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Full Text


II II I - I - - .I H - 1 1-.11 - l11

magazine o Arica - Caribbean - Union cooperation and relation
/The magazine ol Alrica - Caribbean - Pacilic & Erpean Union cooperalion and relations


Turku, Finlani
Cultural blaz
iCP Transpor
BIGettina Goini


Table of Contents


Editorial Board
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

Fokion Fotiadis, Director General, EuropeAid
European Commission

Core staff
Hegel Goutier

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

Editorial and Production Assistant
Anna Bates



Production Assistant
Telm Borras

Contributed to this issue
Anna Patton,Anna Bates, Souleymane Maazou,Anne Marie Mouridian, Charles Visser,
Bernard Babb, Dev Nadkarni, Philippe Lamotte, Sandra Frederici,Andrea Marchesini,
Eugenio Orsi, Sylvia Arthur, Cherelle Jackson

Project Manager
Gerda Van Biervliet

Artistic Coordination
Gregorie Desmons

Graphic Conception
Ldic Gaume

Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Viva Xpress Logistics - ww.vxlnet.be

Photo Agency
Reporters - wwv.reporters.be

Reflection, Khartoum, Sudan
�Marie Martine Buckens

The Courier
45, Rue de Treves
1040 Brussels
Belgium (EU)
Tel: +32 2 2345061
Fax: +32 2 280 1912

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 European Commission or of the ACP countries. Neither the European Commission
nor the ACP countries, or any person acting on their behalf, may be held responsible for
the use to which information contained in this publication may be put, or for any errors,
which, despite careful preparation and checking, may appear".

Interview with Tuiloma Neroni Slade,
Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum
Interview with Nicholas Westcott -EEAS 'Mr. Africa'

Interview with Finnish Minister for Development,
Paavo Viyrynen

Interview with Mamoudou Deme
New Pacific-EU framework on horizon
Niger, place of women in the electoral process
Follow up on Ivory Coast
Building a new Sudan
Elections in Haiti
LDCs and ACP initiative

ACP: Transport
A continent that is seeking to open up
The EU and the major transport projects in Africa
The South-African Transnet and the Chinese
Reviving inland waterway transport
Restoring the roads in the DRC and elsewhere
Costly air travel hinders Caribbean's single market
The tyranny of distance in the Pacific

New offensive to defend African cotton
A model for investment in Africa:
the Tuninvest/Africinvest experience





When research bites the dust

Turku - Finland
Turku: tradition and reinvention
Creating a legacy as European Capital of Culture 2011
Pots, Sandals and a Tent
Ships, design and life sciences
From Tanzania to Turku

Model on a mission

Reinforcing a raw materials diplomacy
Caribbean tourism seeks more EU support
Mobile technology: saving lives when disaster strikes
in Samoa
Equatorial Guinea takes over helm of African Union

EU programme to prevent blindness in the Caribbean
West Africa Democracy Radio expands

A brief history
Interview with H.E. Mr. De Filippi,
Head of Delegation of the EU to Sudan
A special witness
Sudanese women, fulcrum of renewal
Combative private companies seeking markets and
"The EU must establish a dialogue with the Southern
Combating endemic corruption
Oil, land and water
Darfur, as seen by the artist Issam Abdel-Hafez

26 Awards from African film festival
Copyrights and artists' mobility in the cultural ACP
Interview with Congolese comic author Pat Masioni

School Election Day


N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011




Africa is on the move.

Providing it navigates the currents!

n this issue's dossier, we find that
Africa, which had experienced 'spa-
tial inversion' in colonial times with
coastal ports as capitals, with the
sole aim and purpose of draining natu-
ral resources abroad for export, is now
articulating itself differently. Several
multi-nodal transport networks are being
developed between countries. Through
their development agreements, the EU
and other donors are assisting. China is
also getting involved purely from a trade
point of view.

For their part, Pacific states who are vic-
tims of the tyranny of distance and hence
have difficulties shipping their produce,
have recently created a specific shipping
company with connections to the rest of
the world, via Australia and New Zealand.
The Caribbean is struggling after seeing
two airlines close due to the elevated price
of air travel. An Irish company is prepar-
ing to move in.

The development of transport in Africa
links with the article on 'diplomacy of raw
materials' in our 'Interaction' section.
Sometimes a single country supplies a
large proportion of an indispensable prod-
uct to a branch of global industry. This
is the case of the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), which supplies 40% of the
world's cobalt, and South Africa which
produces 80% of the world's platinum.

Consumer countries, in particular the
European Union (EU), are demanding
equal access to raw materials critical for
industrial production and economic devel-
opment. The EU is asking for reform from
the countries which supply raw materials
on the taxation and transparency fronts.
NGOs and European researchers mean-
while retort, 'Who is looking at transpar-
ency of companies in developed countries
who use these products from Africa and
who controls the price'?

A number of developing countries, espe-
cially in Africa, are victims of "vulture
funds" which prey on a country as soon
as signs of economic recovery emerge,
often after debt forgiveness. A country
attacked by these birds has little strength
to negotiate the sale of its commodities,
or the exchange of commodities for the
construction of much needed roads. The
means to do so, however, have been out-

lined by the African Development Bank
(AfDB) in an initiative known as ALSF
(African Legal Support Facility) to assist
countries threatened by these funds. The
first country to benefit is the DRC. But
the funds at ALSF's disposal are rela-
tively insignificant to support all victims
of vulture funds.

This issue also draws attention to events
in Ivory Coast and Haiti, two of the many
countries of the South where things are
happening at a great pace. On the one
hand, there's a President who was consti-
tutionally elected several months ago but
who has had to take up arms in trying to
take up his position. He effectively came
to power on the 11th of April, thanks to
the armed action of his troops and the
military intervention of UN and French
forces. On the other hand an atypical
outsider came to power in Haiti, a coun-
try which is the subject of our special
supplement included in this issue, after
a somewhat chaotic early election process,
with, for once, broad swathes of support
from the slums of Port-au-Prince and
the country's great American neighbour.

We also report in this issue on Sudan,
formerly the largest country in Africa,
which has shrunk with the independence
of its southern part. The country is on the
right track in giving its peoples the right
to choose their own destinies. Southern
Sudan's first steps are more reassuring
than once feared.

Concerns were expressed about the
impact of revolutionary upheavals in
North Africa on sub-Saharan Africa. The
new Mr Africa of European diplomacy,
in our Profile section, welcomes the signs
from the democratically-held elections in
Guinea Conakry and the arrival in power
of the opposition in Niger. He says that the
lesson to be learned from the turmoil of
North Africa is that opting for economic
development without political progress is
inevitably doomed to failure.

Hegel Goutier
Editor in chief

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Untapped opportunities in the Pacific

Seietar y Geneli'dl of the Pacific Islands Forum,
Tijiorri N~iorn,7, d

Debra Percival

Samoan national,
Tuiloma Neroni Slade,
became Secretary
General of the
Secretariat of the 16-nation
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)1
in August 2008. Formerly
a judge at the International
Criminal Court (ICC) in The
Hague, Netherlands, he was
his country's Ambassador
in various locations and
was previously Samoa's
Attorney General and
senior legal adviser with the
Commonwealth Secretariat in

Although the Pacific is
geographically far from
Europe, he feels there is scope
for increased trade links and
action on common issues
between the two regions,
such as climate change, as
explained in an interview
with The Courier: "One of the
major challenges for Pacific
island countries is diversifying
their export base and, where
possible, ensure that an over-
reliance on one or two major
partners does not render their
countries more vulnerable
in times of crisis, as we saw
during the Global Economic

During the recent downturn,
fewer employment
opportunities in New

Zealand and Australia have
negatively affected the region's
economies, particularly
those heavily dependent on
remittances, such as Samoa
and Tonga. "Countries
including Tuvalu and Kiribati
have trust funds that are
invested in international
equities. They use the returns
from these funds to help
finance national budgets. The
fall of global share markets
resulted in these countries
receiving less revenue at a time
when communities required
additional assistance," says Mr
It is very important that
fresh and frozen fish be
granted concessional
Rules of Origin in the
EPA if the Agreement is
to be truly development

But he believes there are
good export opportunities in
the European Union (EU)
market, notably fisheries
and fish processing, beauty
products, mineral waters
and high quality and organic
tropical agriculture, waiting to
be tapped under an eventual
region-wide Economic
Partnership Agreement - a
free trade agreement -with
the EU. To date, only Papua
New Guinea (PNG) and
Fiji have signed a 'goods
only' interim EPA with the
EU2. Under this, PNG is

particularly benefitting from
a change in Rules of Origin
resulting in increased fish
canning which has created
more jobs. Although the PIF
is not at the EPA negotiating
table, it gives advice to
its member states for the
on-going trade talks.

EPA opportunities

"Even small countries
can eventually establish
fish freezing and smoking
possibilities. It is very
important that fresh and
frozen fish be granted
concessional Rules of Origin
in the EPA if the Agreement
is to be truly development
enhancing," says the Secretary
General. "The Agreement
will only benefit Pacific
countries if the private sector
is able to take advantage of
new market access. Work to
improve customs management
systems, develop value-added
agricultural industries and
promote trade to Europe is
being supported by the EU
and will be essential if the
Agreement is to increase trade
with the Pacific," he adds.

Underlining the importance
of EU aid for trade, Mr
Slade also draws attention
to the Memorandum of
Understanding recently drawn
up with the EU to foster
dialogue on climate change.
The low-lying Pacific region
is particularly vulnerable to

climate change-induced sea
level rises.

Increased international donor
assistance for education,
health and basic infrastructure
is also needed if the region
is to reach the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs),
he says. The PIF has set
up a 'Forum Compact on
Strengthening Development
Assistance' which is a dialogue
with donors, including
the EU, to improve aid
coordination and effectiveness
across the region.

'Members of the PIF are: Australia,
Cook Islands, Federated States
of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru,
New Zealand, Niue, Palau,
PNG, Republic of the Marshall
Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands,
Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Fiji's membership is currently
suspended (since 2 May 2009)
due to the failure of Commodore
Bainimarama's to address
constructively by 1 May 2009 the
country's return to democratic
governance in an acceptable time-
frame for the PIF.

Fiji and PNG) initialled an interim
EPA (liberalising trade in goods
only) with the EU in 2007. PNG
signed in July 2009, and Fiji in
The full interview with the
Secretary General can be viewed
on The Courier's website:

Nicholas Westcott,

the EU's new "Mr Africa"

Anne-Marie Mouradian

to Ghana and
Ambassador to the
Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso,
Niger and Togo until January
of this year, and with a
previous posting in Tanzania,
Nicholas Westcott is now the
"Mr Africa" of European

As Managing Director for
Africa in the new European
External Action Service
(EEAS), responsible for
European policy on sub-
Saharan Africa and relations
with the African Union, he
has extensive experience of
the continent. "I have been
interested in Africa since
1976," stresses Nick Westcott
who speaks fluent French
and has a good knowledge
of Swahili. "My doctoral
thesis at Cambridge was on
political issues in East Africa
in the colonial era, including
the progress towards
independence, the question
of nationalisms and economic
development." He also has
solid experience of European
affairs as a British diplomat in
Brussels during the 1980s.

The new Managing
Director is taking office at
a particularly volatile time.
Although Libya is primarily
the responsibility of his

colleague Hugues Mingarelli,
Managing Director for the
Middle East and the Southern
Neighborhood area (from
Morocco to Syria), Nick
Westcott is responsible for
liaising with the AU and for
the humanitarian situation of
the hundreds of thousands of
African migrants working in
Libya. "We are coordinating
with ECHO -the European
Commission's Humanitarian
Aid department, the United
Nations and the IOM -the
international organisation for
migration - in assuring their
return to their country of

His services are currently
considering the possible
implications of the revolts
in North Africa for sub-
Saharan Africa. "Three
elements must be taken into
account," he noted. "Firstly,
direct contagion. Is there
a risk of destabilisation in
neighboring countries -
in West Africa or Sudan,
for example? Then there
is the coordination of the
international community.
That is fundamental. Finally,
what can the EU do to help
the other fragile African

"There are lessons to be
learned from the events in
North Africa. The popular
discontent is due to the fact
that these countries are
seeing economic development
but without a political system

that assures the interests of all
their citizens," he concludes.

"We must help the very
fragile sub-Saharan countries
such as the Sudan, the DRC
and the Ivory Coast that
are experiencing a genuine

"The Sahel States do not
seem to be destabilised at
present. There are even
encouraging signs, with
democratic elections recently
in Guinea Conakry and Niger
where the opposition leader
has become the new elected
president. A democratic
process is functioning despite
the difficult security situation
in the region and the fact that
these are among the world's
poorest countries." The EU
is to set out a strategy for
the Sahel that will combine
the development approach
and the security approach,
"because we cannot
guarantee security if there are
no jobs for the young people."

Helping the soon to be
independent South Sudan
meet the needs of its
population and resolve
outstanding issues with
the North is another major
challenge for the EU that
demands Nick Westcott's
attention. "It's busy," he
says, "but there is a real job
to do here. We have a great
opportunity to help. That's
why I came."

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

A return to Rio's

development principles

Interview with Paavo Matti Vayrynen,
Finland's Minister for Foreign Trade and Development

Debra Percival What are Finland's development
Our main goal is poverty reduction
S ince 2007, Paavo Matti Viyrynen, through sustainable development.
a Centre Party politician, has Economic growth economic sustain-
been Finland's Minister for ability must go hand in hand with
Foreign Trade and Development social and environmental sustain-
in the government of Prime Minister ability. Finland has in fact led the
Mari Kiviniemi. He is way in sustainable
both a former foreign The EU is a giant on the development. Our
minister (1977-1982, a a 2007 development
1983-1987 and 1991- globalstage in reeareas; policy programme
1993) and a Member development, trade and the (Ed: this stressed
of the European environmental policies which the goal of pov-
Parliament (1995- are inter-connected. erty reduction and
2007). At the time of commitment to the
going to press, parlia- We should build on MDGs, while also
mentary elections were these pillars prioritising sus-
scheduled in Finland tainable economic,
for 17 April. Interviewed in Helsinki, social and ecological development)
the Minister gave us his views on the was a novelty in the EU, because after
future of EU development policies in the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the
light of the on-going debate. principles of sustainable development


T the

were forgotten. I believe this was partly
due to the subsequent introduction of
the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). Although there is environ-
mental sustainability (the seventh
partnership of the MDGs), it is dif-
ficult to measure and has been pushed
aside. Social and economic sustain-
ability do not feature in the MDGs at
all. If we want to be effective in pov-
erty reduction, economic growth must
be inclusive but also accompanied by
poverty reduction programmes inside
a country. We also have to pay atten-
tion to social sustainability; peace and
security, stability, democracy, good
governance, human rights and social
sector development -for example in
health and education.

Fifty per cent of the EU's aid is allo-
cated through budgetary support.
Is this the best instrument through
which to alleviate poverty?

One of the consequences of the misin-
terpretation of the MDGs is that funds
for poverty reduction have been chan-
nelled directly to the public sector. This
has led to neglect of the private sector
and infrastructure. In Finland, I have
been very critical about general budget
support. We have capped the amount
of general budget support any country
receives at 25 per cent, although we do
use a lot of sectoral budget support.
In Tanzania, we have changed from
general to sectoral budget support. I
have an open mind, however, about
general budget support given by the
EU. I understand to some extent the
administrative point of view; it's much
easier for the European Commission to
give large sums of money to the country
than implement its own programmes.
On the other hand, general budget sup-
port brings a greater risk of corrup-
tion. The Commission has some new
ideas on this which could result in more
general budget support being given to
Middle Income Countries. But we have
to emphasise development of the poor-
est countries.

per cent of Gross National Income dinate development and humanitarian
(GNI)? policies to foreign and security policies.
In the Sahel region, the motivation of
We are one of the few countries in the the EU for a special strategy seems to
EU and the world to have increased be 'our own security'. We have to ensure
both the amount of money and percent- we are effective in poverty reduction and
age of GNI allocated to development, promote social sustainability in Sahel
Last year, the share countries. We have
was 0.55 per cent of In the EU, there seems to go there and say,
GNI and this year it be a tendency to couple we're interested in
will be 0.58 per cent. tc your development,
I believe that we are security and development according to our

going to be able to
reach 0.7 per cent in 2015. This year,
the Finnish government has earmarked
�lbn for development funding. We have
eight main partners, five of them are
in Africa; the others are Nicaragua,
Vietnam and Nepal. We also fund pan-
African actors and some regional pro-
grammes in Africa.

As a small country, can Finland
bring its influence to bear on
development policies?

Development policy is much more than
development cooperation: you have to
be able to influence development on
the basis of the Rio principles. At the
beginning of 2009, I took an initiative
to set up a transatlantic partnership for
sustainable development. Together, the
United States and the EU provide 80
per cent of all Overseas Development
Assistance (the EU and its member
States alone provide 60 per cent). We
have to act closely so that the develop-
ment policies are as effective as possible
and respect the principles of sustainable
development. We also have to influence
new actors such as China, India and
Brazil, to be effective in poverty reduc-
tion. The Obama Administration has
been especially keen to raise develop-
ment in its priorities, focussing on the
3 Ds; diplomacy, defence and develop-
ment, with development being an inde-
pendent pillar equal to foreign policy.

Do you have a view on the strategy
that the EU is drawing up for the

values and princi-
ples and negotiate a comprehensive
programme. This is the way to pro-
mote our security interests. In the EU,
there seems to be a tendency to couple
security and development.

The EU drew up its sustainable devel-
opment strategy in 2001 and added
an external dimension to it in 2002
in the wake of the World Summit for
Sustainable Development, held in
Johannesburg. It was updated in 2006
and should be updated again if we want
to effectively influence the outcome
of the UN's Rio plus 20 Conference
on Sustainable Development due to
be held from 4 to 6 June, 20121. The
EU Council has very clearly stated that
sustainable development should be the
overarching principle or framework for
all EU policies and strategies, also on
the external relations side. It has repeat-
edly been said that the EU is an eco-
nomic giant and a political dwarf, but
that is not true. Those seeking to extend
the security and defence side of our
policy use this kind of phrase. The EU is
a giant on the global stage in three areas;
development, trade and environmental
policies which are inter-connected. We
should build on these pillars.

Has Finland attained yet the devel- I'm worried that the coming into force 1 http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.
opment spending threshold of 0.7 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty could subor- php?menu=35

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Combating vulture funds

Marie-Martine Buckens

Coming to the aid of African
countries that are victims of
"vulture funds" or that are
legally poorly equipped to
defend themselves against foreign inves-
tors is the objective of the African Legal
Support Facility (ALSF) established by
the African Development Bank (AfDB)."
Vulture Funds" are hedge funds buy-
ing up the bad debt of poorer countries
at low prices, seeking to sell it on at

an inflated price. Set up in 2009 (see
below), the ALSF has reached an agree-
ment with the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC) and is now seeking to
consolidate its position. The Courier met
with the director, Mamoudou Deme, on
a visit to Brussels in January.
"The aim of our visit to Brussels was two-
fold: to meet with representatives of the
European Union, particularly represent-
atives of the Commission's Development
and Cooperation Directorate-General,
and also to meet with NGOs that are
concerned with the developing countries'


debt, especially the Belgian National
Centre for Development Cooperation
(CNCD). The functions of these meet-
ings were to explain the work of the
ALSF and to explore the possibilities
of cooperation," explained Mamoudou

Whilst the AfDB Facility has just
recently been established, "the idea
actually dates back to 2005," its direc-
tor points out. "At the time, the Council
of African Ministers of Finance had
launched an appeal to set up a body
whose function would be to offer tech-
nical and legal assistance to African
states on three issues: debt, negotiat-
ing commercial contracts for natural
resources, and strengthening capac-
ity." This appeal was repeated in Addis
Ababa in 2007 at the African Union
Summit. The African Development
Bank looked into the idea in 2008,
when the 77 members of its Board of
Governors gave the green light to set
up the Facility. In 2009, the Facility's
Governing Council and Management
Board were launched.

"Our work mainly involves recruiting
lawyers who are able to assist these coun-
tries when they face litigation linked
to debt or to contracts," continues
Mamoudou Deme, "but we also organise
and participate in seminars on strength-
ening capacity, with sister associations."
The first such seminar was held on 14
February in Kigali (Rwanda) for the
countries of East Africa.

Fifteen applications and the DRC

In November 2010, the Facility com-
pleted its first transaction when it granted
the DRC US$500,000. Around 15 appli-
cations in all have been lodged with the
AfDB's Facility. While not wanting to
discuss the details, Mamoudou Deme
explained to us that 14 of these con-
cern the negotiation of mining, agro-
industrial, or infrastructure-related
contracts. Of these 15 applications, the
Facility is preparing to offer assistance
in six. But here comes the crunch: "Our
budget was set at 16 billion dollars and
we want to mobilise between US$50M
and US$100M by 2012." These are sums
that must come from Member States as
well as donors.

A plague

"These vulture funds are a plague, not
only for developing countries but also for
wealthy nations, because they are the
principal beneficiaries of debt reduction,"
explains Renaud Vivien, a lawyer on
the Committee for the Abolition of Third
World Debt (CADTM), an international
network present in around 30 countries,
mainly in the South. In Belgium, the CAD-
TM isa member of the CNCD. "If there is
one lesson to be learned from previous
attacks by vulture funds, it is that they
wait until their victims achieve a little
financial breathing room, such as a slight

debt reduction, before attacking them
in the courts," he continues. So what is
the attitude of creditors in the North, in
particular the 19 countries that make up
the Paris Club, or organizations such as
the World Bank? "For the moment, they
are content with codes of good conduct.
Only Belgium and Great Britain have
taken measures, but they are far from
being sufficient. Indeed, the Belgian law
adopted in 2008 limits itself to protecting
its public development aid by making
it 'untransferable' and 'unseizable'. In
France and the United States some bills

have been drafted, but these have not as
yet come to anything."

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Ron up

The African Development Bank has
77 members: 53 independent African
countries (regional members) and 24
non-African countries (non-regional
members), including eight EU countries
and most of the OECD countries. As
well as the Legal Assistance Facility,
the AfDB created the Water and Sa-
nitation Department (OWAS) in 2006,
which works to consolidate its water
sector activities in the region. One of
the most important decision-making
bodies of the AfDB's institutional struc-
ture is the Board of Directors. This is
made up of 18 members, 12 of whom
are elected by the governments of the
regional member countries and six of
whom are elected by the governments
of the non-regional member counties.
Some of the AfDB's loan activities are
undertaken jointly with the European
Investment Bank (EIB).

ivlamouuou ueme J iviarle-iviarine DUcKens

neniauU VIVlen [ VIlar le-ivlai line DUCKenl

Roun up

New Pacific-EU framework

on horizon

Stepping up a gear

A new framework for Pacific-EU cooperation is expected to emerge in the coming
year. It will target adaptation to climate change but also aims at "high-impact"
development aid, announced EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs,
during his recent visit to the region.

Debra Percival

ST his will mean cementing
our global partnership
on climate change, spea-
"king with one voice in
the international debate and encoura-
ging other partners to join forces with us,
both politically and financially", said the
Commissioner spea-
king at the high level
Regional Conference "Te EU's c
on Climate Change to funding
in the Pacific held in needs
Vanuatu, 2-4 March. Andris
Details of the new
plans are expected to
be penned during the Polish Presidency
of the EU from 1 July 2011.

The effects of climate change in the
Pacific include rising sea levels, increa-
sed erosion from more intense storms and
the risk of saltwater intruding into fresh
water supplies, all of which put a brake on
achieving the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs).

In December 2010, Commissioner
Piebalgs signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with Secretary General of
the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Tuiloma
Neroni Slade (see profile in this issue).
It is a rallying call to all donor entities
to provide a fair share of international
climate change funding to Pacific nations.

The low-lying Pacific island nations have
10 million inhabitants but cover one-fifth
of the globe's surface and are particularly
vulnerable to climate change. Rising sea
levels mean that some of the islands could


even disappear. For example, an increase
in the sea level by just 60 centimetres
could make the islands of Kiribati and
Tuvalu uninhabitable.

Commissioner Piebalgs said that the EU
should not just mop up the consequences
of climate change in the Pacific having,
for example, used European Development
Funds (EDF) to rebuild Tonga's only
hospital, destroyed in the 2009 tsunami,
on higher ground. "The EU's own
approach to fun-
ding in the Pacific
wn approach needs to evolve", he
n the Pacific said. He suggested
evolve" that the EU and the
Piebalgs Pacific should look
together at suppor-
ting not only purely
technological solutions to climate change
problems but also 'greener' ones which
use, for example, overlooked traditional
knowledge. The Pacific and EU needed to
work on climate adaptation programmes
for agriculture, water and sanitation and
on renewable energies, he said.

EU programmes aimed at fighting poverty
and the consequences of climate change,
totalling �89.4M, were announced during
the Commissioner's visit. A proposed
�11.4M of support for Pacific small island
states is expected to follow. Commissioner
Piebalgs has also suggested that the
entire 10th European Development Fund
(2008-2013) Mid-term Review "top up"
for Pacific ACP countries (C16.6M) be
used to address climate change issues. He
called on ACP countries of the region to
identify projects that link climate change
adaptation with the attainment of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

See page 43 : Vulnerable 'ring of fire'


Wind turbine in ocean cHeporters


Rn u

The huge obstacles facing women

seeking election in Niger

As the first woman candidate in a presidential election in Niger, Mrs Bayard Mariama
Gamatie won 0.38% of the vote in January 2011. A poor result in the opinion of
experienced observers of the political scene in Niger, given the demographic weight
of the female population.

Souleymane Maizou

y ou have to love your
country, be a democrat,
possess a political vision
and, above all, be driven
by the desire to succeed," declared Mrs
Bayard Mariama Gamatie, independent
candidate in the presidential election of
January 2011.

This 50-year-old militant, active since
the first stirring of Niger's civil society,
founder of the Democratic Assembly of
Nigerien Women (RDFN) and former
minister under the Fourth Republic, made
a bold statement in standing as a presiden-
tial candidate in a country where politics
is dominated by men.

The only woman among 10 candidates,
Madame Bayard Mariama Gamatie won
0.38% of the votes cast. With this result
of 12,000 votes out of the 3 million vali-
dly cast, this woman candidate ranked
10th and last in the presidential race that
marked Niger's return to democracy after
the coup d'etat of 18 February 2010 that
overthrew President Tandja Mamadou's
civilian government.

Yet women make up more than 52% of
the Niger population estimated at 14
million. "Despite this considerable demo-
graphic and electoral weight, women
in Niger find it hard to overcome the
marginalisation they suffer in society,"
explains Fati Hassane, an active mem-
ber of Niger's civil society committed to
defending women's causes.

Niger nevertheless has a whole legal arse-
nal designed to guarantee the promotion
of women. In 1996, in response to the
inequalities that women continued to
face, the government passed a law for
the promotion of women, followed by the
National Assembly's adoption, in 2000,

of a law setting a minimum quota for the
numbers of each gender employed in the
management of public affairs.

"We must not be discouraged. We must
fight day and night to break the chain of
discrimination against women," declares
Hassana Aliou, a politician and twice
candidate in the local elections. This
47-year-old woman has never succeeded
in being elected.

Sociologist Almoustapha Boubacar belie-
ves that the poor results women obtain
in Niger's various elections is due to the
harsh political climate for women in Niger.
"And this even for the most courageous
among them," he adds.

Women who seek to be involved in politics
in Niger face many obstacles. There are
family difficulties coupled with the need

to overcome sociocultural obstacles and
discrimination within the political par-
ties themselves. The high illiteracy rates
among women (88%), forced marriages,
unemployment, premature school leaving
and poverty are all obstacles that block
the path to success for women in Niger's
political life.

A voier prepares io voie ai a poiing sTaTIil in Niamey, capiai Or TNiger, Ivioncay, Jan. .i , zu I i eporiers

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011



Roun u

EU partially eases restrictive

measures against Zimbabwe

Thirty-five people have been removed
from the European Union's (EU) visa ban
and asset freeze list on Zimbabwean

T he EU's High Representative,
Catherine Ashton, announced
the gesture towards Zimbabwe
in mid-February 2011 at the
EU's annual review of its policy towards
the country which includes an in-depth
assessment of its economic, social and
political situation. She noted: "The signi-
ficant efforts made in addressing the eco-
nomic crisis and improving the delivery
of social services in Zimbabwe".

But long-term development assistance
to the country under the European
Development Fund (EDF) for African,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states
remains suspended as the country is
deemed to be flouting Article 96 of the
Cotonou Agreement between EU and
ACP states (2000-2020) relating to res-
pect for democracy, human rights and
rule of law. The same clause, however,
keeps EU channels of communication
open with any ACP country in breach of
these "essential clauses" of the Agreement
in order to dialogue on steps to be taken
to normalise relations.

"I would like to emphasise that the EU
remains willing to amend its decision at
any time within the
next 12 months should "Significanl
further, concrete deve- been made
lopments take place.
In particular, I consi- the econon
der a common unders- improving t
standing between the social service.
parties in Government
on the necessary steps Catherir
to be taken in the run EU High R(
up to elections to be



-- -4


Publication of The DailyNews, suspended seven years ago for its criticism of the government returned
to Zimbabwe's new stands March 18 2011 �Associated Press/Reporters.

ment channels. Since the establishment
of the Government of National Unity in
Zimbabwe in February 2009, the EU has
provided �365M in support to the social
sectors as well as for food security, the
promotion of governance from previous
EDF budgets and
efforts have EU budget lines",
n addressing she said.
ic crisis and "Further reforms are
e delivery of necessary with regard
in Zimbabwe" to the respect for rule
of law, human rights
SAshton, and democracy which
representative are essential in order
to create an environ-

critically important for the democratic ment conducive to the holding of credi-
process in the country", said the High ble elections" she added. A total of 163
Representative. people and 31 businesses are still on the
visa ban/asset freeze list. An EU arms
"The EU continues to provide assistance embargo against Zimbabwe also remains
to Zimbabwe, not only through govern- in place. D.P.

The EU welcomes the
democratic transition
The European Union welcomed, on 15
March, the election of the long stan-
ding opposition leader Mahamadou
Issoufou in the presidential election
in Niger. "This election marks a ma-
jor stage in the process of transition
towards democracy and a major step
towards restoring full cooperation bet-
ween Niger and the European Union,"
affirmed EU High Representative for
Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and
European Development Commissioner
Andris Piebalgs. The President Elect
was a regular member of the ACP-EU
Joint Parliamentary Assembly.


Y ,11 --4L

1� V WN4- --






been asked to draft a proposal
for an EU-wide financial tran-
saction tax (FTT), in a report
on "innovative financing" adopted at
the European Parliament's Strasbourg
session in March by 529 votes for, 127
against and 18 abstentions. Drawn up by
Greek Socialist Member of the European
Parliament (MEP), Anni Podimata, it
says that the introduction of a financial
transaction tax on a unilateral basis will
raise money for "public goods", including
overseas development and climate change.
Non-Governmental Development
Organizations widely back the tax:
"The European Parliament has set the
world standard by pressing ahead on an
EU-wide Robin Hood Tax'. This is great
news. The EU alone could raise tens of
billions ofeuros to help millions of people
pushed into poverty because of bankers'
greed," said Elise Ford, Head of Oxfam
International's EU Office.
"With France chairing the G20 group this
year, Europe is in an excellent position

to make an FTT happen. We now urge
MEPs to challenge their governments to
back it," she said.
According to a study by Dr Stephan
Schulmeister of the Austrian Institute
of Economic Research, an average 0.05
per cent tax across the 27 EU member sta-
tes levied on shares, currency exchanges
and bonds could raise f210bn a year for
spending on "public goods", including
development aid. But any decision will
ultimately be in the hands of EU Member
States. Whilst some view an FTT as part
of a progressive European economic stra-
tegy, others are reluctant about handing
over any sort of tax-raising powers to
European institutions. D.P.

1 Robin Hood is an heroic figure in medieval
English folklore, known for robbing from the
rich to feed the poor

Man campaigning tor Hobin Hood tax ( Heporters

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Ron up

Roun u

EU budget aid not

reaching full potential

"Room for improvement", says EU financial


Over the last decade the EU's
preferred method of disbursing
external aid has been budget
support, accounting on average
for 50 per cent of all aid managed by EU
institutions. In a special report, the EU's
Financial Watchdog, the Luxembourg-
based European Court of Auditors (ECA),
says there's "room for improvement" in
the way it is administered. Its assess-
ment provides input for the European
Commission's (EC) current internal
brainstorming on whether modifications
are needed to EU-funded budget support
programmes in order to achieve develop-
ment objectives.

This type of aid "There is a nee
involves the transfer- analysis about
ral of payments directly reduces
into the respective
national treasuries LrsH
of partner countries. European Co
The criteria to be met
to trigger its release are
reached through policy dialogue between
the EU and beneficiary countries. On the
positive side, such programmes can foster
ownership by the recipient country of aid
resources, strengthen national accounting
systems and usher in policy changes to
reduce poverty.

"This kind of aid has political advantages
in that large sums of aid can be trans-
ferred in a predictable manner", said Lars
Heikenstein, member of the Luxembourg-
based European Court of Auditors at
the February launch of the report enti-
tled, 'The Commission's management
of General Budget Support in African,
Caribbean and Pacific, Latin American
and Asian countries.'[Ed: Sectoral budget
aid -EU aid to a particular sector such
as health or education, is not covered in
the ECA's report).

Could do better
But EU institutions could do better.
"Objectives are too general and hinder

programme design. It is not made clear
where most added value is obtained", Lars
Heikenstein told journalists. The aim of
the report, he added, was not to come out
for or against budget support but analyse
whether it was working according to the
aims set.

Lars Heikenstein said that policy dia-
logue is currently not used to its full
potential and that there was a need for
clearer guidelines: "There is a need too
for systematic analysis about how budget
aid reduces poverty." "There are macro-
economic objectives but these are often
too general and hin-
der programme
*d for systematic design", said Gerald
how budget aid Locatelli, the ECA's
poverty" Head of the European
Development Fund
,,,...; division.

klnsteli ,
urt of Auditors


-.. CIfH Cl

Refugees in new IDP Camp due to tribal clashes �Reporters

suggests the setting up of a public register
The European for budget support agreements.

Commission is aware
of criticisms of budget support, said the
ECA officials. The EU's Commissioner
for Development, Andris Piebalgs,
launched an internet public consulta-
tion on budget support - concluded at
the end of January 20111 - to gather as
many views as possible on the topic fol-
lowing the publication of the Green Paper
on 'The future of EU budget support to
third countries'.2 The EC is expected to
draw up recommendations on the issue
in the run up to the Fourth High level
Forum on Aid Effectiveness to take place
in Busan, South Korea, 29 November -1
December 2011.

"The EU should respect its commitment
to make budget support its preferred aid
modality and continue to increase its
use of this aid instrument in the com-
ing years", notes the non-governmental
organisation, Oxfam, on the public con-
sultation's website. It also wants to see
the strengthening of audit institutions,
parliaments and civil society organizations
to monitor the use of budget resources and

Nick Roberts, Budget Support Advisor
at Samoa's Ministry of Finance, said one
of the issues encountered was actions to
take if there were inadequate reforms
in the recipient country. Mechanisms
could be developed to rate the progress
of reforms and deliver warning signals
to government in cases where progress
has been very slow, or non-existent,
he says on the website. Dr Kwabena
Duffuour, Ghana's Minister of Finance
and Economic Planning, uploaded the
following comment: "I believe there is
a case for having less rigorous eligibility
criteria for sectoral budget support as
this would allow the EU to differenti-
ate and would facilitate the use of sector
budget support as an instrument." D.P.

consultations/5221 en.htm

third countriesen.pdf


Ron up

Ivory Coast - appeasement?

As The Courierwent to press, former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, had been
captured by forces loyal to his rival and the declared winner of presidential elections
in November 2010, Alassane Ouattara, while French tanks backing a United Nations
peace mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) stood by. The move allows president-elect
Ouattara to take his place as his country's president.

pressure had been placed on
Gbagbo by the international
community. Since the 22nd of
December, the EU put in place economic
sanctions, including freezing the financial
assets of 19 Ivorians notably those of the
incumbent president and his wife.

Meanwhile the African Union (AU) urged
Gbagbo to respect the will of the people

and to concede to his political oppo-
nent. A position strengthened by the
decision of South Africa, and particularly
Angola, to join in these demands for their
African peers. The same can be said
for the Economic Community of West
Africa (ECOWAS) who asked the UN
to intervene militarily in Ivory Coast to
stop the growing hostilities between the
two camps - hostilities that risked leading
to civil war.

On the 4th of April, European Com-
missioner for Humanitarian Aid and
International Cooperation, Kristalina
Georgieva, expressed her deep con-
cerns about the magnitude of violence
and the growing number of people flee-
ing their homes. Over 120,000 refugees
have poured into neighboring countries,
including Liberia; countries who them-
selves are often on the edge of humanitar-
ian crisis. M.M.B.

Michel Martelly elected

as President of Haiti

An unswerving and effective strategy

Hegel Goutier

whose inauguration is sched-
uled for May 14, 2011 is
Michel Martelly, the former
pop singer, idol of the poor slum dwell-
ers of Port-au-Prince, supported by the
Haitian business community and the
international community alike.

Unlike fellow musician, Wyclef Jean,
whose name surfaced in the presiden-
tial race early on, the fact that Michel
Martelly (widely known by his stage
name 'Sweet Micky') did not surface at
first, in fact protected him from attacks
by the country's elites who found it dif-
ficult to consider electing a President
without a string of academic letters to his
or her name. As a young artist, Martelly
had already formed strong relationships
with U.S. politicians, especially those
from the Republican Party.

In seeking power, his strategy was like
that of a chess player whose moves are
for the future rather than the present. He
used his U.S. friendships between the

two rounds of the elections and they will
prevail should any charge of populism
now be levelled against him, such as in
appealing to the electorate of the slum,
Cite Soleil, for its votes in the second
round. From the outset, the very name
of his party, 'Repon Peyizan' ('Farmers
reply') has been a rallying call to the
voting booth in a predominantly rural
country. His slogans, 'Michel Martelly,
Tet Kale' in Creole or the 'the bald one',
the 'cheeky one' and even 'bad boy',
were a big hit with young people.

Between the two rounds, Martelly pro-
posed collaborating with the 'Inite' party
candidate, Jude Celestin, who dropped
from 2nd to 3rd place, and also drew sup-
port from Jean-Claude Duvalier and
Jean-Bertrand Aristide whose cryptic
speeches seemed to give support to his
rival, Mirlande Manigat. Participating
in a major electoral debate with the lat-
ter, he appeared as the outsider, a former
singer standing before the Professor. But
Martelly surprised everyone with both
his gall and knowledge of issues. On
Facebook, he amassed 25,000 friends
against Mirlande Manigat's meagre
5000. The die was cast.

"ivlcnel viartelly s electoral poster Vnegel boutler
His slogans : 'Martelly, Tet Kale 'the bald one',
the 'cheeky one' and even 'bad boy', were a big hit
with young people"

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

ACP Transport

Getting Going

A simple glance at a map of Africa is all
it takes to be able to appreciate the scale
of the challenge this continent faces if it
wants to achieve endogenous develop-
ment. Roads and railways are centred
around major ports whose primary func-
tion is to export raw materials, while the
few that venture further into the interior
often terminate upon reaching mines.
With the notable exception of South
Africa, the transport networks of most

sub-Saharan countries have evolved little
since the end of colonial times, and there
is very little interconnection. In recent
years, however, there has been a growing
number of plans and projects aimed at
correcting this infrastructure deficiency
in Africa. Notably these have come from
the African Union (AU), with support from
the European Union (EU) (see separate
article), but also from the United States.
China is also hugely involved.

Marie-Martine Buckens

n the Caribbean and the Pacific,
with their island states, the major
challenge is maritime transport, a
subject covered in the last two pages
of this report. Also important is air trans-
port, as indeed it is in Africa. A previous
Courier report already tackled this subject
(see Issue 17, May June 2010).


countries when even air links have to
pass through hubs that are often a great
distance away?"

These projects are therefore hindered by
the non-central locations of the major
urban centres. This explains, adds Sylvie
Brunel, "why several African countries
have sought, at great cost, to give them-
selves new, more central capitals. Abuja
in Nigeria, Dodoma in Tanzania, and
Yamoussoukro in the Cote d'Ivoire, for

Today, the density of both road and rail
transport networks in Africa remains
very low. Road density is 6.85 kilometres
per 100 square kilometres, compared to
12 kilometres per 100 square kilometres
in Asia, and an average of 100 kilome-
tres per 100 square kilometres in Europe
(over 400 kilometres per square kilometre
in Belgium). The density of the African
rail network is no more than 3 kilometres
per 100 square kilometres compared to
60 kilometres per 100 square kilometres
in Europe.

Road or rail?

Considered too expensive and poorly
managed, rail was often neglected by

major donors (primarily the World
Bank) in favour of roads. The relative
cost of roads has fallen in the last 20
years. Rail was also targeted by struc-
tural adjustment policies, due to the fact
that these state-owned companies were
suffering constant losses. Since the year
2000, however, this has changed. The
European Union, followed by the World
Bank and other donors, has adopted rail
development as a cooperation priority.
Nevertheless, the obstacles remain huge.
Laying new railways is very costly, exist-
ing lines have different track gauges and
a structure is needed to manage the net-
works. Regarding this last point, many
donors favour restructuring in coopera-
tion with the private sector and recom-
mend granting concessions rather than
total privatization. While roads are more
numerous (they provide most links to
rural areas) they also suffer from a lack
of funding and a chronic lack of main-
tenance work.

Also to be remembered, as highlighted
elsewhere in this issue, is the vital role of
the ports. Numbering almost 100, they
play a vital role in Africa's trade relations
with the rest of the world.

Spatial inversion
A number of projects in Africa -- i
which are well onthe ' . i,, ! ,,i[ 'l'..!
are seeking to restore il , i>. II.u ilIc ,r ..I
links that were aband .i .l h i-I. c. .l,!!i I
powers. These are ]' , i ul I,' I'.u- -
sing on North-South links. As French
geographer Sylvie Brunel writes in her
book L'Afrique, un continent en reserve
de developpement "Colonisation resulted
in a genuine spatial inversion in Africa
(...) through favouring the coasts, along
which towns were created, to the point
of upsetting the balance between land
and sea. Most African capitals are ports,
built at the end of railways draining the
products of the interior. The transport
networks are also very often laid out
perpendicular to the coasts, creating a
problem for cross-country connections."
"How," the author asks, "can regional
integration be achieved when it is not
even physically possible to move from
one country to another, due to the lack of
railways but also to the lack of roads that
are negotiable in all seasons? How can
useful connections be created between

I .t'; I . F:

*0 I.24

4. � 'L


N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011



. . . .r ... .. -.


The EU and the major transport

projects in Africa

The serious lack of transport in sub-Saha-
ran Africa is a challenge that the EU and
Africa are tackling together, through their
Partnership on Infrastructure.

Anne-Marie Mouradian

tegic framework to improve the
interconnection of transport
networks across the conti-
nent. It is supported by the European
Development Fund through its traditional
instruments -such
as the National and
Regional Indicative The Chinese,
Programmes -and offer to b
the EU-Africa in exchange
Trust Fund, which to primary
was specially cre-
ated for large regional infrastructure
networks. The partnership functions
alongside other major initiatives such
as the Infrastructure Consortium for
Africa (ICA), PIDA (Programme for
Infrastructure Development in Africa)
-a joint initiative of the African Union
Commission -NEPAD, the African
Development Bank, and the SSATP
(Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy
Programme) -which unites 35 African
countries and their regional communities,
with support from 11 donors.


Transportation corridors:
the backbones of development

"Transport is primarily a matter of con-
nectivity", explains Paulus Geraedts,
Head of Sector, Infrastructure Networks
and Urban Development at DEVCO,
the Directorate-General responsible
for development and cooperation at the
European Commission. "The aim is to
connect countries with other countries,
regions with other
regions, and Africa
for their part, with the world. The
fild roads EC is focusing on the
for access trans-African corri-
dors and on funding
materials the missing links that
are also a priority for
the African Union Commission. It also
supports national programmes, either by
focusing on sections of regional corridors
or, at the request of individual coun-
tries, by developing their local networks,
improving road access in rural areas and
urban mobility."

The European Commission provides
the African transport sector with
around 600M in donations every year.
In cooperation with financial institu-
tions in Europe, it uses the EU-Africa


Infrastructure Trust Fund for large
cross-border projects such as the Beira
Corridor, the Great East Road, the devel-
opment of the Pointe Noire port, the
enlargement of the Walvis Bay Port, the
extension of the Kenyatta International
Airport, and the Namibia Integrated
Transport Master Plan.

The Zambian section of the Great East
Road Nacala Corridor project, which
links the Mozambican port of Nacala to
Zambia via Malawi, covers 360 kilometres
at a cost of�250M. "It is a great example
of European coordination. It involves the
EIB, the French Development Agency,
the European Commission, and the EU
delegation in charge of the dialogue with
the Zambian authorities," said Juergen
Kettner, a transport policy and infra-
structure specialist at DEVCO. It is also
an example of an international partner-
ship involving numerous parties fund-
ing its different sections, including the
African Development Bank -which is
involved in the Mozambican project -,
and the Japan International Cooperation
Agency (JICA).

The national authorities -specifically
the ministries of Transport, Finance,
and Public Works -are responsible for
the implementation of the projects and
for negotiating with donors, and "it is
important," says Paulus Geraedts, "to
coordinate national, regional and con-
tinental policies. We support the AU
Commission in its efforts to establish a
cohesive overview and vision, to develop
strategic programmes such as PIDA
through which it seeks to influence the

continent as a whole and to play a coor-
dinating role in developing its transporta-
tion corridors. Additionally we support
the African regional organizations in
their work to achieve regional integration
and trade facilitation, the harmonisation
of standards, for example, or the con-
struction of juxtaposed customs posts
in West Africa."

But public resources (whether national
African resources or those provided via
public development aid) are insufficient
given the magnitude of the requirements.
In accordance with the new priorities
set out in the recent Green Paper on
Development Policy', the EC wants to
encourage the pri-
vate sector, which is t's important
the main engine of
growth, to become a national, r
development partner. continent
"Private investors
may be interested in the market but they
are scared off by political risks, currency
risks, and governance issues. We are
developing ways of working with them,
for example by combining our finan-
cial contributions with their long-term
funding. The private sector could benefit
indirectly from projects co-financed by
European financial institutions using
the Trust Fund," says Paulus Geraedts.

The Chinese presence:
a challenge for the EU
and Africa

China has invested billions of dollars in
the infrastructure sector in Africa: the
Infrastructure Consortium for Africa's

annual report said Chinese investment
amounted to around US$5 - 6 billion in
2010. "This clearly presents a challenge.
Europe provides a full package, includ-
ing the political dialogue and partner-
ship that goes along with donations and
investments," says Paulus Geraedts. It
could be said that the Chinese, for their
part, offer to build roads in exchange
for access to primary materials. "It's
up to the Africans to choose, which is
also a challenge for them," he notes.
"Governments have sometimes indicated
that on particular projects, they prefer to
work with the Chinese. That's life. But
the requirements are so significant that
there's room for everyone, however it
seems to me that it is
to coordinate necessary to establish
a sort of 'fair play'. "
gional and The EC believes that
l policies Africa, China, and
the EU should work
together to identify a number of areas
where trilateral cooperation may be
beneficial, and is attempting to get this
dialogue going. "In Zambia for exam-
ple we are already in contact with the
Chinese," says Juergen Kettner. "The
challenge is to enter into a dialogue with
our Chinese colleagues in order to come
to an agreement on common priorities
with the government and to channel
funds appropriately. We prefer to work
with partners rather than in isolation."

India, Brazil, and Japan are also involved.
"It's a fascinating time and the game plan
is still not clear", says Paulus Geraedts.
"The G20 could play a significant role in
bringing together developed and emerg-
ing economies, as donors with developing
economies such as the African countries,
as beneficiaries."

1The Green Paper on EU development
policy in support of inclusive growth and
-4,, ; ,il.1.. development : visit http://
sultations/5241 en.htm to see the results
of the public consultation and background

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011




The South-African Transnet

and the Chinese

Charles Visser*

politically - as witnessed by
recent events in Egypt, the
Maghreb and Sudan - but also
economically, which may just herald in the
true liberalisation of the continent that was
for so long blighted by internal strife and
economic mismanagement. Or could it
herald in a new era of colonisation ... this
time by the Chinese?

Be that as it may, Africa is on the move
and much of the economic movement is
driven by Chines investment and much
of the goods being moved are moved by
Transnet, the South African transport
company. Although it is wholly owned by
the South African government, Transnet
is not subsidized and is a profitable under-

According to South Africa's Standard Bank
which, in partnership with the Industrial
and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC),
has a strong presence in 17 African coun-
tries outside South Africa, Chinese inves-
tment in Africa will double to C36.8 billion
by 2015, as will Africa-China bilateral
trade from the current 1 10 billion to C220
billion. African GDP is expected to rise by
6% in 2015, up from the current growth
rate of 4.9%.

All this increased economic activity begs
the question of how to transport all the
associated goods across Africa's poor road
and rail networks.

According to its spokesman Mike Asefovitz,
Transnet comprises 80% of the African rail
network and is busy getting "their house
in order in South Africa, where demand is
outstripping supply". Asefovitz could not
comment "on a strategic level" on whether
Transnet planned to link up with the
infrastructure developments undertaken
by the Chinese on the continent. (It should
be noted that Transnet's involvement in
SADC is limited to the leasing of rolling

stock and maintenance of railway lines
and pipelines.)

With Africa's biggest rail, pipeline and
ports company 'out of the game' as far as
infrastructure development in Africa out-
side of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) is concerned, it
leaves the 'road' open for other players
like the EU, the United States and China to
step into the breach to reach Africa's riches.

* Charles Visser is a former journalist and
independent thinker living in South Africa

Fer mourn uhw
� Reporters

Africarail and others

The past decade has seen a large number
of projects flourish in Sub-Saharan Africa,
including the ambitious Africarail project.
Two thousand kilometres long, the Afri-
carail network aims to connect four West
African countries: Benin, Togo, Niger, and
Burkina Faso. The project is supported
by the African Development Bank. The
necessary funding - currently estimated
at around six billion dollars - is to be rai-
sed through a public-private partnership.
Relying in part on existing railways, the

Africarail network will open up the coun- National projects are also being exa-
tries involved, as well as neighboring mined. In particular a project to link the
countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, centre of Congo-Brazzaville to the port of
the C6te d'lvoire, Ghana, and Chad. Pointe-Noire with 500 kilometres of track.
There is also a project to connect all of
A number of transnational rail projects Mozambique's provinces, which would
are also being studied by the East Afri- require 2000 kilometres of track, at a cost
can Community (EAC). Four 'corridors' of 11 million US dollars. Notto mention the
have been approved. These include a rail road-rail-bridge project to link the world's
link between the Kenyan and Ugandan two closest capital cities, Brazzaville and
capitals, and another linking Tanzania, Kinshasa. M.M.B.
Burundi, and Rwanda.



Reviving inland waterway transport

The river ports of sub-Saharan Africa
are still far from competing with the
continent's sea ports. The reasons? A
lack of navigation markers and antiquated
Almost 97% of international trade is done
through shipping. Africa has more than
80 major seaports - relatively few for a
continent with 53 countries - of which
15 are landlocked and six are islands.
But many of these ports are confronted
with difficulties in securing material and

equipment, providing security, tackling
pollution and dealing with inadequate
technical capabilities. In addition, 80%
of the vessels are more than 15 years
old, in comparison with the world ave-
rage of 15%.
River transport is characterized by just
as many weaknesses. Even great rivers
like the Congo or the Nile are not fully
navigable. But in the areas where they
are, they represent an important boon
to regional economic integration, par-

linsnasa port c Iviarle-viartlne bucKens

. WO-
4J*._ --.m

DRC-bad road being repaired@ Reporters

ticularly in remote areas. This is parti-
cularly the case in the DRC, where the
EU is currently funding a large project
marking navigation paths in the Congo
River. In addition, river transport enjoys
considerable economic advantages: it is
six times cheaper to transport containers
by ship than by air freight, and a barge of
500 tons can complete a journey in half
of the time it takes a 14 ton truck to do
the same. M.M.B.

Restoring the roads in the
DRC and elsewhere
Roads remain the dominant mode of
transport in Sub-Saharan Africa, repre-
senting nearly 90% of interstate and long
distance traffic of goods. But its density
is among the lowest (6.65 km per 100
km2) and the condition of the roads the
most hazardous. On average, 24.5% of
African roads are paved. An average that
includes North Africa, whose percenta-
ge reaches a high of 64%, against 4%
for Central Africa, 9.5% for East Africa,
20.7% for Southern Africa and 22.4%
in West Africa.

It is a network that suffers from poor main-
tenance (on average a mere 30% of the
needs required for their maintenance is
guaranteed) and the overloading of trucks,
whichthus reducesthe lifespan of the roads.

The Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) is one of them. Five worksites
were announced in 2006, one of which
included the construction or rehabili-
tation of approximately 10,000 km of
roads and bridges. In four years, some
5,000 km of works have been completed.
But there has been little tarring, and
no fundamental change to the existing
network, primarily built in the colonial
era. The European Union is the main
founder, alongside the World Bank and
the African Development Bank. Not for-
getting China, albeit with a still relatively
limited presence, with the exception of
road works undertaken in the capital
Kinshasa. M.M.B.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


Costly air travel hinders

Caribbean's single market

Most visitors to the Caribbean are shocked that it costs just as much to travel by
air between the tropical islands as it would to North America. Is there any choice?

Bernard Babb*

Caribbean nationals have
been calling for impro-
ved connections between
the islands, reduced
taxes on travel and an The latest atter
informed policy on
regional travel from intra-regior
Governments of the the Caribbean
CARICOM1 trading in the form
bloc. Several regional a low-cost ca
commentators have
argued that one of by two Irish t
the main hindrances
to the effectiveness of the Caribbean Single
Market and Economy (CSME) has been
the lack of a viable and workable regional
transportation system.

Norman Smith, a letter writer to the 'Daily
Nation' in Barbados, summed up the pain
of fellow Caribbean nationals when he
wrote in February (2011) that there was
a pressing need to reduce the high fares
in the region. Wrote Smith: "Recently, I
made some enquiries about travelling to St
Vincent and Grenada and was given these
fares Barbados to St Vincent, $533 (US
$266); Barbados to Grenada, $637 (US
$318); Barbados to St Vincent to Grenada
$858.42 (US $427). In the past, if you
left Barbados to travel to Grenada via St
Vincent on LIAT, you were charged the
fare for the farther destination. Now you
are hearing that these are two destinations;
so you have to pay two fares. These exor-
bitant fares are discouraging people from
travelling. You should not have to pay $858
to travel just over one 100 miles, when you
could travel to Miami, about 16 times as
far, for the same price or less."

Falling business
Over the past two years, the situation has
been aggravated as rising fuel costs and
multi-million-dollar losses helped to hasten

the demise of Air Jamaica, while regional
legacy carrier LIAT has been struggling
with unprofitability while seeking to ratio-
nalise routes and stay in business. American
Eagle, operated by American Airlines as an
island hopping carrier between Puerto
Rico and the Caribbean, has also discon-
tinued service to several islands, citing
unprofitability. The
7pt to improve drop in intra-regional
travel by 30 per cent
al travel in over the past five years,
has emerged says the Caribbean
of Redjet, Tourism Organisation
rrier created (CTO) due to the
contractions in the
businessmen global economy, has
negatively affected the
region's air carriers.

With diminishing air capacity and prevai-
ling high airfares dampening the urge to
travel, efforts to increase alternate modes
of transport by sea have also been floun-
dering. In recent years, a number of enter-
prising businessmen have announced plans
to expand ferry services in the Eastern

Caribbean, which would cut travel costs
by 60 per cent. But a reliable ferry service
serving the wider Caribbean is yet to mate-
rialise.Travelling across sea should mean
cheaper fuel, and hence cheaper passenger
tickets, but passenger traffic will also be
competing with cargo.

Meanwhile, the latest attempt to improve
intra-regional travel in the Caribbean has
emerged in the form of Redjet, a low-cost
carrier created by two Irish businessmen.
They are using the European Ryanair
model and are eagerly awaiting formal
approval from the Barbados Government.

'Member states of the Caribbean
Community (CARICOM): Antigua and
Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,
Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti,
Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint. Lucia, St. Kitts
and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

*Barbados-based journalist

Melville Hall airport, Dominica � H Goutier




I ~~Dose

The tyranny of distance

in the Pacific

Initiatives to improve shipping between the islands

Sparse populations spread across wide swathes of the world's largest ocean resulting
in poor communications between them have held back movement of the region's
goods and people and slowed economic development and growth.

Dev Nadkarni*

has recognized such impedi-
ments to development. One of
its earliest moves of the PIF was
the Pacific Forum Line, set up by Pacific
governments' in 1978 to meet their freight
shipping requirements. While this shipping
initiative -unlike repeated attempts at
establishing a truly regional airline, which
have never taken off the ground -is often
hailed as a success story in Pacific Island
regionalism, its growth has been constrai-
ned by a lack of port facilities and high
fuel costs.

Ram Bajekal, Group Chief Executive of
FMF (Flour Mills of Fiji), one of Fiji's
largest manufacturing companies making
food products for exports throughout the
Pacific, including Australia and New
Zealand, believes that although both
shipping and air travel have changed for
the better in recent years, there's a long
way to go.

"We would like to base our growth strate-
gies on exports which would rely on impro-
ved connectivity between the Islands and
Australia and New Zealand", he says. Low
volumes of traffic and a lack of competi-
tion mean that complacency prevails with
irregular shipping schedules.

Bajekal says the region needs to urgently
improve on the freight logistics front, in
the interests of business growth and econo-
mic development in the islands. "Shipping
freight costs have marginally reduced but
haven't yet reached levels that can be accep-
ted as 'proportionate' to the distance invol-
ved. We could provide a lot better service
to our customers in the islands, Australia
and New Zealand if only shipping services
were more frequent and more reliable and
punctual", he says.

Recent initiatives

Recent initiatives have focused on inter-
island transport connectivity, particularly
among the smaller islands. Two years ago, a
meeting of small island maritime ministers
came up with a proposal for local ship-
ping companies ii, lu Iu _ Ii : '.' .'.,i. .*. .:.-,-
Services, a government-owned enterprise,
to run services connecting Nauru, Tuvalu,
Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna to Suva in
Fiji -the nearest transhipment port with
onward connections to the wider world.

Meanwhile, private shipping companies
like the Pacific Direct Line have stepped
up their existing services around the
smaller islands with a recently establis-
hed hub in Fiji to better serve the islands,
the company's New Zealand-based
Commercial Manager, Alan Foote, told
The Courier.

While there are moves to shore up ser-
vices in the region, shipping companies
have over the past few months been faced
with the challenges of rising of fuel. But
shipping company representatives told
The Courier that companies were striving
to keep freight rates unchanged as far
possible. General Manager of Fiji-based
Carpenters Shipping, Manickam Narain,
said that although fuel prices were volatile,
the company that serves Fiji, Papua New
Guinea and the Pacific Rim countries had
refrained from revising their rates upwards.

*New Zealand-based journalist

1The Pacific Forum Line's shareholders are: Cook
Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru,
New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea,
Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

New offensive to

defend African cotton

Anne-Marie Mouradian

On 15 March in Brussels, the
President of the Committee of
the West African Economic and
Monetary Union (UEMOA)
launched an offensive aimed at generating
a new impetus on the part of the European
Union and the United States to mobilise
support of African cotton.

The action is being led by the UEMOA
and the C4 that represents the four
producing coun-
tries (Burkina Faso, "We must prev
Benin, Mali and of African cotto
Chad), instigators
of the first "cotton avoid a repeat o
initiative" submitted of the Groundn
to the WTO in 2003. and Se
Recent years have
brought no progress, stressed Soumaila
Ciss6. The aim is to obtain the removal of
internal subsidies for European and US
cotton producers that cause imbalances
on the world market at the expense of
African producers. The EU and the US
each claim they are not the ones respon-
sible as they maintain a status quo that
is adding to the impoverishment of the
15 million cotton growers of West and
Central Africa, stresses the UEMOA.

The West African organisation wants
to benefit from the opportunities
offered by the current review of the
Common Agricultural Policy in the
EU and by the preparation of debates
on the Farm Bill in the United States.

At the European level, the C4 is deman-
ding the 100% decoupling of aid to cotton
producers in Greece and Spain. Coupled
aid subsidies farmers' incomes accor-
ding to the surface area they cultivate.
The aid is higher for cotton than for most
other agricultural pro-
ent the decline ducts. Cotton has been
n ifwe want to decoupled for 65%,
compared with 90%
the experience for other agricultu-
it Basin in Mali ral products. That is
negal" insufficient, stressed
Soumaila Cisse, who
called for the remaining 35% to be abo-
lished and declared that there will be no
solution for the Doha round if there is no
solution for cotton.

Applying the WTO rules
The UEMOA Commission President
addressed the ACP-EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly. The new ini-
tiative for African cotton is aimed at

making MEPs more aware of the issue and
motivating them to act, especially given
their increased power of co-decision, and
to initiate legislation introduced by the
Lisbon Treaty. JPA Co-President Louis
Michel has already relayed their message.
In a parliamentary question addressed
to the European Commission, the MEP
stressed that: "African cotton growers are
not asking for favoured treatment but the
application of the WTO rules {...} and
the abolition of unbalanced measures in
support of cotton production and export,
with the aim of combating poverty by
recognizing the strategic nature of cotton
for their development."

For its part, the European Commission
stresses that its production represents just
2% of global production and is far behind
that of the United States, the third major
producer after China and India.

The UMEOA is also seeking European
support in pleading its case in the United
States. The African cotton industry has
high growth potential. "We must prevent
its decline," warns Soumaila Ciss6, "ifwe
want to avoid reliving the experience of
the collapse of the Groundnut Basin in
Mali and Senegal that saw young people
from the region join the flow of migrants
to Europe."



A model for investment in Africa:

the Tuninvest/Africinvest experience

Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

A ziz Mebarek is the foun-
ding partner of Tuninvest/
Africinvest, an independent
private equity fund founded
in 1994. First established in Tunisia,
the fund initially expanded to cover the
Maghreb region, and is now targeting
Sub-Saharan African business. The
Group is currently investing its third
generation of funds, targeting growth
and small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs). In an interview with The Courier,
he explains his positive experience with
entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa,
where he believes that combined with
social and environmental considerations,
entrepreneurship can not only be profi-
table, but could represent the future for

What is the core business of your

It is to support small and medium-sized
enterprises through funds raised from
investors but also from the World Bank
(WB) and the European Investment Bank
(EIB). There are three families of funds:
those for Tunisian or Moroccan inves-
tors; funds for international investors to
be invested in the Maghreb region and
funds for international investors to be
invested in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are
administering $650M and are now also
interested in microfinance.

How do you choose the businesses
you finance?

Since 2004, we have an office in Ivory
Coast for investment in Francophone West
Africa, an office in Lagos for Anglophone
West Africa, and an office in Nairobi for
East Africa.

In all these regions, there are opportuni-
ties. We try to find them and transform
them into real, productive projects. It is
important to understand the specific eco-
nomic environments and markets in each

country. For example, our latest inves-
tment in Kenya is in a private school. It
is well managed and profitable.

In Senegal, we have invested in a laundry-
soap industry, which currently has a small
turnover and manufactures only a few
products. We identified certain weak-
nesses and we are working to update its
methods and means of production. We
foresee a turnover of 4-5M in a few years
from now.

With our staff, or with external, speci-
fic short-term expertise, we work on the
information systems, the staff recruitment
process and the industrial plane. It is not
only about providing finance but also inte-
raction, collaboration and collective work.
We fall into line with the entrepreneur: if
we gain, we gain together, if we lose, we
lose together. We don't normally hold the
majority of the capital.

How many investments have you in
sub-Saharan Africa and in which

We are currently financing about 25
enterprises. In North Africa, we finance
all sorts of companies, bar construction
companies as they don't create real deve-
lopment and do not produce exportable
goods. We also try to avoid unhealthy
sectors such as the tobacco, alcohol, and
gambling industries.

Aziz Mebarek- Lai Momo

Our invested companies are bound by a
code of conduct and ethical standards,
particularly in terms of confidentiality.

You recently spoke at the EU's 2010
Dev Days event in Brussels. What
did you take from the experience?

It was interesting to share our experien-
ces, to explain what we do and show that
development can come about through
entrepreneurship. Some are sceptical
about the profit-motivated approach.
However, profitable pharmaceutical
industries allow people in less advan-
ced countries to access and purchase
medication at cheaper prices.

* I


Investors at work Reporters
Investors at work � Reporters

r~� g


ii ;ii,-�i..
I ;


N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


When research

bites the dust

The populations of West Africa are
among the most exposed in the world
to desert dust. Yet interest in scientific
research into this particular form of
pollution is virtually nil. A team from
Benin and Europe is now appealing for
international institutions to pay more
attention to the problem.

Philippe Lamotte *

the health of African popula-
tions is very seriously affected
by Saharan dust that, in cer-
tain seasons, rises to an altitude of several
thousand metres before falling back to the
ground in Europe, America and most of
the West African countries in particular.
That is the hypothesis of a team ofresear-
chers from Parakou University (Benin)
and two Belgian universities, who have

just published an article' based on a sys-
tematic review of international literature
of the past decade devoted to the subject.

Carried by the Harmattan
Their concern is focused on the huge dust
clouds capable of travelling thousands of
kilometres that regularly form in various
areas of the globe first and foremost in
the Sahara, where between 50% and 58%
of these clouds are believed to originate.
In West Africa, these so-called "PM 10"
particles (their diameter is less than 10
microns) enter the air mainly in Mali,


Ou lae

Mauritania and around Lake Chad. They
are then carried by the Harmattan2, a
dry wind that blows from late November
through to March, in the direction of the
Gulf of Guinea by way of, inter alia, Benin,
Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Intrigued by the possible health impact of
this desert dust, the university team stu-
died 231 scientific articles devoted to the
impact of PM 10 particles on air quality.
Affecting the upper respiratory channels,

these particles made
up largely of quartz
play a major role in a
number of respiratory
diseases, including
asthma, pneumonia
and chronic obstruc-
tions. They could well
play a part in respi-
ratory infections that

Africa: the lack of meteorological and
synoptic stations, shortcomings in tra-
ining and promoting awareness of the
phenomenon among medical and nursing
staff, weakness of a hospital network to
record data in the field and lack of integra-
tion between the scientific disciplines con-
cerned. "These failings are all the more
worrying as the population concerned is
particularly vulnerable and malnutrition
rates - already among the highest in the
world - are rising all the time," says Pierre

Without health data collected
on a regular basis in the field,
our knowledge - and thus the
protection of populations -
will be unable to progress
significantly in this part of Africa

Ozer, a geographer
at the Department
of Science and
Management at ULg
in Belgium. "The
unanswered ques-
tions are many: does
chronic exposure to
low doses have a sig-

are responsible for up to 20% of infant
mortality in certain regions.

Surprisingly, just three studies - 1.3% of
the total -were found to be concerned
with air pollution in Africa! After a second
review of the literature, this time targeting
key words with greater "health" connota-
tions (for example, mortality, morbidity
and asthma), the researchers arrived at
an even more startling conclusion: of the
41 studies identified, not a single one was
devoted to Africa.

"The international scientific interest
accorded to this subject shows a clear
regional imbalance," concludes Florence
De Longueville, a post-doc specialised
in the management of natural risks at
the Department of Geography of the
Faculty Universitaire Notre-Dame de
la Paix (FUNDP) in Namur (Belgium).
Whereas North Africa is the region that
produces the most desert dust by far, the
literature remains largely silent on the sub-
ject, whereas Asia, the big dust producer
in the region of the Gobi Desert (China/
Mongolia), is much better studied."
Another pertinent finding is that while
only between 5% and 10% of Saharan
dust enters the European atmosphere, the
effects of the PM 10 particles on the popu-
lation in Spain is better documented than
the effects on populations in West Africa.
In 2008 a study showed, for example, that
desert dust particles present in the air in
Barcelona were associated with an 8.4%
increase in the death rate.

Scientific shortcomings

nificantly different effect than mass expo-
sure during sand storms? How do smaller
particles, with the ability to penetrate the
pulmonary alveoli, perform when found
in combination with the PM 2.5 pollution
found in cities?"

Looking in particular to the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) and
the World Health Organization (WHO),
the Beninese and Belgian scientists hope
that more attention will soon be paid to
these phenomena due to growing concerns
about climate change and its effects on
public health. But, without health data
collected on a regular basis in the field,
our knowledge -and thus the protection
of populations -will be unable to pro-
gress significantly in this part of Africa.

* Freelance journalist

"'What do we know about the effects of
desert dust on air quality and human
health in West Africa compared with other
regions?" Science of the Total Environment,
2010, by Yvon-Carmen Hountondji
(Parakou, Benin), Florence de Longueville
and Sabine Henry (FUNDP, Belgium),
Pierre Ozer (ULG, Belgium)

2The Harmattan can cloud the atmosphere
for days at a time, leaving aircraft grounded
and favouring meningitis epidemics, the
suspended particles rendering the mucous

There are a number of explanations for membranes fragile and making it easier for
this scientific under-investment in West the meningococii to enter the bloodstream.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

A not so natural phenomenon...

The PM 10 are not completely "natu-
ral". While they are indeed the result of
wind erosion and suspension in the air
due to wind action, the quantities emit-
ted are influenced by human activities:
bush fires, deforestation, overgrazing
and other agricultural practices. "In
certain regions," explains Pierre Ozer,
"the vegetal matter that peasants used
to leave on the ground is now collected
for various uses, such as animal feed,
to provide a stock of kindling between
the growing seasons. The result is that
the earth is totally bare at the end of
the farming season, which favours the
release of dust." In his doctoral thesis,
the Liege geographer had shown that
wind erosion in West Africa doubled
or even trebled overall between the
1950s and 1980s.

a ~ ~ "m
- ~ s �57

,- -; ..

Turku: tradition

and reinvention

The raw energy of Europe's Capital of Culture

Once part of the Swedish and - sub- Debra Percival
sequently- the Russian empire Turku,
a city of 177,500 people in Southwest
Finland (300,000 in the wider Turku he Great Fire of 1827 which
area), has grown at the side of the burnt down three-quarters
River Aura and become a thriving of the buildings may have
trading and cultural hub. The recog- erased some of the city's
architectural history, but
nition of its vibrancy in the arts was ignited its spirit of hope, as put across in
the announcement of its status as a brochure description of 'Fire, Fire', an
European Capital of Culture for 2011, exhibition in the Capital of Culture: "In
along with Estonia's capital, Tallinn. all its destructiveness, fire gives birth to
Something new." Another quotation of a
more uncertain origin, inscribed under a
modern statue in the Old Great Square,

encapsulates Turku's Finnish identity
"We are no longer Swedes; Russians
we will never be. Let us be Finns". The
ethos of attachment to tradition but
readiness to reinvent itself runs through-
out the city's history.
Established at the mouth of the River
Aura in the 13th century under the
Swedish empire, Swedish is still compul-
sory in schools and the signage around
the city is both in Finnish and Swedish
(including Turku's Swedish name, 'Abo'
meaning 'by the river'). Five per cent
of the population are native Swedish
speakers. The Turku area remained part


of the eastern edge of the Kingdom of
Sweden until it was ceded to the Russian
empire in 1809 on the signing of the
Treaty of Fredrikshamn which ended
the Finnish War. It remained part of the
autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland
under Russia until Finland declared its
independence in 1917.

Trading centre

The city has a rich legacy of being a
buoyant trading and vibrant cultural
centre. Turku was a stop for merchants
of the Hanseactic League in the 13th
century when this group of Northern
Europe's traders, whose hub was the
northern German city of Liubeck,
dominated routes from the Baltic to
the North Sea. Although Turku had no
official status as a capital at this time,
the area around the city was known as
'Finland proper' and the Dukes and
Governors General of Finland under
Swedish rule traditionally set up their
residences there, although rarely hold-
ing their positions for long. Christina,
Queen of Sweden, established the
Swedish University of Turku in 1640,
implanting the city's lasting reputation
for academic excellence.

Two of the oldest buildings which
remain standing, although rebuilt
or refurbished several times, are the
cathedral and the castle. Consecrated in
1300, the cathedral which stands in the
Old Great Square was originally built
out of wood. It is the Mother Church
of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church
(81 per cent of Finns "The ethos
are of the Evangelical to tradition
Lutheran Church to reinven
of Finland) and to
this day the seat of throughout
the Archbishop of hisi
Finland. The con-
struction ofTurku castle began in 1280.
It was a former military base for the
Swedish conquerors and an administra-
tive centre for 'Eastland', as Finland was
known during the period of the Swedish
empire. It is now mainly used for formal
city and private receptions.

Under the Russian empire, Turku's
status as the capital of the Duchy of
Finland was short-lived. Russian
Emperor, Alexander I, felt that Turku
was geographically too far from Russia
and too close to Sweden and trans-
ferred the Duchy's capital to Helsinki
in 1812.Turku's Great Fire of 1827
also reduced the city's influence and
transformed the look of the city forever.

Academic excellence

Abo Akademi was re-launched as the
Swedish University in 1918, followed by




� a..


Turku castle � D Percival

the establishment of the city's Finnish
University in 1920. Turku also has four
universities of applied sciences and other
academic institutions. Continually seek-
ing new opportunities, it is in the fortu-
nate strategic position of looking west
across the Gulf of Bothnia to eastern
Sweden and Western
Europe and east to
f attachment Russia and China
ut readiness (see article on the
itself runs economy in this sec-
t the city's
ory" Nearly four million
passengers annually
travel via the port of Turku. Although
shipbuilding is now going through
harder times, moves have been made
to adapt shipbuilders' skills to new

Bio-technology, information and com-
munication technology, tourism and the
food manufacturing are rapidly develop-
ing areas of the city's economy.

Turku's present grid design is that of
Carl Ludwig Engel, the German archi-
tect appointed by the Russian Emperor
to draw up a new city plan after the
Great Fire. Engel also put his mark on
Finland's capital, Helsinki. Like Rome,
Turku stands on seven hills. Some of the
old wooden structures to have survived
the fire, notably in the Port Arthur dis-
trict, are now sought-after for private
homes and offices. The granite art-deco
houses of wealthy traders of the late

19th and early 20th centuries featuring
stone-engraved replicas of nature, such
as foxes or pine trees, line the city's wide
leafy boulevards. Citizens are also proud
of their city's newer buildings such as
the recent extension of the public library
which has the atmosphere of a small
village hall in the winter, with people
gathering to read newspapers, surf the
net or simply drink coffee.

But after the long, dark days of winter
(in mid-December, the sun doesn't rise
before 10 am and sets at 2pm), eve-
ryone's itching for the great outdoors.
Many city-dwellers have cottages in
the archipelago (see box page: no ) or
jog, stroll or cycle the wide pedestrian
walkways at the side of the River Aura
which ices over in the winter. "The
banks of the Aura are our living room
in the summer", says Anu Salminen.
Over the summer months, some of the
cultural capital's exhibits will be placed
in the central public park where animals
once roamed free in the 18th century.

The city is rapidly gaining a reputa-
tion for culinary excellence. 'Turku on a
Plate' has been produced for the Capital
of Culture year, a book bringing together
recipes from ten of the best restaurants.
Works of art which function as exercise
apparatus are being installed in pub-
lic spaces and walking routes that take
in some of the pieces of art are being
mapped. The idea is that for Turku resi-
dents and visitors alike, culture becomes
part of everyday life.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011



Creating a legacy as European

Capital of Culture 2011

Promoting cultural well-being

theatres and prisons, young and
old alike are taking part in cultural
events as diverse as operatic per-
formances and a new potato festival. The
aim is "inclusiveness" says Cay Sev6n,
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the
Turku 2011 Foundation, the organising
body for the European Capital of Culture
events 2011. A display of fireworks and
aerial acrobatics launched the year-long
programme on an icy evening, the 15th
January 2011.

Over the past winter months the pro-
gramme has even included a celebration
of darkness, '876 shades of darkness'.
Cots- small tent-like shelters in various
forms -were erected in public places

around the city where people could sit for
a while to explore their innerpeace during
the twilight hours. A 'pitch black gallery'
invited visitors to feel, listen, smell and
touch art installations, rather than look
at them, and 'pitch black parties' forced
people to use every sense but sight when
being introduced to fellow party-goers!

The initiative for the EU policy of annu-
ally designating one or more cities as
'Cities of Culture' (from 1999, as 'Capitals
of Culture') was taken by Greece's former
Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri.
Rumour has it that she met with, Jack
Lang, then French Culture Minister
in 1984 to discuss the idea. Athens was

A model of the city of Turku burning at the 'Fire, Fire' exhibition, Logomo �Lehtikuva Oy/Reporters



'I '

Finnish design on show during Capital of Culture year. 'Logomo' cafe, Turku �Capital of Culture Foundation

nominated as the first European City
of Culture the following year followed
by Florence in 1986. In the early days,
these European City of Culture events
were limited to summer festivals (the
chosen cities have
traditionally been in
EU member states The overall a
although Istanbul, bridges betw
Turkey, was a Capital and those ir
of Culture in 2010). of life whicI
For Cay Sev6n, the
turning point came once the y
when Glasgow was
awarded the honour in 1990. At the time,
it was a run-down city with many social
problems but gained a new lease of life fol-
lowing its year in the limelight, becoming
a 'hip' destination and attracting inter-
national congresses and festivals. Cay
Sev6n says she hopes that Turku will now
be put on the international map too. The
city has already been cited in the top ten
lists of not-to-be-missed-places in 2011 by
numerous newspaper columnists.


Although an EU-driven programme, since
2010 those cities appointed as Capitals
of Culture have to foot the organisa-
tional bill themselves. Out of the �50M
allocated from the Turku Foundation's
budget, �18M is from the City of Turku

and �18M from the state of Finland with
�10M to be raised from the actual perfor-
mances staged, although 70 per cent of
the events are free-of-charge. Since 2010,
a Capital of Culture city is also eligible
for the f1.5M'Melina
Mercouri Prize'
im is to build which is only awarded
een the artist to those cities that
other walks make 'sound prepa-
will remain rations' in organising
a programme. Turku
ear is over and Tallinn both won
individual 'Melina
Mercouri' awards in 2010 to put towards
their respective 2011 cultural agendas.

Big names

The Turku programme includes some big
names such as locally-born operatic star,
Karita Mattila, who will give a perfor-
mance this August. The year-long exhibi-
tion of the work of the homo-erotic artist,
'Tom of Finland', alias Touko Laaksonen
(1920-1991), can be visited in Turku's
'Logomo The Centre of Culture' venue,
a former railway engineering workshop
transformed into a permanent exhibition
space for the Capital of Culture year. But
the uniqueness of the Turku programme is
that most of the projects are locally-driven
and have been selected by open public
tender. In this way, the Foundation was

Cay Sevon, Chief Executive Officer of the Cultural Year
�D Percival

keen to ensure that the list of events did
not become too provincial by including
such events as 'The Detour', an exhi-
bition by two architects, Simon Brunel
and Nicolas Pannetier, featuring a 'jour-
ney' through three cities with photos,
videos and other material gathered from
Turku, St Petersburg and fellow Capital
of Culture for 2011, Tallinn in Estonia.

Some 14,000 people are directly partici-
pating in the events of Turku's cultural
year; 11,000 from the region, 2,000
from other parts of Finland, just under
1,000 from other parts of Europe and
just over 100 from other continents, says
Cay Sev6n. Three thousand people are
working in a professional capacity, mostly
producers and artists in the cultural field,
on 155 projects and a total of 5,000 events.

The CEO explains that the overall aim
is to build bridges between the artist and
those in other walks of life which will
remain once the year is over. For example,
the mapping of cultural exercise paths
(see article page 33) is proof that "artists
and sports services can work together
and we hope that such cooperation will
continue," says Cay Sev6n. Another trail-
blazing project involves asking residents
of senior citizen accommodation about
their cultural preferences, whether draw-
ing, music or handicrafts. Artists from
various disciplines then visit the residents
and try to make, "their cultural dreams
come true".

Another original project is the issuing
of a total of 5,500 "cultural prescrip-
tions" by medical doctors. Turku's doc-
tors write prescriptions for these which
patients exchange for tickets to a cultural
happening of their choice at the city's
cultural information centre. "Culture
not only increases mental wellbeing
but research suggests it also promotes
physical welfare," says Cay Sev6n. D.P.

For more information:www.turku2011.fi

European Capital of Culture programme:
grammes-and-actions/doc441 en.htm

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011





Pots, Sandals and a Tent

Refugees leave their footprint

on the European Capital of Culture

transformed into drums with
cow and reindeer hide will be
mounted on a trailer and played
in schools and public places. Sandals,
mostly flip flops from the feet of refu-
gees around the world will be laid around
Turku in the form of paths. A tent woven
together from pieces of cloth made by
refugees will provide a venue for music,
drama, poetry and debate. This 'Pots,
Sandals and a Tent' project, a highlight of
the Cultural Capital's spring and summer
agenda, is intended to raise awareness of
the contribution of refugees to culture and
society in Turku and globally, explains
its producer, Finnish documentary film
maker, Kristiina Tuura.

"You can't hold a European cultural
year without the presence of refugees.
The project stresses the importance of
refugees telling their stories in their own
words", says Kristiina Tuura. She is work-
ing closely on its design with t . i,. I- ry, a
small Somali women's NGO in Finland. A
heated debate is currently going on in the
country, she says, on issues of asylum with
the presence of refugees often perceived
as negative.

In the project's offices in central Turku,
Annika Raittinen producer of the 'Tent'
and Ida-Lotta Backman, a theatre direc-
tor, are preparing to go to the Turku's
refugee reception
centre fortheirweekly "You can't ho
workshops. The refu- cultural yea
gees are making the
long chains of beads presence o
which will adorn the
tent. They are asked to choose beads,
explains Annika Raittinen, which sym-
bolise momentous events in their lives,
both happy and sad.

Global contributions
Funded in part by the Turku 2011
Foundation which is implementing the
Turku European Capital of Culture, the
project has brought together a host of
NGOs, individuals and associations work-
ing with refugees around the globe. The
Finnish Refugee Council, for example, is
organising and collecting the stories and
objects from refugees in Finland, Uganda,


Liberia, Sierra Leone and Thailand.
'Bantu Beads', a Somali women's coop-
erative in San Diego, California, is making
cloth and handicrafts for the six metre-
long three-metre high tent to be erected
in and around Turku from May 2011.

The refugee stories will be posted on
the project's website. They include that
of Moses Kambale
d a European who fled from the
without the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) to
refugees" Uganda when he was
just 10 years of age. He
was taken by the Red Cross to a camp
across the border, in Rukingiri: "I was
staying in a refugee camp. I was given this
saucepan on the first day in Matanda. I
had never ever cooked before but I had to
eat. It was great having something to eat
after coming from the forest", recounts
Moses pictured with his pot. Refugees
who contribute pots are given new ones.
Akim Color, a Finland-based master
drummer from Benin, will accompany
the drum float around schools to teach
his skills.

Young boy exchanges sandals for the project

stories and become a fan of the pro-
ject or write about their own expe-
riences with the assistance of local
NGOs", says Kristiina Tuura. D.P.

For more see:

"The project will also launch an inter- www.potssandalstent.info and:
net space where refugees can exchange www.turku2011.fi/pata-sandaali-ja-teltta


Ships, design

and life sciences

Looking both West and East

economy means that it has not
been as rocked by the recent
economic recession as some
European Union cities. It is renowned
for its design companies, shipbuilding
and burgeoning life science industries.
Topping this, tourism is expanding,
particularly in the unique archipelago.
Westwards to Sweden and eastwards to
Russia and China, new markets beckon
on the horizon.

Arts and crafts industries were the first
to develop in the city with professionals
starting their businesses in the 1600's.
The Kupittaa Clay ceramics factory
dates back to the 1750's and a thriving
textile industry developed in Kestili,
near Turku, in the early 1900's. The
furniture manufacturing, company
Huonekalutehdas Korhonen, was founded
in 1910 and used designs of celebrated
Finnish designer and architect, Alvar
Aalto (1898-1976). People come from
all over Finland to buy the products of
Turku's design companies which will
be showcased in the 'Turku Design
Phenomenon Project' during the Capital
of Culture events. Another project,
'Dimensions on Wood' will feature the
growth of Huonekalutehdas Korhonen.

World-class ship manufacturer

Shipbuilding also has a long history,
dating back to the early 1700's when the
first wooden boats were constructed at
the mouth of the river Aura. Although
orders have slackened in recent years,
Turku's shipyards have made some of
the biggest ships ever built, notably
for the cruise line, Royal Caribbean
International. Whilst awaiting fresh
orders, Aleksi Randell, Mayor of Turku,
says that on-going Russian oil and drill-
ing operations in North Lapland, are
expected to create demand for a dif-
ferent kind of ship - icebreakers. Ever-
innovative Turku-based companies, with
their long tradition in shipbuilding,
are now seeking to adapt their skills to
land-based industries such as buildings
that float, explains the business man-
ager of the City of Turku, Kalle Euro.
The waste water treatment company,
Clewer was expected to travel to China in
March 2011, he says, to seek new clients
and Turku-based firms have exported
well-made, unbreakable public toilets
to Switzerland and Austria.

Other manufacturing in the Turku
region includes electrical and hybrid
cars at Uusikauanki. Industrial design

companies, Provoke and ED, have col-
laborated with the Nokia mobile phone
company which has a factory in Salo,
near Turku. Before the recession,
unemployment stood at eight per cent
in Turku although it has now crept up
to 12 per cent, says the Mayor, add-
ing that new market opportunities in
both Russia and China abound. The
Russian city of St. Petersburg is just five
hours away from Turku by train. "We
know how to work with Russia," says
Mayor Randell. The city is attracting
an increasing number of Russian tour-
ists, the Mayor tells us, most heading
for the unique and idyllic archipelago
of 20,000 islands where many rent cot-
tages during the long days of summer.

Links with Russia and China
The trans-Siberian railway starts in
Turku and links the city with Vladivostok
and beyond to Beijing. Turku is twinned
with Tianjin in China, a city with a pop-
ulation of 12 million. "We are trusted
and loyal and people keep coming back
to us," says Kalle Euro. "The Chinese
value the involvement of the Turku city
administration in making business con-
tacts," he adds.

Other growing opportunities for Turku
are in bio-imaging the creation of'3d'
images, which show how diseases such as
cancer progress, and 'e-health'. Turku
researchers have pioneered and collected
data in particular on hormonal disease.
Turku Science Park, set up 22 years ago,
is a catalyst for such innovation. It is a
"triple helix of universities, private com-
panies and the public sector," explains
its Chief Executive Officer, Rikumatti
Levomiki, bringing together science,
research and business concerns under
one roof. He agrees that there are huge
opportunities in both Russia and China.
"We cannot compete on price but we can
on innovation and by providing the best
available equipment," he says.

Consultants from Turku's Science
Park worked on a feasibility study to
set up a similar innovation hub in South
Africa's Gauteng province in 2008 under
the COFISA programme between
South Africa and Finland to enhance
the South African National System
of Innovation (SANSI). Gauteng's
'Centres of Excellence' focus on
research into telecommunications, laser
technology and biotechnology,such as
malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis. D.P.

For more on Turku Science park:

I ie vvUrlU s laigesit culbellilne, uadbl UI ile t eaO db UUll In In UIKU urlA/repuo

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Jan-Erik Andersson outside his sauna. 'Leafhouse' to the rear D Percival

The Leaf House

Jan-Erik Andersson is busy designing a
sauna for the Capital of Culture's 'Sauna
Lab' project which will place five saunas
in public places to explore this Finnish
ritual. His is in the shape of a garlic or
pumpkin, or perhaps of the dome of St.
Petersburg's Orthodox cathedral. But it
is his fairy-tale-like leaf shaped house
that is drawing visitors from around
the globe and is yet another symbol of
Turku's innovation.
Built in one of the city's green suburbs,
'Life on a leaf', was first conceived in
1999 as part of Jan-Erik's Doctorate
in Fine Arts at the Helsinki's Fine Arts
Academy. "We are entering the house
through the stem," says Jan-Erik, as
he shows us around. The three-storey
building has curved walls and a huge
window in the shape of a leaf looks
across to Turku castle in the distance.
Both inside and out it is in stark contrast
to the angular lines and minimalism
traditionally associated with Nordic
design. Twenty artists were invited to
put their signature on the house from
a video installation concealed under

one of the top floors showing people
rushing about like ants in New York city
(artist: Pierre St. Jaques), to the images
of impish sprites covering the kitchen
worktops (artist: Karin Andersen).
"It's an imaginative space," says Jan-
Erik, adding, "everything here is ne-
cessary". His intention is to explore
the nature of ornamentalism, he says;
whether it is possible to live in a pic-
ture or sculpture and whether nature,
brought inside a home, can transform
a living space. Chicago-based sound
artist, Shawn Decker, attached micro-
phones to the walls on the outside to
bring sounds that are sometimes im-
perceptible to the human ear into the
interior. It was a feature that initially
worried his partner, interior designer,
Marjo Malin, but she now finds these
soft noises reassuring. "We need orna-
mentalism to sharpen our imagination
and fantasy," says Jan-Erik.

Find out more:

The archipelago through art

Mid-winter: An ice sheet has blanked out
the sea between the islands of Turku's
archipelago. As temperatures pick up
and the water reappears, cottage culture
swings into action and city dwellers and
visitors from further afield flock to the
20,000 islands which spill into the Baltic
Sea off Turku.
From June to September 2011, 'Con-
temporary Art Archipelago', will put the
islands from Ruissalo to Ut6 in the spot-
light. A score of artists will mount diverse
art installations and exhibits highlighting
the sheer tranquil beauty of the archi-
pelago, its way of life and threatened
ecology, through different mediums from
photography to sound.
Turu Elving, artistic director of the project
which is part of the Turku Capital of Cul-
ture event says that although the Baltic
is known as the most polluted sea in the
world, "the archipelago is in better shape
than it was 20-30 years ago". The guest
artists both local and from around the
globe, including Colombia's Alfredo Jaar,
have already visited the archipelago to
gain inspiration.
The exhibition's pieces will be scattered
throughout the islands, visible from the
big ferries and cruise boats plying the
seas, small craft, or the roads and brid-
ges inter-linking some of the islands. One
inspiration is an 80-year-old man who
has lived all his life on the archipelago
and has knowledge of changes in the
winds over the decades, explains Taru
Elving. The project also probes what's
happening under the shallow waters whe-
re marine biologists are replanting sea
grasses. 'Archipelago Logic: Towards
a Sustainable Future', an international
symposium organised by Turku's Abo
Akademi University which takes place in
August will put the future of the world's
archipelagos under the microscope.

Find out more:


From Tanzania

to Turku

PhD student, Zahor Khalifa,

adapts to South West Finland

After completing a first and Master's degree in geography at Dar es Salam
University in Tanzania, Zahor Khalifa is spending the first year of his doc-
toral studies at the University of Turku. Pluses are the very latest software
and small class sizes; among the minuses - adapting to Finland's freezing
winter temperatures!

(stipend) and accommodation. He is par-
ticularly delighted to gain practical expe-
rience of the Geographic Information
System (GIS) involving the collection of
data and satellite imagery about a loca-
tion to enable models and maps to be
created. He explains the applications
of GIS: "If you can map where human
settlements and transport systems are,
you know where to place a market". He
says that he was always top of the class
in the theory of GIS in Dar es Salaam,
but initially failed the exam in the subject
in Turku simply because he had never
previously used computer software to
apply the theory and find solutions. On
doing a re-take, he was among three out
of twenty students who passed. Whereas
1,400 students cram into a university
lecture room in Tanzania, there are just
20 to 30 in a class in Turku which is a
factor in the high quality of teaching in
Finland, says Zahor.

in September 2010,
I stayed in my room
for three or four days
because it was so cold. I even wondered
whether I would remain", he says. It's
minus 15 degrees Celsius outside when
we meet in Turku University which has
a worldwide reputation for academic
excellence. He is finalising the outline
of his PhD on the subject of deforesta-
tion in Zanzibar's Pemba Island. His
suggested title for the doctoral thesis is:
"The causes of forest change and the
implication on people's livelihoods." One
hundred and fifty years ago, 95 per cent

of Pemba was covered by forests. The
Ngezi national park created on the island
in 1960 encompassed all ofthe remaining
five per cent of the forest area. In spite of
this protected status, 40 per cent of the
Ngezi Park has since disappeared due to
human activity. "There are multiple uses
of the land and many different causes of
deforestation", explains Zahor.

The invaluable Geographic
Information System (GIS)

Turku University's Faculty of Geography
has provided Zahor with office space, a
desktop computer, a laptop, an allowance

He particularly enjoys the feeling of
safety, security and peace of mind in
Finland and enjoys some traditional local
activities. He has learnt to ice skate and
shares a sauna the cabin of intense dry
heat found on nearly all Finnish premises
with friends and colleagues. "At first, I
was a bit shocked when I found you had
to take off all your clothes and the sauna
got hotter and hotter as water was added
to the hot stones", he says of his sauna
experience. Although academic classes
are taught in English, he has learnt about
50 Finnish words. In the summer, he will
go back to Pemba to do some field work
alongside his fellow researchers from
Turku who are analysing environmental
issues on Zanzibar's Unguja Island. He
hopes to extend his studies in Turku in the
autumn but is pleased that the University
of Turku has already guaranteed access
to the invaluable GIS when he eventually
returns to Dar es Salaam University. D.P.

Turku's Finnish University � D Percival

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Model on a mission

Sylvia Arthur

N oella Coursaris' face may be her
fortune but her charity work is
worth more than its weight in
gold. In 2007, the model esta-
blished the Georges Malaika Foundation
(GMF), named after her late father, to
provide educational opportunities for
young girls in the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC). Since the charity came
into being, it has sponsored the education
of sixteen youngsters, paying their school,
food and orphanage fees. Now, GMF is
in the process of an ambitious project to
build an ecological school for 104 children
in the province in which Coursaris spent
her early years.

Born in Lubumbashi in the DRC to a
Congolese mother and a Greek father,
Coursaris left Africa at the age of five,
when her mother sent her to Europe to live
with an aunt because she couldn't afford
to keep her. It would be another 13 years
before she returned to the DRC to meet
her mother and see for herself the place
from which she came, a transformative
experience that changed her life and set
her on a new path.

Coursaris, who is becoming as equally
known for her philanthropy as for her role
in the fashion industry, recently delivered
an address to the Congolese Parliament
and UNICEF in Kinshasa about the issues
that face underprivileged girls in Congolese
society. When we spoke for this interview,
she was in New York to give a talk at the UN.


What made you decide to start

I lost my dad at five years old and my
mum didn't have the resources to keep
me. I grew up from family to family and it
was only after 13 years that I went to visit
my mum. Up until that time, I had little
contact with her and I didn't have any pre-
conceived ideas about what to expect when
I went to the DRC. But, when I got there,
what I saw made me feel extremely lucky
for my life and the way I was brought up. I
couldn't resent my mother for sending me
away because I saw that she did it for my
own good. Seeing all these kids with no
schooling or pregnant at a very young age
really touched me and I promised myself
that I would do something to give back
to the country that gave me life.

Why did you decide to focus on girls
in particular?

Because their story is my story. In Africa,
women tend to rely on their husbands and
when their husband dies, or something
happens to him, they have nothing left.
Women need to be empowered to be able
to go it alone when necessary.

Why is education the key to
empowering women in the DRC?

The history of the DRC is a tragic one.
We've had colonisation, war, 5.5 million
deaths, thousands of women raped. We
need to be in control of our country and
of our resources and the only way we can
do that is through education. We need
to see more women in power and invol-
ved on the social, economic and politi-
cal levels. They need to be empowered
through knowledge. Only then can we
move forward as a nation.

What would you like to see the EU
do to improve the situation for the
people of the Congo?

We need to work together. We shouldn't
be imposing solutions and policies but
we should be working with Africans to
get the best for both sides.

How has your dual heritage affected How has having a child changed
your perspective on Africa? your vision of the future, for yourself
and for the work that you do?

It's great to have the two cultures. I'm
still learning everyday about them both.
I also lived in the USA for four years so I
have three cultures. We need all of them
to make positive changes.

How easy was it to reconnect with
Africa when you visited at the age of
18 after 13 years away?

It was difficult at first. First I needed to
reacquaint myself with my mother but it
was great to discover my roots. It was very
beneficial and it makes me more grounded
as a person.

What do you think is the biggest
misconception in Europe about

Europe tends to see Africa as underdeve-
loped and poor and starving but Africa
has much to offer.

What message would you like to
send to the world about Congolese
women - their plight and their

Although Congolese women continue to
suffer and are traumatised the world is
more aware of the DRC now and, because
of that, they don't suffer as much as they
once did. We have to thank everyone for
that because a lot of people and coun-
tries are supporting them. Congolese
women are strong and we have to give
them a chance by providing them with
the opportunity to access education and
microfinance but also to teach them about
things like family planning too.

The best thing that ever happened to me
was having a child. It makes me want to
do even more for the kids, and to make
sure that the school we are building will
be a good step for their future. Education
is the right of every child. Every child has
the right to go to school and to one day
stand on his or her own two feet. It's like
a chain. Once they've been empowered
they then can help others too. But it's
important that the children have good
teachers who themselves have had good
quality training and are well paid.

What's next for you and GMF?

The school we're building is opening in
September for 104 girls and it will be
used to teach the parents at weekends. We
want this school to be a platform to bring
even more NGOs and other organizations
in the Kalebuka region together, so that
they too will get involved and develop it
further. Most importantly, though, is that
the community is still involved. They are
everything to this project and are essential
to the development, not only of the region,
but of the country too. We also recently
aided Doc to Dock (a charity that redis-
tributes medical supplies to hospitals in
the developing world) to deliver a health
container worth $500,000 to Sendwe hos-
pital in Katanga province. We hope to do
more collaborative work in the future.

To find out how you can help GMF break
the cycle of illiteracy and poverty in the
DRC visit www.gmalaikaf.org.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

I Zoom

I.- - ___ f_

Reinforcing a raw

materials diplomacy

Published in February 2011, a European
Commission Communication highlights
the challenges Europe faces in com-
modity markets and on raw mate-
rials - issues affecting Africa too.
Proposals to ensure access to resources
have won praise from industry, while
NGOs have reacted with scepticism.

Anna Patton

duction of raw materials is rela-
tively limited. The potential of
the continent is, however, enor-
mous, with much territory yet unexplored.
Already, Africa produces over 60 metals
and minerals, including copper, nickel and
iron. Resource-poor Europe, meanwhile,
is increasingly concerned by the surging
global demand and volatile markets that
threaten access to raw materials -and the
30 million jobs that depend on them.
These concerns were highlighted in the
European Commission Communication,
"Tackling the challenges in commodity
markets and on raw materials".' Echoing
its Raw Materials Initiative launched in
2008, the EC calls for action under three



pillars: fair access to raw materials on world
markets, sustainable supply from European
sources, and efficient use of resources. The
2011 Communication also broadens the
scope to include energy, agriculture and
food commodities, and calls for improved
regulation and transparency of financial
and commodity markets.

Progress on raw materials in recent years
includes new EU guidelines on extraction
in protected areas and new research oppor-
tunities in mining. But the fundamen-
tal challenges are, if anything, growing.
Demand for key metals shot up between
2002 and 2008, and is expected to con-
tinue: demand for gallium is set to rise
20-fold and for indium 8-fold between
2006 and 2030. Total demand for food is
expected to rise about 70% from 2006 to
2050. Meanwhile, markets have shown
unprecedented volatility, with price
swings occurring across all major com-
modity markets including energy, met-
als, minerals, food and agriculture. This
phenomenon has been linked to large-
scale new investment flows: speaking in
Brussels, Internal Market Commissioner
Barnier noted that the volume of finan-
cial contracts for commodities deriva-
tives tripled from 2002 to 2008. Though
the precise impact on market stability
is disputed, the EC confirms the need
for more research into the link between
financial and physical commodity markets.

EU needs to imports

The EU has set ambitious economic targets
by 2020; as the world's largest importer
of raw materials, it cannot grow without
them. High-tech sectors are particularly
affected, while innovative and clean energy
industries are dependent on materials
defined as "critical" to the EU -those
of high economic importance and high
supply risk. While Africa as a whole has a
low share of global production of critical
materials, a few countries are major play-
ers, such as South Africa (almost 80%
of global platinum production) and the
Democratic Republic of Congo (40% of
cobalt produced). The EU's list of critical
raw materials, to be updated every three
years, also includes rare earths, needed
for energy-efficient products such as
hybrid cars or solar panels. China cur-
rently produces 97% of rare earths and
the EU is 100% dependent on imports;
the announcement in 2009 that Chinese
exports would be restricted was a striking
reminder of Europe's dependency.

Exploring alternatives through "raw mate-
rials diplomacy" is therefore an EU prior-
ity. In the case of Africa this also means
using development policy instruments. The
2011 Communication proposes support
for geological surveys and for increased
financing for industry. The EC is also to
"encourage partner governments to develop
comprehensive reform programmes" with

objectives for example in taxation and
transparency. But working with govern-
ments is only one side of the issue: "On
transparency for companies, the EU is
lagging behind", says Isabelle Ramdoo
of ECDPM, a think tank, citing binding
US laws compared to EC proposals to
"promote EU standards" among European
firms. Increased support for the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative is wel-
comed by the B6ll Foundation, a German
NGO, but the NGO warns that "without
binding regulation, there will be no real
change on the ground".

As well as using development tools, the EU
is stepping up its trade policy. Trade bar-
riers will be tackled through dialogue, but
also at the WTO if necessary. International
NGO Oxfam has criticised what it calls
an attempt to "force developing countries
to ban or curb the use of export taxes,
which many rely on to help them develop".
Investment provisions are also to be "fur-
ther embedded" within trade negotiations
-a major issue for African countries. In
a joint report, "The new resource grab",
five development NGOs warn that foreign
investment can be positive, but "this EU
push will make it more difficult for govern-
ments to regulate investment to promote
local development".

While looking to the global markets, the
EU will also expand sustainable extrac-
tion within Europe: exploitation of rare
earths could restart from 2015. Efficient
use of resources is also tackled, with the
2011 Communication proposing best prac-
tices in waste collection and boosting com-
petitiveness of recycling industries. For
some, the importance of this third pillar
has been underestimated. "Scarcity is not
the only challenge", argues Member of the
European Parliament, Reinhard Biltikofer.
"A strategy with its primary emphasis on
access to resources may help for a while,

but it doesn't help industry to reduce its
basic dependency on resource supply".

Though the EU approach raises challenges,
it also suggests opportunities. Above all,
the debate around natural resources indi-
cates an opportunity for African govern-
ments to develop their own strategies. If
Europe desperately needs raw materials,
many African countries are also heav-
ily dependent on them. Managing those
resources effectively will become ever more
important -for both continents.

1European Commission, 02.02.2011,
COM(2011) 25 final. See http://ec.europa.
docs/communication en.pdf

European Commission
proposals on raw materials
and commodity markets

* Monitor access to critical raw

* Engage in raw materials diplomacy

* Develop bilateral cooperation with

* Improve regulations on sustainable
extraction in the EU

* Enhance resource efficiency and

* Promote research and innovation

* Improve transparency and stability
of markets

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Caribbean tourism

seeks more EU support

Brussels was the location picked for the
annual summit of the Caribbean Tourism
Organisation (CTO), from 13 tol 5 March.
The aim was to draw the attention of
the EU to the "critically important role of
tourism in the region to livelihood and
poverty alleviation," said Hugh Riley, Chief
Executive Officer of the Barbados-based
CTO which represents 33 member coun-
tries and many private sector entities.

Debra Percival

The meeting gathered Caribbean
Ministers, Members of the
European Parliament, the pri-
vate sector and officials from
both EU institutions and the African
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat.

"We are here to urge our friends in Europe
not to ignore the significant opportunities
and implications for our tourism-driven
economies when establishing policy on
such matters as aviation, security, cli-
mate change, education, trade and food
security," said Ricky Skerritt, Minister

their vacations nearer to home, Minister
Skerritt told the summit. The fall-out of
this was seen two weeks ago, he said when
a leading US cruise liner announced the
repositioning of one of its cruise services
from the Caribbean Sea to European
waters for the summer of 2012.

Tighter budgets
Hugh Riley told The Courierthat although
member countries of the CTO registered
the biggest number of arrivals ever at the
end of 2010 - 23 million at the end of 2010
worth $39.4bn -once in the Caribbean,
visitors held on to their purse strings.

He suggested how the EU could help
stimulate the sector acting on areas
already identified in the tourism annex
of the Economic Partnership Agreement
(EPA) signed between the EU and the
Caribbean's 15-member state trade bloc,
CARIFORUM. Environmental and
quality standards, internet marketing
strategies, participation in international
standard setting bodies, tourism exchange
programmes, training and exchanges on
best information and practices and setting
up national satellite accounting systems
which enable countries to report the true
impact of tourism on development are

for Tourism and International transport The European Commission, through its
for St. Kitts and Nevis, who is current statistical office Eurostat, was itself instru-
CTO Chairman. mental in setting up a global Tourism
Satellite Accounts system. Together
Over the last decade, the region's depend- with the Organisation of Economic
ency on tourism revenues has increased as Cooperation and Development (OECD)
income from cash crops, such as bananas and the World Tourism Organisation
and sugar, has slack- (WTO) it signed a
ened. In St. Kitts and conceptual frame-
Nevis, the final sugar Over the last decade, work on a methodo-
crop was harvested the region's dependency logical design which
five years ago. The on tourism revenues has led to the approval
Caribbean now has increased as income from of the "Tourism
increased as income from
the thirteenth larg- Satellite Account:
est tourism industry cash crops, such as bananas Recommended
globally, and sugar, has slackened Methodological
Framework" by the
Although known thirty-first session of
throughout globe over for its "pristine the Statistical Commission of the United
beaches, wonderful weather and welcom- Nations in March 2000. The UNrecom-
ing people", the region is facing competi- mendations aim to provide a framework
tion from places such as India, China and for a tourism satellite account system to
Dubai and even Europe given the trend enable greater international comparability
for "staycation", many choosing to take in tourism statistics.

St Maarten, tourists at Uyster Beach ( Heporters



Mobile technology: saving lives

when disaster strikes in Samoa

New disaster response software in development

Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson*

found out about the tsunami
that hit the south coast of
Upolu Island (the island where
Apia, the capital of Samoa, is located) on
September 2009 was through a call made
from one of the survivors to the radio sta-
tion. "My house is gone, this is unbeliev-
able," the survivor cried. Throughout the
recovery operation, mobile phones were
the lifeline for many in isolated areas who
were able to call the Red Cross, other aid
organizations, or the emergency services.

Samoa's Principal Disaster Management
Officer (DMO), Ms Filomena Nelson,
says mobile technology plays an integral
role in their work to warn the public and
respond to disasters. The DMO either
issues a text message, or makes a phone
call, to contact points across Samoa, who

in turn manually ring bells to inform
residents of the disaster.

Antony Sass, Captain of the Water Safety
Team for the Volunteer Emergency
Response Team Samoa (VERTS) says
mobile technology has made a tremen-
dous difference to his work. "Our phones
are on standby now, 24/7. If we get the
information or details of the emergency
sent to us via text, it makes our job easier
before we get there," he says. Another
great tool is the internet. Up-to-date
meteorological forecasts and geological
information can be used by VERTS to
respond accordingly.

"That's our lifeline really, when we are
called in due to a looming cyclone, we
basically camp in front of the computer
to monitor the progress and prepare
ourselves, says Antony Sass. When the
March Japan earthquake happened,
triggering a tsunami warning in certain
Pacific rim countries, the VERTS team

was called in and monitored the situa-
tion online to gauge the possible impacts
on Samoa.

'Alerts Connect'
David Leng, a software communica-
tions developer who has been assist-
ing the country's National Emergency
Operations Centre (NEOC), says there's
still a lot of room for the internet and
mobile technology to assist in disaster
response in Samoa and the wider natural
disaster prone Pacific. Leng is currently
developing, 'Alerts Connect', which is a
new response software to monitor and
manage a crisis. "This is designed as a
low-cost operational tool for the Disaster
Management Offices in the Pacific," says

"It's a map-centric, web-based informa-
tion system that allows inbound data to
be rapidly categorised, mapped and then
channelled to the appropriate responders
or Agencies. Infrastructure, asset and
resource information can be mapped
via the internet at Google Earth, or by
using local GIS (Geographic Information
System) mapping, so that there is a cen-
tral repository of information allowing
decisions to be taken quickly by the
Disaster Advisory Committee," explains
Leng. The public, aid agencies, inter-
national response teams and media can
then link in to be informed of events
as they occur. Until the system is fully
developed, Captain Sass tightly grips his
phone, just in case.

*Samoa-based freelance journalist, Samoa.

Captain Sass �Lagipova Cherelle Jackson

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011



Equatorial Guinea takes over

helm of African Union

Anna Bates

Guinea, Teodoro Obiang
Nguemais has become the
new Chairperson of the
African Union (AU). Elected at the last
AU summit held in Addis Ababa on
3 February 2011, he succeeded Bingu
wa Mautharika, President of Malawi.

President Obiang Nguema has held the
Presidency of the West African coun-
try since 1979, when he succeeded his
uncle. In 2009, at the last presidential
election, his share of the vote decreased
from 97% to 96.7%.

The third largest oil producer in sub-
Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea reg-
isters an annual per capital income of
$31,000, the highest in the region albeit
with an average daily income of $1 a
day for the majority of the population.

The AU is currently dealing with a long
standing territorial dispute between
Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which
dates back to the early 1970's. In recent
weeks it played a role in mediations
between Laurent Gbago out-going

President of the Ivory Coast and Alasane concern of the AU now seems to be the
Ouattara, the president elect who has situation in Libya which has divided it in
been recognized as such by the inter- two camps even though the AU officially
national community. But the biggest supported UN Resolution 1973.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema casting his vote in Malabo, at the most recent Presidential elections in Equatorial Guinea
� Associated Press

Nigeria at head of ACP Group

Nigeria took over the chair of the six-
month rotating ACP Group Presidency
on the 1st February 2011. The new Chair-
man of the ACP Committee of Ambas-
sadors and Ambassador of Nigeria, His
Excellency, Usman Alhaji Baraya, was
welcomed by ACP Secretary General,
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, at a recent
ceremony in Brussels. Ambassador
Baraya succeeds H.E Patrick Gomes,
Ambassador of Guyana. The next pre-
sidency will be assumed in August 2011
by Uganda.

Representatives from this ACP Troika of
Ambassadors recently met with Hunga-
rian official, Peter Gy6rk6s, Permanent
Representative of the rotating Presidency
in Brussels, currently holding the Presi-
dency of the European Union, to decide
on common objectives. The next EU-ACP
ministerial meeting, due to take place 30-
31 May 2011 is likely to discuss issues on
policy towards Southern Sudan, migration
and development, current events in North
Africa, as well as issues relating to the 10th
European Development Fund (2008-2013).
Anna Bates

Uiairman o the AULH committee ot Ambassadors and
Ambassador of Nigeria, H. E. Usman Alhaji Baraya




A miner carries loads of sulphur at the crater of Ijen volcano in Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia.
The country has about 150 volcanoes along an arc of fault lines called the Pacific "Ring of Fire." CAssociated Press/ Reporters

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

The vulnerable 'Ring of Fire'

As we went to press, the latest toll of the This 40,000km2 area tracing the Pacific Japanese tsunami. The Japanese disaster
earthquake and subsequent tsunami of Rim in a horseshoe-shaped fashion is the has brought the need for state-of-the-art
11 March 2011 in north-east Japan was most seismically active region in the world. early warning systems and measures to
between an estimated 18-24,000 people Nations including the Solomon Islands, mitigate climate change into sharp focus.
reported either dead or missing with many Fiji and Tonga are prone to earthquakes, Climate change-induced sea level rises al-
more made homeless. It has put the vul- volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. It iswor- ready make many low-lying Pacific islands
nerability of the area in the Pacific known th noting that some of the islands had vulnerable to the destruction of tsunamis.
as the 'Ring of Fire' firmly in the spotlight, experienced tidal waves as result of the

EU programme to prevent

blindness in the Caribbean

A five-year EU-funded programme is helping to prevent blindness in some of the
poorer countries of the Caribbean region; Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and St. Lucia. It
is being coordinated by the United Kingdom based Non-Governmental Organisation
(NGO), Sightsavers International, with its partners in the Caribbean.

Debra Percival

funding a range of measures
from the training of optom-
etrists to the manufacturing of
spectacles. On average, Caribbean nations
have just one optometrist to 100,000 com-
pared to one to every 10,000 in the United
Kingdom. Seventy-four per cent of the
programme's f5,429,856 budget is from
EU funds. Underway since January 2010,
the programme is giving a boost to Vision
2020, the global initiative to eliminate
avoidable blindness by 2020.

The NGO's partners on the spot are the
Caribbean Council for the Blind, Soci&t&
Haitienne d'Aide aux Aveugles', St. Lucia
Blind Welfare Association, Jamaica's
Society for the Blind and Eye Care
Guyana. The most common causes of

blindness in the Caribbean are untreated
cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopa-
thy and uncorrected refractive errors.
According to Sightsavers, one of the

ways the programme
will reduce the prev-
alence of blindness
and visual impair-
ment amongst rural
and poor populations
in the Caribbean is
partly through train-
ing professionals in
early detection.

Training professionals
In total, 1,240 primary health care work-
ers and 100 eye care professionals will
receive training. Facilities at seven health
institutions are to be improved and 13 spe-
cialised vision centres set up within dis-
trict or community health facilities, as well
as five spectacle laboratories. The profes-
sionals will be trained at the University of
Guyana which began offering a four-year
BSc degree course in optometry the
only one in the Caribbean -in 2010.

"We want the programme
to develop in a way that
when it finishes, the
government can carry
it forward"
Charles Vandyke

"One of the aims of the programme is
to reduce the cost of spectacles and pro-
vide equipment and training to personnel
within the government sector. We want
the programme to develop in a way that
when it finishes, the government can carry
it forward", explains Charles Vandyke of
Eye Care Guyana, speaking in his office
in Georgetown, Guyana.

The EU programme
is providing some of
the funding for course
lecturers and scholar-
ships for students.

Research is another
part of the pro-
gramme. A Rapid
Assessments of

Avoidable Blindness (RAABs) will
explore the incidence of blindness in each
of the countries covered by the project.
Widespread media campaigns in each of
the countries will also inform the public
about eye health.

To find out more: www.sightsavers.org

1 Haitian Society for Help for the Blind


West Africa Democracy

Radio expands

Promoting democracy in West Africa through the media

Broadcasting station( Heporters

Sandra Frederici

Radio (WADR) is a trans-
territorial radio station,
set up to facilitate the
exchange of development information
between West African countries.

Its promoter is the Open Society
Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), part
of the network of the Soros Foundations
whose aims are to further democracy,
good governance, the rule of law, free-
dom and civil society participation.

After initial attempts to establish the
radio station in Sierra Leone in 2002
were met with political opposition,
WADR's headquarters were finally estab-
lished in Dakar, Senegal from where it

began broadcasting in 2005, says Ndeye
Aita Sarr, OSIWA's Executive Director.
"WADR now has correspondents in ten
West African countries, while the affili-
ate stations also serve as sources of infor-
mation from their respective localities
in urban and rural West Africa," says
Aita Sarr. In addition to the live short-
wave broadcasts, WADR's programmes
are delivered by satellite digital radio
to local radio partners who also receive
technical support.

Communities' voices
"We seek to improve the capacity of
community radio stations, especially
those in rural areas, and boost the par-
ticipation of their local communities.
The voices of the people at the grassroots
level must be heard and they must be
allowed to tell their own stories and
relate their own experiences, joys or

frustrations in their own words", says
Aita Sarr.

"At the end of 2010, we had a network
of 26 radio stations in seven countries
Benin, Guinea, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra
Leone, Mali and Ivory Coast relaying
broadcasts in both French and English.
Its audience is cross-cutting from policy
makers, opinion leaders and advocates
to youth groups, and rural communi-
ties. An audience survey of the radio is
planned for later this year", she adds.

There's wide diversity of programmes
aired: agriculture, environment, gen-
der, youth, health, culture, sports and
social dialogue. The 'Echoes of Charles
Taylor's Trial', the trial of the former
president of Liberia, which recently
wound up in the in the Special Court
for Sierra Leone in The Hague, could be
followed on WADR's website. It reported
the witness submissions and trial pro-
ceedings, with interviews and comments
spoken in clear, coherent English. Like
all media, WADR is elaborating its strat-
egy to incorporate social media. "WADR
is upgrading its website (the launch is
1 April 2011) and this will incorporate
the use of social media networks to fur-
ther increase participation in content
development, programming and debate/
discussions that are topical and current"
concludes the executive director.

For more see: http://www.wadr.org/

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Sudan: Reflections

on a separation

Report by Marie-Martine Buckens

On July 9th next, Sudan will lose
its title as the largest country
in Africa. The proclamation
of the independence of South
Sudan will end a turbulent common his-
tory largely created by the first colonisers
be they Egyptian, Turkish or English, of
this territory six times the size of France.

In Khartoum, the capital of unified
Sudan, at least for the next three months,
the population -as we will read about
later is traumatised by a separation which
divides the so-called Arabo-Muslim north
of the country from the so-called Afro-
Christian, but also the largely animist
(the belief that non-human entities are
spiritual beings) south. These cleavages
hide the reality of a mosaic of different
ethnicities and origins, both social and
religious, and whose geographic repar-

tition has been disrupted by civil war
between the north and the south, without
counting the war to the west in Darfur,
which forced thousands of people to seek
refuge in neighboring countries or in
camps close to northern cities.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) signed in 2005 between the seces-
sionist south and the north, and actively
supported by the European Union, ended
more than fifty years of conflict -inter-
spersed with relative peace in the 1970s-
and led to the January 2011 referendum
where an overwhelming majority of
Southern Sudanese voted for independ-
ence. Independence that will take effect
from July of this year.

Between now and then, numerous ques-
tions still remain to be resolved, be it on
the sharing of oil revenue where most of
the discovered oil fields lie in the south, on
the sharing of external 'national' debt or
even on the drawing of borders. Questions

which, at the time The Courier went to
press, were still giving rise to sporadic and
deadly skirmishes in certain border areas.

The challenges that await the two new
countries are considerable. The EU,
meanwhile, is actively preparing the way
for South Sudan to sign the Cotonou
Agreement, which will mark its entry
into the group of ACP countries. The
Sudan of Khartoum, of President Omar
al-Bashir, has as yet refused to sign the
latest version of the Cotonou agreement.
While the EU has nevertheless decided to
continue to pursue cooperation with the
fledgling country, in support of the CPA
process, the division of the country should
bring the European leaders to reflect upon
the opportunity to pursue cooperation
with Khartoum in a different manner.
A reflection that becomes all the more
urgent because of the events unfolding
in North Africa, notably in Libya and in
Egypt, Sudan's biggest neighbours.


hreslaent umar el-becnlr In Iuj
� Marie-Martine Buckens

Meroe pyramids � Marie-Martine Buckens

A brief history

S udan, or Bilad as-Sudan - "the
country of the Blacks" - as it is
known in Arabic, referred to the
whole of Saharan Africa in medi-
eval times. A fascinating country, lying
at the crossroads of the Arab and Black
African worlds, on which Pharaonic,
Christian and Muslim civilizations
have each left their mark, and home to
a mosaic of cultures, languages and reli-
gions. With the Nubians and Arabs in the
north, the Fur and Massalit in the west,
the Dinka and Nuer in the south, and
the Beja in the east, Muslims, Christians
and Animists are all represented. The
42 million Sudanese are made up of 500
tribes, themselves originating in around
50 ethnic groups.

Retracing the history of such a vast coun-
try, flanked by nine countries - Libya and
Egypt to the north, to the east the Red
Sea, Eritrea and Ethiopia, the Central
African Republic and Chad to the west,
and the DRC, Kenya and Uganda to
the south -is a daunting task. While
relatively little is known of the history
of southern Sudan before the 19th cen-
tury, historians speak of a rich Neolithic
civilization in the north. This was fol-
lowed by the kingdoms, including the
Kerma Kingdom in around 2,500 B.C.
One of these kings annexed Egypt and
proclaimed himself pharaoh. Besieged
by the Assyrians, this dynasty of "black
pharaohs" was forced to withdraw to
Meroe, in Nubia, not far from Khartoum,
where splendid vestiges of their civiliza-
tion remain today. In around 350 B.C. it
was the turn of the Ethiopian kingdom of
Aksum to conquer Nubia. From the 6th
century A.D. there followed a succession
of small Christian kingdoms through to
the 16th century. This was the era of the

illustrious Funj Sultanate, Blacks who
had converted to Islam and whose power
stemmed from a slave trade in the Blacks
of the south.

The pace of events then accelerated. In
1820, Ottoman Egypt invaded Sudan.
Egyptian domination lasted 60 years
and spread to the south, which became
the supplier of slaves. The country was
administered by the Englishman Charles
Gordon on behalf of the Ottoman
Empire. The sultanate of Darfur was
the only one to remain independent, until
1916. In 1882, the Sudanese rebellion led
by the 'Mahdi' broke out. The caliph who
succeeded him continued to conquer the
Nilotic peoples of the south, annexing
their territory to Sudan.

In 1896, the British, concerned at the
growing influence of France in Central
Africa, launched an expedition against
the caliph. Led by the British General
Kitchener, it ended in the defeat of the
Mahdist troops in 1898. There followed
an Anglo-Egyptian 'reign' that lasted
until Sudan gained independence in
1956. It was under this 'reign' that the
split between the north and south of the
country consolidated. In the north the
British encouraged orthodox Islam and
banished the Christian missionaries
to the south, where they administered
through relatively autonomous 'marsh
barons'. Economic development was
concentrated in the north, based essen-
tially on agriculture. The British faced
a number of uprisings, especially by the
peoples of the south. As a result they
decided to prevent all contact between
north and south, a policy that generated
resentment and frustration.

General Kitchener, painting,
Khartoum � Marie-Martine Buckens

A first legislative assembly was elected
in 1948, dominated by the parties of the
north. Eight years later the Republic of
the Sudan was proclaimed. After a num-
ber of turbulent years General el-Nemeiri
came to power in 1969 and granted
autonomy to the separatists of the south.
In 1972, the Sudists, under their histori-
cal leader, John Garang, rebelled against
the attempt to impose Islamic law. In the
north the situation also deteriorated.
Martial law was imposed in 1984.

In 1989, General Omar el-Bechir seized
power and strengthened Islamic law.
The war intensified with the Sudan
People's Liberation Army (SPLA) under
John Garang. As negotiations between
Khartoum and the South seemed to be
making progress, in 2003 it was the turn
of Darfur, in the west to ignite. It was not
until 2005 that a global peace agreement
was signed between North Sudan and
South Sudan, recognizing the latter's
right to self-determination. M.M.B.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


"It is important to continue a constructive political

dialogue and balanced cooperation projects"

The Courier met with H.E. Mr Carlo De Filippi,
Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan.

EU's Head of Delegation
and how would you best
describeyour experiences
and challenges in Sudan?

I've worked in development related pro-
jects in Africa since 1977 and for the
European Institutions since 1986. Ihave
been here since December 2007 follow-
ing postings in the Democratic Republic
of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Sudan is a very interesting country to
work in and is a big challenge. Sudan
is like a small version of Africa. It has
a diverse and rich culture and has huge
economic and political potential. Of
course, if it had to be defined in one
word, that word would be 'challenging';
there are huge challenges including con-
flict prevention, peace building, post
war reconstruction, poverty alleviation,
democratic transfer, protection of human
rights and nation building. Sudan is a
country where I feel that the EU has a lot
to offer that would benefit the Sudanese
people and would enrich EU experience
in handling African issues.

On a more personal level what
most impressed you about the
Sudanese people which could give
Western readers a different view of
a country only known for its con-

It is very different living here than hear-
ing about it in the media. The Sudanese
are kind and generous people. They are
also very simple in their daily lives. They
are proud of their history and identity
and they respect foreigners when they
speak their languages and eat with
them. As people, the Sudanese are
quite politicized, they are critical and
informed about their country's status,
about Europe and the world. They have
very interesting views about world events.
Europeans conduct extensive dialogue
with the Sudanese at all levels, official
and non-official. It is very important to
have two-way communication; to listen
and not just speak.

What is the EU vision for Sudan
and your plans for the future of

Our engagement so far shows that Sudan
is important to Europe, geographically,

strategically and culturally, as a mixture
of Africa and the Arab World, and has
vast resources to explore. It is an impor-
tant gateway between Africa and the
Middle East. In addition, the Sudanese
people and government are interested in
Europe and the European Union. Thus,
I am optimistic about the future. It is
important to continue a constructive
political dialogue and to continue bal-
anced cooperation projects that would
achieve long term results in all parts of

Since Khartoum has not signed the
Cotonou agreement, what are the
main EU actions in Sudan?

Our cooperation projects are worth 500
million Euros and cover a wide range of
issues in all parts of Sudan; in addition
we are the largest donor of humanitarian
aid amounting to �776M since 2003. We
have played an important role in demo-
cratic transformation by providing tech-
nical and financial support to elections
and referendums.

We also support the United Nations
Mission in Sudan (NMIS) and the
African Union/UN Hybrid operation
in Darfur (UNAMID) both of whom
are keeping peace in Darfur and South
Sudan. The EU has opened an office in
Juba that is a focal point for the work done
in Southern Sudan. In addition, we are
conducting constructive dialogue with
the government on many other issues.
There is positive improvement and we
are slowly building our relationship.

At their last informal meeting, EU
Development ministers agreed to
open negotiations with the govern-
ment of South Sudan regarding the
Cotonou agreement; what are your
views on this?

South Sudan has chosen to become an
independent country from 9 July 2011.
After that the government of South Sudan
becomes a sovereign country and has
every right to join the ACP. In my view,
the Cotonou Partnership Agreement is
well designed to support the African,
Pacific and Caribbean countries. South
Sudan can gain a lot by joining this group
but it remains their sovereign decision
to do so. M.M.B.

Pottery workshop at Rachid Diab's house, Khartoum



Rosalind Marsden: "The coming months represent

a critical period for Sudan"

The Courier had the opportunity to interview Rosalind Marsden in Khartoum, an opportunity
not to be missed

W hat have you done so far
since your nomination as
EU Special Representative
in Sudan?

It is my mission to help to deliver the
EU's strategic policy objectives, which
include active support for the full and
timely implementation of the 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
and an agreement on post-referendum
arrangements. Though based in Brussels,
I spend at least two weeks of every month
in Khartoum and Juba. I have also been to
Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile
and also to a number of high-level inter-
national meetings in Addis Ababa, New
York and Washington to support progress
on CPA implementation and unblock
obstacles. I'm in constant motion!

What is your evaluation of CPA
implementation by the Government
of Sudan and the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM)?

The CPA ended Africa's longest civil war
and, as such, was a remarkable achieve-
ment. As a witness to it, the EU has
consistently given strong support to its
implementation. There are still concerns
about the need to resolve outstanding
CPA issues like the Abyei issue, delimit-
ing the North-South border and holding
credible Popular Consultations in Blue
Nile and Southern Kordofan. Recent
violence and loss of life in Abyei has
caused deep concern and we call on the
parties to reach an early and equitable

We support the efforts of the AU High
Level Implementation Panel chaired by
President Mbeki to resolve these out-
standing CPA issues and to facilitate
agreement on post-Referendum arrange-
ments, including citizenship, oil, debt,
currency, border management and secu-
rity arrangements, that will sustain the
North-South relationship in the long-

How do you see the different on-
going processes concerning Darfur
and the role of the EU in the Eastern
Sudan Peace Agreement?

We're concerned about the continued
violence in Darfur and consequent suf-
fering of its people. The coming months
represent a critical period for Sudan and
Darfur, in particular. The EU has given
consistent support to the peace process in
Doha. Now that the Afro-Arab Mediation
team for Darfur has circulated draft ele-
ments for an agreement, I hope that the
opportunity to make real progress will
be seized.

Humanitarian assistance has been pro-
vided by the EU to the people of Eastern
Sudan since the early 1990s and devel-
opment support since the signing of the
2006 Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement.
Although some poverty indicators are
as bad as in Darfur or parts of Southern
Sudan and it hosts the oldest refugee
caseload in Africa, the East receives
relatively little international attention
and much lower than average per capital
financial transfers from Khartoum. At

the international donors' and investors'
conference in Kuwait last December, I
announced that the EU plans to allo-
cate 24 million euros for Eastern Sudan.
This is in addition to the EU's on going
assistance for rural livelihoods, food
security and empowerment of women
and civil society and bilateral assistance
from EU Member States. The EU is now
participating in a mechanism with the
Government and Arab Funds for contin-
ued donor interaction on Eastern Sudan.

What are the main obstacles to a
sound cooperation between the EU
and Sudan and how to promote EU/
Sudan relations in the future?

The EU is prepared to establish a long-
term dialogue on issues of common inter-
est with the Government in Khartoum
and remains committed to providing
assistance to the people in the North. It
is also ready to examine closely possible
EU support for an international debt relief
effort, consistent with political progress.
Resolving the Darfur conflict and out-
standing CPA and post-CPA issues will
lay the basis for the further strengthening
of EU-Sudan relations.

Following the Referendum, we look
forward to further developing a close
and long-term partnership with South
Sudan. We're ready to scale up our efforts
to support basic services and agricul-
tural development and to engage with
the Government of Southern Sudan and
other partners in supporting effective
institutional capacity building. M.M.B.

In Juba � MMB

Sufi ceremony in Omdurman � MMB

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

In Khartoum

In Khartoum � MMB


A special witness

At the head of the newspaper 'Al Ayaam' that he founded back in 1953, Mahjoub
Mohamed Saleh witnessed at close hand every step in his country's move to
independence in 1956, amid political upheavals marked by repeated newspaper
closures and arrests. At the age of 84, this wise man of the Sudanese press takes
a lucid but empathetic look at what his country's future may hold.

Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh � Marie-Martine Buckens

His office lies at the end of a
dilapidated corridor on the
first floor of a small and rather
flimsy apartment building.
Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh is alone this
Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday, a public
holiday and his team of 15 journalists
and secretaries has left already. He sits
taking notes as he waits for our questions.

The founding of the newspaper?
"I began my career in 1949 when I left
school. I started the newspaper with
two friends thanks to loans from our
acquaintances in October 1953. From
the outset we positioned ourselves as a
national newspaper, covering politics,
economics and social affairs."

"It's a risky job being a journalist here.
The paper has been taken over, shut
down and we have been arrested many
times. Between 1970 and 1986 Al Ayaam
was nationalised. I survived by open-
ing a printing company and working for
foreign newspapers. Then, in 1989, the
newspaper was shut down completely
for 10 years. No private newspapers
were allowed until 1993. After that the
grip was slowly loosened. We started
up again at the beginning of 2000."

The division of Sudan?
"I'm sad. It was a good country but so
many things have gone wrong. In the
1990s Sudan was already a country with
very, very long-standing problems in the
South and West. This separation is a very
traumatic experience for us. But it's a
good thing that the South has decided
to call itself'South Sudan', as if they are
still Sudanese. I believe it is important
to stop for a moment and ask oneself: is
this going to happen elsewhere? There
is war in Darfur and what do they think
there of the separation of the South?
How do they see it in terms of the risk
and the opportunities? The only reason
South Sudan was able to split is that
it has oil revenue. What will happen if
the prospecting for oil in South Darfur
produces a promising result? And how
will this separation affect not only the
population in South Kordofan and the
Blue Nile [Ed: transition zones between
the North and the South], but also the
populations in the East? Then there are
other unknown factors such as the fate of
the Southern people living in the North.
The Khartoum government is right to
ask them to leave. But in practice how
are issues such as pensions and prop-
erty ownership going to be resolved?"

The future of South Sudan?
"The South has been fighting Khartoum
for 50 years now and I fear that this
culture of mutiny will remain. We now
risk seeing the tribes revolt against the




central government in Juba. Today's
Sudan also has nine neighbours and
South Sudan will have six. That's a lot
for a country that is also landlocked.
For one reason or another each of these
six neighbours is interested in South
Sudan and therefore risks destabilis-
ing it. One of the questions is who
owns the money, banks and trade.
Ugandans, Kenyans and Indians are
already a very strong presence."

What about aid from the West,
and from the European Union in
"Take the case of Darfur. In the final
analysis what is happening down there
is a question ofunderdevelopment. The

inhabitants -farmers and shepherds
are fighting over very limited natu-
ral resources. And the population is
increasing. But nobody is getting to
grips with the underlying problems
or developing a global strategy. The
international community is no excep-
tion. Following the 2005 peace agree-
ment, the donor countries met in Oslo
to support reconstruction and devel-
opment projects. They then decided
to transfer this money to Darfur, but
in the end only released 20% of it for
the intended projects. I was in Oslo,
representing civil society. I had pre-
dicted this. I get the impression that
the West is only interested in crisis
zones. It is not interested in long-term
development that brings stability."

The future of Sudan, of Khartoum?
"Change must come, even the govern-
ment accepts that. But how and to what
end? The questions remain. There are
so many things to resolve. We have four
months to sort out the North-South sepa-
ration, we must find a way to end the
war in Darfur and we must also reflect
on the future of the entire zone that is
today in such turmoil. One of the major
problems is poverty. When those with a
monopoly on authority assume the right
to the wealth, you have inequalities that
lead to conflict and rebellion. Poverty
creates rivalry, not harmony. That is no
doubt our biggest problem, learning to
live with one another." M.M.B.

Sudanese Women, fulcrum of renewal

aT he changes are noticeable
in Sudan, and they are
led by women," explains
T Balghis Badri, Director of
the Institute of Gender and Development
Studies in Ahfad University, the only
English speaking academic institution
in Khartoum.

Today is March 8, International Women's
Day. The police have just stopped a dem-
onstration by women demanding the gov-
ernment to stop violence against women.
"The recent history of Sudanese women
has not yet been written", says Balghis
Badri. "Who initiated the process of nego-
tiations between the North and South of
the country? Women did. In 2000, we
managed to change the law on women's
participation in public affairs. Today,
women take to the streets as protesters.
I think the wind of change has risen in
Sudan. "

But the director of the Institute recognizes
that this will not happen without difficul-
ties. "The challenges are not only social.
They are also cultural. The separation
of public and private spheres has always
been unfavourable for us. But women are
becoming more aware. Especially now,
with the separation of Southern Sudan,
the government is challenged with sus-
taining (as will be the case in the South)
human rights movements and especially
women's movements. Now we are worried
when we read that the Khartoum govern-
ment intends to strengthen Islamic Sharia
law, in the North."

Balghis Badri, who led a study on mecha-
nisms for resolving inter-community con-
flict -a sensitive issue in a country where
ethnic rivalries are at the root of most
conflicts - highlights the vital work to be
conducted with civil society to induce pos-
itive change, both politically and socially.
"I have worked with the European Union

on those subjects. But since the signing of
the peace agreements the EU no longer
funds projects directly although it does so
via UN agencies. I think it will be impor-
tant to see what role Europe intends to
play during the transition period, and
after July, when the split in the country
will come into effect." M.M.B.

women proiesi in umourman, 6 iviarcn zull b u In buaoan

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


Combative private companies seeking

markets and recognition

While China has become Sudan's leading trading partner, businessmen in Khartoum
have not abandoned hope of renewing the previously flourishing links with the
European Union. As well as with South Sudan, regarded as a priority, Darfur too
should not be forgotten.

Meeting in Khartoum with Bakri yousif Omer, Secretary General of the Sudanese Businessmen Employers' Federation

W Wr 'e are an umbrella
organisation span-
ning the private sec-
S tor as a whole," Bakri
Omer informs us right away, "from the
chamber of commerce to that of indus-
try, transport, crop
and stock farming, as
well as small-scale and "We are in
craft industries. Ihave of losing all
my own company pro- tech
viding consultancy on
information technolo-
gies and here I provide my services free
of charge." The organisation has close
links with sister organizations in Europe
and the Arab world. Four years ago, it
was Khartoum that hosted the Economic
Forum of the ACP countries.

How are relations between Sudanese and
European businessmen? "Our relations
deteriorated seriously in the 1980s. This


when Europe had been our principal
partner since 1950. In the mid-1990s the
economic boycott decreed by the United
States resulted in a de facto European
boycott, even if it was not official."

This was the time
when the Sudanese
the process Government started
he European to look to the East
ology" and to China which
today, adds Bakri
Omer, presents
Sudan as an African success story.
Initially interested in West Sudan's oil
resources, Beijing has invested progres-
sively in all sectors, including agriculture.
To date, however, the benefits for the
Sudanese private sector have been few
and it is generally regarded as the big
loser in inter-governmental cooperation.
"Progress has been made in the past three
years, even if joint Sudanese and Chinese

Khartoum� Marie-Martine Buckens

Bakri yousif Omer� Marie-Martine Buckens
companies are far from the rule," stresses
the Secretary General, while at the same
time regretting that "we are in the process
of losing all the European technology."

New North-South partnership
But Bakri Omer becomes enthusiastic
when he speaks of the trade relations
established between South Sudan and the
North. "Our role is positive. In Juba, in
2007, we organised a forum on equitable
investment attended by 30 German com-
panies. Last November we welcomed 70
businessmen from South Sudan, includ-
ing eight women and eight young entre-
preneurs." The Secretary General is also
trying to get banks in the North to return
to the South. "I explained to the bankers
that the vacuum would soon be filled
by our neighbours." He also stresses
the close ties that remain between the
two regions, and the identical way in
which they do business: "Historically,
the role of the businessman in Sudan is
different to that in other countries. Our
social role is major. I myself have built
two high schools in my village and 80%
of my company's employees come from
my village."

This is the spirit in which the employers'
federation is investing in Darfur: "We
have contributed actively to rebuilding
the villages, schools and wells. With the
Chamber of Craft Trades we organised
workshops for rebels who laid down their
weapons. Rather than giving money we
believe it makes more sense to teach them
a trade." M.M.B.



The South Sudan gamble

Juba, capital of the future South Sudan. Two freshly paved roads are the unlikely
centre of a city that tries to grow quickly, far too quickly, under pressure from all
of the South Sudanese returning 'home' after fifty years of war. Huts stand beside
brand new buildings. Plastic bottles - water drawn from the Nile is questionable,
wastewater is not treated, typhoid is rampant - form piles of waste waiting for a
hypothetical refuse collection. Hotels are mushrooming to accommodate the flood
of international experts who have come to lend their support to this fledgling nation.

S southern Sudan is an could be an excellent reference for post-
extraordinary labora- conflict regions, especially for interna-
tory" says a representa- tional cooperation. "Thus was created an
tive of the EU delegation informal group in Juba, the 'G6', which
in Juba. Located in the 'EU compound' includes the heads of delegation of the
where the embassies of Italy, France, the World Bank, UN, U.S., UK, Norway and
United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and EU. Together we are trying to coordi-
Sweden also live for nate our policies.
the moment - the EU South Sudan could be an In addition, a joint
delegation is actually excellent reference for post- team of donors has
a focal point of the established some
EU delegation to the conflict regions, especially for joint actions. The
Sudan, and is six peo- international cooperation team includes four
pie strong. "Initially, EU member states -
from May to September 2009, the office Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom
was reduced to its simplest form, work- and the Netherlands - plus Norway and
ing even without a computer server, says Canada. "
Jesus Orus Baguena, who has been in
Sudan for two years. The security situ- The task facing the international com-
ation and lack of schools, means that the munity and the government in place is
European staff is mostly single. " enormous. The country, plagued by war,
starts with nothing. Covering an area
Yet because of the enormous challenges greater than France, some 590,000 km
facing the nascent Southern Sudan, the 2, inhabited by only 9 million people, it
EU presence, he believes, should be is one of the poorest in the world and its
expanded, and quickly: "South Sudan human development index is amongst

the lowest; 85% of adults are illiterate.
But it also has a number of advantages
including fertile agricultural land and
oil resources, which represent 80% of
Sudan's oil reserves, currently estimated
at 6 billion barrels.

Heading good governance and
food security

"The international community, including
the EU, is the main source of assistance
for the reconstruction of the country",
says a European observer, who continues:
"we must first address the issues of repa-
triation, reintegration and rehabilitation,
including former guerrillas. Then schools,
health care, the entire construction of
the economic structure - in agriculture,
finance and services should follow." The
EU for its part has decided to concentrate
on supporting good governance, issues of
human rights and food aid.

"The government of South Sudan, he
says, is establishing administrative struc-

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


tures in all 10 states of the country. It is
a slow process, hampered by two major
constraints: a lack of financial resources
and trained people, notwithstanding
the many differences both within the
ruling party - the Sudanese People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM) - and
between the SPLM and its rival factions.
"But the SPLM must above all learn to
change from a movement with a military
hierarchy (Silva Kiir, now president of
Southern Sudan, was the head of the
armed wing the SPLA, the Popular Army
for the Liberation of Sudan) to a political
party with a democratic structure. "The
SPLM, says the observer, has enlisted
the help of Southern Sudanese in the
diaspora. Between these and the former
guerrilla leader, accustomed to mak-
ing decisions without a safety net, this
makes for a sometimes fractious but very
interesting mixture. "

If some members of the diaspora have
answered the call, most actually come
from cities in northern Sudan. "These
people", explained another European
expert, "were trained in Arabic and fol-
low Islamic law, very different from the
common law - British in nature - in force
in South Sudan". In Juba, "Juba Arabic"
is commonly spoken, but English will
become the official language of the coun-
try at its independence in July. M.M.B.

In Juba � Marie-Martine Buckens

"The EU must establish a dialogue with the Southern authorities"
Interview with Nhial Bol, Editor in Chief of The Citizen in Juba, Southern Sudan

"One of the major problems that the
government of Southern Sudan will have
to deal with is corruption and nepotism",
explains Nhial Bol. And for the simple
fact of declaring this opinion, the boss of
the independent newspaper of Southern
Sudan, launched in 2005, has repeate-
dly spent time in prison. In Khartoum, in
his former role as the general director of
the independent newspaper, the Khar-
toum Monitor, he was also incarcerated
in 2002 for accusing Omar el-Bashir's
government of turning a blind eye to
the slavery and abduction of women
and children in the Southern regions.
"Huge efforts have to be made to not
only train the police force, but also to
support it so as to avoid any slippage".
Southern Sudan has adopted a Cons-

titution, "but where are the laws?" asks
Nhial Bol. "For without laws" he conti-
nues, "people guilty of corruption can-
not be prosecuted. And at the present
moment in time, you can be arrested
simply for 'security reasons'. In Juba
today, some 2,300 people are languis-
hing in a prison with capacity for 300
without any form of bathroom facilities".
For the editor in chief of The Citizen,
the role of the EU could be crucial. "If
the Europeans wish to have a presence
here, alongside the Americans and the
Norwegians, it is imperative that they
start constructive dialogue with the go-
vernment, to ensure that they remain
virtuous and also with the opposition,
to make it less violent."

Nhial Bol� Marie-Martine Buckens







"Corruption is one of the most important transversal issues that the government of
South Sudan must combat," believes Dr Pauline Riek, head of the Anti-Corruption
Commission set up by the Salva Kiir government.

Corruption is a plague that is
poisoning relations in this
nascent state and that the
government itself recogni-
ses. "How do you think we financed
our guerrilla action
against the forces The inquiry we
of the North?",
a member of the also shows us
South Sudanese ofthe cultural
Government recently the cor
told a European
observer. The press also reports regu-
larly on corruption cases, such as that of
a finance minister implicated in large-
scale food aid fraud. In February 2011,
following the referendum, Salva Kiir
declared that his government would now
get to grips with "the endemic corrup-
tion that it had thus far ignored" as it
had been preoccupied with implemen-
ting the peace agreement signed in 2005.

"Our role is facilitated by the participa-
tive tradition of South Sudan, reinforced
by the war, and also complicated by this
same tradition," the Anti-Corruption
Commission president explained.
"When we attack someone, it is the
entire community that feels targeted.
Hence the importance of the active par-
ticipation of all: of women, government
and civil society. The inquiry we have
just completed also shows us the impor-
tance of the cultural dynamic behind
the corruption."

The Anti-Corruption Commission
recently signed a letter of intent with
the 10 semi-autonomous states of South
Sudan. "The central government,"


explains Pauline Riek, "would like to
decentralise the fight against corrup-
tion, but we believe it is too soon. We
are in the process of recruiting per-
sonnel in all these states but they still
have to be trained.
ave completed Here in Juba itself
nce we are severely lac-
he importance king in staff and tra-
ynamic behind ining. We have nine
option investigators, four of
them qualified. But
the workload is huge. We are currently
looking into 66 cases. How long will
these investigations take? Two months,
three years, we don't know."

Fourteen languages are spoken in
South Sudan, "and we have to be able
to speak these languages," maintains the
president. "It is also essential that the
investigations be carried out by South
Sudanese. If the investigator is a foreig-
ner, the people interviewed will simply
say what they think he wants to hear,
whereas they answer differently when
questioned by a national because he will
know where they come from."

South Sudan has adopted an anti-
corruption strategy for the period 2010-
2014. "It is not our strategy, it is the
government's strategy," the president
is quick to point out. "Two bills should
soon be passed that will better define
our role. Our margin of manoeuvre is
at present limited; we do not yet have a
mandate to prosecute."

In the meantime, last year South
Sudanese officials were invited to fill
out a "fortune declaration". Only 222
people out of 1,000 responded. M.M.B.

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

raullne meK Civarle-iviartine bucKens


Oil, land and water

makes provision for the sha-
ring of oil revenue, three-
quarters of which is obtained
in South Sudan. It also makes provisions
regarding the concluding of interna-
tional treaties, including the treaty on
sharing the waters of the Nile. To these
two sensitive issues, a third must be
added that is not covered by the peace
agreement: land ownership.

Whereas in North
Sudan the land theo- Theindepend
retically belongs to
the state - even Sudan shou
though the latter pri- negotiations o
vatised farms in the issue of shari
1980s and 1990s - it
is a land tenure sys-
tem rooted in com-
mon law that must prevail in the South.
That at least is the position adopted
by the Juba government, albeit while
recognizing the need for a land policy
that permits the commercialization of
agriculture and the development of a
"fair and inclusive" market economy in
a region ravaged by war and where the
population is dependent on subsistence

The recognition of common land
ownership will be even more difficult
to apply in the oil regions from which
the population was forcibly evicted by
Khartoum. As government revenue in
South Sudan comes almost exclusively
from oil revenue, the government will
have cause to create new structures for
political control.

In the meantime, according to a study
carried out by the NGO Norwegian
People's Aid, between 2007 and 2010
foreign companies purchased a total of
2.64 million hectares of land designated
for agriculture, forestry and biofuel pro-
duction. The surface involved is believed
to represent about 9% of South Sudan's


total surface area, which makes it an
area bigger than the whole of Rwanda.

Blue gold

The independence of South Sudan
should speed up negotiations on the
difficult issue of sharing the waters of
the Nile. The visit of Egyptian Foreign
Minister Nabil Elaraby to Khartoum on
27 March, followed by a visit to Juba, is
noteworthy. Egypt enjoys an "historic"
right to the waters of
ef South the Nile that, since
the agreement impo-
d speed up sed by the British in
n the difficult 1929 and amended
g the waters in 1959, has enabled
it to benefit from
Nile 70% of the waters of
the river, 20% being
allocated to Sudan in compensation for
land flooded by the Assouan dam in
Egypt and the displacement of more
than 60,000 Nubians. The remaining
10% is allocated to countries lying
downstream of the White Nile basin:

Uganda, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Kenya and Ethiopia, cradle of the Blue
Nile and in reality responsible for 85%
of the Nile that actually has its source
in Khartoum where the White and Blue
Niles meet.

Since 1999, the Nile Basin Initiative
has been trying to take account of the
growing demand for water from coun-
tries lying downstream. Most of these
countries have ratified the Initiative.
Cairo, hitherto opposed, now seems
ready to accept a compromise. The idea
is to revitalise the project to build the
Jonglei Canal. Launched in 1973 this
canal, 360 km in length, was designed
to allow the White Nile to avoid pas-
sing through the Sudd marshes in South
Sudan, thereby recovering 10 billion
m3 of water a year. Work on such a pro-
ject was halted by the civil war in 1983
and the Egyptian minister now plans to
relaunch it with his new South Sudanese
partners. M.M.B.


"Art should

guide a



A painter and engraver, Rashid Diab is
also an architect in his spare time, and
especially when it comes to building a
center dedicated to the arts in downtown

ST he center that I built
should prepare people
to fight using culture
"as a tool,"says Rashid
Diab from the outset, and continues:
"This country suffers on the inside.
Cooperation with the West has been rui-
ned by aid, notably food aid, instead of
bringing logistics, and concentrating on
thinking about how to manage change.
The EU does not have a budget for art,
but only for NGOs and institutions rela-
ted to governance."
Rashid Diab left to study art in Spain,
where he met his wife and taught art for
nine years. "I left everything and came
back here. I wanted to be a revolutio-
nary, a leader, not a political one, but a
cultural one. I bought land in Khartoum
where I designed and built these buil-
dings. All of the materials are locally
sourced. They house a gallery, a shop
and rooms that allow artists to stay here
in residence. German, Egyptian and
French artists have already participated
in workshops here". In the garden, stone
alcoves intersect with green fairways.
At the centre, there is a theater stage,
and further on work tables where, for
the moment, children are introduced to
pottery. M.M.B.


Six voices in different tonalities to

express the reality of Sudan today

Salih, the author of 'Season
of Migration to the North', a
novel acclaimed as much in
the Arab world as in the West. Apart
from this author, who passed away two
years ago, few Sudanese authors have
managed to have their voices heard out-
side of their country. The collection
'News from Sudan' wants to fill this gap.
The authors of the six collected short
stories are of Arab, Nubian, Southern
or Darfuri origin. All write in Arabic,
but depict characters and personalities
from the four corners of the country,
with their different traditions and cha-
racteristics. All express in their own
way the dictatorship, civil war and its
share of misery and displaced persons.

"The events described are often serious,
but the skill and elegance of the authors,
the humour and dreamlike style, which
is reminiscent of the South American
magical realism, turn them into gems,
both witnesses to a harsh reality and
literature just waiting to be disco-
vered, " writes Xavier Luffin in the
prologue; he is a professor at the Free
University of Brussels and the collec-
tions' translator. The stories have been
translated into French; the English
version should follow soon. M.M.B.

Info: Nouvelles du Soudan
Editeur : Magellan Et Cie
EAN13 : 9782350741604

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


Darfur, as seen by the artist

Issam Abdel-Hafez

raged in the Darfur province

F or over eight years, war has
of western Sudan, bordering
Chad. This conflict with mul-
tiple causes inter-ethnic conflict,
aggravated by population growth, oil
exploration, and an expansion of the
conflict in Chad has to date displaced
over 2.5 million people, with more than
one million killed. Since the beginning
of the conflict the EU has attempted
to give aid and support to the local
populations via its humanitarian aid
department, ECHO.

Issam Abdel-Hafiz visited Darfur in
2006 and 2007 with a humanitarian
NGO. A book published two years
later (see images below) was decora-
ted with 32 of his photos. Returning
to Khartoum, he launched an inter-
net based campaign 'Save the Kids of
Darfur'. "We received more than seven
tons of medicine, school materials and
clothes from all over the world, espe-
cially from the Sudanese diaspora" he
, explained. Since them, Issam Abdel-
Hafez has continued his work, not
without difficulty, as a photographer
with a mission, not to mention his work
painting and drawing. M.M.B.

uarTur c Issam Ancel-Hiaez


Darfur and the Crisis of Go-
vernance in Sudan: A Critical
This essay, writes the Editor Salah M.
Hassan, highlights the selective ways
in which the conflict in Darfur has been
presented, represented, and used by
a range of actors inside and outside of
Sudan to promote their own agendas
and interests. It draws attention to
the urgency of apprehending the po-
litics of representation around Darfur
"from within." Focusing on Sudan's
historically strong civil society, the
essay elucidates how the Sudanese
civil society's analysis of the country's
conflicts eschews oversimplified bi-
nary opposition, such as "Arab North"
versus "Christian/Animist South" or
"Arab" versus "African," as in the case
of Darfur. Hassan argues in favour of
looking at the origins of these con-
flicts as manifestations of unequal
development and historic injustices
perpetrated against the margins by the
ruling class of Arabized elites. In the
process, Hassan reveals the vigorous
engagement of Sudanese at all levels
in the Darfur crisis, as well as other
areas of conflict currently engulfing
the country. The essay urges the need
to pay attention to Sudanese voices if
a genuine resolution to the country's
manifold conflicts is to be pursued.


Hoji Fortuna, actor born in Angola in winning film Viva Riva

Awards from African Film festivals

FESPACO and Africa Movie Academy

One hundred and one films were
screened at the FESPACO film
festival, as part of the official
selection and 84 were shown out-
side of competition. 'African Cinema and
Markets' was the theme of this year's event.
The biennial film festival, known as
Africa's 'Oscars' or 'Caesars' awar-
ded the Golden Stallion of Yennenga
-the first prize - to Moroccan director,
Mohamed Mouftakir, for his cinematic
debut 'Pegasus' (Pegase) -a story of a

young woman in a psychiatric ward and
her violation by her father. The film has
received recognition from film festivals in
Dubai, Brussels and Morocco.
The Diaspora 'Paul Robeson' prize was
awarded to Haitian, Arnold Antonin, for
'The loves of a zombie'.
EU Development Commissioner, Andris
Piebalgs, attending the Festival, announ-
ced further financial support for African
Cinema, sharing his wish to "contribute
to the economic, social and also poli-
tical development of ACP countries".
Financing to the tune of �30M will
be made available to the ACP cultu-

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

Anna Bates


ral sector, under the ACPFILMS and
ACPCULTURES programmes ofthe 9th
European Development Fund.

ACPFILMS success :
"Viva Riva!" scoops most
awards at AMAA Africa Movie
Academy Awards

At the 7th annual Africa Movie Academy
Awards 2011 (AMAA) held this year
in Bayelsa, Nigeria, 26th March, the
Congolese film "Viva Riva" by Djo
Tunda Wa Munga, won six awards,
including Best Film and Best Director.
The film is a rollicking gangster thriller
set in the heart of Kinshasa and is the
director's feature film debut. Described
by its producer Michael Goldberg as
'Scarface in Kinshasa' they wanted to
tell a modern African story, a real story
of Africa today.

After training in Brussels, Director Djo
Tunda returned to the DRC and establis-
hed the first film production company
there, Suka Productions!

"Viva Riva" received support from the
ACPFILMS project, which works to sup-
port cinematic and audio-visual industries
in the ACP. It has been shown at film fes-
tivals in Berlin, Toronto, Hong Kong, the
SXSW1 festival and the Pan African Film
Festival (PANAF) in Los Angeles where
it received the award for Best Feature.
His next project is set to be another crime
thriller set both in Congo and in China.

For more information, please see
www.acpfilms.eu amd www.ec.europa.eu/
europeaid/what/culture/index en.htm

1 South by Southwest Festival, is an annual
music, film and interactive festival held in
Austin, Texas.

Copyright and artists' mobility

in the ACP cultural landscape

Eugenio Orsi

What contribution can cul-
ture make to reducing
poverty? ACP Cultures,
an on-going EU-ACP pilot
project, is attempting to answer this
question. Globalization is making the
use of culture for economic develop-
ment increasingly attractive. To exploit
its full potential, there must firstly be
a clear understanding of how cultural
industries operate. Up to now, a lack
of data from ACP countries has been
an obstacle.

An observatory set up under the project
is trying to fill this information gap. It
is behind a new report (currently being
finalized) which addresses copyright
and intellectual property issues as well
as those of artists' mobility. The research
was launched in October 2010 and was
addressed to 478 cultural organizations
in 60 countries, from the audio-visual
industry, to dramatic arts performers
and musicians. It found a world of small-
sized organizations where over 80% of

creative employment is generated by
entities with fewer than 10 employees.

The future is not very bright as far as
respect for intellectual property rights
is concerned. "Most of the income from
intellectual property in ACP countries
will eventually end up in the hands of
producers and managers. Artists are the
last ones who benefit from copyright",
explains Frederic Jacquemin, a senior
expert on the project. Only 75% of ACP
countries have a copyright management
agency. Even when a functioning copy-
right system is in place, artists the world
over still feel that the system should be
doing more for them. Jacquemin sug-
gests that the ACP should also start to
look at alternatives such as capitalizing
on web technologies and peer-to-peer

The bulk of travelling of ACP cultural
artists is within ACP states and what's
more, within the artist's region. "An
artist from Ghana is more likely to go

Djo Tunda Munga, director awarded
movie Viva Riva

Poetry reading �Cecile Mella



to a country in his region rather than to
Europe," explains Jacquemin. "For this
reason, we should really emphasize the
importance of regional cultural mar-
kets," he adds. He says that the visa issue
is part of the problem but not the only
one. "I believe we should be really care-
ful with the proposal of a cultural visa.
It would of course be useful for those
who work with the EU, but it would
create a privileged mobility. I don't see
why artists should have this privilege
and not people from other fields, such
as carpenters or teachers for example,
who also need to travel for their work",
he says.

So how does the observatory's research
contribute to poverty reduction, the pro-
gramme's main goal? "Collecting data
might not sound such a sexy activity"
concludes Jacquemin, "but sometimes
you have to build knowledge first in
order to design effective projects."

To find out more: www.acpcultures.eu/

Copyright and artist mobility in the ACP cultural landscape Performance � Afropixel 2008

cultural landscape Atelier Bricolabs � Afropixel

N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011


Interview with Congolese comic

author Pat Masioni

Sandra Federici

n 2005, Pat Masioni won interna-
tional fame with the publication of
a two part comic book based on the
1994 Rwanda genocide "Rwanda
94"-"Descente en enfer" (Descent into
Hell) and "Le camp de la vie" (The
Camp of Life). These publications ele-
vated Masioni to the ranks of a master
of his art.

His work was included in a volume of
the famous series Unknown Soldier about
the war in Uganda, published in the
United States by T'. i .-. IC Comics. He
was also selected with nine other artists
to collaborate on a special edition of
Colors international magazine about
Super Heroes (March 2011).

Pat, on your blog you wrote "le
soleil brille", the sun is shining,
but it can't have been easy getting
this far in international comics

It was hard because the world of
European comics is a little closed. The
publishers are hesitant about African
authors, whose books may not sell well.
I arrived in France as a refugee in 2002.
As soon as I obtained my residence per-
mit, I started to get small jobs as an
illustrator and cartoonist.

The turning point came with the publi-
cation of "Rwanda 94", which received
very positive reactions from the press
and from the critics and consequently
made me famous.

What training do you have in
comic art? After all, your studies
were in architecture.

I studied interior design in the Kinshasa
Academy of Fine Art but my training
in drawing comics started at the age
of 12 when my art teacher encouraged
me by giving me books, magazines and
materials to work with. I published my
first drawing at the age of 14, which
was a compact disc cover, and so I
gained confidence. While studying at
the academy I attended painting and
ceramics courses at a private studio. I

also contacted the Saint Paul publish-
ing house in the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) and got a contract for
a nine-volume history of Jesus Christ (a
book that is still being reprinted and dis-
tributed throughout francophone West
Africa). An art workshop at the French
Cultural Centre was also important for
my artistic development.

You draw situations with
meticulous realism. What are
your influences?

When I was in the DRC, my favour-
ite author was Jean Giraud, but since I
arrived in France I have had the oppor-
tunity to see a number of different pub-
lications. I am a fan of comics and follow
everything that is "just published",
where I find my inspiration. My style
is evolving but is always recognizable.

In the African comics landscape,
Congolese authors are renowned
for excellence in their craft. What
are the reasons?

Since 1953, we have had good arts
schools in the DRC (formerly the
Belgian Congo), but the biggest oppor-
tunity arrived in 1968 with the publi-
cation of the comic, Jeune pour Jeunes.
Publishing professionally scripted black
and white comic stories, the magazine
was circulated widely throughout the
country. As young artists, we enthusi-
astically bought every issue. We copied
the comics' drawings as well.

Pat Masioni, Congolese comic author � Pat Maisioni

In this respect, the cultural model of
our colonizing country, Belgium, had a
positive influence. In addition, different
artists such as Barly Baruti, travelled
to Europe and brought different meth-
ods and ideas back to the Congo. At
the moment, the DRC has a good and
diversified comics publishing industry,
with several associations, magazines,
and festivals.

Iviaya, comics on violence against women. uopyrigni rat iviasioni / ta. ues ronas oans ieau
*Translation : "Don't stay there, you're ruining my appetite."
"This food is inedible, you're useless!"



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N. 22 N.E - MARCH APRIL 2011

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Word from our Readers

India and Africa-sharing history and
future (p 24-25, previous issue 21)
Very neat article in terms of
description of the two countries;
notable that the article is built
on historical references inferring
historical figures such as the
great leader Gandhi without even
mentioning his name in the text (Ed:
there is however a photo of Gandhi in
South Africa as a young man) Great
work and congratulations
(Pradeep Singh, 11.03.2011)

This is a great example of South-South
relations. Undoubtedly, as in the case of
the relations between Africa and China,
relations between Africa and India will
be an engine of development for Africa.
It is a pity that Europe loses positions.
But this is the future
(Juan Antonio Falc6n Blasco,

The Courier
I am an interpreter and translator. I
am so happy to read your newspaper.
I appreciate this magazine that is
extremely informative and attractive.
This publication is an asset to
everybody who wants to learn about
international update news. Go ahead.
(Sam Ngenda, reader, interpreter
and translator, Kigali, Rwanda -



End April Report on the results of the
public consultation on the
Green Paper on "EU devel-
opment policy in support of
inclusive growth and sustain-
able development"
Increasing the impact of EU
development policy

04- 06/05 IST-Africa 2011
Gaborone, Botswana
Part of the IST-Africa
Initiative, supported by the
European Commission under
the ICT Theme of Framework
Programme 7 (FP7), IST-
Africa 2010 is the 6th in an
Annual Conference series
which brings together senior
representatives from leading
commercial, government and
research organizations across

Africa and Europe, to bridge
the Digital Divide by sharing
knowledge, experience, lessons
learnt, good practice and to
discuss policy related issues.

11 - 18/05 24th ACP Parliamentary
Assembly and the 21st ACP-
EU Joint Parliamentary
Budapest, Hungary

30/05-03/06 UN 4th Conference on Least
Developed Counties
Istanbul, Turkey
Adoption of the next- genera-
tion Programme of Action for
the LDCs leading into 2020

25 - 27/05 eLearning Africa 2011
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Spotlight on Youth, Skills
and Employability.
www. elearning-africa.corn

17-18/09 Africa Web Summit
Brazzaville, Congo
A Pan-African conference on
web technologies.

21-22/09 Intermodal Africa
Casablanca, Morocco
The biggest annual container
ports and terminal operations
exhibition and conference
event on the African continent
- now in its 9th successful year.
http://www. transportevents.
aspx?EventlD =EVE15


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