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Sunday, 27 June 2010

A government think tank? 2nd Edition

Two years since the idea was first floated the government is spinning the idea of a national think. Except this time its not the President, but Tourism Minister Namugala who wants a "strategic national economic think tank which is non-partisan, impartial and representative of a cross section of society". She believes an "economic think tank is important as the country has not fully transitioned from a command economy to a free market economy".  Sounds like another idea which has not properly been thought through.

4 comments:

  1. "strategic national economic think tank which is non-partisan, impartial and representative of a cross section of society".

    What minister Namugala is talking about, is a STATE think tank, not a GOVERNMENT think tank.

    And I would applaud it. I think it is the same thing you have had in mind.

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  2. I beg to differ. What Zambian needs is a professional non partisan civil service. A plethora of quangos will only lead to the duplication of effort and the establishment of what amounts to another unnecessary cost centre. The 'Thinking' should be located within a professional civil service. There is absolutely no need for a 'Tank' because that is all it will end up as!

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  3. Frank,

    It's not an either/or thing. There absolutely should be a civil service and parastatals which are independent of the government of the day, their party, and free from interference. The Post has an extensive editorial on the issue of board independence of parastatals. The Post has an extensive editorial on the issue of board independence of parastatals (Patronage, Cronyism In Parastatal Appointments).

    Most countries have lots of think tanks - organisations, political parties, governments, so why not have one in Zambia. It is a lot better than taking policy directives from the IMF and World Bank.

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  4. I think Frank's point is about PRIORITIES.

    The PRIORITY is undertaking appropriate civil service reforms.

    That is critical for ensuring proper implementation.

    ReplyDelete

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