Cover Image
close this bookThe Courier N 123 Sept - October 1990 - Dossier Higher Education - Country Reports: Barbados - (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
close this folderCTA bulletin
View the documentAgricultural research in developing countries
View the documentThe curier’s mailbag
Open this folder and view contentsNews round-up
View the documentBooks

Agricultural research in developing countries

Efficiency is the requisite for the cash-tight ‘90s

by Howard ELLIOT and Gerry TOOMEY

The Green Revolution of the late 1960s and ‘70s created widespread optimism and faith in the enormous potential of science-driven agriculture. By the mid-1980s, hundreds of laboratories and research stations had been built in the developing countries, many with the help of donor funding. Manning them was a huge cohort of enthusiastic young agricultural scientists and technicians, returned home after advanced training abroad.

However, in most regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, public funding to support and nurture this growing pool of trained people and facilities has not kept pace. Indeed, national agricultural research systems (NARS) today face a financial crisis that could affect food production for years to come.

If investments in research over the past 25 years are to pay off in the form of improved rural incomes and food security, then developing countries will have to sharpen the focus of their research, concentrating on the most important problems. And they will have to conduct it more efficiently. All this calls for well thought out policies and better organisation and management of research institutes.

This article examines some global trends in national agricultural research and briefly describes how changes in one critical area - information management - can improve the efficiency of research systems. The trends have emerged from data collected and analysed by the International Service for National Agricultural Research (see box), an independent advisory institute in The Hague which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.

In much of the world, agricultural productivity, both per unit of land and per unit of labour, has advanced markedly during the past three decades. The striking exception to this positive trend has been sub-Saharan Africa.

We know that tomorrow’s agricultural output, whether in Africa, Asia or elsewhere, will depend increasingly on the rational application of science. Investments today in agricultural research, both at the national and international levels, will determine future agriculture trends. Gone are the days when, in order to feed its growing population, a nation could rely solely on bringing new, often marginal lands under cultivation.

Over the last 30 years, the human and financial face of the global agricultural research mosaic has changed dramatically, reflecting the growing reliance on science-based agriculture. In the period 1960-64, the NARS of the developing countries accounted for only 21 % of the world’s scientists working in publicly funded agricultural research institutes, including universities. By the early 1980s this share had more than doubled to 45 % of the world total (see figures I and 2).

In hard numbers, the developing-country research work force grew from roughly 10000 scientists in the early 1960s (of a world total of some 50 000), to about 45 000 scientists in the early 1980s (of a world total of about 100 000). In effect, most national agricultural research systems now fall in the range of 50 to 200 scientists. Thus, for most countries, there are enough scientists to ensure effective problem-solving - as long as they concentrate their resources on a restricted number of priorities.

During the same period, the developing world as a whole also boosted its share of total world expenditures on national agricultural research, from 24 % to 35 % (see Figure 3). However - and this is crucial to understanding the current state of research in much of the developing world - these expenditures have not been rising as fast as the numbers of scientists (see Figure 4).

Take sub-Saharan Africa, for example. The annual compound rate of growth of the number of agricultural scientists between the early 1960s and the early 1980s was about 7.5% in that region. The growth rate for expenditures on their research, however, was less than 6 %. Of all the developing regions, only Asia and the Pacific had a higher growth rate for expenditures than for numbers of scientists. In general, then, the financial resources allocated per scientist have declined.

This imbalance between growth in human versus financial resources gives rise to another major mismatch: operational expenditures on research infrastructure (equipment, laboratories, and buildings) have not grown as fast as the infrastructure itself. This is largely because the salaries of the growing numbers of scientists eat up a large proportion of research budgets. Paradoxically, research systems are losing scientists because of low pay, while the high total cost of salaries is crippling those research systems. With little money available for operations and maintenance, buildings and equipment begin to deteriorate, scientists are unable to travel to important meetings and experimental sites, libraries’ journal collections become quickly outdated, and important research work is left undone.


Figure 1 - Global increase in the numbers of researchers in NARS

Commitment to research

One indicator of research effort often cited by donors is agricultural research intensity (ARI), the amount of money a country spends on agricultural research expressed as a percentage of agricultural gross domestic product (AgGDP). Trends in this ratio can be discerned in ISNAR’s Indicator Series data. In the early 1960s, the ARI ratio for the industrialised countries was a little less than I %, while for the developing countries it was only 0.18%, about one-fifth as much. By the period 1980-85, the figure for industrialised and developing countries had risen to 2.01% and 0.42%, respectively. In other words, although the ratios have grown substantially for both rich and poor countries, the latter still lag far behind the former in the share of agricultural product invested in research.

This fact leads some observers to the erroneous conclusion that many developing countries lack the necessary political will to promote research-based agriculture. Indeed, we frequently hear that these countries should give research more attention. The flaw in this view is that it confuses a country’s lack of fiscal capacity to fund research with lack of political commitment to research.

The ARI ratio now achieved by the richer nations as a whole, roughly 2 % of AgGDP, has been cited by the World Bank as a desirable target for developing countries. ISNAR believes this is unrealistically high given the current structure and fiscal capacity of developing countries. Moreover, the conceptual and empirical basis for such a rule of thumb has not been clearly established. A more important point perhaps is that this indicator (research expenditures as a fraction of AgGDP), when considered in isolation, is not an accurate reflection of the priority a nation accords to agricultural research and, by extension, to agriculture. Indeed, a decomposition of the ratio into its components reveals that developing countries, though far short of the 2 % target, are in fact committed to spending on science-based agriculture.

To begin with, a more precise indicator of political commitment to agriculture may be the proportion of the overall budget that a government spends on agriculture. For the low-income countries, it works out to an average of 9 to 10%; for the high-income countries, which of course are much less agricultural, the figure is around 4%. The point is that the developing countries are spending a much bigger proportion of their budgets on agriculture than are the industrial countries. This contribution is substantial, especially given the compelling needs of other sectors like health and education.

Secondly, the proportion of the national agricultural budget that a country devotes to research is a good indicator of commitment to agricultural research. A comparison between low- and high-income countries is revealing. Analysis of data from the ISNAR Indicator Series shows that the developing countries are spending about the same proportion of their agricultural budgets on agricultural research as the high-income countries. The figure is between 10 % and I I %. This strongly suggests that developing-country governments are solidly committed to agricultural research or at least as much as the industrial countries.


Figure 2 - Numbers of rechearches in NARS of developing regions 1980-85

A final point relates to low fiscal capacity a governement’s ability to pay for the services it must provide its citizens. On average, the overall government revenue of a low-income country is less than 16% of its gross domestic product (GDP). In the richer, industrialised countries the average budget is proportionately much bigger, about 25%. But when it comes to size of the agricultural sector to be serviced from these budgets, the tables are turned. The poorer countries are heavily agricultural, with AgGDP accounting for over one-third of GDP. In the high-income, more industrialised countries, AgGDP makes up only about 6% of GDP. Moreover, the greater the success a developing country has in raising its agricultural product, the more difficulty it has in reaching its research expenditure target. Thus, donors should not consider a low ARI ratio as evidence of low commitment to research.


Figure 3 - Global increase in expeditures on national agricultural research

Competition

These sharply contrasting economic structures point up the magnitude of the task faced by agricultural research systems in developing countries - with fewer resources they have a larger sector and proportionately more farmers to service than the richer countries. The richer, industrialised countries are able to tax a large nonagricultural sector (the main beneficiaries of cheap food and agricultural raw materials) to help fund the research that contributed to the low costs. In contrast, developing countries must extract more of their fiscal resources from agriculture and use them for all other competing needs. This explains why, in a sample of high- and low-income countries, the expenditure per active person in agriculture was $239 in the rich countries and only $3 in the poor countries.


Figure 4 - Annual compound growth rates of agricultural researchers and expenditures on national agricultural research

In the developing countries, then, raising the ratio (even up to only 1% of AgGDP) will depend on structural change accompanied by fiscal reform. In such a situation it is essential for the international donor community to continue supporting the NARS until they are past this economic hurdle.

In the meantime, agricultural research leaders in the developing countries face tough times. New, pressing concerns have appeared on the agendas of the traditional donor countries, creating competition for funds. Protection of the global environment and support for the newly democratised countries of Eastern Europe are two examples. So-called “ donor fatigue “ disillusionment with the track record of development assistance in general complicates the equation. Within research, there is concern that growth in size of the national systems (that is, numbers of scientists) without an accompanying increase in the resources per scientist will only replicate the currently inadequate situation.

Increased international competition for donor funds, combined with chronic problems of national indebtedness, puts immense pressure on developing-country NARS to operate more efficiently and to demonstrate this to their governments and donors. Indeed, efficiency, transparency, and better management might well be the watchwords of agricultural research in the cash-tight 1990s.

ISNAR, in its advisory work with some 40 developing countries over the past 10 years, has identified a number of factors crucial to the effectiveness and efficiency of NARS. These fall into three general categories: policyrelated, organisational, and managerial. Let us consider one example of a critical factor - information management - and show how ISNAR can help research systems improve their performance of important tasks.

Good planning, programming, monitoring, and evaluation require good information. Yet ISNAR has continually found that few senior NARS managers can find quick and useful answers to questions about the precise content of research, the people involved, and the exact costs. In human resources management, for example, many NARS leaders do not possess information on their own personnel strength. It is actually the exceptional research manager who is able to say quickly and accurately how many scientists there are on the payroll. Beyond that, few managers can describe the educational and career backgrounds of their people, and, more important, what exactly they are working on. Such information may exist in individual personnel files, but managers cannot get at it easily when they need to make important planning decisions.

ISNAR has therefore devoted considerable effort to helping NARS to better manage their information - not only in the area of human resources but also in that of physical and financial resources. In Sudan, for example, it has been working with the Agricultural Research Corporation to develop a computerised programme budgetary system. Managers can use this to plan and monitor expenditures on their research activities.

Leaner and fitter NARS

Information management is just one of at least a dozen critical factors in building and maintaining successful agricultural research systems. Today, the need for better management of NARS and for an agency such as ISNAR to assist with that improvement, is greater than ever. Ten or 15 years ago, the problem was mainly one of operational necessity - making sure that fledgling research institutes had resources in place to carry out their work agendas effectively. Today, the problem of doing it efficiently is paramount: we have entered an era of restricted funding, so NARS have no choice but to be leaner and fitter structurally and administratively.

Referring to agricultural research in Africa generally, the Honourable Maina Wanjigi, former minister for agriculture of Kenya, recently put it this way to an international audience of CGIAR donors in The Hague: “ In a period of resource scarcity, we have to be sure that we are making optimal use of the people, facilities, and funds which we do have available. A legitimate question which we must ask ourselves is: Are we doing so? My judgment is that we are not. We definitely have room for improvement”.

H.E. and G.T.

The curier’s mailbag

More cultural articles, please

There is a need to expose more cultural writings and authentic African, Caribbean and Pacific-centred readings, as you all are very aware of the cultural imbalance in the continent of Africa itself. The usage of symbols that are entirely connected with the European incursions of the past must be re-evaluated.

In this re-evaluation, your future Couriers should carry more readings in the area of cultural exposure... Moreover, your presentation of African writers in their original/authentic language is something that we, as a whole, need to see more of. Keep in mind that all of the countries of the world have an authentic voice. It is long overdue that Africa starts to claim its own. Even if, for compromise sake, all of the Africans nations adopt a common African tongue and thus, begin to unify itself through its common tongue.

I know that there are many other problems of immediate concern, but I think The Courier should be instrumental in contributing to this lofty endeavour.

Eduardo A. Cong, Santee, California, USA

Far east, not far west

In your September-October 1988 issue (News Round-up), you stated that the Upper River Division is in the far west of the Gambia. This is incorrect; it is in the far east of the country.

Pateh K. Jallow, Basse, The Gambia

Aid

I read the article on Sierra Leone and to be frank, it surprises me to know the help this country has been getting from the EEC and its allied agencies over the years. I am sure without your aid, life and development would have been in a shambles.

Frederick Q. Amonoo, Koidu Town - Kono, Sierra Leone

Oral tradition and culture in Gambia

Reading through The Courier of January-February 1990, I came across a very significant issue, that of African oral tradition and heritage.

The Gambia is one of the countries in Africa that has a very rich tradition and to date the average Gambian has respected tradition - in fact the whole society is virtually controlled by tradition. For example, ceremonies like child naming, marriages, funerals and mourning, to name a few, are still performed traditionally. The traditional link between families largely still exists in The Cambia.

Coming to the art of story telling and proverbs, visiting Gambia in their different Kundas (family homesteads) one finds old family members, sitting on the “bentengo” surrounded by young members of the family listening to stories of events pertaining to rulers, devils, witches, sacred trees and ponds, etc.

This tradition of story telling has a very important role to play in the family; one, it helps to educate young people so that they know about themselves and their people. For it is said that a people without knowledge of themselves cannot be proud of themselves. Two, it maintains the unity of people; and three, it kindles the spirit of young people.

Proverbs act as a polish to language communication. In the real Gambian family, old people with the mastery of proverbs are highly respected, and invited to most important gatherings. As our old people say - proverbs are like sauce to cook rice, it enriches the food, and gives the eaters appetite.

As in other African countries, The Gambia has meaningful proverbs, and hardly does one talk without bringing in proverbs.

Here are some common Gambian proverbs.

(1) The blind man will think of doing everything except jumping over a well.

(2) A hen with chicks should not jump over fire (meaning that if the hen escapes the chicks will not).

(3) Trousers will not accuse loin cloth of foul air (meaning that a bad person should not accuse another bad person).

(4) If you carry a hyena on your back, dogs will hark at you. ( That is, if you are a leader, people must talk of you).

Finally I take this opportunity to congratulate the Nigerian Association of Oral History and Tradition (N.A.O.H.T) for the big stride they have taken to make Africans gain awareness about their tradition.

Khaddy S. Konteh, Banjul, The Gambia

The importance of Shona

I was very interested in your article on the use of Shona in Zimbabwe. I spent two and a half years in Zimbabwe (in Masvingo) and I cannot but confirm what a good job Kwayedza has set out to do.

For the benefit of your readers, I should like to add that Shona is spoken by almost 10 million people, particularly in Zimbabwe and a small part of Mozambique, so it is quite important in the African language context.

I wrote the first Shona textbook in German. It is called “Pamberi nechiShona”, runs to 160 pages and has a large number of drawings, some photographs and German-Shona and Shona-German vocabulary. It also contains a short, well-illustrated 45-page tourist guide called “Fambai zvaka mu Zimbabwe - Have a nice trip to Zimbabwe”, containing English-Shona and Shona-English vocabulary.

Harald Vieth, Hamburg, Germany

The convention at work

EDF

Following the favourable opinion delivered by the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided that the projects listed below should be financed.

Western Samoa

Afulilo Hydropower Plant
6th EDF
Grant: Ecu 8 189 000

The project concerns the construction of a 4MW hydropower station in the Afulilo basin of Western Samoa’s main island of Upolu, which will generate 24GWh a year. The project aims to cover the projected increase in demand of electrical energy for about 10 years and to reduce dependence on oil imports for existing diesel generating capacity. This hydro-electric installation will generate the electricity for one of the W. Samoan Government’s most important socioeconomic development projects: the Rural Electrification Programme.

Project implementation involves the construction of the plant and the supply of equipment, accompanying actions such as consultancy for preliminary studies, engineering design, site supervision, technical assistance and institutional support for the Electric Power Corporation (EPC). Funds for many of these accompanying actions have been earmarked and committed by various external aid agencies.

Togo

Village Water Supply programme in the Savanes and Kara regions
5th and 6th EDF
Grant: Ecu 2 475 000

Togo is giving priority to water supplies in rural areas, and has set itself the goal of providing supplies of drinking water (20 litres per head per day) for rural populations estimated at 2.5 million. Around 50% of needs are currently being met.

The project fits in with this priority and will seek to provide a supply of water for approximately 75 000 people in the Kara and Savanes regions of northern Togo from 200 boreholes and 20 springs. It is in line with the aims of the 6th EDF indicative programme - improving the living conditions of the rural populations and increasing their ability to provide for themselves.

ACP States

Improvement of production and the marketing of ACP products on external markets
6th EDF
Grant: Ecu 4 628 000

The achievement of the European single market and the likely opening up of East European countries to a market economy are certain to bring about an increase in international demand. It was with this in mind that a project was devised to provide ACP exporters of tropical fruit and out-of-season vegetables with the technical and commercial assistance which they need in order to adapt themselves without delay to the evolution of international demand and the new marketing techniques resulting, for the most part, from the intensive concentration witnessed in the field of distribution.

The project will be run by the COLEACP and will provide ACP producers with:

- advanced professional training,
- a permanent source of commercial and technical information,
- assistance at both production and marketing levels,
- continuous professional liaison with European trading partners,
- systematic investigation into diversifying products and markets. c,

EIB

Mozambique: Ecu 6m for small and medium-sized projects

To finance capital investment projects by small and medium-sized enterprises and feasibility studies for SMEs in industry, agro-industry and tourism in Mozambique, the EIB is providing a conditional loan of Ecu 6 m from risk capital resources foreseen under the Third Lomonvention and managed by the Bank under mandate from the Community. The funds go to Banco de Mobique, the country’s central bank. BM itself, as well as all commercial banks in Mozambique, may use the proceeds of this global loan for financing SMEs.

To the extent BM and other banks are on-lending, in the form of conditional sub-loans, the EIB advanced the funds to BM for 20 years at 1%. Where the funds are used for financing feasibility studies, the terms are up to 10 years at 1%.

Global loans are open to financial institutions for on-lending in smaller amounts for economically, financially, technically and managerially sound investment projects. In 1989 the EIB granted 15 global loans totalling Ecu 52.1 m to financial intermediairies in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries and Overseas Countries and Territories and approved 93 sub-loans totalling Ecu 34.2 m to final beneficiaires.

EMERGENCY AID

Liberia

The Commission has taken a number of decisions for emergency aid for the victims of the fighting in Liberia, amongst which.

Ecu 600 000 for Liberian refugees in Guinea, Ecu 400 000 for refugees in Sierra Leone and Ecu 650 000 for those affected in Liberia itself.

The aid will be implemented by the UN High Commission for Refugees, the League of Red Cross Societies and by Mcins Sans Frontis (Belgium).

The funds allocated will enable medical supplies to be purchased.

A further amount of Ecu 250 000 has also been allocated to the International Red Cross Committee for the supply of medicine and for essential goods and services.

Mozambique

In response to cholera and malaria epidemics in Mozambique in the past weeks, Ecu 300 000 has been allocated for the purchase, transport and distribution of vaccines and other medicines as well as for the sending out to Mozambique of medical teams from the Non-Governmental Organisation “Solidarieton il Terzo Mondo”.

A grant of Ecu 3 000 000 has also been approved as a contribution to humanitarian organisations aid programmes for the victims of the fighting and for the malnourished.

Za

Emergency aid totalling Ecu 450 000 has been granted for Angolan refugees in Zaire.

Somalia

In view of the consequences of the continuing conflict in the north of Somalia, which has resulted in extensive needs, and in particular an increasing need for medical care for the injured and civilian population living in the conflict zone, and following a new appeal to the Community from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Commission has decided to grant emergency aid, under Article 203 of the Lomonvention, amounting to Ecu 435 000 in favour of this population in Somalia.

This aid is to finance a medical and relief programme, including the air transport of medical goods and personnel, medical care, etc. and will be implemented by ICRC.

Angola

Aid totalling Ecu 3 000000 has been granted as a contribution to aid programmes being carried out by humanitarian organisations for the victims both of the present fighting and of the drought in Angola.

Cd’Ivoire

Ecu 260 000-worth of aid has been allocated for Liberian refugees who are pouring into Cd’Ivoire (particularly in the Guigio and Tabou provinces). The aid will be implemented by Mcins Sans Frontis (France) and will go to providing essential supplies,

Sudan

A grant of Ecu 5 000 000 has been approved as a contribution to humanitarian organisations’ aid programmes for the victims of the fighting in Southern Sudan.

FOOD AID

After favourable opinions by the Food Aid Committee, the Commission has taken the following decisions:


Food aid

VISITS

The President of Burundi visits the Commission

Major Pierre Buyoya, the President of the Republic of Burundi, met Manuel Marin, the Commission Vice-President responsible for development and fisheries, on 22 June 1990. President Buyoya was accompanied by Cyprien Mbonimpa, Minister of External Relations and Cooperation, Gilbert Midende, Minister of Energy and Mining, Salvador Sahinguvu, State Secretary for Planning, and Fridolin Hatungimana, State Secretary for Cooperation.

The talks provided an opportunity to take a general look at cooperation between the Community and Burundi and at the prospects for the implementation of LomV.

President Buyoya outlined his policy of National Unity and Development, which reflects the Government’s desire for social harmony and economic development, stressing the importance it attaches to decentralising development to the communes and to ensuring the awareness and involvement of the population of Burundi.

He said that he appreciated cooperation with the Community, explaining his Government’s guidelines for LomV programming and raising one or two specific matters of particular interest to his country - Stabex intervention this year, Community support for structural adjustment, the possibility of Community support for the communal intervention funds (which the Burundi Government is to set up to support decentralised economic development) and regional cooperation.

Commissioner Marin again affirmed that the Community supported the Burundi authorities’ drive for peace and development. The Commission, he said, welcomed the Burundi Government’s approach in the process of National Unity towards the adoption of a new constitution. He stressed that the new Convention indeed put top priority on the sort of decentralisation and involvement of the people enshrined in Burundi’s Charter of National Unity, so that the instrument of LomV should enable the Community to help implement this policy.

The Commissioner went on to assess the latest events on the international political scene and to see what effects they might have on the development of Africa, underlining the importance of respecting human rights and having an economic democracy to ensure the wellbeing of the population as a whole.:

General information

GSP policy for the 1990s

The Generalised System of Preferences, designed 20 years ago to promote industrialisation and development in the Third World, is due to be reviewed this year.

A number of findings emerge from an analysis of the way it works:

1. Erosion of the preferential margin, in particular by the successive reductions in customs duties negotiated under GATT, has made GSP less attractive than it was.

2. The system changed from being an alternative to a supplementary system to GATT when the developing countries stepped up their involvement in the multilateral negotiations and their integration in the world trade system became one of the aims of these negotiations.

3. GSP’s usefulness as a supplementary instrument is attenuated by the fact that the Community scheme is complicated to manage and short on stability and transparency.

An instrument of this kind is still a necessary part of the Community’s development policy, but it will have to be revised in the light of developments since its inception if it is to work properly.

The idea of the proposed guidelines is to make GSP attractive again so it can go on doing a useful job. Experience suggests that this means simplifying it, first of all, in particular by doing away with the quantitative restrictions hampering utilisation, and ensuring that there is a proper system for taking the sensitivity of products and the competitive position of countries into account.

And this means making a special effort to improve the way the LDCs use the system, particularly the rules of origin.

Lastly, a look should be taken at the consequences of expanding international trade to non-traditional sectors- a trend clearly reflected in the extension of the sectors covered by the multilateral negotiations going on under GATT and one which should also be taken into account in the general framework of cooperation with the developing nations.

The Community should revise GSP in line with the developing countries’ more active involvement in the outcome of the Uruguay Round and their greater acceptance of multilateral discipline. The most advanced of the developing countries also think that the countries of Eastern Europe should open their markets to the LDCs.

A comparable degree of harmonisation of donor country policies should also be sought to ensure a fairer spread of the costs of liberalisation.

The Commission feels, therefore, that the new scheme for the other developing countries cannot really be finalised until the results of the Uruguay Round are known - which means carrying over the 1990 system, on a provisional basis, into 1991. And the improved rules of origin arrangements for the LDCs will be put into effect in 1991 as a contribution to the Conference of Paris scheduled for September 1990.

European community

EEC Summit in Dublin

Heads of State and Government of the 12 Member States of the Community met at their customary end-of-presidency summit on 25 and 26 June. Since Ireland held the presidency of the EC for the first six months of 1990, the meeting took place there - in the capital, Dublin - under the chairmanship of the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Charles Haughey.

As always on such occasions, the scope of their discussions was wide. Important decisions were made on the holding of two intergovernmental conferences - one on economic and monetary union (to be opened in Rome on 13 December) and one on political union (on 14 December). In both cases the aim was to achieve ratification of results by the end of 1992.

The Council also requested the Commission to consult with the Soviet government with a view to preparing, as a matter of urgency, proposals for short-term credit and support for longer-term structural adjustment measures.

It also heard a report from the German Federal Chancellor on progress towards German unification. It welcomed the signing of the Inter-German State Treaty, which will facilitate and speed up the integration of the territory of the German Demogratic Republic into the Community.

On the environment, the Council agreed that a more enlightened and a more systematic approach needed to be adopted as a matter of urgency. Mr Haughey welcomed the adoption of what he termed a “major declaration” on the environment, in which guidelines for future action were set out. The Commission was asked to prepare an appropriate programme to deal with the threat to tropical rain-forests, in consultation with the countries concerned, in particular Brazil.

The question of South African sanctions was debated and, having paid homage to the roles played by both President de Klerk and Mr Nelson Mandela in the efforts to bring about changes in South Africa, the Twelve affirmed their willingness “ to gradually relax the pressure exerted on the South African authorities” (see declaration below). On sub-Saharan Africa, the Council expressed serious concern about the overall economic situation and about Africa’s indebtedness in particular.

Finally, the Twelve agreed to renew Mr Jacques Delors’ mandate as President of the Commission for a further two years.

Declaration on Southern Africa

“The European Council welcomes the important changes that have taken place in Southern Africa since it met in Strasbourg.

The European Council warmly welcomes the successful conclusion of the process of bringing Namibia to independence with a constitution based on multi-party democracy and human rights. The European Community and its Member States will continue to give aid and support to the people of Namibia as they build their new country, in particular in the framework of the new Lomonvention. They welcome the talks which have taken place between the Angolan Government and UNITA under Portuguese auspices. They look forward to the resolution of the conflict in Angola and also of that in Mozambique through dialogue.

The European Council greatly welcomes the significant changes that have taken place in South Africa in recent months: the release of Nelson Mandela and of other political prisoners; the unbanning of political organisations; the substantial lifting of the state of emergency; the commitment by the Government to abolish the apartheid system and to create a democratic and non-racial South Africa, and its willingness to enter into negotiations on the future of South Africa with the representatives of the majority.

They pay tribute to the parts played in bringing about these changes by President F.W. de Klerk and Mr Nelson Mandela. The efforts of President F.W. de Klerk to bring about a new era in South Africa are testimony to his foresight and courage. Mr Nelson Mandela, a prisoner for 27 years, has inspired millions of South Africans opposed to apartheid and thereby amply demonstrated his qualities of statesmanship, qualities that will be required in the challenging period ahead in South Africa.

The objective of the European Community and its Member States is the complete dismantlement of the apartheid system’ by peaceful means and without delay, and its replacement by a united, non-racial ant! democratic state in which all people shall enjoy common and equal citizenship and where respect for universally recognised human rights is guaranteed. They welcome the joint commitment between the South African Government and the ANC in the Groote Schunr Minute to stability and a peaceful process of negotiations. They call on all parties in South Africa to endorse this objective. It is the intention of the European Community and its member States to encourage, by every means available to them, the early opening of negotiations leading to the creation of a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Negotiations on a new South Africa should get under way without delay. The substantial progress made towards removal of the obstacles represented by the state of emergency and the detenton of political prisoners is welcome. The European Council looks forward to early agreement between the South African Government and the ANC on the conditions in which exiles can return and on the definition of political prisoners leading to their release. The European Council calls on all parties to remove the remaining obstacles to peaceful negotiations and to refrain from violence or advocacy of violence.

The European Council fully recognises that a new post-apartheid South Africa should be able to avail itself of all the economic resources, including access to external finance, required to ensure its future prosperity and the full development of all its people. South Africa faces acute socio-economic problems, especially in the areas of employment, education and housing, against a background of a high rate of population growth. These problems have been greatly exacerbated by apartheid. Positive action is needed to rectify imbalances.

Through the programme of positive measures, the Community has, for a number of years, been providing assistance to the victims of apartheid. In the light of the recent developments in South Africa and as a strong signal of political support to those disadvantaged by apartheid and of the will to contribute to a new socio-economic balance, the Community intends to release the funds being made available under its programme and to adapt the programme to the needs of the new situation, including those connected with the return and resettlement of exiles. It welcomes the positive attitude being displayed by all parties, including the new South African Government, to such programmes.

At its meeting in Strasbourg last December, the European Council decided that the Community and its Member States would maintain the pressure that they exert on the South African authorities in order to promote the profound and irreversible changes which they have repeatedly stood for. The European Council affirms its willingness to consider a gradual relaxation of this pressure when there is further clear evidence that the process of change already initiated continues in the direction called for at Strasbourg.”

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

The European Parliament’s Development Committee met in mid-June to discuss both the 1991 budget for development and a number of issues of direct or indirect interest in the context of the Community’s development policy or programmes, including the Uruguay Round, German unification, relations with Central America, NGOs, the conservation of tropical forests and the protection of African elephants.

In addition, the Commissioner for Development, Mr Marin, addressed MEPs, informing them of the Council’s approval of further assistance to the victims of apartheid and of its support for the maintenance of sanctions; of progress towards the implementation of LomV and of the outcome of his recent visits to East Africa.

In the debate that followed Mr Marin’s address, questions were raised on the slow pace of implementation of Community programmes, and on the possibility of enlivening the Lomnstitutions - the Joint Assembly and the ACP-EEC Council. Mr Saby (Soc, F.), the Development Committee’s present Chairman, raised the issue of a special session of the Parliament, to be devoted to development and of a high-level seminar on the implementation of the Community’s development policy, suggestions which were both welcomed by the Commissioner.

POLITICAL COOPERATION

Liberia

The Community issued the following statement on 25 July:

“The Comunity and its Member States follow with deep concern the course of events in Liberia. They deplore in particular the loss of life among the civilian population and the wholescale destruction caused by the civil war and support the efforts of all those who are working to restore peace in the country. The Community and its Member States launch an urgent appeal for an end to the sufferings of the Liberian people and to havoc and war in the country.

Angola and Mozambique

The Community issued the following statement on 13 July:

“The Twelve reaffirm their conviction that a solution of the conflicts in Angola and Mozambique is possible through dialogue and note, in this respect, some encouraging developments.

- In Angola, they welcome the commitment to a pluralistic political system, contained in the communiquf the MPLA Central Committee, published on 4 July. This commitment will certainly enhance the prospects for a genuine dialogue and for internal reconciliation in Angola.

They have also noted with interest the contacts which are taking place under Portuguese auspices between the government of Angola and UNITA.

- On Mozambique, they welcome the positive outcome of the first official meeting between a delegation of the government of Mozambique and one of RENAMO which took place in Rome on 8-10 July. They feel encouraged by the decision of the parties to reconvene in Rome at an early date.

In the light of such positive steps, the Twelve urge all parties concerned in each of the two countries to work to establish a cease-fire as an indispensible preliminary for the negotiation of a lasting political settlement.

The Community and its Member States reaffirm their commitment to support this process by aiding the reconstruction and development of both these countries.”

SOUTH AFRICA

The Commission of the European Communities approved, in June, a communication to the Council on new lines to be taken in the EEC’s Special Programme for the victims of apartheid in South Africa.

The Commission suggests that the “ political dimension “ of the programme be maintained (until such time as there is proof of irreversible progress towards the complete abolition of apartheid) and that relations with bodies such as the South African Council of Churches, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Kasigo Trust and trades unions be continued would be taken into account and on-the-spot coordination would be improved.

According to the Commission, priority under the programme would be given to training and education, rural development, community development and to emergency health care. Projects would be expected to support and promote in some way the concept of racial equality.

The Member States are expected to decide on these proposals sometime in the autumn.

The new lines the Programme would take was one of the topics of discussion in the talks held between the President of the Commission, Mr Jacques Delors, and Mr Nelson Mandela when they met in Strasbourg in June (see The Courier N°122, Yellow Pages, p. I) in the presence of two of the Commission’s Vice-Presidents, Mr Frans Andriessen (External Relations and Trade) and Mr Manuel Marin (Development and Fisheries).ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION

On 1 July 1990, the European Community entered into stage one of

At the same time, the difficulties the achievement of Economic and arising out of the return of exiles Monetary Union as was decided by the European Council in Madrid 12 months ago.

In Dublin, the European Council decided to convene the Intergovernmental conference on EMU on 13 December. The Council also considered that the first stage should be used to ensure convergence in the economic performance of Member States, to advance cohesion and to further the use of the ecu, all of which are of importance for further progress towards EMU.

“Stage one will be crucial to the success of the whole process”, according to Vice-President Henning Christophersen, “ It must bring about greater convergence of economic performance through the strengthening of economic and monetary policy coordination within the existing institutional framework.” The Vice-President believed that preparations for stage one have been successfully concluded:

- Capital movements, which were to be liberalised no later than 1 July in all Member States except four, have been freed from restrictions ahead of schedule.

- A system of multilateral surveillance has been set up in order to coordinate economic policies more efficiently and has already been used successfully in the ECOFIN Council on 11 June.

- The Committee of Central Bank Governors has been strengthened and the framework for the coordination of monetary policies has been improved.

- The European Monetary System has been consolidated by extending the common rules to the Italian lira and the Belgian franc, and exchange rate parities have been stable for 3 1/2 years. Full participation of the pound sterling at an early date seems likely.

Finally, the work for the completion of the internal market by the end of 1992 is well on track.

The goal of stage one is to prepare the ground for subsequent stages, Mr Christophersen added. The Heads of State and Government declared in Dublin that the Intergovernmental Conference on Economic and Monetary Union should conclude its work rapidly, with the objective of ratification of the results by Member States before the end of 1992.

Books

Daniel LEMONNIER and Yves INGENBLEEK - Les carences nutritionnelles dans les pays en dloppement (Nutritional deficiency in developing countries) Editions Karthala & ACCT, 22-24 bvd Arago, 75013 Paris and 13 quad Andritro 75015 Paris 623 pages Bfrs 1088 - 1989.

This contains the main papers read at the 3rd GERM (the Malnutrition Study and Research Group) international scientific session held for the first time in Nianing in Senegal from 4-9 October 1987. It is volume two in a French-language series on achievements and original scientific work on the nutritional problems of the developing world and deficiencies in general and it is aimed at researchers, experts in nutrition, users of research in the field and NGOs concerned with nutritional problems in children. It gives details of various avenues of research, such things as the nutritional state in protein-calorie malnutrition, the latest applications of anthropometry, vitamin A deficiency (ultimately responsible for thousands of cases of blindness in the developing countries), breast-feeding and food consumption. This research, Daniel Lemonnier stresses in the preface, has repercussions on agriculture and the technology of the agri-food industry and cooking on the nutritional value of food. Experts in nutrition also have to take account of social science, training and extension work. This is a thorough piece of work which is destined to be increasingly useful in the future. Alain LACROIX

Sub-Saharan Africa: from crisis to sustainable growth - World Bank, Washington D.C. - November 1989.

This 300-page study of sub-Saharan Africa by a team of experts drawn not only from World Bank staff but from African intellectuals and political scientists is noteworthy for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is not prescriptive; it does not lay down a single best way of doing things. Secondly, it transcends economics; it devotes considerable space to sociological and political matters. And thirdly, it places the blame for Africa’s disastrous record on the shoulders of both donors and recipients. This is not a case where exogenous factors, colonial heritage, the inequities of the global economic order, the weather, and so on, are brought out to excuse failure. The main cause of failure is identified as the lack of an ‘enabling environment’, an environment that encourages farmers to produce, marketers to market, entrepreneurs to make and sell and, above all, local investors to invest locally.

The World Bank seems to have taken very much to heart the strictures on first-generation structural adjustment programmes. The new-generation programmes, the book states, will have to consist of three complementary components: a policy component which will have to combine macroeconomic restructuring with the launching of core social expenditure programmes; programme and project components designed for specific sectors and concentrating on community-level activities, small-scale income generation and local social infrastructure; and an institutional and development component to strengthen governments’ capacities to plan, implement and analyse the necessary programmes.

The emphasis is on investment in people: not only at the top, but especially, perhaps in what the book calls the ‘missing middle’ which occupies a significant part of the preoccupations of the authors. Africa has more cars per capita than South Korea, not because of its wealth, but because of the poverty of the people and the poor infrastructure. Animals are too expensive, bicycles too fragile. Thus from walking, the African graduates to driving. The same is true of agriculture and industry: “When farmers modernise, they switch from the hoe to a tractor”. Training, investment in people, encouragement to save, are all part of the prescription.

On the whole this is a less gloomy analysis than one might expect. Increases in investment of 4-5 % would lead to surpluses, and keep abreast of population growth (a serious subject sensitively tackled here). A call is made to the donor community for more and better-coordinated assistance (and fewer expatriate advisers) but the main call is to African governments to review their priorities and policies, with a view to getting sustained and sustainable development.