We sort of knew this already, but …….

Owen Barder has an impressive CV, is based in Ethiopia (which means he’s not just another policy wonk), and writes at length on development issues.

I thought I’d highlight two posts of his.  The first explains why he doesn’t write about the politics of the place where he’s based.   “Suppose a recent immigrant to your country, who barely spoke your language, had visited only some of your towns, and knew well only a few of your fellow citizens, were to position himself as an expert in your political system.  How much notice would you take?” 

Which made me think about what we’re trying to acheive with the Visit Eritrea website.  I hope our readers feel that VE’s focus on raising Eritrea’s profile, and campaigning  against the Isaias regime is legitimate?

The second post is about the role of transparency.  He cites evidence that transparency and accountability make a significant difference to a country’s development, and that that technology can play a part in supporting greater accountability. 

The problem for Eritrea is that technology is firmly controlled by the Isaias regime, and the country’s domestic civil society is non-existent.  I’m not sure where you go from there.


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