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Courier (English)
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Title: Courier (English)
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Language: English
Publisher: Hegel Goutier
Place of Publication: Brussels, Belgium
Publication Date: 11-2009
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    Back Matter
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Editorial Board
Sir John Kaputin, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG Development
European Commission

Core staff
Hegel Goutier

Marie-Martine Buckens (Deputy Editor-in-chief)
Debra Percival

Editorial Assistant and Production
Okechukwu Romano Umelo

Contributed in this issue
Elisabetta Degli Esposti Merli, Sandra Federici, Catherine Haenlein, Miagotar Japhet,
Joshua Massarenti, Andrea Marchesini Reggiani, Alfred Sayila, Okechukwu Romano Umelo
and Joyce van Genderen-Naar

Project Manager
Gerda Van Bierviliet

Artistic Coordination, Graphic Conception
Gregorie Desmons

Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Viva Xpress Logistics www.vxlnet.be

Photo Agency
Reporters www.reporters.be

Rock and sea, Seychelles. Hegel Goutier

SBack cover
Poster, downtown Limerick, Ireland. Marie-Martine Buckens

Contact ac-eucourier.ino
The Courier
45, Rue de Trves
1040 Brussels
Belgium (EU)
www.acp-eucou rie r.info
Tel +32 2 2345061
Fax +32 2 2801406

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

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

Publisher responsible
Hegel Goutier

Gopa-Cartermill Grand Angle Lai-momo

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view of the
EC nor of the ACP countries.

The consortium and the editorial staff decline ail responsibility for the articles written by
external contributors.

Privileged partners


Cultural centre promoting artists
from countries in Europe, Afri-
ca, the Caribbean and the Pacific
and cultural exchanges between
communities through performance
arts, music, cinema, to the holding
of conferences. It is a meeting place
for Belgians, immigrants of diverse
origins and European officials.

Espace Senghor
Centre cultural d'Etterbeek
Brussels, Belgium






Table of contents

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament 2
Stephen T.K. Katenta-Apuli, Ambassador of Uganda
to the EU 8
Hansjrg Neun, Director of the CTA:
A hands-on practitioner assisting ACP farmers 6
Science becomes part of cooperation
The lost, forgotten even exhumed riches from Africa 18
Radioscopy of a continent 14
Science at the service of sustainable development 15
The South African powerhouse 17
Cuba, where science and development go hand
in hand 18
Data sharing to improve medical research 19
The brain drain headache 20
European Development Days, Stockholm 21
African continent headlines Lorenzo Natali
Journalism Prize 2009 24
AU-EU Strategy two years on ... 25
Action plan on track to build Africa-EU transport links 28
"For South Africa to succeed, our region and the
whole of Africa must succeed" 27
Development NGOs concerned about new European
priorities 29
TRIALOG: matching the sides of the NGO triangle 30
Common Fund for Commodities comes of age 31
Boubacar Boris Diop:
"We can't rely on the Berlin Wall any more" 33

African bees for development
Almost a national emblem:
Beauty, liberty, security, hospitality and farniente
A well-tempered suite
Success of reforms follows the spectre of bankruptcy
"To survive, be strong economically. To be strong,
work hard.' The days of the begging bowl are over."
Interview with President James Alix Michel
Seychelles-EU co-operation: Interview with
Alessandro Mariani, EU Head of Delegation
A broad alliance to combat Somali piracy
Wavel Ramkalawan: Time to put an end to partisan
Cultural cauldron
Shannon, where Irish history is repeating itself
From the 'Wild Geese' to the European Tiger
A long-standing sense of solidarity
The unfailing support ofthe Irish people
"The region faces huge challenges, but has some
tremendous assets"
The heartbeat of Irish music lies in Ennis
From Gaeltachts to Angela's Ashes
Silvia da Bragana, a multicultural artist
The EU-ACP Films Programme: Supporting the
Cinematographic and Audiovisual Sector
Denise Colomb: a humanist look
Scientific Research

D rofile

Marie-Martine Buckens

Jerzy Buzek,



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H.E. Stephen T.K. Katenta-
Apuli; Uganda, Kenya; Strait
of Gibraltar; road; rail; Joyce
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greater wisdom would suggest we should
teach the poor how to fish rather than
give them fish. Today, with greater gen-
erosity than before, it would advocate
helping them to obtain the technology and means
to build fleets of fishing boats capable of compet-
ing with others operating in their waters. This is, of
course, a flight of fancy.

Ail the same, cooperation between the European
Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific
countries, as well as their collaboration in the field
of science and technology, seems to have stepped up
a gear in recent times. It now appears to be a more
balanced cooperation between partners.

Scientific cooperation has been one of the main pri-
orities in relations between Europe and Africa since
the end of 2007. Eight joint strategies were agreed
in Lisbon at the EU-Africa Summit in December
of that year including one on science, informa-
tion society and space, which, inter alia, created
a number of researcher networks. The fact that
the EU's framework programme for research and
development recently called for proposals without
positive discrimination in favour of African organi-
zations highlights the credibility they have gained.
Moreover, the World Economic Forum's 2009-
2010 global competitiveness report commends the
qualities of public-private sector research networks
in countries such as South Africa and Kenya.

UNESCO believes countries like South Africa,
Cte d'Ivoire, Kenya and Zimbabwe possess real
scientific research potential, not to mention Nigeria,
which, despite losing ground in this area, is still

regarded as a major player for the future. Nigeria
has 95 universities and around 10 technical insti-
tutes. More importantly, in 2006 it introduced
measures to set up a US$5 billion fund, levied from
oil revenues, for scientific and technological devel-
opment. While Nigeria's approach is commendable,
the problem is that Africa's new-found commitment
to scientific research is not yet backed up by finan-
cial assurances. Only South Africa dedicates more
than 1 per cent of GDP to research.

As for the ACP group as a whole, the European
Union financed the science and technology pro-
gramme, launched in 2008, aimed at establishing
research networks. In the Caribbean, Cuba remains
the powerhouse as it continues to develop relation-
ships with its neighbours. An example of this is
an inter-Caribbean agreement that has a company
from St-Kitts-and-Nevis producing and market-
ing new-generation pesticides and other veterinary
products developed by Cuba.

Africa's new audacious approach, if this is what it
is, to science and research has emerged hand in
hand with recognition for and evaluation of the
continent's contribution to science and technology,
highlighted in this edition's dossier section. This is
the continent where iron metallurgy vital to the
subsequent development of the western world -
was discovered. Also the origins of mathematics are
found in Africa: it is where the first ever calculator
was invented 35,000 years ago.

Hegel Goutier


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Hegel Goutler
With his five-year mandate as head of the CTA coming to an end in February 2010,
Hansjorg Neun was preparing to retire gracefully. He has transformed this little known
organisation into a highly valued service supporting agriculture in the ACP countries, pro-
ducing results that bear no comparison to the scant resources they have at their disposal.
One key factor to the CTA's success is the creation of a management system based more
on the marketing of private companies than on institutional management.

To introduce the concept of marketing to
the organisation, Hansjrg Neun has had to
change the relationship between manage-
ment and staff and find ways to get the most
out of a small team of just 40 permanent
employees and a dozen interns. Solution?
Give them more influence over their work.
More than that, he set the tone from day
one. Surprised to find a long red carpet lead-
ing to the director's office reserved for him,
he said: "Please get rid of the carpet". This
was soon followed up by action. Example:
when he gives interviews, he insists that the
journalist also speak to his colleagues.

Now about to retire, The Courier asked him
what had given him the most satisfaction in
his work.
HN Motivating my colleagues is one objec-
tive 1 set myself and 1 believe I've achieved
that. This has been accomplished through
restructuring and most of all empowerment.
1 told them that they were paid to do their job
and it was up to them to take responsibility and
not to leave decision-making to the manager. 1
told them to show me their business plans and
budgets. 1 think this sense of empowerment
made the staff feel more at ease and more able
to identify with the organisation.

I Hansjrg Neun with staff. 0 Hegel Goutier



M MM--'

My role here is as manager. 1 have to see
what the CTA and the market have to offer
respectively. Using European taxpayers'
money, 1 have to produce results. You could
take a different approach, but that doesn't
appeal to me.

The number of operational units was
reduced from four to three. We created a
marketing position and strengthened our
ICT capacities as well as our publication
service. We focused much more on targeting
strategic groups and identifying our privi-
leged partners, who offer us comparative
advantages through collaboration across the
79 ACP countries. One of these groups
is the media. Despite the importance of
agriculture to development recognizedd by
the World Bank's report on development in
2008), bringing agriculture back to the fore-
front, we have not seen adequate follow-up
in terms of investment to improve produc-
tivity. Certainly not enough to feed a global
population of 8 billion people by 2050.
The final part of the CTA's restructuring
involved creating a human resources officer
position. This was vital to enhance staff
motivation and to ensure better recruitment
and good personnel management.

Framework conditions
As set out in the Lom Agreement and
reiterated in the Cotonou Agreement, our
mandate is to provide information and to
assist the ACP countries with communica-
tion and capacity building. We therefore
provide information using various media.
Communication is a question of choosing
the right channel to reach the target group.
For example, to communicate with farm-
ers and the agricultural world, you would
primarily use rural radio, whereas it would
be e-mail or the web for ministries and
similar services. There is also our flagship
publication, SPORE, available in print or
on the web, and we use the participatory
geographic information system.

An acute lack of funding
When 1 started in 2005, our budget was
C70M for five years, which works out at
14M per year. It is now 16M for more
than 70 countries with an estimated popu-
lation of one billion, 600 to 700 million of
whom live in rural areas. That comes to
just 0.02 per capital, which is a drop in the
ocean. We had to clearly establish the CTA's
niche to offer added value compared to the
NGOs on the ground and bilateral and mul-
tilateral development aid agencies.

I From left: Oumy Ndiaye, Hansjorg Neun and Koda Traor. Hegel GoutHer

Mrs Oumy Ndiaye
Head of Communication Services
VVe work with partners in several Afncan
countries providing financial and technm-
cal support Information on commodity
prices and weather forecasts is taken
from the Internet and rebroadcast via
SMS and radio. This enables farmers
to sell at the best time and for the best
price. It also allows them to plant at the
right time

ITC programme coordinator
Having recognized that lots of call cen-
tres have sustainability issues, we de-
veloped a programme along three axes
The management model we studied
the example of India with 100,000 call
centres in a similar situation to Afnca in
order to deliver benefits for our Afncan
customers. Ownership thanks to possi-
bilities for people to manage the contents
broadcast using tools like Vieb2, Capac-
ity building through low-cost training in
rural areas.

Carine Kazadi
Junior marketing service officer
VVe go on the ground and see hovv much
our customers appreciate our products
The CTA is an organisation but in pro-
ducing information, It becomes a brand
Our marketing approach looks at what
method should be used to ensure a good
overview of the situation on the ground'
How can vve make our products more
competitive? How can vve capture and
ensure the loyalty of our target groups?


1Bound up

Debra Percival

EU extends measures for Fiji

T he European Union's "appro-
priate measures" for Fiji have
been extended for a further
six months in the wake of the
December 2006 coup by Commodore
Voreque Bainimarama.They will expire on
31 March 2010. Whereas development aid
and special aid to assist the sugar industry
are suspended, the measures also offer
their resumption through further EU-Fiji
dialogue under Article 96 of the Cotonou
Agreement to which Fiji is still a party.

"The EU regards the extension of the meas-
ures as a window of opportunity for a pos-
sible new political dialogue. Should these
result in new credible commitments from
Fiji, the EU is ready to review its measures
positively", read the 24 September state-

I Traders, Fiji. Reporters

ment by the EU's Council. It added: "The
appropriate measures currently in place
are designed to assist the Fiji Islands in the
transition: development cooperation would
gradually be resumed if Fiji were to fulfil
its commitments concerning human rights,
democratic principles and the rule of law."

"As Fiji's authorities have decided to break
a number of the commitments, this has led
to losses for Fiji in terms of development
funds. Humanitarian aid, as well as direct
support to civil society, are not affected by
the appropriate measures", it read.

The EU deemed the military takeover in Fiji
of 5 December 2006 a violation of democracy
and rule of law, both of which are 'essential
elements' of the Cotonou Agreement. This
triggered dialogue between the EU and the
interim government. The outcome was a set of
some 13 commitments agreed by Fiji's interim
government in April 2007. The list originally
included the holding of Parliamentary elec-
tions by 28 February 2009.

The Commonwealth has recently suspend-
ed Fiji for reneging on the election date
after interim Prime Minister Bainimarama
conveyed plans for new elections to be held
only in 2014 in his 'Strategic Framework
for Change' of 1 July 2009. But dialogue

between Fiji's interim government and the
Commonwealth to promote adherence to
Commonwealth principles and welfare of
the people of Fiji continues.

In an interview with The Courier, Joseph
Ma'ahanua, Ambassador to the EU for the
Solomon Islands and former Chairperson of
the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
Committee of Ambassadors (February-July
2009), gave his own nation's perspective on
its neighbour, Fiji. "Historically we have a
close connection with Fiji and so we are try-
ing to work with them in the context of long-
established relations apart from the fact that
we are geographically neighbours."

He added: "On top of that we are countries
that are quite new and have just come out of
colonial rule and argue in terms of democ-
racy and these democracies are based on
foreign concepts, some of which in the early
days disregarded cultural settings."

"When we come across difficulties such as
in the situation of Fiji, we try to understand
rather than isolate them. We have to help
them deal with the underlying issues and
roots of the problem and help them move
forward. But that is not to say that we con-
done any undemocratic overtaking of any
elected government", he said.

Despite the tragedy, Samoa tourism is open for business

rate-General for Humanitarian
Assistance (ECHO) responded
swiftly in approving 150,000
of emergency relief for tsunami-hit Samoa
- with a possible follow-up of additional
humanitarian support in the aftermath of
the tsunami of 30 September which killed
143 people in Samoa, and caused wide-
spread structural damage in Tonga and
American Samoa. In addition, the European
Commission responded immediately by sup-
plying water tanks to the affected area in the
Southern coast of Upolu in Samoa from an
existing Water Sector Support Programme.

Attention has also turned to how to re-build
infrastructure and keep visitors numbers up.

The Samoan government has commissioned
a study from a leading Pacific consult-
ing firm, KVA Consult funded by the
Australian government to assess the dam-
age and to advise on a road-map to total
rehabilitation in the least possible time, says
Deputy Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni, who
is also Tourism Minister. "It is essential that
this study is sensitive to all the physical,
financial, but as well the emotional costs of
this natural disaster", says Telefoni. He told
The Courier that the tsunami had "increased
the vulnerability" of the country.

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)
launched in October "a new aggressive
marketing campaign". "The specialists are
already working hard on this campaign, and

no time must be lost in ensuring that this
message is made manifestly clear in the best
possible way, taking into account the cul-
tural and emotional sensitivities surround-
ing this situation", says Telefoni. Although
the tsunami did sweep away some infra-
structure, most hotels are still in business
including over half of the beach 'fale' resorts
- particularly affected due to their coastal
locations. Samoa is a member of the African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of
countries and receives C30M under the
10th European Development Fund (EDF),
mainly in the water and sanitation sector
(see Samoa 'Country Report' in The Courier,
no. 12). D.P.



Projects stepped up for

Zimbabwe through GO0s

W hilst talks are ongoing between
the European Union (EU) and
Zimbabwe's Unity Transition
government on conditions to
respect for the release of long-term devel-
opment aid, the European Commission's
Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid
(ECHO) and the Directorate General for
Development are expected to fund 120M
of projects for the country this year through
non-governmental bodies.

The form of the EC's humanitarian as-
sistance to Zimbabwe is evolving, says
Franois Goemans, Head of the ECHO
office in Zimbabwe. Goemans explains that
Zimbabwe is no longer in need of food aid,
as measured by 'Global Acute Malnutrition'
standards. ECHO's focus has hence shifted
to public health; improving access to clean
water to avoid a repeat of the cholera out-
break earlier this year and access to basic
medicines. ECHO will ensure 42 basic med-
icines are delivered to 1,500 health centres.

"Though the food security situation has
started to improve slightly, Zimbabwe
continues to face a protracted emergency.

Urban populations are particularly vulner-
able due to lack of access to land. It is there-
fore crucial in this period that ongoing food
security interventions are reinforced and
consolidated in order to reach the popula-
tions in need," said recently appointed EC
Commissioner for Development, Karel De
Gucht. Franois Goemans told The Courier
that ECHO is consulting with the authori-
ties on the allocation of small plots of land to
urban dwellers for food cultivation.

Since 2002, chronic food insecurity in
Zimbabwe has occurred due to complica-
tions in the Zimbabwean government's land
reform programme, launched in 2000. Dry
weather, fuel, fertilizer and tractor power
shortages, under-investment in infrastruc-
ture and price controls have affected the pro-
ductivity of agricultural and other sectors.
EC officials say that food supply and access
are now better due to an improved harvest,
the dollarisation ofthe economy and the lib-
eralisation of the cereals markets.

With the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) as partner, ECHO is
helping to improve the conditions (including

Patient assisted by a family member as they leave
Parirenyatwa General Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe,
2008. ECHO's focus has now shifted from food aid
to public health. Reporters/AP

nutrition) of Zimbabwe's 20,000 prisoners,
especially those in larger prisons of above
200 inmates. Access to the prisons was
given by Zimbabwe's Ministry of Justice.

Via NGOs, the Directorate General for
Development's projects for Zimbabwe include
the provision of seeds and fertilisers, and a
'retention scheme' run by the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM) providing
money to professionals, such as health work-
ers, to encourage them to stay in Zimbabwe
rather than migrate to South Africa for work.
Longer-term assistance to Zimbabwe under
the European Development Fund (EDF)
remains suspended until the EU is satis-
fied of further reform by Zimbabwe's Unity
Government. D.P.

See: http://www.delzwe.ec.europa.eu/en/


Oxfm ntenaionl nd a th beodteWrdTaeOgnsto' Utrni onr.I n niet ac

N ~on -oenmna Ognstons.. yrgt ntaearemnsta o to nitleculpoet i si h


Marie-Christine Buckens

Willingness for cooperation

between countries in the south

Representatives of around 60 countries from two continents vowed to step up cooperation
at the Africa-South America (ASA) Summit, which took place at the end of September on
the island of Margarita in north-eastern Venezuela. Closer links between the two also featured
on the agenda of the Brazil-EU Summit on 7 October in Brussels.

J ean Ping, Chairman of the African
Union Commission, said: "This sum-
mit is an historic opportunity. We have
to get beyond the rhetoric because the
credibility of south-south cooperation
is at stake."

The summit aimed to strengthen coopera-
tion between participating countries in the
wake of the food, financial, economic and
environmental crises and to extend the
agreements and action plans launched at
the beginning of 2006 at the first summit
in Abuja, Nigeria. In a first step, seven
South American countries signed the
founding act of the Bank of the South, an
institution which will finance development
projects, offering an alternative to the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB) and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF). The
President of Venezuela called on African
countries to follow suit. Various bilateral

agreements were signed, in particular on
energy involving the construction of refiner-
ies in oil-producing African nations.

ASA; Hugo Chavez; Lula da Silva; Africa-
South America Summit.

Louis michel co-chairs the RCP-EU

Joint Parliamentary fissembly


A after five years at the helm of
European development coopera-
tion policy, Belgian Louis Michel
is now a member of the European
Parliament (Alliance of liberals and demo-

crats). Although sitting full-time on the EP's
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Committee, the former Commissioner has
not turned his back on his former love. He
is a substitute member of the EP's Devel-
opment Committee and is notably now co-
President of the African, Caribbean and
Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Joint
Parliamentary Assembly. Sitting alongside
him is the ACP's choice for co-President,
the Cook Islands' Deputy Prime Minister,
Wilkie Rasmussen.

Louis Michel hence continues to influence
relations between the EU and ACP countries

who remain the EU's privileged partners.
But Louis Michel has bigger ambitions.
His government has put him forward as
candidate for the rotating Presidency of the
United Nations General Assembly. The cur-
rent incumbent is Libya's Ali Abdussalam
Treki. The General Assembly has a con-
sultative role for international peace and
security issues as well as decision-making
powers on the United Nations' budget and
new UN membership. M.M.B.

Louis Michel; Wilkie Rasmussen; ACP-
EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.


In Brussels, Brazil's President, Lula da
Silva, encouraged Europeans to invest in
his country more, one of the few nations
notto have been hard hit bythe economic
and financial crisis and which should see
positive growth this year. Brasilia wants
to increase its presence on the African
continent. Trade between Latin America
and Africa has gone from $US6bn to
$US36bn since the first summit in Abu- x1
ja, Nigeria, in 2006; Brazil's trade with
Portuguese-spea king African countries
alone has shot up to $US15bn. Br 's President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva at
th ASA Summit, Sept. 26, 2009. ORpffl-/AP





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Science Dossier

The lost, forgotten euen

exhumed riches from fifrica

It is common knowledge that Africa is
the cradle of humanity and of disciplines
such as mathematics that is, unless
new discoveries corne along to trump
these widely-held assumptions. Reducing
the continent to the role of 'originator', and
in so doing conferring on the other conti-
nents Europe, in particular the mantle of
finishing the task, so to speak, is to neglect
the variety of inventions which have been
created down the centuries, and indeed well
before our time.

If we exclude the famous Timbuktu manu-
scripts (see box) which we are just beginning
to salvage from obliteration and to demystify
little by little, there are precious few accounts
which we inherit from a scientific past which
we could credibly conceive of as rich.

> in activity wiped out
from memory
There are some avenues of enquiry, how-
ever, albeit rare ones. Why so? The first, no
doubt, is the scant interest of the invading
colonisers for the customs of the local people
- unless it was from the smattering of ethnol-
ogists and archaeologists who travelled with
them, among whom Marie-Claude Dupr
and Bruno Pinon, who, jointly penned
Mtallurgie et Politique en Afrique Centrale -
Karthala ed., ponder the fate of the "black-
smith kings" of the Bateke plateau (Gabon,
the Republic of Congo and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo). These men, we are
told, toiled generation after generation for
more than 2,000 years in order to produce
metals, requiring skills of the highest order.
In spite of this, so they say, "metallurgy seems
to have been entirely wiped from memory...
meaning that today the invention of welding
is widely attributed to the Europeans." Why
such denial? Is it because these peoples had
abandoned the practices nearly a century
before? The debate goes on.

> The bones of Lebombo and Ishango

While mathematical genius has flowered the
world over, proponents of this theory of
whom there are many of a unique (and
non simultaneous) origin of an invention


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e-hmn te a ou ib t man cutua and hit a chlen--e OOt*ls

*ibut cotan eo en e-ry bu eh eea ef th SOSa reaisace

will assert that chronologically, things really
began in sub-Saharan Africa. Their argu-
ment is the following: the discovery of the
first calculator in the Lebombo mountains
between South Africa and Swaziland in
the 1970s, a baboon fibula with 29 clearly
visible notches dating back 35,000 years
BC. In 1950, a Belgian geologist discovered
a strange-looking bone at Ishango on the
Congolese shores of Lake Edward, dating
back to 25,000 years BC. It would become

the darling of archaeologists. The notches
on its sides indicated, so it was held, a table
containing the first numbers. This is how
Homo sapiens africanus was already manag-
ing the consequences of having discovered
arithmetic. M.M.B.

Blacksmith; mathematics; Timbuktu;
manuscripts; South Africa; Lebombo and
Ishango bones.

Dossier Science


of a continent

Sub-Saharan Africa contributes around 2.3% to global GDP, but only accounts for 0.4% of
spending on research and development (R&D). While it makes up 13.4% of the world's popula-
tion, it provides just 1.1% of the planet's scientific researchers. It produces just one researcher or
engineer per 10,000 inhabitants, compared to 20 to 50 in the industrialized world.

V various initiatives have been intro-
duced in an attempt to bridge
this gap. In 2005, the African
Union (AU) and NEPAD (the
New Partnership for Africa's Development)
launched an action plan to support their
programmes in areas such as agriculture,
the environment, infrastructure, industry
and education. They outlined 12 research
projects, ranging from biotechnology to
traditional African knowledge and the use
of new information technologies. However,
African leaders failed to reach a consensus
on the funding for the plan, which is esti-
mated to total US$158M over five years.

(While the number of
African universities rose
from 13 in 1960 to 300
in 2002, most lack staff
and equipment. ,

Major obstacles must be surmounted in
order to establish the scientific and techno-
logical basis required to overcome Africa's
various development challenges, including
a continual reduction in funding for higher
education and R&D and the 'brain drain'.
The links between industry and scientific
institutions are very weak, which means
that research results are rarely taken advan-
tage of locally. National policies to pro-
mote science are outdated, and teaching
standards have fallen, mainly due to a lack
of money and infrastructure. As a result,
Africa is falling far short of achieving the
target it set itself of spending at least 1% of
GDP on R&D (with the notable exception
of South Africa). Funding providers' poli-


Medical laboratory at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ghana. 0 Reporters/Science Photo Library

cies have contributed to the problem. The
structural adjustment programmes of the
1980s reduced education budgets. While
the funding providers have recognized the
need to re-establish these budgets, they have
focused on primary education, arguing that
it benefits the whole of society, as opposed
to higher education. While the number of
African universities rose from 13 in 1960 to
300 in 2002, most lack staff and equipment,
and their research results are among the
poorest in the world.

> Beatable problems
However, countries such as South Africa
(see separate article), Cte d'Ivoire, Kenya

and Zimbabwe already have a relatively
well developed scientific and technological
base, and UNESCO believes they could set
up high-quality technological and scien-
tific establishments which would benefit the
entire region, with reasonably small levels of
additional investment. In 2006, Nigeria set
up a fund of US$5bn for developing science
and technology, which was mainly financed
through revenue from oil exports. M.M.B.

African Union; NEPAD; Science; Nigeria.


Science is now a key "If we really want to achieve sustainable namely the EU Member States, as evidenced

between the European Research is thus no longer merely a mat- implementation of the science partnership.
Union and its ACP partners, ter of research contracts, which until now This Group is presided over by Tunisia
have benefited better equipped European on the African side and France on the
a evidenced- by the new laboratories and research centres, but also European side. Coordinating research on
scientific partnership of strengthening research capacities, still both sides of the Mediterranean still remains
b v.ee often v ery weak. a challenge. This is why th e partnership

between Africa and Europe has envisaged the parallel implementation
and the launch of the ACP > Rfrican network of a network that enables research centres
Science and Technology to create self-financed groups similar to
bte ndh Eropnoo On the European side, this involves a new the European ERA-NET network (http://
Pirogramme. level of cooperation between stakeholders cordis.europa.eu/coordination/era-net.htm).
who have hitherto worked 'on their own', Its counterpart, 'ERA-NET Africa' was
a e chis is an encouraging devel-
hopment", explains Daan dup
Toit, science and technology
Advisor to the South African
Mission to the EU: "We saw it coming fol-
lowing the World Summit for Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg in 2002,
which raised awareness of the important
role of science as an instrument of devel-
opment". Two years later, African science
ministers adopted a consolidated action
plan. "This plan marks a turning point", "
continues the advisor. So it almost goes
without saying that the EU-Africa Strategic
Partnership drawn up in December 2007
in Lisbon counts science as one of its eight
priority areas. Science, accompanied by
two sectors of direct application seen as
particularly significant for African coun-
tries: space technology and Information and
Communications Technology (ICT). Analyses at Jamaa hospital, Nairobi, Kenya. Reporters/BSIP


Dossier Science

Scientistconducts research on a high energy stereoscopic system atthe Namibian plateau. 0Repofers

launched last July. "The consortia should
allow policies to be harmonised", explains
Patrice Cayr, EU representative from the
Institute franais de recherche pour le dvel-
oppement (Institute of research and de-
velopment France's the IRD), which has
been asked by France to represent it in
leading the European group of experts.

"For this remarkable partnership to be at
its most effective, it needs to include actions
which are as much focused on training as
on research and knowledge transfer", con-
tinues Patrice Cayr." As far as the IRD is
concerned, its Brussels representative has
set his sights high: "Our ambition is to
'Europeanise' the IRD. In the longer term,
a network, even a European research centre

for development would be needed. If this
strategic partnership is limited to the actions
planned between the two commissions (Ed:
of the EU and the AU) it loses its signifi-
cance. Member State involvement is vital."

> Down with positive

"This partnership is a major challenge but
a worthwhile aspiration", echoes Francesco
Affinito, Science and Technology Coordinator
in DG Development at the Commission.
This Directorate- General acts as focal point
for the partnership, channelling the efforts
of three other Directorates-General involved
in the priority areas: DG RTD for research,
DG INFSO for Information Society and

DG ENTR for space. Nineteen cooperation
projects, of which six (two per theme) have
been classed as early deliverables within the
partnership (see The Courier n8). How are
these to be funded? No specific budget has
been allocated to the partnership, and the
Commission is juggling the two instruments
presently at its disposal: the 7th framework
programme (FP7), endowed with more than
50bn for 2007-2013, and the European
Development Fund (EDF). "The subjects
still need to be of interest to developing
countries", emphasises Patrice Cayr, who,
in spite of everything, is delighted by the
recent launch of a special call for proposals
for Africa, which has a budget of 63M. "No
artificial positive discrimination will take
place", confirms Philippe Froissard, deputy
head ofthe specific international cooperation
activities unit at the Commission's Research
DG, "Funding is based on free competition
and scientific excellence. We are not funding
any capacity building programme but high
quality research in areas of mutual interest
and benefit".

Capacity building for Research has received
funding under the 9th EDF (see box)
and has been allocated 40M in the 10th.
"These funds will benefit ail the ACP coun-
tries", states Francesco Affinito, "and by
providing experience and enhancing capac-
ity will enable ACP researchers and their
institutions to gain easier access to FP7
funding". D.P.

EU-AU Partnership on Science; Francesco
Affinito; Philippe Froissard; Patrice
Cayr; Tunisia; France; ERA-NET
Africa; FP7; EDF.


During the ACP ministerial forum on augment their networking capacities. Not improvement in the quality of research
research held in Cape Town in 2002, only the ACP countries are concerned, results and ensure they are used and
the ACP group decided to launch a pro- as the programme is also open to the 27 distributed more effectively.
gramme aimed at supporting the activities EU Member States, the three European Six priority research sectors have been
of its researchers. The ACP Science and countries which have applied to join the established: high-quality healthcare (tra-
Technology Programme took off in June EU and the three European Economic ditional medicine and progress in biotech-
2008. VVith a budget of E35M (E30M from Area countries. It will also contribute to nology), environmental research, energy
the 9th European Development Fund and the evaluation of research requirements (in particular, renewable energies), trans-
E5M from the European envelope for in order to enable countries to consoli- port (the saturation of transport capacity,
cooperation with South Africa), it should date or implement national research poli- air pollution and accidents), agriculture
allow universities and research centres to cies. Networking should also produce an and agro-industry and fair trade.


The South


bouin ATrican Asironomical UDservarory (bAAU), buineriana,
South Africa. Reporters/Science Photo Library I

B olstered by its considerable scientific
prowess, with the highest number
of patents and published articles on
the continent, South Africa is intent
on playing a major role in strengthening
African cooperation.

Firstly, it is at the heart of the SADC (the
South African Development Community,
bringing together 14 countries from Southern
Africa and the Indian Ocean), then by sign-
ing bilateral agreements, following the model
of the treaty with Kenya, which is renewed
once-yearly. Following this, emphasises Daan
du Toit, adviser for science and technology to
the South-African Mission to the European
Union, "our R&D partnership with the EU
is one of the most longstanding, going back
to 1996, just after apartheid. This agreement
was a model of its type, even though today it
is no longer as important, since the 7th EU
R&D framework programme has become
open to all". But above all, he insists, "this
experience makes R&D one of the priorities
of African cooperation. Thus, during the first
presidency of NEPAD (New Partnership
for Africa's Development), South Africa has
worked extensively on the African initiative on
science. Our commitment to support African
research is now a reality."

There are five priorities in African Research
& Development, starting with agriculture
and health by means of the 'Farmer to
Pharma' programme, which uses biotechno-
logical and agronomical research to develop


new input and drugs. Renewable energies
come second, particularly solar energy and
fuel cells. Thirdly, the fight against cli-
mate change and maintaining biodiversity.
Finally, space research and the cross-cutting
examination of the impact of technology on
society. M.M.B.

Sciences; South Africa; NEPAD;
Innovation and research; South Africa;
Kenya; World Economic Forum.



South Africa has confirmed its position earlier development stage. She neverthe-
as the most innovative sub-Saharan Af- less noted Namibia's rise from 111th to
rican nation, followed by Kenya, where 103rd in the rankings, and Tanzania's im-
the strength of the network of coopera- provementfrom 101stto93rd. Insouthern
tion between private and public-sector Africa, Botswana climbed to 71 st, Lesotho
research has proven itself, despite the to 95th, Madagascar to 84th, Mozambique
major political unrest following the 2007 to 105th and Zambia to 90th.
elections. These are the findings of the
2009/2010 Global Competitiveness Re- In the western Africa region, Burkina
port published in September by the VVorld Faso was ranked 76th, Benin 89th, Cam-
Economic Forum. eroon 102nd, Gambia 72nd, Cte d'Ivoire
104th and Senegal 54th. Burundi and
South Africa is in the highly respectable Chad came in at 116th and 120th respec-
position of 41st (out of 133 worldwide). tively. Malawi and Mauritania's positions
Kenya came in at 48th. The other sub- remain unchanged at 94th and 125th re-
Saharan countries rank quite low for in- spectively. Countries slipping down the
ovation, which Jennifer Blanke, chief rankings included Nigeria (73rd), Mali
economist at the VVorld Economic Forum (81st), Mauritius (85th), Uganda (98th),
and one of the report's authors, says is Ethiopia (11 2th), Ghana (11 5th) and Zim-
not yet a problem because they are in an babwe (1 24th).

Dossier Science

Cuba, where science and

development go hand in hand

A figure that speaks volumes: Cuba allocates approximately 1.2 percent of its GDP (thus more
than the EU average) to scientific research and technological development. Two sectors bio-
technology and pharmaceuticals remain the priority although the government has decided to
strengthen research in other sectors too, in particular the basic sciences, information and com-
munication technologies and the social sciences.

C uba has given priority to education
since the early 1960s. It is thanks
to the national literacy programme
launched at that time that Cuba
today can pride itself on having one of the
highest literacy rates of any developing
country. The Cuban programme today
known by the slogan "Yes, 1 can" has
spread to the entire region. Alongside edu-
cation, research is another Cuban priority.
Here the main aim is to implement a "com-
plete cycle" programme under which scien-
tific research is linked to the use of results to
benefit the country's development. It is also
a programme based on human resources,
reflected in the fact that in Cuba 1.8 people
for every 1,000 work in science, an average

that far exceeds levels in other developing

In the past 50 years a number of scientific
research centres including seven major
ones have been set up in Cuba. Most
of these are concentrated in Havana, at
the "West Havana Scientific Pole", which
is home to a number of prestigious insti-
tutes such as the Centre for Genetic and
Biotechnological Engineering (Centro de
Ingenieria Genetica y Biotecnologia), recog-
nised for its performances in terms of pro-
duction (the recombinant vaccine using
a single purified viral or bacterial protein
- against hepatitis B, for example) and
biotechnological research; the Pedro Kouri

Institute of Tropical Medicine, recently
praised by the UN and Harvard University
as a spearhead of the Cuban health sys-
tem; and the National Centre for Scientific
Research (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones
Cientificas), known for its achievements in
research in the neuroscience, natural prod-
ucts, the medical use of ozone and PPG pro-
duction (an anti-cholesterol drug obtained
from sugar cane). M.M.B.

Cuba; science; neem.


Science Dossier

Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Data sharing to

improve medical research

The Medishare project, financed by the Edulink Programme,
in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

I CINECA- Kick off Meeting, Bologna, Italy, 22-24 October 2008. 0 EugeniaRinaldi

tries, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
have a heavy disease burden which is
shouldered by the rural poor, espe-
cially women and children. The main obsta-
cles to achieving the MDG (Millennium
Development Goals) 4, 5 and 6 of reducing
child and maternal mortality, as well as
combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuber-
culosis (the leading infectious diseases) in
sub-Saharan Africa, have been inequitable
health systems.

Improvement in the quality, management
and use of health data has been of particular
importance. The Medishare project aims to
create a durable and sustainable partnership
governed by a bottom-up and horizontal
flow of knowledge between universities and
hospitals. The project leader is CINECA,
a consortium for high-performance com-
puting and information processing partici-
pated in by 36 Italian universities, and the
partners include the University of Nairobi,
the Makerere University in Uganda, the
Muhimbili Univestiy of Health and Allied
Sciences in Tanzania and the Almalaura

The project is financed by the Edulink
Programme which is a European Develop-
ment Fund programme (www.acp-edulink.


eu). So far, the project has created an
academic research cell in each country,
with expertise in the epidemiological/clini-
cal trial field, and has also completed a pilot
phase of data collection from eight private
and public hospitals in the three countries.
A database of 1,181 patients has now been
created and the method was approved last
September by the Ethical Committees of the
three countries.

A new phase of the project has now begun,
which involves increasing the number of
active clinical sites that register their patients
on the Medishare Database.

E-learning about HIV infection and research
on HIV-affected children is also available on
the website, with certification of training

"We want to increase this aspect of our
project", says the project coordinator Marisa
De Rosa, "particularly through training on
doctor-patient communication and social
communication campaigns. We need to pro-
duce more information about the real causes
of disease in order to avoid social stigma
against sick people. We can say that this is
the first political recommendation we have
gathered from this phase of the project: gov-
ernments, stakeholders and decision-makers

must commit themselves to increasing infor-
mation and communication aimed at sick
people and at the whole of society. This is
also fundamental for preventative action".

The project leader also aims to involve phar-
maceutical companies, ail of which carry
out restricted clinical trials in individual
countries, producing isolated databases. One
of the objectives of the project is to involve
these companies in its knowledge registry
and to standardise procedures, to allow for
data comparison. Another goal is to extend
the research in order to include a greater
number of African states in the research
network, as well as including new diseases
such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular
disease, through financing which could be
obtained from within the 7th Framework

Waiting/Registration/Consultation room in the Bagamoyo
hospital (Tanzania), September 2009. 0 EugeniaRinaldi

Data sharing; medical research;
epidemiology; malaria; AIDS;
tuberculosis; MEDISHARE; CINECA;
Edulink Programme.

Students, University ot Juba, Sudan. Atrican scientists are
pushing for reform of the continent's education systems,
which can help quell the brain drain, Reporters

How can the brain drain be
stemmed, particularly from
Africa to the developed
countries? And what roles
can those leaving play in
the strategy? These two
questions have yet to be

T he Network of African Science
Academies (NASAC) reminded
the world's major powers at the
G8+5 summit in Italy last July of
the devastating impact the brain drain con-
tinues to have on Africa. In a press release
issued a month before the G8+5 summit,
NASAC underlined the fact that: "a third of
African scientists live and work in developed

African scientists have urged the devel-
oped countries to help Africa to rebuild its
higher education system. They also remind
them of the recommendations made by the
commission set up by the former British
Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In more specific
terms, these recommendations involve the



release of US$3bn over a 10-year period
- "an imperative" according to the com-
mission to develop centres of excellence
in science and technology and US$5bn
to fund universities in Africa. While this
demand is recognized by the G8, it has so
far been very cautious about committing
itself financially.

The declaration also emphasises the need
to create links between African scien-
tists abroad and those still on the conti-
nent. Initial efforts include the meeting
in August between Jean-Pierre Ezin, the
African Union's Commissioner responsible
for Science and Technology, and the African
Scientific Institute (ASI). This networking
organisation based in California recom-
mends allowing African scientists overseas
to contribute to the continent's scientific

> Risk of derailment

The ASI is not the only organisation call-
ing for change. South Africa's National
Research Foundation administered by the
African office of the International Council
for Science (ICSU) -hopes to create a data-
base of researchers and to source funding for
joint projects. Initial funding is expected to

come from the African countries rather than
overseas donors, says Sospeter Muhungo,
director of ICSU Africa. Linda Nordling
- former editor-in-chief of the online jour-
nal 'Research Africa' and journalist for
'SciDev' believes Muhungo's words reflect
an increasing concern about the unintended
effects of engaging the diaspora. She said:
"although African scientists abroad are full
of good intentions, they could using their
connections to overseas funders inadvert-
ently hijack the African science agenda."

The Nelson Mandela Institution's African
Institute of Science and Technology (AIST)
is one example of these growing concerns.
AIST is one of the most ambitious col-
laborations between international donors
and African scientists on and off the con-
tinent. The brainchild of senior scientists
living mainly in the USA, it was supposed
to be modelled on the Indian Institute
of Technology, with a campus in each
African region: north, east, west and cen-
tral. M.M.B.

Brain drain; Diaspora; African Union;


I I 'i I -.
J,,'m ?,i i, ,,B



Interaction ACP-EU

I Downtown Stockholm. 0 Hegel Couter

> Rice doubled in price

The effects of the financial crisis on one of
the world's poorest nations, Sierra Leone,
were evoked by the country's President,
Ernest Bai Koroma. Sierra Leone still hov-
ers at the bottom of the United Nations
Development Programme's (UNDP) Human
Development Index. He told a plenary that
the price of rice had doubled in less than a
year. And the growth of the country which
was 6.4 per cent in 2007 had shrunk to 5.5
per cent in 2008 and 4 per cent in 2009.

President of the African Development
Bank, Donald Kaberuka, said the crisis
had "undermined the efforts of Africans to
manage themselves", wiping out 10 years of
economic reform in six months and hitting
hard countries like Botswana and Mauritius,
both countries posting previously strong
economic performances.

"The Bretton Woods Institutions are begin-
ning to show their age; some say it is time to
consider their retirement", suggested Otive
Igbuzor, Head of International Campaigns
for Action Aid International. Dominique
Strauss-Khan, Managing Director of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) found-
ed after World War II to garner global finan-
cial stability, stated that "the IMF is going
back to its roots" and said that the body is
reducing the scope of demands it makes on
countries and paying more attention to local

Dr Igbuzor hit out at tax evasion by multi-
national companies: "Robin Hood robs from
the poor to give to the rich" he said. This

money, which he put at an annual $106bn,
half of Sweden's GDP, could be more usefully
spent on developing countries, he suggested.

Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate
in 2006 and Managing Director of Grameen
Bank, called for a fundamental redesign
of the international financial system which
leaves out two-thirds of the globe's popu-
lation. He said that the time had come to
reject selfishness with profit maximisation
in favour of selflessness favouring social
business and non-dividend companies.

> Big business on trial

Big business was also on trial in a debate
on Democracy and Development. Kumi
Naidoo, Honorary President of CIVICUS,
the World Alliance for Citizen Participation,
called to account the big business in manip-

Muhammad Yunus speaks at the 2009 European
Development Days, Stockholm, Sweden.
European Commission

ulating democracy. There were many calls
at the EDD for the strengthening of civil
society so it can play its full part in tak-
ing up opportunities to participate in the
Africa-EU partnership. "Democracy with-
out a civil society is a simulation", said
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director
of the United Nations Population Fund.
Homage for one of the pillars of democracy,
a free press, was marked in the prize giving
ceremony for the EC's annual Natali awards
for journalism (see separate article).

Calls for action on climate change came
thick and fast. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel
Peace Laureate in 2007 and Chairman of
the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC), told a plenary debate on
the subject that his organisation had evalu-
ated that by 2020, 75-250 million people in
Africa could be under "water stress" due to
climate change.

Emmanuel Manny Mori, President of the
Federated States of Micronesia, said his
country comprised of 600 islands in the
Western Pacific was "on the verge of drown-
ing". He called for a change lifestyles with
less consumption of planet's resources. Raila
Odinga, Kenya's Prime Minister, described
the potent symbol of climate change in
his country: the ice cap on top of Mount
Kilimanjaro was shrinking, having reduced
by 80 per cent between 1912-2009; it could
entirely disappear by 2015.

Michle Louis, who was Prime Minister of
Haiti at the time of the EDD event, called
for compensation for developing countries
like her own who were bearing the damage
caused by somebody else. She asked: "Is it
going to be possible to achieve a globally
agreed system to stop the causes of climate
change and done to those suffering the con-
sequences without having caused them?"

Carl Bildt, Sweden's Foreign Affairs Minis-
ter, said that the EU has taken a lead with a
commitment to cut 1990 levels of emissions
of greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2020.
Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of the
Non Governmental Organisation, Oxfam
International, said: "There is no room for
plan B. Failure in Copenhagen will mean
loss of life". Hobbs called for the EU to make
available a 11 lObn adaptation and mitigation
fund for developing nations".

And for those worried about the carbon foot-
print of the holding of the EDD, President
Barroso said it had generated 120,000 in
carbon 'offset' funds. D.P.


ACP-EU Interaction

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1 Mount Kilimanjaro. 0 Reporters/Eureka Slde


flfrican continent

headiines Lorenzo flatali

Left: Mactar Silla, Chairman of the
Association of Private Producers and
Televisions of Africa, presents the top
Africa category prize to Richard Mgamba.
Hegel Goutier
Center: EC Commissioner for
Development Karel De Guchtwith prize
winners. Hegel Gouter
Right: Commissioner De Gucht presents
the overall Grand Prixaward to Yee-
Chong Lee. 0 EC coin

Journalism Prize 2009

Africa's reporting features strongly in this year's Lorenzo Natali prize for journalism. This
European Commission (EC) competition was set up in 1992 to reward the authors of pub-
lished stories across the continents which reflect a commitment to human rights, democracy
and development, in honour of Lorenzo Natali, the European Commissioner for Development
1985-1989 who died in 1990.

Africa, Latin America and the
Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific
and Europe also share total prize
money of $60,000. This year's competi-
tion was jointly organised with two leading
bodies defending press freedom, 'Reporters
without Borders' and the 'World Association
of Newspapers'.

At the awards ceremony held during the
annual European Development Days (EDD)
event in Stockholm, Sweden, October 22-24,
Margot Wallstrm, EU Commissioner for
Communications andInstitutional Relations,
said that the winning stories had recounted,
".. .uncomfortable truths in shedding light
on the darkest corners of human behaviour
yet offer hope for the future".

Yee Chong-Lee's report, Sichuan Earth-
quake One year on for China's Now TV,
which exposes continued sub-standard con-
struction in Sichuan province a year after a
devastating earthquake killed some 50,000
people, won the overall Grand Prix award.

The top prize in the Africa category went
to Tanzanian journalist, Richard Mgamba,
for 'The Battle for Souls' published in the
country's The Guardian on Sunday. It reveals
the rocketing rate of Albino killings in
Tanzania for organs, notably genital parts.

Second-placed Anas Aremeyaw Anas from
Ghana went undercover for six months for
his publication, The New Crusading Guide, to
expose how Chinese girls are lured to work
in Ghana's sex trade. Hiding his identity
at the awards ceremony for fear of reprisal,
Anas said that the traffickers had recently
been handed down a sentence of a total
of 42 years' imprisonment. In his article,
Orpaillage Du pain souterrain au prix de la
tmrit (Gold-washing: underground dough
for the foolhardy) published in L'vnement,
third-placed Moussa Zongo exposes the
appalling conditions in gold mines in the
North of Burkina Faso where 20 people have
lost their lives since the beginning of 2009.

Overall prize-winners in the special tel-
evision category were South African Johann
Abrahams and Zimbabwean Godknows
Nare for Hell hole, an investigation with
hidden cameras into the conditions inside
Zimbabwean jails broadcast by South Afri-
can Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The
special radio prize went to Freddy Mata
Matundu's and Larissa Diakanua's joint
report, Enfants dits 'sorciers': enfants en danger
('Witch children': children in danger), broad-
cast on DRC's 'Radio Top Congo FM'.

Raped by seven soldiers, a report by Lucy
Adams for Scotland's Herald Magazine on
the women of the sexual abuse of women in

the DRC province of South Kivu, won first
prize in the Europe category. D.P.
For how to enter for next year's competition see:

I]om Letliitionfor.6-18]i[ a ii'd on a I gIJiiv-i
en" Lopic'. -Th is yea' topics wer i 'gendL r
Iquali',i b'clh illle and'yot hl' [,cutu

dIversity', "nde theJ'I L vea L hem ofhu
Iman developetinArca h 2 i


"Te. im elem en o of te jitE- Afre a- tatee- an e cio Pla ea no ye lied

hef of Stf att e jon faeU e as Fre meigia-i bba coe h
ofa oit U-U initril ro ka, 13-14 October.

EU Strategy is heading two years
on from its launch in 2007 was
carried out at the AU's head-
quarters in Addis Ababa at the beginning
of October. Meetings of AU and EU offi-
cials in each of the eight partnerships of
the strategy which preceded the Troika,
were chaired by Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden's
Minister for International Cooperation and
Dr. Ali Treki, Libya's Secretary for AU
Affairs who is current Chairman of the AU's
Executive Council.

Shikaiye said that financial constraints
hampered the implementation of the Joint
Strategy and first action plan (2008-2010)
of projects in the eight partnership areas,
although many are underway, notably in the
science and technology sector (see dossier
in this issue).

Whilst the AU/EU ministerial communi-
qu noted the commitment of both sides to
strengthening the strategy, it also called for
more "buy-in" of African countries. On the
funding front, the AU wants to see a "dedi-
cated fund" for projects. The communique
called for better mobilisation of all existing
resources and a search of all avenues for new
ones including from the private sector and
other donors such as the African Development
Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank
(EIB) and World Bank (WB).

The lack ofinstitutional 'capacity' within the
AU to implement the partnership also came
under scrutiny although the EC has pledged
55M of European Development Funds
(EDF) for 'capacity building' including a
staff exchange programme. Such projects
are yielding results, say EC officials, despite
cash flow problems


Young couple looks ata map of Africa and Europe at
the site of the EU-Africa summit, Lisbon, 2007.

> Second action plan

A second 'Action Plan' is expected to be
approved at the 2010 Africa-EU Summit
and will attempt to rectify some of the dif-
ficulties. The joint communique called for
scaled-up involvement ofnon-state actors in
the strategy although some civil society rep-
resentatives did participate in the October
Joint Expert Group (JEG) meetings.

At a seminar, 'Citizens in the AU-EU
partnership', held during the European
Development Days (22-24 October) event in
Stockholm, Klaus Rudischhauser, Director
of General Affairs in the EC's Directorate
General for Development, stressed that
the strategy was not just a "government-
to-government affair". A meeting of the
European Economic and Social Committee

(EESC), the EU consultative body repre-
senting socio-economic interest groups, is
to be held in Addis Ababa in May 2010.
A member of Zambian NGO 'Women for
Change Zambia,' said at the seminar
that dialogue must include women's voices:
"There are 51 per cent women in Africa, lest
we forget".

The political dialogue side of the strategy
has been easier to implement. The Addis
Ababa Ministerial meeting included talks on
Sudan, Somalia, Great Lakes region, Guinea,
Madagascar elections and Zimbabwe plus
global issues such as climate change and the
global economic crisis. D.P.


AU-EU Africa Strategy; John K. Shikaiye;
GuniHa Carisson; Ali Treki.


Commissione tr n s or lin k stAtni aan ta on
amoed sea e ai e n e i lie k aewe c ean *aop

opae conferen of et on e Tha future of Trann2

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade and EU
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H Commissioner for Transport Antonjo Tajani at a joint
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H press conference at the European Commission, 2009.
E r p1 Reporters/AP

corridors. Tajani said that a recent World
ErpBank-EU study on Africa's infrastructure
had put Africa's overall infrastructure needs
at between US$5-6bn per year.

The EC is already assisting the develop-
ment of infrastructure within African coun-
tries and also between them. Its recent
plans are laid out in the EC's 2006 paper,
'Interconnecting Africa: the EU-Africa
Partnership on Infrastructure' (http://ec.

I Merchant ships, on the horizon, have a long wait to enter Luanda harbour, Angola. 0 DebraPercivaI2009

experts' conference took stock of
what's already on track and needs
to be done to integrate land, sea
and air transport to make the movement of
people and goods within the EU easier to
boost the economy of its 27 Member States.
Organised by the Commission, the Italian
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure,
and the Swedish Presidency of the European
Union, the event branched out to include the
Balkans, Western Mediterranean and Africa
as well as Norway, Switzerland, the Russian
Federation and Turkey. Amongst the par-
ticipants were the President of Senegal,
Abdoulaye Wade, and the Africa Union's
(AU) Commissioner for Infrastructure and
Energy, Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim.

"We look to the East, but not enough to
Africa", said EU Commissioner Antonio
Tajani before heading for Naples. He said
that the EU was already working together
with African countries in setting up a part-
nership on civil aviation.

But a wider 'action plan' on transport
projects, to prioritise bringing the conti-

nents closer, is now going to be drawn up
by mid-2010 by the EC and its member
states with African partners. It will build
on the EC's July 2009 Communication,
'Connecting Africa and Europe: working
towards strengthening transport coopera-
tion'. Tajani said that an official from the
EC's Transport Directorate would be dis-
patched to the Ethiopian capital, Addis
Ababa and the seat of the Africa Union
(AU), to set up an informal transport forum
within the EU-Africa partnership (see sepa-
rate article).

> "Innouatiue funding"

But projects will require "innovative fund-
ing", said Tajani. He hinted that more
finance would be sought from the European
Investment Bank (EIB), as well as through
project bonds and setting up public-private
partnerships. Tajani also told journalists
that he would also like to see revision of EU
financial perspectives (2007-2013) for the
purpose. The conference declaration called
for sharing knowledge of the EU's own
TEN-T programme with African partners
to help the implementation of pan-African

comm pdf com 2006 0376 f en intercon-
necterafrique.PDF). Funding for projects
within and between African nations corners
from existing national and regional pro-
grammes for the wider African, Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) Group of states under
the respective 9th (2000-2007) and 10th
(2008-2013) European Development Funds
(EDF). Additional financing comes from
the ACP Infrastructure Trust Fund of
which a part is for transport of which
C108M under the 9th EDF, and since boost-
ed by C300M under the 10th EDF. Funding
for infrastructure development within and
between North African nations; Algeria,
Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, is from various
budgets under the 'European neighbour-
hood policy' including the Facility for Euro-
Mediterranean Investment and Partnership
(FEMIP) sponsored by the EIB. D.P.
For more information see: www.ten-t-days-2009-

Antonio Tajani; transport; EDF;
EU-Africa partnership; FEMIP; TEN-T


Africa Interaction

These are the words of the
Ambassador of South Africa
to the European Union,
Dr. Anil Sooklal, who
reflects, in an interview
with The Courier, on the
broadening relationship
between his country and
the European Union (EU)
in the wake of the second
only SA-EU Summit held in
Kleinmond, South Africa,
11 September.

I Dr. Anil Sooklal. Hegel Gouter2009

A although South Africa is a member
of the Cotonou Agreement for
ACP countries, political coop-
eration, development, economic
and some other forms of cooperation are
governed by the 1999 Trade, Development
and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)
under which the country receives 980M
in assistance (2007-2013), the bulk of
which is budget support. At the Summit,
a 120M project; 100M from EC fund-
ing and 20M from the United Kingdom's
Department for International Development
(DFID), was signed to assist the pledge of
one million jobs made by South African's
President Jacob Zuma in his June State
of the Nation speech. In addition, South
Africa receives 900M of loans (2007-
2013) from the European Investment Bank
(EIB) which mainly go to infrastructure;
a budget South Africa hopes will increase.

Three or four chapters of the TDCA were
reviewed at the Summit in a mandatory
five-year revision, but not trade. "We have
bracketed the trade chapter for now because
of our involvement in negotiations on an
Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)",
says the Ambassador. Some fellow coun-
tries of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC)* have already signed
an interim 'goods only' EPA with the EU.
"The reason why we did not sign an interim
agreement at the end of 2007 is that there
were a number of "unresolved negotiating
issues", said the Ambassador. These include
tariff alignment, the Most Favoured Nation
(MFN) clause and rules of origin. "A major

concern is that the agreement undermines
the South African Customs Union (SACU)
and our regional integration agenda." The
fear is that cheaper EU goods entering fel-
low SACU countries Bostwana, Lesotho
and Swaziland all of whom have signed
an interim EPA, might now enter the South
African market. He says this may eventually
lead to a re-instatement of borders between
other SACU countries.

Under the TCDA, 94 per cent of South
Africa's exports will be able to enter the EU
market duty-free in 2012 and 86 per cent of
imports from the EU will be able to enter
South Africa's market duty-free by that
date. The Ambassador also says that any
EPA agreed to at this stage by South Africa
would be 'goods only'. His country is not
in a position to discuss services and invest-
ment at this time, he says, since the region
first has to develop a common position
around what are known as the "Singapore
issues" (Services) and should not pre-empt
the Doha Round discussions in the areas
in the World Trade Organisation. Says the
Ambassador: "Let us first harmonise in the
region so we can have a proper agreement
with the EU of equal benefit to us all."

> Knowledge swaps

In addition, the Summit took stock of
the 2007 SA-EU 'Strategic Partnership'
which involves dialogue between the EU
and South Africa on a whole range of
issues: Migration, Health, Space, Energy,
Information and Communication Technol-


Interaction Africa

ogy (ICT), Maritime Transport, Science
and Technology, Trade, Development,
Environment, Sustainable Development
and Peace and Security.

The aim is to exchange expertise in such
areas. "For example, in the area of energy,
we have created two working groups; one
on clean coal technology and one on car-
bon capture and storage", explains the
Ambassador. Under the EU's 7th Research
Framework Programme South Africa has
been awarded 13M through calls for pro-
posais to South African organizations.

The Summit also took stock of the glo-
bal financial situation, climate change, the
Iranian nuclear situation, the Middle East
peace process and situations in Somalia and
Darfur, and Zimbabwe. Says Ambassador

I Work on the new rapid transport system for
Johannesburg for the FIFAWorld Cup.
Hans Pienaar 2009

CLet us first

harmonise in the

region so we can

have a proper

agreement with

EU of equal benefit

to us ail..

Sooklal: "We have been criticised over our
policy towards Zimbabwe. We could not
afford to see a failed state the impact on
our country and its neighbours would have
been too ghastly to contemplate. Zimbabwe
is moving in a positive direction and we
have to work to ensure that we have a pros-
perous and stable Zimbabwe."

He stresses that the SA-EU Strategy
should feed into the Africa-EU Strategy
(see separate articles in this issue on the
AU-EU Troika, Transport and Science and
Tehnology). "The Africa agenda is one of
our key areas of foreign policy", says the
Ambassador. South Africa is present in six
out of the eight Africa-EU partnerships. But
additional political impetus in the process is
needed. The 'action plan' agreed had been
left to the African Union's Commission
- which lacks resources and the EU
Commission. "The regional communities
have to have more of a role in advancing this

Cape Town waterfront, South Africa. M Peravai

programme. Under the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (NEPAD), the driv-
ing force is the regional economic commu-
nities. We believe that if we adapt the same
model, we will find a faster pace of deliv-
ery", he says, adding that various African
countries should "champion" selected part-
nerships to drive them forward. A lack of
funding is also an issue and the private sec-
tor and civil society need to be brought on
board to a greater extent, adds Ambassador
Sooklal. "It is a programme about us, about
the African continent, working with the
EU", he says.

The Ambassador responds to news of pro-
tests in South Africa over a downturn in
the economy: "Prior to the financial crisis,
the South African economy was growing at
about five per cent. We had an energy crisis
at the end of 2007 and 2008 and this has
been due to the fact that growth was going
too fast and we did not plan well enough".
He says that even prior to the global eco-
nomic crisis, South Africa already put in
place a 787bn** rand programme to reno-
vate infrastructure. The hosting of the 2010
FIFA World Cup is also expected to give the
economy a boost.

"There is the developed South Africa that
has been moved by the new opportunities
created by democracy and is becoming part
of the global mainstream and the second
economy where there are major challenges",
he says, including "service delivery".

"With the EC we have discussed regional
policy and how it has worked and helped the
smaller accession countries. We agreed with
the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy,
that they will run a workshop in South
Africa next year to share their experiences
with us and see how we can draw lessons
from the EU experience, especially in terms
of service delivery and local government",
says Ambassador Sooklal. D.P.

* The EU has signed a 'goods only' agreement
in the SADC Region with: Botswana, Lesotho,
Mozambique and Swaziland (2009). Botswana,
Lesotho and Swaziland are SACU members along
with South Africa and Namibia.
** 10.84 South African rand = 1 Euro (15/10/2009,

Dr. Anil Sooklal; South Africa; Jacob
Zuma; SADC; SACU; NEPAD; Africa-EU


about new

:uropean priorities

"European policies make developing countries poorer", was the verdict of a report published
by the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development on October 13 in Brussels.
CONCORD is particularly concerned about the Commission's proposals to adopt a more tar-
geted approach, reducing the number of policy areas analysed in terms of their impact on

T he EU's commitment to Policy
Coherence for Development (PCD)
began in 2005. The EU originally
identified and committed itself to
achieving coherence between internal and
development policies in 12 areas trade,
the environment, climate change, security,
agriculture, fisheries, the social dimension
of globalisation, employment and decent
working conditions, migration, research, the
information society, transport and energy.

The food, energy and financial crises that
have struck in the meantime have high-
lighted the growing interdependence of
economies and the increasing importance
of flows of capital other than public aid for
developing countries. Taking all aspects
into account, a communication published
by the Commission on 15 September said it
was necessary to focus on a few PCD priori-
ties, restricting its commitment to the fol-
lowing areas: climate change, food security,


migration, intellectual property rights and
peace and security.

> Cler departure
CONCORD has grave concerns about this
new approach. A press release issued by the
NGO said: "This document marks a clear
departure from the Commission's com-
mitment to scrutinising the impact of its
policies on the poor. Vital policy areas such
as trade, which has massive implications for
the lives of millions of poor people, have
suddenly been dropped."

"The EU cannot give with one hand and take
away with the other. It doesn't make sense
for the developing world, and it doesn't make
sense for the EU. This incoherence between
European policies means wasted EU money,
and wasted lives in poor countries", said
Justin Kilcullen, President of CONCORD,

the European NGO Confederation for Relief
and Development.

"The European Union needs to think care-
fully about how policies in different areas
affect the lives of millions of poor peo-
ple outside the EU. Member States need
to implement coherent policies and meet
their aid commitments", explained Rilli
Lappalainen, Secretary-General of the Fin-
nish NGDO platform Kehys, and a member
of CONCORD's Board.

"CONCORD calls on the EU and its Mem-
ber States to ensure that all its policies that
affect developing countries are coherent and
have poverty eradication as their primary
aim" added Justin Kilcullen. M.M.B.

CONCORD; NGO; Policy Coherence for
Development; PCD.

Civil Society on the move

TRIRLOG: matching the sides

of the 11DO triangle

On joining the European Union (EU), Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the EU's
12 'new' Member States had little experience of development cooperation in the South.
Set up in 2000, Vienna-based TRIALOG funded by the European Commission and Austrian
Development Cooperation has been helping to link up the EU's NGOs in the North, South and
East in "building platforms, networks, exchanging information", explains its policy officer in
Brussels, Rebecca Steel-Jasiriska.


Member States
Candidate States
In blue letters: EU 'newcomers'












Belgium Germany
Luxembourg Czech Rep.
Slovac Rep.
ance Switzerland Austria Hungary

i i ,a u




,. ,




1 Map showing EU newcomers. TRIALOG

T en of the 12 'new' member states
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, the Slovak Republic and
Slovenia gained EU membership on 1 May
2004, followed by Bulgaria and Romania on
1 January 2007. TRIALOG is also reaching
out to EU candidate countries including
Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey.

Although they do not have as much develop-
ment experience, NGOs from the newcomer
states do have unique experience in work-
ing on development projects in their own
backyards such as in Belarus, Ukraine and
also in Afghanistan. TRIALOG is filling
the gap in integrating the NGOs of the new
EU member states and accession countries
into EU's NGO umbrella body, the NGO

Confederation for Relief and Development

In 2006, a development 'fair' to match
up NGOs from all corners of the EU and
its neighbours with partners in developing
countries, took place in Vienna. Another
such event is on the cards for February
2010 (venue to be decided). TRIALOG's
other activities have included strengthened
policy dialogue and networking, training on
EU policies and how to go about obtaining
funding from institutions. It has also pro-
vided information on development policy for
the respective presidencies of two member
states; Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Rebecca Steel-Jasiriska explains that
TRIALOG, and the national development

platforms of new member states that it is
helping set up, still have their work cut out
in raising public awareness of the need for
action against poverty and equal relations
between developed and developing coun-
tries in the EU's newest states.

> D0n ,a-ging

The 12 currently lag behind in the amount
of Gross National Income (GNI) spent
on development assistance. According to
CONCORD's 'AidWatch' which tracks levels
of Official Development Assistance (ODA)
in all EU Member States, the EU's 12 new
members are behind in their target of a
collective 0.17 per cent of Gross National
Income (GNI) to be spent on ODA by 2010
and 0.55 per cent by 2015, especially given
that some of them, including Estonia and
Latvia, have cut their respective national
ODA commitments this year. This puts in
doubt the attainment by the EU's 27 member
state of a collective GNI commitment of 0.56
per cent by 2010 and 0.7 per cent by 2015.*

Phase IV ofthe TRIALOG project (Septem-
ber 2009-September 2012) is to include the
publication of a step-by-step guide to Policy
and Advocacy, further development of the
national platforms and the participation in
a major conference of development NGOs
scheduled to take place in November 2010 in
Managua, Nicaragua. The event is expected
to discuss the way forward for Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) and aims to develop
a code of conduct for civil society and to
sharpen its profile. D.P.

* Statistics from 'Lighten the load In a time of
crisis, European aid has never been more important',
CONCORD, May 2009.

TRIALOG; Rebecca Steel-Jasifiska;



ilIl ad

The Amsterdam-based Common Fund for
Commodities (CCF), now 20 years old, is alive and
kicking despite never having played one of the roles
for which it was conceived. We spoke to its Tanzanian
Managing Director, Ali Mchumo, who took up the

post in 2004, about how it is serving some of the
poorest communities directly or indirectly dependent
on non-oil commodities for their livelihoods.

I AmbassadorAli Mchumo. DebraPercival2009

I t was originally planned as a mechanism
to intervene in price volatility which hit
the revenue and livelihoods in some of
world's poorest countries. Ambassador
Mchumo explains: "When former colonies
became independent in the 1960s, the coun-
tries found that the international economic
order was not very conducive and supportive
to development of commodities. They were
affected by the volatility of the prices of
commodities, also by negative terms oftrade
with developed countries who sell industrial
goods, in other words, the prices of com-
modities declined and the import of indus-
trial goods grew so there was a mismatch".

The idea of a fund to stabilise prices for
commodities such as tea, coffee, rubber and
cocoa to buy buffer stocks which could be
bought in a time of high production and sold
during a time of lower production surfaced
in the United Nations' Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD). The Fund
was up and running by 1989.

"Even when it was being discussed in the
UN, there were mixed feelings. Buffer


stocks were a non-starter, so what we have
been doing since is to concentrate on the
second objective: financing of commodity
projects to enable farmers to increase their
productivity and value of commodity, post-
harvest quality control and also pest and
disease control", explains the Ambassador.

> 11DG focus

The CCF's current five-year action plan
(2008-2012) is in line with the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and foresees
the link between commodity development
and poverty reduction through increas-
ing pre-harvest productivity, post-harvest
processing, marketing and quality improve-
ment, market expansion projects and price
risk management. Projects can be funded
for any of 37 commodities and three metals
minerals: zinc, copper and lead.

The CCF is an inter-governmental body:
its 107 (www.common-fund.org) members
each pay a one-off 'capital contribution'
which is invested to finance the running
of the body and also some projects. But its

main source of project funding is voluntary
contributions which come largely from big-
ger countries including The Netherlands,
Japan and Germany. In addition, the fund
has non-paying institutional members
including the EC, the African Union, the
Common market for Eastern and Southern
Africa (COMESA) and Caribbean commu-
nity (CARICOM).

About 42 per cent of projects financed to
date are in Asia, 34 per cent in Africa, 22
per cent in Latin America and 2 per cent
in others countries. Ambassador Mchumo
explains that the unique thing about the
CCF is its commodity rather than country
approach. He explains that CCF projects
are "demand driven", coming straight from

One project bearing fruit for a handful of
East and Southern African states including
Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania is the
provision of better seedlings for cashew nut
producers. It means higher yields, within
three years, instead of six to seven.


And a project in East Africa is enabling sisal
producers to get more from their produc-
tion, not just by selling fibre, but also from
sisal waste. "We are using sisal waste which
is 95 per cent of the plant to produce gas
which can provide electricity for rural use
and also for fertilizer", explains Ambassador

The EC is also contributing to CCF
projects through its All-ACP Agricultural
Commodities Programme. A West Africa
seed cotton project for small holder cotton
famers in Burkina Faso, Cte d'Ivoire and
Mali (EC support in the range .I -Uis .5M)
means that farmers will be able to sell

uncontaminated cotton seed at high prices.
In East Africa the programme is backing
a project (EC contribution of $US1M)
to improve the efficiency of small-scale
cotton farming. Ambassador Ali Mchumo
says CCF's focus is on Least Developed
Countries (LDCs) and the poorest in higher
revenue developing nations.

> 'Warehouse system'

But can the fund do something more sys-
temic about the commodity price vagaries
which can have devastating effects on some
of the poorest rural communities? The
Ambassador says that the CCF is currently

1 Coffee shrub, Togo. Reporters/BSIP

rolling out a 'warehouse system'. "Because
of price volatility, we are piloting a scheme
in some countries whereby we appoint ware-
house management and the warehouse links
with a local bank. The peasant farmer sells
his produce in the warehouse and is able to
get 60 per cent of the market value of the
product, waiting for a time for the prices
to increase. Our experience is that when
peasants have the produce, they are always
at the mercy of the middle men who want
to take advantage of the peasants' need for
quick money to be able to pay school fees for
their children. Through this system, we are
showing the peasant farmer that he can get a
better price he doesn't have to rush to sell
and this protects him from the volatility at
the local level: we wish we could do this at
a global level."

We asked Ambassador Mchumo whether
governments can do anything to better
manage the ups and downs of commodity
prices. The EC's recently published report,
'Overcoming fragility in Africa: Forging a
new European approach' draws attention to
how commodity price fluctuations have hit
sub-Saharan fragile states during the 2008-
2009 global economic crisis. It reads: "They
are exposed to the crisis mainly through
trade: the reduction in export earnings is
accompanied by an adverse terms of trade
effect reinforced by the excessive depend-
ence on commodity exports of fragile Sub-
Saharan African countries and the polarisa-
tion of their exports."

The Ambassador replies: "We think it is
possible through WTO negotiations on
agriculture or non agricultural marketing
arrangements but also by other interna-
tional fora, provided there is a consensus by
the big players."

He says that the time has come for the
CCF to not only do pilot projects but also
fund more comprehenisve projects that can
have immediate results on the economies of
countries. The CCF's mid-December meet-
ing in The Hague, Netherlands, to mark its
20th anniversary will also look for avenues
to expand its financial resource base, says
the Ambassador. He says that the CCF has
almost 200 proposals from all over the world
on its books waiting for funding. D.P.

Common Fund for Commodities;
Ambassador Ali Mchumo; commodities;
WTO; financial crisis.


Graffiti on the remnants of the inner Berlin Wall near central Berlin, Germany, 2009. PP /Reporters

Twenty years after the event,
Boubacar Boris Diop speaks
about how the fall of the
Berlin Wall was emblematic
of another collapse, namely
that of past deferral to
Western values, and the
necessity of a return to
African identity. Meeting
in Brussels with this major
writer of sub-Saharan
literature, who since 2003,
has decided to write, not
only in French, but also in
Wolof, the language of his
native Senegal.

wind, ensconced in a plush city-cen-
tre hotel bar Boubacar Boris Diop
dislikes the whiff of old cigarettes in
nearby bars the writer begins by telling
us about his current project: looking at the
question of identity. This is actually what


he came to talk about in Brussels, invited
by the circle for Cooperation Education
and Culture (CEC). "The main subject
was Valentin-Yves Mudimbe, the near-wor-
shipped Kinshasa writer who, since teach-
ing in the US, has decided to write only in
English", he explains.

Mudimbe, in his 1979 novel, L'Ecart, tells
the story of Ahmed Nara. Nara is an African
ethnologist who ends up taking his own life
when he finds himself unable to conclude his
research on a population he has been asked
to study, and whose mentality, owing to his
own Western schooling that has equipped
him with inadequate tools and frames of
reference, is entirely estranged to him. "At
the time", explains Boubacar Boris Diop,
"I identified with Ahmed Nara and the
existentialism he symbolised la Sartre and
Camus. But 30 years later, the attachment
is less obvious. You can sense the trickery
and mimicry".

> Sartre's Boris

Today, the Senegalese writer claims his
view is somewhat removed from those major

literary names, Sartre in particular, while
having appropriated, nonetheless, the name
of one of his protagonists in the Chemins de
la liberty cycle, Boris, "the anarchist, the lib-
ertarian", to add to his own "very common
Senegalese family name". Boubacar Boris
Diop, pen name, was born.

To understand this 'rage' in relation to these
allegiance, one has to unwind the thread
of history. And 'Boris', as he is henceforth
known, tells the story. First his childhood:
"my love for stories goes back to my child-
hood, when my mother told stories to me,
my brothers and cousins. 1 wanted to hear
them again; 1 was very impressionable".
Boris went to school and then high school.
"My father was a colonial official, who loved
France, and was bursar at my high school in
Dakar." A school which for a long time bore
the name of Joost Van Vollenhoven, who
was born in Algeria to Dutch parents, and
was Governor of French West Africa (FWA)
in May 1917. Joost Van Vollenhoven, whose
memory remains deep in the hearts of many
a Senegalese for having refused to recruit
Senegalese to the battlefields of World War
I, resigned to go to the front himself, dying


in combat in 1918. "He was a admirable
figure", says Boubacar Boris.

> Berlin, the first shock

While waiting, he devours the books in his
father's library, discovering his favourites:
Victor Hugo's Les Misrables, Jules Verne and
in particular Kipling's Jungle Book. After
that he tackles the existentialists Sartre,
Camus and the others. In 1968, Senegal had
its own 'May 1968'. At the time, one man
stood out: Omar Blondin Diop. A graduate
from the Ecole normal suprieure in Paris
and cohort of Cohn-Bendit, he returned to
Dakar in Senegal to pass on the egalitarian
ideas that had driven May 1968. He was
later to be arrested, imprisoned and then
found dead by suffocation. Senegal, on the
edge of chaos, would return to calm with
the 'help' of France.

"Omar was the hero of my first book; it was
at a time when everyone was a Marxist, or
raved about Che, or raged against French

imperialism". "Still", continues Boris, "we
stayed very close to France; it was a period
of grudging Francophilia".

The first shock came in 1989 the fall of
the Berlin Wall. "We realized that Marxism
and its opposite were only two versions of
Western rationalism. There was no more
Berlin Wall to rely on. We had to bring
issues of our culture and history to the fore-
front. Rediscover Ancient Egypt. Loosen
the shackles of shame."

> Rwanda, open wound

After that came Rwanda. "A group of writ-
ers of which 1 was one went there after the
genocide, in 1998, as part of the 'Rwanda:
writing to remember' project. 1 said to myself
that if one could allow 10,000 Rwandans to
get killed over three months, if no one had
done anything, it was because no one really
cared about Africa. That's when 1 decided
to write in my mother tongue." He contin-
ues: "Literature written in another language

has a transitory status. 1 really believe that.
If we carry on writing in the language of
the colonists: English, French, Portuguese,
we'll eventually come to a dead end."

Boubacar Boris Diop's next book will again
explore the subject of Rwanda; to under-
stand, despite everything. He's working
on it from Tunis, where he currently lives.
Tunis, halfway between Paris and Senegal?
"But also not too far from my family." Boris,
who's just turned 63, has two grown up chil-
dren based in Canada. A literary son "we
don't speak much; instead we just play chess
in the evenings" and a mathematician
daughter. And to relax nothing like a good
football match. "That's what gets me going;
1 like watching Barcelona and I'm a fan
of their previous coach, Dutchman Frank
Rijkaard!" M.M.B and J.M.

Boubacar Boris Diop; Senegal; Mudimbe.






1[ 11



Our planet

Environmental issues present a lot of chal-
lenges to beekeeping in Southern Africa.
Until the environmental and forestry bodies
in the region become active in policing their
areas, nothing much can be expected in the
preservation of naturally bred bees for the
region's development.

> The need for high standards

The beekeeping and honey industries also
face marketing problems. For instance, the
high standards set for honey and beeswax
imports by some European countries and
the United States have made it hard for many
exporters in Southern Africa to penetrate
their markets. Strict regulations on honey
imports from the African region have made
the majority of honey traders, who mostly
deal in wild honey collected from bark hives
after smoking with fresh leaves, unable to
sell their produce to developed countries in
the west. Conditions set by the European
Commission (EC Codex Standard) include
that African honey should have a distinct
pleasant single flower flavour with no trace
of any toxic reagents. It must neither be
smoke-tainted, contaminated, nor laced
with sucrose.

This has proved a tall order for many
African exporters of honey and beeswax who
depend on wild varieties. Sindiso Ngwenya,
Secretary General of the Common Market
for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),
admitted that the region's beekeepers do
not presently have the capacity to meet the
import demands of some European coun-
tries. This means that the great majority
of them will continue to have their com-
modities rejected on the European mar-

kets, hence depriving them of livelihood.
He hoped that European countries would
relax some of their conditions in the spirit
of the Economic Partnership Agreement
(EPA), signed by some of the countries of
the region.

European Union representative in Zambia,
Derek Fee, says importers cannot be asked to
compromise on quality. He advises African
countries to help beekeepers in their areas
to develop their industries to the highest
level possible using new technology in the
breeding of bees and processing of honey
products. "Honey is a delicate product and
requires proper handling right from pri-
mary production to secondary processing,"
he says. He adds, however, that Southern
African honey products will continue to be
in high demand in Europe because of their
natural quality and taste.

> Pushing exports

Only a small number of exporters usu-
ally those working with foreign agents who
understand the overseas markets are the
ones who have found outlets for their pro-
duce. Every month, over 30 million tonnes
of honey and 19 million tonnes of beeswax
from Southern Africa find their way to
European markets. Britain is said to be one
of the largest consumers of honey from the
region, importing between 25,000-34,000
tonnes every year. Germany is next in line
with 10,000-18,000 tonnes.

All in all, exports of honey and beeswax
from Southern Africa to overseas markets
are expected to grow in volumes in the next
few years especially as the majority of bee-

keepers adopt new methods of beekeeping
and honey processing. There also seems
to be a relaxation of import conditions in
some European countries who accept honey
with lower value provided it meets certain
criteria. This will definitely push up exports
from the region.

Although there are no concrete facts on
income earned from honey and beeswax
exports, the region is said to plough in more
than US$46bn every year. The figure could
be higher because of the improvement in
quality and production in the past few years.
Now that the two sub-regions are working
towards the integration of their trade activi-
ties through the unification of COMESA,
SADC and the East African Community
(EAC) with a common Free Trade Area and
Customs Union, honey and beeswax exports
in the region will be greatly helped.

With a population of about 527 million,
the three trade groupings which represent
26 countries in Africa offer a robust and
vibrant market for honey and beeswax pro-
duced. In fact, a unified regional trade and
customs system will put both importers and
exporters within the reach of each other.
But the unification of the three trade cartels
is not currently on the horizon because of
political preference, bureaucracy and insuf-
ficient capital.

* Journalist from Zambia.

Honey; beeswax; SADC; COMESA; EPA.


u' likt the fi'.c ti .oluredJ irrws I'f the
original ScLt liU'lc lI. fi ,spcdling L'ward
thl- future, Ihc mIulttl, of1 thi archiplda-
go' country .'uld ,cll lihave'.'npriscud
[lichc se t: cliarat .eri-rits. Hlew. then, [tt
avti'd lIpsinm into stereotypes? A ctunirv nif
xrLni.e hcaut,,, '.lrh a populIaiun whin'se
frienJdliii:s- is rairclv nima.h[:d, adddc [,'r tht:
faL.[ thr [s Ipull[iis ,arc e Ilving within a
\'-'stlmn1 [er-[',,1l s,'.,stii1 ,\ s '[ln th'r hus,
hcb-i funtio'rling -camtessl, -ine the s,'o.lal-
istl Jlrts iof the 1t, 71 M1,,rc't.- r, int.tilc per
hicad is ri,'v cl,-t[rro [ltat oI the rich i'iun-i
[ries than r[n tht ,o it- neighbl'urs, .vhic h at
leasr uarant."es it- uihabiirans a rilativ'el.,
c onimfrti'hlc .- [stile; goout educati hlicaliht

c.are, lonL'ge lv and sCt urity. In factL, in ihe
late, t ranking tiu the liunian deve\ 'lpipmen
indx rof the UNDP, Sc\t.li:llce, tn,.e 57[li
ou ut I.1S2 l .,'untries. putting il ani.ig ihle
'well dievelt.. td countries. Indtied. it is [ht:
o'nfl,\ Arit.an c ountrv tIc. fuurue in tlis cat-
cuturv apart troin Mauritius, m.Ihiail f,'ll'ws
ui Is plat. I it s als.i onc [o lie safer ,.un-
tries o the 'vorld,. 'vith a ncmlimible, amn'unt
'of crime as well ,a an 'ihserncc of dLangerousu
anjim l and natural liiazirds

Sei..helles mniS'- niii.derni [,, with a pruxim-
i [r nature, human rights and is toninit-
ted [n' ,t high level tot equatli[, betviLen mnri
and t. leni

One ''f Lthe t'untry's surprises is 11 sti.ual
security ti-svLtein ihat eve\Ln ''.'ers treatdinLit
tbhr,-ad as part of ilt heatl[h insurance lor
'venr\ tilit;en.

S',iaIl relation aid sliJari[ amn.inmst t[h
population fo icr 3 strong Senser of tog t[hr-
nries "Thlis is r:inforecd hb a Prcsidlent whi
'pc-nds imnii c-ve'anmis li[crninirg a'd sharing.
ide-ias willh iis t.il/'ns in ail fiur ,.,irnrt.er of'
the touni[rt, putting Nhiln_,f u' l fo'r cri[it.is
anid 'en.'. II'i -arlasnm s Nhit.h as not lacking
In white.


One could say there's no such thing as
paradise and that would be another clich
- except that a 19th Century erudite English
general, General Charles Gordon, took it
upon himself to map the Valle de Mai,
Praslin Island, a replica Garden of Eden,
as depicted in Genesis. Today it is a natural
heritage site of UNESCO.

A country smiled upon by the gods? Not
quite. But you do have to go looking for
something untoward. Having said that, this
'Eden' has been hit by the financial piracy
resulting in a global financial crisis which
created a slowdown in Seychelles' economy,
the postponement of various major projects
and a sharp dip in the national curren-
cy, which faltered before recovering, but
still led to an increase in an already high
cost-of-living. The only defensive move by
Seychelles' business community was to drop
prices to continue attracting customers in
tourism, from mid-range to the luxury
category (mass tourism never having been
developed by choice in the country).
Tourism, one of the two major mainstays
of the economy seems, so far, to have had a
narrow escape. Optimism, albeit cautious,
seems to be returning.

Another crisis came in the form of real life
pirates from Puntland, who are scouring the
Indian Ocean waters. As part of the plans
to vanquish this new threat, the major pow-
ers whose fishing fleets have been some of
the first victims have urged Seychelles to
play a role in the fight against piracy, which
is somewhat beyond the means of this small
republic, given the risks to its security,
quality of life and democracy. Although the
pirates have hardly ventured into Seychelles'
waters, their forays nevertheless had a psy-
chological effect on the island. There was
a concern that ill-informed tourists would
draw an over-hasty parallel between the
words 'piracy' and 'Seychelles'. This has
meant that Seychelles have had to invest in
communication to keep the sector buoyant.
Results are so far promising so far. Tourist
numbers remain stable and investors, who
had frozen, or halted, certain major infra-
structure projects have either relaunched
them, or have committed to doing so in the
near future. For now, the danger is over but
it has still been felt.

Seychelles is a hymn to crolit, the perfect
integration of cultures and lifestyles, the
marriage of ethnic heritage, the permeabil-
ity between communities making a kalei-
doscope of each one, each contributing its
own special something, rather than being a
homogenous melting pot. Seychelles' soci-
ety is a continuum of appearances. Its
crolit is also social, one in which the rela-
tions between social and cultural classes
appear more fluid than elsewhere. A party
at the foreign affairs ministry to mark the
minister's departure was an opportunity to
observe the ease of contact between people
from ministers to service staff.

Relations with foreigners go far beyond
traditional stereotypes, whether positive or
negative. Visitors enjoy a genuine friendli-
ness usually reserved for families, with tu*
being quickly established, in addition to
spontaneous generosity. This is perhaps
the country's greatest asset, among many.
The local crolit is the antithesis of folkloric
uniformity. Only the Creole language is the
same for all and is enriched by additions
from French, English, Indian and African

Indeed, a S. i..... will not be at a loss
for words when speaking to the visitor he
stops at a turn in the road to enquire about
his impressions of the country never beg-
ging or expecting anything in return. It is
a display of his openness an urge to com-
municate and overcome insularity. Perhaps,
of all Seychelles' wonders, this spirit of
empathy is probably the most precious of all
its charms.
* Puntland is a region in northeastern Somalia,
whose leaders declared it an autonomous state in
** 'Tu' is used when addressing a familiar person
in French.

Seychelles; Charles Gordon; Valle de
Mai; Praslin; pirate; Puntland; Somalia;
Indian Ocean; crolit; Hegel Goutier.


s.e--iels report


H well-tempered suite

lie liis't.rr. ot, Sevchellis is i tlihai
is rclat e.h unmarked b'., [ns Ins
'.'ii during' i- nust unstuihle
peri,,ds. Slawtrv, f~ir cxamplc, Jid
not produce the a[rcities scn el'etvh.er,
neither did t[h strupgle fe.r inJdpendJenLe,
ulitr, in la .I. lih. naLi,.inalitL .,'up d'ET ta
duriiig thc republic' carly v,.ar,. In inore
re,.cnl [tiune-, sII.Le thL' rc-c Lablihicnle 'l'f a
multipartilt reginc. fi'.e hcL Lti'ons hav,. n,'w
takcn plaUc 111 trahsparc:ncy. lIThU shadJ-
'iw 11i thi', perhaps, is that the oppo'nitin
liha nc'.cr \on uin cIiLtin 'l'Lerhaps bhc.auc
[the arc 'tc.'. wak, or prhapj, a- ',L.urs inii
m1an1\ "mulal counitrius. Ihle g''.'rcinnl ]ic ks
la\v.urabhly upton iiith.- wh-i support il

Scvyl.cl les sei-ms ct [hat rein'iiicd uilkniL.vii
un1111l amruind sI _\.1D. vlin A\rabhi, iT1lnu-
srinp[i madJ rtferclrce [ [licni \[ [h te turn
't [he I |[li i'ellnur m[rcpre eri..i..pol'rk .rie
m'ide about thsi small i-land- A\n islarind
grriup t. whlihli J'j i dia NLta hcqueathed
his rinnii in 1501. thi- befl're their v.cre
rcniiiLed F-arquhur. an c\pl'or'r's naine. In
1'i,2, Vsit. de G(aina remalned tlieni thle
_\nirrunte Islunds and [lic P''rt.lai chliart-
subhs.quetiii mnlcid rtefrcnc to ianaa.
t'dJa'.,' Mali, uniid t[o olih.r namcs. ilmi'nok
[thlicm .',.pi l' i.* 'i ,,'iS -pi ..,u"tt

Early mixing

Thcc lands hal'.e h ,ing ,rv-d a, a topr\-cr
lt'r ships hueadcd l'Or Indin, in particular
lt'r pirate, rcl,,tating tL thc Indian Occan
lt,11"ring nuiiierou, niiadv\en-urc' in [hcl
('aribbhhuia. Aruuid 177. th,. ir.nh bhcgan
lt. seLLlI theric. lt.llowed hv former African
,la'.cs liberatILi and ahtindtnliI b\y :nilih
ail''r'. Thii niark,.d he beginning ol ihce

In 175',. [lih lrenilh ,ticiall.v i'ok hold -if
s -I'c ,ef [11i.e archaipelaj's islands, chicli Lcere
renuJiild Sethcllhc s ui 1 7. in hi'n'our of 'ean-
Moercau d, Sechlilles, Lo'uis XV\- fuianicial
audi[,r, c.UL. never ui ta.[ sea t ', t t[herc
Later, in [hit: ak-e -if [ht: Frenich Revtoluion,.
a, part ,if this c ntlic[, on ,l' a\l, 17 1, the
F-ngli-l .tcc.up'.ed Mahle and sub-cqucntl thet
ohlier islands, .all of [lii- la[etr included in the
Trea'- of Paris liritisl rule v,'as tirmn ltIsc-d
onI 21 \pril 1.l 1, and [liue go':r'nr, Ni-us
llartlh,:le-mn Sulli'. ni, wa. si rn 111.


SDcwtertowni Vic Sei I l" erp '. syslem &tinrii r.' d a ta s ert.T r-at yle rf ri H..s..I',..I.r

Scehecllec becanie S.c,thelles But hie hearts
and innd- ', [h' lice S'dk/'/'. retiamiun.d ru'.i-
luiclv lreni.h, whilt adlaptnug t[ Briiush flirins
,-if .g',crunit, iiThis Ju,al idn[iitv '.vas t I
rciniain. After [ht: abo'lni'in tlf lav'ry v i ISt
anJ u[ts-itrv iii [' l, w t u '., :rs la r. S'r, ,thelles
did not llltw MauriLius. whi' had called in
s,.-reL ol' Induiin' ii4 l t '.mnpliuli iianual wt rk
anll as a cl.n'cquence ufflred .vre cthllnic.

S i, .te s p :7 pp, 'lati' wr t i fr, e.r t n r

t[Fsilns I' Th, i.0l if l'urnir slaves front i a
pipulatit i'n ,f 7,11 i0 ulia hi[aints n',w pl .ud
a ke;, ro'le ni Scvhelles burge rnug ,..nn.m,,
i1th c.cC ,a. Lfte, cltov: ,.' vanilla alnd [urtl
Th"l'e -pcenini ,f the Suc-, C(:anl ui 1I .', piu ed
thli w'', tLor Euro.pea.n stcamb'boa[s tL refuel
i-ilrh coal at Mah The capital, VictLLria,
dJve.l,]pcdi into a chiarllinig Itwn

Liberation under the aegis
of pragmatis

At thc ''u[,t [f lnghish c. 1ltniialis'i .
Sc\hcllc wia' transferr.id ti. Mauritian
rule. lThiien ',' Noo.uimbecr 1'103, the
.'uniry t ii'i[tancet. iLuelf froin IL, cu'Ltoiiaii
Lr. hbci'mue c'ntLr trllcd hv thie liBritih Cro,''n
I niiit l piliii,al stirring_,s ' aaii-t ii ol i'n al
rule cventuall'., aincc froin [hc TBa P'.c rs
,\ssciatitn, nnot fro'ni political 'rganisati.n
A, simnii unt siigr f .pr'ainiat sm. 'hlic siluJnp
w'lhic.l r-esurfaccd during t[h Set:c.iiind \.-rlJ
War disappteared hctlore [liie ct.n'liC's cend,
thunk- tL. the 'patcho'uli niil, .hichi brought in
hume earnings. It 1'as I' t t 1ha[ thc t :'.lniial
l'o)etel.pimin[t Wellarc At.[ t\as aldop['cd anld
The Se.ichelles st.cial scuri[. svstcin t\"s
trca[ed i lih Se.,chihllis had -igni.'ted up i
mn.c during W'orld War II. aind. sc'.en vars
aftir is etnd. still nuimbhred 1. u10 in t[h
Briti'h l'rces 'a[1itionelJ n thie MliJJle I1ast

report Seychelles

In 1964, two political parties were born.
First, the Seychelles People's United Party
(SPUP), a Third-World independence party,
with France-Albert Ren as their leader.
Second, the Seychelles Democratic Party
(SDP) wished to retain colonial status and
endeavoured to improve the quality of life,
with James Mancham at the helm. Universal
suffrage was introduced in November
1967. The first electoral issues consisted
in setting up a legislative council, the
ratification of a constitution and the election
of ministers to serve alongside the governor.
Each subsequent vote strengthened local
autonomy. The 'moderate' SDP party came
out victorious, as in the parliamentary
elections of November 1970, and its leader,
James Mancham, became Prime Minister.

1973 saw the first mass demonstrations
for independence. Backed by the UN
and the OAU, Seychelles finally became
an 'autonomous colony' in 1974. The
two political parties were reconciled and
after the 1974 elections, James Mancham
became Prime Minister, with his former
rival France-Albert Ren, as Minister.
The institutional conference of 1976 in

I Felicity Islands. In the 19th century Seychelles' economybased on cocoa, coffee, cloves, vanilla and turtle was burgeoning.
1 Hegel Gouterc Copyright

London set the date for independence at
midnight on 29 June 1976. At the time,
Seychelles had a population of just 47,612

I Mahe Island. Copyright

inhabitants. In the coalition government in
place since independence, James Mancham
was president of the Republic and France-
Albert Ren, Prime Minister.

In 1977, a coup d'tat was mounted against
Mancham (who was in London at the time)
by his PM, with the SPUP as a single party
and the West now a 'designated enemy',
in contemporary parlance. The opposition
was silenced but nevertheless tolerated. It
began a counter-coup with South African
mercenaries, who had been subjugated
with the help of Tanzania. The multi-party
system was eventually restored in 1991. A
new constitution, following initial rejection,
was ratified by referendum in 1992. A
year later, the instigator of the coup d'tat,
France-Albert Ren, was re-elected, only
this time democratically. He remained until
he resigned in 2004, having reached the
maximum age of service. His vice-president
and heir apparent, James Alix Michel,
succeeded him temporarily, his position
confirmed by his re-election in 2006. H.C.

Schelles; Seychelles; James Mancham;
France-Albert Ren; James Alix Michel;
Hegel Goutier.


s--. IeIes report


Success of


today's mood in both the govern-
ment and private sectors is one of
relief, if not real optimism. Yet, it is
only a short time ago that Seychelles
was feeling the full force of the global financial
crisis, having already been hit earlier by the oil
and food crises.

As Danny Faure, the country's Finance
Minister, apprehensively explained: "Our
country has been severely affected by both
the oil and food crises since the begin-
ning of 1998 and this has caused signifi-
cant foreign exchange problems. Seychelles'
monetary reserves only covered three days'
imports, so we were unable to make pay-
ments on our international Eurobond obliga-
tions. The result? Seychelles was downgraded
to the 'selective default' ranking in September

On 21 October 2008, President Michel
made a solemn public address to the nation
announcing that he had requested the assist-
ance of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and put into place a tough economic
regime, but promised this would deliver
success. Danny Faure said: "We made a
commitment to take measures to control the
convertibility of the Seychelles rupee, reduce
foreign debt (which had reached 170 per cent


of GDP by 21 October 2008 the highest
level anywhere in the world) and to put the
economy back on track. Today, we are feeling
the benefits of these actions. For example,
the monetary reserves have increased to
three months of GDP, and, in April 2009,
we obtained debt cancellation of 45 per cent
from the Paris Club".

x-- 0, MI
1 CentralBankof Seychelles. Hegel Goutier

The IMF and Seychelles government had
forecast a 25 per cent fall in revenues from
tourism, but the projection is now only 15 per
cent. The outlook has since improved, thanks
in particular to a major international market-
ing campaign. In terms of tourist numbers,
there will only be a 4 per cent decline this
year. Investors are also returning to the sector.

Jennifer Morel, deputy governor of the Central

Danny Faure, Seychelles' Finance Minister. eHegelGoutel r

Bank, explained that the strengthening of the
currency had exceeded expectations. "The
rupee is in a very strong position at 10 to the
dollar as opposed to 17 at the height of the
crisis. This actually creates a disadvantage for
export industries, like tourism." However, she
said that as the market determines the value of
the currency, it should stabilise at around 12
to 13 rupees to the dollar.

Vaithunasamy Ramados, Head of the Cham-
ber of Commerce and Industry, expressed his
optimism. He welcomed the reforms which, in
his view, have improved governance, "because
the system has become more rigorous, in
particular with regard to the granting of social
security benefits".

Sylviane Valmont, CEO of the Small
Enterprise Promotion Agency (SEnPA), paid
tribute to the government for taking measures
to mitigate the impact of the reforms on small
businesses, which largely depend on imported
goods. She was pleased that businesses with
up to a maximum of five staff do not pay taxes
on turnover of less than 250,000 rupee. H.C.

Seychelles; Danny Faure; Jennifer
Morel; Vaithunasamy Ramados; Sylvaine
Valmont; SEnPA; Hegel Goutier.


11 11


I ~ I


I ;1I


I1 lii

~ ~.'4 '33

Interview by Hegel Goutier
When The Courier met with the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Alix
Michel, he had just wound up a series of informal meetings with citizens, putting over
an image of a rather out of the ordinary president, but especially of a country with an
accessibility and ease of contact between the citizens and those in power.






Seychelles Report

How is 5. \~.. coping in the wake of the
global economic turmoil?

President Michel -Seychelles was not spared
the impact of the world economic crisis. In
the past, we have also felt the effects of the
fuel crises. When fuel went up, the price of
food went up. Seychelles had a very high debt.
Since independence, our policy is to have a
very high standard of social development.
We provide our children with free education
and equal opportunity and free health care.
We also have a housing programme which
enables our citizens to obtain housing at a
subsidized rate and we have a programme to
develop our social infrastructure. Because
of the success of our development, what 1
call a 'development paradox' emerged. We
were penalised and could not get access to
grants and to subsidized financing. We had
to go for commercial loans and this was
very costly. This made our situation unsus-
tainable when the fuel, food and finan-
cial crisis hit the world and subsequently
Seychelles. This is why 1 decided to imple-
ment comprehensive economic reform with
our partners; the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the
African Development Bank (ADB)* and the
European Union (EU). One year on, most
of our partners are surprised that we have
been able to overcome the worst.

We have also negotiated with the Paris Club
and are in the process of negotiating debt
forgiveness and reduction with our bilateral
partners in such a way that our debt can
become sustainable in the future.

But it seems that the price paid for the reform
is a new poverty in the country, including the
emergence of prostitution.

1 would not say there is poverty in Seychelles.
When we implemented the reform, we knew
it was going to hit the most vulnerable. This
is why we were very firm with our partners;
the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank (WB) that we had
to have a safety net to help the less fortu-
nate and the most vulnerable so that those
affected have access to welfare. However,
one thing that has made it easier for us to
implement reform successfully is that there
are jobs in Seychelles; there is no unemploy-


ment as such. Our tourism arrivals have not
been too adversely affected. We launched a
very aggressive tourism marketing promo-
tion programme. The hotels continue to
provide employment, the tourists continue
to come and some of the investments that
had started up in the sector continue.

So, there is no poverty as such. Only, you
have some mothers who have to stay at
home to look after the children and families
with many children who are assisted by the
welfare agency. In Seychelles, like most of
the countries, we have been hit by the prob-
lem of drugs. We started a very intensive
campaign to deal with it and have arrested
a number of the traffickers; they are behind
bars now. We are also running an anti-
addiction programme to help those affected
by the scourge. Drugs bring other problems,
like prostitution, theft and so on. These have
now been addressed at community level. 1
affirm that these social ills are not really a
result of the economic reform programme.

To what extent is the country iii .1.. by the
piracy crisis?

It came as a surprise to Seychelles itself.
Due to the fact that Somalia is far away
from our islands, we did not think that the
pirates would come close to home. We have
a big economic zone. We have given fish-

which provide us with benefits in terms of
which provide us with benefits in terms of

employment and manufacturing; we have,
for instance, a major canning factory. When
the pirates moved further South with the
good weather earlier in the year the fish-
ing fleets moved south; this really affected
our earnings from the fishing industry.
We also had some setbacks with the yacht-
ing industry. But we have taken action.
1 called on the international community
to help Seychelles in patrolling its waters
including the EU's Atalanta forces, forces
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
(NATO), Indian and Chinese patrols and
the patrol boats from the United Arab
Emirates (UAE). The Americans have now
arrived with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAV). And we are now in a better posi-
tion with our own forces. The fishing boats
are now returning; they have military per-
sonal on board who are able to protect them.
Things are getting back to normal and we
hope we will be able to contain any further

Some of S. .. .. 'partners have hinted that the
country should take more commitments over the
imprisonment of pirates and their eventual requests
for asylum. Are they being too demanding?

1 think our partners have to realise that as
a small island state, we are in a difficult
situation. We have neither the infrastruc-
ture nor the resources to provide, as Kenya
has done, a facility for pirates to come here
to be prosecuted; to be sentenced. We can-
not put ourselves in the situation of hav-
ing hundreds of Somalian pirates coming
here to be prosecuted or incarcerated. In
addition, when they cannot be prosecuted,
what do we do with them? We have spoken
with the EU about our position. In spite of
our desire and commitment to support the
fight against piracy, we have a problem of
logistics, a problem of resources, which the
EU and other countries must understand.
The solution to piracy is Somalia itself. It is
a failed state. The international community
must find the ways and means to establish
a proper state with rule of law in Somalia.
As long as the status quo remains, we will
always have piracy.

Where does S. \.. .. currently stand in geo-
political terms given your new friends in Asia
and South America?

report Seychelles

I Military boats, Mahe. "We have taken action against
piracy." Hegel Goutier

My concept ofdiplomacy today in Seychelles
is one of active economic diplomacy. To
survive in the new global environment, you
need to be economically strong and to be
economically strong you have to pursue an
active policy of economic diplomacy. So we
are friends with everyone. 1 want to be a
partner of other countries because the days
of the begging bowl are over. Partnership

I- 1 '. Ilh l I." l .I,,h J,, l ', ', i l' 1 I 1

makes it possible for us to develop further
partnership with ail the countries of the
World. We belong to regional organisa-
tions like the Indian Ocean Commission
(IOC), the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and the Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
(COMESA) and we have an important
role to play in ail these organizations. We
are also members of other international
organizations and we are taking the lead
in something very important to humanity;
climate change and environment. Because

S"To survive, you need to be economically strong." Hegel Gouter

Where do you see S. ...... going?

1 believe in active democracy. 1 believe that
a good president should be in constant
touch with the people. It is the second time
that 1 have been round the districts to meet
with members of the public during this, my
second term in office (Ed: these are planned
gatherings in large venues), listening to them
and hearing their complaints views and ideas
and asking for their contributions, especially
how they see our country in the future. This
gives me ideas, so 1 can better plan the
country's future. Every Saturday (Ed: infor-
.. .'*, 1 also go round, visiting projects and
meeting and talking with people. For me,
it is part and parcel of a democracy to let
people express themselves and meet their
president; to talk and discuss. 1 have received
a wealth of contributions from members of
the public. This has enriched my own vision
of Seychelles where there is democracy, rule
of law, good governance, and transparency.
This country is a country where people work
hard. You create wealth only if you work
hard. Then you share the wealth among
the population. My vision is of a prosperous
Seychelles in which everyone participates
and from which everyone benefits.
* Ail notes by the editor: in parenthesis and in italic

James Alix Michel; IOC; SADC;
COMESA; Hegel Goutier.



report Seychelles

1 From leftto right: Alessandro Mariani, Head of Delegation of the European Commission, James Alix Michel, President of Seychelles. CHegelGouter

ail points, there was close coordination with
development partners like the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank
(WB), the African Development Bank
(AfDB) and EU Member States. All three
pillars are now in place and we can move
ahead with general budget support.

Climate change is another priority. Look at
the recent speeches by President Barroso
of the European Commission and James
Michel, the President of the Republic of
Seychelles, to see the common spirit, the
common vision, and common ideas. In
trade terms, Seychelles has been a very
active member in the Economic Partnership
Agreement negotiations. On 29 August,
Seychelles signed the interim EPA in
Mauritius, and would like a full and com-
prehensive EPA as soon as possible. Another
important area of cooperation is fisheries
which is an extremely important sector of
the economy here. There is an agreement
covering the period up to January 2011.

S. ,,. is expecting to benefit from the EC's'
I ,.. h i,i;.* \ Mechanism'. Is there any decision
from the Commission yet?

As you know, the 'Vulnerability FLEX' is for
countries that have suffered from a number

of shocks linked to last year's global crisis.
It is clear that a country like Seychelles
experienced negative impacts. The proposal
for Seychelles is around C9M, which is a
very sizeable amount of additional financial
resources. Should there be a positive deci-
sion by the end of October, we would be
immediately in business for the preparation
of an initial disbursement of C8M out of the
C9M by the end of this year.*

Will S. i ,.. have the opportunity of benefit-
tingfrom the 'other facilities' available?

1 had the opportunity to present two facilities
to the Government of Seychelles: the energy
facility, focused on renewable energies, and
the water facility. Both of them are of great
interest to Seychelles which has a number of
project ideas that could eventually fit these
two facilities. 1 was informed that a couple
of submissions for water facility funding
in the past did not progress to the point of
being finalised. Stakeholders in Seychelles
are now pretty convinced that there is an
opportunity for joint work involving possibly
also the European Investment Bank.

Regional cooperation

Some very interesting EU-funded regional

projects have been approved this year, among
which one in the fisheries sector and one for
the small islands states' development.

The RecoMap programme, which is being
implemented, has been acknowledged by
Minister Morgan as one of the most success-
ful interventions the country has implement-
ed to combat coastal erosion. The Minister
also congratulated the EC for the fisheries
development programme and underlined
that Seychelles is 100 per cent together with
the EU in the fight against illegal, unre-
ported and unregulated fishing.

EU commitment vis--vis piracy

Seychelles is grateful to the EU for its
anti-piracy mission. The Government of
Seychelles had in fact asked the EU to con-
sider the extension of the 'Atalanta' mission
to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of
Seychelles.The mission was also prolonged
to cover the period up to December next
year. The EU and other countries are par-
ticipating on the basis of a UN resolution.
* Decisions adopted in the meantime

Seychelles-EU cooperation; Alessandro
Mariani; Hegel Goutier.


Seychelles Report

Flexibility displayed in cooperation between

Great flexibility was recently shown in the
cooperation betvveen the European Union
and Seychelles as the pnonties defined
in the strategy document (a practically
sacrosanct set of guidelines on EU-ACP
cooperation have just been completely
overhauled at the request of Seychelles

It could be viewed as a bit of a gamble,
but Laura Zampetti, desk for Seychelles
at the European Commission, is delighted
that Seychelles has reached agreement
vvith the European Union and internation-
al financial institutions on adapting its aid
In the case ofthe EU. It isthe use of fund-
ing from the 10th European Development
Fund (2008-2013) that will change The
Commission had to adjust its coopera-
tion strategy in record time. As a result,
almost ail of its future aid vvill be used to
support Seychelles' budget

Laura Zampetti believes this flexibility
was made possible thanks to the combi-
nation of the following factors

* the proactive approach of Seychelles,
vvhich introduced reforms of economic
governance after the oil crisis and even

* the early preparation of its case to the
international institutions, approaching
the International Monetary Fund (IMFi
the World Bank (WBI, the European
Union and the Afncan Development
Bank (ADBi almost simultaneously,

* the Seychelles model a political de-
mocracy supported by advanced so-
cial policy vvhich could have been put
in jeopardy by the economic and fi-
nancial crisis the country was facing

The final, more specific factor is the fore-
sight shown by Seychelles in introducing a
plan for the reform of the mechanisms for
protecting its social policy (free education
and healthcare, allocation of resources ta
the most in need long maternity leave etc i

Viviane Fock-Tave, Seychelles' national
authorising officer for the EDF, was de-
lighted that budgetary aid is more relevant
and more in line with the country's require-

ments, despite the release-of-funds pro-
cedures still being too unwieldy and that
the adjustment is set ta provide a better
and faster response to cnsis situations

L'I".l -le Lie r.asf.,.'i ,'JI r' uF D' y -. riinO dil ri-I Fl il I OrlT I' ,"i O n c O IE Er b % lle li Ir,i,'IL.] a rne,. IBrilim [r.'
[rote teLJuCatIon h,- lthr:irei : ,-.,.ur' ,


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[h.- European Unio.n and [he- .':0.n-
[ri ; funding i: pr. ide-d fro.:. [he Eur.:.-
pIean De e-l:piimen[ Fund IEDCF I nd froi.n
ihe Eur.opean Union bu'dge- 3i.o.ng:,[
:[he-r ;, Our,: e-

EDF The- EDF ;, nidie ,p ,:f n',,:,oun[i,
de-cid-d *:-n 3 .o'luntar, b r; b' E-3ch
EU r,leniber aie- for e--e-3r tran.:he-,
hc:h fin3ancE- .-3h -"FP c':untir [la3-
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EDF .i niana3eg-d b [he- Euiropea-n ou''-
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bt [h- buIdg i 3u[horitie-, ihe- o.n. il of
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tr[3Il .: Of 3Id3p13i.0n l[0 ,'l1"3[- .:h3nc-


report Seychelles



Amendment of the Seychelles con-
stitution has moved a step closer
The Judiciary Panel, chaired by
Francis McGregor, President of the
Seychelles Court of Appeal and Ju-
diciary, has delivered its conclusions
to the Chairman of the Constitution
Review Committee To prepare his
report, Mr McGregor held working
meetings with constitutionalists and
various institutions in Seychelles and
abroad, including with the European
Parliament's Constitutional Affairs
Committee in Brussels to exchange
experiences on the constitutional
process in Europe and Seychelles

McGregor emphasized that com-
prehensive expertise is available
covering the constitution adopted
by Seychelles when it became inde-
pendent, to the potential amended
version He explained that one of
the members of his panel is also the
Chairman of the Review Committee
and another was the Chairman of the
Constitutional Committee when the
multi-party system was introdLiced
15 years ago He is very glad to be
able to call on this expertise as it is
vitally important

FI r M reg Presid~nf or ei Iell-s 'Cou i,


I M ilit l' ':i s, M ahlle I.,i ..11

In inviting partners from many countries to join in
combating piracy originating in Puntland (Somalia),
Seychelles finds itself at the centre of a coalition that it
sometimes finds difficult to contain within the limits of
its expectations. First of ail, the country has been more
the victim of communication about piracy than of piracy
itself. Although they do enter the territorial waters of
Seychelles, the pirates have only rarely approached its
coasts. Nevertheless, they did seize a Seychelles vessel,
holding its crew of seven Seychelles' sailors hostage for
three months. It was only at the cost of a great deal of
energy and resources that Seychelles was able to secure
their release.

A call from the United Nations to its mem-
bers to lend their assistance to the fight
against piracy in the Indian Ocean has met
with a positive response on the part of the
European Union and some of its Member
States, especially those that benefit most
from fishing agreements between the EU
and Seychelles (e g France, the UK,
Spaini as well as certain other countries
(United States. China Russia, Japani The
European Union has coordinated its forces
under the name 'Atalanta'. The EU. through
the person of the Bntish High Commission-
er, its local representative Matthevv Forbes,
signed a 'Status of Forces Agreement' vvith
Seychelles on 8 November Additionally,
a defence cooperation agreement was

signed vvith Belgium and on 10 November
Seychelles signed a Memorandum of Un-
derstanding with the United Kingdom, that
foresees joint military operations, includ-
ing trial and possible imprisonment in Sey-
chelles for pirates captured in the country s
territorial waters

As to the controversial question of the
right of asylum for supposed pirates
against vvhom there is little or insufficient
evidence to convict, Seychelles has still
not given an undertaking considering
the danger too great for a small country
of 90.000 inhabitants to accommodate a
large number of persons vvho could be the
source of trouble




report Seychelles

Wavel Ramkalawan
Opposition leader

Time to put an end

When the Seychelles National
Party (founded by Wavel
Ramkalawan by merging
three minor political
movements) fielded candidates
in the 1998 elections it won
just one per cent of the
vote. In 2006, less than a
decade later, Ramkalawan,
an Anglican priest and
charismatic speaker, won
45.7 per cent of the vote.
Although this did not make
him the outright election
winner, it did make him the
uncontested opposition leader.
An opposition leader that the
President of the Republic of
Seychelles had just requested
to meet in a high level forum.
But at the time The Courier
spoke with him he had just
declined the invitation.

for the country, on the other he shows no
respect for the opposition.

What do you recommend?

In the districts, Members of Parliament
are elected, but the local administrator is
appointed. It depends on whether or not the
MP is from the governing majority whether
he is consulted on decisions concerning the
district by the administrator or not. So 1 feel
that the administrator should be elected.
The MP could be the person in charge of
the district, the equivalent to a mayor. There
must not be, as at present, an appointed
election commissioner, but an election com-
mittee, possibly consisting of independent
figures. In a small country it is easier to
influence a person than a group.

What about the government's economic choices?

In October 2008, the government changed
its economic programme completely and,
without wanting to boast, adopted the oppo-
sition's programme liberalisation, an open-
ing up, the convertibility of the rupee. These
were measures set out in our manifesto for
the 2006 presidential elections. We are very

I Wavel Ramkalawan, a charismatic Leader ot the opposition.
Hegel Gouter

pleased to see this, but the second part of
our programme must now be implemented,
which is to protect the social system through
liberalisation and pay attention to the situa-
tion of ordinary people whose suffering the
government seems to have forgotten. We
are seeing an increase in poverty and even
the appearance of prostitution. Doctors say
that there is an increase in cases of depres-
sion. The transition to liberalisation has not
been managed well enough to enable people
to adapt. There must also be measures to
safeguard the reforms so that parliament can
play its controlling role.

Also, there must be an end to partisan poli-
tics. And no more interfering as happened
with the President's supposedly non-polit-
ical foundation that adopted his 'JjSpirit'
presidential campaign logo but seemed to
favour members when it came to handing
out jobs. H.C.

Seychelles; opposition; Wavel Ramkalawan;
Seychelles National Party; Hegel Goutier.


Wavel Ramkalawan: The President and I
have had this kind of face-to-face meeting
in the past. It was before the reforms were
announced and 1 believe he wanted a seal
of approval from the opposition. We had
discussed various subjects but there had
been no action. For example, the President
told me on one occasion that he wanted to
appoint two roving ambassadors and that
we would each pick one. 1 proposed former
President Mr Mancham. President Michel
welcomed my proposal but this appointment
was never announced because he claimed his
party rejected it and he was powerless. On
the one hand he says we must work together

An important part of the resources from
the 10th EDF allocated to Seychelles in
the framework of its cooperation vvith the
EU is dedicated to these good gover-
nance priorities

* Pnson management and rehabilitation,
including promotion of counselling and
rehabilitation of prisoners Civil society
organizations will be more involved in
this area

* Police Training Academy supporting state

and non-state policy-making bodies in
governance, in particular human nghts
(including gender concepts, practices
and development of procedures

* Non State Actors with specific capacity
building activities

* Technical Assistance and support to
the Attomey General's Office to review
human nghts Other stakeholders like
civil society organizations may be con-
sulted dunng the review



Seychelles Report


Such cultural dynamism,
so many artists of every
discipline musicians,
sculptors, playwrights in a
country with a population
of just 90,000 that's
extraordinary, as is the success
a number of them enjoy
abroad. This artistic vigour
covers many artistic fields and
the Creole Festival, a cultural
and intellectual event held
at the end of October every
year, is both a testimony to
and celebration of this wealth.
Meanwhile the Creole Institute
headed by Mrs. Penda
Choppy and the College of Art
and History are bursting with
creativity throughout the year.

S', hol ofthis creativity is the small
i cl de of the record sales achieved
!.i single release in mainland
1 i !ce by the music group Dezil
www.dezilonline.com, four very young and
talented Seychelles musicians: Sandra,
Martin, Juan and Michael. Before them,
Patrick Victor became a household word in
his own country and far beyond its borders
for music of a quality that makes him a kind
of tropical Jacques Brel, the late Belgian
singer, of the French-speaking world.

Testimony to his fame is the homage paid
to him by the young, highly imaginative
artist Raymond Clarisse, whose name is
also surely destined to be known far beyond
the shores of the Indian Ocean. Still in
his early twenties, he is an actor, musical
director, playwright, television producer and
choreographer. He was just 16 when he set
up his dance and theatre troupe. With his
choir, the Mahe Chamber Choir that he set
up five years ago, he recently adapted the
musical comedy Kastor, created by Patrick
Victor 25 years ago. This was after studying


theatre and film in Wales where Raymond's
many activities included a year of directing
the Elizabethan Madrigal singers (known
as MADS), the oldest choral society at
Aberystwyth University, Wales.

Marie-Thrse Choppy, playwright and spe-
cialist on Seychelles culture, uses her cre-
olit to explain the melting pot of cultures
that constitutes Seychelles. In theatre and
musical comedy she shows with passion how
the music and dance of Moutia and Sokwe,
part of the country's African heritage, can
be considered as proto-theatre and a school
of creativity as they have always portrayed
events drawn from all fields of life.

Places to visit:
ICCS (International Conference Center),
a living space with exhibitions and concert
hall whose entrance lobby displays an origi-
nal creation, a faux naive sculpture based
on shells by the US-Seychelles artist Lucy
Hickerson, entitled "Mermaid's nightmare".

The Creole Institute, for the beauty of the
building and its intellectual legacy. Also, if
you get the chance to speak to her, for its

Director Mrs. Choppy who is familiar with
all the art and artists of her country.

Recommended reading:
Glynn Burridge Voices Nighthue Publications,
Seychelles 2000

Recommended listening:
- Dezil Welcome to the paradise, Sony BMG
- Ion Kid (member of the group Dezil) Ou,
Production Jimmy Savy, Seychelles
- Jean-Marc Volcy Music available at the
Madir Music Productions website: http://

Further Information:
Seychelles Heritage Foundation / Fondation
du Patrimoine des Seychelles, Patrick Nanty,
Directeur /Chairman, La Bastille, P.O. Box
3008, Tel : +248 225 240
Nature Seychelles -www.natureseychelles.org

Creole Festival; Creole Institute; Penda
Choppy; CoHege of Art and History; Dezil,
Marie-Thrse Choppy; Hegel Goutier.


You really need to see as much as possi-
ble in a country of such incredible beaLity
The three largest islands Mah, Pras-
lin and La Digue are an absolute must,
and it is well worth visiting two or three of
the coral islands. if you can find the time.

There are truly, so many simple plea-
sures to enjoy.

Mah The small capital city of Victoria
is both bucolic and modern at the sanime
time. On Sundays in Anse Royale, the
whole island cornes together and ail
types of people casually promenade and
enjoy the opportLinity to take their ease
Sandra and Michael from the band Dezil
rLib shoLilders with Jennifer Vel the coLin-
try's youngest Member of Parliament

Praslin Even though it features heavily

in ail the tourist guides, you will, never-
theless be overwhelmed by its beauty
The Valle de Mai a magnificent nature
reserve on Mahe is an extraordinary ex-
ample with its 'forbidden fruit' including
the coco de mer, commonly known as
coconut buttocks which has become
the symbol of Seychelles

La Digue is the ultimate dream destina-
tion Who could fail to enjoy exploring
every nook and cranny Moreover, the lo-
cals just seem to appreciate you for who
you are The owner of a small hotel Kot
Babi. personifies hospitality on the island
He previously vvorked as a chef to celeb-
ntles. Including the family of the Shah of
Iran From time to time he prepares the
most delicious dishes for his guests which
would normally cost more than the rela-
tively inexpensive price of his rooms.

discovering Europe

Sbi t r i- 1, l 'l. i h. 11, ,, i i i

lihe Slhannon le|inn arlunil th mInouth tni lIelind's
mni, thick il Ii\ pitI 'lI lli rh clhaillenle thli e OLinn-
It%, IlList %\ l(_-I lIle tr letini il t tLhe rda\ s n It I
10i-\,-il e iolnmic l'Kb's ri Thimink t> ti\x iliet l 'i
iiillhi-tchli *C miills .i1mi Eum'iein itn Iin'i tliii s pl|i ini ,i \
tlui elmeience rf thli 'Citic TiycIr' \'hiich \'his l>>keiel |up.n
whitlh l \ ,, ,-,u y l saC[ticis-m bI., the utlhiel EU nmit-n-ils i

Tu>.,\ the Cfltic Ti-ei i an.dnle l n,.I \ill cert.,inil\ t-kt_
s..im tiUme t helil N hereee m jr s. tihn i1i Lime1lic(k
the iuelon's main t>wn h A h\lfe l.,cal p|Iule \eru Iaft shell
s.h ickeI b1)\ th Hileteclti -., t ',lI11 the c.,llmputtli manu.icturit -
el. \'ilen il I lecidud rt tel 'i te ,t P 'ln >d IIi s ickie aittrmptl
t i Inri cheap laituniI

R>eling hrim tini bll \ anid %\ lith little i lief let i i iPi I tihe
,- l' ,hJ eln Ill ],_ "\e.' ,- Il, the l I l iei ,le nII thie I-tebt

it--endrum ni the Lishtni Tient', the ir'lii in tI ikiii: n st' :ck
The ,,utl, LIll ci sit,, ,I Intell l -latio -n l st.lIlj i aI n .all ,-li v v itly ,Il -t
pirterntl Fna l' tle h i. tlie clit' iliutini \, imn'Im il '-its \\ihc
alr bheini c called up *n b h4ip Iliul thi is nevn ecO-ni'n, Whil-
s e-ie Ihl ei lec nt(iihl', ,leci, lr, t letuLin h l inie Itlil plr-s ici( it
iti' ei ttheless s', 'mlnl ic n a c'nuitl \ helie nl\, th 'se unti l,'i
ht em ilri ite st,',\e' Tith ie'a11 n1 li.as still iln t ttI' ,.,'tteit tHe
Grtait Famine uf 1847 N\lclhi hf'rce. ti.I h l tl n tu I,: tu tiatLhie
h'i.,melndiii iii tiHeier d'.i, e't maiinl\ ti thlie US-\

h l-.,[,r\ thLt remain, cll ,e th IIhdl.oi, hIw l t an.i exf.pl,,in
\h, 150 t ,s -,is in the flt ilit a, lins- t iuL t le inr t-iem ti p i i-
Sni it, "i the na1io l pi lic,, n, le tlnlpment o -(:. pel atli n

Anil t I s in Lim iic-k i tseIt ,'lll tle 1i' "einm irit'l s <',et snts
Aldi ottice hi_ its lie h il' lualr tiN


: discovering Europe

From the 'Wmild Geese'

At the end of a 344km journey, the Shannon, the longest river in the British
Isles and one of the most magnificent in Europe, flows into the Atlantic
Ocean after a final meander around Limerick. The capital of the Shannon
region, Limerick encapsulates the history of Ireland (Eire in Gaelic). How can
this history be told? It is tumultuous and tragic, with its rebellions against
occupying forces and its emigration, and goes back to around 10 BC and the
beginning of sustained occupation by the Celts.

il'u i[' Iiiil- i u\ i iii I i i-uL''['. 1 h ,,~
lu i~c r rc il 1 n u i i r

r i i...,1 u i r.c -ni u ni '. ,i!t Li Ivi lici

h,' iliu inllu, ii~,u -i ( l~c, iir

hi li *r. iin IIi[i d

>.nt lIril ., id tIi, l.iur ni.k -n- r
.lI, luil, Jl 1i hcicluI' Fil, il.. n r i u,r~ Il,

rl1L, Ii lb .t I c. I A 'n..- 't. 1.r,. Pl IlI 'r .c jk
,ti.1 1 I lui.' l.u q .i,. i icrl- .. mAli .U

1 q

discovering Europe Shannon

of Munster, defeated the Vikings, marking
the end of their expansion. They eventu-
ally settled permanently, adapting to Celtic

It was the turn of the English to attempt to
assert their supremacy on the island in the
12th century. Despite their attempts at seg-
regation preventing Anglo-Normans from
mixing with the Irish the charm of the
Irish won through again. Then came a more
severe form of colonisation or 'plantation'
by English immigrants. This was followed
by the brutal 'pacification' of Englishman
Oliver Cromwell, who, from 1649, sent entire
regiments to Spain and Portugal, civilians
to the West Indies as slaves, and confis-
cated the land of the Catholics. In 1685, the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes led many
Huguenots to escape to Ireland where the
new King of England, the protestant William
III of Orange, defeated the deposed Catholic
King, James II, at the Battle of the Boyne in
1690, and then laid siege to the Irish army in
Limerick. The Treaty of Limerick allowed
the besieged, nicknamed the 'wild geese', to
leave for France.

In 1800, the Act of Union abolished the
Irish Parliament. This sparked a rebellion,
led by Robert Emmett, which was violently
put down. Emmett was hanged but the
speech he made at his trial inspired future
generations of nationalists. In Limerick,
the Catholic lawyer, Daniel O'Connell,
known as the Liberator of the Irish peo-
ple, was elected Member of Parliament
for County Clare in 1823. In 1829, he saw
through the adoption of the Act of Catholic
Emancipation allowing Catholics to sit in

Separatist movements began to spring up.
1902 saw the birth of a new revolutionary
party, Sinn Fin (Ourselves alone). From
1919 to 1920, the IRA (Irish Republican
Army), under the leadership of Eamon
de Valera and Michael Collins, fought a
war of independence. In December 1920,
the island was partitioned into Southern
Ireland containing 26 ofthe 32 counties of
Ireland, including the seat of parliament in
Dublin -and Northern Ireland -containing
6 of the 9 counties of the province of Ulster
- the parliament of which was in Belfast.

After the bloody war of independence,
Ireland finally enjoyed peace and rela-
tive prosperity, albeit suffering economic

hardship and high levels of emigration in
the 1930's, 40's and 50's; its entry to the
European Economic Community in 1973
gave access to a wider market and drew ben-
efits from the common agricultural policy
and European structural funds. Emigration
has now stopped, but the country only
has a population of 4 million (5.5 million

,n 3 Octoberr 200 the Irsh people fin 11yy
oted in fa.Cur of the Lisbon Treat. .,ith
67.13 per cent supporting the proposlI
15 irionths after the rJo .ote ,, which left
the Europe3n Union z draft constitution
hanging in the balance This decision i5
essentially e'.plined by the economic:
do .'.ntuirn ,. hic.h hit Ireland last ,ear This
recession the ;.o.rst Ireland has e.peri-
enced since independence has se.erely
affected the econiic progressa3.hie ed
b. the country since the earlv 1990s a
booim which a Ireland become no,,....
throughout the -...rld as the Celtic Tiger
Economists belie e the de,:line in gro,..lth
m'av reach 8 per cent in 2009 .,ith an-
other sharp dip in .010 The economic:
aspect of Ireland s i membership cf the
European Union which h ...as not part of
the debate in 2008 ...as at the centre of
the cairpaign in the second referendum
Ireland current. has the largest budget-
ar. deficit in the EU The collapse of
the Irish banking Systemi ,.3S narr..,..ly
a oided in September 2008 thanks to a
US-400 billion go erniment guarantee
co.ering al bank deposits The go ern-

for the entire island), whereas the total
number of people of Irish origin worldwide,
the Irish diaspora, is estimated at 60 mil-
lion. M.M.B.

Shannon; Saint Patrick; Limerick;
O'Connell; Celtic Tiger; EU; Great Famine.


In 1841. Ihe appearance of milde, a
fungLus ,on the potato har...ests the sta-
pie fc.c.d of Ireland z peasants caused a
major famine In contrast to hat hap-
pened during the famine of 1780 the
Irish ports remained open inder pres-
sure from protestant traders W\/hile en-
tire families star...d tc death con oys of

fcod belonging tc the landlord left f:or
England inder army escort The history
of the Great Famine is recounted al the
iLmusieum ocf Roscimnimon cn the bound-
ary of the 'Shannon region Ireland Iost
half of its 8 million people thrCouh death
or emigration

rient 31ai took on the debts of dubious
property de elopers bv creating a bad
bank Ireland has been a major benefi-
Ciar, of European futnding during ils
ye3rs of mnembership and it stii recei ed
1500M fromir the EU budget in 2008




: discovering Europe

H long-standing sense

"The eradication of world hunger is not only the cornerstone of
our aid programme, but a key element in our foreign policy",
Peter Power, Secretary of State for development, explains to us.
l Ireland has certainly not forgotten its own past in this regard.
The Great Famine of the 1840's "is part of our DNA", asserts the
head of the Irish Aid Agency, and this is the feeling among ail
those we met in Shannon.

Peter Power. 0 Marie Martine Buckens

he Agency moved to Limerick in
2008, following a huge govern-
ment relocation programme. It is
a city Peter Power knows well,
having grown up there. In total, 70,000
from County Limerick either perished or
made the crossing to the USA during the
great famine. "In 2006, we set up an expert
group to advise the government on policies
to fight world hunger". The group made
up not only of distinguished academics and
specialists but also Bono, activist and singer
fronting Irish band U2 made its recom-
mendations in 2008. "Last September",
continues Peter Power, "our prime min-
ister (called 'Taoiseach' in Gaelic) Brian
Cowen, with support from Ban-Ki-moon,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
decreed that the fight against world hunger
had to be our priority in cooperation policy.
It's a fight which the Obama administration
also sees as key, and I'm delighted to see that
the US has decided to lead the way."

More specifically, the Irish government has
decided to earmark 20 per cent ofits budget
to revive agriculture in the third world coun-
tries where the Agency works nine in total,
seven of which are to be found in Africa.
Agriculture had been somewhat neglected
by the Agency, which, until now, had con-
centrated its activities on combating HIV/
Aids, good governance, humanitarian aid,
health and education. "The fight against
hunger really needs to become a central
priority for all countries", insists the head of


the Irish Aid Agency. "The only thing lack-
ing is political will". In order to convince
his partners, Peter Power nominated Kevin
Farrell in 2009 as special envoy to deal with
this issue. A 'big hitter', he is well aware of
the problem: from 1989-2008 he worked on
the United Nations World Food Programme

The Irish go ernment s, budget for 3id has
been constantly on the rise since 2000
,Offcial de elopment assistance iODA.i
totalled @900M in 2008 i e an increase of
90 per cent in real terms as againSt 2003
In percentage terms of its gross national
income iGrJIi this signals an inc:rase
froin 0 39 per cent to 0 58 per cent a
performance ,, elconied by the De elolp-
ment .ssistance Comminiuttte i DAC i of the
..EC"D hich underlined that this g dcd
performance puts Ireland Cth among the
22 D.AC members in term, of Gril and
17th in ternis of net .C.oliunle of ODE.
In spite of thiz, the financial crisis has had
an impl:act .-t the end of 2008 the Irish

(WFP) and has held key posts dealing with
the Great Lakes crisis, also in Uganda
and Somalia, and not forgetting Zimbabwe,
where from 2002-2008 he implemented one
of the WFP's biggest schemes to tackle the
food crisis ravaging the country. M.M.B.

Irish Aid Agency; Peter Power; ODA;
fight against hunger.

go ernment decided to make cutbacks,
in the CODA budget follow ed by further
reductions in 2009 The current budget
has seen a total reduction of 195M in
the first quarter of 2009 namely 21 8 per
cent of the o-,,erall total Despite .,.hat the
go ernment says these cutis go a. be-
yond hat Could be considered appro-
priate or proportionate ere the sombre
, words last .prIl of Hans '-orner director
of Dcchas the platform, bringing together
the nain Irish de elopment aid IJGCOs
The JG-s themisel es as ,, ell as the
OEC D fear that such CutS run counter t[.
Ireland s Claim to dedicate 0 7 per cent of
its GJI tco de elopment aid by 2012



The unfailing support

John O'Shea, Head of GOAL, meeting Sharon
Commins at her arrival in Dublin. Marie-MartineBuckens 1

Providing aid for the poor is a top priority for Irish development NGOs. These organisa-
tions, as well as Catholic missions, of which there are many in the land of Saint Patrick,
have unanimous political backing. This explains the level of financial support they receive,
with almost 20 per cent of public aid going to development, which, according to the OECD,
is the highest contribution of any European country.

here was jubilation in Ireland on 13
October 2009. Thirty-two-year-old
Sharon Commins, from Dublin,
and 42-year-old Hilda Kawuki,
from Uganda employees of the Irish
humanitarian relief organisation, GOAL,
kidnapped in Darfur at the beginning
of July were both released. "Hilda and
Sharon have suffered a traumatic ordeal,
but happily both have had the strength
and courage to come through it", said John
O'Shea, Head of GOAL, after the women
were freed. The NGO, which has a long
history of helping the 'poorest of the poor'
and those affected by humanitarian crises,
works in northern and southern Sudan in
order to provide first aid to (often displaced)
women and children, including access to
drinking water. The NGO also operates in
Kenya, providing aid for families displaced
following the violence which erupted after
the 2008 elections, as well as assistance
for the inhabitants of the shantytowns in
Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, vulner-
able families in Uganda and Zimbabwe and

street children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
New healthcare programmes have been
implemented in Ethiopia, where GOAL has
been working since 1984, in response to the
food crisis that has affected more than 6.4
million Ethiopians since 2008.

A week before the release of the two GOAL
staff, another leading Irish NGO, Concern,
paid tribute to its founder, Father Aengus
Finucane, who died at age 77 on 6 October.
This Limerick-born priest set up the NGO
with other missionaries in 1968 after work-
ing in the Biafra region of Nigeria during
the civil war.

"Father Aengus Finucane had an absolute
commitment to the poorest of the poor",
said Tom Arnold, chief executive of the
NGO Concern. In an interview broadcast on
the organisation's website, Arnold explained
why the founders of Concern won the hearts

of the Irish people. He said: "The civil
war in Biafra led to a major famine, which
was broadcast on television. Television only
appeared in Ireland in 1961, and for many
Irish people, Biafra was what was known as
the 'first famine on television'. There is also
another reason for Ireland's commitment to
Africa. At the time, many Irish missionar-
ies worked in Africa, and in particular in
Biafra. Almost every community in Ireland
knew someone who was already there as
a priest or as a nun. The shocking images
gave rise to an extraordinary outpouring
of generosity and led to the establishment
of Africa Concern, which later became
Concern". Tom Arnold added: "The Great
Famine had a huge impact on the Irish
psyche and is one of the reasons why the
Irish have shown such extraordinary empa-
thy with poor people in other parts of the
world". M.M.B.

NGO; missionaries; GOAL; Concern; Father
Aengus Finucane; Tom Arnold.


Shannon discovering Europe



I 1 il [F:


NI 111i

Limerick, one of the
frontrunners of Ireland's
'economic miracle' of
yesterday, the Shannon
region is feeling somewhat
groggy today. Maria Kelly
remains optimistic ail the
same. Limerick Chamber
of Commerce's young and
dynamic 40-year-old CEO
sees opportunities in this
crisis. She said: "It will make
us stronger and force us to
reassess our values".

he decision taken at the beginning
of 2009 by Dell, the world's second
biggest computer manufacturer, to
stop production at its flagship plant
in Limerick, has had a disastrous impact
on the entire region. This is because it is
not just the Dell plant that has been hit, but
ail the region's sub-contractors and busi-
nesses the entire local economy of a region
already reeling from the financial crisis.
Dell's redundancy scheme is set to affect
around 2,000 staff. The computer manufac-
turer had proclaimed itself Ireland's second
largest private company and the country's
leading exporter, contributing 5 per cent of
national GDP. Last September, European
Commission President, Jos Manuel Barroso,
visited Limerick to announce the approval
of a 14.8M grant as part of the European
Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This grant
is intended to help workers made redundant
to find new employment. The Irish govern-
ment is also to release funds.

Maria Kelly explained: "In total, 23M will
be made available to assist ex-employees.


iJ 1 ii111

ihN0 l

I Limerick. copyright

But Dell's decision will nevertheless eventu- of construction work and related activities in
ally result in an overall loss of 20 per cent of our region was the highest in the country."
the jobs in the region. The real impact will In Ireland, more than 90,000 new buildings
be felt in 2010". On top of this, the property were constructed in 2006 thanks to govern-
bubble has also burst. This has had a devas- ment and banking facilities. Now the bubble
tating effect on the Shannon region, which has burst. M.M.B.
includes the counties of Clare, Limerick,
North Tipperary, South Offaly and North Keywords
Kerry, with half a million inhabitants in Maria Kelly; Chamber of Commerce;
total. Maria Kelly added: "In 2006, the level Limerick; Dell; Shannon Airport.


Maria yelly reinmans defiant Reflecting
on the situation she said If .ou ere
to compile a lIst of .'.hat in estors are
looking for our region would make oth-
ers green .,.ith en i i Jhile '.e might not
ha e ail of the right ingredients e cer-
lainl ha e inost of them Firstl there
are human resources an essentially,
oC'ung population un,..ersities and tech-
nical institulteE of greal standing and ., th
good infrastriuctUre In a ,ear s inme Liiin-
e rrick Irelands largest ci:y after Dublin
and Cork ill be linked tc the country
other major cites by motor ay The re-
gion is central Iicaterd as is Shanncon
airport situated 20 km from Lineric.:k It

dates back to 1936 hen the go ern-
iient decided to. esiabli h ilt a the first
transatlanti: airport Irs run, a the Ion-
gest in Ireland enables it to accommo-
date the ".irbuis 380 Il r as designed to
allow IJASA space shuttles to land in the
e..ent of an emergency BuLt mnst iinpc.r-
tantly the airport recently opened a tran-
sit area for dealing th iinii igraticn and
customss masters rMaria K'elly said /ie
are the first along .,,ith Canada and the
Bahamas to introduce this systemii f pre-
clearance whichc h allow, s companies to
deli er goods directly to recipients She
added A Is let s not forget the regions
great potential in teri s of tourism

discovering Europe Shannon

The heartbeat of Irish

Bands that play traditional Irish music are slowly
abandoning the pubs to perform at concert venues.
Especially at Glor. This cultural centre in Ennis, the main
town in County Clare, has established itself as the nation's
leading traditional music venue within the space of eight
years. But Glor's ambitions do not end there.

SKatie Verling, Director of Glor Theatre. aMarie-MartineBuckens
IKteeln director of Glor Theatre. Marre Matrtme Bukens

f you stop at one of the pubs you often
pass on the way into a village, you
will almost certainly see the words "live
music this evening" chalked up on a dis-
play board. Musicians who play the banjo,
flute, accordion, violin or Celtic Harp meet
to perform for an hour or more. You can
count yourself lucky. The days when the
congregation, quickly followed by the priest,
would ail head for the nearest pub after
Sunday mass to swap hymns for Irish bal-
lads are becoming a distant memory.

"It is regrettable, but that's the way it is",
says Katie Verling, Director of Glor. "Our
society has become sophisticated and we
have adopted urban values. Today, we pri-
marily see the countryside as a place to
enjoy on Sundays, but no longer as some-
where to live. And we now buy a ticket to go
to a concert."

Performances at Glor, whether music or
dance, are always well attended. Katie
Verling continues: "It is a niche audience,
but a very lively one. We also host big stars,
like Christy Moore, the Irish folk singer."
In this period of economic downturn, the
funding provided by the government and
County Clare (one quarter and three-quar-
ters of Glor's funding respectively) is set to
be reduced. A creative approach is there-
fore required to fund the centre's projects,
which, in addition to music and dance,
cover the full spectrum of the arts.

Katie Verling says: "I am determined to
gradually break down the barriers to access-
ing culture. At the moment, most customers

are still middle-class people. However, we
all contribute to paying for culture as tax-
payers. We therefore have a moral respon-
sibility to make it as accessible as possible."
How can this be achieved? By opening
Glor's doors to all the local community's
activities, which is actually the approach
Glor adopted from the outset.

But Glor has not stopped there. Katie
Verling explains: "Recently, we formed a
partnership with the famous Gaelic Athletic

Association." This association, which is the
national governing body for hurling and
Gaelic football two sports close to the
hearts of every self-respecting Irishman,
ahead even of rugby celebrated its 125th
anniversary this year and asked Glor to
organise a big concert. M.M.B.

Glor; Katie Verling; traditional music.


Petr v. s tl a.".)i in reand as rc.= dbithe annual Fest ai of Pc-Fr in nLiii
ic k HerE- is 3 recent g-cim bv. Terri Ci ryl1ah on y pLIbIIhed b y th e Arts -z Ciffice of Li meric k

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pois eci Ici leap aLla.1 fr-DIm cid 1111-D the ab -es l btiteaLlclac7.
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roffi please lhe. lace .d )lfiacr peerino (it7i.'uoh a host-ilje is
sinea c-Il L111h Ithe breath of a r]7 liad -Di sln ia ,ces
4sIranoer in this, -orceen land ihis ~r~Janc proiniseci land
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rJC'LLJ r z>ist,-eflE L1111 iain LI falJ ain-
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.4 -c1arlanI>s men sl,din-o lotiarcs acceplan"ce


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Aran Islands; Frank McCourt; Synge;
Rurroen oean T vncb* Anoll'c Aheoc




1 N

I .* :

Sandra Federici

Siluia da Bragana,

a multicultural artist

Maputo is a city which offers an extremely interesting
landscape of contemporary African art, with museums and
educational institutions which, in spite of the difficulties
they face, offer a framework of reference for artists.
These institutions include the National Museum of Art,
H, the National School of Visual Art and the newly-opened
Institute Superior de Artes e Cultura, as well as foreign
cultural institutes (Franco-Mozambican, Portuguese and
S .. Brazilian) that offer international art, performing art and
& literary events of a very high level.
I Silvia da Bragana discusses her work. Sandra Federic

Malangatana, Chissano and Shikani,
represent a point of reference (as
well as a point of confrontation) for
younger artists in Mozambique. The Courier
met one of the most qualified older artists:
Silvia do Rosario da Silveira Bragana. Born
in Goa, she lives in India, Portugal and
Mozambique, and dedicates herself to edu-
cation and research in the field of art, taking
part in exhibitions and workshops.

Silvia speaks to us about her exciting life: "I
came to Mozambique in 1967, after receiving
a letter from my three nephews who had lost
their mother my sister at the age of 31. 1
came to take care of them. 1 continued my
studies in art, and 1 have always worked on
educational programmes and supported the
activities of our National Museum of Art".

But Silvia has another focus in her life, her
husband, Aquino da Bragana whom she
married in 1984, who is from Goa and is one
of the greatest intellectuals of his generation.
Aquino is known above all as the mythical
intellectual of the Mozambican revolution,
the advisor of FRELIMO's leader Samora
Machel, and the diplomat who travelled
around the world raising political support for
the revolution against Portuguese domina-
tion. Unfortunately, Aquino da Bragana
was travelling with President Samora Machel
on the aeroplane that crashed on 19 October

1986, in circumstances that were never clari-
fied, prematurely taking the life of a presi-
dent who was the focal point of all the hopes
of the young Mozambican nation.

"Iheld myfirst solo exhibition in Mozambique
in 1971 and 1 then exhibited in Luanda,
Lisbon, Porto, Goa, Portugal, Romania,
New York, Barcelona, Russia, Stockholm,
Angola, etc. My experiences in three conti-
nents Asia, Europe and Africa have made
me a multicultural artist and have inspired
me to address themes related to war and
peace, oppression and freedom: themes that
reflect universal human values."

Through Silvia we met the young artists of
the Muv'art Association, which organises
artistic and cultural activities in one of the
spaces of the National Museum of Art, in
partnership with organizations from other
African and European countries. She shows
us "Mdquina corne Mundo"/2008 a work of
art that was created to contest some negative
aspects of globalisation, and which was exhib-
ited with other Muv'art authors this year.

Silvia is a cultured and sophisticated artist,
whose art is characterized by the use of differ-
ent materials, and the integration of written
poems as decorative elements in the portraits.

Her art is political in the noblest sense of the
term. In 1993 she organised a retrospective

of 100 works of art in the Centro do Estudos
Brasileiros, in Mozambique. One of these
works of art was offered to Nelson Mandela
by President Joaquim Chissano. "I was proud
to represent Mozambique in a collection of
art that united 177 female artists in Women of
the World 2000 (USA New York, Maryland,
Canada and Stockholm; 2002-2003)."

"I never stop experimenting. 1 also practiced
art therapy, particularly with my mother who
started to paint in her old age and exhibited
until her death at the age of 95. Recently 1
have concentrated on investigating the cor-
relation between art and mathematics and
1 have created experimental images on the

Silvia also continues to keep the memory of
her late husband alive. She set up the blog
http://aquinobraganca.wordpress.com, and a
few days ago she published a book entitled
Aquino de Bragana. Batalhas ganas, sonhos
a continuar. Silvia da Bragana is one of the
treasures that Maputo never ceases to offer to
those who are truly passionate about art.

Bragana; contemporary art;
Mozambique; Muv'art Association;
FRELIMO; National Museum of Art.


I he Last lHightotlHamingo, directed by Joao Ribeiro, hado hilmes. Uueleh, directed by Abraham Haile Biru, Arizona hilms. Viva Riva, directed by Djo lunda Wa Munga, hormosa Productions.

Catherine Haenlein

The EU-fCP films Programme:

Supporting the Cinematographic

and Rudiouisual Sector

The Secretariat of the ACP Group of States has announced its support for 24 cinema
and audiovisual projects for 6.5M.

T he results of the call for proposals
for the EU-ACP Films Programme,
which was launched and is run by
the Secretariat of the ACP Group
of States, were announced in a press release
issued on 29 September 2009. The ACP
Group and the EC noted that "the response
rate of both ACP and EU professionals was
very satisfactory" and stated that they were
"delighted to support these quality projects".

For the first time, the EU-ACP Films
Programme, funded by the 9th EDF (Euro-
pean Development Fund), is being run
directly by ACP states. Building on the
success of previous programmes, which
have supported the work of such directors
as Ousmane Sembne, Mama Keta, S.
Pierre Yameogo and Jean-Michel Kibushi,
the EU-ACP Films Programme seeks to
enhance the capacity of ACP professionals
to create and distribute their images, there-
by promoting cultural identity, cultural
diversity and intercultural dialogue. In this
way, the programme also aims to create spe-
cialised jobs and make a sustainable contri-
bution to economic and social development,
in line with the Cotonou Agreement.

The funding has been subdivided in order
to concentrate on three specific areas. The
first area focuses on ACP production and
the emergence of filmmakers in countries


whose governments are less involved in
cultural policy. The second area centres
around the promotion, distribution and vis-
ibility of ACP productions, and the creation
of professional networks. The final area is
concerned with professional training.

The production projects include feature-
length films, documentaries and TV series,
many of which are underpinned by the issues
affecting these countries. Un home qui crie
n'est pas un ours qui danse, for example, a
project by Go Go Productions involving
a partnership between four states, portrays
a country torn apart by contradictions in
the context of civil war and global upheav-
als. The distribution projects focus on set-
ting up professional networks and enabling
new forms of dissemination. An interesting
example is the Africafilms.tv Mobicine project
by IDMAGE, based in West Africa, which
seeks to digitize African productions in
order to make them accessible online. The
training projects cover artistic, technical and
managerial techniques, audiovisual technol-
ogy and digital editing.

In addition, the EU-ACP Films Programme
is currently implementing a legal assistance
service due to the realisation that many ACP
film professionals have problems with the
legal and contractual aspects of the busi-
ness. Various services will be made available

online, including a practical guide with mod-
els of production and distribution contracts,
a legal Q&A service for those seeking more
specific information, as well as training ses-
sions and the participation of the programme
at events and festivals.

The first meeting between the beneficiaries
and the EU-ACP Films Programme will
take place at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels
from 15 to 17 December. Negotiations for
programmes for the 10th EDF are under-
way, which will hopefully enjoy an increased

For a complete list ofthe beneficiary projects
and for further information on the pro-
gramme, please visit www.acpfilms.eu from
15 November.

ACP Films Programme; cinema and
audiovisual projects; production; distribu-
tion; training.

Sa t



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* Miagotar Japhet, cartoonist from Cameroon.


or younger readers

Scientific Research


WUords from Readers

Dear Courier editorial team,

Further to the article in The Courier No. 12
on the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), 1 am afraid that the (Cohen) plan
currently on Obama's desk will be unable
to make a significant difference to the
DRC problem. All informed commenta-
tors are of the same opinion; that the DRC
is surrounded by a number of scavengers,
namely several of the Western powers. With
Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and
Uganda, the DRC already has management
structures in place (regional organizations),
where it can enhance its cooperation efforts,
and is already showing willingness to move
in this direction. [...] Mr Cohen's plan
appears to neglect the responsibilities of the
Western powers in this regard. The latter
need to reinforce good governance in all of
the above countries [...] In sum, the search
for answers to the DRC crisis should be
led on three levels: national, regional and
international, and not only with neighbour-
ing countries, which are mere pawns in the

game while those who could really make a
difference are far from the region. This does
nothing other than to hide the real face of
the problem. Thank you for publishing this
article, which has prompted this reply.

Yours faithfully, as ever,
Patrick Issa Kalenga

Dear Sirs,

1 would like to congratulate you on this
magazine, which is both stimulating and of
high quality.

Without fail, it provides a rich source of ideas
and information which deserve to be commu-
nicated on the widest scale possible.

Kind regards,

Susanne Lauber Fiirst
MA Sc. Biology, Attorney-at-law

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

Hi. 1 would like to congratulate you on your
excellent work. 1 found the magazine very
useful in my studies as 1 am following a
European Studies course.

Yours faithfully,

Adrs:Te.Cure 45,Ru de Trve 104 :-.sel (liu
emai*l: -no apecuirif wesie w .ape uc* urS Sf



> Until Exhibition: L'Art d'tre un
11/7 homme Afrique, Ocanie
Muse Dapper, Paris, France

1 Pacific Colloquium on Gender,
3/2 Culture and the Law,
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

>8- 4th Africa Conference on
12/2 Sexual Health and Rights
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For more information, visit:
http://www. africasexuality.org/

> 24- Energy 2010: Solutions for
26/2 Africa Conference &
Sandton Convention Centre,
South Africa
For more information, visit:

>27- Commonwealth National
28/2 Women's Machineries
(NWMs) Meeting
New York, USA

> 3- Second all-Africa Carbon
5/3 Forum
Nairobi, Kenya

>1 4- Ministerial Meeting EU-Latin
16/3 America and Caribbean
Countries: "Digital Content
for a Digital Society"
La Granja de San Ildefonso,
Segovia, Spain


A factual error appeared in the Samoa
report, issue no 12. On page 37, para-
graph 2 it was stated: "In 1929, how-
ever, Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole, one
of the two Fautua to the New Zealand
Administration, was shot at during a
peaceful demonstration in Apia." It
was not Tupua Tamasese Meaole who
was shot at, but TUPUA TAMASESE

*irc aiba aii

an Iuopa Un'io unr

Antigua and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Cuba Dominica Dominican
Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago


Cook Islands Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Niue
Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Timor Leste Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

The lists of countries published by The Courier do not prejudice the status of these countries and territories now or in the future. The Courier uses maps from a variety of sources.
Their use does not imply recognition of any particular boundaries nor prejudice the status of any state or territory.

- -P---

- r.

Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African
Republic Chad Comoros Congo (Rep. of) Cte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the
Congo Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius
Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal
Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo
Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

/- -0.

Austria ,-I' ,ll, 1li 1 ... Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France

-1) lI

p Max