G8 to discuss world debt while Scots lack basic financial understanding.

Written by Richard Green

Last week sawrepparttar launch of Scotland’s Financial Inclusion Forum, and with it requests were issued for local authorities, banks, and other financial institutions, to work together to generate and share ideas to help people take control of their own finances. Those attendingrepparttar 142848 forum were asked to help ensure, “that poverty is not exacerbated by lack of access to financial services”.

Deputy community minister, Johann Lamont, said: "It is simply unacceptable that in Scotland there are areas where as many as one in five people have little or no experience of usingrepparttar 142849 basic financial services so many of us take for granted such as bank accounts and insurance.“ "I expect banks,repparttar 142850 local authorities, housing associations, community planning partners, credit unions and other key players to work together to provide access to bank accounts and affordable credit; to make saving possible and help people understand and manage their everyday finances and ensure that information and advice are available when people get into debt." The new initiative is intended to provide £10m in support over 2 years in an effort to helprepparttar 142851 10 local authorities withrepparttar 142852 worst problems to overcomerepparttar 142853 concerns that prevent as many as one in five people in some localities opening a bank account or buying insurance.

African Aid

Written by William Cate

African Aid By William Cate

Africa, like everywhere else inrepparttar world, has its fair share of honest, intelligent; hardworking people who want to see their families have a better standard of living. Unfortunately, most of these people are living belowrepparttar 142793 poverty line. The reasons that Africa, with all of its natural resources, is an economic basket case are complex. They start withrepparttar 142794 16th Century Africans' failure to adopt an effective immigration policy. The result wasrepparttar 142795 European immigrants divided uprepparttar 142796 continent without regard to historic tribal boundaries. The modern result has been tribal wars waged with modern weapons fromrepparttar 142797 Sudan to Rwanda.

After WWII,repparttar 142798 West's development schemes have been a long litany in stupid projects. A few of my favorite examples include: 1. The British Groundnut Project: After WWII,repparttar 142799 British found themselves with lots of heavy equipment that needed a use. The British shipped it to Africa and cleared thousands of hectares of tropical jungle. The idea was to grow peanuts and export them back to Britain. Nobody consideredrepparttar 142800 fact thatrepparttar 142801 soils in a jungle are lateritic and, oncerepparttar 142802 jungle was cleared,repparttar 142803 exposed areas quickly evolved into concrete parking lots. Not one peanut ever reached England. 2. The Americans Built Highways to Nowhere: After WWII,repparttar 142804 Americans built four lane roads in countries with less than one hundred cars. The local Government owned most ofrepparttar 142805 cars. Years later, I sat at a roadside food stand and counted three cars passing inrepparttar 142806 five hours it tookrepparttar 142807 only bus to travel that road to pick me up. 3. If you think stupidity is limited to English speakers, consider thatrepparttar 142808 Norwegian Government granted US$25 million to build a fish-freezing plant in rural Africa. Afterrepparttar 142809 plant was built, someone noticed thatrepparttar 142810 local people don't catch or eat fish. They herd goats. 4. The Soviets built a milk bottling plant in North Africa. The local people don't drink bottled milk and there is no way to shiprepparttar 142811 milk elsewhere. The plant has yet to ship its first bottle of milk. 5. In East Africa,repparttar 142812 Yugoslavian Government built a factory to can mangos. The factory has a capacity that exceedsrepparttar 142813 entire world's trade in canned mangos. 6. The Italians built a banana processing plant, butrepparttar 142814 quantity of bananas needed forrepparttar 142815 plant to breakeven exceedrepparttar 142816 entire country's banana production. 7. The Americans designed andrepparttar 142817 Soviet's buildrepparttar 142818 Aswan Dam. Before it was built, studies showed that by 2006,repparttar 142819 amount of new irrigation agriculture developed aboverepparttar 142820 dam would be offset byrepparttar 142821 salinization ofrepparttar 142822 Nile River Delta belowrepparttar 142823 dam. Meanwhile,repparttar 142824 Egyptian population would grow andrepparttar 142825 result would be a constant threat of national starvation. The studies were right.

Everywhere, politicians and bureaucrats produce nothing. In Africa and elsewhere,repparttar 142826 political system runs onrepparttar 142827 axiom: What's mine is mine. What's yours we'll share. In all but four countries, upon independence a one party political system evolved with a single ruler. The result was instant corruption. When Mobutu Sese Seko left office, he had accumulated a $10 billion dollar fortune. He could have written a check and paid off Zaire's $7 Billion foreign debt and still had enough to get by amply inrepparttar 142828 West. It isn't simplyrepparttar 142829 fact that almost all African leaders are corrupt and dictatorial, it'srepparttar 142830 fact that most opposition party leaders are seeking office to raperepparttar 142831 country. The result is a political vacuum that makes it nearly impossible to helprepparttar 142832 honest, hardworking Africans create a middle class and stabilize their country.

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