Ibrahim Boubacar Keita became Mali's president-elect after his rival conceded defeat in the August 11th run-off. The successful vote means that billions of dollars of pledged international aid should soon be on their way to help rebuild the country. In 2012, the economy hit its first slump in two decades after a military coup and Islamist takeover of the north plunged the country into crisis
Business owners say the new government can not get to work fast enough. Is this a correct statement?
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Certainly, for the business owners this is a correct statement. Business leaders look at Keita as someone with whom they can "work with." Part of Keita's platform was rooted in his commitment to "bring peace and development." Given how Keita's pro- business and pro- commercial stances were evident in his own accumulation of wealth and his work as a Prime Minister with developing casinos and lotteries, business leaders believe that the new government with Keita as its head cannot work fast enough. In one of Africa's historically most stable democracies, instability and threats from the past year have been disruptive to business leaders' goals of commercial development. The presence of separatist movements in the North and infiltration from al- Qaeda and a form of Sharia law imposed have raised the ire of the international community. Business leaders were scared at the withholding of foreign aid. A Keita government ensures that this aid will be delivered and that the business of Malian government might go back to being about "business." It is here in which business owners would say that the new government cannot get to work fast enough. In their eyes, this statement is true.
In the end, time will have to be the final judge as to whether or not the statement is correct in a broader sense. How Keita will navigate the demands of political stability and commercial growth remains to be seen. The generating of business will only be seen as successful if it is transparent, devoid of massive corruption, and aimed at helping the people of Mali who came out in force to support the electoral process:
“We think the winner is the people of Mali who have come out in large numbers to vote to show that the people have the will to pull the country out of crisis...However, no politician can run Mali as it has been run over the last 20 years. People are going to watch the new president closely and follow him closely over his campaign promises.”
It is this vigilance that will determine if the business community is right in their assessment of Keita's election and the new government cannot get started soon enough. The need to "follow him closely over his campaign promises" will be vital in understanding if the sentiment of business leaders is a correct one.
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