My first blog post on December 2007, was about lack of access to bigger markets, and mobility of labour and resources in the absence of a nation wide transport system.
On November 2008, I was delighted to hear about launching of a Nation wide transport Network by the new government. We have voiced, screamed, and have written about many things that can be done to make this nation a better place. However state bodies responsive to public sentiments are a rarity in Maldives. Hence the announcement came as a pleasant surprise and ever since than I have been meaning to write about it.
The plan if implemented can provide solutions to most acute problems (Lack of easy access to bigger markets, no easy way to mobilize labor and resources and Isolation) facing the island communities. Registered population as at 2005 shows that 32 islands have a population of less than 500, 110 islands have less than 1000, 169 islands have less than 2000 and only 27 islands have a population of more than 2000 people. In such a scenario how can one expect any investor to invest or even locals to generate a decent income by staying in the islands?
Hence a nation wide transport network could provide access to bigger markets, enable mobility of labor and resources and most importantly end the isolation of many island communities- giving population consolidation a new meaning.
However, the island communities will need tools, resources and other assistance to engage in income generating activities within the atoll or island level. One such tool is introduction of Business Incubation facilities at island, atoll, and national levels to complement the transport system that is to be implemented. The idea is to provide a platform for budding entrepreneurs and start-up firms to get established.
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