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BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Sep; 1-4.Until the 20th century, migrations and tribal conflicts prevented the formation of a cohesive Malawian society. Malawi is mainly comprised of a rural populace, and primary school education has only become prevalent since Malawi became independent in 1964. Shortly thereafter, Malawi adopted a new constitution and became a republic run by a president. The Malawian government is a substantially modified version of the British system and the members of the presidentially appointed cabinet are either drawn from or become members of Parliament. There are 2 judicial systems in Malawi the magisterial court headed by a 3-member Supreme Court and traditional courts created in 1964 which are based predominantly on the local court system maintained by the British prior to independence. There is only 1 authorized political party. Malawi has grown economically and has relied on expanding agricultural export as the primary vehicle for this growth. Basically, Malawi's economic outlook is favorable despite some problems which have caused a setback in the return of robust growth so apparent in the 1970s. Malawi has been basically pro-Western and has little contact with communist nations. While its political ideology is different from that of its bordering neighbors, Malawi has pursued normal relations with them and with other reighbors in its region. Relations with the US are quite good and their views on the need for economic and political stability in southern Africa are in general agreement. The 2 nations exchange dialogue and visits periodically.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-4.Guinea is divided into 4 regions and contains 4 major ethnic groups. Presently it is governed by the Military Committee for National Redressment, headed by a 10-man executive bureau, and with government administration at 5 governmental levels. In lieu of a constitution, the government, which took control in April 1984, is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by the President and various ministers. 1 of the primary objectives of the government is the observance of human rights; it has also declared intentions of liberalizing the economy, promoting private enterprise, and encouraging foreign investment in order to develop the available rich natural resources. Among the vast store of minerals are 1/3 of the world's proven bauxite reserves, much iron ore tonnage, and diamond, gold, and uranium deposits. Also in 1984, the government enacted a new private investment code to stimulate economic activity in the spirit of free enterprise. The new economic reform program initiated by the government will hopefully create the type of environment conducive to productive investments and economic growth. Guinea has an army, a navy, an air force, and a gendarmerie. Presently, they are at peace with their neighbors but the armed services still work to maintain internal security and defend against and deter attacks from other nations. Guinea maintains close ties with the communist nations as well as with the Western powers. The current government in fact has appealed to all friendly governments as well as multinational agencies for aid and technical assistance. Insofar as the US is concerned, it seeks to promote closer relations with Guinea and has encouraged regional economic development and increased private US investment. Further information on travel notes, geography, its people, and its history are included.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-8.Yugoslavia was formed on December 1, 1918 from the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro plus parts of the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its population has the greatest ethnic and religious deversity of any in Eastern Europe. The main language is Serbo-Croatian. Yugoslavia has worked hard to maintain its independence despite pressure from the international Communist organization Cominform. Since the 1960s they have been identified as a leader of nonaligned nations. 6 republics comprise the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and each of these republics has its own government modeled on the federal structure. The federal government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of all laws and regulations. The League of Communists is the only political party allowed to function; however, it does permit open expression of differences on some major policy issues. Since the end of World War 2, the Yugoslav economy has become an industrialized, midlevel technological economy and the standard of living has risen. Yugoslavia has tried to maintain a rough balance in trade relations with Western nations, with the socialist bloc, and with the developing world. Agricultural production has risen steadily over the years but its full poteential has not yet been realized. Yugoslavia has tried to establish friendly relations with most states, especially in Western Europe. The US has made an effort to support Yugoslavia in its attempt to maintain independence and through cultural, commercial, and political involvement has attempted to offer alternatives to being dependent on the Soviet Union. Relations have been further strengthened by continuing high-level visits by heads of state. While there are differences of view on many foreign policy issues, the US has respected Yugoslavia's position and has offered continued support.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Nov; 1-4.Fiji is a group of volcanic islands located in the South Pacific. Because of the rough terrain in its center, that area is sparsely populated; most of Fiji's population live on the island coasts. Almost all indigenous Fijians are Christians and English is the official language. In 1970 Fiji became a fully sovereign and independent nation within the British Commonwealth. The British monarch appoints the governor general who in turn appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in House of Representatives. The transition to independence for Fijians was achieved in a peaceful fashion. While there are some racial tensions between the Indo-Fijians and the indigenous Fijians, the 2 major political parties and the various leaders have succeeded in maintaining order. The government of Fiji, since attaining independence, has worked hard toward economic and social progress and there have been great strides made in education, health, agriculture, and nutrition. The thrust of Fiji's economy is sugar and the 2nd component is tourism. Fiji does import a wide variety of goods but industrial development is proceeding well. Fiji encourages local and foreign investment in the hopes of promoting development and providing industrial jobs. Regional cooperation is the main element in Fiji foreign policy they joined the UN in 1970. Full diplomatic relations exist between the US and Fiji and US and Fijian officials have exchanged visits. In 1985 the US provided $1.5 million in disaster relief funds to Fiji; there is expedcted to be a bilateral aid agreement between the 2 countries in 1986. Travel notes, government and US officials, and further information are included.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-6.Burundi, with 1 of the highest population densities in sub-Saharan Africa, is a high, rolling country in the Nile-Congo crest. Of the 3 main ethnic groups, the Hutu, about 85% of the population, are primarily farmers. Burundi became independent in 1962. Ultimate political power is vested in the Central Committee of the sole political party, called the UPRONA. Its members are all those citizens of Burundi who profess allegiance to its principles. The Burundi government is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the rural poor and to ethnic reconciliation and national unity. Over 90% of the population are subsistence farmers; Burundi is 1 of the world's poorest countries. Over 80% of export earnings are provided by coffee but tea production continues to increase. Burundi seeks good relations with its neighbors Rwanda, Zaire, and Tanzania and has even entered into joint economic development projects with Rwanda and Tanzania. Its armed forces are well-trained and well-equipped and they work to keep law and order and to deter foreign interference by neighbors of Burundi. The US government keeps friendly relations with Burundi and has encouraged efforts to establish political stability and peaceful economic development. The US Agency for International Development program development strategy in Burundi focuses on promoting food availability, fuel production, and family health. Numerous other programs in effect are also mentioned. Principal US officials, travel notes, principal government officials, and other information are included.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Aug; 1-7.Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean near Mozambique, is officially known as the Democratic Republic of Madagascar. This republic has 3 branches of government and includes 6 provinces or subdivisions. Since 1981, it has received more than $62 million in grants and concessional sales from the US. There have been other types of assistance as well, including a development assistance program begun in 1985. Its population is largely of mixed Asian and African origin. There exists an historic rivalry between the Catholic coastal people, Cotiers, and the Protestant Merina, who predominate in civil service, business, and the professions. To combat this, the government has set one of its goals to be the highlighting of nationalism. The beginning of Madagascar's written history can be traced to when the Arabs established trading posts along the coastal areas. Eventually, Madagascar moved toward independence from the French and became an autonomous state in 1958. The president is elected for a 7-year term and is the head, during that time, of the Supreme Revolutionary Council. There is a 3-tiered court system, including a lower court for civil and criminal cases, a criminal court for more serious crimes, and a supreme court. The government represents a strong socialist philosophy and outright criticism of the President and his government is not tolerated. The economy of Malagasy is dominated by agriculture, which employs about 85% of the population. Although it faces some serious problems in the areas of foreign exchange and imports/exports, Madagascar is a potentially prosperous country. It boasts diversified agricultural production, it is rich in minerals, and it maintains strong commercial ties to the West. Madagascar's major trading partners are France, the US, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviet Union, Qatar, and Japan. Madagascar maintains the Popular Armed Forces for its defense; however, there is a heavy reliance on the Soviet Union for military equipment and training. US-Malagasy relations have been warm for most of its history until 1971 when the US ambassador and 5 members of his staff were expelled. In 1980, a new ambassador arrived and in 1981, 2 Food for Peace rice agreements were concluded. In 1986, Madagascar became the 1st African country to be the recipient of assistance under the program Food for Progress, given to nations which have undertaken successful economic reform.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Sep; 1-8.The Kingdom of Belgium which borders on the nations of France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Federal Republic of Germany, is one of the smallest European countries and is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The branches of its government are the executive (with a king, a prime minister, and a Council of Ministers), the legislative (a bicameral Parliament and various regional and cultural assemblies), and the judicial (a Court of Cassation modelled on the French system). 30% of Belgium's gross national product comes from machinery, iron and steel, coal, textiles, chemicals, and glass. During the 80 year period which preceded WWI, Belgium remained neutral in an era of intra-European wars until German troops overran the country during their attack on France in 1914. Some of the worst battles of that war were fought in Belgium. Again in 1940, Belgium was occupied by the Germans. There was a government-in-exile in London; however the King remained in Belgium during the war. The course of Belgian politics was determined largely by the division of the Belgian people into 2 major language groups--the Dutch speakers and French speakers. Regional and language rivalries are taken into account in all important national decisions. The 3 major political parties representing the main ideological tendencies are the Socialists, the Socialist Christians, and the Liberals. Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world and is a densely populated, highly industrialized country in the midst of a highly industrialized region. An economic austerity program was instituted at the beginning of this decade which included devaluation of the Belgian franc, reduction of government expenditures, a partial price freeze, etc. Improvements have been seen as a result of this program. Although US investment has declined in recent years, total US direct investment is estimated at $5.28 billion and there are 899 US companies currently operating in Belgium. As a member of NATO, Belgium's armed forces are part of the NATO integrated military structure. Belgium is a proponent of close cooperation with the US and they seek improved East-West relations. In this vein, Belgium works closely with the US both bilaterally and multilaterally to liberalize trade, and to foster economic and political cooperation and assistance to developing countries.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1988 Mar; 1-8.Zimbabwe is a land-locked plateau country of 151,000 square miles, divided into 8 provinces, in Southeastern Africa, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. Its population consists of 8.8 million blacks, divided between the Shona-speaking Mashona (80%) and the Sindebele-speaking Matabele (19%), 100,000 whites, 20,000 coloreds, and 10,000 Asians. Many of the blacks are Christians. More than 1/2 the whites migrated to Zimbabwe after the Second World War at a rate of about 1000 a year until the mid-1970s; since then 12,000 whites have left the country. The official language is English, and education is free. Most African children 5-19 years old attend school, and literacy is between 40% and 50%. The University of Zimbabwe is located in Harare, the capital, and there are several technical institutes and teacher-training colleges. Zimbabwe has been inhabited since the stone age, and evidence of a high indigenous civilization remains in the "Great Zimbabwe Ruins" near Masvingo. The present black population is descended from later migrations of Bantu people from central Africa. Cecil Rhodes was granted concessions for mineral rights in the area in 1888, and the territory, which administered by the British South Africa Company, was called Rhodesia. Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing entity within the British Empire in 1913. In 1953 Southern Rhodesia was joined with the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Central African Federation, but this dissolved in 1963, and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became independent as Zambia and Malawi in 1964. Independence was withheld from Rhodesia because Prime Minister Ian Smith refused to give Britain assurances that the country would move toward majority rule. In 1965 Smith issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the UK. In 1966 the UN Security Council imposed mandatory economic sanctions on Rhodesia. Within Rhodesia the major African nationalist groups -- the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) united into the "Patriotic Front" and began to engage in guerrilla warfare against the minority government. Finally, in 1979, Rhodesia returned briefly to colonial status, during which time a new constitution was written, implementing majority rule; the UN Security Council called off economic sanctions; and elections were held. Robert Mugabe, leader of the victorious ZANU Party, was asked to form Zimbabwe's 1st government. The British Government formally granted independence to Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980. THe new government was to consist of a President (Mr. Mugabe), elected by universal suffrage, and a bicameral parliament. Zimbabwe has followed a policy of national reconciliation at home and "active nonalignment" abroad. In 1982, Zimbabwe was chosen by the Organization of African Unity to hold one of the nonpermanent seats in the UN Security Council, and in 1986, Zimbabwe was the site of the Nonaligned Movement summit meeting, and Mr. Mugabe became chairman of that organization. The years of sanctions, guerrilla warfare, and white emigration, combined with a foreign exchange crisis (the Zimbabwe dillar = US$.60), and the drought of 1987 took their toll on the Zimbabwean economy. Gross domestic product declined between 1974 and 1979, although by 1986, it was $4.7 billion, with per capita income $275. Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources, especially coal and chrome; and industry, which accounts for 69% of the gross domestic product, was forced by the sanctions to diversify. Plentiful coal deposits make the country less dependent on imported oil for an energy source. Agriculture, which constitutes 15% of the gross domestic product, is the backbone of the economy, with corn as the largest crop and tobacco as the largest export crop; both were hurt by the 1987 drought. Another drain on the economy was the money diverted to pay for training and equipping the armed forces. The British Military Assistance Training Team has been the largest source of training, but jet fighters had to be bought from China and helicopters from Italy. The United States, which broke off relations after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, has contributed $380 million in loans and grants to Zimbabwe in the years between 1981 and 1986.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1988 Mar; 1-8.The Republic of Kuwait occupies an area of 6,880 square miles at the head of the Persian Gulf, bounded on the north and west by Iraq and on the south by Saudi Arabia. 1.7 million people live in Kuwait, of whom 680,000 are Kuwaitis; the rest are expatriate Arabs, Iranians, and Indians. The annual growth rate of Kuwaitis is 3.8%. The Kuwaitis are 70% Sunni and 30% Shi'a Muslims. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken. Kuwait is a highly developed welfare state with a free market economy. Education is free and compulsory, and literacy is 71%. Infant mortality among Kuwaitis is 26.1/1000, and life expectancy is 70 years. Medical care is free. Kuwait was first settled by Arab tribes from Qatar. In 1899 the ruler, Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah, whose descendents still rule Kuwait, signed a treaty with Britain; and Kuwait remained a British protectorate until it became independent in 1961. A constitution was promulgated in 1962, and a National Assembly was elected by adult male suffrage in 1963. However, the Assembly has since been suspended due to internal friction. Kuwait and Iraq have been disputing Kuwait's northern border since 1913, and the southern border includes a Divided Zone, where sovereignty is disputed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Despite the fall in oil prices in 1982 and the loss of trade due to the Iran-Iraq war, Kuwait is one of the world's wealthiest countries with a per capita gross domestic product of $10,175. Oil accounts for 85% of Kuwait's exports, which total $7.42 billion; income from foreign investments (about $60 billion) makes up most of the balance. All petroleum-related activities are managed by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), which includes the nationalized Kuwait Oil Company, petrochemical industries, the 22-vessel tanker fleet, and refineries and service stations in Europe, where Kuwaiti oil is marketed under the brand name Q8. Kuwait has more than 66 billion barrels of recoverable oil but limits production to 999,000 barrels per day. Other industrial products include ammonia, chemical fertilizers, fishing and water desalinization (215 million gallons a day). Kuwait imports machinery, manufactured goods, and food. Nevertheless exports exceed imports by $2 billion, and the Kuwaiti dinar is a strong currency (1 KD=US$3.57). About $75 billion is kept in 2 reserve funds: the Fund for Future Generations and the General Reserve Fund. In addition to domestic expenditures and imports, Kuwait has extended $5 billion worth of loans to developing countries, made through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Kuwait has been engaged in continuing border disputes with Iraq since 1961, but the most immediate threat to Kuwait has been the Iran-Iraq war. Kuwait lent Iraq $6 billion, in retaliation for which Iran bombed a Kuwaiti oil depot, and Shi'a Muslim terrorists bombed the French and US embassies and hijacked a Kuwaiti airliner in 1984. Iran also attacked Kuwaiti tankers. In 1987 the US reflagged 11 Kuwaiti tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks. Kuwait has been modernizing its own military forces as well as purchasing sophisticated weapons from the UK, the US, France, and the USSR. In 1981 Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman formed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for mutual defense, and in 1987 Kuwait was elected chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Kuwait has diplomatic relations with the USSR and the People's Republic of China, as well as with the US, which has supplied Kuwait with $1.5 billion of sophisticated weaponry from foreign military sales (FMC). The US is Kuwait's largest supplier (after Japan), and Kuwait is the 5th largest market in the Middle East for US goods, despite the disincentives brought about by the Arab boycott of Israel.
Human development report 2003. Millennium Development Goals: a compact among nations to end human poverty.
New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003. xv, 367 p.The central part of this Report is devoted to assessing where the greatest problems are, analysing what needs to be done to reverse these setbacks and offering concrete proposals on how to accelerate progress everywhere towards achieving all the Goals. In doing so, it provides a persuasive argument for why, even in the poorest countries, there is still hope that the Goals can be met. But though the Goals provide a new framework for development that demands results and increases accountability, they are not a programmatic instrument. The political will and good policy ideas underpinning any attempt to meet the Goals can work only if they are translated into nationally owned, nationally driven development strategies guided by sound science, good economics and transparent, accountable governance. That is why this Report also sets out a Millennium Development Compact. Building on the commitment that world leaders made at the 2002 Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development to forge a “new partnership between developed and developing countries”—a partnership aimed squarely at implementing the Millennium Declaration—the Compact provides a broad framework for how national development strategies and international support from donors, international agencies and others can be both better aligned and commensurate with the scale of the challenge of the Goals. And the Compact puts responsibilities squarely on both sides: requiring bold reforms from poor countries and obliging donor countries to step forward and support those efforts. (excerpt)
Bulletin Économique et Social du Maroc. 2000; (159):21-24.According to the 1998 World Human Development Report (HDR), Morocco ranks 125th with a human development indicator (HDI) of 0.557 points. The indicator elements pertaining to life expectancy, adult literacy and schooling levels remain unchanged in the HDI, but the revenue indicator has improved. These important changes have armed this HDI with a more solid methodological base. With an average per capita revenue of 3,310 dollars (PPP), Morocco finds itself in the revenue segment that has undergone the most significant revision of the standardized value. In effect, although it is not found among the principal Arab countries which have successfully reduced deficits in terms of human development during the last two decades, Morocco has, however, successfully reduced them by 27%. The progress made by this country in terms of human development in the last decade can be seen in the struggle against poverty and is reinforced and consolidated by the commitment of the Head of State for the purpose of improving the living conditions of the poor. The struggle against poverty constitutes the fundamental goal of the UNDP, around which are centered most of the programs and projects whose implementation should contribute to promoting the necessary environment for poverty reduction and consequently, to improved human development. The strategy chosen for the UNDP's intervention is broken into two parts: one is to support strategies and policies in the struggle against poverty, and the other lies in local initiatives for validating these same policies. It targets the socio-geographic aspect of action, on the one hand, benefiting the most vulnerable social groups such as women, children, and girls in the poorest areas, and on the other hand, is directed at those geographic areas that are the most ill-favored in the rural world as well as urban outskirts. The process of integrating Morocco into a free trade zone with the European Union has required the implementation of reforms at the legal and institutional level to manage ever stiffer competition in the world market.