President Dilma Rousseff has announced a stimulus package of US $ 60 billion for Brazil, the first in a series of economic initiatives which is aimed at rejuvenating and boosting the nation’s growth. Dilma Rousseff was elected as president of Latin America’s biggest nation, a country in the midst of an economic and political rise, taking charge of Brazil as the nation’s first female leader on January 1, 2011.
Encouraging more private sector investment, this has come as an action long overdue on the part of the government which manages the world’s sixth-largest economy, and is also infamous for its red-tapism and lumbering bureaucracy that have traditionally held back fresh infusions into the nation’s economy. According to a report by the BBC, it takes 119 working days, on an average, to start a business in Brazil. The $ 60 billion that has been announced is to be invested in Brazil’s roads and railways, the lifelines of the country, spread across the next 25 years, and half of it is going to be intensively pumped in the next 5 years with an eye on boosting the existing infrastructure in time for the next Olympics in 2016, to be held in Rio.
Dilma Rousseff has been credited with launching a host of social programs and initiatives that can be termed nothing short of revolutionary, beginning with her Science without Borders program and the Brazil without Misery initiative, the most prominent amongst them. The Brazil without Misery program aims to eradicate poverty from Brazil by 2014. Being one of her top priorities promised during her election campaign, the program bolsters the earlier bolsa familia (conditional cash transfer) welfare programme initiated by Rousseff’s predecessor, Lula da Silva in 2003. Her latest Science without Borders program intends to tackle Brazil’s abysmmal performance by its education system in student learning and achievement.
With an allocated US $1.9bn, the Brazilian government’s Science Without Borders Program will provide scholarships to undergraduate students from Brazil for one year of study at colleges and universities in the United States. Scholarships will be given primarily to students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Students in the program will return to Brazil to complete their degrees. This will ensure 100,000 students on scholarships to foreign universities – on topics ranging from maths, physics, and biology, to aerospace, oil, gas, and biotechnology. The government will fund 75, 000 scholarships, and the corporate sector 25, 000.
Implemented in the right spirit, these and the future ones under planning and due diligence would ensure the nation being ready to receive and enjoy a huge fillip as the Olympics arrive in 2016.