Stop wasting public funds

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Where has all the money gone to? A relevant question especially concerning public funds. We’ve all noticed the growing concerns here and in The Hague regarding the Dutch covid 19 emergency funds (NOW) that seem to have been misallocated*.  It’s interesting to analize why, in spite of huge revenues generated in the past by our international financial sector and other sectors, development aid from The Netherlands and the EU, the OCT-Decision (LGO Besluit), we haven’t had the development progress we had hoped for since gaining autonomy in 1951.

Why is that? Decision makers fueled by pressure to score at elections, aren’t interested in investing (financial and human resources) in the major drivers of development, but in “low hanging fruits” such as sport facilities that afterwards are not maintained, malls that have not created the promised 2,000 new jobs, oil and gas exploration that would make us filthy rich and a prime beef industry after acquiring 1,000 Colombian cows. 

We like cosmetics. Not only policy makers chasing voters, but also a large number of voters who seemingly love being lied to. Low hanging fruits haven’t  been the major driver of development progress over the last decades, nor will they be in the future. It’s time to realize that long-term development progress depends primarily on the public institutions that are built over time, and the actions we take to adequately staff those institutions. Aid isn’t the driving force behind development, but it can help support it along the way. Instead of the traditional pleading for money in The Hague for popular projects and budget assistance here, we should rethink our development model. We should be building strong institutions, solid checks and balances, and capable people who can run them independently and professionally.

Willemstad, Curaçao alexdavidrosaria.blog

* https://alexdavidrosaria.blog/2020/04/09/curacao-needs-to-cushion-covid-19-pain-but-without-real-changes-well-be-back-to-square-one/

Author: alexdavidrosaria

Alex Rosaria is from Curaçao. He has a MBA from University of Iowa. He was Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and United Nations Development Programme Officer in Africa and Central America. He is an independent consultant active in Asia and the Pacific.

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