The need for the development and adoption of a state programme of socio-economic development of Abkhazia emerged immediately after the war and the establishment of an independent Abkhaz state. But then, during the post-war devastation, the international political isolation of Abkhazia and the constant military threat from Georgia, it was hard to think about it.
Only in connection with the recognition in 2008 of the state independence of Abkhazia by Russia and some other countries and the beginning of Russian assistance to the Republic, there is a real possibility of adoption of a state programme of development of the country. Moreover, the practice of designing for social development is widely used in Russia, which is our strategic partner. Even the Russian regions, almost all subjects of the Russian Federation, many of which collaborate on a contractual basis, have been guided by various development programmes.
However, despite all these realities, we kept on going our own way, sometimes, not knowing where we are going. The functions of the state all these years consisted only of implementation of “Comprehensive Plan”. Not having proven social benchmarks and criteria, it is difficult to assess the condition of the country and predict possible scenarios of development of events. The absence of a dominant consolidated opinion in society has become a serious obstacle for us.
But here, apparently, is not the time to talk about why we have failed so far to overcome the difficulties before us. Much more important to think how to get out of this situation in which we continue to be.
In this regard, an interesting initiative from the new leadership came. In November 2014 between the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Abkhazia, signed an agreement on developing a “Strategy for Socio-economic Development of Abkhazia until 2025″.
In accordance with the Contract a research team, which included renowned economists, ecologists, sociologists and other specialists of Abkhazia with serious publications on development topics, was formed.
To work on the project other experts will also be involved: representatives of the expert community, as well as specialists of ministries and departments, experienced employees of the administration of cities and districts of the Republic. In accordance with the agreement, the project must be completed within 6 months. For discussion and evaluation of the project implementation it is planned to hold a special “Economic forum” with the participation of a wide range of experts and stakeholders, including colleagues from Russia.
The final version of the project will consist of two parts: the “Scenarios for the Development of Abkhazia” and “Program for the Implementation of the Optimal Scenario for the Development of RA”. The “Report on the Integrated Analysis of the Socio-economic Situation in RA (2004-2013)” and “Analytical Report on the Results of Sociological Research” has been presented at a public meeting in January 2015.
This project is carried out by local specialists on the initiative and with financial support from the government of the Republic. Attempts to develop a national development project for long term did not give, as can be seen, the expected effect. Obviously, no one else can do for us what we must do for ourselves by ourselves.
The gap formed in the country over the last decade can now be filled. For this we have to perform more complex and responsible work. It can’t be done without the active support of all stakeholders, on which the author team is very hopeful.