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close this bookThe Courier N° 127 May - June 1991- Dossier 'New' ACP Export Products - Country Reports Cape Verde - Namibia (EC Courier, 1991, 104 p.)
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View the documentThe convention at work
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View the documentWALLONIA - ‘A new political entity and a new partner in co-operation’, says Minister Albert Liénard in the ‘Courier’.

The convention at work

EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND

The Commission has just decided to finance the following projects, after a favourable opinion from the European Development Fund Committee.

CAMEROON
Rural development focal points
6th EDF
Grant: ECU 10300000

The idea here is to develop rural areas, i.e. to integrate them into the country’s development process, both economically and socially, by stimulating the people’s own ability to manage their own development and improve their own environment and living conditions.

It is based on the experience and positive outcome of the first stages of the rural community development project in the Bafut region. Four centres have been identified, two (Sea and Ntui) in the Centre Province, one (Sangmma) in the South Province, the fourth being the third and last phase of the development of the Bafut area in the North West Province.

The various parts of the programme are:

- improvements to the extension structures, with enough means provided to open their operations to more people, together with a drive for greater efficiency and better dissemination of the development themes adopted;

- improvements and extensions to the socio-economic infrastructure, in particular by building and rehabilitating tracks to make for better organisation of both product marketing and the marketing circuits themselves so the populations concerned see their money income increase;

- training, motivation and popularisation in agricultural development (use of inputs and crop intensification), education (building schools, kindergartens and meeting centres) and health (primary health care centres, family education, drainage and drinking water provision).

KENYA AND ETHIOPIA
Feasibility study for the Isiolo-Moyale road
6th EDF
Grant: ECU 1750000

The Isiolo-Moyale stretch is part of the international highway across East Africa, linking Gaborone (Botswana) to Cairo (Egypt). Although the busy Ethiopian and Kenyan sections are surfaced, Isolo-Moyale is only a gravel road which cannot be used all the year round.

The Kenyan and Ethiopian governments have asked the EEC for aid to put down asphalt.

Separate economic and technical studies will be run.

Better communications with the north could have a big effect on regional trade between Ethiopia and its neighbours to the south and result in economic advantages (transport, tourism, agriculture, forestry and cattle sales) for Kenya.

ALL ACP-OCT
(6th EDF - Grant: ECU 3 000 000)

This is a global commitment authorisation from the resources of the European Development Fund.

The Commission took the following decision for 6th EDF financing after the EDF Committee issued a favourable opinion by written procedure completed on 4 March.

- 7 March 1991

LIBERIA (Grant: ECU 4 000 000)

This is a contribution to humanitarian organisation assistance programmes for victims of the fighting in the country.

A similar written procedure completed on 6 March led to the following decision.

- 12 March 1991

SUDAN (6th EDF - Grant: ECU 5 000 000)

This is a contribution to humanitarian organisation assistance programmes for victims of the fighting and the drought in the country.

EMERGENCY AID

ECU 4 000 000 for victims of fighting in Liberia

The Commission’s immediate response when fighting broke out in Liberia in late 1989 was to cater for needs which emerged in Liberia and in the neighbouring countries which hosted Liberian refugees, i.e. in Cd’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea and Mali. In 1990 alone, the Commission granted victims more than ECU 20 million-worth of aid in the form of emergency aid (ECU 9.97 million), refugee relief (ECU 2.36 million) and food aid (ECU 8.1 million). The Member States’ bilateral schemes in 1990 were worth ECU 4 33 million.

Although there was a cease-fire in Liberia after the Bamako negotiations, the situation is still very precarious and confused. Some of Monrovia’s displaced population returned and the city now has some 500 000 inhabitants. These people are in a very difficult health and nutritional situation and the fighting which continued throughout I 990 also seriously damaged the water and power supplies.

About 600 000 displaced persons are living in very difficult conditions in the provinces, very little food being available in some areas.

The ECU 4 million-worth of aid now provided will go to finance food and medical programmes run by the usual partners - the World Food Programme, Mcins sans Frontis, the Lutheran World Federation and Concern.

This decision brings Community and Member State contributions to the Liberian people since early 1990 up to almost ECU 30 million - ECU 16.3 million of emergency aid, ECU 8.2 million of food aid and ECU 4.7 million of bilateral aid from the Member States.

The Commission will continue to monitor the situation carefully throughout 1991 with a view to taking further decisions to help the international relief effort. The Community is already preparing the ground to take part in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Liberia with LomV EDF resources (ECU 50 million have been allocated to this country).

Malawi: ECU 650000

The Commission has decided to send ECU 650000-worth of emergency aid to help the victims of recent torrential rain which has caused serious flooding in Malawi. This aid, to be channelled through the League of Red Cross Societies, the Save the Children Fund and Mcins sans Frontis (France), is to be used to supply tents, medicines and basic essentials.

Sudan: ECU 5 000 000 for victims of fighting and drought

The Commission has decided to send emergency aid of ECU 5 000 000 to help the victims of fighting and drought in Sudan.

It will go to finance assistance programmes run by UNICEF, the Save the Children Fund, Action Internationale contre la Faim, Action Africa in Need and Mcins sans Frontis (Netherlands).

It continues the effort the Commission made in November when it sent Sudan the following food aid:

- 144 000 t of food worth about ECU 50 million;
- 34 000 t worth about ECU 15 million.

The FAO and WFP evaluation reports confirm that Sudan will have a grave food crisis to cope with in 1991. According to the WFP, 8 million people will be short of food and 1.2 million t of food aid will be needed during the year, with more donations to be sold on the markets in the urban areas.

Between them, the international donors have sent about 420 000 t of food aid to cope with the drought in Sudan since November. The Community sent 178 000 t of this and the Member States about 70 000 t.

Somalia: ECU 650 000

The Commission has decided to provide ECU 650000-worth of emergency aid for victims of the fighting in Somalia.

It will mean that the medical and emergency assistance set up under an initial aid decision (ECU 650 000) taken on 11 January in the early days of the crisis, whereby the health system was saved from total collapse, can be extended.

Mali: ECU 100000

The Commission recently decided to provide ECU 100000-worth of emergency aid for the Malian victims of the troubles in Bamako.

This was granted after an application from the Mcins sans Frontis NGO and was made up of medical equipment and medicines, which were sent out to Bamako.

GULF

More aid for the victims

The Commission has just decided on a second tranche of emergency funds, ECU 5 000 000 this time, for humanitarian relief for the victims of the crisis in the Gulf. This supplements the emergency aid of ECU 7 500 000 and the humanitarian aid of ECU 13 500 000 decided since January this year.

This latest amount, intended to cater for emergency needs among the civilian population as a whole, without any discrimination, will make it possible to finance schemes to be run, in accordance with the UN resolutions and Community legislation on the embargo’ by the Commission’s usual partners, i.e. the Red Cross, the UN agencies, NGOs etc. and the Commission itself.

The Commission ran a Commission-Member State coordination meeting on emergency humanitarian aid to victims of the fighting in the Gulf on 14 March.

The representatives of the Commission and the Member States held a broad exchange of views on needs in all the countries concerned, took stock of schemes which had been decided (with Community or bilateral financing since January) and looked at what possibilities there were of financing additional schemes if the assessments currently being made in Iraq and Kuwait were to reveal large extra requirements.

The Community’s total effort since January, i.e. donations by the Commission and the Member States, for crisis victims, amounts to about ECU 55 000 000, divided as follows:

COMMUNITY AID (ECU)

Commission

emergency:

12 500 000

food:

13 500 000

Belgium:

710 000

Denmark:

4 690 000

France:

2 536 000

Germany:

5 240 000

Italy:

2 610 000

Netherlands:

7 658 000

Spain:

788 000

United Kingdom:

4 311 000

Humanitarian aid for Kuwait and Iraq

The Commission has just decided to send the following humanitarian aid to help the civil victims of the Gulf crisis.

- Kuwait

The Commission has decided to answer a specific request from the Kuwaiti Red Crescent, together with the Dutch Red Cross, and grant emergency humanitarian relief of ECU 340 000 to supply and shift 100 t of food for children.

- Iraq

A request from the ICRC has led to the Commission decision to grant emergency humanitarian relief of ECU 3 million to:

- supply various water treatment and purification products and equipment for Baghdad;
- supply hospitals with medicines;
- provide assistance by two health specialists;
- cover the transport costs of the medical teams and medicines already financed by other donors.

On 28 February, the Commission decided to grant the ICRC ECU 560 000 in aid to purchase and instal a mobile water treatment and purification unit for the hospital and dispensaries in Baghdad.

Both the Iraq decisions were taken in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and were approved by the sanctions committee in charge of ensuring the embargo was respected.

Brazil: Emergency aid for the Yanomami Indians

The Commission has just decided on emergency aid worth ECU 280 000 for the Yanomami Indians in Roraima Province in northern Brazil.

It will be channelled through Mcins sans Frontis, the French NGO, and is intended to finance a medico-nutritional programme for people who are at particular risk from tropical disease.

ACP GROUP

Agreement signed by Cultural Foundation and the ACP Group

The ACP-EEC Foundation for Cultural Cooperation and the ACP Group signed an agreement on 4 April. It outlines the mandate to run cultural schemes by way of implementation of the cultural and social cooperation provisions of LomV which the ACP Group entrusts to the Foundation.

The ceremony was held at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels, with Raymond Chaste, Mauritian Ambassador and Secretary-General of the Foundation, and James H. Matheson, Guyanese Ambassador and Chairman-in-office of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, officiating. There was a large turn-out of ambassadors.

James Henry Matheson reminded the meeting that, in signing this document, he was carrying out the mandate of the ACP Council of Ministers. Raymond Chasle outlined the history of the Foundation and the hard work that had gone into making it a success and went on to emphasise the link which exists between cultural development and economic and social progress. It was cause and effect, he said, with cultural development stimulating economic and social trends.

The Mauritian Ambassador, the senior member of the ACP diplomatic corps in Brussels, also awarded the Tanzanian representative the Prize for the best ACP Technological Innovation for the University of Dar es Salaam. The competition was organised two years ago and the award, BFrs I million (about $35 000) half of it financed by the Walloon Region of Belgium, was made for a sugar cane refining process devised entirely by young engineers from the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology.

L.P.

ACP EMBASSIES

Five new ACP Ambassadors have presented their credentials to the President of the Commission of the European Communities over the past two months. They are, in chronological order, the representatives of Tanzania, Guinea, Tonga, Zimbabwe and Ghana.

TANZANIA

Abdi Hassan Mshangama (48), the new Tanzanian Ambassador, has a degree in economics from the University of East Africa (1968) and- a diploma in public finance from the University of Toronto in Canada (1971). The new ambassador has already held posts of responsibility in his national administration, in particular at the Finance Ministry and at the head of the Development Bank of East Africa, and was principal secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture before coming to Brussels as ambassador to the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and the c EEC, where he takes over from Simon Mbilinyi.

Mr. Mshangana is married with five children aged between 11 and 21.

GUINEA

Guinea’s new ambassador to the Benelux and the Community is Mamadou Bobo Camara, a 55-year old graduate of France’s National School of Electrical Studies. He began his career as an inspector of telecommunications in Conakry in 1961 and has gained a wide range of experience at home and abroad, in particular at the Telecommunications Ministry, the International Telecommunications Union and the Pan-African Telecommunications Union. He has also been in charge of international cooperation in Conakry and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Ethiopia.

Mr Camara is married with five children and speaks French, English and several African languages.

TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga has just appointed its new representative to the European Communities, Mr Siosaia Ma-Ulupekotofa Tuita, who lives in London where he is also High Commissioner to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Tuita, now 40 years old and the father of four daughters, underwent his secondary and higher education (in accountancy) in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent a year at Oxford in 1976. He entered the cabinet of the Prime Minister as a translator in 1977 and then joined the service of the King of Tonga as sub-lieutenant and then captain of the Royal Guard, following which he was posted to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. After a spell at the High Commission in London in 1980, he went back to the central administration before being appointed ambassador to London and the European institutions in Brussels.

ZIMBABWE

Andrew Hama Mtetwa has been appointed Zimbabwean ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the European Communities. He succeeds Elleck Kufakunesu Mashingaidze.

The new ambassador, a BA from Williams College, Massachusetts (USA), undertook further study at North Western University in Illinois. After a job as a teaching assistant in the States, Mr Mtetwa, a father of three, entered the Foreign Ministry in 1981 and was High Commissioner in Lusaka (Zambia) before coming to Brussels.

GHANA

Alex Ntim Abankwa, a BSc from London (1959) with considerable experience in the diplomatic service, has been appointed as Ghana’s ambassador to the Benelux and the European Communities.

After graduating, Mr Abankwa embarked upon his diplomatic career in the Foreign Ministry of the newly independent Ghana and has since held posts of responsibility in the central administration and in diplomatic missions abroad, including as Counsellor in Addis Ababa and Washington and High Commissioner in Ottawa (Canada). He was a member of Ghana’s delegation to the UN General Assembly in 1977 and 1978 and was director general for international affairs and security in the government (PNDC) before coming to Brussels.

The new ambassador is married and has three children.

VISITS

Director-general for development visits Ethiopia

Dieter Frisch went to Ethiopia on l 9-23 February to take stock of our cooperation and conclude negotiations on the LomV indicative programme. Most bilateral aid is absent from the scene and the Commission, with the World Bank, is the country’s main cooperation partner and its most heeded adviser on matters of development policy.

Laborious negotiations preceded the signing of the ECU 265 million indicative programme. The LomII priority of rural development and food security is to be maintained, but a further priority, support for SMEs, is to be added.

The commitments which the Ethiopian government made in 1986 on the occasion of the LomII agricultural reform programme (price policy and liberalisation of the system of marketing in particular) have borne fruit and the policy since then, which has had EDF financial backing, has led to a substantial increase in food output.

The new priority on giving support to SMEs has led to a thoroughgoing policy dialogue. The Government announced major economic reforms of labour legislation, the tax system and the allocation of foreign exchange to the private sector in 1990 and it has undertaken to put them into practice.

As the country is preparing a new structural adjustment plan, Dieter Frisch agreed that the Commission should play the part of a catalyst so as to make progress with what remains a politically delicate subject and ensure close coordination with the World Bank.

These subjects, and the role of the private sector in reforms especially, together with the peace process in Eritrea, were the subject of talks between Mr Frisch and the Minister of Planning and Cooperation, the Foreign Minister and the Deputy Premier and Minister for Economic Affairs, as well as in a long audience with President Mengistu.

Vice-President of the Commission goes to Poland

Frans Andriessen, the vice-president of the Commission responsible for external relations and trade policy, visited Poland on 6 and 7 March. This was his first stop on an official tour of Eastern and Central Europe, during which he visited several countries, returning home on 12 March.

On 7 March, he met President Walesa, Prime Minister Bielicki, Deputy PM Balcerowicz, Foreign Minister Skubiszewski, Economic Affairs Minister Makarczyk and Vice Secretary of State Saryusz-Wolski, the government plenipotentiary for European integration and aid coordination.

The meetings were the opportunity to discuss the state of play of Poland’s political and economic reform and go into the following subjects in detail:

- implementation of the trade and cooperation agreement between Poland and the Community;

- progress towards a European agreement setting up an association between Poland and the Community;

- state of play in the negotiations on similar agreements with Hungary and Czechoslovakia;

- action programmes run as part of the PHARE programme, in particular the 1991-92 indicative programme;

- macro-economic aid from the Community, in particular for the balance of payments and support for the convertibility of the zloty, with the cooperation of the international financial institutions (the IMF and the IBRD).

On 6 March, Foreign Minister Skubiszweski gave an official dinner in honour of Frans Andriessen and, on 7 March, the Commissioner laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Pilsudskiego Square in Warsaw.

The atmosphere surrounding the Polish discussions was an extremely friendly and cooperative one, stressing the growing intensity of relations between Poland and the Community and reflecting the Community’s constant support for Poland’s drive to create an open, pluralist society founded on a market economy.

TANZANIA

Head of State in Brussels

The Tanzanian Head of State, Mr. Hassan Mwinyi, paid an official visit to Brussels on 12 April. He was received by the Committee of ACP Ambassadors and at the European Commission by the Vice-President, Mr Manuel Marin.

Addressing the Ambassadors, President Mwinyi highlighted the importance of ACP Group unity. ‘This unity is necessary for the defence and promotion of the Group’s common interests. The gradual strengthening of co-operation between ACP countries and the Community is a reflection of the excellent work done by the Ambassadors as ACP representatives. LomV is a tangible expression of the highly desired North-South co-operation and it is comforting to see that the contracting parties are determined to step up their efforts to bring about a more equitable and more balanced international order, an order that is all the more necessary as the worldwide system of trade seems profoundly unfair for the Third World countries which are victims of it’.

President Mwinyi also spoke of the crippling effects of debt on ACP economies, fears as to the consequences of the Single Market for the Group, as well as the need to maintain economic sanctions against South Africa until total abolition of apartheid has been achieved. He also reiterated the need for ACP countries to extend their co-operation.

President Mwinyi then went on to the European Commission for talks on a series of problems, particularly concerning co-operation between Tanzania and the Community. These talks were held with the Vice-President of the Commission, Manuel Marin, and officials of the Directorate-General for Development.