Cover Image
close this bookGATE - 4/93 - Botswana: Rural Industrial Development (GTZ GATE, 1993, 48 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentImprint
View the documentDear readers
Open this folder and view contentsFocus
Open this folder and view contentsSpecial supplement
Open this folder and view contentsSpecial report
View the documentReport
View the documentAT Activities
View the documentDevelopment Scene
View the documentBookbox
View the documentCourses and meeting


- Questions, Answers, Information No. 4/93

ISSN 0723-2225
Deutsches Zentrum fur Entwicklungstechnologien


GATE is not only the name of this quarterly. It also stands for German Appropriate Technology Exchange, founded in 1978 as a special division (Division 4020' of the government-owned Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technishe Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH (German Agency for Technical Cooperation)


GATE is a centre for the dissemination and promotion of appropriate technologies for developing countries. GATE defines "appropriate technologies" as those which appear particularly apposite in the light of economic, social and cultural criteria. They should contribute to socio-economic development whilst ensuring optimal utilization of resources and minimal detriment to optimal utilization of resources and minimal detriment to the environment. Depending on the case at hand a traditional intermediate or highly-developed technology can be the "appropriate" one.


GATE focuses its work on the following areas:

- Technology Dissemination: Collecting and disseminating information on technologies appropriate to the needs of the developing countries; ascertaining the technological requirements of Third World countries; support in the form of personnel, material and equipment to promote the development and adaption of technologies for developing countries.

- Environmental Protection: The growing importance of ecology and environmental protection requires better coordination and harmonization of projects. In order to tackle these tasks more effectively, a coordination centre was set up within GATE in 1985.


GATE offers a free information service on appropriate technologies for all public and privet development institutions in countries dealing with the development, adaption application and introduction of technologies.

Deutsches Zentrum fur Entwicklungstechnologien:
German Appropriate Technology Exchange
Centro Aleman pare Tecnologias Apropiadas
Centre allemand d'inter-technologie appropriee

Post Box 5180
D-65726 Eschborn
Federal Republic of Germany


gate 4/93 December 1993

Deutsche Gesellschaft
fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), GmbH
(German Agency for Technical Cooperation)
Post Box 5180
D-65726 Eschborn
Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: 0 6196/ 79-0
Telex: 41523-0 (gtz d)

Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld
Barbel Ruben

Focus in this issue:
Hannah Schreckenbach, GTZ Division 4020

Printed by:

Frankenallee 71-81 D-60327 Frankfurt Federal Republic of Germany

"gate" appears quarterly; it is distributed free of charge.

Named contributions do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or the editorial staff.

Reproduction is permitted after consultation; copies should be supplied.
ISSN 0723-2225

Dear readers

The Focus section in this issue of gate is regional: the articles describe the activities of GATE's partner organization Rural Industries Innovations Centre (RIIC), a subsidiary of the Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) in Botswana. GATE has had a formal cooperation agreement with RIIC/RIPCO since 1984. The person responsible for liaison under the cooperation agreement at GATE is Hannah Schreckenbach, and this Focus is due in no small measure to her commitment and endeavour.

All the Focus articles were written by GATE's partners in Botswana. The authors kick off with reports on their organization's work and its efforts to promote small-scale industries in rural areas.

Kit V. Morei, RIPCO'.s General Manager, identifies the Centre's primary objectives as "developing and promoting appropriate technologies to create employment and improve the quality of life for the people of Botswana, especially in rural areas".

In the articles that follow we are introduced to three selected projects - the Technology Transfer Unit, the Village Skills Training Programme and the Small-Scale Sorghum Milling Industry. Mr Morei welcomed GATE's invitation to write the Focus articles for this issue, "because we share similar experiences with other development agencies which may benefit from this initiative .

Successful cooperation of the kind practiced by GATE and RIIC/RIPCO is based on mutual understanding, respect and openness. This is one reason why development aid organizations and training institutions view the current hostility towards foreigners in Germany with deep concern.
It is already a year since the staff of GTZ/GATE issued a statement deploring "the rising tide of hatred towards foreign nationals in Germany" (see gate 4/92).

In cooperation with the members of the AT Forum NGO-GTZ, a special section of this issue of gate magazine is devoted to the subject. It includes an article on the impact of xenophobia on interpersonal cooperation, and statements by members of AT Forum condemning hostility towards foreigners and racism.

Barbel Roben

How to initiate rural industrial development

On the Cooperation between GTZ/GATE and RIPCO/RIIC in Botswana
by Kit Morei and Hannah Schreckenbach

Within the context of a cooperation programme, GATE has been working with NGOs in developing countries since 1981. The aim is to help counterpart organizations advise target groups on the development of appropriate technological solutions. One of the oldest counterpart organizations is the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC), a subsidiary of the Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) in Botswana. Kit Morei, General Manager of RIIC, and Hannah Schreckenbach, GATE's liasion person since the beginning, report on almost ten years of cooperation.

Kit Morei, RIIC:

"The Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) has been a recipient of financial and material support from the German Appropriate Technology Exchange (GATE), consequent to an agreement of cooperation entered into between Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) in Botswana and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ) in May 1984.

The scope of the cooperation between RIPCO/RIIC and GTZ/GATE was intended to cover the exchange of information on concepts of appropriate technology and technology transfer in the following areas:

- To share experiences in the identification of technological needs and solutions for respective target groups. Literature on these areas has been received from GATE and has been very helpful.

- To cooperate in the fields of development, research on adaptation, diffusion, consumption, exchange and transfer of appropriate technologies;

- To cooperate in the development of methods and instruments for applying and disseminating appropriate technologies;

- To carry out small-scale programmes and projects in the field of appropriate technology and rural development.

GATE through its "Information Service for Appropriate Technology" - project (ISAT) has financed numerous projects at RIIC including a small projects development programme; solar desalination project; development of a multi-purpose thresher; shallow borehole and hand pumps development; small scale bread oven; batch solar water heater; poultry equipment; chaff cutters; Rhino hammermill; rural roads equipment; low cost circular saw; dough kneading machine; non-ferrous and ferrous foundry initiative and the design and development of low cost village transport in the areas of sand tippers; water cart/bowler and scotch cart.

Support was also received from GATE/ISAT for research and development activities within RIIC's Building Research Project. This included testing and optimization or micro concrete tiles, lime oxide paints, and compressed earth blocks for self help housing.

A computer for the Village Skills Training Programme's data base was also procured through this initiative.

Moreover, funds were committed towards the publication of operators's and maintenance manuals including the major "Catalogue of Goods and Services".

The support for these projects by GTZ/GATE is very much appreciated. The assistance has in many ways helped RIIC to provide vital services to its clients. Without this help RIIC's effort in the implementation of its rural development mandate would have had very little impact."

Hannah Schreckenbach, GATE/ ISAT:

"I would like to concentrate on some important 'stations' on the road on which our partner went in this development. The road, to stay with this visualization, was not smooth all along. It was rough going at times, requiring divisions, new 'designs', but RIPCO/ RIIC never lost sight of their ultimate objective: to achieve an economically viable and sustainable rural industrial development involving rural people themselves.

What impresses me most is that in the implementation of RIIC's objectives the whole staff is involved in a participatory way, as well as the clients: rural artisans, women, youth and would-be entrepreneurs.

The other important aspect in the way in which RlPCO's and the subsidiaries' objectives are achieved is the orientation on suitable and appropriate technologies for manufacturing processes for dissemination on a commercial basis. The setting-up of profit-oriented enterprises which create employment for people in the rural areas was a consequent step further than purely providing training for rural artisans (the Village Artisan Training Programme is taking care of this - and also very successfully).

The Extension Department is charged with effecting this dissemination, after an adapted and sufficiently tested technology has proven to be suitable for conditions in Botswana and the products manufactured have a local market. The interested entrepreneurs receive the necessary training at RIIC and credits through a Government initiated credit scheme for small scale industries. The Government itself has acknowledged the important role of RIPCO/RIIC in rural industrial development.

I had a chance to take part once in one of the regular 'brainstorming sessions' at RIIC. It was most interesting to experience the wealth of ideas which were forthcoming at this session, at which all the staff of the centre was present. Quite a number of ideas from such sessions were in fact taken up and implemented, perhaps with one or another modification. It is therefore not surprising to feel an atmosphere of team spirit and also pride at RIIC.

Also we are very proud of the fact that our cooperation partner has, over the years of our relation, turned into the most important resource centre for rural industrial development in Southern Africa."

RIIC - Rural Industries Innovation
Centre Private Bag 11
Southern Africa.
Tel: 00267340392/3448/449
Fax: 00267340642.
Republic of Botswana

Republic of Botswana

Botswana attained self government in 1965 and became an independent republic on 30th September 1966 after 80 years as a British protectorate.

The constitution has established a non-racia multiparty democracy which maintains freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of association, and affords all citizens equal rights. It also provides for a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly. All citizens from 21 years can vote. The he ad of the party that wins the elections becomes the de jure head of state and elects his cabinet ministers from his parliamentarians in the National Assembly. The President (presently Sir Ketumile Masire) is the executive head of government and presides over the cabinet.

In addition to the National Assembly, there is a House of Chiefs which provides advice on matters affecting custom and tradition. There is also an independent judiciary with a High Court presided over by a Chief Justice.

Administrative structure
The capital of Botswana is Gaborone. Central Government is represented in each district through a district administration headed by the District Commissioner, while local government in district and town councils is each headed by a Council Secretary and Town Clerk respectively. District and town councils have elected councillors, but the Minister of Local Government, Lands and Housing may nominate additional councillors.

Geographical scenario

Botswana is a landlocked country which straddles the Tropic of Capricorn in the centre of the Southern Plateau. The mean altitude above sea level is approximately 1000 metres and the country’s total land area is 582,000 square kilometres - about the size of Kenya in East Africa and Texas in the United States of America. Botswana shares the border with Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

Much of the country is flat, with gentle undulations and occasional rocky outcrops. In the north-west features the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi pans in the central north-east, and the Limpopo Valley at its confluence with the Shashe River in the east. Most of Batswana ("the people of Botswana", editor's remark) live in the eastern part of the country because it is favourable to crop production.

The rest of the country is covered with thick sand layers of the Kgalagadi Desert, which accounts for two-thirds of Botswana's land area. The sand cover is up to 120 metres deep. Although with almost complete absence of surface water, the Kgalagadi Desert supports a vegetation of shrub and grasses.


The country's climate is largely semi-arid due to its closeness to the subtropical high pressure belt of the southern hemisphere. Mean rainfall ranges from 650 mm in the east to less than 250 mm in the south. Rainfall occurrences occupy October through April with dry spells from May through September.


A single track railway line connects Botswana with the South African and Zimbabwean rail systems and with the sea ports. The main highways are asphalted.

Regular air services converge on Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, and thereafter connect with major international airports in the SADC region, South Africa and Kenya, as well as London and Paris. Internal air services are maintained between major cities and Maun in the north west district, the gateway to the Okavango Delta.

Botswana has international telecommunications links through an earth station at Gaborone, as well as via South Africa. Microwave links have been established between Gaborone and South Africa and between Francistown and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

The People

With a cosmopolitan population common to many countries of the world, most of Botswana's citizens however, are members of the Setswana speaking tribes or clans. The official languages are Setswana and English, the latter being predominantly used in business.

National population census is conducted every ten years. From 650 000 people during the first census in 1971, Botswana's population reached just over 1.3 million in 1991, representing an annual growth rate of 3.5%.

Natural Resources

Botswana's main natural resources include range and arable land, rich wildlife habitats with large animal populations supporting the tourist sector, and a variety of known and promising occurrences of minerals.

The livestock sector, one time the backbone of the country's economy, has now been overtaken by the mineral industry, principally the diamond sector. Other mineral resources include copper nickel, coal, and soda ash. Further mineral exploration is being substantially constrained by remoteness, the thickness of the Kgalagadi sand and the high cost of supporting the infrastructure.


The 25 years since independence in 1966 have witnessed remarkable economic transformation in almost all sectors of the economy including water development and reticulation, roads, health, education, banking, housing etc.

It is estimated that GDP in real terms has averaged around 13% per annum over the post independence period. Real GDP per capita (based on de facto population) was about eight times higher in 1988/1989 than in 1966. Despite Botswana's success in real terms 51% of Botswana live below Poverty Datum Line.

The remarkable economic development has also resulted in the expansion of formal sector employment, which has averaged 9% since independence, in which the private sector has equally played a dynamic role.

The national capacity to maintain this economic momentum has since the early 1980s been vitiated by periodic droughts and insufficient turnover from the mineral sector occasioned by the international economic recession. Consequently, the government has continued to place increased emphasis on economic diversification m order to increase the national capacity to generate spin-offs necessary for economic development, in all sectors of the economy.

Organizations such as the Rural Industries Promotions Company (Botswana), have played an essential complementary role towards the realization of economic diversification through the development and dissemination of industries in rural areas.

Jackson Maleke

Poverty and profits: The Work of RIPCO

by David Inger

The Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) is an NGO set up in 1975 to advise, assist and build up rural light industry by disseminating appropriate technologies on a commercial basis. The aim was to help the people in Botswana's rural regions who have remained poor in spite of the "economic miracle" - because rapid growth has not alleviated social inequalities.

Botswana is a country of startling contrasts. Often hailed as the economic miracle of Africa, it is true that the Government has trier to use the income from diamonds wisely. An excellent primary health care system has been established, together with the provision of education, safe water supplies, and extensive infrastructure. These facilities have improved the quality of life, but job creation and income creation have proved much more elusive.

Over half of Botswana's population live below the Poverty Datum Line, and there are immense inequalities of income. The ratio of income between the top 20% of the population and the bottom 20% shows that the top fifth earn 23 times more income than the bottom fifth. Out of a sample of 20 developing countries world-wide, Botswana comes second only after Brazil in terms of inequalities of income. There is an immense contrast between the "high life" of the modern enclave, with its conspicuous consumption, and the realities of great poverty in the rural areas. Women are particularly hard-hit, with over 50% of rural households being "female headed."

Going into business

The Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) is involved primarily in helping people in the rural areas to generate income, and in improving the quality of life. Many visitors however, are surprised to learn that RIPCO also operates a number of commercial companies aimed at making a profit, as well as creating employment. These operate under the auspices of the National Industries Promotions Company (NIPCO), a 100% owned subsidiary of RIPCO. In most of the companies NIPCO has a majority shareholding, in partnership with other entrepreneurs.

For many years the management and directors of RIPCO have believed that the methods of modern business companies are equally applicable to any other organization. Management accounting, strategic planning, information technology, and management information systems, can all contribute towards more success in achieving the goals of the organization, be these "developmental" or "commercial". We also believe that whilst our company has the clear primary mandate of helping the rural poor to become more self-suficicent, It is also necessary to keep in close contact with the business world in the urban areas. They too are involved in job creation, and many of these companies are doing it far more efficiently than development organizations.

A decision was made to privates some of the organizations activities, namely a sorghum mill which was used as a demonstration project for our milling technologies, and a carpentry shop which had been involved in research, but after some years was mainly involved in production. This was in recognition or the tact that research and development geared to rural development, and profit making companies, called for different styles of management, and that it was also desirable to have a clear separation between the two types of activity. Further, subsidiaries were added, including a company promoting solar technologies and involved in plastics and electronics. These companies were eventually consolidated under the National Industries Promotions Company, representing a clear division between the commercial and non-commercial activities. There are also investments in industrial and residential property, and a consultancy division.

Although these companies do not directly address the needs of the rural poor, they create a significant number of jobs, and in the very long-run through their profits will help reduce reliance on outside donors for development activities. They also help the organization to keep in touch with the business community, and modern business methods; and technology-based companies help the organization to remain at the cutting edge of innovative technology.

Innovate or die

In addition to a six year corporate strategic plan, which is revised every three years, RIPCO management is to develop a ten, and even a twenty year perspective. In that period development organizations must become more financially self-sufficient, they must expect to reduce staffing levels, and basically they must "innovate or die".

This also means that the staff of every organization have to be exposed to, and actively involved in, the corporate ethic of innovation. As I write this article, my Personal Secretary, a senior member of staff, has just made tea for me. The cleaner, the most junior member of staff who normally makes the tea, is doing data processing on the computer. Nobody suggested this to them. They just thought it would be a good idea to get the cleaner involved in information technology whilst the Secretary took over the more menial job for a while. A very small thing perhaps, but indicative of the flexibility that creative organizations need.

Tom Peters in his book called "Re-inventing Civilization" states that "curiosity power" is the key to success, and organizations must become more self-questioning, more knowledge-intensive, and less capital-intensive. The next decade will be the decade of the human mind. The Microsoft Corporation, with an annual turnover of $2 billion has shot past General Motors on the stock market, although the latter has a turnover of $ 124 billion. But as the New York Times pointed out "Microsoft's only factory asset is the human imagination."

We look forward to the opportunity to this magazine again in the year 2003, if it still exists. How many development organizations will have successfully responded to the challenges of survival, and how many will be forgotten dreams?

RIPCO - Rural Industries Promotions Company

The Rural Industries Promotions Company (Botswana) RIPCO (B) is a company limited by guarantee. It is charged with the prime mandate of improving rural living standards and creating rural employment through the development and dissemination of appropriate technologies, and provision of appropriate technical training, and commercial services.

The organization was established through the funding support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany for a ten year period (1974-1984). Since then the organization's annual budget has been substantially funded by the Government of Botswana. The balance continues to be found from donor agencies (such as the GTZ/GATE), interested in supporting specific projects, and from the company's commercial operations.

The company operates as a parastatal under the portfolio responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and its policy decisions are formulated by a Board of Directors. The directors to the board are appointed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, following a recommendation from the Managing Director with the approval of the substantive board. By tradition, the board chairperson has been the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The nature of this relationship keeps the supervising ministry adequately informed of the company's performance.

RIPCO is headed by a Managing Director who coordinates and supervises all the subsidiaries through the respective General Managers.

The company's mandate is carried out through the following two branches:

- Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC), located at Kanye in the Southern District of Botswana, acting as the national appropriate technology development and dissemination centre.

- The National Industries Promotions Company (NIPCO), providing business and consultancy support to subsidiaries and to other development organizations. The company comprises four subsidiaries: BORIIC (Pty) Ltd., which provides a sorghum milling service to the local market; Makwati Furniture (Pty) Ltd., manufacturer of high quality furniture; Solar Systems Afrique (Pty) Ltd., which manufactures a wide range of solar devices, to compete against imported products; the Pioneer Rural Industries Centre (PRICE) in Palapye in the Central District of Botswana which provides a range of integrated agricultural services through a "One Stop Service Centre for Agriculture" in addition to operating a conference centre.


Despite the "economic miracle" in Botswana, there is still a great deal of social inequality in the country. Half the population live below the poverty line, the hardest-hit being inhabitants of rural areas. The NGO Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) was established in 1975 to help them. Originally a non-profit organization, RIPCO went into business. At first, "developmental" and "commercial" goals were pursued jointly, but soon a clear distinction was made between research and development geared to rural development and profit-making companies. The author reports on RlPCO's aims, working methods and development.


Le Botswana connait malgre le 'miracle economique' de profondes dispalites sociales. La moitie de la population vit au-dessous du seuil de pauvrete. La pauvrete sevit surtout dans les regions rurales. Pour aider les populations qui y vivent, il a ete cree en 1975 une organisation non gouvernementale a but non lucratif qui est 'venue aux affaires'. La co-habitation initiate d'objectifs 'de developpement' et 'commerciaux' a bientot fait place a une nette distinction entre la recherche et le developpement orientes vers le developpement rural et les societes a but lucratif. L'auteur decrit les objectifs, les methodes de travail et le developpement de RIPCO.


A pesar del "milagro economico" hay en Botswana todavia grandes diferencias sociales. La mitad de la poblacion vive por debajo del limite de pobreza. Hay miseria sobre todo en las zones rurales. A fin de ayudarle a la gente que vive alla, se fundo en 1975 la organizacion no gubernamental Rural Industries Promotion Company (RIPCO), siendo esta una organizacion de desarrollo rural sin animo de lucro que se dedico al comercio. Luego de la combinacion inicial de objetivos de desarrollo y de comercio se produjo al cabo de poco tiempo una clara separacion entre la investigacion y el desarrollo, engranada con empresas de desarrollo rural con animo de lucro. El autor describe los objetivos, la labor y el desarrollo de RIPCO.

Small industry promotion in hard times: The Work of RIIC

by Jackson Maleke

GATE's partner in cooperation, the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC), is Botswana's national appropriate technology hardware centre. It is based in Kanye, in the country's Southern District. RIIC, a subsidiary of the Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO), identifies, adapts or designs technologies geared to job creation and renewable energy, and provides training to increase rural productivity. It supports small-scale industry, whose products have to compete with cheap imports from South Africa on the domestic market.

The promotion of small industries is never easy at the best of time, but Botswana faces some additional difficulties. As part of the Customs Union with South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho, Botswana has to compete with mass produced low cost goods from South Africa. The Union is designed to protect South Africa's large capital-intensive industries, which are often also vertically integrated, e.g. from the tannery to the franchised shoe shop. Protection is only possible for very large industries, and in fact in Botswana it has only been granted twice, for a brewery and a soap factory. It is very difficult for small and medium scale industries to compete in this market, except where there may be a local competitive advantage.

Continuing with the example of shoes, the Rural Industries Innovation Centre offers tannery training. Artisans are trained to produce quality leather using only indigenous tanning agents, such as local roots and plants. In the leatherwork course they are also taught shoe making, but except for specialist footwear, it is impossible for them to compete with the South African shoes available through many local franchises. On the other hand, in the past we have also trained artisans from Mozambique, where there are no large-scale shoe outlets. Using the same tanning agents available also in Mozambique, they are now able to produce hides and to manufacture footwear for sale.

Another difficulty is that in Botswana costs of land, rent, water, and electricity are extremely high, although land costs are less of a constraint in the rural areas. All these problems have been exacerbated by several years of drought and an economic downturn in Botswana and the region.

Identifying economic advantages

In these circumstances, organizations have to be innovative in examining where they may still have an economic advantage. Generally speaking, we have identified four broad areas, although some of them are inter-related.

Firstly, if a uniquely innovative product can be developed with a ready market, then it will succeed. Such a product is the sorghum dehuller, which has resulted in the creation of a decentralized sorghum milling industry all over Botswana.

Secondly, although it may seem strange, food processing can flourish even during drought and economic hard times. Examples include milling inputs provided by Government under the drought relief programme. This led to the development of new products such as fortified sorghum meal and bakerles in the rural areas.

The third category is more intangible, but relates to innovative management. Small to medium industries can prosper if they are managed very efficiently and can keep down unit costs. Such industries in Botswana, producing every thing from pens and plastic bottles to school uniforms and furniture do exist, and manage to compete with South Africa. Many others however, with less competent management, have failed.

Finally, producers can be successful if they are near the end of the distribution chain. For example many of the small scale entrepreneurs trained through the Village Skills Training Programme are in remote locations, where there may be no trading outlets or perhaps just one or two small stores. In these circumstances, blacksmiths, carpenters, and others can flourish. With almost no overheads to cover, they can produce to meet the direct needs of the community, whether it be axes, buckets, chairs, or coffins.

Relating to the peoples' needs

Any initiative must relate to the market place, if not in price terms, at least in the sure knowledge that products and projects relate to the real needs of the people. The Rural Industries Innovation Centre relies on its Extension Department in identifying needs. Our company believes in the "problem solving" approach. Problems are identified and discussed with the community and appropriate solutions found. Of course after a period of time when particular technologies or services become clearly appropriate to the needs of many groups, then efforts are made to disseminate them further. Other techniques that are used include regular National Needs Assessment Surveys, and brainstorming sessions involving a majority of people from outside the organization involved in rural development.

Since its establishment, RIIC has developed and disseminated numerous technologies in the field to improve rural living standards. Such dissemination is carried out in close cooperation with the users. Some of the centres technologies such as the sorghum dehuller, mesh wire making machine, cinva ram block mould, to mention just a few, have been exported to other African countries. This initiative has enhanced the centres uniqueness and consolidated its credibility on the African continent. The centre has also attracted many foreign visitors, approximately 4.000 per annum.

Some achievements

- Appropriate areas in which RIIC has made tangible breakthrough include the development of rural water supply systems with emphasis on wind and hand pumping technologies, solar desalination, biogas programme and sand river abstraction project.

- In the sector of agricultural technologies, spectacular accomplishments include post harvest technologies such as a sorghum milling package, sorghum thresher, chaff cutters, and maize sheller. Moreover, the centre has produced a series of planters geared towards providing support to the arable agricultural subsector. Currently, a double row planter and a fodder bailer are at a development stage and it is hoped that by the end of 1993 tangible results may be achieved to warrant commercial production. Among these technologies, the sorghum dehuller has facilitated the development of a small scale milling industry in Botswana, with over 63 mills now operational in rural areas. The net result of which is rural development and employment creation.

- Progress has also been made in the development of bakery equipment such different types of ovens. These technologies are geared towards small and medium scale bakeries. Also a manual operated dough kneading machine has been developed and it is expected to accentuate production capacity in the baking industry.

- Other success are the development of diamond mesh wire making machines, lime oxide paints, a soil compactor, an adapted version of the cinva ram block press and micro concrete tile making machine.

- RIIC has since 1988 inaugurated a Technology Transfer Programme to take responsibility for the transfer of completed technologies to the private sector for commercial manufacture. This is a successful programme and its momentum continues to be maintained.

- Inaugurated in 1980, the Village Skills Training Programme is geared towards increasing productivity in the informal sector through the provision of replicable trades, with the result that jobs are created for the rural people and income earning opportunities improved.

- A small scale foundry project has been established to provide casted parts to line production sections such as the Research and Development Workshop. Emphasis is on aluminium and iron casting.

- The identification and dissemination of suitable technologies and services to the centre's clients' would have been impossible without the Extension and Outreach Programme.

RIIC's; Extension and Outreach Programme

Successful implementation of the programmes and industries in rural areas would have been impossible without the services of a dedicated extension and outreach initiative which emphasizes on the clients and their needs. Consequently, the centre's regional extension officers invariably undertake extended trips throughout the year to inform the general public about the outcome of the RIIC's initiatives directed towards fulfilling their needs. Moreover, the centre periodically conducts follow-up of its clients, and as circumstances dictate, provide technical and managerial support to enhance effective application of RIIC technologies for the benefit of the rural areas.

The extension services also include the responsibility for conducting needs assessment surveys to ensure the relevance and applicability of RIIC developments to the centre's clients. Moreover, the Department of Extension operates an Information Office which is responsible for promoting the centre's technological breakthroughs through a variety of media strategies such as radio programmes, newsletters, catalogues of goods and services, informational brochures, advertisements, press releases, as well as taking responsibility for several requests for information from a cross section of interests all over the world. The unit is also responsible for coordination of site tours and study missions. These strategies are geared towards effectively promoting the image of the organization within and without Botswana.

As part of its continuing effort to enhance the credibility of the centre's initiatives, the Department of Extension Services has opened up a new regional extension office at Palapye in the central district of Botswana. This office is required to represent the interests of all RIPCO (B)'s subsidiaries in the central and north east regions of Botswana, through the mobilization of the organization's productive potential.

Although the extension department was established sometimes in the 1970s, it was decided to inaugurate a regional extension wing in 1987 within the department to consolidate practicality as well as facilitate a more meaningful strategy for regional information dissemination and coverage. As a result of this policy decision, the programme has divided Botswana into five regions, each with its own designated extension officer.

These officers undertake quarterly trips to their regions to further the process of information of dissemination, marketing, promotion, identification of trainees for the village skills training programmes, including collection of pertinent data that can be utilized to provide a suitable direction for the centre's research and development initiatives.


Promoting small scale industry in Botswana is especially difficult because the domestic market is flooded with cheap imports from South Africa. In these circumstances, it is esential to be innovative and discover gaps in the market. The Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) identified economic advantages for small-scale industry e.g. in the development of a uniquely innovative product with a ready market, or in the fact that small to medium industries can prosper if they are managed very efficiently and can keep unit costs down. RIIC has assisted inhabitants of rural areas in the development and marketing of new technologies and products. Some of the innovations, for instance the sorghum dehuller, have been so successful that they have even been exported.


La promotion de la petite industrie est particulierement difficile au Botswana, le marche interieur etant submerge de produits bon marche issus d'Afrique du Sud. Dans un tel contexte, il s'agit d'etre innovant et de savoir decouvrir les creneaux de vente. Les travaux du Centre d'lnnovation des Industries Rurales (Rural Industries Innovation Centre, RIIC) ont revere que les avantages economiques pour la petite industrie resident par exemple dans le developpement de produits particulierement innovants pour un marche pret a les recevoir et que les petites et moyennes industries (PMI) peuvent prosperer si elles vent gerees efficacement et si elles parviennent a minimiser les couts unitaires. Le RIIC a assiste les populations rurales dans leurs efforts de developpement de nouveaux produits et techniques ainsi que dans leur commercialisation. Certaines innovations, le decortiqueur de mil par exemple, ont en un tel succes qu'elles vent egalement exportees.


El fomento de la pequena industria es especialmente dificil en Botswana, puesto que el mercado nacional se ve inundado por mercancia barata procedente de Surafrica. En vista de esta situacion es necesario tener espiritu innovativo y descubrir huecos en el mercado. El Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) identifico ventajas economical pare la pequena industria p.ej. mediante el desarrollo de un producto innovative con un mercado ya listo o en el hecho de que las empresas pequenas y medianas pueden prosperer si son administradas de forma muy eficiente y si pueden mantener bajos los costes por unidad. El RIIC apoyo a los habitantes de las zones rurales en el desarrollo de nuevas tecnicas y productos, as i como en la come comercializacion de los mismos. Algunas innovaciones, tales como la descascadora de sorgo, fueron tan exitosas que pudieron exportarse tambien a otros paises.

Maximizing rural industrialization

Technology Transfer Unit (TTU)
by Jackson Maleke

Since its establishment, the Technology Transfer Programme (TTU) has become a potential conduit through which RIIC filters opportunities for private sector development in rural areas, especially through the utilization of under capacity operations of the small workshops. Like this quite a number of jobs have been created. RIIC will continue to support the TTU programme in order to maximize rural industrialization opportunities as well as expand the scope for income generation to improve rural living standards.

Technical products and services are developed in response to problems or needs identified through extension efforts and close contact with the rural community. Although every village and every family is unique, inevitably certain common problems and successful solutions are developed through experience, as for example with the sorghum dehulling technology, which is marketed both locally and internationally.

Initially all machine equipment designed or developed by RIIC were manufactured in the Centre's own workshops, as there were no engineering workshops in the country, and only a few metalworking companies. However, by the mid 1980s the situation was changing, and a study was carried out which showed that several workshops had the capacity to manufacture RIIC products, after relevant training.

Manufacturing of our products by the private sector would enable the RIIC work shop to focus more strongly on its Research and Development mandate, without having to mix production activities and development activities - which call for different approaches.

A second major advantage was that a new capacity would be created in the private sector metal workshops, and with new products and markets expansion would take place, and new jobs would be created.

Thus came the development of the Technology Transfer Unit (TTU). The task was a challenging one. Most of the workshops had been involved in jobbing engineering, and had no experience of serial manufacture. TTU engineers had to provide extensive technical support, as well as business support, to enable the workshops to be successful in this endeavour.

Programme accomplishments

RIIC's task at the inception of the TTU programme was to mobilize technical, human and financial resources to develop the programme to a capacity that would assure effective service delivery.

RIIC trained 20 workshops in the production of at least one RIIC implement which each was ultimately designated to be produced. In conformity with this, a series of training sessions on production processes involving both simple and sophisticated technologies, took place at the RIIC Research and Development Workshop.

Regular site visits are undertaken by the programme personnel to carry out quality control exercises with the aim of providing a product that suits consumer expectations. The team also ensures regular inspection of the material for fabrication.

As a continuing part of the project responsibilities, TTU is expected to regularize provision of meaningful advice to its target group on workshop layout, production methods, safety measures, costing, marketing and related items. Additional technical support from RIIC includes provision of jigs, fixtures and templates, all meant to allow production of contracted items within established parameters.

Supporting private metal workshops

For workshops that would like to expand their production portfolio, TTU advises the entrepreneurs which financial institutions they can approach for funding support. In this connection, the programme staff have helped with completion of application formalities for funding from local financial institutions, including requirements covering requests for grants from the Botswana Government sponsored Financial Assistance Programme (FAP). Furthermore, the TTU collaborates with the RIIC Design Office team and the Research and Development Workshop to improve the manufacturability of products and technologies. This would especially address the complexity of certain technologies for manufacture by the small workshops, which may not be equipped to the standard of RIIC.

The project makes use of the RIIC Information Unit on matters relating to the production of sales brochures and operator's manuals as a part of continuing support to the local private metal workshops.

Links with local and external organizations

RIIC continues to be the link with the Government of Botswana and the private sector. This relationship is increasingly imperative because up to now, the Government of Botswana, through its Ministry of Agriculture, continues to be the key consumer of local metal workshops's products, many of which are of an agricultural nature.

RIIC continues to identify and adapt suitable technologies from other countries for replication within the TTU workshops to expand the scope for product diversification. This initiative has not only facilitated the realization and satisfaction of consumer demands, but even more important, has enhanced an enviable scope for local technology development capacity in Botswana. Consequently, reliance on imported products is reduced, leading to attachment of more value and preference to locally manufactured products.

A Barclays Bank revolving fund was set up in February 1988 as the realization that the metal workshops affiliated to the Technology Transfer Unit had constantly faced the problem of regular material acquisition due to lack of funds.


In the mid- 1980s there were various engineering workshops in Botswana capable of manufacturing RIIC products after appropriate training. The Technology Transfer Unit (TTU) was established to transfer production of RIIC products to the private sector. This had two advantages: first, it meant that the RIIC workshops could concentrate more on their research and development role, and second, it enabled the private workshops to conquer new markets with new products and create new jobs. The author describes how the TTU originated and how it works.


Au milieu de la precedente decennie, divers ateliers de mecanique du Botswana ont commence a fabriquer, apres une formation adequate, des produits RIIC. L'Unite de Transfert de Technologie (Technology Transfer Unit, TTU) a ete mise en place pour transferer la fabrication des produits RIIC dans le secteur privet Ceci presentait un double avantage: d'une part les ateliers du RIIC ont pu mieux se concentrer sur leur mission de recherche et de developpement, d'autre part les ateliers prives ont ete en mesure de conquerir des marches avec de nouveaux produits et creer des emplois. L'auteur decrit la mise en place et les methodes de travail de TTU.


A mediados de los anos 80 habia en Botswana diversos talleres de ingenieria en los que se logro fabricar productos del RIIC despues del correspondiente entrenamiento. Se creo la Technology Transfer Unit (TTU), a fin de traspasar al sector privado la fabricacion de los productos del RIIC. Ello tenia dos ventajas: por una parse, los talleres del RIIC podian concentrarse mas en su labor de investigacion y desarrollo y, por la otra, los talleres privados lograron conquistar nuevos mercados mediante nuevos productos y crear nuevos puestos de trabajo. El autor describe la creacion y la labor de la TTU.

Helping to Succeed at a "Micro Economic Scale"

The Village Skills Training Programme (VSTP)
by Jackson Maleke

Established in 1980 as a part of the Extension Department, the Village Skills Training Programme continues to contribute to rural industrialization through provision of sustainable training in carpentry, tanning, leatherworks, sewing and patchwork, blacksmithery and bakery. Completion of the training courses gear up graduates to develop a combination of perceptual and practical ideas towards starting-up their own businesses.

The programme's also based on the assumption that, although it is almost impossible to compel, with commercially mass produced goods and services, it is possible for these grassroots level technicians and producers to succeed at a "micro economic scale".

Local support structures

Training in this programme is recognizing the participants' family roles and responsibilities. Consequently, courses are reasonably short, with duration ranging from two to nine weeks. RIIC has tenaciously observed this procedure in order to facilitate ample flexibility for the target group, who are predominantly adults, to return name to resume routine family responsibilities.

The government sponsored Financial Assistance Programme (FAP), which provides a prorated grant to enterprising citizens of Botswana to start up businesses, is the main local support structure to the village skills training programme. Many of our graduates currently in business have done so through FAP funding support.

While the programme targets all citizens, a higher proportion of the benefit is geared towards the informal sector, with unemployed entreprising women getting an even higher incentive from the package, in consonant with government policy designed to encourage more women to venture into entrepreneurial activities. All beneficiaries are required to meet certain criteria among which is the need to raise their own contribution, either from personal resources or commercial banks, including the government sponsored National Development Bank. The beneficiaries are required to repay within the specified deadlines the interest bearing loan for their personal contribution to the commercial banks. No repayment is required for the FAP funding.

An additional FAP mandatory requirement for its funded operations is that they must strive as much as possible to provide job opportunities, as part of overall spin offs expected of industrialization in all sectors of the economy.

The RIIC extension officers provide valuable input in assisting the centre's enterprising VSTP graduates to complete formalities for this government funding scheme. The continued support to the client from training to funding sourcing represents RIIC's commitment to ensuring the realization of sustainable entrepreneurship in rural areas.

Revolving Fund

In 1988 RIIC introduced and implemented with external help a revolving tuna with the intention of providing start-up capital to enable its clients to meet direct purchase of capital items and raw materials. This was geared towards enabling the clients to get into production right away following completion of their VSTP-training at the RIIC. It was also meant to enable the clients to meet the 15% required for their contribution for assistance from the government sponsored Financial Assistance Programme, including commercial banks. Hitherto, 20 people have benefited from the revolving fund.

Programme course base

Each course in the programme provides training at novice and upgrading levels respectively. However, the flexibility exists to have courses conducted either at the RIIC site in Kanye or at a catchment location convenient to the trainees and sponsoring organizations.

The VSTP's objectives are:

- To increase rural productivity and incomes in both agricultural and nonagricultural sectors through the provision of training.

- To make rural areas more self-sufficient in both products and services.

- To upgrade skills of traditional artisans with the intention of increasing productivity and enhancing income generation capability.

- To provide training for beginners, to trainers or to people from other organizations or other developing countries.

- To assist programme graduates in overcoming operating constraints.
- To provide opportunities for programme graduates to be absorbed in the labour market.
- To ensure production of good quality goods that might otherwise be imported.
- To create linkages between graduates and the needs of their respective communities.

Notable achievements

The programme has increased its annual intake from 200 to 350 people for 1993/94 due to an increase in placement demand. RIIC will thus, continue to review its annual intake to determine subsequent action imposed by demand. Studies indicate that 60% of the total annual graduated artisans go directly into production, with continuing support from RIIC's extension team and collaborating agencies.

The remaining 40% of these graduates are known to have either branched off into formal sector employment, or used the artisan skill acquired as a stepping-stone for career advancement.

An autonomous; full-fledged business training component has also been introduced. It is designed to consolidate entrepreneurial acumen and rationalize progression by exposing the recipients to business management principles in order to better manage and run their businesses along contemporary management principles.

This course ha; been mounted for the first time in the programme with Bakery graduates during May /June of 1993. It is planned to maintain and extend the course to other VSTP components since it has provided incentives with long lasting impact on micro industrial capacity building in rural and pert-urban areas.

The RIIC Information Unit publishes a lo-annual newsletter in English followed by a Setswana transltion to keep the ax-trainees, sponsors and supportive grassroots organizations abreast of developments delivered through the programme.

The VSTP has six different components.

1. Baking Programme

Traditional baking in Botswana throughout history has been done over an open fire, with the result that a large amount of fuel wood was required to compensate for extra-heat loss into the open. However, with the growing public consciousness about environmental conservation, it has become evident that an optional baking mechanism that utilizes wood fuel conservatively is imperative. Consequently, RIIC has investigated efficient options and two devices were developed and actively disseminated.

The Rim oven is used for small scale bread baking. It is made from two truck wheel rims welded together. It stands on three legs and has a steel door on a hinge. Also, it has two shelves inside, on which baking pan sit. It is fired by wood. Mud bricks are used to enclose the oven and ultimately smoothed with damp mud. The strong materials used for constructing the oven make it fuel efficient. The oven can produce nine loaves of bread per batch.

Studies indicate that over 50 rim ovens have so tar been distributed and installed in rural areas, in response to the urgent demand for baked bread. With the progressive accumulation of proceeds from product sales, a medium-cum-large scale operation can be established, to maximize production capacity and enhance profitability.

The Kgotetso oven is ideally suited for large scale bakery production. The oven is made out of mild steel and bricks with a chimney. It has three insulated doors at the front. The lower door is for the fire box which is used to load the fuel wood. The middle door is used for the main oven and has two sliding shelves which make loading and unloading quicker and easier. Each shelf can hold 18 loaves.

The top door is the area used to raise the bread and also has two sliding shelves similar to the main oven chamber. A temperature gauge is positioned on the door of the middle oven. A water heater utilizes heat from the chimney to heat water for washing cooking utensils. It provides 50 liters of hot water. The Kgotetso oven produces 36 loaves per batch and up to 250 loaves per day. Better control of combustion and insulation have improved the fuel efficiency when using wood.

Currently 60 kgotetso oven installations have been put up in rural and pert-urban areas. This has led to availability of baked bread even in remote areas where hardly any bread was available in the past. With the high demand the market is sure to grow in the future.

The Kgotetso oven Mark 2 (K2 oven), either fired by wood or coal, has been developed and disseminated. It is particularly suitable for use in urban areas where wood is scarce.

2. Tannery

RIIC has since 1980 been offering training in vegetable tanning technology with emphasis being placed on the utilization of indigenous vegetable tanning resources such as tree barks, pods, leaves, and shrub tubers to provide the required tannages for skin and hide processing into leather.

The programme has also established a tanning method that can be replicated in rural areas. This approach was adopted in place of traditional tanning, for which the product did not attract a potential market due to its poor quality. Currently, a start has been made on synthetic tanning trials, the result of which will determine its rural applicability potential.

3. Leatherwork

The 8 week beginners' course is geared towards trainees with prior background in leatherwork from their local exposure. It will however, pay substantial dividends to those who had earlier taken the RIIC Tannery course and would like to venture into leatherwork for entrepreneurial purposes. A six-week-upgrading-course is geared towards refinement of stitching proficiency and coalescence of quality standard. Both courses also cover business management and bookkeeping to a certain extent.

4. Carpentry

Of a six week duration, the beginners' course introduces the trainees to basic carpentry activities with emphasis on production techniques and repair of various pieces of furniture ranging from the simplest to the complicated item, including economic use of timber. Business management, bookkeeping and costing of repairs consuture an integral part of the programme. The eight week upgrading course is designed to instill innovativeness into the trainees already in possession of a rudimentary knowledge in carpentry from the novice course. Coverage includes upholstery, bed making and repairs of a variety of high quality items.

5. Sewing and Patchwork

The four week novice course trains participants in basic sewing and pachwork techniques. It equips the trainees with the expertise of economic utilization of off: cuts to make different designs and patterns such as cushions, wall hangings and basic clothes. It also emphasizes on artistic creativity and innovativeness as essential elements for product diversification and design improvement. Lasting only three weeks, the upgrading course is geared towards refinement of skills picked up from the novice course. Greater emphasis is aid on various design parameters to assure a diversified product range for the rural market. Business management is also included in these courses as in the rest of the programmes.

6. Blacksmith course

The blacksmith programme is offered with the intention of utilizing local scrap materials to meet community needs for useable items. It also provides training in repair and maintenance of varied products, mostly domestic utensils and agricultural implements. Production and maintenance of agricultural implements have been of paramount significance m providing on-the-spot inputs to arable farmers in remote areas.

The eight week novice course is designed to introduce the trainees to handling and working with metal. Trainees are exposed to the different types of forges, their use, firing techniques, and techniques of shaping and producing metal products from heated scrap metals. More emphasis is laid on production of household and basic agricultural implements, which are in high demand in rural areas.

Of a nine week duration, the upgrading course is directed to fulfill a similar objective as its forerunner. It has the potential for growth into formal metal fabrication workshops, which will in turn provide a sustainable support to the rural economic sector.

Assistance to women

RIIC strongly subscribes to the need to integrate women in entrepreneurial activities in conformity with the Government's policy. As a result the Village Skills Training Programme has over the years witnessed an impressive level of participation by women in its training units, with 100% for Sewing and Patchwork; 98% for Bakery and almost 50% for Tannery and Leatherwork. Participation of women in trades that were historically seen as male domains such as blacksmithery, and carpentry has been even more impressive.

Support from RIIC to the VSTP

In addition to the technical training provided at novice and upgrading levels at RIIC, construction and equipping of the workshops to warrant immediate start on production, the centre continues to provide business management and bookkeeping support to strengthen entrepreneurial acumen.

All artisan owners and their book-keepers are required, before the commissioning of their workshops, to attend a mandatory simplified accounting course at the RIIC site in Kanye, conducted by the centre's accounting personnel. Coverage includes costing and pricing expressed through a job card. Daily cash receipts and invoicing procedure, as well as cash book and debtors ledger recordings are covered. The orientation also features a bank deposit and withdrawal format. This is meant to allow the semiliterate book-keepers to acquire basic knowledge for satisfactorily operationalizing a simple accounting system m their respective workshops.

Subsidiary support entails assistance with product marketing. As a result RIIC continuously extends invitations to the workshops to display their products at the district agricultural shows, Botswana International Trade Fair, Farmers's Field Days, Open Days etc., to enhance the workshops's image and afford a channel for disposing their products.

The RIIC Project Monitoring Division within the Extension Department carries out regular follow-ups to monitor accomplishments, provide advice on accountability and responsibility, and assist in charting out a suitable direction for upcoming project activities as the needs will dictate.


Grassroots-level technicians and producers in Botswana can hardly hope to compete with mass-produced goods. But small businesses do have a chance of succeeding on a micro-economic scale. It was on the basis of this assumption that RIIC implemented its Village Skills Training Programme (VSTP) in 1980, as a part of its Extension Department. The purpose of this programme is not only to train artisans, but also to introduce new appropriate technologies and basic business management skills. In May 1993 an autonomous, full-fledged business training component was introduced, initially in the bakery course. Since as early as 1988, graduates of the training courses who wish to set up their own businesses have received financial support from RIIC's revolving fund. The Centre also advises and assists them in marketing their products.


Au Botswana, les techniciens et producteurs de teas niveau n' ont quasi aucun moyen de concurencer les producteurs de produits de masse. Les petite entrepreneurs n'en possedent pas moins une dance ce reussite a "l'echelle macroeconomique'. Partant de cette hypothese, le RIIC a mis en place son programme de promotion des competences villageoises (The Village Skills Training Programme, VSTP) sous la tutelle de son Departement de Vulgarisation. II ne s'agit pas simplement de la formation d'ouvriers et d'artisans, ma is egalement de l'enseignement de nouvelles technologies appropriees et de connaissances fondamentales en gestion commerciale. En mai de l'annee en cours, un module complet et autonome de formation a la gestion a ete integre, dans un premier temps, a des cours de formation en boulangerie. Depuis 1988, les stagiaires qui ont acheve leur formation avec succes et qui souhaitent se mettre a leur compte, obtiennent du RIIC une assistance financiere issue du 'fonds renouvelable'. Le Centre fournit en outre vent assistance en matiere de commercialisation de leurs produits.


Los tecnicos y fabricantes corrientes practicamente no pueden competir en Botswana con los fabricantes de productos en mesa. No obstante, los pequenos empresarios tienen la oportunidad de tener exito a escala microeconomica. Partiendo de dicho supuesto, el RIIC establecio en 1980 su Village Skills Training Programme (VSTP) como parse de su "extension department". Ello comprende no solo la formacion profesional de artesanos, sino tambien la transmision de nuevas tecnologias adaptadas y de conocimientos basicos de gestion empresarial. En mayo de este ano se of recio un entrenamiento comercial autonomo completo, inicialmente en un curve de panaderia. Ya desde 1988, el RIIC les proporciona ayuda financiera a los graduados de los curves de entrenamiento que deseen independizarse. Dicho dinero proviene del "revolving fund". Ademas, el centro les asesora y les presta asistencia en lo relativo a la comerclanzacion de sus productos.

An innovation benefits women: The Sorghum Milling Project

by Jackson Maleke

In 1979 the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) developed the sorghum dehuller, as a means of reducing the workload of women in particular. The new sorghum milling technology has meanwhile been disseminated not only throughout Botswana, but also in ten other African states.

Historically, sorghum processing in Botswana is done by way of traditional hand stamping in a mortar with a pestle, a task that has largely occupied much of women's time in rural areas, who have huther to served as principal actors on household food preparation chores.

The call for an easier way to process sorghum was answered following a 1977 needs assessment survey conducted by the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) in the Southern District of Botswana. The information gained from this survey helped guide the RIIC to develop the sorghum dehuller in 1979 in order to alleviate the pounding constraint. The evolution of the sorghum dehuller has ushered in a new era for women in rural are as, and in turn allowed them to spend 41% amount of their time on productive economic activities, which would otherwise have not taken place.

The technology

The RIIC machine is a dry abrasive disc dehuller, adapted from the barley thresher modified by the Prairie Research Laboratory (PRL) in Canada. The principle employed is that of progressive abrasion of the outer layers of grains throughout the length of the dehuller barrel.

Significant technical advances on the dehuller contributed by RIIC include its aspiration system and trap door, which facilitate both batch processing and continuous production. As a direct result of these advances, the dehuller is capable of processing up to 600 kg of grain per hour. It requires either a 5.5 kilowatt three-phase or a ten horsepower diesel engine.

The dehuller operates alongside a hammer mill, which crushes the decorticated grains into the end product.

Continuous flow operation is ensured through a complimentary combination of these two technologies: the dehuller and the hammer mill. In addition to sorghum, the dehuller can be adapted to process millet, cowpeas and maize.

Two types of production services are rendered in the milling industry nationwide. These are service and commercial milling.

Service Milling

Grain bags are directly funneled by customers to the milling industry, whereupon milling is performed with charge per kilogramme imposed, after the overall weight has been determined. The dehulling process is normally performed to extract the bran, which has a bitter tannin taste. Bran, which is collected in bags is extracted at the rate of 12-15% of the total grain content. Subsequently, the decorticated grains are pulverized in a second process with a hammer mill.

Service milling will require a minimum of two to three unskilled labourers, one operating the dehuller and hammermill, while the other concentrates on weighing the bags for processing.

Commercial milling

For this purpose, the milling industry directly purchase several bags of grains, process them in a continuous flow, and pack the flour in plastic bags for sale. In a continuous process, the weighed grain is processed using the same equipment as for the service milling and the labour requirements are the same. However, two or so additional unskilled labour are normally required to operate the packaging unit, where weighing of the flour as well as sealing of bags is required.

The flour produced within this milling category, which is then sold to individuals and retailing outlets is a fine, nutritious product without a bitter tannin taste.

The development and dissemination of the RIIC sorghum milling technology has instigated the evolution of a decentralized milling operation in both rural and peri-urban areas nationwide. Following the emergence of this versatile and "economically ebullient" technology in 1979, a total of 63 individual and institutional milling operations have been established in Botswana. The net result of this industry has been and continues to be the creation of jobs, which ensures filtration of cash into the rural economic sector to improve living standards.

Export breakthrough

Employment figures indicate that 45% of the labour force in the milling industry is female, with the majority of them either owning the operations or involved in key management positions.

The RIIC sorghum milling technology has not only been disseminated in Botswana but in ten other African countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1986, the dehuller was awarded first prize among 26 competitors in a development technology competition mounted for technologies from developing countries in Genoa, Italy. The success gained from this competition, has in many ways accentuated the dehuller's takeup capability, both locally and regionally as well.

RIIC's concerted initiative in simplifying the dehuller for local use in rural areas and in other developing countries, signifies a major breakthrough in translating good intentions into actual tangible results.


One of RIIC's most successful innovations is the sorghum dehuller. developed in 1979. This machine, intended primarily as a labour-saving device for women, was awarded first prize in a development technology competition in Genoa, Italy, in 1986 Combined with the hammer mill, the technology has directly contributed to the establishment of many private milling centres throughout Botswana. The net result has been the creation of many jobs for locals. The sorghum milling technology developed by RIIC is meanwhile being exported to ten other African countries. The author describes how the sorghum dehuller works and the social impact of this development.


L'une des innovations les plus reussies du RIIC est le decortiqueur de mil developpe en 1979. Cette machine, essentiellement destinee a faciliter le travail des femmes, a ete primee en 1986 lors d'un concours de technologies du developpement organise a Genes en Italie. Le decortiqueur peut etre exploite commercialement ou a des fins de prestation de senices. Associee a un moulin a marteaux, cette technologie a directement contribue a l'etablissement de nombreux centres de mouture prives au Botswana et indirectement a la creation de nombreux emplois locaux. Cette technologie de mouture du mil, developpee par RIIC, est entre temps exportee dans dix pays africains.


Una de las innovaciones mas exitosas del RIIC es la descascadora de sorgo que fue desarrollada en 1979. La maquina, que pretendia facilitarles el trabajo sobre todo a las mujeres, obtuvo el primer premio en 1986 en un concurso de desarrollo tecnologico que tuvo luger en Genova (Italia). La descascadora puede utilizarse pare operaciones comerciales de senicio. Combinada con el molino de martillos, la tecnologia ha contribuido directamente a establecer numerosos molinos privados en toda Botswana. Gracias a ello se hen creado numerosos puestos de trabajo pare los habitantes locales. Entretanto, la tecnica de molido de sorgo desarrollada por el RIIC es exportada tambien a otros diez paises africanos.

Credibility of development aid policy at risk

How xenophobia in Germany affects interpersonal cooperation

Hostility towards foreigners in Germany is putting the credibility of the country's development aid policy at risk. This fear was expressed by staff members of the Protestant development aid organization Service Overseas in late 1991. Meanwhile, project partners of German development aid organizations and training institutions are also becoming increasingly concerned about escalating violence against foreigners. This was revealed by a survey that GATE carried out among 22 organizations in the late summer of this year. It was found that the impact of xenophobia on the work of the 14 organizations that replied varies considerably.

Training institutions such as the Carl Duisberg Society, the German Foundation for International Developement and the World University Service notice most clearly how attacks on foreigners have been making their work more difficult for two or three years now. Scholarship students from African, Asian and Latin American countries can no longer travel freely in Germany. The Carl Duisberg Society's reply points out that "fortunately," however, foreign students are "only affected by xenophobic or racist actions in isolated cases". But fear is casting long shadows: in the newly formed German states, "many of the students on scholarships awarded under programmes of the former GDR were fearful", and so "no longer went out after dark".

The students for whom World University Service and the German Foundation for International Development are responsible no longer feel safe in Germany either. As long ago as 1991, Barbara Kloss-Quiroga reported in the German-language DSE journal "Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit" that "a South African student cut short his studies in Germany and returned home in January 1991, after being brutally beaten up three times within a short period in Weimar".

Fighting right-wing extremism as a domestic project

"In our work in Germany with students from Africa, Asia and Latin America, we unfortunately find that it has become almost impossible to find seminar dates which are Free of remembrance days' of right-wing groups; because on these days foreign students take care not to be seen in public or to travel long distances by public transport to the places where the seminars are being held. So it is meanwhile normal for African and Asian students attending weekend seminars to hire cars and travel to the seminar together. Relatives and friends of many foreign students are becoming increasingly worried when they see reports about the excesses of extreme right-wing groups in Germany. We would be very pleased if the NGOs in Germany joined a campaign against rightwing extremism, as a kind of domestic project." Kambiz Ghawami, World University Service

Verbal abuse and threats

Guests of development aid organizations have also suffered unpleasant experiences during their stay in Germany. Rainer Kruse of Bread for the World reported that "overseas visitors have occasionally been the object of verbal abuse and threats outdoors in public or in restaurants". He said that Bread for the World staff now had to accompany their guests, especially if they went out in the evening, and advised them not to go out alone late at night. Several counterparts had reported "impoliteness or even rudeness on the part of German border officials" when they entered the country, "especially at Frankfurt Airport". Although the travellers had valid visas, they had been questioned distrustfully and in an arrogant manner.

Yousif S. Toma of AT-Association explained: 'We know it has become more difficult to find traineeships for colleagues from abroad. and in particular from Africa and the Far East." According to Toma, "it isn't because firms are unwilling, but because they are afraid they may not be able to guarantee the trainees' safety".

Most of the organizations involved in development cooperation stated that so far none of their project partners had decided against visiting Germany because they were afraid of being attacked; or at least, it had not been cited as a reason for cancellation or postponement of a trip to Germany. GTZ and the private relief organization medico international had a different story to tell. Replying on behalf of GTZ, Andreas Schumann replied that partners in cooperation "must have considered whether they wanted to do a course of training in Germany, or whether it might not be better to postpone a planned trip." Reactions of this kind were noted in particular after the brutal attacks in Molln and Solingen, which were internationally reported by the media. Hans Branscheidt of medico reported that since about May of this year project partners, especially those from the Middle East, felt "unsure" about travelling to the FRG.

The Carl Duisberg Society reports that "there has not so far been any fall-off in applications" for its further training courses. In isolated cases, however, prospective students had had "a more critical and more cautious attitude towards residence in Germany." This applied in particular for to the USA, but also for Asian countries, in particular the People's Republic of China.

Mistrust in the "project environment"

While xenophobic tendencies are making the work of development agencies in Germany more difficult, they seem so far to have had a minimal negative impact on development aid projects outside the country. The executing agencies are highly respected by their counterpart organizations. However, some organizations (ARTES, medico) see their work overseas becoming more difficult in the long term. GTZ has received feedback from its projects to the effect that its counterpart organizations "are viewing xenophobia tendencies in Germany with concern." People working for other organizations are also repeatedly asked about developments in Germany. "We would like to put press reports into perspective," says Heimo Posamentier of AT-Association. Frequent and detailed reports in the foreign media are allegedly leading to "inquisitive" (Kubel Foundation) and even "concerned" (GSE) questions on the situation in Germany. Staff members of German Agro Action faced critical questioning, "in particular in countries like Vietnam," which are "directly affected." According to medico there is already some mistrust "in the project environment," notably in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

According to GTZ, xenophobia in Germany has "become an issue that not only our project staff have to face, but also personnel from head office or short-term experts on official trips to partner countries." For this reason, says GTZ, the company's management drafted a statement entitled "GTZ takes a stand against hostility to foreigners", which was sent to all project personnel. The project personnel had then handed over the statement personally to the counterpart organizations. The Carl Duisberg Society is also doing what it can to counter the "nasty German" image abroad. Germans who travel abroad for training are now briefed on questions concerning xenophobia in Germany.

"We felt ashamed!"

"I remember what happened when Peter Kordjo from Ghana, my colleague Winfried Laaser and I arrived in Echterdingen. We had flown in from Amsterdam. The border guard asked Peter why he had come to Germany, although it was perfectly clear from his passport that he had permission to work here as a pastor for five years. Peter's reply that it was surely stated clearly enough in his passport was met with the words, "But I want to hear you tell me!' The intention was apparently to hold a brief but humiliating interrogation in full public view. At this, Laaser and I lost our tempers: I refused to stand for the defamatory tone, pointing out that I was also a citizen of this country and had no desire to be turned into a "nasty German' by ignorant border officials.... Laaser threatened to lodge a complaint with the official in charge and asked whether the procedure for appointing border officials included checking that they had mastered the civilized arts of reading and writing. That did it. Another border guard came up, and it wasn't until they both realized we weren't going to stand for any nonsense that they waved us through. At customs they were going to bother Peter again. They stopped when we told them he was with us. We were ashamed!"
Joachim Lindau, Bread for the World

Better prepared fur role as ambassadors

"When we send Germans abroad for training we now pay more attention to preparing them better for their role as "ambassadors". At the preparatory seminars we brief theim on the political situation in Germany with regard to foreigners. This applies first and foremost to our programmes in the USA, where Germans on further training courses are asked about the reasons for the xenophobia. We believe that this is probably also connected with the opening of Holocaust memorials in the USA and the dissemination of information there about the Holocaust."
Hans Pakleppa, Carl Duisberg Society

Credibility at risk

Ten of the 14 organizations which answered the questionnaire stated that they were fighting xenophobia in Germany above all through development and educational policy.

The Catholic relief organization Misereor takes up the issue of xenophobia in Germany in its publications and press releases. For its Projects Department, Misereor has issued a manual which is intended to provide information on the "manifold causes of human flight and mass migration" and at the same time serve as a guide for refugee aid and emergency relief work. Misereor's 1994 fast is dedicated to fighting "the increasing trend of violence towards foreigners." In the present situation Misereor believes it must take a stand, "because this development is jeopardizing the very foundations of the organization and its work both in Germany and abroad, which is based on openness towards all foreigners." In November 1991, the Members' Conference of Service Overseas approved a declaration which includes the statement: "Disapproval of and violence towards foreigners put the credibility of both government and church development aid policy at risk - not only in the eyes of our counterpart organizations."

At the end of 1992, GTZ for the first time ran an advertisement entitled "German Foreigners Speak Out", pointing out that GTZ employees are foreigners in more than 100 countries, where they collaborate with people from all cultural backgrounds. The text ends with an appeal to "support us in the fight against xenophobia and racism, and for a coexistence befitting human beings." At its 1993 annual general meeting, the Carl Duisberg Society approved a "tolerance project" aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence between Germans and foreigners.

With its "Information, not Capitulation" appeal, the WUS is pursuing a similar aim, formulated together with other organizations in the education sector. For its part, German Agro Action aims to bring about a more tolerant climate in Germany with relevant working aids and its "Window on Books" campaign, a series of readings and concerts given by overseas authors and artists in cooperation with the book trade.

Medico has reacted to xenophobia not only via internal appeals, but also "intensively" with "advertisements, press releases and pamphlets". ARTES, the Institute for Appropriate Rural Technology and Extension Skills, also reports on indepth cooperation with foreign experts in press releases, and organizes workshops. The Society for Solidary Development Cooperation (DOE) participates once a month in a joint demonstration by several NGOs in Berlin. Member companies of AT-Association are also active at local level (foreigners' advisory board etc.). At the Protestant Association for Cooperation and Development (EZE) and GTZ. staff have started in-house action groups. The private group of GTZ employees, which was founded in 1992, organizes many events aimed at combatting hostility towards foreigners in the Rhine-Main region.

Barbel Roben

Tolerance project of the Carl Duisberg Society: Creating a cosmopolitan climate
"The priorities of the project are:

- Preparing German course participants by briefing them on the current political situation as regards foreigners in Germany, to enable them to give information in their host country.

- Providing foreign course participants with information on German politics in general and political developments concerning foreigners, at the reception centre, during their German courses and through backup measures during training.

- Press releases and PR work: more reporting on therelevance of political developments concerning foreigners for our participants.

- Functions organized by the regional CDG centres, with presentations of the society's work in the region, above all to promote contact between Germans and guests from abroad attending further training courses.

- Intensifying PR work relating to development and educational policy in the educational sector, in particular for vocational schools and companies which train personnel themselves."

Statements by the members of AT-forum NGO-GTZ

German AT Association

Not just a few misguided radicals hostility towards foreigners is a problem of our entire society

As a federation of consultants, the AT Association stands for its members' common concerns. Among them are the quality of our work and the promotion of sustainable development through truly equitable terms of cooperation. Most of our members frequently work abroad with diverse partners in the respective countries, including government agencies, NGOs and local private consultants. They attempt to promote locally appropriate solutions, of which technology is usually only one component among many others. We are often involved in social, economic, cultural and policy issues with local partners - sometimes to a degree that provokes criticism such as going too far and being paternalistic. Developing a particular sensitivity in mediating between different agencies and between diverse cultures presents a constant challenge. But a new challenge has recently been added which is far more difficult to cope with: an increasing number of the people we meet all over the world ask about what is going on in our own country. After the German reunification in 1989, these questions were primarily led by curiosity but basically sympathetic. Apprehension of Germany's increased strength and political development were the exception rather than the rule. Since 1991, this has definitely changed.

Nothing has done more damage to the international reputation of our country since 1949 than the dramatic increase of hostility and violence towards foreigners during the last few years. This is our daily experience abroad. But the damage is more serious than just a setback in international public opinion. Critical questions about social, cultural and political causes of these events directly lead to such basics as the role of our country in the world and our own role in international cooperation. Who are we to give advice to others if our society is unable to live in peace with anyone who is different? What effect may our advice have, if the environment from which it comes is so sick?

As Germans, we must be involved in keeping right-wing radicalism and violence from dominating the political agenda and from poisoning social and cultural spheres. Propagating and implementing the principles of Appropriate Technology in our own context is part of that task: participatory, decentral and situation-specific solutions are at the core of social and environmental compatibility, and require forms of people's involvement which are opposed to fascism. But in times of political regression, simply advocating AT is not enough. These times call for direct, outspoken and courageous political involvement. Hostility towards foreigners is not just a problem of a few misguided radicals but is deeply rooted in our society and is fostered by certain economically motivated policies.

As people involved in international cooperation, we must point to the complex and truly global nature of the problem.

Take an example:

Fear of unemployment is a major driving force behind the hostility towards foreigners which prevails in large parts of our society. It is instrumentalized for various political purposes, including the de-facto abolition of political asylum in Germany. The stereotype image of the "economic refugees' who misuse the right to political asylum to escape poverty and enjoy the luxuries of the West (which are not perceived as luxuries when consumed by Westerners) was very instrumental. "They take a way our jobs and live on our social benefits" is among the most frequently heard expressions of this prejudice. If we allow this type of argument to dominate the public debate, we contribute to the political degeneration towards new forms of fascism.

First, the argument is not true: migrant labourers do the jobs the Germans no longer want to do (another form of racism?), they subsidize the social security net (without enjoying equal benefits), and they compensate the deficits in our demographic development.

Second, the argument shifts the focus of the debate about political asylum away from the most important aspect, human rights and protection against political persecution.

Third, there is no simple numerical solution to the problem of unemployment, and it can certainly not be confined to our national boundaries. The discussion about immigrants and jobs has a wrong focus and leads to simplistic answers with fatal political consequences. The scale of the problem is global, it includes issues of political domination, economic exploitation, utilization of resources, distribution of goods and jobs, technological irrationality, and ultimately ways of life. Germany is on the forefront of those who are pushing, both politically and through economic strength, towards a global free market. Free to be dominated by the strongest - with disastrous impacts on entire societies and the lives of people. Is there not a striking similarity between our worldwide hegemony and the way we treat foreigners at home? Yes, the ignorance, the arrogance, the denial of the right to be different are the same - and all for the sake of short-sighted economic interests. Very short-sighted: based on an idea of "civilization" that ruins the planet.

Entwicklung und Fachkrafte g GmbH

Hostility and violence against foreigners accompanied by disinterest on the part of many people here have brought our county, especially the new federal states of former East Germany, into the headlines. Our partners and friends from Europe, Asia and Africa ask fearful questions about what is happening and we have to answer them.

The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Entwicklung und Fachkrafte (AGEF) works in projects concerning migration and development cooperation. One of our key tasks is to try to clear up the problems of the former contract workers from Mosambique, Angola and Vietnam. These people came to work and to be trained in the former GDR, but following the transition in Germany they have now become victims of hostility. The name of the city of Hoyerswerda stands for many of these events. In connection with the programmes for the contract workers we suddenly became involved in their problems.
We witnessed how normal people, faced with social insecurity and unemployment, suddenly threw stones at the windows of their black neighbour and colleague, maybe hoping to drive him away, so that he no longer occupies his job.

After these events we relocated the victims to different cities for training and we considered what was to be done to prevent such outrager. It was felt expedient that a "round table" should be set up where representatives of the city, the training centre, the political parties, the church communitiy, the police and the Mosambiquans themselves could talk about the problems and discuss solutions to them. Of course we surely did not solve any social problem in this way, and probably did not reduce any reservations.

But the Mosambiquans have been accepted, because the participants realized that the jobs of the trainers were interlinked with the presence of the Mosambiquan trainees. Phrases and statements are not very useful!, it is the knowledge of global and local inter-dependencies that will lead to tolerance and a peaceful life together.

German Agro Action

Agro Action campaign: persons seeking political asylum not flotsam of their own accord radical change of course in north and south necessary

Berlin, 3 November '92 - The German Agro Action (GAA) has called upon the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to finally tell the whole truth about the causes of the growing extent of migration and the rising number of persons seeking political asylum.

The chairperson of the Agro Action, Dr. Helga Henselder-Barzel, stated in connection with the large-scale demonstration against racism in Berlin next Sunday that it must be made clear to the public that people do not become human flotsam of their own accord, but instead are forced to migrate as a result of destruction of their environment, famine, civil war and lack of all hope. She also said it should be admitted frankly that the industrialised countries still obstruct the development prospects of poor countries by erecting massive trade barriers and are jointly responsible for environmental harm in the south and hence for migration processes.

Mrs. Henselder-Barzel strongly criticised the fact that it had now literally become "socially acceptable" to defame refugees from poverty in the countries of the Third World as parasites. She emphasised: "All that this does is to promote racism."

According to the information she supplied, some 75 million persons in Africa, Asia and Latin America migrate from their traditional home area in any given year - generally to another developing country. Mrs. Henselder-Barzel said that it was a serious error to believe that the influx of persons see king asylum could be reduced solely by restrictions of Articles 16 and 19 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany Instead hunger and poverty, the causes of the growing, global hardship among refugees, had to be eliminated. A >>radical economic, ecological and social change of course" was necessary - both in the north and in the south.

German Development Service
The German Development Service (DED) against hostility to foreigners

We, the German development workers in Berlin, are shocked by and outraged at the racist excesses in Germany. With regard to our Benin friends, we feel ashamed of the violence directed against foreigners. The pictures of violence are also shown by the local media. Here in Benin, we have been welcomed with frankness, respect and deep regard and every day we experience the meaning of hospitality. (...) We have found that you can learn a lot from foreign cultures and we think that this cultural exchange is a necessity in Germany, as well..." This protest was formulated by the development workers from the DED at their general meeting in Cotonou last year. Could there be anyone among the 1.200 development workers and people working for the DED abroad who would not agree with these words? Which of the development workers in Cameroon, Bolivia or Thailand in view of the news from Germany - would not feel uncertain and ask themselves to what kind of country they will return?

The development workers in Benin are not the only ones from the DED who made their concern public. There were statements, too, from people working in other countries, and in the head office in Berlin, management, works committee and the majority of the staff also declare 1 their position. The increasing violence against foreigners fills us working for the DED and probably all people committed to developmental issues with deep consternation - and also with a feeling of helplessness. It is difficult to convey experiences like those gained by the development workers in Benin to people using an aggressive hatred of foreigners as an outlet for painful personal crises or for the general problems facing society. Nevertheless, it is important that we stand up for our convictions. But what is even more important than the verbal protest against hostility to foreigners is the commitment to friendliness towards foreigners. By offering lessons on German for women and children who live in a home for persons seeking asylum, the "Work group Antiracism", founded by some DED employees, has been taking a step in the right direction. The DED sees itself completely as an organization promoting friendliness to foreigners, but it mainly operates abroad.

Which measures can the DED take in Germany? Prejudices are hard to change and if at all, most likely by personal experience. Regular and close contacts between those bearing prejudices and those suffering from them have the most lasting effect. This will hardly appeal to people heavily prejudiced against foreigners but perhaps to their sympathizers. People working in development organizations and former development workers could make valuable contributions to these contacts organized by recently returned development workers, Third-World groups, church organizations or institutions in the field of youth work and adult education. Having lived in both "worlds", they can mediate during discussions. By means of increased efforts in the area of education and information, the DED intends to support such contacts and initiatives. The DED hopes that people in Germany will realize and accept the fact that isolated centres of affluence cannot be defended in the long run and that in the one world, solidarity with others directly or indirectly also affects one's own life and own society. Not only in the countries of the South but also in Germany does development policy automatically imply social policy.

German Appropriate Technology Exchange

The rising tide of hatred towards foreign nationals in Germany has shocked and horrified broad sections of the community here. Daily reports of attacks on people who have turned to our country for protection and asylum bear witness to the crude racism currently at large in our society. Gangs of rightwing thugs are destroying the climate of peaceful coexistence with people of different colours and creeds which the Federal Republic of Germany has always enjoyed. This situation has given us, the staff of GATE/GTZ, profound cause for concern.

Both our work in development cooperation and our private contacts with people from many countries of the world have taught us that mutual trust, based on respect and tolerance, are absolutely essential if we are to live and work together in peace and harmony. Nothing must be allowed to damage this spirit of trust.

We, the staff of GATE/GTZ, shall be doing our absolute utmost to ensure that people from other countries can continue to live in Germany and to feel at home here without having to fear for life and limb. We shall fight to make sure that racism and nationalist hysteria do not take root in German soil a second time.

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit

The GTZ takes a stand against hostility to foreigners and racism

Development cooperation is what the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) is all about, and therefore, we feel very strongly about the wave of anti-foreigner sentiment that has swept over the Federal Republic of Germany. Our philosophy and our work are firmly rooted in the acceptance of many and varied cultures, an understanding of different peoples, and the desire to work together to find solutions. Xenophobia eats away at this foundation, undermining international cooperation. GTZ employees demonstrated their pro-foreigner solidarity some months ago with a private initiative protesting against these destructive tendencies. However, since the situation has intensified, we believe that it is up to the GTZ as a company to take a clear stand and join the ranks of those in politics, industry, art and German society as a whole who have expressed their profound disapproval of these xenophobic, racist outbursts. All opponents of doctrines and actions hostile to foreigners are called upon now more than ever to demonstrate their resolve and unity in order to put a stop to the shameful attacks on foreign citizens living here.

For many years now, Germans and foreigners have lived together in a spirit of openness and understanding, unmarred by racially-inspired acts of murder and arson. And it is for this reason that we are publicly voicing our concern and emphasizing our stance in unequivocal terms. The GTZ more than welcomes and i i determined to become actively involved in the various activities that have emerged in past weeks in protest of the assaults on foreign nationals.

However, it is not enough for the GTZ to pledge its commitment to isolated activities.

We expect that, both at home and at work, each and every GTZ employee will demonstratively champion this cause and thus join the fight against hostility to foreigners and racism.

It goes without saying that, even though feelings may run high, tolerance and a peaceful approach to these problems must prevail, as only then can we be true to our corporate culture which is proud of its global dimension.

Bread for the World
Protestant Association for Cooperation and Development
Association for Appropriate Technologie

Fourty-four year, following the resolution on Human Rights by the United Nations we are still far from achieving human rights for all. This year we have been shocked by the developments in our own country. The violent outrages against people seeking asylum, refugees and minorities are nothing but crimes. The defilement of Jewish graves and memoriats are intolerable. We cannot stand by and watch this happen.

According to the United Nations, one third of the people on our earth who are living in absolute poverty are suffering from violations to social human rights. Amnesty International calls out that civil and political rights are being violated in 140 countries of the world.

In many Third World states in particular, torture, "disappearance", terror and government-tolerated murder are widespread. Minors, e.g. street children are arrested, tortured or murdered at random. In the wake of collapsed totalitarian systems in Eastern and Southern Europe, political commotion and ethnic and national conflicts have broken out. Each day we are shaken by the news of inhuman rape of women in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Political suppression, mass poverty, ecological catastrophes and armed conflicts mean the ever more people have to flee their homes.

On this day of Human Rights, December 10, 1993,1 send out a plea to all people in our country to champion the cause of right and justice. I particularly address the member churches and their parish communities: do not let loose in your determined efforts to achieve human rights for all. A resolute stand must be taken against all violations to human rights wherever they take place.

- Church groups, parishes and every individual member of the community can participate in the many protests against violent suppression, torture, terror and government-tolerated murder.

- People bearing responsibility in political and economic life must be resolutely called up upon to fight the causes behind violations to human rights and the streams of refugees.

- By courageously standing up for people who are suppressed and menaced, we can all play a part in countering the acts of violence taking place in our own country and the feeling of insecurity and fear suffered by many of our fellow citizens.

- The potentials that our constitutional state gives us to counter violence and prevent it from taking place in the first place must be effectively exploited to the full.

The Word of Jesus Christ helps us to stand side-by-side with the poor, the weak and the underprivileged all over the world, and especially in our own country.

German Catholic Bishops' Organization for Development Cooperation

At the present time news about the increasing racism in our society and the growing readiness to treat foreigners violently is a matter of major concern.

The German Catholic Bishops' Organization for Development Cooperation, Misereor, has to take a stand on this matter too, since such a development jeopardises the very foundation of the Organization, whose work at home and abroad is based on fundamental openness to foreigners. Misereor would therefore like to explain the causes which induce people to leave their own country, in order to arouse understanding for such persons and to sharpen our own awareness for development policy. Our dealings with foreigners living in Germany should be seen as a challenge and as a crucial test of our solidarity with the poor in the Third World. We should like to encourage the people in our local communities and parishes to overcome their fears and reservations about foreigners in the neighbour-hood, to take the first step towards such persons of their own accord, and what is more to engage in forms of political advocacy too.

The discussion concerning dealings with refugees and migrants or with foreigners in general in our society relates specifically to the conception which Misereor has of itself. As an organization which supports the poor from groups which are foreign to us in ethnic terms, as a Church organization which of course knows no foreigners itself, and as advocate for the poor of the Third World in our country, Misereor is fundamentally in contradiction with all racism and all ethnocentric and nationalistic patterns of thought. Since Misereor also endeavours to combat the causes for flight and to render migration processes humane in cooperation with counterparts and partners in the field within the context of its development cooperation, it is in a position to highlight the exemplary contributions made by African states and their social groups in accepting and integrating refugees. This should help to break down prejudices and lead to a more positive image of Africa in Germany.

For local communities and parishes the question of dealings with foreigners who often seek asylum with us as refugees tests the very credibility of Christianity. We should become aware of the fact that solidarity is indivisible, that willingness to make donations on the one hand and a defensive attitude against foreigners seeking protection on the other represent an inconsistency which reveals generally irrational fears. At the same time it should be noted that a large number of groups and parishes are showing active responsibility in this field.

The Misereor Fasting Action in 1994 intends to support this commitment by showing concrete avenues of solidarity with the many refugees and migrants in our country and recommending exemplary initiatives with a broad-based effect. This action should encourage us to accept "others" in their otherness and allow this to enrich our own lives. This would result in the political conditions for a positive structuring of migration processes.

Society for Solidary Development Cooperation

Statement towards the hostility to foreigners in Germany

We, the members of the Society for Solidary Development Cooperation (GSE), are very much concerned about the growing hostility to foreigners in Germany. We know that there were many reasons for this but the official discussion about the rights of asylum and the corresponding policy of the German government made the political climate and the situation of foreign people in this country worse.

In our daily work we fight for tolerance, for a society which is open to all cultures and for partnership in the cooperation of people from different nations to solve the global problems of mankind. We strictly condemn violence and the discrimination of our foreign fellow citizens.

As a small non-governmental organization working on a volunteer basis, we work in projects together with our partners in Chile, India and Tanzania for the benefit of disadvantaged groups in these countries. On the other hand we connect these activities with efforts in German schools to inform the young generation about the problems of the people in other parts of our world and to show them how our life is connected with theirs. Therefore, we try to work out possibilities for German children to meet and get to know people from abroad, especially from the so-called third world. This we concern as on way to provide the hostility to foreigners.

One good example for this was the trip by 15 young people from Brandenburg to Zanzibar in 1992, where they worked together with the Zanzibarian partners in projects which are supported by our organization. Our contribution in the fight against racism and hostility consists, on the one hand, of an active work and support in those countries refugees and asylum-seekers come from and on the other hand of activities to sensitize the people here in Germany for the problems of the correlation between North and South.

Karl Kubel Foundation

Together with many other German citizens and organizations in the field of development cooperation, the Karl Kubel foundation condemns the growing racism and the attacks of violence against minorities and foreigners in our country. In the face of this development we are called upon to set clear signals in favour of solidarity, human dignity and human rights.

Chains of candles in demonstrations, declarations of solidarity and tolerant good-neighbourly manifestations make it clear that many people consider that living together with persons from different cultures enriches their life. The Karl Kubel Foundation sees itself as advocate for citizens of all cultures and expresses its solidarity with those persons whose attitude is characterized by sympathy, openness and respect.

For this reason the motto of the Karl Kubel Prize 1994 which is endowed with 100,000.00 DM, is


The invitation to nominate candidates for this prize is addressed to family-based initiatives against racism which signpost the way to living together in a spirit of mutual understanding.

The Karl Kubel Prize, which is awarded annually, aims at honouring and giving public recognition to model activities, projects and initiatives in the German-speaking world which are committed to the needs of children and families in our society and which sharpen public awareness.

Bensheimer Kreis

The Bensheimer Kreis, an association of 35 executing agencies in the field of development cooperation, deeply regrets and vigorously condemns the excesses and the application of violence against minorities and foreigners in Germany.

The breakdown of the antagonism between east and west, the economic recession and the high levels of unemployment, nationalistic currents and other crisis-related developments in industrialized countries are now encountering increasing flows of migrants and refugees moving from the south to the north. All this has given rise to fears and to racism in our society and these have been selectively fuelled and instrumentalised by certain political groupings for reasons of party tactics and in order to enforce their own goals. However, closing the gates, hatred of foreigners and racism solve neither national nor global problems. Such "solutions" are more likely to destroy the last tenable foundations for living together in an atmosphere of human dignity and thus endanger the urgently necessary joint efforts to save and preserve life on our planet.

In order to be able to respond effectively to the challenges of or rage in the long term, a new ecologically and socially sound style of life is called for which is supported by understanding for international interconnections and which advocates a world society compatible with the future. This necessitates ecological restructuring of the industrialized societies and a fundamental reform of North-South policies. Far-reaching changes in current production and consumption patterns as well as in the potential for political structuring measures is equally indispensable for both industrialized and developing countries. Furthermore it is the task of forward-looking politics to promote understanding in the rich countries of the north for people from different cultural groups living together and to improve the legal situation of foreigners.

The Bensheimer Kreis wishes to join forces with all open-minded citizens and the decision-makers in social and political fields to ensure that it is possible for everyone to live together in Germany in a spirit of respect, tolerance and harmony. Only conscious understanding and commitment for development, environment and peace will create the platform for the future of a SINGLE WORLD.


Resolution Against the Normality of Violence

The political events of the past few weeks have brought about a profound change in the Federal Republic of Germany. A powerful shift to the right has shaken the fundamental pillars of democracy. Hoyerswerda, Rostock, Molln, Solingen are gaping, accusing wounds. The streets are filled with helpless rage. The grand coalition of the major political parties and the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court are busily advancing the swift dismantling of the welfare state and fundamental democratic rights.

- The amendment of Article 16 of the Basic Law,
- the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court on 218 of the Penal Code (Abortion Clause),
- the so-called "Solidarity Pact",
- the proposed introduction of no sick pay for the first day of illness are only a few of the items of bad news which reach us every day.

Not just since the union of the German Democratic Republic with the Federal Republic of Germany - although this accelerated matters - has there been a steadily growing struggle for distribution in Germany.

The political and moral consensus between women and men, foreigners and Germans, old and young, the sick and the healthy, the unemployed and the employed, the poor and the rich, and between labour and capital has been shattered. All dreams of a social utopia with more humane forms of coexistence, all hopes for a solution of the social and ecological conflicts by reasonable standards have given way to a naked struggle for survival and the uninhibited manifestation of power. The climate of violence against foreigners and other minorities and the recognizable will to engage in the application of military force abroad represent the "normality" to which Germany is to make its way after reunification in order to be able to survive in the international struggle for distribution of markets and power.

We, the federation of educational organizations and foundations close to the Green Party in the German Laender - BUNTSTIFT e. V. - have made it our goal to achieve nonviolent ecological restructuring of society and the assertion of human rights and fundamental democratic rights in Germany and world-wide. Ever since the day we were founded we have been endeavouring jointly with many other organizations and groups to put a stop to this threatening political development in Germany. However it is evident that all these efforts are not sufficient. The global crisis of our planet and the dangerous flaring up of fascism in Germany again oblige us to reinforce our efforts to fight for a society in which sexual equality, self-determination, cultural variety, human rights and democratic basic rights can be taken for granted.

Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung e. V.
Cooperating against racism - some initiatives

Racism and Xenophobia are on the rise in Europe in general and Germany in particular since long. But racism seems to have been (re)discovered by many in Germany only after the violent and open attacks on Non-Germans in Hoyerswerda, Rostock, Molln and Solingen.

Like hundreds of NGOs in Germany striving to build a civil society in a multicultural reality, the kits does not remain inactive in the face of such unfortunate developments and as a foundation for political education it has been trying to counteract these developments by organizing a number of seminars, conferences, public events etc. A few of these events are enlisted below:

- "A Night in Germany - Campaign against Xenophobia, Violence and Antisemitism" concluding program in Dresden on April 6, 1993. Authors from Poland, Czech Republic and Germany read from their works.

- "Minority and Literature" in Boll-Haus in Langenbroich on May 29 and 30, 1993. German speaking writers of Non-German origin exchange their experiences and discuss strategies how to transport more efficiently ideas on civil in their literary activities.

- "Resist Right from the Beginning Reject Violence" Seminar in Erfurt (May 24 to 28. 1993) on the strategy of prevention of violence.

- "Racism and Gender Questions", Women's Political Forum for Dialogue among East and West German women, women immigrants and Black German Women, 4th and 5th Forum in Friedewald (14th to 16th May and 22nd to 24th October 1993) and 6th Forum in Jena (13th November 1993).

- "Historical, Cultural and Political Situation of the Sinti and Roma". Symposium in Berlin together with Romani-Pen-Club.

- Series of Events "Multiculture within the Fortress Europe. Against Nationalism and Racism" in Cologne together with Kolner Appell e. V. e.g. "The Relationship to the Other - Thoughts on the Consciousness of being on the Wrong" (21. 1. 93); "Racism, Xenophobic Violence and Social Background" (25. 2. 93); "Intercultural Pedagogic" (2. 3. 93); "The End of Anti-Racism" (22. 4. 93); "Between Freedom and Pogrom - The Romas from Southeast Europe" (26.5. 93); "The Structure of Foreigners in the discourse of Multiculturalism" (24. 6. 93).

- Series of Events "Sinti and Roma Clicheas and Reality" from 17. 4. to 29. 5. 1993 in Freiburg together with Auslanderbeirat of the City of Freiburg. Among others "The Gipsy children of the St. Joseph Care in Mulfingen" (26. 4. 93); "Protect the Sinti and Roma against the GipsyLiterature" (10. 5. 93); "Not only with Fiddale" (27. 5. 93).

- "Trainer-Training" - Seminar in Cologne from May 14 to 16, 1993 on nonviolent action against rightwing extremist violence.

- "Lonely Escape - Unaccompanied Refugee Children in NRW need Help", a joint experts" congress in Cologne on May 27, 1993 together with Youth Departement of the Landesverband Rheinland focussing on the psycho-social aspects of the un-accompanied refugee-children.

- "Civic Forum Paulskirche 93" in Frankfurt 19. 6. 1993 together with some 40 organizations from human rights, peace and environmental movements focussing on 4 topics: Foreign Policy; the Role of the Bundeswehr; Prevention instead of inner armament; Ecology versus Economic Growth; Asylum: Germany as a de facto Immigration country.

- "Inventory of Pedagogic Concepts on Non-violent and Creative Conflict Resolution" - Weekend Seminar for ombudsmen in Bonn 24./25. 9. 1993 pooling together past experiences in this field for future strategy.

- "Encountering the Chilly Looks Make One's Soul Freeze". A short theatre performance on the situation of unaccompanied refugee children in Hamburg (30.9. 93) together with Eine Welt e. V. during the International Congress "Children - War and Persecution".

- Series of 11 events "The Other next to You" in Hoyerswerda from 3. 10. to 15. 12. 1993 together with the City of Hoyerswerda including talks, concerts of classical to hip-hop music, photo-exhibition, theatre-workshops etc. highlighting the problem of Xenophobia and Right-Wing Violence in Germay.

- "Better Protection against Racial Discrimination - Call for Anti-Discrimination-Law Now" in Cologne on 18. 10. 1993 together with Die 8% Immigrant Innenverein fur Burgerrechte und politische Bildung/Cologne.

- "Fremde in Bonn. Ein historisches Lesebuch" (Foreigners in Bonn. A Historical Reader) together with Bonner Geschichtswerkstatt/Bonn.

- "Aktion Kerzenlicht- Kulturzeitschrift" (Candle-Light Campaign. A Cultural Magazine). Publication of the virgin-no, together with the Kulturinitiative fur Frieden, Menschenrechte und Volkerverstandigung/NGelsenkirchen.

- Series of Events in Freiburg on the Gender specific Aspects of Right-Wing Extremism: "He Who Talks about Right Wing Extremism Can not Remain Silent on Partiarchy"; "Women in the Right-Wing Scene" (8. 10. 93); "Women and Right-Wing Extremism" (9. 10. 93); "The Dispute about the Causes of Racial Violence. Women as Victims and Culprit/Perpetrater" (10. 10. 93); "Women Kill Differently" (10. 10. 93); "I Do not Like Violence. (Unfortunately) You will Achieve a Great Deal Through Violence" (14. 10. 93), Film by Gabriele Mauch and Karin Redlich.

Frauen-Anstiftung e.V.

The concept of our work and examples of implementation

The organization Frauen-Anstiftung e. V. ("FAS") has not published any official comments on the current situation of increasing racism. Dealing with this problem complex represents an integral part of its educational and project work.

The FAS sees itself as part of the international women's movement. Cooperation with women from different countries and continents is in line with our conception of ourselves. Alongside our educational and project work, the search for conditions which will enable us to succeed in living with one another is also a part of our routine. Women from home and abroad make experiences jointly in practical work at all levels of our organization. Our objectives and the concrete work involved have always necessitated concern with the subject of "racism".

Racism (like sexism) as a propagator of structural violence in this society has long had its place in the concept and practice of the Frauen Anstiftung e. V., and not just since the "murderous relevance" of this topic, the many murders of Non-Germans.

A few examples showing the concrete implementation of our concept are set out below.

- Foreign women work in our decision-making committees and are considered for appointment when posts are to be staffed; a quota of 1/3 is allotted to them.

- In addition to running a decentral office concentrating on "Anti-racism", we support the self-organisation of migrant women's groups (medium contingent).

- Within the context of a cooperation agreement the Frauen-Anstiftung e. V. supports the elaboration of anti-racism guidelines for cooperation between foreign and German women and women's projects. This was preceded by a long, open discussion process and by working experience.

- The political situation in the Federal Republic of Germany represents the context for the programme of events under the motto, "On the way to a "Community of Strangers'?". It is characterized by concern with the growing hostility to foreigners and violently enacted racism. With this series of lectures the Frauen-Anstiftung e. V. wishes to make a contribution towards more profound consideration and discussion of the origins of and motives for racist and xenophobic attitudes and behaviour patterns. Moreover political examples of multicultural and antiracist practice in other countries are to be presented. Subjects of the lecture series are:

- The essence of a multiculture - attempt to describe the dimensions of difference

- Black feminism, black women's movement and its relation to the constitutional state

- Experience and perspectives of work with female migrants - a comparison between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands

- Female immigrants and the feminist/lesbian community in the USA

- Compound Ethnicity - Compound Identity: cultural variety in language

- The encounter programme "Black Women/lmmigrants (Movement)" and antiracism work in the women's movement (November/December 1993 in Amsterdam)

The "Foreign Women" working group within the Frauen-Anstiflung e. V. has assumed responsibility for initiating meetings on subjects such as Cooperation from Different Cultures, Being a Foreign Woman in the Federal Republic of Germany, Racism and Antiracist Work. In this connection it is organising the encounter programme described above chiefly in order to investigate/he experience of black women's groups, centres and organizations and to discuss the possibilities of supranational, Europe-wide cooperation with the relevant representatives.

A further example is the encounter programme between Turkish and German women and Turkish women living in Germany on the subject, "intercultural Cooperation and Exchange of Women between the Federal Republic of Germany and Turkey". A corresponding encounter programme was already implemented in Istanbul in 1991 by Frauen Anstiftung e. V. This year a "Return Encounter" will take place in the Federal Republic of Germany. Ten women from six women's projects in Istanbul and the head of the metropolitan district work of the City of Istanbul will meet women from women's projects in the Federal Republic of Germany for one week to discuss and work on various aspects of intercultural cooperation taking as an example the subject of (racist) violence against women.


Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), GmbH/GATE
Post Box 5180
D-65726 Eschborn
Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: 06196/79-0
Telex: 41523-0 (gtz d)

The author's opinion does not necessarily represent the view of the publisher.

Printed by:
Frankenallee 71-81, D-60327 Frankfurt
Federal Republic of Germany

Campaign against the ozone killers

Controversy over Technological Options for Elimination of CFCs
by Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld

The destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) is an environmental problem that affects the whole world. The ozone layer in the atmosphere protects us against ultraviolet-B radiation. If the ozone layer is further depleted, mankind faces the threat of a skyrocketing increase in disease coupled with declining food production. The rich countries of the North are responsible for over 85 per cent of this man-made environmental disaster. But affordable alternatives are urgently needed in developing countries as well, and above all in countries currently in a phase of rapid industrial growth. The Ozone Fund of the Montreal Protocol is providing assistance. Environmentalists and industry meanwhile disagree strongly about which technologies represent the best alternatives.

For at least seven years now, the ozone layer has been hitting the headlines regularly every winter. Because every winter sees the publication of more new measurements indicating further depletion of the ozone layer: the "ozone hole" is getting bigger. The ozone in the stratosphere has a life-preserving function because it absorbs ultraviolet-B radiation, which poses a threat to health.

A link between CFC emissions and depletion of the ozone layer was first suspected as far back as 1974. In 1986, scientists discovered the ozone hole over the Antarctic. And the ozone layer has been diminishing continuously since then. At the beginning of 1993 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that ozone levels over the greater part of Europe were more than 20% below normal long-term values. And "in North America ozone levels were 12% to 15% below normal, an average deficiency never before seen in 35 years of ozone observations."

Scientists and environmentalists paint a gloomy picture of the consequences for the environment and public health. According to the international environmental organization Greenpeace, these consequences include "skyrocketing rates of skin cancer and cataract, an increase in the severity and incidence of infectious diseases, the possible impairment of vaccination programmes and dramatic drops in phytoplankton populations".

The verdict is clear. The ozone killers are the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the haloes, which are related to them. CFCs are hydrocarbon compounds in which the hydrogen atoms are completely or partially replaced by fluorine and chlorine compounds. Halons contain bromine as well as fluorine. CFCs, which are identified by number codes such as CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-114, are extremely stable and chemically inert, and thus ideal for industrial production processes.

But this also means that they can spend up to 15 years migrating unimpeded through the troposphere and at the same time heating it up. CFCs are responsible for 20% of the greenhouse effect.

And the long migration period means that even if CFC production and consumption were halted immediately, the CFC molecules already in the atmosphere would carry on destroying the ozone layer for quite a few years to come. To make matters worse, there are over two million tonnes of CFCs trapped in insulating foams, solvents and car air conditioning systems. There is no sure way of disposing of these CFCs, even though recycling and dismantling facilities now exist with which the substances can be prevented from escaping into the stratosphere.

Since CFCs were first synthesized in 1932, more than 25 million tonnes of them have been produced. They were and still are - used as propellants, as refrigerants for refrigerators and car air conditioners, for insulating foams and in the case of the haloes - for fire fighting.

Consumption patterns

Consumption patterns have changed. Following the first warnings, use of CFCs as propellants in spray cans diminished, mainly as the result of a ban in the USA. But in the 1980s, industrial use of CFCs for foam production and with the boom in the computer industry as solvents and cleaning agents increased. Present-day utilization of CFCs and haloes is as follows: 20% in aerosols, 19% in foams, 28% for refrigeration, 19% as solvents, and 14% (haloes) as fire extinguishers.

The industrialized countries are responsible for more than 85% of the "ozone hole". However, the developing countries' consumption has risen in recent years and it is estimated that they will consume about 153,000 tonnes of CFCs in 1994. Among the developing countries, the Peopie's Republic of China is the biggest consumer and producer of ozone depleting substances (ODS). Of the 48,239 tonnes of CFCs it consumes, with an ozone depleting potential (ODP) of 60,000 tonnes, the People's Republic produces 63% itself.

As regards ODP, the haloes used for fire extinguishers lead the field, accounting for 28%. The reason is that haloes have an ODP - assumed to be I for CFC- 11 - of 6 10. The second most important sector in terms of ozone killer potential is refrigeration (21%), followed by aerosols (14%). In contrast to the industrialized countries, solvents play a minor role. India, with an ODP of 13,208 tonnes, is the second-biggest producer and consumer in the developing countries.

The Montreal Protocol

It took some time for humanity to heed the scientists warnings, much too long in the view of environmentalists. From 0.85 million tonnes in 1977, global consumption of CFCs continued to increase until the end of the 1980s, only decreasing as a result of international agreements. With the 1985 Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer and - far more important - the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, signed on 16 September 1987, the international community adopted a programme for phasing out the ozone killers. Some countries, including Germany, decided to get rid of ODS more quickly.

The Protocol has meanwhile been ratified by 129 countries. At their annual conferences the signatories have agreed to tighten up a number of provisions, in particular in London in 1990, and most recently in Copenhagen, in 1992. For the 88 developing countries, the Article 5 countries, with a per capita ODS consumption of less than 300 g, longer phaseout times.

Phase-out periods

The currently applicable, binding phase-out periods are as follows:

- phase-out of ozone-depleting CFCs by I January 1996, with a 75% phase-out by 1994;
- total elimination of haloes in 1994;
- 100% phase-out of methyl chloroform by 1996;
- 100% phase-out of carbon tetrachloride by 1996.
- Besides the fully halogenated CFCs, with substances such as carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and methyl chloroform, this list also contains substances with a lower ODP than CFCs.

A very much longer changeover phase was agreed upon for partly halogenated CFCs (HCFCs). They are regarded as transitional substances because they have an ODP of 0.15 or less. For these substances, maximum quantities were agreed upon which must be eliminated by continuous reduction until the year 2030 - e.g., to 35% of present levels by 2010.

Multilateral Fund

The industrialized countries must meet these deadlines. The developing countries have ten years longer to phase out CFCs. Also, at the second conference of the signatories to the Montreal Protocol, held in London in 1990, it was decided to set up a multilateral fund to help this group of countries phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (see box). With resources of $240 million (1991-1993), the fund is intended to finance a part of the incremental costs of the changeover. Incremental costs are incurred, for example, when a CFC production plant has to close before the end of its technical lifetime. The fund is also to be used to finance the transfer of "clean" technology.


Consumption of CFCs and halon by sectors in developing countries -estimate for 1994


10.4 %


16.3 %


30.0 %


38.1 %


5.2 %

Production in developing countries (in tonnes)

1991 production:




The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), under whose patronage the conferences are organized, noted that between 1986 and 1991 the amounts of CFCs marketed decreased by about 40% as a result of the international agreements. The ozone hole nevertheless got bigger because of the long life of the ozone killers. Some countries plan to complete the switch to alternative substances earlier. Germany's environment minister Klaus Topfer was able to announce this spring that consumption of "ozone killers" in Germany has been reduced by 80% in comparison to 1986, when 71,000 tonnes were consumed. He said that CFCs would be completely phased out by mid-1994. The German producers of ozone depleting substances have also promised to halt CFC production by the middle of 1994. In recent years German manufacturers had produced almost twice the quantity of CFCs consumed in Germany.

Replacements with drawbacks

According to Greenpeace, "use of CFCs can be stopped now". The environmentalist organization adds: "An immediate ban on all chemicals that deplete ozone is not only essential, but commercially feasible and without the need to rely on HCFCs and HFCs", criticizing approval of the two most common replacements for CFCs, a solution which Joe Farman, British meteorologist and "discoverer" of the ozone hole, describes as "out of the frying pan into the fire". It is true that technological alternatives are now available which also do without these substances, thus neither destroying the ozone layer nor heating up the global climate.

HCFCs are permitted in industrialized countries until 2030, but a 65% reduction in consumption must be achieved by 2010. Here also, the developing countries have been given a further ten years to complete the changeover. HCFCs are up to 99 per cent less dangerous than CFCs, but they still destroy the ozone layer. With regard to the official ODP figures for HCFCs, the long time-span they are based on comes in for criticism. Environmental organizations believe that in the short and medium term their ozone depleting potential is higher than industry claims. This is why the EC, for example, is endeavouring to bring forward the final phase-out date. HCFCs should only be used temporarily, to accelerate replacement of fully halogenated CFCs, and only as far as absolutely essential.

Global warming potential

HFCs cause no damage at all to the ozone layer, because they contain no chlorine atom. But they do have a greenhouse effect - a Global Warming Potential or GWP, which is admittedly lower than that of CFCs. HFC 134, in particular, is currently very popular. It is meanwhile being produced in the USA, the UK and Germany. It is suitable above all as a refrigerant, and also as a blowing agent for foams, polyurethane foam in cans and compressed gas packaging. Medium-term estimates of annual consumption range from 150,000 to 200,000 tonnes. The German Federal Government, while recognizing the greenhouse potential of this substance, expects a GWP of less than one per cent by the year 2020.

Environmentalists see it differently. According to their calculations, global production of 200,000 tonnes of HFCs is equivalent to a 3,200fold to 4,700-fold higher CO2 emission, or the production of a major industrial nation like the UK or France.

Alternative technologies

In a global context, given existing consumption patterns of CFCs and haloes, adoption of technological alternatives for solvents, industrial refrigerants and foams is an urgent necessity. In the South, refrigeration technology is more important due to climatic conditions and the economic boom in some regions. CFC substitutes are meanwhile available for all applications, but most technological alternatives involve substances which have a slight ODP or a GWP. In the case of insulating materials such as polyurethane, the partly halogenated HCFC 142b is currently being tested as a substitute for CFC 11. HFC 134a is also being tested as a replacement for polystyrene foams, and a cellular glass foamed with CO2 at high temperature is also in use. This insulating material is made from natural raw materials such as sand, dolomite and limestone. Environmentalists point out that some of these foams, and especially those used a; packaging materials, are completely superfluous. Greenpeace lists numerous alternatives to polyurethane and polystyrene foams: as insulating materials, for example, fiberglass, cellulose, vermiculite, cellular glass and cork.

Alternatives to solvents and cleaning agents containing CFCs are now also available. Many of the biggest computer manufacturers are meanwhile introducing CFC-free solvents in their production processes. In the computer industry, cleaning is carried out with aqueous solutions, in combination with new devices such as the vacuum suction dryer.

A Greenpeace study describes another example, from Japan: "Two Japanese companies have developed a novel method for cleaning printed circuit boards. Their ice scrubber cleaning apparatus removes sub-micron contaminants from semi-conductor wafers using a process in which ice particles are sprayed at the dirty surface".

CFCs are not essential for aerosols, either. Since the end of the 1970s there has been a dramatic drop in the number of cosmetics and medical products packaged in aerosols.

"Alternative application methods such as roll-one, sticks and other non-spray dispensers for a variety of household and personal care products are well established. Also, alternative propellants such as hydrocarbons and compressed gases, as well as mechanical spray dispensers, are being used in a wide range of products such as gels, creams, disinfectants, hair-spray and lubricants", summarizes Greenpeace. The sole exception, "in which CFCs cannot be completely eliminated on an immediate basis is metered dose inhalers for asthmatic patients. However", the report goes on, "some MDI use can be replaced by the use of dry powder inhalers, nebulizers, mechanical pump sprays and no-inhalant methods".


In developing countries, reigeration is a major application. Estimates of CFC use for refrigeration in India, for example, vary between 30% and 80%. According to forecasts it is becoming an increasingly important sector, because the number of refrigerating appliances in India could increase from 10 million at present to over 70 million by the year 2010. In a global context, however, CFC consumption for household refrigeration is fairly insignificant: the global average is less than 10 per cent.

In tact, the biggest need for substitutes in this area is in the air conditioning sector, to cool buildings and cars. In 1990, air conditioning accounted for 80% of the CFCs consumed in the refrigeration sector.

Household appliances have nevertheless received a great deal of attention in the media. This is above all due to the fact that Greenpeace, by promoting a completely CFC- and HFC-free refrigerator made by the German firm Foron, has shown that there are alternatives to HFC 134a, which hitherto was the only replacement substance to be propagated by the industry (See "Greenfreeze" box).

In the meantime, after initial reservations, a number of other European manufacturers have switched to this technology. A bilateral agreement between Germany and China on the dissemination of "Greenfreeze" technology in China was signed in Beijing in November 1993.

In car air conditioning systems, HFC 134a and (in the USA) a mixture with an HCFC have proved most popular. Systems using the metallic alumino-silicate zeolite and water are currently being used in pilot applications in this sector. Water vapour is absorbed by a special extraction technique. The ice thus produced can be used for refrigeration. One German manufacturer claims that this process can also be used for block-type cooling power stations.

Dependent on technology transfer

In developing countries, alternative methods are introduced with financial assistance from the ozone fund. In these countries, changing over is much more a question of cost than in the industrialized nations. The additional costs cannot be passed on as higher prices to the same extent as in the North. Moreover, the South is already heavily dependent on the North for technology transfer. India has fared badly in this respect. Its CFC industry is relatively young. As late as 1986, when a ban on CFCs was already in sight, American manufacturers sold CFC manufacturing technology to India. Now it has to be converted. India demands that the technology transfer, e.g. for HFC production, should be free of charge. According to reports in the Indian press, sales of HFCs are by no means assured because due to the high cost manufacturers are reluctant to convert their appliances to HFCs. The substitutes are expensive: even switching to the other alternative, HCFCs, would incur additional costs of 20-30%, and using HFCs is even more expensive.

$3.7 billion cost of phase-out in China and India

In a national plan recently prepared by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, final elimination of CFCs is scheduled for the year 2010. The phase-out will cost $1.64 billion.

The People's Republic of China, in a national plan approved in February 1993, puts the cost of phasing out CFCs at "a minimum" of $1.4 billion. If the cost of converting refrigeration appliances is added to this, the additional costs will amount to $2.1 billion. China intends to apply to the Multilateral Fund for this money, "so as to phase out a potential unconstrained demand of around 320,000 ODP by the year 2010", as the plan puts it.

Consumption of the substitutes HCFC and HFC is planned to rise to 52,900 within the same period. Aerosols are to be phased out by 1997, foams by the year 2000.

However, the national plan emphasizes that the strategy can only be implemented with international assistance. "China is short of the funds and technologies for ODS phaseout".
Statements such as this show that the North cannot rest on its laurels even if it succeeds in achieving the Montreal Protocol phase-out scenario for CFCs and haloes by 1996. In the developing countries alone, the amount of cash needed to mitigate the global environmental disaster that destruction of the ozone layer would represent is immense. Understandably, doubts have already been voiced in those countries about the financing of the fund.

Even after the ban on HCFCs comes into effect in developing countries, in the year 2040, damage to the ozone layer will continue for quite a number of years. No wonder environmental action groups find the time limits permitted by the Montreal Protocol far too long: they demand faster and more comprehensive transfer of existing alternative technologies. "Ozone depletion is perhaps the single most dangerous threat facing humanity", notes Greenpeace. "Even if alternatives did not exist, logic would demand an immediate ban".

GATE Experts' Meeting

Experts disagree on which substitutes for CFCs and which alternative technologies are the most appropriate in the various application sectors. Developing countries in particular stand to benefit by gaining access to the most environmentally compatible and least costly solutions. The Multilateral Fund established in accordance with the Montreal Protocol and, to a much lesser extent, bilateral development cooperation are intended to help them do so. Together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GATE is planning a conference on this topic early in 1994 at which the various technological options and the scope for action are to be discussed by experts. We will report on the conference in a future issue of gate.

Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

The Multilateral Fund (MF) of the Montreal Protocol differs in one key point from other multilateral institutions. Its supreme decision making body i i not dominated by donors from the North; it is made up of equal numbers of representatives from the North and South.

The Fund, which is intended to assist the 88 developing countries - the Article 5 countries - which have now signed the Montreal Protocol, was set up in 1991. It has a small secretariat in Montreal. Its implementing agencies are the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the World Bank.

Almost four-fifths of its funds are allocated to projects via the World Bank. The fund was set up with $240 million for an initial three-year period (1991-1993).

The money is used to finance a portion or the incremental costs which accrue to developing countries as a result of switching to CFC-free technologies in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. The fund makes grants partly on the basis of country programmes with action plans for elimination of ozone depleting substances. "The action plan consists of regulatory measures, priority projects, a timetable and a budget", explains the secretariat. Work has meanwhile started on 44 country programmes, 21 of which have been approved by the Executive Committee. The more than 300 activities in 45 developing countries include 53 investment and demonstration projects in 16 countries, expected to result in elimination of an estimated 31,000 tonnes of ODS annually. Implementation of the projects got off to a sluggish start, admits the Fund secretariat, with the "typical growing pains associated with the start-up of any multinational organization". Contributions were slow to arrive. In fact, the Fund's treasurer only received about $160 million. A further $ 55 million is expectet, but it was not possible to translate it into actual Fund projekts in 1993. At the fifth conference of signatory states in Bangkok in November 1993, this $ 55 million was allocated to the budget for the next three-year period. Thus, together with the new donations of $ 455 million promised in the Thai capital, the Fund will have $ 510 at its disposal between 1994 and 1996.

The projects in the developing countries are only now moving into the implementation phase, a fact which has led some donors to criticize the fund. According to the Executive Committee, the projects that can be financed with $ 510 million can reduce annual ODS consumption by 46,600 tonnes and production by 17,000 tonnes.

In the Fund's project plan, most money (33%) is earmarked for the refrigeration sector, followed by projects in the foams sector (25%) and aid in phasing out CFC production. Despite the high level of investment in these three sectors, reliance on CFCs will remain relatively heavy after 1997: for 50% of foam production and 70% of refrigeration applications. By then, production facilities will have 78% of their present capacity. Altogether, after carrying out the projects, 30% of the ozone depleting substances in the Article 5 countries would be eliminated.

To a far smaller extent, money also reaches projects to protect the ozone layer via bilateral development cooperation. Donors may spend up to 20% of money promised to the Multilateral Fund on bilateral projects. So far, however, only about $2.2 million has found its way to the South by this route, above all from the USA. In the next three years, Germany will exploit this possibility through cooperation agreements with China and possibly other countries as well, e.g. India.

Greenfreeze: Propane and Butane Instead of HFC 134a

"Most German manufacturers are now offering CFC-and HFC-free refrigeration technology". Greenpeace Germany made the good news public in the summer, at the same time stressing that the breakthrough had only been possible with a great deal of staying power, and in the face of defamation and hostility on the part of industry. With its " "Green-freeze" campaign, the environmentalist organization Greenpeace broke new ground, playing the role of promoter for a "green" product. Greenpeace decided to back the refrigeration method - it uses a mixture of propane and butane - which was tested in depth by scientists Harry Rosin and Hans Preisendanz at Dortmund Institute of Hygiene in 1990.

A few months later, Greenpeace commisioned dkk Scharfenstein, a company in the former GDR which was in financial difficulties, to build ter CFC-and HFC-free prototype refrigerators.

The big, established manufacturers rejected the method, and in 1952, in a "voluntary commitment", continued to concentrate exclusively on HFC 134a and HCFCs for refigeration and as foaming agents for insulation. After a short time the company commissioned by Greenpeace had completed the prototypes. An advertising campaign for "Green freeze" was started, and it was not long before 70,000 advance orders were received. In Greenpeace's view, the negative attitude of the big firms resulted in extra publicity for the product.

The high level of acceptance made the competitors think again. Within a very short time they also brought out models that worked on the propane/butane principle; these were presented at a trade fair in February 1993. Greenpeace felt encouraged: "Where there is an ecological will, there will be a technological way", believes Wolfgang Lohheck, the campaign spokesman. The crowning event came in June, when the refrigeration company, meanwhile renamed "Foron", was awarded the German Ecology prize. The technical principle of "Greenfreeze" and the other models is old. Refrigeration is effected with a mixture (20-30 g) of butane and propane. Initial fears about the fire risk of this mixture proved groundless. The German safety standards authority TUV awarded the refrigerator the "tested safety" seal of quality.

One factor that makes the technology especially attractive for consumers in poorer countries is the price. The natural hydrocarbons propane and butane are obtainable without a licence, cost half the price of CFCs and only 10% of the supposed alternative HFC 134a and HCFCs. The refrigerator is insulated with polyurethane foamed from pentane or polystyrene. The advantages of the "Greenfreeze" design make the technology interesting for Asian, Latin American and African countries. The reason is that HFC 134a is by no means an easily manageable refrigeration mixture. It is costly to replace and can only be recycled with expensive high-performance vacuum pumps. Also, synthetic oils are needed which are more expensive than conventionally used lubricants.

"Greenfreeze" has meanwhile been publicized in China and India, the South's two biggest consumers of CFCs. In China, tests with the models made by Bosch/Siemens and Liebherr are being carried out by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology. The results will be made available to all potential users. The German company Liebherr is already cooperating with Chinese market leader Ohinj-doa.

The transfer of "Greenfreze" technology is already being supported by a Technical Cooperation project between Germany and China for which GATE is responsible. A cooperation agreement was signed in Beijing in November 1993.


1) ozone Action, UNEP IE/PAC. Quarterly Newsletter. 39-43 Quai Andre Citroen, F-75739 Paris CEDEX 15, France

2) Greenpeace International, Climbing out of the Ozone Hole - A Preliminary Survey of Alternatives to Ozone-Depleting Chemicals. Greenpeace International, Keizersgracht 176, NL1016 Amsterdam. Fax +31 20 5236500.


Methane as a Source of Energy
How the "Greenhouse" Gas can be Used as Biogas
by Jochen Mailander

Methane is the third most common of the trace gases contributing to the man-made greenhouse effect. One way of reducing methane emissions is to use the gas as a source of energy. Because methane is a constituent of biogas, which is a highly attractive regenerative energy source, not least from an economic point of view. In Germany, as in most other countries, biogas is still a marginal technology, although it is very widespread in some parts of south-east Asia. China and India in particular are traditional biogas countries which have for decades been making a meaningful contribution to reducing the methane component of the greenhouse effect.

Methane (CH4) is a gas which occurs in nature as a result of all anaerobic fermentation processes, i.e. the decomposition of vegetable substances. It occurs in small amounts as a trace gas in the atmosphere. The principal natural sources of methane are the world's great marshlands and swamplands. As a result of human interference with nature - e.g. agriculture, mining, burning of biomass and fossile fuels, refuse dumps methane production ha . been increased so much that for about 200 years now it has been a dangerous "greenhouse" gas.

The greenhouse effect

The natural greenhouse effect produces a 33ncrease in the temperature of the earth's surface. It is essential for human and animal life, since without it the mean temperature of the earth would be -18 However, the additional man-made greenhouse effect, which has now been increasing continuously for a hundred years, is a cause for concern. Until now, it has resulted in a measurable rise of about 0.7n the mean temperature of the earth. The forecasts for the coming decades are "hot": an increase in global warming by 1.5o 4.5the most probable range) by the year 2030, assuming an unchanged increase in emissions.

The greenhouse effect is a result of thermal re-radiation of trace gases. The natural greenhouse effect is primarily due to water vapour (62%) and CO2 (21%), plus natural emissions of methane and nitrous oxides. The man-made greenhouse effect is caused by emissions of the five principal trace gases (see table 1).

Since the various measures proposed for reducing emissions were controversial, were only adopted reluctantly and had no effect, concentrations of trace gases in the atmosphere continued to rise. Different retention times and delays in the effect of the molecules in the atmosphere (CO2 100 years, CFCs 50-100 years methane 10 years) have a cumulative effect. One CFC molecule has the same greenhouse effect as approx. 15,000 CO2 molecules; methane has the same greenhouse effect as 30 CO2 molecules.

Typical examples of measures that are hard to enforce and have so tar had practically no impact on the greenhouse effect include

- control of slash-and-burn and deforestation;

- reduction of emissions from burning of fossil fuels, e.g. in vehicle engines

- calling a global halt to the use of CFCs and substitutes for them (a reduction which will have an impact on ozone levels is foreseeable).

Table 1: Trace gases so far responsible for the man-made greenhouse effect

CO2 (carbon dioxide)


= 0.35° C

CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons)

17% (increasing->25%)

= 0.12° C

CH4 (methane)

19% (13%)

= 0.13° C

O3 (tropospheric ozone)


= 0.06° C

N2O (nitrous oxide)


= 0.03° C

Methane emissions

Methane emissions have a not inconsiderable impact on the earth's climate. The effects achieved by reducing methane missions are comparatively short-term, since a methane molecule survives no more than ten years in the atmosphere. In the last 200 years, the methane content of the atmosphere has more than doubled and present methane emissions are running at a rate of around 500 million tonnes a year. Of this, 400 million tonnes are man-made; that is, in addition to the 100 million tonnes produced by natural processes (e.g. decomposition in swamplands) or by termites and woodworm, around 400 million tonnes more, produced by human activity, find their way into the atmosphere and thus contribute directly to global warming.

The extent to which individual sources of methane contribute to the greenhouse effect is still partially based on estimates (see table 2):

One striking figure is the high level of methane emissions resulting from rice cultivation. At present there is little chance of reducing this. However, methane production can be reduced in agriculture (animal husbandry), in the burning of biomass, in refuse dumps and in "natural gas loss" situations, by consistently using methane as a fuel. In addition to reducing ecologically destructive emissions, this will also help to preserve energy supplies and protect the environment, assuming that the methane-containing biogas IS used as a substitute for coal or oil.

Table 2: Man-made sources of methane



Percentage of effect of methane

(mill. tonnes/ year)

Man-made greenhouse

Paddy fields (wet rice cultivation)



Fermentation in stomachs of ruminants, agriculture/animal husbandry (liquid manure)



Burning of biomass(slash-and-burn, fossil fuels)



Refuse dumps



Coal mining



Natural gas loss during extraction and distribution




Biogas is a mixture of gases with a methane (H4) content of 50% to 80%. It also contains CO2 (20-50%) and traces of H2S and other gases. Depending on where it originates, it is termed landfill gas, sewage gas, marsh gas, fire-damp or pit gas, fermentation or manure gas, and sometimes also natural gas. The general term biogas is attributable to the fact that this gas mixture is the result of anaerobic fermentation of biomass.

Energy can be obtained from biogas by controlled combustion in the following ways:

- direct utilization for cooking, heating and refrigeration;

- power generation and waste heat utilization via gas engines (spark-ignition engines, Stirling engines) and block-type thermal power stations;

- district heating networks served by large-scale linked biogas plants or landfill gas plants, combined with block-type thermal power stations.

With minor modifications, all appliances designed for natural gas can be run on biogas.

A number of eminently practical concepts for using biogas as a fuel have already been put into practice in sewage plants, refuse dumps and in agriculture.

1. Utilization of sewage gas in sewage plants

During aerobic wastewater purification in a sewage plant, sewage sludge is produced. This is anaerobically fermented in a digesting chamber. In Germany, biogas has been produced in sewage plant digesting chambers since the early 1930s, and there are now about 200 digester gas plants in the country. Worldwide, there are thousands of digester gas plants producing biogas, which is used in particular for domestic purposes. In some sewage plants the arising biogas is only burned off.

Increasingly, both in developing and in industrialized countries, industrial and domestic/communal sewage is anaerobically fermented, purified directly in a biogas plant.

Table 3: Agricultural biogas plants in the world


4.5 million




1.2 million





Ivory Coast














EC (without FRG)

640 agricultural

200 industrial


160 agricultural

80 industrial


140 agricultural

However, methane emissions from organic sewage and the resulting sewage sludge are low compared with the methane sources listed in Table 2. For operators of such sewage plants, therefore, there is less incentive to exploit the energy content of the sewage. This is why the majority of the sewage plants in the world have no facilities for utilizing sewage gas.

2. Utilization of landfill gas on refuse dumps

In refuse dumps a methane-containing gas is produced when the oxygen supply is insufficient. This gas normally penetrates the covering and prevents vegetation from growing for years. By providing bore-holes and laying a mesh-like drainage system, the methane can be extracted, collected and used as a fuel. In block-type thermal power stations it is burnt to generate electricity. The waste heat is also utilized. In Germany there are meanwhile about 80 sanitary landfill gas plants (compared with 20 at the beginning of 1986). Some 560 million m3 of landfill gas are burnt in these plants every year, i.e. a 20 per cent utilization rate. Landfill gas utilization is still relatively unknown outside Germany, and there are correspondingly fewer landfill gas plants in other countries. The technology is mature, however, and plants can be installed at existing landfill sites. This clearly illustrates the future need for action and financing - in particular for the industrialized countries as the principal waste producers.

About 8 to 18 per cent of the methane in the earth's atmosphere originates in refuse dumps. Forty million tonnes of methane emissions per year worldwide compare with about 120,000 tonnes per year used in a controlled manner to generate energy in German biogas plants.

3. Utilization of biogas in agriculture

Biogas plants used in agriculture vary widely in both design and size. The majority of them are installed on fairly small farms in developing and threshold countries, where a simple, proven technology is often used. Besides farm plants there are village community plants and plants with complex processes for industry. The most suitable input for fermentation is cattle and pig excrement (liquid manure). In addition, practically any non-wood-containing organic material can be fermented (e.g. fats, gras, harvest residues, organic domestic waste, organically contaminated waste water). About 6 million of the biogas plants in the world are primarily agricultural (see table 3).

Since the mid- 1970s, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) has promoted the establishment of about 2,000 biogas plants in developing countries on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ).

Worldwide, agricultural biogas plants currently use approximately 2 billion m3 of biogas per year. The total of around 75 million tonnes of methane per year generated by agriculture contrast with about I million tonnes produced and utilized in biogas plants. However, it must be borne in mind that a high percentage of this methane cannot be used (e.g. belch gas produced by ruminants).

There are many good reasons for burning biogas in preference to coal, oil, natural gas or wood. The emissions of pollutants and CO2 are around five per cent lower than those from fossil fuels. Using biogas as a fuel also means that fewer trees are destroyed by deforestation and slash-and-burn. Ecological fertilizer can be made from the digested sludge, ground water contamination is reduced, and energy supplies can be decentralized. For example, if biogas was used on a wider scale instead of coal and oil, and the existing potential (20 million biogas plants by the year 2000), CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels could be reduced by up to 1 per cent a year.

Huge untapped potential

If methane emissions from agriculture and refuse dumps are compared with the quantities of biogas so far utilized as a source of energy, the following picture emerges:

A certain reduction in methane emissions has already been achieved, in particular due to the high number of agricultural biogas plants. Worldwide, in agriculture/animal husbandry, this reduction is probably around 2-3%. However, the reduction in emissions from refuse dumps is only about I -2% (in Germany 20%). The comparison shows that up to now, far more has been done in agriculture worldwide than in waste management.

A huge biogas potential remains untapped. This is due for one thing to a lack of money, and for another to problems in improving and extending existing ecological concepts in energy generation, solid waste and sewage management, and agriculture. Anaerobic digestion of waste and sewage is regarded as the technology of the future. GTZ's Biogas Extension Programme played a significant role in pointing the way ahead. With regard to landfill gas technology, broader-based application of existing know-how would be a step in the right direction.

Canada: Rotting Reservoirs

Electricity from big hydrostations may not be such an environmentally friendly source of power after all.

A new study in Canada has found that some hydroelectric reservoirs give off as much carbon dioxide and methane - the two most important causes of the man-made greenhouse effect - as coal-fired power stations producing a similar amount of electricity.

The problem is the forests, soils and peat bogs flooded by the reservoirs. Once these are flooded, they decompose releasing the gases.

A study of one hydroelectric reservoir, Cedar Lake in Manitoba, revealed a likely release of about one kilogram of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by the reservoir's power station.

This emission was similar to the greenhouse effect of electricity generated by coal-fired plants and would persist for at least 50 years.

To date, emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs have not been taken into account in assessments of national emissions of greenhouse gases.

(Source: New Scientist, July 93)

AT Activities

European AT Question-and-Answer Services:
Better Information on Food Processing

Eschborn - The food processing sector was the subject of a workshop organized by GATE/ISAT at the beginning of November. It was attended by five West European question-and-answer services active in the field of A-T GRET/TPA (France), ITDG (UK), SKAT (Switzerland), and TOOL (The Netherlands) and GATE/ISAT. The main aims of the workshop were to improve coordination of activities and to seek a more efficient way of answering enquiries from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

GATE/ISAT was represented by Rudolf Kiessling. He is responsible for on-farm processing and for the West and Central African regions. GATE's internal AT demand study, conducted in 1991, was presented to the participants and taken as a basis for an analysis of the latest technical and regional trends in the food technology sector. Great interest was also shown in the presentation of the 'clipper' data processing system. For the past year, all enquiries received at GATE/ISAT have been recorded and dealt with using this system.

GATE/ISAT is currently trying a new approach to intensifying contacts with the South. It is planned to set up a 'clearing house' for this purpose. At the instigation of GATE/ISAT, this office is to be opened in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in the near future. The institution will support the work of an increasing number of NGOs in West Africa by functioning as a contact partner for demand-oriented projects, and by procuring the necessary technological expertise (through South-South cooperation where possible).

As a result of the workshop in Eschborn, cooperation among West European question-and-answer services will be further intensified. In the coming months substantial progress may be expected on some of the activities begun in 1993:

- foundation meeting of the West African NGOs to set up the clearing house mentioned above in December 1993 (with the assistance of GATE/ISAT);

- evaluation of questionnaires completed by European AT question-and-answer services (to be done by TOOL);

- comparison of key technical and geographical sectors within the information services involved in food processing (to be done by ITDG).

The intermediate or final results of these activities will be integrated into the next meetings, to be organized in January 1994 by GATE/ISAT in Eschborn and in April 1994 by TOOL in Amsterdam.

The contact addresses of the information services mentioned above are:

Postfach 5180
65726 Eschborn
Tel. (+49) 6196 79-0
Fax (+49) 6196 79-7352

213 rue La Fayette
75010 Paris
Tel. (+33) 1-40351314
Fax (+33) 1-40350839

Myson House, Railway Terrace
Rugby CV21 3HT
United Kingdom
Tel (+44) 788-560631
Fax (+44) 788-540270

Vadianstrasse 42
9()()0 St Gallen
Tel (+41) 71-237475
Fax (+41) 71-257545

Sarphatistraat 650
1018 AV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel. (+31)20-6264409
Fax (+31) 20-6277489

AT-Forum: Strengthening of Extension Services in Developing Countries

Eschborn - "Strengthening and expansion of extension capacities in developing countries" was one of the topics discussed by the AT-Forum NGO-GTZ aat a meeting held in Eschborn in September. Other points covered included improved information interchange among the member organizations, criteria for admitting new members, an index of AT experts, and a response to xenophobia in Germany.

With regard to extension services in developing countries, it is important above all to qualify counterparts in the South adequately. This was the conclusion reached by an AT-Forum working group following a review which established that all the member organizations provide extension services. Overlapping cooperation networks could result in first steps towards establishing a competent advisory structure. Postharvest technologies were considered as a potential sectoral focus, and the Andean countries were suggested as a possible region. Experience in this area is to be collected and evaluated at a conference in February 1994. Afterwards it is planned to hold a field workshop at which both extension officers and local advisers can exchange experience and coordinate further action.

AT-Forum's Information Network working group reported that public relations lobbying and exchange of project experience were emerging as the key areas of its work. The working group is planning a newsletter due to appear for the first time early in 1994. At first it will be available only to AT-Forum's members, but later other organizations will also be able to order it. To facilitate exchange of project experience, the working group plans to compile a catalogue containing selected key data on projects implemented by AT-Forum's members.

The members agreed not to establish any fixed criteria for admitting new organizations, but to decide on a case-to-case basis. However, assessments wild continue to be based primarily on applicant organizations' main areas of activity in development cooperation and how well known they are.

The members of AT-Forum also view the continuing series of attacks on foreign nationals in Germany with concern. As a "small contribution" towards reversing this trend they decided to publish statements condemning hostility to foreigners in Germany in a special section of this issue of gate.

Development Scene

"Alternative Nobel Prize" 1993 Honours Women's Courage

Stockholm - This year five women or women-led movements from Israel/Palestine, Zimbabwe, India and the Shoshone Nation in the US will be honoured with the "Right Livelihood Award", often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize". A press release by the "Right Livelihood Award" foundation, established by Jakob von Uexkull in 1980, states that the $ 200,000 prize recognises the "women's courage in crisis and conflicts".

The first award winner is the teacher Arna Mer-Khamis (Israel) and her organization Care and Learning, which was established in 1988 in Jenin (Occupied Palestine). Care and Learning cares for some 1,500 children in the West Bank who have suffered physically or mentally from Israeli occupation. The jury feels that the work of these women could serve as a model contribution to a real reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

The Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) in Zimbabwe and one of its "founding-mothers" Sithembiso Nyoni are honoured for motivating its million members to choose their own development path according to their culture and traditions and for their effective response to the most lengthy drought in Southern Africa. ORAP was established by a small group of people in Matabeteland in 1981, a year after the end of the war of independence.

The Indian environmental activist, advocate and researcher Vandana Shiva is also honoured. She established the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in Dehra Dun in 1982. The Foundation supports people's environmental struggles, part of the objective of which is the articulation and justification of people's knowledge. Vandana Shiva is honoured for her pioneering insights into the social and environmental costs of the dominant development process.

The sisters Mary and Carrie Dann of the Western Shoshone Nation, living in Nevada (US), have been the major leaders for over twenty years in their people's political and legal struggle to retain their ancestral lands. Their courage and perseverance is honoured.

"Bonn Declaration": New Concept of Global Human Security

Bonn - "Security is based on the realization of human rights, economic progress which is environmentally sustainable, and social progress which is equitable." This is the essence of a new concept of Global Human Security described in the Bonn Declaration of the European Parliamentarians' Conference. Characteristic of this concept is its "demilitarization" of security following the end of the East-West conflict. The two-day conference, held on 17-18 September in Bonn, was attended by delegates from ministries, NGOs and international organizations as well as parliamentarians. They called on governments to keep the promises made in Rio and make more money available for development aid. At the same time, military expenditure should be reduced. More attention than in the past should be paid to the link between security and development. "Security is a necessary condition for development to occur; conversely, sustainable human development is essential for global human security to materialize."
The conference participants summarized their ideas on what a new form of development cooperation might include in a seven-point agenda to be put before parliaments and governments:

- "to gear development cooperation towards the key challenges of sustainable human development and global security;

- to set aside around 2% of existing ODA to develop new concepts and strengthen public support for international cooperation;

- to urge the developing countries to cut military spending and to restructure their budget priorities from military spending to investment in sustainable human development, and the industrialized countries to realize their peace dividend;

- to suggest that 20% of both developing country budgets and aid budgets be allocated to human development priorities, such as primary health care, basic education, drinking water, family planmug services;

- to redress the recently growing imbalance in expenditure between peace-keeping operations and long-term development support;

- to identify new mechanisms of better resource mobilization for global objectives which embrace common human survival on this fragile planet;

- to broaden the international development cooperation also to include trade, private investment, technology and labour flows."

The "Bonn Declaration" also calls for "more transparency" in international organizations like the World Bank and the UN Economic and Social Council, saying that more parliamentary control of their policies is needed.

UNESCO-Declaration on "Project 2000+": Scientific and Technological Literacy for All

Paris - "By the year 2001 there should be in place appropriate structures and activities to foster scientific literacy and technological literacy for all, in all countries", was the final recommendation in the eight-item Paris declaration on "Project 2000+" of UNESCO's International Forum on Scientific and Technological Literacy for All in July this year.

The Forum represented the second phase of the "Project 2000+", a joint venture based on a partnership between a group of major intergovernmental organizations, agencies and NGOs with special concerns and responsibilities in the field of science and technology, education and research. The purpose of the Forum was to establish an agenda for action, supporting steps that individuals, institutions, organizations and governments can take together to reform and revitalize science and technology education at all levels.

The "Project 2000+" declaration relates to the World Declaration on Education for All and UNCED Agenda 21 and emphasises that scientific and technological literacy are central elements of a responsible and sustainable development. The improvement of both school education and also of other educational programs is recommended. The goal is to set up a network and interexchange of curricula and resource materials for science and technology education. It is demanded that guidelines be formulated for the preparation and continous professional development of science and technology educators and leadership, coupled with assistance to countries giving effect to these guidelines. Moreover, effective communication is to be developed and assessment strategies and evaluation programs designed to enhance general levels of scientific literacy and technological literacy.

BMZ's New "Livestock Husbandry" Sector Concept

Bonn - The new sector concept "Livestock husbandry in cooperation for development" is geared both to reducing poverty and - in line with the demands of Agenda 21 of the Rio conference - to protecting the environment and natural resources. This was the core statement made by the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hans-Peter Repnik, when presenting the concept in Bonn on October 26. The sector paper is "an action and orientation guideline for site-appropriate, environmentally compatible and sustainable use of local livestock production".

The sector paper is geared to three different site situations and points towards new paths:

- Nomads living of livestock husbandry are to have the capacity to adapt the size of their herd to the existing fodder base so that sustained use is ensured in the long term;

- The rural population practising livestock husbandry in crop-production regions are to have the capacity to earn higher profits from their livestock. Marketing of small livestock such as rabbits and poultry is a major source of income for women;

- Specialised livestock husbandry is steadily growing in urban centers. Producers of animal foodstuffs and raw materials (e.g. milk, meat and eggs) are to have the capacity to supply urban consumer centers and food processing operations with quality products at reasonable prices.

Greater attention is also paid to the political, economic and institutional framework conditions. International trade in agricultural produce should be liberalised. The sector paper puts forward that industrial nations should discontinue their export subsidies on meat. The BMZ criticizes the EC's policy on beef exports: While the export quantities involved should not be exaggerated, they are nevertheless extremely counter-productive for bilateral projects assisted by the Federal Republic and also for the EC promoted measures to raise animal productron in West African coastal areas.

BMZ: Commissioner for Emergency Aid and Refugee Affairs Appointed

Bonn - On July 1st this year, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) appointed Dr. Ulrich Popp, Head of Directorate 31, as Commissioner for Emergency Aid and Refugee Affairs.

The press release by the Ministry states that longer-term sustainable development-policy solutions are increasingly requested to accompanying immediate disaster relief activities. The borderline between humanitarian aid and development cooperation being very fluid, the two areas of responsibility should coordinate at a very early stage. This is now to be the task of the Commissioner for Emergency Aid. He is primarily responsible for BMZ in-house coordination of development cooperation in emergency situations, supported by a working group made up of members of the BMZ's various Divisions and Directorates. Dr. Popp also represents the ministry in its external dealings on matters concerning emergency aid, and is the central point of contact for other ministries, aid organizations and the general public.

This change in BMZ's organizational structure reflects a recommendation by Professor Werner Gocht (Aachen) in his study for the German IDNDR Committee, that "disaster reduction measures be increasingly included in the joint development work done by governmental organizations". Professor Gocht recommended that "at the BMZ, disaster reduction should come under the 'Poverty Relief' Department's brief, as this would give it more weight" (gate 3/93)


Services for the Poor
Richard Franceys, Andrew Cotton: Services for the Urban Poor. A Select Bibliography.

WEDC/ITP, Loughborough 1993. 89 pp. ISBN: 1-85339-188-3. (ITP, 103/105 Southampton Row, London WC I 4HH, UK.)

This bibliography is the result of a review of the literature on infrastructure design for urban low-income housing. The focus of the references which have been included is on the provision of site-level infrastructure appropriate for sites and services schemes, slum improvement programmes, and urban area upgrading programmes. The subjects covered are infrastructure planning, site preparation, drainage, roads and access, water supply, power supply, sanitation and solide waste management.

Note: Please order books, annotated in gate's "bookbox" directly from the publisher.

Fish Fermentation
Cherl-Ho Lee, Keith H. Steinkraus, P. J. Alan Reilly: Fish Fermentation Technology.

United Nations University Press, Tokyo, New York, Paris 1993.320 pp. ISBN: 89-7053003-7. (United Nations University Press, 53-70Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150,Japan).

This book is the result of the United Nations Universitiy's (UNU) ongoing interest in promoting the study of traditional food technologies. Through an UNU project that began in 1985, detailed information on processing technologies used in the preparation of fermented fish products, the patterns of consumption and the nutritional composition of products was collected from a number of countries in Asia. The book is also an attempt to elucidate the cultural aspects of fish fermentation, the present status of production and technology in different regions of the world, and the microbiological and biochemical aspects of fish fermentation.

Draught Animal Systems
E. Teleni, R.S.F. Campell, D. Hoffmann: Draught Animal Systems and Management: An Indonesian Study.

Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Canberra (Australia) 1993. 167 pp. ISBN: 1-86320-083-5. (ACIAR, GPO Box 1571, Canberra, Australia 2601)

Farming methods based on draught animals are among the most significant agricultural systems in the world. In the production of rice and other crops in the tropics these systems remain critical to the food security of expanding populations. They are a major contributor to employment and a major source of income from crop products, calves, animal rental and animal by products. This manual contains a comprehensive account of the draught animal systems m representative areas of Indonesia whose characteristics simulate any other areas of Southeast Asia.

Water Systems

Gilles Corcos: Air in Water Pipes. A Manual for Designers of Spring Supplied Gravity-Driven Drinking Water Rural Delivery Systems.

Berkeley (CA), USA 1992. 71 pp. ISBN: 0-9634980-0-2. 6 US$ plus postage. (Ague Para La Vida. 506 Arlington Ave. Berkeley, CA 94707, USA).

The manual is intended as a complement to handbooks on the construction of rural gravity-flow water systems. It focuses on the problems and the opportunities associated with their almost inevitable presence or air in the main pipeline from the spring to the distribution tank. The essential ideas of this manual are also applicable to other technical areas, such as drainage, in which pipes are used to convey a liquid at an unspecified flow rate.

Courses and meeting

Anaerobic and Low Cost Treatment of Wastes and Waste-Waters
1st International Course 13 - 26 March 1994 Wageningen, Netherlands

This "Training Programme in Environmental Technology and Sustainable Land Use" is organized by the International Agricultural Centre (IAC) in Wageningen and the Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU), Department of Environmental Technology (DET). The objective of this course is to present recently developed knowledge and insights about the possibilities of applying waste and wastewater treatment technologies geared to low energy consumption and the re-utilization of valuable components (fertilizers, energy). Participation is open to professionals who work in the field of research and development, training and policy making, related to the implementation of environmental protection technologies.

Details from:
International Agricultural Centre
P. O. Box 88
6700 AB Wageningen
The Netherlands
I.awickse Allee 11
Tel: + 31-8370-90111
Fax +31- 8370-18552

Basic Principles of Planning Integrated Plant Protection Measures
13 May - 8 June 1994 Feldafing, Germany

The course participants from Anglophone Africa will be able to recognize interdependencies within the production system and base decisions upon them, to assess the advantages and limits of different surveillance and early warning systems, to implement advanced training and extension work on relevant topics and to introduce relevant topics in existing teaching or training curricula.

Closing Date for Application:
January 13, 1994
Details from:
Food and Agriculture Development Centre (ZEL)
- Feldafing/Zschortau
German Foundation for International Development (DSE)
D-82336 Feldafing
Federal Republic of Germany Fax 0 81 57-3 82 27

Indigenous Technical Knowledge in Tropical Agricultural Development
A 10-week-course 29 June - 9 September 1994 Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The curriculum of the course, organized by the University of Edinburgh: The nature of indigenous knowledge and its creation, techniques for the elicitation of indigenous knowledge, case studies of indigenous crop and livestock production, applications and implications of indigenous agricultural knowledge, validation and storage of indigenous knowledge in expert systems, communication m rural societies, management of small projects by NGOs and computing and data handling skills. The course (fee: 3,500 Pounds) addresses graduates, postgraduates and workers in rural and agricultural development, particularly those working in NGOs, and governmental education and extension services.

Details from:
Edith Field, Tropag Courses UnivED Technologies Ltd
The University of Edinburgh
16 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh EH8 9LN,
Scotland, UK
Tel.: +31-650-3473
Fax: +31-650-3474

Environment-oriented Resource Planning in Intensive Agriculture
29 July - 23 August 1994 Zschortau, Germany

This 4-week-course is organized by the Food and Agriculture Development Centre (ZEL) of the German Foundation for International Development (DSE). Objectives are to get the participants familiar with concepts, methods and procedures of environment protection in agriculture, to give them the capacity to assess possibilities for applying these methods and procedures under the conditions of developing countries and develop concepts for their home regions. Target groups are medium and higher level specialist staff of agricultural, environmental and rural development planning authorities and personnel of development cooperation projects.

Closing Date for Application: March 29, 1994
Details from:
Food and Agriculture Development Centre (ZEL)
- Feldahng/Zschortau -
German Foundation for International Development (DSE)
D - 82336 Feldafing
Federal Republic of Germany
Fax: 0 8157-3 82 27