ConsiderBangladesh.com: youth's most exciting places to free trade with Japan 1962 to Bangladesh Now

From chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk- Norman Macrae Foundation Bangladesh was the last future history study area of my father's 86 years - the majority spent editing pro-youth valuation dialogues at The Economist 

[1] Bangladesh was born as the world's poorest 100+ million person nation in 1971. It had the shortest straw of independence having been religiously bundled with West Pakistan when the British Empire left the Indian subcontinent. The war of independence left Bangladesh structurally flattened. Government's resources started with next to no revenues for social development. Dhaka and a handful of cities were the priority. Essentially, rural people up to three quarters of the population, were left to network their own social services to be built out of next to nothing other than land like the Ganges Water Basin which can be very fertile but climactically volatile. Into this most extreme innovation challenge came to be the two most extraordinary rural collaboration entrepreneurs committing their lives to the race to end poverty. (brac.tv , grameen.tv).  From 1972, Fazle Abed (1 2 3 4 5), a graduate of Glasgow University, and a Chartered Accountant who was running the local office of the Shell Multinational when a cyclone hit killing half a million people. About the same time Muhammad "Dialogues" Yunus (1 2 3 4 5)  returned to his mother country from training to be an economics professor out of Tennessee USA. He was soon to linkin energetic student networks out of Chittagong University with barefoot experiments into how to end poverty by professionally-minded graduates living in the villages. By 1983, the most extraordinary microfranchise network Grameen Bank was constituted by national law to replicate its sustainability model (empowering circles of 60 village mothers to build their own livelihoods with a student financial services branch manager barefoot responsible for 60 such circles). The fame of this simplest of all banking circle models spread across hemispheres. For example, Obama's mother helped import it to Indonesia, while Hillary and Bill Clinton visited Grameen's villages in the 1980s as one of their first experiences of foreign assistance. As The West's acceleration of Globalisation got on its own Moores law in the 1980s, 
the inconvenient truth of future inequality can be stated as: three halves of the world's population –poorest, women, youth -each has much less than 10% of assets and voice in what future net generation will bring. Crucially, Bangladesh was not only the world's deepest partner as a Global University of Poverty but in 1996 as grameen phone introduced the first mobile investment banking partnerships with poorest village mothers became destined to be sustainability’s most natural lab for digital womens empowerment of infrastructures that the whole industrial age had failed to linkin to rural.
 

 



Consider Bangladesh  clues for readers of The Economist and Youth World's Most Collaboration Entrepreneur Leaders

 Norman Macrae's Q3 and most of Q4 @ The Economist: Consider Japan from 1962; Consider Asian Pacific worldwide youth century and lead currency from 1975...Fast Forward to Consider redevelopment of Cox'sa Bazaar  , Royal Automobile Club, London Saint James 2008. and subsequent dialogues on celebrate Bangladesh at 40 as number 1 Youth Collaboration Lab for end poverty experiments; Glasgow-Bangaldeshi-www Youth Interdependence Declaration 4 July 2010 -race to atlanta as greatest twin capital of youth's millennium goals and job creation Nov 2015 -all of above need integrating into 9 minute khan-ac type training modules of The Curriculum of Entrepreneurial Revolution , linkedin round The Economist since 1972 -how open education can make 21st Century's coming of age- youth's most productive and sustainable era 

In searching the world for the most exciting "future of youth" purposes particular market sectors could value, Bangladesh has stimulated more innovative ideas since 2001 than anywhere else we have been able to link into- however with extremely affordable system transformations comes a lot of conflict resolution  - the next 5 years seem to be at a tipping point in terms of whether youth's aspirations of collaborating around millennium goals and being gainfully employed with all this new borderless technology are given a chance by youth capitalism investors www.wholeplanet.tv -if these issues concern you mail chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

Over the 24 months of 2014-2015 we will be reporting connections between youth summits wherever we can linkin and assemble micro-wikis around the above issues - you can help us here: Googledoc the most collaborative 24 month race youth have played

 

1 NETGEN FUTURE HISTORY (2024 Report by Macrae & Macrae) PEACE CURRICULUM Q&A

PC1 Was it a mistake for a book, whose main economic recommendation was that open education would be the net generation's greatest ever entrepreneurial freedom to start with valuing how to network peace?

APC1.1 Timing is everything in mediating transformation in worldwide  system futures. Noran argued that 1984 was the greatest opportunity since world war 2 for citizens to vote against governments spending (through tax) a fifth of all their lives on arms.  Why 2014 is the other greatest youth opportunity to bid for worldwide peace 

APC1.2  None of his obituary writers at The Economist or elsewhere understood Norman's timeline: spending his youth in parts of Europe ruled over by stalin or hitler, spending his last days as a teenager navigating raf planes over modern day Bangladesh and Myanmar, going up to Cambridge to be mentored by keynes that the number 1 system design job of economist is to end hunger and that youth should never let those in power divorce the future compounding disciplines of economics and peace 

APC1.3 Ironically all those readers and investors in the entrepreneurail revolution curriclum which Noramn spent 40 yeras editing The Economist from number 3 weekly uk journal to one of a kind global viewspaper understood how the search for peace was embedded in all his major surveys: as the only journalist to be at the founding of the EU, as the journalist who believed the deviation of the BBC fgrom world service was the greatest missed opportunity in mass media, as the journmalist who cheered on Japan as the most value multiplying nation of 1962 and asia pacific worldwide yoyth region liberating china as the turn of the millenniums greatest opportunity for youth to design colaborative millennium goals and action networks around 

APC1.4 Dismally few of the 21st C most famous economist undersrand the curiculum of economics that Keynes mentored his alumni including Norman on:

1 the core job of the economists is to back whatever system designs she or he believes will help the human race unite to end poverty ( see the last Keynes last essay on persuasion); see also last 3 pages of Keynes general throory on why youth's greatest enemy is a particular type of elderly academic economist who is most prone to pad his pension with funding from big governments on indsutry sectors that have lost that purpose which has most relevance to producing future livelihoods.

Future of Open Education Curriculum celebrated 1984 out of The Economist after 12 years reporting access to the UK National Development Project in Computer Assisted Learning

Gordon Dryden 2010: .vision 2020- update of The Economist's Norman Macrae 1984 first vis.....

 

Poverty Free World - Social Business - a step forward by Muhammad Yunus

 

Paper on The Economics Globalisation almost lost by Andrew Neil of ...BBC

 

Adam Smith, Science & Human Nature by Professor Skinner (The Principal of Glasgow University kindly hosted a joint remembrance party to Andrew Skinner and Norman Macrae)

 

 

MY0  MY1  MY2  MY3  MY4  MY5  MY6

KH1 KH2 KH3 KH4 KH5 

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Entrepreneurial Revolution- Declaration of Youth Interdependence, Glasgow 4 July 2010:           In Pursuit of Adam Smith's 252 year old curriculum of hi-trust leadership and livelihood freedoms,  we ask youth's social and business networks to celebrate job creation through these world changing collaborations between 2010 and 2018 WP.tv  Update 2014-2016 PRIORITY COLLABORATION DIARY

  1. world stage 21st c Version of I'd like to Teach The World to Sing at Atlanta Nov2015
  2. to stage BBC21 (Brazil-Britain-China Sports Stars who give back to village sustainability) ; 
  3. to ask Norwegian and Roman Nobel Judges to demand EU becomes Youth's Entrepreneurial Union;
  4. to Consider Bangladesh's youth's right to be end poverty world's most heroic entrepreneurs - and what else rsvp chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk  Norman Macrae Foundation: Youth Capitalism, Peace Dividends and Open Education's Entrepreneurial Revolution 
CO-SIGNED ERworld.tv, WCB.tv (WorldClassBrands.tv), US.tv (University of Stars.tv), YO.com(YunusOlympics)EU.com (Entrepreneurial Union)WC.tv (WorldCitizen.tv) MOOCPlanet.com, FutureofBBC.com and who else -rsvp chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk  washingtn dc hotline 1 301 881 1655  

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Correspondence welcome chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk Norman Macrae Foundation Washington DC region 1 301 881 1655 

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 Recent Youth & Future Capitalism Events

 22 Nov 2013 Atlanta launches Yunus Creative Labs Inc USA Foundation for benchmarking how 25000 youth summits can co-create million jobs capitals with thanks to Yunus 1 2Turner, Carter ... CNN celebrates

Yunus is among CNN’s 12 greatest entrepreneurs of all time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4kU97gXWj0

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/15/opinion/yunus-microfinance-grameen-bank/

 6 December Glasgow University discusses what 255 years of Adam Smith Scholarship knows about helping FutureLearn and Youth's top 100 wholeplanet investor co-create million jobs Future Capitals

 1 Jan 2014 DC seeks to become 21st chapter of Conscious Capitalism 

youth65.jpg
- given constraints of having to work out of washington DC for family reasons, at the moment mails we try most urgently to reply to include those mentioning salman khan , jeff skoll, and john doeer s a key cluster in san frnacisco and john mackey to the extent that his conscious capitalism may be celebrated as an interstate and pro-youth benchmarking movement

 

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/18/booming-economies-beyond-brics help us linkin happiest news of Bangladesh's people
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RESOURCES of The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant

 
 Norman Macrae Foundation www.NMfound.net www.worldclassbrands.tv 5801 Nicholson Lane Suite 404 N.Bethesda MD 20852

Tel 301 881 1655 email chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk consider bangladesh was last of a consider series of projects i helped dad research for his analyses at The Economist (starting with consider japan in 1962) and other publications including his first 1984 maps of net generation's millennium goals and 3 billion new job apps - Norman's family enjoys all entrepreneurial revolution feedback. Welcome

onlyyouthcanpreventdestructionofworldeconomy.doc

November 30, 2012
Dear Friends,
This morning the Daily Star, Bangladesh's largest English language newspaper printed an op-ed (pasted below at nearly 1,200 words) by Gus Speth, former head of UNDP and currently a professor at Vermont Law School. It was originally published in Bangladesh's largest Bangla-language newspaper in a shortened version. Professor Yunus asked if it could be reprinted in newspapers around the world. Here is what he wrote: "It is an excellent piece. I am glad Daily Star printed the entire piece. Thanks to Gus for writing it and thanks to you for making it happen. The article appeared at a time when we needed it the most. Would you like to place it in other papers in other countries? Yunus." For most newspapers it would have to be edited first. I have attached an 804 word version. Please feel free to circulate the longer version below to your networks or pitch the longer or shorter version to newspapers.
Here's the full length op-ed. Sam D-H

Planted in the soil of Bangladesh and transplanted around the world

James Gustave Speth

As I prepared to take the helm of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1993, one of the many things I focused on was an examination of innovative ways to address poverty. I already knew about Grameen Bank and its work to give microcredit to poor women in Bangladesh but as I studied Grameen more closely, it became clear that Muhammad Yunus and his colleagues had discovered a series of strategies that were absolute breakthroughs in addressing poverty. Years before visitors had begun arriving from around the world to study Grameen Bank and to take the seeds that had blossomed in the soil of Bangladesh and transplant them in their own countries.

One of the early visitors was Rockefeller Foundation President Peter Goldmark who would later become publisher of the International Herald Tribune. Here is how Goldmark described the breakthroughs he saw during his visit more than two decades ago:

On the day I was there, the women were sitting, reporting to a loan officer, jumping to their feet, reciting their 16 decisions or pledges.

As I watched, I could see something else. I could see the smashing of ancient rules, the shattering of a traditional canon. I could see subversion. Here's what was being subverted:

"The belief that poor people are helpless people

The belief that women are the most helpless of all

The belief that poor landless people are terrible credit risks

The belief that poor people cannot cooperate, cannot plan ahead, cannot decide for themselves, cannot manage or service a loan

The belief that a lot of credit is always better than a little credit

The belief that the best form of economic development is aid for massive centralised projects undertaken by the state

The belief that you can build the economy by destroying the earth

If the old beliefs were made of pottery, the floor of the Grameen Bank would be littered with broken shards….

It's the only bank in the world with its own birth control policy. Its members make this pledge: 'We shall plan to keep our families small'

It's the only bank in the world with its own marriage policy. Its members make this pledge: 'We shall keep the center free from the curse of dowry. We shall not practice child marriage'

It's the only bank in the world with its own sanitation policy. Its members make this pledge:'We shall build and use pit latrines'

Do you begin to see how much can be accomplished if we choose to look at the world in a different way?"

One of the ancient rules that Goldmark saw broken at the individual level, "the belief that poor people cannot cooperate, cannot plan ahead, cannot decide for themselves," was expanded by Grameen Bank to the institutional and governance level. Not only were the members making decisions about their own lives and the lives of their communities but they were also electing nine of the Bank's 12 board members who were charged with governing the entire institution. If only the commercial banks of the world could have learned this lesson from Grameen Bank and had their boards filled with clients who were invested in the success of their banks, then perhaps the financial crisis of 2008 could have been avoided.

Of course, this is what is so profoundly tragic about the government's decision to strip the selection of the managing director from the borrower-dominated board and place it in the hands of the government-selected chair. The nine women board members have been duly elected by the 8.4 million mostly women members, members who own 97% of the shares in Grameen Bank with the government owning the remaining three percent. Globally, the last several decades have seen the slow dismantling of the rampant subjugation of women, with Grameen Bank among those leading the way. And now, in 2012, this power is taken away from the women board members? Grameen Bank, for decades a global model for the empowerment of women, now, at the hands of the Bangladesh government, becomes a model for the disempowerment of women. How can that be?

Of course, empowering women goes hand-in-hand with ending poverty. Grameen Bank was born at about the time that then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called the newly independent Bangladesh "a bottomless basket case." Thankfully, time has shown how very wrong Secretary Kissinger turned out to be. Now, when the United Nations lists the countries that are most likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Bangladesh shares a spot at the top of the list. Any serious researcher or development expert will tell you that that progress is grounded in the work of Grameen Bank and the other actors in Bangladesh's vibrant civil society. Why would any government put that vibrancy in jeopardy when it has made such a difference and been such a vital lifeline to its people?

It is critical to note that Muhammad Yunus' innovations don't just stop with banking. Before my tenure at UNDP, I co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute. When I left UNDP I became Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and now I teach at the Vermont Law School, a school with one of the leading programmes in environmental law. So care of our environment has been a central part of my life's work. When I look at the achievements of Grameen Shakti, it takes my breath way. Grameen Shakti installed more than 24,000 solar home systems in August 2012 and nearly 1 million since its inception. Grameen Shakti sold nearly 14,000 improved cooking stoves in August 2012 and more than half a million since its inception. With some 7 million beneficiaries and nearly 12,000 employees I must add that if only the energy companies in the rest of the world could have emulated the achievements of Grameen Shakti then we would have been farther along in averting the climate crisis we now face.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee saw the brilliance of Grameen Bank six years ago when it jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus. Soon the US Congress will present the Congressional Gold Medal to Professor Yunus who is only the seventh person in history to receive the Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And what does Grameen Bank receive from its own government? It receives a heartbreaking attack on its autonomy and what could be a fatal blow to the hope it has provided to tens of millions of its members and their families.

When the government seized control of the selection of the Bank's managing director from the nine women borrower/owners Muhammad Yunus said: "This day will go down in history as a black day for our nation. Our government has taken over a globally admired and Nobel Prize winning institution from its rightful owners-rural poor women-and has brought the bank under their management control. In so doing, the unique feature of Grameen Bank has been fundamentally compromised. It is very difficult for me to absorb this sad news."

I agree. It is very difficult for us all.

The writer was Administrator of the United National Development Program and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Currently he is a Professor at the Vermont Law School.

 

Courtesy Prothom Alo. (This article was specially written for the Prothom Alo anniversary issue) 

 
The 64 Trillon Dollar Question of Media Economics

Which could have been the most valuable global brand of 2010s? When i first studied value of yunus-grameen brand partnership architecture in 2006 its valuation expoenential was on an annual doubling - while the baseline in 2006 is debatable --lets call it 3 billion dollars -- ie roughly $600 of productive equity per grameen's 5 million female members -then its valuation's growth exponential =

2007: 6 billion dollars
2008: 12 billion dollars
... by end 2009 conflicts were starting to multiply around grameen which stopped the trajectory- but the question that will haunt the rest of my life is: could this moores-law type valuation doubling have continued linking in co-production of the most exciting goals of the millennium? - who is to say that the knowledge network of collaboratively racing to poverty museums wasn't the net generation's most value multiplying brand -especially if as usa
youth1000 experiments are NOW verifying in 4 states the open tech knowhow of ending poverty and of creating jobs for youth is economically congruent. chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

valuing grameen was the last project I was privileged to do under mentoring of The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant (my dad Norman Macrae)- what can his help to value next - research of over 5000 youth in america suggests it is worlh searching out unique brands that are most trusted in freeing the productive purposes of the following markets

nutrition

energy

education - and more pro-youth economic markets - see www.microeducationsummit.com and help q&a diversity of purposes at http://charter.ning.com you can also help our search for 100 leading decision-makers of 2010s = worldwide youth's most productive decade at http://wholeplanet.tv

footnote: The Economist's quest to mediate the economics of ending hunger is 170 years old in 2013 - so if you have any ideas on how friends of Norman Macrae Foundation. Yunus or other pro-youth economists should be celebrating that please contact me any time

Norman Macrae Foundation www.NMfound.net  www.worldclassbrands.tv  www.microeducationsummit.com
5801 Nicholson Lane Suite 404 N.Bethesda MD 20852
Tel 301 881 1655 email chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

Journalist for Humanity invites youth to help edit following nings- yunuscity yunusasia

webs yunus.tv grameen.tv socialbusiness.tv yunusjapan.com yunusfund.com yunusbook.com egrameen.com grameengreen.com globalgrameen.com grameeneurope.com grameenasia.com grameenafrica.com grameenamericas.com grameenscotland.com grameenfrance.com grameengermany.com grameenspain.com grameenbelgium.com grameeneconomics.com considerbangladesh.com .

 

Latest Bangladesh Discussions of stakeholders of The Economist

Arvind - and I read The Economist article as crediting all the peoples/womens/youth's grassroots networking and collaboration entrepreneurship - sometimes empowered by different combinations of the 4 actors you mention. Being someone who loves to search The Economist archives for bottom-up collaboration frameworks, I can't help but think that 2 of the greatest tragedies to greet the birth of a new nation - the local cyclone that wiped up half a million people but became the birth of BRAC brand as work's number 1 grassroots disaster relief NGO, and the million person famine that got Yunus and Youth out of the macroeconomic classroom - have accidentally stimulated inter-generational investment maps in how to go beyond top-down aid because such trickle down processes seldom generate economic impacts and even less seldom multiply transparent relationship flows. http://considerbangladesh.com

The Economist was also Entrepreneurial Revolutionary at its 1843 founding. Being an end-hunger social action/mediation devised by Scot James Wilson to purge The Empire's parliament of the majority of his fellow MPs sponsored by vested interests of the 0.1% not the sustainability of the 99.9%. As Keynes general theory advised all young people to constantly question- who's economics and politics are you being ruled by??? Because the first joyful idea that all 21st C societies of the first net generation need to share about innovation is that the maths of compound system impacts that makes the 0.1% bigger can never be resolved with what entreprenurially sustains the lifetime productivities of the 99.9%

Arvind AshtaNov 11th, 22:48

Its really a lovely story and its nice to see Bangladesh getting some positive reports.
One thing does intrigue me though: in microfinance we have so much difficulty proving impact of anything. Yet the Economist is so simply able to discern that the credit should go to BRAC and NGOs and not to Grameen nor to the government.
I wonder how they do it.

     Latest DC Debates of economics of womens entrepreneur networking Could I suggest a meeting at USAID?  

My family and I are very passionate but the kinds of transformation in analysis mindset that both value chain approach and womens entrepreneur lens have built from continuity of 2 obama administrations. These connect with arguments on network transformation to economics my father first debated in The Economist in early 1970s which he coined Entrepreneurial Revolution and from which both Drayton Social Entrepreneur and Gifford Pinchot Intrapreneur credit their choice of terminology

 

My father's last project sent me to Bangladesh 8 times to study Grameen and BRAC as well as to host a 2000 book club around Yunus social business. There are 2 particular ideas I would like to iterate with you

Recommended Agenda 1 of 2  1) As per my public question on Tuesday, if Steve Radlett would include a 4th factor : on specific opportunity of village women entrepreneurs. Their social networks can compound different communal impacts. This opens up 2 consciously different  analysis views. A) How mobiles change village dynamics round women. For example now that Bangladesh has been studying this for 16 years, the chance to train up girls to build 21st century  nursing networks (communities most urgent action and life critical information connectors) is seen by both Grameen and BRAC as a gamechanger. Apps such as mobile ultrasound (and other Grameen-Intel innovations) now  linkin such girls to hunt out the 10% of mothers at risk to child birth ahead of time and link them into experts. If you play through the impact of mobilising the end of nurseless villages this will exponentially bring down the costs of infant and maternal healthcare by a factor of two or three  as well as be a huge job creator for young women. Another huge app is the total design of cashless banking (and India's 600 million person personal identity for aid being led by Infosys Nilekani) blended with what national regulations are chosen ahead of operations. In effect this becomes a last chance to change banking systems (and aid) back to value multiplying purpose of crediting entrepreneurial productivity as an opposite system to profiting from trapping people in debt.

B) The womens social network views also leads to discussing how the poorest gain from maximising non-monetary exchanges in the community. Such hi trust behaviors as neighbours looking after each others children (in effect as community goodwill flows not separated monetary transactions) are how Grameen and BRAC changed the way end poverty was hubbed. Moreover goodwill exchanges lead to multi-win modeling that compound rising exponentials impacts that zero-sum mindsets cant imagine innovating

Recommended Agenda 2 of 2.

   The approach of asking USAID partners to show a transparent value chain map as part of all future work is exciting because every major impact Grameen or BRAC ever had involved a value chain transformation. When this is understood arguments that microcredits only work for women comfy with risk become less salient because it is the duty of the microcredit to reduce the cost/risk of the sales channel. Moreover arguments that microcredit has a design bias to extremely small businesses are misemphasised. Take for example the very latest intervention of JICTA and Grameen. It starts with a cooperative of 8000 farmers -aimed at doubling each year. Even though each is individually microfinanced, they cooperatively shares Japan's crop science of murgh beans and are guaranteed them a pooled export market to Japan as well as the food security of a new crop for local consumption at world class efficiency of cultivation.

 Additional note for Wholeplanet.tv investors in 2010s as wprldwide youth's most productive decade

Back in 1984 my father's and my first book on net generation economics both proposed inviting youth to co-produce the most exciting goals (including ending poverty) wand recommended mediating future market purposes to value the collaboration tech of the web by starting up maps of youth's next 3 billion jobs that can only come from above zero-sum models. Girl empowering designs that transform value chain maps are a hot spot for investing in all pro-youth economic models. One of the reasons why dr Yunus is now dedicating his life to student entrepreneur social business competitions (4 statewide ones in USA this academic year and a 12000 live competition in Tokyo January 2013) is that by taking a pro-youth economic lens to which student projects to celebrate as winners, we can map back the future in which the net generation compounds sustainable investments in the most productive time worldwide youth have ever enjoyed.

 

You can also see how The Economist has brought a different kens to analysing lessons form Bangladesh in Nov 3 issue. Since my father's death three reviews of the interconnection between his and Yunus pro-youth economic mindset have been held : at The Economist boardroom; with the Japanese and Bangladeshi civic society leaders in Japan's Embassy in Dhaka; and with South Africa's implementation leader of Mandela-Branson partnership investment in free universities of youth entrepreneurs.

 

Can we meet to pool what all our pro-youth and pro-womens economic analysis tools may have innovated over last 5 years?

 

Further blog notes are being made in our research of where will youth's 10000 greatest job creators linkin from at http://youth10000.blogspot.com http://yunus10000.com and http://jobscompetitions.ning.com   

 are you just-in-time for revolution in economicschris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk Norman Macrae Family Foundation Washington DC hotline 301 881 1655

1:54ThumbnailWatch Laterentrepreneurialrevolution.avi 

 SPECIAL Pro-Youth Economics FEATURES ON BANGLADESH AT THE ECONOMIST - 3-9 November 2012 :

USA, Bangladesh and Worldwide Youth at Crossroads - for discussions with The Economist post here 1 1a - for discussions with worldwide youth join in the collaboration blog family project of Norman Macrae Foundation - eg DCyouth10000 - for current associated blogs - see yunuscity - for deeper maps of networks of millennium goal projects most inspired by bangladesh see leadersandyunusand bracnet - for other top100 pro-youth leadership profiles vote for who we haven't yet logged up at www.wholeplanet.tv -queries chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc hotline 1 301 881 1655

Bangladesh - unfinished ER projects 1 2 3

..cb3_jpg.jpg...Keynes mentored The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant (aka dad Norman Macrae) that an economist's prime responsibility was productivity of all (missing) generations of youth. It was typical that Norman would see Bangladesh as his last project - not just celebrating the potential of Bangladeshi youth to be leading players in mobile web technology but open network transformers of worldwide youth future productivity anywhere that politicians were destroying their next generation's productivity. For some Norman will be the champion of development of asia pacific region, as (1962) he was the first westerner to celebrate Japan's world trade economics as designing futures models that borderless world youth could win-win with... But after seeing 500 youth sharing knowhow around a digital network in 1972 , Norman actively designed The Economist's genre of Entrepreneurual Revolution to discredit politicians/academics anywhere who got the wrong end of the stick on economics of debt. When in 2010s you have the greatest ever time to invest in youth, a nation's only problem with joyfully linking in to 10 times more health and wealth than ever before is if other nations dont trust you to invest in youth's future productivity. It is extremely bad timing that Euro-Austerity, WallStreetitis are the sickest diseases macroeconomists have ever caught. Help urgent search of 100 antidote leaders at www.wholeplanet.tv  

SPECIAL Pro-Youth Economics FEATURES ON BANGLADESH AT THE ECONOMIST - 3-9 November 2012 :

USA, Bangladesh and Worldwide Youth at Crossroads - for discussions with The Economist post here 1  1a  - for discussions with worldwide youth join in the collaboration blog family project of Norman Macrae Foundation - eg DCyouth10000 - for current associated blogs - see yunuscity - for deeper maps of networks of millennium goal projects most inspired by bangladesh see leadersandyunusand bracnet - for other top100 pro-youth leadership profiles vote for who we haven't yet logged up at www.wholeplanet.tv -queries chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc hotline 1 301 881 1655

Bangladesh - unfinished ER projects 1 2 3

Out of the basket

Lessons from the achievements—yes, really, achievements—of Bangladesh

IN 1976, five years after independence, a book appeared called “Bangladesh: The Test Case of Development”. It was a test, the authors claimed, because the country was such a disaster that if development could be made to work there, it could surely work anywhere. At the time, many people feared Bangladesh would not survive as an independent state. One famine, three military coups and four catastrophic floods later, the country that Henry Kissinger once dismissed as “a basket case” is still a test. But no longer in the sense of being the bare minimum that others should seek to surpass. Now, Bangladesh has become a standard for others to live up to.

As our briefing points out (see article), in the past 20 years Bangladesh has made extraordinary improvements in almost every indicator of human welfare. The average Bangladeshi can now expect to live four years longer than the average Indian, though Indians are twice as rich. Girls’ education has soared, and the country has hugely reduced the numbers of early deaths of infants, children and mothers. Some of these changes are among the fastest social improvements ever seen. Remarkably, the country has achieved all this even though economic growth, until recently, has been sluggish and income has risen only modestly.

Bangladesh might seem like a special case. Because of its poverty, it has long been a recipient of vast amounts of aid. With around 150m people crammed into a silted delta frequently swept by cyclones and devastating floods, it is the most densely populated country on Earth outside city states. Hardly any part is isolated by distance, tradition or ethnicity, making it easier for anti-poverty programmes to reach everyone. Unusually, it has a culture that is distinct from its religion: although most Bangladeshis are Muslims, their culture and language are shared with the non-Muslim Indian state of West Bengal. Religious opposition to social change has been mild. Not many nationalities have so unusual a collection of traits.

The female factor

That said, the most important of the country’s achievements can serve as a model for others. Bangladesh shows what happens if you take women seriously as agents of development. When the country became independent, population-control policies were all the rage (this was the period of China’s one-child policy and India’s forced sterilisations). Happily lacking the ability to impose such savage restrictions, the government embarked instead upon a programme of voluntary family planning. It was stunningly successful. It not only halved the rate of fertility within a generation, but also increased women’s influence within their own households. For the first time, wives controlled the size of families.

Later, the textile industry took off—and four-fifths of its workers are female. Bangladesh was also the home of microcredit, tiny loans for the poorest. By design, these go to women. Thus, over the past two decades women have earned greater influence in the home and more financial autonomy. And, as experience from round the world shows, women spend their money differently from men: typically, on their children’s food, health and education. Child welfare has been underpinned by a quiet revolution in the role of women.

That is not all there was to it. Thanks to remittances from abroad and to the Green Revolution, Bangladesh has done better than most at reducing persistent rural poverty. It has maintained a broad consensus in favour of basic social spending despite military coups and a toxic politics dominated by the bitter infighting of the “battling begums” (the widow and daughter of former presidents, who lead the two main parties). Bangladesh has also benefited by letting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) get on with what the state itself has been too weak or corrupt to do: experiment with different programmes and scale up those that work. Much of its success is attributable to local NGOs like Grameen and BRAC.

Bangladesh has shown that countries can transform the lives of the poorest without having to wait for economic growth. But it does not show that growth is irrelevant. The country would surely have done better still if its economy had expanded faster, as it could have done. As people’s education and expectations rise further, it will be all the more important to provide new jobs and opportunities for advancement.

Delta force

Moreover, Bangladesh’s achievements remain vulnerable to political interference. The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, is vindictively meddling with Grameen Bank, removing its boss and trying to impose her own choice upon the institution’s shareholders—all to punish its founder, Muhammad Yunus, for daring to think of setting up a political party. She is sending a chilling effect through the country. Bangladesh has become a model of what can be done, despite her government’s corrupt, poisonous politics. It would be a tragedy if it once again became an example of what not to do.

THIS week’s Economist examines one of the most intriguing puzzles in development: Bangladesh.

By most standards, Bangladesh looks like a disaster. It was the original “basket case” (Henry Kissinger’s dismissive term) and remains a poor country; it has only half India’s income per head. Until recently, its economic growth was paltry. City states apart, it is the world’s most densely populated country, with around 150m people crammed onto the delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, an area regularly swept by devastating floods. Its private sector is weak and its government widely perceived as corrupt and dysfunctional.

And yet Bangladesh has done better than most countries at improving the basic standard of living of its people. Bangladeshis can expect to live four years longer than Indians even though they are much poorer. The country has achieved some of the largest reductions in early deaths of infants, children and women in childbirth ever seen anywhere.

So that is the puzzle: Bangladesh combines economic disappointment with social progress. The Economist suggests four factors to explain why.

First, Bangladesh has done more than most countries to improve the status of women. This was partly deliberate policy (the country invented microcredit and these tiny loans were targeted at women). And it was partly an unintended consequence of other things. Because the country was so crowded and poor, its founders decided after independence to embark on a big family-planning programme. This reduced fertility but also raised the status of women within the household since it was they who now controlled the size of the family. The textile industry later took off in Bangladesh, and 80% of the workers are women. So women’s status and income both improved. Women are much more likely than men to spend money on their family’s health, education and meals, so child welfare rose.

Second, Bangladesh has been unusually good at boosting incomes in the country—and since the deepest poverty in developing countries tends to be rural, this has helped the very poorest. The mechanisms here were the Green Revolution, which meant the country could grow two crops a year, and remittances (around 6m Bangladeshis work abroad, mostly in the Gulf).

Third, the government deserves credit for maintaining basic social spending. Indeed, it has kept up a consensus in favour of this despite several military coups and bitter political infighting between the two main parties.

But public spending would probably have been wasted and frittered away (as it has happened so often elsewhere) were it not for the fourth factor, which The Economist calls the magic ingredient in the mix: large non-government organisations which have managed to scale up their programmes to work nationwide without losing the idealism of their early days, when they were small and beautiful.

The briefing goes into a lot more details on each of these. The accompanying
editorial tackles a question naturally raised by the story: if Bangladesh’s social achievements have been greater than its economic ones, does that mean economic growth is pointless?

The editorial says no. True, Bangladesh shows you do not need to wait for lots of growth. But it might have done even better had its economy grown faster. Growth either made only a modest contribution to the factors that mattered most (such as the internal workings of NGOs or the family-planning programme, which people wanted anyway). Or it would have helped them along more (for example, the adoption of Green Revolution seeds or microloans). There were no strong trade-offs.

BRIEFING BANGLADESH & DEVELOPMENT - The Economist P23-26

Bangladesh and development

The path through the fields

Bangladesh has dysfunctional politics and a stunted private sector. Yet it has been surprisingly good at improving the lives of its poor

Villagers are doing it for themselves

ON THE outskirts of the village of Shibaloy, just past the brick factory, the car slows to let a cow lumber out of its way. It is a good sign. Twenty years ago there was no brick factory, or any other industry, in this village 60 kilometres west of Dhaka; there were few cows, and no cars. The road was a raised path too narrow for anything except bicycles.

Now, Shibaloy has just opened its first primary school; it is installing piped water and the young men of the village gather to show off their motorcycles at the tea house. “I have been a microcredit customer for 17 years,” says Romeja, the matriarch of an extended family. “When I started, my house was broken; I slept on the streets. Now I have three cows, an acre of land, solar panels on the roof and 75,000 taka ($920) in fixed-rate deposits.”

Bangladesh was the original development “basket case”, the demeaning term used in Henry Kissinger’s state department for countries that would always depend on aid. Its people are crammed onto a flood plain swept by cyclones and without big mineral and other natural resources. It suffered famines in 1943 and 1974 and military coups in 1975, 1982 and 2007. When it split from Pakistan in 1971 many observers doubted that it could survive as an independent state.

In some ways, those who doubted Bangladesh’s potential were right. Economic growth since the 1970s has been poor; the country’s politics have been unremittingly wretched. Yet over the past 20 years, Bangladesh has made some of the biggest gains in the basic condition of people’s lives ever seen anywhere. Between 1990 and 2010 life expectancy rose by 10 years, from 59 to 69 (see chart 1). Bangladeshis now have a life expectancy four years longer than Indians, despite the Indians being, on average, twice as rich. Even more remarkably, the improvement in life expectancy has been as great among the poor as the rich.

Bangladesh has also made huge gains in education and health. More than 90% of girls enrolled in primary school in 2005, slightly more than boys. That was twice the female enrolment rate in 2000. Infant mortality has more than halved, from 97 deaths per thousand live births in 1990 to 37 per thousand in 2010 (see table). Over the same period child mortality fell by two-thirds and maternal mortality fell by three-quarters. It now stands at 194 deaths per 100,000 births. In 1990 women could expect to live a year less than men; now they can expect to live two years more.

The most dramatic period of improvement in human health in history is often taken to be that of late-19th-century Japan, during the remarkable modernisation of the Meiji transition. Bangladesh’s record on child and maternal mortality has been comparable in scale.

These improvements are not a simple result of increases in people’s income. Bangladesh remains a poor country, with a GDP per head of $1,900 at purchasing-power parity.

For the first decades of its independent history Bangladesh’s economy grew by a paltry 2% a year. Since 1990 its GDP has been rising at a more respectable 5% a year, in real terms. That has helped reduce the percentage of people below the poverty line from 49% in 2000 to 32% in 2010. Still, Bangladeshi growth has been slower than India’s, which for most of the past 20 years grew at around 8% a year. Nevertheless the gains in its development have been greater. The belief that growth brings development with it—the “Washington consensus”—is often criticised on the basis that some countries have had good growth but little poverty reduction. Bangladesh embodies the inverse of that: it has had disproportionate poverty reduction for its amount of growth.

How has it done it?

Four main factors explain this surprising success. First, family planning has empowered women. If you leave aside city states, Bangladesh is the world’s most densely populated country. At independence, its leaders decided that they had to restrain further population growth (China’s one-child policy and India’s forced sterilisation both date from roughly the same time). Fortunately, Bangladesh’s new government lacked the power to be coercive. Instead, birth control was made free and government workers and volunteers fanned out across the country to distribute pills and advice. In 1975, 8% of women of child-bearing age were using contraception (or had partners who were); in 2010 the number was over 60% (see chart 2).

In 1975 the total fertility rate (the average number of children a woman can expect to have during her lifetime) was 6.3. In 1993 it was 3.4. After stalling, it resumed its fall in 2000. After one of the steepest declines in history the fertility rate is now just 2.3, slightly above the “replacement level” at which the population stabilises in the long term. When Bangladesh and Pakistan split in 1971, they each had a population of 65m or so. Bangladesh’s is now around 150m; Pakistan’s is almost 180m.

Because of this Bangladesh is about to reap a “demographic dividend”; the number of people entering adulthood will handsomely exceed the number of children being born, increasing the share of the total population that works.

In giving women better health and more autonomy, family planning was one of a number of factors that improved their lot, and by so doing did much to reduce poverty. The spread of primary education was one of the others (the government has been better than many at helping women this way); the proportion of girls who get schooled has increased much more than the proportion of boys. And both the boom in the textile industry and the arrival of microcredit have, over the past 20 years, put money into women’s pockets—from which it is more likely to be spent on health, education and better food.

Second, Bangladesh managed to restrain the fall in rural household incomes that usually increases extreme poverty in developing countries. Between 1971 and 2010 the rice harvest more than trebled, though the area under cultivation increased by less than 10%. This year the country once supposedly doomed to dependence on food aid could be a small exporter of rice. One-sixth of the population remains undernourished, which is a blight; but it is an improvement on 20 years ago, when more than a third of the population was underweight or stunted.

Yield alone is not the whole story. The new crops of the Green Revolution allowed rice growers to move to two harvests a year. The rice of the Ganges delta used to be monsoon, or aman, rice; it was planted before the annual rains and harvested after. Nowboro rice, planted and harvested in winter, is the main crop. For people just above the poverty line, the sort of event most likely to plunge them into extreme poverty is a sudden external shock, such as an illness or a harvest failure. By expanding the winter crop, boro rice reduces the risk of a harvest failing in a way that shocks a household into abject poverty. Between 2007 and 2012 Bangladesh went through three global food-price spikes and two cyclones. Almost everyone expected a spike in poverty to follow. It did not.

The villages have also found resources from beyond agriculture—and, indeed, beyond Bangladesh. Around 6m Bangladeshis work abroad, mostly in the Middle East, and they remit a larger share of the national income than any other big country gets from migrants. In the year ending in June 2012 they sent back $13 billion, about 14% of annual income—more than all the government’s social-protection programmes put together. The majority of migrant workers send their remittances back to family members in the village they came from. Because emigrants are more likely to come from better off families, those families benefit most. But knock-on effects on rural wages benefit landless labourers. The World Bank calculates that between 2000 and 2010, real agricultural wages rose 59%, compared with 42% for all sectors. Most countries have seen a reduction in rural living standards, and a resultant increase in extreme poverty. Bangladesh has not.

Remittances and family planning have not attacked extreme poverty directly. That is where the government comes in.

Bangladesh comes 120th (out of 183) on the “corruption perceptions index” kept by Transparency International, a think-tank in Berlin. It has had episodes of military rule interrupting periods of democracy in which the “battling begums” (daughter and widow of two early presidents) engaged in a sort of Judy and Judy show of vicious political infighting.

Yet despite the political circus, the country’s elite has maintained a consensus in favour of social programmes. Bangladesh spends a little more than most low-income countries on helping the poor. About 12% of public spending (1.8% of GDP) goes on social safety-nets to protect the poorest: food for work, cash transfers and direct feeding programmes, which most poor countries do not have. As well as spending more on the poor, the state also focuses more than many on the role of women.

That said, the amounts that go on education (2.2% of GDP) and health (3.5%) in Bangladesh are below the average for low-income countries. And even that spending might well have been wasted but for one further influence: the extraordinary role played by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country. Without the state’s schools, clinics and cash-transfer schemes, says Rehman Sobhan, the head of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, a think-tank, other interventions would not work. It is the things which NGOs do, though, that make Bangladesh’s way of fighting poverty unique.

BRAC (which originally stood for Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, but now is the only name the organisation needs) invented the idea of microcredit, that is, tiny loans to the destitute. Then another NGO, Grameen Bank, made them work by targeting them on women and holding weekly meetings of borrowers who would identify and support anyone who was falling behind on repayments. Their growth since has been explosive. Grameen has 8.4m borrowers and outstanding loans of over $1 billion; BRAC has 5m borrowers and loans of $725m. The poor account for roughly a fifth of the total loan portfolio of the country, an unusually high proportion.

Since their establishment, microcredits have spread around the world. Their benefits have been both exaggerated and attacked. The backlash has shown that microcredits have not, as some claimed, led to a surge of entrepreneurial activity. In some cases they have left borrowers worse off than before. Their impact in the land of their birth, though, has been mostly positive. Mohammad Razzaque of Dhaka University looked at two groups of people with similar incomes and household assets, one of which contained regular borrowers from a variety of microfinance institutions and the other of which did not, to see whether microcredit helped. Among the first group the poverty rate fell ten percentage points, from 78% in 1998 to 68% in 2004. Among the second, poverty still fell, but only half as much, from 75% to 70%.

The magic ingredient

The real magic of Bangladesh, though, was not microfinance but BRAC—and NGOs more generally. The government of Bangladesh has been unusually friendly to NGOs, perhaps because, to begin with, it realised it needed all the help it could get.

BRAC began life distributing emergency aid in a corner of eastern Bangladesh after the war of independence. It is now the largest NGO in the world by the number of employees and the number of people it has helped (three-quarters of all Bangladeshis have benefited in one way or another). Unlike Grameen, which is mainly a microfinance and savings operation, BRAC does practically everything. In the 1980s it sent out volunteers to every household in the country showing mothers how to mix salt, sugar and water in the right proportions to rehydrate a child suffering from diarrhoea. This probably did more to lower child mortality in the country than anything else. BRAC and the government jointly ran a huge programme to inoculate every Bangladeshi against tuberculosis. BRAC’s primary schools are a safety net for children who drop out of state schools. BRAC even has the world’s largest legal-aid programme: there are more BRAC legal centres than police stations in Bangladesh.

The scale is a response to one of the biggest challenges of development: that solving one problem leads to others. This happens in economic development as well as the social kind. In the 1950s South Korea’s Samsung had a big woollen mill. It found that to expand, it had to make its own textile machinery; then, to export, it built its own ships; and so on. Samsung now has around 80 companies and is the world’s largest information-technology firm. BRAC is a sort of chaebol (South Korean conglomerate)for social development. It began with microcredit, but found its poor clients could not sell the milk and eggs produced by the animals they had bought. So BRAC got into food processing. When it found the most destitute were too poor for micro-loans, it set up a programme which gave them animals. Now it runs dairies, a packaging business, a hybrid-seed producer, textile plants and its own shops—as well as schools for dropouts, clinics and sanitation plants.

The innovative NGO now has 100,000 health volunteers with mobile phones (mobile-phone coverage is widespread in Bangladesh). When a volunteer finds a woman is pregnant, she texts the mother-to-be with advice on prenatal and, later, postnatal care. This is helping BRAC build up a database of maternal and child-health patterns in remote villages.

BRAC goes out of its way to involve everyone. When it set up a programme for the ultra-poor in Shibaloy, the whole village gathered to decide who should be eligible. They drew a map of the households in the dirt so everyone could see who was involved and ensure that nobody was missed (the same process, in a different village, is pictured below). BRAC argues that such things encourage a sense of ownership of the programmes and reduces waste and corruption.

A balance-sheet

Bangladesh still has formidable problems. Its nutritional standards are low and stalled for a few years in the early 2000s. While the government has managed to increase school enrolment, the quality of education is abysmal and the drop-out rate exceptionally high (only 60% of pupils complete primary school, much less than the regional average). Only a quarter of eleven-year-olds have reached the required standards of literacy and numeracy.

Most of the big improvements have taken place in rural areas, but Bangladesh is urbanising fast, which will bring a different suite of problems. Dhaka is one of the ten largest cities in the world, but has the infrastructure of a one-buffalo town.

Villagers are doing it for themselves

 

And as if all that were not enough, the government seems intent on killing one of the geese that lays the golden eggs. Incensed that the founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, should have had the temerity to start a political party, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has hounded him from his position as the bank’s managing director and is seeking to impose her own choice of boss on the bank, overriding the interests of the owner-borrowers. This is sending a chilling signal to other NGOs.

But Bangladesh’s record is, on balance, a good one. It shows that the benefits of making women central to development are huge. It suggests that migration is not just the result of a failure to provide jobs at home but can be an engine of economic growth. Indian’s rural-development minister, Jairam Ramesh, said recently that “Bangladesh’s experience shows…that we don’t have to wait for…high economic growth to trigger social transformations. Robust grass-roots institutions can achieve much that money can’t buy.”

Bangladesh is still poor and crowded. With the lowest labour costs in the world (textile workers make about $35 a month) it should be growing faster than China, not more slowly than India. It is badly governed, stifled by red tape and faces severe environmental problems. But in terms of the success of its grass-roots development, it has lessons for the world.

Economics Millennium Challenge - download

Bangladesh offers grassroots network "labs" for many of the world's multidimensional crises - please help us identify useful tags

- climate friendly agriculture 1

You can discuss Economics Millennium Challenge and other puzzles on Joy of Jub Creating Economics set by The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant at http://normanmacrae.ning.com , or chat with chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk wash dc 1 301 881 1655  skype chrismacraedc

This site  The Web 

 

Embargo 16 November 2010< Boardroom The Economist: Best Economics News for the World 

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Help us see where do you map youth's best news from: Kenya, S.Africa, Global Sustainability Goals, Google, Intel, Paris, Glasgow, London, NY, DC, Austin, Atlanta, Glasgow, Japan, India

 

The unacknowledged giant


 Teenage Norman learnt economics from an Indian correspondence course whist waiting to navigate ww2 RAF planes out of modern day Bangladesh. The Economist celebrates his life 16 Novemeber 18.30 pm St James London. In 1984 he became the first journalist of www forecasting 2010s as youth's most exciting decade connecting Asia Pacific www Century. He was also the first journalist of the EU , and was concerned with how (unfree) media can destroy economics, communities and so peoples.   Linkin dialogues : 1

 

1 At the start of the 1970s, in  bloody war of independence from Pakistan , the nation of Bangladesh was born poorest in world because it inherited the shortest straw from British colonialism

2 However, Bangladesh’s great good fortune: to be empowered by 2 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs: its youth are now leaders of net generation’s sustainability world (as recognised by eg the head of the Nobel peace judges: Dhaka 17 July 2008 when he addressed a meeting of Bangladeshi youth: You have dreams of prosperity and peace in Bangladesh, I will join you. You have dreams for a good life for the future generations in Bangladesh, I will join you. We all have dreams for peace and justice in the world. Let us do it together. Asia has a very important role to play.  

3 Thanks to 30 years work by America’s leading grassroots network www.results.org : yes we can help American and worldwide youth turn round 2010s from macroeconomics most depressing decade to microeconomics most exciting decade

September 2010 , US Congress Votes For Economic Genius of our Generation
Bangladesh invites you to map connections with capitals and villages that wish to hub sustinbility's world trade round youth job creation. www Collab Game 1: please help survey (RSVP info@worldcitizen.tv) Top 20 identifiers of 2010s most exciting decade .There will also be plenty of world service broadcasting opportunities to get updated animated by 3000 person -Youth & Yunus- future capital festivals starting with Glasgow summer 2011. Themes in the race to poverty musuems we are currently working on:
MicroEconomics Foci.
  • Village-poorest banking
  • Urban youth poorest banking
  • Job Creation
  • Health
  • Microeconomics SMBA & Sustainability Professionals
  • Info Tech (mobile bridging of digital divides)
  • Green energy & abundant organic agriculture
  • Water including factories & communities working on a zero-waste future
  • Community & Poorest-owned (free) market sectors
  • Education to teens
  • Education teens
  • e-gov including community empowering social dynamics of daringnation 
  • Social Business Stockmarket & Funds 
Asian-Pacific Sustainability trade & multi-win leadership maps:

Friends of Bangladesh- Embargo 11 Feb 2011

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Download whole of First Issue; Discuss with us if your future capital or sustainabiloity network could edit special issue

Rsvp info@worldcitizen.tv  if you wish to subscribe to our occasionl newsletter featuring actions like this:

SUBJECT : Can you help survey  next actions linking in Norman Macrae's Underacknowledged Purpose?

Norman Macrae’s Purpose (& that of unacknowledged Micro-Media(te)-Innovating-Economists)

To employ worldwide journalism to search for innovations in economics with greatest compound impact for the human lot

Place innovations

EU only journalist at birth: Messina (after observing as teenager: stalin's moscow, hitler's europe, and English colonialism's India) 

Japan 1962

Start of Asia Pacific Century 1975 (with china as epicentred of 2 billion people’s rising productivity)

Silicon Valley at sun micro's birth time when venture capitalism involved giving start ups 6 months free ir ticket nd list of leaders to try to connect sales with

Berlin (& east-west interfaces of Europe ) 1984-1988

Sweden Den Nye Vikingen 1993

Global partnering with Bangladesh 2008

Prototype internet 1973: UK mationl development project (computer assisted learing)

1970s telecommuting : being productive other than where located

Internet generation 1984-2024 united round economics greatest system goal: end of children born into poverty traps (open sources connections between end poverty in developing countries and let people crete more jobs than technology takes in developed nations, and then ending politicians' macroeconomics of nations!)

Von Neumann : above Zero-sum games-exponentially revisited for starting up death of distance's millennium's - transparently mediated around billion person global village dialogues of most exciting goals for 2020

1976 Entrepreneurial revolution – ending the risk that mass media spun economics of big bet bigger

1982 Intrapreneurship : service economy

With Drucker knowledge worker as service plus economy

Networked (death of  distance) end of digitally divided economy

Community-rising privatization

Some sectors questioned (what happens if their costs (or per cent of  family’s budget) exponentially increases):

Property early 1960s

Country’s risk of imbalance due to one mega-capital

TV advertising spot 1976

Healthcare 1984

(help with others I forgot or never knew of dad please!)

Rush Holt, New Jersey

Award Congressional Gold Medal to Economic Genius, Muhammad Yunus I rise in strong support of this legislation to award Dr Muhammad Yunus the congressional gold medal ; the house has garnered 297 bipartisan sponsors of this bill; Muhammad Yunus is widely known as banker to the poor and is one of the world’s great humanitarians, and an economic genius From this first experience, with the power of  small amount of money, yunus developed the concept of  microcredit;  with just a few dollars to work with the poor are able to become entrepreneurs;  they sell vegetables or clothing or other handmade goods and other products in order to slowly generate and accumulate profits; or they devise clever service industries with the cell phone or a computer that they can buy with the microloan; and it turns out that the poor are wary of debt , and are careful stewards of money; repayment rates of microloans are consistently near 97%, and step by step these borrowers build individual ladders on which they can climb out of poverty and into mainstream economy Microfinance institutions now serve over 160 million people in developing countries; women who make up 60% of the world’s poorest citizens and disproportionately shoulder the burdens of poverty receive over 95% of the microloans; the funds allow them to increase their independence and improve the quality of life of their entire families Jim McDermott Washington Getting 290 members to sign something is not an easy task however the object of this gold medal Dr Yunus is clearly somebody who is worth working for. I got to know him by being out in Bangladesh to the villages watching the whole process of the women paying their debts. I also had the opportunity when he came to Seattle to introduce him to a Results dinner of about 500 people. The impact of Dr Yunus goes far beyond the Grameen Bank – Seattle has probably 40 microlending operations working worldwide where this idea that this man created has been taken by other people and it works anywhere. What’s remarkable is to think about how one man faced with the poverty in the most densely populated country Bangladesh could say to himself : you know I think I can change this and then not only did he think that but he went out and did it. I think that’s why a gold medal for dr yunus is so important for us to remember in congress. We often think we have to give 100 million dollars or 80 billion dollars or whatever- this man started with $27 and created something that effected millions and millions of people.
Spencer Bachus, AlabamaOverdue recognition of a vastly important concept: what credit can do Over the last couple of the years we have talked about the effects of the recent economics crisis, and how it has limited our ability to procure loans in this country. We all know that credit is the lifeblood of both business and daily life. And that businesses need capital to invest in tools, labour and raw materials and that in individuals need credit for short term needs and long term investments such as education.. It is a testimony to the man we honor today that he both recognised the needs of many for loans of very small amounts of money and devised a system that can be replicated anywhere to address that need. In the years since the founding of Grameen, the model has blossomed in projects ranging from information technology and communications to food production with partners ranging from small local companies to giant multinationals. One project has funded installation of nearly half a million small solar electrical plants producing power for off the grid people in Bangladesh. I remember reading the book by Robert Caro about Lyndon Johnson and what electricity meant to the hill country of Texas- the miracle that we saw in America a century ago is being repeated in these countries now: the miracle of electricity. . Dr Yunus holds out the possibility that another offshoot he calls Social Business might be a way to help redevelop Haiti and bring its people out of poverty , as well as in developed countries to provide  a path to help the poor become self-supporting without the need for welfare.
 

4 Bangladesh is today’s epicentre of sustainability world’s free market system designs as Adam Smith scholars out of Glasgow are celebrating with the new journal of social business and an emerging summer Fringe Festival supported by Artists Peace Corps www.singforhope.org  and hubs of future capitalism http://danonecommunities.com/  http://the-hub.net/  ...

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Friday, November 16, 2012

3:06 pm est 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Editors at The Economist discuss entrepreneurial revolution and why Norman Macrae supported Bangladeshi Microfinance pioneers like Muhammad Yunus ...by microeconomist

From chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk of Norman Macrae Family Foundation (Washington DC 1-301 881 1655 - after navigating airplanes over modern day Bangladesh in world war 2, dad was mentored by Keynes at Cambridge University: that economists either design or destroy the futures that peoples need most. He tried through his life work at The Economist to diarise designs future generations most need out of every global village; famously his consider japan series starting 1962 foresaw asian pacific worldwid century 1976-2075 - see chronology of surveys here; in 1972 he first saw 500 young people sharing knowledge around a digital network and from then animate the genre of Entrepreneurial Revolution - would we invest in youth futures to make the net generation the most productive time of worldiwde youth -with his 1984 book mapping back the future of 3 billion jobs that borderless youth economics needs to co-create- dad's last survey in 2008 reviewed what youth investment banking in bangladesh knew that wall street and the EU didnt- it is republished below celebrating inter alia that bangladesh microentrepreurial networks are now on a moores law of annual doubling installation of solar units due to total a million by end 2011- in the brochure handed out at norman's remembrance party at the boardroom of The Economist 2010 - join our survey of 100 leaders of 2010s = youth's most productive decade at http://wholeplanet.tv and note how many are directly influenced by extreme innovation experiments that social labs in bangladesh helped collaboratively start up -see also which trillion dollar global markets' purposes we the peoples can most free up for job creation at http://trilliondollaraudit.com
if you live in usa a plan for renewing joy of youth's productive freedoms is to develop a university of jobs competitions where students design social solutions to all the most valuable bottom-chalenges using societies as labs- a 2011 pilot in Georgia has started 3 solution streams- 1) end illiteracy; 2) end monopoly retailing of obesity to big cities' poor; 3) end detachment of global markets from deep historic local skill bases - what will be streams 4 and up - this hunt next takes place 26 sept to 1 october across usa and then moves on to 12000 youth competition in Tokyo in january 2013 - we'll keep you posted on new streams at this web, and at http://jobscompetitions.ning.com - if you have ideas on how to collaborate emaal me and i will link you into the most expert youth-led group I am aware of in the practice challenge area you specify
10:26 am est 

yunus article in 2006
note from 2012
he has since withdrawn from the political and focused on pro-youth economcal- he has found that japan is the most friendly facilitator of his growing up with giants story

Growing Up With Two Giants
February 4, 2006
By Professor Muhammad Yunus

 

Happy Birthday to the Daily Star!

This is a great occasion to celebrate. Pages of the Daily Star have documented fifteen years of history Bangladesh history. For Bangladeshis this is a period to be proud of. Fifteen years of democracy itself is a great cause of celebration.

Now we are at the outset of a new year which is going to be a critical year for Bangladesh democracy. Whole country is abuzz with one single question: Can we hold a peaceful and fair election on schedule as required by the constitution and desired by the nation? We see many bad signs. They upset the citizens. Despite all the bad omens, the nation must express its resolve by saying: "We shall hold the election on time. We shall make it more peaceful, more credible than any other election ever held in the past. Despite all shortcomings still remaining, we shall accept the result of the election and move on to build the nation unitedly."

Election is the Overriding Agenda

Let holding a peaceful and fair election be the overriding agenda for 2006 for our nation.

Holding the national election on time is a necessary condition to keep the process of democracy alive and strong. Any derailment from this course will be a disaster for the nation. Getting derailed is easy and, sometimes, attractive, but it becomes costlier by the day to stay derailed. Getting back on the rail is an extremely painful and slow process, and exhausts the nation by consuming all the energy and attention of the nation.

Despite outstanding accomplishments recorded by Bangladesh, people of Bangladesh feel unsettled, unhappy and frustrated. Our politics is killing our spirit. It has led to our major national crises: 1) limitless corruption, 2) rise of unprecedented terrorism, 3) fast deterioration of the public service structure. They are all inter-connected and linked to politics.

From all indications it is absolutely clear that Bangladesh has quietly and steadily built a very strong foundation to make the big leap forward. But our non-stop political bickering does not give a respite to celebrate or get inspired by our enormous successes to prepare ourselves to reach out to still higher levels of accomplishments. We are ready to launch ourselves into a path to cross USD 1,000 per capita income, 8% GDP growth rate, and reducing poverty level to under 25% in the near future. But our political attention remains riveted to day to day party politicking rather than strategic national issues.

Lucky to Have Two Giants As Our Neighbours

India and China are almost there. They have already reached the 8% growth rate and 25% poverty level. They are becoming such political powers and economic power-houses that the whole world is gathering around them to get their attention.

Bangladesh is lucky to have two globally sought-after giants as her next door neighbours. These giants are not sleeping giants. They are super-active, and growing very fast. We must learn how to take advantage of fast growing giants. We must assess our best interest in building our relationship with them. In their turn, they'll assess their best interest in having us as their neighbour.

Obviously, they will look at us as their market, their competitor, their partner, and also as a potential trouble-maker. From our side we must make it absolutely clear that we have no intention to be trouble-maker for our neighbours, nor do we want to see them as trouble-maker for us.

But a section of our politics find it a very attractive theme to impress on the common people of Bangladesh that India is behind all the terrible things that happen in Bangladesh. If you don't vote for our party, India will turn Bangladesh into her client state.

Countries are not made of saints only or angels only. There are bad people in India, who can dedicate themselves to do bad things to Bangladesh. Similarly, there are bad people in Bangladesh committed to do bad things to India. Both countries must remain vigilant to catch the bad people and punish them forthwith to uphold the friendship between the two countries.

Growing Up With Giants

When our giant neighbours bring the whole business world to their door-steps, our door-steps come very near to the business world. Visibility and contacts are very important factors in business. They come to us easily because of having important neighbours. If we play our cards right our economy can pick up the speed of our neighbours. Even if a small proportion of their business finds its way to our shores, we benefit tremendously. Before business moves away to Africa, buyers and investors will examine our capability. It will be our failure to catch them that will push businesses away from us.

Growing neighbours are also sources of technology and experience. Expanding economies keep moving towards more and more high-profit products and services, leaving behind low- profit, labour intensive items. This creates opportunities for neighbours. This is not to suggest that Bangladesh has to satisfy herself only with the markets and the products which giant neighbours are not interested in. What Bangladesh can do will depend on our level of efficiency and management skill. Bangladesh can find niche to provide high value specialised products and services to her giant neighbours.

I am emphasising on the fact that having two fast growing giant neighbours is a great boon for us. Let us dispel the fear that living between two giants is a scary prospect --- that we may be stepped on from any side, any minute! On the contrary we'll be the beneficiary of coasting effect of having two giants next to us. We can get a ride on the fast train with them.

An Open-Door, Open Arm Country

Future of Bangladesh lies in being an open-door, open-arm country. We must not live under the fear of Indian wolf. We must get the constant fear of Indian wolf out of our system. If it is a real threat, we'll have to prepare for it and get on with our lives. If it is imaginary, we'll have to get our minds cleansed out. Frequent cries of Indian wolf is a sign of our political emptiness. We carved out a separate country for the Muslims in 1947 to protect us from Hindu domination in the united India. We created Bangladesh to protect us from the Punjabi domination. Now some of us are rediscovering Hindu domination coming from India. Where do they want us to go now?

We are not going any where. We stay where we are. In the world today domination does not come through sneaky conspiracies. Domination comes from economic power. If we remain a poor country, everybody will dominate us, not just India. Moving up the economic ladder quickly is the best protection from all dominations. Let us not confuse this issue.

In order to move up the ladder quickly we should open all our doors, invite everybody in, encourage our people to spread themselves all over the wide world, show their talents and win over the confidence and appreciation of the whole world. Hiding behind closed doors is no protection at all.

Let's Make Bangladesh the Cross-Roads of the Region

Let's vision Bangladesh as the cross-roads of the region, if not the world. Let people, products, investments from all over the world flow into Bangladesh, and out of Bangladesh, with utmost ease, safety, and efficiency. Let's make our laws, institutions, bureaucracy, travel and transportation facilities, financial system most friendly to the movement of people, investments, goods and services in and out of Bangladesh. Let's build everything in Bangladesh in such a way that Bangladesh becomes the natural first choice of hard-nosed investors and traders. Let Bangladesh be Bangladesh International. Let us all agree on this vision and then move forward unitedly to make it a reality in the fastest possible speed.
To make Bangladesh an international cross-road we'll have to address the following:

  • Reduce corruption level drastically.
  • Provide reliable electricity all over the country.
  • Open up ICT and make Bangladesh a very attractive country in terms of state-of-the-art ICT.
  • Build a mega-port in a suitable location along the Chittagong coast line capable of serving the following countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Eastern India, Myanmar and South-Western China.
  • Build highways to connect the mega-port with all six countries.

We must visualise Bangladesh as the ICT, industrial and trading hub of the region. On the first day of 2006 we have signed a document which has the potential to change the economy of SAARC region. The document we signed was the document relating to SAFTA agreement. Now Bangladesh should take the lead, rather than wait for initiatives to come from other countries, to move SAFTA forward. We can be smart, open our doors, convert disadvantages into opportunities, and change our destiny. Our biggest worry is corruption. In a corrupt environment it is easy to befool the system; by throwing in money, one side can take away all the gains of trade (even so, I'll not support a closed border, which creates a fertile ground for higher-stake corruption). There is no way out but to eliminate corruption in politics, from where the infectious disease of corruption spreads around.

Geographically Bangladesh is strategically located to provide access to international shipping to Nepal, Bhutan, Eastern India, Myanmar and South-Western China. We should start making appropriate preparations, in consultation with these countries, to create facilities for access. Again, it'll to be our call to draw attention of our neighbours. We'll have to do our home-work well to show them the benefits accruing to them by opening up the access to the sea-routes through Bangladesh, and doing business with Bangladesh. We'll have to resolve formidable political and technical issues with India. Remaining passive is not at all to our interest. It is actually very costly in terms of gains foregone. True leaders not only have visions, they have to have the burning drive to push through the solid walls of obstacles to make their visions come true. Vision must be backed up by hard work and dedication.

Mega-port at Chittagong

Mega-port at Chittagong is the key to making Bangladesh the cross-road of the region. With the economy of the region growing at a sustained high speed, demand for the access to a well-equipped well-managed port will keep on growing. A region, which includes two giant economies, will be desperately looking for direct shipping facilities to reach out to the world. Chittagong will offer the region the most attractive option. Even today, despite the problems of present Chittagong port, Kunming is requesting permission to utilise this facility.

With global competition becoming more fierce shorter and shorter lead time for delivery will become the magic formula to attract business. An efficient mega-port at Chittagong will be in high demand. This port can be built and owned by a national or international company with government participation in equity. It can contract out the management of the port to a professional port management company.

International Airport

Mega-port may support an international airport in its proximity. With appropriate aircraft servicing facilities and hotels, this airport can become an airline hub. It has the advantage of cutting distances to many Asian cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, etc, and taking off the pressure from important SAARC airports.

Highway Network

During the SAARC Summit held in Dhaka recently, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, proposed to build a highway network to connect the SAARC countries. We should enthusiastically welcome this proposal and offer our plan to build highways connecting Nepal, Bhutan, eastern India, and Pakistan. We should make sure that our highway network extends upto Cox's Bazar, so that it can be connected with Myanmar, Thailand and China --- in the eastern side.

Need a Regional Water Management Plan

With borders opening up, highways criss-crossing the region, businesses growing, we can create mutual trust among our neighbours leading to right kind of political climate to engage them to work towards preparing a regional water management plan in conjunction with the plan for regional production and distribution of electricity. Fortunately, this region has an enormous capacity to produce hydro-electricity. With political understanding Bangladesh can meet her ever growing electricity need from a mutually beneficial arrangement with Nepal, Bhutan, and India.

Human Resource of Bangladesh

Human resource is our best resource. We must pay our top priority to make sure our young generation get prepared to play important roles in a global framework. It is nothing but utter disgrace that we have allowed some of our young people to turn into suicide bombers. This is an unforgivable failure on our part. We must take the blame without any excuses, and must ensure that no other young man has to choose the path of suicide for any reason.

USD 100 Lap-tops to School Children

Bangladesh has a very young population. Half the population is under the age of 18 ! If we pay serious attention to them we can create a dramatically different next generation. Some countries are already signing up with MIT Media Lab to provide USD 100 lap-top to each school student, just like text books. Lap-top to a child gives a message. Message is: Discover yourself, discover the world, create your own world. There is no reason why we cannot sign up with MIT Media Lab to do exactly the same and give lap-tops to our students. Let us not miss this world-changing opportunity.

One way to let all children, poor or rich, boy or girl, urban or rural, feel equal is to ensure access to computer and internet. This connectivity also takes off some of the unevenness in our educational facilities. We have already witnessed a telecommunication revolution. Within a short span of five years mobile phones have reached every village in Bangladesh. At the end of 2006, one in every eight persons in Bangladesh will have a telephone! With USD 100 lap-top, every school student will have access to internet telephony.

Our Young People Can be Role Model

The world that these young people will create will be the world of innovative ideas. Old resistance to new ideas will crumble away. Ideas will chase ideas. Seekers of ideas will sift through mountains of ideas to get to the ones they are looking for. Unlike in old times, ideas and innovations will no longer remain unknown. Creativity in every direction will be rewarded more than anything else. Our education system has to be oriented towards promoting creativity in our young people.

Grameen Bank employs 17,000 staff. Ninety per cent of them are young people. I see the dedication and commitment with which they work. They can be role model for young people any where in the world. Grameen Bank gives student loans to Grameen borrowers' children to pursue higher education. Nearly 10,000 such students have received student loans from Grameen Bank to study in medical schools, engineering schools, universities, etc. Their parents are illiterate and poor. It is for the first time in the history of their families that some one went to school. They are making a sharp break in their family history --- going from illiteracy to highest level of education ! It is a thrill to meet them and talk to them.

I meet many Bangladeshi young people when I am visiting foreign countries. Many of us are used to meeting Bangladeshis in New York. But it is a quite different experience to meet young Bangladeshis in a small town of Spain, or in an island in Italy, or in Argentina, Chile, Columbia. They show up to meet me at the hotel, or in the conference where I am speaking. They discover my presence in the town from the newspaper reports. They come individually. They come in groups. Among everything else they express their worry about the political situation in the country. I ask them how they got there. Each tells a horror story. Each time it is a story of perseverance, tenacity, and high risk adventure. It is quite an experience to hear them tell the story of how they moved from one country to the next, how they switched from one livelihood to another. They are doing well now. They have learnt the local language, and understand the local way of life. They are at ease with local people. Story one gets from a migrant worker working in an Asian country is different, but not too different. It is the story of how they are cheated by the man-power agents, and how they are mistreated by the airport officials, at the time of departure as well as at the time of visits.

Bangladeshi young people reached out to all corners of the world with basically individual and family initiative, using network of friends and relatives. Government has built some facilities to help them by making it easy for them to go out. But you hear more about the harassment, bribes. extortion and unresponsiveness of the government officials than nice things about these arrangements. These young people who live under extreme difficulties are making a big contribution to the national economy. They have been sending a very substantial amount of money as remittances.

Overseas Remittance

The piece of information that amazed me is: in 2004, Bangladesh received USD 3.4 billion in remittances, compared to India's USD 21.7 billion (China USD 21.3 billion). That is quite an achievement! With nine times larger population, India's share would have been USD 30.6 billion if she had received the same per capita remittance. Bangladesh remittance earning rate compares well with Pakistan too (Pakistan USD 3.9 billion). Total remittance to Bangladesh constituted one-third of the total foreign exchange earning of the country. Despite all the problems faced by Bangladeshi migrant workers, this is a very significant chunk of foreign exchange earning contributed by them.

More important than the quantum of foreign exchange earning, remittances go directly into poverty reduction. The World Bank Global Economic Prospects Report says this remittance inflow has helped cut poverty by 6% in Bangladesh and given a boost to rural economy.

This is one fascinating example of low-income people making direct strategic contribution in achieving nation's economic and social goals. This is also an example of common people's initiative in changing their own lives. As an appreciation of their great contribution to the nation we could have done a lot more to reduce the risks involved in venturing out of their own known world to totally unknown territories. We could help them increase their earnings, reduce their costs, and humiliation.

Must Keep On Building Up Respectability As a Nation

Bangladesh is a rather new name in the list of nations. It came to world's media attention mostly through disasters --- floods, cyclones, tidal-waves, etc. Reporting on disasters always highlight poverty, and helplessness. That's the image of Bangladesh that sticks in people's mind. Two recent negative images have been added to that. One, Bangladesh has been repeatedly found to be the most corrupt country in the world, and two, suicide bombers are killing innocent people in Bangladesh.

Image of a country is very important when it comes to dealing with the world. The better the image a country has, the better is the deal it gets. To be successful in international relationships we'll have to build up respectability as a nation. Luckily for us Bangladesh has a very strong positive side which counters the negative image to a large extent.

Bangladesh is enormously respected globally for being the birth place of microcredit. Every country in the world feels the need for microcredit. No country can ignore it. They study microcredit in academic institutions, discuss it in meetings, conferences and workshops. Most countries, rich or poor, have active microcredit programmes. They all pay respect to Bangladesh for being the originator country. Bangladesh, microcredit, Grameen have become synonymous in the minds of people around the world.

Bangladesh is remembered as the country which gave the world oral saline to combat diarrhea.

Bangladesh earned respectability by demonstrating her skill and efficiency in disaster management. World media publicly suggested that Tsunami affected countries and the USA, after devastating Katrina, should learn from Bangladesh in disaster management.

Bangladesh is cited as a success story in producing enough food to feed her people despite doubling the population in 35 years.

In Terms of Human Development Indicators Bangladesh is Third From the Top

Bangladesh birth rate has declined significantly. Fertility rate declined from 6.3 in 1975 to 3.3 in 1999 - 2000 reduced almost to half. This is cited as a global success story.

During early 1990's world looked at Bangladesh with pessimism. But it all changed dramatically. Now Bangladesh stands up with many laurels over her head. World is trying to understand how can a country do so well when it is number one country in corruption, its weakness in governance is so unbearable, politics is so chaotic and confrontational, work stoppages are so frequent and unpredictable.

Economic performance and human development indicators of Bangladesh have been moving upwards since early 1990s. GDP growth has been over 5 per cent during this period.

Bangladesh has very impressive performance in terms of the human development indicators. In terms of these indicators Bangladesh came out in number three position in the developing world, after China and Cave Verde.

Life expectancy of women in Bangladesh used to be lower than men. Now it is higher than men --- a better performance compared to South Asia as a whole.

Female labour force participation rate increased dramatically between 1983 and 2000, both for rural and urban, with sharper increase in rural, than in urban. Female labour force participation rate in rural area increased from 7 per cent in 1983-84 to 22 per cent in 1999-2000. Urban rate increased from 12 per cent to 26 per cent during the same period.

Child and infant mortality have been falling at more than 5% a year, malnutrition among mothers has fallen from 52% in 1996 to 42% in 2002. Primary school enrolment rates have reached 90%, up from 72% in 1990. Enrolment in secondary education has been rising. Bangladesh has already eliminated gender disparity in primary and secondary school enrolment and has made remarkable progress in providing universal basic education.

In the past decade, Bangladesh reduced infant mortality by half ---- at a rate faster than any other developing country has done, increased adult literacy rates by 8 per cent for women, and 6 per cent for men.

In terms of infant mortality rate and female primary enrolment, Bangladesh is ahead of West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh of India.

Progress towards achieving millennium development goals (MDG) in Bangladesh is surprisingly on track. According to data on current trends, Bangladesh has either met or is expected to meet most of the MDG targets. If right policies are pursued dedicatedly there is a good chance that Bangladesh will reduce poverty by half by 2015.

Capacity Has Been Built, We Are Ready to Go

Bangladesh has outstanding accomplishment in reducing child labour. According to UNICEF, percentage of child labour in Niger is the highest (66%). Bangladesh has one of the lowest percentages (7%). Nepal is 31%, India 13%.

The list of our accomplishments is long and very impressive. We notice the admiring eyes of international delegates focused on Bangladeshi delegates when we attend international conferences, be it microcredit, disaster management, health, education, renewable energy, environment, women empowerment, or child labour.

When we visit capitals of SAARC countries we are always asked, "How did you do it? What must we do to catch up with you?"

I am not saying that Bangladesh is on top of everything. Far from it. Our list of failures is much longer than the list of successes. I bring up the list of successes to point out how wrong we are when we throw up our hands in the air to say in frustration that we'll never make it. This list of successes will convince anybody that not only will we make it, we have already made it in many respects, and will do better than many others around us, and like us.

Good news that comes out from these successes is that we have created the capacity to address all our problems roundly and solidly. Not only we have gained self-confidence, we are ready to earn the confidence of the world. Soon a Bangladeshi passport can bring out admiration and respect from others, rather than suspicion and disrespect.

It is hard work to score points in respectability. It is easy to lose points. One tiny incident, one tiny misstep, one tiny callous decision can push us down quite a bit in respectability. Let us hold on to what we already have, and add to it, as much as we can. It is our very precious capital in facing the world.

Here are our two most important tasks at the moment: we must combine all our efforts 1) to make sure we hold our election on time with the participation of all major political parties, and 2) make sure we reduce corruption sharply and immediately.

Voters Must Unite to Say 'No' to Corrupt Candidates

Yes, Bangladesh has done very well so far. We may thank our luck for it. But let us not get used to relying on our luck alone. If we do, everything around us will crumble soon.

This year, 2006, is the year for the nation to sit up and make a desperate attempt to put our house in order. People have to wake up to the fact that they are the boss. People have to make their minds known to the politicians who want their votes to run the country on their behalf. This is the election year. This is the best time to get heard. Voters should not allow themselves to be treated as absentee owners who do not have any knowledge of their own properties. All that the absentee owners are offered by their employees, is to sign on the dotted lines. No question is allowed.

Voters must refuse to sign on the dotted line. When political parties nominate their candidates, they do not consult the voters. Voters are not given any real choice, such as a choice of voting for an honest person, for a person who is committed to work for people, for someone who is not known to have amassed wealth by using his power as a member of parliament or as a party official or a worker. Only choice voters are given, is the choice of voting or not voting.

Voters want to vote, and want to vote for a person they admire, rather than be compelled to vote out of party loyalty, or on some other considerations. Voters must create their own choice. If political parties offer corrupt candidates, people will put up their own clean candidates. If we don't do that we'll continue to be the most corrupt country in the world, and our dreams will never get a chance.

Voters Can Organise Campaign for Clean Candidates

I propose that this year the voters create their own option. They tell the political parties who is to be nominated in their constituency. Supporters of each political party or alliance of political parties will organise themselves to prepare a three member panel of clean candidates of their choice, in order of their priority, and give it to the political party/parties to nominate one out of them. If none of their candidates are nominated voters will be free to submit blank ballots as a protest, unless they actually ask one of their candidates to run as an independent candidate. Similarly, voters who do not vote on party lines will organise themselves and suggest to all parties who they should nominate.

Voters must start speaking out their minds from now on. Rather than speculating about who is going to get which party's nomination, party supporters and independent voters have to start speaking out who they think should be nominated. This year people should get themselves heavily involved in the nomination process. This will be the only way to get the bad people out, and good people in.

Core agenda of the voters and non-voters this year will be to eliminate corrupt candidates from the ballot-paper. If they still get on the ballot-paper, it has to be ensured that they'll not be the only ones on the ballot-paper. Honest persons as protest candidates will be put on the ballot-paper as people's choice. The loudest message the voters must give to the political parties is: "We shall not give votes to a candidate who is known to be corrupt, who is known to have amassed wealth by misusing his power and authority or using his power to terrorise people."

All civic groups, associations, professional bodies (teachers, doctors, journalists, etc.), youth groups, farmer groups, women groups, business groups, student groups, political parties, individuals, both voter and non-voters, can prepare and submit their panels to the political parties. They can make a panel for each alliance of political parties. Groups can share these panels among each other, can come up with common panels to make their cases stronger. If the clean candidates within the party do not want to run against the party candidates, voters can select an independent clean candidate to run.

When sending the chosen names for party nominations to respective party, voters should give those names also to the press. Voters should keep lobbying with the parties to let them know how strongly they (voters) feel against the potential party candidate and promote the case of their own candidate. Voters should tell the party that if they nominate the person that voters reject, then that candidate will not get their vote. Voters will vote for their own candidate instead. Even if their candidate does not win, voters will have a tally of protest votes. If these protest votes add up to be a significant number, it may have an impact on the outcome of the election. Some protest candidates may even win.

I invite the media to launch their own Clean Candidate Campaign. They can start a series of reports identifying and highlighting at least three potential clean candidates for each contesting political party, in each constituency. They may refrain from publishing speculative news about possible nomination of non-clean candidates who are usually considered as front-runners. Media can play a decisive role in bringing out support for clean candidates, and destroy the chances of non-clean candidates in getting nominated or elected.

Students can play a vital role in this Campaign for Clean Candidates. But they'll have to start building up the campaign organisation right from now. They can work in the constituencies where they appear as voters, or volunteer in other constituencies. Electing clean people to the parliament is very important task this year.

A Proposal To Resolve Election Impasse

Opposition parties have put some conditions for their participation in the next general election. These conditions can be discussed and resolved if the two opposing sides can sit face to face. But given the past history, we do not expect this to happen.

Here is my proposal. I request both sides to find a Respected Person, accepted by both sides, who will come up with a solution package in consultation with both sides. He will be given 30 days. If both sides agree time can be extended. The Respected Person can co-opt two persons of his choice to help him prepare the solution package.

There may be other proposals to resolve this impasse. Let us all put them on the table to see if any one of them can interest both the parties. Although ruling party's position on those conditions is clear and constitutionally correct, there is nothing wrong or unconstitutional about making attempts to bring all parties on board to hold a peaceful, credible national election.

Our media, and individual or groups of citizens can suggest names of the possible Respected Person. Ruling and opposition alliances can come up with their own choices and pass on to the other side.

Important thing is to hold the election in the right manner, and right mood, to uphold our democracy and move forward.

Tremendous Energy Waiting to be Mobilised

World is changing very fast. If we are late by a day we'll fall behind by years. We have come a long way and we are ready to go forward with speed. Bangladesh has the fire in her belly to keep pace with her giant neighbours. Let us not allow ourselves to slow down. We need the right politics and the right leadership to mobilise the tremendous energy in Bangladeshi young people.

Let us think and work hard to make it happen.

10:19 am est 


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