Saturday, June 21, 2008

Governing Temps

Can a private company clean up the Somalia pirates?

For the second time in three years, the Somali government (a ramshackle collection of clans and warlords that represent about half the population) is negotiating for a private security company to patrol its coasts and suppress the piracy that is now rampant out there.

The money for the company would bypass the corrupt government.

Actually, I don't know why more Third World governments interested in clean government don't contract with companies to run their mineral extraction operations and build infrastrucuture with the bulk of the profits, turning over only a fraction to the hiring government's general fund.

Right now, Nigeria is a cess pool of corruption and declining oil production. The people are impoverished and the environment is polluted.

Why couldn't a foreign company run their oil industry, use mercenaries to run off the gangs, and build roads, health clinic, schools, and telecom networks with the funds?

Perhaps after a generation during which the corrupt politicians who siphoned off oil wealth retire or die off, return the operation to the national government (or better yet, sell it to private companies).

Do the same in Congo or other poor nations cursed with a valuable mineral that seems to be enriching the elite without reaching the people.