception of « Fihavanana »;
. systematic preparation of each project using a methodology based on identification of needs (determined based on answers to questionnaires addressed to all the players);
. the obligation to assess and track expected results following implementation of the various programs.
Naturally the government must go beyond its role as facilitator and act by setting an example and a planification, developing their own initiatives to attract vocations.
Let’s all of us work on these principles !
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