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Kazakhstan: Governance matters

Kazakh bloggers keep on discussing their favorite topic – the quality of public administration. Megakhuimyak raises the issue of professionalism of the higher officials and says that often it appears to be secondary to the “family affairs”. Cronyism remains a serious problem in Kazakhstani human resource management both in business sector and in public service. The blogger presents an example of the current minister of information and telecoms – the newly appointed official has been making statements, which looked weird even for non-experts [ru]:

I was wondering what kind of merits he has got to become a minister. Then I looked into the reference book and found out that his wife is Ainura Mami [the daughter of Kazakhstan's General Prosecutor]. Well, shall we wait for new discoveries in the sphere of telocommunications?

Tulembaeva – a university professor and analytical consultant – blogs about efficiency of the government's development programs [ru]:

What we can do well is to invent fancy names for the government's programs – like “The state program of accelerated industrial-and-innovative development”… But when it comes to implementation, the creativity disappears. Because trendy and ambitious words must be backed by the appropriate actions, which don't take place due to a number of reasons – and the funds are being plundered. While research and development sector is in decay, it is impossible to talk about innovations and growth.

Isabekov opines that the financial crisis in Kazakhstan affected only self-employed people – like those who run a small or medium enterprise – and made almost no harm to servicemen (no matter if they work for a state-owned corporation or for the state) [ru]:

I looked at the people in my circle of acquaintance, those who work in the national companies or in public service – and comfortably endure the crisis. I asked them, how important and necessary – in their opinion – are the structures they work in. As soon as the people interviewed by me were not total strangers to me, I received frank answers. They told me that the structures they work for are either fully useless, or their staff can be easily reduced by 70-80 per cent.

Thinking the world continues the topic of low entreprenerial potential of the people and its importance in fighting poverty [ru]:

People are migrating from the rural areas to the cities, where they can get paid. They don't want to earn money autonomously, or they don't know how to do it. Or they may even don't think about such option, because they got used to getting paid […]

Even if only 10 per cent of the people in villages and small towns could be able of setting up their own business to employ 4 to 5 more men and women, then the currently depressive picture of the provinces would receed. It would have been very good for the country, but, alas, we simply don't have that many people, who have skills to run a business. In addition, we lack favorable conditions and incentives for entrepreneurship.

That's why for many enterprising people in our country – as well as for all the other – it is often more advantageous to get a salary. And that is why we witness hyper-concentration of the population in 4-5 cities across the country.

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