State Reform is Key to our Development, Says Cape Verde’s Finance Minister

05/11/2010
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Government reforms explain the success of Cape Verdean government development efforts, says the country’s finance minister, Cristina Duarte.

Speaking on the second day of the second regional meeting on aid effectiveness which took place from November 4-5, 2010, in Tunis, the Cape Verdean minister shared the country’s experiences in its efforts to attain socio-economic development.

If state reforms explain progress made by Cape Verde, a resource-poor country which recently graduated into a middle-income country, the reforms also required “mindset changes”, she said. Mindset changes, she said, basically implied education and the development of a civil society.

She said that the country’s progress resided in the building of efficient and credible institutions. The institutions, she pointed out, should target health, education, and justice, in short, the core of all state activities.

She said that the articulation of a clear and coherent vision which is both realistic and pragmatic was also key to the country’s success.

She added that the country was counting on its continued building of capacity, especially by using technology and integrating the civil society in the design and implementation of policies. She stressed that good governance or “mutual responsibility”, guides the country in its relations with its citizens and the world.

She stressed that Cape Verde sees official development assistance as a tool for the strengthening of public management efficiency which aims at attracting foreign investments. Foreign investments unlike foreign aid guarantees longer term development, she said.

Emerging From Fragility: Peace and State-Building

Also speaking during the same event, the DRC planning minister, Olivier Kamitatu Etsu, pointed to the insufficient resources committed to the fragile states by the international community. He compared the insufficient resources to the huge resources devoted to military and reconstruction operations in places like Afghanistan.

He regretted that in many cases, foreign aid is provided when it is too late, with violence erupting and insecurity spreading to neighboring countries.

He stressed that the greatest challenge was to restore peace and strengthen the state. He underscored the importance of enhancing confidence in state institutions, stressing that to achieve such an objective, the people must be part of development efforts, from the design to the implementation phases.

Fragile states must also take their destiny into their own hands, he said, revealing that some of the countries had come together to tackle their common challenges based on an agenda comprising four key priorities: capacity building, aid instruments, planning and political dialogue.