In Haiti, Business comes first

This is recommended reading. This is an Economist article which describes the current situation in Haiti and its bid to stimulate economic development by attracting foreign investments, while dealing its pressing short term issues of improving welfare and living conditions.

It gives an overview of the situation starting as far back as Michel Martelly the current president who was comfortably elected in April 2011, and it goes further to describe the selection of his Prime Minister, Gary Conille who was selected 5 months after Mr. Martelly’s inauguration. It continues up to present, where Mr. Conille has now resigned and Mr. Laurent Lamothe is poised to replace him as the new Prime Minister.

Haiti has a French-style semi-presidential system. The president is popularly elected and serves as head of state. However, rather than exercising full power directly, he must agree with Parliament on the appointment of a prime minister, who is in charge of day-to-day affairs of government.

This is a good, quick read about your sister country. Here are two paragraphs from the article.

FEW places in the world have proved as difficult to develop as Haiti. Notwithstanding billions of dollars pledged in foreign aid, lofty promises from donors and the presence of over 10,000 NGOs, the country remains the poorest in the Americas. Although no single factor can account for the magnitude of Haiti’s troubles—many think foreign do-gooders have hurt the country more than helped it—there is broad consensus that one of the principal obstacles to the country’s development has been the weakness of the state.

Its corruption, inefficiency and instability have put Haiti’s foreign benefactors in a difficult bind. On one hand, the country’s needs are so dire that most donors have preferred to conduct development projects themselves or via NGOs, rather than channeling their money and manpower through a state they fear will squander them. On the other, their refusal to involve the government in day-to-day operations has prevented Haiti from strengthening its institutions enough to take responsibility for its own development, thus condemning the country to a cycle of dependency.

Read the article

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