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N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008


Table of contents

When a beautiful image is clouded

Enhancing aid effectiveness:
an ACP perspective
We need actions, not words


Food crisis
Crisis Seeds of wrath, seeds of change
Agriculture sits at the table
of the major players
"We need a global agricultural policy"
Open questions
The "considerable potential" of Africa
The Pacific a region of relative security
Soul-searching in import-dependent Caribbean


Slovenia marks respect for Cotonou
Co-operation EU Runion Indian Ocean ACP
Governance on the table in Ljubljana
Observing the positives of migration

Could Mozambique become an African
economic dragon?

A day in the life of Derek Walcott

Satellites deployed for poverty eradication

Modern Ghana, far from Ancient Ghana 38
Gearing up for December elections 38
Providence, prudence and planning 41
New EU support used for governance and transport 43
A pivotal role in the region 45
Ghana friendly to a fault 48
Restoring the past for the future 47

11 Runion
12 Distilling cultures, evaporating prejudices 48

14 History 50
16 Terms for understanding Runion's history 51
Runion's nest egg is high technology 52

20 How long will it last? 54
22 Teixeira da Mota, Runion's first mother, and other stories 55
Snow and fire in the tropics 58
Almost 2 bn from the EU to boost Runion's economy 57
25 Afrique in visu: photographers meet each other on-line 58
Contemporary culture in Senegal:
27 Dak'art 2008 'Afrique: Miroir?' 59

Applying the same standards to the 'anti-heros'
of Zimbabwe s1
29 Jamaican athletics: A model for the world s1

Affectionately provoking 82

We are hungry! 83


Nandipha Mntambo, The fighters, variable dimensions,
leather, resin, polyester, waxed rope, 2006.
Courtesy of ZA young art from South Africa, Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena

.. .. ....


he latest news from South Africa was not
good. The unease of most commentators
was clear. The image of a country that had
achieved probably the most benevolent rev-
olution of the 20th century, one rooted in humanism,
forgiveness and empathy, had just been tarnished by a
few groups of bullies picking at random on foreigners
who were more vulnerable than themselves: African
immigrants who lived alongside them in the poverty
of the deprived suburbs. Worse still, the small groups
of thugs that had started the violence had encouraged
others to follow suit and after initially hesitating, the
government was forced to deploy major resources to
stop the hunt for scapegoats.

It is as if a beautiful painting had been despoiled.
Something wonderful had been tarnished.

These awful acts of violence nevertheless triggered
reflection on immigration issues. Firstly, it brought
home the fact that the greatest burden of refugees from
poor countries is on other poor countries. We learned
that the number of Zimbabwean refugees in South
Africa alone had reached three million. Also, many
African countries, far poorer than South Africa, pro-
vide a home for impressive numbers of migrants from
neighboring countries.

By coincidence, calm had not yet been fully restored
to South Africa as ministers from the African,
Caribbean and Pacific Group met to launch the ACP

Observatory on Migration. The Courier reports on
this. It was the occasion for some among them to call
on their colleagues to adopt firm legislative measures
to combat all forms of racism and xenophobia. This
time such a call was not addressed to the developed
countries but rather to members of the ACP family.
For those who normally give lessons on the subject to
others, there was certainly cause for embarrassment.

This issue's 'Dossier' brings news from the food cri-
sis. We learn that poor regions sometimes have many
more strengths than thought. This is true of several
African and Pacific countries. We also learn that there
is no real shortage of food. It is efficient production
and distribution that would guarantee the food securi-
ty for all that is sorely missing. Above all, what is
lacking is a global agricultural policy.

Some are more aware of this situation than others.
Runion is certainly among the former. The subject of
this issue's 'Discovering Europe', is the driving force
behind a strategy for co-development in the Indian
Ocean with its neighbours Madagascar, Mauritius,
the Seychelles and the Comoros. The strategy will
cover many aspects, from a common fishing fleet to
climate change monitoring and free movement of
companies and workers between the islands. A ray of

Hegel Goutier

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

*"i 9-Stq

A ~ I N'1J1j0jJ-s

a V.OU

hc 2005 Paris Declaration saw
N ministers from developed and devel-
.p'ing countries arrive at an
unprecedented global consensus"
to take far-reaching and tangible actions to
improve the delivery and management of
development aid. This resolve was made with-
in the context of the MDG targets established
under the UN Millennium Declaration, and
also in reference to the 2002 Monterrey
Consensus on the progressive scaling-up of
ODA to 0.7 per cent of donors' GNI by 2015.
The Paris Declaration stresses five main prin-
ciples: ownership, alignment, harmonization,
results, and mutual accountability. Twelve
progress indicators have also been identified
with specific targets to be realized by 2010.
Assessment of post-Paris Declaration aid
delivery and impact shows that the reality is
far from encouraging. For that reason, the
Accra Third-High Level Forum is timely.
Understandably, discussion on aid effective-
ness is futile in the absence of increased aid
volume. Current predictions indicate that there
will soon be shortfalls in the size of ODA,
which will impact mainly poor and fragile
states*. This potential development threatens
to undermine the Monterrey Consensus and
jeopardize the achievement of the MDGs. The
EU, which recorded a drop in aid contribution
for 2007, has indicated that it will step up its
efforts to ensure that contributions are on tar-
get to double its ODA by 2010, as well as to
meet 2015 commitments. On behalf of the
ACP Group, 1 thank the EU for its efforts.
Nonetheless, more immediate steps need to be
taken by donor and recipient countries to
rekindle the enthusiasm that led to the Paris

Declaration. Ownership is an important issue:
recipient countries must have the latitude to
feel that they are at least part-owners of the aid
delivery process. The Paris Declaration pro-
vides for measurements of ownership to be
aligned with a country's Poverty Reduction
..... -. '. A study sponsored by the Joint
Parliamentary Assembly revealed that this
process limits opportunities to enhance owner-
The question is who knows best the problems
of a country requiring aid. Government agen-
cies and members of the civil society very
often are more knowledgeable about problems
than donor agencies. However, to ensure
accountability, donor agencies tend to become
more involved in the process. The ACP Group,
the biggest bloc of aid-recipient countries, is
of the opinion that ownership can be improved
through informed dialogue.
Another concern for the ACP Group is 'aid
predictability'. Delays in delivery create prob-
lems for governments in the recipient coun-
tries. The EU's introduction of MDG contracts
is a step in the right direction to address this
problem. Another concern is the need to
improve policy coherence across sectors that
are of great significance to developing coun-
tries, such as agriculture, trade, investment and
migration. This requires policy alignment by
donors and recipients to ensure that efforts to
increase aid effectiveness in one area do not
create an obstacle in another area.
Indeed, issues such as aid-absorption capacity
are practical limitations for recipient states,
and cannot be ignored by the relevant stake-
holders. Those were the reasons underlying
the Paris Declaration. Recipient countries, at

both the bilateral and multilateral levels,
should do more to sensitize donors -including
new players such as China, Saudi Arabia and
Venezuela-to join in and support important
commitments such as those expressed in the
Monterrey and Paris conferences. Only in this
way can we get back on track to significantly
reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs.
* World Bank, Global Monitoring Report 2008: MDGs and
the Environment; Washington DC, p. XIX.
** ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Committee on
Economic Development, Finance and Trade, 03.03.2008,
[DT\704928EN & APP 100.249].


Three years after donor countries pledged to make aid more effective, they face a cru-

cial credibility test: at their meeting in Accra, Ghana, they have to show whether they

pass from rhetoric to real action.

t is sometimes the most simple questions that
leave us perplexed: "Why is it", 1 was asked
by a teenager while giving a presentation to
Italian students, "that poverty still exists
despite ail the efforts in development policies?"
If it had been an expert, the answer would have
been simpler. 1 would have talked about pover-
ty indicators, mentioning that in the first five
years of this century 24 per cent more children
go to school, trying to show that development
policy has made a difference. But the crucial
point was: the student was right absolute
poverty still exists on a large scale, and we
have to do better to reduce it.
This is why we have to succeed in Accra. It is
not about repeating the pledges we have made
in the 2005 Paris Declaration, saying over and
over again that we want to coordinate develop-
ment aid. When ministers from donor and
developing countries come together on 2-4
September to discuss aid effectiveness, they
have to pass on from rhetoric to action. This
will be the crucial test for Accra.
The donor countries still have the biggest share
of the burden of the proof. But our partner
countries, too, have to do their own share: they
have to develop a vision of what they want to

change in their countries, take the leadership of
the programmes and implement them. But to
make sure that the money we spend is well
spent the EU Commission and Member
States alone spent E46 bn in 2007 which is
more than half of world-wide official develop-
ment assistance is our big responsibility.
Yes, the EU has made considerable progress in
the past three years, with numerous good exam-
ples, especially in the field of co-ordination of
aid. But much remains to be done. We have to
move on from this test phase to action on a much
wider scale. Rather than sign a nicely written
declaration, prepared in advance by ambassa-
dors, we need an open discussion resulting in a
concrete action plan, to be followed by each and
every donor and partner country. Concretely, the
EU Commission proposes that actions should be
focused on four key areas:
Predictability of aid: Donors should system-
atically adopt multi-annual programmes mir-
rored by multi-annual financial commitments.
The annuality of the budget is no excuse. The
European Commission has been doing this for
the past decade!
Use of developing country systems: To
reduce the bureaucracy for developing coun-

tries, donor countries should align more with
them, adapting their contributions to their
budget cycles, regulatory framework and ten-
dering procedures.
A result-based approach: Rather than impos-
ing ex-ante policy conditions leaving develop-
ing countries no real choice, no room for inter-
nal policy discussions, we should give them the
ownership back. Aid programmes should be
geared towards concrete and measurable out-
comes and results, with the partner country in
the driving seat.
Division of labour: To limit the number of
donors working in a developing country, leav-
ing the field to the one with the best know-how,
donors should coordinate their work.
It will not be easy to push this through. Some
donors would be happy to stick to a nice word-
ing rather than going for concrete actions, and
some partner countries would be happy to
loudly voice old fashioned rhetoric rather than
taking their part of responsibility and reform
systems affected by poor governance. But there
is no other way than to try it, and do it togeth-
er, at EU level, at international level if we
want to have a positive answer to our young-
sters' questions. M

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Oriol Freixa Matalonga*

nlew cultural


Culture as a human development objec-
tive is being propelled by the government
of Spain's Prime Minister, Jos Luis
Rodriguez Zapatero. An innovative strat-
egy launched at the end of 2007, which
marks a radical change in the relationship
between culture and development, is now
bearing fruit. At an international level,
Spain's signing of the Convention on the
Protection and Promotion of Diversity of
Cultural Expression of the United Nations
Educational and Scientific Organisation
(UNESCO), demonstrates the country's
belief that cultural diversity is a driving
force for development.

ACP countries stand to benefit from the new focus on culture
and development. The sector is one of eleven focal areas of
Spain's development cooperation policy. Within it, seven
new action areas are being developed: training human capi-
tal for cultural management; political aspects of culture; economic
aspects of culture; education and culture; cultural heritage; communica-
tion and culture and cultural rights.
Specific programmes such as ACERCA (cultural management), FOR-
MART (education and culture) and support for newly-created business-
es (economy and culture) have been mounted. The grants programme
for scientific cooperation is being extended, as are the resources avail-
able for the programme to encourage inter-university cooperation with
higher education institutions in both Africa and Latin America.
With the implementation of Plan Africa, a growing openness to ACP
countries is being promoted and especially to African countries of the

group. The Network of Spanish Cultural Centres Abroad (151 centres
in 107 countries) has been strengthened, as have spaces for cultural
exchange and dialogue through the creation of Casa Africa, Casa
Arabe, Casa Asia, Casa Sefarad (Sephardic) and Casa Amrica
Catalunya (Africa House, Arabia House, etc.). A network of Arabic
libraries has also received increased support, and the Cinema of the
Southern Hemisphere Support Forum has been set up. Alongside these,
the newly-created Bank of Good Practices in culture and development
projects compiles records of successful outcomes and evaluates the
impact of cultural cooperation.
There's additional support too for multilateral institutions focused on
culture such as UNESCO-funded initiatives for African regions, and for
the Iberamerican cultural space initiative to create new summit pro-
grammes. Spain has also increased its presence in international organi-
sations and institutions with cultural agendas.
Moreover, the Spain-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Millennium Objectives Fund recently made culture and development one
of its five key priorities, allocating over US$95 million for this purpose.
Among its initial beneficiaries will be several ACP countries: Ethiopia,
Mauritania, Namibia, Senegal and Mozambique.
At an international level, the signing of UNESCO's Convention on the
Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expression illustrates
the country's belief that cultural diversity is a driving force for devel-
opment. The new strategy is also in line with the 2003 Dakar ACP pol-
icy declaration, the ACP cultural industries action plan, as well as the
2006 Santo Domingo declaration.
Statistics in the Report of the Aid and Development Committee, which
contains an evaluation of Spanish Cooperation over the last five years,
show that Spain is in an ideal position to meet its cooperation and
development objectives and to fulfil Premier Rodriguez Zapatero's
commitment to reach the target of 0.7 per cent of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) going to development cooperation by 2012. This means
that Spain is well-placed to be one of the principal global providers of
Public Aid for Development in the near future. M

* Expert in International Cultural Cooperation
For further information: http://www.aecid.es/09cultural/02ccult/9.2.1.htm


AEuropean Union troika led by Dr
Tjasa Zivko of the incumbent
Slovenian EU Presidency was in
Fiji on 19-20 June to assess politi-
cal developments, including steps taken by the
interim government to hold parliamentary
elections by March 2009.
In the wake of the military takeover in Fiji in
December 2006 by Commander Frank
Bainimarama, the interim government agreed
in April 2007 a set of 13 commitments follow-
ing talks with representatives of the African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and the
EU under Article 96 of the Cotonou
Convention. The ousting of democratically-
elected Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was
deemed to constitute a breach of the 'essential
elements' of the Cotonou agreement to which
Fiji is party: human rights, democratic princi-
ples and the rule of law.
The visiting EU delegation asked precise
questions on when elections will take place
and on the nature of the 'People's Charter' on
constitutional change. The delegation, which

also included French Ambassador Patrick
Roussel, representing the EU's incoming
Presidency and Roger Moore, Director at the
European Commission's Development
Directorate-General, was told that the draw-
ing-up of a 'Proposed Charter for Change and
Progress' could result in a delay to the election
timetable. Fiji's interim Attorney General,
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, was quoted in the Fiji
Times as telling the EU troika that electoral
change was necessary to give universal suf-
frage meaning in Fiji and to move away from
institutionalising ethnicity. The EU delegation
also met with ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia
A delegation of ACP Ambassadors also visited
Fiji on 12-16 May, to carry out its own assess-
ment. Fiji's interim Minister of Foreign
Affairs, International Cooperation and Civil
Aviation, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, told a meet-
ing of ACP Ministers in Addis Ababa on 13
June that, "Fiji is committed to holding free,
fair and transparent democratic elections in
March 2009." He outlined some of the meas-

ures already taken including the appointment
of a new elections supervisor at the end of
May 2008 and said that funding had already
been set aside in the country's 2008 budget for
preparatory election work including voter reg-
istration. He said that talks were ongoing with
the Commonwealth, the ACP-EU and Pacific
Islands Forum on political developments.
In the wings of the Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) meeting in Rome, the EU
Commissioner warned Commander
Bainimarama that funds slated to offset the fall
in the price of sugar sold to the EU resulting
from EU sugar reform, could be frozen if Fiji
reneged on its promise to hold elections by
March 2009. Whilst Commissioner Michel
acknowledged that there were problems with
Fiji's existing election system, in a frank meet-
ing with the interim Prime Minister, he said
that electoral reform was not an excuse for
delaying elections. According to reports from
EU Brussels officials he said that in a democ-
racy the electorate and only the electorate -
could sanction politicians. M

Round up


weigh on flCP ministers

African, Caribbean and Pacific
(ACP) group of nations who
met in Addis Ababa Ethiopia 9-
11 June, cast doubt over whether the Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPA) establishing
free trade areas between ACP and EU states fit
with their development needs.
These pacts "risk disorting regional integra-
tion," said Mohamed Admed Awalesh,
Djibouti's Minister of National Solidarity, who
chaired the ACP ministers' meeting. This mes-
sage was put over firmly to their 27 European
Union (EU) counterparts at a joint meeting in
the Ethiopian capital on 12-13 June.
"We in the ACP are concerned that while the
progress made so far with respect to the EPA
negotiations may be compatible with WTO
rules, they are not adequately compatible
with our development needs," said Ethiopia's
Prime Minister, Ato Meles Zenawi. Facing
time constraints to conclude EPAs by 31
December 2007, ACP States ended up sign-
ing interim agreements in smaller trading

blocs, or individually, rather than in groups as
originally intended, said ACP ministers. The
Caribbean Forum, CARIFORUM, is the only
ACP body to have to date initialled a region-
wide full EPA.*
Ministers also voiced concern over further
erosion of trade preferences on sugar and
bananas in ongoing World Trade Organisation
(WTO) talks. In a statement, they said it
would be extremely difficult to associate
themselves with any consensus in the ongoing
Doha WTO Round without "suitable treat-
ment" for these products. And high oil prices
which have pushed up transport costs could
undermine the effectiveness of E 1.24 bn of
EU funds already earmarked for Multi Annual
Adaptation Strategies (MAAS) in some ACP
sugar-producing countries to offset the EU's
sugar price cut of 36 per cent which bites in
October 2009.
ACP states called on the European
Commission to ensure that sugar is not includ-
ed as a tropical product in the ongoing Doha
Round of world trade talks and to maintain the

current Special Safeguard Clause for sugar
products with high sugar content. They also
called on the Commission to examine the
potential risks of buyers and importers trying
to take advantage of the EU price cuts.
ACP countries urged their EU partners to
reject any proposal to drastically reduce the
current applied rate of E 176 per tonne for
non-ACP bananas imported into the EU. Dr
Arnold Thomas, Ambassador in Brussels for
the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS), said that
the banana was in every sense a "burning"
issue. "It burns up our pay cheques, it burns
up our livelihood, it burns up our employment
and it burns up the level of socio-economic
development that we have achieved over the
past four decades," he told ACP ministers.
D.P. U

*The Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific
(ACP) group of states (CARIFORUM) includes: Bahamas,
Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti,
Jamaica, Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the
Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba. The
EU initialled an EPA on 16 December 2007 with ail CARI
FORUM members apart from Cuba.

SOUTH flfRICfl-EU Summit

New areas of cooperation and differ-
ences over future trade relations
between South Africa and the
European Union (EU) were top
billing at the joint ministerial meeting between
the two in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, on 3
June, ahead of the first ever South Africa-EU
Summit in Bordeaux, France, on 25 July.
Co-chaired by South Africa's Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosawana Dlamni Zuma,
and Dimitrij Rupel, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Slovenia, political dialogue spanned
Zimbabwe to the Middle East. Louis Michel,
EU Development Commissioner and Jean-
Christophe Belliard, personal envoy to Africa

for the EU's Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP), also took part.
South Africa is one of 79 members of the
African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group but
has separate bi-lateral trade and aid relations
with the EU. Both sides said they were commit-
ted to continue talks on a mutually beneficial
agreement on an Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) a free trade agreement -
between the 14-member Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and the EU.
However, South Africa raised the difficulties
caused to its own regional integration agenda by
the EU having initialled an 'interim' EPA with
South Africa's fellow Southem African Customs

Union (SACU) members; Botswana, Lesotho,
Namibia and Swaziland. The EU said that talks
with ACP countries who have initialled interim
EPAs are expected to complete negotiations on
full agreements by the end of 2008, to include
other areas of trade such as services and pro-
curement. South Africa reminded the EU that it
is not bound by such a schedule since it has not
initialled any interim agreement.
New areas of bilateral cooperation peace and
security, cooperation in environment, science
and technology, customs, energy, migration and
transport were all expected to be on the
Summit's table.

I Il'





by Marie-Martine Buckens

T he "hunger rioters" really brought
it home to leaders around the world
who are often too inclined to bury
their heads in the sand when it
comes to this area of policy: the food crisis is
real. Not only that, it is on a scale that forces
both experts and governments to rethink
existing agricultural policies. Why? Because
the crisis is not due to global shortages -
despite what some claim as they evoke the
spectre of overpopulation but is the result
of a deep-rooted malfunction. Simply put, it
would seem that the world is discovering
with great surprise that agriculture has
always been the foundation on which coun-
tries are created. Of course, nowhere is this
'surprise' greater than in the original EU-15,
where farmers represent just 1.6 per cent of
the working population and even the arrival
of the 10 Eastern and Central European states
only doubled this tiny figure. Food self-suffi-
ciency of a population is a basic precondition
for putting into place other policies. So,
world leaders have a formidable task before
them. For some of them (see the interview
with Matthieu Calame) the only long-term
solution is to implement a global agricultural
policy. a

Bouak rice.



^ ^

Food Crisis Dossier


Seeds of wrath,

seeds of change

After the 'hunger riots' and the initial shockwaves they created, the analysts are tak-
ing stock. Yes, prices have reached record levels but, in reality, they had been marked-
ly low for the past 30 years. Certainly, some regions of the world have an agricultur-
al deficit, but the notion of a global shortage is an illusion. Here, The Courier makes
a brief survey of the current situation using FAO figures as supporting evidence.

First there are the figures, and they are indeed
- A tripling of wheat prices since 2000, with a
130% increase in 2007 alone.
- A doubling of rice and maize prices during
the same period, with rice prices in Asia dou-
bling again in the first quarter of 2008 and
reaching record highs on the Chicago futures
market in May.
Then there are the estimates. The United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
(FAO) puts the total cost of food imports from
the world's poorest countries in 2007 at 107
billion dollars, up by 25 per cent against 2006.
Finally, there is the guesswork. Just how high
can oil prices go? The barrel price already
topped the US$100 mark at the beginning of
2008. This represented a 72 per cent increase
during 2007 alone, bringing equivalent
increases in the cost of fertilisers and pesti-
cides. Then there is the 'biofuel effect' the
desire of Europe and the United States in par-
ticular to develop these energy crops has cre-
ated an alignment of food and oil prices.
The soaring food prices have hit fragile
economies hard. Almost 40 countries now face
a food crisis, including traditionally self-suffi-
cient countries like the Cte d'Ivoire and
exporting countries like Egypt. In Haiti,
Bangladesh and Cameroon, citizens have
taken to the streets to vent their anger. And we
must not leave out Guinea, Ethiopia and
Mauritania; or even Mexico, where the price
for maize tortilla, their staple diet, rose by 14
per cent in 2006. Then there is Indonesia
where rice prices doubled in a year.

> Is it a temporary phenomenon?

"No", say most experts. Some also stress that
the present dramatic price increases follow 30

years of particularly low even extremely low
- prices on world markets. "The era of low food
prices on the international market is over," the
European Development Commissioner, Louis
Michel, declared in a statement at the European
Parliament on 22 April. "Food prices will not
return to their former levels and they threaten to
become more volatile if measures are not taken
quickly." And although they are expected to
drop back from present levels, "it will be a
slight fall," explained Marc Debois, Head of
Sector, Natural Resources Unit at the European
Commission's Development Directorate-
General. He added that "price volatility is like-
ly to reach more frequent peaks, sort of like
what we are seeing with the climate."

> Is there a food shortage?

No. In its report, 'World agriculture: towards
2015-2030', the FAO said that: "In recent
years the fall in growth rates of world agricul-
tural production and yields (...) has occurred
not because of shortages of land or water, but
rather because demand for agricultural prod-
ucts has slowed." Why is this? According to
the FAO, world population growth rates have
started to decline but at the same time, "fairly
high levels of food consumption per person
are now being reached in many countries,
beyond which further rises will be limited."
However, to this the FAO adds, "it is also the
case that a stubbornly high share of the world's
population remains in absolute poverty and so
lacks the necessary income to translate its
needs into effective demand."
In short, demand has peaked, either as a result
of reaching saturation point in the rich coun-
tries or, more basically, because a sizeable
share of the world's population lacus the
means to buy their daily bread. The FAO

therefore expects the growth in worldwide
demand for agricultural products, which was
running at an average of 2.2 per cent a year
over the past 30 years, to fall to 1.5 per cent a
year over the next 30 years. In the developing
countries this slowdown will be even more
dramatic from 3.7 per cent to 2 per cent.
This is partly because China will have moved
out of the rapid growth phase for food prod-
ucts. However, that still leaves the "stubborn-
ly high share" of the world's population who
lack the resources to buy food at a price that
ultimately reflects the commercial practices of
the major exporters. That is a price sufficient-
ly low over the past 30 years to stifle local pro-
duction, therefore forcing populations to
become dependent on imports of basic prod-
ucts, but which is currently too high to allow
them to buy this same food.
"Globalisation in food and agriculture holds
promise as well as presenting problems," says
the FAO in its report." It goes on to say "It has
generally led to progress in reducing poverty
in Asia." But, it recognizes "it has also led to
the rise of multinational food companies with
the potential to disempower farm workers in
many countries."
It concludes that "developing countries need
legal and administrative frameworks to ward
off the threats while reaping the benefits."
Today, the notion of food self-sufficiency is
finally being regarded with the merit it
M.M.B. M

Hunger riots; Food prices; Food shortages;
Globalisation; Multinational Food compa-
nies; Haiti; Cameroon.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

that brought together 180 nations in
Rome in June just several months
after the first hunger riots proved
to be a disappointment. Its failure owed much
to the assembled nations' lack of a long-term
vision on agricultural policy. More than that,
the protection of short-term interests pre-
vailed, even involving in some cases the with-
drawal of subsidies and significant resistance
over bio-fuels. However, a single meeting was
never going to provide solutions to issues
ignored for so long by most international
financial institutions, and more encouragingly
perhaps, everyone in Rome recognized that
agriculture is too important an issue to be
resolved simply by providing billions of euros
in food aid.
Fn it 1. c I aid is necessary, but it must be a
temporary measure", declared Louis Michel,
the European Commissioner for Development
and Humanitarian Aid on 5 June at the Rome
session. Michel was referring to the 3.2 bn
promised by various aid providers, including
the World Bank, the US, the Islamic
Development Bank and France, not forgetting
the E550M already made available by the
European Commission. Louis Michel contin-
ued, "I am convinced that this emergency aid
must be a temporary measure, and that volun-

tary limits should be established to ensure a
rapid transition towards structural food securi-
ty mechanisms".
Like the World Bank in April and the French
Minister for Agriculture, Michel Barnier, the
Commissioner for Development recognized
that "after years of under-investment or dis-
interest in the rural development sector we
are now helping to make agriculture a priority
again". All the same, the European
Commission admits it has been caught on the
hop in the current situation. "The food crisis
has pushed documents that the European exec-
utive has been preparing for months right to
the forefront of the political agenda",
explained Marc Debois, Head of Section at the
European Commission's Development DG
responsible for natural resources. Of these
documents, the most significant is one that
tackles agriculture in Africa (see the following

> European aid

More generally, there is also the European
Union's strategic programme for food security.
This has been divided into two parts since
2007, with emergency humanitarian aid pro-
vided by the European Commission's humani-
tarian aid department (ECHO) on the one side,

and a programme that finances regional and
global actions related to food security on the
other. Each of these budgets receives around
250M a year and as Mr. Debois explained,

H.E. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Adviser to the
President of the Republic of Ghana, delivering her
statement at the High Level Segment.



Food Crisis Dossier

"we finance the FAO's early-warning pro-
gramme through the second budget line." He
added, "the initiatives must also combine
emergency and development aid, and are only
financed if there is an operational strategy in
place with the country concerned".
The strategic programme was established for
the period from 2007 to 2013. Within this
framework, programming for the second
budget line's regional activities has already
been carried out until 2010, receiving a total
budget of 925M. "We will use this instru-
ment to some extent to respond to the current
food crisis", pointed out Mr. Debois. However,
the first budget line is still intended for emer-
gency requirements and "some E230M has
already been used since the beginning of 2008
for emergency food aid for all countries
together", explained Debois. He went on to
add that "to meet the requirements, a supple-
ment of 60M has already been requested,
using the budgetary reserve", emphasising that
this aid "should be provided using local or
regional production where possible".

> Targeting the countries most
in need

The European Union has provided a special
hl '-'l 'l- I.lid l'l' c i i- I "lc i,,I lii C('P l. l Llll[llc',
ii| '., illiii i IIlic 1 IJIIe,. >il. -1 i| ih E LIio p .,im11

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: 'j I Irc' lBi.il I iiio ,i, ', Ii i!,, I .

He went on to say "after a quick survey of
Commission delegations in the recipient coun-
tries that looked at the impact of the food cri-
sis on prices; had they increased; had this real-
ly caused problems; what measures have been
undertaken by the government; what are the
risks of deterioration in food supply and the
political situation ? we have, for the
moment, identified around 30 countries where
we could give support".

> Priority for rural development

Already warned by a World Bank report in
2007 that emphasised the need to redirect
funding towards agriculture, the European
Commission has now decided to reinvigorate
this sector in the longer-term. The plan is to
"sustain a coherent agricultural policy and cre-
ate distribution channels all of which has
been neglected for the past 20 years", accord-
ing to Marc Debois. He went on to point out
that, in the past, aid granted by the EU made
up 20 per cent of its total development aid
budget, as opposed to just 3.4 per cent today.
The last European Development Fund pro-
gramme (the 10th), for the period 2008-2013
remedies this shortcoming. "Rural develop-
ment in its entirety is allocated double the
. -IVi ll 111 1 1 1,I.| IIL* l I i III i.l i' i' III li E lF

h .i h. i th, .l ll i l I .N -I l i. ,l I I I 1.C | l1'C I,,

markets. At the Rome meeting he emphasised
that "approximately a third of the world's food
shortages could be quickly relieved by improv-
ing distribution networks and helping to pro-
vide better access to markets for small farm-
ers". He also argued for regional integration
that is vital in the fight against food insecurity.
Finally, the problem of improving the gover-
nance of the global food supply has to be
addressed. On this, Louis Michel explained in
Rome, "I am thinking of the FAO in particular
which has to re-establish itself as a flagship
organisation". Not just that, better co-ordina-
tion is required between the funding providers.
As Michel pointed out, "the Commission
believes that the response of the Union has to
be in line with wider initiatives such as the one
launched by the Secretariat of the United
Nations (the CFA Comprehensive
Framework for Action) and the FAO's recent
appeal for a global initiative concerning food
prices (ISFP Initiative for Soaring Food
Prices)". M.M.B. M

Louis Michel; Jacques Diouf; Emergency
Aid; trade; WTO; smallholder

'I Eil i l (.'1it lllll hnI loi Dlii r) c i. .! liii'!l
P|i|lIl l 't iLll Lhm .ll ,i k ", lU h'li." l .il,_!i.lll' ll!"
l ,ind (iigaliiiiii^ hc l .m, i.C._ n...

Dossier Food Crisis

"tWe need a GLOBHL

flgriculturaol Policy"

M meeting with Matthieu Calame, agricultural
engineer, specialist at the Charles Leopold
Mayer Foundation and author of 'La tour-
mente alimentaire Pour une politique agri-
cole mondiale' ('The food torment Advocating a global
"agricultural policy') (Ed. CLM April 2008).*

What are the reasons for the food crisis in ACP countries
over recent months?

One of the reasons, in my opinion, is that these countries are
not historically nation states at all. They originate in the
Colonies. The problem is structural. Those which are not
developed did not go through the essential stage of creating
S..an internal market. Take Japan: its first concern was to put in
place customs duties to enable it to produce. But developing
countries, especially in Africa, have primarily remained raw
material suppliers.
AZ_' We have seen 30 years of falling agricultural prices, due
mainly to subsidies granted by Europe and the United States
to their farmers. It is this "infernal duo" that are chiefly
responsible for the present crisis. As an African proverb says:
"When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." By
opian farmer tending his selling off their food products at low prices, they stifled coun-
PS. Francols Misser tries that lacked the means to subsidise their agriculture. The
small-scale peasant farmers have stopped producing and we
have seen the creation of a mass urban underclass with very
low productivity. A vicious circle has been created. The gov-
ernments of these countries find themselves torn between two
diametrically opposed alternatives: either increase prices to
save production or reduce prices for the consumers.
,. -, Today there is the added problem of raw material speculation,
% .' something I would describe as a disease of opportunism as it
is only possible when the market is very strained. Another
-. *. .disease of opportunism is biofuels, introduced to absorb the
V .- excesses of countries that subsidise their agriculture, which is
j typically the case of the United States and Europe, where bio-
'fuels emerged when the system of fallow land was intro-
S duced, a necessary condition for pursuing subsidies.
But there is a second cause of the present situation, one that
is often overlooked: these countries have not developed a
proper tax system. The state apparatus is essentially financed
by taxes levied on imports and exports. So in a country like
Burkina Faso it is agriculture, essentially cotton, which funds
the state, making it very vulnerable to price fluctuations in
this raw material. But what is important is the wealth that is
created internally. The EU could play a role by helping these


Food Crisis Dossier

countries to put in place good tax plans, at the same time helping them
to think of their development in different terms.

This is action that the EU could take in the medium term. What about
the short-term?

We cannot do without short-term aid, even if it is bad for the long-term.
It remains to be seen how such aid can be distributed and by whom.
Another important rule to respect is to buy as much as possible locally
and involve the agricultural unions, if they exist. This short-term aid is
not without its negative effects. There are famines in urban areas as well
as rural ones a cotton producer can also be in a situation of famine.
But often, for reasons of political stability, it is the towns that are the
first to be helped, with a resultant mass movement of farmers from rural
areas to towns.
1 do not have a miracle solution. Globally, 1 could well imagine a sys-
tem which existed in Europe in fact in the 19th century with the
famous "state workshops" in which everybody is associated with a
Commune (municipality). In the event of crisis, the population turns to
the Commune (municipality). It is a process of decentralisation and 1 do
not believe we can escape it. Europe is engaged in this process so why
not support this decentralisation in these countries?

In the long-term, what sort of model do you advocate for relations
between the EU and ACP states in the agricultural field?

First of all, we must remember that these countries are still subject to
the economic model that makes them part of the parent country, while
the links of solidarity with it are weakening. On the European side, we
have no integrated diplomacy. So a form of clientelism or patronage
often remains, France favouring Africa for example and the United
Kingdom its former colonies. Such 'clientelism' is central to the link
between the ACP states and the EU. It results in a lack of desire to
develop competitive production. These countries have not gone through
the stages of protectionism, followed by development and finally diver-
sification of their production.
But to come back to your question. The need to reinvest in agriculture is
clear. Do not forget that states have always been built around agriculture.
The question is: What can the EU do in the light of its history, in partic-
ular the history of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)? A CAP that
is relatively successful but which has its weaknesses, especially social
and environmental because it is based on the principle of a single and
regulated market. The hypothesis 1 make in the long term is that we
would benefit from putting in place a global agricultural policy.

You advocate a global agricultural policy, but how could it take into
account the interests of all parties?

Remember the negotiations between Germany and France when putting
the CAP into place: Germany wanted to retain high prices to protect its
agriculture, whereas Paris wanted low prices to favour its exports. The
Germans prevailed, but to get what they wanted they agreed to pay the
price by becoming the largest net contributor to the European
Community. While making the necessary allowances, there must be the
same reasoning at world level. We could imagine, for example, the rich
countries paying for having a free market by dipping into their
resources on the non-agricultural market.
1 am not denying that things are difficult, but is there an alternative?
Otherwise there is no organisation and everybody closes their borders.
We saw the rigid reactions of Thailand and Vietnam when they refused

to export their rice. These reactions bear the seeds of major conflicts.
We must beware of scenarios in which countries or regions turn in on
themselves. So the sole alternative is to put into place international

So much for the long-term, but what could the EU already do on the
international stage?

Perhaps the EU could submit proposals to the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) to help the ACP countries. It would be a question of relaunch-
ing negotiations to enable these countries not only to benefit from
exemptions on tariffs for products such as bananas and sugar 'com-
fort' products for our Western countries but of proposing to extend
negotiations to all agricultural products. 1 accept that this threatens to
pose a problem for Thailand in particular as it exports broken rice to
Senegal, but why not involve it in the discussions? M.M.B. M

*The Charles Lopold Mayer Foundation for Human Progress (formerly Fondation pour le
Progrs de l'Homme, hence the acronym FPH) is an independent foundation. Its statutory
purpose is very broad: to finance, through donations or loans, research and initiatives that
contribute in a significant and innovative way to the progress ofhumanlkind through science
and social development.

Matthieu Calame; Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); subsidies; cot-
ton; Burkina Faso.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Dossier Food Crisis

OPEO questions

In their efforts to restore food self-sufficiency, developing countries will have to tackle
the question of access to land the source of so many conflicts as well as the place
they are ready to give to biofuels and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

> flccess to land, a crucial issue

In Africa, while every country has its own sys-
tem of land rights, access to land is most often
the result of a forced marriage between private
law (brought by the colonialists) and collective
or customary law. Each of these systems of
land rights brings with it a production method.
This is often based on a single crop (export
crops such as coffee and groundnuts) in the
case of the 'Western' model, or multifunction-
al, often showing more respect for ecological
balances, in collective or customary law.

However, the system of land rights does not
determine everything. Other factors have an
impact, beginning with the migration of popu-
lations fleeing war and poverty, or the conflict
between farmers, hunters and the authorities
that manage natural parks.

> The case of South fifrica

The land rights issue is one of the problems
plaguing the new South Africa. But as Thierry
Vircoulon, author of L'Afrique du Sud dmo-
cratique ou la reinvention d'une nation
[Democratic South Africa, or the reinvention

of a nation] (Paris, L'Harmattan, 2005),
explains, "rather than the land rights issue we
really need to speak of land rights issues!" He
points out that since 1994, agricultural reforms
have been trying to restore a balance in land
rights that would favour previously dispos-
sessed communities. Presently, the vast major-
ity of farms are still owned by whites and the
vast majority of farm workers are still
Africans. Vircoulon goes on to explain that
"this situation, which is poisoning inter-racial
relations, conceals a second land problem that
is woefully neglected that of tribal land."
Managed by traditional authorities, but in real-


Food Crisis Dossier

ity belonging to the state, this land is coveted
by various groups that make up Africa's rural
population with diverging, if not conflicting,
Vircoulon believes it is necessary, "to go
beyond the dominant political discourse to
realise that the South African land issue is not
a simple problem of White/Black opposition,
but a problem for opposing social groups in a
rural African world that is in the grip of rapid
change as well as great poverty."

> The not so good idea of biofuels?

"Aid and investments destined for biofuel pro-
duction should be frozen." That at least is the
opinion of Olivier De Schutter, appointed last
May as Special Rapporteur on the right to food
by the United Nations Council of Human
Rights (UNHCR). While some were hoping
for a less direct message, this eminent Belgian
lawyer has taken up the torch of his fiery pred-
ecessor, Jean Ziegler of Switzerland. Indeed,
in June last year, on the eve of the Food and
Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Summit, De
Schutter stressed that, "A hundred million
hectares will be needed to produce 5 per cent
of fuel in 2015, and that is quite simply impos-
sible. The US objectives of 136 bn litres of
biofuel for 2022 and the EU objective of 10
per cent of transport needs met by biofuels by

2020 are unrealistic." He added, "By abandon-
ing these aims, we would be sending a strong
signal to the markets that the price of food is
not going to increase indefinitely, thereby dis-
couraging speculation."
For its part, the EU is trying to calm the biofu-
els debate, pointing out the benefits that they
could bring for the developing countries that
grow them. Furthermore, while the European
Commission accepts that the high prices that
result are unfavourable to consumers, it points
out that these can only benefit producers. "The
rise in food prices must not be regarded sys-
tematically as negative," repeated European
Development Commissioner, Louis Michel.
He continued, "It also brings opportunities for
developing countries that have the potential to
export food." Biofuels could therefore become
a new cash crop, alongside coffee or cotton.
However, there is the risk that countries will,
as in the past, move away from a diversified,
food-producing agriculture system. In the
meantime, several private companies have
already acquired land in Africa to produce bio-
fuels, mainly from jatropha. This is happening
particularly in Mozambique, Ethiopia and
Tanzania and again raises the question of land
rights as in some cases companies acquired
land on 99-year leases, making it difficult for
the state to repossess it if it wants to increase
food production.

> What to do about GmOs?

Advocates claim that genetically modified
organisms (GMOs) make it possible to pro-
duce food on marginal land, especially on arid
soils, and produce crops enriched with vita-
mins. They also require fewer pesticides.
These are the arguments for GMOs that have
convinced several developing countries, even
if the sceptics in these same countries doubt
the real impact of these super-crops. However,
one thing is certain, GMOs can only develop
within an existing, structured agricultural
economy in which farmers have sufficient
funds to purchase expensive and patented -
seeds. This explains their failure among Indian
cotton producers in particular, who have often
been faced with bankruptcy due to the cost. It
also explains why the Alliance for a Green
Revolution in Africa (AGRA) financed by
two US foundations (Bill Gates and
Rockefeller), chaired by former UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan declared that, initially, it
did not want to see the spread of GMOs in
But GMOs are already well established in
some African countries. After South Africa,
Burkina Faso launched experimental trans-
genic cotton crops in 2003, in close coopera-
tion with the US company Monsanto. In 2006,
seven other African cotton producing coun-
tries (Benin, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Cte
d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo), supported by the
World Bank, set up a Regional Biotechnology
Centre, agreeing that, "in addition to fertilis-
ers, there is a need to also include the question
of seeds and the transition to GMOs." Once
again, it is a matter of supporting a cash crop.
One that is, in a pitiful state in the face of sub-
sidised producers mainly in the United States
and China.
Yet many analysts agree that the food crisis is
first and foremost both political and social and
that it is the implementation of GMOs that will
enable the problem to be solved. Some also
fear a headlong rush for technology as a solu-
tion, avoiding the issues of production distri-
bution and purchasing power. This is a view
held by the FAO's Director-General, Jacques
Diouf of Senegal who, at least in 2006,
declared that GMOs in Africa "are not a prior-
ity" in achieving the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) M.M.B. M

Customary law; Private law; South Africa;
Biofuels; Thierry Vircoulon; Olivier De
Schutter; Cotton; GMOs; Monsanto;
Jacques Diouf.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

T he Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development
Programme (CAADP), adopted at the Maputo Summit during
the second ordinary assembly of the African Union (AU) in
July 2003, is the most successful programme by African
nations to meet the challenges presented by the food crisis. In Maputo,
African leaders committed to contributing 10 per cent of their respec-
tive national budgets to financial support for the agricultural sector.
Now, in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which
aim to halve poverty and hunger between now and 2015, the CAADP
is targeting an annual growth rate of 6 per cent in the agricultural sec-
tor. To achieve this, it has identified four key areas for investment: land
and water management; rural infrastructure and market access capabil-
ities; food and the reduction of hunger; agricultural research and advi-
sory services.

> OGRO's green resolution

The CAADP is not Africa's only response to the situation. Other pro-
posed initiatives include the much publicised "green revolution",

espoused by two American foundations Rockfeller and Gates and
presided over by the former Secretary General of the United Nations,
Kofi Annan.
Furthermore, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the
United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) at the
FAO Summit in June aimed at boosting food production in Africa's
"breadbasket areas".
"This new partnership aims to make a short-term difference by optimis-
ing food production in areas with relatively good rainfall, soils, infra-
structure and markets", explained a statement issued by the FAO.
AGRA's President points out that the initiative is part of the organisa-
tion's strategic vision to "build partnerships that pool the strengths and
resources of both public and private sectors, civil society, farmers'
organizations, donors, scientists and entrepreneurs across the agricul-
tural value chain".
He added that it would also "help to advance the goals of the CAADP
and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)".


Food Crisis Dossier

> European cooperation

"We strongly believe in the approach of NEPAD's CAADP pro-
gramme", said Marc Debois, Head of Section at the European
Commission's Development DG. He continued, "firstly, on account of
what it promotes, and also because it allows us to strengthen our rela-
tionship with the African Union". As part of this, the European
Commission is. ic1 i.. looking at what it will contribute to the "part-
nership" that it proposed in its "Advancing African Agriculture"
Communication drawn up in 2007 and ratified by the EU's Council of
Ministers. Mr. Debois noted that "the idea is to set up national round
tables where all the participants political representatives, industry,
farmers, NGOs etc. define an agricultural policy for the country". He
added that "Ghana has already done this".

In fact, the Commission's document proposes both short and long-term
actions. The long-term approach involves supporting research and
development, as well as initiatives for the management of natural
resources. But the initiative also makes provision for short-term pro-
grammes. These include the creation of risk-management mechanisms
and an advanced warning programme in cooperation with the FAO. The
FAO already has a system for gathering information and for providing
tools to enable local governments faced with crisis situations to effec-
tively use the information collected. M.M.B. M

AGRA (Alliance for Green Revolution); Kofi Annan; rice.

Roundtable 4 on Bioenergy anl i
' Conference on World Food f
Climate Change and Bioen.-.i iF:,
Organisation of the United Nationc. f-


Subsistence farming and significant fishery resources mean that the Pacific islands are
not being hit at present by the full impact of price increases for foodstuffs. However, there
are major causes for concern, including the uncertainty surrounding the market value of
export crops (in particular Fijian sugar) as well as the devastating effects of cyclones.
T he Pacific islands, as every expert points out, face three main
problems isolation, scarce resources and frequent natural
disasters. These three issues have a significant impact on the
fnnd qecuritv nf the ilandq in particular the mnaller nne

> Dependency I ,I,,I.,l9

ii ll.' l iI .l i l'' '." 'i K I I '.nill .l .1 iii-Ii i .ii il ''' m
.-*-.^ ^. .^^ ^ '* *l ^ ^ b iM^ R ji M i tf

Food Crisis Dossier

University of the South Pacific in Fiji, explains that limited natural
resources results in a dependency on imported goods and the level of
dependency has grown in recent years owing to the joint effect of the
three factors outlined above. However, there is also the attractiveness of
imported commodities which are a i ci.. packaged and often good
value-for-money. K.L. Sharma believes that inconsistent government
policies have also caused some imported commodities to replace local
production. An example of this is that the local production of Fijian rice
has fallen from 29,000 to 14,000 tonnes between 1993 and 2002.
"This," Sharma says, "is mainly on account of the withdrawal of gov-
ernmment assistance in the form of agricultural products or technical
advice, the non-renewal of concessions, the deregulation of the market
and, finally, the preference for imported rice which has become less
expensive than local rice". And despite recent efforts by the local
authorities to revitalise the sector, Fiji remains a net rice importer: a
commodity whose price has reached record levels during the first quar-
ter of this year. Another factor is the devastation of crops by cyclones.
Few Fijians have forgotten the effects of cyclone Ami which destroyed
farms, infrastructure, cash crops and food crops in 2003. The estimated
cost of the damage amounted to US$66 million.

> The Samoan experience

However, traditional crops and animal husbandry manioc, taro,
coconuts, breadfruit trees, pigs and poultry are still to be found in
abundance on many islands. In Fiji, subsistence production (as opposed
to large-scale commercial production) has even succeeded in penetrat-
ing the markets of the cities, providing food for a large proportion of
urban residents whose numbers are growing rapidly. K.L. Sharma says
that in 2002, "subsistence production represented 6 per cent of the GDP
and 37 per cent of agricultural, forestry and fishery production". These
figures are impressive and Fiji is often held up as an example for other
Pacific islands to follow: as although they possess strong traditional
agriculture they lack experience in business development.
But, as always, there is that unquantifiable factor to be taken into
account cyclones.
"Grow as many yams as you can, and put them to one side in case of
cyclones. If there's no taro, i ..... ...i.. i or bananas, then yams will pro-
vide a food reserve." This advice from a Samoan farmer was incorpo-
rated into a technical document drawn up by the United Nations
Network for Rural Development and Food Security. The longer yams
are left in the ground, the greater their yield. Most important, this com-
modity is not subject to the effects of hurricanes. But the big question
remains, 'what can be done once the cyclone has passed?' Shortages of
water and food can last from two weeks to eight months and this docu-
ment looks at other strategies to adopt such as giving priority to crops
that grow quickly, such as manioc and sweet potatoes. For storage,
farmers have recommended a return to local traditions such as allowing
the breadfruit and bananas to ferment in a hole dug in the ground (the
so-called "biscuit of Samoa"). Such advice is vital for a population
where two-thirds are dependent on subsistence farming (including
forestry and fishing) for their survival. M.M.B. M

Fiji; Rice; Traditional cultivation; Cyclones; Taro.

On page 20: dried red pepper.
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N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Dossier Food Crisis



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Slouenia marks

respect for Cotonou

It's not easy to assess an individual European Union (EU) country's contribution to
relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations during its six-month turn
in the rotating EU Presidency chair. There's always an element of 'business as usual'.
As Slovenia, in charge since 1 January 2008, hands over to France (1 July 31
December), we look at how one of the smallest and newest EU Member States, with
no national tradition of development policy, has made its mark and added to its own
expertise in the process.

I t's been a hefty workload for Slovenia's small team of national
development experts just to make sure that everything remains on
track, says Urog Mahkovec, ACP counsellor at Slovenia's
Representation to the EU. This includes moving ahead with talks on
turning initialled 'interim' Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) -
the ACP-EU free trade agreements into 'full' ones by the end of the
year and ironing out the remaining wrinkles in the legal texts with CAR-
IFORUM* partners for the signature of their full regional EPA at the end
of July 2008 in Barbados. Forty-two ACP states mostly Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) have yet to sign up for any EPA.
Follow-up to the Africa-EU Lisbon summit and ensuring momentum in
attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on the agenda of
the EU Summit in June 2008, were other Presidency priorities. And
Slovenia's State Secretary of Foreign Affairs is now a familiar face fol-
lowing a run of bi-lateral 'troika' between former, current and forthcom-
ing EU presidencies including Nigeria, Cape Verde and South Africa.
Support from the two preceding presidencies of Germany followed by
Portugal, has been invaluable to Slovenia, stresses Urog Mahkovec.
This 'trio' of countries drew up a joint development strategy spanning

18 months (January 2007-June 2008). Slovenia's special input was get-
ting EU member states to pay more attention to the effects of armed
conflict in developing nations on women and children. Two Slovenian
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); Together, the Regional
Centre for the Psychosocial well-being of children specialised in psy-
chological counselling and the International Trust Fund (ITF), involved
in de-mining projects are already globally recognized for their work
experience gained in their backyard of the Balkans.
Urog Mahkovec says that being a small country in the EU brings flexibility:

Everyone knows that there is no
huge national agenda in the

He points at the progress made in advancing Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPA). Slovenia arranged a meeting of 30 'key' ACP

Development Fund (EDF) which runs
2008 to 2013 and comes on stream from 1 July
2008. Slovenia will contribute -E40.827M.
This is a big arnount for a small country and is
prompting internal reorganisation of its
administration with plans to set up a specialist
agency for development. Slovenias- only
diplomatic presence is in Cairo. But others an
embracing of the new opportunities of
Cotonou, such as opporturnities for Sloveman
businesses and individuals.
For Slovenia, the recent 'troika' mission to
Fiji, 19-20 June, to esess the political situa- 0
tion and Fijis commitment to mourir new par-
liamentary elections in the wake of the
tary takeover in December 2006
of 06
Commander Frank Bainimararna, de
states the power of dialogue enshrined i-
cl 96 of Cotonou. The ousting of de rati-
cally-clected Prime Minister Laisen' arase,
was dercd to constitute a bre of the-
es.&ential elemee' of the Cot u agrce-
ment:1human iights, demoera'ltiWOf"inciples and
the rule of law (sec separate article on Fiji in
'Round up). D.P.
* Sec article in ttris issue on ACP Ministerial meeting in
Websites: www.itf fund.si; wwv.togeiher foundation.si

gained in the
mine victim, A
)ebra Percival; Slovenia; EPAs; 10th EDF; Fund for DE
(Cotonou; Fiji.

"There are not so many conceptions of the principle of the separation of powers, the
presumption of innocence or of freedom of expression!" With these words, European
Development Commissioner, Louis Michel set the tone for the debates of the 15th EU-
ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), held in Ljubljana from 17 to 20 March.

governance, democracy and human
rights with the crises in Chad and
Kenya and the Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) looming large in the back-
ground and it sparked heated debate between
MEPS and parliamentarians from the ACP
(Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) states.
One positive sign was the JPA's success in
reaching agreement on the pressing issue of
Kenya. The successful resolution of the crisis
and Kofi Annan's mediation were welcomed.
Parliamentarians from the four continents
called on Nairobi to ensure that violations of
election law were iniip.'.il!!.i and rigorously
investigated." At the same time they wel-
comed the political agreement reached at the
highest level of the Kenyan state in an emer-
gency resolution. Kofi Annan's mediation was
"proof that Africans are able to provide their
own response to crisis," declared Peya
Mushelenga, a Namibian MP.

> Failure ouer Chad

In contrast, Chad can only be described as a
failure. The ACP camp, invoking the absence

of any Chadian representative in the assembly,
finally refused to approve a compromise text
condemning President Idriss Dby's repres-
sion of the unarmed opposition. This action
was strongly disapproved of by many of their
European colleagues, who saw it as an attempt
at obstruction on the part of Chad. Also, they
suggested, proof of the over-cautiousness of
certain ACP parliamentarians, particularly
when questions of human rights and gover-
nance are on the table.
German MEP Jurgen Schrder described it as
"disappointing that they rejected such a bal-
anced text," especially one that condemned
attacks by armed rebels against President
Dby as well as the actions of the French NGO
Arche de Zo. "The country's lasting stability
must involve a political opening up to all these
internal components," wamed Louis Michel.
With his usual passion, Commissioner Michel
stressed that good governance is precisely
what the ACP countries need for development,
and also pointed out that a strengthening of the
state was a key aim for the Commission:
"Strengthening the public institutions is the
priority of our actions," the Commissioner
explained, citing as proof the big increase in

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Interaction EU-ACP

the share of direct budgetary aid for the 2008-
2013 period under the 10th European
Development Fund (EDF). This means over
the run of the 10th EDF, 47 per cent of funds
will be allocated directly to ACP state budgets,
enabling them to improve their public services
in key sectors such as education and health.
This new approach also implies increased
responsibility by national governments in
areas like human rights and democracy as well
as engaging in a genuine political dialogue
with the EU.
The emphasis placed on the role of govern-
ment was also intended to reassure parliamen-
tarians engaged in negotiations on the
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
After the passion generated by this sensitive
issue at the previous session in Kigali,
Rwanda, in November 2007, the tension eased
somewhat in Ljubljana, without fully dis-
pelling concerns. "Conflict and contention has
mired the whole EPA process", summed up
Glenys Kinnock, co-President of the Joint
Parliamentary Assembly, during the opening
ceremony. Later, her ACP colleague, Wilkie
Rasmussen, of the Cook Islands, drew atten-
tion to the consequences of European agricul-
tural subsidies on the economies of poor coun-
tries and criticised the Commission's negotiat-
ing strategy.

> Full EPOs

However, Commissioner Michel looked to the
future to convince both African and Pacific

countries to negotiate full EPA agreements
modelled on the one already concluded by the
Caribbean region. Following the signing of the
so-called 'interim' agreements, in response to
the WTO demands at the end of 2007, the
European Union (EU) is now calling on the
ACP countries to ratify the interim agreements
and conclude EPAs. He also offered reassur-
ance on the social consequences and the pro-
gressive nature of opening up to trade. "I am
not a major champion of unfettered liberalisa-
tion", declared Michel, restating the EU's
commitment to providing financial support for
countries throughout the process of progres-
sively opening up to world markets. His com-
ments were backed up by the European
Economic and Social Committee (EESC),
which welcomed the EPA's social chapter con-
cluded with the Caribbean region and invited
the African states to follow this example.
Nevertheless, access to the marketplace is a
"necessary, but insufficient condition for
development", explained Grard Dantin, the
EESC representative.
To allow the ACP economies to progressively
strengthen their competitiveness before taking
the 'plunge' into full to global competition, the
Commission is focusing on regional integra-
tion. Michel is preparing a communication on
the subject for September and has invited the
ACP parliamentarians to express their opin-
ions as part of the current public consultation
process. Under the terms of the EPAs, the ACP
countries will open up 80 per cent of their
trade in goods over a 15-year transition period.

However, the Ljubljana debates underlined
that the subject was far from closed. "Many
questions remain unanswered", stressed Ali
Farah Assoweh, Finance Minister of the
Republic of Djibouti and President-in-Office
of the ACP Council. He went on to set out a
series of conditions for signing an EPA,
including protection of the most sensitive sec-
tors of the ACP economies and additional
financing to support the transition to free
trade. The road to full EPAs will remain "long
and painful", he forecast.
After this first meeting in one of the 'new'
Member States that joined the EU in 2004, the
assembly will be turning to new horizons for
its next session. However, the subjects on the
agenda are likely to remain much the same -
governance, development and trade. Indeed,
the MPs, NGOs and Commissioners still have
much to do to prove that EU-ACP relations are
also "a union between peoples", to cite Hans-
Gert Pttering, President of the European
The next Assembly is scheduled for Port
Morseby, Papua New Guinea, November 22 to
28 2008. M

*Brussels-based journalist

JPA (Joint Parliamentary Assembly);
ACP; EPAs; Chad; Ljubljana.

ACP Interaction

Obseruing the positives

- l l, I lll 'I l i 1 l-h -11 I h Ihi-
".,I,-I,- I- ii, h II .ii I- .
Udk dl L PUUu Al yIqu,. Iiiiuii
Photo bv Islde Ceroni

t is our duty to erase the negative perceptions and to high-
light the positive elements of migration," said Sir John
Kaputin, ACP Secretary General. The 'ACP Group
Brussels Resolution on Migration and Development'
adopted at the meeting will be presented to the upcoming Global Forum
on Migration, in Manila, the Philippines, in October 2008. It calls for
more research into why people move, including the connection with cli-
mate change and to urgently halt the dumping of toxic waste in ACP
waters a practice which induces migration. Improved management of
asylum, migration and mobility by ACP governments is another recom-
The commissioning by the ACP Secretariat of a study by 2009 on best
practices for the promotion of the integration of migrants in host coun-
tries is requested. Innovative solutions to illegal migration to arrest the
'brain drain' of skilled workers from ACP countries are also called for.
'Circular' migration allowing greater flexibility of workers to enter
overseas job markets and retum to his or her country of origin with
greater ease should be taken forward, said ACP Ministers. The resolu-
tion also says governments should tackle the issue of migrants working
without documentation and that ACP nations should ratify legal frame-
works to tackle human smuggling.

Responding to journalists' questions on the recent violence in South
Africa directed at Zimbabwean migrants, Senator Elma Campbell,
Minister of State for Immigration of the Bahamas, who chaired the
Brussels meeting said: "We urge ACP states to implement legislation to
combat racism and xenophobia and increase awareness of the phenom-

> fCP migration Obseruatory

Aya Kasasa, in charge of Culture and Migration at the ACP Secretariat,
told journalists that an ACP 'Facility on Migration' is being set up with
25M of funds provided by the EU's 9th European Development Fund
(EDF). In a first step, the ACP Secretariat's tendering process is cur-
rently underway to choose a consortium to set up a focal Migration
Observatory with a network of observatories in six ACP regions: West
Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa, the Caribbean
and the Pacific. Initially, its focus will be on migration between ACP
countries rather than South-North movements. Migrants are often not
incorporated into development projects.
The Observatory will comprise academic researchers, civil society,
existing migrants' networks and even individual migrants. It will collate

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Interaction ACP

facts and research on migratory flows, the
nature and degree of migration, existing proj-
ects for migrants, economic and social statis-
tics and the effects of migration on poverty,
trade and health. The aim is to provide new
information and fresh research and to come up
with initiatives for decision-makers. "We are
not interested in duplicating efforts, but rather
to build on the already existing research," said
Andrew Bradley, ACP Assistant Secretary
General for Political Affairs and Human
Development. Added Sir John: "as developing
countries, ACP states have an active role in
shaping the migration debate."
In a later phase, the Facility will look at
strengthening both regional ACP bodies and
national ministries on migration issues in 12
pilot countries; Senegal, Nigeria, Tanzania,
Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Cameroon, Angola, Lesotho, Haiti, Trinidad
and Tobago, Papua New Guinea and Timor

Leste. Another of the Facility's components to
come later is to build the role of civil society
into discussions of issues affecting migrants.
Said Ndioro Ndiaye, Deputy Director General
of the International Organisation for Migration
invited to speak at the ministerial meeting: "...
the EU's development aid should give more
attention and more merit to the efforts of the
ACP diaspora in EU Member States, their
potential to multiply development aid by way
of remittances, transfer of knowledge and pro-
fessional experience."
Another invitee, Belgium's Minister for
Migration, Annemie Turtelboom, welcomed the
fact that the debate on migration within the EU
had moved on since 2006 when, "Europe looked
at migration from a defensive point of view.
Those who think they can stop or interrupt this
migration with repressive measures are mis-
taken." She said that in 2050 Belgium was on
course to be short of 360,000 in its working

population. "If Belgium closes its frontiers to
immigration, the shortage will be 984,000 per-
sons, a shortage representing 23 per cent of its
population," she told ACP Ministers.
She called for migration to be organised and
managed in a way that is beneficial for all:
migrants, the country of origin and the country
of destination. "It's what 1 would call a triple
win/win situation," Minister Turtelboom told
her ACP counterparts. She said this was
encompassed in the EU's idea for a 'blue card'
for migrant workers. "The project to organise
economic migration is an alternative to the
illegal migration of migrants and is one of the
measures to combat working in the black," she
told ACP Ministers.

Migration; ACP Ministers; Debra Percival.

ent qu'on ne j

dur d nchez





become an flfrican

economic dragon?

On 27 February, the President of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza on a visit
to the Netherlands delivered an address to the Dutch community to attract private
investment. Over the past decade, successive presidents of Mozambique have paid reg-
ular tribute to their main economic partners who have played their part in making
Mozambique one of the more attractive economies in Africa. Over the past few years,
Mozambican exports have grown at an average rate of 10 per cent per year and the
forecast for 2008 is 7 per cent.

S since the year 2000, Mozambique's ''ii
economy has recorded an annual
growth rate of 8 per cent and the
country bas benefited from increasing
foreign direct investment, specifically in min-
eral resources but also in industry, agro-indus-
try and services, whilst infrastructure building
is still booming. At the same time, the co'intr,: -
has implemented successful fiscal and mni. c e
tary policies. This has brought down the in i.i j.
tion rate from 13 per cent in 2002-2004 |..
per cent in 2005-2007. Mozambique is ..I,
striving to maximise agriculture and siiiil l
enterprises. Changes to taxation and the b.Kni.-
ing system have been made in favour of sni.l .
The Ambassador of Mozambique te ic l
Benelux and the European Commun i- c,
Maria Manuela Lucas, followed up a vi,,I ,I
her President to the Netherlands, focusin._ F c
speech in Utrecht on a sound financial
industry in rural areas.
The Netherlands is a good example '
for Mozambique.
In his speech in Rotterdam,
President Guebuza noted that "in
2006, [Mozambique's] exports to
the Netherlands amounted to over M

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008


US$1.4 bn against US$6.5 million in
2001. Similarly, imports from the
Netherlands increased from US$9.4
million in 2001 to US$423 million in
2006." With US$1 million invested in
Mozambique in 2003, China ranked
ninth in the table of top investors in the
...'" country. By 2007, it had climbed to
..sixth place with US$60 million invest-
ed, but still some way behind top
100-0investor, the United States of America
S. with US$5 bn.
-Over the past few years, Mozambique
r' has grown in its attractiveness as an
investment destination. It is one of the
countries whose foreign investments
have been guaranteed by the World
Bank's Multilateral Investment
Guarantee Agency (MIGA) since 1994.
Among the sectors in MIGA's portfolio
are manufacturing, agribusiness,
tourism, oil and gas and infrastructure.
The tourism sector, for instance, regis-
tered a total of US$144 million in 2006.
And the unspoilt wilderness of the
Niassa Reserve of Northern
Mozambique has become a big tourist
destination. The Mozambique govern-
ment is expecting large gains from this sector during the 2010 World
Cup in South Africa.
: The elimination of subsidies, reduction and simplification of imports
tariffs and liberalisation of crop marketing feature among economic
reforms. A large privatization programme was implemented in the
banking sector and in state manufacturing companies. New tax codes
were adopted to lessen the impact of past inflation.
In the near future, Mozambique has the potential to develop big niches
in various sectors. Only a small amount of its oil and gas reserves have
been exploited so far and it has huge mineral resources. The govern-
ment is putting a lot of emphasis on the development potential of agri-
culture, not only for consumption but also for energy. Estimations of the
country's bio-energy potential are around 40M litres of bio-diesel and
21M litres of bio-ethanol per year. The government is, however, fully
aware of the need to balance such potential with farming to feed its peo-
ple. Economic growth seems to have been unaffected by the 2007
floods in the country.
Could Mozambique soon become an African economic dragon? The
answer is linked to another question. Despite the current growth rate,
how long will it be to bring down the figure of 50 per cent of the
Mozambican population still living in poverty? Mozambique's govern-
ment also seems to be fully focused on this issue. H.G. M

Maputo, mobile adversiting
U lmbierto Marin- TimeForAfrica Onlus

Hegel Goutier; Mozambique; economy; MIGA; Armando Emilio
Guebuza; Maria Manuela Lucas.



H day in the life of



Derek Walcott is a literary jetsetter. Today he's invited by the Sevottefonds Herman* to
give a poetry reading at Belgium's Universiteit Katholieke Leuven (Catholic
University of Leuven). Next week**, he's off to the Calabash literary festival in Jamaica
to read a new poem, 'The Mongoose', which makes jibes at another Caribbean writer
from Trinidad and Tobago, V.S. Naipaul. Born in St. Lucia, Walcott was winner of the
1992 Nobel Prize for Literature for his re-working of the epic Omeros (1990) which
puts the drama of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey in a Caribbean setting. He's also one of
Boston University's most famous academics.

W alcott published his first
poem at the age of 14. The
wrongs of 400 years of colo-
nial rule in the Caribbean yet
the celebration of the hybridisation of its cul-
tures with a search for personal identity, are
central themes in his work; a wealth of poetry
and over 20 plays including, Henri Christophe
(1950), Ti Jean and his Brothers (1958) and
Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967). The
poem, North and South (1981) puts over the
quest for identity:
"a colonial upstart at the end of the empire,
a single, homeless, 'i,, i,,, .. l, "
He was educated in St. Mary's College,
Castries, St. Lucia and studied at the
University College of the West Indies in
Kingston Jamaica and also went to theatre
school in New York (1958-1959). His early
career was in teaching in the Caribbean, also
as a journalist for Public Opinion in Jamaica
and feature writer and drama critic for the f
Trinidad Guardian. His passion for the theatre
was also precocious. Aged just 20, he set up ......
the St. Lucia Arts Guild. In 1966, he formed
the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.
> Painter painting, capturing the essence of St. Lucia's It's in St. Lucia during time out from literary
overwhelming natural beauty: "I was there circuit that life cones close to any sort of rou-
Following in the shoes of his amateur water- two days ago and it was a terrific day... stag- tine: "After breakfast and doing some work, 1
colourist father, he is now spending more time gering," he tells us when we meet in Leuven. go down for a mid-moming swim and back for

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008


lunch and a nap. 1 never work late at night
though sometimes late afternoons when 1 have
theatre rehearsals." The exhilaration of swim-
ming is captured in one of his painting simply
entitled, The Swimmer. It depicts a lone man
wading into the sea as the waves rush in to bat-
ter his body. He likes the reality of a landscape
or portrait rather than abstract art.
Having spent several years teaching creative
writing at Boston University, he still has a base
in nearby New York but now spends more time
in St. Lucia at his home at the islands' north-
em tip, the Cap, where there are views of the
Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic
Ocean on the other.

> Riuire Dore

He breaks off from our chat to suggest we look
out of the window onto Leuven's old square.
The university dates back to 1425.
Surprisingly perhaps, he doesn't say anything
about the magnificently rebuilt gabled build-
ings. At a guess, he's probably more inspired
by the sensory natural pleasures of St. Lucia
and the Caribbean rather than the rows of caf
society below. He goes on to evoke one of his
favourite spots in St. Lucia, Rivire Dore,
near Choiseul in the south, a tucked away fish-
ing cove bathed in a golden light in the
"I have a new book of poems which will come
out next year. Generally it's about what hap-
pens to you personally as a writer and what
goes on with our life; what our losses and gains

are." His voice is also melodious and draws
you in. Interacting with Mr Walcott, there's
almost a feeling that you are in a play. At any
moment, he might drop a descriptive gem.
Coming back to St. Lucia. What's so special
about the island where he was born?: "The St.
Lucian topography, the sudden conical moun-
tains and the sea.
To have that everyday in your life is a bless-
ing." He is clearly worried, however, about the
effects of tourism on his island and the wider
Caribbean: "When the place is small, when the
race is different and when you have to be del-
icate about the history of a place, you can have
a big threat. Right now, 1 have someone who is
trying to build a set of condos next to my
house. It's been brought to my doorstep as it
will be brought to many other peoples'
doorsteps." He continues: "There are big
hotels going up and the emphasis is smile and
be happy, be courteous but this is dangerous
and I'm writing about that." Tourism is not a
crime, he says, but he feels that developers and
governments should give more to developing
the Caribbean's cultural wealth. "What you can
do is to take the same industry and make people
pay for what they are doing. For example, get a
theatre built, a museum and a few scholarships.
They are afraid to tax the tourist investor but if
you don't do that you have a transient economy."

> "My beach"

He continues: "I used to go down to 'my
beach' (Rodney Bay). You know all Caribbean

people have their own beach. Well, there's a
hotel there now. 1 feel displaced by the hotel
which is a stupid feeling because 1 can swim
anywhere else but 1 just feel that it belonged to
me. 1 don't think a hotel is a good enough
compensation for what 1 have lost. This is a
kind a metaphor for everything in the
Caribbean.You cannot have a country with a
shed for a theatre. 1 am very disappointed in
the conventionality of Caribbean govern-
We come back to his immediate plans: "I am
working on screen plays at the moment. 1 am
going to make a couple of movies I hope. He
says one is a screenplay of Ti-Jean, the other a
domestic play set in Port of Spain, Trinidad
and Tobago. "Ti-Jean is a fable about a boy
and his two brothers set in Soufrire, St. Lucia.
One brother is physically strong. The other
one thinks he's an intellectual, a big lawyer
who questions everything. The moral is look
out for the devil," says Walcott.
This autumn he'll be in London to direct the
play of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, The Burial
of Thebes, at the Globe Theatre. He clearly
enjoys the company and contact with others
that theatre brings.
The following evening, we meet up again at
the Passa Porta, a literary spot in downtown
Brussels. After a reading from Omeros, he
takes questions from a well-informed audience
on Caribbean identity, the use of Creole in lit-
erature... He clearly relishes the public plau-
dits for his work but at one point, a look of
vulnerability at its relentless dissection that an
author of his stature is forced to submit to,
comes across his face. He's probably looking
forward to the routine of those moving swims
in the source of his inspiration, St. Lucia.
* The Sevottefonds Herman was founded in 2004 as a trib-
ute to the deceased professor of English literature, Herman
Servotte to promote the study of English literature.
** The journalist met the poet in Leuven on 15 May 2008.

Top: Soufrire, St. Lucia.
Setting for Ti-Jean' 2006.
Mark Percival

Debra Percival; Derek Walcott; St. Lucia;
Caribbean; Nobel Prize; literature.


ur Planet


deployed for pouerty


The link between satellite technology and poverty eradication is not obvious. The
European Commission's (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) is analysing very high resolu-
tion images to this end. A political impulse to pioneer such research came from the
Summit of Africa and EU Summit of Heads of States in December 2007.

fauna, expanding farmland, and
fires are just some of the things that
can all monitored by high defini-
tion images from satellites 850 kilometres
above the Earth. In turn, this means better man-
agement of forests and avoidance of conflict,
both of which lead to poverty eradication, says
Dr. Alan Belward, Head of the Global
Environment Monitoring Unit of the European
Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The JRC team is looking at "how the optimal

use of satellites assists development."
Research and statistics gathered by his team of
8-9 scientists, including an African trainee,
headquartered in Ispra, Italy, is filling an infor-
mation gap and helping donors and govern-
ments in planning and making decisions.
Currently focused on Africa, there is no rea-
son why it cannot eventually be applied to the
Caribbean and Pacific, says Dr. Belward.
Satellite technology is nothing new. The first
global satellite was launched in 1957 and the
first observer satellite in 1972. It's only in the

last 10 years, however, Ii ib., c. have been
used for agricultural forecasting and as a
"development tool." Agreements the JRC has
for satellite use include one with the European
Organisation for the Exploitation of
Meterological Satellites (EUMESTAT), which
collates meteorological statistics and monitors
climate change.
Broadly, satellite imagery can be used in four
areas of development policy: protecting natural
resources; humanitarian relief and develop-
ment support; disaster reduction initiatives and

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

Our Planet

- ^ *

-4 %

* '

At, '



early estimates of crop yields and crop failure
Dr. Belward shows us high resolution images
of Lake Chad in 1963 to compare with a more
recent image. They reveal the lake's startling
shrinkage. Land degradation and deforestation
and loss of biodiversity can all be monitored in
this way.

> Who's escaping tas?

And images of roads in forest areas can pin-
point logging activities, thus providing infor-
mation to authorities of illegal logging and just
who should be taxed. Dr. Belward stresses the
need for African ownership of such statistics.
These can be passed on to bodies such as the
African Forest Observatory (FORAF) which
has just opened new offices in Kinshasa under
the Congo basin forest partnership and will fur-
ther develop the monitoring of logging activi-
ties throughout the Congo basin.
Images analysed by the JRC show that since
the 1970s, 50,000 square kilometres of natural
vegetation in Africa has become agricultural
land an area one and a half times the size of
Belgium, although this is just a fifth of the rate
of loss in South Asia and a half of that occur-
ring in the Amazon. Dr Belward says that the
current rate of deforestation in Congo basin
countries; Cameroon, Gabon, Burundi,
Republic of Congo is just 0.17 per cent which
can be put down to improved management of
Another image of Park 'W' stretching across
Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, picks out the
clusters of farming activity on the park's
perimeter. Infrared imagery shows where fires
are burning. SMS or emailed messages can be
sent straight to park rangers so they can check
out the fires. The development of automatic
alarm systems could have enormous potential
for areas such as forest management, indicates
Dr. Belward.
Threats to biodiversity can also be geospatially
registered. The JRC is monitoring the disap-
pearance of biodiversity in 741 protected areas
in Africa, home to 280 species of mammals,

381 bird species and 930 amphibians.
Information updated every ten days is collated
by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN). A website has been set up to
make public all results.
On top of conservation, satellites can be useful
in humanitarian relief. Very high resolution
imagery is able to monitor refugee camps in
crisis areas such as Darfur. This helps in esti-
mating the number of people hosted in the
camp and in need of assistance. The JRC is also
working with the World Bank and other institu-
tions to develop methodology to observe and
eventually prepare for risks such as earth-
quakes, aiming to eventually limit the amount
of havoc they wreak.
Crops are also being monitored with agro-
meteorological models developed in over 30
countries vulnerable to crises and food short-
ages. Due to its recurrent food shortages and an
absence of regional monitoring, the Horn of
Africa is under particular observation. Monthly
reports on crop conditions, yield, prospects and
likely food shortages are issued between April
and October, with information passed on to EU
offices and UN partners.

Satellite images showing abandonment of agriculture in
Angola. Left 1970s note bright green patch in centre.
By 2000s, this has disappeared. c JRC Ispra
Images of Lake Chad now (top) and in 1963 (below), a
more extensive body of water. JRcispra

JRC; Africa; forests; conservation; Debra



Dossier by Francis Kokutse,
Debra Percival, Hegel Goutier

This issue turns the spotlight on Ghana, regarded as
one of Africa's shining stars and which between 30
September-3 October this year will host the only
sixth-ever Summit between the 79-member African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group in its capital,
Accra. Ghana's lasting multi-party democracy, steady'
economic growth, increasing numbers enjoying an
education and very active non-state sector, are just
some of its widely recognized attributes. Highly-skilled
Ghanaians in ail sectors to name just one, former
Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi
Annan have made their mark internationally. The
country's big diaspora, both within and outside the

continent, continue to send remittances home to fur-
ther the country's development. Ghanaian peacekeep-
ers are sought after for both regional and UN mis-
As current President, john Agyekum Kufuor, winds up
his two terms in office in December 2008 when pres-
idential and parliamentary elections will take place,
\ve trace the country's history and what the political
future holds. We look at whether it can continue to
benefit from buoyant commodity exports despite the
steep rise in two of its biggest imports; oil and food-
stuffs and how European Union (EU) aid is helping it
to meet the Nlillennium Development Goals (N1DGs).

report Ghana



from flncient Ghana

hIc!c is strong symbolism. In 1957,
hcn the Gold Coast was the first
A !!can country in line for inde-
pcndence from colonial rule, its
leaders retrieved from the past the prestigious
name of Ghana. As with ancient Ghana, the
modern nation accumulated its wealth from
gold. In fact, present-day Ghana has hardly
any links with the Ghana of the past, which
covered northern parts of today's Senegal and
southem parts of today's Mauritania. Modem
Ghana is located some 600 kilometres south-
east. Not only is the location different, but
only a few ethnic links exist between the pop-
ulations of the ancient and modern Ghana.
It was probably on the eve of the first millen-
nium AD that various clans of the Soninke
people were gathered by Dinga Cisse to create
the nation of Ghana. The real name of the
country was the Soninke Kingdom, whereas
Ghana was the title of the King. Arab writers
retained it, however, for the state.

Ancient Ghana was rich in gold mines,
according to the descriptions of various Arab
writers such as Al-Hamdani. It also became
wealthy from trade in salt, copper and, on a
smaller scale, slaves. Its capital, Kumbi Saleh,
took advantage of its location at the end point
of the Saharan routes trekked by Maghreb
traders. These trading links brought Islam to
the country. The Muslims living in Kumbi
Saleh at first used to stay far from the King's
Palace but later, some of them, the more liter-
ate, were appointed to the local administra-
For a multitude of reasons during the two first
centuries of the second millennium, Ghana
started to decline. The principal reasons were
the long periods of drought and the opening of
new routes to other gold mines discovered in
Bure, in present-day Guinea. And Ghana was
Occupied by the Almoravid; it is not clear

whether they invaded the country with their
army or whether their influence was gradual.
Afterwards, the Sosso ruler, Sumanguru, took
control of the country but in 1236 he was
defeated by Sundiata Keita and fours years
later Ghana was absorbed by his Empire,

Archaeological digs indicate that modern
Ghana was inhabited in the early Bronze Age,
around 4000 BC. But at the beginning of the
10th century, the modern population of Ghana
started to settle in the present location of the
country. It was only at the end of the 17th cen-
tury, however, that most of the ethnic groups
constituting the Ghanaian nation had assem-
bled, among them Akan, Twifu and Mande,
the latter from the modern Nigeria (at the time
the Hausa states). One of the branches of the
Akan people, the Asante, was to play a promi-
nent role in the constitution of modem Ghana.
The Asante were more unified than the other
groups and before the mid-17th century they
radiply expanded, establishing a strong nation.
By the end ofthe 17th century, their ruler, Osei
Tutu, was proclaimed Asantehene, the king of
the Asante. The Asante conquered many other
Akan states. Their empire gave sufficient
autonomy to each minor state, yet the common
interest was always safeguarded, resulting in a
very well-organised state from the middle of
the 18th century which was still solid at the
beginning of the 19th century.

From the beginning of the 16th century, inhab-
itants of the Gold Coast, specifically the Akan,
used to trade with the Portuguese, who arrived
in 1471. Adventurers from most European
countries tried to settle in the Gold Coast. The
Dutch followed the Portuguese and later came
the English, Swedish and Danish. The British

established the British African Company of
Merchants in 1750. The slave trade outshone
the gold in the Gold Coast with the establish-
ing of the big plantations in the Americas. The
West coast of Africa soon became the first
provider of slaves to the American continent.
In the 18th century, 4.5 million slaves where
shipped from West Africa to America.
In 1844, the British signed a Bond with Fante
chiefs. In 1873, they captured the Asante
chief, Kumasi, and established a colony on
the Gold Coast. Contrary to the French who
built a vast colony under the administration of
a governor-general, Great Britain opted for
separate colonies with relative self-determi-
At the end of a long Anglo-Asante war, the
British established a protectorate over Asante
in 1896. The local administration was divided
in two between the traditional chiefs in the
native authorities and the people's elected
representatives in the towns and municipal
councils. In 1902, the Northern territories
were proclaimed a British protectorate. The
end of World War 1 led to a change in German
Togo which passed to British control in 1919.
During the Second World War, Gold Coast
African forces fought in Ethiopia against
Italian forces and in Burma alongside the
British and Indians against the Japanese army.

The first nationalist movement to target self-
government of the Gold Coast, if not its full
independence, was the United Gold Coast
Convention (UGCC) created in 1947 by a
group of educated people whose Secretary
General was the theoretician and nationalist,
Kwame Nkrumah. After studies in the United
States of America and in Great Britain,
Nkrumah was one of the activists who partici-
pated in the 1945 Manchester Congress of the
Pan-African Congress. In June 1949, Kwame
Nkrumah broke with the UGCC, which he


considered too conservative, and put in place a
genuine pro-independence organisation, the
Convention People's Party (CPP). In the
meantime, Nkrumah became one of the
'Veranda boys' (close to the ordinary people
rather than the intelligentsia). He was arrested
and detained and became one of country's
more popular leaders. In 1950, the CPP
launched a campaign of 'positive action' (non-
violent action). Nkrumah was arrested again,
along with many other leaders. Nkrumah
became a symbol, a martyr, a hero. Whilst still
in jail, in February 1951, he won a seat in the
first legislative elections under the new consti-
tution and his party, the CPP, a two-thirds
The Asante community party, National
Liberation Movement (NLM), which was
established in 1954, opposed the CPP which
demanded immediate independence and the
assembly was dissolved in July 1956. The
governor agreed to give independence if
demanded by two-thirds of the representatives
of the assembly. The CPP again won by a two-
thirds majority. Prior to this election, a refer-
endum was organised by the United Nations
on the future of British Togoland (linked to the
Gold Coast) and French Togoland. This refer-
endum led to the reunification of the two parts
of Togo under the French regime.
Independence of the new nation named Ghana
was celebrated on 6 March 1957. The country

became a republic by referendum on 1 July
and Nkrumah became one of the prominent
leaders of the Third World. In 1964, Ghana
was proclaimed a one-party state. Two years
later, an army coup overthrew Nkrumah dur-
ing a visit to China. The National Liberation
party took power.


The Progress party headed by Kofi A. Busia
won the 1969 elections and he became Prime
Minster. But a coup organised by General
Ignatius Acheampong brought the National
Redemption Council (NRC), a military junta,
to power in January 1972. The NRC was
replaced in 1975 by another military junta, the
Supreme Military Council (SMC), also led by
Acheampong. A violent counter-coup was
conducted by junior officers commanded by
Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings in June
1979. Many members of the SMC were exe-
cuted and a purge of senior army officers car-
ried out. Hilla Limann became President of the
Republic in July 1979 but the civil administra-
tion was monitored by the 'June 4 Movement',
a military group. A high level of inflation and
the subsequently increasing cost of living
made Limann lose the support of workers and
the small section of the army that had backed
him. Rawlings staged his second coup on the
eve of 1981.

He remained chairman of the Provisional
National Defence Council for 12 years before
restoring a multiparty system in 1990 and
organising elections which he won in January
1993. He left power on 7 January 2001 after
two terms in office and was replaced by John
Agyekum Kufuor who is still in the post.
Since the moment that Jerry Rawlings estab-
lished a multiparty system, Ghana seems to
have anchored its democracy and moved
ahead with good governance. Its good reputa-
tion inside international institutions, as well as
amongst investors, bears testimony to this.

John Kufuor, President of Ghana and
then President-in-Office, African
Union (right). EU High
Representative Javier Solana (left).
Africa-EU Summit 2007.
European Council

Hegel Goutier; Ghana; Gold Coast;
Togoland; Dinga Cisse; Soninke; Asante;
Kwame Nkrumah; Jerry Rawlings; Kofi
Busia; Ignatius Acheampong; Hilla
Limann; John Kufuor.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

report Ghana

for December

Francis Kokutse*, Debra Percival


~a~z-~ -

h .l ,. .r" ,,ll ,', ,, l_.. l ll. ,







Ghana report

,hast growth rates have been regis-
c'Ied since 2000, in spite of oil price
hiLes. Growth of real domestic prod-
I,, 1 2000-2005, was up 3.7 per cent to
5.9 was 6.2 per cent in 2006. This is put down
to the strong performance of cocoa production
and marketing, construction, gold, forestry and
logging transport storage and communications,
according to European Commission statistics.
In the first two months of 2008, Ghana's
Central Bank Governor, Paul Acquah says,
merchandised exports for the first two months
of 2008 amounted to US$868 million, com-
pared with US$690.3 million for the same peri-
od in 2007. Gold has shone, says Acquah:
"Gold exports were US$404.4 million for the
first two months of 2008 as against US$263.71
million recorded for the same period in 2007."
He says exports of cocoa beans and products
have, however, dipped slightly, amounting to
U$227.4 million for the first two months of
2008 compared with U$247 million recorded
for the same period in 2007.
Whereas oil and food price hikes are causing
widespread dislocation of economies globally,
Kufuor recently noted that, "because of its
innate strength and resilience, our national
economy has managed to withstand the terrible
shocks of the market."
That does not mean that the country has been
spared from the effects of the global crises.
According to Kufuor, over the past year, the
nation's crude oil import bill had risen to
US$2.1 bn from US$500 million in 2005.

The President recently said, "some dire effects
of the escalating cost of oil include hikes in the
ex-pump price of petroleum and swelling trans-
portation costs which are affecting the distribu-
tion of food and general goods, and making life
more difficult for citizens." But to counter this,
"agriculture has done well over the past year as

a result of which local staples like maize, yam,
plantain, cassava and cocoyam are available"
and the government is to step up attention and
investments to agriculture. President Kufuor
has promptly calmed the nerves of Ghanaians
over increasing food prices.

Import duties on rice

and vegetable oil

were removed

to bring the price of the staples down.
The government's Deputy Information
Minister, Frank Agyekum, says that Ghana liv-
ing standards survey shows that these are high-
est level in eight in eight years, but Elvis
Efriyie Ankrah, deputy general secretary of the
opposition NDC, disputes this. He says that the
poor standard of living "has been brushed aside
with figures which do not reflect the true living
standards of the people."
Others argue that given healthy commodity
exports, Ghana should be should be having
"field day" which is not the case. Agriculture is
still low tech. There are land tenure uncertain-
ties, limited access to inputs and poor roads.
And the industrial sector is dominated by small
firms with low productivity. Foreign direct
investment was only US$156 million in 2005
according to United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development. (UNCTAD).
Tony Aidoo, a former NDC defence minister
says that the ruling NPP "came to power at the
time the economy was recovered and founda-
tions laid for a take-off. In 1982, the
Provisional National Defence Council
(PNDC), which metamorphosed to the NDC,
registered negative eight per cent growth. This
picked up to a positive seven per cent growth
and stabilised at five per cent by 2000."
Aidoo says, "the government is fortunate to be
in power during a boom time for commodity
prices," adding that it continued to increase

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

t :..-

t '

taxes and utility tariffs thereby making life
unbearable for the people." He adds, "This
government has been characterized by crony-
ism, vindication, and tribalism at level never
seen in this country before."
He is referring to the members of a previous
NDC government being tried and jailed under
the country's notorious 'Causing Financial
Loss to the State.' Incidentally, this was a law
that was enacted by the NDC whilst it was in
power. Frank Agyekum points out that, "no one
is in jail today that has not been through the
court." He adds that the government has con-
tinued to receive praise world-wide for its good
governance. "The government has repealed the
criminal libel law and today people speak their
mind and this is supported by the numerous
FM radio stations scattered all over the country
with their phone-in segments that allow ordi-
nary Ghanaians to call in to air their views."

And civil society's influence in decision-mak-
ing is increasing. Farmers' movements, Trade
Unions and professional associations have
always been on the scene but others such as
'home town' development organizations;
women's rights groups, welfare clubs, parent-
teacher associations and faith-based organisa-
tions are giving the new vibrancy to the civil
Says Steve Manteaw, campaign coordinator of
ISODEC, a social development and advocacy
Non Govemmental Organisation (NGO): "The
only attempt at real opposition in the country
within the past seven years has corne from civil
society." Manteaw says parliament is weak
because of those who make it up. "Sorne are
hollow and have no research background to
properly analyse issues critically." He said he
was approached by government to help build
the capacity of the members of the House this
year for instance, holding a training workshop
for 30 parliamentarians on the budget.

According to Manteaw, ISODEC has been
backed by the Churches in efforts to strengthen
strengthen democratic practice. He mentions
the Christian Council which has been involved
in the Global Campaign Against Poverty and
the Catholic Bishops' Conference, also doing a
lot of work in the area of good governance.
Taking some of the shine Ghana's model inter-
national image is slow progress in gender
equality. Women are under-represented in pub-
lic life and have weak entitlements to econom-
ic assets. There is legislation to protect the
rights of women and children such as the
National Gender and Children's policy 2004
and Early Childhood Care and Development
policy, but implementation is trailing say

And decentralisation

is also lagging

with the concems over local capacity. Although
the 2007 budget authorised a significant trans-
fer of civil servants from Ministries depart-
ments and agencies to district authorities for
implementation 2008, political reforms at local
level are still an issue. One third of the members
of District Assemblies and the District Chief
Executives are appointed by the President
rather than being elected. And chieftaincy relat-
ed disputes about land inheritance and succes-
sion potential to lead to local conflicts.
"The govemment has for the past seven years
not been clear with what it wants to do with
governance at the local level," says John
Larvie, Programme Coordinator of the Centre
for Democratic Development expressing a per-
sonal view: "Even though governance at the
local level is supposed to be non-partisan, the
govemment has tainted it with the appointment
of District Chief Executives along party lines.
Even the 30 per cent members of the district
assemblies that the govemment has appointed
have been chosen purely on party lines and

decisions continue to be taken at the centre and
this has corne to negate any attempt at decen-
tralising governmentt"
Looking ahead, sore political observers in
Ghana are already talking about the country
going the Kenyan way referring to the disor-
der that followed the mishandling of the elec-
tions in Kenya says Vladimir Antwi-Danso, a
senior Research Fellow at University of
Ghana's Centre for International Affairs. He
cautions that, "There are pockets of conflicts
that can escalate if the politicians do not handle
the elections very well."
Agyekum agrees that the, c, io.i. of the nation
is at stake and it is for this reason that the gov-
ernment has strengthened the Electoral
Commission to enable it to organise credible and
fair elections so that the gains that the govem-
ment has achieved are not derailed by rancour
and violence during and after the elections."
President Kufuor on his part has promised that,
"The Electoral Commission would be provided
with all the necessary resources to enable it
organise fair and credible elections."
So far, the political parties have embarked on
their campaigns without any hitch but this does
not mean that the government has no problems
to deal, says John Larvie. "President Kufuor
does not seem to have firm control over his
ministers. This stems from the way he has fre-
quently reshuffled them," he says.
And the NDC's Ankrah said there seems to be
a kind of schism between the presidency and
the ruling party. "When the President
expressed support Stephen Ntim at the last
national delegates congress, the party members
decided to vote their own choice. These were
followed by the delegates deciding against
Alan Kyermanten, who was the President
Kufuor's choice as his heir apparent. Now the
party is against him for deciding to nominate
Evans Atta Mills, the NDC's presidential can-
didate, for a national award."
At the last elections, the John Kufuor won
52.45 per cent of the vote and John Atta-Mills
of the National Democratic Congress, 44.64
per cent in Ghana's traditional two-party race.
Ankrah added that discerning voters "would best
go into the elections to pick whom they think is
best to put things right in the country". N

*Accra-based journalist.
** In the most recent 'Doing Business Report' (World Bank,
2006) Ghana ranks ainongst the top 10 reformers. In 2005,
Ghana ranked fourth in Africa in the growth competitive
index of the World Bank.

Ghana; politics; President John Agyekum
Kufour; Francis Kokutse; Debra Percival.


Ghana report

prudence and planning

Past and present, political stability goes hand in hand with a robust economy which
has enabled good economic planning and growth. New oil deposits bode well for the

f all the countries in the region, it
looks like Providence has chosen
Ghana on which to bestow its kind-
ness. The country has experienced
all sorts of pains but has remained intact. Like
other countries in the region, it has had its fair
share of disruptions in its political life with mil-
itary interventions. Fortunately, it has remained
the only country that has not faced any serious
civil strife.
Benefitting the incumbent government of
President John Agyekum Kufuor, growth has
been registered in the economy which remains

robust. And with the recent discovery of huge oil
deposits, there are signs that the country is on
course for a giant leap. President Kufuor could
not hide his dreams of a better Ghana when he
said in a recent broadcast to the nation that the
hike in global oil prices was but a challenging
moment and that "the inconveniences of the
moment can only be temporary. Let us therefore
look confidently into the future with hope."
Kufuor is right. With oil finds of more than 3.9
billion barrels, Ghanaians can be said to be
blessed at this time of their development and
this could be due to Providence smiling on the

people. Some analysts, however, disagree that
it is all down to Providence. The country has
since the 1960s been preparing for its future
prosperity, they claim. "There has been a lot of
work in that direction," said Fred Sagoe, a for-
mer employee of the Ghana National
Petroleum Corporation. "Prospecting for oil
has been all over the country and it is just
beginning to pay off. The country has also got
a sizeable number of petroleum engineers who
are working all over the world and so, it means
the country was silently preparing for its
future," he added.

-q .4
... q
- ~.

eplbrt Ghana


Vladimir Antwi-Danso, a senior research fel-
low of the University of Ghana's Centre for
International Affairs says "the foundation of
the country's economy was laid during the
first republic under the late Kwame
Nkrumah." At the time, not many people
realized that most of the policies being put into
place would benefit the country later. There
were those who criticised Nkrumah but his
policies set the tone for the direction in which
the country is moving today.
Antwi-Danso said that at the outset Ghana was
a closed economy. An import substitution pro-
gramme was put in place which at the time
was condemned as a bad choice. However, it
"brought about the construction of infrastruc-
tion which generated a high employment in
the country," he said. A good example is the
Volta Hydro-electric Project at Akosombo
which is today the country's main source of
power. In addition, Tema Port and its entire
township which was part of Nkrumah's indus-
trialisation plan, has remained one of the main
legacies that Nkrumah left the country.
Antwi-Danso said the government at the time
also embarked upon an accelerated education-
al programme through the Ghana Education
Trust that it set up. This led to the building of
more schools throughout the country. "The
consequence of this is that the country has
highly qualified human resources which it has
even exported to some developed countries
and is now benefiting from remittances," he
Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Paul Acquah,
has confirmed the growth in remittances.
Private inward transfers through the banks and

Nouakchott Opus incertum, artwork by Philippe Bernard.
Philippe Bernard (ww afriqueinvisu org)

finance companies for the first two months of
2008 amounted to US$1.380 bn which repre-
sents a 48.7 per cent increase over US$927.9
million recorded for the corresponding period
in 2007. "Of the total transfers at the end of
February 2008, US$275.5 million accrued to
individuals, compared with US$202.3 million
in February 2007," Acquah told a recent press
conference in Accra.
Whatever growth that the country is enjoying
today has been sustained from the past. Some
economic analysts say between 1970s and the
late 1980s, the country went through some
hard times. Much credit is hence given to for-
mer President, Jerry Rawlings, who was able
to maintain political stability in the country at
a time most of its neighbours were crumbling
under all sorts of civil strife.

Jacob Fredua, a taxi driver in Accra recalls
that, "at the time that Liberia and Sierra Leone
were under fire, Rawlings was able to keep
Ghana intact. When Togo was under fire under
the late Gnassingbe Eyadema, Ghana provided
a safe haven for Togolese. When the Ivorian
decided to kill each other, it was our country
that was used to find a solution to the problem
in Cte d'Ivoire."
This does not mean that Ghana has not got any
problems to deal with. There have been pock-
ets of insecurity in some parts of the country.
In the Northem, Upper East Region and lately,
the Volta regions, there have been outbreaks of
civil disorder but these have not disturbed the
peace, although loss of life has resulted.
Antwi-Danso says that political stability that
has given Ghana an edge over her neighbours.
This has enabled the country to grow. "A mas-



sive injection of capital is largely responsible
for lifting the the country up," he added.
He is right. When Ghana went through a
Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in
the mid-1980s, foreign capital was used to
revive an ailing economy. "The current regime
which has been in power for the past seven
years has been able to continue with the
rebuilding process through prudent economic
policies," added Antwi-Danso. The present
government has also been able to generate
substantial foreign investment by declaring the
country a Highly Indebted Poor Country
(HIPC). This provided multilateral debt relief.
"About US$6.2 bn of debt was written off
through the HIPC status declared by the coun-
try," said Antwi-Danso.
Thus, locally generated funds that might have
gone into debt repayment were used to instead
to finance infrastructure projects hence gener-
ating jobs within the economy. This has
enabled the country to maintain its growth and
control inflation up to this year when the glob-
al increases in oil prices and related food crisis
affected some of the modest growth recorded
over the past six years.
Notwithstanding this, Antwi-Danso says the
government has also been faithful to econom-
ic wisdom. He gives credit to the "the Bank of
Ghana which has also been up and coming
with its monetary policy." F.K. N

Francis Kokutse; Ghana; Politics;
President John Agyekom Kufuor; Food cri-
sis; Oil.


S- .J- -



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report i ,,'

Ghana In figures*

*,_ _*.1

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United hana lii .:..em.-nt. i li,LI and
Nati.:. nal Re-forrim 'ar t. (NPP.i

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'.:.mmirsi.:.n \\orld Pank tIrJND' Cl

* StJti ,-- l,:,l r _':,:o unlei_ .:.r.lhi .er .ie itjred

funding eligibility by measuring aspects such
as the government's progress in applying sta-
bility-oriented macroeconomic policies, public
finance reform and meeting poverty reduction
targets. The EU is expected to provide two sep-
arate budget aid programmes under the 10th
EDF, each of three years' duration.

The E95M sum earmarked for governance
will help move decentralisation forward.
Funds to this area will in part be budget sup-
port and part project aid, indicate European
Commission officials, financing projects such
as feeder roads, water and sanitation installa-
tions.This funding will tie in with the 2000
microprojects mounted under previous EDFs,
mainly in education, health and water. A recent
evaluation found that the involvement of
District Assemblies was crucial to the success
of such projects.
Monies set aside for governance will be used
to strengthen civil society (E8M) and non-
executive governance institutions (E4M) so
they can both engage in dialogue with local
government and act as a watchdog. The fund-
ing under the 10th EDF will especially target
grassroots and rural organizations. Funding
might also eventually go to non-executive
governance institutions, such as the Ghana
Audit Service, to help strengthen its links with

A E76M sum is set aside for transport. The
transport sector is seen as key to poverty
reduction. The EU has given its backing to the
drafting of a National Transport Integration
Plan covering ports, harbours, railways and
roads. With a new focus on regional integra-
tion, the 10th EDF will look at upgrading and
construction of trunk roads to boost Ghana as
a regional transport hub. The rehabilitation of
trunk roads in Western Ghana is targeted, but
new construction here will only be carried out
following social and environmental evalua-
tion. If there is insufficient evidence of the
benefits, then attention may be turned to other
trunk roads such as the continuation of the
Eastern corridor, indicate EU officials.

Of the E21M remaining, a E9M sum is
expected to go to trade facilitation, Ghana hav-
ing recently initialled an interim partnership
agreement with the EU. Funds are expected to
help the country be more competitive in non-

traditional exports and might also be chan-
nelled to improve customs documentation
8M of the remaining sum is earmarked for
natural resource management, including the
strengthening of key regulatory bodies
involved in natural resource management and
also for backing of the EU's Forestry Law
Enforcement, Governance and Trade
(FLEGT) scheme to curtail illegal logging.
And 2M of the total budget is earmarked for
migration, the diaspora and security.
One such project, indicate EU officials, could
be the compilation of a directory of Ghanaian
professionals, posting details of their respec-
tive businesses with easy-access email
addresses. Technical assistance for improving
the capacity of the police and migration agen-
cies in law enforcement is also earmarked.
Five per cent of Ghana's population is part of
the diaspora, with an estimated one million
Ghanaians residing in Africa (cited in Twum
Baah 2005) and 189,461 in the migration data-
base of the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development, not including
Germany. Other studies suggest there are
600,000 Ghanaians living in the UK and the
European Union alone.
The diaspora is also a substantial foreign
exchange eamer through both remittances to
Ghana and tourism. Many Ghanaians are high-
ly skilled and work in the health sector over-
seas. Construction in Ghana is a leading
growth sector and is partly financed by remit-
tances. The law has recently changed to allow
double nationality for Ghanaians and extend
voting to Ghanaians living abroad. In 2006, a
Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations
was also created. There is also a further two
million for a technical cooperation facility.
In addition to the focal package known as the
'A' package, a further 6.6M for the first two
years of the 10th EDF are budgeted in a 'B'
package covering unforeseen needs such as
emergency assistance, intemationally-agreed
debt relief initiatives and support to mitigate
adverse effects of instability in export eam-
ings. As part of the West African regional
organisation, the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS), Ghana will
also benefit from the EU's 10th regional
indicative programme for the West African
region and is eligible for further financing
both under the EU's Energy and Water facili-
ties and the EU-Africa partnership on infra-
structure. D.P. R

Ghana; EDF; Budget aid; Governance.


here must be something about
Ghana that has given the country a
leading role in West Africa even
though it is not a big economic
player. The people pride themselves as very
peaceful and this has been reflected in the fact
that the country has escaped all the traumas of
civil wars suffered by her neighbours.
In April this year, African Business, a pan-
African magazine published in London,
ranked Nigeria third in a list of African coun-
tries with the most 'top' companies on the
continent. Thirty Nigerian companies featured
among Africa's 'Top 200.' And the maga-
zine's regional statistics for West Africa are
even more revealing. In the magazine's rank-
ing for the 'Top 50' companies in West Africa,
Nigeria heads the list with 45 companies,
whilst just two Ghanaian companies featured.
What's more these, Standard Chartered Bank
and Ecobank Ghana Limited, are not indige-
nous Ghanaian-owned companies.
Given this, it would be expected that Nigeria
rather than Ghana would play a leading role in
the regional scheme of things in West Africa.
The opposite seems to be the case. An Accra-
based analyst, Jos Anyima-Ackah, says whilst
Ghana can boast of economic stability and
growth under a sustained democratic system,
this cannot be said of Nigeria.
Anyima-Ackah has observed that Ghana has
laid claim to the centre stage of business
investment in the African continent and sub-

region which Nigeria has not been able to
match. These facts worry some Nigerians who
see their country as a giant with no bite.
Vladimir Antwi-Danso, senior research fel-
low of the University of Ghana's Centre for
International Affairs says, "the reason why, in
spite of the lack of big business players,
Ghana still attracts serious business is because
of the perception that Nigeria is a corrupt
country. It does not mean that there is no cor-
ruption in Ghana. It exists but in a subtle form
whereas in Nigeria, it is widespread and this
has helped Ghana to provide a lead role in the
sub-region which it does by example."

Throughout the country's history, it has pro-
vided a safe haven for most of its neigh-
bours. During the Nigerian civil wars, it was
at Aburi, a small town outside Accra that the
warring factions brokered their peace.
Ghana has provided refuge for fleeing
Togolese, Ivorians, Sierra Leoneans and
Liberians during the civil wars in their vari-
ous countries.This is what has provided
Ghana some leverage over the other coun-
tries in the affairs of the regional grouping,
Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS).
According to one Nigerian journalist, Laide
Thomas, "apart from the peace that Ghanaians
take for granted themselves,

Ghana is the only

country in the region

that has the ability to

make things move.

There is uninterrupted water supply in most
towns across Ghana and electricity too, so
when Ghanaian leaders talk about what should
drive a country, the other leaders listen."
It is not surprising that Antwi-Danso says,
"Ghana has become a destination for the
establishment of business." Already the
Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) has decided to site the body's
Central Bank in the country. The West Africa
Monetary Institute is based in Ghana and all
this has come to prove that "Ghana indeed
plays a pivotal role in the ECOWAS agenda."
The role it continues to play has gradually
turned the country into a trade centre in West
Africa. Tema Port outside Accra has become
the transit base for land-locked countries like
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and this is
"because the country has opened its doors to
the movement of goods and services."

Francis Kokutse; Regional co-operation;
Ghana; ECOWAS; finance.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

report Ghana

friendly to a fault

Some Ghanaians complain that they are friendly to a fault. This has been translated
as 'Akwaaba' in the local Akan language, meaning 'welcome'. It is reflected in the
unconditional welcome when you arrive in any home in Ghana. This sort of friendli-
ness is the nectar attracting foreign visitors like insects.

prepare for the sudden interest in
ilie country as a tourist destination,
i le authorities have embarked on an
ambitiouss plan to attract at least
700,000 visitors by the end of next year. They
have cause to be hopeful because since 2005,
when the country recorded a total of 450,000
visitors, the figures have gone up annually,
says E; V. Hagan, a Director at the Ministry of
Tourism and Diasporan Relations.
In 2006, there were 500,000 visitors and last
year a total of 600,000 were recorded. As a
result, Hagan says the government is trying to
use the sector as part of a national effort to
reduce poverty by encouraging people to cre-
ate jobs through training in skills to enable
them to generate revenue for themselves.
The sudden interest in Ghana as a tourist desti-
nation is not by accident. Wilhelm Koch, a
German on vacation in Accra said, "the coui p
try was recommended to me by a friend w D
two years ago spent four weeks here. Th s
' encouraged mle to pay a visit and to see what 1e
means by friendly people." Koch says, "I a

not disappointed with my visit because the
people are very nice people and you forget you
are away from home. What is missing is a coor-
dinated plan to make tourism very fulfilling."
Hagan says the government is, "using the next
four years to improve facilities at all tourist
attractions in order to arrive at this goal. As a
result, we are developing all tourist attractions
in the country in order to make them accessi-
ble to visitors."

Twenty-one tourist attractions have been
selected for development. These include the
old slave market site at Assin Manso and the
final crossing point for slaves at Assin Praso.
In addition, the bigger t tree in West Africa, the
site at Akim Oda, Salia Slave market and te
Wli waterfalls, are all be made more i i.i. -
tive to visitors.
In spite of all these ef rts, Osah Thompsor -
Mensah, an analyst at 'obank in Accra sa) s

the country has much more to do to be able to
achieve its aim of a better tourist sector for the
"Existing hotels charge too much for the servic-
es they provide which is anyway not top-class,"
said Thompson-Mensah. In addition, the facili-
ties are not available to meet the needs of visi-
tors. These are areas that agencies involved in
tourist development should look at."
But the country's stability and the high inter-
national profile are in its favour. Thompson-
Mensah said, "it is important that investment
in the sector increase so that the country can
take advantage of the benefits of tourism."
He said it is clear that Ghana's tourism has a
good future: "What is left is to ensure that the
challenges that the sector faces should not
hold it back."

Ghana feport
Nana Kobina Gyan Square, Elmina
from 'Elmina. Building on the past to
create a better future' by E.van
Steekelenburg (ed.).

J m.........

1 10

DuSHuillun ulutures

eunj^Cior ^^yk^s or *o jTSjfSicall y m ixed gp ationie"atw'.t
^E^^ffl 1 P''. a"^^i
e oII r eliin atic an ai rCto icn f


oday, the island is engaged in eco-
nomic development to secure its
future. 30 per cent of its energy
already cornes from sustainable
sources and it aims to be the first country in
the world to make that 100 per cent. What's
more, it is a very beautiful island with fabu-
!,,il Ii il. I I i '. L i iii iii lii i i i 11 tI. I hi i
il C ll! i.!l i C .11 I! L IIl, iL" Cl LI ,, I ** ,l, I T hli lii -

Nl I .1 1 .i ~ '.i li t-. -i. 1 .11 1 1 t 11- i 1l
!l!c elc .I!,,, as'. lh i c IL I ..M I Il,,! I ll!. I

T ii ii lic i 'II il '. i i ,l i ii i il
I l Ii.t- I l i i i r I ,, .' i .i' i.i, Il li ii l

L.' l .i lli.Il ll sr l!., .iim IIm. l r ile L I I i i e..L ll l-

I llC il i i Lu- I l i [ iL i lu i .i, il .1 F L Lt I
'.aardous sea voyage. ...ill he men, the setters..! F
.iLI.l I. i ". 'i lii l l .- Ullh .' ii I l ill i] iL l l
and tholl se were in l itially their Tslaves and later
hired llabour, h'.ii''ad to make do with the few i I i

F ''l .I !'1 .1' I! .lm a ll l Ill .. il!!l! l ,,.,l. ! i| l l .

.,, hospitable and could only be reached after
., !iazardous sea voyage. The men, the settlers
and those were initially their slaves and later
hired labour, had to make do with the few
available women. The diverse origins of these
S women and their backgrounds of different reli-
gions Catholicism, Madagascan faiths,
Hinduism and later Islam were part of the
mix from which has emerged a pot pourri of
- i Ilh I T Iii, .l! |i i liki' .'I I j l ''.i.lS !' .i!.111
I1. < T l I i-.- il! ..

ease in human contacts and a relative religious
tolerance if not complete openness.

Most of the country's Chinese are Catholics
who at the same time practise certain rituals of
Ilic l l .l i ili ,I .-I, P..i T l ii.i1 N 1iiI .li .u11i.
( .ii l il, i l i i I l l .i i i, '. i l il i l l i I i i I i !i '

i." ..i lii| i i i. t l iii '. '..ili i i. i iid 1 l. , i|l.
Iili . h I, *t .luhl .diil.. .l-r"lu. I a-
nIl,! l! i,'i i I .I ,,L I .. d -C '',.|1 I .i" h1 'l Il .11 i
li Li i! ili' l ili. i I l '. !. i i li il i
I'1u i, u! il'i is E li 'i.. i| l Nu '.'h il i l l '.
of the kindness.. a i.,nd hospitality of the .ll

. Runionnais as well as the spirit of openness

in religious practices. 111 l. i
.The most beautiful testimony to this mixing of

faiths is probably the more than 500 chapels'

around the island, in front of which Tamils and
l iu.' i ,i P IC .1' L 11 !1 i i .ll IL Ii II 1.11 i 1 iii i
. il li.l i ii i lii i, i ll l i.' 'i .1 l i ii.'i h i. iC l .ii l'. i -.
li.l'! l .i l L l uii. L I.ii l' li'l l .l . ii!.ii. ', lb .il

''iI i. 1 .' iliL I. !''iI, F .ilil!. '' I! .i
lingerie shop i_ ii i .i i i L* a perfect example
of the kindness and hospitality of the
Runionnais as well as the spirit of openness
in religious practices.
The most beautiful testimony to this mixing of
faiths is probably the more than 500 chapels
dedicated to Saint Expedit that are dotted
around the island, in front of which Tamils and
Christians alike come to perform their devo-
I!,,1!, T hl .I .i l Ih l h i Iii T hl ,ii I!i !
!l !.ll u ill Ih .LI* .ll .l!L l .!h l,, I hi -

'T hi. '! i.' !, l.i.. | i l, .' i. i l i ..l .' .LI i i i .

!|'" '! !I.'L.i' *Il.' *'h '' !.i! . l O!l.l! i.

Reunion discovering Europe

long period. After slavery was abolished
(1848), when the colony had to employ the
services of labour recruited from Southern
India and the Bombay region, China and,
somewhat later, Vietnam and elsewhere every
effort was made to avoid these distinct cultur-
al communities taking root. The French lan-
'* -. li C .h il.. lh i i !li- i ,i i .1il! i i Cl

F i* l i l iii i 1.11 IL i id e l ii i i 1. l in '. Hi1l.f c
Ti ti.u. i.i' |1.11 ic c ii iju. '|I |I .1 iic.I l.ut liF cI nr
t '.* i'l .. t 'l Ti ru hiL-. i [i t-' t 'p l il .uni i i lit c
.iin l i i i. l i l ''l i i t' l i .'' l 'i i c i. l i i! 'l .-il'

i l h '' i tL i i l h! l 'hl i'i L i u I ii F l'-I lu T u "
i 1ii* .ti !.i 111ii 1 111i .il ' 1 11 i II 1. 11 i '.

,l es i t.ha.na g I a ra e i hiuici le Z 'liu.i .-il
I I! llid .1,i l '" i lll l. I l N il l I 1] | i ll, ll IIl'.' l

I e.il id i l lie i l lui h ti Z h le
.Ll.' s al%'id l [1 ,! .111'. i,.Itil! Iih 1t'-I l e lL il

h 1'.1 i l. I |llill! I 1 h ii Ililil. 'l!!l.II

N. ' Ih.' l .Lil .' l .i! I .i! l ,,11 i hl I .l ld hI.'I,' "
!ih C' r.1 Ci iIi. I ii i. I. .1 iiIIi FI L l L.ien

less than average !1i ihi .. .-,I i lic Z.,, .
even if 'Zoroles' .lilLhcll ,1 Z.,c, o.jiiLI
Creoles are not ili.i i.ii
Christophe Tzie: F-i.li lI-ili-hiicl 'I ,,ii Ie i
Runion's two le.uiiiu. uc |I'i~ h li c -
that "the mixed race harmony is very real.
Mixed race marriages are commonplace. Even
if there are very closed Pakistani and Chinese
communities and a degree of isolation on the

,! JiL'1.11 Ci iI i,,1 n 1I .. ,, i hil .

i ll!!, l! h i.. .!i !.l i. L Ihi. .ilut lu ,,.! .iih i!
ii i .'! i, .lic l c I !u iu il i ,.ii '-

discovering Europe Runion

union has been officially inhabited
since around 1663 when the first real
colonists arrived. Many of the first
inhabitants of the island were deported
from Madagascar in 1646 by Jacques de Pronis,
head of the French India Company's trading
post, for having criticised the misappropriation
of funds to give to a Madagascan mistress.
However, the island was not completely virgin
territory. Arab sailors, most probably
Egyptians, had arrived in the 12th century and
on the first nautical maps, it was known as
'Dina Morgabim' or 'Mghrebin'. Later, the
Portuguese visited the island when exploring
the Cape of Good Hope route to the Indies.
The first traveller to name the island was
Pedro Mascarenhas on his return voyage from
Goa between 1512 and 1516. This is where the
name the Mascarene Islands, which Runion
shares with Mauritius and its sister island
Rodrigues, comes from.
Sailors made it a regular port of call, appreci-
ating the beauty of its flora and the diversity of
its fauna. In 1638, Captain Goubert estab-
lished French sovereignty on the island then
called 'Mascarin' in French, in the name of
Louis XIII. Four years later, the French India
Company obtained a ten-year concession from
Cardinal Richelieu (who formed the company)
with Jacques de Pronis appointed as head of
the trading post based at Fort Dauphin,
Madagascar. In 1649, Captain Roger Lebourg
took possession of the island in the name of
the King and renamed it 'Bourbon Island'. He
found the exiles who had been presumed
dead in good health and rescued them.

In 1654, Flacourt, who succeeded c. P['i ,n
adopted the old ways of doing thing, 1i.
removing anyone standing in his way.
This time the victim was Antoine ,-
Couillard, together with seven
French volunteers and six
Madagascan servants. They
were confined to Bourbon Island *
for four years before escaping by
boat. Then in 1663, Louis
Payen, together with a
companion and ten .
Madagascan servants, .1

arrived on the island. They were true colonists
and established the beginnings of farming and
cattle rearing. Later, Etienne Regnault, gover-
nor of Bourbon Island, arrived with around 20
colonists in 1665. Madagascans were also dis-
patched there as part of the takeover of the
The colony developed very slowly in the
beginning. The introduction of coffee plants,

however, brought from the Yemen in 1715,
resulted in a much faster growth. Also during
that period, the French India Company had
become a virtual state within a state, control-
ling the entire Bourbon Island economy and
trade between the colony and its homeland and
making huge profits in the process. This was
the time when the notorious Olivier Le
Vasseur, known as 'La Buse', was one of
many pirates sailing the waters of the Indian
Ocean. In April 1721, it was said that he cap-
tured 'Vierge du Cap', a ship that had been
damaged in a cyclone, and stole a large
amount of gold, diamonds and precious stones
which he supposedly buried near the town of
Saint-Gilles. Le Vasseur was sent to the gal-
lows in Bourbon in 1727, but today still it is
said on the island that every so often some
local landowners become incredibly rich
through excavation in this area!
The coffee crop provided a major economic
boom for almost a century. After coffee pro-
duction declined, it fell back on the spice
trade, introduced by Pierre Poivre in 1767.

The French Revolution then arrived. The
'Black Code', (Code noir) which had been in
force since 1685, still only gave slaves the same
status as personal property and in contrast to the
West Indies, there was no opposition to slavery
on the Bourbon Island in 1789. The February 4
decree on the abolition of slavery which was
implemented in the West Indies, especially in
San Domingo (Haiti), was ignored on Runion.
Instead, it brought about a 'union' created out of
a desire fr independence.This lasted until the
c' ..h.,III i .,k ..! .!.lvery by Napoleon in
L .i. i,''. 1"T.. mi il. this event, the island
tIh.'i._c I il 'ii.iie in 1806 to become

'Thci Ei.- i'l, hohad since arrived in
S.iiiiui iiu .id Rodrigues, succeed-
c'd in .i!.ering Bonaparte Island
.1, I Il .ifter several attempts
cI !..i i c eventually handed it
ih., 1. ,Id.cr the Treaty of Paris
l1 1814 (which actually
i.Lok place in April
1815). At this point,
the island took back



its Bourbon title with France having been
restored to a monarchy again. Both Mauritius
and Rodrigues remained under English control.

During the 19th century, agriculture was based
on a single crop sugar cane. This led to the
population almost doubling in size between
1848, the year when slavery was actually abol-
ished, and 1869. After a period of great pros-
perity, there was a sugar crisis in 1860.
Cyclones, cholera and social problems meant
desperate times for those on the island. From
1880, France lost interest in Runion.This
benefitted Madagascar. Attempts were made at
diversification from sugar to vanilla and other
fragrant plants, principally geraniums.
Eventually, Runion became the leading glob-
al exporter of essential oils.

Despite having no military conscription, many
Runion islanders signed up for action during
the First World War. There were 15,000 volun-
teers, of which 3,000 died. During the Second
World War, the local authorities sided with
Vichy leading to an English blockade. The
island was liberated in 1942 by the Free
French Forces. Yet the country was still under-
The Runion Communist Party led by the
Vergs family and the railway union, fought to
establish the island as a French local adminis-
trative area. A strategy drawn up by Runion,
Martinique (with Aim Csaire as flag-bearer),
Guadeloupe and Guyana ended with the adop-
tion of the law on regional government on
March 19, 1946.
The 1960s saw a great deal of modernisation.
Runion made up lots of lost ground and today

Reunion discovering Europe

looks like a modem European society with its
road networks, telecommunications and other
21st century infrastructure.
Runion is France's only region with a single
'dpartement'. A project is currently on the table
to divide the region into two 'dpartements',
supported by the Communists and a right wing
party, with St Pierre as the capital of the second
'dpartement.' Paul Vergs, who was re-elected
in 2004, currently heads the Regional Council
of the departmentn' which manages the island's
development plans with Nassimah Dindar of the
UMP party as head of the 'dpartement's'
General Council: one is a Communist, the other
a Muslim woman. H.G.

Hegel Goutier; Dina Morgabim;
Mghrebin; Mascarene Islands;
Madagascar ; Bourbon Island ; Paul
Vergs; Nassimah Dindar.

Terms for understanding

Creoles: 'Gros Blancs', 'Petits Blancs' and
'Cafres'. Gros Blancs: white landowners
(descendants of rich plantation owners). Petits
Blancs: poor rural whites living in the high-
lands). Cafres (Creoles with African ancestry):
Runion black people (from the Arabic kafir:
infidel). They are distinct from the non-Creole
blacks of Comores and Mahorais. Between
blacks and whites, there is a range of skin
tones which reduces tension considerably
between the two groups. The Creoles make up
two-thirds of the population.

Malbars: Indians (Hindu) who arrived in the
middle of the 19th century as 'workers' on the
sugar cane plantations. They make up 20 per

cent of the population. They are mainly Tamils
from the Madras region and are principally
plantation workers. Some have acquired sig-
nificant wealth.

Zarabes: Around 5 per cent of the population.
Muslim Indians, mainly from the Gujarat
region (north of Bombay). They arrived at the
beginning of the 20th century. They control
almost half of the island's economy: businesses,
textiles and the automotive industry.

Chinese: They arrived between 1860 and
1870, and again in the second decade of the
20th century. They mainly originate from the
Canton region. Small businesses, groceries

and increasingly mass-market goods. They
make up just 3 per cent of the population.
Catholics and other faiths.

Zorys: Executives and officials from main-
land France, experts and specialists usually on
short or medium-term assignments. Around 6
per cent of the population.

The 'Gros Blancs' and the Zarabes are at the top
of the social pyramid. The 'Petits Blancs' and
non-Creole blacks are at the bottom. H.G.

Hegel Goutier; Creole; malbar; zarabe;

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008



I \ i



Surprisingly perhaps.

Speaking with Paul Vergs, President of the Regional Council

aul Vergs is true to form. His culture
and way with words corne across dur-
ing press conferences. He is noted for
his public speaking that leaves even
his critics spellbound. Today he addressed his
great concern about the current situation on
Runion, describing his country as being, "on
state of alert no. 1" in view of the general sit-
uation the planet finds itself in. His solutions
require investment in technology of the future
- to which Runion is committed as well as
co-development strategies with the country's
Indian Ocean neighbours.
He started off by captivating his audience
with a polished dialectic on the connection
between various protests around the world,
the global effects of the Clinton-Obama duo,

the upcoming elections to the European
Commission presidency*, world demograph-
ics, the increased frequency of tomadoes in
the United States and other states in turmoil
caused by climatic change the floods in
Burma being the most recent example and
the price of raw materials and oil. Then he
turned attention to the Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) between African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and the
European Union (EU) and economic globali-
"Confronted by this, Runion must develop
quickly but at the same time it is currently
bearing the full brunt of global phenomena".
Farmers on Runion fear that the EPAs will
bring competition with both their neighbours

and also partners of the co-development strat-
egy proposed by Vergs. The private sector is
anxious about the abolition of the current
'dock dues' that allow the island's municipali-
ties to levy a special tax on imported products.
And what about the famous 'Train-Tram' proj-
ect designed to revolutionise mobility on the
island that is very vulnerable to the sharp rise
in energy and raw material prices?
Paul Vergs gave an exclusive interview to
The Courier providing an insight into his
development strategies for the region.

What margin of manoeuvre do you have in
light of your analysis of the global issues
which weigh upon such a small territory as


One thing that's obvious is the humility of our
population and land. In putting together our
development strategy, we have taken on board
fixed global trends. One of these is demo-
graphic growth. We too have experienced this.
Our population has risen from 300,000 in 1946
to over 800,000 today. We will soon reach the
million mark. Then there is climate change.
People admire our beaches, unaware that 50
per cent of our coral reefs are dead and that
soon there will be no more beaches at all for
our pleasure. The third major element is trade.
Sugar cane and sugar are Runion's principal
products. As a result of agreements between
the European Union and the WTO, sugar
prices will fall by 36 per cent by 2013. What
will we do after that date? We export to the
value of 400,000 and import to the value of
4,300,000, all of which is crippled by the
cost of transport.

So what are your strengths?

We are located in the tropics. The 21st centu-
ry will be the century of space and sea. On
one hand, like French Guyana, we enjoy the
most favourable location for the conquest of
space. One third less energy is required to
launch a satellite from here than from the US.
On the other hand, we are surrounded by sea,
the starting point of all climate change. Here
there are opportunities for research and inno-
vation into fishery resources and biodiversity
for instance. Runion is an EU's most remote
regions and a French overseas department. We
have benefited from structural aid and trans-
fers in terms of education. We have used these
resources to provide technical training and
university education. We are taking technolo-
gy and knowledge as far as possible. One of
the 10 French cyclotrons used in cancer
research is based here. We have been hit by
Tchikungunya fever, but have set up a
research centre on emerging diseases.
We are gong to install a satellite system to
monitor environmental changes within a
diameter of 2,500 km allowing us to forecast
climate disasters such as drought and coastal
erosion as well as monitor sea temperatures at
various levels and harvests.
We have got the French Parliament to pass a
bill making adapting to climate change a
national priority. When you look at the
"Grenelle de l'environnement", you see that
France today is at the same stage in its think-
ing as we were a decade ago. At this time we
already wanted to be independent in terms of
energy. We anticipated the Kyoto provisions.
Here on Runion we will be the first country
in the world to meet 100 per cent of its own

energy needs. We are already at 30 per cent,
which is three times the EU average, due to
hydropower and biomass in particular.
We have embarked on research on the
Antarctic swell that breaks on our shores.
Portugal is to date the only other country
doing this. We are going to study the
dynamism of ocean currents and install the
equivalent of wind turbines on the seabed.
Two parallel trials are being conducted, one in
Brittany in France and another elsewhere in
Europe. We are using another form of
dynamism, the temperature difference
between the seabed and the surface, from 5
degrees to 20 degrees.
There is also a way of using the flows of
drinking water that circulate at a depth of 100
metres. We have such water. In Hawaii it is
already bottled and sold. We have sent a mis-
sion there to see how we could do the same.

How do your Indian Ocean t. 1,I..- , i ...i. .
the co-development strategy that you are pro-
moting in light of Reunion's assets?

The situation that is staring us in the face
means that we have to confront globalisation.
We must transform European Union (EU) and
African, Caribbean and Pacific relations. But
how can we strengthen our integration into
the EU and at the same time into our geo-eco-
nomic environment? We have developed a co-
development strategy. This cooperation does
not involve a developed country establishing
contacts with developing countries. When
Madagascar had 4 million inhabitants,
Runion had 250,000. Today Madagascar has
19 million and Runion, 800,000. By 2025,
we will have a population of 1 million and
Madagascar, 30 million. By around 2050, the
population of Madagascar will have climbed
to 43.5 million, which is eleven times the fig-
ure in 1940. We will therefore have on our
doorstep a country more populous than
France in the mid-20th century.
The French Maritime Research Institute has
estimated that 97 per cent of the catches made
by large trawlers in the Indian Ocean are by
countries outside of the Indian Ocean
(Europe, the Pacific). But we are experiencing
major population growth and thus have a
great need for protein. The EU's duty is there-
fore to help the Indian Ocean countries devel-
op their fleet. To come back to the local situ-
ation, together with our neighbours
Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and
Comoros, we want to develop fishing activity
that is able to meet the protein requirements
of the 40 million Madagascans we will have
by the middle of the century. H.G.

Reunion discovering Europe

* Article 14. 1 Lisbon Treaty
"The European Parliament shall, jointly with the Council,
exercise legislative and budgetary functions. It shall exer
cise functions of political control and consultation as laid
down in the Treaties. It shall elect the President of the

Hegel Goutier; Paul Vergs; EPAs; tech-
nology; Runion.




union's biggest social problem
is the high level of unemploy-
ment which c.lii. stands at
30 per cent. According to the
sociologist, Laurent Mda, this explains
why young people are sometimes disillu-
sioned. Assistance from France makes up
most of the island's income. Companies
are often financially supported by aid from
France and the European Union and this
frequently makes them uncompetitive.
Another blight, often denounced by the
local press, is the black economy drugs,
poaching and gambling.
The Chaudron anti-corruption riots in
1991, to protect the freedom of radio and
television, are an example of popular dis-
content. The result was a 'clean-hands'
operation and a number of local political
leaders were sent to prison. Almost all of
the political groups were affected by the
campaign of Camille Sudre, who led the
fight for transparency and was then elected
President of the Regional Council in 1992.
His election was invalidated owing to pro-
cedural issues, but his wife, Maggie Sudre,
was elected in his place in 1993.
Runion has 63,000 welfare recipients and
100,000 illiterate citizens out of a popula-
tion of 800,000. H.G.

Hegel Goutier; Sudre; Laurent Mda.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

discovering Europe Reunion

Ziskakan? From Creole means "How long will it last?" That's the question artists asked
themselves some thirty years ago when the pillars of popular culture were looked
down on and the Creole language was banned in schools. Maloya music and dance
were dismissed by the major production studios and the drum was cursed and seen as
something close to savagery. Pounia is an iconic figure in his homeland, but he rarely
uses "1" in conversation giving, modestly, the credit for everything he has achieved,
created and changed to "one" or "we". It's more than mere modesty; it's real style.

ounia explains that Ziskakan is a musical wave that comes
from about everywhere India, Asia and Europe. As he says
himself, "As with all of the islands, our culture is born of rape
and violence, but what has emerged is nevertheless something
beautiful, the fruits of suffering. In fact, different kinds of suffering
side-by-side, which have combined together. Ziskakan is a reflection of
this country."
Ziskakan is more than just a group of artists. It is a movement.
Established around 30 years ago, Pounia's group began by playing local
music Sega and Maloya. This type of music used to be barely tolerat-
ed and was almost banned but thanks to widespread action has reached
out to more and more Runion islanders: "Our culture is no longer clan-
destine." Three decades ago, it was a big deal to see the large drum up
there on an official stage. It was seen as provocation.

In the beginning, the group played its gigs in the sugar-cane fields but
Pounia and his friends went on to teach their music to the people and to
raise their awareness of the outside world. They showed slides, for
example, of the fight against apartheid in South Africa. As he explains,
"the music gave backing to our cause, as did speaking in Creole, even
to say ordinary everyday things like the mountain is i .. ., i. The lan-
guage itself was a victim of a kind of ostracism. Only the perseverance
and enthusiasm of Ziskakan and other groups that followed in its wake
countered and overcame this exclusion.
From the outset, Ziskakan worked in lots of different areas the broad-
casting and distribution of music, the editing books of poetry and tradi-
tional stories and the adaptation of traditional popular works for the the-
atre. Pounia himself quickly took advantage of independent radio at the
first opportunity to give everyone the opportunity to express them-


Reunion discovering Europe

selves, and to remove the gag which existed at the time on popular cul-
ture. He helped discover artists such as Joby Bernab from Martinique,
Toto Bissainthe from Haiti and Patrick Victor from the Seychelles.
The desire for a new approach to the country's deep-rooted artistic folk-
lore came to a head at a conference held on Runion culture by
Ziskakan in 1981. Then, after the left took power in France, the move-
ment which was already in full swing, steadily gained momentum. As
Pounia recalls, "When the left took power, lots of the groundwork had
already been done. The victory of the left nevertheless gave lots of
So, had Ziskakan actually mounted a political experiment? "Yes, it's
more the Jimmy Hendrix's experience," jokes Pounia. "We are no more
than guitar players. So we have continued to do our thing, to play our
music, work in Creole and create more and more beautiful images in
this wonderful language that is so rich in them."
It is true that politicians flocked to Ziskakan after 1981. Prior to that,
only the Communist Party dared approach. But from that point on, pro-
duction studios opened their doors to him. As Pounia explains,
"Philippe Constantin of Polygram liked our work and was the first to

produce it on a large scale. His interest in us was surprising because 1
don't fit into a mould and 1 did not want to format my music as three-
minute tracks for radio."
Thirty years on and Ziskakan is still enjoying the same level of success
in Runion. Pounia is still worshipped here. The great French actor,
"our friend", Richard Bohringer, is filming one of their storytelling per-
formances, Ti Jan, created in Creole and adapted in French. Ziskakan
also edits and produces for artists from in and around the Indian Ocean,
such as the poet, Michel Ducasse, and the writer, Shenaz Patel, from
Mauritius. Ever the creator, he is about to edit a book on Madagascan
philosophy. H.G.

Last record of ZISKAKAN: "BANJARA", Ziskakan, May 2008, Banjara.

Contact France: lesboukakes@hotmail.com,
Reunion: mkin.wazis@wanadoo.fr

Hegel Goutier; Gilbert Pounia; Ziskakan; Creole; Richard
Bohringer; Toto Bissainthe; Joby Bernab; Patrick Victor; Michel
Ducasse; Shenaz Patel; Runion.

-a J ,r



Comments by Patrice Louaisel* assembled by Hegel Gouti

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Runion; Teixeira da Mota; St Expedit;

discovering Europe



union resembles a circle, with a cir-
cumference of around 200 kilome-
tres. It boasts curved beaches and
inlets, often with pools protected
from the waves by rocks. Several hundred
metres away, majestic waves test the courage
and skills of even the most experienced
surfers. Away from the sea and deep into the
mountains you can feel a chill in the wind
blowing through the foliage of a temperate
And although it only snows once every 20
years, when it does, it falls on the Piton des
Neiges 'the Snow Peak' The last time it
snowed, a year ago, it almost started a stam-
pede as people took the day off to go and see
the white covering, only to be tumed away by
the police who feared landslides.

There is fire as well as snow in the mountains.
The Piton de la Fournaise (the Peak of the
Buming Fire) is an active volcano and the lava
from the last eruption around two years ago
- still glows in some places. Visitors must not
miss out on a visit to the church of Saint Rose
which is surrounded by a huge flow of lava
from an eruption in 1977 that miraculously
failed to destroy it. Today, in commemoration
of the event, the hardened lava has been con-
served to provide a place of prayer for pil-
Every corner of Runion is worth visiting,
starting with the capital, Saint-Denis. It has a
mix of French, Indian and Creole influences
competing for attention in the same view.

There are beautiful Creole cases (houses), gin-
gerbread-style villas, elegant buildings and
magnificent places of worship, including
mosques, Tamil temples, Chinese temples and
churches. The 'Hauts de St-Denis' (up the hill)
is full of quiet little streets tucked away
between stylish buildings like the university
- dominating the waterfront.
Along the 'Cte sous le vent', the west coast,
picturesque rural areas seem to be sheltered
from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Saint Paul, a village with a watermill is a place
where time seems to have stood still. Further
along the road are beautiful stretches of beach,
Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains being one of the most
popular. Head to the highlands to find yourself
enveloped by the scent of geraniums. If you
keep climbing, you reach the three peaks that


.. .. ...... .

Reunion discovering Europe

make up the 'Pitons des Neiges' with their
many waterfalls like the Voile de la Marie.
Visitors should take the time to admire Sainte-
Suzanne with its sugar-cane fields stretched
out in the shadows of the exquisite Tamil tem-
ples before the mist and rain sweep in from

If you are looking for vanilla the Bourbon
variety is said to be the best in the world you
have to go to the south-east of the island
around Basse Valle. And on the way there,
you can take advantage of the opportunity to
see the region's many lava flows in the region.
The beautiful scents and colours of nature are
to be found almost everywhere. There is a fan-
tasia of tiny pink and white flowers of
antigone, all types of fern, vetiver, hibiscus -
which includes vanilla not forgetting the

magical, captivating aroma of ylang-ylang.
All this travelling around will leave you with a
good appetite and for culinary specialities, you
can stop in Saint-Paul, near to the mill, and try
tenrec, a relative of the hedgehog.
This is cooked in a stew or served as a curry,
accompanied by local wine from the hillsides
of Cilaos, or mineral water from the same
area. The tibars (small bars) along the road
are of a very high standard and clean and well
worth a visit. Another original curry is
bichiques, a round-mouthed fish that produces
the Runion equivalent of caviar and -
although quite expensive a must to sample.

Hegel Goutier; Piton des Neiges; Piton de la
fournaise; Bourbon vanilla; tenrec;

2 bn from the EU to

N.~~~~Big 2008.UE UY20 15
mad a majo motiu isnt sh aso poidinth rmi. .1 3 i se cent *ope iti s mho htanspr i*wok s n
nomh pu fRuin Th hU *ili prga mmes *ob crisdotwt h part l os ig cosrciomi and s rue

ild ER F i l mi... poide miin meio aid irnc s*ee w iti ia sige ms meionad i eoe s mall *iz islan
.. sten e07203 in aditio so ste iiatg dou int i i .cud pan i o s otndn mi iiiciaedifcliswl
r s of asupot so *ae meio 2000 Il0as, s a*ov *ope iti *so pes os ahe mitc fnii
th*oa muto uoensrcua ud mrvmn of e onoi oopttvnes HG
*loae o teiln neth R Fte wt pr Iurepai on oh dee opm

Intuetfr* seisGiac FIF)ad poet, t ouim O iaca -niern an Hegae w grt D l Gote;Ruin n

iam t E17n mh U is c t ib n s 6 infatutr so hy uic uShog aid

N. 6 N.E. dUNE JULY 2008 57




nhoogwuI y u lg nere o muiis



Contemporaor culture in

Senegal: Dak'art 2008

'ifrique: miroir?'

As in ail art biennials, the appointment in Senegal for Dak'art, the only pan-African proj-
ect for contemporary art in the world, is an extraordinary one not to be missed and a won-
derful excuse to visit one of the most stimulating cultural centres in Africa. Created by the
renowned Senegalese poet, intellectual and founding President Lopold Senghor, who
started up at the 'Festival des Arts Ngres' in 1966 to promote modern Afro-centric culture
in direct confrontation to European colonialism, Dak'art was revived in the late 1980s.

T is year's edition, entitled 'Afrique: Miroir?' ('Africa: A
Mirror?'), was open from 9 May to 9 June and was bigger and
more interesting than ever. It included not only artists from all
over Africa but also parallel projects involving African design,
fashion, and music as well as conferences and debates covering a wide
range of international cultural projects, including new media.
> 130 exhibitions for a Senegalese project
The official 'vernissage' at the Muse T. Monod (IFAN) was inaugurat-
ed by President Wade himself, who eloquently defended the importance
of contemporary culture in Senegal as a tool for both international coop-
eration and national development. Indeed, this project is Senegalese,
funded and organised by a Steering Committee headed by Ousseynou
Wade and presided by new entry Grard Senac, collector and art patron,
director of Eiffage, one of Senegal's important companies and sponsor

of Dak'art. Included in the group are Gilles Hervio, Head of the
European Commission Delegation, Thierry Raspail, Director of the
Biennale de Lyon in France, Goran Christenson of the Malm Museum
in Sweden as well as many African specialists and artists such as
Abdoulaye Konat, Sithabile Mlotshwa of the Thamgidi Foundation, art
professor Maguye Kass, and agit-prop maestro Issa Samb.
With more than 130 exhibitions throughout the city and the outlying
regions, the exhibition was divided into the 'in' official sites (IFAN, the
National Museum of Art, and the newly-restored Galrie Le Mange)
including some 35 established artists such as Fathi Hassan and Ndary
Lo, as well as a myriad of 'off' situations curated by long-time resident
Mauro Petroni. An extraordinary new architectural complex created on
the Comice was the site for an important retrospective for the great
Senegalese master Iba Ndiaye. Equally interesting this year was
'Regards sur course where some 50 private courtyards (including the
villa of George Soros!) on the Island of Gore opened to the public for

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008


the week-end, each hosting an artist. A parallel action in the Gore atel-
ier of celebrated artist M. Dim showing young Dakar video artists
linked to free Dimension, an international platform linking artistic com-
munities to social justice was stimulating.

> 8 truly international uenue

This year, the base of operations was a hospitable 'village' constructed
at the ex-IFAN where journalists and public could meet and greet, see a
series of videos and participate in the various encounters with such nota-
bles as curator and writer Simon Njami (creator of "Africa Remix"
director of the 'Rencontres africaines de la photographic' in Bamako,
Mali), the Angolan Femando Alvim (organizer of the Pavilion of African
Art at last year's Venice Biennale), and Salah Hassan of the Forum for
African Arts. Equally interesting were contacts with Senegal artists and
journalists such as famed cartoonist T.T. Fons, creator of 'Goorgoorlou.'
The art villa, Ker Thiossane, hosted an interesting festival entitled Afro
Pixel based on the participation of African artists using Internet and dig-
ital media. Elio Grazioli of Milan and 'Lettera 27' headed a debate on
the creation of WikiAfrica Art conceived for Wikipedia.
Dak'art is a truly international venue and there were exhibits by artists
from Spain, Germany, France, and the Canary Islands as well as Israel
in the many venues. Of course, Senegal and its artists were important
protagonists; one of the most qualified exhibits was a one-person instal-
lation and performance by V. Diba at the gallery of Joelle Le Busy Fall.
As in previous years, the extraordinary fashion designer, Oumou Sy,
organised not one but three separate fashion shows with young
Senegalese designers as well as her own work all in her space
Metissacana. The 'Thtre Nationale Daniel Sorano' produced an origi-
nal production of Wole Soyinka's 'La Mort et l'Ecuyer du Roi', and the
various nightclubs such as Just for You and Pen'Art were destinations
for those who wanted to end the night with local music and dancing. M

*Art expert and director of the Art Gallery 'Sala 1' in Rome (Italy).

Mary Angela Schroth; Dak'Art 2008; contemporary art; Senegal.

I Foliil Ha'. in Mil'- : rn,, morv.
S. ... r ,. t i i., U !T |..| ,, j -. -f '1 .'F l : k 'a,


* '\




P cutting Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh,
the unforgettable stars of Gone with
the Wind, on the front cover of an
African novel may seem a rather sur-
prising editorial decision. However, by choos-
ing to illustrate Calixthe Beyala's novel La
piantagione (translated from La plantation,
Albin Michel, 2005) with one of Hollywood's
most famous kisses, the Italian publishing
house Epoch is simply alluding to one of the
central themes of the book by the novelist
from Cameroun: the destiny of a young white
African girl, Blues Cornu, who is faced with
the collapse of a privileged world built on the
spoils of racial discrimination. Like Tara under
the yoke of the American Civil War (1861-65),

Joshua Massarenti

fipplying the same

standards to the


of Zimbabwe

the Cornu family also has to deal with a
change in the course of history. In the year
2000 in the Zimbabwe of a "president demo-
cratically elected for life" (his name is not
given), the bells are tolling for the rich white
farmers who have been asked to leave the
country to allow black Africans to take their
place. And like Scarlett O'Hara, Blues decides
to defend her land rather than devote her life to
men as she is convinced that "tomorrow will
be another day". But the similarities stop
there. While in the Hollywood production, the
blacks only have minor parts, La piantagione
does not give the main roles to whites.
Admittedly Beyala, recognized for her fight
against the racism of the Europeans, this time
takes their side. But we cannot count on his
good intentions in a portrayal full of anti-

The italian edition's cover of The |
Plantation by Calixthe Beyala. I

heroes. The disaster of Mugabe's despoilment
of white landowners has clearly persuaded the
writer not to create a Manichean world. "No
character," she said, "is completely good.
Everyone is made up of lightness and dark." In
La piantagione, Calixthe Beyala has avoided
the pitfalls of racial identity to produce charac-
terisation of men and women united by their
connection to the African continent. M
* Article .11 .... i.. .. ,r ...... 1r i of
the latest novel by Calixthe Beyala, La piantagione,
Epoch, 2008 (La plantation, Albin Michel, 2005).

Calixthe Beyala; Zimbabwe; literature;

Jamaican flthletics:

r model for the UWORLD

S ince 1948, Jamaica has won seven
Gold, twenty-four Silver and nineteen
Bronze Medals at the Olympic Games.
In this Olympic year, a timely book by
Jamaican Patrick Robinson looks at what has
made Jamaicans such exceptional athletes.
"What has been achieved is with few or no
resources," said Robinson at his publication's
Brussels' launch of Jamaican Athletics: A
model For the World. Robinson is a judge at the
International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague
but a keen sports-follower. Robinson said the
system that has evolved in Jamaica through the

Interscholastic Championships (CHAMPS) is
at the heart of success at the junior level. At sen-
ior level, prior to the 1970s, many budding
Jamaican athletes used to head for the United
States.The College of Arts Science and
Technology (CAST), to become the University
of Technology (UTECH), filled the void. "I see
a tremendous opportunity for Jamaica to
become a hub for athletic and serve as a global
athletic centre," said the author. D.P. M
Jamaican athletics a Model for the World by
Patrick Robinson.

N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

D any Laferrire once responded to
us: "I wrote books to sleep with
girls and to make money. 1 have
slept with lots of girls and 1 have
made lots of money, but 1 am not going to spend
the rest of my life as a writer."
The successful writer of Comment fire
l'amour avec i, ',. -... sans sefatiguer (How to
Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired) is
back. After provoking both laughter and tears
and a romanticism that is not all tears, crinoline
and lace, in a series of works from L'odeur du
caf (An Aroma of (.-... i to Charme des
aprs-midi sans fin (the charm of endless after-
noons), he turned his attention to other projects
such as screenplays including Vers le Sud
(Heading South). He puzzles the reader.
Firstly, he makes you believe that he only talks
about himself. "What else is there of importance
in life," he told us. In Je suis un crivain japon-
ais (I am a Japanese writer) where the central
c 6..I ... .. .. n.. ,l,. 1n . ..... "I" as in an auto-
biography he recounts an official of the
Japanese administration asking him to confirm
that he was actually writing a book on Japan: "I
only ever write about myself." His response
came after a Japanese dancer threw herself from
a window at his home. The Canadian mounted
police also launched an enquiry into the incident.

The author (the central character) admittedly
freely talks about himself and his life in Haiti
and Canada: firstly about how he came to write
his new book entitled, Je suis un ecrivain .japon-
ais. To get an advance of ten thousand dollars
from his publisher, he came up with title off the
top of his head.
He then started writing. He visited some shady
places like the caf Sarajevo with its red-hot
Japanese dancers, almost perverse, almost
deities. He focused on Basho (1644-1694),
whose work he had vaguely touched on in the
past, adopting his poem La Route troite vers
les districts du Nord. He literally enters into the
book. Or rather this cunning monk and
vagabond poet takes him over. His ramblings
about Basho and the Japanese of the 'Baisers
Incorporation' in Sarajevo will be costly. What
suspense! When Laferrire speaks about him-
self, he gets to the very essence of things, love
and death. He especially talks about you in
poetic slam with a jazz staccato ecstasy like a
sensual pleasure that both soothes and makes
you shudder.
To keep the suspense of my adventure with the
author, 1 wanted to talk about the book with him
without firstly having read the final pages. So?
Beware of Dany Laferrire. Excuse me whilst 1
finish my reading. H.G. M

1ANY IL V l | I HI

Je suis un

cnrivain japonais

Gras.L t

Je suis un crivain .japonais, Dany Laferrire,
268 p, 2008 Editions Grasset, Paris France.

Hegel Goutier; Dany Laferrire; Haiti;
literature; Japanese.


Il or younger readers

WE ARE HUNGRY! By Didier Viode


N. 6 N.E. JUNE JULY 2008

J jour say

Ulords from


I found the articles on Timor Leste Report very
useful. I did research into Timor a while ago,
and this reading has helped me a lot. I am con-
vinced that the support for the development of
rising countries is the best way to help. Thanks
for the publication.

I find the articles published on Special Issue 1
('50 Years of ACP-EU Cooperation') very

instructive. Unfortunately, in my home coun
try, to my knowledge, there are no public
tions on these topics and in general people
hardly know anything about Africa. Even nov
that we are officially part of the EU, I do no
think there are any initiatives for assistance t(
ACP countries and, to my mind, the reason fo
this is that, leaving aside the arrogance of cer
tain politicians, people are used to considering
the country as a beneficiary of assistance pro

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

- grammes and find it difficult to realize that we
can be a donor and can actually 'export' our
e experience in project implementation. In any
v case, I think that the first and probably most
t important step is to get to know ACP coun-
o tries.
r Rumyana Dobreva
3 Thanks for everything you are doing.
Crescent Mwebaze

Addrs Th Courer 45 Ru de Trve 100 -usl Blim
e al no@acp-ucurir.n- wesie wvwape ucourS S


August December 2

flugust 2008

> 19-21 Annual Pacific Forum Meeting,


> 1-4 High level forum on aid
effectiveness, Accra, Ghana

> 8-11 13th Session of the ACP
Parliamentary Assembly
African, Caribbean and Pacific
parliamentarians meets, Brussels,

> 12-13 Forum for Media and
Development, Ouagadougou,
Burkina Faso

> 15-18 4th Meeting of ACP Finance
Ministers, Brussels, Belgium

llr*sbopg 158.17 mov*fib*r 00 umzu*iyimi


> 2-3 Summit of ACP Heads of State and
Government, Accra, Ghana

> 16-18 African Diaspora Summit, South

> 27-30 Second Global Forum on
Migration and Development,
Manila, Philippines


> 15-17 Strasbourg venue for European
Development Days 2008,
Strasbourg, France is the location
for the third edition of European
Development Days (EDD).
The annual forum, organised
by the European Commission's
Development Directorate.

Local authorities and development
is the theme of this year's event.

> 24-27 6th Session of the ACP-EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly
Bi-annual meeting of ACP
parliamentarians with
counterparts from the European
Parliament, Port Moresby, Papua
New Guinea

> 29-3 Conference Financing for
Development: Monterrey consen-
sus review, Doha, Qatar


> 4-5 Heads of ACP Regional Integration
Organizations, Brussels, Belgium

> 11-12 88th Session of the ACP Council
of Ministers, Brussels, Belgium M