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Courier (English)
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Publisher: Hegel Goutier
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Table of Contents
    Front Matter
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

DRC" : A
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Editorial Committee
Sir John Kaputin, Secretary-General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG Development
European Commission

Editorial staff
Director and Editor-in-chief
Hegel Goutier

Franois Misser (Deputy Editor-in-chief),
Aminata Niang, Debra Percival

Editorial Assistant and Production
Sara Saleri

Participated to this issue
Marie-Martine Buckens, Leo Cendrowicz,
Roger Mazanza Kindulu, Bernard Babb, Bob Kabamba

Public Relations and Artistic coordination
Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani
(Public Relations Manager and Responsible for NGOs' and experts' network)
Joan Ruiz Valero
(Responsible for Networking with EU and National Institutions)

Artistic Coordination
Sandra Federici

Graphic Conception, Layout
Orazio Metello Orsini

Contract Manager
Claudia Rechten
Tracey D'Afters

S Cover
S Cobalt mine in Ruashi, Katanga.
: Democratic Republic of Congo.
S Photo by Thierry Charlier

Back cover
1" ACP Festival (Africa Caribbean Pacific)
Credit photos, left to right:
Photos 1-2: Sandra Van Rolleghem; Photo 3: Hegel Goutier

The Courier
45, Rue de Trves
1040 Brussels
Belgium (EU)
Tel: +32 2 2374392
Fax: +32 2 2801406

Published every two months in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

For information on subscription,
go to our website www.acp-eucourier.info or contact info@acp-eucourier.info

Publisher responsible
Hegel Goutier
GOPA-Cartermill Grand Angle Lai-momo

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view of the EC
nor of the ACP countries.
The consortium and the editorial staff decline ail responsibility for the articles written by
external contributors.

T H E N. 1 N.E.-JULY AUGUST 2007


Table of contents

Foreword: side by side 2 Congo DRC
Foreword: side by side 2


A reintroduction
Africa-Caribbean-Pacific/European Union
A model of cooperation, nevertheless...


European Development Days
European Development policy on the table

Hard debate on development... with a festive side
EU security: not seeing the wood for the trees?
From NASA to the schools of Rwanda
From benificiary to donor:
an extremely informative exercise
Laying a new path
with African partners
Good govemance and the media:
first of all, respect joumalists

ACP-EU Parliamentarians
protest unfair globalisation
An extraordinary summit
Conflict diamonds: still threatening

A day in the life of Louise Assomo
Until we meet again.
Homage to Isabelle Bassong

Boost for renewable energy sources
Toxic waste: 20 years on, an unfinished battle

Reconstruction challenges
The European response

The vision of the Congolese authorities
8 A government by ballot box

New decentralisation in the Congo
Culture bubbles up
The Congo is also...

Pacific and EU
chart course for new accord

Brussels-Capital Region
Brussels: cultural capital

20 The chimestry at work in Brussels
Brussels, Mputuville, the capital of worlds
2 Europe, a capital 'quarter'

Brussels economy:
Growing anyway

Market for cultural products:
31 A breakthrough for the ACP countries
33 Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture and
Ist ACP Festival in Santo Domingo
Caribbean bowled over
34 by ball game



Sir John Kaputin,

ACP Secretary General

There is a strong historical association between 'The Courier' and the
ACP Group. It is a viable showcase for ACP-EU cooperation, particu-
larly its development dimension. As such, it constitutes a primary ref-
erence for a wider readership vis--vis the ACP Group. Therefore, it is
essential that this instrument is re-launched due to its usefulness, and
indeed the promotion of the visibility of the Group.

It is hoped that 'The Courier' will be a sounding board to establish inter-
active dialogue and structured exchanges with our readers. The maga-
zine will relay to our readers ACP activities and positions with regard to
various undertakings. Ideally, 'The Courier' should also become an
interactive tool par excellence due to the online version which will be
updated regularly and will include feedback from our readers.

It would be difficult to gauge this given the geographical size of the
ACP-EU partnership and membership on both sides. But for a partner-
ship that has existed for over three decades, it would be in honour of
what this partnership stands for that the ACP and EU sides should
endeavour to ensure that our goals and objectives are made known to
our Member States more than ever before. The magazine may not
become the panacea in this awareness drive, but at the very least, one
may appreciate and understand the critical role that it would play.
In that vein, 'The Courier' has been designed to capture a wider reader-
ship. It is hoped that the appeal and wider circulation of the magazine
would be boosted by the fact that the presentation would also be done
in Spanish and Portuguese -in addition to French and English.

One of the main innovations of the Cotonou Agreement is the direct
involvement of civil society and the private sector, particularly in ACP
States. When the social partners know the specificities of the EDF pro-
cedures and maintain good relations with National Authorising Officers
and EC delegations, they can participate more actively in the develop-

ment efforts with ACP Goverments. In a general sense, both the ACP
and EU sides must continue to live up to the spirit of the Cotonou
Agreement to jointly promote its objectives. If the ultimate goal is
poverty alleviation, that can only be met successfully through the pro-
motion of economic, social and cultural growth in ACP countries.

The ACP side at least is not oblivious to global changes that necessitate
different configurations be that at regional levels or for specific politi-
cal, economic and related interests. We live in a fast-changing world.
Trends such as globalisation and security concerns are real and
unavoidable. Hence, the way forward is to adapt and innovate ways to
remain relevant and indispensable.
If we think along this line, it means that the ACP Group should be open-
minded about the mandates of organistions and what they represent. In
fact, we are moving in tandem with several organizations whom we
have established relationships without mutual interests. Besides, the
ACP Group really believes in its solidarity and is coerced to endure
challenges by working towards common interests that are intricately
woven to its association with the European Union.

The top priority on the ACP Group's agenda is the conclusion of the
Economic Partnership Agreemens (EPA) negotiations by the end of
2007. There is also the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), to
come into effect by January 1, 2008, and the programming that comes
with it. However, that would only be so with ratification of the revised
Cotonou Agreement by two-thirds of the ACP States and all the
European States by the end of this year. The ACP Group is also moni-
toring developments on the WTO front especially in relation to the
Doha Negotiations and certain commodity talks where the WTO nego-
tiations have a direct bearing on their respective statuses.
The ACP Group is also focusing on several other essential matters,
including the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and the
nexus between migration and development. Finally, changes in the
international order, including the EU, has caused the ACP Group to pur-
sue an in-depth consideration of its future and how it can re-position
itself beyond 2020 -the expiry year of the Cotonou Agreement.



Stefano Manservisi

Director General for Development, European Commission

'The Courier' is a useful information instrument which talks about
cooperation between the ACP and the EU on a day-to-day basis. It is the
only magazine able to reach every country in Africa, the Caribbean and
the Pacific, to inform about the crucial role of our partnership in shap-
ing a bold development policy and its contribution to promoting peace,
good governance, stability and growth.

The magazine will explain our approach to development, highlight suc-
cess stories and register the point of view of others on issues covered.
It will also help us to adapt our approach in a rapidly changing world,
to be ready for the task in hand. 'The Courier' is a real magazine, a true
forum to engender free debate. It is not a propaganda instrument for us,
or for others.

I am afraid European public opinion is not fully aware of the partner-
ship and what it stands for. This is why we need instruments like 'The
Courier'. They can help improve this awareness. 'The Courier' is only
part of the picture; it is not meant to take on the whole task of commu-
nicating development policies.

There is no fear of the partnership being diluted by its members seek-
ing closer relations with other bodies. The EU-ACP partnership is not
exclusive to relations between Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and
Europe. Our partnership provides added value to the entire develop-
ment policy; a policy to be implemented in agreement with other
regional institutions such as the African Union which is a crucial body
in promoting peace and stability on the continent.

Development policy is a fundamental priority of European external
action because development means stability, peace, respect for human
rights, preventing terrorism from taking root and promoting democra-
cy. This has been demonstrated by the launch of the 'European
Consensus on Development', the first ever common framework for
development policy at a European level.
Under this framework, our overriding priorities are: bolstering good
goverance, because without stability and justice you cannot have any
kind of sustained growth; fighting against poverty related diseases (as
HIV/AIDS); improving access to social services, such as health and
education and modernising transport, energy and telecommunication
infrastructures needed to help trade boost the entire economy.

Knowledge leads to growth and a tree media is an expression of democ-
racy. There is no scientific linkage between a wider knowledge of the
ACP-EU partnership and steps forward in the social and economic
environment. But people can be aware of what our governments are
implementing to build a better economic and social environment for
everybody in our countries; in fact, to build a better world.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

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he reasons for the return of 'The Courier'
magazine are many and varied and every-
body will have his or her own reason for
welcoming it, whether sentimental or
intellectual. However, if there must be a single rea-
son, it is that since the last issue of the magazine,
published three years ago, the world has seen sig-
nificant changes. Of importance is not so much a
political event itself the major cataclysm was
September 11, 2001 as understanding of the
event. Perception is largely a matter of politics;
understanding largely a question of communication.
The much-vaunted 'end of history' paradigm fol-
lowing fall of the Berlin Wall lasted no more than a
dozen or so years. The world's division into two
blocs in 1917 was no more than a historical interlude.
The break-up of the Soviet bloc reawakened old
animosities, rivalries and historical pacts, creating
antagonisms between groups, tribes, peoples and
nations. However, while much of the world seemed
ever more unstable, one region managed to stay on
course without any major jolts, despite the past and
chequered histories of its members. The European
Union (EU) has become a positive model thanks to
its success in achieving extensive integration in an
open and transparent way. Unlike the empires of
the past -including the Soviet one the EU has
never sought to 'invade' sovereign States. It was
left to the countries themselves to seek membership
and make their own applications to join.
As part of this process, the EU implicitly guar-
anteed Member States that they would not be dic-
tated to. This attitude is reflected by Czech-born
writer Milan Kundera's analysis in his book, 'The
Curtain': "Small nations are different from large
ones, not just because of the size of their popula-
tions. It goes deeper: they do not regard their exis-
tence as a certainty but invariably as a question, a
wager, a risk. They adopt a defensive attitude
towards history... There are just as many Polish
people as Spaniards, but Spain is an older power
whose existence has never come under threat,
while history has taught the Poles the meaning of
non-existence. Bereft of their State, they lived for
over a century on death row. Indeed, 'Poland is not
yet lost', reads the first line of their plaintive
national anthem".

A recent EU member, Poland today is now on
its guard against a recurrence of losing statehood.
Europe's example should perhaps be seen
against the background of another level of interna-
tional cooperation, that of the United Nations.
Although there have been certain changes for the
better, the UN has not managed to replicate the
EU's achievements. Here the Lom-Cotonou
process can hold up its EU-shaped model as an
example. At every stage, developments have to be
strictly approved by each Member State.
The report in the first issue of the new edition
of 'The Courier' focuses on the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC). In terms of geography,
demographic make-up and resources, it is a large
country. It recently avoided some of the major risks
posed by History to small countries and its current
resurgence is down due to the significant support of
its key partner, the EU. But this backing can only
make the right impact if it is perceived in the right
way by the nation-state involved. If not treated
carefully, nations, large and small alike, may
quickly retreat into their "small or large provincial
attitudes", to borrow from Kundera once more,
suppressing their future prospects.
The second major change that has occurred
over the past three years since 'The Courier' was
last published, is the dominance of the Internet as a
source of information. The French philosopher
Alain Finkielkraut has described the Internet as "an
intricate mixture of truths and falsehoods". This
has heightened the need for accurate interpretations
and trust in our information sources.
In aiming for a publication that is balanced in
editorial content and above all independent and
self-critical, the ACP Secretariat, who championed
'The Courier' project, and the European
Commission, which agreed to finance it, are priori-
tising explanations over perception. The editorial
team is ready to assume its duty to the ACP
Secretariat and the Commission in this respect, and
even more so, to its readers who can trust in it.

Hegel Goutier

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


Hegel Goutier

frica- aribbean-




here are many questions put as to why there is continuing
poverty (especially in Africa) in spite of decades of coop-
eration with the world's richest economic blocs.
Cooperation between African, Caribbean and Pacific
(ACP) countries and the European Union (EU) has been more than a
success -it is a model. Perhaps such questions are ill-conceived from
the outset in that they assume that one country can offer development
to another. This is of course an illusion. One can only develop onself.
Others simply help you to do so.
The other frequently asked question is whether or not aid can be an
obstacle to development. The answer is either 'yes' or 'no'. It is 'no'
in the case of relations linking the two blocs that concern us. While
EU aid has not developed Africa, in many countries it has contributed
greatly to preventing the collapse of vital sectors such as education
and health. At the same time, through the construction of major infra-
structure, it has made local development initiatives possible.
This cooperation is unique in more than one sense. Firstly, its use is
defined by the recipient and not by the donor. The European Union

o reintroducti

sets the amount of aid granted to each ACP country or region over a
period of time, usually five years. The aid is the subject of a long-term
contract with both sides given the possibility of modifying it. It puts
into place specific joint institutions within which all the EU and ACP
countries are represented. These institutions bring together ministers
(Council), members of parliament (Joint Parliamentary Assembly),
and ambassadors (Council of Ambassadors), etc. What is more, these
relations do not only extend to officials, but also between members of
civil society and other non-state bodies (such as the EU Economic and
Social Committee and representatives of similar organizations from
all the ACP regions).
This is multilateral cooperation and as such, reduces the risks of fraud
or quid pro quo arrangements, for example between a former colonis-
ing country and the country that was colonised. Therefore, it is aid
with fewer strings attached rather than aid agreed in bi-lateral negoti-
ations between a single country and a set of powerful donors, as is the
case with international financial institutions.
Compared with bilateral agreements between rich and poor countries,


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A collection of covers of the first edition of The ACP-EU Courier

it is aid of a more transparent nature. The companies involved in
implementing it are selected on the basis of a call for tenders issued
to potential contractors in all European Union, ACP countries, and
even third countries. But there is a slight preference -given parity of
quality -for consortia that include the ACP. The aid is also supposed
to be free of the politics of national agendas.
The cooperation is the subject of continuous negotiations about the
content of aid. It has evolved since the 1st Yaound Convention
(1963), six years after the Treaty of Rome and amid the wave of inde-
pendence that swept across African countries. We have moved from
aid projects to aid programmes and recently towards budgetary aid,
especially in countries with acknowledged good governance. This
has made it possible to channel resources directly into a national
budget drawn up completely independently.
Initially centred on rural development and infrastructure, cooperation
has spread to a growing number of economic, political, cultural and
security fields. No subject is taboo any longer. The fight against
drugs, weapons of mass destruction, illegal immigration and securi-
ty are now not only components of political dialogue, but also the
subject of concrete projects.
There has been development, too, on the European side. Whereas the
Commission was traditionally the most involved party, the Council is
now more involved, as in the elections in the DRC, for example.
Members of Parliament also have more say when it comes to the
budget and the implementation of cooperation.
The most remarkable development in the field of cooperation is the

ongoing trade negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements
(EPA) that, in principle, from 2008 will bind the EU Member States
to the various ACP regions. These agreements are intended to use
trade as a development instrument while at the same time strengthen-
ing trade between ACP countries, ACP regions and the rest of the
world. Although opinions have often been divided about their practi-
cality, more recently, the views of the ACP and EU countries have
converged and there is reason to believe that the agreements will be
signed the principal reservations now being limited to final dead-
lines. Within the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU and the
ACP while sometimes at odds with each other -project an image
of a strong alliance that is unique between rich and poor nations in
such bodies.
Over the years, cooperation between the EU and the ACP countries
has also been unique in another way: the evolving identity of coun-
tries and their people. Born of the Europe of six Member States and
former French African colonies, ACP-EU cooperation has embraced
former colonial powers such as the United Kingdom and Spain as
well as their former African, Caribbean and Pacific colonies. It has
also expanded to include countries with no colonial past with the
ACP. The Lom-Cotonou process was an opportunity to smooth rela-
tions between former colonisers and the colonised within a more bal-
anced and friendly relationship. A parallel can be drawn here with the
current revolution in the European Union today, where old enmities
have been converted into opportunities for mutual cooperation and

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


jound up




n an ironic twist of fate, the Mauritanian
oasis of Tenadi, once reclaimed by
sands, has come back to life thanks to a
handful of nomads who have been forced
to settle there by the inexorable advance of
the desert. More than 200 families are there
now, living from agriculture and cattle rear-
ing around two wells, surrounded by 80
hectares of crops, which are their protection
against the onward march of the dunes. It's a
difficult venture, begun 20 years ago by a
fe"' families led there bh Sidi F1 Mnctnr
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name, 5 km north of the Road of Hope at the
gateway to the desert.
The US$200,000 prize will enable the Tenadi
oasis to be consolidated and extended to
accommodate new families. A new well and
also a water retention pool will have to be
sunk. An additional 100 hectares of dunes
will be reclaimed by planting new crops, and
a nursery of 200,000 plants will be set up. A
proportion of them will be distributed to sim-
ilar projects. Finally, those in charge of the
cnnperatie intend tn biiild a track het',een
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Round up




for a joint review
of the Sugar
Protocol at their
Brussels Ministerial Meeting,
May 21-24, judging that the
EU is about to "throw out the
baby with the bathwater",
according to Arvin Boolell,
Mauritian Minister for
Fisheries and ACP
Ministerial Spokesman on


Credit 2006, SASI Group
y tisrevinU( of Sheffield)

sugar. and Mark Newman
He stressed that the Protocol (University of Michigan).
continues to contribute to the www.worldmapper.org
overall economic develop--
ment of ACP nations and the
livelihoods of many people and was "a glowing example of
North-South trade and a model to replicate".
The Protocol, enshrined in successive Lom and Cotonou
Conventions, has traditionally guaranteed export quotas prices
for 18 ACP sugar producers in the EU market.
The thrust of the European Commission's latest offer on the
table for the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), made at
the beginning of April, is to phase out guaranteed prices from
2009 with a gradual opening to competitors.
A resolution from ACP Ministers read that this move was: "tan-
tamount to a unilateral renunciation of this longstanding trade
and development instrument and is totally unacceptable".
For ACP States exporting under the Protocol, the EC's offer is
a further blow for the industry. One year ago, EU Member
States agreed a 36% cut in the price of sugar as part of a reform
of the EU Sugar Regime over a four-year period, also affecting
ACP States. George Bullen, Brussels Ambassador for the
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) who current-
ly presides the ACP Consultative Group on sugar, says that this
cut compounds the losses of ACP sugar exporters who already
face mounting freight and insurance costs.
To offset its price cut, the European Commission pledged
1.24 billion over 8 years (2006-2013) for 'Multi-Annual
Adaptation Strategies (MAAS)' benefiting ACP Sugar Protocol
nations. Under these to date, 13 out of 18 sugar Protocol
nations have negotiated a raft of measures, on the one hand to
make the domestic sugar industry more competitive, with other
funds to help diversify into other industries and also to lessen
the social impact of the dissolving of the local industry on
sugar dependent communities.
ACP Ministers called on annual pledges under the plan to be
upped at least to 250 million. Arvin Boolell said that the EU

was compelled to address the special legal status of the
Protocol, its contributions to social, environmental and rural
development and recalled: "No ACP country should feel worse
off, but better off as a result of the EPAs". q
off, but better off as a result of tbe EPAs". a

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


Round up


f~ un

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aid spending, a focus
on 'fragile' States
and a push to wind
up the Economic Partnership
Agreements with African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
regions, are the main features of
the current and two subsequent
European Union's (EU)
The pooling of the aims of three
Presidencies; Germany, January
-June 2007, www.eu2007.de,
Portugal taking over July
December 2007, followed by
Slovenia, January to June 2008,
is enabled by a 2006 change in
EU rules on a streamlining of
proposals for three consecutive
presidencies. It will give a
greater chance to follow through
On Africa, a joint Presidency
paper calls for "broadened, deep-
ened and strengthened political
dialogue with African partners",
moving ahead with EU "strate-
gies" on governance, infrastruc-
ture and water.
The trio of Presidencies agreed to
press for an increase in Official
Development Assistance (ODA)
EU-wide. A German Presidency
spokesperson said the aim was
for the 27 States to jointly reach a
target to earmark 0.56% of their
Gross National Income (GNI) to
development collectively by 2010
with the 'old' EU Member States
achieving an average of 0.51%
and the 'new' Member States,
with less of a 'development tradi-
tion', pledging an average of
0.17% average by this date. This
figure takes into account that
some Member States already
exceed this target, whereas others
lag (see graph of Organisation of
Economic Cooperation and
Development -OECD).
Speeding up aid effectiveness
targeting a "more efficient divi-
sion of labour in the EU",

increased use of renewable ener-
gy, the effects of climate change
on developing nations and better
natural resource management are
priorities too for all three coun-
tries, says the paper.
Germany aims to address the
drastic consequences of high
energy prices on developing
countries which threaten
"achievements of the EU's
development aid transparency
and good governance", and also
look at the "development aspects
of the European Partnership
From July 2007, the Portuguese
Presidency wants to focus, too, on
"new complementary approaches
in fragile States" and wants the
EU to get to grips with "the pre-
vention of State failure and
fragility, encompassing existing
instruments and policy areas such

as goverance and security and
development". Migration and
development is another issue
including "the overall effective
management of migration flows,
covering its multidimensional
nature -international, regional
and national -and to maximize
the potential development bene-
fits of migration".
When Slovenia has its turn in the
EU hot seat at the beginning of
2008, it wants the EU to be more
attentive to the effects of armed
conflict on children and women,
calling for the protection of chil-
dren and women affected by con-
flict to become part of EU devel-
opment policy and programmes.

Official Development Assistance
(ODA) targets. OECD Paris 2006.
Report on Development Cooperation,
statistics updated January 19th 2007.


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Round up



T o curb the arrival of
illegal migrants, the
European Commission
is to finance centres to
give information about immigra-
tion to Europe to potential
migrants. The first centre opened
in Mali at the beginning of 2007.
Others are to be set up in Senegal,
Mauritania and Gambia. Franco
Frattini, European Commissioner
for Immigration, said the centre
was "something flexible, allowing
supply and demand between Mali
and the EU to be coordinated". It
will post temporary EU jobs for
migrants in sectors such as agri-
culture, construction and tourism.

si;fiil it

>21 i!'irIuU
111* D

SiS~~ .m





El Loko, Illusion men, 2006, 300 x 400 x 200 cm, installation.
Exhibition 'Afrique Europe: rves croiss', 13/11 10/12/06, Brussels. Credit European
Commission and artist.
"Allegory of Africans dialoguing with Europeans but forgetting to speak to one another".

Fish seminar

How can ACP States make the most of their
fisheries for the greatest number of people,
arrest declining stocks and add value to
exports? The importance of this asset to ACP States
was reflected in the pool of participants from ACP
governments, the Commonwealth Secretariat, EU
aid agencies, the private sector, regional organisa-
tions, NGOs and experts, who put what's at stake
for the industry at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels,
January 22-24.
The next step is to move up a political notch on the
outcome of the Brussels meeting. Participants high-
lighted the sustainable development of fisheries in
ACP States, protection of the aquatic environment,
the scope for eco-labelling in the industry, food
security in ACP States and the vital importance of
maximising the benefits of small scale fisheries
activities for communities. Here, it was agreed that
what was needed was a definition of artisanall and
small scale fisheries'. Also pressing are amended
'rules of origin' to make investment in ACP fish pro-
cessing more attractive.
Organised with the help of the African Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, www.acpsec.org,

the Commonwealth Secretariat, www.common-
wealth.org, and Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur
Technische Zusammenarbeit, www.gtz.de. M

"Need for definition of small
and artisanal fisheries".
Photo E. Barton, credit Europeaid.

on a new

H ot on the heels of the
Conference of Heads of
States and Goverments
of the African Union (AU), held
at the end of February in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU has
launched a public consultation on
a common strategy for a partner-
ship with the EU. This should be
adopted at the EU-Africa Summit
in Lisbon, scheduled for the end
of 2007. A public consultation on
the strategy will "generate ideas
and suggestions" on the content
and form of this new partnership.
At the same meeting, Ghanaian
President John Kufuor was elect-
ed the AU's Acting President for a
one-year term. a

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


Jos Manuel Barroso,
President of the European
Commission and
1 ~-1 i~ I-I~I~I '1 |III
'I H '- ,. I [l l. ,
I.- ,11 1 1 . I ,1


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E ,

European Development Days Dossier

Hegel Goutier




European Development Days

This is certainly one of the largest political and cultural events on cooperation with developing
nations and specifically with African nations that the European Commission has ever organised in
Brussels. A week of activities, from November 13 to 17 preceded by several days of media hype
about its development policy where the Commission faced heckling from those with opposing
views. The outcome was surprisingly positive even the most sceptical observers, like Aminata
Traor, were won over, acknowledging that debates were open and lively. It was largely a success.

T he setting: one of Heysel's exhibi-
tion halls in the Belgian capital,
more used to hosting the annual
automobile show and other com-
mercial mega-exhibitions than political
meetings. What is rare for an event with a
serious agenda, fashion shows with alluring
models, concerts, an African cinema festi-
val, exhibitions of African comic strips and
other arts staged not only the Heysel, but
galleries, theatres and numerous prestigious
cultural venues in and around the city. It all
created a party atmosphere pleasing even the
hardened political-phobics.
The entire event was publicised by giant
posters on the main boulevards and metro
stations; leaflets and flyers were distributed
around the trendy places where young peo-
ple go. All this was backed up by a daily
happening on the 'Millennium Campaign'
theme in Place de la Monnaie outside the
opera house in the centre of town.
A large banner even covered the faade of
the Berlaymont building -seat of the
European Commissioners. The week began
with the handing out of the Youth
Development Awards to the winners of a
graphic arts competition from the various
Member States of the Union emphasising
the importance of a development conscious-
ness in young people.

> Taking development to the man
and woman in the street
Even local cinemas participated, where in
one of them -not directly involved in any
way -an usherette was seen holding a flyer

for the European Development Days (EDD),
www.eudevdays.eu, while chatting to regu-
lar cinemagoers. A quick glance revealed
her source of supply: a display next to her
counter, where the advert for the EDD had
been placed alongside those for tango

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Dossier European Development Days

shows, rock concerts and other events. It
clearly illustrated that the organizers had
spared no effort in bringing development
issues directly to the man and woman in the
In fact, the audience was much more varied
than the usual suspects (civil servants,
activists and other regular attendees) at
these get-togethers, strolling around picking
up information from the many stands in the
Heysel's development 'village'. They came
to find out about the new Latvian or Maltese
development policy; the long-standing
Finnish commitment to development; about
pacifist movements such as Nonviolent
Peaceforce or Pax Christi; or the involve-
ment of the OECD (Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development)
in the African Partnership Forum.
This was just an appetiser! The main course,
so to speak, was the opening ceremony of
the EDD by then-Belgian Prime Minister
Guy Verhofstadt, European Commission
President Jos Manuel Barroso, and the
then-holder of the Presidency of the
European Union, Finland, represented by its
Secretary of State for Development,
Marjatta Rasi. This was followed by a
debate on the theme 'Perspectives on
Governance' in which activist for an alter-
native globalism, and former Minister of
Culture in Mali, Aminata Traor, made a

"And, what is rare for an event with a serious agenda,
fashion shows with alluring models, concerts,
an African cinema festival...
Poster of the movie 'Bamako', by Abderrahmane
Credit European Commission.

robust challenge to the European Union's
development policy and that of other large
international institutions. Other participants
in this debate were Sad Djinnit (African
Union Commissioner for Peace and
Security), Mark Malloch Brown (United
Nations' Deputy Secretary General), Paul
Wolfowitz (then-President of the World
Bank), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of
Liberia, Donald Kaberuka (President of the
African Development Bank) and Louis
Michel, European Commissioner for
Development. In parallel, a few hundred
metres away, the Forum of EU-Africa
Affairs was going on. This brought together
a group of business leaders whose compa-
nies are involved in developing countries.

> Call to reflect

Then there was the Governance Forum, con-
cluding with the Plenary Session of African
Heads of State. The Governance Forum was
the real 'think tank' of the programme.
Organisers wanted to get participants to
think about development issues as an open
dialogue. It was also an invitation from the
Commission to reflect on its own progress.
There was a crowd of rather frustrated lis-
teners, who could not attend all of the mul-
tiple round table discussions happening
simultaneously. It was difficult to choose
between sessions in the afternoon: 'Building
a culture of democracy', 'Accelerating the
fight against corruption', the 'Avenues open
to civil society', 'Inequalities and vulnerable
groups' and 'Migration and development'.
The Plenary Session of African Heads of
State -a procession of the great and the
good of the African continent -was attend-
ed by 14 Presidents (Benin, Botswana,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African
Republic, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar,
Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra
Leone, Togo, Uganda), a Vice-President
(Gambia), Prime Ministers (Ethiopia,
Mauritius, Swaziland) and a handful of for-
mer Heads of State. It was an opportunity to
get up to speed with progress made by the
continent on good governance, and espe-
cially to show that while there are still real
challenges in Africa, they should not take
away from the progress underway.
However, it was a pity that the Heads of
State generally settled for justifying the run-
ning of their respective States rather than
tabling new ideas to evaluate and stimulate
good governance among rich and poor
nations, businesses and large international
institutions. The only challenge to these

official statements was a small demonstra-
tion by a few opponents during the speech
by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, which was
quickly quelled by security people.
At the EDD's closing ceremony, popular
figure of South African Nobel Peace Prize
winner, Mgr Desmond Tutu, shared the plat-
form with Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul,
Germany's Federal Minister for Economic
Cooperation and Development, Luis
Amado, Portuguese Foreign Minister and
Commissioner Louis Michel.

> Creatiuity, quality and beauty:
a sales edge for Ofrica

All the festivities made the EDD a one-off
in raising the economic opportunity and
development potential of cultural creativity
in African countries. Fashion shows by
great designers like the dynamic Alphadi
from Niger -a driving force in African fash-
ion design -and Senegal's Claire Kane, paid
tribute to the sophistication and elegance of
African beauty. This ranged from allusions
to the wonderful traditional dress of Berber
women, to the up-to-date, 21st century sen-
suality of avant-garde metallic bustiers.
Other activities attracted similar attention
including the comic strip exhibition at one
of Brussels' prestigious locations -the
Flagey centre.
This venue also hosted the African film fes-
tival, in association with Kinepolis, one of
the largest multiscreen cinemas in Europe.
Finally, the contemporary art exhibition,
'Afrique Europe: Rves croiss' ('Africa,
Europe: crossed dreams') allowed some of
the most imaginative and best known of
today's African artists to display their
All these activities came under the banner of
'Africa is going places', which the key fig-
ures behind the European Development
Days, European Commissioner Louis
Michel and the Commission's Director
General for Development, Stefano
Manservisi, wanted to emphasise at this
event. Their intention was to move people
away from the usual depressing clichs
about the continent and change its image
among investors and other partners.
Judging by the attendance at the EDD
events and also the coverage in the national
press about this great show featuring the
African continent, it's a gamble that seems
to have paid off.

Africa deserved this tribute... and put on a
great show. a


European Development Days Dossier



Migration and good governance

Or, to take the meeting's line, it's a question of "good governance of the phenomenon of migration". There
is general agreement that the type of good governance that should be at stake is not just about migrants'
countries of origin, but ail actors including host countries and international organizations. There's a coming
together, too, of the fact that the phenomenon is on the rise in part because of globalisation, and that
despite a downside, it does enrich host countries and develop regions from where migrants originate.

ne issue causing debate was the role
of migrants' countries of origin with
official or private bodies who often
benefit from illegal immigration.
Another was the reported hypocrisy of host coun-
tries who lessen the contribution of migrants and
home in on law and order issues. This, in tum,
provokes the segregation of migrants.

> The missing link
Ndioro Ndiaye, Deputy Director General of
IOM (International Organisation for Migration,
www.iom.int) says that despite all the hulla-
baloo about migration, the proportion of
migrants in the world remains stable: 3% of the
world's population, of whom the big

majority are legal. What seems to have
shocked people in Europe is the growth in the
number of black African migrants spoken
about in all the media -2,700 in 2005 com-
pared with 120,000 in 2006 -many heading
for what has now become a symbolic destina-
tion: the Canary Islands. Of particular concern
is African immigration, not least voiced by

Dossier European Development Days

African countries themselves. This is because
migration has led to 'growth' without devel-
opment. In a single year, 20,000 African
health professionals left the continent. Ndiaye
is outraged: "How is it possible to pay some-
one to study for seven years and offer them a
mere US$200 per month salary, forcing them
to go elsewhere?" This question was put not
only to countries of origin, but also to interna-
tional donors who fund education in the coun-
tries conceded.
Development projects should take into
account the added value of migrants' skills,
how they fill the demands of local businesses
and the contribution of diasporas to their
countries of origin and funds they transfer
there. These financial resources should be
used to stem migration. Instead of taking
advantage of such opportunities, host coun-

tries keep migration issues within the walls of
the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home
Affairs and Justice, as is the case in France,
without any input from development bodies.
"Here's the missing link", analysed Ndiaye.
The migration forum to be held in Europe in
July 2007 will be an opportunity for European
governments to adopt a well-rounded
approach to the phenomenon.
As for Africa, "it has not been absolved". It
should, according to Ndiaye, equip itself to
dialogue on an equal footing with Europe,
acquiring knowledge and skills in fields such
as security issues relating to official papers
and the running of transit terminals. Africa
should assemble a body of academic experts
to address such issues. The crime of ignorance
or incompetence was just as reprehensible as
that of indifference or demagogy.

IngridMwangiRobertHutter, Neger, 1999, video, 4 min 15,
'Afrique Europe: rves croiss'.
Credit European Commission and artist.

Page 15
"What seems to have shocked people in Europe
is the growth in the number of Black African
migrants talked about in ail the media".
Babacar Niang, installation, Embouteillages urbains,
2005. 'Afrique Europe: rves croiss'.
Credit European Commission and artist.

> The global world, a second
colonial system

Rita Sussmuth from the GCIM (Global
Commission on International Migration,
www.gcim.org), an independent organisa-
tion set up by the Secretary General of the
United Nations and several countries to
draw up a blueprint for a global approach to
international migration, underlines the con-
trast between the open-mindedness of the
EU, particularly the Commission, on the one
hand, and EU Member States, who tersely
defend their respective interests. This jeop-
ardises any harmonisation. They are, she
says, too busy defending their patch to share
sovereignty and seek a win-win solution for
both host countries and migrants' countries
of origin.
Migrants from Africa, of whom roughly
50% are women, are the driving force for the
continent's development. These women are
pillars of their nations' economies. A second
colonial system seems to be sanctioned in
the global world; a 'brain drain', in addition
to the pillage of natural resources. Good
governance of international institutions
should not be confined to managing internal
affairs, but carve real cooperation for a glob-
alised world.
Rita Sussmuth is just as scathing of African
countries which, in her opinion, allegedly
have various ways of making money out of
their migrants.

> 8 market of predators

Aminata Traor, former Minister of Culture
in Mali and an international expert and fig-
urehead of the alternative globalisation
movement, questions the appropriateness of
the focus of the symposium's main focus,
'development', and encourages Europe to
recognizee that there are no more bad gover-
nance issues in Africa than elsewhere". At
the same time, she underlines that when the
continent is severely criticised, it's usually
black Africa that takes the flak. In her view,
"the mirror of corruption is held up to us
whilst upstream; only market rules count.
The smugglers are a part of the system". In
the opinion of this activist for a different
way forward, Europe's problem is its guilt
and its refusal to recognize that its develop-
ment policy is on the wrong footing. China
should not be the scapegoat, because "China
was not the one that started the pillaging".
In the same vein, Aminata Traor criticises
the perversion of the G8 reducing debts
which "trap African countries into agree-


ments harmful to their development", she
said sums paid to leaders of countries of ori-
gin to offset them are akin to political cor-
ruption. The good governance of developed
countries trying to control the civil society
of poor countries should be questioned.
Aminata Traor also criticised the guaran-
tees that are said to have been given to
multinationals by multilateral financing
organizations in their assistance pro-
grammes for developing countries. The
international market has become "a market
of predators".
Finally, the disproportionate media coverage
of African immigration to Spain was under-

Richard Lokiden Wani Double velos.
'AnotherWorld. Bamako 2005'.
Credit La Centrale Electrique and artist.

lined and likened to racism, whereas the
number of African migrants in this country
is tiny compared to those from Latin
America or Eastern Europe.

> The ffrican Diaspora,
the biggest donor to flfrica
by a long way

Remittances: the jargon for financial assistance
from migrants given to their country of origin.
Theses sums of money are significant. Gibril
Faal, Chairman of the Board of AFFORD
(African Foundation for Development,
www.afford-uk.org) advocates 'Remit Aid'
tax refunds on 'aid' sent by migrants to their
countries; which is a scheme similar to refunds
given by EU governments to those donating to
charity organizations. Faal reminded sympo-
sium-goers of World Bank statistics for 2003

European Development Days Dossier

and 2005, respectively US$200 billion and
US$250 billion going to Africa.
As far as African development cooperation
goes, the African diaspora is far and away
the leading donor, and not just any old donor.
It is the most generous, least demanding and
the most consistent donor. Remittances are
growing and flow no matter what; when the
economy is strong and when times are hard.
Without any conditionality tied to good gov-
ernance or commercial consideration, the
diaspora sends its share to Africa. Depending
on the country, such aid is 2 to 4 times big-
ger than all official development aid, and
with a value 5 times higher than that of direct
foreign investment.
Further, it is aid solely for beneficiaries,
whereas a large proportion of State-to-State
development aid stays in donor hands. And
there is no need for government mediation or
other intermediaries tapping into it. This is
an example of good governance.
Over 90% of remittances are spent on con-
sumer goods. 40% to 60% in a country like
Ghana typically goes to the construction
sector. Gibril Faal's conclusion: this type of
aid is as of much importance as develop-
ment aid. There were questions where no
consensus was reached during the heated dis-
cussions rounding off the speakers' presenta-
tions, such as restrictions on freedom of
movement, acknowledged as tighter in
Europe for those coming from Black Africa,
and the need to provide developing countries
with the expertise of their migrants on a tem-
porary or long-term basis, even if tapping
international government aid to do so.
Jonathan Faull, from the European
Commission, is opposed to more freedom of
movement around EU countries for
migrants. Such rights do not exist anywhere
in the world since borders are still realities.
He is also against the idea of placing Europe
on trial for anti-black Africa racism. Only
recently has attention been drawn to the
grants from the continent. Before, those most
affected had been Mediterranean populations
and those from Eastern Europe.
The speeches and discussions barely dealt
with home security issues for EU States and
the frequently raised related problem of trou-
ble hot spots in communities of foreign ori-
gin. Nor did they come to grips with the ten-
sions between the 'homogenous' and non-
native populations in areas where the number
of migrants are especially high. Isn't the
domestic security preoccupation of host
countries a matter of not being able to see the
wood for the trees?
H.G. M

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Dossier European Development Days

Franois Misser



Information technology

The new boss of Microsoft Africa, Cheikh Diarra, is not to be confused with those
"lazy intellectuals" who were attacked by the lamented President of Burkina-Faso,
Thomas Sankara.

'business forum' organised at the
European Development Days,
this former director of NASA's
Mars Exploration Programme, said he
believed in the development potential of new
information technologies; the situation of the
most remote villages of his native Mali in
Afrosceptics may argue that such faith would
hardly be surprising from the 'African
Ambassador' of Bill Gates' multinational
company. That does not change the fact that
Cheikh Diarra, also President of the Virtual
University for Africa, has a vision. He gives
Rwanda as an example. Who would have
thought that in the aftermath of the Tutsi
genocide, this devastated country would
become Microsoft's laboratory in Africa?
Nonetheless, Rwanda is today one of the
countries on the continent where 'e-govern-
ment' is at its most advanced, all the mem-
bers of Parliament having their own laptops.
At the same time, the government is working
tirelessly to achieve its objective of linking
over 300 schools in 2007. The Kigali
Institute of Science and Technology (KIST),

already has a graduate training scheme num-
bering 4,000 students.

> Satellites, unexplored potential

But how can this be replicated in Mali where
vast areas are far away from fixed telephone
networks and electricity?
There are solutions, argues Diarra, who rec-
ommends a hybrid system combining a serv-
ice for coastal areas via bandwidths permit-
ted by optic fibres and the installation of
autonomous systems such as VSAT (Very
Small Aperture Terminals) in internal areas:
small antennae of between 1.5 and 2.5
metres in diameter, connected to satellites,
whose price of approximately US$12,000 is
relatively affordable. UNESCO estimates
that, in fact, 30% of the capacity of geosta-
tionary satellites above Africa is unused.
But access to new technologies is also ham-
pered by the high price of computers and
programme licences sold by Microsoft in
particular. Diarra doesn't deny this.
But he says his company sells licences to
African schools "for the paltry sum of five
US dollars each".

This is how Microsoft came to create centres
in Namibia and in Kenya which repair and
recondition computers that are barely two
years old and are no longer wanted by banks
or large companies in the North. These
machines are then distributed to schools.

> 'Office' in Zulu

It is now possible to download interfaces
offering the 'Windows' operating system and
the 'Office' package in Swahili, Zulu and
Afrikaans free of charge.
The Igbo, Hausa, Woloff, Bambara and Peul
versions will follow. But you have to go fur-
ther than that, Diarra emphasises.
Graphics and voices must also be used so that
anyone who cannot read is able, by placing the
curser of the mouse over a word, to listen to
the computer pronounce it in their language.
It is through this kind of interactivity that peo-
ple can gradually benefit from this potential to
improve their living conditions. The possibili-
ties are tremendous. a

Cheikh Diarra,
the new boss
of Microsoft Africa.
Credit Microsoft.

European Development Days Dossier




Development aid

t is difficult for new
Member States of the
European Union (EU),
still seen today as 'poor'
of the EU and hence receiving
special aid amounting to some
8.5 billion from the European
Cohesion Fund, to become
fully-fledged members of the
EU, the leading donor world-
wide, providing more than 50%
of total Official Development
Assistance (ODA).
Upon joining the EU on May 1,
2004, there were no tall orders
made of the ten new Member
States -Latvia, Estonia,
Lithuania, Poland, the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus.
They will only have to begin
contributing to the European
Development Fund (EDF) in
2008, at the start of the 10th
edition of the EU aid budget
for ACP States.
Even if the new Member States
committed themselves in May
2005 to gradually increasing
their aid contribution, they
managed to ensure that this
would happen at a slower pace

than for their partners. Whilst
the UN fixed the level of official aid to be
committed at 0.7% of GNI by 2015, the objec-
tive for the ten new Member States was fixed
at 0.33% with an intermediate objective of
0.17% to be achieved by 2010 (0.51% for the
This is a grace period that all of these coun-
tries are using to full advantage to build their
cooperation and development policies.
Twinning arrangements have been estab-
lished to strengthen institutions; this is espe-
cially the case with France and Germany, fol-

Antnio Ole, Remote connection: fragments ofa diary, Luanda Jerusalem 1996.
Photo Carlo Pereira Marques, credit artist.

lowed by Spain and Great Britain. Large
donors are following suit, United Nations
Development Fund (UNDP) amongst them.
But it is first and foremost Canada, which
since 1989 has played a key role in building
the capabilities of the Visegrad Countries
(Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and
Slovakia) and the three Baltic States via the
Canadian International Development Agency
(ACDI). The objective: to fund and run joint
aid projects in the Least Developed
Countries (LDCs).

> neighbours first

For the new EU Member States,
the bulk from the former Soviet
Union, the first priority is stability
in the Central and Eastern
European region, "of vital necessi-
ty", emphasises the Hungarian
Minister of Foreign Affairs. So it is
hardly a surprise that topping the
list of beneficiaries of their govern-
ment aid should be their nearest
neighbours, namely the Balkan
States, as well as a number of
Eastern European nations. And
what of the ACP countries? Until
recently, only a handful of them
received aid from the new EU
donor countries. And although sev-
eral countries have decided to
extend their bilateral cooperation,
the list remains short and is limited
for now, to Africa. Four countries
head the list: Angola -which fea-
tures amongst the 'priority' coun-
tries of Czech and Polish coopera-
tion agencies, as well as Kenya,
Zambia and Sudan.

> Good governance
and agriculture

"We have specific experience not
shared by traditional donors", remarks an expert
from the NGO platform for Slovak develop-
ment, "and which is rooted in the transforma-
tion process we lived through after the fall ofthe
Berlin Wall". It is not surprising then that aid for
good govemance and opening up to the market
economy are priority sectors for assistance pro-
vided by the new Member States, especially for
the countries close to them. As for Africa, aid is
concentrated on more 'traditional' sectors such
as agriculture, industrial development or the
environment. a

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Dossier European Development Days

Debra Percival



New and cross-cutting development issues, newcomers around the table and the need
for better coordination between donors are among the subjects reshaping internation-
al donor-development 'paradigms' or blueprints for future policies.

tools can help donors with the big
development issues of good gover-
nance, climate change, migration,
security and biodiversity, were poured over
by participants at the European Union
Development Days conference.
China was viewed by participants as both an
opportunity for African exporters and at the
same time a competitor in overseas markets.
Its pledges to up aid to the continent were
both welcomed and questioned in so far as
what this might mean for aid attached to
respect for human rights. One thing is defi-

nite, said Paul Wolfowitz, then World Bank
President, "African countries lag behind in
economic growth and business. It costs the
African entrepreneur three times more to
export the same distance".
The conference's emphasis on promotion of
good governance in African nations was
acknowledged by the African Union's
Commissioner for Peace and Security, Sad
Djinnit: "The greatest challenge is the chal-
lenge of governance", adding that his organi-
sation favoured an "African charter for
democracy and governance" built on, "shared
common values."

Many conference participants called on
donors to consider all components of good
governance in providing donor aid. For
Botswana's President, Festus Mogae, this
included a "legitimate constitution and rule of
law, broad-based participation in the way
governed, effective public institutions and
gender equity". Sierra Leone's President,
Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, listed the cornerstones
of good governance in his previously con-
flict-wrenched country: "Peacekeeping and
building, reformed security forces, fighting
corruption, public sector reform, justice and
poverty reduction."

> Good governance
needs infrastructure

Many echoed the view of Mark Malloch
Brown, United Nations' Deputy Secretary
General: "Democracy and good governance
needs roads, hospitals, prosperity and jobs."
Several African leaders called for more direct
budget support so funds can quickly reach
where they are most needed.
For Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson-
Sirleaf, whose country is emerging as a model
for other post-conflict societies, good gover-
nance amounted to "the effective management
of natural resources of the people, by the peo-
ple, for the people".
"Wealth shared leads to the prevention of con-
flict. For me, continuing to export raw materi-
als is part of bad governance", Uganda's
President, Yoweri Museveni, told the event's
concluding plenary session, which included
18 African Heads of State. Calling for more
overseas investment in Uganda in medium to
large industries of between US$20-100 mil-
lion, Museveni questioned: "How can you


Mustapha Dim,
La petite danse, 1995,
241 x 117 cm,
wood, metal, wire, nails.
'Afrique Europe:
rves croiss'.
Credit European Commission
and artist.

European Development Days Dossier

have sustainable development for 45 years
without transition? Continuing to export raw
materials is bad governance." Uganda is
ranked fourth biggest coffee producer in the
world, selling beans for just one US dollar per
kilo to the UK. The commodity fetches
US$15 per kilo in the UK for the European
processing company doing the grinding and
For Jean-Michel Sverino, Director General
of France's government cooperation agency,
Agence Franaise de Dveloppement, too
many actors were doing the same things, in
the same spot, leading to what he called an
"aid Disneyland". Other participants raised
questions over the long-term effectiveness of
foreign experts parachuting into a country for
a short time to carry out projects.
Koos Richelle, Director General of
EuropeAid, the body implementing European
Commission aid projects, feared there was too
much duplication by the international com-
munity. "In the social sector alone in Tanzania
in 2006, there were 400 donor projects", indi-
cated Richelle, a key speaker at the confer-
ence's workshop on 'new paradigms'. He said
EuropeAid was "looking into ownership on
the demand side and quick delivery".
Polish Director of Cooperation, Jerzy
Pomianowski, drew attention to the impor-
tance of making aid more visible. He said his
country felt its lack of visibility in internation-
al cooperation and had a lot of work to do to
"educate our society on development". Many
participants noted the enduring inconsisten-
cies in EU aid and trade policies. Monoculture
in Uganda, encouraged by importer countries
dependent on supplies of a single commodity,
was destroying his country's biodiversity, said
Chebet Maikut, President of Uganda's
National Farmers' Union.
Sally Nicholson, Brussels Officer with the
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), told partici-
pants at a 'side-event' of the conference that it
was time for the EU to act on all its declara-
tions about preserving biodiversity in devel-
oping nations. The 'Biodiversity in European
Development Cooperation Conference' held
in Paris, September 19-21, 2006 mounted by
the 'World Conversation Programme', drew
up a multi-pronged programme to reduce the
ecological footprints of the EU in developing
For the Geneva-based International Institute
for Sustainable Development (IISD), "con-
flict sensitive" trade and aid policies were pri-
orities. IISD Project Manager, Oli Brown,
told another 'side event' that this involved
exporters, "moving away from the export of
one or two unpredictable commodities",

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

building markets for "non conflict resources",
as well as restricting exports of "conflict
resources". He also wants businesses operat-
ing in "fragile States" to be more "conflict
Commissioner Louis Michel agreed that the
EU, in its half century history of development
cooperation, had been "too paternalistic". He
told jouralists that the EDD event had set out
to create a real partnership and not impose
any new conditionality on African nations.
"We are still behaving like schoolmasters", he
added, calling for more political dialogue with
African nations and "mutual respect between
development partners".
"The meeting intends to lay a new path with
African partners", stated Louis Michel at the
start of the week's events. The Brussels meet-
ing generated pointers for new 'paradigms.' It
signposted priority issues and linkages
between them, what is and what isn't working
to make aid more effective and the need for
more cooperation between donors to pool
resources and avoid duplication. Portugal's
Foreign Affairs Minister, Luis Amado, whose
country will stage the next European
Development Days in Lisbon scheduled in the
second half of 2007, will run with the
Brussels baton. M

Graffiti 'Liberia for everybody', Monrovia, Liberia.

"ACP needs bigger investment".
Barbers shop, Kampala, Uganda.
Photos Debra Percival.

Building governance 'bottom-up'

in Mauritania

"F or the first time in Mauritania, proj-
ect management is not in the
administration's hands," says Zakaria Ould
Amar, associate director of Mauritania's gov-
ernance Centre (ADAGE) whose joint
research and report with the Brussels devel-
opment think-tank, the European Centre for
Development Policy Management (ECDPM),
has laid the flag stones for a multi-dimen-
sional programme to build civil society 'bot-
tom up'.
The three-year EU funded 4.5 million
'Programme d'Appui a la Societe Civile et a
la Bonne governance' (PASOC Support
Programme for Civil Society and Good
Governance), got off the ground in February
2007. It puts a legal framework for civil soci-
ety in place, builds civil society networks and
dialogue on national policies, enables civil
society to create a culture of citizenship and
human rights and allows local governance
to gain expertise facilitating donors in man-
aging their projects locally.
In the 'pre-project' phase, ECDPM and
ADAGE worked side-by-side, October 2004
- June 2005, identifying what needed to be
done to support civil society in Mauritania to
lead to a "true democratic culture", explains
Jean Bossuyt, ECDPM Project Officer.
Identifying the nature of and numbering
civil society groupings in Mauritania was the
first step.
There was initial reticence: "We have regular
general assemblies but we don't change
Presidents", asserted one member of an

association in Hodh, South East, relates
Amar. "We are elected by the people. As for
the NGOs, they have no legitimacy. In
whose name do they speak?" remarked a
mayors' grouping from Adrar in the North
of the country. PASOC was also stalled by a
coup d'etat in Mauritania, in August 2005.
Two years on, and there's a better under-
standing, the project gaining ground by its
own momentum. A seminar organised
under the project, May 2006, open to ail
civil society, drew up a 'who's who' of
Mauritanian civil society. Going to press,
the awaited legal framework for civil society
was to be finalised. An autonomous techni-
cal facilitation and implementation unit will
decide on eligibility of individual requests
for funds from civil society.
A 100,000 ceiling is placed on projects to
build human rights and other networks
such as for the handicapped. Innovative
applications for funding are expected in the
budget line for capacity building of civil
society bodies, such as putting over what
'citizenship' means with the use of comic
strips. Given the vastness of the country,
three out of Mauritania's 13 communes in
the most populated areas are singled out to
receive training in local governance for bet-
ter management of locally based projects
funded by donors. To ensure that funds are
well spent, spreading the word with
brochures and other material about
PASOC's successes and failures is a vital part
of the project, explains Amar. a


European Development Days Dossier




How can the media contribute to good governance in Africa? You have to respect journalists, make
their status clear and organise the audio-visual sector, Mactar Sylla tells 'The Courier, after taking
part in an EDD round table on the subject. Currently the President of the Private Association of
African producers and television stations ('Association prive des producteurs et tlvisions
d'Afrique' APPTA) and Managing Director of the channel 'Spectrum Television' (Cameroon), he was
formerly the Director of Senegalese Radio-Television and a member of the TV5 news team.

Generally, the African
media, whether in the
public or private sec-
Stor, must play their
part informing and alerting the public. They
must also make the public and government
aware of development issues, not only cul-
tural, but also social ones. They have to
organise debates rather than sticking to the
'Ostrich' principle", emphasises Mactar
Sylla. The degree of difficulty of this task
depends on which country you're in.

Without going as far as backing the idea of a
fourth estate, it's essential that the media,
whether the written press, television or
radio, are able to play the role of informing
and guiding the public, relating the facts
whatever they may be and whoever is
responsible for them.
When you see how they're used, there's a
basic problem: the majority of public serv-
ice bodies, 'State' media, come across more
as their masters' voices, rather than tools to
assist good governance.

"Organising the
audio-uisual sector"
Franois Misser: But for years now, in all
countries on the continent, journalists have
been fighting to get stories out in the open.
Its all very well i. iih,,. them: "you must
inform the citizens", but isn't that what many
of them are trying to do already? Shouldn't
pressure also be put on governments so that
journalists have more room to manoeuvre in
their work?

Dossier European Development Days

Mactar Sylla: Things have to happen simulta-
neously. Both sides have a part to play. It's true
that many journalists are getting along with
their jobs, regardless of where they work and
difficulties they have to overcome. But more
progress is needed.
Regulation and a legal framework for the
audio-visual sector have to be worked on. In
countries where there is no legal framework to
regulate the sector, no one knows i ..il, i.ii
the public mission is, what the requirements of
the job are, what protection they have and
what status journalists have. It's quite clear
that when you have none of that, the fight is
difficult, not to mention unequal.

"It would be unthinkable
to tell a surgeon
how to operate."

FM: To which countries does this apply?

MS: They know who they are. God recognizes
his own. My own country, Senegal, passes for

Mounir Fatmi, Les connexions, 2003-2004,
books and cables, variable dimensions.
Credit Mounir Fatmi.

a democracy. Where are the transparent and
clear rules for the setting up private television
in Senegal? No one has them. It's all a bit
arbitrary! And the same goes for other coun-
tries. When assessing the status quo, there's a
kind of regulatory vacuum. But resolving
legal problems is not a panacea. You can't
wave a magic wand. It's also about the impor-
tance placed on communication in my coun-
try. Is it an important sector? Does it con-
tribute to development? This doesn't seem to
be the case. Very often it's a tool for guiding
and making the message of the people in
power louder rather than a part of culture with
a capital 'C'; a respected profession and
dynamic sector. Where there is neither vision,
nor strategy, nor policy, all manner of side-
stepping goes on, making the task of profes-
sionals even harder.
But you mustn't give up. Jouralists have to
continue to play their part, whether in the pub-
lic or private sector, whilst taking their con-
straints into account. There's no point taking
unnecessary risks. But I think it will be
increasingly difficult to prevent journalists
from achieving this level of professionalism,
freedom and independence. It's not a battle
for the journalist per se, but a battle for the
joumalist in his professional role to give the
public information about development. The
iniimaliqt iq nnt an enemv1 When there'q a
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presidency of the republic, it's journalists who
keep everything going: the radio, the televi-
sion and the papers. We are not instigators of
trouble, we are in favour of peace; we are
agents of development but we must be
respected in the way we do our work. Nobody
would ever tell a surgeon how to operate on
his or her patient. But with we journalists,
people tell us how to do our job, what to write
and what not to write.

FM: You imply there's a journalism full of gri-
ots or i... i. il puppets of the government
out there, but the private press doesn't entirely
corner off clean. Some media butter up those
who express xenophobic views, you say?

MS: You're right. Private status doesn't guar-
antee professionalism. Many media ventures
are not professional. As the English say, some-
times there's a 'hidden agenda'. And many are
part and parcel of it. Take the Democratic
Republic of Congo, for example, where there
are plenty of papers and television channels,
each group at the highest level of power with
its own television channel and press following.
This brings us back to the question of an over-
all institutional framework to lay down the
rules of the game. These rules must be set up
to prevail, regardless of who occupies the
place at the ,-erv tnp

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Aminata Niang

fCP-EU Parliamentarians

protest unfair globalisation

ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Bridgetown

T he uncertain future of trade, due to be liberalised between
the EU and the ACP countries and the explosive political
situation in the Horn of Africa dominated the most recent
ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meeting,
November 20-23, 2006 in Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados.
This open forum of elected representatives of signatories of the
Cotonou Agreement is ,iiuc.,il. presided by Glenys Kinnock, a
British Labour MEP, and Ren Radembino Coniquet, President of
the Gabon Senate. It also gives all representatives of European insti-
tutions, international organizations like the UN, as well as civil soci-
ety a chance to have their say. The Bridgetown JPA goes on the
record for the extent of its concerns and strength of criticisms
brought up by the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements
(EPAs) between the EU and the six sub-regions of the ACP group.*
These agreements, negotiated under the Cotonou Agreement, are
supposed to come into effect on January 1, 2008.
Their aim is to create ACP regional markets using trade as a tool to
promote development, and in the long-term prepare free trade areas
with the EU that are compatible with the rules of multilateral com-
merce. These rules do not look favourably on customs duties.
They are intended to gradually replace the non-reciprocal trading
preferences that ACP countries have enjoyed for over 30 years for
access for their goods to the European market. A waiver for these
from WTO rules is due to expire at the beginning of 2008.

> lo forcing the pace of negotiations

Just a year before the deadline, there is broad consensus among
MEPs and ACP MPs, riled about the potentially disastrous effects of
such agreements for countries that are economically and socially
They issued a request for the EU not to force the pace of negotia-
tions and rush into signing agreements at the end of 2007 which
could run counter to ACP development interests (see box).
The European Commission can give all the assurances it likes: the
EU reportedly has no hidden agenda. Any opening of ACP markets
will only be gradual, with very long transitional periods, and will be
asymmetric in comparison with the opening up of the European

market. However, nothing could pacify defiant JPA members, not
even a plea for measure issued by Louis Michel, Development

> Heated debate on East flfrica,
but common uiew lacking

There was no such coming together over the political situation in
Sudan and Ethiopia. An emergency resolution on the situation in
East Africa, and in particular the Horn of Africa, was not passed, the
required majority lacking.
This failure by the members of Parliament of the two parties to
agree on an extremely important political question could seem like
a serious setback for the ACP-EU partnership.
According to Zacharie Pandet, Senator from Congo-Brazzaville, it
showed the reluctance of certain ACP members of parliament to
"use their freedom of speech to openly criticise ACP governments".

lh n I, r l -'in ll n ri ',m n t i, A or ml ii, ', i i I n i 1n, r nru ri l ,n ,
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1 ." l ,:,h rf th i-'A | E ,:h nitle i-hn | [:,r _,: .:le ,:l :,., i Fe*;,:,.i ,:t o ,-r.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

. -Il 1 r ' r Fi j -, -:1 sj r ' d .-J - 1 r r un 1 sq s

Interaction ACP-EU

The majority of ACP MPs appeared to want to protect the Khartoum
government, rather focussing their criticisms of the situation on the
failure to respect the Abuja Peace Agreement.
"Should we please the Sudanese government by indicating that we
are satisfied, whatever it does?" asked angrily French Green Party
MEP, Marie-Hlne Aubert.
The Ethiopian Ambassador, Teshome Chanaka Toga, dismissed any
criticism about his country's detention of political prisoners, taking
issue instead with "the continuing campaign against Ethiopia by
some MEPs and their attempt at interference".
The absence of a resolution also reflects the difficulty in finding
common ground on a draft text scrutinizing the situation in five
countries: Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda. Add to
this the JPA's complex procedures allowing the ACP and European
MPs to make use of the 'separate voting college' in the event of pro-
found disagreement and you have a recipe for failure. This does not
lessen the heated debate about the Horn of Africa, which MPs
vowed to continue. Glenys Kinnock, Co-President for the EU,
affirmed: "I would prefer there to be no voting by colleges, because
we are a single assembly with common objectives. But when we talk
about democracy and human rights, sometimes the viewpoints are
different. However, the JPA must adopt a position on these sub-
jects", said Kinnock, pointing out that six months earlier in Vienna,
a resolution on the armed conflict in Sudan had isolated the repre-

sentative of that country, and rallied MPs to vote jointly on a firm
consensus-based text, pointing to Khartoum's responsibility in the
massacres and the unending humanitarian crisis of Darfur.
The JPA also voted on a resolution on water in developing countries,
calling for fair and sustainable management of the resource to be
made a political priority in ACP countries.
The resolution read that pressure should not be put on ACP States to
impose privatization and water management privatization policies. It
continued that the liberalisation of public services in these countries
should guarantee water supplies and health services for all at afford-
able prices.
The adoption of a resolution on light weapons and small arms
imports (mainly from Europe) which were denounced as a barrier to
sustainable development in the ACP countries, was another achieve-
ment of this JPA. Likewise, there was a resolution on the impact of
tourism on development in ACP countries, an essential source of
income that should be encouraged in countries like Barbados, which
derives 70% of its income from the sector.

> Ciuil Society's role in programming the EDF

Also under scrutiny was the programming of 10th European
Development Fund monies of 22.68 billion to finance ACP-EU
partnership programmes and projects, fom 2008-2013.

We must not give

into the "WTO's diktat"

The straight talking of Billie A. Miller,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
of Barbados and President of the
ACP Trade Ministers Committee, made
quite an impression. Her message was
clear: the EPAs must promote development
with funds needed in addition to the 10th
EDF so ACP countries can adapt to the new
situation. A way around the EDF's "rigid
procedures" and slow release of monies
should be found for such specific funding,
she said. Without any certainty about this,
there is no question of the ACP countries
"allowing themselves to be terrorised by
the diktat of the WTO" and the looming
deadline at the end of 2007, she stated.
If the negotiations with the six ACP sub-
regions have stalled, for Ren Radembino
Coniquet, it's because key questions are on
hold. Urgent solutions are required to
"ease the constraints relating to supply in
the ACP countries, and find additional
resources for effective application of the
EPAs", he added.

MEPs and ACP MPs put this point across in
a resolution on "the status of EPA negotia-
tions". They emphasised that the EPAs
should contribute first and foremost to sus-
tainable socio-economic development of
ACP countries through the promotion of
greater value-added for the goods and
services produced in ACP countries.
Reciprocal free trade between the EU coun-
tries and the ACP countries is a serious risk
until the competitiveness of the ACP coun-
tries' economies is guaranteed. The EU's
current proposals for free trade worry
them, in particular those for agricultural
produce, because "this policy could pose
problems for the development of the ACP
countries", particularly for food security
and the development of local industries.
JPA members were ail behind a call to the
EU not to "exert undue pressure on the
ACP countries" and "to take the necessary
measures so that, in the event that negoti-
ations are not completed by January 1,
2008, the current exports of ACP countries

to the EU do not stop prior to reaching a
final agreement". Ail possible alternatives
provided for in the Cotonou Agreement
(Article 37), relating to ACP countries or
regions who do not wish to sign an EPA
without being penalised, must be properly
examined, MPs told the Commission. And
the improvement to rules of origin and
non-reciprocal agreements (like access to
the European market without customs
duties or quotas, foreseen in the
'Everything Except Arms' initiative for Least
Developed Countries) should be among
options explored.
Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson,
raised a legal objection to the JPA's call for
additional sums for ACP States, pointing to
the commitment given by the EU to raise
the aid for trade allocated each year to
developing countries to 2 billion by
2010. A large proportion of this budget will
go to ACPs, in addition to earmarked EDF
monies, to support EPA negotiations.


ACP-EU I Interaction

* West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape-Verde, Cte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo), Southern and
Eastern Africa (Burundi, The Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Uganda, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and
Zimbabwe), Central Africa (the eight CEMAC Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa countries plus the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sao Tome
& Principe ), Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Angola, Mozambique et Tanzania), the Caribbean and the Pacific.

George Abraham Zogo, Untitled, 1995, oil on canvas 55 x 50 cm.
Catalogue Zogo, Lai-momo 2001.

For Commissioner Louis Michel, good governance, building effec- society in the ACP States should be involved in the exercise, he
tive institutions like health, education, impartial judicial systems replied that he did not want to "to impose procedures on sovereign
and support for the EPAs with regional financial allocations are all States", but said he could "suggest" such consultation.
priorities. MEPs and ACP MPs held the 13th JPA in Wiesbaden, Germany,
Faced with a request from the JPA that national parliaments and civil June 23-28 2007. a

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Interaction ACP

in extraordinary


ACP Summit

The 5th ACP Summit, held in Khartoum, December 7-8, 2006, in the midst of
negotiations with the EU on Economic Partnership Agreements, reaffirmed the
Group's unity and its support for cooperation with Europe, with a reminder that
the development dimension must remain at the heart of future accords.

IKhartoum Summit.
Credit ACP Secretariat.

I n several ways, it was no run-of-the-mill meet-
ing. Prior to the summit, some diplomats
voiced their embarrassment at it being held
several hundred kilometres from the scene of
the Darfur tragedy, and in a country whose govern-
ment was reluctant to see the United Nations take
over from the African Union the monitoring of a
ceasefire ignored by certain parties.
What is more, something unheard of since the first
ACP summit was organised in 1997 in Libreville:

the current European Commissioner for
Development, Louis Michel, was absent. The
European Union and the European Commission
were represented at the Khartoum Summit, although
at a lower level than usual.
However, participants affirmed the Summit was 'a
success' in attendance terms. Besides the EU, the
Commonwealth, the Arab League, the International
Francophone Organisation, the Economic
Community of West African States, the International


ACP Interaction

Monetary Fund, the International Migration Office
and two ACP-EU institutions (Technical Centre for
Agricultural and Rural Cooperation and the Centre
for the Development of Enterprise) all sent
observers, as did the Palestinian Authority,
Morocco and Venezuela.
There was strong representation on the ACP side.
In addition to the host, President al-Bashir (named
Chairman of the ACP Group for a period of two
years), and the Mozambican President, Armando
Guebuza, whose country staged the previous sum-
mit in 2004, six Heads of State attended: Robert
Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Blaise Compaor (Burkina-
Faso), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi), Ismal Omar
Guelleh (Djibouti), Colonel Ely Ould Mohammed
Val (Mauritania) and Faure Gnassingb (Togo).
Gabon was represented by its Vice-President,
Dijob Divungi di Ndinge. Ethiopia, Lesotho and
Rwanda were represented by their respective
Prime Ministers.

c L -S t-

> Strengthening intra-RCP solidarity

ACP leaders re-affirmed their desire to consolidate
the unity and cohesion of the Group through strength-
ened intra-ACP political dialogue and cooperation at
a key moment: when negotiations are being held on
the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA). They
are being drawn up to gradually introduce free trade
between the EU and the six ACP regions from
January 1,2008. The ACP Heads of State and govern-
ments noted "with grave concern the stalemate and
uncertainty hanging over the ongoing round of Doha
negotiations under the World Trade Organisation
(WTO), and drew attention to this having "serious
repercussions on EPA negotiations". There was grave
concern voiced too over the "continuing erosion of
traditional commercial preferences", notably the
Cotonou Agreement's Commodity protocols on ACP
sugar and banana exports. They requested the release
of "adequate resources" to boost competitiveness of
these sectors and support economic diversification.


3 -- -- "
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> Condemnation
of the coup d'etat in Fiji

In the Summit's final declaration, which adopted
the slogan 'United for peace, solidarity and sus-
tainable development', Heads of State and
Governments reiterated their "condemnation of
genocide, revisionism and denial of genocide, eth-
nic cleansing and all crimes against humanity",
and called on perpetrators of such crimes to be
punished "in accordance with international law".
The Summit voiced its condemnation of any
attempts to seize power "by unconstitutional
means" and undertook not to recognize "regimes
that result from such situations" -a clear allusion
to the 'coup d'etat' which occurred in Fiji on
December 5, 2006. It was moreover condemned by
the ACP Council of Ministers the very next day.

Addressing their partners from the developed world,
ACP leaders called for reform of the trading rules
including the gradual phasing out of agricultural sub-
sidies and domestic support that distorts production
and trade, particularly in the case of cotton. Finally,
ACP State representatives considered that negotia-
tions on the opening of public markets as well as on
questions of investment and competition, should only
start up when their countries were ready to hold them.

> Development: Extended cooperation

The Summit welcomed "the commitments made by
the EU and its Member States to scale-up their devel-
opment aid budgets" and to contribute 0.56% of their
Gross National Product to Official Development Aid
(ODA) by 2010. It also took note of the increase in
financial commitments by the EU under the 10th

Frdric Bruly Bouabr,
Srie Diplomatie africaine,
drawing, coloured crayon on paper.
'Afrique Europe: rves croiss'.
Credit European Commission
and artist.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Interaction ACP

The Summit host,
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir
Credit ACP Secretariat.

European Development Fund (EDF). The EU's deci-
sion to use direct budgetary support to finance the
implementation of the Millennium Development
Goals was appreciated, as was the European initiative
to formulate cooperation strategies for ACP regions.
Inevitably, the question of indebtedness came up once
again. "Creditors and debtors must share responsibili-
ty for preventing and resolving unsustainable debt sit-
uations in a timely and efficient manner", stated
Heads of States and Goverments. They reaffirmed
the need to restructure international financial bodies,
so that developing countries could participate in
World Bank and IMF decision-making processes.

> absorbing the consequences
of the oi price shock

As for the energy crisis, ACP Leaders insisted on
the "urgent need" for the international community
to address the effects on costs created by external
shocks such as the rise in oil prices, natural disas-
ters -including those resulting from climate
change -the fluctuation in prices of staple com-
modities and erosion of preferences due to trade
liberalisation. At the same time, aware of the need
to create favourable conditions for growth in for-
eign direct investment, they declared their com-
mitment to creating conditions to enhance the pri-
vate sector and the development of an "enabling
environment", underlining the important role that
the European Investment Bank (EIB) could play in
supporting the private sector.
ACP Leaders called on their partners to help them
to adopt suitable policies and measures to resolve
food security problems. In the area of social
development, ACP leaders said they were deter-
mined to implement policies that met the needs of
the most vulnerable populations, particularly edu-
cation and health. The priority of access to drink-
ing water and sanitation was reaffirmed, as was
support for the activities of the ACP-EU Water
Facility, for which continued financing was
requested under the 10th EDF.
The drama surrounding the influx of illegal
migrants to the Canary Islands from their coun-
tries of origin led the Heads of States and
Governments of ACP Countries to call for dia-
logue with the EU to establish "responsible and
fair mechanisms" to deal with the issue, develop
the potential of migrants and support the contribu-
tions of diasporas towards the development of
their countries of origin.
Environmental issues also came into the spotlight.
Support for the implementation of the Kyoto
Protocol was reaffirmed, and ACP leaders remind-
ed the Europeans by underscoring the need to
ensure implementation of a decision adopted by
ACP-EU Ministers in 2005 to create an ACP-EU
Natural Disaster Facility. The tragedy that
occurred in Abidjan in August 2006 fresh in the
mind, they condemned the transportation and
dumping of toxic waste in ACP regions. Finally,
they reiterated their concern over the growing dig-
ital divide between ACP Countries on the one hand
and on the other, the main emerging economies in
the developed world, urging industrialized coun-
tries to contribute towards building a more equi-
table information society.
F.M. M


ACP-EU Interaction

Conflict diamonds:

still threatening




On January 1 last year
the European Commission took over
from Botswana as Chair of
the Kimberley Process,
an initiative which began
three years ago to stamping
out the trafficking
of conflict diamonds.
Despite its successes,
the struggle continues.
One of the first tasks of
the European Chairmanship
will be to put an end to
the smuggling of
'Ivorian rebel' diamonds.

P paradoxically, the civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and
Liberia ended before the Kimberley Process came into being
in 2003. Including producer and consumer States, the dia-
mond industry and NGOs, its mandate is to oversee a scheme
for the certifying the origin of rough diamonds. Further, it is to ensure
that diamond trafficking does not fill the coffers of warlords.
Naturally, the end of these wars has brought a reduced proportion of
conflict diamonds on the world market in relation to world production
as a whole -down from 15% according to NGOs, or 4% according to
the diamond industry prior to 2003, to just 0.2% now, to quote
European Commission statistics.

> The guard mustn't be lowered
But this is not a reason to lower vigilance, argues the new Chair of the
Process, Karel Kovanda, Deputy Director General for External
Relations of the European Commission. The former diplomat, who until
the beginning of 2005 represented the Czech Republic at NATO, fears
that the slightest lessening of surveillance will have harmful conse-
quences. Not all conflict diamonds have disappeared, he reminds.
"We have reason to think that Ivorian diamonds originating from the

rebel areas in that country are being sold on the world market via
Ghana and are fraudulently given certificates attesting that they are
of Ghanaian origin", explains Karel Kovanda. The Commission's
task will be to ensure full implementation of the action plan that
Ghana committed to bring into effect at the plenary meeting of the
Process in Gaborone (Botswana) last November. This action plan is
meant to strengthen internal controls, thus preventing Ivorian rebel
diamonds from being mixed with Ghanaian diamonds and 'laun-
dered'. Ghana will be provided with expert gemmologists capable of
determining from their colour and purity if diamonds from 'pack-
ages', certified by Ghana and accompanied by secure documents,
originate from there. Another challenge will be to verify whether the
rebels in the Central African Republic might have had access to allu-
vial deposits from the Lobaye River.
According to managers of the Diamond High Council in Antwerp
(Belgium), the main trading hub of the international diamond trade,
another benefit of the Kimberly Process is that it has meant an
increase in export earnings for countries most affected by fraud such
as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC) and Sierra Leone.
This is because 'capturing' conflict diamonds prevents all illegal dia-
monds from being re-circulated through legal channels. Contraband

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Interaction ACP-EU

-gems and those which are used to finance armed groups or terrorists
are considered as being part of one and the same category.
Strengthened by the success of the Process, Karel Kovanda would like
to use it as a model to prevent the trade of other primary materials,
such as other precious stones, from financing conflicts, too. At the
same time, he is aware that the Kimberley recipe, as it stands, cannot
be applied to other products due to the unique characteristics of dia-
monds (value-to-weight ratio, degree of market transparency, etc.).
The moment is timely. Germany, which took over the G8 presidency
in 2007, has included Africa, the leading global supplier of diamonds,
and the question of the link between wars and natural resources,
among its priorities.
The European Commission also intends to strengthen the transparen-
. cy and accuracy of statistics on the trade of rough diamonds.
Monitoring this relative data is crucial as in the past it has led to the
detection of suspicious flows of goods. Besides this commitment to
improve the traceability of diamonds, the Commission's ambition is
to increase the efficiency of the scheme by enlarging the club of 47
Process members representing 71 States. Karel Kovanda also wants to
ensure that by the end of the year all member countries have under-
gone an evaluation by 'peer review', undertaken by representatives of
other countries, NGOs and the diamond industry.

> Integrate small-scale, informal miners

The Kimberley Process has not curtailed all violence connected with
diamond mining. Even when there's no fully-fledged violent conflict,
confrontations between illegal miners and security officers from
S mining companies or soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo or in Angola in particular sometimes prove to be bloody.
Kovanda does not deny it, but considers that too much should not be
expected of a system conceived to resolve the specific problem of
wars financed by diamond smuggling. However, he says he is pre-
pared to explore courses of action which might enable the Kimberley
":. "Process to play a part in resolving the problem of human rights vio-
i.. lations caused by smuggling gems, other than those provoked by
rebel movements.
." ..Karel Kovanda is also considering whether to integrate associations
of small-scale miners into the Process who, in Africa, constitute the
~I overwhelming majority of workers operating in the alluvial dia-
mond-mining sector. "The legalisation of the situation of alluvial
miners is certainly one of the aspects we must take an interest in. It
was no accident that during the last plenary meeting of the Process in
Gaborone, the decision was taken to create a special working group
on the mining of alluvial diamonds", remarks the new chairman of
the Process. "It may not happen this year, but sooner or later we will
have to concentrate on the issue of living and working conditions of
workers in the alluvial sector", concludes Karel Kovanda.

Freddy Tsimba, Corps en mutation, 2006 202 x 106 x 54 cm, metal.
'Afrique Europe: rves croiss'.
Credit European Commission and artist.

Co-author with Olivier Valle, Gemmocraties : l'conomie politique
du diamant africain, Descle de Brouwer, Paris 1997




July-December 2007

July 2007

> 1-3 African Union Summit.
Accra, Ghana

> 1-4 28th Session of Heads
of Government of the
Caribbean Community.
Bridgetown, Barbados

> 9-11 Global Forum on
and Development.
Brussels, Belgium

fugust 2007

> 1-2 Pacific ACP Trade
Ministers meet.
Port Vila, Vanuatu

September 2007

> 10-13 9th Session of the ACP
Brussels, Belgium

> 26-27 4th meeting of EU-
Cariforum Ministers
on EPA negotiations.
Caribbean, venue not
yet established
Will a deal be struck
by year end?

.. ...l

October 2007

> 1-11 54th Session of the
United Nations
Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD).
Geneva, Switzerland

> 8-10 ACP Trade Ministers meeting.
Brussels, Belgium
An EPA stocktaking by the six
regional ACP groups

> 28-2/11 12th World Lakes
Jaipur, India
From the science to the culture
of lakes, Jaipur, India hosts the
12th World Lakes Conference,
organised by the Non
Governmental Organisation the
International Lakes
Environmental Committee

> 31-2/11 International Conference
on Coastal Management.
Cardiff, UK.
Climate change issues and
development pressures on coas-
tal areas make this a timely
event bringing together NGOs,
civil engineers and governments

> 23-7/11 8th Session of Parties
to the Conference on
Combatting Desertification.
Madrid, Spain

eT m%

nouember 2007

> 2-9 Development Days 2007.
Lisbon, Portugal

> 14-16 10th Session of the ACP
Parliamentary Assembly.
Kigali, Rwanda

> 17-22 14th Session of ACP/EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
Kigali, Rwanda

> 23-25 Commonwealth Heads
of States Meeting.
Kampala, Uganda
'Transforming Commonwealth
societies to achieve political,
Economic and human
is the theme of the meeting
in Kampala
of the 53 Heads of State
making up the Commonwealth
Includes business, youth and
peoples' fora.

December 2007

> 3-4 Conference 'Diasporas and
Transnational Communities'.
Wilton Park, UK
In what ways
do diaspora communities
contribute to their
host countries and
countries of origin?
www.wiltonpark.org M



fi day in the life of

Louise flssomo

The darling of Belgian designers, a young Cameroonian

Louise Assomo is fast becoming the darling of the new generation of designers in
Belgium. This is no mean achievement in a country already with a wealth of top design-
er names, notably those from the 'Antwerp school' such as Ann Demeulemeester, Walter
van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten or Marina Yee, who have ail conquered Paris and
London. Assomo's strengths: the sophistication, sensuality and ease of her clothes and
uniqueness of her accessories, as well as an ability to listen attentively to those who wear
her creations. ^1Mm

L ouise Assomo's imagination knows no
bounds. Whereas the majority of
designers present one range at their
fashion shows, she works on several,
trying to please as many women as she can.
She uses 'real' women as her creative inspira-
tion rather than fantasy figures, as many male
designers tend to do. "Women are the object
and subject of my inspiration. I want them to
feel good in what they're wearing, even as
they go about their daily lives. I'd say my col-
lection cheers people up if they're feeling
down", she says.

> Ethereal and sensuous

Her creations are fluid; floating dresses that
are almost cloud-like, ethereal or sculpting
the body, exciting and sensuous. All have a
certain sparkle, emphasised by accessories
made by the designer herself, that seem
almost part of the outfits; artistic pendants,
made of feathers, crepe twists and thin chains
heightening a woman's mystery. And then
there are bags and shoes: beaded, painted,
embroidered, with ties and other intricate
details. She creates desirable glamour with a
twist. And she's involved at all the stages of
making a garment, from the rough sketches
right through to the final touches. It's this
craftsmanship of which she's most proud, she
says. Fresh from the 'Francisco Ferrer School
of Design' in Brussels, Assomo won the pres-
tigious 'Escarpin d'or' prize in Paris for her
shoes. She is fast accumulating trophies. This

year she was one of the finalists for the award
for the best young Belgian creator of the year.
Her appeal extends to the public, profession-
als and media. The latter lauded her with
praise following each of her two big fashion
shows in June and November 2006. And her
following extends beyond the trade press.
'Victoire', the supplement of Belgium's lead-
ing Francophone daily, 'Le Soir', ran a feature
on her, and the leading weekly publication,
'Le Vif Express' chose a photo of her bou-
tique to illustrate the annual 'Parcours de styl-
istes', a Brussels fashion event. Even 'Vogue'
in Taiwan has caught wind of her creativity.
Also the popular Brussels weekly, 'Zone 2',
concludes: "Louise Assomo may only just be
starting out, but she's already one of the big
names in Belgian fashion".

> 8 dancer's grace

She already counts among her fellow icons
such as Emilie Dequenne, winner of the
'Palme d'Or' at the Cannes Film Festival for
'Rosetta' by the Dardenne brothers. The
strength of this slip of a woman is that she
doesn't have a 'dikke nek', as they say in
Brussels' slang: a big head. She goes about her
business with the grace of a dancer, swiftly but
never hastily, twirling around, determined
without being obstinate. If she's stressed, and
it's impossible that she isn't, it's not notice-
able: "Let's go slowly, I'm in a rush!"
A day spent with Louise Assomo is a breath of
fresh air. She wakes a little late for an 'early
bird', around 9 a.m. It was a long night, con-
tinuing into the small hours due to 'Love
Fashion', the opening party for the Belgian
and Brussels Fashion Fair. Fortunately, she's a
teetotaller. It's a rush to get to the Fair by 10
a.m., where she is sharing with other young
and talented designers, the 'Espace
Pigmentum', floor space to show their cre-
ations, put aside for them in recognition of
their creativity. "They must have called it
'Espace Pigmentum' after me", she says with
a hint of irony.
Louise Assomo holds court in the area
reserved for her business. Our conversation
quickly becomes a debate, with Isabelle, her
pretty and intelligent trainee and two other
promising designers, Htsniye Kardas and
Natascha Cadonici. The subject is the ban in
Spain on the use of ultra-thin models in fash-



ion shows. Surprisingly, the four designers
wholeheartedly support this move. Of her
own accord, Louise Assomo makes nothing
smaller than a European size 36, or UK 8, so
as not be party to the damage caused by
anorexia to young girls.
The aftemoon finds us in different surround-
ings. She has an appointment in a small village,
thirty-odd kilometres from Brussels. We head
there with her companion, who is both her advi-
sor and her partner. It's like an Aladdin's Cave!
The shop belongs to the 'Stragiers', father to
son weavers for generations. Here, Assomo dis-

covers an enchanting fairy-tale world. There are
all sorts of cloth, most made on the premises
and in an array of colours, finishes, stitching
and textures. Chambray, taffeta, mohair
knitwear, chiffon, crepe georgette, cashmere,
damask cotton: expertise that is hard to find,
and is sought after by France's leading fashion
houses who come to place their exclusive
Nicolas Stragier, who is in his early thirties, is
fascinated by the cut of Louisa Assomo's
designs. He initially came across them in a
magazine, called and invited her to come and
get to know more about the 'Stragier savoir-
faire'. It is the first time, he says, that he's dared
to do this. "It's because your style excited me",
he tells her. He was to be Assomo's attentive
guide for over five hours, until nightfall. The
style of a craftsman like Nicolas Stragier is not
about selling, but something more subliminal; a
good eye and artistic sense -he's an endan-
gered species. Assomo was in seventh heaven.

On our way back, we talk about Africa. Louise
left the continent at the age of 16. "I am of
African origin. Whatever may happen, that
will always come though in my work. It's a
way of being. I don't make African fashion. I
think about all women. But there will always
be a little something in the way a garment
skims the body, hinting to people that this girl
comes from elsewhere. When they see me they
say, OK, we know where she's from."
And she knows where she's heading!
H.G. M

Boutiques in Brussels, Antwerp
and Tel Aviv.

Page 34
Louise Assomo.
Photo Hegel Goutier.

Assomo collections Spring/Summer and
Fall/Winter 2007.
Photo Hajer, credit Louise Assomo.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


Untilwe meet


Homage to Isabelle Bassong

I sabelle Bassong passed away on
November 9, 2006. For many of those
involved in and observers of EU-ACP
cooperation, she was not only the most
senior of ACP ambassadors and the second
most-senior member of the entire diplomatic
corps in Brussels, she was also a friend.
Kind, courteous, and loyal, she hung on to her
sense of humour that she had as a former
pupil of the 'Collge moderne des jeunes
filles' in Douala (Cameroon) where she went
to school. Often formidable, too, for example
when she was called upon to defend the inter-
ests of the Group on issues as technical as
bananas, chairing the commodity's working
group up to the time of her death.
Accredited for the first time in 1988 to the
European Communities and the Benelux
States, she was a trained as a linguist, held a
DES from the Sorbonne and an MSc. from
the University of Denver, also in languages.
She was appointed Secretary of State for
Health in 1984, and was 'the grandmother of
the ACP Group'. I hope her ten grandchildren
will not be taken aback by the boldness of
this remark.
Isabelle Bassong was President of the
Committee of Ambassadors, and took part in
the negotiations of the Lom IV Convention
(1990), the revised Convention of 1995 and
the Cotonou Agreement (2000). At the same
time, she was Cameroon's Counsel at the
International Court of Justice in The Hague,
throughout the long disputes between her
country and Nigeria from 1994 to 2004, over

the issue of sovereignty of the Bakassi
Peninsula. It was only logical that Isabelle
Bassong's personality and her rank earned her
a lavish tribute at her official funeral celebrat-
ed in Brussels by the Apostolic Nuncio on
November 28, at the Basilica of Koekelberg,
which was packed to the rafters. In the pres-
ence of her loved ones, the representative of
King Albert II of Belgium, the diplomatic
corps, including her ACP colleagues and her
fellow Cameroonian ambassadors in Europe,
as well as many members of the Cameroonian
community of Belgium, the second-largest
from sub-Saharan Africa in the Kingdom
(about 10,000 people) after, histoire oblige,
that of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On December 16, there was a funeral mass
celebrated by the Archbishop of Yaound,
Monsignor Tonye Bakot, at the Basilica
Marie-Reine-des-aptres, in the presence of
the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marie
Atangana Mebara.
Alongside her family and friends, several
members of the government and a representa-
tive of President Paul Biya attended the cere-
mony, followed by her burial in Yaound.
She was bor on February 9, 1937 in the Fang
region in Ebolowa in the South of Cameroon.
Although she has taken her last breath, her
smile is still with us. And among those who
knew her there is no doubt that on accompa-
nying her to her final resting place, there were
those who whispered: "Until we meet again,
F.M. M

Isabelle Bassong,
a kind, courteous
and loyal friend.





In the battle against climate
change, it is paradoxically the
developing countries, with the
exception of oil producers,
with a comparative advan-
tage. Their economies, albeit
precarious, are not overly
dependent on fossil fuels, the
main culprit of the accelera-
tion of global warming. This is
the perfect opportunity to
develop renewable energy
sources. But there are still a
large number of obstacles to
their development, not least
money, which is the key to the
battle. Going part of the way,
the European Commission has
proposed a world venture cap-
ital fund dedicated to renew-
ables. The first beneficiaries, in
2007, will be ACP countries.

> Inuesting in 'clean' technologies
G lobal warming is not only a concern of wealthy countries. The latest ministerial
meeting of the International Convention on Climate Change, held last November,
brought this out. It's no coincidence that this 12th United Nations (UN) Conference
was held in Africa for the first time. Africa has largely been ignored in discussions,
up to now monopolised by skirmishes between industrialized countries which went over and
over figures to find out how greenhouse gas emissions could be cut with the least cost. This time
Africa was able to make its voice heard. The Nairobi conference discussed arrangements to be
put in place after the initial period of measures under the Kyoto Protocol end in 2012. The larg-
er, still unresolved issue was to decide whether developing countries should be included in a
regime that relies mainly on so-called 'flexible' market mechanisms to stabilise emissions,
including carbon emissions trading. Another mechanism is the only one of interest to develop-
ing countries to date: the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This enables investors in the
North to eam emission credits by financing 'clean' systems in the countries of the South. In
Nairobi, Kivutha Kibwana, Kenyan Minister of the Environment, presiding the Climate
Conference, issued an appeal for the 160 participating countries to back such projects.
Africa is in a different situation to Asia, where the energy requirements of the likes of China or
India run the risk of eclipsing the limited efforts made by the industrialized countries of the old
continent. Kivutha Kibwana underlined the difference: "We need a fair system that stabilises
emissions while allowing sustainable development of our economies", he said. This was enough
to silence those still fiddling with their calculators in the Kenyan capital. A United Nations
report, published early November, emphasised the "more serious than forecast" soil deteriora-
tion in Africa.
While soil erosion is mainly due to large-scale deforestation, agricultural practices and inappro-
priate water management, it could worsen in extreme situations -major droughts or floods
caused by climate change. "Climate change has become one of the most serious threats facing
humanity, endangering the development of billions of the poorest people on the planet", said
Kivutha Kibwana in Nairobi.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Our Planet

> The 'nairobi Framework'

Attacking the many causes of erosion and the
deterioration of ecosystems is a long-term
undertaking. Meanwhile, participants in the
ministerial meeting of the Climate
Convention dealt with what was most urgent
first. Taking the lead from then-UN Secretary
General, Kofi Annan, a new mechanism was
launched -the 'Nairobi Framework'
intended to help developing countries, partic-
ularly African countries, to set up public and
private partnerships supporting "clean devel-
opment projects".
These partnerships could draw on the
Adaptation Fund under the Climate
Convention to help the most vulnerable coun-
tries cope with the unfavourable effects of cli-
mate change -a fund Nairobi participants
finally agreed to pay into. The European
Commission put its contribution on the table:
a 100 million Global Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy Fund (Geeref). "This
fund", said European Commissioner for the
Environment, Stavros Dimas, "should enable
a fair distribution of the CDM projects, offer-
ing venture capital to small-scale sustainable
energy projects in developing countries and
accelerating the transfer of clean technolo-
gies". The Commission initially foresees
annual contributions of 80 million for the
next four years, relying on other public and
private sources to inflate the amount up to at
least 100 million.
The fund should enable investment projects
to be financed to the tune of almost a billion
Euros. In reality, the fund has already attract-
ed 112 million -the Italian and German
governments making commitments in
Nairobi to contribute 8 million and 24
million, respectively.
The first beneficiaries of this mechanism
which aims to help developing countries and
those with economies in transition, will be
ACP countries earmarked to receive 15 mil-
lion venture capital in 2007. The ethical bank,
Triodos International Fund Management, in
association with E+Co, will have the task of
setting-up of the fund, working with the
European Investment Bank (EIB) and the
European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD).

> Energy sources lack capital

Although proving to be a real success (at least in
some industrialized countries), projects to pro-
mote energy efficiency and renewable energy
sources find it hard to attract commercial capi-
tal. The problems arising, says the Commission,
are complex and mostly to do with a lack of
venture capital, which is a major guarantee for
lenders. The venture capital requirement of
developing countries and economies in transi-
tion is put at over 9 billion, way above current
levels. It is vital to mobilise funds from the pri-
vate sector, says the Commission. Geeref's aim
is to help to overcome such obstacles by offer-
ing new possibilities for sharing the risks and
co-financing to encourage commercial invest-
ment from home and abroad. Rather than
financing p i .jel, i J., il. Geeref will stimulate
the setting up of regional sub-funds which
specifically respond to regional conditions and
needs. These sub-funds are planned for the ACP
region, North Africa, the countries of Eastern
Europe that are not members of the EU, Latin
America and Asia. The emphasis will be placed
on investments of amounts under 10 million,
which are often shunned by commercial
investors and international financial institutions.
Commercial loans will be used to help small
and medium-sized businesses and finance vari-
ous projects. If the amounts invested were to
reach the billion planned by the Commission,
they would enable environment-friendly energy
production capacity of nearly 1 gigawatt to be
put on the market of third countries, enough to

supply sustainable energy to between 1 and 3
million individuals, eliminating between 1 and 2
million tonnes of C02 per year. M

I record budget


for energy

access to energy is one of the main
priorities of the EU. In June 2005,
the ACP-EU Council gave the go-
ahead for the creation of an ACP-EU ener-
gy organisation. With a budget of 220
million, it is intended to underwrite the co-
financing of a series of energy projects
aimed at the poorest populations of the
ACP countries, through public-private
partnerships. As a priority, the organisation
will fund energy infrastructure projects
(60% of the budget), the rest being split
equally between projects aimed at improv-
ing the access of rural populations to up-
to-date energy services and modernisation
of cross-border power grids. Following a
call for proposals in July 2006, 91 tenders
were pre-selected. The list of the projects
selected will be published during the sum-
mer of 2007. a



Our Planet



Twenty years after the first scandals over the export of toxic waste to developing

countries, the recent tragedy that occurred in Cte d'Ivoire is proof that the nightmare

continues. This is despite measures taken at international level, a battle led by ACP

Countries and the EU in particular, to put an end to the lucrative and deadly traffic.

by without conservationists

T he year, 1987: Not one week went
denouncing a new contract or a
new transfer of toxic wastes to
developing countries. In a guide to what he
refers to as the West African 'waste bin', the
Belgian MP, Franois Roelants du Vivier,
lists in his book (Les vaisseaux du poison,
Editions Sang de la terre, Paris 1988) the
names of 13 countries in Africa, including
Nigeria, where 4,000 tonnes of chemical
waste from Italy were discovered at Koko.
Then the German 'poison ship', the 'Karin
B', roamed from port to port; on board bar-

rels dripping with PCB were repatriated to
Livorno, Italy.
At the time, this crusade ended in the adop-
tion of a legislative arsenal aimed at regulat-
ing this hazardous business. On March 22,
1989, the Basel Convention on the Control
of Cross-border Movements of Hazardous
Wastes and their Disposal came into force, as
did the ban the export of such substances by
OECD Member States to non-Member coun-
tries. Then, on January 31, 1991, Member
States of the Organisation of African Unity
(AU) sanctioned the Bamako Convention,
imposing a ban on the import of toxic waste

to Africa making up for the deficiencies of
the Basel Convention on this subject. As for
the European Council, it adopted a resolution
on February 1, 1993 on the Supervision and
Control of Shipments of Wastes circulating
within, entering and exiting the EU.
Consideration of issues on the transport and
disposal of hazardous wastes is written in
black and white in Article 32 of the Cotonou
Agreement between EU and ACP countries,
signed in 2000.

> 8 uery lucrative trafficking

It is still necessary to enforce laws against
individuals or companies for whom their
infringement can be extremely profitable. At
the end of the 1980s, the average cost per
tonne for the disposal of hazardous wastes
was US$250 in the United States, whereas
one contract for the burial of wastes only
offered payment of US$2.5 per tonne to
Benin's Government. And according to the
former Director of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), Mustafa
Tolba, the firms dumping these lethal prod-
ucts make around of US$10 million dollars
profit per cargo!
This is precisely the sort of calculation made
by those responsible for the dumping of
toxic wastes at several landfill sites in
Abidjan last August by the Panamanian ves-
sel, Probo Koala, belonging to a Greek ship-
owner. It was chartered by the Dutch compa-
ny Trafigura Beheer, anxious to avoid the
high costs of waste treatment in the
Netherlands, which has the facilities, and
instead transferred them to West Africa,
Greenpeace observes.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

:. ce- to so- . t

- *. a ...- e. a u S2 6 D.as .9 5
srdi sakAr and SS.I.* .0

Our Planet

> Deadly cocktail

The damage was considerable. The Ivorian Minister for Health report-
ed on October 13, 2006, 10 deaths, 69 hospitalisations and over
100,000 medical consultations of people poisoned by the fumes from
these toxic wastes: 528 tonnes of a deadly cocktail based on petrole-
um, hydrogen sulphide, caustic soda and phenol. The tally of total
damage, which included the pollution of water tables, of the waters in
the Ebrie Lagoon, of fish and agricultural products originating from
contaminated areas as well as compensation to be paid to the victims
and producers involved, was still ongoing at the end of 2006.
In Cte d'Ivoire, on the other hand, the event triggered a ministerial
reshuffle. The ministers for transport and environment were swiftly
dismissed. An operational cell for the coordination of the national
plan to control toxic wastes and two investigative committees, one
national, one international, were set up by Prime Minister Charles
Konan Banny. On top of the investigation launched by the Law
Officer of the Treasury to bring about criminal justice proceedings,
the two committees have to determine responsibility at both national
and international levels.

> EU Enuironment Commissioner on the offensive

European Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Stavros Dimas,
took the initiative in EU circles. After learning that the non-govern-
mental organisation Greenpeace had identified the 'ship of death' in
the Estonian port of Paldiski and organised commando action to keep
it there, Stavros Dimas arrived at the site just two days later. In a press
statement, the Commissioner voiced his support for the Estonian
authorities' decision to pursue the perpetrators of these illegal trans-
fers once a search of the ship had confirmed the presence of highly
toxic substances on board.
At the meeting of EU Environment Ministers on October 23, 2006,
the Commissioner proposed that such environmental crimes become

l'i ,r ,, i h l i i il i ii i' : l111 1 l,,Jl i -,- ,-. ii

part of criminal legislation in EU Member States and be punished
accordingly by fines or prison sentences. But there is still a long way
to go before this is achieved, as the Member States were hesitant to
support the Commissioner, arguing that the clampdown on such deeds
was a matter for their exclusive jurisdiction. But the European Court
of Justice (ECJ) backed up the Commissioner stating that using crim-
inal legislation to protect the environment did fall in his powers.
In the wake of the Court's opinion, on February 9, 2007, Stavros
Dimas proposed a new EU directive to make crimes against the envi-
ronment part and parcel of criminal law, to give more weight to the
restrictions on illegal exports of toxic waste. Justice is taking its
course. 'Eurojust', an institution established in 2001 by the EU to
combat serious crime, comprised of lawyers, magistrates, prosecu-
tors, judges and experts from Member States, announced on October
20 that it had set up a coordination mechanism between the Estonian,
Dutch and Ivorian authorities to facilitate investigations into the
transportation of waste by the Probo Koala.

> fCP Summit's condemnation

Pressure has continued on another front. On Cte d'Ivoire's initiative,
the Heads of State and government leaders of ACP countries con-
demned the transportation and dumping of toxic wastes in their coun-
tries, described as a "direct threat to the long-term management of
natural resources, environmental protection and the health and well-
being of the populations". The resolution also asks all States to imple-
ment agreements on the dumping of toxic or hazardous products, to
ratify all the amendments to the Basel Convention and to take appro-
priate legislative measures to classify the violation of international
agreements in the field as criminal acts. The initiative is now in the
hands of the OECD and the EU (the Member States, the Commission
and the European Parliament) to whom the resolution is addressed.
The battle continues...
F.M. M




After a decade of wars, hope of stability has re-
emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) after the staging of democratic elections for
the first time in over 40 years.
Our report focuses on the challenges of reconstruc-
tion, which will need ongoing international support
if they are to be met. This will have a continent-
wide and global impact.
The European Union has given its firm support to
this process of bringing about stability.
As for the Congolese themselves, this report looks

at the various visions put forward by the main polit-
ical groups on the development strategy that needs
to be implemented to fulfil such new challenges. It
also profiles the new team in charge of the coun-
try's reconstruction.
Finally, the scale of the tragedy experienced by the
country has been so great that it has overshadowed
other aspects of life in the Congo: the beauty of the
country, the ingenuity of its people, the richness
and dynamism of its culture. These are all explored
in this report.

report Congo DRC

Franois Misser


his was real progress after such a long
period of decline dating back to the begin-
ning of the 1990s -two wars in which
four million people died from hunger, ill-
ness, abuse by armed gangs and the breakdown of
the health sector.
On several occasions, it was thought that Congo's old
demons might derail the electoral process. These con-
cers were especially rife in August 2006, when the
announcement of the results of the first round of the
presidential elections gave rise to a battle between
supporters of the final two candidates still in con-
tention. Finally, the 'proactive optimism' promoted
by the European Commissioner for Development,
Louis Michel, and the attitude of the Congolese
themselves who wanted to believe that the process
would eventually succeed -paid off. But, "the bet has
not yet been won", as the sceptics say. Hence, at the
end of January, the indirect election of certain gover-
nors in controversial circumstances gave rise to riots
and an ensuing crackdown in the Lower Congo.
Sadly, there was a high death toll (137 according to
UN figures) and the UN Secretary-General has
demanded an investigation into these acts of violence.
Certain areas of Ituri, the two Kivu and the Equator
Provinces, continue to be pillaged by armed gangs,
although their power to cause serious harm is decreas-
ing. The Congo will need exteral support if it is to
undertake significant reconstruction work, particular-
ly to equip its police forces with the training and

resources needed to handle such situations in an
appropriate manner in the future. The first task, how-
ever, is to rebuild the government. The majority of its
civil servants are iim !c 1. not being paid and have
'privatised' their own duties, including the police and
customs officers. "There are a lot of hands reaching
out to drivers in the Congo", sums up a member of the
police disciplinary body of Kinshasa.

The task of the new government, of which the Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper (DSRP) completed in July
2006 by the transitional authorities forms the strategic
basis, is enormous. It is based on five pillars: the pro-
motion of good governance and peace-building
through strengthening institutions; consolidating
macro-economic stability and growth; improving
access to social services; combating HIV-AIDS and
supporting the community process.
Today, over 70% of Congolese live below the poverty
threshold, so to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals by 2015 there needs to be an annual GDP
growth of 10%. The actual rate in 2006 was 6.6%.
According to the DSRP, the minimum monthly wage
required to feed one person is 10,000 Congolese
Francs (approximately US$20). Putting this into con-
text, it is a little less than a soldier's pay, and they
nearly always have several mouths to feed, making it
an impossible task.


On February
5, 2007,
after the first
in four decades,
Congo finally
had a new

Congo DRC report

On average, the level of access to electricity
throughout the country is just 6% and less than
a quarter (22%) of the population have access
to safe drinking water. Infant mortality rates are
high, with two out of every ten children dying
before reaching age five. Worse still, there is a
resurgence of formerly controlled or eradicated
diseases (measles, plague, polio, cholera), not
to mention AIDS. Education is also a big con-
cern, with primary school attendance falling
from 92% in 1972 to 64% in 2002. There's a
proliferation of shantytowns in Kinshasa (with
an estimated 7 million inhabitants) and also at
Mbuji-Mayi (almost 4 million). Families have
resorted to building their huts on railway lines
in Kinshasa. Unemployment ranges between
half the working population in towns to one-
\ third in rural areas. Organising the election was
a real feat in a country where entire regions
A"have seen the loss of the transport infrastruc-
ture. Bicycle-taxis have replaced mopeds and
cars in Kisangani. In Equator, roads have
reverted back to tracks and the forest has over-
grown plantations. However, in one respect,
travel around the country has improved. Until
August 2005, explains the Head of the
Waterways Authorities, Jean-Pierre Muongo, it
took 40 days' sailing to cover the 1,700 km sep-
arating Kinshasa from Kisangani. Now the
a. journey has been whittled down to just 15 days.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC

It's no easy task for the Congolese govemment
to overcome these huge handicaps. Only last
year, several instances of poor performance
(including an inflation rate of 18.2% and budg-
etary overspends) led to a suspension of
International Monetary Fund (IMF) monies
under the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility. This move may well affect Congo's
ability to meet its external debt servicing obli-
gations (US $13 billion) before it reaches com-
pletion, when the debt can be cancelled under
the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
2007 will be a tough year due to the suspension
of extemal aid in the balance of payments,
according to the Governor of the Central Bank,
Jean-Claude Masangu.

But the natural assets of the Congo are such
that they can provide the means to meet the
challenges. The water from the snowmelt of
the Rwenzori Mountains and from the Congo
River and its tributaries irrigates the tropical
rainforest and shelters the extraordinary biodi-
versity of a country where there are 480
species of mammals, 565 species of birds, 350
species of reptiles and 1,000 species of fish.
This is the water which not long ago irrigated
the plantations that made the Congo into a
giant grain-store and a major supplier of wood
and tropical products for export. In future, this
will perhaps make it a giant of the world's bio-
fuel market. This river water which, surging
into the huge Inga Dam, makes it the Gordian
knot of development of the African continent
and with a strength of over 40,000 MW, offers
hope to Southem Africa in overcoming its
energy deficit. Also, much has been said about
the 'geological scandal' of a country that has
over 70% of the world's cobalt reserves and
10% of its copper reserves, not to mention
gold, germanium, columbite-tantalite and dia-
monds, the Democratic Republic of Congo
being 'neck-and-neck' with Botswana as the
leading producer by volume of diamonds.
Mine owners are ready at the starting line. A
copper mining project that could quadruple
national production by 2008 is to begin at the
Kamoto site.

Naturally, so-called one-sided contracts signed
during the wars will have to be renegotiated
first. This has already been announced by the
politicians and the new head of the exploitation
company, Gcamines. In sum, confidence has
to be restored and the security of people and
property improved, but it is also necessary to


Above: Transport hell: ambushed and vandalised bus on the Beni-Komanda road, in the Ituri forest.
Photo Franois Misser
Below, left: Trying to escape unemployment, hundreds of thousands of Congolese are getting involved in small-scale
mining, as in Ituri. Photo Franois Misser
Below, right: In Kisangani, 'taxi-bikes' have replaced 'mobylettes' and cars. Photo Franois Misser.

"change people's mentalities", to quote
President Joseph Kabila during his inauguration
speech. All of this -or nearly all -is still to be
done. Presently, the Katanga and two Kasai
mining provinces are on the threshold of a new
industrial revolution.
A feeling of hope is felt. Recently, the top hotels
in Kinshasa were full. The political will to
make this huge reconstruction programme
work was illustrated at the end of January with
the first trip outside of New York by the new
Secretary-General of the UN, followed by the
deployment the largest contingent of 'blue hel-

mets' to the country (18,000 soldiers). Despite
problems, there is also the hope of taking
advantage of the fabulous tourism potential of
the Congo. The most daring, like the Belgian
firm, 'Go Congo', have already begun cruises
on the river. On top of this, nightlife is starting
up once again in what used to be Kin Kiese, or
the 'City of Joy'. There are other signs of prom-
ising change, like the people who preserve the
Yangambi Biosphere Reserve and the Kisantu
Botanical Gardens -information banks on the
country's national treasures. Little by little,
another Congo is emerging.


Congo DRC report


Faced with the
huge challenges of
reconstruction in
the Congo, the EU
and its member
states have had to
be pioneers,
deploying ail their
methods of
cooperation and
innovation with
new forms of
between European
and other
As necessity is the
mother of
invention, so the
Republic of Congo
is a laboratory,
where lessons
learnt may be
useful in other
countries and

hi, open and collabora-
ii e approach was
apparentt in the areas of
in.tional reconstruction
and also in support to the elec-
toral process. Both were prereq-
uisites for the preparation of the
10th European Development
Fund (EDF), which the
Commissioner for Development,
Louis Michel, proposed in
December 2006. It should see a
doubling of funds for the period
2008-2013, compared to 411
million available over the previ-
ous period.
Following up from Operation
Artemis (June-August 2003)
which consisted of a European
military force securing the area
of Bunia in the Ituri district in
the east to allow the UN to
deploy its 'blue helmets' and
provide access for humanitarian
organizations to reach local pop-
ulations. The Commission set up
an 8 million programme to
restore law and order in the East.
This was implemented by the
NGO 'Rseau des Citoyens'
('Citizens Justice and
Democratic Network').
"We had to start at the very
beginning", the Head of the EU
Delegation in Kinshasa, Carlo
De Filippi, explains. "The public
prosecutor's department was
closed and the prison open".
Contrary to usual practice,
advance payments had to be
made to magistrates so they
would agree to return and start to
put the judicial system back into
gear in an area abandoned by the
Government years before.

The EU was also influential in the
eventual success of the electoral
process, contributing 80% of the
estimated total cost of 400 mil-
lion, the Commission alone pro-

Republic of Congo
B.isic inrtrm.itimjn

2._.'44.885 km

5." m million l' stim atii,n 2: i:51

viding 165 million. The
Commission also financed the
European Election Observation
Mission, headed by General
Philippe Morillon, and supported
the creation of the thousand-
strong Integrated Police Unit
(IPU) with the task of protecting

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N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC

those involved in the transition process and
ensuring security during the elections.
Currently, the National Operations Centre of
the Independent Electoral Commission,
which is 95% EU-funded, is preparing com-
plex local elections, with a total of 6,000 rep-
resentatives to be elected and a far greater
number of candidates.
There is unanimous agreement that the
European Union Force (EUFOR), deployed
from June-December 2006 at the request of
the UN to ensure security during the election
in Kinshasa, played an influential role in
August 2006 in ending conflict between
troops and supporters of the two candidates
in contention in the second round of voting
that had threatened to scupper the entire
election process.
The Commission spent 25 million on train-
ing and equipping police officers to protect
ballot boxes and polling stations, as well as
providing other election resources country-
wide. At the same time, more than 30
European police officers are supervising the
IPU and other European experts are helping
the Congolese Government to lay the foun-
dations for police reform under the EUPOL
mission. Over 10 million has been ear-
marked by the Commission to set up a mon-
itoring committee chaired by donors and the
government, conducting an audit of the work
force, as well as developing a training cur-
riculum and a regulatory framework for the
different levels of police officers.
The Commission has also broken new
ground by supporting the building of an inte-
grated national army, reinstating centres that
mix soldiers from different factions, as well
as improving living conditions of Congolese
soldiers' families, previously left to survive
as best they could. At the same time, under
the EUSEC mission, European troops have
established a system for distributing sol-
diers' pay, replacing the previous methods
that followed the chain of command. This
resulted in officers scooping up the pay of
'phantom' soldiers no longer in their com-
mand. This new system has made it possible
to increase the pay of low-ranking soldiers
from US$10 to US$25 per month. Now, the
objective is to establish a republican army.
But there's still a long way to go. The
Congolese have the challenge of still having
to integrate 73,000 soldiers, observes
Colonel Patrick Dave, Deputy Head of the
EUSEC Mission. This is a crucial step. "We
can invest millions into development, but
what use will that be if the Congolese sol-
diers continue to live off the back of the pop-
ulation?" asks Carlo De Filippi.

_______ ____ N

. ..... .. ... i

The EU is also taking action to support good
governance. A total of 33 million has just
been given for building capacity and improv-
ing systems of management and control of
the Ministry of Justice and the National
Audit Office, as well as those of natural
resources. "The citizens are expecting this.

Here, someone who has money doesn't have
to pay a lawyer, he buys the judge", explains
Carlo De Filippi. The private sector is also
waiting for these reforms in order to start
investing in earnest.
As for institutional support, the EU is coor-
dinating its action with other donors. The
Commission has participated in a World
Bank-managed trust fund to strengthen


Congo DRC report

capacity in the most important sectors of
European support (infrastructure, health,
environment, the protection of nature, etc.)
"In the area of conservation in particular, the
challenge is considerable", says Cosme
Wilungula, Director of the Congolese
Institute for the Conservation of Nature.
Now funded to the tune of 2.2 million by
the Commission, the buildings were being
renovated during our visit.
The extent of the task ahead is clear. Armed
groups are decimating the hippopotamus of
the Virunga National Park on the Rwandan
border and the white rhinoceros of the
Garamba National Park on the Sudanese bor-
der is also under threat in the face of indiffer-
ence by local decision-makers.
What is more, wildlife parks have been
invaded by unauthorised small-scale miners
and mining firms who have obtained licences
to operate inside certain wildlife reserves. In
response to this, the Commission has allocat-
ed 5 million for the rehabilitation of pro-
tected areas and for the training, salaries and
equipment of 500 national guards in the
Virunga National Park.
In addition, other action under the regional
ECOFAC programme -with a budget for the
Congo of 15 million -includes 1 million
granted by the Commission to support the
ERAIFT post-graduate training school for
integrated management of tropical forests.
Situated on the campus of the University of
Kinshasa, this school trains African man-
agers in forest ecosystem management, and
its new centre for operations, which was
opened in February.
The Commission invested 108.6 million in
maintenance of the 'Route Nationale 1', the
principal road between Kinshasa and Kenge
(Bandundu) and the rebuilding of other key
roads. This work is crucial to ensure regular
food supplies and for a drinking water distri-
bution network in Kinshasa.
Currently, the poor state of the roads actual-
ly causes loss of goods (70% of all products
on some routes) due to spoilage, explains
one project manager. Around 300 km of
roads are being rebuilt in Equator as well as
roads for agricultural use in Kasai in partner-
ship with Belgian Technical Cooperation
(BTC). In addition, a 22 million urban
development programme is to be used for
training, decontamination, solid waste man-
agement, anti-erosion control and the clean-
ing out of drainage networks. Also, under
the Water Facility, two projects for a com-
munity-managed drinking water supply sys-
tems are planned at Mbuji-Mayi and

"The Commission has allocated 5 m for the rehabilitation of protected areas and for the training,
salaries and equipment of 500 national guards in the Virunga National Park".
Forest-cover map of the Democratic Republic of Congo with protected areas and EU-funded projects.
Map derived from satellite imagery from the 1990's by the Joint Research Centre
of the European Commission in the frame of the TREES project.

The Commission is also present in the health
sector with a 80 million programme in
North Kivu and the two Kasai provinces, as
well as in the Eastern Province. All focus is
on building capacity and setting up a nation-
al medical supply system. Added to this, an
emergency rehabilitation programme of 65
million was approved in 2006 for the Eastern
war-ravaged part of the country. It involves
the rebuilding of roads and rural tracks to
facilitate agricultural products getting to
market -for sanitation and for the supply of
agricultural inputs. The objective is to bridge
the gap between emergency programmes and
the development programmes of tomorrow.
The DRC also benefits from Commission
budgets for food aid and food security, for
NGO co-financing, as well as approximately
40 million of funds per year from the
European Commission Humanitarian Aid
Office (ECHO). In total, the Congo has
received over 700 million of support from
the Commission since 2002. Up to now, the
EU has taken care of the country's most
urgent needs, closing obvious gaps in infra-
structure and preparing the way for a develop-
ment and reconstruction support programme.

This will continue to be discussed with the
new government and is to be financed with
10th EDF monies. Last year, the
Commission absorbed the Congo's largest
debt to the European Investment Bank of
105 million, offering the prospect of EIB
participation alongside the World Bank in
funding the rehabilitation of the Inga dam.
Buoyed by all this activity, hopefully a new
era is beginning. The DRC is moving from a
state requiring 'transitional assistance' to a
more structured form of cooperation, aimed
at supporting the objectives of the Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper drawn up in July
2006 by the transitional government (with
the support of the Bretton Woods
Institutions), as well as the objectives of the
new government's programme.
F.M. l

For more information
Marie-France Cros, Franois Misser,
Gopolitique du Congo (RDC), Editions
Complexe, Bruxelles 2006

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC

of the

Congolese authorities

There is a consensus between the presidential majority and the opposition on five
major areas of reconstruction, as set out by the President of the Republic in his
inauguration speech but differing ideas prevail on implementation.

here are certain preconditions to taking up the challenges of
the five areas of roads, health, education, energy and water,
according to Senator Andr-Philippe Futa, President of the
'Alliance pour la Majorit Prsidentielle' (Alliance for the
Presidential Majority -AMP) and a former Finance Minister. Initially,
consolidation of the micro-economic framework for good governance
and a constitutional state is necessary to reassure individual citizens and
the business community. This was forcefully put by the managing
director of the 'Fdration des Entreprises Congolaises' (Federation of

Congolese Businesses -FEC), Henri Yav Mulang, who also advocates
dealing with the internal debt to the private sector and the urgent reha-
bilitation of the communication network.

During the transition, it was not possible to carry out these much need-
ed initiatives with the best of efficiency due to the mixed make up of
the new coalition govemment, says Andr-Philippe Futa of the AMP.

Congo DRC report

Elections, which brought in a majority gov-
ernment, have created a new order, "but we
should not believe that all problems will be
solved by investing a billion dollars in roads",
Futa warned, adding: "It will be necessary to
attack the inefficiencies of the system, the
'anti-values' which are still far too wide-
spread in society and that will take time". The
former Finance Minister says it is possible to
make more use of tax revenue on top of finan-
cial support from donors who should be dis-
suaded from imposing new deadlines.
Currently, work underway includes perform-
ance contracts signed between the State and
the Tax Directorate-General (DIG) and the
Customs and Excise Office (OFIDA) which
raises half of State revenue. This will not
solve the problem of massive corruption,
gaining momentum during the transition peri-
od due to corrupt officials who often went
unpunished. Futa also suggested that it would
be possible to increase the number of BOT
type contracts (Build, Operate and Transfer),
with foreign investors.


The EU equips and trains 1,000 men of the Integrated Police Force Unit (UPI).
Credit EUPOL.

Sesanga Hipungu, MP, the former Planning
Minister -and now spokesman of the opposi-
tion leader and President of the Movement
for Liberation of Congo (MLC), Jean-Pierre
Bemba -thinks that the government should
reach beyond the 'minimal perspectives' of
the Strategy Document for Reduction of
Poverty (SDRP) for the reconstruction of the
country. From 2007, he says, tax revenue
could be doubled by getting to grips with cus-
toms fraud, outsourcing the civil service to a
private entity, systematically strengthening
controls on goods on loading and overcoming
the endemic haggling between customs offi-
cers and businesses. Equally, he believes that
taxation in the mining and telecommunica-
tions sectors is too low, and tax should be
applied to real estate. It is also imperative
that the judicial review -financed by the
World Bank -of the so called 'lonin' (one-
sided) contracts signed by the State between
the two wars, should be used by the
Parliament to "restore the balance", without
"destabilising businesses".
As for the Economic Partnership Agreement
(EPA) with the EU, which is currently being
negotiated by Congo in a grouping that also
includes Sao Tome and EMCCA (the
Economic and Monetary Community of
Central Africa), the head of the AMP is not
overly concerned. In a country where taxes
presently raise less than 10% of GDP, he pre-
dicts that there will be no loss of revenue

resulting from the dismantling of current tar-
iffs. However, there is one condition: Congo
must have a sound statistical basis and proper
national accounting, and this will take time.
He also says it will be necessary to identify
the branches of the economy that will not be
able to stand excessively high Value Added
Tax (VAT). According to Sesanga Hipungu,
the commitment to move to an EPA with the
EU has been given and there is no going back.
However, he doubts Congo is ready for the
2008 deadline, the European Commission's
schedule for introducing an EPA.
An opening of markets is not only about dis-
advantages. It is true that the country's eco-
nomic and industrial fabric -in tatters today
will need to be revitalised to be competitive,
but competition with the outside world will
drive forward the necessary reform in certain
sectors, provided that proper supportive
measures go hand-in-hand with the
Agreement's implementation. Henri Yav
emphasises the urgency of bringing the
uncompetitive industrial fabric up to the nec-
essary standard, as well as addressing the
issue that the Central Africa Negotiating
Group is currently involved in several parallel
regional integration processes.

On the political front, Andr-Philippe Futa
regrets that the word 'Congolitis' was again
used by politicians to accuse their adversaries

of not being 'real Congolese', hence challeng-
ing their legitimacy. Looking to the future, the
President of the AMP says that the concept of
dual nationality, if accepted, would enable the
Congolese Diaspora to integrate better into
their host country and augment their ability to
send funds back to their country.
Like President Kabila, Andr-Philippe Futa
says that what's needed is a "change in men-
talities" to promote sustained development.
He acknowledges -and is critical of the fact
that corrupt practices occurred in a number of
areas during the elections but also points out
that it was the first democratic experiment in
the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Still referring to 'Congolitis' one of the now
shelved MLC campaign themes -Sesanga
Hipungu says that the country should not seek
to open a 'Pandora's Box'. "If we were to cre-
ate a commission of enquiry to track down
those involved in nationality fraud, the politi-
cal class would experience a real tsunami", he
warns. He is concerned about ongoing corrup-
tion, which in his opinion tarnished the elec-
tion of certain governors at the beginning of
February (which led to the disturbances in
Lower Congo -resulting in 137 deaths,
according to the UN). Furthermore, there is
also a risk of opening up a crisis of legitima-
cy of the Congolese institutions, says
Sesanga Hipungu, who feels that the majori-
ty is not allowing the opposition sufficient
room to manoeuvre.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC


by ballot box

The DRC's government appointed on February 24 by the National Assembly is the first
in over 40 years to come to office following democratic elections. Ahead is the formi-
dable task of launching reconstruction and consolidating this budding democracy.

he appointment of the new government on February 24 by ,'
295 of the 397 elected representatives present in the i i
National Assembly was a major event for the Congolese
people. Firstly, it is the first democratically elected govern- I '
ment in more than 40 years. Secondly, due to the internal tensions
within the transitional team -some of whose members fought each
other during the election campaign -the country had been without a
cabinet for the previous six months. I i
A distinctive feature of this new government is that it brings together
several generations of Congolese politicians. They range from the vet-
eran of the struggle for independence, 80 year-old Prime Minister
Antoine Gizenga (a compatriot of the late Patrice Lumumba) to the
heirs of the leading players who helped shape an independent Congo.
Joseph Kabila, son of the late Laurent-Dsir Kabila, was elected by
57% of the votes cast in the second round. He is now in the same camp
as the son of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, Franois Joseph
Nzanga Mobutu, appointed Agriculture Minister in the new
Congolese government.


In bringing together the sons of figures who were as fiercely opposed
as Mobutu and Kabila, the new government is the inevitable result of
compromise. But it is a compromise in terms of the views expressed
during the election campaign. Not surprisingly, the programme the
Prime Minister presented to the National Assembly on February 22nd
recognized that "the interaction of the free market can serve as an
instrument for growth." Given that the Finance Minister is none other
than the former head of the Federation of Congolese Companies,
Athanase Matenda, such an approach is what one would expect. At
the same time, the government programme underlines that market
mechanisms must be tempered by a political will founded on the
"values of socialism": solidarity, distributive justice and equal oppor-
tunity. The result is that the model advocated is markedly centrist
that of a "social market economy," as described by the Prime
Minister himself.
As a consequence of seeking to include several political persuasions,
this new government was described as "overmanned" by its critics. It


Congo DRC report

has 60 members, including six Ministers of
State, 34 Ministers and 20 deputy Ministers.
President Kabila's People's Party for
Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) and
its allies control a majority of the important
economic posts (Energy, Finance, Industry,
Economy, Infrastructure, Public Works and
Reconstruction). However, Antoine Gizenga's
United Lumumbist Party obtained Mines and
the Budget and the strategic Justice posts. To
satisfy everybody, a large number of portfo-
lios and a number of ministries (Energy and
Hydrocarbons, Social Affairs and National
Solidarity) were divided up. This brings the
risk of overlapping responsibilities, which
explains why in May the President of the
Republic issued an edict to clarify the respec-
tive competence of each ministry.
That said, the mission assigned to the gov-
ernment is to get to work in the five fields of
reconstruction defined by President Joseph

Kabila in his inaugural speech of December
6th: infrastructure to open up the country and
relaunch agriculture with a view to ensuring
food security, education, employment, water
and electricity, and health. The aim is to con-
solidate the peace, build State structures,
relaunch the economy, combat poverty and
social inequalities, and also restore "family
and moral values." In doing so, the Prime
Minister plans to restore transparent man-
agement to the offices of public finances and
natural resources. The revision of the 'one-
sided' mining contracts concluded during the
two wars (1996-1997 and 1998-2003) and
the forest concessions awarded following the
2002 moratorium will serve as test cases of
the ability to reform.
This leaves the issue of raising the resources
for this ambitious programme. The govern-
ment plans to increase expenditure from
15.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in

2006 to 29% in 2009. The total costs of the
programme for the 2007-2011 period is set at
US$14.3 billion, US$6.9 billion of which
will come from the Congolese State's own
resources and the rest (US$7.4 billion) from
external aid.

The mobilisation of foreign aid is dependent
on agreeing on a new programme with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) that sus-
pended its funding on March 31, 2006 due to
the failure of the State to meet performance
targets and the non-implementation of struc-
tural and sectoral reforms by the transitional
government. The new government recognizes
that the economic reform programme
('Programme relais de consolidation'), which
aimed to put the Congolese economy back on
track so as to reinitiate IMF funding under
the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Programme, was not executed satisfactorily.
The new government believes that "very
strong signals" must be sent to the population
as well as its partners.
At the political level, the new government
will have the task of easing a climate still
under a cloud of the clashes of March 22-23
between the personal guards of presidential
election loser Jean-Pierre Bemba -loathe to
demobilise his men -and government forces.
European diplomats in Kinshasa estimate that
between 200 and 600 were killed in the fight-
ing and condemned a "premature use of
force" on the government side, after European
Development Commissioner Louis Michel
had said that there must be "no private mili-
tias outside the regular army".
There have recently been some signs of an
easing of tension. Since Jean-Pierre Bemba
left for Portugal on April 11 -officially for
health reasons -tensions have perceptibly
decreased in Kinshasa. On April 25, elected
representatives of the Movement for the
Liberation of Congo (MLC) and their allies
from the Organisation for Democracy and
Reconstruction (ODER) have put an end to
their boycott of the National Assembly, which
they had justified on the grounds of intimida-
tion. While a section of the opposition con-
demned the presidential camp for taking con-
trol of the State on May 11, it was former
President Mobutu's former Prime Minister,
Leon Kengo wa Dondo (an opposition candi-
date and Senate President-elect) who was
called on to become interim Head of State in
the case of a power vacuum. Seemingly, any-
thing can happen in the Congo.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC

President of the Republic: loseph Kablila Kabange
Prime Minister: Antoinie Gienga Funji

Ministers ')f State:
Agrcii'ltrre. Franoi' Joseph lMobuti Nzanga Ngaiigawe
Hone! Att,ir;, Rear7onl Atiors cind Securil> General Denis Kalume
Forc'iln Aftriis ond Inteiintiin.l Croptiiiiin: Antipas .lbLu'a
H-lghr aind iiiini.eit Edu:atirn S.lvain Ngabu Chumbu
Infria:ruictie, Public It o-ks and Recontruction. Pierre Lumbi Okongo
Mlnri'ter of Stite to ihe Pressdcnc Nkulu .litumba Kilomibo

A lmniis rt to the Primre lini'ter Godefroid Mlayobo Kip'vene
Natkinal LDeence cind ct etran Affiirs iChikez Dienmu
Iustice- George' Mi nsay Booka
Plonnrinir Ohlier kamiitatu Etsu
Re,7ionl Intlrntiion- Iqgnce Gala Klavinq
Finance. Athanase Klatenda Kyelu
Buirdgt: Adolphe r.luzitc
Portfolio' Jeanine MabLinda Lioko
Nairtonal Econoir> Slvaiin Ic:el Bifilwa Ti hamiivala
Information, Pres; ind Cornrnunicntii n. Toussaint Tshil:cnimbi: Send
InduLstrt. Simon ,lboso kiamputu
Foreign Ticri- Denis rlbuvu Klanga
Small and MIdirlnin-sicd Enterprises. lean Franois Ekcjfo Panzioko
Tiransp n and Cotmmuniuirc' Rr'my Hennr Kusey' Gatanqa
Rural Dec kloipnpentl Charles lwandoi Nsimba
Pnmir. rr: Seconjcldar> a tcaiti'nl Education lacaire lIv.angu
jcintilic ReseIar~. Silvanus lushi Bonane
Publ,: Health Victor Mlakv.enqe kaput
Mliner" .la;tin kabwielulu Labilo
Enierc_ Sali:mon Banamuhere
H>droarbons Lambert Mende Onialanca
Ernplrient nd Soc il SecitiiC l.nlare-Ange Lukiiiia MufLva'nkol
Civil Sernvc. Zph.rin Mutu Dianibu-di-Lusala
Social Afftiiis and tNot onal Si'l dcs. Mrlartin Bitijula .lahimiba
l-,romen Afflnir. Philomrne O)n'atukii rAshakawo Akatshi
Ylith and Sport Pardcunn Kaliba Mlulanga
Lindi Liliane Pande Mluaba
LIrbtin Plainng r and Hou'ini: LiauLlent-Simon Ikenge Lisaimbola
Po;IIl. TlcpIhon~c and Teleconrni.nic, tron Sn'ri'es.i K\lamusii ke
Envirn,,nennt: Didace Pembe Bokiagj
Touirrn: Elia' kakule ,.lbaliiniana
Culture and the Arts NMarcel Malensc, Nldodila
Hiunnn Rgihtn: ELugine Lok'xa Ilwaloim
Huinmnitarsin Attart- lean-ClaLude Muyjanbo Kyassa

F .:,1l: , k I liil, -

decentralisation in the Congo

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N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007



Congo DRC report





I:cr cci~ rhb m c. -"'Ic

report Congo DRC


A waking giant when it comes to mining, biodiversity and hydroelectric and agricul-
tural potential, Congo also has cultural stature. As can be expected, two wars and
almost two decades of economic decline have inevitably taken their toll on the creative
arts. Now, a new generation is emerging.

despite its deep-seated crisis, the Congo continues to flood >
Africa with the sound of rumba, long after artists like les
Grand Kall, Wendo and Franco took the continent by storm. The search for meaning and spirituality can also be found in painting,
As recently as January 2007, Papa Wemba and his band, which was until recently dominated by the 'nave' or 'popular' genre, a
'Viva la Musica', had enormous success during their tour of Kenya. And close cousin of the comic strip. These include works by Mok,
the deep voice of Koffi Olomide, with backing reminiscent of religious Tshibumba and Chri Samba, who painted the famous fresco in the
music, has already become legendary. But the richness of Congolese
music, which draws particularly on traditional native sounds, church
choir music, as well as Afro-Cuban rhythms, does not end with rumba.

A new generation is emerging, seeking meaning and aiming to express -. -
both in form and substance the preoccupations of a people worn down -'- l
by poverty, war and bureaucracy. Among the representatives of this gen-
eration is Jean Goudal with his simple guitar strumming. Of casual 1
appearance -in a baseball cap and West African hunter's jacket -he
alternates between bittemess and humour and sings like a young tropical
Georges Brassens, about 'shgus', the street children and young adults
on the capital's streets. It's all about vocal improvisation and jazz
played with a melodious trumpet and reggae sound. Something new is
afoot in Kinshasa, as spectators at the 'Musiques croises' concert at the
end of January at the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Kinshasa discov-
ered, featuring other followers of this alternative music including Jonas .
Lokas, a formal rumba musician of the 'Choc Stars'. Alongside, there l
is an emerging Congolese jazz, including the band, 'Ya Kongo', which
has revisited the traditional musical roots of several of the country's
regions, creating new harmonies and for the first time introducing the
traverse flute to the music of Kinshasa. According to Lokas, this quest
for new musical forms responds to public demand, as alternatives are
sought to the rumba "to let off steam" and old tunes are again being lis-
tened to in the city's bars and clubs. There is a desire of artists to move
into the spiritual world, but in a different way to evangelical singers like
Marie Lisambo or Charles Mumbaya, whose sales are driven by the n
buyers' belief that they are supporting God's work. There is a very real *
paradox in all this richness for, apart from those involved in small-scale
recording -only too happy to pirate anything -Congolese music usu-
ally uses the medium of CDs imported from Europe and South Africa. .
The local record industry, which was still flourishing in the 1980s, has .f .
now all but disappeared. To re-ignite it, "We must become committed
to the cultural industry. We don't have a choice, and to do that, the State .
has to dip its hand it its pocket", says Lokas.


Congo DRC report

Ixelles-Matonge district of Brussels. The main
protagonist is Roger Botembe, also one of the
most famous collectors of statues and masks in
the Congo. He draws inspiration from these
masks in his paintings, inevitably sparking
comparisons with Picasso and his fellow
cubists. But he goes beyond forms, towards
the spiritual, always seeking inner beauty,
rather than the plain aesthetic. A red, black and
white trilogy reoccurs in his work: red, the
colour of rejoicing, black, life on earth, and
white, the colour of plenty, where, he says,
"our ancestors are hiding".
His quest took him to Haiti to rediscover
voodoo rites such as 'Fula', which imbues
people with the power of life and whose ori-
gins can be traced to the Congo, where it is
known as 'Fula Ngende'.
Another painter, Botende, aims to show the

behind the fatalism of "the intellectualism of
crisis". Kabasubabu depicts a Congo, which
by 2025 has exorcised the demons of
defeatism, guided by Pentecostal Christian
Social Democrats. He depicts an economy
with a flourishing arms industry and export-
oriented industrial-scale plantations, provok-
ing ridicule from some quarters.
But according to Martin Ekwa, a Jesuit Priest
and founder of the 'Centre d'Action pour
Dirigeants et Cadres d'Entreprise au Congo'
(the Action Centre for Company Executives in
Congo -Cadidec), one of the country's few
think-tanks, Kabasubabu at least puts solu-
tions forward. Father Ekwa believes that rather
than being in a deep seated crisis, his country
is feeling its way cautiously as it evolves. But
he does go on to state that a turaround is vital.
In his latest book, 'L'cole trahie' (Editions

Chri Samba, the humorist of popular painting.
Below left: Roger Botembe's work.
Below right: Enlightened Roger Botembe
and his quest to regain identity.
Photos Franois Misser

Congolese the way back to the source of their
culture, as he says they are suffering from a
loss of their identity which is partly due to the
wars they have experienced. Their motives
and desires are a strategic objective, because
"there is no development without creative
arts", says Botembe, who has attracted a large
number of artists to his studios since the col-
lapse of the Fine Arts Academy in 1992. Like
Lokas, Botembe calls on the country's leaders
to restore the nation's culture and in signing
his paintings backwards, he expresses a per-
sonal frustration in making this happen.

In literature, in a complete departure from
the work of the prince of the black novel,
Achille Ngoye and established novelists like
Yves Mudimbe and Hubert Kabasubabu, in
his forward-looking novel, 'Kinshasa: the
final explosion will not take place'
(L'Harmattan, Paris 2006), aim to leave

I(. .i. i. c i hi i. i i .1 i iL 4 i h .i!ii! EI. .i i !c .i i

Ii. !! I'ii .[ 1 I lhl hi [.i ., i ''t ' 1ii N I *IM i I
!i!,,hl~c~l h J!c~ !,,!!lhc~! ['!c,! dci l ,,Ic lll'

deLIthLiL ull ul Llie Late edtLcatiLlull sysbllli,
replacing professional management by those
dependent on the political authorities and the
indifference of politicians -or even civil
society -to the abandoned and shattered edu-
cation system. According to Ekwa, every-
thing is connected with the fear that universi-
ty educated citizens promote the overthrow
of the government; but the country will need
educated people.
He advocates a management college, while
the Archbishop of Kisangani, Monseigneur
Monsengwo, is seeking to rally support for
his project to set up an administrative college
to train the country's leaders.
What is clear is that in every sphere of cul-
ture, the advent of a democratically elected
government has created a climate of excite-
ment, expectation, and a plethora of propos-
als for new initiatives. Perhaps these amount
to the first tentative steps of a cultural renais-
sance in a country where culture and educa-
tion have been undervalued?
F.M. l

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

report Congo DRC

is also...

Over the past decade, it is the dramas in the Congo that have made the news, the
sole exception being the holding of elections in the short space of a few months.
After ail, there is more to the Congo than negative headlines.

he extraordinary beauty of the country has all but been forgot-
ten starting with the glowing crater of the Nyiragongo volcano
which, between the grey sky and the anthracite lava, towers
above the green banana fields. Then there is the majesty of the
cathedral-like cloak of the equatorial forest soaring to a height of 30
metres with a rich palette of colours for every season and the equally
majestic river with its drifting islands of water hyacinths and the unmiss-
able magnificent sunsets over the blue mountains of Itombwe.
You are surrounded by endless imagination and skills of man. The joyous
crystal-clear song of the Bambuti Pygmies welcomes the dawn in the
Ituri forest and the huge fish traps overhanging the Wagenia Falls are like
precarious scaffolding, upstream of Kisangani. Then there are the float-
ing villages of the Lokl fishermen on the River Tshopo. To overcome
the fuel shortage in the unmechanised regions, 'tolekas' (bicycle taxis)
have taken off in Kisangani, a town also supplied by 'djubus-djubus'
(dug-outs), the giant scooters, or 'tshkudus', of the peasants of Kivu who
come to the markets of Goma for their supplies. The bicycles supply half
of all the goods in Katanga, the capital of Western Kasai. The truck driv-
ers of Equator Province who run their engines on palm oil are another
example of such limitless resourcefulness.

And what delights await the palate! Congolese cooking is one of the
most varied in all of Africa. The 'kossa kossa' river prawns, safous,
grilled or stewed caterpillars, antelope, monkey, boa, crocodile,
'mabok' (fish and vegetables cooked in leaves), 'biteku-teku' (veg-
etable pure) and chicken la moamb are just a few of the dishes that
are as surprising as they are delicious.
Then there are of course the better known attractions such as the Kubas
i.i ci, i lhe Kuba, Luba and Tshokwe statues, the popular painting, the
N.ii ,i l i hairstyles, the rumba and its descendants. Congo, five times
ii lI. .i France, ten times as big as the United Kingdom, and 80 times
i I of Belgium, is more than just a country, it is a whole world
-a civilisation, a kaleidoscope of sensations. One of the
l most enjoyable aspects is the way the people are so wel-
coming to foreigners.
Apart from a few pioneers who are relaunching cruises on
the River Congo, visits to the friendly bonobos, and eco-
tourism in Garamba Park near the Sudanese border, few
foreigners encounter these pleasures. Red tape, a lack of
security in some areas, health risks, logistical difficulties
and the negative perception of the country combine to cre-
ate real obstacles. But it is also worth saying that a skir-
mish in Kivu does not necessarily affect everyday life
2,000 kilometres away on the Atlantic coast or in the
grasslands of Katanga.
This, too, is the Congo.

Left: Lake Tanganyika, from space.
Above: The two capital cities, Brazzaville and Kinshasa, on
opposite banks of the Congo River.
Credit NASA, Earth form sky.


h ^rade




Oceans apart, sheer distance seems to be a gulf for improved trade cooperation
between the Pacific and the European Union (EU).

are navigating a differ-
ent course to the other
five regional ACP
groupings .i !cil1. negotiating
European Partnership Agreements
(EPAs) with the EU whose cen-
terpiece is free access to
eachothers' markets with devel-
opment assistance to take advan-
tage of new openings, all due to
come on stream from 2008.
Out of the fourteen Pacific ACP
islands; Cook Islands, Fiji

Islands, Kiribati, Marshall
Islands, Federated States of
Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau,
Papua New Guinea, Samoa,
Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu
and Vanuatu ii!c il1. negotiat-
ing an EPA, it is the smaller
States who say they will not gain
as much as other ACP regions
from the improved market
access on the table. East Timor,
also a Pacific ACP State has
been monitoring negotiations but
having been busy with State-
building has opted not to partici-
pate directly in EPA talks to date.
EU Statistics reveal that the

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Pacific ,ii !ciii. exports just 10%
of its goods and produce to the
EU and takes just 5% of total
imports from the EU. Two Pacific
countries dominate this exchange;
Papua New Guinea and Fiji
accounting for 90% of this export
figure, mainly due to sugar, and
absorbing 40% of imports.
Patteson Oti, Foreign Minister
for the Solomon islands and
alternate lead EPA negotiator for
the Pacific, indicated to 'The
Courier' that an agreement on
duty free and quota free exports
by Pacific to the EU would ben-
efit in particular the bigger coun-
tries of the region; Papua New
Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomons
and Fiji. Pacific States are indi-
vidually considering whether to
sign up to a goods agreement
under the EPA.
Minister Patteson said Pacific
countries feared that opening
doors further to EU goods and
produce could trigger other
nations to ask for the same bene-

fits in the World Trade
Organisation under the Most
Favoured Nation (MFN) clause.
He added the Pacific was eyeing
a regional EU fisheries agree-
ment beyond the handful of
existing bi-lateral ones for
Pacific ACPs. The Pacific also
has its compass set on more tem-
porary labour mobility for semi-
skilled workers in the EU -large-
ly an EU Member State national
issue anyway -and changes to
the EU's rules of origin which do
not ,ii!cilI. take into account
the Pacific's distance from other
ACP nations, vulnerability and
size of many States.
He said the Pacific wanted a
package of assistance to take
advantage of the new opportuni-
ties under the EPA, notably for
smaller States from human
resources training to fisheries
surveillance and to cushion any
adverse effects of an EPA. 76
million -with a possible 25%
top-up -have already been allo-

cated under the 10th EDF's
Regional Indicative Programme
for the Pacific 15, 2008-2013, in
addition to EU funds for each
individual Pacific nation under
the so-called National Indicative
"We recognize the uniqueness of
the islands as guardians of the
Pacific ocean, which can be con-
sidered a global public good
with resources which must be
sustainably managed in the inter-
ests of the islands. The financial
instruments of the Cotonou
Agreement are there to allow the
region to capitalise on the EPA
provisions and their potential for
economic growth respectful of
environmental protection", said
Francesco Affinito, Deputy
Head of Unit for the Pacific in
the European Commission's
Directorate General for
D.P. a

"Smaller states will benefit from a
regional fisheries agreement" Patteson
Oti, alternate EPA Pacific lead negotiator.
Credit Secretariat of the Pacific

discovering Europe



Anne Adriens-Pannier

n 1979, for the Brussels Millennium,
some facetious souls came up with the
slogan, 'Brussels throws a party every
1,000 years' -a joke at the expense of
the capital's cultural policy!
Yet Brussels is in fact a cultural centre that
has always attracted renowned figures from
the arts and sciences: Lord Byron, Victor
Hugo, Verlaine, Rimbaud and Jacques-Louis
David, to name just a few. It was in Brussels
that the latter produced one of the greatest
works of European art, 'The Death of Marat'.
Between the wars it was to Brussels that
Einstein, Joliot Curie, Marie Curie, de
Broglie, Planck and Heisenberg came every
summer to unveil discoveries in physics and
chemistry that would revolutionise the world.
Brussels is probably the only city in the
world with a population of under a million to
offer culture on such a scale. It is home to 70
museums, as many theatres, and 'La
Monnaie' opera house, whose repute would

surely have earned it the label 'the best in the
world', had it been located in a certain neigh-
bouring country.
But does this make it a major cultural capital?
Two leading and committed players in the
city's cultural life give their somewhat con-
trasting opinions. Firstly, Anne Adriaens-
Pannier, curator of this season's notable exhi-
bition at the Museum of Modern Art, entitled,
'Lon Spilliaert, a free spirit'. Anne speaks
with sensitivity and undisguised passion about
Spillaert (1881-1946), about art, and about
Brussels. Then, Michel Kacenelenbogen, co-
director with Patricia Ide of the 'Thtre Le
Public' and, like Spillaert, a free spirit and pas-
sionate about all things cultural, has his say.
Founded less than a decade ago, 'Le Public'
has become a benchmark for the quality of its
productions. Kacenelenbogen speaks out
about the prejudices of the press and of the
capital's political circles.

Brussels Capital-Region discovering Europe

> sculpture. Between 1880 and 1914, artists from
all over the world were drawn here, invited by
Although Spilliaert came from Ostend, like cultural associations such 'Le Cercle des Vingt'
many people who live in Brussels he benefited or 'Le Cercle de la Libre Esthtique.' Many inter-
from everything going on in the city. At the turn national artists first displayed their works at
of the century, and until 1914, Brussels was at these exhibitions before showing elsewhere. For
the centre of what can be described as 'avant- Spillaert in particular, Brussels was a place of
garde' art. There was such feverish activity in artistic self-discovery.
Brussels at that time in literature, music and
'Le Cercle des Vingt' and 'Le Cercle de la Libre
Esthtique' were based on a revolt against the
academicism of art and against any hierarchy
within art or between the artist and the artisan,
and above all against any authority such as the
juries. The events they organised brought
together musicians, painters and sculptor, all in
the same space. This was 'Gesamtkunstwerk' in
action, the principle of non-discrimination
between the arts to which they subscribed. An
architect, for example, would enlist the services
of all kinds of artists to decorate and finish a
house. One of the results of this approach is the
'Palais Stoclet" a gem of art nouveau. This was
in the 1930s, the pre-war period, in which this
cultural fervour in Brussels was at its peak.

After the war, during the 1950s, the influences
principally came from outside Belgium, and from
the United States in particular. What is interest-
ing about Brussels is that we are not focused
exclusively on Belgian art. Here at the Museum
of Modern Art, for example, the contemporary
section has works from India, Egypt and Africa
alongside Belgian art. We are always very open.
Perhaps we do not fight enough to safeguard
Belgian culture. But at the same time, this open-
ness that is enriching.

Is Brussels now losing its influence? Yes and no.
Because today, rather than having one sponsor,
namely a Belgian Minister of Culture, artists
have several. They can approach governments
of the French-speaking or Dutch-speaking com-

The Dutch-speakers ask for nothing other than
to immerse themselves in French-speaking cul-

ture and vice-versa. Just look at the number of
theatre plays that are bilingual. One no longer
differentiates between a Dutch-language or
French-language production. It's extraordinary.
Brussels is genuinely a cultural capital.

The attitude of the Brussels French-speaking
media is paradoxical. If you scan what makes
the cultural headlines, three-quarters of them
are ail about showbiz stars and lauding
Belgians abroad. The remaining quarter who
are bothered about Brussels are deliberately elit-
ist. Fair enough, but not one rule for one and
one rule for another. You cannot on the one
hand go over the top about showbiz and on the
other neglect local culture on the grounds that
it is too ordinary. Take our production of 'A
Streetcar Named Desire' that you cited as an
exceptional cultural event. It was talked about
in the press, but not to an extent that reflected
its real success.

I'm not saying this phenomenon is unique to
Brussels. journalists in French or Anglo-Saxon
cultures certainly have the same tendency, but
this is compensated for by the chauvinism of
large countries where they are forced to cover
home grown happenings.

One in four theatregoers who go to theatres
subsidized by the French-speaking Community
of Belgium, also comes to see plays at 'Le
Public'. Yet we receive less than 3% of these sub-
sidies. It is as if specialist education swallowed
up more of the budget than general education.

Of the public resources allocated to culture, too
large a proportion goes to the Flemish-speaking
Community of Brussels that represents just 20%
of the city's population.

So why despite everything do we have so many
great Belgian artists? It is down to humility.
That is a very important asset that protects us
from showbiz culture. Since we could not afford
ail the glitz, anyway, we aim for quality. This is
a side effect of the imposed humility.

Brussels is not a cultural capital. It is the capital
of a country and of Europe. It's a Europe that is
too ready to take decisions in the name of its cit-
izens and is a seat of power competing for influ-
ence. But I am active in theatre precisely
because it gives some freedom, a place where
one can make mistakes. In the modern world,
this is a luxury.

discovering Europe Brussels Capital-Region

Marie-Martine Buckens


Brussels could easily be a characterless city of glass sev-
ered by highways, as one would imagine of a capital
boasting major international institutions like the EU and
NATO, over 1,000 offices of international agencies and
2,000 international companies. This often-unacknowl-
edged city has, however, retained its unique identity; a
blend of exuberance and opportunism, streets and build-
ings undergoing never-ending demolition and construc-
tion. The chemistry at work comes partly down to history.

he first people to live in Brussels
settled on the St. Gry islet in the
11th Century. This strategic spot
meant inhabitants traded with the
major European cities via the Senne River and
its tributaries. During this period, the 'Rosella'
or 'settlement in the swamps', became a hub of
trade and ideas in Europe, arousing the interest
of Europe's 'heavyweights' of the time.
Brussels has successively become the capital
of the Burgundian Netherlands, and Austria's
Hapsburg Dynasty, which, upon inheritance of
the throne of Spain, made Brussels the head-
quarters of the States-General of the
Netherlands, headed by Charles V.
This was the end of a period characterized by
a comparatively peaceful relationship between
the Brussels middle classes and the imposed
monarchy. Dark years followed when the
Duke of Alba spread terror to suppress the
attempts by town councillors to achieve inde-
pendence. One hundred years later, Louis XIV
bombarded the city centre. The reins of power
then altemated between the French and the
Austrians up until 1815, subsequent to
Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, when Brussels
came under the leadership of William I of
Orange, Prince of the United Kingdom of the
Netherlands. This was the last straw. The mid-
dle classes in the city rebelled and proclaimed
the independence of Brussels, then of
Belgium. The year was 1830.
Even then, the population of Brussels came
from all walks of life and backgrounds: not
only Flemish people, with their Germanic cul-

ture, French in the case of the middles classes
(Napoleon had left his mark), Walloons and
their Latin culture, but also people of Jewish
and Spanish origin. They united under a for-
eign king, a Hapsburg, Leopold I. History
seemed to be repeating itself, but the people of
Brussels had now learned how to 'get by'. To
'clean up' the blighted areas bordering the
river Senne, where the poor lived, the town
councillors decided in 1870 to cover it over,
signalling a radical change in the city centre's
shape and identity.
Upheaval is something people have leamed to
live with, and has been subject to almost non-
stop changes made to the city ever since.
Leopold II wanted to tum Brussels into a cap-
ital like Paris. All that remains are a few roads
and monuments. The wheeler-dealers and
property tycoons were the ones who set about
altering, and even disfiguring, certain central
districts. Major institutions have arisen against
this backdrop.
In 1958, Brussels became the headquarters of
the European Community. In 1967, land on the
outskirts of the city was offered for the head-
quarters of NATO, hounded out of Paris by
General de Gaulle. The city is the third leading
international conference venue. Thirty per cent
of people living in Brussels are non-nationals.
Brussels' natives are quite matter-of-fact, but
these fairly good-natured souls can be suspi-
cious at times. The people of Brussels and
their lack of chauvinism have allowed these
newcomers to settle down happily, provided
they do not 'colonise' their hosts.


Brussels Capital-Region discovering Europe

Roger Mazanza Kindulu



Les Congolais et Bruxelles

russels is home to a large sub-Saharan
community from Angola, Cameroon,
Ghana and Nigeria, most arriving
during the waves of immigration of
the 1990s. It also includes Burundians and
Rwandans, whose countries used to be Belgian
colonies. The largest African community in
Brussels by far is from the Democratic Republic
of Congo (several thousand).
Brussels is a city of dreams for people from the
Congo. During the 1970s and 1980s, Congolese
from all walks of life ended up in Europe as part
of huge migratory movements. Back then, the
city was the stuff of dreams for all young peo-
ple, eager for a better life. People started using
the word 'Miguel' to indicate 'Europe', and par-
ticularly Belgium and Brussels, pronounced as
'Brisel', just as 'Kisasa' for Kinshasa.
In 1977, I stopped over in Athens. Back home,
1 was giving an account of my travels when a
youngster asked, "Po na nini okendeki poto te?"
or, "Why didn't you go to Europe?". I under-
stood what he meant; for him, Greece was not
part of Europe. People in Congo used to say:
"There are two white people, three Portuguese
and one Greek in the room". For them, white

r l,. i ,% c '; ,. L

people, 'mindele', were Belgians. The Greeks
and Portuguese were simply traders, living
amongst us, eating like us and sometimes going
out with local girls.
Three years later, I made up for what I had
missed. After completing a report in Germany, I
stopped off in Miguel and Matonge, the African
district, where I bought some of the famous
'Dutch wax' cloth, very popular with
Congolese women. Not forgetting to take back
a few recordings of Congolese music.
Matonge, part of the Brussels municipality of
Ixelles, is like Kinshasa's 'cit d'ambiance', a
district that never sleeps. At the entrance to this
Brussels district, until recently, was a splendid
mural by the renowned Congolese painter,
Chri Samba, reflecting the welcoming atmos-
phere of this exotic area: people of all races and
from all walks of life rubbing shoulders.
Matonge is a real crossroads, a meeting point
for people from all corners of the globe. It has
everything: African cafs and restaurants,
clothes shops, food and beauty products, travel
agencies, freight services and facilities for send-
ing money to Africa, a radio station, a TV chan-
nel, Congolese newspapers...

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Over the years, the Congolese people have
dropped 'Miguel' or 'Mputu', meaning
'Europe' in Kikongo, one of the country's
main languages, in favour of 'Mikili' or
'worlds' -referring to all European countries
with Congolese communities. Brussels has
become 'Mputuville', or the capital of
'Mikili'. So, whether their home is Paris, Lille,
Aix-la-Chapelle or London, all Congolese
dream of a trip to Mputuville one day. "Just as
the manatees go to drink from the Simal foun-
tain", as the poet Lopold Senghor said.

The mural by the Congolese painter Chri Samba, which
used to decorate a building at the entrance to Matonge.
Credit CEC (Coopration par l'Education et la Culture)

discovering Europe Brussels Capital-Region


The European Union in Brussels


heir glass, granite and metal struc-
tures dominate the Brussels skyline,
sitting uncomfortably with the typi-
cal turn of the 19th Century
Brussels town houses with their decorative
facades. This construction cluster extends
from the Schuman roundabout slightly to the
east of Brussels -named after one of the
founder fathers of the Union, Robert
Schuman. A guided tour of this labyrinth of
buildings around the 'European Quarter' will
help get to grips with the unique EU decision-
making process.
Justus Lipsius, the Council building, named
after the 16th Century philosopher, looks
down the rue de la Loi. A pinky-brown granite
bloc, its solidity suggests signing and sealing.
Decisions are taken by one Minister from each
of the 27 EU States on the whole range of EU
legislation. Its six-month rotating Presidency
gives each EU Member State scope to impress
areas of particular national concern
Facing the colossus of the Council across the
road is the most recognisable EU building, the
'Berlaymont', the 'X'-shaped 14-floor high
European Commission first built in 1967 on
the site of a former Augustine monastery and

re-opened in 2004 after a decade-long re-fit.
This is the headquarters of the body that pro-
poses legislation. The Commission,
(www.eu.europa.eu) has a five-year term and a
President,, iim!ci1 ii. former Portuguese Prime
Minister, Jos Manuel Durrao Barroso.
Each EU country individually appoints a
Commissioner who is attributed a policy area.
Belgian Louis Michel is Development and
Humanitarian Aid Commissioner.
The Commissioners are aided by the
Directorates General (DG) in each policy
area, now numbering over 30, many of which
are based in the criss-cross of modem office
blocs nearby. Director-General (DG) for
development, Stefano Manservisi, heads
'DG' development, Koos Richelle is 'DG' for
the 'Europeaid' Cooperation Office
(www.ec.europa.eu/europeaid), formed in
2001 to look after the day-to-day implementa-
tion of projects in ACP States and in other
parts of the world and the EU's Humanitarian
Aid Office (ECHO) running emergency aid,
(www.ec.europa.eu/echo) is headed by 'DG'
Antonio Cavaco. The African, Caribbean and
Pacific (ACP) Secretariat (www.acp.int) is a
short walk through the 'Parc Cinquantenaire'
on the avenue Georges Henri. Its current

Secretary-General is Sir John Kaputin from
Papua New Guinea.
Drop down the hill from Schuman and catch
sight of one of Brussels' prettiest rooftops sit-
ting on top of the European Parliament's hemi-
cycles, named the 'Whim of the Gods', as it is
shaped like the box of a famous brand of
French cheese of that name
(www.europarl.europa.eu). The Parliament's
blue-glazed facade fills more and more of the
'Place Luxembourg', the adjoining cobbled
Belgian square. The EU's progression has
meant a 'gentrification' with chic cafes and
restaurants, but the faade of the oldest train
station building in Europe, dated 1838, still
stands here although its rail links are now
underground. Two other consultative bodies
wrap up the unwieldy EU decision-making
process: the Economic and Social Committee
(EESC) (www.eesc.europa.eu) members
drawn from employee, employers and other
civil society interest groups, and the newest
addition, the Committee of the Regions
(www.cor.europa.eu) comprised of local and
regional government appointees operating
from an unmissable glass building a stone's
throw from the Parliament.

discovering Europe

Leo Cendrowicz *

Brussels economy:


perhaps best known abroad as the de
facto capital of the European Union,
the economic role of Brussels and its
importance are less well understood.
In fact, the city is a hive of economic activity,
with an open and cosmopolitan business culture
and an exceptionally strong appetite for trade.
The Brussels-Capital Region is home to 54,000
businesses, of which around 2,000 are foreign.
Many, of course, are associated with the
international character of activities in

Brussels, a city that hosts a vast foreign com- directory enquiries and telephone sales peo-
munity of diplomats and civil servants, inter- ple. In addition, from the marketing angle,

preters, lobbyists, consultancies, advertising
agencies and journalists.
Most of Brussels' inhabitants speak at least
two languages well, and many speak more. It
is usual -indeed, expected for a reception-
ist in an office to speak English, French and
Dutch, and the same goes for people in man-
agerial positions. English is increasingly the
language of business and is spoken even by

the co-existence of several cultural commu-
nities in Brussels makes the city and the
region an excellent test market to study of
consumer behaviour.
Brussels now has the largest number of inter-
national organizations in the world and
attracts over 1,000 business conferences
annually, ranking it the fourth most popular
conference and congress city in Europe. It is

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Brussels '

discovering Europe

Brussels Capital-Re

also rated the seventh most important finan-
cial centre in the world and the fourth most
attractive city in Europe for starting a busi-
The city has many other hidden advantages,
such as a strategic geographical location in
Europe, some of the most productive work-
ers in the world, excellent transport connec-
tions with other cities and a plentiful supply
of relatively cheap office space.
A lesser-known attraction of the Brussels
region is the favourable tax rates for expatri-
ates: each day they spend out of Belgium is -_F
tax-deductible, and they can also opt out of .
the expensive Belgian social security contri- .
butions while still benefiting from the coun-
try's excellent health and education services.
The amount and the value of foreign invest-
ment is another economic feature of the
Brussels region: it represents over one-fifth :
of all investment in Belgium, and around
60% of the foreign companies with business
interests in Belgium have their registered
office in Brussels.
Brussels is also the city where many of
Belgium's top companies choose to base
their headquarters even if their production
sites are elsewhere. These include the
Delhaize retail group, the CFE industrial
group, the Besix construction company, the
Sabca aerospace company, metals group
Umicore and the chemical and pharmaceuti-
cal companies, Solvay and Union Chimique
Belge (UCB).
Although the Brussels economy is mainly
service-oriented, it has a highly diversified
industrial fabric. Of course, as an urban area,
the Brussels region does not have the facili- 000
ties for large-scale industry. The Volkswagen
plant, which employs several thousand peo-
ple on its production lines, is a notable
exception, while Toyota Motor Europe is
based in Brussels and DaimlerChrysler cen- e
tralises sales, marketing, and logistics in its
city offices.
There are 27 industrial zones in the Brussels i m
area, located alongside the main access
roads, along the Brussels Canal and on the
edge of the ring road and the motorways that
converge on the capital. The main areas are
mechanical engineering and electronics,
chemicals, printing and publishing, clothing e -
and the food industry. However, there has g *c l
been a recent shift to high value-added prod-
ucts, such as fine chemicals, aircraft con-
struction, precision tools and telecommuni-
Some 45% of Brussels physical exports are p
cars, followed by chemicals at 12% and
machinery and electrical equipment at 11%.

Brussels Capital-Region discovering Europe

The EU accounts for 89% of the exports
21% to France, 17% to Germany and 10% to
the Netherlands -while the Americas claim
2.9%, Asia 2.4% and Africa 2.2%.
But the services sector forms the backbone
of the Brussels economy, accounting for
around 88% of jobs in the region.
These are highly diversified and include
banking, research, information technologies,
tourism, transport and health.
The biggest service is the financial sector,

where Brussels has a long tradition of bank-
ing, a respected stock exchange that is part of
the Euronext system, and a variety of insur-
ance, leasing and investment fund firms
including major financial services groups
Fortis and KBC.
Brussels is particularly renowned as a refer-
ence centre for international banking trans-
fers and clearing. Its expertise in this spe-
cialised field has been nurtured through the
presence of the headquarters of world lead-

ers like Swift, Euroclear and Banksys. The
Bank of New York is just one that has made
Brussels its worldwide processing centre.
The city is also a training ground for pro-
cessing with courses like Solvay Business
School's programme in Financial
Transaction Services.
The information and computer technology
sector is another key area of the economy,
with around 4,500 ICT companies in
Brussels, employing 75,000 people -and
accounting for one quarter of all new jobs.
Indeed, Brussels' IT sector dovetails with its
financial services, having taken a lead in
developing e-banking and e-business.
The health sector has become an important
vehicle of growth and employment in the
Brussels region, representing more than
3,000 companies and around 70,000 jobs.
Brussels is well equipped in this field: it is
home to three faculties of medicine and
pharmacy, five university hospitals, a mili-
tary hospital, more than 40 general hospitals,
psychiatric and specialised clinics, spe-
cialised public research centres, four univer-
sity schools and numerous private centres.
University research has also fuelled the
city's leading role in developing life sci-

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discovering Europe Brussels Capital-Region

Science parks, like the Parc Da Vinci, the
Mercator research park and the 92-hectare
Erasmus Science Park, work closely with the
One of the emerging technologies concerns
the environment and Brussels companies
have developed new methods to deal with
waste, reduce energy consumption, and to
cut air, water and noise pollution.
Brussels is, of course, the place that gave its
name to the sprout, but although the veg-
etable is not grown in the city, there is a
strong tradition of food in the region. The
most famous Brussels food export is choco-
late, from the Cte d'Or bars to the exquisite
pralines of houses like Godiva, Pierre
Marcolini, Wittamer, Leonidas and Neuhaus.
But Brussels also exports biscuits, including
the 'speculoos' gingerbread.
But no mention of food in Brussels could
ignore the beer: the country produces 450 of
the world's finest ales, and brewing is rooted
in Belgian culture, with varieties like the
'lambic', a yeast-free local brew available as
'gueuze', 'kriek', 'faro' and 'framboise'.
Culturally, Brussels enjoys a worldwide rep-
utation for design.
Although nearby Antwerp is lauded as

Belgium's fashion capital, Brussels design-
ers like Xavier Delcour, Olivier Strelli,
Natan, Yves Dooms, leather stylist Delvaux,
and hatmaker, Elvis Pompilio, have made
their mark. Brussels can also boast its own
style district -the Rue Antoine Dansaert just
in front of the Belgian stock exchange -with
trendy art galleries, fashion shops, antique
stores, cafs and restaurants.
The capital has other artistic talents. Brussels
is the city of Pieter Brueghel, Tintin creator
Herg, surrealist painter Magritte and Art
Nouveau's Victor Horta. Their influence
reflects the strong tradition of graphic arts
that is still vibrant today in architecture and
interior design.
Like any city, Brussels faces economic chal-
lenges. Although the Brussels region is sec-
ond only to London as Europe's most afflu-
ent, high unemployment remains a concern,
particularly among immigrants.
The closure of national airline Sabena, the
decision of courier service DHL to relocate
from Brussels to Germany, and the halving
of the VW workforce recently caused much
anguish in the city.
But such setbacks can only serve to under-
line the ever-growing importance of the EU

to the local economy. And given Brussels'
historic ability to adapt to changing circum-
stances, the city can be expected to make the
most of the new opportunities.

* Leo Cendrowicz is a Brussels-based jour-

For more information, click on:

The Brussels-Capital Region:

The Brussels Enterprise Agency (BEA):

The Brussels Chamber of Commerce
and Industry:

The Brussels-Europe Liaison-Office:

Brussels Export:




1st ACP Cultural Festival

For the first time ever, the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries has staged a
Cultural Festival. Organised last autumn in Santo Domingo, it was a unique event, not only for
show-casing talent, but also as a trade fair and opportunity to fine-tune an ACP strategy on mar-
keting creativity.

T his Festival was a culmination of
the initial stage of the 'Dakar
Declaration' and 'Action Plan' on a
strategic programme for expanding
the ACP countries' cultural resources, set in
motion in 2003. As well as agreeing to hold
regular cultural festivals in the future, govem-
ments also decided to set up a cultural founda-
tion. Several international agencies have wel-
comed the 'Dakar Declaration' as an impor-
tant instrument of public international law
since it backs cultural industries as a priority
both within ACP countries and also for inter-
national cooperation.
Twelve months on, the Maputo Summit ofACP
govemment leaders, on June 23, 2004, fixed
the choice of culture ministers. Member
Countries were encouraged to adopt legal texts
on boosting the sector's industries, while
paving the way for extensive job creation.

> Santo Domingo springs
a surprise

The Festival erupted in a shower of fire-
works sponsored by the authorities of the
Dominican Republic, setting the mysterious
night-blue Caribbean sky ablaze, much to the
surprise of Santo Domingo which had see-
med indifferent to the huge posters and ban-
ners that, perhaps somewhat belatedly, publi-
cised the event. Sparks flew against the
backdrop of the timeworn stones of the
majestic ruins of a Hispano-Moorish convent

that still seems to echo to the footsteps of
Christopher Columbus.
The Cultural Festival took hold of the city,
gaining in intensity, like swinging jazz music.
Starting quietly, by the end of the week it was
a dazzling event that is bound to go down in
the annals of this charming 'mestizo' capital.
Witness the increasing number of spectators,
and above all their delight, particularly the
younger ones, whose curiosity was visible in
their eyes sparkling with wonder at the sight
of these cultural treasures from distant civili-
sations. Santo Domingo discovered that their
African, Pacific and Caribbean neighbours
had sent the finest of what they had to offer of
their art worlds. News spread quickly by
word of mouth, even for the less popular art
forms, such as contemporary dance. All the
performances were staged in the Fine Art
College's large Manuel Reda Theatre. The
venue was half empty on the first day, full on
day two and after that they were turning peo-
ple away at the door. The same went for all
the other events, even business meetings on
commercial strategies.

> Extolling beauty and elegance

The Festival was host to hundreds of artists,
cultural agents and other experts from 40 or so
ACP countries, dozens of activities, perfor-
mances, exhibitions, film shows, fashion
shows and the grand parade of artists. A
Council of ACP Culture Ministers from three


-- %-. .- ..
-. ,-.

Akiyodans Dance Company.
Contemporary dance, this less popular dance form
is a hit with the crowds.
Photo Hegel Goutier.

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007

Creativity IstACP Cultural Festival

continents with numerous representatives of
partner countries preceded all these activities,
lauding the beauty, elegance and quality of the
performances. Most of the contemporary
dance performances had previously won
awards at leading festivals. These include
Rako (Fiji), the Compagnie Kettly Nol

(Mali), Opiyo Okach (Kenya) and the
Akiyodans Dance Company (Haiti). The
smooth dance style of the quartet of dancers
from the Rako company is lyrical. The light
steps, spaced percussions and gently swaying
hips are an ode to silence and equilibrium,
within ourselves and between us.
Kettly Nol, a dancer of Haitian origin, but
brought up in Mali, transfixed the audience by
her solo, 'Errance', a portrayal of isolation and
madness, scrutinising our inner fears, without
seeking to amuse or shock. In the theatre, you
could hear a pin drop. At the end, there was
suspended silence before a huge burst of
applause erupted.

> Showcase

People living in ACP countries tend not to be
familiar with each other's cultures. The visi-
tors to the exhibitions of visual arts, paintings,
sculptures, photographs, videos and installa-
tions came face to face with showcases, not
only of the cultures of this group of countries,
but also of their histories, societies, political

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front of gigantic pictures of Toussaint
Louverture's historic gesture of freedom.
Together with 'Mein Kampf', this is possibly
the most despised book in the history of publi-
shing, sounding the death knell for man's
The piece by Freddy Tsimba (DRC) was also
deeply moving: his sculptures are cries from
the heart for the women who were raped and
became pregnant in the recent war that rava-
ged his country, but who still found the tender-
ness within to love their children. Bullet car-
tridges and shells are bound together with
lace; the shells for the savagery and the lace,
shedding tears for the gentleness inside the
victims and in everyone. "Initially, I met a
woman who told me about how she came to be
raped. An idea of how to express this harro-
wing experience formed in my mind. I ended
up creating a work about nine women and their
nine months of pregnancy... People speak
about women being raped. When you say
women being raped, this implies the rape of
us, every one of us".
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lstACP Cultural Festival

questions are raised. There are questions, too,
about existence, as in the case of Genevive
Bonieux, from Mauritius, who uses 'The
snake charmer', a sculpture of a woman's
head wreathed in a snake of ropes and nails,
a striking view of the inner torment of a
human being.

> Key asset: music

The ACP's edge to gain a foothold in the mar-
ket for cultural products is first and foremost
through music. Small countries are managing
to gain recognition thanks to the efforts of
their musical communities. Andy Palacio's
triumph has been to draw outside world's
attention to Belize, particularly the Garifuna,
black Amerindians of this country. The young
musicians of Mozambique's 'Nfithe' mana-
ged to whip the Santo Domingo audience into
a frenzy. They and their counterparts from
Zimbabwe, 'Bongo love' are members of the
'Music Crossroads Network', created to
boost the cultural and economic opportunities
for young people from disadvantaged, unsta-
ble backgrounds.
And if there is a symbol of the Festival's suc-
cess, this accolade should no doubt go to the
young Cape Verdean singer, Mayra Andrade.
Barely 22-years old, she is now busy making
her mark on the international music scene
with her first recording 'Navega'. She is
admittedly following in the footsteps of
Cesaria Evora, who is championing her and

has no doubt helped her to understand that
coming from a small country may be a tre-
mendous advantage. "It has been a great help
to me coming from a tiny country, a micros-
copic nation like Cape Verde. I may not have
achieved so much if I had been born in the
United States or the United Kingdom. People
are curious and wonder what is going on over
there. Cape Verde's music is world renowned,
it is its banner, but 15 years ago most people
had hardly heard of the country. Now when I
tell people I'm from Cape Verde I can see it
firing their imaginations."
Mayra Andrade also symbolises the mutual
understanding in Santo Domingo between
creative people, business people and policy-
makers. Without a shadow of a doubt, this
open-minded attitude is another of the
Festival's triumphs. This was shown when we
asked her to imagine having the opportunity
to speak her mind to a fictitious minister. She
didn't pull any punches: "Mr Minister, I
didn't expect to see you here this evening. I
hope you will be good enough to take note of
what the artists represented here in Santo
Domingo have to tell you: at times you tend
to overlook the values and principles that you
yourselves uphold. I can put this in song bet-
ter". And then, looking at us straight in the
eyes, using the table as a percussion instru-
ment, she delighted us with a chant in a mix-
ture of Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole.
The minister found it absolutely enchanting!
H.G. M


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Creativity I stACP Cultural Festival




in sinTO Domin6O

A challenge for ACP countries, the Dominican Republic
and ACP-EU cooperation

In inaugurating on October 13, 2006 the 2nd Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture and
the 1st Cultural Festival of the ACP Group of States, the President of the Dominican
Republic, Lionel Fernandez, put the seal ofsuccess on a long-awaited event. Persistence,
not only on the part of the ACP Secretariat but also from its European Commission part-
ners and the Dominican Republic itself, as well as organizers and artists from three
continents, had paid off.

> It ail began in Dakar in 2003
with the 1 st meeting of fCP ministers of Culture
When ACP Ministers of Culture meeting for the first time in the
Senegalese capital decided to organise the first cultural festival of the
79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and to adopt on June 20,
2003 a plan of action and agreement, they were no doubt unaware of
two things. The first is that this agreement would have such a huge
impact on international groups in the cultural field. They are now vie-
wed as innovative, if not revolutionary, in their role in the creative
and economic development strategy of poor countries. The second is
that the preparation of Ist ACP Festival was to encounter so many
obstacles. Originally, this festival was to have been held in Haiti in
2004 to celebrate the second centenary of the country's indepen-
dence. But political events in the country changed everything. After
repeated postponements, the festival was finally held at another time
and in another place. The one constant in all this was the soil of the
Island of Quiskeya.

> The guiding light: Dakar
Through the many twists and turs, the Dakar Plan of Action and
Agreement paved the way, their international credibility acting as a
guarantee for the festival which was the only the visible part of the
enterprise, together perhaps with the plan for an ACP Cultural
Foundation. The invisible part was the whole body of proposals to
build clear cultural policies in ACP countries and regions to safeguard
and protect cultural heritage. Also part of the plan was to strengthen
cultural cooperation between ACP States and their development part-

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Financing of the lii ACP Cultural Fesitval
Ei.i:I' n =1~iiR iirn -i II II


From the left:
Jos Rafael Lantigua, Dominican Republic Minister of Culture,
Onofre Rojas, EFD National Authorising Officer,
Sir John Kaputin, ACP Secretary General.
Photo Hegel Goutier

ners, and improve the abilities of the ACP States in all these fields
above all in developing cultural industries. The ministers of culture led
the way to what would be a genuinely historic event: the position adop-
ted by the ACP Heads of State in Maputo, Mozambique, on the role of
culture in sustainable development.

> The consolidation: Santo Domingo

The document adopted by the 2nd Meeting ofACP Ministers of Culture
in Santo Domingo amplifies the strategies defined in Dakar. It promo-
tes the development of South-South cooperation, starting with an active
partnership between the ACP and Brazil in the field of cultural pro-
grammes and lends its support to a project to open a 'House of Africa'
in the country. It also develops an approach to lessen the digital divide
in the ACP States as a means of combating illiteracy and promoting an
integration of culture into education to highlight cultural diversity.

> In line with the reforms
in the Dominican Republic

One of the principal players of the Cultural Festival's success in the
Dominican Republic was the National Authorising Officer (NAO) of
the European Development Fund (EDF). This is the representative of
the Dominican Government responsible for managing cooperation with
the European Union. He stressed, as did the other Dominican officials,
the coming together of the interests of the ACP Group of States as a
whole and his own country's national and regional agenda at a time
when it is trying to give impetus to the role of culture in the Caribbean
and Central and South America.
On one hand, the President of the Dominican Republic had just comple-
ted a broad consultation with artists, seeking a programme to develop
the competitiveness of creative industries. On the other, the country is
in the process of implementing constitutional reforms covering the cul-
tural issue, as President Fernandez stressed at the Festival. "In the case

of the Dominican Republic it is a case of transforming third generation
rights, such as cultural rights contained in international agreements and
treaties, so that they can feature in the fundamental rights of the State
Constitution", he said.
The Festival was held at a time when sections of Dominican society are
involved in assessing the very foundations of their society, stressing the
recognition of African heritage.
Minister of Culture, Jos Rafael Lantigua, one of the key figures in
organising the meeting of Ministers of Culture and the ACP Festival in
Santo Domingo, sums up the problem as follows: "The new models to
characterize the Dominican identity, promoted by driven and distingui-
shed researchers, (...) were bor from the moment that the African heri-
tage was assumed as a vital component of our culture. For this reason,
as we celebrate the presence of Africa, alongside with other Caribbean
and Pacific States, represented in this summit of Ministers of Culture,
we also celebrate the cultural richness of which we are the owners and
addressees, and in which the fusion of races and cultures has fulfilled a
vital and unchanging role".
H.G. M

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


Bernard Babb*





Such is the zeal with which cricket is enjoyed that ail else virtually came to a stand-
still in March and April with the hosting of the 2007 International Cricket Council
World Cup in the Caribbean.

ning by govemments, businesses,
media and many others across the
Caribbean's nine host nations. Its
legacy goes beyond the boundary of the few
weeks of wickets taken and runs scored. Say
the word cricket and some immediately think
of a small, chirpy and annoying insect. Not so
in the Caribbean. In this part of the world, the
first thing that comes to mind is a passionate
ball sport bordering on religion.
Just as the Caribbean is known globally for its
breathtaking tropical assets -stunning sun-
sets, turquoise seas and sandy beaches West
Indians are regarded around the world as
some of the best players of the game.
Historically, cricket is an enduring colonial
legacy, passed on from Britain to her former
colonies, and is widely played in the

Caribbean, parts of Africa, Europe, Asia,
Australasia and South America.
Caribbean islands such as Barbados, Jamaica,
Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua hold a fana-
tical enthusiasm for cricket. This love for the
sport was the greatest driver that brought
together several independent islands in the
15-member Caribbean Community (CARI-
COM) in a manner unseen before, rising to
new levels of cooperation to stage the ninth
edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup,
From March 5, preliminary and semifinal
round matches were played in St. Vincent,
Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana,
Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and
Trinidad and Tobago, with the grand final sta-
ged in the newly re-developed Kensington
Oval in Barbados on April 28.

> Regional Cooperation
Leading up to and during the tournament, high
levels of cooperation, which had been lacking
in several areas in the Caribbean, was evident in
new partnerships and alliances, particularly at
govemmental and private sector levels. Apart
from regional govemments pooling US$10 mil-
lion in resources to create a new regional secu-
rity framework, Caribbean territories also effec-
ted a single domestic space, issued a common
CARICOM visa, www.caricom.org, succes-
sfully executed major construction projects and
came together at the business level to provide a
range of services for the global event.
In Parliaments, common pieces of 'sunset'
legislation were passed across the region to
facilitate the staging of the World Cup. All
laws specially formulated under the World

The newly re-developed
Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Photo Philip Spooner.


Ii.i. I.- .. .-i W I J El t.I i.l...
Photo Barnard Babb.

Cup cricket legislation were to expire on May
15. Underpinning the notion of a single dome-
stic space was collaboration among police,
customs and immigration authorities for the
free movement of teams, officials, sponsors,
media and fans attending World Cup events.
This networking among authorities, with assi-
stance from Britain and the USA, fell within the
new security framework for the region and
some territories, including St. Lucia and
Trinidad, for the first time moved to implement
technology for machine-readable passports.
Under the visa programme implemented by
Caribbean governments, nationals and residents
of several countries did not require visas to tra-
vel within the single domestic space.
In preparing to host cricket's global showpiece
tournament, Caribbean governments outlaid
millions of dollars to construct new stadia,
enhance venues and improve infrastructure in
several islands. Some funding also came from
Asian governments, through development assi-
stance. Taiwan contributed US$6 million to
develop the New Wamer Park in St Kitts while
the new 11,000-seater Vivian Richards Stadium
in Antigua, named after a former West Indies
captain, was built with the aid of a US$10 mil-
lion grant from the People's Republic of China.
The Indian government contributed US$20 mil-
lion to the new 17,000-seater Providence sta-
dium in Guyana which also includes housing
facilities in the environs of the stadium.
In Barbados, the Government committed over
Bds$135 million for a number of projects and
the redevelopment of Kensington Oval, a
venue with a rich heritage. Like in other
islands, preparations for the World Cup in
Barbados accelerated the delivery of services
to nationals as well as improved infrastructure
such as airports and highways.

> Catalyst for growth

"We wish to use the ICC Cricket World Cup
2007 as a catalyst for significant and measura-
ble service, tourism, infrastructural, and econo-
mic development in Barbados", the Barbados
Local Organising Committee said in the tende-

ring process. Vancourt Rouse, the Chief of
Operations with the Barbados LOC, said while
benefits were already being seen there was
much more to come as Barbados intended to
use the event to focus on business develop-
ment, community tourism, national sports stra-
tegy, cricket development, and cultural indu-
stries development.
For the 60-day period from March to April
2007, Barbados came alive with craft, music,
visual and performing arts, culinary arts, com-
munity sports, tourism attractions, and vending
of all types, with major emphasis on showca-
sing Barbados and maximising visitor spen-
ding. Rouse said that in deciding Barbados'
strategy during the bid phase, an Economic
Impact Assessment study was done which sho-
wed that financial benefits from ticket revenues
and visitor spending during the event would
amount to Bds$250 million. The benefits that
will accrue in the 10 years after 2007 could
exceed Bds$750 million if there were a 5%
increase in tourism receipts during that period.
While most politicians and interest groups were
supportive of efforts to host a successful World
Cup in the Caribbean, some wamed of discrimi-
nation against nationals and marginalisation of

small business people. In Jamaica, executives
of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC),
www.fantasyisle.com, predicted that the econo-
mic benefits promised from the events by the
government would elude the nation. Past
President, Michael Ammar, projected a US$90
million (JAM$6 billion) debt and said
Goverment was only likely to recoup US$10
million of revenues from the US$100 million
(JAM$6.7 billion) it invested in the event.
Ammar's concers in some way were reflected
earlier by Finance Minister Dr Omar Davies
who said last year that Jamaica was unlikely to
see any financial gains on its CWC investment.
The JCC further accused government of not
being forthright with details of the plans for
CWC 2007, including details on how the finan-
cing of the JAM$6.7 billion investment would
be structured. Said Ammar: "It is going to be a
legacy of debt". a

* Bernard Babb is a Barbados-basedjournalist

N. 1 n.e. JULYAUGUST 2007


The peddlers of miraces
A 52-minute documentary ('Les marchands
de miracles') by the Belgian director
Gilles Remiche homing in on the most
controversial aspects of the revival churches
mushrooming in Congo-Kinshasa: several hun-
dred in the capital alone. No off-screen commen-
taries. Merely pictures and the crude speeches of
self-proclaimed ministers exploiting the frustra-
tions bor of despair. "The word may take you to
Europe!" was the promise made by one of these
supposed prophets, who manage to fill whole stadiums with people lin-
ing up for mass 'cures', while claiming the 'tithe' that enables them to
ride around in limousines and "get a taste of the good life created by the
Gospel". Others claim to exorcise "the spirit of poverty" and appeal for
money before the crowds of people listening in a trance-like state. It just
goes to show to what extent the politicians are under the power of these
spiritual leaders. A vice-president and two presidential advisors can be
seen using their presence to set the seal of approval on a gathering of
these people who have no qualms about exploiting the Gospel for finan-
cial reward. Gilles Remiche also reveals the talents of these crowd-rous-
ing prophets: the amazingly unrestrained promises to cure all manner of
suffering, even over the telephone, or a laying on of hands before the
camera of one of the 11 religious television channels winning over the
masses like rock stars. More importantly, he shows how the phenomenon
can become a scourge when one of these prophets promises that AIDS
and cancers will .iiii. .i.iil.i!. disappear" once the evil spirit has been
exorcised. Or another individual is heard to say, "AIDS is a disease just
like malaria". By contrast, the camera records the bitter disappointment
of an HIV-positive woman when she discovers, during a medical visit,
that the prophet has broken his promise. Some of the prophets were not
pleased. The production company reports that the director did receive
some death threats. Presumably because the skilful editing may have
sowed a healthy seed of scepticism about these practices in the minds of
some of these people. Available on DVD: www.passerelle.be Associate
producers: RTBF and the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the French-
language Community of Belgium. Franois Misser M


L f yo "Joyfui",

Polydor 2006, Universal Music
his is a must-have recording -one of the best to appear in recent
months. Ayo's voice and music, her talent, her originality, her
eclecticism, and her musical maturity combine to make this a real
gem. Ayo was brought up by her Nigerian DJ father to the tones, subtleties
and rhythms of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Pink Floyd and all the many
styles of African, American and European music of the 1960s and 1970s.
Her mother's influence is also in the mix, a gypsy from Slovenia in
Central Europe. The result is a music that defies all classification. Afro-
gipsy, Afro-Tzigane, nu soul, folk-reggae... Yes, there is a touch of all
these but it is first and foremost Ayo.
The sheer sensuality of her voice and music combine with a dramatic
intensity to make a number such as 'Down on My Knees', which is noth-
ing less than a masterpiece, and I don't use the word lightly. Set against a

quasi-reggae background, all the spices and fragrances ofAyo's music and
being can be feit in this song. The impact is uniquely dramatic as her
sweetly nasal, yet velvety soft voice, breathes the raw heartfelt emotion of
a sensitive heart, punctuated by the beat of the bass drum. "Don't leave
me... I'm begging... I love you, I need you, I'm dying, I'm crying... I'm
begging... I love you..." A drum roll against the background of a smooth
gypsy accordion carrying swing music to new heights and keeping it there.
Phew! The other 11 tunes are all different and all just as wonderful. Ayo
(Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin) writes her own songs, arranges them, inter-
prets them on guitar, and records them live. Oh yes, and she's exceeding-
ly beautiful, too! Hegel Goutier M



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