Difficulties of Dependance
Caused mainly by the lack of independence, there are many economic issues which landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) have been facing over many years. Burundi displays how LLDCS must rely on their maritime neighbors’ infrastructure, political relations, and internal peace and stability to export goods.
According to Daily Nation, Burundi has comparatively well-built infrastructure, whereas Tanzania, its neighbor, does not, making Burundi unable to export its goods. Tanzania’s infrastructure is insufficiently linked to the nearest trading port of Dar el Salaam, which means Burundi’s most direct access to sea is severed.
Burundi’s dilemma demonstrates how LLDCs may have no other choice but to use alternative and more available methods of transportation. As a result, LLDCs must pay excessive transit and transport costs, and thus earn lower profits.
Instead of using other means of transportation, Burundi depended on Kenyan port of Mombasa to export commodities. However, this port had been disconnected around the 1990s due to political altercations between both countries.
Unfortunately, this shows how the exporting process might be postponed due to goods traveling on other, more distant routes, and thus the LLDC will have to pay amplified transit and transport costs.
Having said that, according to the BBC, in November 2013, Kenya has launched a project regarding a new, Chinese-financed railway which is aimed to have networks with East African countries including Burundi, Congo, and South Sudan. The railway, which is said to be “the country’s biggest infrastructure project since Kenya’s independence 50 years ago,” is set to be completed by 2017.
No Peace, No Trade
In addition, Burundi’s exports were incapable of crossing through Mozambique during the 1990s as extreme civil conflict was transpiring at the time. Hence, the products had to be exported through a route which extended for 4500km, passing through various borders in order to use South Africa’s port of Durban.
Accordingly, this exhibits how an LLDC’s economy could hinder because it may not only be required to pay magnified costs, but the nation’s reliability might be damaged. Again, these acts could cause importers to contemplate purchasing their goods from other, more reliable countries to avoid such delays.
The International Think Tank
Furthermore, on January 15th 2014, Minister L. Bold and the UN Development Program (UNDP) Permanent Representative to Mongolia, Sezin Sinanoglu, met in Mongolia, an LLDC, to sign an enterprise document to begin activity on the ‘International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries.’ The central aim of the International Think Tank is to increase human development and to decrease poverty in LLDCs by using top-quality research and support to enhance the ability of landlocked countries to benefit from international trade. Hopefully, if poverty is successfully reduced, most of the aforementioned predicaments of landlocked developing countries would potentially end. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia plans to achieve this plan alongside the UNDP.
To Fellow Delegates
Overall, this issue consists of a wide range of twists and turns. Therefore, it will be intriguing to listen to delegates’ opinions as well as to witness how this debate will play out during the THIMUN 2014 conference. The UN has yet to achieve this, can you?
By: Faisal Darwish