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Editorial Committee
Sir John Kaputin, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG Development
European Commission

Editorial staff
Director and Editor-in-chief
Hegel Goutier

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

Editorial Assistant and Production
Joshua Massarenti

Contributed in this issue
Marie-Martine Buckens

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

Artistic Coordination
Sandra Federici



Graphic Conception, Layout
Orazio Metello Orsini

Contract Manager
Claudia Rechten
Tracey D'Afters

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

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

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

Publisher responsible
Hegel Goutier
Gopa-Cartermill Grand Angle Lai-momo
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view of the EC
nor of the ACP countries..
The consortium and the editorial staff decline ail responsibility for the articles written by exter-
nal contributors.

Our privileged

partner, the


C cultural centre promoting artists
from countries in Europe,
Africa, the Caribbean and the
Pacific, and cultural exchanges
between communities through per-
formance arts, music, cinema, to
the holding conferences. It is a
meeting place for Belgians, immi-
grants of diverse origins and
European officials.

Espace Senghor
Centre cultural d'Etterbeek
Brussels, Belgium

The satirical vignettes and illustra-
tions presented in this issue (P. 3, 9,
18, 25, 26 and 27) where realized by
European and African cartoonists that
have been invited to represent the
European Union's Charter of
Fundamental Rights in the project
Manifesta! (www.manifestaproject.eu),
realized by Africa e Mediterraneo asso-





Table of contents

Yes, they can!
The press in Africa, as seen by Robert Mnard,
founder of Reporters sans frontires

European Development Days 2008:
together for development
Humanitarian aid: solidarity in a different context
ECHO: dealing with disasters
Belgium's political crisis and its development policy
The Crisis. Serious damage forACP countries...
and positive side-effects
Africa can be optimistic
The harder they come
Caribbean tourist hotspots feel the chill
Pacific Islands struck by shock waves from Australia
and New Zealand
From Global to Local: the Issues of Development
Education is an absolute priority,
ACP countries remind us
Less emphasis on Francophone issues
and more activism
NGOs around the world call for the EU to support a
'finally democratic' global governance system
Global Forum for Media Development
To move beyond the security dimension with Europe
Migrants: precious (human) resources for development
Cultural Diversity at the forefront
Doha lends its support to the "numerical 1%"

3 Giving Tswana culture a world vision
The 'Carbon' Price of Forests
6 Botswana. Beyond diamonds...
From low to middle income nation
No democracy can exist without discipline
11 Botswana feels a need for outside support
12 Opposition calls for democratic and
economic change
1 Adding sparkle to rough diamonds
The production challenge in farming
Fighting the national HIV/AIDS catastrophe
Passion killings
18 Fresh pressures on the Okavango Delta
21 Aragon awakes
Spain encapsulated
23 The Ebro, symbol of a region's combat
Recent immigration
24 Working with local players
Saragossa, new pole of European communication
25 Our Lady of the Pillar, Goya and
other illustrious figures

The legacy of Miriam Makeba
Picasso and the African Masters
African cinema tourism and cultural heritage
EU puts ACP culture centre-stage
The recession



Luigi Caterino, Miriam Makeba performing at her last
concert. Castelvolturno, November 2008.
Luigi Caterino www luigicaterinophotos it


es, Ghanaians have shown they can do it
in recently electing opposition candidate,
John Atta-Mills, with the slightest of
margins of 0.5 per cent to become
President of the republic (exactly 40,586 out of a
total of 9.001,478 votes cast, with fewer than 90,000
spoiled ballots), reversing the advantage between the
first and second round. The outgoing President was
quick to admit defeat. Observers were left to explain
the reasons for democratic governance-as-usual in
Ghana, where five sets of elections have been organ-
ised without a hitch since the transition to a multiparty
system in 1992. This has been put down to the fact
that the two major political parties have a foothold in
the whole of the country, even though each of them
is more rooted in one or the other region: the New
Patriotic Party (NPP), the defeated majority amongst
the Akans, and the National Democratic Party (NDC),
the party led by the incoming President, in the Volta
region. That said, the real fault line lies between the
centre right (in the case of the former party) and centre
left (in the case of the latter) of politics. The new was
sworn in on 7 January 2009, just ahead of that other
swearing-in ceremony in Washington. But with less
fanfare, if any at all. Nobody announces trains that
arrive on time... in Africa.

Ghana has not been severely struck by the economic
crisis up to now but is expected to share the fate
of other developing countries that are more firmly
welded into the global economy and financial set-up.
At least if we heed the words of analysts, whose num-
bers include those mentioned in our special report on
the world economic crisis and its impacts on African,
Caribbean and Pacific states... and on the welcome
side-effects, including Africa's image of now being a

safe haven for investment after having been portrayed
as the Raft of the Medusa.

Nations showing great promise include Botswana, the
subject of this issue's country report, which shines not
only because of its diamonds, which have been put
to good use for development, unlike many huge oil
reserves elsewhere. The country's degree of success
in fairly distributing wealth is a reflection of being
equally adept in the past at 'sharing poverty', thanks
to a fairly socially just system of democracy. Many
outsiders know the country for its high incidence of
AIDS and they have no inkling that almost all medical
care which notably is of high quality is charge-
able to the nation's social security system. The edu-
cational system is equally outstanding, meaning that
the country boasts high literacy rates and academic
achievements that compare with the best performing
developing countries amd moreover, these are higher
for women than men.

Equally unique are the aspirations of the Spanish
region of Aragon, an area of Europe where, we now
discover, an open-minded attitude to dealing with
immigration has been adopted. This is where mudejar
art, a blend of the East and the West, was given life, a
region whose aspirations include the idea of expand-
ing upon major European projects by building a tunnel
to connect Spain, and by the same token Europe, to the
African continent. Not such a far cry from Picasso,
whose links with his African masters we also discover,
those from whom he is said to have learned that art
transcends time and space. Only art?

Hegel Goutier


o the point

The in flfrica, as seen by


founder of Reporters sans frontires

Following his departure from RSF and move to the Doha Center

for Media Freedom.

Interview by Hegel Goutier

After leaving the organisation Reporters sans frontires [Reporters without Borders],
which he founded 23 years previously, to head the Doha Center for Media Freedom
tailor-made to his ideas, Robert Mnard a veteran of many major battles for press
freedom spoke to The Courier about the current situation of the press in developing
countries, especially in Africa.

On pressfreedom in Africa: are you .. ... ..ii,
. i, r.. with the freedom but disappointed at
the quality and resources available. On the
whole are you pleased?

That's a difficult one to answer. Some things
have changed, others not. There are a lot of
new independent media and there are very
few countries without pluralism (Eritrea being
one). There is a diversified press, especially
in the written press, and there has even been
significant progress in audiovisual media.

Yet at the same time we are seeing increasing
attacks on the press given the increased number
of players and titles. There is growing violence
against journalists in the form of arrests and
even assassinations. This violence is in a sense
testimony to the press as there would be no
reason to attack a shackled press.
The second significant element is the quality
of the media. In many countries the failings of
the press are staggering, in terms of seeking
and verifying information, the cross-checking
of sources and even the style. This gives the
authorities the stick with which to beat the
press and reasons for repressing it something
that in many cases they are only too happy
to do.

Is not the real problem one of economics
rather than of quality?

It is true the press is in a very serious situa-
tion economically and particularly so in many
African countries. Genuine advertising is non-
existent there. Many pay for their advertising;
not to sell their products but to buyjournalists'
loyalty. The question of quality also remains.
A section of the profession mirrors what is
happening to a section of young people in
general, victims of an educational system that
lacks resources and with an appetite for the

reporting of trivial events, as is often the case
in Europe too. At Reporters sans frontires
we have found ourselves in some difficult
situations, defending people who are inde-
fensible. Take, for example, the newspaper in
Cameroon that published lists of homosexuals
in a country where homosexuality is consid-
ered a crime. Not only was their list false but
such an attitude is immoral and goes against
any journalistic ethics. I had a difficult task in
asking the govemment not to imprison them
so as not to make heroes of them.
Then there's the absence of managerial abili-
ties of certain media bosses. These various
weaknesses are much more acute in French-
speaking countries. In Africa's English-
speaking countries there are often powerful
press companies. This is true in southem
Africa and Nigeria. Apart from Groupe Sud
in Senegal, what press owner is running an
economically sound business in the French-
speaking press?
But, rather than highlighting the weaknesses,
I would like to stress that it is a living press
facing continual, principally economic, dif-
ficulties and that is the reason for a lot of the

Small economy, small press, in your opinion?
So it's not a matter of training?




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Training? Do you believe that colleagues in
Africa or elsewhere who have violated the
deontology were unaware they were doing
so? I know media where the joumalists do
not receive any salary, none at ail. And whose
bosses tell them to get money from the people
about whom they write or speak. What can
you say to colleagues working in such situ-
ations? Myself, I have always earned a good
living from RSF or elsewhere. So my inde-
pendence has never been threatened. But what
would I have done in their situation, if every
time I had to travel to interview somebody, I
did not have the money to buy the petrol?
You are right, I had not thought of it like that:
small economy, small press. But coming back
to training, which has become an activity
more of use to those who provide it than to
those who receive it. Many journalists receive
training for a per diem that sometimes costs
more than their monthly salaries.

You have stressed the difference between
Africa's French-speaking andEnglish-speaking
media. What do you attribute this to?

I think that the situation of the French-
speaking press in Africa is linked to the
historic role of the press in France, which was
long in the shadow of the political authority.

People did not invest in the press in France to
earn money but to win power and influence,
to be a political decision-maker.
In addition to the French- and English-speaking
press, one must not forget the Arab-speaking
press that suffers from another type of failing. In
this case you see a written press that is lagging
far behind and that is offset by the dynamism
of the audiovisual press that even manages to
put a spoke in the wheels of the Western press.
The failing is the gulf that amazes me between
the perception of Arab journalists and those
of the West. Instead of explaining facts, they
all pour oil on the flames. In Latin America,
the press has achieved a high quality even if
it often remains linked to the oligarchy. In the
Caribbean and Pacific, what can I say? I am not
very familiar with it. I am going to go there, to
the town of Gonalves in Halti, devastated by a
series of hurricanes.

You are going there for the Doha Center for
Media Freedom that you now head. How did
this new adventure corne about?

Fortuitously. In the 20 years that I headed
RSF, the preconceived ideas of the West on
human rights were often thrown in my face.
Last year, I went to Iraq three times for RSF
to help the families of 300 joumalists who

had disappeared. During a conversation I
explained how international organizations for
the defence of jouralists are all located in
Western countries and that it would be useful
to have initiatives originating everywhere to
avoid prejudices. One of those present asked
me to talk about this to Sheikha Mozah, the
wife of the Emir of Qatar. So I did. Two days
after we met, she got back to me to announce
that she had discussed it with the Emir who
supported my project and asked me to head
this institution that would be set up in line
with my ideas. I accepted on the basis of two
vital conditions: that I would work in total
freedom and that I would be able to criticise
Qatar. This country is not a model of democ-
racy. She gave the undertaking. At present
there is no reason to doubt her word. In any
event, if this ceased to be the case I would
leave on-the-spot. For the time being, Sheikha
Mozah has indicated that I can work in total
freedom. I have no reason to raise any ques-
tions about this. What I want to say, I say and
what I want to do, I can do. I

Hegel Goutier; Robert Mnard; Sheikha
Mozah; Reporters sans frontires (RSF);
Doha Center for Media Freedom (DCMF);
Doha; Qatar; Gonaves; press; Africa.


m m


/ ound up

Sebastien Falletti


must not pay the price for the crisis

price for the global financial and
economic crisis. Parliamentarians
from four continents endeavoured
to listen to the voice of the poor at the 16th
session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary
Assembly at Port Moresby in Papua New
Guinea (from 20 to 28 November 2008). As
global leaders move to respond to the finan-
cial crisis and with the spectre of recession
looming, MEPs and parliamentarians from
the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the
Pacific (ACP) highlighted the importance of
the food crisis and the need to maintain devel-
opment commitments.
In a solemn declaration adopted at the end
of the meeting, the Assembly stressed that
the financial crisis must not be used as a
pretext for EU Member States not to honour
their commitment to dedicate 0.56 per cent
of national wealth to public development aid
by 2010. After the major global aid providers
showed cautiousness at the meeting on devel-
opment funding in Doha from 29 November
to 2 December and some European states are
struggling to keep their budgetary promises,
the Joint Assembly aimed to act as a catalyst
by presenting the concerns of the ACP coun-
tries. Co-President Glenys Kinnock warned:

"While the world's largest economies require
economic stability, the most fragile economies
need dependability."
This appeal was coupled with a call to allow
the poor countries, which are excluded from the
G20 summit in Washington, to get around the
negotiating table to define a new global eco-
nomic order. Tony Aimo, on behalf of the cur-
rent Co-President, Wilkie Rasmussen, called for
greater representation within the international
institutions during the opening session.
The parliamentarians believe the rich coun-
tries' response to the food crisis will be a test
of their commitment to solidarity. The Port
Moresby Declaration calls on the governments
of the ACP and EU countries to dedicate at
least 10 per cent of aid and public spending to
ensuring food security.
The precarious situation of the ACP countries
was also a key part of the discussions on
the negotiations concerning the controversial
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
The Assembly was divided on the opportu-
nity to sign interim agreements made with
the European Commission. Of the six ACP
regions, the CARIFORUM regional body is
the only only to date to have signed a full
EPA with the EU covering goods but also
other trade such as services*. While some rep-

resentatives like Glyn Ford** recommended
that the ACP take a cautious approach, others
like Jurgen Schroder argued in favour of rapid
integration of southern countries into global
commerce to stimulate economic growth.
The African crises in Mauritania and
Zimbabwe, on which emergency resolutions
were adopted, and that of North Kivu, (a
province in the eastern Democratic Republic
of Congo) were the session's other main topic
of discussion. Louis Michel, the European
Commissioner for Development, warned of
the risk of uprising in Africa's Great Lakes
region and called for renewed diplomatic
efforts. A number of parliamentarians empha-
sised the importance of tackling the root of
the conflict, in particular the issue of min-
eral resources. The report adopted by the
Assembly concerned the protection of civil-
ians in UN peace-keeping operations and the
fight against child labour. The next ACP-EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly is scheduled to
take place from 6 to 9 April 2009 in Prague,
the Czech Republic. M
* 14 states out of the 15-member CARIFORUM have signed
so far. Haiti's signature pends.
**Glyn Ford, from United Kingdom, is a Labour Member
of the European Parliament (MEP), in the Party of European
Socialists (PES).
Hundreds of refugees from Democratic Republic
of Congo board buses at the Uganda/DRC border
town of Ishasha in order to be conveyed to a
permanent refugee settlement camp in western
Uganda. November 2008. D Glenna Gordon/iRIN


Round up

Debra Percival

MiAURITfIIA and FIJI under Cotonou's scrutiny

and Fiji, post-coup, are a test of
Article 96 of the ACP-EU Cotonou
Convention (2000-2020) which
provides for dialogue between ACP and EU
partners with an ACP country that is deemed
in breach of the 'essential elements' of the
Cotonou Agreement human rights, demo-
cratic principles and the rule of law. This
avoids a rupture of relations and gives leverage
to ACP and EU partners to talk about a return
to democratic rule. "ACP-EU Parliamentarians
condemn the overthrow of the president and
government by the armed forces in Mauritania,
and stresses that democratically established
institutions must be respected..." read a joint
resolution of the November 2008 ACP-EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea. The coup d'etat of General
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz ousted demo-
cratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh
Abdallahi on 6 August 2008. M

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Round up

What ROLE for the

EU in somnLIR?

There were further statements of deep concern over the situation in Somalia voiced by
the French Presidency of the EU at the end of 2008. The EU's role is in the hands of its
new Czech Presidency from 1 January 2009.

(TFG) Abdullahi Yusuf to dismiss
Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein
from his duties was "particularly inopportune",
read the 15 December statement from the
French Presidency. It went on: "It threatens
to destabilise the political process at a key
moment for Somalia and is inconsistent with
the Transitional Federal Charter". It continued
that "it would be unacceptable for internal dis-
putes tojeopardise the continuation of the peace
process entered into six months ago by further
weakening the transitional government", recall-
ing the sanctions regime then put in place by
UN Security Council Resolution 1844 against
individuals who threaten the peace process.
"The European Union, perceived as being a
neutral player, can play a key role to facilitate
national reconciliation and dialogue between
parties", read an earlier EU Presidency state-
ment of October 29 2008.
Going to press, there were fears over what
might occur after the withdrawal of 3,000
Ethiopian troops in January 2009.
Of the 8,000-strong force anticipated in the
African Union's (AU) AMISOM force, 2,500
to 3,000 mainly Burundian and Ugandan
troops have been deployed. United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1744 authorised
the AU to head the mission in February 2006.
France has trained two Ugandan and Burundian
contingents and also provides transport assist-
ance to Burundi. France also launched an
operation to secure World Food Programme
(WFP) ships threatened by piracy operation
ALYCON to reach some of the 1.5 million
in need of humanitarian assistance. Ahmedou
Ould Abdallah, the UN's envoy to Somalia,
held urgent talks in December 2008 on how to
boost the peacekeeping force there with both the
AU and UN saying the AMISOM force already
in Mogadishu is too small to resist resurgent
Islamist and nationalist fighters. UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon however rejected that
UN peacekeepers be sent. D.P. M

I~ I _I~ ad

operation fltalanta

Launched on 8 December 2008, the EU gave the go ahead to a military operation to "con-
tribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery
off the Somali coast (EU NAVFOR), also known as operation'Atalanta"'. It is the first naval
operation launched under European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Commander
Rear-Admiral Philip Jones who is heading the initial 12 month mission told a December
2008 press conference in Brussels: "My mandate is to ensure the safe passage of WFP
ships into Somali ports. Assuming the fiag state is content, we will have permission to put
an armed presence on board those ships for the duration of their transit in order to guaran-
tee their safety as they transit through Somali territorial waters which bas been assessed
as the area of highest risk." He added: We're also working hard to analyse what we mean
by 'vulnerable ships'. Specifically what type of ships, and what criteria we need to apply
to determine whether they need particular attention as they transit the coast of Somalia."
Operational HQ is Northwood, just outside London in the UK. 'Atalanta' is expected to
involve six ships, three aircraft and 1,200 personnel from EU Member States.


At the end of November, the European Parliament approved the European Blue Card,

a new system for highly skilled foreign workers required by EU countries.

will be faced with skills shortages, in particular in the engi-
neering and IT sectors. In light of this, the Commission
introduced the European Blue Card scheme in October 2007.
This aims to attract highly skilled workers to Europe and to encourage
them to immigrate by establishing common provisions on admission
procedures, which are currently still determined individually by each
Member State.
According to German MEP Ewa Klamt (European People's Party), 50
per cent of skilled immigrants from the Maghreb region go to Canada
or the USA, compared with just 5.5 per cent to Europe. The Blue Card
will help combat clandestine immigration and enable Europe to com-
pete with the USA in attracting the majority of skilled workers from

developing countries. There are key differences between the European
Blue Card and the American Green Card. Firstly, the Blue Card will
not provide permanent residence in the Member State and will be valid
for two years with the possibility of renewal. It will provide free access
to ail EU Member States for the holder and members of his/her family.
Finally, it will confer permanent resident status after five years. Ewa
Klamt sees it as a special kind of work permit ensuring a well-managed
system of legal immigration. The migrants will receive remuneration
with a ceiling of the equivalent of 1.7 times the gross average annual or
monthly salary depending on legislation in each country.
German MEP Manfred Weber (EPP) said: "There is global competition
in labour markets. The Blue Card will be a key factor in the future of
innovation in our economy." M.M.B. M

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Round up

Debbie Singh*

Coups and development reporting

Visible change in the role of and
approach by the media can be seen
in the coverage of the four coups in
Fiji's history; those of 14 May 1987
and September 28 1987, the 19
May 2000 coup and most recently
that of 5 December, 2006.

n 1987, there was a media and telecommunications
blackout in the wake of the coup by Major General
Sitivenki Rabuka who played the race card tojustify his
coups, blaming ethnic tension between the indigenous
Fijians and migrant, indentured Indians. Information was
erratically received by the public. Coupled with this, a media
inexperienced in operating in a conflict situation meant that
coverage contained information that the military dictatorship
wanted to broadcast. In 2000, the coup of "failed business-
man" George Speight's, removed the elected government of
Fiji's first Indian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudry. In an
odd way the media, particularly radio, accidentally ensured

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that Speight won the tactical advantage on that day in 2000. The plotters had no
reason to seize control of radio broadcasts they were already with Speight. Without
Speight's appeal on the nation's airwaves for support, his coup may not have suc-
ceeded to the extent it did, with radio broadcasting various and often unverified calls
from Parliament in all three languages. Lack of open debate in news coverage and a
largely young, inexperienced news media, meant that little long-term thought went
into understanding the effects ofjournalism on the situation.

> media Freedom

The military coup of 5 December 2006 by Commodore Frank Bainimarama
removed indigenous Fijian Laisenia Qarase's government citing racial division
fuelled by Qarase's proposed Qoliqoli Bill (indigenous fishing rights bill) and vari-
ous discriminatory policies. Armed soldiers were quickly deployed to the offices of
the daily Fiji Times newspaper and Fiji Television, to monitor stories and incoming
faxes. Newsroom managers refused to operate with soldiers in their newsrooms;
The Fiji Times and Fiji TV immediately shutting down their operations. Closely
allied to ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, The Fiji Daily Post closed for
several days after receiving threats, reappearing on the streets on 7 December,
2006, although the newspaper reported that the military had barred Post staff
from attending its press conferences. A day after the coup, the military requested a
meeting with media managers and on behalf of Commodore Bainimarama, gave an
undertaking that there would be no further censorship. Media managers also suc-
cessfully demanded that soldiers stationed in newsrooms and outside media offices
be removed. While it appears that media freedom in Fiji is generally intact, media
managers maintain that they are operating in an environment of self-censorship.
Two expatriate newspaper publishers have been deported from the country this
year. On a visit to Brussels mid-November 2008, Fiji's interim Prime Minister,
Frank Bainimarama highlighted in a meeting with ACP Secretary General Sir
John Kaputin that there is a free press in Fiji. His comments were in the context of
explaining the country's plans to restore democracy.

> Reportage

Over the past year, the style of journalism has altered, now squarely focusing on
seeking the opinions of certain elite groups and political parties who, say many,
share the TV station newsroom managers' own agendas. What is most lacking in
TV and radio coverage, perhaps, is the inclusion of the voices of real people those
who are directly affected economically, socially and spiritually by the events which
continue to divide this nation. There is little room for the public to air or even form
their own opinion of the political situation and say how it affects them. The media
could play a critical role in conflict resolution; however, the information it repre-
sents must be objective, reliable, respect human rights and represent diverse views
in order to assist development. The Fiji media has potential. It has power. But with
power comes responsibility. A more developmental, constructive, less destructive
style of reporting would ensure power to the people. And the Fiji media. M
* Fiji-based jouralist.

Fiji; press; George Speight; Frank Bainimarama; Sir John Kaputin; Laisenia
Qarase's; General Sitivenki Rabuka.


W hat are these European
Development Days? Why
organise them? And what
about the 2008 event, the
third of its kind to be held? These are the ques-
tions I am often asked regarding the purpose
of this initiative. The answers are many. The
European Commission sought to organise this
event to encourage debate and dialogue with
its partners on the subject of development. It
is a question of opening up European thinking
to debate in which underlying values, as well
as experiences and failings, are discussed.
This event is now also participative, more
than half the items on the agenda being organ-
ised by development players other than the
Commission. As the world's leading develop-
ment donor, I would describe it as natural for
the European Union to propose such an open
and participative platform for an international
debate on development. At the same time, it
is valuable for creating a synergy between the
players, for the exchange of good practices
and meetings, etc.
The European Development Days (EDD) 2008
were an essential meeting for the whole devel-

opment family. Two months after the UN
General Assembly, two weeks before the Doha
Conference on development financing, and
concurrent with the G20 summit, the EDD was
an opportunity for many international leaders,
politicians as well as members of civil society,
to stress that development aid promises must
be kept. This year the event will also have pro-
vided a platform for development voices that
must be heard in the new global architecture
that is currently taking shape. But we must not
forget the most tragic global crisis of them all,
one that affects 1.4 billion people: poverty.
Over three days, several thousand people
engaged in debate, argued and counter-argued,
expressed ideas, offered proposals and were
sometimes contradicted on the subject of
development. Active participants included,
alongside heads of state and government
(Benin, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Madagascar,
Mali, Zimbabwean leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
African Union Commission Chairman Jean
Ping, European ministers including French
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, President-
in-office of the EU, European Commissioner
Louis Michel, representatives of civil society

such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari
Maahtai, ActionAid International President,
Noerine Kaleeba, and the essayist Aminata
Traor, plus a number of renowned entre-
preneurs such as Richard Branson and Ndidi
Nnoli Edozien, and more than 30 local elected
The debates and proposals concerned global
issues such as the financial crisis, the food cri-
sis and climate change. But this event also dealt
with local issues such as the importance of the
local authorities in winning the battle against
poverty, the issue of Media and Development
and the Millennium Development Goals.
The European Union's commitment to devel-
opment is in line with European values of
solidarity, shared progress and democracy. It
is a vision of the future that Europe holds in
this context of multiple crises, by remaining
at the forefront of action and international
reflection on development. I therefore already
set a 'rendez-vous' for all those who want to
participate in this movement next year in
Stockholm, for what will be the 4th European
Development Days event. It is only together
that we can make development a success. M





solidarity in a different context

By Simon Horner*

W hen I joined the European
Commission's Humanitarian
Aid department (ECHO),
after eight years reporting
on development cooperation for the ACP-EU
Courier, the first project I visited was at the
general hospital in Makeni in the Sierra Leone
hinterland. The town was then a government-
held enclave in rebel-controlled territory. The
previous year, Makeni had been attacked
and the hospital was destroyed in the fight-
ing. Rebuilding was carried out with ECHO
funding, and humanitarian partners funded by
the Commission were now providing basic
medical care to the beleaguered population.
It wasn't particularly different from other
hospitals I had visited in developing countries
where facilities had been built and services
provided through development cooperation.
Both were expressions of European solidarity
- a common principle underpinning the two
policy areas.
The key difference was the context. Makeni
was a town under siege in a conflict zone.
Humanitarian aid is fundamentally about sav-
ing lives and alleviating extreme suffering in
the aftermath of upheaval caused by conflicts
or natural disasters. In foreign policy terms, it
lies at the end of a continuum. Development
cooperation is further along, being concerned
with improving lives, tackling poverty and
enabling disadvantaged populations to take
part in the global economy.
There are, of course, differences in the support
provided under humanitarian and develop-
ment aid. Activities such as emergency water
delivery, therapeutic feeding and providing
temporary shelters are traditionally humani-
tarian. Budget support, capacity-building for
government departments, road construction
and rural irrigation are more generally asso-
ciated with development. But there is also a
certain amount of common ground. The work
that a humanitarian agency does in liveli-
hood recovery is only a very short step from
livelihood improvement actions supported in
development programmes. Similarly, disaster

risk reduction is of interest to development
strategists as well as those involved in relief
While humanitarian and development pol-
icy both come under a broad 'solidarity'
umbrella, different objectives are involved.
Development policy aims to help people and
societies who have ownership of the proc-
ess to help themselves. Hence, the emphasis
on 'cooperation'. The main interlocutors for
donors are governments.
Nowadays, the view is that development can
only succeed if certain conditions are already
fulfilled. I recall a lot of discussion in the
1990s about the validity, efficacy and political
correctness of certain donor 'conditionalities',
notably those that reflected liberal economic
For the purpose of this article, I can confine
myself to certain political 'conditionalities'
that are rarely challenged. These are respect
for human rights, democracy and good gov-
ernance. Broadly speaking, developing coun-
tries that guarantee all three will be full
cooperation partners. Those on the right track
will qualify for some help and the prospect
of more if things keep improving. Those that
fail the tests altogether are likely to have their
aid suspended. This approach is intellectually
coherent. But it relegates the basic question
"who needs the support most?" to a secondary
position. In development cooperation, a more
appropriate question might be: "who will put
the support to best use?"
In humanitarian aid, need has primacy over cri-
teria such as respect for human rights, democ-
racy or good governance. People working in
humanitarian aid have to be careful in explain-
ing this approach because, of course, it doesn't
mean they are not interested in seeing these
principles respected. Indeed, human rights
violations and complex crises often go hand-
in-hand. But a humanitarian actor's overriding
duty is to alleviate the suffering of individuals.
Disapproval of the actions of a regime is not a
reason to withhold life-saving aid.
The logic of de-connecting humanitarian aid

from governments then becomes clear: which
is why relief funds are channelled through
United Nations agencies, the Red Cross/Red
Crescent family and NGOs with a humanitar-
ian vocation.
The humanitarian principles of neutrality,
impartiality and independence are deeply root-
ed in pragmatism. The sad reality is that most
relief needs stem from conflict. If an agency's
top priority is to gain access to and help the
most vulnerable, it will almost certainly need to
have some contact with warring parties includ-
ing governments, armies, militias and rebel
forces. What it must avoid, however, is being
associated with one or other side. Any such
association increases the likelihood that access
will be blocked and compromises the safety of
relief workers. The message that humanitarian
aid is neutral is therefore crucial in ensuring the
existence of a 'humanitarian space'.
The principles of impartiality and independ-
ence are closely linked to this. Allocating
and distributing aid even-handedly to those
who are worst-affected irrespective of their
nationality, ethnicity, religion or gender is
the best practical way of demonstrating neu-
trality in highly-charged conflict situations.
Maintaining the reputation of humanitarian
support as something that is independent has
also become increasingly important, espe-
cially in complex crises.
Specificity should not, of course, mean iso-



lationism. It is widely recognized that good
linking between relief, rehabilitation and
development ("LRRD" in the jargon) is nec-
essary. In a post-crisis situation, ensuring a
smooth transition from emergency assistance
to longer term support increases the overall
effectiveness of the aid. The European Union
has established unique arrangements within
the Commission that recognize these distinct
principles and the specificity of humanitarian
aid. These include a separate humanitarian aid

department (ECHO) and a broad network of
field experts, working with partners and moni-
toring projects on the ground.
At the end of 2006, Louis Michel, the
Commissioner for Humanitarian and
Development Aid, launched an initiative that
led to the adoption the following year of
the European Consensus on Humanitarian
Aid**. Signed by the Council of Ministers
(representing the Member States), the European
Parliament and the Commission, the Consensus

reiterates the EU' s commitment to humanitarian
principles and action, with an emphasis on good
donorship and enhanced coordination of relief
efforts. At a time when the 'humanitarian space'
is increasingly under pressure, this was a timely
and practical expression of European solidarity
with the world's most vulnerable people. M
* Head of the Information Unit in the Commission's
Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). Former ACP-EU
Courier journalist and editor.
** See: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/policies/consensusen.htm

Dorothy Morrissey*

ECHO: dealing with disasters

as a writer, with Simon Horner as editor.
Then, following his departure I became
editor in January 2001 until early 2005.
It was a season of reform, of both administra-
tion and of policy: increases in volume of aid,
an ambitious agenda on aid effectiveness and
the preparation of the European Consensus on
Development which was signed in late 2005.
It was a privilege to follow and report on
these events; I had the opportunity to attend
key international conferences like the one
on Financing for Development in Monterrey
in 2002, and I undertook missions to sev-
eral ACP countries. I still keep up to date on
EU-ACP issues through the Courier.
Having worked on the Courier for eight sat-
isfying years, I took up new responsibilities
in the European Community's humanitarian
aid office, ECHO. I completely changed geo-
graphical region, moving away from the ACP
regions. I started working on Asia Laos and
the tsunami response in Indonesia and I now
work on Latin America. I am responsible for
disaster response and disaster preparedness.
Latin America is one of the most disaster-
prone regions in the world, and disasters affect
the development process and the more fragile
sectors of the population. Although a macro
analysis might lead to the conclusion that
vulnerability is low, a closer analysis shows

that the level of local vulnerability is high in
many countries which appear to be well off,
such as Chile, Peru or Venezuela. The reason
is mainly that social inequality is extremely
high in almost all Latin America, with national
indicators masking real local vulnerability.
In November 2008, I visited some of our
projects in Peru: a particularly cold spell of
weather this year badly affected subsistence
and alpaca farmers living over 3,500 metres
in the Andes. Erratic climatic patterns at the
beginning of the year, combined with crop
and animal diseases, and increased food prices
seriously affected the livelihoods of the most
vulnerable populations. This resulted in what
could be described as "a silent disaster" which
was unfolding as seeds became scarce, natu-
ral pastures were affected, and animals were
dying from malnutrition and respiratory com-
plications as a result of the cold wave. ECHO's
intervention aimed to improve overall food
availability through the production of local
food crops from improved planting materials
and reducing the alpaca mortality.
Disaster response is well known but ECHO's
work in preparedness is perhaps less known.
Even though disasters are recurrent and
increasing there is typically a lack of pre-
paredness at local level, leaving communities
unprepared to face risks. Increasing risk and
disaster impact in low resilient communi-

ties means a greater demand for humanitar-
ian assistance if proper action is not taken.
Many of the disasters which occur in Latin
America affect a limited number of people
but significantly endanger their livelihoods;
they typically occur in remote/isolated areas,
rarely generate a declaration of emergency
and do not figure prominently in the news.
Preparedness means putting in place efficient
early warning systems enforcing building
codes, preparing communities to react in the
first hours of a disaster, training people, and
organising awareness campaigns... M
* Former Editor-in-chief of The Courier from January 2001
to March 2005.


rPt~ srh

T he governments of the three regions
(Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia)
and the three communities (Flemish,
French and German) have been
unable to function properly. Under a politi-
cal agreement reached in 2001, development
policy would be placed under the responsibil-
ity of regions and communities, "in as far as
it pertains to matters that belong to the com-
petences of these regions and communities".
From development NGOs to the administra-
tions of International Cooperation and Foreign
Affairs, there was deep dissatisfaction at the
prospect of a totally fragmented development
policy. Education is a community compe-
tence, agriculture the responsibility of the
regions, whereas mobility is shared between
the regions and central government.
Seven years on, there has been little change.
The Flemish government a combination of
community and region competence has
set up a ministry and administration to run
development policy, but has an annual budget
ofjust over 30M to disburse on programmes
in South Africa and Malawi. The French com-
munity, the Walloon region and the Brussels
region have sought to coordinate their efforts
but their budget is even smaller than that of
the Flemish. So, although some politicians
at regional government levels are demanding
a so-called de-federalisation of development

policy, with steps already taken to prepare for
such a scenario, everybody rather seems to be
expecting the federal budget to be cut up into
smaller pieces, rather than putting additional
money into development from these lower

> Clash ouer DRC

The country's Minister for Development
Cooperation, Charles Michel francophonee
politician)* clashed in November 2008 with his
Foreign Affairs counterpart, Karel De Gucht
(flemish politician)**, over diplomacy in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A few
weeks later, Belgium's EU Commissioner,
Louis Michel who has responsibility for EU
Development Policy, was at odds over De
Gucht's proposal to send additional European
peacekeepers to eastern DRC. Both episodes
did damage to the standing of Belgium in
international affairs. This especially hurts
when it concerns the DRC, since former colo-
nial ruler Belgium has extra knowledge and
leverage over other nations.
In a recently published article in 'The Broker'
(December 2008), 'MO' journalist, John
Vandaele,*** writes: "After all the turbu-
lence and changes that have characterized
the relationship between Belgium and its
former colonies, one thing remains certain:

Belgium and the Belgians possess a great deal
of expertise on Central Africa and the Great
Lakes Region." He takes as examples the
Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren
and the Institute for Tropical Medicine in
Antwerp. The specialists on DRC's forests
at Greenpeace and the World Bank are both
from Belgium. To maximise the effectiveness
of that knowledge and longstanding rela-
tions, the nation should be clear about who
formulates and executes development policy
in Central-Africa and other partner countries.
Communitarian bidding for the development
budget should come to an end and the country
should avoid differences over policies within
the federal government. M

* Charles Michel is a member of the francophone liberal
party, Mouvement Reformateur
**Karel De Gucht is a member of Open VLD (Vlaamse
Liberalen en Democraten)
***The article by John Vandaele 'Debating aid in
Belgium'can be viewed through the following link: http://
Brussels. Car-free day. A calm ambiance in contrast with
the political quarrels stirring in the country.

Belgium; development policy; Flanders;
Wallonia; Louis Michel, Charles Michel,
Karel De Gucht; DRC; Great Lakes



I P*'. i- . '. '.. ..


Serious damage for RCP countries

... and positive side-effects

Dossier by Hegel Goutier

As in the case of climate change,
the poor countries are paying
for the misdemeanours of oth-
ers. This was emphasised by the
Heads of State of the ACP Group countries
at their most recent Summit in Ghana in
October 2008. It seems that the countries that
will be hit first and most harshly will be the
top performers among the developing coun-
tries, those which were best integrated into
the world economy.
The crisis has arisen at a time when Africa has
just experienced a decade of unique growth
due to a virtuous circle of progress of political
and economic govemance, and pro-activity in
trade, which has enabled it to open up new

markets such as Asia or South America.
Democracy and governance have been con-
solidated in the Caribbean, which will pay a
heavy price for its market conquests, espe-
cially as its leading sectors tourism and serv-
ices derive much of their income from North
America, the epicentre of the earthquake.
Likewise for the Pacific, mutatis mutandi, but
in this case, the shock waves are being felt
from Australia and New Zealand.
However, the crisis will not only have nega-
tive effects. One of its major positive con-
sequences lies in the greater readiness on
the part of international organizations to
incorporate developing countries into the
global regulatory or administrative bodies,

such as the one envisaged by the recent Doha
Financing for Development Conference held
from 29 November to 2 December, to find a
solution for the tax evasion of large compa-
nies operating in developing countries, which
is estimated at US$160bn per year (by way
of comparison, international official develop-
ment assistance is US$100bn). Another posi-
tive side-effect of the crisis, which specifi-
cally concems Africa, is an improved image.
Many people seem to be discovering the
dynamism of the continent, and the moderni-
sation of the economy that has happened in
a number of countries during the last decade
while international public opinion only saw it
as the continent of problems. M


Dossier Financial Crisis



can be optimistic

Jacques Attali in an exclusive interview with The Courier

Hegel Goutier

Jacques Attali, the former President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD), is an economics expert highly regarded worldwide for his
analyses and forecasts as well as the human, intellectual and aesthetic perspective he
brings to economics. He believes Africa will fare better in the slumping global economy
because its economy is less integrated.
T. ttali was an advisor to former French
,.President Franois Mitterrand and
;W f' .. r is currently a professor of eco-
nomics at several universities, a
novelist, a dramatist, a music critic, a pian-
*, I ., .1.... ist, a conductor and an essayist on the music
'b- ~. industry amongst other things. He is also the
chief executive of A&A (Attali et Associs), a
consultancy firm specialising in strategy, finan-
cial engineering, mergers and acquisitions and
L economic and financial analysis. He has been
described as the 21st century equivalent of an
18th century gentleman. His CV includes a
'. degree with honours, a doctorate in economics,
7. I an engineering degree from the Ecole des Mines
de Paris (MinesParisTech) as well as qualifica-
tions from the Institut d'Etudes politiques de
Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) and
the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (National
School of Public Administration). Attali cross-
es boundaries as a matter of course. A socialist
at heart, he prepared a report for the current
French President Sarkozy, heading a commit-
tee of experts on a strategy to stimulate French
economic growth.As a political advisor and in
his economic and sociological analyses, Attali
l has often underlined the negative global impact
of the division of the world into a protectionist
rich bloc that leaves the remaining countries out
in the cold. He was one of the founders of the
non-governmental organisation Action against
Hunger, and in 1998, he set up PlaNetFinance,
S_ a non-profit organisation that has helped to


create thousands of micro-finance institutions
in around 60 countries. As part of his solution
to the current financial crisis, he is proposing
the effective participation of poor countries in
future global governance which he considers
vital because the economy is global. Various
other proposals include that of a minimum
global wage.
In terms of the impact of the present economic
crisis on the countries of the ACP Group (in
particular Africa), while acknowledging col-
lateral effects such as a decline in recovery
and the weakening of sectors like tourism, he
believes that Africa will fare better because its
economy is less integrated into the slumping
global economy and because of its compara-
tive advantages to the rest of the world.

Will poor countries in regions such as Africa,
the Caribbean and the P'.. iI,. be badly hit by
the crisis?

After the food crisis and the energy crisis, we
now have a financial crisis. There is going to
be a recession which will gradually affect the
world's economies. All of the poor countries
will therefore be hit. Strangely, the African
countries will perhaps be less badly hit than
other countries and some will withstand it bet-
ter, but it is still too early to know.

Is this because the African countries are not
integrated into the global economy or because

they have comparative advantages which will
help them withstand the downturn better?

For both these reasons. They are only integrat-
ed into the global economy to a small extent
except for the export of raw materials, which
will continue even though this will be hit by
the fall in the price of oil. They also have many
comparative advantages. On the one hand
there is the fall in demographic growth and on
the other an internal economy geared towards
themselves. They are not faced with problems
linked to financial mismanagement as they
were only involved in the financial system to a
small extent. The countries that will suffer are
primarily those which accepted foreign capital,
strongly recommended to them, which the
stock market and companies depended on.

What about countries in the Caribbean and
P'.. -T. which rely on tourism?

All of those countries directly dependent on
developed countries, through tourism or flows
of migrants, will be hit because migrants are
the first to be affected by the crisis.

Can you foresee potential global catastrophes
such as the weakening of democracy, even in

There is a risk of that, but I think that we will
succeed in overcoming it because we have

dealt with crises before and our democracies
are well established and stable. However,
violent movements linked to social minority
groups cannot be ruled out in some countries
in the event of a more precarious situation
caused by unemployment.

Will the weakening of i,,r". countries between
rich and poor states, such as China, have
severe consequences for Africa?

China relies greatly on African countries for
raw materials. I don't think it will abandon its
investments in Africa as it has lots of money
and will want to continue strategically impor-
tant activities.

In your positive forecasts, you foresee the
establishment of a system of global govern-
ance similar to what the economist Keynes
envisaged, but its introduction could be some
way off up to a century away. Your optimism
is tempered by caution?

Yes, I don't think mankind is ready for that
yet. It will take some time. If the crisis was
extremely bad, I believe it would speed the
process up, but I hope this crisis doesn't turn
out to be extremely serious.

Isn't there ...... il,,,. inherent in human
nature and nations which prevents global


Dossier Financial Cnsis

Listen, in Europe we have succeeded in estab-
lishing various systems of governance after
a great deal of endeavour. It is just a matter
of achieving on a global scale what has been
achieved on a European scale, but that is no easy
task. This shows the extent of the challenge.

What steps have to be taken to succeed?

I think the first step would be to merge
the G7 and the UN Security Council and
put the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank under the control of the Security
Council. This is the first reform in a series
of reforms which I describe in my book*.
All of these institutions have to be reformed
to ensure China as well as Africa and Latin
America are represented.

Europe is in a position to act as a catalystfor
such reform, but isn't it too tentative when it
cones to ,'7 .,. the USA? We have seen
disagreements between the French, British
and German governments in recent years.

We urgently need to establish a Franco-
German agreement. This is vital. Nothing
substantial can be achieved in Europe without
a Franco-German agreement and I hope it
is reached soon. It is so important. I think
common sense will prevail. The euro group
already constitutes a European economic
power and this needs to be strengthened.
Then, the conditions need to be put in place
to ensure this euro group is politically strong.

Ideally, we would have a real European prime
minister as Europe cannot be effective with-
out political power. It will not succeed if it
is just an economic power. The euro needs
political power.

What about the refusal of important countries
like Denmark and Great Britain to adopt the

Well, we'll have to do it without them. We
can't force them to join if they don't want to.

Africa was proving very attractive as a busi-
ness location before the crisis. There was a
. i;..... of hope. Won't the crisis limit its
appeal even if it hits Africa less hard?

No. I feel that if Africa is able to avoid civil
war, it has great potential. Nigeria, for exam-
ple, has huge promise. Civil war stops many
people's activities through hold-ups etc. If the
situation in Somalia was to spread throughout
Africa, all hope would be lost. If Africa could
establish the rule of law, that would change
everything. It just needs to do that.
There has been an upturn in Africa owing
to internal growth geared towards itself, the
initial establishment of the rule of law and the
decline in demographic growth. The continua-
tion of these key factors is important as well as
the set-up of an efficient financial system for
savings. If these conditions are met, there will
be a lot of hope for Africa.
Lots of investors are currently showing an

interest in Africa. I was at a meeting there
yesterday about investment in Africa. There
appears to be great demand.

That's good news then?

Yes, good news for Africa. M

* Jacques Attali, essay La crise, et aprs? (The crisis and
beyond), Fayard, November 2008 (latest analysis of the
financial crisis taking account of developments up to the
end of October 2008 setting out solutions, the most signifi-
cant of which is a system of global goverance).

Hegel Goutier; Jacques Attali; financial
crisis; PlaNetFinance; microfinance; global
governance; tourism; stock market; World
Bank; IMF; G8; G20; EBRD.


Financial Cnsis Dossier

aill' aI

The Njniij^
^^*iTy ^^^ome^

I Pov, Africa can be optimistic. c Pov


Dossier Financial Cnsis

at least initially, but it will not
escape the consequences entirely.
The damage will spread in suc-
cessive waves affecting first the countries
most integrated into the global system such
as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya or Ghana,
and subsequently the others. But this cri-
sis by showing that neo-liberalism has its
limitations, so that the role of state interven-
tion once again appears necessary, is also
an opportunity for African govemments to
take back the economic leadership of their
countries and no longer obey the dictates of
financial orthodoxy imposed by those who
don't practise what they preach. And espe-
cially to play a more important role in future
world govemance. This is what many from
the continent think, including Lionel Zinsou
from Benin, a Franco-Beninese to be precise,
an eminent expert at international level, cur-
rently a member of the Executive Board of
PAI Partners, Chairman and CEO of Capital
et Investissement, who set up the Zinsou
Foundation for African contemporary arts
based in Cotonou.
Lionel Zinsou recently said that nobody
would come through the crisis unscathed, but
its impact would be less in Africa because
the level of take-up of bank services was
lower, except in countries like Kenya, South
Africa and Nigeria*. He points out that the
banking systems in South Africa, Nigeria
and Egypt, for example, are suffering from
the crisis. The more modern and globalised
the banking system is, the more it is affected.
Banks and financial markets in these coun-
tries have the liquidity on which any dynamic
economy depends. According to Zinsou, the
most fragile country, which is the least likely
to be immune, is Nigeria. A "deep and bold"
restructuring of its banking sector, carried
out by the Central Bank, led to mergers of 25
banks into five more sound groups. Until then,
the continent's 50 largest banks were almost
all South African. The crisis has arisen just
after that restructuring at a time when these
new entities need to recover, and have a vital
need for liquidity for the stock market and
the economy. The fear is that, unjustly, these
countries will have to "pay the ransom" of
modernisation. There is a comparable situa-
tion in Kenya and Ghana.
Among other sectors that will suffer from the
crisis is shipping, as ship owners always need
short-term liquidity. He added that the whole

of Africa would suffer a fall, a deterioration
in terms of trade deriving less from the sale
of its resources and the fall in repatriated
earnings from the Diaspora. The worst of the
crisis will be felt in Africa in 2009, with the
tumbling price of oil.
Paradoxically, the countries in the Franc Zone,
says Zinsou, are sheltered by the "archaic"
nature of their banking system with a low
take-up of banking services and the virtually
total absence of large American and British
banks, compared with the North or South
of the continent. Their excess liquidity is
becoming an advantage while under normal
circumstances, it inhibits development. Even
with a fall in the Chinese rate of growth from
10 to 6 per cent, this will be enough for it to
be a leading global economic player, and it
will not cut back on the African raw materials
that it needs.
Africa will in any case be a victim of events
elsewhere while its own fundamentals are
sound. To take the example of Benin (his
own country), Zinsou considers that growth
will continue, but with a slowdown in foreign
investment and income sent back home from
migrant workers, just like the rest of the coun-
tries in Africa.
The joint meeting of the African Development
Bank (ADB), the African Union and the
UN Economic Commission for Africa on 11
November in Tunis, which was attended by
Finance Ministers from the continent, reached
similar conclusions. According to Donald
Kaberuka, Chairman of the ADB Group, the
rescue plans launched in developed countries
risk leading to budget pressures, and therefore
a cutback in official development aid. "Africa
has at least been spared by the initial effects
of the crisis, but the slowdown in economic
activity of the rich countries will result in job
losses, tightening of immigration policy, and
therefore have the consequence of a drastic
cut in the money sent home by migrant work-
ers". Not to mention, he adds, the negative
consequences of the recent increases in food
and oil prices which will curtail the economic
growth which the continent has experienced
in the last few years.
Speaking about the massive injection of tax-
payers' money into the banking sector in
rich countries, whereas they had forced poor
countries to privatise entire sectors, Zinsou
expressed the indignation which is widespread
in Africa. "It is irritating to be preached at for
so long." That being said, he points out that

privatization has done some good, in the
telecommunications sector, for example. But
not in the agricultural sector, where it is not
led to balanced growth by any stretch of the
imagination. Interventionism by African gov-
ernments is back in fashion, and he thinks that
developed countries will find it hard to come
up with arguments against it.
As to the measures to be adopted in the near
future, Zinsou already spelled them out back
in April 2008**. The solution to the crisis
requires new global governance in which
there needs to be a G13 or a G15, or even
a G20 or G25. The European Union which
many were relying on to be the driving force
of future recovery does not have enough of
a surplus to take massive action to boost
the world economy. The recovery can only
be based on the sovereign funds of China,
Singapore or the Gulf, who benefited from
inflation in commodity prices to pay off their
debts. It will also be necessary to cooperate
with countries and regions that have sur-
pluses, in which process he sees Africa along-
side Asia and Latin America. While forecast
growth is 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent in the USA
and 1.5 per cent in Europe, it will reach 5 to
6 per cent in Asia and in Latin America. The
European internal trade surplus is not even as
high as that of Algeria, and is only half that
of Nigeria. These countries are new nouveaux
riches, but should be seen, in his opinion, as
the "old poor", who should be treated as such.
The European population is more or less the
same as that of Africa, at about 700 million.
By 2050, Africa's population will be double
that of Europe. One more reason to review the
representativeness of the international organi-
sations like the International Monetary Fund.
H.G. M

* OECD Publications (interview by Laurent Bossard on 15
October 208).

** Colloquium of the Forum de la Rnovation, April 2008,

On page 21:
Financial Crisis Headlines.
@ Norman Chan Image from BigstockPhoto com

Financial crisis; Africa; Lionel Zinsou;
African Development Bank (ADB).



Bernard Babb*


-ff-: 1Il Dossier


--y sV-
t- V-





hotspots feel the chill

Global financial turbulence is sending a winter chill across Caribbean tourist hotspots
and 2009 appears extremely challenging as hoteliers and governments struggle to
ward off a deep slump in the region's leading industry.

that followed the global credit
crunch, record high oil prices in
2008 that increased air fares and
prompted airlines to cut flights, and low con-
sumer confidence in the main tourism markets
have combined to negatively affect Caribbean
tourism.The Caribbean Development Bank
(CDB) has suggested that the current contrac-
tion in tourism could be longer and deeper than
that which followed the events of September
11, 2001. Caribbean hoteliers are already
reporting drops of 20 per cent and 30 per cent
in bookings, triggering lay-offs in the tourism
industry in several islands as well as stalled
construction projects and new developments,
while hoteliers slash prices and seek creative
ways to keep their properties running.
In December 2008, Sandals Resorts
International announced lay-offs of 650

Caribbean hotel workers in the Bahamas,
Jamaica and St. Lucia, representing seven
per cent of its workforce. Lay-offs were also
planned for Antigua, and the Jamaica-based
resort chain said the cuts would help the com-
pany stay competitive during the global eco-
nomic crisis. According to Caribbean Tourism
Organisation (CTO) statistics, North America
accounts for 50 per cent of the Caribbean tour-
ism market, which attracts 22 million visitors
and injects US$21.6 bn into the island econo-
mies every year. Europe accounts for another
40 per cent of the region's tourists. The move
by Sandals has added to economic woes in the
Bahamas, where the world-famous Atlantis
resort also retrenched 800 workers, among
other cuts by other hotel operators. Bahamian
Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, said book-
ings for 2009 did not look good and the des-
tination expected to finish 2008 with an eight

percent decline in business. Tourism makes up
65 per cent of the Bahamas' work force.
> Expansion halted
As the economic recession deepens in the
United States and Europe, fall-off from both
is increasing and the forecast is for island
economies to continue to feel the squeeze
with deeper contractions in tourism and con-
struction. Small tourism destinations in the
Eastern Caribbean have been particularly
hard hit, said Wayne Cummings, director of
business administration for Sandals Resorts
International, which also operates properties
in the Turks and Caicos and St Lucia. "It's
distressing to see", Cummings said.
In the Dominican Republic, which along with
Cuba has led the way in Caribbean tourism
growth over the past 10 years, the financial


Dossier Financial Cnsis

crisis has also stalled the major Cap Cana
resort, a development which includes four
luxury hotels, three golf courses and a mega-
yacht marina. The resort development released
500 workers in November, media reports said,
after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy
and a US$250M loan fell through. Talks to
re-negotiate a US$100M short-term loan also
collapsed and another 1,000 layoffs were also
expected." "Our project has been affected
by the economic tsunami that has paralysed
the global financial markets", said Cap Cana
President Ricardo Hazoury.The 50-square-
mile Cap Cana development is located in the

"To put it bluntly,

some hotels are


sucking wind".

eastern section of the Dominican Republic
and its developers include Deutsche Bank,
the Trump Organisation and the Ritz Carlton
Hotel. Jamaica has also suspended plans for
a multimillion-dollar expansion of a popu-
lar tourist port in Kingston. The US$122M
project at the Kingston Wharf has been pushed
back to 2011 after several international banks
backed off citing the global financial crisis.
The development is to include construction of
duty-free shops and a renovation of the nearby
Port Royal town as a cruise ship destination.
In Barbados, the Central Bank has projected
a four to five per cent drop in tourist arriv-

als in 2009 because of the global recession,
and a significant fall-off in revenue from the
country's largest foreign exchange earner with
a loss ofjobs. In response to the current global
crisis, the country's Prime Minister David
Thompson has rejected a call for belt tighten-
ing measures, instead urging more spending
and investment at home to keep the economy
going. Thompson outlined some measures
designed to achieve that objective, including
accelerating the increase in tax credit and
increased pensions. Tourism Minister, Richard
Sealy, is optimistic that Barbados will be able
to weather the storm based on the diversity
of its tourism markets and special arrange-
ments with critical partners. Barbados enjoys
a high percentage of high-end repeat business
from the United States, Canada and England
and responded quickly to the crisis by step-
ping up marketing efforts, adding US$5M to
its US$50M budget. Others have also been
ramping up their marketing efforts. Puerto
Rico began a special "emergency" campaign,
adding US$12M to the destination's annual
marketing budget of about US$20M, while the
Jamaican government is spending US$5M on
an additional advertising blitz above its normal
US$30M marketing budget. With CTO back-
ing it is also leading a new regional US$60M
campaign seeking to promote the Caribbean
and drive business in major source markets.

> Buoyant Cuba

While other islands struggle with cancella-
tions and layoffs, Cuba's vacation industry
has remained buoyant and was reported to

be gearing up for a strong winter season.
Government officials said the destination was
booked solid through December and expected
to record 2.34 million visitors in 2008. Cuba's
performance has been linked to the fact that
the global financial woes have so far been
softer on Canada, its top source of visitors.
Some 35 per cent of tourists to Cuba this year
were Canadian, with 635,000 visiting up to
September, one-fifth more than in the same
period last year. Canada's economy has not
suffered the same losses, now sapping the sav-
ings of homeowners in the United States. The
number of Russian tourists to Cuba rose 40
per cent but visitors from Britain, Italy, Spain
and Germany, the top suppliers of tourists
after Canada, declined between three and five
percent. Going into the high winter season,
his future appears less than rosy for the wider
Caribbean: "I've been in the business 38 years.
I have seen the impact of the Gulf War. I have
seen the recession of the 1980s and the effects
of Sept. 11 2001," said Robert Sands, senior
vice president of external affairs at Baha Mar
Resorts ltd in the Bahamas, which owns a
number of properties. "But nothing has been
of a global nature, which makes the current
financial situation we're in much more wor-
risome." M

* Barbados-basedjouralist.

Tourism; Financial Crisis; Caribbean;
CTO; Bahamas, Barbados; Cuba;
Dominican Republic; Jamaica; Sandals;
Bernard Babb; David Thompson.



Islands struck by shock waues from


A n initial evaluation of the effects
of the crisis on countries of the
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)* by
Sthe body's Ministers in Vanuatu
on 27-29 October 2008, brought mixed views
S of its potential impact. The Forum's Secretary
General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade highlighted
serious concerns about the tourism sector on
which a number of countries depend, as well
as exports and services. Many countries in the
region depend on imports for a wide range of
products, even if recent falls in food and ener-
gy prices were an encouraging development.
The situations of the 15 ACP countries in the
region are rather disparate. According to the
analyses, all of them would be affected by a
fall in tourism revenue. As for the rest, the
effects were rather random.
Considering, for example, the situation of two
of the relatively large economies of the region,
Fiji and Papua New Guinea, it is easy to see
the disparity. Experts from the Economic
Association of Fiji considered at the end of
October that the country was "cocooned" from
the crisis and that the financial hurricane would
pass over their heads" without causing any
damage. The Deputy Governor of the Reserve
Banof Fiji, SadReddy, gave the guarantee that
the banking and insurance systems of the coun-
try were sound, and had not taken any uncal-

culated risks, and that the parent companies of
Fijian banks, based mainly in Australia, India
and Papua New Guinea were well capitalised
and stable. The Fiji stock market would remain
afloat despite the turmoil in the rich countries.
The experts admitted, nevertheless, that the
tourism sector and the main exports (shoes,
clothing and textiles) would be affected but
that the losses would be compensated by a fall
in prices of raw materials and energy. This
calmness was not universally shared. Some
speakers highlighted the inherent weaknesses
of the Fijian economy, including low growth
which had just turned positive, and the wari-
ness of foreign investors about the country,
particularly due to political uncertainty.

> Papua new Guinea

While the kina, the currency of PNG, is beat-
ing all foreign exchange records against the
Australian dollar, the Governor of the Bank of
Papua New Guinea raised the alarm at the end
of October about the impact that the financial
crisis could have on the country. This could
affect many sectors, but with limited severity,
he thought. Among these impacts, he listed
a serious of falls: gross domestic product,
export earnings, the tax base, the capacity of
individuals to repay mortgages, foreign invest-

ment and international competitiveness of the
country's exports. PNG had already received a
staggering blow before October from the dras-
tic falls on its stock market, as well as falls on
foreign stock markets of shares in companies
involved in its development, like Oil Search
Limited. Serious threats are also affecting
PNG companies operating on foreign stock
markets such the pension funds, Nambawan
Super or Nasfund. The relative optimism of
the PNG banks comes from the fact that they
mainly raise their funds from international
savings and invest them in the country and in
neighboring islands.
The most important side-effects for the Pacific
islands are those caused by the fall in the cur-
rencies of New Zealand and Australia against
their own. The tourist industry in Fiji and the
Cook Islands, for example, is already feeling
the squeeze. Tonga and Samoa who receive a
lot of repatriated earnings from their Diaspora
in these two large countries, and these amounts
are already falling.
In this gloomy atmosphere, Australia has
given a firm commitment to maintain its aid to
the Pacific Islands at the same level. H.G. M
* Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,
Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New
Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon
Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.



The Issues of DEUELOPMEnT

European Development Days

For its third edition, held in Strasbourg from 15 to 17 November 2008 and which brought
together the entire development 'family, from heads of state to NGOs and experts, the
European Development Days (EDD) had to accommodate current realities. The food
and financial crises were, therefore, on the menu for discussion, not forgetting one of
the event's major topics, the significance of local authorities in combating poverty.

5,000 people from Africa, the
Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe,
Asia and America attending, the
2008 EDD closely followed the G20 economic
summit, held in Washington on 15 November.
For Thomas Yayi Boni, President of Benin,
Africa needs a programme to stimulate the
macro-economy and commitment from the
developed world to eradicate poverty and
improve the daily lives of citizens. "It is
important to support strategies defined by
developing countries. The international com-
munity must demonstrate that it really wants
to help Africa." The financial crisis is just the
"tip of the iceberg that has contributed toward
destroying the economies of developing coun-

tries", commented Michle Pierre-Louis,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti. "Do
we need a different Bretton-Woods to resolve
these problems? Yes. We need new, suitable
and regulated institutions, to support peo-
ple's well-being, mutual respect and dignity."
Michle Pierre-Louis added that development
financing would see a "complete change of
paradigm" that demands solidarity, transpar-
ency and the meeting of commitments.

> Local Significance

"In the light of the challenges of the 21st
century, local action will also be necessary",
continued Louis Michel, Commissioner for
Development and Humanitarian Aid, add-

ing, "I deeply believe that north-south local
solidarity is a new force that must be given
impetus." More than 40 round tables tackled
development issues, such as the food crisis,
the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),
climate change, the impact of the media for
democratic governance and the significance
of local authorities. "We will not come back
to the significance of the role of local authori-
ties", declared Josep Borrell Fontelles, Chair
of the European Parliament Development
Committee, on the opening of the 'Local
Governance and Millennium Goals' round
table. "But, if we want them to play this role,
they must be given the means", explicitly
referring to the need for fiscal decentralisa-
tion. He illustrated this with the example of the
Philippines, where health services have dete-
riorated following a badly-managed decentrali-
sation process. The member of the European
Parliament then stressed the need for citizen
participation in the local-level decision mak-
ing process, citing the participative democracy
model developed in the Brazilian city, Porto
Alegre. On the last day, to illustrate European
commitment for local-level development, more
than 100 new town twinnings, were signed.
The city of Kossighin (Burkina Faso) was thus
twinned with Braine-Le-Comte (Belgium) for
education. (Info: http://eudevdays.eu)
M.M.B. a

I Louis Michel at EuroDevDays 2008.
European Commission 2008

EDD; local development; Louis Michel;
Thomas Yayi Boni; Michle Pierre-Louis;
Josep Borrell Fonteles.


is an absolute

ITRIES remind us

Sirussels Declaration on
education andsustnable development' the
education ministers of the African, Caribbean
and Pacific group of countries, meeting in
Brussels on 22 and 23 October, launched an
appeal to guarantee "education for ail".

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111 i1111


Interaction OIF-ACP-EU


on Francophone issues

and more on RTIU ISI

An interview with Maria Nicolescu, Head of the International Organisation for the
French-Speaking World's (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie OIF)
delegation to the European Union.

T he OIF is increasingly focusing on
establishing a global development
policy. To find out more about
its progress, The Courier met up
with Maria Nicolescu, a Romanian, Head of
the organisation's delegation to the European
Union. She combines her role as a diplomat in
Brussels with professorships in economics in
both Paris and Bucharest.

Has the OIF developedfrom simply a lobbying
organisation for the French language to one
focusing on global development policy?

The OIF is constantly developing. In the
1970s it began by bringing together people
in professional associations. These developed
into bonafide institutions, first the Association
of Cultural and Technical Cooperation
(Association de la cooperation culturelle et
technique), then the Intergovernmental Agency
of the French-Speaking World (Agence

1 . u -

intergouvernementale de la Francophonie)
and since the Ouagadougou Summit in 2004
the International Organisation for the French-
Speaking World (OIF). However, the OIF has
neverjust been an organisation geared towards
the protection of the French language. For us,
the language is just a method of conveying
ideas and approaches to development. The
OIF has several key objectives the protection
of cultural and linguistic diversity, democracy
and human rights, education and training, sus-
tainable development and solidarity.

But isn't the OIF's image still associated with
the protection il,.* French language and the
defence of French ... .i;i;. *

No, on the contrary. After the fall of the
Berlin Wall in 1989, the organisation expand-
ed significantly to the countries of central
and Eastern Europe. Today, 14 of the 27 EU
Member States belong to the OIF, so, it's
a far cry from just the
former French-speaking
colonies. In addition
to France, Belgium,
Switzerland and Canada
with its province of
Quebec, it also includes

countries from Asia,
Eastern Europe and other
parts of the world. The
domination of the OIF by
the French is a period that
is seen as over, and we
hope that our image will
change in view of this

The OIF is an organisation which defends the
values of democracy, which Eastern Europe, for
example, has embraced. The French language
has served them as a tool to facilitate regional
integration. Because, just as in Africa, there is
no single international language in the region.

What does your current development policy
focus on? Is it three-way cooperation between
the ACP, EU and OIF?

As we have limited resources and are not a
funding provider, we concentrate on strength-
ening our partnership with other regional and
international organizations. We work closely
with regional African organizations (including
those from language areas other than French),
with the ACP Secretariat, the European
Commission and the Commonwealth with
whom we are working on development projects
in various fields.
The OIF has set up a fund to ensure the devel-
opment of cultural industries which I initiated.
But, while there is always the temptation to
look towards the major international organisa-
tions, we need to focus on models based on
local application and experience. That is my
personal goal, to achieve that.
H.C. M
For more informations: http: //www.francophonie.org/

International Organisation for the
French-Speaking World (Organisation
International de la Francophonie OIF);
Maria Nicolescu ; cultural diversity;
democracy; human rights; education;
training; sustainable development;


NGOs I ntraction

lGOs around the world call for the EU to

support a 'FIIILLY DEmOCRATIC' global

governance system

Gathered at the first international forum in Paris on the 30 October 2008, 10,000
NGOs from 82 countries called for Europe to launch and propose a reform of global
governance to help the most vulnerable populations.

y A 1 M 1. ^ 1
.^,c ~~L j JU /'^--^'*

A t the end of this first forum, ini-
tiated by Coordination Sud, a
network of French international
solidarity NGOs, the representa-
tives of 10,000 NGOs* submitted a road map
for European solidarity and responsibility in
international negotiations to Mr Joyandet,
French Minister of State for Cooperation and
the Francophone community.
At a time when states are asking about the
need to regulate globalisation with a reform
of the international financial institutions
(World Bank, International Monetary Fund,
etc.), NGOs from around the world called for
Europe to ensure the effective participation
of the least wealthy countries in international

In their 'Messages from the World to the
European Union', the NGOs call on the
European Union to review all of its trade, agri-
cultural, environmental and economic policies
so that they contribute toward an effective sus-
tainable development in the North and South
and help fight inequality. In fact, according to
Bakary Doumbia, Chairman of the FECONG
(Mali NGO platform), "European develop-
ment cooperation focuses on fighting ille-
gal immigration, promoting the interests of
European companies and fighting terrorism,
instead of strengthening policies concern-
ing education, health and gender equality".
For Mike Mathias, Chairman of the political
forum, Concord, the European NGO con-
federation for relief and development, "The

European development model must be thor-
oughly reviewed. The planet cannot withstand
the mode of consumption of the world's
wealthier populations. This model, based on
economic growth alone, does not allow wealth
to be better distributed".
M.M.B. M
* From the regional coalitions Mesa de Articulacion (South
America), REPAOC (West Africa), REPONGAC (Central
Africa), PIANGO (Oceania), National Platforms Coalition
of Asia (South and South-East Asia), SADC Council of
NGOs (Southern Africa) and CONCORD (Europe).

Coordination Sud; governance; Concord;
FECONG; Bakary Doumbia; Mike


~' iili~ill.liil II IIi~- Iiil~-iii Ili~~iiIl i~~lllrl~ll~:~~

Fis ~""i !b
3~LC __

Joshua Massarenti


"To moue BEYOnD the security dimension

with EUROPE"

After Brussels in 2007, it was Manila (Philippines), that in October 2008 welcomed the second
Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). Representatives from 150 countries,
international organizations and civil society came together for three days to discuss the rights
of migrants and the need for them to play a major role in development in their countries of
origin as well as the host countries. Aya Kasasa, the expert responsible for culture and migration
at the ACP Secretariat, stresses the gap between existing policy and the stated objectives.

What were the principal issues at this Forum
for the ACP countries?

In 2006 the Group of ACP States took a
number of historical decisions by adopting,
for the first time, a common strategy on issues
of asylum, migration and mobility, ratified at
the highest level by ACP heads of state and
government. To move beyond the purely secu-
rity dimension in exchanges with Europe and
envisage the positive aspects of migration for
the development of states, while never forget-
ting that we are talking about individuals: that
was the principal challenge and principal mes-
sage that the ACP States brought to Manila.
Above all, this was in connection with the the-
matic priority of this second Forum, namely
guaranteeing the rights of migrants.

What are the opportunities and the < i,.. il .
of the relationship between migration and

The ACP countries are one of the main sourc-
es of migrants, within the ACP continents and
then in regard to the rest of the world. So it
is the ACP States themselves that bear the
greatest burden of migration. It is therefore
these countries that must be supported as a
priority. At the same time, we are living in a
world that has suffered some major blows that
require urgent and concerted action. Along
with climate change, the food crisis, the price
of raw materials and the energy and financial
crisis, mobility issues will be on the agenda
more than ever before. Most of the ACP coun-
tries are aware of the need to reconsider the

framework for exchanges and to move beyond
statements of intent. It is one thing to declare
the importance of the development dimen-
sion when managing migration and another to
consider existing policy that, alas, is not suf-
ficiently in line with the stated objective. The
ACP Group therefore plans to build partner-
ships within which the mobility of its nationals
will be regarded systematically in terms of this
positive contribution to development. This
will be one of the objectives of the 'Intra-ACP
Facility' implemented by our secretariat. M

Global Forum on Migration and
Development (GFMD); Manila;
Philippines; ACP Secretariat; Aya Kasasa.


_-a qlmr qLW -- W, f _a ,

In addition to the management of migratory flows and the protection of migrants' rights
on European territory, the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty (1999) opened the

way for strategic partnerships between the EU and southern countries and regions on
joint development. A EC-UN joint initiative financed by the EC and implemented by the
head office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Brussels aims to
promote the positive impact of migration on the achievement of the Millennium Goals

as well as to enhance the position of civil society and the
key players in the development of countries of the South.

local authorities, which are

I, 1 '

2006 was without question a land-
mark year in the international
approach to the phenomenon of
migration. In April, the ACP group
of countries adopted a common strategy in
Brussels on the issues of asylum, migration
and mobility, which was subsequently ratified
by the ACP heads of state and government
to take account of the positive aspects of
migration in the development of the ACP
countries. In July, representatives of almost
60 African and European countries and a
dozen regional and international organizations
met in Rabat (Morocco) for the first African-
European ministerial conference on migration
and development. Finally in September, high-
level representatives from all member states
of the United Nations met in New York at the
General Assembly to examine one of the most
promising aspects of migration, namely its
relationship with development.
These three events did not happen by chance.
At the dawn of the 21st century, migra-
tion represents a major challenge for mod-
ern globalisation. In its latest 2008 report,
the International Organisation for Migration
(IOM) stated that there are currently more than
200 million migrants worldwide. That is two
and a half times more than in 1965. The World
Bank estimates that migration funding reached
317 billion in 2007. E240 billion of this was
transferred to developing countries.
During the French presidency of the Council
of the European Union (second half of 2008),
the European Commission decided to provide
funding of E15 million for a EC-UN Joint

Migration for Development Initiative (JMDI),
implemented by the head office of the UNDP
in Brussels in partnership with the IOM,
UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund),
UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees) and ILO (International Labour
Organization). Antonio Vigilante, head of
the UN Office in Brussels*, said: "This joint
initiative underlines the confidence of both the
European Commission and the United Nations
in the potential of migrants as contributors to
the achievement of the Millennium Goals."
The Joint initiative programme is based on
three main axes the setting-up of networks
mobilisationn of the Diaspora, civil society,
local authorities etc., the organisation of three
'Knowledge fairs'); a call for proposals for 10
million with grants ranging from 50,000 to
200,000 to fund concrete action in 16 coun-
tries** (including 7 in the ACP Group); and
finally the development of capacities through
the establishment of partnerships, the provi-
sion of online tools and an advisory service.
The first know-how fair held in Brussels from
1 to 4 December 2008 brought together more
than 250 representatives from all over Europe
and many southern countries. This provided
an opportunity to launch a call for proposals.
Ccile Riallant, an IOM expert on migration
and advisor to the UNDP within the framework
of the Joint Initiative, told the Courier: "This
appeal aims to support a range of projects
through which we hope to establish good prac-
tices allowing us to define global strategies
capable of enhancing the role of migrants, civil
society and local authorities in Europe and the

southern countries in development policies."
Of the issues addressed, migrant remittances
face a multitude of obstacles which restrict
impact on social and economic development.
Riallant said: "Besides high transaction costs,
many immigrants, in particular women, are
faced with a severe lack of information on the
means available to them for transferring funds.
In developing countries, the lack of a bank-
ing transfer network in rural areas restricts
access to these funds." As well as funding
payments, the joint initiative focuses on three
other areas: migrant communities, whose
transnational networks and know-how are key
factors in achieving the Millennium Goals;
migrant capacities, including human, social
and financial capital,which are vital resources
in fostering the development of poor countries.
Maximising the potential of migrants depends
on respect for and protection of their rights in
the countries of origin, transit and destination.
Ccile Riallant concluded: "We won't get any-
where without these rights." j.M. M
* UN Brussels seeks to maintain, nurture and develop
the UN partnership with the EU and the Goverment of
Belgium. See: http://www.unbrussels.org/index.html
** Georgia, Moldavia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt,
Senegal, Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ethiopia, Sri
Lanka, Philippines, Jamaica, Ecuador.
For more information on JMDI: www.migration4develop-

EU-UN joint initiative; UNDP; IOM;
UNHCR; UNFPA; ILO; migration;
migrants; development; civil society;
local authorities; Ccile Riallant; Antonio


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S e 30

Doha lends its SUPPORT

to the "numerical 1 "

On 24 November 2008 the first International Conference on numerical solidarity
took place in Lyon (France). Three hundred experts, members of NGOs and
telecommunications representatives met to seek ways of redressing the numerical
fracture between developed and developing countries. One of the ways of doing this
would be to make the "1 per cent numerical solidarity contribution universal". A
principle acknowledged a week later at the Doha development financing conference.



Senegal, was guest of honour at
the Lyon conference, organised
under the French presidency of the
European Union. It was Abdoulaye Wade who
in 2003 appealed for a numerical solidarity
fund (NSF) to be created.
"When I came to power in 2000 there were
only four computers in the whole presidency.
They were still using old typewriters. Today
there are computers everywhere", declared
the Senegalese President to the conference on
numerical solidarity. He expressed the view
that his coming to power had led Senegal into
a new era, especially for future generations.
He added: "in Africa, children have no toys. In
Senegal, thanks to my starting-with-the-smallest
project, children have computers as toys." But
during the press conference Abdoulaye Wade
expressed his disappointment with the delays
he had observed, especially in financing.

> "Too few haue heeded the call"

The NSF operates with the contributions from
member states, which rise to at least 300,000
per year per country. "But many have not
yet passed on their contributions", stated the
Senegalese President, and added that: "France
has paid, but other European countries have
not. This year Senegal has given close to
E400,000, but this money too often goes on
administrative costs or travelling instead of
being invested in computers. One of the Lyon
conference's aims is to get European countries
more involved; too few have heeded the call."
The Senegalese President delivered a forceful
reminder that "numerical solidarity is essential

to our countries insofar as it is a powerful
transversal lever in resolving the whole range
of problems liked with development".
To this end, he exhorted the parties concerned
with numerical solidarity to "create large-scale
computer recycling channels for southern
hemisphere countries", with the aim of pro-
viding "500 million computers over five years,
500,000 coming from Europe". Businesses in
the sector "must help us to collect computers
and could, for example, finance their transpor-
tation", added President Wade.
But Senegal is not the only African country
that subscribes to the NSF. With the recent
addition of Mali and Guinea, there are now
14 African founder member countries in the
numerical solidarity fund, which has a total of
28 members. In Lyon, the Gabon Minister for
Telecommunications, Laure Olga Gondjout,
pointed out: "We are in the process of laying
fibre optic cable; a massive interconnectivity
drive is under way. So there is access, but now
we must make it possible for the net surfers
of Gabon to have the tools to connect to this
fibre optic cable." He went on to say: "The
Senegalese President spoke of the importance
of the Internet to agriculture. This is a signifi-
cant sector in Gabon, and we are looking into
how much we can improve productivity and
extend training programmes to all planters
who are landlocked."
Jacques Edane, a Gabonese expert overseeing
the education working group at Lyon, said: "it
has been recommended that African teachers
use electronic whiteboards with simple con-
tents; but if we bring whiteboards linked up to
computers we will also have to bring electricity
to the villages." Nonetheless, Jacques Edane is

strongly in favour: "These technologies are the
motor that will drive development", and he
insists on "the importance of making the most
of the numerical solidarity fund's initiative."

> appeal to businesses

To raise money for the fund, the heads of the
NSF launched the "numerical 1 per cent". The
idea is simple: Everyone of the Fund's private
business partners that does a deal for goods
or services linked to information and com-
munication technologies commits to donating
1 per cent of the value of the transaction to
the NSF. But, as the Senegalese President
acknowledged at Lyon, "the groups want to
see their money invested in concrete initiatives
and they are still hesitant".
Up to now, the NSF has launched 10 pilot
projects, four in Burundi and six in Senegal,
which aim to put information and communi-
cation technologies (ICT) and Internet access
at the service of communities engaged in the
fight against aids. These projects envisage ICT
training for the population, tele-medicine and
tele-education centres.
In Senegal, the NSF has launched the Snclic
programme. Its aim: to collect, between now
and 2010, 500,000 computers for schools. The
town of Besanon has brought us together
with the Axa Insurance Company, which has
provided my country with 30,000 computers.
M.M.B. M

NSF; numerical; Abdoulaye Wade; Olga
Gondjout; Doha; Lyon.

U oom0

iuing Tswana culture

a world vision

A day in the life of Motswana architect Moleta Mosienyane

What do Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square have in common
with the kgotla, the community council of a Botswana village where decisions are
made by consensus? And why does a leading Botswana architect say he is influenced
by a fellow professional from Sri Lanka in Asia? In his office in central Gaborone,
Moleta Mosienyane unravels these surprising links as he explains how the traditional
Setswana (Tswana) village is at the root of all his work and closer to hearts and minds
of other continents than expected.

M y work is based on
the 1 ...l... system",
explains Mosienyane,
sketching in my note-
book the semicircular pattern of -i. i ...i. -the
traditional Tswana community. He draws the
imaginary space" where decisions are taken
at the front around which houses are arranged
in a horseshoe pattern. Whereas Europeans
build vertically, Batswana* he says, are rooted
to the earth. And the K...--1. fosters commu-
nity: "We must have an anchor. It is important
that we do not run away from this."
Any day of the week might find this pas-
sionate Oxford (United Kingdom) trained
architect at his offices, Mosienyane &
Partners International Ltd. in Gaborone or in
Johannesburg or Cape Town in South Africa
or on commissions in Ghana or Nigeria -
where he's working on a contract for a proper-
ty management company. He has also recently
been asked to design Botswana's pavilion for
the 2010 exhibition in Shanghai, China.

> Sacred space

Paradoxically, surrounded by some of
Gaborone's mushrooming high rise commer-
cial and government office blocks, he says
there's a need to understand, "the sacredness
of space in Setswana culture". As he explains
in an academic paper, 'Setswana Use of
Space'**: "The use of space was given spir-

itual and supernatural connotations as a way of
enhancing Setswana culture and maintaining
its resilience, vitality, energy and rebirth."
Western anthropologists, he says, have mis-
interpreted Setswana culture. "The research-
ers of the colonial era encountered specific
problems which made it difficult for them to
obtain genuine interpretations. The problems
related to the ethnocentricity of the research-
ers, who were trained in western modes of
education. They could not penetrate Setswana
ways of looking at the world and this inabil-
ity to understand Tswana modes of thought
coloured researchers' perceptions and led to
misinterpretations of traditional Tswana con-
cepts", says the paper.
It continues: "Many Setswana concepts relat-
ing to space and place were embodied in the
concept of both respect for the sanctity of
the human being and a human beings connect-
edness to other people as well as the natural
environment and the spiritual realm."
"When a new child was born, the mother
would be confined to a house for about three
months. A piece of wood or mopakwana
would be put in front of the house to let people
know that there was a new baby in the house.
This signified respect for the sanctity of the
vulnerable baby whose body had to be pro-
tected from harm. Men were not supposed to
enter the house, even a child's father was not
supposed to do so."
"Likewise, burial of people inside the yard, the

I .. il.. or cattle kraal served to link the living
with the spiritual sphere in a way which was
close, immediate and targeted not only the
individual but the person's connection with
the community", says the paper. "By burying
people inside a yard, at the 1..... or at the
kraal, the sense of a space becoming a sacred
space was strengthened."
"These concepts showed the individual's con-
nectedness with the community and the sense
that space was spiritual and had to be treated
as such. These concepts, we argue, need to
be interrogated closely and their usefulness
insofar as showing how advanced Setswana
civilisation was and continues to be, must
be celebrated and affirmed through architec-
ture", details Mosienyane's paper. Although
some leading gender academics in Botswana
have issues with the 1.... contending that it
entrenches traditional male and female roles,
says Mosienyane: "In Setswana culture, each
place, each space is influenced by spirituality,
and this gives solidarity as well as protection
of the environment, which is both cultural and
He wants to show how place and space in
Setswana culture are not just functional enti-
ties. The location of a house, for example,
would entail many spiritual elements which
Western training in architecture might or
could overlook: "The significance of these
values should be highlighted and architectural
practice could gain from such insights."



> Sri Lankan influences

Above: drawings of Moleta Mosienyiane. Cultural village,
South Africa in kgotla formation. MotelaMosienyane
Below: Motswana architect, L. M. Mosienyane.
( Debra Percival

One of his major influences is Sri Lankan
architect Geoffrey Bawa who designed the
New Parliamentary Complex in his country
at Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte. He is inspired
by Bawa's emphasis on culture, climate,
landscape, also how Bawa uses interprets
the traditions of ancient Ceylon. Like Bawa,
Mosienyane strives to use natural terrain,
develop vistas into the natural landscape and
make full use of light and vernacular materi-
Mosienyane says he shares Bawa's aim to
"translate our culture into our own world
view". "The contention is that in Setswana
culture, each place, each space is influenced
by spirituality, and this gives solidarity as well
as protection of the environment, which is
both cultural and natural."
His academic training in Oxford, followed by
several posts at top London architects, has not
changed the way he designs. He explains this
in musical metaphor: "A jazz musician may be
trained in classical music but he can use classi-
cal piano to produce jazz." No matter whether
trained in Venice, Rome or Sao Paulo.
The actual use of a space is also of utmost

importance, so for example, in designing the
Khoi San cultural village in South Africa he
did in-depth research, interviewing all vil-
lagers and asking them to describe their use
of their space in words or picture. The mean-
ing of space to those who use it is of utmost
importance: "If it is a theatre, it must have the
language of theatre", says Mosienyane. But
how does the .. ./.. pattern translate say to
the design of a private house in Gaborone's
suburbs? He shows us a recent design of one
such contemporary residence. It has sharp
angles outside, but inside rooms curve around
a central living space and kitchen and to the
rear, there's a protective patch of lime trees.
You can see what he means about some of
London's most famous landmarks mirroring
the I ...tl.. these popular public spaces form
embracing circular patterns with surrounding
buildings looking on. And remember, says
Mosienyane, "buildings have eyes".
D.P. M
* Batswana is the plural form of the noun for nationals of
Botswana. Motswana is the singular form.
** 'Setswana use of Space' by Moleta Mosienyane, 2004.

Moleta Mosienyane; Botswana; architec-
ture; kgotla.


f ur Planet

In December 2008, at the climate conference in the Polish city of Poznan, developing
countries put forward concrete proposals to protect tropical forests. The international
community will give its response next autumn, three months before the Copenhagen
conference which, in December 2009, should kick off a new international climate

T he answer will not be easy, as, in
Poznan, the issue divided devel-
oping countries and industrialized
countries, at the head of which were
Australia, New Zealand, Canada and, it seems,
in the wings at least, the United States. There
are many points of dissent, but the main issue
that riles is the place of native populations in
the future forest carbon scheme.
Forests are officially part of the negotiations
surrounding the scheme which should, in
2013, take over from the Kyoto Protocol.
Until now, this protocol has been purely tar-
geted industrialized countries, which have had
greenhouse gas emission reductions imposed
to combat climate change, reductions that they
could achieve, in part, by resorting to market

mechanisms such as the famous carbon trad-
ing scheme. The future scheme should com-
pletely review the Kyoto Protocol. Firstly, it
should considerably raise the global reduction
in greenhouse gas emissions to 20 per cent,
instead of the 5 per cent decided in Kyoto, in
relation to the 1990 levels. It should, at the
insistent demand of the United States, at least
under the Bush administration, include all of
the world's countries, or emerging countries
such as China, India and Brazil in any case.
Lastly, it should redefine the regulations that
govern the granting of 'carbon credits'.
Where will forests come in this new treaty?
The question remains widely open. Large for-
est areas, as in Greece, disappear every year,
representing the equivalent of a fifth of all

carbon emissions in the atmosphere, carbon
that until now had been absorbed by trees in
their growth. The Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Surinam and Papua New Guinea have
stated that wealthy nations should help them
protect their tropical forests.
In Poznan, the delegates unsuccessfully
attempted to define the means of remunerating
non-deforestation, termed REDD (Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation) by the United Nations. "It is
essential that the level of financing is equal
to the challenge; that is the starting point",
explained a head of the Brazilian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Andre Odenbreit Carvalho.
"We must be able to develop predictable,
sufficient and sustainable financial flows"


Our Planet

to protect forests, stressed the head of the
Papua New Guinea delegation, Kevin Conrad.
Supporters of REDD propose modulating the
subsidy for non-deforestation according to
a reference scenario based on the projected
evolution of the current forest situation of each
region. This is a difficult calculation consid-
ering, for example, that nobody foresaw the
resumption of deforestation in the Brazilian
Amazon. Another difficulty is evaluating the
quantity of carbon stored by these forests.
The Angolan forest would be credited with
having a carbon stock estimated at somewhere
between 3,557 and 11,767 million tonnes.
Another sensitive question is who will profit
from this new windfall? The states, local com-

munities, or will it be absorbed by the enor-
mous administrative machine that such a man-
agement entails? Above all, what place will
be given to natives living directly from forest
harvesting? According to Grgory Jean, head
of the International Forest project run by the
French NGO France Nature Environnement
(FNE), and who attended the conference in
Poznan, "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
without taking into consideration the partici-
pation of local stakeholders is just not feasible
and reduces the credibility of the REDD sys-
tem to nothing". On the other hand, he thought
that, except for Indonesia and Ecuador, those
involved have not sufficiently insisted on
incorporating biodiversity in the methods of

applying the mechanism. "The mechanism
must not become the unintentional means of
promoting the conversion of primary forests
into large-scale plantations."
With regard to the method of financing the
REDD system, the European Commission,
in Poland, once again refused to incorporate
forest credits in the carbon market in the short
term. This position is backed by a number of
environmental NGOs as the introduction of a
large volume of credits on the market would
certainly destabilise the latter. Moreover,
while tropical forests are a major issue in for-
est conservation, the FNE does not want the
issue of boreal forests to be omitted, pushed to
one side by the international bodies.

> Financing Climate Change

This does not just concern forests. In Poznan,
developing countries asked for financing to
enable them to cope with extreme weather
conditions cyclones, droughts, flooding the
effects of which they would be the first to suf-
fer, according to the scientists accredited by
the United Nations for assessing the effects
of climate change. This 'adaptation fund' is a
new bone of contention between the group of
developing countries and certain major indus-
trialised countries. The humanitarian NGO
Oxfam, proposed that, as from 2013, wealthy
countries pay approximately US$50 bn every
year to buy rights to emit greenhouse gases,
which would boost the sums of money put
toward helping the least developed nations. "It
is a way of funding" this aid, explained Oxfam
America's climate policy adviser, Heather
Coleman, who added that Norway and the
Netherlands supported this concept.

M.M.B. M

European Commissioner for the Environment, Stavros
Dimas, in the midst of young

On page 37:
Sunrise over the Makgadikgadi National Park (Botswana).
@ Debra Percival

Forests; Poznan; REDD; adaptation fund.


In tlhe sc 11ien ific ,'nd [ehooi,' l rae Itio attem 1pt to a'ses the capaci:ty of trees I stor
satll0e -urnl monto th tt of he word' S oess .h im ge -o e ar ..ut

serv o be .e ohrc rse fo-et aco- n to -hi .0.iesiy O avstn Ond .00t o f
Ile'asit, welh deeopn [ontie11 Iri'1' ini formtion rmins l. c;ilyj an rLy do nt have'
the [pcu3 r tT''itir theage.


A report by Debra Percival

Botswana's diamond-driven economic growth, faster
than that of many oil rich countries since the 1960s,
is reflected in Gaborone's glass fronted office blocks
and shopping malls. Since independence in 1966,
successive Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) govern-
ments have harnessed this for social and economic
progress, even when the HIV virus (which threatened
to wipe out the country's labour force) struck in the
1990s. The role of former President, Festus Mogae,
in both fighting the virus and advancing the coun-
try's development was acknowledged in 2008 when
he was awarded the Mo Ibrahim prize for African
leadership. Mogae had "ensured continued stability
and prosperity in the face of the HIV/AIDs pandemic"
and brought about "sustainable development and

good government where too often mineral wealth
has become a curse", said former United Nations'
Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on presenting the
Botswana's other jewel is its environment and rich
wildlife, including the fan-shaped Okavango Delta,
the world's last pristine wetland. These assets are
being carefully managed to attract increasing visitors
to the sparsely populated country. With diamond
mining days numbered, President (since April 2008),
Seretse Khama lan Khama, has selected 'hubs' to
drive the economy forward whilst seeking to attract
new foreign investment to help diversification. It is
no easy task in the current climate which threatens
to knock back foreign investment globally.

. .. ... . ..

tut> r

11' m 11

the earliest known inhabitants of
Botswana. In the 17th and 18th
centuries, speakers of Setswana,
who also settled in South Africa, were fol-
lowed in the early 19th century by some
Europeans. Outside interest in the discovery
of gold in Francistown in east Botswana led
to one of il... Batswana leaders, Khama III,
*....l.,,1. il., I ii. i...i.. of the British who
.... hii hii I .Iie l.I'I .h I.iiii. ... ... 1....I Iii..
* -i I ,. ll .l 0. 1,i, ,h ,I 1 ,lllIh \ ,. l '..I ,.. .i I.1h II',,

... .-.


protect against the expansionism of both these
states. In 1885, the Bechuanaland Protectorate
(present day Botswana) was set up and British
Bechuanaland was annexed to Britain's
Cape Colony in 1895. In the Bechuanaland
Protectorate, Khama retained some say in
local affairs and over the legal system. The
..i..''. .,li;,,i .,f Cape Colony in 1910 to the
South African Union triggered a call from
. ii; . ~l, li ..i ..i, i....i. ,. l, Il,,. ii1.i -
i, I I '...iii iii I iii.II. I. ..I .I. i, II,. i

..... .. ... M
. ......
b f


i .r.i, 'h cl.l. i.ii lji .,l'. Ll,. ..m ..1 i .,l .iI. n
supported by the i '..i.. ,'n Missionary S ..... i
went te T ,.".1. ,, to ask the British gov.. ii" ..,i i .
not to incorporate Bechuanaland ti. .......
now marked by a monument in Galt..... ..
business district. It was to remain a i',iii,.-
Protectorate but there was little growlbi idc.a ,,i
economic activities being cattle rais,- .'....I
supplying labour for South Africa's mi.
Khama III's grandson, Seretse Khama. i.'ii1..-
,... i i i. I. ', i- I 11.. 1 '. .i, I.. .,l .. .. I. iI !'
.1h.. ',., Il h .1111i I "..k.I l '.. -i i .. I'. h .1-


ence in 1965. Following independence on
30 September 1966, he went about bring-
ing in reforms for a modern state, including
the transfer of some tribal lands to the state
for minerals, yet respecting traditions. Vice
President Quett Ketumile Masire who suc-
ceeded Seretse Khama on his death in 1980
served two full terms in office to be succeeded
by his Vice President Festus Mogae whom
upon fulfilling two five-year terms, elected
Vice President Seretse Ian Khama to be his
successor from 1 April 2008.

1Ecnomic diversification has for some time
upation explained the coun-
try's Director of national Trade, L Phuti.
h i in land locked Botswana
which has to compete with neighboring
th r e ter l lle draft

Ce aruci on ora

from the twine
tera entrepre-
ore than they do
iii6stly make
urM-1 a con-

tinue to be explored. Botswana is also aiming
to become a regional services hub with the set-
ting up of a Pan African Commodity Exchange
(Multi Commodity Exchange, Africa) in 2008
to trade in agricultural commodities, oil and
metals across the continent under the auspices
of Botswana's International Financial Services
Centre (IFSC).
Trade agreements are being concluded with
countries around the globe with Botswana and
other partners in the South African Customs
Union (SACU). Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland
and South Africa. A Free Trade Ajreement
with the European Free Trade Area (
came into effect on 1 May 2008 and egot
tions on a Preferential Trade Agre A
with the South America grouping M\ CC lI R
were concluded in April 20 O lks a
with India should be conc i ).
January, Botswana has and
access to the EU 1
Partnership Agre
al SACU count
lks are ongoing a lly
ding services and a
:t.Phuti said it would be eas
\Afia were to come on board an
th inmmon Customs Tariff betwe

Due tgs, government s
be s the face of short-teiv

enue downturn", said President Khama in his
speech to Parliament on 3 November 2008 on
how the global credit crunch is affecting the
country. There are fears that it could lead to a
drop in demand for diamonds and a squeeze on
new investment. Such uncertainty has delayed
the launch of the tenth national development
plan until March/April 2009.
When we went to press, the deteriorating
economic and social situation in neighbour-
ing Zimbabwe was of big concern, especially
the purchase of supplies by Zimbabweans at
ncistown, causing shortages in Botswana.
.. say tthat Zimbabweans who have
co d the border have brought ris-
d there are fears of the spread
o b s olera epidemic. In his 3
Scbo tswana, Khama called
rh o the South African
Celpen imnt\ (S.DC) headquar-
Botswvana remains one of
ut crisis of Robert Mugabe

Botswana; Seretse Khama; Ian Khama;
Cup; UNESCO; India; Zimbabwe;
Okavango Delta.

W I il" -e -

I .....i i)untchiefoftheBamangwato,
i' i- .mta's largest ethnic group,
[i, .,i,,., is son of the first President,
S.. i.. Khama. He went to school
in Serowe, Botswana, studied in Zimbabwe,
Rhodesia, Swaziland and Switzerland and is a
graduate of the UK's Sandhurst military acad-
emy. A former Commander of the Botswana
Defence Force, he became Vice President in
1998 and chairman of the ruling Botswana
Democratic Party (BDP) in 2003.
'Empowering the Nation through Democracy,
Development, Dignity and Discipline' (the
four 'Ds'), Khama's speech to the nation at the
opening of the 9th session of Parliament on 3
November 2008, paved the way forward. "The
biggest challenge we face in driving towards
the four 'Ds' a better future is finding the dis-
cipline within ourselves to sacrifice short term
interests for sustained development", he said.
Falling morals, a dearth of patriotism, an exag-
gerated sense of individualism and entitlement
were all criticised. And alcohol brings poverty

Tf amlr-

delinquency, inefficiency and poor mental and
physical health, said Khama, explaining the 30
per cent tax recently levied.

Economic hubs to be developed to stimu-
late the economy include beneficiation (adding
value) of diamonds, upgrading transport con-
nections including rail and air links, boosting
agricultural production and making Botswana
a centre of excellence for healthcare and edu-
cation notably innovation and training in
science and technology marked by phase I
of the Botswana International University of

Science and Technology due to be completed
in December 2010. Although half of all house-
holds are directly connected to the national
grid, compared to one in eight a decade ago,
Khama called for a lessening of the country's
dependency on foreign energy supplies. More
investment by independent power producers,
including in solar energy, could mean that
Botswana becomes an energy exporter.

Ian Khama; Baswara; Kalahari Game
Reserve; Survival International; diamonds.


-'il I

r.. I. .F .1. .

. .... ...... ..

'I 1
J J 1 1

r- r

I .'


yn Ti'

Interview with Paul Malin, Head of the EU
Delegation in Gaborone

Head of the EU Delegation in Gaberone, Paul Malin,
a national of Ireland, looks after both EU relations
with Botswana and the Southern African Development
Community (SADC). He has a wealth of experience in
Southern Africa, and was previously posted in Zimbabwe.
At EC headquarters in Brussels, he was variously desk-officer
for Mozambique and responsible for political relations with
the region and food security in Southern Africa. He spoke
to us about the new challenges of Botswana-EU relations.

What are the EU's development priorities in

The main purpose of our support is to promote
development, and in a middle income country,
more equitable development. Also, to help its
goals of diversifying the economy, making it
more competitive, providing employment such
as through support for education, providing the
basis for young people to get jobs and contribute
to a more diversified and competitive economy.

(2000-2007) and lOth (2008-2013) EDFs?

They have certainly evolved from the 9th to
the 10th.We know that it's not just education
and training or human resources generally
that we need to work on, but more specific
issues such as the relevance of education,
broadening access to education and improv-
ing its quality and a more effective response

The 9th and lOth EDFs consist mostly of

Have priorities changed between the 9th budget aid. Why?

In the past, under the 6th (1985-1990), 7th
(1990-1995) and 8th (1995-2000) EDFs, we
supported education and training through
infrastructure largely building colleges [the
recently opened Francistown Technical and
Vocational College was 75 per cent funded by
the EDF]. Over time, we have become more
involved notjust in the buildings but how they
are run and the nature of the education provid-
ed within. With the shift to budget support in
the 9th EDF, we've gone from particular insti-
tutions to focusing on the system. Allocations
to the government's budget depend on it set-




^iiii iri"'i j~~li............111
.... ... .. .... ... .. ...

report Botswana

ting in train processes to improve education
and improving the results from education set
in its own programme. We've moved from a
focus on the building from the provision of
places for education to looking at how the
system works and what the policy is. Whether
the policy is working and looking at priorities
within that policy; giving support to govern-
ment to try and reach out to those who are
not getting education and highlighting some
of the deficiencies. It is really admirable what
the government of Botswana does as far as
expenditure on education goes but the results
are not as good as they should be. There is a
need to improve the quality. We did a review
of the whole of public expenditure as part of
this programme. We have looked at expendi-
ture in education and see that primary educa-
tion has been relatively neglected, so that's
something we've discussed with government
and we believe that the result will be increased
expenditure in primary education.

The EU mainstreams aid for HIVIAIDS.

Under the 10th EDF, we will do both main-
streaming and give specific support for pro-
grammes for AIDS prevention. Mainstreaming
means that any time we do an intervention in
Botswana, we look at what the impact of this
intervention will be in re lation to HIV. For
example, it is not just a matter of working in
education. But education is one of the best
ways of preventing transmission. In our focus
on areas such as the status of women, we
focus on greater autonomy for women and a
number of projects dealing with gender-based

Under the Economic Partnership Agreement
(EPA) will Botswana face more competition
from other exporters to the EU market?

There are real advantages for Botswana in
terms of market access [to the EU]. As a mid-
dle income country, Botswana is getting the
best possible deal through the EPA equal to
the duty-free and quota-free access given to
Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Botswana
no longer has a quota on beef meaning it can
sell as much as it wants. It has to produce that
in the first place and it is not yet able to do
that. In recent years, it has not filled the quota
(19,000 tonnes). The EPA gives the country
long-term secure access meaning it knows
it has a framework under which to export to
Europe; to a lucrative market hence making
investment in more commercial production
of beef worth doing. There are few countries

that are able to meet the veterinary standards
set [by the EU], so Botswana has very little
competition in Africa. Competition will come,
but over time and yes, it's a challenge but
what we're trying to do to assist Botswana
in the first place is to open up to its region.
By doing this, Botswana tests markets and
becomes more competitive. The opening up
in Botswana [to trade from the EU] is over
a 15-year period, so there is time to make
the adjustments. Botswana is looking beyond
trade in goods to promote investment and very
keen to develop trade in services.

Some donors have withdrawn from Bostwana
since it is a middle income country. Why is EU
support needed?

Botswana has moved from being one of the
least developed countries in the world to being
a middle income country and is well ahead in
that category, so it's normal that some donor
countries pull out. It's also normal that Europe
remains and tailors its programme to the situa-
tion. Speaking to anyone here, you'll find out
that Botswana feels a need for outside support.
I don't think it's so much about the money,
but about bringing ideas and responding to
challenges to change and experience of what
works elsewhere. Botswana knows that the
economy needs to be diversified and be made
more dynamic and needs support to do that.
Botswana hasn't a very large population or all
the skills they need. This is the sort of thing
that is really appreciated.

What are the topics ofpolitical dialogue?

We talk about a range of issues. This is a
democratic country. It respects the rule of
law and human rights. No country is perfect
and Botswana is looking to improve the ways
it protects peoples' rights and the way eco-

nomic benefits are shared. We also have a firm
disagreement with Botswana in relation to the
death penalty [Botswana applies the death
penalty]. We discuss this openly and each side
disagrees quite strongly.

What professional < i..ii. /.. has Botswana
i. , 1

I cover Botswana and SADC two completely
different responsibilities. Sometimes I feel
I'm running two delegations in one and split
myself in two. That's a real challenge. I think
if we're going to be useful, particularly in a
country where it's not so much our money
that's useful but ideas. We can only do that
if we really know what we're talking about,
so the challenge is not to glide over the sur-
face but to be really part of what's going on
here. Despite quite a bit of experience in this
region, I've found that I've had to work hard
to keep up and to be able to talk about; AIDS,
education, cattle rearing, diamond production,
regional trade.

And what have you gained personally?

I have tried to learn the language (Setswana).
Even learning a small amount has helped me
relate to people. Courtesy and greetings are
very important Maybe I've learnt a little bit
of patience; taking time just to talk to people.
People are honest and courteous here and
that is something that you really do come to
appreciate. I think also coming from crowded
Europe, the vast open spaces but also the
wildlife and the Botswana bush.
D.P. *

Paul Malin; EU Delegation in Gaborone;


calls for

and economic change

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is the newest party on Botswana's political
landscape. It has one National Assembly seat but it's a significant constituency -
Central Gaborone occupied by Dumelang Saleshando. As it rolls out its manifesto for
the October 2009 Parliamentary elections, we spoke to the BCP's Secretary General,
Taolo Lucas on calls for "democratic change" and "economic justice".

he BCP was formed ten years ago
out of squabbles within the larg-
est opposition in Botswana, the
Botswana National Front (BNF)
which has 12 seats in Parliament. "We felt that
the BNF did not present a credible alternative
to the ruling party, so we formed the BCP in
1998 and set out to form an organisation that
was the model of a party organisation with
internal democracy and a credible alterna-
tive to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party
(BDP)", says Lucas.
Running in its first election in 1999, the BCP
took 11 per cent of the vote or one seat in
Parliament and 13 councillors in districts. In
2004, it took 16 per cent of the popular vote
and, "because of the system, we again got one
member of parliament and 35 councillors". But
Lucas says the number of seats in the coun-

try's first-past-the-post electoral system does
not reflect the opposition's overall popularity;
the opposition taking 48 per cent of the vote in
the last election or a total of 13 seats compared
to the government's 52 per cent share or 44
seats in the National Assembly. The BCP has
formed an alliance to run with two parties that
currently have no seats in the NA; the New
Democratic Front and the Botswana Alliance
Movement run in the 2009 poll.

"We have a democracy that is shining accord-
ing to some experts but which has not been
allowed to blossom because of the con-
straints", says Lucas. "All opposition par-
ties are cash strapped and the ruling party is
refusing to allow for the funding of political
parties." Lucas says the BDP is able to source
money from the business community. Lack of
funding makes it difficult for the opposition
to campiagn in rural areas. "Meanwhile the
President uses the Kgolta, the public platform
in the community. He says that it is difficult
for the opposition to access state radio, one of
the most powerful forms of communication -
particularly in outlying areas." Parliament is
"still dominated by legacy", contends Lucas,
where it is difficult to file a private members'
bill. He also calls for the direct election of the
president, and a more independent electoral

authority. A further BCP worry is "milita-
risation of government" with President, Ian
Khama and Vice President Mompati Merafhe,
both having military backgrounds as well as
three other cabinet ministries. Lucas also calls
for more power for local authorities.
The BCP campaign for 2009 will also focus
on the lack of "economic justice". "Between
1975 to 1990, we were the fastest growing
economy in the world" yet "poverty affects
large numbers of people a third of population",
says Lucas. "For many years, the country's
reserves have been able to cover up to 30
months of imports but we were unable to cre-
ate jobs or diversify the economy or get suffi-
cient foreign investment in this country." The
private and public sectors must work together
on this, he says, a point of variance with the
BNF which places a bigger role for the state
in driving the economy forward. And the gap
between the very rich and the very poor is
very high, he says, as is the disparity between
the industrial class workers and other work-
ers. Lucas also criticises the lack of pension
provision for the lowly paid and ill treatment
of workers, particularly by private companies.

Botswana; opposition; Botswana Congress
Party (BCP); Taolo Lucas; Botswana
National Front (BNF); Ian Khama.


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Botswana report


challenge in

Farming is the livelihood of many Batswana, but the sector today accounts for only 2-3
per cent of GDP compared to 20-30 per cent at independence. Successive years of drought
have hit hard and the mounting bills for food imports which meet 85 per cent of needs have
thrown the spotlight on the need to up production. There are also bigger opportunities
for beef exports under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.

DP growth in the sector has been
only 0.4 per cent a year in the
current decade compared with
average 5.6 per cent of the whole
economy, although there was an upturn in the
sector in 2006/2007 with 6.8 per cent growth
Low rainfall, poor soils and low crop yields
mean Botswana is suited to livestock rear-
ing. Eighty per cent of GDP from farming is
livestock; 20 per cent in grains, horticulture
and other crops. In an interview, Agriculture
Minister Christiaan De Graaff, told us there
are 71,000 holdings owning 2.2 million cattle,
world renowned for quality, with prospects of
raising this to 3.5 million in the next few years.
He foresees potential too for game exports.
Cattle, sheep and goats are raised on both
communal land (although ownership of a
borehole provides some de facto rights over
the use of grazing resources within the vicinity
of the water point), and the rest in a more com-

mercial way, with more advanced livestock
management and husbandry. The Botswana
Meat Commission (BMC) has to purchase
animals for sale from all producers in the
country and there is "cross subsidisation to
ensure that farmers get the same price for the
animals regardless of where came in the coun-
try", explained De Graaff. Prices were raised
40 per cent in 2006.
Eighty per cent of beef exports are sold to
EU countries: the UK, Sweden and Germany
and to Reunion Island and, also to Norway
although foot and mouth disease means that
exports from certain regions in Botswana
are currently not permitted. Controls are in
place but the economic collapse in neighbour-
ing Zimbabwe with a flow of people and
foodstuffs adds to monitoring difficulties.
Carter Nkatia Morupisi, Ministry's Deputy
Permanent Secretary, said the government
will reinforce the buffalo fence around the

To counter increased food prices, the govern-
ment has an 'Integrated Support Programme
for Arable Agriculture Development'
(ISPAAD) providing free seeds for small
farmers and other assistance. It is also looking
at the feasibility of using some of the flow
of the Zambezi River for fisheries and hor-
ticulture and livestock feedstuffs to develop
agricultural production on a large commercial
scale in northern Botswana. Morupisi says
Botswana is allowed to access two per cent
of the Zambezi flow out of which 46 per
cent would be used for the Zambezi Agro-
Commercial Integrated Development Project
costed at 3bn Pula.*
D.P. M
* 1 Euro = 10.7 Pula (on www.bloomberg.com, 14
December 2008).

Farming; Botswana; Christiaan De Graaff;
EPA; Okavango.


report Botswana

Fighting the national


In 1985, Botswana
reported its first case of
Human Immunodeficiency
Virus (HIV). There was talk
of Batswana becoming
extinct. Festus Mogae,
President of Botswana
April 1998-April 2008 later
won worldwide applause
for the way in which he
championed the fight
against the virus; vocalising
prevention, saving lives with
anti-retroviral drugs and
reducing stigmatisation.

r K.C.S Malefho, Deputy
Permanent Secretary at the
Ministry of Health, speaking in
his office in Gaborone says early
messages were of prevention, or the ABC strat-
egy: "Abstain, be Faithful and Condomise."
Two key bodies, later set up under President
Mogae: the National AIDS Committee (NAC)
chaired by the President (now Ian Khama)
and assisted by the Vice President, and the
National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA)
which coordinates under the office of the
President all the activities to do with HIV/
AIDS, have played key roles in focussing the
nation on combatting the virus. According to
NACA, adult prevalence of HIV grew rapidly
during the early 1990s in both rural and urban
areas, peaking at 27 per cent in 2001 in adults
(15-49) but declining to 23 per cent in 2007*.
In 2002, Dr Malefho says that it was thanks
to private organizations such as the Clinton
Foundation and also UNAIDS, who negotiat-
ed reductions in the price of the anti-retroviral
drugs that the government launched -'MASA',
meaning 'New Dawn' providing free Anti-
Retroviral Treatment (ART) to anyone who

I f

Playing noughts and crosses with HIV,
the other award winning painting of
the art competition 'Art against AIDS in
Bosnia and Herzegovina,' by a group of
students from Sarajevo. IOM 1999

needed it. Now, 88 per cent of all those in need
of anti-retroviral drugs receive them (NACA
figure for March 2008)*. Routine testing was
brought in in 2004, says Dr. Malefho, mean-
ing that if a person went to hospital suspecting
another illness, it was recommended that an
HIV test be carried out. "The aim was to get
people to accept that HIV is just an illness",
says Dr. Malefho.
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
(PMTCT) with ART and specific counsel-
ling has been particularly successful, says Dr.
Malefho: At the moment, four per cent of
children born to HIV positive mothers are also
positive. But 96 per cent of children born to
HIV positive mothers test negative", says Dr
Malefho. And by crying out prevention and
knowledge, with the help of the national football
team 'The Zebras', the infection rate amongst
15-19 year olds has come down dramatically.


But why the high prevalence in Botswana?
Rather than a single reason, Dr. Malefho sug-
gests several. Nation size is a factor (neigh-
bouring small states Swaziland and Lesotho
are also at the top of the world table for preva-
lence). Alinah Segobye, a former employ-
ee of the Non Governmental Organisation,
ACHAP (African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS
Partnerships), also says it's difficult to pin-
point one factor. Batswana, she says, have
"always been accepting of strangers". Then
there are movements of military personnel
who might have brought back the virus from
missions in other African nations, and also the
truck routes running through Botswana from
the Cape in South Africa through to Central
African nations where prostitution is common.
She also suggests lifestyle and cultural atti-




Botswana report

tudes such as the pressure to have sex, or older
men coercing younger women with: "You ate
me (my wealth), so I have to eat you (your
body)." "There is also the tendency for "men
in Botswana have multiple partners", says Dr
Malefho. NACA is undertaking a study on
such "concurrent multiple relationships".
17.9 per cent of Botswana's population as a
whole are living with HIV (2006 figure) but the

number needing ART is rising and is now esti-
mated at 140,000. The NACA study estimates
that 207,000 will require ART in 2016*. And
the total number of people living with HIV is
expected to rise from 330,000 today to nearly
380,000 by 2016. With around one bn Pula of
the nation's 10bn Pula budget going to ART
and prevention programmes: "when we are say-
ing to donors help us with non HIV issues, it is

because our resources are tied up in the fight
against AIDS", says Dr Malefho. D.P. a
* HIV/AIDS in Botswana: Estimated trends and implica-
tions based on surveillance and modelling' NACA, July
Botswana; HIV; AIDS; health; NAC;
NACA; Dr Malefho; Festus Mogae; Ian
Khama; EDF; Debra PercivaL

Dr. Maude Dikobe*



Crimes of passion are common worldwide, but as the former President of Botswana,
Festus Mogae, noted in his keynote address on 28th October 2008 at the 'National
Conference on Crimes of Passion among the Youth in Botswana' organised by the
Youth Dialogue Era (YDE), "these crimes are new to Botswana and are not part of our
culture as a peaceful and compassionate nation". Since, Botswana has witnessed a
lot of passion killings of late, he further noted that, "crimes of passion are a festering
sore on the conscience of our nation... they are eating into the fabric of the society".
The former President's comments are close to the concerns of youth and adults alike
in Botswana, especially the need to curb 'femicide' or passion killings as they are
commonly referred to, before they get out of control.

beginning in 2004, Botswana was
hit by a spate of passion killings,
where a majority of young girls
were killed by their lovers (see sta-
tistics in text below). Although men and boys

are sometimes victims of passion killings,
women and girls in Botswana are the ones who
mainly suffer the consequences of this type of
gender-based violence. By 2006, there were
several incidents of passion killings around

Botswana to the extent that it attracted inter-
national media attention. An article appeared
on the BBC News website under the heading,
'Botswana floored by Passion killings.' It
was accompanied by a photograph of a young


. . l -- v l ^.,.v o ,,,
E 'RLS Si A L .ND i

L- -- c D
-j ~2~

lady, Kaone Ramotlhwa, a student at the Cape
Technikon in South Africa who was murdered
by her boyfriend while visiting her family in

Botswana floored by

Passion killings

Gaborone, Botswana during the holidays.
At the national level, one could not open a
single newspaper, or listen to the news with-
out hearing about these grotesque killings.
The Voice newspaper, one of the tabloids in
Botswana, went a step further. It reported
most of these incidents in a graphic manner.
Stories were always accompanied by horrify-
ing pictures of these so-called "crimes of pas-
sion". In one case, a lover killed a girlfriend,
cut off her head, put it in a bucket and took
it to the girl's mother. This shocking picture
appeared in the Voice and there was a lot of
resentment about how the media was reporting
cases of this nature. By presenting the images
in this way, some felt the media made vio-
lence against women seem normal. The media
argued there was need for these horrid acts
to be documented and presented in a graphic
manner, if the public were to comprehend the
magnitude of gender-based violence, espe-
cially passion killings. This is only one of the
numerous examples of the shocking behaviour
demonstrated by the perpetrators, which most
people have argued shows no remorse and
points to the fact that ail these murders were
While in the past there had been isolated cases
of women killed by their boyfriends and at
times their husbands, the numbers were not

as alarming as those reported in 2004 and
beyond. Statistics on passion killings from
national police records indicated that in 2006,
there were 65 cases. 2007 had the highest
number of 86 cases, and in 2008 the number
has slightly declined to 46 cases so far (ed:
figure up to November 2008). However, this
is only the tip of the iceberg because some of
the cases go undocumented. Although the fig-
ures have declined compared to 2007, passion
killings still remain a nightmare, especially for
Botswana's youth.

Research and conversations with fellow
researchers, students and friends can help in

understanding passion killings in Botswana.
A number of reasons have been put forward,
the most obvious one being unequal power
relations in most of the relationships, where
a woman is perceived as a minor to be dis-
ciplined from time to time. In my opinion,
another is entrenched cultural practices and
socialisation, and to a certain extent some of
the Tswana folksongs which we usually take
for granted. This background can help us
understand the way in which passion killings
are regarded as well as the responses to these
murders. Many people use their culture, tradi-
tion or religion as a way to control women. For
example, in Setswana culture, when one gets
married the man pays lobola to the woman's
family and some think that this gives them a
licence to beat their wives. This is further rein-
forced by some of the lyrics of the wedding
songs such as this one, mosadi wame ke mo
rekile ka il,: .-..-... loosely translated as, "my
wife I have bought her with cattle", most of the
lobola being paid in cattle.
Socialisation too, plays a major factor. Men
are socialised to be providers and women,
the ones provided for. This creates a depend-
ency tendency where women expect gifts,
money from men, and the provider in turn
expects love. Once the relationship goes
sour, the man who feels that he has been
taken advantage of does not take no for
an answer when the girl suggests that they
break up. Increasing poverty levels and youth
unemployment have been cited as contribut-
ing factors to inter-generational dating where
young girls trade sexual favours for a luxuri-
ous life. The causes of passion killings are
manifold and as Reverend Rupert Hambira
reiterated at the October conference, we need


report Botswana

The coiitry iniut dlo ail it cas to
prrt:dt womln-n'I rig lt

* OCer govemmont signed a wortd ogreemen! to
poect women t rughr, Ths aie emrncft rs COl"st
.. kI. Every few years the government must
inow the i.r,,ici1 NOaons what they ore citing to
ifnprovB "r, ,-._: for womein In Bonswno.
* Our government hba made olhe commitmerirs o
pomote rana rolect womenfs rights, Tnr:., mode
the e commitments al a conference in Beijing.
* ihe government has signed the SAED Declaraldon
w th other countries n SOvhtem Afica to end
v o ence against women
* AH government diepart'ments profisd fo follow a
Nation r Acion Plon hot? wil promote ond proteel
hurnn rights.
* we muint make nte the government! keeps these
promises. We con do this rr.r ...', ow commrnuniy
-ria r, i,..' and local counculors. We con
r.i ,-r', -r if 1 wi.- r . . i .1 .

Botswana report

a lot of research on this issue to better understand both the cultural
and socio-political implications of its causes.

The government of Botswana and other stakeholders have embarked
on initiatives aimed at curbing violence against girls and women. In
particular, Botswana is signatory to agreements to protect women's
rights such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination (CEDAW), the SADC Declaration on Gender, and
the Sexual Offence Bill among others. Despite increases in equality
at a legislative level, gender-based violence remains problematic in
Botswana. To date there is no formalised mechanism to monitor and
evaluate gender based violence. Some community mobilising and
awareness-raising remains crucial. There is still only one shelter for
victims of gender violence, in Gaborone, the capital, with another cen-
tre called Women Against Rape (WAR) in Maun in the north-east (see
box), although this does not house a lot of victims. WAR also tackles
issues of sexual offences, such as rape and domestic violence. There is a
call to increase the number of such centres across the country and make M.D.
them accessible for women and girls. There is also a need to mobilize

Everyone should say

no to violence against women

public opinion against the broader injustices of femicide. Everyone
should say no to violence against women.
The state has to ratify and enforce existing laws and ensure that there
is zero tolerance towards violence against girls and women. The
Botswana government is currently looking at setting up national con-
sultative workshops where the whole country can be sensitised about
these issues including dialogue among various stakeholders, NGOs,


Civil Society, traditional leaders and religious leaders. In particular,
there is need for stiffer sentences for perpetrators so that they don't
walk the streets scot free and prey on other young women. M

Dr Maude Dikobe is a gender activist and teacher at the University of Botswana on litera-
ture and the expressive arts of the African Diaspora. She is a Fulbright scholar and holds a
Phd. in African Diaspora Studies from UC Berkeley, United States.

Botswana; Women; Passion Killings; SADC; Dr. Made Dikobe;
Festus Mogae; WAR; CEDAW.


report Botswana


on the

A fan-shaped delta in the Kalahari basin fed by the Okavango River from Angola, Botswana's
Okavango Delta is "the world's last remaining pristine wetlands", explains Susan Ringrose
who is Professor of the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC). Based at the
edge of the Delta in Maun in North-East Botswana and part of the University of Botswana,
since 2004, it has mounted over 60 academic projects from analysing fisheries resources
to human footprint mapping. EDF 790,000 (Pula 8. 1M) worth of state-of-art equipment*
delivered in October 2008 will contribute to making HOORC a centre of excellence for
waterlands, watersheds and natural resource management in whole Continent.

Botswana; Okavango Delta; EDF;
HOORC; IUCN; environment.

iIJ LlIr 1 I

discovering Europe Aragon


Aragon. The word alone conjures up so much. Was it not King Ferdinand II of Aragon
who, through his marriage to Isabella of Castile in the 15th century, laid the first real
foundations of the present Kingdom of Spain?

ragon is also the region through
which Spain's mightiest river, the
Ebro, flows. The Romans called it
the Iber, the name that was later
used to designate the whole of the Iberian
peninsula. Mention of the Romans imme-
diately brings to mind Julius Caesar, this
emperor who, in antiquity, occupied the soil
of Aragon at the time the Roman province of
Tarraconaise and who gave his name to the
region's largest town, Caesar Augusta, later to
become Saragossa, present-day capital of the
"Autonomous Community of Aragon".
But between the Romans and Ferdinand
II, the region of Aragon experienced the
Muslim occupation that, in the early 8th
century, attached it to the prosperous Emirate
of Cordoba that encompassed most of con-
temporary Spain, leaving to the Christians no
more than the two northern kingdoms of Leon
and Navarre. At the time, the 'taifa' (Moorish
kingdom) of the future Aragon bore the name
of Saraqustah.

It was from these two kingdoms of the north
that, in the 11th century, the Christians set
about reconquering the other regions, the
famous 'Reconquista'. A reconquest some
even spoke of a Crusade that was achieved in
stages, some of the battles being celebrated by
the French writer Pierre Corneille in his play
'Le Cid' that was brought to the big screen in
1961 with Charlton Heston as the valiant hero
playing alongside the beautiful Sophia Loren.
Rodrigo Diaz, to give his real name, fought the
Muslims but also certain Christian kings the
troubled times reawakened rivalries between
the Christian kingdoms that were seeking
to seize Moorish territories starting with
Ramiro I of Saragossa, at the time under the
authority of Ferdinand I, King of Castile and
Leon. Nicknamed le Cid Campador, from the
Arabic Sd, meaning Lord, and from the Latin
Campus Doctor, winner of battles, Rodrigo
Diaz alone no doubt embodied the Spanish
epic as immortalised in the 'Song of the Cid',
considered to be one of the most important
works of Castilian epic literature
and a key work of European
..... epic poetry.

Benefiting from the Reconquista, the kings
of Aragon set about expanding their kingdom
that was limited initially to the foothills of
the Pyrenees. Today, the region of Aragon
includes three provinces, running from north
to south: Huesca, Saragossa and Teruel. It is
one of the biggest of the 17 autonomous com-
munities that make up Spain, representing 10
per cent of the surface area. Paradoxically, it
is one of the least densely populated. With
1.2 million inhabitants the region of Aragon
represents just 3 per cent of the Spanish popu-
It is a thinly distributed population, due in
particular to what was until recently a stag-
nant economy, with mountainous terrain -
the Pyrenees in the north and the Iberian
Cordillera in the south enclosing a more fer-
tile central area through which the Ebro flows.
Hardly surprisingly, Saragossa grew up on the
banks of this river, attracting more than half
the region's population. Saragossa is the seat
of the Cortes (regional parliament) that meets
in the still flamboyant Aljaferia Palace, the
third and most ancient splendour of Moorish
architecture after the Alhambra in Grenada
and the mosque in Cordoba.

Aragon; King Ferdinand; Moors; the Cid;
Saragossa; Teruel; Huesca.

I Loarre e castle ooks over the expansive Plain of Huesca.
MM Buckens

Il. e... ::::- .: ..... -..... .....

S;: discovering Europe

SThe oip,

symbol of a

HH -a -ee-ee

t is no doubt it is the Ebro that gave
the people of Aragon a renewed sense
of pride and belonging. That at least
is suggested by Fausto Garasa, lec-
turer and author of 'Territoires et identits en
terre d'Aragon' [Territories and identities in
Aragon] (published by Cahiers du MINNOC):
"Saragossa, although essentially urban, in itself
symbolises Aragon in the sense that it is the
centre of a territorial space. Lying right at the
centre of the Ebro valley, it is mirrored in the
waters of this river, another symbol of Aragon,
a geographical reference point and source of
life in a region where irrigation has played a
dominant role historically. It is not surprising
that the major popular demonstrations of the
1970s and 1980s against diverting the waters
of the Ebro were such a success. They brought
together many Aragonese in defending an area
and common interests in the face of opposing
interests: in the face of Catalan that benefits
from this planned diversion, in the face of the
swindling authorities in Madrid and, finally, in
the face of the regional leaders of the Partido
Popular and of the socialist PSOE who, obey-
ing national strategy and directives, seemed
to show no interest in the 'Aragonese cause'.
The Saragossa demonstration of 23 April
1992 when an estimated 12,000 persons, a

tenth of the region's total population, took to
the streets, was also described by one of the
PSOE regional leaders, Jos Marco, as batur-
rada (crude Aragonese silliness), which only
accentuated the feeling of many that they were
regarded as the representatives of a humili-
ated and dominated culture, one viewed with

But it no doubt took the International Exhibition
on Water and Sustainable Development, held
in Saragossa from June to September 2008, for
the city and indeed the whole region to really
lay claim to the Ebro. "Following the major
demonstrations against the national hydro-
logical plan to divert the waters of the Ebro we
launched an in-depth reflection on the whole
issue of water not only in our region but in
Spain as a whole", points out Socialist MEP
Ines Ayala Sender, a native of Saragossa.
"Water is a very strong symbol in Spain, a
country with a very strong agricultural tradi-
tion. This is particularly true of Aragon where
irrigation systems can be found that date back
to the Moors who excelled in these tech-
niques. But since then", continues the MEP,

"we have switched to intensive agriculture
that consumes vast quantities of water due
to the intensity of the farming and the nature
of the crops grown. We have abandoned the
orange trees for the much more thirsty kiwis,
for example. We forgot that water is not in
endless supply". Spain subsequently adopted
a number of measures, including the develop-
ment of desalination plants, the modernising
of irrigation systems and the waterproofing of
pipes. The latter measure has been applied to
all the pipes in the Aragonese capital that has
since been cited as a model. "But it is without
a doubt the 2008 international exhibition,
which was a great success, that changed our
vision. Austere by nature, we have become
very proud of our rivers as well as of our
towns, including Huesca and Teruel. By creat-
ing walks along the riverbanks and a series of
bridges we have really laid claim to the water
that Spain had previously regarded more as a
defence against the enemy than anything else.

Ebro; International Exhibition on Water;
Ines Ayala Sender; Fausto Garasa.


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Integration is the key word for the Government of the Aragon Region in launching a
major campaign for a "plural" Aragon.

ust eight years ago, Aragon was a some-
what forgotten region. Flanking the
Pyrenees, despite a rich culture dating
back to the Moors and a relatively
prosperous agriculture, it was only the town
of Saragossa, with its university founded
in the Middle Ages and many industries,
which managed to retain its new elites, often
enticed away by towns such as Barcelona
and Madrid. "The economy was stagnant",
Pedro Coduras Marcn, Director-General for
Immigration and Development Cooperation
with the Aragon Government, told us. "But,
since then, we have experienced a period of
growth accompanied by an influx of immi-
grants, whereas previously we had seen rela-
tively few."

The result is that immigrants today make
up 12 per cent of the population of the
Autonomous Region of Aragon. It is a situ-
ation comparable to that of Spain as a whole
- at least in terms of the percentage. "One
must put things in perspective", adds Pedro
Coduras. "Aragon has a population ofjust 1.3
million, or 3 per cent of the Spanish popula-
tion, while our surface area represents 10
per cent of Spain. There are whole areas of
Aragon that are uninhabited. Some land is not
very fertile while other areas such as the cor-
ridor between the Ebro and the pre-Pyrenees
have advantages."
Most of the immigrants have settled in
Saragossa, Aragon's principal city. "Of the
160,000 immigrants recorded, 75 per cent are

living in the province of Saragossa (60 per
cent of them in the capital itself), 15 per cent
in the province of Huesca in the north and
10 per cent in the province of Teruel, which
is perhaps the most difficult to develop."
These percentages are quite similar to the
distribution of the population as a whole in
the Region of Saragossa. "In reality", contin-
ues the Director-General, "these people have
the same goals, the same fears and the same
desires as us. They also want to find work,
improve their social level, benefit from local
services and, finally, have leisure time. This
largely explains their attraction to the city.
Although some are active in the farming sec-
tor, which is close to their former way of life,
these are fewer in number".


Aragon discovering Europe

Most of Aragon's immigrants (55 per cent)
come from other European countries, especial-
ly Romania. "There are 57,000 Romanians in
Aragon and they are significantly less numer-
ous than the Poles, for example. This is no
doubt for cultural reasons as they speak a Latin
language." Next come the Moroccans (15 per
cent). "We also have people from Sub-Saharan
Africa, especially Senegal i -'..ii. Gambia,
and also, given our history, from Latin America
(21 per cent of the total), especially Andean
countries, and finally Asia (4 per cent)."
Their integration is not without difficulty,
admits Pedro, who, with his team, last year
launched a major campaign to promote recogni-
tion of these immigrants among the population.
A campaign with the eloquent slogan: "Les
Nuevos Aragoneses" (The New Aragonese)
whose posters adorned the walls of Saragossa
and elsewhere before today being replaced by
a campaign to combat violence against women,
all women. Statistics published in November
2008 show that an equal percentage of native
Aragonese and immigrant women are the
victims of violence. But of course these are
figures based on reported cases only.
"Integration is always difficult when peo-
ple arrive without a contract and are in an
irregular situation. Note I say irregular and
not illegal. They are not 'illegal immigrants'
but just people whose papers are not in order",

continues Pedro Coduras. Most of them find
work, in hospices, restaurants or the cleaning
sector, but also in the clandestine economy:
"An economy that often exploits them but
which, with the growing crisis, is in danger
of shrinking or disappearing altogether. In
such situations the Argon Government is very
committed to helping these people, without
discrimination, including those who want to
return to their country." This policy of assisted
repatriation is beginning to bring results. In
November, about 60 immigrants living in vari-
ous parts of Spain agreed to return home, for
the most part to countries where the political
situation has stabilised but with not a single
African country among them.

It is only recently, in the past eight years, that
Aragon has seen a major wave of immigration.
For Spain as a whole, immigration is less recent
- albeit relatively recent compared with coun-
tries such as France. "It is since 1995 that it has
really increased", continues Pedro. It is also the
case that until then Spain was itself regarded
as a poor country and benefited from European
Union aid as a result. In the early 1990s, Spain
had just under a million immigrants, but these
were mainly Europeans who had decided on a
place in the sun for their retirement. In the next
13 years five million more arrived, bringing
the total immigrant population to 6 million.

"A relatively large figure", stresses Pedro
Coduras, who adds: "A survey showed that
immigration ranks third, or fourth, on the list
of issues of most concern to the Spanish. The
first is the economic situation, followed by
employment. Depending on the economic situ-
ation, the third concern is either immigration or
housing, followed by terrorism." Immigration
was in fact cited as the second most pressing
concern in 2006 when 30,000 immigrants
landed in the Canary Islands. It fell back to
fourth place in 2008 when the flow decreased
to 7,000 immigrants.
In the case of Aragon and Spain as a whole,
mass immigration coincided with the econom-
ic relaunch. Today as a new crisis looms, what
will Aragonese policy be? "We must man-
age the flows", admits Pedro Coduras, "and
be attentive as we are living in a globalised
world. If we are more open than our neigh-
bours, people know this and there is the danger
of mass influxes. That said, the question is
less acute here than in regions such as Murcia
and Andalusia. Sociological surveys have also
shown it: Spain quite easily accepts the immi-
grant as a full citizen. That is probably due to
our Mediterranean culture that causes us to
speak and make contact with others".

Pedro Coduras Marcn, immigration.

eo a, ueo

S a a

SI... soo lauraeAag

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discovering Europe Aragon



By working with active local organizations, the Government of the Aragon Region is
implementing targeted cooperation actions in some 20 countries.

ur cooperation policy
differs from the poli-
cies pursued by the
French, the British or
the Belgians to the extent that it is uncon-
ditional," Pedro Coduras Marcn is keen to
stress from the outset. It is a feature, not to
say a quality, which is linked to the history
of Spain that remained a net beneficiary of
EU aid until the mid-1990s. "This meant that
there was no official 'cooperation' culture in
which companies in a country in the North
were involved in cooperation projects that
were often implemented in former colonies",
explains the Director-General for Cooperation
with the Aragon Government. "This is why",
he continues, "in our region if a company con-
tacts us with a request for introductory letters
to implement projects in the South, we tell

them that they can go ahead, but without our
introductions. We are very ethical".
Another distinctive feature of the cooperation
policy of both the Aragon Government and of
the Spanish Government is its decentralisa-
tion. Each of Spain's 17 autonomous regions,
as well as the autonomous cities of Ceuta
and Melilla, has its own cooperation policy
in addition to the cooperation policy of the
central government. The latter contributes
the lion's share 86 per cent of Spain's
total cooperation budget, principally through
its international cooperation agency (Agencia
Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional,
AECI). "Cooperation policy in Spain, and
especially in Aragon, has its origins in the
youth movements of the 1990s", continues
Pedro Coduras, "and it was not until 2000
that the Aragon Government adopted its law

on international cooperation policy". It is a
law that essentially defines and provides the
framework for actions implemented in the
field by the NGOs and the relevant regional
government departments (water, education,
health, etc.).

"In 2007/2008 we financed about 60 projects,
in 25 countries. That is still a lot, but before we
were present in 40 countries and the dispersion
was even greater", continues the Director-
General. "Among these 25 countries, 19 were
declared 'priority'. These included 10 African
countries and eight Latin American countries,
including the Dominican Republic. The budg-
et granted to these projects remains relatively
low", concedes Pedro Coduras. In fact it is 0.2
per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),
which is little compared to certain Spanish
regions that allocate 0.5 per cent of their GDP.
By the terms of the Spanish pact against pov-
erty, 0.7 per cent of the GDP of the central
state, the communities and autonomous cities
will be allocated to development aid by 2012.
To achieve this, the Aragon Government has
decided to increase its 'development' budget
by 20 per cent every year. "We also decided
to conduct integrated projects, in the interests
of efficiency", stresses Pedro Coduras. "If we
build a school but the country does not have
a good schools policy, for example, you are
wasting your time." This Director-General,
who is also responsible for immigration and
cooperation, believes there is an urgent need
to achieve a consensus on these two issues, at
European and regional level. M.M.B.

Pedro Coduras Marcn; cooperation;
Aragon; AECI.


The Aragonese Government set itself a challenge: to
transform the region into the essential transit zone
for goods arriving at Spain's principal ports. But a
formidable obstacle remains: the almost insurmountable

barrier of the Pyrenees. Ins Ayala Sender Socialist
MEP, native of Saragossa and staunch defender of the
Aragonese cause explains.

,. 1 I. ..I-

blocked due to heay snowfalls." Th solution?
I I I .% .h .i.. ...' I ,

For this MEP, the answer is evident: "Project
number 16", i.e. the 16th project on the list of
Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-
T) identified as priorities by the European
Commission and eligible for European Union
funds as a result.

InFs Ayala is enthusiastic: "Project 16 is an
ambitious project because it plans to link
Algsiras (in southern Spain) and Sines in
Portugal, to Paris, by way of Aragon. A
low gradient tunnel will be built through the
PyrenCes, like the Perpignan tunnel and the
one planned for the Basque region." This third
one planned for the Basque region." This third

,..,I hh1l. ,i1..1 ,l l'ill .i, ,.h..l I,, II. 1. ,lI.I,, ,I

be compared to the Nile Valley, consisting
as it does of arid land, of deserts such as the
Monegros north of Saragossa." But the MEP
is also looking further ahead: "We must not
stop at Algsiras, but continue the network
through to Morocco, in Africa. At a time
when we are embarking on a review of major
European networks, it is important to make
the link between the trans-European networks
and our neighbourhood policy. A policy that
must not be limited to the Eastern European
countries, such as Russia, but also include the
The Aragonese Government has not waited
for the green light for project no. 16 and work
is already completed on Saragossa's new rail
station. Operating at under-capacity at present,
it is located alongside the Plaza, the vast
dry port, and is ready to receive goods from

the principal Spanish ports. The motorway
network and high-speed trains complete this
major communication project. M.M.B.

Aragon; CPC; TEN-T; project no.16;
Pyrenees; Ins Ayala Sender.


discovering Europe Aragon

Our of the Pillar,

and other illustrious figures

Some refer to it as an impoverished region but Aragon is acknowledged as the
birthplace of a multitude of craftspeople and artists, including many anonymous souls
who built the finest mudejar (patterned on Muslim art) architectural triumphs, and
including the creative genius of Goya who fired the imagination of so many other
painters, not forgetting outstanding film-makers, such as the surrealist Luis Bunuel or

the contemporary figure Carlos Saura.

I Goya, Saragossa 2008.
( MM Buckens -.izanda, in the foothills of
ilie Pyrenees, not far from
ille Ordesa Nature Reserve,
S. home to the 'Central
Pyrenees Museum of Popular Beliefs
and Religion'. The people of Aragon
evinced close ties with the mystery
religions well before Christ, and
particularly the Virgin Mary, a true
representative of the Christian faith
in Aragon, as underscored by the
breathtaking Basilica of Our Lady
of the Pillar in Saragossa. This ten-
dency was accentuated with the
S adveWnt nf chrictianit, ficet

monasteries, churches and even cathedrals to be seen throughout the
area whose styles rival each other in their beauty.

This sensitive, rough-edged, rebellious and brilliant individual ended
his days alone. The universally appreciated Francisco de Goya y
Lucientes was born in 1746 in the village of Fuentodos. He left this
rural setting to go and study in Saragossa. He travelled to Italy, relo-
cated to the Court in Madrid and died aged 82 in Bordeaux, France.
"Goya may be anti-clerical", writes the French artist Daniel Dezeuze
on the subject of the drawings the artists did after his immense success
at the Court of King Charles III, "but he is not anti-religious. However,
he takes a keen interest in what eludes or resists religion or is defined
in contrast to religion. He attacks obscurantism* but is also fascinated
by this obscurantism. He features it in his drawings, engravings and his
'black paintings' with a deep understanding that was unprecedented in
the history of art. Disparate elements, Proverbs, Whims, Disasters from
the war all of this executed in a masterly fashion with sepia ink, red
chalk, red washing and black stone".
Goya haunts the thoughts not only of other countless painters but also
film-makers, such as Luis Bunuel, who was born in 1900 near Teruel.
The man who produced Un Chien Andalou together with Salvador
Dali made an attempt in 1927 to make a film about the painter' s life
but abandoned the project. We had to wait until 2001 to see Goya in
his old age portrayed on the silver screen, by another major artist from
Aragon, Carlos Saura.

Patterned on Muslim art, mudejar architecture abounds in Aragon.
This is particularly true of the architecture located in Teruel, which
UNESCO proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1986. The architecture
is characterized by an extremely inventive and harmonious use of brick,
plaster, timber and tiles. M.M.B.

* A practice of preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known.

Goya; Our Lady ofthe Pillar; Luis Bunuel; Carlos Saura; mudejar art.


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ing because it took place in an agonising
Africa: the Africa to which the diaspora of
economic immigrants and asylum seekers
has given birth in many parts of Europe.
The ill..i.., Coppola' in Castel Volturno
was built illegally and without the necessary
urbanisation to guarantee hygiene and a nor-
mal life; since the 1980s it has slowly been
colonised by Africans of different nationalities
and, most recently, by Eastern Europe immi-
grants. It is so unhealthy, unsafe and lacking
in services that the immigrants leave as soon
as they can. Such a decaying social and urban
system carries a lot of problems, to which the
local native residents respond with racism and
by blaming the immigrants, especially black
people. And Mama Afrika, a great ambassa-
dor for black consciousness in the 1960s, had
come to bring solidarity and strength to the
place that's referred to as the Italian Soweto.
Miriam Makeba symbolised the rebellion of
people and the rebellion of an individual
woman, who developed her artistic research
amidst family tragedies and political and eco-
nomic problems of every kind. After a first
period in South Africa, she was able to tour
abroad for the first time. She was invited to the
Venice International Film Festival to present
Come back Africa, a documentary-film on the
life of black people under Apartheid, and she
enchanted the audience. In London she met
Harry Belafonte who took her to America,
where she had great success. Meanwhile
the Apartheid government, hardened by the
Sharpeville massacre, withdrew her passport
and citizenship, and banned her songs: Miriam
Makeba had spoken to the United Nations
about the segregation of the South African peo-
ple, and was singing the rebellion of the whole

black country oppressed by colonialism. She
went through five turbulent marriages, among
which that with Stokely Carmichael, leader
of the Black Panther Party, which meant that
many of her contracts were torn up in the
United States. She lived in Guinea, where she
was also delegate for the United Nations; after
the death of her 25 year old and only daughter,
Sibongile, she then lived in Brussels. After
the liberation of Mandela she finally returned
home, after a 30 year exile. She then carried
on travelling and singing, for many different
causes, because Miriam Makeba was someone
who felt a responsibility even towards the
remotest problems.
Many great personalities have paid tribute
since her death, including the elderly President
Mandela; but it seems more meaningful to
report echoes of the global funeral wake cele-
brated over the net, with condolences whispered
from every corner of the world, to remember,
as in real funerals, those aspects of a friend
who is no longer alive. These are some of the
hundreds of comments posted on the video of
the performance of Pata Pata, which features
her then young daughter Sibongile. The com-
ments show how much her music crossed the
borders between nations and generations.
"You are one of the reasons I am proud to
have been born in South Africa. God Bless
Your Soul."
"In Sweden we have this song in a frequently
played TV-message. It is a clip about recycling
bottles and taking care of this world. I think that
is an awesome message for this awesome song."
"In the early 1990s my father bought her great-
est hits album and I took it over for months! I
love her sound, her spirit and her message... and
to think she was never allowed to go back to her

homeland that she sang so beautifully about."
"My mommy was your biggest fan. Mama
Africa I remember my mommy always singing
this song when she put me to sleep... we miss
u mama Africa"
"Gracias Miriam por tu music. Y gracias por
venir aquella vez y llenarnos de ese espiritu
de lucha. Ac en Chile por lo menos nunca
seras olvidada" ("Thank you Miriam for your
music. And thank you for coming that time to
fill us with this fighting spirit. Here in Chile at
least nothing will be forgotten").
"Mama Africa, you fought against Apartheid
and lifted our spirits under oppression. You
will never know how much your music and
your battles meant to us. We will always miss
you Mama."
"You are an inspiration for all women but
especially for us African women."
"She came to die in my country... the best
death for people like her...on the stage per-
"As a white, Afrikaans-speaking South
African, I too loved her!"
"I grew up with her music, in Mozambique.
She was very important in my life. Thank you
"Adis miriam saldame a los negros color de
mi sangre alla en el cielo y que siga el Pata
pata.... dios te bendiga" ("Farewell Miriam,
there up high... say hi to the black people, col-
our of my blood, and take care of Pata Pata...
God bless you").
"As we Indians would say: Jai Mama Afrika."
"From Sudan, we love you Miriam eternally.
You are a real respectful legend as a singer
and activist."
"She was an energising force in the civil rights
movement in the USA in the late 1960s. She
played a role in making African Americans
aware of and proud of their African roots."
"Ns do Brasil sempre te amaremos Miriam!
Saudades! Descanse em paz" ("Brazil will
always love you Miriam! Saudades! Rest in
"Your smile, and your vibration, make us
remember that another world is possible...
From Montevideo, Uruguay."
"Mama Afrika, although your activism cost
you so much, you continued to give. Your
voice has been so powerful that nor govern-
ment nor record company could silence it."
This is what Miriam Makeba was for the
world, right until the end. M

Miriam Makeba; African music; South
Africa; apartheid; colonialism; Nelson
Mandela; Black Panters; Roberto Saviano;



PICfSSO and the ffrican masters

new exhibition being hosted by
three Parisian galleries The
Galeries Nationales du Grand
Palais, the Louvre, and the Muse d'Orsay*
- in conjunction with the National Gallery
of London. The exhibition pays tribute to the
Catalan genius as well as the European artists
who inspired and influenced him. For exam-
ple, Picasso studied works such as Delacroix's
The Women of Algiers and Manet's The
Djeuner sur l'herbe until he was able to
deconstruct and imitate them. This exhibition
omits any reference to Picasso's African influ-
ences; even though Andr Malraux, one of the
greatest art critics of the 20th century, has said
that Picasso's love of African art influenced
him greatly and changed his ideas about the
very nature of art.
Two exhibitions that did explore the influence
that African art had on Picasso were 'Picasso
and Africa', in 2006, and 'Picasso's Africa: a
State of Mind', in 1995-1996. The first was
conceived specially by the Picasso museum
for showings in Johannesburg and Cape Town
and hung several of Picasso's works along-
side African pieces similar to those which
Picasso collected or was inspired by. The
exhibition was mainly symbolic, however,
and not many of Picasso's major works were
on display. Several years earlier, 'Picasso's
Africa: a State of Mind', in the Beaubourg
(Centre Georges Pompidou), Paris, was an
outstanding exhibition organised by Jacques
Kerchache. Kerchache is one of the world's
greatest and most passionate experts on 'alter-
native' art. The brains behind the Muse du
Quai Branly, he also organised the world's
first major exhibition of Tainos art, from the
Many art critics have previously drawn atten-
tion to the African influences in Picasso's
work. Guillaume Apollinaire famously dubbed
Picasso 'the Benin bird', while Andr Malraux
has often written of the connections between
Picasso and African art. Even the most amateur
art-lover can trace elements of cubist painting
and sculpture back to the African aesthetic,
while the ubiquitous African mask can be
clearly seen in the faces of the girls in Picasso's
The Demoiselles d'Avignon (specially notice-
able in the two figures furthest to the right).
Picasso had already begun to notice African art
when he began work on this painting. Indeed, it

is possible that Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
was the first cubist painting to use elements
of African art, and that Picasso had picked up
certain 'tricks', such as turning a convex curve
into a concave one using straight lines.
Picasso was not the only European artist to be
attracted to the newly discovered African art.
Matisse, Braque, and many others were also
influenced, but few seem to have experienced
the same catharsis as a result. At the time,
African art was still seen as folk art and was
confined to ethnographic museums by reason
of its anonymity.
This meeting between a man and the master-
pieces of a continent was of huge importance to
Picasso. His ideas on the nature of art, and on
the perception of art in the West, were changed
forever. He understood that African art is not a
genre, but more than that, he saw it as an art that
did not imitate, but instead recreated the world.
African masks have no precursor.
According to Malraux, what struck Picasso the
most was not the shapes but the 'similar angles'
that can be seen in his or in other cubists' works.
Malraux points out that after the fall of ancient
Egyptian or Mexican, or gothic European art,
art remained 'a drive towards imitation, illu-
sion, and expression' and therefore towards
interpreting reality. "Picasso alone", he writes,
"on discovering the Muse du Trocadro, felt
their magic, which his friends were indifferent
to". The magic of African art lies in the fact
that it anticipates, rather than imitates reality.
"If we are struck by the magic sentiment which
Picasso alone felt at the Trocadro", he writes,

"it is because he was about to change painting
It wasn't a spell, but a maieutic [an inner
discovery of himself] which forced Picasso to
fall unexpectedly in love with an art that he
previously had no knowledge of. He was the
first painter for whom African art made sense,
who affirmed that "the masks say that things
are not what they seem: they are strange..."
Amidst the collections of 'primitive' art at the
Trocadro Nago or Fong art from Dahomey,
Fang or Punu work from Gabon, Bembe from
the Congo, Bambara or Dogon in Mali, and
more Picasso began to question himself, to
question his vision of the world of art. Here
he had found masters whose work he need not
deconstruct. Instead he would create pieces
that resonated with theirs, from afar, without
ever travelling to Africa. Perhaps he learned
from this great continent that art transcends
space and time. H.G. M

*'Picasso and the Masters', is at the Galeries Nationales
du Grand Palais (as well as the Louvre and the Muse
d'Orsay), in Paris from 8 October 2008 until 2 February
2009, and in London (called 'Picasso: Challenging the Past'
from 25 February to 7 June 2009.
Further reading:
Andr Malraux, L'intemporel, Gallimard (1976), 488 p.
Andr Malraux, La tte d'Obsidienne, Gallimard (1974),
288 p.

Figurative art; African art; Pablo Picasso;
Delacroix; Manet; Matisse; Braque;
cubism; Nago; Fong; Dahomey; Dogon;
Bambara; Bembe; Fang; Punu; Andr
Malraux; Africa; Jacques Kerchache.



FESPACO; African cinema; Festival;
Ouagadougou; Burkina Faso; movies.

Culture; colloquium; ACP; EU; Louis
Michel; Brussels; Belgium; FESPACO;
Jean FigeL

younger readers

I Johan de Lange, Vis stories, Africa Comics 2002. D Laimomo


F or three months, we have been hear-
ing about the "recession" that began
in the United States and is spreading
ail over the world. Wherever it hits,
people are afraid of losing their money and of
being out of work. What is this recession?
Trade means that stores sell products and that
people buy them with money. People keep
their money in banks that can lend it to others
and charge interest on the loan. Banks have
other activities as well. Some buy and sell
'shares' in companies, for themselves or for
their clients. A share is just that it is a por-
tion of the company. If a company has 1000
shares, each share will be worth a thousandth
of its total value.
In the United States in recent years, banks lent
too much money for buying houses to people
who could not pay back the loans because they
did not earn enough. To pay their debts, those
people took out other loans at higher interest
rates. And so forth. The banks that lent them
money took out loans with larger banks. This
is referred to as the 'real estate bubble'. Then

the bubble burst. The banks and insurance
companies began to force those who owed
them money to leave their houses. Hundreds
of thousands of people lost their homes and
became still poorer they could no longer buy
other goods like cars.
Many companies that manufacture those
goods began to go out of business. 'Shares'
lost value. So the 'stock exchange' fell; the
stock exchange is the place where shares are
bought and sold. Banks also went bankrupt.
The American government had to help some
of them so that people who had deposited their
money in them would not lose their deposits.
Banks in Europe and in other places that had
been doing business with the imprudent banks
in the United States also lost fortunes. In all
these rich countries, companies are closing
or there is a risk of their closing because they
can't find banks to give them credit. And their
employees are threatened with losing their
Because the rich countries are frightened,
there is a risk that they invest less in poor

countries, and that their citizens save their
money rather than going on holiday in other
countries, and they may buy fewer products
from poor countries. Most of the countries that
have made efforts in recent years to develop,
and to manufacture good products are not sure
that they will be able to sell those products.
Among other things, there is also a risk that
they will get less aid from rich countries and
their citizens who are living in rich countries
may send less money home. This means that
they will suffer from the effects of the reces-
sion although they were not the cause. Many
of them would like to see a worldwide author-
ity to supervise banks and stock exchanges
and they want to be represented in this super-
visory organisation.
H.G. M

Financial Crisis; youth; banks; United
States; Europe; Stock exchange; insurance.



lords from


I truly agree with your standpoint (ed: see arti-
cle 'Natural history in Cameroon's Museums',
Issue 4, p. 62). If we want to preserve our iden-
tity, we must be able to find and protect these
artefacts that had represented us in the past. I
hope that our Ministry of culture will put more
efforts in building up this domain.
Moka Ndolo (Cameroon)

We are interested
in your point of view
and your reactions
to the articles.
So do tell us
what you think.

To me, The Courier ACP-EU is not only intel- our attention. As a writer and researcher, I
lectually enriching and stimulating; it is also consider the Courier magazine an invaluable
educative and entertaining. research aid.
Your political articles are very incisive, and your
articles on economic issues are well-researched. Yours faithfully,
The magazine brings economic and politi- Chiedu Uche Okoye
cal happenings, environmental and cultural (Anambra State, Nigeria)
events in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific to

Address T e Cuir- 45 u de Trve 100-usl Blim
e al no@acp*ucurir.n- wesie w .ape uc* urS Sf

*uoAfia Capu fo Cutua S S.,- *
(2-2 Jue Mauo


March April 2009

march 2009
> 27-29 eLearning Africa 2009, Dakar

> 1-3 Preparatory Meetings for the 16th
ACP Parliamentary Assembly,

> 1-3 Cultural colloquium Bruxelles. EU

and ACP partners will meet at Palais
d'Egmont to discuss culture and

> 2 "What is Europe offering Africa ?"
The pros and cons of EPAs,
London (United Kingdom)

> 4-9 ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary
Assembly Czech Republic

> 14-15 CTA/ECPDM, Dialogue on
challenges of changing agriculture

markets in the context of
ACP-EU trade, Brussels (Belgium)

> 15-16 ACP Secretariat, Meeting of the Chief
Negotiators to address the state
of play of EPA negotiations,
Brussels (Belgium)

> 25-27 ACP Council of Ministers, Brussels

> 30 CARIFORUM-EU Business Summit,
(Trinidad and Tobago) M


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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.

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