41years of political, economic, & social development

SANA’A, Sept 27 (Saba) – 26 September Revolution is considered to be as a turning- point in history of the modern Yemen. In spite of all challenges and obstacles, the revolution managed to realize genuine development in Yemeni society in economic, political, social aspects. Saba News Agency shed the light on Developments witnessed by Yemen over the last four decades, that is ever since the revolution erupted in 1962. Political Development: Politically, the significant event in the history of modern Yemen is achieving Yemen Unity, which rested on principles of freedom of press, human rights, and multi-party-system. Article No. 39 of constitution of the republic of Yemen stated that Yemeni citizens have the right to organize their own political lives. Law No. 66 for 1991 is considered first law to organize political parties and organizations in Yemen. In 1991, 46 political parties and organizations emerged. Later, some of them disappeared and some others merged , reducing the number to only 22 parties that took part in first parliamentary elections in 1993. Since then, Yemen has witnessed five lections, one was in 1993 to elect parliament, and second was also parliamentary elections in 1997, in addition to first presidential elections in 1999. In 2001, elections of local councils were conducted. These elections are considered as new democratic changes as it expressed voice of the people. During this year, the third parliamentary elections were held. The political change has created the multiparty system and increased number of organizations of civic society, which reached 286 in 2002. Now, there are 1242 organizations that work in field of local development, 96 women organizations, and other social organizations. All that translates the six goals of the revolution . Economic development: (Oil, Gas, and Minerals) The revolution has opened wide fields to make use of natural resources of the country. Despite obstacles, Yemen managed to ink contracts with international companies to explore oil in different areas of the country. It was first measure to explore of Yemeni natural resources. The beginning of exploring oil in Yemen was by American Hunt Oil Company as it announced first oil exploration in Marib and Al-Jawf governorates, and a Russian oil company had explored oil in Shabwa. In 1984, President Ali Abdullah Saleh launched production of oil from fields of Marib and Al-Jawf governorates. After announcing republic of Yemen in 1990, oil international companies expressed willing to invest in field of oil in Yemen. From 1990 to 1993, Yemeni government signed agreements with more than 16 oil companies. In the mean time, oil was discovered in (block 14) Al-Masilah, (block10) east of Shabwa, (block 5) Janh area , (block 4) west of Abad area , (block 32 ) Haearim area, and ( block53) east of Sarah area. The number of productive oil blocks reached seven blocks including (block 18) Marib and Al-Jawf governorates. The oil production reached more than 69 million barrels during the first year of Yemeni Unity, and 123 million barrels in 1994. Amount of exported crude oil was estimated at 12 to 24 million barrels yearly. In 1995, the exported oil reached 52 million barrels. Amount of annual oil production is over 160 million barrels during two previous years, according to information of media administration in the Oil & Minerals. Currently, there are 23 oil blocks being operated by 20 companies, and there are 41 blocks open in front of investors. Now, Yemen oil production is 470 to 475 thousand barrels per-day. Oil experts expect that the production would be increased, and new oil field would be discovered in the coming period. Recently, Oil & Minerals Ministry announced the discovery of new block (51), operated by Candia Nexen Oil Company. The oil production is considered 16 % of the total of the local production, and it represents 94.3 % of total of Yemeni foreign trade in 2001, in compare with 96.5 % in 2000. In state treasury, oil and gas revenues reached to nearly YR 310 billion in 1993 and YR 403.1 billion in 2001. It is expected that the oil sector would contribute by YR 373.9 billion to the total of revenues of the fiscal year 2003, 21.9 % increase from last year. During the first half of this year, Yemeni oil government revenues raised up to 1.05 billion dollar comparing to 812 million dollar for the same period last year. A report of Yemen Central Bank said that the size of government’s share of oil raised from 35.53 million barrels to 36.21 million barrels in 2002. Yemeni oil reserve is 5.7 billion barrels and natural gas reserve is 16.9 trillion cubic feet. The government has plans to make use of gas through implementing projects to provide local markets with liquefied. In 1996, Yemen Gas Liquids Company was set up to export Yemeni gas aboard. It is a common company between Yemen and several international oil companies leaded by the French Total company. Regarding minerals, processes of excavations resulted in discovering large amount of minerals such as gold, copper, zinc, lead, iron, and silver, there is a large quantity of industrial rocks as an Indian company has launched a project of making use of limestone in Al-Raha district in Lahj governorate. Agricultural Sector : Agricultural sector is considered one of main development sectors in Yemen as it contributes by 17.6 % of GDP. Nearly 74 % of rural population depend on agriculture and 54 % of labor forces in the country are working in this sector. The government is working to increase green lands and agricultural products through preparing studies and researches and providing all required needs to farmers as well as using up-to-date means to increase the agricultural production. The government also is setting up dams and gives facilities for private sector to invest in agricultural sector. All these efforts resulted in extending the area of green lands from 975000 hectare in 1970 to 1.1999.000 hectare in 2001. The production of fruits increased from 105000 tons in 1970 to 700000 tons, and vegetables from 74 thousand tons to 802.7 thousand tons. Production of cash crops (coffee, cotton, tobacco, and sesame) raised up from 33 thousand tons in 1977 to 73.894 tons. During previous period, the interest of the government focused on developing activities of marketing and exporting agricultural products. So, the government has set up six units to collect information on cultivation in governorates, and set up center in Hodeidah to count the size of exports. They also built three markets for selling vegetables and fruits in Marib, Hadhramout, and Sa’adah. The government also has constructed other markets and agricultural facilities estimated at YR 479 million. The government adopted general strategy aimed at protecting water resources and rationing water use through inserting modern means of irrigation and installing more dams. About 513 dams were built at a total cost of YR 9.384.504.216, and currently there are 188 dams under construction estimate at YR 6.512.204.39. The mechanism of modern irrigation was inserted into 17 thousand hectare. Fish Wealth: Fish sector is also key element of food security strategy. The government paid more attention to this sector during previous years by encouraging investments in this regard. The government implemented a set of projects. The first fish project was set up during the period from 1974 to 1978 at a total cost of $ 6.1 million, and the second project was from 1981 to 1984 worth of $ 48.5 million. In 1988, third fish project, center of marine sciences, project of developing traditional fishing in the Red Sea, project of developing sea lives were implemented at a total cost of $ 163 million. After Yemen unity, the coastline of the Republic of Yemen became long, so that the government worked hard to make use of fish wealth by organizing process of fishing as well as encouraging private sector to invest in fish field. From 1990 to 2001, many fish projects were implemented most important of which was the forth fish project at cost of $ 39.5 million aimed to increase amount of exported fishes and improve ways of fishing as well as support fish researches. The fish production increased from 82 thousand tons in 1994 to 142 thousand tons in 2001. During the same period, the total volume of fish exports increased from 13 million dollar to 68 million dollar. Industry Sector: Modern industry was unknown in Yemen before Yemen Revolution. During 1970s and 1980s, the industrial sector witnessed wide development through its contribution to the total GDP which reached from 1.5 % in 1970 to 11 % in 1995, and 20 % in 1997. A figure of industrial facilities reached to 33.291 where 110,000 labor forces are working. Mostly 23 % of big facilities centered in Sana’a city, and 16 % in Taiz and Hodeidah, 10% in Hadhramout, and 9 % in Aden. Medium facilities reached to 1189 facilities, 46 % in Sana’a city and Hodeidah. Small enterprises reached to 31.738, 15 % in Sana’a city, 13 % in Ibb, 11 % in Taiz, 8 in Dhamar and Hadhramout, and 7 % in Hodeidah. Because of existing unfair distribution for industrial and investment activities, the government has adopted plan to balance in distribution of these activities in governorates of the country. During 1997 and 1998, the government determined possible industrial areas and made economic and environmental studies on. It determined three areas, as follows: – (Triangle of Aden, Lahj, and Abyan) – Brom area in Hadhramout governorate. – Cross of Harad and Al-Saleef area in Hodeidah governorate. Currently, the government is working to activate the industrial sector through promoting the role of private sector and encouraging small industries as well as improving quality of production. Health Sector: It can be said that many Yemenis could not ever imagine how real situation was in Yemen four decades ago. There was only little of them living with bad social, economic, healthy and living conditions, which spread over the country before the 26th Sept. revolution. After 41 years of the Yemeni revolution and setting up the republican regime, still many Yemenis, who were living with those situations, talk in bitterness about unhappiness, suffering and need that harmed the Yemeni people stayed under the despotic regime that made them as victims of an unjust ruler and the trinity of poverty, ignorance and illness. In according to healthy and population signs of that time, Yemen had the highest death rate of children and infants because of the weak health services and poor living situation. The French doctor, Kalodi Faian, who visited Yemen in the middle of last century, said that Yemen was living in darkness of the middle ages. She indicated that death rate of the first-year-children reached to 40% and under-10-year children reached to 50%. Faian describes how women were moaning in submission while they can’t do any thing for saving their alive children under the pressure of fatal epidemics and diseases. In accordance to some signs, before breaking the 26th Sept. revolution, there were only 4 hospitals and 4 pharmacies both had limited potentials. The southern part of the country, under the British occupation, was suffering like the northern part, except Aden settlement that was set up as a strategic military base by Britain. By great victory of the Yemeni revolutions, September and October, and evacuation of the British occupation from the southern part of the country in the 30th November 1967, Yemen started a new stage. Yemen witnessed several achievements in all life fields. The Public Health sector was one of the most cared ones. By the end of 2002, 121 hospitals, 1860 health units and 542 health centers were set up. A number of cadres in the health sector, in according to the health census of the last year, reached to 32738 persons, including 1308 specialists in rate of 0.77 specialist for 10.000 residents and 2575 physicians. The Healthy care and precautionary services percentage raised to 54%. Number of beds reached to 6.99 beds of a specialist doctor, 3.55 beds of a physician and 0.97 beds of rest medicinal sorts. Censuses, issued by Ministry of Public Health and Population, show that the number of the health establishments that offer the service of immunization reached to 2250 by end of 2002, and 500 anti-malaria centers in the same year. In field of reproduction care, the motherhood centers reached to 189 ones, anti-tuberculosis’s were 262 centers and anti-leprosy centers were 200 ones. Censuses point out that Yemen has succeed in putting an end to poliomyelitis, leaving behind 30 states in which this disease still threats their children as well as, during 1970s of the last century, Yemen could put an end to smallpox that infected thousands of people. Education Sector: Yemen concentrates on developing education through strategies enough for development and providing markets with qualified cadres. Regarding Public Education, there are currently more than five million students, boys and girls, learning at more than 15000 schools distributed in all Yemeni governorates. The government specified 22% of public budget for education sector. This makes Yemen the greatest under-developed country tends toward this important and vital sector. According to the latest indications, the number of labor forces in this field increased to 170 thousand instructors, 31, 626 of them are female. In embodying its patronage, the country increased the instructor’s salary to 170 %, in addition to other incentives. The country gave private sector licences to participate in this field. There are more than 127 private schools in the country. The national strategy for developing basic education at educating all classes of society, creating specific education coincide with latest developments and combating illiteracy during the year 2015. In the field of technical education: there is a ministry called the technical education & vocational training ministry. There are recently 47 industrial, agricultural, medical and tourist specialized institutes, in addition to 19 training centers belong to the ministry, including 13 vocational, three agricultural, two technical, one industrial. Students, 50936, are expected to be graduated in 2006-2007, raising the percentage of students to nearly 15 % to achieve the national strategy goals. Since many years, the ministry followed the parallel education system, which is applied in all the institutions with a different executive manner. The system formed as accurate specialized courses beside the progressive training system in which the short-term courses are held, aiming to raise the professional levels of the market workers. The national strategy concentrates on the economical development sharing and the expect technological improvement for work manner in the market. It is also concentrates on the achieving of the professional development requirements for the workers, considering the standard of the need to the immigrant-trained workers. In the field of the high education: during the last 4 decades 15 universities were established ( 7 are public ones in Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Hodeida , Dhammar, Ibb and Hadhramout) with the capacity of 210000 student . Nowadays, Amran University is established. Because of the increased need to the qualified and trained cadre, the high education directed to establish the society collages. There is now three of them in Sana’a, Aden and A’bs whereas 17 other ones deployed in the other governorates. In addition, computer collage in Dhammar University is established. On the other side, the Open University project is studied now in cooperation with the other Arab universities. Finally, the scholarships to other countries are continued. There is about 4897 Yemeni student abroad, including 1476 post-graduating students, 3421 under-graduating students.