Jean-Pierre Béjot rips Zéphirin Diabré

A little harsh, but I know where he is coming from.  Diabré is an economist, worked with AREVA, he knows how to put together a real platform.  Here’s some of the things he could say he would do that would distinguish himself from Compaoré.  And, he might even push Compaoré to implement these policy changes simply by the push-threat, even if Zeph loses.  The people gain by pressuring the majority.

  • If the latest results from various cash transfer projects continue to be positive, then roll out on larger scale, and eliminate/reduce patronage projects that have zero value-added (like women’s centers, grain banks, and a host of other construction projects that produce nothing more than empty building.)  Burkina’s private sector is growing tremendously, so distribute some purchasing power and let the multiplier do its work.
  • I could be convinced otherwise, but revisit road construction projects, with more attention to grading gravel roads and building small bridges and less to 200 km. paved roads used by one vehicle every 20 min.  Sure, MCC is giving all the money for the paved roads, but they can be convinced to fund something more valuable next time around.  The politics for fixing potholes and ridiculous unpaved sections of Ouagadougou with hundreds of cars an hour have got to be better than getting a couple small rural population center votes.
  • Even more attention to infrastructure at Ghana and Togo borders.  A back of envelope calculation would easily suggest that there are huge gains from even more introduction of new goods… what long-term resident of Ouagadougou cannot be amazed at the entry, in less than two years, of hundreds of thousands of useful Apsonic and Keneya tricycles replacing donkey carts.  The value-added of these intermediate inputs has got to be comparable to that of cell phones.  And all completely private.
  • I agree with Zeph on one thing.  There needs to be a lot more transparency in the business affairs of the Compaoré clan.  Competition is a good thing in public procurement and large-scale development, and conflicts of interest should be avoided.  That is what “état de droit” means.  But Zeph needs to put his money where his mouth is: if he and his investigators have insider knowledge of misdealing, they too need to be transparent and share that.  “Dark hints” just feed conspiracy theories, and do not restrain when alternance does happen; those newly in power just do the same thing.  Building a strong culture of transparency has to start before alternance.
  • Zeph, the gold mining issue is a silver platter (ahem!) handed to a politician.  What happened in Boromo? What happened in Pelegtanga?  Where are the investigations of accounting practice irregularities?  Why aren’t you using it?  You can;t lose, but you have to know what the talking points should be and you have to talk talk talk.  Make it an issue!!!!

A-t-il un programme ? Non. Il dit d’abord : « Je souhaite incarner une opposition qui brille par la qualité de son programme alternatif », mais ce n’est qu’une promesse. Il ajoute d’ailleurs, qu’au niveau de l’UPC, « la réflexion […] est en cours ». Assez étonnant de présider un parti qui est le premier parti de l’opposition et dispose d’une vingtaine de députés à l’Assemblée nationale et d’en être encore à réfléchir à ce que sera son programme. Il est vrai qu’il veut « un programme alternatif qui soit consensuel » dès lors que « l’opposition [est] plurielle ». « Le moment venu de l’alternance, nous serons amenés à gouverner sur [sic] un programme alternatif qui soit consensuel. C’est ça, l’idée du programme minimum dont je vous ai parlé plus haut. Ce programme empruntera à chacun de nos programmes respectifs ». En quelque sorte un programme patchwork. De bric et de broc ?

Certes, nous ne sommes plus au temps des idéologies dominantes (quoi que ce ne soit pas ce qui arrive de mieux à l’humanité qui ne sait plus où elle va ni comment elle veut y aller), mais tous ceux qui ont une réelle culture politique savent ce qu’il faut penser des « programmes minimums ». Diabré veut rassembler dans la même démarche politique « des libéraux, des socialistes, des socio-démocrates, des Sankaristes, des centristes, des communistes, etc. » (il reprend là la même formulation que celle utilisée pour caractériser la démarche « unitaire » de Macky Sall au Sénégal).

via Zéphirin Diabré en phase d’apprentissage politique. Mais pas encore diplômé (2/2) – leFaso.net, l’actualité au Burkina Faso.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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