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THE MAGAZINE OF AFRICA CARIBBEAN P,
EIJRIPAN DEVFLOPMEEI UDA
-CT BEP 21:11:17
THE MAGAZINE OF AFRICA CARIBBEAN PACIFIC
& EUROPEAN UNION COOPERATION AND RELATIONS
Sir John Kaputin, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG Development
Director and Editor-in-chief
Franois Misser (Deputy Editor-in-chief),
Aminata Niang, Debra Percival
Editorial Assistant and Production
Contributed in this issue
Marie-Martine Buckens, Sandra Federici,
George Lucky, Joan Ruiz Valero, Tsigue Shiferaw
Public Relations and Artistic coordination
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani
(Public Relations Manager and Responsible for NGOs' and experts' network)
Joan Ruiz Valero
(Responsible for Networking with EU and National Institutions)
Graphic Conception, Layout
Orazio Metello Orsini
View of the church
of St George of Lalibela.
Photo Franois Misser
45, Rue de Trves
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Just a short walk from the
European institutions, in an eth-
nically diverse quarter, the Espace
Senghor has over the years ear-
ned the reputation of a serious cul-
tural centre, offering a balanced
cultural look at development.
The centre promotes artists from
countries in Africa, the Caribbean
and the Pacific and cultural
exchanges between communities,
through a variety of programmes
from performance arts, music,
cinema, to the holding of conferen-
ces. It is a meeting place for
Belgians, immigrants of diverse
origins and European officials.
Centre cultural d'Etterbeek
Chausse de Wavre, 366
1040 Etterbeek (Brussels)
Tel: +32 2 2303140
T H E N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
THE MAGAZINE OF AFRICA CARIBBEAN PACIFIC & EUROPEAN UNION COOPERATION AND RELATIONS
Table of contents
THE COURIER, N. 2 NEW EDITION (N.E.)
EDITORIAL OUR PLANET
When it's just business as usual 3 Bounty from the sun 38
TO THE POINT REPORT
Great Lakes: Aldo Ajello, peacemaker 4 Ethiopia
ROUND UP 8 The millennium building site 40
DOSSIER The EU Ethiopia main development partner 43
opportunities and risks for ACP countries Good news for the railway in the east 45
A threatened resource 10
Forests under close surveillance Combating 'green famine' in 'happy Ethiopia' 40
Forests under close surveillance 13
ACP: a forest mosaic 17 From mythology to the new wave 48
INTERACTION Stars of the track 51
No gambling on the future of ACP 10
Dominican entrepreneurs: Portugal
Small businesses showing imagination 21 Portugal: an eagerness to accommodate 52
European Development Days: Comments about history, culture
maintaining the course of development and geography 54
in the face of climate change 22
Key aim for the Algarve :
DEV DAYS: Will Climate Change Development? 24 decentralisation equals improved development 55
Africa, foreign policy priority Interview with Antnio Pina 50
of the EU Presidency 25
Protecting a natural and living heritage:
Fez: a trace of EU-African union 27 The water dog 57
Turning to desert and sea, CREATIVITY
African migrants 28 Africa in Venice 58
Popular Paintings from Kinshasa 60
Breakthrough in negotiations We liked... The life and the work
on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements 32 of Jean-Claude "Tiga" Garoute:
painter, poet and creator 61
"No plan B", says
EU Commissioner Louis Michel 33 Le people n'aime pas le people 01
Talking about EPAs... 34 We liked... The life and the work of
Sembne Ousmane 62
A day in the life of Ben Arogundade, FOR YOUNGER READERS
a Londoner of Nigerian origin 36 The Cotonou Club against poverty 63
4-L I)r 5
Ir f- l
~Y~F~II IL ~-~
'"* F I ~]
*Ii.;I *;. *`'
hen one of the world's most presti-
gious art galleries -London's Tate
Modern sets aside space for five
artists from the DRC, it's a given. No
one bats an eyelid. Why? Well, it's just business as
usual. The exhibition, 'States of Flux -Cubism,
Futurism and Vorticism' sets out to trace the major
movements that laid the foundations for 20th century
artistic thinking. And as part of that joumey, five of
Congo's most celebrated artists were included, sharing
gallery space with the likes of Braque, Diego Rivera,
Gustav Klimt and Rodchenko. The importance of this
cannot be stressed too highly as it is the end result of
many decades of campaigning by cultural icons such
as Picasso and Braque for the proper recognition of
African artists and their work.
Little Kadogo, 2004.
Acrylic and glitter
on canvas, 205 x 246 cm.
C.A.A.C. -The Pigozzi
Photo: Christian Poite.
But while some may see this as a cause for celebration
and 'about time' recognition, for the curators at the
Tate Modern it is entirely normal that these compar-
isons should take place -in fact it would be remiss of
them, professionally incorrect, NOT to act like this. As
far as they are conceded art is art -where it comes
from is of no real importance. For them it is the cele-
bration of art that is the key. As I said earlier, it is quite
simply, business as usual.
A world away from the banks of London's River
Thames and the glitz of the Tate Modem, business as
usual takes on a whole different meaning. For while the
acceptance of a continent's creativity is being recog-
nised as part of a far greater artistic movement, Africa's
desire for lasting peace is a different -yet much more
vital -search for another kind of business as usual.
Encouragingly, in recent months there are signs that
peace, of a kind at least, can be achieved. More impor-
tantly perhaps is that the peace process in many African
countries is being achieved by Africans themselves.
Often historically the sticking point is the recent abili-
ty and motivation for African leadership to take control
that is giving new impetus and new hope to the peace
process in many countries across the continent.
South Africa is continually approached by the
European Union to act as the main driver for peace-
keeping operations. In Darfur, this has translated into
one of the most important peacekeeping forces, main-
ly comprised of Africans. Already nearly 600 South
African troops and 100 police officers are serving
under the African Union (AU) flag. And this time,
Africa will supply logistical support as well for what
will be a UN-AU hybrid force.
The UN Security Council has also requested that the
AU maintain its presence in Somalia for a further six
months, until the UN is able to deploy its own troops in
the country. Additionally, the AU force in Somalia
needs to be strengthened to undertake additional mis-
sions. These include protecting the transitional govem-
ment and cooperating with other agencies in the devel-
opment of a national security and stabilisation policy.
In Sierra Leone's recent elections, voters paid special
tribute to the AU forces for their proactive role in
ensuring a peaceful and corruption-free process.
Lauded for their exemplary transparency, AU
observers were reported to have no hesitation in taking
action whenever there was the slightest suspicion of
election fraud or vote-rigging. As an example, one of
our colleagues of PanaPress (a Pan-African news
service based in Dakar) reported the comments of one
voter who said, "election observers must not simply
draw up reports, but must also avert conflicts and take
measures to ensure peaceful elections the way the AU
observers do." Praise indeed -and something the AU
forces should be proud of.
It is comments like this that started me thinking. Are
we on the way to seeing peace and democracy in Africa
because of, not in spite of, Africans themselves? To
come back to where we started in the Tate Modem in
faraway London, wouldn't it be wonderful if instead of
art imitating life, in this case life imitated art and we
were just able to get on with it? Peace, regular elec-
tions, real democracy. Now that's business as usual!
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
n the end, the region's leaders had to get used to the straight-talk-
ing ways of this tried and trusted diplomat. Bor in Palermo
(Sicily) in 1936, Aldo Ajello became involved in politics at a very
young age, becoming vice president of Italy's national association
of students while at the same time pursuing a career as a journalist with
the socialist paper Avanti and at the Inter Press Service agency. A mem-
ber of the Socialist Party's central committee, and in tum a senator,
Member of European Parliament and Member of the Italian Parliament,
he was appointed UN Under-Secretary-General in 1992. He came to
public attention most notably as the head of the UN peacekeeping mis-
sion in Mozambique.
Franois Misser: Did your Sicilian origins facilitate your career as a
Aldo Ajello: There is a quite strong humanist current in Sicily. The
island lies at the centre of the Mediterranean. Everybody has passed
through there: the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and
so on. They all left their mark. Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel The
Cheetah speaks of this. I know exactly what he means. It gives you a
mental openness that other regions of Italy do not have and above all a
better understanding of the world south of the Mediterranean. My expe-
rience among Sicily's peasants taught me that their reactions and ways
of thinking were not so different to those you find in Africa.
FM: Especially in Mozambique...
AA: That was the great adventure of my life! I was so lucky to experi-
ence it. I took enormous risks and everything I tried succeeded, thanks
to the then Secretary-General (Boutros Ghali) who gave me carte
blanche. At first I had problems with the bureaucracy, receiving instruc-
tions that made no sense at all. My job was to implement the peace
agreement reached between the government and the rebels and to cor-
rect the imbalance that disadvantaged the latter, as it risked causing the
whole operation to fail. The risk was that people who had signed the
peace agreement would think they had been tricked and start fighting
again. Hence the need to give enough to the Renamo (Mozambique
National Resistance) rebels for them to have something to lose by
resuming the war. It wasn't easy because we had to explain to the gov-
emment that by isolating Renamo every time it acted against the peace
agreement, in response to this imbalance, it risked derailing the process.
1 therefore sought to understand why the rebels were violating the
agreement and to remove the reasons for these violations. We disarmed
90,000 people in less than four months. In the Congo, on the other hand,
with the World Bank, we still have a long way to go.
AA: In Mozambique the UN was in complete charge of the operation
and acted with total neutrality. We set up assembly centres where those
who wanted to be demobilised were separated out from those who
wanted to join the army. We managed these centres directly and it
quickly brought results. But in Congo the World Bank has applied the
principles of development aid to the demobilisation of troops, entrust-
ing the government with the power to make the decisions. The result is
that we have created a huge bureaucratic machine. In reality the deci-
sion making was entrusted to people who had no interest in achieving
progress -a monumental mistake!
The Bank in fact had no idea how to operate. First of all it took charge
of the management of the operation involving the disarming, demobil-
isation and reintegration. It then discovered that its own rules prohibit-
ed it from being involved in disarmament. So the Bank only took charge
o the point
of these people once that stage was completed. That created a bottle-
neck right from the beginning because until disarmament was complete
you could not get on with the rest of the work. The other problem was
counting the enlisted solders. The armed forces had no interest in doing
this as there were all these 'phantom' soldiers -a whole imaginary
world of men who had been killed or never even born -being paid a
wage that the officers wanted to put into their pockets.
FM: How would you assess the results of the 11 years spent as special
envoy to the Great Lakes region?
AA: At first I had big problems due to the fact that as EU Special Envoy
I should have been representing a common position. But there wasn't
one. The positions were varied and often completely contradictory
especially on Rwanda, but also on Burundi. There were serious prob-
lems because it is not easy selling a product that does not exist. So I had
to invent a common policy myself, taking into account the sensitivities
of each of the parties. And this invention gradually became the effective
common policy in the region.
FM: How do you see Congo's future?
AA: That depends on a lot of things. It is a rich country. The potential
is there. For the first time we have a democratically elected govem-
ment, but that does not mean anything because there is more to democ-
racy than elections alone. You need education in democracy. That must
be done with the careful flexibility and sensitivity so as not to offend
and also to give everyone the feeling that the country enjoys full sover-
eignty. It is a country that has been under supervision for too long and
that now has to learn to govern itself democratically. That is not easy.
But if we decide to seriously set about helping then there are good
prospects for success. And success in stabilising the Congo means sta-
ability for central Africa. To do that, the first priority is to reform the
security sector, without which you cannot have development or any-
thing else either. The army is poorly paid. It is neither equipped nor fed.
It has no discipline. Above all it has officers without any military train-
ing whose main aim is to fill their pockets having eamed their stripes
in the corridors of the presidential palace rather than on the battlefield.
So all that must be cleaned up.
We have done a lot with the EUSEC (European security mission in the
DRC, editor's note). Firstly, by sorting out the payment chain that was
in fact the same as the chain of command. Payroll funds were trans-
ferred from the Central Bank to the Chief of General Staff who dipped
into it before passing it on to the Navy, Air Force and Army Chiefs of
Staff. By the time the money arrived at the brigades, there was nothing
left to pay out. We completely disconnected the pay chain from the
command chain. The Central Bank now sends money to the administra-
tion office that transfers it directly to the brigades. We have placed two
European advisers with each integrated brigade to ensure that the sys-
tem operates effectively.
Today the soldiers receive their wages in full. Now we are making an
inventory of the Congolese Army and we will then draw up a model for
the new army.
FM: What was the finest moment in your career?
AA: Election day in Mozambique (in 1992, editor's note), when we
managed to convince Mr Dhlakama to take part (Renamo leader, edi-
tor's note) after he had declared the previous day he would not be par-
ticipating because he had discovered that there was some trickery afoot.
FM: And the worst?
AA: That was two days before... l
"To do that, the first priority is to reform the security sector,
without which you cannot have development
or anything else either The army is poorly paid.
It is neither equipped nor fed. It has no discipline."
Transport conditions of soldiers in Kivu, DRC.
substantive resolution", to
quote Joint Parliamentary
Assembly (JPA) co-
# President, Glenys Kinnock
on Darfur was the outcome of intense debate
at the Wiesbaden ACP-EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly at the end of June,
with backing for the, "...swift deployment
possible deployment" of the African
Union/United Nations hybrid force. The
20,000-strong force is expected to be in place
by spring 2008 to avert further conflict.
The JPA resolution also calls on Sudan to
disarm the militia, including the Janjaweed,
and to stop the bombing of Darfur and for the
"fullest cooperation" between the Central
African Republic, Chad and the Government
of Sudan for the sake of regional security.
Third countries are requested to cease
exports on arms to the region. During debate,
Commissioner Louis Michel called for a
"road map" on strategic steps to be taken by
the international community for peace in the
region. The JPA resolution calls on the
Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Movement to
help unify rebel groups and for the
Govemment of Sudan to take up negotiations
with all rebel groups. The role of China is
highlighted in setting up the force and is
asked to use its influence in helping the
Sudanese government to bring rebel groups
to the table. Sudanese Parliamentarian, Atem
Garang, welcomed "the positive spirit of
debate and the way the resolution has been
negotiated." If the international community
had given the same support to the country
three or four years ago that it is now giving,
the conflict would not have happened, he
added. The resolution recognizes that the
root causes of the conflict were underdevel-
opment and people's economic and political
> EU high-leuel salute
for hybrid force
Javier Solana, the EU's High Representative
for Common Foreign and Security Policy
(CFSP) stated on August 1: "I call on all par-
ties to work for a swift transition from the
African Union (AU) mission in Sudan
(AMIS) to the hybrid mission."
This is in the wake of the adoption of the
United Nations Security Council resolution
1769 on the deployment of a AU/UN hybrid
force for the region.
"The EU stands ready to step up its support
to this end," added Solana, who gave his
backing to peace talks to bring about a polit-
ical settlement for a "sustainable solution."
's..' meda o avsI.
76 x 11s m
OUER ZI m BA BWE
With no Zimbabwean Parlia-
mentarian at the Wiesbaden
JPA, there was debate on the
country but no resolution.
JPA co-President, Glenys Kinnock, said that
no visa application had been made by any
Zimbabwean Parliamentarian. Four had been
expected in Wiesbaden including three from
the ruling Zanu-PF as well as Nelson Chamisa
from the opposition MDC Party who was vio-
lently attacked on his way to a Brussels meet-
ing in March 2007.
Many felt that even debate was a step too far
without any Zimbabwean to respond.
Malawi's Ibrahim Matola was against the
Assembly basing discussion on "media
reports" whereas Boyce Sebatala (Botswana)
said the opposition MDC was split and that
"...they had their own gangs and not all vio-
lence was carried out by the Zanu-PF."
Atem Garang (Sudan) said he regretted that
the UK had a hand to play in Zimbabwe's
problems. Democratic Republic of Congo
Parliamentar-ian, Lola Kisanga, said that the
situation in Zimbabwe concerned the whole of
Africa and appealed for a peaceful, lasting
solution. Louis Straker of St. Vincent and the
Grenadines suggested it was convenient for
Zimbabwe to absence themselves from the
Nita Deerpalsing (Mauritius) spoke out
against a Zimbabwean regime that "... was
unable to bring solace to a suffering popula-
tion." Many European Parliamentarians cited
facts and figures about the impoverishment of
Zimbabawe. Rolf Berend of the European
People's Party (Germany) said prices were
going up hourly. Unemployment was 80%, he
said, and a third of the population on food aid.
"If we want to avoid a dissent into chaos we
must act," he added. JPA co-President, Ren
Radembino-Coniquet (Gabon) called once
again for the Zimbabwean government to
accept a JPA fact-finding mission, a request
previously turned down. Where ACP
Parliamentarians and MEPs did find common
ground was in voicing their support for the
diplomatic initiatives towards Zimbabwe of
South African President, Thabo Mbeki. M
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
his is the title of a timely eight-page research paper by Jonathan Holslag,
research fellow at the Brussels Institute for Contemporary China Studies
(BICCS). Released on 1 August, it puts under the microscope China's role
in negotiating a political deal between the Sudanese government and various other
players leading the dispatch of a 20,000 hybrid UN/AU force.
"Darfur was the first case in which Beijing could no longer stand aloof when it came
to pressing a government to allow foreign troops on its soil," reads the paper. It
adds: "With a Chinese belt of energy interests stretching from Libya to Ethiopia, all
around Western Sudan, regional stability became of vital importance to China's
The paper examines the pluses of China's role so far; soft power and economic sup-
port to Sudan and clear pragmatic talks, and minuses; "a state-centric" approach
that fails to consider other important actors in Darfur and continues to supply arms
to the region. M
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of the European
S south African Jouralist, Tanya Farber,
was the top African winner of 2006
for the Lorenzo Natali Prize, awarded
annually for human rights and
democracy reporting in the printed and online
press. The award is in memory of the former
European Commissioner for Development
who was committed to these values.
'The Bulb of Life', recounts the story of
Duma Kumalo who spent seven years on
death row falsely accused of murder in South
Africa. He received a stay of execution and
was released at the end of apartheid, but died
in February 2006 leaving his widow still
struggling to clear his name posthumously.
"Apartheid may have ended but there is still
major fall out," Ms Farber told a press con-
ference for the Brussels ceremony in May.
Prizes of 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 go
respectively to three winners in five regions:
Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin
America and the Caribbean; and the Arab
World, Iran and Israel.
The overall winner for 2006 was HongKong-
based Leu Siew Ying for an article on village
protests in rural China, published in the
South China Post.
In the African region, Robert Mugagga took
second prize for 'Why it's dangerous being
born in Uganda' for the The Weekly
Observer, about preventable mother-to-child
HIV infection in Uganda. George Lucky of
Nigeria's BusinessDay, won third prize for
his five-day series of articles on a five-day
trek across West African nations about ille-
gal immigrants seeking a gateway to Europe.
"Without the freedom of the
press, there can be no lasting
development," stated EU
Commissioner, Louis Michel,
at the prize giving. This
year's jury, chaired by CNN
television anchor, Femi Oke,
also included members of
Reporters sans Frontires
and Amnesty International.
Submissions for 2007 must
have been published between
i 1 September 2006 and 31
December 2007 and be
received by 31 January 2008.
For more information and a
full list of 2006 winners see:
Ihosvanny, Urban Sox, 2007.
Video artwork, 4 screens,
Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African
collection of contemporary art.
Big artists are big people, 1987.
Ink and wax on paper 31 x 22 cm.
Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection
of contemporary art.
f code of conduct
to auoid a duplication
of European aid
R ather than stepping on people's toes, start cooperating and make the most of added
values. Such is the European Commission's ambition in seeking to boost the effecti-
veness of EU aid to developing countries by avoiding counterproductive duplication.
The voluntary code of conduct it proposed on 28 February aims to act on this ambi-
tion by providing the Member States and Commission with a set of guiding principles to ensure
that their actions are complementary and provide a fair coverage of countries in need of aid. This
is to avoid some countries being the 'aid favourites', while other needy candidates are neglec-
ted. Based on the goal of a better division of tasks, the code of conduct will guarantee increased
complementarity of interventions within a single beneficiary country; the limiting of interven-
tion by each donor country in any one partner country to two priority sectors, and finally the pos-
sibility for one European donor country to delegate to another the implementation of its aid pro-
gramme in a specific field.
"There are too many donors active in the same country, in the same sectors. These overlaps gen-
erate unnecessary administrative expenditure," said European Development Commissioner
Louis Michel. "It is not normal for one finance minister in a developing country to receive an
average of 200 missions from donors a year and, in Kenya, for 20 donors to purchase medicines
through 13 procurement bodies". The code of conduct was approved by Europe's development
ministers on 15 May in Brussels. a
fCP bananas producers not to be
pushed ouer edge, says mEP
Renewed challenge by Ecuador in the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) over
the European Union's (EU) 176 per tonne
import duty on bananas from Latin America -
challenging the duty-free entry of ACP expor-
ters has met stiff opposition in ACP circles.
Under the Cotonou Agreement, set quotas of
bananas from ACP nations enter the EU market
duty-free. Under free trade plans, these quotas
will be abolished from 1 January 2008 allowing
ail ACP banana exporters quota and duty-free
access to the EU market.
"They (ACPs) are small players that pose no
threat to a country that dominates the world
and European markets.
The EU must fight on in the WTO to ensure
that small, vulnerable banana producers are
not pushed over the edge," said co-President
of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly,
Glenys Kinnock, at the June JPA meeting in
A joint statement from three ACP banana export
bodies CBEA, OCAB and ASSOBACAM* said
of the Ecuador move: "The objective is to elmi-
nate the production of ACP countries, which
however represent only 19% of the
European market, whereas exports of
Latin American countries amount to
68% of the EU market." a
*Caribbean Banana Exporters
Cameroon Bananas Growers'
Central Organisation for Pineapple
and Banana Producers-Exporters of
Cte d'Ivoire (OCAB)
I I .
Tropical forests Dossier
> DRC: a progressive lifting
of obstacles to forest access
However, vast areas of forest have been pre-
served. In DRC, the chaotic economy under
the Mobutu regime and two wars, in
1996-1997 and 1998-2003, impeded
exploitation of the Congolese rainforest (110
million hectares), which represents more
than half of central Africa's forest cover. The
congestion of the port of Matadi and, until
August 2006, the absence of any marker
buoys on the Congo River and its tributaries
also helped protect this resource. Its rate of
destruction has remained low at 0.26% a
year, compared with 0.35% for central
Africa as a whole. But the country's reunifi-
cation and the return of peace are bringing a
progressive lifting of these constraints and
facilitating easier access to forest zones.
> Bad governance
In this huge country, marked by a long histo-
ry of bad governance, the danger today is
that we will see a repeat of what happened in
Cameroon and Gabon, where in 2002 the
World Wildlife Fund estimated that between
50% and 70% of the timber was logged ille-
gally. In 2000, a French company was also
forced to remove its equipment from the
Lop Nature Reserve in Gabon which it had
entered illegally, while in Congo-Brazzaville
the government had to crackdown on a
Franco-Chinese firm that was engaging in
"anarchic exploitation" of the forest
resources without respecting tree felling
Already 90% of the forests of Lower Congo,
close to the Atlantic, have been exploited,
regrets Cosme Wilungula, director of the
Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation
(ICCN). "We are witnessing, episodes of
drought never before experienced in this
province," he told The Courier, "in particu-
lar a notable fall in water levels in all the
> Slash-and-burn farming;
trafficking in wood fuel,
gold washing and 'necrofuels'
In the DRC, the threats are growing: slash-
and-burn farming, poaching, tree felling to
produce makala (fuel wood) and invasion of
the Kahuzi-Bihega National Park (South
Kivu) by gold prospectors: the latter also
observed in the French Overseas Department
In the meantime, potentially new threats are
appearing on the scene: deforestation caused
by the need to free areas for extensive breed-
ing or to grow biofuels ('necrofuels', grum-
ble some ecologists) in South America and
Borneo, which have been condemned by
European MP Dan Jorgensen.
Last February in Brussels at the internation-
al conference on the forests of Congo, co-
organised by the Belgian Government, the
president of the National League of
Congolese Pygmies (LINAPYCO), Kapupu
Diwa, condemned the unfair distribution of
concessions in Ituri by tribal chiefs. He also
protested the continuing illegal logging and
trafficking in undressed timber bound for
Uganda on the part of local warlords.
Illegal felling of trees threatens the sanctuary of the
Bonobos, whose habitat is confined to a small area
of just one country, the DRC.
> DRC: ensuring the ban on
granting new concessions
The World Bank recognizes the risk of
growth in illegal logging. The Kinshasa gov-
ernment introduced a ban on granting any
further concessions in 2002, confirmed by a
presidential decree in 2005 and the adoption
of a forest code. "A gesture of strong gover-
nance", remarks the World Bank forests
expert, Laurent Debroux. What is more, in
May 2002 the Congolese Government can-
celled the 25 million hectares of illegally
allocated concessions. But the Congolese
authorities are finding it difficult to enforce their
decisions and the ban has been violated. Of the
156 concessions covering 22 million hectares,
107 were awarded after the ban, mainly to com-
-JrF fl rrw*P-.i.+te. 4-9
Dossier Tropical forests
panies with Portuguese or German capital.
According to the British Department for
International Development (DFID), conces-
sions were awarded following 'arrangements'
reached with a number of members of the
Congo's political elite during the time of the
transitional government (2003-2007). One
company owned by a Lebanese businessman
is accused of illegal tree felling close to the
Bonobo monkey sanctuary in Bandundu
Province and felling afromisia trees in the
forests around Kisangani. The latter is a
species listed in appendix II of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES). To combat this situation, agents
from the waters and forests departments
charged with ensuring that the ban is respect-
ed have limited means at their disposal and are
paid pitiful wages. In Bikoro (Bandundu) they
do not even have transportation.
> Legal review of concessions:
the risk of a whitewash
Currently, the World Bank supports maintain-
ing the ban while ultimately trying to relaunch
forestry activity following a legal review of the
validity of 156 contracts -contracts that must
be either converted into legal concessions or
cancelled. But the environmental NGO
Greenpeace fears that the review will in prac-
tice simply amount to validating permits
acquired illegally and thus will be no more than
a 'whitewashing' exercise. Greenpeace has also
expressed fears about the amount of the finan-
cial rewards for Congo, following a reform of
the tax system for forestry companies and
improvements to contracts where some of this
revenue is going to the provinces and commu-
nity development projects. These fears are
based on the fact that during the past three years
the money that should have gone to the com-
munities has "evaporated," says Greenpeace.
According to the Congolese Finance Ministry,
45% of taxes due in 2005 have not been paid.
The compensation paid by the companies to the
local communities has also been minimal. For
example, Sodefor offered two bags of salt, 18
bars of soap, four bags of coffee, 24 bottles of
beer and two bags of sugar in exchange for
access to a vast concession!
> Conflicts with the local
Beneath the high canopy of the trees and in
the clearings of the vast tropical forest, con-
flicts simmer and often boil over. In 2006,
the ITB logging company was accused by
villagers of Ibenga of granting them derisory
compensation after having used a bulldozer
to destroy their manioc and cocoa plantations
to open up access.
Local populations also complain of being
neglected when drawing up forest policy. The
president of the National League of
Congolese Pygmies welcomes the desire for
dialogue on the part of the Environment
Minister but regrets what he regards as a lack
of consideration on the part of other min-
istries. In the case of the Congo, conserving
these precious ecosystems is a difficult chal-
lenge. At times the perfectly understandable
cries of alarm from some environmental
campaigners could induce defeatism or resig-
nation. But much still remains to be saved.
In Central Africa, in Guyana, in the man-
groves of the Caribbean, in Papua and else-
1 Les forts du bassin du Congo : Etat des forts 2006,
report co-financed by the Central Africa Forest
Commission, France, the European Commission and US
2 Burundi : Des lacs qui rtrcissent et des forts
dcimes, IRIN, 7 June 2007, www.irinews.org
Tropical forests Dossier
S ince the Rio Summit in 1992, the
protection of forests -and tropical
forests in particular as been a
major environmental priority for the
industrialized countries. This was confirmed at
the last G8 summit in Germany which saw the
adoption of the Carbon Forest Initiative that
awards carbon credits to developing countries
as a means of combating global warming.
For the first time, the Rio meeting sought to
link economic development and environmen-
tal protection. A tough exercise, but one that
nevertheless resulted in the adoption of three
international agreements: on climate, biodi-
versity and desertification. Unfortunately, at
that same Rio meeting, the 100 or so heads of
state did not succeed in agreeing on a binding
text to ensure a sustainable exploitation of
forests. They simply adopted a set of
'Principles regarding forests' principles that
have been eroded progressively at each subse-
quent conference. A lot is at stake over the for-
est issue. Forests are much coveted: by loggers
who turn them into construction timber or
pulp; by industrialists who destroy them to
make way for other high-yielding species; by
scientists who want to save these gems of bio-
diversity from human action and most recent-
ly by the Kyoto Protocol signatory countries
ready to trade in their good deeds as carbon
pools to meet their climatic obligations. Now,.
however, having been forgotten or overlooked
at these international conferences, forest peo-
ples are now making their voices heard.
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Dossier Tropical forests
> multiple initiatives
The European Union has implemented and is
continuing to implement several policies to try
and respond to these challenges. Alongside its
active participation in international forums, it
was a leading partner in the famous pilot pro-
gramme launched at the time by the G7 (the
PPG7) for a sustainable management of the
Amazon Forest in Brazil. This programme is
.iii!ciii. dormant due to a lack of political
will. Internally, it has put into place and there
are many programmes dealing directly or indi-
rectly with the problem of deforestation. These
include the 'tropical forests' credit line,
launched in 1990 at the European Parliament's
initiative, which serves to finance projects
ranging from sustainable development to con-
servation, research and the involvement of
local populations. Two years later, following
the Earth Summit, the European Union
launched an ambitious regional programme to
conserve tropical forests, known as ECOFAC,
which currently concentrates on designating
protected areas in seven countries of the
Congo Basin. Under pressure from govern-
ment ecological organizations, it has also
decided to tackle the persistent problem of
illegal timber imports into the EU. In May
2003, the Commission adopted its action plan
for Forest Law Enforcement, Govemance and
Trade (FLEGT). Finally, forests are increas-
ingly included in international climate negoti-
ations, as demonstrated by the Carbon Forest
Initiative adopted by the G8 and to be imple-
mented by the World Bank in cooperation with
international institutions, including the EU.
> Good governance
and sustainable timber
In terms of value, the EU is the world's
biggest importer of African sawlogs and
round wood and the second largest market for
Asian sawlogs, while Africa and Asia are both
regions where illegal logging and the related
trade are common practice. European NGOs
estimate that more than 50% of EU tropical
wood imports and more than 20% of its bore-
al wood imports are of illegal origin. As a
major timber consumer, the EU can play a
major role in combating illegal logging and
the related trade. This is not a new issue and
there have been many initiatives to certify
'sustainable' origin over the past decade, the
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) being
Europe's best known label. But to date the EU
has preferred not to adopt a position in the
face of the variety of different labels. In 2003,
following pressure from environmental and
social NGOs, it opted for a voluntary system
based on the partnership agreements conclud-
ed with importing countries. The FLEGT was
thus bom. Above all, this makes it possible to
avoid a total ban on tropical wood which
some NGOs are demanding as a last resort.
"As a major timber
consumer, the EU can play
a major role in combating
The Voluntary Partnership Agreements
(VPAs) are based on a series of undertakings,
ranging from support for governance in the
producing countries to the introduction of a
licence system that implies first setting up a
reliable administrative and technical structure
to enable the timber to be traced back to the
ports and ensure it was produced in a 'sustain-
able' manner. For many producing countries
this presents a considerable challenge. This is
why the EU plans to help these countries to
respect their undertakings by including tech-
nical and financial assistance in the partner-
Tropical forests Dossier
> Suppressing war timber
"The challenge", believes Iola Leal Riesco, of
the European Forests Network FERN, "is to
strike at the roots of illegal logging: corrup-
tion, lack of transparency, bad policy or exces-
sive influence of the forestry industry both in
the processes and in drawing up the laws.
Taking action against local communities or
operators in the field will simply increase con-
flict and poverty. Also, the first step in the
FLEGT process is to implement genuine polit-
ical dialogue with the aim of introducing polit-
ical reforms and strengthening the rights of
local populations". The FERN official stresses
that illegal logging is particularly difficult to
combat as it can be an inherent part of a coun-
try's economy, supporting political parties, the
police and communities. She also believes that
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
where 70% of the population (35 million peo-
ple) depend on the forest, logging helped to
finance the civil war that killed 3.5 million
people. Finally, she points to the sanctions
imposed at the time by the UN Security
Council on exports of timber from Liberia:
timber sold to finance the civil war that was
raging in the country.
is particularly difficult
to combat as it can be
an inherent part
of a country's economy"
For now, the EU has initiated negotiations
with Malaysia and Indonesia in Asia and with
Ghana and Cameroon in Africa. Consultations
are also planned with Congo-Brazzaville and
Gabon. In 2004, around 17 million were
allocated to support pilot projects aimed at
ensuring an independent verification of log-
ging activities. In 2006 a technical assistance
programme worth 15 million was set up in
The EU participates in the financing of 'eco-rangers',
charged with guarding protected areas.
SWildlife Direct EU / Filippo Saracco
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
> 8 network of protected areas
On 31 January 2006, the European
Commission gave the green light to include
the DRC on the list of countries in the Congo
Basin benefiting from the ECOFAC (Forest
Ecosystems in Central Africa) programme.
This is a long awaited decision as, despite
having the largest forest cover in the Congo
Basin, the DRC's political difficulties had
prevented it from benefiting from the pro-
gramme. The decision was accompanied by a
further financial allocation of 38 million
devoted to phase four of the programme.
Another innovation is the declared link
between efforts for forest conservation and
development and the fight against poverty.
The aim is to guarantee the forest populations
their means of subsistence while also avoid-
ing poaching made easier by the creation of
roads by the loggers.
ECOFAC now covers protected areas in
seven central African countries: Cameroon,
Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville,
Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and
Principe and the DRC.
With the return of the latter country, which
represents half of the region's wooded area,
the programme covers 180,000 km2 of tropi-
cal forest and savannah ecosystems in a
region that is home to the world's second
largest tropical forest system, surpassed only
by the Amazon Forest. But ECOFAC IV also
awards more attention to the peoples who
inhabit these forests.
The European Commission recognizes that
conservation of these forests is critical for the
development of 65 million people. The needs
of local populations, who are extremely
dependent on forest resources, are now a
major component of a programme that has
invested a great deal in the search for the
strategies and means able to reconcile human
development and conservation with comple-
mentary projects in rural development and
The programme was first launched in 1992 in
the wake of the International Convention on
Biodiversity. Its aim is to contribute to the
conservation and rational use of the forest
ecosystems and biodiversity of central
One of the programme's principal strengths is
its regional approach as reflected in imple-
mentation of the Central Africa Network of
Protected Areas (RAPAC) which seeks to
transfer the ECOFAC experience to other
protected areas in the sub-region. In all, more
than 70 million were allocated during the
first three phases out of the 6th, 7th and 8th
EDF. ECOFAC IV represents the EU's
biggest contribution to implementation of the
Convergence Plan drawn up by the Comifac
(Central Africa Forests Commission) coun-
tries and support for the Congo Basin Forest
Partnership (CBFP), born of the agreement
between donors and NGOs at the World
Summit for Sustainable Development in
Johannesburg in 2002.
Also, this new phase foresees a participation
in the action plan on implementation of
Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and
Trade, the FLEGT programme (see separate
Dossier Tropical forests
> Climatic ambitions
"As a result of controls on the exploitation of
our forests, our country has suffered a loss of
earnings in the region of US$1.5 billion",
declared the Congolese Environment
Minister Didace Pembe Bokiaga on 28
February at the international conference on
the sustainable management of the DRC's
forests, held in Brussels.
This is a sum that the Kinshasa government
certainly plans to put into negotiations in
connection with the Convention on Climate
Change. The underlying idea is that the envi-
ronmental services provided by the world's
tropical forests, notably due to non-defor-
estation, have a price.
It is a price that developed countries must
pay as they bear most of the responsibility
for global warming. How?
Through the market mechanisms foreseen in
the Kyoto Protocol.
One of these, the CDM (Clean Development
Mechanism) allows developed countries to
earn emission credits by investing in sustain-
able projects in developing countries. But as
yet only reforestation projects (mostly plan-
tations) are recognized in the protocol.
The minister continued: "Another system
that we are ,iiIci.i. exploring consists of
conservation concessions enabling people,
companies and governments around the
world to draw up contracts with the DRC and
local populations to hire the forests and have
the right not to exploit them so that they can
be managed as protected areas while local
populations and the government can draw
concrete benefits from them".
> f "Carbon Facility"
for the forests
The request has been granted, at least in part.
Last June the world's eight most industri-
alised countries met in Germany where they
approved a series of initiatives proposed by
the World Bank to reduce the impact of
greenhouse gases on climate.
They include the creation of a 'carbon forest'
partnership designed to avoid deforestation,
which experts believe is responsible for 20%
of greenhouse gas emissions.
This partnership consists of a series of pilot
projects implemented initially in a number of
key countries such as the DRC, Brazil and
Indonesia. Minister Pembe believes that the
DRC could receive around US$6 billion a
year, a considerable sum when one considers
that the country's total budget is unlikely to
exceed US$2 billion in 2007.
However, these projects will not be included
in the market mechanisms (including the
CO0 exchange) provided for in the Kyoto
Protocol until 2012 and the start of the pro-
tocol's second phase where the greatest
uncertainty remains. Forests saved by carbon
markets? Some experts doubt it. Jutta Kill of
the FERN ecological research organisation
believes that this instrument that "depends
on financing by industrialized countries to
operate could be a failure to the extent that it
does not tackle the real causes of deforesta-
tion but, on the contrary, risks increasing the
conflict to the extent that the benefits will
not go to the local communities". M
Amanvi, Blobo Bian, l'amant de l'au-del.
Tropical forests Dossier
ICP: fl FOREST
The ACP forests are many
and varied: from the wood-
ed savannahs to the tropi-
cal rainforests of central
Africa, Suriname and
Papua New Guinea to the
Then there are the billions
of trees burned down, made
into furniture or serving as
war timber leaving a lunar-
like landscape in their
wake, as in countries like
Haiti. But where it is pres-
ent, for the majority of ACP
countries the forest contin-
ues to represent an asset of
major importance. For the
inhabitants, a vast majority
of who continue in many
countries to be dependent
on forest products, perpetu-
ate what is known as a
'subsistence' economy. But
also the national authori-
ties, attracted by the profits
they can make from the
industrial exploitation of
their forestry resources and,
more recently, the climatic
exploitation of carbon
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
> The ffrican "baobab"
r ~ i '~ r ~ ,. ~
Of the three ACP regions, it is Africa that has
the lion's share of forest resources. According
to the latest estimates issued by the UN Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2005 fig-, a .
ures), forests cover 26% of the African conti-
nent, or around 627 million hectares. The
regional variations are considerable. With 278
million hectares, central and West Africa tops
the list (45% of the surface area), due not least
to the Congo Basin that has the world's second
largest tropical forest cover. South-East Africa
has 226 million hectares or 27% forest cover,
followed by the countries of the Sahel with
123 million hectares, representing just 8% of
the surface area. Most of the EU's actions for -
conservation and sustainable management are
concentrated in the Congo Basin (see main "S'
I I I I I I
I i g g g Il
Dossier Tropical forests
> The Caribbean mosaic
With just 3.8% forest cover, Haiti is an
extreme case. In the other Caribbean coun-
tries, the situation varies considerably.
There is Suriname and Guyana, admittedly
linked to the Amazonian Forest, where despite
the growing presence of unscrupulous loggers
the forest cover remains close to 94% in the
former case and 76% in the latter.
Then there is Belize in Central America where
the European Commission financed a project
for the sustainable management of the forests
which still cover 72% of the territory.
The ACP and Caribbean islands have 6 million
hectares of forests, representing 26% of their
total surface area.
> Increasingly less
Of all the Pacific ACP countries, Papua New
Guinea has the largest forest mass (29.5 mil-
lion hectares, or 65% of the surface area).
I m' Im l
i heli sl of' Dom' nicI i ri 'h In 'ItIa
l -ut .0d I. he ro'1 tai-
que .e of Il'ra and n are e'e..!e
e-bl .sset in .l eI .t e.oi e- desti
. the e e s re.i[t]ils i- he.
* 1 A.t eilles.- e e a
d e ..-d lagl entemngmn n
But it is a forest mass that has been under
threat for the past decade due to the presence
of loggers who often operate illegally. The EC
recently financed a training development pro-
gramme in this country (IRECDP programme)
to enable local communities to benefit from
their forest resources.
The situation is scarcely any better on the
Solomon Islands (2.2 million hectares of
forests covering 78% of the islands) where the
EU supported a project advocating an alterna-
tive use of forests to counter destructive tree
felling practices that result in a serious deteri-
oration of the forests, environmental damage
and social problems. Finally, there are the
islands of Fiji and Vanuatu with a 55% and
36% forest cover, respectively.
on small Pacific Islands
For many small and developing island states of the Pacific the planting of trees outside
forests, when combined with traditional agriforestry practices and the associated tradi-
tional knowledge, offers a remedy for deforestation. This can also help conserve biodiversity
and sustainable development. In December 2001 a regional seminar on trees outside forests
was held in Nadi (Fiji). This sought to give high priority to actions supporting the protection
and planting of trees outside forests. Participants looked at the national records of Papua New
Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands, Kiribati and
Palau. Technically, trees outside forests include woods covering less than 0.5 hectares, tree
cover on agricultural land, trees in an urban environment, trees alongside roads and water-
ways, as well as trees on common land, including in villages and farms. They include a variety
of species, such as: breadfruit, paper mulberry, gardenia, casuarina, thuya orentalis, pine,
cashew nut, sandalwood, coconut palm and mangroves.
International Forestry Review (RU), 2002, vol. 4 (4), special issue, p. 268-276. CTA (Technical
Centre for Agricultural and Rural cooperation ACP-EU www.cta.int) a
e future of HCP
Debate on Darfur and Zimbabwe was heated. Topical discussion on EU-ACP free trade
agreements, migration, the management of natural resources and poverty reduction
for small farmers at the 13th session of ACP-EU joint Assembly (JPA) was animated.
The excited talk belied the calm venue, the Kurhaus casino, in the German spa town
of Wiesbaden, Hessen, 23-28 lune.
A sense of purpose hung over the gathering. Co-President
Glenys Kinnock related sobering statistics on global ine-
qualities in her opening speech. The mapping of the
human genome is possible, she said, yet half a million
women die due to pregnancy-related complications and childbirth,
99% in developing countries. One-third of the world's people do not
have enough water to live.
"Two years ago the G8 Summit in Gleneagles agreed to double aid to
poor nations to US$50 billion and 100% debt cancellation.
I regret to say that on the eve of the G8 Summit, held earlier this
month, it was already clear
that the rich world was well
off track," she added.
The JPA is a consultative body
but has increasing clout. Its
activities are tracked by other
decision-making EU institu-
tions who attend the bi-annual
Assembly of 79 Members of
ACP national Parliaments and
their 27 European Parliament
In a scheduled debate on the
Economic Partnership Agree-
ments (EPAs), the free trade
agreements for the six ACP
regions due to come on stream
in 1 January 2008, ACP
nations and many MEPs were
firm that there must be no
spinning of the wheel of for-
tune over content of the
accords. "The consequences (of the EPAs) are obvious for ACP coun-
tries which could lead to a perpetual and immense stock of imports,"
said co-President Ren Radembino-Coniquet (Gabon). Non-govern-
mental organizations (NGOs) heckled "halt the EPAs" on the
Kurhaus lawns putting their viewpoint loudly and clearly that the
EPAs could have a hefty economic and social toll, in particular on the
four African ACP regional groupings (see 'Trade' rubric). Germany's
President, Horst Khler, voiced an opposing view that EPAs would
increase competitiveness, local processing and improve livelihoods
(see 'Trade' rubric).
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
> Cotonou ratification lagging
There must be quick ratification of the
Cotonou Agreement, urged Lesotho's Minister
for Foreign Affairs, Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa,
without which the 10th EDF aid package ,
(2008-2013) could not come on stream to pro-
vide a boost to funds underpinning the EPAs.
Just 13 ACP and 9 EU states out of 27 have rat-
ified the agreement. All EU and two-thirds of
ACP signatures are required.
Climate change was never far from the minds
of participants throughout the week's events.
EU Commissioner, Louis Michel, announced
it would be one of the prongs of the EU-
Africa Partnership to be launched year end at
the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
A workshop for Parliamentarians arranged at
the nearby Darmstadt control centre of the .
European Space Agency (ESA) informed
how its satellite monitoring of the climate Animated debates in a pea
and environmental change could assist ACP The Kurhaus casino in the
and EU policy-makers alike.
Parliamentarians were struck how nitrogen
dioxide emissions had doubled over China in
just eight years.
On the political front, a resolution on Sudan called for the speedy
deployment of a hybrid EU/AU force. On Zimbabwe, there was no res-
olution as Zimbabwean Parliamentarians were not present, but a debate
signalled backing for the diplomacy of South African President, Thabo
Mbeki (see 'Round up' rubric).
Guest speaker, President of the Pan-African Parliament, Gertrude
Mongella, remarked that in the area of fact-finding missions in African
nations, the Pan-African Parliament had particular success.
Her presence signalled closer future ties between the EU and the ACP.
Three key reports at this JPA put the spotlight on poverty reduction for
small farmers in ACP countries, the effects of the migration of skilled
workers on national development in ACP countries and good gover-
nance and transparency in exploiting natural resources.
In the wake of debate, the resolutions voted on put forward practical
> 'Drain waste'
Luisa Morgantini, of the co-Federal Group of the European United
Left Party (Italy) also spoke for co-rapporteur Sharon Hay Webster
(Jamaica), who was not in Wiesbaden due to electoral commitments,
on the effects of migration of workers on national development.
Parliamentarians cited figure after figure on the 'brain drain' of
skilled workers from ACP nations, for example. Of the 600 doctors
annually trained in Zambia, only 50 remained. Louis Straker
(St.Vincent and the Grenadines) said 70% of doctors from the West
Indies end up in the UK and US. Sixteen per cent of Jamaica's gross
domestic product (GDP) is dependent on what the country's nation-
als earn in other countries.
The JPA resolution called for policies to mitigate the economic and
social effects of migration on ACPs and better international mutual
recognition of university diplomas to avoid 'brain waste'.
Longer, flexible contracts to make it easier for those working over-
seas to return to their countries and come back to the EU were called
spa resort of Wiesbaden, Hessen.
for as well as easier procedures to transfer money. Tighter regulation
of ACP natural resources was called for in a report on good gover-
nance, transparency and accountability in the exploitation of natural
resources in ACP countries. This was to ensure that the resources are
for benefit of all citizens, said co-drafter, Evelyne Cheron (Haiti),
rather, than as put in the opening speech of Germany's President
Khler, "...stashed away in bank for a few rich people."
A body of international standards was already in place, said Michael
Gahler (European Peoples' Party, Germany).
A resolution also called for transparency of state budgets, independ-
ent auditing of budgets, and for all nations to subscribe to Kimberley
Process on rough diamonds and further initiatives by companies to
operate in a transparent way and be able to promote themselves as
The imperative of more local processing came through strongly in a
report on poverty reduction for small farmers in ACP nations, partic-
ularly concerning fruit, vegetables and flowers, drawn up by Green
Party member, Carl Schylter (Sweden) and Tanzanian Kilontji
Mporogomyi, who was unable to be in Wiesbaden.
A resolution called for a bigger focus by the European Development
Funds (EDF) on agriculture in the interest of food security and local
production. And to avoid being swamped by cheap produce, it rec-
ommended selective ACP market openings for imports.
With the HIV/AIDS virus taking a toll in rural areas agricultural
development projects should include provisions to fight the disease.
The elimination of export subsidies and more funds for labelling
packaging and meeting phytosanitary rules were also mooted and a
study to assess the impact of climate change on trade liberalisation,
food security and energy resources.
"Business as usual will not do and action must be scaled up now,"
Kinnock said in the opening of the JPA.
This sums up the resolve of this JPA to ensure its words are acted
upon, a message to be carried through to 14th session in Kigali,
Rwanda, 19-22 November 2007. a
The Dominican economy has revived extremely well over the last three years since being
affected by a serious monetary crisis, and today there is a new vitality among the coun-
try's entrepreneurs. But this time, it is small businesses which are showing imagination,
innovation and dynamism. The Courier recently met a film producer, Juan Basanta,
who occasionally works with the big names in American cinema.
Globalisation. Appearing in film, too
uan Basanta is a filmmaker who runs his
own company. He studied in Cuba, where
his teachers included Francis Ford Coppola,
Jean-Claude Carrire and Gabriel Garcia
Marquez. In 1995, he set up his own production
company, which has been growing ever since.
> State of the industry
It is a very young industry but is at a signifi-
cant point. Technology is now accessible and
has enabled the industry to blossom and given
us the independence and freedom to create.
We have a newly found confidence.
> Your company
We are a very versatile company and do not
keep to one film genre. Our portfolio includes
documentaries and music videos. In one sense
our company is the biggest in the field and in
another sense the smallest. In music video
terms, we are a big hitter. But it's not all about
size. It comes down to intelligent decisions in
the marketplace that open paths and allow con-
tinuity. That excites me. We try to work in a
global context. Filmmaking is a universal lan-
guage. Sometimes we fail we have very orig-
inal projects which reflect us but perhaps the
'dialect' is a little too local to be appreciated
outside our country. We're an independent
group. At any one time we can employ 90 peo-
ple on set including craftspeople.
On a monthly basis, 50 families depend on us
for a paycheque.
> Do Dominicans back their
Dominicans do back their own film industry
and buy its DVDs, but there's a constant need
for new sorts of films to keep the public in
cinema seats. We found people understand
silence and a great image instead of a big
word for example. We have to make sure that
films do not become radio broadcasts. l'll
give you a copy of my film Dominicano, a
documentary which is a heartfelt portrayal of
what my country is, so you can understand
where I'm coming from here. It portrays my
> Supporting the industry
It has always been very difficult raise finance.
If you go any bank right now; mortgages are
at 15%-18% interest. You have to do every-
thing from scratch starting with finding
understanding partners. It's a totally different
dynamic. Even basics like electricity have to
be self-funded. My business is not connected
to the national power company and I have to
generate my own energy. As filmmakers, you
have to be prepared for everything. It's a very
changing country in all respects. During the
hurricane season, the weather can be sunny in
the morning then the clouds come along in the
Things are already in the pipeline. I have been
working with the government on a few things
like the development of a school for filmmak-
ers and laws to protect the industry and create
funds. A covered set is being built. Taking on
work outsourced by other film industries like
Hollywood is an important step forward, too.
We have the technical know-how and the kids
now go straight from school into the first job
on the set. This was not an option when I
started. My first job was in advertising.
> Where the industry is heading
We currently make about seven to ten films a
year in the country at production costs of
between US$300,000-1 million. These films
manage to cover their costs and make a prof-
it. About 30 people are involved in film pro-
duction in the country. Then there are the
international productions filmed here like
Michael Mann's Miami Vice. Ana Garcia and
Robert de Niro have also made films here.
There's also a potential to sell our product in
the regional market such as Venezuela,
Colombia or even the USA.
We need proper management of the industry.
Sometimes politicians don't understand it. We
need support at all levels, whether it's just to
enable us to close a road when we're making
a film, for example, or understanding the
labour market. Those who work on set as
craftspeople are ordinarily hairdressers or
1 am full of hope for the film industry and
tomorrow -perhaps in a few years time
hope to fulfil the beautiful dream I have.
In next issues of The Courier: representatives of an association of small coffee producers FEDECARES (Federation of Coffee Growers of
the Southern Region), who have a social and environmental agenda, and professional manager, Rafael Diaz, who quit a profitable job in
the US to begin an experimental project producing biodiesel on a small scale.
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
EUROPERn DEUELOPMEnT DAYS:
maintaining the course of development
in the face of climate change
Interview with Commissioner Louis Michel
Lisbon is the venue for the
second round of European
Development Days that
take place from 7 to 9
This is unique event a
Porto Alegre or Davos of
Development Policy -
brings together ail the key
players in the field. In this
interview, the architect of
the initiative, Louis Michel,
for Development, explains
the background to the
event and his hopes for the
future, as well as comment-
ing on the next EU-Africa
summit and the Economic
with the ACP
Text by editorial staff
What lessons did you take from the first
European Development Days (EDD) and why
have you decided to organise this second event
The first lesson is that thanks to this event,
there is now a forum that brings together all the
players in the development 'family': Heads of
State, NGOs, professional experts, the
European Commission, not-for-profit organi-
sations and the business world.
I am also aware that Europe is at the forefront
of development and is happy to be so, both as
the world's largest donor of development aid
(48 billion euros in 2006 -56% of the global
total -and equal to 100 for every citizen of
Europe) and as the leader of international
thinking on cooperation with its partners,
wherever and whoever they may be. To have,
above all, a dialogue with our partners on the
great issues of development: to put an end to
poverty; to build constructive and balanced
In doing so, I recall the words of the Reverend
Desmond Tutu: "The only way we can hope to
be prosperous, ultimately, is together".
So you ask, "why hold a second event in
Lisbon?". My response? Because the world
needs dialogue in order to find answers to
global problems -in particular to those
brought about by climate change.
Why this theme?
Because it's urgent! Climate change is acceler-
ating bringing with it the possibility of
unprecedented catastrophes. We must antici-
pate the problems to come and begin to act
against them while we can. We have a duty to
talk about it, we cannot use the excuse that we
did not know about it. All of us have our
responsibilities in this. Europe today is leading
the way with direct action on pollution, specif-
ic commitments, new regulations, finance for
renewable energies programmes and so on.
Our message, which I want the politicians to
take to heart is, "we must act now!".
In practical terms, the Commission has pro-
posed a new global alliance on climate change,
specifically to assist poorer countries in com-
ing to terms with the phenomenon. This to
include helping them adapt to changing climat-
ic conditions; reduce emissions caused by
deforestation; help developing countries take
advantage of the global carbon trading market;
help them to better prepare for natural catastro-
phes and to integrate climate change into coop-
eration strategies for both development and
The European Development Days in Lisbon
will be the opportunity to debate all these
issues. From there, we can develop innovative
projects to meet the challenges of climate
change: limiting emissions and developing
renewable energy processes (solar, wind
power, biomass, hydroelectric). Not forgetting
our goal of combating poverty too!
Finally, it is not only up to the Commission to
make concrete proposals. They should come
from everyone involved -from the develop-
ment 'family' and other in the international
At the next EU-Africa summit the major issue
will be the partnership between the two conti-
nents. What are the Commnission's priorities in
Everyone should be aware that Africa and
Europe must map out together the path their
common future is to take: the path of peace, of
prosperity and solidarity. We have to cooperate
with Africa both as partners and as neighbours.
As far as foreign relations are conceded,
Africa is the Commission's priority. Look at
the figures: 60% of the total aid received by the
continent cones from Europe, 85% of African
agricultural exports are bought by Europe and
65% of the contributions to funds for fighting
HIV, tuberculosis and malaria come from the
EU. Our eight priorities reflect the challenges
facing us: peace and security; climate change;
realisation of the Millennium goals for devel-
opment, goverance, democracy and human
rights; migration, mobility and employment;
science, the information society and space.
Additionally, the European Union hopes to
reinforce its partnership with the African
Union and set the example that the prosperity
we enjoy in Europe was created because nation
states decided to co-operate and work together.
But I also want to send out a strong message to
Africa that they need to sweep away many of
the old clichs about the continent! Africa is
changing. Africa today is a place of unique nat-
ural resources, of cultural diversity, of develop-
\\ i Io.leh l, p.I o ii i ilI ,j I .,i .1ih1 il lIi i .
the gcibe nI the oii this erned hini the nickname Captain Hl lelri:ck, Louis
lihel, r tiree irs Eurc.peanl Ccnmissic'ner for deve nent and hinin ,iari.n aid,
rarelTh peels ans f:irther intri:i duction.
He presses his cfpininrIs in ,r r, plain laquq Ie aing na cne i id tii 'fte re-nt b his.ie ,
Rejec tin. toi tearynple, the oiiiUents ct /cpponPits of G.sr cjE..nE.ica.ll i ....itP.d org in -
isif|s). he is cilsrl ci itical of those iii fa cur cf s.hsternitiL sanctijonls against ACTl iceunl ies sisl-
pec ed of enegin ci clLJSe in the Ctc...i.ii Aieern.ent. ,.d alth '.iigh deterrniiied .i ho-
cate cif bii'dgetoi ', aid lie wants t, moke certain that mariners liauE: a strong wense cf theii
own ispisibilities. Abc.E o aill, he sees hi! rile i .. that of tre iasn o.l plieti c, he i o ..i he.. i
of the Mi1ouverient REtc.rrniteiir (liberal part,) of BPlgILini, vheie hhes te das F.ieign
linistIr 'I an n t a political .iunch!' he once claimed ,lirinq a he.arin b..re the ..
The globeniissi a has a sraono his earned hcniiiiitnit tc Afrima, Cap in Haddok', Loui hen
hVJas hel, for Bhreeian fore n tr s Eurpea in 1999, hen Ier tfor ht hard tcr the re-ehumnitablishan i,
He presses h pinon in central Afria. Luis lihel is a ai h belleavings sno rane dfln haerent he ternis 'will-
ipeced oflniin Thcsen cl kue hini th e Cotonou hat Aeemerin lies nd al th heart c hs protedssi do-
cat if. Hib oiudeial EU e ansit t mrha kes best parn er hia strng snsis. F. theM.
al lhfe. Hi. olticial EU website perhaps best sums up his delays. F.M.
African and European NGOs are concerned
that this will weaken ,i,, further the ACP
economies. How would you answer them?
Aid is not the be all and end all of develop-
ment. The poorest countries must find ways to
integrate themselves into the world economy
and use their assets to eradicate poverty. Look
for example at the Asian countries. They have
managed, step by step, to embrace globalisa-
tion, strategically position themselves in cer-
tain sectors, progressively open their markets
and then finally compete with the major eco-
Our approach with the EPAs is a gradual one.
It involves establishing regional markets
between ACP countries, and to then open the
EU to exports from these countries (an asym-
metric, non-automatic reciprocity) at a pace
which suits each side. It is an approach that
must be intelligent, responsible and focused on
development. With these agreements, our com-
mercial relationships with the ACP countries
become compatible with the WTO. In making
this happen, the Commission is playing its part
with a vision of a globalised -yet regulated
world, based on clear rules.
As we can recall, by adopting a regional strat-
egy, a Europe ravaged by two world wars was
able to rebuild itself. For today's challenges, as
with those of Europe in the past, this must be
accompanied by considerable development aid
-a Marshall Plan for these countries. As part of
this, an extra two billion euros of aid per year
from now until 2010 is anticipated (the 10th
European Development Fund for 2008-2013
will increase this by 35%).
In making this work, we must cushion the
social impact of change and reform so that the
benefits are much greater than the cost of adap-
tation. Simply put, it is necessary to create
wealth in order to then redistribute it. This is
the spirit of the Economic Partnership
Agreements, -to be both constructive and
optimistic. It is also something I personally
believe in very strongly.
1 have just returned from the Pacific Islands
Forum, where I signed the first Country
Strategy Documents with 13 states and I can,
therefore, tell you from first hand experience
not only how important, but how welcome
Europe's presence is.
Hand-in-hand with our partners in the Pacific
we are responding in practical terms to global
problems (the environment, security, biodiver-
sity, climate change, energy and so on) as well
as using our influence to achieve political sta-
bility and a return to the rule of law and
democracy in places like the Fiji Islands.
N 2 N E SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
DEU DRYS: Wlill Climate Change
Lisbon, Portugal: 7 to 9 November 2007
The following text is a communication by DG Development
The first Development Days
(Dev Days) took place in
Brussels in November
2006. The initiative met
with great success and will
be a key annual event in
the calendar of develop-
ment cooperation decision
makers from now on.
What is Dev Days?
DEV Days can be seen as the Davos of
Development Policy. It is a gathering of the
most prominent actors involved in develop-
ment cooperation; it is intended to produce a
rich exchange of views and ideas between
those who are engaged in the world of devel-
opment aid; it is designed to enhance devel-
opment policies and to ensure coherence and
complementarity in the domain and, finally,
it aims to enhance public awareness and to
ensure that the general public are conscious
of what the European Union does for devel-
The rich range of EU policies including the
European Consensus on Development, the
steps taken toward greater aid effectiveness,
the strategies focussing on Africa, the
Caribbean and the Pacific, all of which con-
tribute to the attainment of the Millennium
Development Goals, must filter through to
the general public.
Indeed recent surveys have shown that
whilst European Citizens see poverty reduc-
tion as the most important objective for
development policy, they are not always
aware of the active policies being pursued by
the European Commission or their own
Member States with this aim in mind.
DEV DAYS 2006 chose as its main topic
'Africa on the move'. It attracted a star-stud-
ded attendance including Bishop Desmond
Tutu, over 20 African Heads of State or
Government and more than a thousand
High level officials from a number of inter-
national organizations, civil society repre-
sentatives and acknowledged development
experts also participated.
The event was hosted by the European
Commissioner responsible for Development,
DEV DAYS 2007 has taken on a new theme.
This time it will focus on Climate Change
and Development. Discussion will target the
implications of climate change on coopera-
tion between the EU and its developing
country partners. The main challenges
Europeans and their partners are facing will
be addressed through a series of events
organised by the Commission.
Climate change has become an issue of cru-
cial importance worldwide. The link
between this and extreme weather conditions
is well known. Since July 2007 alone the
European Commission has provided over
24 million to the victims of natural disas-
ters worldwide. It is now generally accepted
that there can be no further meaningful
progress without pausing to think about the
ill effects of climate change.
Which is why the Commission has chosen
this theme for this year.
Following on from Montreal in 1987 and
Kyoto in 1997, the Commission has played
an active role in promoting international
action to tackle climate change. In 2003 it
launched a strategy and action plan to tackle
the issue within the context of development
cooperation. The Spring Council of 2007 put
forward concrete proposals for a post-2012
international climate change agreement and
committed itself to significant cuts in the
EU's greenhouse gas emissions. In
September 2007, the Commission proposed
a global climate change alliance (GCCA) to
help developing countries most affected. It
proposes building a new alliance between
the EU and the poor developing countries
most affected and with the least capacity to
deal with this new phenomenon.
DEV DAYS 2007 will provide the first occa-
sion to discuss the GCCA with developing
Taking place in Lisbon at the invitation of
the Portuguese Presidency of the European
Union, details of participants, seminars,
promotional stands and all other information
is available at the following web-site
r... - -
.. . .........
i,-,r,,I Il .I"iin"n, i''
> On the major topics on the agenda
of the Portuguese Presidency
It is an agenda filled with political and institutional subjects, questions
linked with justice, home affairs and foreign affairs. But to summarise,
the top priority is to produce the future Treaty on European Union. We
have received the mandate to do it before the end of December from the
German Presidency and we want to comply with that mandate. In fact
not just comply, but fulfil that mandate. On external relations, our inten-
sified dialogue with Brazil is a priority. We organised the EU-Brazil
Summit here, an initiative by the Portuguese Presidency. The Summit
was a great success. We expect to do the same with Africa in December.
Of course social issues, which relate to energy, the environment and cli-
mate change feature high on the agenda. Issues relating to immigration,
both legal and illegal are important as well. So the agenda is pretty full,
but I would pick relations with Brazil and Africa for special emphasis.
> Points being driuen forward by the Portuguese
I would mention all the issues relating to the new round of the Lisbon
Strategy which concerns the guidance of economic and social develop-
ment and relations with Europe. We must prepare the revision of the
Lisbon Strategy as well as those relating to energy. But what qualify as
real Portuguese initiatives are the first EU-Brazil Summit and the sec-
ond EU-Africa Summit. As you know, the first EU-Africa Summit was
held in Cairo under the Portuguese Presidency in 2000 and that com-
mitment that is being revisited. It took seven years for this Summit in
December, once again as a Portuguese initiative and I believe that it
underscores the importance of the commitment that Portugal has to
African issues. We will do everything in our power for Europe as a
whole to engage with Africa and, of course, for Africa to engage in a
structured dialogue with Europe.
> In parallel with the EU meetings with Brazil and
flfrica, we are seeing a rapprochement between
Brazil and flfrica. Did Portugal play a role in that?
Portugal has a special relationship with Brazil. Brazil is a big country,
and we have a part in its history. It is a country that speaks our lan-
guage. It is a modern-day power which has leadership, for example,
in terms of the energy dialogue and trade relations. But Brazil is steer-
ing its own course. It is a good thing that Brazil, like Portugal, is
engaging with Africa, and that it is interested in Africa. It is also
important that global relations should be more balanced.
So we can only support the dialogue that Brazil wants to have with the
large regional bloc, with the African continent.
For us, it is important to ensure more regulated and more balanced
globalisation. The fact that Brazil is Portuguese-speaking makes it
even more special for us.
It is an emotional factor for us.
> On the Chinese breakthrough in flfrica
Obviously, every country, every region and every continent has the
right to choose its partners and to run its foreign policy.
But I think that Europe, through its very special ties with Africa and
its very close relations, must have a very special relationship.
Africa is closer to Europe than to China. I think that Africans, when
they travel or study abroad, go to Europe rather than China.
In Portugal, our businesses tum towards Africa rather than China.
There is an obligation for us to do everything we can to ensure that
these long-established links that are so close and so human between
Europe and Africa are preserved and developed.
It is natural for Africa to diversify its relations and engage with new
partners, but beyond that, Africa must continue to consider Europe as
an essential partner.
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
> On the absence
of awareness in the EU
of the desire for Europe
around the world
Perhaps Europe is not fully aware of certain
things. Today, we are still feeling the full
impact of globalisation.
We all need to adapt to it. I would almost go as
far as to say that to an extent, we have over-
looked Africa and not given it all the attention
it deserves. Perhaps it is because of a degree of
indifference that Africa is looking for other
partners, or that others are focusing on Africa.
There has been a sort of vacuum, which can
only be filled with a firmer commitment from
Europe. It is also our intention to draw our
partners' attention to that, as this oversight
must not continue.
We must tum our attention to it urgently.
Personally, I view relations with Africa from
the viewpoint of globalisation.
It is just not possible for Africa to be left out,
that cannot be allowed to happen, and I will
fight to prevent it.
That is a new challenge of globalisation. In
particular, for civil society, the youth of Africa,
its intellectuals, all Africans. We need to make
major efforts along those lines, because it is in
Miquel Barcelo, Noyau Noir, 1999. Mixed media on canvas, 230 x 285 cm.
Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection of contemporary art
> The good news concerning
the rfrican economy
The situation is actually rather paradoxical.
While there are a number of shining examples
and things that are moving, civil society which
is becoming stronger and democracy that is
consolidating, unfortunately there are still seri-
ous conflicts and problems with development.
There are still conflicts in Darfur, Somalia etc.,
which continue to pose challenges and regret-
table problems. And there are things that are
moving in the right direction.
But the contrasts are ever-present, and these
are the contrasts that we will try to eliminate.
EU Presidency 2007
The most important political gathering,
nrrnvrlinn Mfn -ho Dnr-'ains acr Droirlonrul
shoulders. But do they understand each other? Here are two
peoples who, by holding out their hands, could easily bring
together two worlds, two universes only 14 kilometres apart.
As the ocean is to the sea, two vast areas of water, of the same blood.
But time after time boats and poorly constructed rafts drift across, over-
flowing with people risking everything for the opportunities of a better
world: sadly, often with the worst possible consequences.
And yet in Fez, a little further south from where these two continents
face each other, each year at the same time for the last 13 years, a light
shines. The Festival of Fez is a trace of a geographic link between the
European Union and Africa, and the meetings that take place here
become a bridgehead between North and South built on hope and dig-
nity. So much so that today this festival is recognized as one of the
most important events on the international musical and cultural scene.
And so each year, Fez, the most holy of cities, still remains faithful to
its history and its roots. Beneath an ancient oak tree in the gardens of
the Batha Museum of Fez, artists and men of goodwill, peace and hope
from all over the world appeal to the best in all of us.
As long ago as the 9th century, the great Ibn Rushd called on man's
ability to behave in a responsible fashion. In 818 AD, 20,000 political
refugees expelled from Cordoba founded the Andalusian quarter. Some
years later, 300 Tunisian families (originally from Kairouan) settled in
Fez and gave their name to the Karauin quarter.
Long renowned as one of the largest medinas in the Mediterranean
world and home to many famous dynasties, Fez continues to fascinate
and intrigue. It is, as always, a place of extremes, where order and dis-
order live side by side, as do luxury and poverty. Most of the dwellings
emanate a timeless quality from their walls.
In this city, home to the oldest and most prestigious Islamic University,
the festival of Fez celebrates the interior beauty of cultures through art,
music and meetings, with an emphasis on the sacred. By introducing
spiritual and cultural elements into the globalisation debate, the spirit of
Fez goes to the root of the world's economic and social ills. In this time
of globalisation, in the face of people who feel driven to make the ulti-
mate sacrifice, the Festival of Fez and its meetings are a world-
renowned testing ground that cannot be ignored.
Globalisation also means information available to all in real time. Fez
will without any doubt leave 'traces of light' in this respect.
Man reduced to the mere condition of consumer or man reduced to a
hidebound religious identity is by definition incomplete. Today's notion
of the universal is synonymous with the interplay of multiple identities,
and in our modem epoch there are no longer any buffer zones: neither
deserts nor mountains, the speed of movements of people and informa-
tion leaves less and less time for reflection.
The Festival of Fez and its many meetings have created a space where
difference is primarily brotherly. Thus this event takes up the challenge
of making a better world through knowledge and recognition.
From this perspective everything makes sense: escape the anthropolog-
ical triangle of sacred-truth-violence, or a school that propagates insti-
tutionalised ignorance (see prof. Mohammed Arkoun, emeritus profes-
sor of the history of Islamic thought, President of the CCEFR) yet still
another past that couldn't exist without a better future.
It's not a question of settling for a litany of good intentions to quickly
ease the conscience, but rather of contributing to a teaching in which
ignorance will no longer be allowed or supported. One in which the
sacred, in whatever form it takes, will be given sanctuary, and in which
on the pretext of being the holder of absolute truth, nobody will use vio-
lence, even if it is structurally and economically organised or founded
on absolute despair.
"The modus operandi is to understand differences and act from similar-
ities" (Andrius Masando, African National Congress). a
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
TURIIIIG to desert and sea,
-uw i'. ...t. f.s LA ft = Pe .a..ne.S en- . ..... .... .........
t e, I UT i (l E SBA LE.ELr LiE LAA L A! W...
Nigerian journalist, George Lucky, gives
a personal account of the plight of West
Africans seeking a better life in European
Union (EU). He was winner of the
European Commission's 2006 Lorenzo
Natali prize for reporting on Human
Rights and Democracy for an article
which tracked those risking their lives to
reach the EU's shores.
Faustin Titi Une ternit Tanger.
I n recent times, the number of Africans who head overseas has
doubled. Across the continent, throughout West Africa and
Nigeria in particular, there is hardly a family without a member
living overseas either legally or illegally. It is now a status sym-
bol to have a family member overseas.
The contributions of these people to the economies of their countries,
especially remittances, are growing daily. A report recently released
by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that Nigerians in the
diaspora remitted US$8 billion in the first half of this year alone, a
figure expected to double by December 2007.
Decades ago, Africans were begged or lured to travel overseas to
acquire Western education. This was the case in the years before and
after independence when states needed manpower to run their affairs
and offered scholarships to bright, young Africans. There's a different
trend today. The door to the Western world is no longer the preroga-
tive of educated Africans, but to anyone who can afford the fare.
It is common knowledge across West Africa that money and fortune
don't grow on the streets of Europe. What migrants seek is the abun-
dance of opportunities lacking in Africa for both skilled and unskilled
Africans. The harsh economic situation is the principal factor that pro-
Signed in 1985, the Schengen Agreement has abolished border
controls between ail participating member states. Thirty states -
including most EU states and non-EU States, Iceland, Norway and
Switzerland, but exempting EU members, the Republic of Ireland
and the United Kingdom have to date signed. Fifteen are imple-
menting its provisions which include common border control and
a unified visa policy. Ail non-European areas of Portugal and
Spain, including Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands, imple-
ment the accord.
pels many young Africans to migrate at all costs. The few that have
succeeded are living better than those back home. Since the early
1980s, unskilled West Africans have been moving voluntarily in large
numbers to Europe for economic reasons with Spain, Italy and Malta
the destinations of choice.
Also on the move are those displaced by war and crisis from Liberia,
Sierra Leone and more recently, Cte d'Ivoire.
> Daring to dream
Many of these travellers, who cannot secure visas directly from the
embassies of Western countries, are now turning to the desert and the
sea. Risking everything, they believe that the EU, under the Schengen
arrangement, does not want them. As a result, they have chosen to
move to countries they perceive as having a level-playing field for all
who dare to dream. The new set of immigrants, male and female, is
comprised of poorly trained carpenters, bricklayers, mechanics, and
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
through various roads and sea
routes. To embark on this trip, many
sold their properties or took loans
that must be repaid within a stipulat-
ed time. Failure to repay often
means dire consequences for fami-
lies back home. To avoid this, immi-
grants are often forced into the 'fast
lane' in Africa: criminal activities,
prostitution and dealing hard drugs.
These illegal immigrants, uneducat-
ed and largely without any vocation,
find it difficult to integrate. They
face language and cultural prob-
lems, making integration difficult, if
not impossible. In spite of the threat
of imprisonment, racism, cultural
barriers and the status of second
class citizen in some overseas coun-
tries many are still defiant, embark-
ing on the journey to better their
> Disquiet in the EU
some without any form of vocation. According to the Nigerian
embassy in Spain, of the 18,000 Nigerians there, nearly 10,000 of
them can neither read nor write English, Nigeria's official language,
because they never had any form of education. The same applies to
Ghana, Senegal, Mali and Cameroon, the main illegal immigrant-gen-
erating countries in West Africa. Many African immigrants who are
today considered a security risk to Europe have made it there the hard
way. They either paid exorbitant amounts to secure visas or entered
The migration of Africans by the
_-: thousands is causing disquiet in the
SEU. The trend has become an issue
S" for electoral campaigns with some
parties proposing tougher measures
Sto check the flood of immigrants.
t Rumours making the rounds include
several patrol boats deliberately tar-
geting and sinking illegal immi-
s, grants' boats as a way of stopping
St them from reaching Europe as well
as recent revelation of brutality of
African children in the Canary
Islands cannot solve the problem.
For a safer Europe, jobs and assis-
tance should be given to such peo-
ple to lure them away from commit-
ting crimes across Europe.
Similarly, the Schengen visa
requirement should be relaxed if
Europe wants immigrants coming
from Africa to be under less pres-
Ssure. Whether skilled or unskilled,
some of the best minds have left the
S continent in search of better life
overseas thereby creating a void in
all strata. African leaders are
responsible for the huge human capital flight overseas. There is no
gain in saying that life in Africa is nasty, short and brutish. Political
stability, security of life and property, first class infrastructure, oppor-
tunities to actualise one's dreams are some of the things that attract
Africans to Europe, America and Asia.
A conducive environment would not only lessen the tide but also
encourage Africans in the diaspora to return home to take the conti-
nent to greater heights. a
October December 2007
> 8-10 ACP Trade Ministers meeting.
An EPA stocktaking by the six
regional ACP group
> 22-26 ACP Ministers responsible
for EPAs and Trade meeting.
> 25-26 28th Conference of Ministers
of Justice organised by the Council
of Europe on 'Emerging issues
of access to justice for vulnerable
groups, in particular migrants
and asylum seekers'.
> 28-2/11 12th World Lake Conference.
From the science to the culture
of lakes, Jaipur, India, hosts
the 12th World Lakes Conference,
organised by the non-governmental
organisation the International Lake
> 31-2/11 International Conference
on Coastal Management.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Climate change issues and
development pressures on coastal
areas make this a timely event
bringing together NGOs,
civil engineers and governments
> 23-7/11 8th Session of the Conference
of Parties to the conference
on Combating Desertification.
> 7-9 European Development Days,
devoted in particular to the study
of the effects of climate change
on developing countries.
> 14-16 10th session of the ACP
> 17-22 14th session of the ACP-EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
> 23-25 Commonwealth
Heads of State Meeting.
l ...,.. -I -... Commonwealth
Societies to achieve political,
economic and human development'
is the theme of the meeting
in Kampala of the 53 Heads
of State comprising
Includes business, youth
and people 's fora.
> 3-4 Conference:
'Diasporas and transnational
Wilton Park, United Kingdom
In what ways do diaspora
to their host countries
and countries of origin?
> 8-9 EU-Africa Summit.
> 9-13 ACP Ministers responsible
for EPAs meet.
Venue to be confirmed
> To be confirmed
86th Session of the ACP
Council of Ministers.
Oladl Bamgboy, Stilllife, 2003.
Series of 4 digital print, 122 x 91.4 cm.
Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection
of contemporary art
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
BREAKTHROUGH in nEGOTIRTIOnS
on the fCP-EU Economic
A successful outcome in sicht la
ACP/EU Council of Ministers on 25 May 2007 in Brussels
took a big step forward to concluding Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and six ACP* sub-
regions, at a standstill since 2005.
On this memorable day in the history of these extremely laborious
negotiations -which were initiated in September 2002 with the ACP
group as a whole -the ministers of the 27 EU Member States and their
colleagues from the 77 ACP countries effectively confirmed that they
would be sparing no effort in concluding on time, thus before the end
of 2007, EPAs compatible with the rules of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO). The aim is for these new trade agreements,
designed to help development in the ACP countries, to enter into force
on 1 January 2008. This is the expiry date for the exemption to the
WTO rules authorising ACP countries to enjoy unilateral preferential
trading terms for their access to the European market by the terms of
the Cotonou Agreement.
> Gradual market openings
Better still, the ministers jointly approved the formal offer made by the
European Commission on 4 April. By virtue of this offer, unveiled by
European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, all countries that
negotiate an EPA will be granted from 1 January 2008 duty-free and
quota-free access to the European market for virtually all their prod-
ucts. This includes agricultural products such as beef, dairy, cereals and
all fruit and vegetables. As a transitional measure, there will be certain
exceptions for rice and sugar. In short, the ACP and European ministers
agreed to a system that is very close to the one already enjoyed by 40
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) known as 'Everything except
arms'. These would not be conventional free trade agreements, as this
offer does not suppose a mutual opening up of markets. But first and
foremost the development of regional markets between the ACP coun-
tries as a prelude to the progressive liberalisation of trade with the EU,
with very long transitional periods of up to 25 years, safeguard clauses
to enable ACP countries to protect their most sensitive products against
European competition and more flexible rules of origin, affirmed the
European Commission. Nevertheless, there is also a need for the nego-
tiations to find a solution that gives the ACP countries the assurance
that they will retain the advantages guaranteed to date by the protocols
on basic products of vital importance to them -such as the Sugar
Protocol that the EU is threatening to dismantle unilaterally as is stip-
ulated by Article 36.4 of the Cotonou Agreement. The ACP ministers
have made clear demands for this, and the European Union has accept-
ed these demands while not yet indicating the means.
On 15 May the Council of EU Development Cooperation Ministers had
already expressed in unanimously approved written conclusions the
EU's determination to reach agreement on time and confirmed its inten-
tion to allocate 2 billion a year to trade aid for the developing coun-
tries from 2010, given that the ACP countries would be the principal
* West Africa via the CEDEAO, Southem Africa via the SADC, Central Africa via the
CEMAC, Eastem and Southem Africa via the ESA, the Caribbean via the CARICM, and
r - -
"nO PLfll B"
Si LOUIS miCHEL
As time ticks away to the due date of the European Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the
free trade agreements for six ACP regions, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
(JPA) in Wiesbaden, june 25-28, drew out sharp differences among participants on
what they will mean for ACP nations.
M any ACP Parliamentarians are
worried that timetables for libe-
ralisation of goods and services
are still unknown. On the one
hand they fear a rush to sign by year-end and
on the other, should the EPAs not be in place
by then, a loss of the standing trade preferen-
ces contained in the Cotonou Agreement when
the World Trade Organisation (WTO) waiver
for these expires on 31December 2007.
With timetables for opening of markets and
accompanying aid packages still unknown,
Parliamentarian Boyce Sebetela (Botswana)
said he did not know what to tell his
Parliament about how an EPA will affect
Southern Africa. For Spanish MEP (Socialist),
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Josep Borrell, "hasty liberalisation cuts off the
possibility of a country planting roots to join
the world economy".
It was up to Peter Thompson, Trade Director at
the European Commission, to allay fears. He
highlighted his view of all the pluses of the
future accords. He told the JPA that under the
EU's April 2007 proposals ACP goods from all
six regions, except for rice and sugar, would
enter the EU duty-free and allow the ACPs to
"determine their own future free of the WTO
waiver." Parliamentarian Nita Deerpalsing
(Mauritius) feared her country's loss of a guar-
anteed quota and price for sugar in the EU mar-
ket. Thompson said the new sugar proposals
would distribute the benefits a lot more evenly
"m[y Fair Trade World"
anana hair and chocolate belly but-
tons: just two of the photos taken
by children to promote EU-wide fair
trade. These children entered into a
competition, 'My Fair Trade World',
organised by the 'Network of European
World Shops'. The winner of the first
prize, announced by Germany's
Minister for Economic Cooperation and
Development, Heidemarie Wieczoreck-
Zeul, during the JPA, was 8 year-old
Levy Hanekamp from Dronten, the
since other non-Least Developed Countries
(LDCs), like the Dominican Republic, and
other LDCs would now be able to export sugar
to the 27-member state EU bloc.
> flutumn panic?
Come November there will be panic, said
MEP Carl Schylter (Green, Sweden) regard-
ing the lack of progress in EPA talks. He said
small farmers would be hardest hit under the
new accord. This led to a philosophical spat
with EU Commissioner for Development,
Louis Michel, on the fundamentals of devel-
"When you open the market, you will benefit
unless you think that global self-sufficiency
allows you to survive," argued Michel. "If
this challenge isn't met then perhaps one
should continue to be involved in charity
He said, "There is no plan B. One per cent
growth in trade in developing countries
would match all the aid given," he told the
JPA. Michel also hinted that the Commission
may unveil additional funds to those already
in the pipeline to help underpin the EPAs.
To reassure ACP states, Germany's Minister
for Economic Cooperation and Development,
Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, said that a close
eye would be kept on the texts of the respec-
tive EPAs to ensure they are in line with
development policy goals. A revision mecha-
nism in the agreements is foreseen, she said.
Some non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) were indignant, enacting sketches on
the lawns of the Kurhaus, the venue for the
JPA, which suggested that African countries
were being coerced into signing the EPAs. In
one of many NGO anti-EPA papers handed
out during the week, Alexandra Burmann of
Germany's 'Bread for the World', describes
how imports of cheap chicken and tomatoes
are already pushing local producers out of
their own market in West Africa. Bidding
industries in ACP countries will suffer as EU
rivals will be able to cherry pick services like
banking telecommunications, energy and
water services. Studies show that ACP
exports will raise little should the EU open its
markets, as these are already mostly open for
ACP products, argues the Burmann paper.
Liberalisation of services and the so-called
'Singapore' issues such as the investment,
competition policy and public procurement
will also hit ACPs the hardest.
Those in the thick of EPA negotiations namely techni-
cal experts and politicians give their views on some of
the most complex topics of the EPA talks so far, such as
lost import taxes, meeting the 1 January 2008 deadline
and assistance packages to underpin new trade meas-
Gilles Hounkpatin is Director for Trade, Tourism and Customs at
the Economic Community of West African States* (ECOWAS)
and a chief negotiator for the region.
A good agreement
A good agreement places the emphasis on regional integration and making the sub-region
more competitive so we can gain better access to the European market.
Joining the global economy
The EPA will enable us to join the global economy. To this end, we must first join the region-
al economy. We must have access to the European market, and then there is the matter of
health and plant health standards, etc.
The emphasis must be placed on companies/industries and improving our infrastructures so
that we can engage in development.
Lower import duty
Initially, incomes will fall. The budget of our Member States depends on tax revenue. We must
resolve this or there will be a social crisis. We believe that we must make an effort at the eco-
nomic level and in terms of restructuring. We must envisage a fiscal transition towards a sys-
tem based on internal and indirect taxes, but that will require supporting measures.
Meeting the 31 December 2007 deadline
1 place the emphasis on a good agreement. a
*Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.
Mohlabi K. Tsekoa is Lesotho's Foreign Affairs Minister
and current President of the ACP Council.
ElP i rcldinir
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Billy Miller is Foreign Affairs
Minister of Barbados.
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Junior Lodge is the Brussels
representative of the 16-member
state Caribbean bloc of nations,
We want an EPA that corresponds with our
development aspirations addressing the
Cotonou policy objectives of poverty eradica-
tion, sustainable development and a new trade
regime. We need a development cooperation
package to increase competitiveness, innova-
tion and for fiscal and business adjustment.
The Caribbean is very strong on services and
we need greater access. One is a quota for
skilled and unskilled workers to come to
Europe. This will improve delivery of servic-
es to European consumers and allow
Caribbean workers to return home with
improved skills sets.
Import tax losses
For Eastern Caribbean countries, border taxes
account for 60% of government revenue. The
Caribbean has some of the most highly indebt-
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
ed countries in the world. In the context of
high indebtedness and loss of fiscal revenue,
countries are cautious. It is precisely because
of this concern about taxes, but also about
domestic and unfair trade practices by the EU
that we have negotiated a transitional period
of 25 years for the most sensitive Caribbean
products. We are also making sure that we link
market openings to the Europeans with their
support on reform of our respective tax
To secure market access we have to make sure
that it is World Trade Organisation (WTO)-
compatible and that we are not subject to fur-
ther litigation in the WTO.
We've already seen this on bananas and sugar.
We cannot afford to be removed from the
global value chain. This is what happens when
you have a threat of litigation. When we have
contracts with supermarkets, they want to
know that these are being honoured.
As a fall back, we must use some of the flexi-
bilities that are ,ii ciiil. entrenched in WTO
rules and in the jurisprudence to test those
It is a package deal. On the one hand you want
market access -because we are trade depend-
ent and the EU is a major export destination
and on the other hand, we need technical
assistance, joint ventures and access to rele-
We must be able to address unfair trade prac-
tices and have a special safeguard mechanism
where a surge in imports can be addressed to
domestic product producers.
We need to avoid seeking a waiver and sub-
jecting Caribbean exports to a Generalised
System of Preferences (GSP) where addition-
al import taxes would be applied.
The risk for us is too severe to tolerate the
thought of not completing the negotiations in
*Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,
Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana,
Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and
j ~ t"
Just 34 years old and already he has a
career as an architect, model, actor, jour-
nalist, singer, writer and creator of rare
books to his credit. Author of the bestsel-
ler, Black Beauty, he has just published his
latest book as 'creative director' -coordina-
ting the work of other famous creativee' that
is devoted to soccer legend Pel. But it is
doubtful if many Courier readers will be able
to treat themselves to this jewel of the Gloria
Publishing House. With a limited edition of
just 2,000 copies, they sell for 2,500 each.
And for the wealthiest of collectors, the 150
copies of the de-luxe 'carnival' edition were
snapped up in the first weeks following publi-
cation at the price of 4,500 a copy.
Some of these are now changing hands in Asia
for up to 10,000. For the general public, Ben
Arogundade is the author of Black Beauty,
already acknowledged as a reference work.
The original edition published in 2001 was
revised to coincide with three BBC program-
mes on the book. But when we met, it was
painting, not books, which Arogundade
began to talk about. We had arranged to meet
at the Tate Modern Museum to visit the exhi-
bition devoted to Congolese artists in one of
the wings presenting the museum's perma-
nent collection entitled 'States of Flux'. He
then turned to the second book-objet d'art to
be published by Gloria he is currently wor-
king on, which will be devoted to yachts.
This will be followed by a third, still at the
very early stages, that about the Big Apple
itself, New York City. It was ten in the mor-
ning at the Tate Modern, on London's
Bankside running alongside the Thames.
Street artists, who spend long hours posing as
statues, and the crowds may well be passing
by a Ben Arogundade's building on the
Southbank, a mark of his former life as an
architect. A day in the life of Ben Arogundade
is a chance to discover how this public figure
who seems like an extrovert from a distance is
in fact rather reserved. He's doubtlessly at
ease in society circles but comes across as
almost shy. Our day began well before the
Tate, at 6.30 for his daily 5-mile jog around
the municipal playing field in Wandsworth
before going back to his home in Battersea for
breakfast. After the Tate and a quick lunch,
Ben Arogundade was to interview one of the
many yacht owners he has to meet before later
dropping in at Gloria Publishers in Kentish
Town, North London, where a small team of
10 designers are looking for his guidance on
these luxury vessels. At the end of the after-
noon he will return home to work on a film
scenario based on his unpublished novel,
Loveless, in cooperation with Hollywood
actor Laurence Fishbure.
It was of all of this, of his life as a model and
of his talents as a singer that the public man
spoke very privately to The Courier, with a
modesty that is in marked contrast to his pop-
ular image as the extrovert star.
> "Eclectic identities"
I am a bom and bred Londoner via Nigeria. I
would like to think that I have the dual con-
sciousness of an Englishman in a Nigerian
guy's body, or something like that. My name's
Nigerian and a lot of my values are from there.
What's interesting is the struggle to be two
things. Are you English completely, are you
from the home country entirely, or both of
those things? That is the big cultural/racial
question now for minorities and a lot of other
places, too, especially since 9/11 and 7/7
attacks in London.
How much you are prepared to shed your cul-
ture is something which every individual him-
self has to decide. A lot depends on what you
do for a living. If you're in certain professions;
the media, music business or any of the cre-
ative fields, there won't be the same pressure
to conform. In fact, difference is what is
requested in those areas.
But if you're in banking or any of the more
conservative industries then there'll be even
more pressure to assimilate values, the aesthet-
ic and cultural ones of the dominant people in
> Simply a celebrity
in the British media?
The press is only interested in where I'm from
in the normal biographical way. People don't
usually interview me about my 'Nigerianess'...
In a way it's good for people simply to be con-
cerned with the issue on the table. When
you've written a piece of work as with Black
Beauty, people are interested in where the
focus of the book comes from, not in me as a
> Black Beauty
I think the problem of image for black people
is acute everywhere. I focused on US black
stars because readers could relate to them... If
you talk about representations of beauty by
using Sidney Poitier as an example, or Halle
Berry, etc. this gamers more interest. The mes-
sage reaches more people than if you talk
about people you don't know. All of the things
I talk about in Black Beauty through the prism
of celebrity are the same things that happen to
black people on a day-to-day basis every-
> Lack of self-confidence amongst
You've hit on something that is very impor-
tant, the correlation between a lack of a partic-
ular aesthetic confidence in schools and in the
workplace. If you look at the position of
women in general, they're squeezed more.
Take black women... they're being squeezed
not only by white male culture but also by the
black male culture.
> Continuity between
Black Beauty and Pel
and architecture and writing
Pel in a way is a completely different kind of
proposition and yet similar in another. Pel
was one of the first guys who began to realise
that sportspeople could be as powerful as
politicians and this is even more the case
today; Michael Jordan in basketball, etc.
Sportspeople people now have the power,
influence and money of politicians and some
leaders of industry. I had to produce this book
with a team of people and research the best
material. For me, it's an extension of architec-
ture... The creative mechanics of what I'm
doing are the same... Pel was like building a
tower block in terms of volume. It is very
> Loueless mouie project
This was a departure from Black Beauty and I
wanted to do something that would take me
out of what I had been associated with
before... The novel is currently being finished
along with a screenplay of the same project...
It's about the whole culture of dysfunctional
relationships within modem London, a psy-
chological relationship drama.
> is a fashion model and a singer
Modelling was something that I did to help me
financially when I was writing Black Beauty...
and also to be in a position where I could get
to grips with the aesthetic hierarchy in model-
ling and way that aesthetics determined who
got what work... and use these to understand
the politics of the industry.
1 have been very interested in singing for a
long time and am interested in doing some-
thing lyrically as much as vocally. I don't have
too many ambitions in this area right now even
though I'm drawn to the idea of doing some-
thing musically creative. H.G. M
Ben Arogundade, Black Beauty, Pavilion Books
Limited, London 2000
Bountg from the U D
Kenyan John Maina, has carried off the 2006 Global Energy trophy for sustainability,
awarded this year in the surroundings of the European Parliament in Brussels. It is the
top accolade amongst the annually awarded prizes going to the best environmental-
ly friendly projects making a major contribution to save the world's depleting energy
U sing sunshine
to dry fruits
bles, the solar
dryer made in Kenya by
his company, SCODE,
not only saves energy
but also improves food
security, diet and has a
big export potential,
says its developer,
Maina. All of this
without harming the
increase yields without
using additional water
Founded by Austrian
engineer and environ-
Neumann, a pioneer in
energy saving, the Ruth Sacks, Don'tpanic, 2005. Video artwork, 4' 54".
awards ave to date Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection of contemp
awards have to date
been given nine times at
ceremonies held in a different city around the world. They go to mainly
small-scale, low-priced projects that are making a careful and economi-
cal use of resources with the use of alternative energy sources. The
dryer came out tops amongst 732 projects across 96 countries.
"It's two minutes to midnight and we have to act," stressed Hans-Gert
Pottering, European Parliament President on the "environmental emer-
gency" facing the world.
A star studded line-up of personalities known for their environmental
commitment including US actor Martin Sheen; UK singer Robin Gibb;
Indian environmentalist, Maneka Gandhi and Somali writer, Waris
Dirie, handed over the prizes. There were three winners in five cate-
gories: Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth. Adding to a first prize in the
Earth group, Maina was also the overall winner.
> Simple design
The sides of his cabinet solar dryer are made of wood, the bottom from
papyrus mat and the top of UV-treated polythene sheet. The papyrus
mat is covered with a heat-absorbing material.
The UV-treated polythene sheet allows the sun's rays into the cabinet,
creating a greenhouse effect in the dryer. Any produce for drying is
loaded into the dryer
using a tray made of
wood and plastic net.
When harvests of fruit
and vegetables are plen-
ty during the 3-4 month
rainy season, surplus
with a high moisture
content like pineapples,
mangoes, tomatoes, cab-
bage, paw-paw, banana
and cassava, which
would otherwise be
wasted, can be dried and
put on the local market
during the hot, dry sea-
son when yields are low.
Says Maina: "Kenyans
do not have a tradition of
eating dried fruits and/or
the project has success-
fully encouraged an
increasing number of
families to include dried vegetables and fruits in their diets."
The simple construction is cheap and easy to make, operate and main-
tain. It costs just 3,000 Kenyan shillings (ksh) or 31.25. A commer-
cial version a tunnel dryer is sold at kshl5,500 (or 161.50). It con-
tains 6 trays and takes higher loads, for example, drying up to 18-20 kg
of freshly sliced pineapples at once.
Maina now wants to export the dryer: "Due to lack of resources to mar-
ket the technology, we've not been able to market it to other parts of
Kenya. We're looking for financiers to assist us in marketing the dryers
more widely in Kenya and the East Africa region. Currently we've not
sold any dryer outside of Kenya because people outside the pilot areas
do not know about the dryers."
He's also looking for partners to market the Kenyan-grown fruit and
vegetables, keen on tapping into the ever-growing EU market for organ-
ic produce: "When I was in Brussels for the Energy Globe award cere-
mony, I met with people interested in dried fruits to make eco-choco-
late in Europe. We're following these contacts seriously with a view to
exporting dried fruits to such companies wherever they may be."
'111 J i
enerable Ethiopia, the eldest child of inde-
pendent Africa and a nation often ravaged
by famine and war has just celebrated
another 11 September. This date is a symbol of hope,
as it marks the start of the third millennium in the
Ethiopian calendar. The celebrations, which continue
for a year, provide a unique opportunity for visitors
to explore the country and its culture. Ethiopia is
home to several World Heritage Site treasures and
has produced a succession of remarkable artists as
well as athletes who have won gold at the Olympics.
But this proud nation has much more to offer the
world than just nostalgia for a great history. It has
shown an incredible capacity for change to over-
conme the scourge of poverty caused to some extent
by a lack of resources and a certain fatalismn imposed
by decades of dictatorship.
Ethiopia's will to succeed is highlighted by its dynamic
economy, which will grow even stronger when free-
dom of enterprise goes hand in hand with the free-
dom of speech. It is this flourishing Ethiopia of today
that The Courier has set out to discover.
N 2 N E SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Ethiopia celebrated the advent of the third millennium in the Julian calendar on 11
September, celebrations that will continue for a year. According to the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development, Ato Mekonnen Manyazewal, this is an opportu-
nity to take stock and to set out the development objectives for a country that today
is enjoying an economic boom.
Buildings under construction
in front of the Medhanielem de Bole church
k. -A -L I. ...t ,
However, this spectacular growth -driven by direct foreign invest-
ment that has risen from US$149 to US$365 million a year since
2001 -is not without its downside. It was impossible to buy a SIM
card in July, as Ethiopian Telecoms was unable to satisfy demand.
The only option available was to hire one. Traffic jams in Addis
Ababa and in particular on the Debre Zeit motorway, 50 kilometres
to the south, constantly produce excessive levels of C02 emissions.
There is heavy traffic in the direction of the Port of Djibouti from the
industrial areas along the route, where there is a proliferation of tan-
neries and textile, shoe and furniture factories owned by Chinese,
Pakistani, Ethiopian and Turkish companies. Even a Fiat Regata
assembly plant. Past Debre Zeit, in the direction of Nazareth, the
road can only be described as dangerous. To make up for lost time,
the drivers of the 'Al Qaidas' the little Isuzu trucks hit breakneck
speeds to reach Djibouti or Kenya, often causing fatal accidents.
Lack of cement is another problem. However in this case, a solution
country that has two million extra mouths to feed each year, and
insufficient seed production. However, according to Tim Clarke, the
EU delegate in Ethiopia, the situation is not irretrievable. Clarke said:
"The country can be self-sufficient". One key factor is improving the
management of the country's most precious commodity -water. Each
year for four months, the Keremt unleashes a flood on the highlands,
making possible the miracle of the rise of the Nile, without which
Egypt would not survive. But this natural phenomenon remains
underused. Nevertheless, there have been some positive develop-
ments such as a recent US$100 million loan from the World Bank for
a 20,000 hectare irrigation project in the region of Lake Tana and
India's decision to invest US$640 million in various agricultural proj-
ects to capture rainwater and to increase the production capacity of
the sugar industry. A paradox concerning water in Ethiopia is that
while the rate of access to drinking water is 70% in Addis Ababa, it
drops sharply to 16% in Afar, 13% in Ogaden and 18% in Gambela.
I Construction workers on an Addis Ababa building site. Franois Misser
would seem to be on the horizon, as 14 cement factories are being
built in Dire Dawa, Wuchale and other towns. Yet there is still room
to improve economic performance. Only 54.3% of the manufacturing
sector's capacity is being used because of constraints such as a short-
age of raw materials and poor water and electricity supplies.
The economic boom has not rid the country of its chronic problems.
GDP per capital is just US$170. This is a country that has known ter-
rible famine, and providing sufficient food is still the main challenge.
Ethiopia still has a cereal shortage of 600,000 tonnes a year, which is
causing serious inflation (19% in February 2007, according to the
IMF). This in spite of an increase in production from 8.7-11.6 million
tonnes between 2001-2002 and 2005-2006. The causes of the prob-
lem include poor agricultural yields, the subdivision of farmland in a
Agriculture in Ethiopia has considerable potential. Thanks to an
agreement in May with the American chain Starbucks, Ethiopia the
leading African producer of coffee, with an average crop of 300,000
tonnes a year has found a way of maximising its income because the
intellectual property of the planters and the labels of the 'Sidamo',
'Harar' and 'Yirgacheffe' arabica beans are to be recognized.
Production in Harar increased by 20% last year according to the
cooperative farmers' association.
Additionally, producers of oil and horticulturalists are enjoying a
spectacular period of growth, in particular floriculture, which
employs 50,000 workers (mostly women) near Addis Ababa and in
the Rift Valley. Exports doubled last year to reach US$60 million.
According to Anat Harari Degani of Jericho plc, the sector has a
bright future providing quality equivalent to Ecuador, one of the
leaders in the world market, and with lower costs than its Kenyan
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Ethiopia fully intends to harness its significant hydroelectric poten-
tial (between 30,000 and 40,000 megawatts), the second highest in
Africa behind the Congo basin, which allows it to meet the require-
ments of its booming economy and the needs of its neighbours
(Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya).
According to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu,
four hydroelectric power stations are under construction (Gilgel Gibe
II, Amerti-Neshe, Takeze and Anabeles), with a total output of 880
megawatts, and will double the country's current power generation
capacity between now and 2010. In September, the Italian company
Salini Costruttori will start work on the Gilgel Gibe III power station
(1870 megawatts), a US$1.6 billion investment. Also, the World
Bank has just approved a US$130 million loan to provide electricity
in 295 towns and villages.
Ethiopia, whose geology bears similarities to Sudan and the Yemen,
also hopes to become a supplier of petroleum and gas. The Malaysian
company Petronas is carrying out exploration work in the Ogaden
(where gas reserves of 4,000 billion square foot have been identified)
and Gambela basins. Elsewhere, the British company White Nile is
conducting a geophysical study in the Omo river region in the south
of the country. The Malaysian-owned company Pexco, Lundin East
Africa (Sweden), which owns several blocks in Ogaden, and the
American company Afar Exploration in the north of the country are
also in the hunt. According to Abyi Hunegnaw, head of the ministry's
petroleum operations department, the centre of the country and the
Mekele region in the north will also be opened up for exploration in
due course. However, the true value of the Ogaden finds will not be
fully known until peace has returned to the region'.
Revenue from the mining sector has doubled in a year, which is part-
ly explained by the formal incorporation of gold prospectors into the
sector by the ministry. The subsoil, which has been under-explored,
is attracting the attention of Indian, Chinese and Ethiopian compa-
nies in search of gold, platinum, coal, tantalum and precious stones
such as olivine. Around 20 licences were granted last year according
to the ministry's director of mining operations, Gebre Egziabher.
Exports in 2005-2006 (US$1.08 billion) were exceeded in 11 months
in the following financial year. The World Bank says that this per-
formance should continue to improve at the same rate thanks to reg-
ulatory reforms introduced in various sectors. Assistance from the
Ethiopian diaspora, which amounted to more than the total export
revenue in 2006-2007 (US$1.1 billion in the first nine months) is
another important factor. There was an exodus of intellectuals, a third
of whom are doctors, under the Marxist dictatorship of Derg.
Tourism is another sector enjoying growth thanks to the country's
cultural richness and its exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. The
persistent tension in the Afar region and on the border with Eritrea,
which partly explains why 8% of the budget is spent on defence, is
hardly noticeable in the capital and the rest of the country where
crime rates are low. As a result, there has been an increase in the
number of visitors from 139,000 to 227,000 between 1997-2005, a
period which has seen revenue from tourism triple to reach US$134
million. The government is also aiming to make the most of the key
factor in development the Ethiopian people. It aims to increase the
rate of primary school education from 79% to almost 100% between
now and 2015 and to invest heavily in training and university educa-
tion. The number of universities has risen from 1 to 8 since 1991 and
13 more are under construction.
The country is undergoing a complete transformation thanks in par-
ticular to the government's policy of devolution of power to the
regions. In 2007-2008, almost a third of the budget was allocated to
the regions, 55% more than in the previous year.
1 In April 2007, an attack on a petroleum plant by the rebels of the Ogaden National
Liberation Front (ONLF) forced a Chinese company to stop prospecting work it was carry
ing out on behalf of Petronas.
The EU-Ethiopia main
The EU is the principal development partner of Ethiopia, which receives the most
European aid of ail ACP countries. Brussels is is involved in political dialogue with the
government of this strategically important country on ail issues, including the most
i dr o the Minister of Finance
.in E."i!omic Development, Ato
I l...i iiin Manyazewal, "the EU is
Ei!i hpi.i. main development part-
ner" thanks to its support of the 5th five-year
plan launched in 2005. Ethiopia is also the lar-
gest ACP beneficiary of European aid with a
540 million allocation under the 9th
European Development Fund (2002-2007)
and a sum of around 650 million for the 10th
EDF (2008-2013). European aid is concentra-
ted on improving infrastructure (211 million
from the 9th EDF) and this trend is set to
continue with the emphasis on projects aimed
at facilitating regional integration.
"The objective is to create the foundations for
facilitating direct investments to make us more
competitive", said Ato Makonnen Manyazewal
with regard to the conclusion of the latest
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Economic Partnership Agreement between
the EU and Eastern and Souther Africa
(ESA). Besides the repair of the Addis Ababa-
Djibouti railway, the main projects concern
highway infrastructure. Ato Makonnen
Manyazewal said that following the comple-
tion of the Addis Ababa-Awasa highway and
the construction of another to Jima in the
north, which is currently underway, the aim is
now to build main arterial links to the north
(Addis Ababa-Debre Sina and Kombolcha-
The European Investment Bank (EIB), which
is funding the construction of the Gilgel Gibe
II hydroelectric power station (428
megawatts), is also looking at the possibility
of funding the building of one of the conti-
nent's biggest dams (Gilgel Gibe III, 1870
megawatts). Work on this was expected to get
underway in September 2007. The second
most important form of assistance (96 mil-
lion under the 9th EDF) provides for macro-
Ato Makonnen Manyazewal explained that it
aims to fund the promotion of basic services
(agriculture, education, health, water) in the
woredas (districts) in order to support the
ongoing process of devolution of power from
the federal state to the regions.
Finally, rural development and food supply,
(see box), which received 54 million under
the 9th EDF, remain priorities.
In addition to those mentioned, other pro-
grammes have been introduced for non-gov-
ernmental players: good governance, conflict
prevention, mine-clearance operations, assis-
tance for the coffee sector and the conserva-
tion of cultural heritage.
Cooperation is increasingly shifting from a
project-based approach to a sectorial one,
which is more institutional and involves
greater sums of money. It is a development
appreciated by Ato Makonnen Manyazewal,
the Ethiopian partner. He said, "It's good for
us as it reduces transaction costs and allows
for more flexible use of resources".
However, the suppression of demonstrations
by the authorities in June and November
2005 following the May elections -which
were tarnished by irregularities according to
European observers has led the European
Commission to review the way it provides
193 people died in the disturbances, accord-
ing to a commission of inquiry set up by the
Ethiopian Parliament. EU delegate, Tim
Clarke, explained: "In terms of money going
through government machinery, we became
much stricter in the way in which we
In the framework of the 10th EDF, the
Commission intends to carry out meaningful
political dialogue with the government con-
cerning support for its Plan for Accelerated
and Sustained Development to End Poverty
(PASDEP). Tim Clarke pointed out that a
key challenge in meeting the Millennium
Development Goals between now and 2015
is to double foreign aid to reduce the propor-
tion of the population suffering from malnu-
Funding providers are willing to increase
their assistance, but progress is necessary in
the field of good governance, said the EU
delegate. Tim Clarke said: "The legal system
here has still many weaknesses.
In certain prisons, 80% of the detainees have
not been charged. Security of contracts is a
huge problem for European investors.
But it's a real credit to the government that
they agreed to get involved in a reform
process like that, producing a guide with spe-
cific indicators. It is really impressive!"
Ato Mekonnen Manyazewal, noting that
Ethiopia has adhered to the African Peer
Review Mechanism since its creation under
the management of the government, said:
"Nobody understands better than us the need
for good governance".
Tim Clarke said: "If there was seen to be sta-
bility and security and if there was an
enabling environment that covered not only
economic but also political issues, the flood
gates would open much more than is current-
ly the case".
According to Addis Ababa, one of the main
stumbling blocks in relations with the EU is
the attitude of the European Parliament, which
passed a resolution on 21 June deploring the
guilty verdict pronounced against Hailu
Shawel, President of the Coalition for Unity
and Democracy, and his 37 co-defendants. The
European Parliament called on the European
Council to impose sanctions against the
also wants to have in place international stan-
dards relating to human rights and good gov-
Clarke also underlined the need to take into
account the strategic role of Ethiopia. Addis
Ababa is the diplomatic capital of Africa and
Ethiopia plays a key role in pan-African insti-
tutions. He added: "Ethiopia is a key player at
a regional level. It plays a very important reli-
gious and cultural role". Diplomats in Addis
Ababa point out that Ethiopia possesses the
region's most powerful army and, in the view
of NATO, it is doing well in the fight against
terrorism, in particular with regard to Jihadist
activity. The Ethiopian army has been
deployed in Somalia since the end of 2006 to
support the transition government against the
Union of Islamic Courts. Clarke added that
wherever you go, Ethiopia is seen as a key
Above and below:
Restoration work on the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway
line at Metahara.
Ethiopian government officials responsible.
However, the release of the detainees on 20
July may help to thaw relations.
Tim Clarke believes "bridges need to be
built". The European Parliament must not be
perceived as "anti-development" in Ethiopia.
While conceding that there are problems
regarding respect for human rights in Ethiopia,
the he also believes that the minister of justice
is a man who really wants to change things.
Ato Makonnen Manyazewal considers the
vote of the European parliamentarians to be
unfair. He says it was based on misinformation
and did not constitute a "concrete and bal-
anced analysis", and he hopes that there will
be "a better understanding of the situation" in
due course. The Minister said: "One has to
take into account that we are trying to build
institutions. They are imperfect but our long-
term objective is to build a democratic and
inclusive political system".
Tim Clarke said: "Ethiopia is a proud country,
with 3,000 years of history and I think it is
right not to accept being given lessons by peo-
ple from the outside. The elections which took
place in 2005 were by far the most democratic
that ever took place in the country".
"At the same time there are universal princi-
ples that must be respected. Human rights are
part of them. And I know from having spoken
many times with the Prime Minister that he
1i t i i d ii c. '.1 i ii ii 1 't- I i | .111i
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ful state of the railway has led freight compa-
nies to switch to the motorway despite chron-
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The repair work is badly needed, as the dread-
ful state of the railway has led freight compa-
nies to switch to the motorway despite chron-
ic congestion and high number of accidents.
The repair work, which is being carried out by
the Italian group Consta, should be complete
by mid-2009. It involves the repair of the most
badly damaged sections of track.
A total of 114 kilometres of track and nine
metal bridges will be replaced. Additionally,
40 other bridges will be strengthened and the
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Finally, the modernisation of the railway is
vital for Djibouti, where the Dubai Port
Authority has invested heavily in the construc-
tion of the deep-water port of Doraleh.
The port provides the country with its main
source of income.
Finally, it is hoped that the completion of the
work will consign the bandits who some-
times disrupt joumeys in the Djibouti border
region to the annals of history.
despite an annual 10% growth in
GDP of, Ethiopia is still confronted
with the challenge of providing
enough food for its population,
particularly in the Ogaden region which has
been threatened by famine since the beginning
of September. According to Tim Clarke, the
EU delegate in Addis Ababa, the country could
become self-sufficient; however, sharp increa-
ses in the population have reduced the amount
of land available for cultivation in rural areas
where there are six or seven children per
family. As a result of this, food aid is still
necessary. In 2006, the European Commission
and the Member States of the European Union
provided 30% of total food aid received by
Ethiopia -90,000 tonnes of which went to the
most vulnerable and a portion of the aid was
purchased within Ethiopia to ensure that the
price of local foodstuffs did not fall.
Development measures are increasingly being
used to tackle the problem. These measures
primarily in food supply but also for product
diversification and commercialization of other
products (coffee, flowers, spices) as well as
the creation of an infrastructure to improve the
t~ S, -.' ** -*,,.
t ~ ii -, jl I b[IIiii;L i4ly:
management of water resources support gov-
ernment initiatives. The Minister of Finance
and Economic Development, Ato Mekonnen
Manyazewal, said: "We are introducing at
household level water harvesting techniques,
the preparation of ponds ensuring that they can
plough during dry years and that they can pro-
duce diversified crops such as fruits and veg-
etables through small irrigation projects". In
2005, a programme designed jointly by the
government and aid providers created social
'safety nets', making available both food and
money to people in trouble in exchange for
their contribution to public work schemes. In
2006, 7 million people benefited from this
220 million programme, 60% of which was
funded by the EU and its Member States.
The paradox is that there are still pockets of
malnutrition in Ethiopia, even in the most pro-
ductive areas. This is the case in the southern
region where, thanks to EU funding
(817,760), the French NGO Inter Aide is
supporting an integrated development pro-
gramme in the woredas (districts) of Damot
Gale and Kacha Bira. Sometimes referred to as
'happy Ethiopia', this fertile, well-irrigated
region, where hillside terraces are farmed, still
suffers from what is known as 'green famine'.
Although settlements are scattered the density
of the population is very high (300-600 inhab-
itants/hectare) and the cramped smallholdings
(0.5 hectares on average) are not productive
enough to ensure there is sufficient food. Half
of the families in Damot Gale have total annu-
al incomes of between 30-100. In this area,
which is at an altitude of 2,000 metres, agricul-
ture is traditionally based on the cultivation of
'false banana trees'. This is considered a mir-
acle plant and is relied upon as a major food
source for humans and animals alike. Cereals
and vegetables are the main cash crops; how-
ever, combining cultivation with cattle rearing
-indispensable for ensuring long-term success
-is made difficult today by scarce availability
of fodder. The practice of leaving land fallow
has disappeared, due to population pressures
and agricultural techniques are archaic in their
Farmers find themselves in extremely precari-
ous situations and several families share an ox
or a donkey. They hire their labour to each
other and in times of food shortages have to
sell their capital (their cattle). Today, the mor-
tality rate of cattle has now reached 40% in the
first year. The landownership regime (as the
land belongs to the state, farmers only have
use of it) is a handicap because the farmers can
only use their future harvest or livestock as a
guarantee to obtain loans, often made at exor-
In view of this situation, Inter Aide has imple-
mented an integrated programme. Firstly,
1,800 families benefit from the agricultural
part of the project, which is based on coopera-
tion with the iddirs, the traditional farmers' co-
I l ..i l..I i I I I
operatives. The NGO helps the farmers to dig
ditches and to build up the sides of the basins
to reduce the slope and prevent fertile land
being swept away by the rains.
They cultivate vetiver (a perennial grass) to
stabilise the defences. This enables food to be
provided for the livestock in the dry season
and assists in reducing debt levels and increas-
es dairy and manure production. The project
encourages the use of new seeds and the intro-
duction of better seeds.
The results have proven decisive. According to
Christophe Humbert, project leader, the yield
has doubled in the first year alone in Damot
Gale. The project also involves improving
rural hydraulic systems.
Since the beginning of April 2007, more than
14,000 people and 5,000 cattle have benefited
from the installation of new hydraulic systems.
Thirty-one water points are managed by com-
mittees, which become self-reliant after two
years. The target is an improvement in the
health of both people and livestock.
Finally, the programme also covers family
planning in line with the national strategy on
The aim is to reduce the ratio of population to
resources and to give women -key players in
development -control of their own destinies.
Initially, the programme provided support
mainly for older mothers wanting to prevent
further pregnancies, but it now involves more
and more young women.
In April 2007 1,500 new beneficiaries were
registered. The method used is an injection of
Depo Provera, which provokes less opposition
from the region's priests, pastors and imams
than the use of condoms.
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Ethiopia occupies an extraordinary place in the history of mankind, stretching from
the origins of the human race to today's new wave of artists, who are striving to over-
come the desolation left behind by 17 years of Marxist dictatorship under Derg.
ic painter Geta Makonnen loved to
,.y, "In this country, when you tra-
Scl in space, you travel in time".
1-iicy, our common ancestor austra-
lopithecus afarensis, lived several hundred
kilometres from Addis Ababa in the Rift
Valley. The National Museum of Ethiopia
recently discovered traces of our distant rela-
tive, a hominid who lived 3.9 million years
ago. And, in the north of the country, the Pount
civilisation flourished in the 3rd millennium
BC between what is now Eritrea and the
region of Tigray. The Egyptians of the low-
lands spoke highly of their myrrh, incense and
ivory and, according to Ethiopian tradition, it
was also in Tigray where Menelik I, son of the
Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, founded
the civilisation of Axum in the 1st millennium
BC. Their steles and obelisks, cut from blocks
of stone, are still defying the laws of gravity
today (one that was taken by Mussolini's army
in 1937, 24 metres high weighing 170 tonnes,
was returned in 2005 to rejoin its fellows). It
was also in this mountainous area that
Ethiopia became one of the cradles of
Christianity after the conversion of King
Ezana about 330 AD. It had its own rites and
doctrines, which affirmed the union of the
divine and mankind in Christ as a single being,
its own Ge'ez alphabet and its own Julian
calendar enriched by contributions from the
Syrians, Armenians and Egyptian Copts.
Much later, it was also in the Kingdom of
Axum that the disciples of Mohammed found
refuge in the 7th century after being driven out
Nearby, in what is now the province of Wollo,
the King Lalibela of the Zague dynasty built
the famous monolithic churches in the 7th cen-
tury, which UNESCO defined as a World
Heritage Site in 1978. Currently, the EU is
funding work to conserve them.
Axum and the Kingdom of Prester John have
fascinated the Europeans, Greeks, Germans
and Portuguese for many years. In the 16th
century, the Vatican acquired manuscripts,
from which, together with other treasures, art
historian Jacques Mercier is drawing up an
inventory thanks to financial assistance from
the EU. An invaluable heritage is also an irre-
sistible temptation for illicit dealers. European
fascination is also underlined by the solidarity
shown by the Portuguese arquebusiers who
fought to save the kingdom from attack in the
16th Century by the Emir of Harar, Ahmed
Gragn, known as 'the left-handed'. They
inspired the splendid castles of Gondar with
their great crenulated walls.
However, Ethiopia's cultural heritage is not
based solely on Christian contributions. The
country is also an ancient home to two other
major monotheistic religions, Islam and
Judaism. According to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,
the members of thefalasha community are the
descendants of the lost tribe of Dan. Ethiopia
was also home to the Muslim Kingdom of
Shoa between the 10th and 16th centuries, the
vestiges of which were discovered in 2006.
Rimbaud was enchanted by Harar -a holy city
of Islam -the walls of which are still standing.
The country's rich cultural heritage includes
the traditions of the Afar shepherds, driving
their camels through the most arid plains,
Somalis and Surma dancers from the Sudan
border region whose animistic rites go back to
the mists of time. No fewer than 80 ethnic
groups inhabit this vast country with such var-
ied landscapes from the scorching lowlands of
Danakil to Mount Ras Dashen (4,620 metres).
In this etemal Ethiopia, which is celebrating
its second millennium in the Christian era
(Julian calendar), spirituality -manifest in the
furtive sign of the cross made by the taxi driv-
er on the way to every church is being
expressed in new forms that are very much
part of the 21st century. In his own way, this
peace activist, a 23-year-old farmer, is the
embodiment of these new forms of spirituality.
He had walked more than 1,600 kilometres
from his native village of Humara in Tigray
when we met him on the road across the
Metahara plain, displaying the Ethiopian flag
and a white flag on his rucksack. He expressed
the wish of many of his compatriots to see an
end to the cycle of wars that have ravaged the
region. Ethiopia is also the holy land of the
Rastafarians and home to the Shashemene
community, 240 kilometres from Addis
Ababa. Three hundred thousand Rastafarians,
fans and tourists flocked to Meskel Square in
Addis Ababa in February 2005 for a concert
which paid homage to Bob Marley. The dis-
play of devotion shown to the late Negus Haile
Selassie, revered as a god, left the locals a lit-
tle bewildered. The modem age has witnessed
a strange paradox of Ethiopia opening up to
the world, but also withdrawing into itself.
Ethiopia has seen some heady days since the
explosion of jazz in the 1950s, followed by the
arrival of rumba, rock and calypso. The
Academy of Fine Arts was established in
1957. One of its figureheads was the
Armenian-Ethiopian, Skunder Boghossian, the
founder of abstract art in the country.
However, the 'red terror' of the Derg regime
(1974-1991), under which a curfew was
enforced, put an end to the effervescence of
the Addis Ababa ',.." a story told by the
novelist Sebhat Gubr-Egziabhr'. The
regime completely suppressed the creative
spirit that had flourished in the last decades of
the empire. The only forms of art permitted
had to take their inspiration from the socialism
of the day, as illustrated by this Gebre Luel
Gebre Mariam painting (1979), depicting a
revolutionary patrol. This is to painting what
the Red Detachment of Women was to the
work of Mao.
Since the end of the regime, we have seen the
dawn of an eclectic range of artistic expres-
sion, ranging from nave art inspired by icons
and applied to profane subjects, like these
paintings by Getachew Berhanou, to scenes of
everyday life depicting the hustle and bustle of
Addis Ababa and the markets of Harar in the
most diverse forms (symbolism, impression-
ism, neo-cubism, etc.). Berhanou, himself the
son of a master of iconography, paints the
Surma fighting with donga sticks just as well
as a slightly risqu scene of intoxication by
Rimbaud. Artistic developments are not unlike
those in another great orthodox nation, Russia,
with whom Ethiopia has much in common
iconography, an imperial tradition and
Stalinism, before experiencing a 'new wave
since the end of the 1990s'. One of the most
original new wave works is that of Geta
Makonnen whose self-portrait contains pages
from the Bible, mirrors, parts of a Kalashnikov
rifle and a skeleton, symbolising the fear and
intimidation that is part of the modern
Francis Falceto, the author of a number of
books on Ethiopian music, laments the fact
that since the end of the dark days of Derg,
modem music is a long way from rediscover-
ing its clat of yesteryear and in particular of
Swinging Addis2. But the existence of a local
record industry, which distributes the work of
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
lui l l i lil. i (I ill Il *C I |.1 i i il i i I
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winaclro a i in Le ha ie cusqhisv ewel|ceaefr ldEl r .Ae rIv a l t t h lurearo tic un s .
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us bIl ngIII ed J au! Iin the I an inpn ep at tt1111l s1 t i n a iui y h p a tr i-l
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al ..'u' P. li.e I, F e..tim le ..' and s c d n t he hic h esi
hi, t l! .nn d bI A\.l Lllliel !s yll!l.' dI slll lne h,1ci.'> Su%-,
ti oh lh. I o lln. n ts. i hes'! lln or i l u in lld ne
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I hes are the cst important place ait pilusrimna le for Ethidpians The normes ('t the surroundings hills -
lount Tabo r, lount ait Olives and h lount Sinai and the rcnearbn Rid.er lcnren n are an indic atn -A the rosial
,,ill n cr nate a "ec.nl holn lanl in these aIe!' tc spire their subjects the dangerou! journey, v Pale5tine .
Throu, .h the cenl. nl urie', these places Elt worship interconnected by undeiground pissagE5, hae endured
ind, rain an liate chane, causing severe ar and ear. Af several atte t restrain, the,
c eatedfrorn ink v, : irr roc unde the. i reig ot L ibl be ee 117 d107'D h 1 hr
che ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ,: r Lhe n., im,tm plc tpllm.efrEh,-pm Ten: tLesrudn I
KlontTab:,, oun o Oive ad <:,nLSiai ndth nerb .RberIodanar a ini
wll ocrat eod ol'lad'n tes le. t sn e thenl~ sujet th dn ,L. i LJn: oPlne .
at tmewhn risa ,s ndl'lLsh co fl ntd nean thr hee hechJihe 'deig w s ea l, .
~C~b~31PFi ~ 2. i r.F3t;I.i.
nnllL :ce L;.AXJmLestye L asobvSvo-alstJnnadC p g ls j .
.... +'. ,-.
ThloLJ _lh th !itJis hs lcso osip nnecnotdb; n egfidps _,h n ue
wind ran ad maL chnl, ca Sll l evee vea an Lea. A ersevralaLLmpt ,:, retorti,,nLhe...
FI\I .. -.
Eth,:,ia goenme L alld o Le asitane f te uro eanLli,:n o hlpsa, e he Th rk ,,'
is eig ariedou b th Itha cmpn' Tpn a aLotl os o mllon ;'asinuurtedb/hepari
arh }LiaPalo eru%,207ad hol b om lee b; te n o hi er.Te esoato iclds h cnsrcLo o nwcoes o
th lnul-ts h e :tino [Lp or _ILrlS nith udigo an wco t nt etl n [ LI f"b(r er lOLn teSiP h po l]i l
also ~ ~~ nnos os vto olte lato ta o let]nn _nreadth no'e etoftelca oulto i hssa.g nis
thiopia has made its mark in the
world of athletics and one man,
Abebe Bekila, has played a signifi-
cant part in the country's rise to pro-
minence. Winning gold in the marathon at the
Rome Olympics in 1960, this soldier became
the first African athlete ever to have won a
medal. Four years later, he won a second gold
at the Tokyo Olympics to become the only
runner ever to have won two Olympic mara-
thons. Many athletes from Ethiopia's high pla-
teaus have excelled since then in the 10,000
metres, 5,000 metres, 3,000 metres and the
marathon and legendary figures have emerged
in women's athletics as well as in the men's
events. Haile Gebreselassie, Derartu Tulu and
Berhane Adere will be familiar names to the
over-thirties, while the younger generation
will recognize Kenenisa Bekele, Turunesh
Dibabaw and Meseret Defar.
This high level of success owes much to the
Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) which
was established in 1949 and is the country's
most efficiently-run sporting federation.
Between 2003-2007 its budget increased from
US$777 to more than US$3 million.
Elshaday Negash, spokesperson for the EAF,
said the federation's success comes down to
the fact that it is the only Ethiopian sporting
federation that does not depend on govern-
ment funding. It is completely self-sufficient
thanks to grants from the International
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
and support from its main sponsor, Adidas.
All of these runners are extremely popular fig-
ures because of their charity work as well as
for their achievements in athletics. Most of
them are ambassadors for UNICEF or the
World Food Programme, and they are well
known for their generosity. Last year many of
them helped the victims of the Dire Dawa
floods. In contrast to their predecessors in the
1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the current crop of
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Negus of the marathon, Ghebray Haile Selassie salutes the crowd of runners.
athletes is also making a great deal of money
for themselves. In the past, any profit made by
the runners ended up in the state's coffers, but
today they pay the state a 10% tax and receive
bonuses from the state for victories at major
international championships. This has allowed
some of them to invest in profitable business
ventures. Haile Gebreselassie is a pioneer in
this, owning a sports centre, a cinema and a
property portfolio in Addis Ababa. His busi-
ness empire is estimated to be worth 75 mil-
lion birrs (around US$8 million).
Kenenisa Bekele has also invested in property.
This exceptional athlete is believed to have
made US$1.5 million in the last three years
and he plans to build a sports centre in Sululta
-30 kilometres from the capital -with a
track, swimming pool and accommodation.
Sululta is one of many places where athletes
train before taking part in major competitions.
The women are not being outdone, but they
are much more discreet about their invest-
ments. We do know though that Turunesh
Dibabaw amassed a fortune of US$450,000 in
2005 at the age of just 19!
There are however still a number of problems
in Ethiopian athletics. The spokesperson for
the EAF believes there are too few talented
young athletes and says there are not enough
clubs or privately run projects in the regions.
In spite of these concerns, Ethiopian athletics
is in a healthy state and enjoys mass participa-
tion with young and old training regularly.
'The Great Run', a 10-kilometer run, which
aims to raise money for humanitarian aid, has
been held every year since 2001. Thirty thou-
sand runners made their way through the cap-
ital's hilly streets for charity in September's
'millennium' run. And Ethiopia's athletics
stars hope to shine when the country hosts the
African Athletics Championships in 2008. *
Long a key gateway to Europe, Portugal has for centuries reached out to the five other
continents and returned with treasures, goods and skills from every corner of the
globe. Currently the holder of the EU Presidency, today Portugal's aspirations are to
put Europe on a firmer footing and join with its partners on achieving a more harmo-
nious balance with the rest of the world. More than that, Portugal seeks to remind its
fellow EU Member States of the rich heritage they ail have in geography, resources and
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Portugal discovering Europe
for almost 200 years of exploration and discovery. This was a truly
golden age for this tiny country, whose population at the time did not
exceed 2 million, but succeeded in creating an empire that spanned
five continents on which sun never set. Owing to the drastic shortage
of manpower, the Portuguese authorities sought to govern by a combi-
nation of understanding, attentiveness, creativity and diplomacy, while
employing their new subjects to enforce their policies.
This immense enterprise got underway in 1385 AD when the first Avis,
John I, hero of the war of liberation against Castile, came to the throne
-first in 1415 AD with the conquest of Ceuta and then at sea, with
John's son, Prince Henry the Navigator, at the helm. In 1417 AD Henry
gathered together the most learned people of the time in Sagres, in the
Algarve, where they considered the feasibility of sending expeditions
beyond the southern parts of the Atlantic. This resulted in expeditions
to Madeira, the Azores and the Cape Verde islands, and after John II
came to the throne in 1481, Portuguese seafarers reached as far as
Namibia and Angola (1487). Then in 1488 the Portuguese succeeded
in rounding the Cape of Storms, which was subsequently named the
Cape of Good Hope.
Not all was good news. In 1492 Portugal lost a major struggle with
Spain to claim America. Ironically, Christopher Columbus had first
approached the Portuguese with his proposal but they rejected the plan.
However, they quickly recovered from this setback, settling in Brazil,
parts of the Indian Ocean, Kenya, Ceylon, Ormuz, Goa and Macao.
But Portugal's golden age was drawing to a close. Within a short peri-
od the population declined from 2 million to less than a million and the
risk-fraught adventures of the Crusaders dealt the final blow. By 1580,
Spain had achieved supremacy over its great rival and was to dominate
Portugal for the next 60 years.
Finally shaking off the Spanish brace in 1640, Portugal sought a safer
long term solution and signed a treaty of friendship with England
(regarded today as the longest lasting treaty in history), and reflected
(to cite just one example) by the English names of port wines.
Napoleon made Portugal pay for this alliance in the early 19th century
when he forced the Portuguese king to seek exile in Brazil. In the
meantime, the 18th century was marked by the earthquake of 1755 and
the dreadful tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The
death toll was particularly heavy in the Algarve (located near the epi-
centre), along the coast and in Lisbon. The 18th century was marked
by the Portuguese baroque period which dominated the arts, theatre,
music and architecture. The 20th century saw the emergence of a mil-
itary dictatorship led by Antnio de Oliveria Salazar and his successor
AZULEJO: Portugal has turned ordinariness into rich treasures with
tiled roofs and pavements becoming genuine works of art. These tiles,
Azulejos, were introduced by the Moors and were ideal for the local peo-
ple's need for cleanliness. They were then taken up by inspired artists
who turned them into exciting creations. A must visit is the Palacio dos
Necessidades, which houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lisbon -
if you manage to get an invitation, that is.
BACALHAU: the Portuguese name for [dried] cod, the national dish that
often forms the basis for long, drawn-out mealtime discussions among
family and friends about art and life.
LUIS DE CAMOES: poet and adventurer (circa 1524 -1580), the author
of Lusiades, an epic poem, which the Portuguese believe is one of the
cornerstones of their culture and character.
FADO: if you can define this you must let us know! Songs that feature
the moods and lament of Portuguese sailors as they travelled to Brazil,
Macao, Mozambique and all the oldfeitorias of the Portuguese colonies.
You should make a point of listening to the best of the Fado interpreters:
Amalia Rodrigues, Mariza, Misia, Carlos Paredes and Madredeus.
FEITORIAS: Portugal's former trading posts established across five
continents melting pots of trade and cultural exchange.
FUTEBAL: an expression that may be inserted into even the most intel-
lectual of conversations. Other words in this context are: Selecao
Nacional, worshipped, semi-final of the World Cup in 2006; Luis Figo,
captain of the team at the time; Eusebio, an icon; Benfica, in the Guinness
Book of Records for largest number of fans for one football club.
THE GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION: Created in Lisbon in 1956 by
the multimillionaire entrepreneur and a wonderful museum of art and
ANTONIO LOBO ANTUNES: a writer with a fond regard about dry
subjects and much appreciated by the Portuguese. His works include
Fado Alexandrino (1983) examining the situation 20 years after the
Carnation Revolution; The splendour of Portugal (1997) about the fond-
ness and otherwise between Portugal and Africa.
MANUEL DE OLIVEIRA: who is symbolic of Portuguese filmmaking,
little noise, lots of brilliance and a great deal of affection from cinema-
goers in return.
MANULIN (art): Portuguese Baroque, at the height of its glory in the
19th century, symbolised in particular by the typical twisted columns.
MOSTEIRO DOS JERONIMOS iHi,-..... .-.-ic, Monastery): a
monastery listed as a World Heritage Site. See also the Alcobaa and
Batalia monasteries, among many others.
FERNANDO PESSOA (1888-1935): an intricate universe of his very
own, several individuals and several characters in a single being, each
with their own psychology, their own artistic and literary aspirations, all
located in the context of a so-called !,.,..'.. ,. . '. A textbook case stud-
ied everywhere in the world. For Alexander Search, Alberto Caeiro,
Ricardo Reis, Alvaro de Campos, Raphael Baldaya, see Femando Pessoa
or vice versa.
JOS SARAMAGO: Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.
VINHO: see the following classification: Verde, do Dao, do Douro, do
Alantejo, da Barraida and so on. But in the case of Port or Madeira try
an English glossary. It was, after all, originally created for the British
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
discovering Europe Portugal
Marcelo Caetano. Then in 1974 came the Carnation Revolution and
hopes of democracy began to be rekindled to the sound of Jose
Alfonso's popular song Granddla Vila Morena, which was banned dur-
ing the dictatorship. The song gave the signal to revolutionary mem-
bers of the armed forces to take to the streets, closely followed by the
civilian population who put carnations in the barrel's of the soldiers'
guns. A bloodless revolution was won in Portugal and its colonies
within one day. Freedom!
What then ensued was the return of many exiles and various periods of
uncertainly -only to be expected after such an upheaval. But it con-
cluded with the consolidation of democracy and, 12 years after the rev-
olution, EU membership.
The country is 560 km long and 220 km wide, sharing a land border
with just one country -Spain. The river Tagus is divided into two sep-
arate parts for quite a distance from north to south-west, where it runs
into the sea at Lisbon. The mountains in the North are the source of the
Tagus and the country's two other major rivers, the Douro and the
Guadiana. The Serra de Estrela mountains reach almost 2,000 metres.
To the south of the Tagus is the start of the Alentejo plateau buttressed
in the south with the mountain foothills of the Algarve.
The North is more heavily populated and is the main area for cereal
crops, vegetables and vineyards. The arid centre and south are known
for their olive trees, almond trees, citrus fruits and figs, not forgetting
that revered tree, the cork oak that provides a riot of colours during its
spring flowering season. Beautiful scenery is enhanced by a wide vari-
ety of flowers and fragrant plants: white iris, the lemon tree, the carob
tree and the palm. There is also a wide range of fauna in this region,
providing a seemingly endless variety of birds.
There are numerous national parks, like the splendid Ria Formosa in
the Algarve or Sintra Forest near Lisbon, which the English poet Lord
Byron described as "Glorious Eden".
The idea that the Algarve being cemented over to cater for the mass
tourism industry is certainly a gross exaggeration. You can see this for
yourself by taking a stroll along the heavenly Ria Formosa beaches
near the regional capital Faro or visiting the Romantic Moorish town
of Tavira. Tiny townships, like Olhao on the coast or Monchique in the
hills, are packed with charm and surprise. Even in the most popular
areas of the south-west, the new developments bear no comparison
with the 'bunkers' along the Belgian coast or large parts of Spanish
The region is focusing more and more on resort-based tourism, in new
small or medium-sized luxury developments, where retired people
from northern Europe can live within walking distance of their boats
or golf clubs.
One example is Villamoura, where middle-class retirees can rub shoul-
ders with show business personalities or royalty from Spain.
Faro at night is like an operatic setting where people can walk around
in complete safety -strolling down one alleyway after another, from
one square to another surrounded by Baroque, Moorish, Art Nouveau
or Neo-Classical ambience.
The countryside is idyllic and the natural parks are enchanting.
Victor Reia-Batista, a professor at
the University of the Algarve's
Faculty of Communications
he Algarve has a culture
similar to North Africa, as
underscored by the word
'Algarve', which means 'the
West' in this case, the western-
most point of Europe.
In the wake of the 1974 revolu-
tion, Portugal saw a mass move-
ment of people. Many were
heading back from the colonies
their heads full of colonial ideas.
Others were refugees with a
mixed bag of needs and expecta-
tions. All of this created huge
As for myself, I was compelled
to live in exile in Sweden
because 1 was regarded as a
deserter. Almost every family
was affected by separations of
one type or another. Eventually,
however, the attempts to recon-
cile and bring together the dif-
ferent positions and views in
this new society proved to be
successful. At the same the
immediate post-revolution peri- ""
od was beset by serious difficul-' "
ties. Luckily these lasted for a
comparatively short period of
time. As to our current problems, they have more to do with the
fading memory of the past than anything else and it can be quite a
struggle to persuade today's students to adopt an historical
approach to these issues. Perhaps this is because of a tendency to
conceal the tragic aspects of our recent history.
Speaking specifically about Portugal's integration into Europe, the
Algarve has had some problems with its farming and fishing indus-
tries, but also identification with Europe and its values is part of the
Portugal discovering Europe
Clara Borja Ramos, diplomat,
spokesperson for the Portuguese
Clara Borja expresses herself here
more like a career diplomat
and an intellectual than a spokesperson
for the Portuguese EU Presidency.
ortugal's key characteristics are the
result of centuries-long trading activi-
ties of all types and with all comers of
the globe. Portugal's culture and civilisation
has been enriched via its contacts with other
continents: not only with nearby Africa but
also with South and North America. The first
seafarers to set foot in North America are said
to have been Portuguese, long before
Christopher Columbus arrived. They were
very definitely the first Europeans to explore
Japan, hence Japanese has many words adop-
ted from the Portuguese such as "arigato"
(thank you), which is derived from the
Portuguese "obrigado". We must not overlook
M all the materials, goods and ideas that
Portugal brought home from its expeditions. Items which were then
eagerly sought after by other European countries, such as tea from India
and China that the English discovered through Queen Catarina prior to
her marriage to the King of England.
Today there is no sign of any strain in Portugal's relationships with its
former colonies, and perhaps one of Portugal's virtues are the result of
a lack of resources -simply not being powerful enough to dominate the
colonies it developed. I am sure that this is true to some extent.
Portugal did not have enough financial or human resources to fully
dominate the places they colonised.
With such a tiny number of people in charge of running their colonies
the Portuguese were compelled to integrate. But I do not believe this is
the only reason, even though this is a widely held view. I also think the
welcoming and integration minded character of the people also has to
be factored in. I believe it is due to a tolerant attitude. Some say
Portugal did its best not to resemble Spain.
Portugal, or Lusitania, was a separate, specific colony during the
Roman times. It is a different race, which obviously shares characteris-
tics, such as the Arab invasion. Portugal now enjoys an excellent rela-
tionship with countries to the south of the Mediterranean Sea.
The nearest capital to Lisbon is not Madrid but Rabat, fewer than 600
kilometres away. Portuguese people are at ease in Morocco and vice
versa. They have a lot in common, such as the architecture and the Arab
roots of many Portuguese words. Portugal also has close ties with the
Portuguese-speaking African countries, ties of affection. And these
relations are now becoming stronger.
tKe aim for the :
decentralisation equals improved development
Interview with Jos Apolinrio, President of the Faro Municipal Council
The current priority for the Algarve is prepar-
ing the framework for the launch of the
2007-2013 structural plan, and as we no longer
qualify for the Objective 1 Region Category,
I 1i Ti L..iil' j.I*.j uj uijw uIC iL L ui uW l -4 i l.r-
we can no longer rely on support from the
European Structural Fund. Because of this we
need to involve the private sector in the cre-
ation of new funding for our initiatives.
Portugal's municipal authorities have had little
in the way of power and influence, which has
traditionally been con-
centrated in Lisbon.
However, we are now
in the process of devel-
systems. For example,
here in the Algarve
region we are keen on
creating a practical
structure for our 16
Another key is the
regional framework on
a the development and
planning strategies in the region for the period
up to 2015.
Water quality is an important issue in view of
the current drought conditions. A significant
level of Structural Fund resources have been
concentrated in recent years on building
dams to ensure adequate water supplies for
the region. Equally important, however, is
the organic farming industry, which is the
region's key economic activity. Also, techno-
logical innovation is critical, but the level of
investment in the new economy is still too
low. Only two Portuguese regions, Lisbon
and Porto, are the focus of the technological
innovation drive, while the others tend to be
overlooked when central government invest-
ment decisions are made.
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Faro is the regional capital and the city's international airport is the key
entry point. In recent years, low-cost flights from other European coun-
tries have helped to fuel the tourist industry.
The local economy is booming. The number of tourists visiting has
increased (5 to 6% this year) with the main attractions being residential
tourism, golfing holidays and, to a lesser extent, water sports. The region
is heavily dependent on the tourist industry. Farming is a lot less impor-
tant but more significant than the fishing industry. The tourist industry is
geared not only to foreigners but also to the local population. Our
tourism portfolio also includes activities focused on eco-tourism, sports
and culture, while emphasising quality of life as much as possible.
Traffic congestion in Faro is a serious problem that needs to be
addressed as a matter of urgency.
The city itself has a population of just 60,000 habitants, but the sur-
rounding area brings the total to 300,000 and many people work in Faro
or pass through the city on a daily basis.
Right now, our regional public transport system does not have enough
capacity to cater for the present needs and we require our own transport
authority, similar to what is available in Lisbon. Hopefully, as part of
the government's decentralisation process this situation will improve in
the near future.
Purchasing power in the Algarve municipalities is average in compari-
son to other Portuguese regions. However, poverty is widespread
among the unskilled and uneducated sections of the population and in
the migrant communities.
Portuguese-speaking people from Africa used to be the most vulnera-
ble, but they are now better integrated and the main problem at present
is with migrants from Eastern Europe.
Although Lisbon is the centre of formal ties with Mediterranean and
African countries, here in the Algarve, thanks to the university and the
municipalities, we have many twinning initiatives with cities in
Morocco and other parts of Africa.
This is especially with African cities where Portuguese is the official
language. Additionally, our university has study centres specialising in
the Mediterranean or Africa.
Several cities in the Algarve are heavily committed to forging cultural
ties with Africa, and Faro holds an annual festival with large input from
African artists, who also feature significantly in the many cultural activ-
ities organised throughout the year.
How do we differ from other European cities? I believe it is the light. It
is a special kind of light and it has an influence on the city and its inhab-
itants, even if they do tend to complaint about it a lot! But it is unri-
valled elsewhere. Also, the people of Faro always keep their doors
open. It is an open town, with a social and cultural status that has
always been extremely important. The Algarve is an open-minded
region; it has a strong regional identity and a common approach to its
problems and needs. Particularly (he laughs) when it is a question of
arguing against Lisbon's centralist tendencies!
a natural and living heritage:
Ria Formosa nature park
arla Peralta speaks about her driving dles these are water doerogs and they need pro- ing them into nets. Unfortunately, until now it
passion. On the floor, her three year- section. This is the Ria Formosa Nature Park in has been a breed that is rapidly dying out.
old son is rolling around on the floor, Quinta de Marim, Portugal, home to the Then along came Carla. A long-time profes-
with three puppies standing over him. These Maim Environment Education Centre. The sional dog-handler who has worked with vari-
fluffy balls with jet-black soft and silky hair centre features many examples of the park's ous animals until she came across this breed.
look like large poodles. But they aren't poo- ecosystem: salt marshes, dunes, a pine forest Carla's aim is to safeguard waterdogs, which
S .1 .i first appeared in the region over 2,000 years
I .I Ita .i.l l h .i oI .ll. ago. Although there used to be hundreds of
,,i I.ihll iI Iht.-tiil. i.'' l !t.1 ,..o thousands of such animals not so very long
... .., P ago it is now reduced to less than 3,000. But
.s'"* .ond o,.I, o._.y ol.co h.I ...i n.e the good news is that lots of people keen
t.he liin,,ai. T! i.oI .. iill.t ~cil .,I !cc i!ic on having one because the dogs are highly
the o o.oo..ec.!!. ._.l!ena,..!nd ientl- intelligent, good with children, active when
required and excellent companions.
o"These dogs do not obey you for a reward"
o says Carla, "nor are they particularly keen on
swimming; they simply feel they are being use-
Sn atu raful. That's why they want to help with fishing."
RiaIn a world dominated by huge fishing ships that
have sonar to detect schools of fish, does any-
ta speaks about one really care about a dog with webbed feet?
wit tre puppies standing over ese Mari Envonent Education Centre. "Environmentally-friendly fishing with dogs?
Why not? Challenges Carla. "After all, organ-
ic farming is a big hit isn't it? She concludes,
"Organic fishing yes, 'lleg give that some
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Art Biennale international exhibi-
tion has been considered one of
the greatest innovations of the
2007 edition of this major event. Bor at the
end of the 19th century, the Biennale not
only attracts art specialists' attention, but
also a large number of spectators. The
African Pavilion raises several questions:
why have Andy Warhol and Miguel Barcel
in an African Pavilion? Why give space to a
single art collector? And where are the usual corporate sponsors?
But let's start from the beginning: the 52nd Biennale Director, Robert
Storr, wanted to showcase the African continent. During the profes-
sional week of Dak'Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, Storr visited
several exhibitions, including peripheral ones -which made up the
'off programme' and participated in numerous conferences. He also
collected catalogues and publications. The result of these investiga-
tions is the diverse representation of African and African-American
artists in the Biennale International Exhibition, entitled 'Think
with the Senses -Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense'.
This exhibition is marked by a large number of political artworks
focusing on issues such as war, terrorism, migration, borders and
death. The display is marked by a slow and thoughtful succession of
artwork: well-placed photographs, paintings and videos with a clear
and simple setup where African artists' works hold a dialogue with
the surrounding displays, producing mutually enriching meanings.
Artist Adel Abdessemed's blue neon signs, placed by the exits in the
Arsenale's rooms, indicate the 'Exile', instead of the expected 'Exit'.
The geometrical abstractness of Nigerian painter Odili Donald Odita
brightly shines with African colours. Chri Samba's paintings tell sad
stories with bitter irony. The wonderful black and white photo por-
traits by Malian Malick Sidib, awarded with the Golden Lion for
Lifetime Achievement, represent the proud participants in an art
project to fight AIDS. The most amazing work: the two incredible
tapestries made of metal cans and bottle caps by Ghanaian, Nigeria-
based El Anatsui. These are ably set up in
the 'Arsenale' between two rows of enor-
mous brick columns sparkling with sea
salt, creating a single gigantic installation.
All spectators stopped to admire it.
Another remarkable event was the presen-
tation of African comic works, which were
pa first at the Biennale. A sorrowful migra-
tion story was the theme of the 46 plates of
the comic album Une eternity Tanger, by
Faustin Titi and Eyoum Ngangu. The
comic was awarded with the 'Africa e Mediterraneo Prize for the best
unpublished comic strip by an African author' by the association of
the same name.
Storr made another key choice for the Biennale: the creation of an
African Pavilion. While it's true Africa has had some individual and
collective presence at the Biennale since the 1920s, only Egypt had
traditionally had a national pavilion until now.
To prepare the African Pavilion, Storr diffused a 'Call for ideas',
which was criticized but gathered more than 30 projects and aroused
considerable expectation. A jury comprised of African and African-
American curators and artists decided to entrust the pavilion to
Simon Njami and Fernando Alvim.
Njami, is a Cameroonian critic, writer, founder of Revue Noire and
curator of 'Africa Remix', an important exhibition on 'the continent'.
Alvim is an Angolan artist and curator of the Gallery 'Camouflage'
in Brussels and of the Luanda Triennale international art exhibition.
Their project was to show a selection, a 'check list', of Sindika
Dokolo's art collection, with the addition of other artworks commis-
sioned for Venice. The name of this young Congolese businessman
started reverberating in the contemporary art world.
The first criticisms came from those who in the past undertook
important initiatives on African art in Venice and now felt dethroned.
Then came an article by Ben Davis, published by Art Net, a New
York web art magazine, which accused the collector of rather shady
business during African wars.
Alvim's answer: "If we come to ethics, many should feel shameful:
Italy and the USA, who attacked Iraq without justification; bank,
owners of most of the artwork, with their unreliable investments; and
big collectors with mysterious wealth. Let's put ethics aside and let's
go deeply in the artistic projects. For the first time ever you see a
totally African project, managed and financed by Africans in Africa."
Dokolo already owned an international collection of contemporary
art. In 2003 Fernando Alvim persuaded him to buy Hans Bogatze's
Brussels collection to prevent his family from selling it to European
galleries after the collector's death. Dokolo and Alvim involved
some Angolan companies and banks, which financed the acquisition,
creating the most important private collection of contemporary art in
Africa. This collection formed the basis of the Luanda Triennale,
held in 2005/2006.
"We added 'Luanda Pop' to the initial title 'Check List"', Alvim
explained during the press conference, "to underline the direct con-
nection with the energy springing from the adventure of 2005 Luanda
"It is not only a cultural project, it is a political statement", Simon
Njami added during the press conference, "We don't aim at showing
an exhaustive portrait neither of the whole continent, nor of 'African
contemporary art', a rather indistinct concept. We simply propose our
choice. That's why the posters around the Pavilion show persons
such as Franz Fanon, Bob Marley and Ghandi. They are not Africans,
but people who talked about a free Africa and who built Africa, not
as a place but as a philosophy".
This is also the reason of displaying Andy Warhol and Miguel
Barcel artworks in the African Pavilion, side by side with works by
young Angolan authors such as Yonamine and Ihosvanny, or by inter-
nationally recognized artists such as Yinka Shonibare, Marlene
Dumas and Kendall Geers. "This is not a collection of African con-
temporary art", points out Sindika Dokolo, "but an African collection
of contemporary art. An African vision. I consider the creation of my
collection a political gesture because Africa cannot access its past
aesthetics, whose best pieces were taken off the continent. Compared
to Africa's basic needs, maybe art is not the priority, but I think we
have to act on African human beings. If they don't know where they
core from, if they don't learn how to exercise their critical ability,
there won't be progress. Now we have to consider how to achieve a
concrete impact on the people. This is just the beginning. We have to
get moving ourselves, both artists and public, including the govern-
ments, education, museums, galleries, collectors. If we cannot tell
the world who we are, if we do not show them the best of what we
are capable, we will never see an end to incomprehension, conde-
scension and prejudice".
This is, at last, Africa who chooses, Africa who watches. a
Above: Yinka Shonibare MBE, Howto blowup two heads at once, 2006.
Installation, dimension overall: 175 x 245 x 122cm.
Below: Bili Bidjocka, L'criture infinie #3, 2007.
Installation, variable size.
Andy Warhol, MuhammadAli, 1978. Two screen-print on paper, 114 x 89 cm.
Ail images courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection of contemporary art
I 52nd uenice Art biennale. International art exhibition
I CHECK-LIST LUANDA POP African Pavilion Arsenale
Ghada Amer, Egypt Kendell Geers, South Africa
I Oladl Bamgboy, Nigeria Kiluanji Kia Henda, Angola
Miquel Barcel, Spain Ihosvanny, Angola
I Jean Michel Basquiat, United States Alfredo Jaar, Chile
Mario Benjamin, Haiti Paulo Kapela, Angola
Bili Bidjocka, Cameroon Amal Kenawy, Egypt
S Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Algeria Paul D. Miller Aka DJ Spooky, US
Loulou Cherinet, Ethiopia Santu Mofokeng, South Africa
I Marlne Dumas, South Africa Nastio Mosquito, Angola
Mounir Fatmi, Morocco Ndilo Mutima, Angola
Ingrid Mwangi, Kenya
Chris Ofili, UK / Nigeria
Olu Oguibe, Nigeria
Tracey Rose, South Africa
Ruth Sacks, South Africa
Yinka Shonibare, Nigeria
Minnette Vari, South Africa
Andy Warhol, United States
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
"The States of flux" Exhibition Tate Modern Museum, London
Flux', the Tate Modem, one of the
world's most prestigious venues for
contemporary arts, has devoted one
of the 15 rooms to 'popular painting' from
Kinshasa. The exhibition is focused on key
artistic movements woven into the fabric of
the 20th century -specifically Cubism,
Futurism and Vorticism. Vorticism is regarded
as an English-style of Cubism, whose aesthet-
ic approach owes a huge debt to the tools of
technology and industry. Showcasing some of
the museum's collection, the exhibition will
run until March 2008.
"The school of popular painting" from
Kinshasa, as its originator Chri Samba calls
it, comprises five leading figures, all showing
at the Tate Modern: Chri Samba himself,
Cheik Ledy, his brother, Bodo, Chri Chrin
and Moke. The eight works on display are a
striking reflection of both the artists' moderni-
ty and their intensity of approach. They are all
in step with the major artistic trends of the cen-
tury, both in terms of formal freedom and con-
Bodo's Monde en tourbillon. O l'on va
(Turbulent world. Where are we going) is a
dense panoramic painting, using a post-9/11
allegory depicting the disembowelment, rip-
ping apart and penetration of the world. It
shows an African dimension through the pres-
ence of vehicles and high-tech machinery,
indicative of the shadows of human bombs
without brains as well as the darkness of the
electronic age. Everything is placed in the con-
text of a riot of colour but with man-made
technology sexually assaulting Mother Earth
and then committing suicide. An affinity might
be sought here with the English Vorticists and
the omnipresence of technology.
Similarly, Chri Chrin's O va le monde
(Where is the world going) also raises ques-
tions in a work that may be a bit more impres-
sionist but is equally cataclysmic. It focuses on
a moral cataclysm against the background of
the @ of the Internet.
Chri Samba's exhibit reflects upon the vio-
lence of the fratricidal war that has devastated
the Democratic Republic of Congo and the ter-
rible plight of the child soldiers. But his other
two works are highly symbolic, as in Une
peinture ,i. ir ,,i,.' (A painting to fight for)
where he uses his body in a Christ-like posi-
tion as a screen to defend a painting.
But it is to the ancestral art of the Congo the
master pays respect in Hommage aux anciens
crateurs (Tribute to earlier creatures). An
opportunity to portray himself in front of tra-
ditional sculptures, as though paying homage
to the artists of yesteryear and a reflection of
the high esteem in which contemporary
African art is held today. H.G. M
Bodo, Turbulent World!!! Where are we going? 2006.
Acrylic on canvas, 153 x 440 cm.
Courtesy of C.A.A.C. The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva.
Photo: Maurice Aeschimann.
Chri Samba, A Tribute to EarlierArtists, 1999.
Acrylic on canvas, 151 x 201 cm.
Courtesy of C.A.A.C. The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva.
Photo: Patrick Gries.
Jean-Claude "Tiga" Garoute:
painter, poet and creator
A ny other tribute
Sipales in comparison .... an .....
with the one Andr .e.. i
S araux paid to i
him in the book L'Intemporel .
when they were both alive.
This, however, was followed .. IF
by others like Andr Breton
and Jean-Paul Sartre (who
went on a pilgrimage to Haiti i
to meet him), not forgetting the i i.. ..a psiocan
myriad honours bestowed '", "- .... hs.. inh
upon him during his lifetime. i
Complete pages of
L'Intemporel were used to
make it clear that the socio-
teric movement that he led at
Saint-Soleil in the mountains
Tiga, Martine and Liane, 1999.
of Haiti, where the disciples Sketches on a paper serviette, 14 x 14.
were other artists, the mental- Hegel Goutler
ly ill and young people. This
was probably the world's most innovative artistic project. "The heir to so many gnies
audits, this outstanding painter is an artist who has been blessed," wrote Malraux.
And it was here in Haiti's mountains that Tiga and Madam Robart (Tiga's companion) pro-
vided this strange community (who were more their followers than their students) with
basic material, paints, canvases, paper props for creating performances rather than lis-
tening to lectures and teaching.
Tiga was never a guru, or if he was he could have been called a guru of freedom, because
he never sought to exert any influence on any of the young creative artists he encoun-
tered. He would adopt a person, offering affection, support, self-confidence but never
advice. He was forever faithful to his own harmonious approach to the existence of the
Earth and being. He believed that "being is a dream, possession, creation and folly".
And this is what he sought to decipher throughout human creation: his own being, that of
his acquaintances, the mentally ill and children. Towards this end, he immersed himself in
a variety of philosophies, learned specific types of knowledge, such as the genetic code,
and engaged in a variety of arts. His painting was tantamount to rhythm the rhythm of
life. Those stirring texts and improvisations were set to the music of Rachmaninov in
which he was literally immersed. These stirring, spontaneous settings for showcasing his
work became etched on the memory of his audiences. And his works are strokes of genius,
fitting in perfectly with the surrealist legacy of the man.
His "burnt suns" are fervent enough to create the light of the shadows, the colours of burnt
offerings and the detached joy of the soul's grey tinges. Tiga died last December after suf-
fering from cancer this man who struggled to investigate the origins and implications of
DNA and its control, or otherwise, over the human body.
He was sure to have had a tiny smile at the corner of his lips, which was like a tonic to us
when marvelling at his paintings and hanging on every word, while sipping upon one of
his rare rums.
So long Tiga-son! H.G. M
I I .1 i u i-i
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N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
i -. Creativity
SEmIBnEE OUSmnnI E
have created fictional cinema in Sub-Saharan Africa. While
his title of "father of African cinema" is well deserved it is
much more that earned him the love, respect and affection of
his many fans. Sembne Ousmane was an influential writer, major
filmmaker and a shrewd producer. First and foremost, he understood
that the cinema was a not only a tool for cultural development but also
a force behind economic development. This was something he reali-
sed long before it occurred to others.
He first tried his hand at the art that would put him in the public eye in
1960, at the age of 37, when he went to study film-making at the Gorki
Institute in Moscow. Six years later he made his first real film, La Noire
de..., which will go down in the annals of the cinema industry as the
first African made feature length film. It was awarded the prestigious
Jean Vigo Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, which was the first of
many such honours. Before that, Sembne Ousmane had made three
other films but these had failed to make the impact of La Noire de...
The film tells the story of Diouna, who leaves her country (Senegal)
to work as a domestic servant in France. In the film, Diouna ends up
committing suicide and, as a result of her employer's feelings of guilt,
her employers set off for Dakar to explain her death to her family. The
film illustrates that even at this early stage of his career Sembne
Ousmane was able to show the extent of his wisdom and directorial
control. As a campaigner for the black cause, he soon realized that the
only way of being an activist in his art was to show compassion for
the trials and tribulations of all human beings, rather than seeking to
equate activism with fanaticism. He stayed clear of using his works as
simple signposts and strove to portray slices of human existence.
During the 1970s his honesty caused him some personal anguish with
the film Ceddo (1977), which took aim at those selling African slaves,
and wes banned in his native land. In total, Sembne Ousmane made
15 films in his career as a director. His most well-known are La Noire
de..., Ceddo, Xala, 1974 and Faat-Kin, 1999. His last work,
Moolad, was released in 2004.
Some of the films were adapted from his novels, such as La Noire de...,
Xala and Taaw, and his career as an author began a dozen or so years
before he took up film direction. His first book, Le docker noir, (The
black docker) was published in 1956 when Ousmane was 33 years old.
Bor in Casamance (Senegal) he was a very average scholar and
attended the Marsassoum Ceramics School. From the age of 15 he
worked manual jobs to help out the family, which was dependent on
the small income his father made as a fisherman. From 1942 to 1944,
during the Second World War, he served in the Free French Forces.
A much loved and respected artist, he was always ready to offer his
time and lend a sympathetic ear to others.
More than a great artist: a great man!
Yonamine, The best of the best, 2007. Installation + video.
Courtesy Sindika Dokolo African collection of contemporary art
Sor younger readers
The Cotonou Club
B i'l!'_ i lhll'KK' i ,, il 'C (. ,.I..Ii.. II
B._ I Ji.., iCiti cic IIu .U1.Ind EIl
lll'.i !C ,1 hl i l,' ll' ''C ,I!. '_ iIi I' I, ,1
club with your best mates, only
they're spread out all over the world in Africa,
the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and
European Union (EU) states. To keep each
other sweet, you give and share special things
you wouldn't with others.
Most of the ACP states that have signed the
agreement with the EU were once colonies of,
that's to say ruled by, one of the now 27 EU
countries like the United Kingdom, France,
Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
Over past 50 years, ACP countries have
become independent. But the EU wanted to
keep hold of some of its special trade links and
be friends with its old colonies and help them
to grow. To do this, the EU decided on various
'Conventions' with all ACP states. The current
'Cotonou Convention' was signed in the capi-
tal of Benin in West Africa in 2000.
'Cotonou' will last until 2020. It groups some
of the richest countries in the world like
Finland where a person on average eams
US$29,251 a year* and some of the poorest
such as Sierra Leone, where a person makes
just US$561. This means that abolishing
poverty is the goal of Cotonou.
Towards this, the EU gives aid which is called
the European Development Fund (EDF). Each
EU member state puts an amount into this
money pot. 'Cotonou' also has a trade part to
make sure that most of the produce and goods
sold by ACP States can get into the EU market
without tariffs payments which can make
imported things more expensive to purchase
and stops shoppers from buying them.
> Fresh roses, sweet bananas
You can buy fresh and colourful Kenyan roses
-fairly cheaply -in shop shelves in the EU
any time of year. This is mainly because there
aren't any tariffs on Kenyan roses under
Cotonou. Kenya now supplies EU countries
with half its roses compared to about a quar-
ter 10 years ago! And those sweet short
N. 2 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2007
Photos of the "My FairTrade World" competition.
bananas which fit neatly into school lunch
packs are shipped in under Cotonou's tariff-
free trade arrangements for the product. It
means a living wage for farmers in the
Caribbean's Windward Islands and other
African nations where they are grown.
At the moment, ACP and EU States are talking
about how Cotonou can improve trade
between the ACP and EU more and at a faster
pace. The plan is for free trade agreements, or
'Economic Partnership Agreements', with the
6 regions of the ACP group; the Caribbean,
Pacific, West Africa, East Africa,
Southern and Central Africa from 1
The EU aid money pot for ACPs or 9th
EDF (2002-2007), at the moment dis-
tributes 13.5 billion to all ACP coun-
tries over five years. The money goes to
individual aid projects in ACP countries
like building hospitals, schools, roads
and airports to help countries develop
more quickly and trade more easily.
It also provides emergency food, shelter and
medical aid when there are natural disasters
such as earthquakes and floods or conflicts, as
is the case in Darfur. There is 22.7 billion in
the new 10th EDF (2008-2013).
Many other smaller projects get money under
the EDF such as training programmes and
trade exhibitions. It doesn't all go to national
govemments but also local govemments and
civil society such as non-govemmental organ-
isations. The EU doesn't decide alone how it
wants to spend the money. It discusses this
with its ACP partners. For this reason, the EU
has many offices in ACP states.
And then there are regular meetings in
Brussels when ACP and EU Ministers get
together to discuss what's making them mad
about Cotonou, what's okay and how to do
things better. They talk about political topics,
too, like how to end the fighting in Darfur and
human rights. Often they don't agree.
It's all about having respect for your best
buddy, listening and helping him or her to
advance the best way you can.
EUROPERn DEUELOPMEnT DRYS
Will Climate Change Development?
Lisbon, Portugal: 7-9 November 2007
EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT DAYS
Journes europennes du Dveloppement IJornadas Europelas do Desenvolvimento euduvdaylu.r
> UlEDESDA Y 7 IOUEIIBER
9.00-10.00 OPENING CEREMONY
Introduced by Louis Michel
Prime Minister of Portugal, Host country
Jos Manuel Barroso
President of the Europeaan Commission
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
President of Maldives
Gertrude Ibengwe Mongella
Pan African Parliament President
10.00-10.30 SPECIAL ADDRESS
Yvo de Boer UNFCCC Executive secretary
10.30-13.00 HIGH LEVEL PANEL :
CHALLENGES AND CONVERGING VISIONS
Moderateted by Chris Landsberg
IPCC Co-Chair of Working Group III
OMM Secretary General
Joo Gomes Cravinho
PT State Secretary
European Commissioner for Environment
13.00-13.15 SIGNATURE CEREMONY
Memorandum of Understanding PALOP
13.15-13.30 SIGNATURE CEREMONY
Memorandum of Understandina CPLP
> THURSDAY 8 nOUEmBER
9.00-9.30 SPECIAL ADDRESS
Minister of Health and Environment Greenland
Minister of Sustainable Development French
9.30-10.10 SPECIAL ADDRESS
Kemal Dervis UNDP
10.30-13.30 HIGH LEVEL ROUNDTABLES
VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION
TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Protecting and empowering the poorest
GLOBAL PUBLIC GOODS
AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Moving the global interest forward
POVERTY, HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Promoting a human-centred
and holistic approach
Mainstreaming Climate Change
in National Strategies
14.00-19.00 PARALLEL EVENTS
> FRIDAY 9 IOUEmBER
9.00-11.00 HIGH LEVEL PANEL
PARTNERSHIPS AND GLOBAL
Moderated by Tumi Makgabo
UNEP Executive Director
Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza
WTO Deputy Director General)
Director of the Centre for Political
and Institutional Expertise in Africa (CEPIA)
Co-chair of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary
Nuno Ribeiro da Silva
Vice-president AIP Business Europe
11.30-15.00 PARALLEL EVENTS
15.00-16.00 CLOSING CEREMONY
President of Seychelles
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal,
State Secretary of Slovenia
(incoming EU Presidency)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of France
flfrica I aI'. an I PacIfi
and Euopean nion cntrie
Cook Islands Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Niue
Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Timor Leste Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu
The lists of countries published by The Courier do not prejudice the status of these countries and territories now or in the future. The Courier uses maps from a variety of sources.
Their use does not implv recognition of anv particular boundaries nor prejudice the status of anv state or territory.
Antigua and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Cuba Dominica Dominican
Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago
Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African
Republic Chad Comoros Congo (Rep. of) Cte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the
Congo Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius
Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal
Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo
_1.1h I I Cd], if _il, L IL ,
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France
Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United
EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT DAYS
Jg mt a eum r.p.nnas du Ovlniopvmema n IJoanellms Euiwc li DeC TvoElivimrn1o emla i.,d
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