It was a happy day to me, when we all found out that His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Bahrain was appointed the First Deputy Prime Minister to develop the performance of the apparatus of the executive branch. Since that day, a bit more than three weeks ago, many things have happened, many signs of a great future awaits. Let’s understand more about the ambitions behind the appointment and analyse the signs of the future of our island-nation.
As I have written in my earlier articles, to move Bahrain forward from where we currently stand, we either start raising a totally new and polished generation so that we can properly delegate responsibilities and depend that their unity would leap us forward, or we micro-manage development right from the top. Micro-management is tiring but in many cases a damning must, while a properly raised generation is nothing but positive, with literally no negatives.
The difference between the two is easily spotted. You cannot solve current issues by raising a generation, because like it sounds, you need to plan out for 10 years at least in order to raise advanced human capital. Then, it takes even more for them to reach leadership managerial levels to run essential institutions wisely and efficiently. This is a must, but what about current issues, what to do?
Unfortunately, one has to make do with the resources at hand, and probably resort to micro-management if targets are not achieved.
Honestly, looking at the current level of government functionality in Bahrain, I’m both satisfied and unsatisfied. This is because there is more than one way to look at our current status. In regional relative terms, we cannot compete in services because we literally have a fraction of non-renewable resources which our neighbors use to finance those services. However, our provided services and income per capita is not of a fraction of theirs. This calls for satisfaction.
When it comes to government efficiency in regulating what needs to be regulated, we lag behind, or in better terms, seriously lag behind. We are a small island-nation, and what this means is that we have much less issues to handle, so by default we should be on top of things all the time, but we don’t find ourselves there, which is why I am not satisfied.
Watching His Royal Highness for years now, his ambitions were very clear, to simply make Bahrain the best place on earth. This is doable, probable, and with the right mindset, achievable. Since Prince Salman assumed his position as our proud Crown Prince, he became instrumental in mapping out development plans and reform initiatives for various sectors, including education and economy. To develop the economy, it was essential to target capital and labor mobility, and Prince Salman saw this very clearly. For education, no one can argue its insignificance, and Prince Salman introduced various initiatives through the Economic Development Board to work into improving and overhauling the education system to achieve the goals stated above.
But, there was always a sense to us all that Schumacher needed to get behind the wheel, and not left strategizing for good, but less capable drivers. For this, so as we say, if you need to get the job done, sometimes, you’re better off doing it yourself. His Royal Highness is now behind the wheel.
The first micro-management move that Prince Salman did was not to look at how much the government is spending, but how the government is spending money that much. Resources are being spent on wages for government employees, for them to provide the necessary services that benefits the population. Visitations to those public entities were done by His Royal Highness to ensure that civil servants do what they’re paid to do, lead by responsible and accountable ministers.
Moreover, immediately after his visitations to survey first hand important ministries, His Royal Highness orders them not to engage in PR stunts through newspapers by thanking his visit, and to start using email for correspondence rather than the outdated facsimile for faster services. I’ve done a little calculations and came up to a total of at least 10 million Bahraini Dinars (~$25M) worth of savings from government money simply by withholding government PR campaigns directed to the heads of state. Without summing the costs of billboards, government entities spend countless amounts of public funds in media prints to congratulate our leadership for numerous occasions annually in every single local newspaper. What a waste.
For many, three weeks in the job is not enough to understand where His Royal Highness is wanting Bahrain to go. As for me, I’ve been following for years and can see what Prince Salman sees, a beautiful and a prosperous Bahrain, where everything rotates around and benefits the Bahraini citizen. For a better Bahrain, we need micro-management by the best, and great and effective investment in the education sector, and this my friends, is what we will be noticing soon.