Monday, 31 May 2010

The tension between Politics and Policies

Economic development and policies should be the primary essence of governance. Often, the media portrays the politics of warring factions, rather than concentrating on their policies and achievements. The current deliberate attempt in Lagos State, Nigeria at undermining distinct developmental feats is certainly not a constructive strategy that would enhance good politics, and invariably, policies. 

It is imperative to understand that public-private sector collaborations have an important role to play in economic development. Lagos State is no different.

The following video highlights recent initiatives in the State:

Further, outlined below are examples of recent successful initiatives in the State.

1. Maternal and Child Centres

Under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (“BRF”), Lagos State have established modern Maternal and Child Centres (“MCC”), specifically dedicated for ensuring the survival of children and their mothers before and during pregnancy, as well as after delivery.

This is especially key as the level of maternal and child deaths is unacceptably high:
 One out of every five children in Nigeria dies before 5;
 500 newborns die daily; and
 One pregnant woman dies every 10 minutes during childbirth.

The State’s initiatives have made a remarkable impact on infant mortality rates, in line with Millenium Development Goals. 

2. Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre (“LSAEC”)

Lagos State government commissioned an accident and emergency centre on Lagos-Ibadan expressway on the 14th of May 2010. Strategically located on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the centre offers stabilization, first aid treatment and minor surgeries to victims.

Built to international standards, the centre is equipped with X-ray equipment, laboratory services and health management information systems. The centre is designed to offer first class basic emergency health care to accident victims before being taken to hospitals.

Further, training on Pre-hospital and Hospital Emergency Care is provided continuously by 6 internationally accredited trainers: Lagos State has the best and only internationally certified public Emergency Training Centre in Nigeria.

Governor BRF stated that accident and emergency centres must be a regular feature on every highway in every part of the country.

3. Teslim Balogun Stadium

Described as the pride of Lagos City, this stadium was built to meet FIFA’s standards; a world-class stadium capable of hosting an international football championship.

The construction impressed FIFA’s Vice President – Jack Warner who commended the quality of the job and had never been astounded with such a wonder as he saw at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

For more information on other recent developments, please visit:

World Cup 2010: The Baller's League

This year is the World Cup, and South Africa are expecting fans to travel from across the world to watch their respective teams, as well as the billions that will be watching on television. South Africa are hoping that this will be their chance to convince prospective tourists and investors that it is a safe place to travel and live in, and as a result have been working hard to improve the infrastructure, having developed a new bus transit system, a ‘gautrain’, a new stretch of track that will connect Johannesburg, Pretoria and the Oliver Tambo International airport, as well as building several new stadiums and improving security arrangements.

Nonetheless there have been concerns regarding the approximately 500’000 unsold tickets, with analysts citing factors such as the weak global economy, fear of crime and the limited access of many South Africans to purchase tickets online all contributing to lower than expected sales of tickets.

Regardless of the World Cup South Africa has a strong economy, with abundant natural resources including platinum, gold, coal and diamonds, amongst others in addition to a strong agricultural sector. Africa’s largest economy also has a strong industrial base, with a variety of car companies including Toyota, Volkswagen and Renault manufacturing cars in South Africa. It can also boast a growing call centre business, with companies such as Asda, Virgin Mobile UK, Samsung and AOL all hosting call centres, apparently because many English-speaking countries find a South African accent easy to understand and enjoyable to listen to.

The World cup offers a great opportunity for South Africa to attract investors and build on its diversified economy, as well as reassure tourists that it is a safe location to visit. This is why the country will be hoping the World Cup will be its opportunity to emphasise to the world how much it has changed since the days of apartheid and show what potential the country has to be a economic powerhouse to rival the likes of Brazil or Germany.