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close this bookThe Courier N 140 - July - Aug 1993 - Dossier: National Minorities - Country Reports: Dominica, Mozambique (EC Courier, 1993, 96 p.)
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Dairy development in the Caribbean


by Gerald PROVERBS

Before 1945, the development of agriculture in the English-speaking Caribbean was based on the production of export crops for the UK market. This system saw the introduction of many crops including sugar, cotton, tobacco, cocoa, bananas and coffee as well as lesser known commodities such as spices (nutmeg, clove, etc.) root crops and pimento.

Livestock production up to the 1920s was relatively insignificant except for oxen, mules and water buffalo, which were the beasts of burden ploughing the fields and hauling crops to the factories and export products to the ships. Milk and meat were produced in a haphazard manner. Meat was available when oxen were slaughtered because of age or illness. Similarly, only when excess milk was produced by the cows bred for bullock production was fresh milk available. However, the quantity of fresh milk could never be guaranteed for any length of time.

Relatively little or no money was spent by the various commodity producer associations to further the development of animal agriculture and because of their influence on the colonial administrators there was little or no interest in establishing a policy to assist in the development of food animal agriculture. Then, in 1938, the West India Royal Commission called for greater attention to be paid to the production of milk, meat, eggs and poultry to improve the nutritional status of the population of the West Indies. Agricultural Policy Committees were subsequently set up in individual countries. As a result, concerted efforts were started initially in Antigua, Jamaica, and Trinidad to develop animal agriculture further.

The next major step was the establishment of the Caribbean Research Council by the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission in 1946. The Commission was made up of representatives of the then colonial powers in the Caribbean, including the United States of America. Between 1940 and 1960, many programmes were started, especially in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent in Barbados and Guyana to improve their dairy industries. These efforts were the foundation for the emergence of the progressive dairy industry which saw milk production reach 116 000 tonnes by 1990.

Jamaica and Guyana together produced 63% or 73 000 t of regional production for 1990. Even at this level Caricom is only meeting 47% of its annual consumption. The remainder is met from imported powdered, condensed and evaporated milk. In 1989, the liquid milk equivalent of 248 1 of powdered milk and 13000 t of condensed and evaporated milk was imported into the region. This clearly demonstrates that though the region has made dramatic strides in developing a dairy industry Caricom governments still rely on cheaper subsidised milk products from the developed countries to feed many of their citizens.

Independence for the Caricom countries began in the early to mid 1960s, at which time the responsibility for livestock policy shifted to the individual governments. However, before independence, many of the then colonies, especially the more developed ones, had established policies to put their fledgling dairy industries on a firmer footing in the expectation that, some time in the foreseeable future, the region would produce sufficient milk to meet the demands of its population in large part if not in full. As a result, the individual countries working in concert identified the constraints to building a sound dairy industry and then set about addressing these constraints through a set of discrete research and development activities.

The constraints identified and given high priority status were: the development of a dairy breed suitable for the prevailing tropical environment and technology level; the introduction of artificial insemination to improve existing cow herds while the more long-term breed development project proceeded; and the introduction, evaluation and distribution of improved tropical forages (grasses and legumes) on which a larger percentage of milk could be produced.

Dairy breed development

In the late 1940s, Dr P. Lecky started his historical work on developing the Jamaican Hope, which was declared a dairy breed in 1952. This work was beginning to show success when, in 1955, the Trinidad and Tobago Department of Agriculture invited Dr Lecky to Trinidad to advise on a breeding programme to produce a type of dairy cow that would be adapted to the climate, available forage and management skills. As a result of this consultation, the Department of Agriculture embarked on the dairy-cattle crossbreeding programme based on a FriesianZebu cross.

During the 1950s and 1960s, milk production increased and calving intervals decreased both in Jamaica and in Trinidad and Tobago.

Artificial insemination

While the breeding programmes were going on in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, it was decided that an artificial insemination (AI) service would complement the breeding programme. Up to that time, pure-bred bulls were routinely imported from the UK or the USA for natural service. In the early 1950s, an AI service was initiated in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; Barbados and Guyana were next to follow, starting their service in the late 1950s. The Al service initially provided fresh extended semen on a daily basis throughout the countries. This programme proved to be extremely successful and the results satisfied all panics concerned. With this success, the policy makers readily adopted a move to using frozen semen.

Consequently, in the 1960s, the Al service began in Jamaica using frozen semen imported from the USA and Canada. Soon after, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago began importing semen from Canada and the UK. It was only in 1987 that Guyana began using imported semen in its AI programme.

Farmers quickly recognized the improvements they were obtaining in milk production from their upgraded cattle and so the demand for semen from quality Canadian and American Holstein bulls continued to grow. However, before the ecotypes developed by the crossbreeding programme in Trinidad or the Jamaica Hope could be distributed to a larger number of farmers, many of the regional governments decided that it was more appropriate to import pure-bred Holstein cattle from North America.

Improving tropical forages

Between 1920 and 1940, Jamaica looked at evaluating and selecting forages for dairy cattle production. Researchers found that Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) was preferred to Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) for pasture and that Guinea corn (Sorghum valgare) was better suited for silage than corn (Zea mays) or Guinea grass for silage. Then, in the late 1950s, pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) was introduced to the region. Because of its high palatability and positive response to nitrogen fertiliser pangola became the forage of choice for the region's dairy farmers.

Fertiliser and dairy concentrates were inexpensive then, and farmers tended to ignore recommendations to try other grasses and legumes available from the various Ministries of Agriculture. However, in spite of the farmers' lack of interest in forages, work continued in Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad. When fertiliser and dairy concentrate became considerably more expensive in the 1970s, there were other grasses and legumes available to farmers for use in their forage systems.

It was at this point that the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development institute (CARDI) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) began to play a significant part in diversifying the forage base for milk production. By 1979, forage seed production and pasture establishment had become the cornerstone of CARDI's Animal Production Programme. This work was in large part funded by IDRC and the EDF under Lome II.

Importation of Holstein Cattle

In an effort to increase milk production at a faster rate, regional governments, with aid from the various donor agencies, imported large numbers of pure-bred Canadian and American Holstein cows and pregnant heifers. Thousands of Holstein cattle arrived in Barbados Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad, to the delight of Caribbean dairy farmers. Between 1963 and 1973, Jamaica imported 11 000 Holstein dairy cattle and, between 1961 and 1982, Trinidad imported 7 500 dairy cows, most of which were Holsteins. Barbados imported Over 700 Holsteins between 1967 and 1990 and Guyana imported over 1500 Holstein cows in the same period, the last group including 800 pregnant heifers.

Caribbean governments began setting up small dairy units about the same time in their efforts to increase milk production. Most of the cattle imported were destined for these farmers, who were led to believe that they would overnight garner large profits by switching to the imported cattle. This was not to be the case.

Many of the farmers sold their crossbred ecotypes and bought Holsteins. With their arrival, the farmers' problems increased; the cattle immediately showed severe intolerance to the tropical heat and humidity and susceptibility to tick fever, which resulted in deaths, abortions and depressed milk production. Lower nutritional planes suitable to the Jamaica Hope and the other ecotypes prevented the Holsteins from reaching their milk production potential. Difficulties in getting the cows re-bred resulted in extended calving intervals.

The Governments of St Lucia and St Vincent, with donor funding, imported Friesians and Brown Swiss from the UK in the 1970s to establish dairy enterprises in their countries. Problems similar to those described above were experienced and the financial losses were very high.

At no time during this period did any of the other Caricom governments seriously look to Jamaica as a source of a tropical breed of dairy cattle - the Jamaica Hope. It is indeed unfortunate that such vast sums of money have been spent importing large numbers of the many temperate breeds of dairy cattle over the past 25 years. During this time, Caricom dairy farmers could have become more efficient producers with Jamaica Hope cows in their herds. The Jamaica Hope is capable of producing 1700 litres of milk per hectare when fed 0.4 kg concentrate per litre of milk at a stocking rate of five cows per hectare. Such levels of production have never been achieved by any of the temperate breeds even when supported with skilled management and high quality feedstuffs.

What does the future hold?

It has been suggested that Caricom countries should aim to provide a minimum of 570ml of milk per day for each child of school age, as well as each pregnant and nursing mother. If this nutritional target is to be met, dairy farmers should be producing over 412 million litres of fresh milk now. At the present time the region is producing less than 30% of its minimum requirements and continues to look to the industrial countries to provide the remainder.

The current GATT agreements are calling for a reduction in subsidies, which means that world prices of skinned milk powder and butter oil are expected to increase significantly since producer subsidies on milk in the US and EC are in excess of 60%. This creates a major opportunity for the region's deny industries to expand.

G.P.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Craig, K 1992. The impact of pricing and policies on dairying in the Caribbean Community. Proceedings of the CARDI/CTA/IDF Seminar on Dairy Development in the Caribbean. Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (In press).

Davidson, K.B. 1980. The dairy industry in Jamaica. An economic overview. Proceedings of the Third Regional Livestock Meeting. Kingston, Jamaica.

FAO. 1984. Report on the mission to Barbados. International meat development scheme and international scheme for the coordination of dairy development.

Forde, J.R.D. and H. Munoz. 1990. Guyana's tuenty-year search for dairy self-suffiency is rich in lessons learned. CER.IES, 125.22.

Pennings, P.G. and KE. Wellington. 1992. Case studies on the dairy situation in the Caribbean: the Jamaican industry. Proceedings of the CARDI/CTA/IDF Seminar on Dairy Development in the Caribbean. Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (In press).

Hosein, A. and H. Ramlal. 1992. A review of the dairy industry in Trinidad and Tobago. Proceedings of the CARDI/CTA/IDF Seminar on Dairy Development in the Caribbean, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (In press).

Surujbally, R.S., J. Seaton and W. Lachman. 1992. A case study of the dairy situation in Guyana. Proceedings of the CARDI/CTA/IDF Seminar on Dairy Development in the Caribbean. Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (In press).

(introduction...)

La France et l'Afrique, Vademecum pour un nouveau voyage (France and Africa, Guide for a new journey). Compiled by Serge Michailof; Karthala, Paris, 1993

This collection, which sets out the conclusions of a working party formed at the request of Edwige Avice, France's former Minister of Cooperation, was produced under the direction of Serge Michallof, the head of various agencies of the Caisse Francaise de Developpement over the past 10 years and a consultant to a large number of organisations, including the World Bank, in more than 30 countries in the South before that. His books include 'Les apprentis sorciers du developpement (Sorcerer's Apprentices of Development; Editions Economica, Paris, 2nd edition, 1988) and a practical guide to project analysis, which he cowrote with Manuel Bridier (also Editions Economica, Paris, 4th edition, 1987).

Mieux aider le. Sud and Pour un nouveau dialogue avec l'Afrique, two associations with no ideological or political affiliations, were reluctant to see the fruits of the working party lost and decided to carry on the work of the independent personalities-from very different horizons, but all familiar with Africa-who had been involved in it. This book is the result. It goes beyond specific analyses of France-Africa relations and looks at general issues. Is Africa on the verge of the abyss? With industrial failure, agrarian crisis and educational collapse to cope with, is aid not overlooking the poorest members of society? Is the structural adjustment they are supposed to need just make-believe? Is regional integration just another fad? The conclusion is a plea for a different sort of cooperation.

Is Africa doomed?

The general feeling is that Africa is not doomed and that, although it may not have any outstanding comparative advantages, it is not saddled with unavoidable disadvantages either.

The usual, despairing explanations of Africa's economic crisis, however, are pronounced unconvincing, partly because any analysis of the efficiency or inefficiency of African institutions is inevitably bound up with an historical and socio-political analysis of the nature of economic and political power and the aims and strategies of the dominant groups in the state.

Here, the domestic constraints include unearned income, discussed by Jacques Giri, and mechanisms which represent a pitfall for economic development, discussed by A. Bonnessian.

Serge Michailof points out that 'there are excellent African managers who make a fine job of running western firms and can give a clear picture of everything that prevents them from doing the same in Africa'. One historical explanation for this could be that these are economies in which people have always had incomes which they do not have to earn and feel that it is better to go for unearned income than boost productivity. Although unearned income is beginning to be a thing of the past, the economic set-up is still the same and adjustment destabilises by threatening the domestic accumulation redistribution machinery which is often at the heart of the local internal balance.

The search for the mechanisms which have been and still are a pitfall as far as economic development is concerned starts with the historical assessment according to which the economic and political systems of the post-colonial world continued with and perfected the colonial economy, thus condemning it in a competitive world. This made economic production and diversification a problem, particularly once the trade sectors became profitable in the 1970s.

Mr Bonnessian outlines the five main pitfalls as situations in which:

-newly independent systems relied on tribes which were close to the colonial population and therefore geared to administration, so an opposition grew up amongst tribes which were keen on trade and industry and the tribes which held the power wanted to create an economy which they themselves controlled;

-the laws which developed were geared to exceptions and everything not explicitly allowed was banned and every ban included derogations which could be bought;

-domestic savings were systematically discouraged by the relative lack of returns outside the unearned income sectors and by constraints on productive activity;

-an average capital drain of more than 60% of the total amount of foreign capital entering the country;

-this had led to a conservative, patronising, anti-liberal social structure.

Yet there are models for successful emergence from under development elsewhere. The Asian successes are proof that it can be done if people are willing to adapt to others and do not wait for others to adapt to them.

Robert Hirsh takes the palm oil and rubber industries as illustration of the fact that, ultimately, what distinguishes the countries of Asia from the countries of Africa is the way they interpret the world market. The Asians see it as a system of regulation to which they always have to adjust, while the Africans all too often see it as the cause of their problems -even if those problems have been brought about by their own policies.

How can the African crisis be overcome?

First of all, the state and the economy have to be separate. 'Public' has to stop meaning 'State' and the welfare state, an unrealistic concept for Africa today, has to give way to a state which lays down the rules of the game and allows independent operators to meet the fundamental needs of society.

Serge Michailof suggests that crying for better terms of trade will not provide a way out of the crisis. Greater competitiveness is the only answer.

In their analysis of agricultural export industries, Michel Griffon and Isabelle Marty emphasise the fact that there is no practical hope of any lasting reversal of the trend in the prices of agricultural raw materials. And competition between producers threatens the viability of agreements designed to control supply. So gradual, systematic adjustment of the export sectors is the realistic choice.

There is no practical hope of restraining price fluctuation either, so the countries have to make their industries flexible enough to cushion price shocks. They also say that, in the present state of the market, countries which systematically use the exchange rate as an instrument of adjustment are also those whose agricultural income is declining.

Other contributors discuss whether competitiveness should be restored by adjusting real terms - i.e. squeezing production costs until African businesses can compete again-or monetary terms. But they all stress that it would be wrong to overlook the benefits of devaluation in situations where it is impossible to compress domestic costs which strongly affect competitiveness. And not devaluing means that none of the benefits of position need be held up to question.

Some people feel that boosting the competitiveness of businesses also-and necessarily-means taking direct steps to rationalise production and improve the productivity of the factors.

There are political considerations here too. Mr Bonnessian analyses the ambiguity of recent democratic movements, in which he sees ethnic challenging of unequal power-sharing as often emanating from the most productive groups in society. Ethnic rivalry is also economic rivalvy, for access to money is at stake. Those who raise challenges may have two contradictory aims - replacing the previous regime and turning the same predatory system to their own ends or changing the rules of the game to make economic initiative the road to fortune. Only the latter is compatible with development.

Where will economic growth come from?
Regional integration, exports to the world market or domestic and essentially urban demand?

Brazil's and Mexico's experience of industrial policy has led Claude Sicarol to attach greater priority to looking for export activity than to setting up big regional units. Others point out that, even if people in bad faith suggest that regional integration exists on a de facto if not de jure basis, it is more essential now than ever it was for states to cooperate with each other, particularly given that frontiers are permeable.

Conversely, and with some degree of innovation, Michel Griffon, Isabelle Marty and Jean-Marie Cour point to the role of domestic needs and urban demand especially, maintaining that the growth of domestic demand should in future do more for economic growth in general than for exports. Why?

Assumptions about the growth of external outlets and prices are not encouraging, while domestic demand prospects are linked to the rapid growth and solvency of the urban population. Experience suggests that urban demand does indeed bring growth in its wake, because, provided the economic activities of the town can absorb new arrivals at a steady rate, there is a long period during which there is no increase in the relative poverty of poor urban social categories.

Jean-Marie Cour has no hesitation in saying that the main driving force behind sustained and sustainable growth is urbanization. The stimulus is in fact the regional demand for money (other than home consumption) and the best service a country can do for its farmers is to find them solvent customers-mainly city dwellers.

Little may be known about the trends in real inter-African trade, but 5-7% long-term growth is there for all to see, he points out. Urbanisation is the main driving force behind the growth and diversification of private spending. The total average per capita spending is two or three times as high in the town as in the country and the outlay in terms of cash is three or four times as high. The need to spend more is what powers the growth of productivity and of migrants' incomes. In some conditions, the permanent system of urbanisation resulting from relatively stable rates of migration makes the economy grow faster than the population.

He has no hesitation either in countering the demographic projections of the countries and international institutions which systematically assume net migratory flows of nil or rapidly approaching nil. Population redistribution, he says, has to be considered as a form of continent- or world-wide accumulation of capital.

Aid-quantity or quality?

Serge Michailof claims that, when it comes to aid, quantity is not so important as quality. The abundant resources showered on Africa in the 1970s did nothing to facilitate economic upswing and the ODA target of 0.7% of GNP is not significant, he says, if only because it includes the cost of wiping out the debts and, therefore, the weight of all the mistakes of the past. In particular, the total amount of (non-project) aid for adjustment should be considerably reduced to the benefit of targeted aid for particular sectors.

Jean-Frans Bayart has something to say about structural adjustment too. In his eyes, the continuation of programmes authorises the multilateral institutions to pay back to themselves the loans which they have very liberally granted to potentially insolvent debtors.

Jean Hanoi notes satisfactory development as far as the financial indicators are concerned, but still no economic growth. The real economy runs from the consequences of the financial austerity cures and tax nostrums prescribed by the funders. And it all leads to a distortion of procedures and a system of condition management, with the funders pretending that the state is a better pupil than the facts suggest and the state is seeming to apply the letter rather than the spirit of the criteria of implementation.

Elliot Berg's more general claim is that there is too much aid in too many countries of Africa and that too much of it is tied. 'Less aid and less donor interference in economic and political affairs are what is wanted from now on.' Why? Because aid shrinks the political will to undertake reforms and prevents responsible policies, because it reduces the need to make vital choices.

This book is vital to anyone wanting a proper understanding of relations between France and Africa and relations in Africa itself. Not all of it breaks new ground, but some of the associations of ideas are particularly instructive. We have not attempted to cover it all in this article, but simply to look at one or two aspects of what is a comprehensive, multi-faceted work swarming with ideas and free of all allegiance. Some readers will see in it a discussion of the patronage of French cooperation while others will find evidence of a vast interest in the CFAF zone in Jones Dowe's article 'Free for all in CFAF City'.

Dominique DAVID

Africa: From Stagnation to Recovery, Edward V.K. Jaycox, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank; 21 pages, February 1993. Obtainable free from the Africa Region Department, World Bank, Washington DC, USA or the Bank's resident missions in Africa.

This report from the World Bank gives brief details of its programmes to help African countries through their economic difficulties and states the arguments for various familiar structural adjustment policies in Africa.

In a continent where, the report says, economic and political mismanagement in most countries has led to inefficiency, low productivity and limited investment in human capital and institutions, and where economic growth has barely kept ahead of rising population figures, the Bank's overriding mission must be to help alleviate the abject poverty in which most Africans live. In Africa today, the author maintains, 'the debate on adjustment has shifted to questions of how, not whether, to adjust. And on this question there is general agreement that reforms should focus on promoting sound macroeconomic policies, price liberalisation, a reduced role for the state, and measures to enhance the market and increase agricultural productivity'.

Now, the Bank says, the time has come to build on existing achievements. Africa must diversify into new markets and industrial countries must liberalise their import policies. The Bank is supporting thorough reform of the machinery of government and public administration in African countries, and backing new strategies of social service delivery and cost recovery. The balance in African economies needs to shift from public to private enterprise, backed by well-functioning credit and capital markets. Above all, donors and African governments must maintain the commitment and the stamina for reform, even where progress is only modest.

Much emphasis is placed on the need to encourage the private sector: only it, says the report, can create the jobs needed to occupy a labour force which is likely to double in size in the next 30 years. African countries must create a supportive environment for domestic and foreign investment in private business, and 50 to 60% of World Bank lending to subSaharan Africa goes towards private sector development in one way or another.

But should countries go for structural adjustment at all? Some have found it a painful process, especially in terms of trying to find new livelihoods for the thousands laid off when inflated public sectors are divested, or of trying to help the poor and vulnerable when controlled prices are deregulated. But Mr Jaycox has no doubts: 'The continuing deterioration in the condition of the poor in some countries is the result of the crises that demonstrated the need for policy change rather than of the structural adjustment policies adopted to deal with the underlying problems.' And there is a stern lesson to be learned by any government looking for World Bank help but apprehensive about adjusting: the Bank's lending strategy is 'highly differentiated and selective' depending on whether or not countries conform to its prescriptions or not.

As the purveyors of aerobic exercise courses say, 'No pain, no gain'. To help with the pain, the Bank runs programmes to cater for the social dimension of adjustment, in such fields as human resource development and promotion of the role of women, poverty assessment and alleviation, education, fertility reduction, environmental protection and combating Aids.

Regional economic integration is another priority. The focus, in fact, is largely the same as that of the EC Commission, and Mr Jaycox welcomes the recent improvement in the dialogue among international organisations as well as governments and beneficiaries. The task facing everyone now, he says, is to ensure that future investments in Africa work with maximum efficiency.

Robert ROWE

The convention at work

European development fund

Following favourable opinions from the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided to provide grants and special loans from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs to finance the following operations:

Economic and social infrastructure

Nigeria: ECU 10.5m for a telecommunications maintenance training programme designed to improve NITEL's upkeep of its technical facilities.

Rwanda: ECU 9.92m to rehabilitate and extend drinking water supplies in East Bugesera, with a public distribution system catering for domestic needs and animals in Gashora and Kanzenze.

Burkina Faso: ECU 7.1m to supply electricity in three towns (Diebougou, Kongoussi and Nounao) as well as drinking water in Diebougou. The power supply should help to raise the standard of living. make small traders more dynamic and improve the efficiency of productive activities, such as market gardening.

Kenya: ECU 1.97m for the St AustinKabete road. The aim is to halt the deterioriation of the road so that traffic can continue unimpeded. This stretch of 7.5 km, to the west of Nairobi on the Northern Corridor, links up with two other road projects recently financed by the EC-the Westlands-St Austin and Kabete-Limuru sections.

Trade promotion / structural adjustment

Trinidad and Tobago: ECU 9.7m to support the structural adjustment programme and implement a general import programme. The structural adjustment programme which the Government has been undertaking since 1983 was stepped up with the change of government in 1987. The new administration which took over in December 1991 is continuing with the economic reforms.

Tanzania: ECU 55 million as specific resources for structural adjustment.

All ACPs: ECU 40 million (global commitment authorisation) to finance, using the expedited procedure, technical cooperation operations and schemes to develop trade and services, including tourism, in the ACPs and OCTs.

Enterprise

Jamaica: ECU 7 million (ECU 6.1 million in loans and ECU 900,000 in grants) for a credit programme for small and micro-businesses, to cover 9% of the annual demand in this sector. This will help to boost the volume and accessibility of credit.

Guyana: ECU 250 000 to develop credit facilities for SMEs.

Health

Namibia: ECU 13.5m for an integrated health programme to improve the management of the financial and administrative infrastructure and run health projects in each of the country's four regions.

Senegal: ECU 1.7m to support the second phase of the national AIDS control campaign.

Uganda: ECU 20m for a health programme.

Institutional support

Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe: ECU 3.5m to train some 900 middle-ranking statisticians.

Sierra Leone: ECU 1.9m to support the central accounts department.

Zambia: ECU 1.85m for a services support programme.

Mauritania: ECU 1.562m for institutional support for the Ministry of Planning.

Barbados: ECU 250 000 for the Barbados National Development Foundation.

Miscellaneous

Congo: ECU 200000 as support for the legislative elections which are expected to take place soon.

Malawi: ECU I 998 254 as assistance for refugees.

Senegal: ECU 22.5m for the St Louis regional development programme.

Burundi: ECU 1.95m to support the electoral process in the final phase of democratisation, embarked upon by the Burundi Government with the recognition of the international community.

SADC countries: ECU 5 million for a regional training programme to help improve food security in the Southern African Development Community area at national, regional and SADC level and to support moves aimed at increasing agricultural output and reducing poverty.

European investment bank

New support for private sector

The European Investment Bank has signed the first agreements with five European Community financial institutions for financing equity and quasiequity participation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ACP countries. The funds will be drawn from a total ECU 15 million made available from risk capital resources provided for under the fourth Lome Convention.

The financial intermediaries participatina in this financing scheme are initially limited to one per Member State. Agreements have been signed with the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in the United Kingdom, the Compania Espanola de financiacion del Desarrollo (COFIDES) in Spain, the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) in Germany, the Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) in the Netherlands and the Societe de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique (PROPARCO) in France. A further three agreements are expected to be signed shortly.

Loans

The EIB has made the following loans:

Jamaica: ECU 9m for extending and upgrading Jamaica's power transmission facilities. The loan is for the installation of two new 69 kV lines (totalling 16.4 km overhead and 1.7 km underground) and for the reconductoring of an existing 69 kV line of 8.3 km. The works are part of a wider energy programme scheduled for completion by the end of 1995. Costed at ECU 150m, the programme is cofinanced with the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and other public and private sector financial institutions.

Barbados: ECU 10m for works to protect the environment on the south coast of the island. The loan agreement was signed by Sir Brian Unwin on his first day as the new EIB President, and Erskine Sandiford, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of Barbados.

The funds from the EIB are made available to the Government of Barbados under the fourth Lome Convention, and are to be on-lent to the Barbados Water Authority, a public company responsible for the management, allocation and monitoring of the island's water resources. This is the largest loan ever made by the EIB in Barbados, where total EIB financing to date amounts to ECU 25.4m.

Visit

Jacques Delors, the President of the Commission, and Manuel Marin, the Commissoner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, met Alpha Oumar Konare, the President of Mali, in Brussels on 2 June.

They discussed Mali's prospects and the political and economic constraints facing the new democratic regime which took power following the elections in 1991 and 1992.

Political change had indeed to go hand in hand with economic reform, and the application of the National Pact, which put an end to a long period of problems and civil unrest in the northern parts of the country, had to be backed up by a greater effort for the Tuareg people who lived there.

President Konare and the Commission representatives also had a frank exchange of views on the political and economic situation in western Africa and the continent as a whole. This featured African integration issues, particularly Community support for the Senegal River Valley Development Organisation and Community cooperation in the forthcoming negotiations of the second Lome IV financial protocol.

EEC-Mali cooperation under the first financial protocol was going well. Mali had ECU 136 million in grants under the indicative programme (1990-94) as well as structural adjustment support allocations which, to date, were worth ECU 40 million. There had also been financial assistance amounting to some ECU 800 000 from Community aid counterpart funds to help run the elections.

European community

European political cooperation

Over the past two months, the Community has, within the framework of European Political Cooperation (EPC), expressed its views on various international events. These include the following:

29 April: Statement on Togo

The Community and its Member States have taken note of the timetable for elections proposed by the Togolese authorities. They do, however, feel that it will be not be possible to conduct a successful electoral process in Togo unless prior agreement has been reached between all political forces. given the tense situation which has prevailed there for many months.

These elections should really be held in a climate of peace and openness, and the inhabitants of Lome who have fled should be able to participate.

17 May : Statement on Togo

The Community and its Member States regret that the political forces in Togo have not so far been able to reach an agreement making possible the resumption of a free and open electoral process in a climate of renewed peace.

The Community and its Member States think that the holding of elections in the present situation would not allow the people of Togo to exercise their freedom of choice.

The Community and its Member States would not, therefore, be able to help in organising the poll or to send observers during the elections.

17 May : Statement on Chad

The Community and its Member States are deeply concerned at the recent events which have occurred in the south of Chad where members of the army have committed serious violations of human rights. They especially deplore the fact that civilians have fallen victim to these human rights violations.

They strongly urge the Chad authorities to take all necessary steps to restore order and security in the country. They also urge the Chad authorities to implement further measures to prevent human rights violations based on the findings of the investigation commission into these events.

The Community and its Member States believe that it is necessary to establish a climate of peace and security in order to achieve the objectives of greater democracy in Chad announced by the National Conference, the holding of which is welcomed by the EC, and they call upon the government and all political forces to facilitate dialogue and collaboration which are indispensible in this connection.

2 June : Statement on Malawi

The Community and its Member States have followed closely developments in Malawi since the announcement of the referendum to decide whether Malawi should maintain the existing single-party system or adopt a multiparty system.

The Community and its Member States were pleased to note that many of the suggestions put forward by the United Nations concerning the conduct of the referendum have been adopted, even though some key recommendations were resisted until a late stage in the referendum timetable.

The Community and its Member States feel bound to draw the attention of the Malawi Government to certain important areas of concern. There are numerous reports of harassment and intimidation in various forms: physical maltreatment of individual multi-party advocates, obstruction, and cancellation of meetings. It is worrying that no responsible government representatives have made any public effort to restrain, for example, the activities of the Malawi Young Pioneers. Another concern is that the advocates of multi-party democracy have been denied satisfactory coverage of their views on the Government-controlled media, particularly radio, as foreseen in the Regulations for the referendum.

In light of the above, the Community and its Member States believe that the Malawi authorities have failed to reach acceptable standards of democratic campaigning, thus calling into question their commitment to increased respect for human rights. Such action could lead international opinion to the conclusion that the referendum did not take place in a free and fair climate.

Nevertheless, the Community and its Member States are encouraged by the fact that advocates of both systems of government have now committed themselves to continued participation in the referendum process. For this reason, the Community and its Member States are providing international observers and financial support for the referendum. For this support to be maintained it is imperative that the remaining part of the campaign takes place under circumstances that permit the true views of the Malawi people to be reflected in the vote.

Finally, the Community and its Member States recall that respect for human rights and for the rules of good governance remain the necessary conditions for the resumption of normal cooperation.

(The people of Malawi have since voted by a clear majority in favour of a multi-party system).

8 June : Statement on Somalia

The Community and its Member States express their deep concern over the events in Mogadishu in recent days and condemn without reservation the premeditated killing and wounding of Pakistani soldiers who were conducting a weapons verification inspection with UNOSOM II. They express their regret and sympathy to the people and Government of Pakistan, and especially to the families of those who lost their lives.

The Community and its Member States reiterate their full support for the United Nations in its efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia. They look forward to the publication of the Secretary-General's enquiry into the recent incident and the role of the factional leaders involved.

The Community and its Member States call on all Somali parties, movements and factions to respect the ceasefire, to comply with the agreements on political reconciliation they entered into in Addis Ababa in March and to cooperate fully with UNOSOM II so that it can fulfil its essential humanitarian mandate.

9 June : Statement on Burundi

The Community and its Member States welcome the good conduct of the presidential elections in Burundi on 1 June 1993. They express the hope that the outcome of these elections will be respected by all the parties concerned. They trust that the President-elect and the Government which emerge from the free and democratic parliamentary elections scheduled for 29 June will continue along the path to democratisation and reconciliation embarked upon by President Buyoya.

25 June : Statement on Nigeria

The Community and its Member States deplore the arbitrary decision of the Nigerian military government to annul the Nigerian presidential election, suspend the National Electoral Commission and thereby stop the promised transition to civilian rule. Reports from international observers suggest that the elections gave Nigerians a fair and adequate chance to express their choice for a democratically elected civilian government.

The Community and its Member States have consistently supported the programme for a return to democratic civilian rule, and had expected this process to be completed and power to be handed over to a democratic civilian government by 27 August. The Community and its Member States call upon the Nigerian authorities to reconsider their decision to annul the election.

General information

Independence for Eritrea

The people of Eritrea voted almost unanimously in favour of independence on 23-25 April 1993 and, on 24 May, the nag of independent Eritrea was raised at a moving ceremony before a proud and enthusiastic populace. After 30 years of war' the 52nd state of Africa was born.

Three heads of state-General Ahmed Al-Beshir of Sudan, Hassan Gouled Aptidon of Djibouti and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia-were there, in addition to a large contingent of representatives from the Community Member States and other countries. The Ethiopian head of state's speech on the future of cooperation between his country and Eritrea was very warmly welcomed and the crowds were moved by his account of the painful experience of war and the need for Ethiopia and Eritrea to join together to build a future of peace and progress. The Presidents of Sudan and Djibouti stressed their relations with the new state and their keenness for cooperation with it, including at regional level.

Eritrean President Issaias Afwerki responded with interesting details of the tasks which lay ahead and emphasised the promising prospects for reconstruction, democratisation (a four-year period of transition) and, of course, the future cooperation with Ethiopia.

Giovanni Livi, the EC Commission's Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, presented the Commission's good wishes to the new president and his team.

On the international front, both the OAU and the UN said that Eritrea would be admitted to their organisations as speedily as possible. The new country appears to want to establish good relations with its neighbours, without depending on certain Arab countries. The goodwill was mutual as far as joining the Lome Convention was concerned and Eritrea had already applied to accede to the ACP's Georgetown Agreement.

Emergency aid

Rwanda: ECU 3m as emergency aid towards programmes of assistance operated by humanitarian organisations for the victims of armed conflict.

Sudan: Aid for displaced persons in southern Sudan.

The EC Commission has decided to allocate ECU 300000-worth of emergency aid to refugees in southern Sudan, to be targeted at some 35 000 displaced persons in Ashwa, in the Eastern Equator province.

The people involved, who came from Kongor, Bor and Bahr el Ghazal, fled from the Khartoum Government's offensive against the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which began in the spring of last year. Many of them had only returned from Ethiopian camps in 1991. They are suffering from severe malnutrition and their camps lack sanitary facilities and basic medical provision.

ECHO, the European Community Humanitarian Office, is to have the French NGO Action Internationale Contre la Faim (AICF) as its operational partner in this scheme. The Community aid consists of 60 000 t of skimmed milk powder and 60 000 t of oil (Unimix and sugar to be supplied by UNICEF), as well as medicines, medical equipment and sanitary facilities. A medical-nutritional programme for children is to be provided in addition. It involves running a nutritional survey and setting up four feeding centres which can supply food of a medical-nutritional nature, if necessary.

Violent fighting between the different ethnic groups has prevented food and humanitarian aid from international sources from reaching its destination in Sudan for the last four months. The emergency aid had, in fact, been planned for 1992, but the AICF had to ask for delivery to be postponed because of security problems in the area.

In 1992-93, the Commission sent some 240 000 t of food aid to Sudan as well as ECU 6m to pay for the aid to be transported into the interior of the country. A further ECU 4m was provided in non-food emergency aid over the same period of which ECU 2.2m-worth went to the southern part of the country, where delivery has proved to be extremely difficult.

There are currently seven other Community emergency medical assistance operations under way in southern Sudan (involving, in particular, Medecins sans Frontieres, Save the Children, the AICF and the CCM). Between them, these are worth a total of ECU 1 335 000.

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