30 June, 2007

Yemen's Hopes

Yemen has great hopes for the future. Some, mind boggling. And some, disturbing. A few of these hopes:

Yemen is in talks with a Dubai-based company to build a 14-km (8.7 miles) bridge across the Red Sea to the Horn of Africa country of Djibouti. Arabonline

Yemen will use nuclear energy to make up for a shortfall in electricity supplies in cooperation with the US and Canada, Gulf News reported President Ali Abdullah Saleh as saying. He said 20,000 megawatts of electricity would be produced from nuclear sources in a first phase. AME Info

Yemen hopes to lure tourists. Reuters

After oil and water, fish constitutes the third of Yemen's important common property resources. Yet the status of Yemen's fish resources is insufficiently known and management of stocks has so far not been sufficiently developed. Gopa

A bridge across the Red Sea and to Djibouti, Africa? What a huge project to think of! And what an attractive one! If completed, the bridge will be of enormous service and benefit to Yemen. It will open up markets and make it cheaper and very easy to transport goods and to travel, to Africa and back.

As for Yemen having nuclear energy, that is rather disturbing. Yemen needs more electric power; very badly needs it. But aren't there better ways to provide that? After the recent heat wave and the way our population and energy demands are fast growing, and oil fast depleting -whatever and however best Yemen can provide for energy, Yemen has to go for it. But having nuclear power for electricity, however comforting that would be, is putting us Yemenis - under the same risks that those with nuclear power have. On the other hand: if the richest and most powerful countries can have and continue to have and build more nuclear power plants, then: why not Yemen? And 20,000 megawatts is a huge amount of power. At the same time, Yemen's nuclear power will be peaceful and its operation - fully transparent.

Of the four 'hopes' - building up Yemen's tourist industry is the most easily feasible. With Yemen's vast, untapped and the very many under used tourist resources - Yemen can easily and greatly increase its tourist numbers. And earn much, much more than it does now. Few countries in the region have the kind of attractions that Yemen can offer: from pristine, unspoilt beaches that only need to be wisely and properly developed to incredible historical sites. If more is invested in it, Yemen's tourist industry has a very bright and productive future.

I should add, too: after oil and water, which both Yemen has little of - if Yemen does not manage its enormous fish resources wisely and shrewdly, this too will run out. But, managed properly, Yemen can tremendously benefit out of its marine resources. If a kilogram of fresh tuna can fetch up to 500 US$ in Japan, Yemen has a fortune in its fish stock. Well and wisely managed, the fish stock can last much longer. And apart from earning much needed foreign currency, fish is an excellent source of food for us.