Archive for July, 2007
by Admin on July 31st, 2007
A recent debate on the Council of Foreign Relations website discussed the issue of economic sanctions and their effectiveness to curb violence. Of course, this is quite relevant to conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process is no more than an economic sanction from the international community.
At first glance we can worry about the effectiveness of the Kimberley process. The article is quite skeptical as to whether sanctions work in many cases. It brings to light that ‘ignorant’ diplomats make the threats, rather than educated economists who know the actual effects that sanctions cause. It cites evidence that further shows the threat of economic sanctions is usually what curbs governments rather than the execution of the sanction, which can take many years to have an effect.
So what exactly makes the Kimberley Process different? It can be best put in the authors’ own words:
“If a regime depends on straightforward patronage, distributing spoils to its backers, then it may be vulnerable to economic weapons. Such regimes usually rely on revenues from a finite number of commodities, such as oil, diamonds, or timber. If you can block its access to these honeypots, you might be able to cow the government without harming too many of its subjects. That, of course, is the logic behind things like the Kimberley Process, which try to keep blood diamonds off international markets, and the Forest Stewardship Council’s attempts to do the same for illegal logging.”
“I’m sympathetic to the Kimberley process, by contrast, because it offers an economic prescription for what is, at bottom, an economic malady. Greed not grievance sustained the fighting in Angola and Sierra Leone. Therefore, stifling diamond profits also slowed the bloodletting.”
The Kimberley Process seems to be hitting the root of the problem. It is not just a show which will not bring about actual change. This sanction is having an effect.
by Admin on July 30th, 2007
Hello to all you blog surfers, international observers, and general knowledge seekers, Until now, the Dreams of Africa blog has brought to you some great information surrounding issues relating to diamonds and Africa. While this information has been great, we are perching ourselves on the windowsill and beginning to look far beyond the horizon. Along with talking about conflict diamonds, Dreams of Africa will be a place where we can zero in on the important issues surrounding Africa. From the genocide in Darfur to the economic collapse of Zimbabwe, I will make sure to provide you with a good context and clarity on what is surrounding this precarious continent. I look forward to bringing to light the most pressing issues of the day while making sure to give you a good chuckle now and then to lighten up the mood. While I await and look forward to all your comments, let us remember as we embark on this journey that Dreams of Africa is a site that is trying to bring awareness about a particular subject. We are hear to inform the public about the good news, which may bring about a smile, and the bad news which can affect us, even in the tiniest way, to do our part and help those who may not be as fortunate as us.