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A new lease of life for Africa's rural radios

by Pascal Berquamp; Samba Ousmane Tour

Rural radio. The term can conjure up broadcasts devoted to extension work, remote from the self-expression and needs of the population and closeted in a broadcasting studio to the detriment of the field - a negative image which has been around for 10 years, ever since the sad revelation of the shortcomings of Africa's rural radios. Now that the media are diversifying and getting their freedom, it is time to do justice to rural radio, which is and will long be the African rural populations' main, if not only, source of information in their own language. A new-style rural radio is emerging. It is closer to the people, run from a network of regional and local stations, and will both involve the rural population and be open to the world at large.

Peul shepherds with their transistors on straps and their eyes on their herds are a common sight all over the Sahel. They listen to the radio without worrying about administrative frontiers. What nationality is the station? If it is broadcasting in the right language, what does the nationality matter? It might be Malian Radio and Television (RTM) and it might be Burkina Faso's rural radio or the Senegalese TV broadcasting office, depending on the area. Radio is the tenuous link between these people and the rest of the world, so how can it be ignored?

Despite competition from television, radio is still the commonest medium of mass communication in the world, particularly in rural Africa. The average is 100 sets per 1000 inhabitants, as against only ten TV sets and, although there is considerable variation within this of course (19 radios per 1000 in Burkina Faso, 173 in Ghana and 215 in Algeria in 1983) i, radio is popular everywhere.

In Africa, the popularity of rural radio is related to a number of different parameters - the size of the rural population, the strength of the oral tradition, the wide diversity of national languages and a high rate of illiteracy. Radio is the best medium in a situation of this kind, but, financial resources being what they are, the job of the national broadcasting systems is difficult, if not impossible. How can, say, national language services be developed in Cameroon when there are more than 200 languages and dialects in addition to French and English?

Awareness, involvement and information

The idea of using the appropriate radio broadcasts to sustain economic and social development in newly independent countries goes back to the early 1960s. It was called educational radio to begin with and then rural educational radio or rural radio, because of course it taught listeners about every aspect of rural life (health, hygiene, agricultural techniques, music and so on). Priority in broadcasting was on the national languages and listeners got together in groups and clubs to tune in to the programmes. These were the of the Radio Clubs Niger and the rural motivation units of Chad, Mali and Upper Volta.

Governments realised what was at stake and how useful the medium was as a means of economic and social development. But, as Jean Pierre Ilboudo said, 'Rural radio concentrated too much on a reductionist approach to development, bringing it down to nothing more than an increase in agricultural output. Socioeconomic change was not dealt with globally and political action was rejected in favour of social mobilisation. Disoo, Senegal's educational rural radio, dropped the school-teacher approach so far removed from the prime concerns of the rural populations in 1968. It questioned the idea of vertical communication and went for dialogue and was designed as a general programme on integrated rural development.

Journalists now went out and met their audiences face-to-face, setting up events in the villages as opportunities both for recording and for making people aware of what was going on. Population involvement was the order of the day. After Disoo, rural radio in Burkina Faso and Burundi, for example, went from strength to strength (with help from bilateral and international cooperation), although it has run out of steam in recent years. A look at rural radio as a whole shows that the stumbling blocks are:

- inadequate budgets and the impossibility of going out into the field;
- centralised production facilities, all too often sited in urban areas;
- operational difficulties in the interministerial committees responsible for the coordination vital to the programming of rural radio topics and broadcasts;
- the absence of broadcasts in many of the national languages;
- a major economic crisis in many Sahel countries in the 1970s;
- a reduction in international aid (in Congo and Burkina Faso);
- poor population involvement in programme design and production;
- lack of renewal of programmes.

This sad finding is not to deny of the qualities of rural radio, however. The programmes are, first and foremost, a means of informing people, of making them aware of different issues and of mobilising them. Decision-makers, field projects and cooperation institutions still appreciate their flexibility and their ability to get a dialogue going with the rural world. Rural radio is extremely cost-effective as a means of action too. It is right for the job. It just needs updating.

Fast-moving trends and rapid diversification

At the dawn of the 1980s, rural radio was too didactic and too far removed from its audiences. It needed to be redefined, to make a better job of involving the people, to decentralise and to develop its financial independence.

The desire to get closer to the rural audiences is all-important. There will be no economic, social or human development for the rural populations unless they are encouraged to participate and express themselves. CESAO's John Madjri said that there was a dialectic relationship between freeing expression and freeing initiative. Radio messages were useful in the eyes of the peasants, he said, but all the rural radios combined only did half the work, the freeing of expression did not go the whole way and what the peasants had to say was obscured. People were therefore afraid to commit themselves and take the initiative.

By letting the people actually concerned say what they think, radio provides information and sets the example. When personal experience is broadcast, it triggers emulation and the effect is reinforced by the closeness of the speaker. Listeners want to meet him and find out more about what he did - something which is only possible when the rural radio station is nearby.

Should rural radio be local or should it be regional ? The problem is not posed in those terms. Decentralisation is vital. Regional stations are broadcasting in more languages and getting closer to the rural populations. Governments at first worried about them doing too much to encourage distinctive regional peculiarities to the detriment of national unity; now they are resigned to promoting them. The same goes for local rural radio, which is more suitable when it comes to involving the people in their own development. AGECOOP has been developing a specific programme to help local rural radios since 1991 and there are plans for four stations per country in Congo, the CAR, Cameroon, Guinea Mali and Benin, with an overhaul of the local radio stations in Burkina Faso.

National, regional and local radio stations must now be seen as part of a network, each with its own particular job of producing broadcasts, exchanging programmes, filling time slots and using the different languages of the national community.

Typical of the new trend is Guinea's rural radio, a project supported by Swiss cooperation and the FAO (training) which emerged in 1989, after a good look at the successes and failures of African rural radio over the previous 20 years. This radio comes under a different directorate-general, independent of national radio and television; it has two regional stations, one broadcasting in Fulani from Labin Moyenne Guin and one in Malinke from Kankan (Haute Guin. The other two regions are soon to have two stations of their own. The setting up of local radios under the AGECOOP programme will also mean better services for various specific audiences. The budget comes from an annual allocation from the State and large contributions from schemes run by international organisations and NGOs with communications sections. One priority is to achieve proper financial autonomy and Guinea's rural radio has brought in clear economic rules of partnership with this in mind - a hard line which can only work with the statutes which render official its independence and administrative autonomy.

Any revival of rural radio is dependent on these new financial conditions. These stations must be able to generate some of their own resources and manage them completely independently. This is a sine qua non both of their survival and of national support.

After more than 30 years of monopoly, the media are beginning to open up a little. There are three trends on the African radio scene - privatisation, decentralisation and internationalisation. Towns are going to be the first to have private, commercial and association radio stations. This is already happening in Burkina Faso, where Horizon FM is authorised to broadcast in the capital, and in Bamako, where two private, association stations also broadcast on FM. Mali is the first country in West Africa clearly to announce the freedom of the air waves. Public radio stations, rural radio included, are going to have to face this competition - and competition may lead to emulation but, as Cheikh Sylla, head of Guinea's rural radio, said, 'there is a strong risk of losing sight of development objectives if there is too much privatisation of stations.' Another change is internationalisation, with foreign stations taking advantage of the more open attitude.

RFI Plus Afrique, for example, now has local FM transmitters in Dakar and Cotonou, putting its own programmes on the air in the capital cities of Senegal and Benin, but keeping time for national broadcasts too. Dencentralisation is the right response here.

Capitalising on human potential

It would be wrong to think that rural radio can be given a new lease of life without proper attention to the hopes and needs of its staff. All too often, people posted to rural broadcasting have felt they have been pushed into a siding or forgotten. But times are changing. Not only must rural radio have better status and better material means. The producers and journalists must be motivated too, and developing their activity and giving them the means with which to work is a priority. Training, basic and continuing, is a fundamental need and CIERRO (see box) is coming up to expectations in French-speaking countries, but the English-speaking centre, scheduled to open in Namibia, is still on the drawing board. The various international organisations are ploughing more and more resources into training. The FAO, for example, has been doing so for 20 years now, particularly for rural radio in Guinea, Chad and Mauritania, and a special approach has been developed there under the leadership of Frans Querre.

The CTA has been developing a rural radio and scientific, technical, agricultural and rural information programme for the ACPs since 1989 (see box). This is designed to meet the demand from heads of ACP rural radio stations which concentrate on training. The CTA responds with regional workshops, which improve professional skills and are an opportunity for participants to discuss the* experience.

More than ever before, listening to and providing training for rural radio producers and journalists is a way of guaranteeing that they are efficient and can communicate with the rural world.

PB & SOT

CIERRO

The Inter-African Rural Radio Study Centre in Ouagadougou, set up in 1978, is a permanent centre of the URTNA (Union of National Radio and Television Organisations of Africa), which promotes study and research into communication science in the rural environment. It runs a two-year training course for about 20 rural radio producers and technicians from French-speaking countries of Africa and has turned out 139 graduates from 15 countries in its 14 years of existence. German cooperation accounts for the bulk of the financing, with the balance coming from the URTNA, Burkina Faso and AGECOOP.

This is the only centre of its kind in Africa and it is now broadening its scope with regular advanced rural radio training sessions, workshops and seminars, with particular emphasis on communication in the rural environment. It has forged many links with German cooperation over the years and with the FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO, AGECOOP, Swiss cooperation, AMARC (Canada), the John-Paul II Foundation, the CTA, GRET and CILSS, all of which have co-organised meetings and continue to contribute to programmes and projects. CIERRO has been a member of the steering committee for the CTA programme on rural radio and scientific, technical, agricultural and rural information from the beginning and, in 1989, it co-organised the programme's inaugural workshop in Ouagadougou with GRET and the CTA.

The CTA at work

The CTA's rural radio and scientific and technical information programme is l being implemented in the light of the final report of the Ouagadougou inaugural seminar run at CIERRA, in conjunction with GRET, in 1989. Since 1990, the first year of operation, the CTA has developed a number of schemes to help the ACP countries by:

- distributing Spore, its half-yearly review in French and English, to radio stations throughout the ACP group;

- setting up a data base of all producers, journalists and heads of rural radio and farming news services in the ACP countries

- bringing out specific STI information packs for radio producers;

- organising and running regional workshops providing advanced training in STI utilisation and research to help rural producers and journalists in the ACP countries.

The rural radio-STI training workshops were run at Sevoza, the Voice of Zaire Studio school in Kinshasa, and at Zamcom, the Zambia Institute of Mass ´Cornmunication in Lusaka, in 1990 and at Kimc, the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication in Nairobi, and Iftic, the Information Technology and Communications Training Institute in Niamey, in 1991.

The STI topic for 1991 was agro-forestry. During stage one, critical listening, each country proposed a 15-25 minute broadcast (documentary, magazine, drama etc) on this subject. The comparing of ideas and working methods made for an exchange of information and a round-up of everyone's views which was much appreciated by the producers and journalists. An introduction to the national broadcasting services and a progress report on the documentary research undertaken for the reports completed these sessions.

In phase two of the workshop, the different groups had the opportunity to produce 20-minute broadcasts in the field and try out what they had learnt from the critical listening. Topics included trees and rice in combination, agriculture and the environment, improved stoves, brush fires and eucalyptus trees.

At the end, the participants said that they had been made aware of the need for stringency in work and documentary research and were ready to reconcile STI with the rules of the art of writing for radio so as to reach the biggest rural audience possible. Two workshops were scheduled for 1992 - in Ghana (for the English-speaking countries of western Africa) and Mauritius (French-speaking countries of the Indian Ocean).

These radio staff - 'enablers', as they like to describe themselves - make a vital contribution to CTA action. A network of broadcasters is gradually taking shape and the CTA will continue to give it support with its rural radio and STI programme, backing rural radio and farm news services in the ACP countries.

The Courier’s mailbag

Economic management in Africa

I am a regular reader of your magazine and have always found the articles in your Dossiers very interesting, informative and educational. The recent Dossier on Africa (Issue 134) is no exception. It really touches my heart as an African who is concerned about why our continent remains the least developed region of the world despite all its material and human resources, the commodity booms of the 1970s and a decade of structural adjustment programmes. It is obvious that something is wrong somewhere.

After more than 30 years of African independence, very little has been achieved. Standards of living fall daily. The continent cannot feed its population to the required calorific level. Much of Africa is still ruled by authoritarian and corrupt leaders who get steadily richer despite the continual degradation of African economic development.

While l agree with what Daniel Etounga-Manguelle said in his interview - that there are some aspects of our culture that limit industrial development in Africa - I should point out that economic management is no less a sine qua non. Under the pretext of economic policy, our leaders have tended to adopt cosmetic policies and even where the effort is a genuine one, it is not always conscientiously implemented by those in charge. In Africa, politics and government posts are seen as means of accumulating wealth, not of serving the people. Some heads of state and government officials have used their offices to enrich themselves to the extent that some are even richer than their nations.

The most painful thing is that these corrupt leaders have siphoned off the limited and hard-earned foreign exchange revenues of their countries - sending the money back to western banks which then return some of the funds to Africa in the form of credits and loans at high rates of interest. The remainder stays in the European banking system where it used to develop the local economy. Switzerland provides an obvious example of this.

I believe that if the problems of economic management are not solved, there will be no signifcant improvement, no matter the amount of money spent on the continent.

Another and most useful help which could be rendered to Africa can be found in what Edgard Pisani said in his interview. Although it might sound naive, it is a very important issue. The West should no longer allow corrupt African leaders to keep misappropriated money in their banks. Such monies should be confiscated in the way that drug receipts are - and then returned to Africa through the IMF or the World Bank to finance development in the region. Billion of dollars which should have been used to develop Africa are currently tucked away in Western banks.

Now that the cold war has ended, there is the likelihood that less economic assistance win be directed towards Africa. Europe may prefer to invest in the newly opened economies of Eastern Europe rather than the more distant and less important (both politically and economically) African countries. In these circumstances, domestic savings and the continent's limited export earnings - accompanied by sound economic management and accountability of the leadership - will take on even greater significance.

Bashir Obasekola, Moscow, Russia

In defence of Kenneth Kaunda

In your Dossier (A Fresh Look at Africa), in Issue 134, you published an article by Father Ives Chituba Bantungwa.

I read this article, with great interest as regards the subject matter, but with considerable unease as regards its content. I feel that Father Bantungwa somewhat overstates the positive role played by his Church. Above all, he seems unable to conceal his hostility towards former President Kenneth Kaunda. He is in a better position than I to criticise the negative effects of the single party system but, in 1992, this is hardly original - even for an African.

His hostility leads him to forget some fundamental elements when he writes '... the situation in Zambia is different' (from that of other African countries). 'The country boasts several favourable factors'.

Can he be too young to remember that during the 'decade of development' (the 1960s), President Kaunda was known as a credible 'humanist Christian'? In which of his books was it that Renumont wrote: 'I have met almost all of the world's statesmen ... I have only found one who is a Christian. He is black. He is President Kenneth Kaunda' (I am quoting from memory.)

In 1991, it took all of the integrity of this son of a minister turned statesman to organise free elections, prohibit violence and - something which is rare in Africa - accept at once the verdict with such remarkable dignity.

Others - whether from Togo, Cameroon or Madagascar - would surely have preferred to have a dictator who actually respected the rights of the people, as President Kaunda did,

Robert Martel, Lezay, France (formerly of the 'Centre des Hautes Etudes sur l'Afrique et l'Asie moderne')

Books

Un Vent du Sud - Terres d'espoir (Wind from the South - Lands of Hope) - Orchid - L'Harmattan - Paris 1992

Describing the South and rectifying the sometimes distorted image of it which parts of the media have managed to convey in the countries of the North is, basically, what the Orchid collection is all about and, contrary to what we have sometimes been led to believe, there is more to it than harping on poverty and catastrophe. Africa, Asia and Latin America do indeed have their problems, but theirs are lands rich in human resources and economic potential and their people fight for survival day by day without folding their arms and waiting for the manna to fall from the North. This other South is also entitled to say what it thinks.

This book sets out to re-write history and add the pages which standard works have missed out or overlooked. The colonials did not start a great period of history when they went out to these countries. They stopped it. There is no question of lamenting the fact here, but of setting out to win back the past - that collective memory which binds a people together - and thereby getting a better understanding of the present and control over the future.

Orchid, set up in France in 1981, is an organisation of development professionals and four NGOs - La Cimade, Frs des Hommes, the Comitatholique contre la faim and Terre des Hommes - and its documentaries on the South have been shown on both French and foreign channels. We who are more used to watching should now learn to listen, so perhaps we can then understand the part which story-telling plays in Africa and Asia.

This collection of contributions from professionals and other enthusiasts about the South recounts the everyday experience of location work, magically linked to the countries and the peoples on film. It is a far cry from the myths which some people try to create around picture making, for not only is the smallest penchant for the cinema encouraged here, but neophytes are shown which avenues to take and given the means of moving along them, so 'communication' and 'information' really mean something. Orchid' aims, achievements and plans come alive in this account, which begins with a conversation between a team as united as it is cosmopolitan.

What marks this book out, other than that it was designed as a teaching aid, is the narrative, the personal accounts of people filmed or encountered on location and of the no less interesting Orchid team, each describing how he or she discovered the South. Each location (log books) is described by two different people, giving two different views, two different ways of seeing things and so on. The topics they discuss - health, population, farming, women and development, integrated tourism and more - are dealt with in their cultural context and contrive to arouse curiosity about other aspects of the countries, their history and their traditions which the reader must then satisfy for himself.

Each documentary, and each topic/country therefore, is presented as a teaching resource pack combining a technical data sheet, an outline of the content, subjects for personal research or group work and back-up information in the shape of a bibliography, a discography and some useful addresses - an invitation to a voyage of discovery and, of course, very useful for the student, teacher or ordinary reader. Our team sees films as windows on the world. Let us therefore look through them.

Orchid lights the way for anyone who has discovered a new vocation but is finding it difficult to take the first steps along the windy audio-visual road. Everyone will be interested in the additional information - useful addresses, lists of available periodicals and videos, art and craft, a bibliography, a filmography, guides and more.

Ben Said Dia

Oruno D. Lara - Caras en construction: espace, colonisation, rstance (Caribbean under Construction - Space colonisation and resistance) - Two volumes - Editions CERCAM - 636 pages - 1992

These two volumes, from an arts and humanities doctoral thesis, recount the history of the Caribbean from the beginnings right down to the present day, a lengthy undertaking which involved a critical analysis of source material from archives in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean. From these varied sources, the writer, Head of the Caribbean Institute for international Humanities and Social Science Research in Guadeloupe and the Caribbean-America Research Centre at the University of Paris X (Nanterre), has unravelled a thread which, like Ariadne's, enables him to find his way in the Labyrinth of history.

The Caribbean itself reflects its island make-up, the ever-present water of its oceans, rivers, streams and canals, the unceasing dialogue of its atmospheric and ocean currents and the diversity of its people. The personality of this infinitely variable world comes through in many aspects of its historical heritage, its politics, its economy and its culture. And it is by looking at this history that the necessary distinctions can be made.

On one side are strange and exotic visions, confusion and servitude. On the other, space perceived endogenously, with its structures, its contradictions and its diversity, only revealed to the initiated in a process of resistance as old as its American and African origins.

Caribbean history did not begin in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Mr Lara points out, but thousands of years before that, when ancient Olmec, Maya, Aztec and Inca civilisations came swarming there.

He starts by criticising the vocabulary inherited from the colonial era. What justification is there, say, for talking about the West Indies, Indians, the Antilles, the metropolis and things metropolitan or even just overseas five hundred years after 1492?

Using a generative system, he has produced an historical space, taking the pre-history, proto-history and geodynamics of the Caribbean as the starting point and bringing in data from recent archaeological research to pinpoint the origins of the indigenous population. He sheds light on the cultures interlarded in the four major civilisations - the megalithic civilisation of San Agustin (Colombia) and the culture of Calima, Quimbaya, Tairona, Chibcha and Muisca which gave birth to the legend of El Dorado. He devotes pages to little-known native music and dance. And he criticises the dual Carib-Arawak idea of the Europeans, deals with Colombus' cannibals and discusses the five chiefdoms of the caziques of Haiti.

Under the shock of conquest, the Caribbean underwent a metamorphosis. The author criticises the vision of the conquerors, their ethnocentric attitudes and the illusion of discovery (the Old World opposed to the New World) paving the way for historical and geographical manipulation. A long introduction to Portugal, which 'opened the way', is followed by a look at the process of extermination, expropriation and pillage which followed the conquest.

Not for him the exoticism or the clichof the traditional historiographer, for this writer forces us to take notice of the internal geodynamics of this part of the Americas and the Caribbean emerges from his enthralling enquiry with its own specific morphology and powerful historical personality.

'Satellite City and other stories'; Alecia McKenzie; Longman Caribbean Writers; 1992; Bfr 340

This is Alecia McKenzie's first collection of short stories although she has worked as a journalist. Born in Jamaica and educated in Kingston, she went on to study Art and Spanish in Alabama and Journalism at Columbia University, New York. She is living in Belgium and teaches at the Free University of Brussels.

The stories are about individuals and, through the events surrounding them, readers are introduced to the people of modern Jamaica - their lifestyles and ambitions. There are few descriptive passages, each story has real characters and we are merely eavesdropping upon their lives. We learn of the violence and poverty of the shanty towns, the aspirations to emulate the USA as seen on satellite TV, the disillusionment of those who leave the island to seek a better life, often abandoning their children to be brought up by grandmothers, the sexual complexities, where illegitimacy is commonplace, and the political environment. The divide between the lifestyle and education of the rich and the poor is graphically illustrated.

The thirteen stories are diverse and interesting in their format. Some give only a glimpse of perhaps a day in the life of the characters, some are a straightforward narration of events whilst in others the plot is unravelled in stages with flashbacks or brief comments casting light upon the actual events. Occasionally the author puts her characters' speech into the local dialect but it is easily understood and does not detract from the readability of the story - instead it enhances the atmosphere.

I enjoyed reading this book and my only complaint is that a couple of the stories left me wondering what happened next and I found this slightly frustrating. The characters portrayed are authentic and intriguing and the reader absorbs much about the culture of Jamaica. I hope the author will treat us to a second volume soon.

Anne Sandison

Jacques Delors - Le nouveau concert europ (Europe in harmony) Editions Odile Jacob, 15 rue Soufflot, 75005 Paris - 351 pages - FF 130 - 1992

This is a collection of speeches by Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, over the past seven years. They are divided, by subject, into chapters, each starting with an historical commentary, and completed by a list of dates, from 18 July 1984 (Jacques Delors' appointment as President of the Commission) to December 1991.

In the preface, the author maintains that 1992, being a year of outstanding European events, is the prime time for publishing a work of this kind. He aptly quotes Andriegfried, well-known to generations of political science students, who warned, back in 1935, that 'there is quite obviously a crisis in Europe. After a long period of predominance, expected to last for ever at the time, the Old World is experiencing the first threats to its hegemony.' We all know what happened. It began in May 1948, with delegates at the Congress of The Hague obsessed with the idea of peace - a peace which Member States have enjoyed in the European Communities for more than 45 years now, thanks, in particular, to the Monnet method of 'forging links of positive interdependence between our countries'. This has to be continued in 1992.

One of the six subject-chapters of this book is of particular interest to us here and that is the one which includes the speech on the Community and Africa made to the Senegalese National Assembly in Dakar on 2 May 1991. This stresses the means of a new partnership provided under LomV, that constantly evolving instrument which includes, in particular, a privileged system of trade, a set of programme resources, insurance mechanisms and a structural adjustment support facility. 'It is clear,' says Jacques Delors, that further-reaching democracy and economic and social development are indivisible.' And not just in Africa either

A.L.

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 INFRASTRUCTURE

Grenada: ECU 1.58 million for farm road rehabilitation.

Kenya/Tanzania: ECU 48 million for the Musoma-Sirari-lsebania-Mukuyo road.

INDUSTRIALISATION

Ghana: ECU 320000 for support to the wood sector.

Tanzania: ECU 1.95 million for a 'Management Assessment and Privatisation Study' for Morogoro-Canvas Mill.

Djibouti: ECU 1.96 million for craft promotion.

MINING

Senegal: ECU 10.5 million for a support programme in the phosphate sector (Phase 2)

Mauritania: ECU 2.5 million for gold prospecting.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Burundi: ECU 1.91 million for training in the context of rural development programmes.

Guinea-Bissau: ECU 1.5 million to support students studying overseas.

Nigeria: ECU 11.5 million for a university library project.

Burundi: ECU 18 million to develop sanitary facilities in the provinces of Bubanza, Cibitoke, Cankuzo, Rutana and Ruyigi.

EIER/ESTHER: ECU 2.8 million for the construction of housing for teaching staff.

Belize: ECU 4.2 million for the New Belize City Hospital.


RURAL PRODUCTION

Antigua & Barbuda: ECU 130 000 for livestock development (Phase 2).

FISHERIES

ECOWAS Member States: ECU X million for improvement of post harvest utilisation of artisanal fish catches in West Africa

TRADE PROMOTION

Guinea: ECU 14 million for a General Import Programme (GIP).

ENVIRONMENT

Kenya: ECU 4.4 million for the conservation and management of natural forests.

Nigeria: ECU 25 million for a programme in the arid zone of Katsina.

MISCELLANEOUS

Kenya: ECU 1.96 million to assist the election process.

Benin: ECU 1.21 million in institutional support for the Ministry of Planning.

Senegal: ECU 1.3 million for a programme of action connected with the elections.

Nigeria: ECU 1.3 million for an 'Urgent Assessment' of the News Agency of Nigeria.

Central African Republic: ECU 1.2 million for the National Laboratory of Buildings and Public Works.

Lesotho: ECU 8.5 million for a structural adjustment support programme.

All ACPs: ECU 15 million (proposal for a global commitment) to finance aid for refugees, returnees and displaced persons.

Rwanda: ECU 3.5 million for institutional support.

EIB

The EIB has made the following loans:

Mauritius: ECU 2.6 million for the building of a factory for milk products destined for the internal Mauritius market.

Guinea-Bissau: ECU 7 million for the restoration and extension of the Bissau thermal power station.

VISITS

Tro visits to Somalia

The Tro of Community Foreign Ministers (from the present, previous and forthcoming Council Presidencies - currently the United Kingdom, Portugal and Denmark), visited Mogadishu on 4 September.

The purpose of the visit was to emphasise the concern of the Community and its Member States about the situation in Somalia, to prepare the visit of the Tro of Development Ministers on 12-13 September, and to show EC support for the UN role in Somalia.

The Troika met Ambassador Sahnoun, Coordinator for the UN agencies, and representatives of the many NGOs active in the field. The Ministers visited a feeding station run by the Save the Children Fund and a UNICEF/Swedish displacement camp in Mogadishu. They also went to Digfer hospital and the headquarters of the UN Mission.

The Troika of Development Ministers and Commission Vice-President Manuel Marin visited Kenya and Somalia from 12-14 September.

The Prime Minister of Rwanda

On 16 September, Dieter Frisch met Mr D. Nsengiyaremye, Prime Minister of Rwanda since April 1992, who was on an official visit to Belgium and, for the first time, to the European Commission.

The meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the current state of relations between the Community and Rwanda and to review the principal aspects of cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Nsengiyaremye informed Mr Frisch about progress towards democratisation as well as about the present situation and outlook for the negotiations with the FPR. The Prime Minister also sought continuing support from the Community for the economic reform process, as well as additional assistance to meet the immediate needs of people who had been displaced as a result of the events in recent years.

European Community

Annual Report on the Single Market

With only a few weeks to go before the I January 1993 deadline for the Single Market, more than 90% of the measures envisaged in the White Paper have now been adopted by the Twelve. This is the main feature of the latest annual progress report on the establishment of the Single Market which Vice-President Marin Bangemann recently submitted to the Commission.

This positive overall assessment relates to important areas such as the opening-up of public procurement, European norms, the liberalisation of the markets in financial services, the liberalisation of capital movements and the right of abode of citizens. The changes introduced in the field of technical norms, the freedom to provide services and public procurement have already brought about a fundamental modernisation of the working environment for companies, favourable to their competitiveness in external markets.

The number of problem areas is diminishing. This is the case particularly in the area of indirect taxation, with movement towards decisions on the harmonisation of VAT rates and excise duties. It is also true of transport policy, with the adoption of the final phase in the liberalisation of air transport and of cabotage rules for sea and inland waterway transport. The only important dossiers still awaiting decision by the Council concern the creation of a Community trade mark and the establishment of a European company statute.

France votes 'Yes' to Maastricht Treaty

In the referendum held on 20 September, the French voted in favour of ratification of the Treaty on European Union, although by a margin of only 2% (51% in favour, 49% against). The turnout was 70%. Support for the Treaty was strongest in Paris, Brittany, the regions bordering Germany/Switzerland and the Overseas Territories and Departments (of which only New Caledonia voted 'No'). The areas of strongest opposition to the Treaty were the North/ Pas de Calais region and the south of the country. There was a notable divergence between urban areas (predominantly 'Yes') and rural ones (predominantly 'No').

The referendum took place after a week of turbulence on the currency markets which saw the European Monetary System come under considerable pressure. One of the centrepieces of the Maastricht Treaty is the establishment, before the end of the decade, of a single European currency. It remains to be seen whether the economic conditions necessary for this can be created within the timescale envisaged. Even if this is achieved, doubts continue over the political will in some Member States, and the equivocal French vote has done little to remove this uncertainty.

EUROPEAN POLITICAL COOPERATION

Statement on Cd'Ivoire 7 August

The Community and its Member States have noted with satisfaction the Government of Cd'Ivoire's decision to release those detained following the regrettable events of February 1992. They sincerely hope that this will prove a significant step towards reconciling the government and opposition parties, which in turn will contribute to the democratic and stable evolution of the country.

Statement on Mozambique 12 August

The Community and its Member States welcome the signature on 7 August by President Chissano of Mozambique and Alfonso Dhlakama, President of Renamo, of a joint declaration comitting them to the signing of a general peace agreement by I October. They recognise the intensive preparatory efforts of both the Government of Mozambique and Renamo parties in reaching this agreement, and pay particular tribute to the mediating role played by President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The Community and its Member States urge both sides to maintain the goodwill brought about by this breakthrough and to refrain from further armed confrontation so as to prevent additional loss of life before the general peace agreement is reached by October 1. They hope that negotiations will be conducted in earnest to achieve agreement on the outstanding issues, as agreed, by I October. Those Member States currently involved in the peace talks, either as mediators or observers, will continue to provide all necessary advice and assistance to the negotiating parties in Rome to reach the earliest possible agreement.

The Community and its Member States urge that, in the spirit of this agreement, the parties now implement as quickly as possible the agreement of 16 July regarding access for humanitarian relief to those areas of Mozambique most seriously affected by the drought.

Statement on Rwanda 27 August

The Community and its Member States noted with satisfaction the signing in Arusha on 18 August 1992 of a Protocol agreement on the rule of law by the Rwandan government and the 'FPR'.

This measure is the first stage in the political negotiations foreseen in the cease-fire agreement of 12 July 1992 which should lead to the conclusion of a peace agreement.

The Community and its Member States congratulate the two parties on their obvious commitment to achieving peace in the country and urge them to persevere.

Statement on South Africa 8 September

The Community and its Member States strongly condemn the killing and wounding of numerous ANC supporters in Ciskei on 7 September and other recent violent incidents, including the deaths of 10 people in Natal on 4 September. Violence and intolerance have again claimed innocent lives; democratic change has again been threatened. They understand that fudge Goldstone's Commission is investigating the events in Natal. They call on all parties to agree to the extension of the National Peace Accord to cover the so-called 'independent' homelands, and the South African Government to exercise firm control over the security forces throughout South Africa.

During the recent visit to South Africa by the EC Ministerial Tro, the Community and its Member States were invited by all parties to send observers to reinforce the National Peace Accord, as envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 772. They are responding urgently to this invitation, and stand ready to respond to any further request for help from all parties.

But the future ultimately lies in the hands of South Africans themselves: the peaceful transition to a non-racial democracy needs their wholehearted support. Time is short. The Community and its Member States call on all parties to show restraint, to tackle the violence which threatens their common future through the National Peace Accord, and to build a democratic South Africa through an early and determined return to constitutional negotiations and the establishment of an interim government.

Statement on Zaire 10 September

The Community and its Member States note with satisfaction the election of Prime Minister Tshisekedi by the National Conference and the acceptance of his government by both the Conference and the President. This represents a further step towards democracy in Zaire. The Community and its Member States wish the Government success in working towards creating a climate which will allow peaceful progress towards free and fair elections and social and economic recovery.

Statement on Somalia 13 September

(Issued at the Informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers, 12-13 September, Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, UK)

Following the visits to Mogadishu of the Tro Foreign Ministers on 4 September, and of other EC Ministers, Ministers reviewed the situation in Somalia. The collapse of government in Somalia and the resulting tragedy for its people require the most committed response on the part of the international community.

Ministers paid tribute to the courageous humanitarian work being carried out in Somalia by a number of non-governmental agencies in collaboration with devoted local personnel.

A first requirement now is that the level of outside aid to Somalia should be commensurate with the gravity of the situation. In addition to the efforts made by individual Member States, the Community has collectively made available 185 000 tonnes of food and ECU 15 million of non-food humanitarian assistance this year. The Community has recently committed additional funds to the protection of humanitarian convoys, under UN auspices.

The Community and its Member States appeal to other members of the international community to join with them in increasing the volume of international aid to Somalia.

Priority also attaches to the protection of humanitarian convoys and the distribution of food and medicines in conditions of civil order.

The Community and its Member States call on all political groupings in Somalia to contribute to this end, in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council. They are convinced that a cease-fire in all areas and the deployment of UN armed guards in adequate numbers will facilitate emergency relief work.

The Community and its Member States confirmed their full support for the United Nations' role in Somalia, and in particular, the admirable work of the Secretary-General's representative Ambassador Sahnoun. It is through Ambassador Sahnoun's consultations that legitimate government can be re-established in Somalia.

In the view of the Community and its Member States, none of the Somali factions can lay claim to speak as the legitimate authority in Somalia. They call on the factions to restore legitimate authority through a process of national reconciliation.

Statement on Equatorial Guinea 22 September

On behalf of the Community and its Member States, Heads of Mission in Malabo delivered a drche to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Equatorial Guinea on 16 September. The drche expressed concern about violence used by police when detaining opposition politicians on I September. The Community urged the authorities to release those detained. The drche recalled article 5 of the Fourth Lomonvention (which enjoins recipients of EC aid to respect human rights) and the Resolution on Human Rights, Democracy and Development passed by the Development Council on 28 November 1991.

General information

FOOD AID

Special Programme 1992

Progress report as of 2 October: The 1992 Special Programme provides for the delivery of 800 000 tonnes of cereal equivalent, additional to the annual food aid programme. It has a budget of ECU 220 million. There has been significant progress in implementing the programme in recent months. By 2 October, 92.9% of the aid had been mobilised with some 322000 tonnes destined for East Africa, 344000 tonnes for Southern Africa and 77000 tonnes for certain Asian and Latin American countries.

Former Yugoslavia

The Council has adopted the regulation providing for urgent action to make food supplies available to the victims of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. This will cost ECU 37.5 million and the supplies will be obtained either from intervention stocks or from the open market.

The Commission recently took the following food aid decision.

WFP: ECU 30.5 million for cereals (60 000 tonnes), powdered, skimmed milk (6000 tonnes), butteroil (1000 tonnes) and vegetable oil (5000 tonnes).

EMERGENCY AID

The Commission has recently taken the following emergency aid decisions (including aid to refugees).

EMERGENCY FOOD AID

Mozambique: 15 000 tonnes of cereal equivalent, in the form of seed, (channelled through the International Committee of the Red Cross); 15 000 tonnes of cereal equivalent (direct aid).

UNWRA: 357 tonnes of powdered milk, or substitutes, 116 tonnes of vegetable oil and ECU 530000 for the purchase of other products.

UNHCR: 77 tonnes of powdered milk for Somali refugees in Yemen.

Somalia: 10 000 tonnes of cereals channelled through the ICRC.

OTHER FORMS OF EMERGENCY AID

Angola: ECU 2 million as a contribution to the work of humanitarian organisations working with Angolan returnees and people affected by the conflict and the measles epidemic.

Ethiopia: ECU 750000 for drought victims in Eritrea.

Somalia: ECU 20 million as a contribution to the aid programmes of humanitarian organisations working with people affected by the conflict and the drought.

Nicaragua: ECU 250000 project finance for victims of the recent earthquake and subsequent tidal wave.

Afghanistan: ECU I million for displaced persons and refugees.

Azerbaijan: ECU 500 000 (channelled through Mcins sans Frontis) for victims of the internal troubles in Nagorno-Karabak and Azerbaijan.

Bangladesh: ECU 320 000, following the influx of Rohingya refugees, to promote food production and encourage afforestation.

ECU 200000 to improve the food and hygiene situation of Rohingya refugees.

ECU 240 000 for a sanitation project for Rohingya refugees.

ECU 850 000, channelled through MSF (Netherlands) for care and maintenance of Rohingya refugees.

ECU 230 000, channelled through Terre des Hommes for care and maintenance of Rohingya refugees in the Cox's Bazar area.

Afghanistan: ECU 500 000 for a mine clearance programme in the Shomali Valley.

ECU 1.9 million for an integrated rural development project in south-west Afghanistan.

ECU 2 million for mine clearance projects for Ningarhar and Kundur.

ECU I million for rural rehabilitation projects.

ECU 200 000 for technical assistance to the World Health Organisation.

ECU 500000 for mine awareness programmes.

ECU I 550 000 for a mine clearance project for Western Afghanistan.

Thailand: ECU 1.8 million for care and maintenance (health, nutrition and shelter) of Lao and Vietnamese refugees.

Hong Kong: ECU 2 million, channelled through the UNHCR, for care and maintenance (health and nutrition) of refugees from Vietnam.

Pakistan: ECU 500 000 for an endemic disease control and prevention programme for Afghan refugees and displaced persons.

Guatemalan refugees: ECU 420 000 to improve the self-sufficiency of Guatemalan refugees in Mexico.

Pakistan: ECU 250 000 to help alleviate the effects of the floods.

Philippines: ECU 500 000 to help meet the needs of 50 000 people living in camps following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, and to help avoid the risk of epidemics.

OTHER EC AID

Asean: ECU 6.5 million for an EC-Asean programme for patents and registered trademarks.

Bhutan: ECU 3.5 million for the cultivation of medicinal plants for traditional medicine.

Central American region: ECU 43.5 million to create a trust fund for promoting the export capacity of Central America.

Pakistan: ECU 5.4 million for a development education institute.