World Bank - Next Steps

ED/X - MOOC - Financing For Development


March 2017



Welcome to my Final Project, developed as part of the EdX MOOC Financing for Development course I took. This final project ("digital artifact") "builds" on the Building Utopia project I have been working on since 2009 and I consider it another step in its ongoing evolution.

See also First Project which contains some useful information on renewable energy production.




  • This is an effort to save and improve humanity through improving governance at the Global level and inspire a better way to "run the world" through catalyzing large-scale economic synergies not currently possible - that would enable a new (proposed) scale of development to occur.

  • Saving and restoring a dying sea as a commitment to sustainability and turning a former bio-weapons dump into a shining new hope for the future - a New City to house - a World Parliament and Government and creating a Capital for the World.

  • Helping to create a Global Conscience - beyond the - nation state - or collection of any - nation states.  Escaping the "Nation-State" mentality.

  • This is about giving a (much needed) voice to Global Citizens for the first time in human history.



The key focus of this project is on Central Asia, the poorest region in the world outside of Africa (according to a report from Development Initiatives called Harnessing all resources to end poverty (Pg.25)).  With particular attention to Uzbekistan, the heart of Central Asia and the most populous country within Central Asia.


Uzbekistan is a recipient of International Development Assistance (IDA) loans which have enabled Uzbekistan to become a net exporter of electricity. Both private and public sector opportunities exist in the renewable energy field within Uzbekistan and renewable energy development is an area supported by the UN as part of Uzbekistan's commitment to the United nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Citizens (residents) of the following Countries would be the initial beneficiaries of this proposal:
1 - Russia, Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan - Primary Proposal (infrastructure)
2 - Egypt, Israel, Palestine (new country) - Secondary proposal (infrastructure)
3 - Central Asia - and expanding outward to include all global citizens
4 - Middle East - and expanding outward to include all global citizens



The Aral Sea disaster has been called the greatest man-made environmental disaster in the history of humanity. Essentially caused by diverting water to irrigate cotton crops, but also caused by a lack of cooperation among Central Asia countries which was made worse since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.


As articulated in the following reports:


World Bank Report - historical
(beginning of Aral Sea involvement after collapse of Soviet Union)

Did the Desire for Cotton Self-Sufficiency Lead to the Aral Sea Environmental Disaster? : A Case Study on Trade and the Environment


"Annual renewable freshwater levels in Central Asia are expected to diminish to 1,700 m3 per capita per year by 2030 - an internationally recognized level for water stress."

 - Water, Water (Not) Everywhere: the Imperative of Increasing Water Use Efficiency


"Central Asia as a whole is recognized as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impacts of long-term climate change and current climate variability."


"In Central Asia, energy and water security are critical to boosting income levels, reducing poverty, and ensuring sustainable development for all citizens across the region. This cannot be achieved, however, without enhanced cooperation at both the national and regional level."

 - In Almaty, Sharing Knowledge to Strengthen Energy and Water Security Across Central Asia

According to the Asian Development Bank - "Uzbekistan has one of the world’s highest freight transport costs because of its double landlocked geographic location, the condition of transport infrastructure, and high transaction costs for obtaining clearances".  Admittedly, improved roads and rail links could alleviate this problem, but a waterway in the form of a canal (along with a restored sea) would be even better.

It is unknown whether improved cooperation among Central Asian countries will be able to save and fully restore the Aral Sea. Only a small northern portion has been saved so far thanks to World Bank loans and the efforts of Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, the larger southern portion, most of which is in Uzbekistan continues to shrink.



Slow but steady progress is being made, but is it enough ? Central Asia Energy-Water Development Program

Restoring the Aral Sea - & - Building - the City of Utopia

What is required to really save and fully restore the Aral Sea is a global "call to action" - this proposal aims to support and justify that call.

 - As a statement (metaphor) and commitment to global sustainability
 - Not just about saving a dying Sea -
          - but about Saving the World - and ourselves


It was a mega-project (re-routing water to irrigate cotton fields) that led to the destruction of the Aral Sea and it may take a mega-project to fix the problem.
 - Want Big - Think Bid - Pay for Outcomes - results - in - "Frontier Markets"
 - Enormous opportunity for the private sector in the form of public-private partnerships


Project consists of a number of Mega-Projects that are dependent upon the success of each other

KEY COMPONENTS - Development Projects -

 - Enhancing the New Silk Road - & - Beyond


Starting West and heading East
 - from the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean to Central Asia.


Countries with projects within their borders would develop their project along with help from others, and, since these would not just be "World Bank" supported projects, but also "World Government" supported projects...  there would also be World Government Assistance (WGA).

Global Commodity Reserve (GCR)

Location: Egypt - Sinai
   (possible new home for a new country - Palestine (next to Gaza)
 - Israel / Palestine - Help solve conflict - as all 3 countries would need to work together to manage the reserve.
 - Commodities to be stored within the protective sands of the desert (& other facilities)
 - New City
 - New Airport
 - Wind & Solar Farms
 - Shipping Ports & Roads
 An Inventory (a vision) of possibilities
  - Buying commodities when prices are low - excess capacity at a discount - globally
  - Selling commodities when prices are high
  - Using commodities stored in the reserve as collateral for loans
 Linking via canals to the heart of Central Asia

    - easy two-way trade - and breathtaking economic development


Black Sea TO Caspian Sea Canal (BC Canal)

Location: Russia
 - Help leverage negotiating a settlement to Ukraine / Crimea (& other areas)
 - Help improve human rights and institute - democratic reforms - & - "rule of law"
 - Caspian Canal Could Boost Kazakh Trade

 - The Kazakh-Russian “Eurasia” Canal: The Geopolitics of Water, Transport, and Trade

 - Eurasia Canal

 - Kazakhstan Proposes Caspian-Black Sea Canal

Caspian Sea TO Aral Sea Canal (CA Canal)

Location: Kazakhstan - preferred route
 - OR Turkmenistan - possible alternate route

New City - of Utopia - powered entirely by renewable energy


Location: Uzbekistan
 Kantubek - ghost city (former USSR bio-weapons base)
  - "was a town on Vozrozhdeniya Island (Uzbekistan) in the Aral Sea. The town is still found on maps, but is uninhabited and lies in ruins today. Kantubek used to have a population of approximately 1,500, and housed scientists and employees of the Soviet Union's top-secret Aralsk-7 biological weapons research and test site."

 - China (for example) builds new cities on a regular basis
 - City within a building concept ? - Not a fantasy -

     - Kazakhstan plans giant indoor city
 - New Airport
 - Wind & Solar Farms
 - Shipping Ports & Roads


Including - Solar Roads ? - From Silk Road to Solar Highway

 - Solar Roadways -
 - World’s first solar road opens in France -
 - - - Yes, expensive now, but costs could come down (like cell.phones) with improvements and wide-scale acceptance

 - See fun video - below




The key element to eliminating poverty and improving the living standards of people in Central Asia (like elsewhere) is through improved governance.

Due to a lack of good governance the challenges facing Central Asia (especially Uzbekistan) are enormous. Being endowed with a wealth of natural resources is simple not enough to overcome the challenges faced by Central Asia. Outside help is necessary.

The private sector likes good governance (including at the global level) as it reduces risk and increases returns.
 - People like Bill Gates support the establishment of a democratic World Parliament -  - Bill Gates calls for a world government
 - Why we need a world parliament

 - Otherwise tragedies are bound to occur - Bulldozing History: Ancient Uzbek City's UNESCO Status At Risk

DEVELOPMENT BONDS - Green, Catastrophic, Pandemic, Transport, Energy - Governance, ETC.

 - A large diaspora working in Russia, especially many Uzbek's could help support development bonds, which could be leveraged for additional private sector support.


This proposal aims to help solve the problems of Central Asia, but many other problems can be solved around the world as well.  Global Problems require Global Solutions - a worthwhile investment.



Propose a financing solution that will increase private and/or public finance for development in a country of your choosing that uses the IDA PSW.
- Think about the key facts or ideas you wish to convey by answering the following questions:

What is the problem or issue that you are trying to solve ?
Save and fully restore the Aral Sea, build canals connecting Central Asia to the oceans of the world that would dramatically boost the economies of Central Asia and in turn improve the economy of the world.

What are the reasons that the government, official aid provider or private sector would want to participate ?
Enormous opportunity backed by global support for sustainability in rectifying the largest man-made disaster in human history.

What are the main obstacles currently standing in the way of unlocking financial opportunities ?
Poor governance and a lack of cooperation between Central Asian states helped create the Aral Sea disaster and have not so far been sufficiently improved in order to really solve the situation.

How would your solution overcome them ?
 - By giving impetus to instituting a global level of government to help solve the problem and improve the economy of the world. 

 - Country specific and government supported Mega-(Infrastructure)-Projects with support from Global Citizens and countries of the world.

Consider the country context, if your proposal involves a specific country.
Central Asia with particular attention to - Uzbekistan - the most populous (and needy) country in Central Asia as well as current and former recipient of International Development Assistance.