|The Courier N° 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)|
AFRICA - CARIBBEAN - PACIFIC - EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
Meeting point: Yves Roland - Billecart
Who is the Bwana who, since a little over a year, has headed Air Afrique, the multinational air transport company which was near collapse in 1988? Yves Roland - Billecart, chosen by the Heads of State of Air Afrique members to put the company back on its feet, and given full powers to do so, explains how he was nominated, recalls the early and sometimes painful measures he had to take (amongst which the laying - off of 1600 employees) and comments on the highly encouraging results. Air Afrique, Billecartised. seems poised to take off again.
MALI: To have a cereals surplus of more than 600 000 tonnes - thats really something for a Sahel country! Yet that is the enviable position Mali now finds itself in. Does that mean that the country is now out of its difficulties? No, because agriculture is volatile by nature, and will remain so... Nevertheless, its future can be made more secure by a mixture of better water resource management and fundamental structural reforms. The State is gradually loosening its control and private enterprise will have to take its place. The Malian peasant, anyway, seems to be rising to the challenge.
Almost certain to become the biggest sector in international trade by the year 2000, tourism is increasingly becoming for a large number of the developing countries a very important source of foreign exchange. The industry, though, requires careful planning and promotion to be economically successful as well as being socially, culturally and environmentally acceptable. Our dossier examines how.
Culture and the arts
The ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation has lately been organising an increasing number - and increasingly varied cultural activities, for which it is to be congratulated. Three, in particular, are highlighted in this issue an exhibition of watercolours of houses in Mauritius and Rodrigues by Marc Gossan exhibition linked on the discovery of the Caribbean island, Hispaniola, by Christopher Columbus; and a world premi of the symphony i Day of action and grace by the Burkinabomposer, B.R. Guirma.
News of the short story competition
There was an enthusiastic response to the ACP short story competition which The Courier and the ACP - EEC Foundation for Cultural Cooperation launched in May of last yeur - a total of 323 entries were received from African and Caribbean ACPs and various countries (Tunisia, Belgium and the USA) where ACP nationals live. Fiji was the only Pacific country to be represented, but there was an exceptional number of entries from Nigeria (97) and Jamaica (25) among the English - speaking countries and Madagascar (17), Niger (17) and Zaire (14) among the French - speaking countries.
Two reading committees (one for the stories in French and one for those in English) were formed to shortlist the entries to go before the judges. Those chosen for these committees, 10 anglophones and 10 francophones from both ACP countries and from Community countries, began the selection process in March of this year in the light of criteria, relating to the interest of the subject matter, the originality, the literary style and the flow of the narrative, laid down by the Foundation and The Courier.
The works shortlisted during the first phase, which ended in May, were put before the two panels of judges - five anglophone and five francophone personalities from the arts and the media who are anxious to take the ACP - EEC intercultural dialogue further. Each panel will choose the best short story in its respective language and the winning entries will he published, each in the original version, in the appropriate language edition of a forthcoming issue of The Courier. They will then he translated into the other language and published in the following issue.
The two winners will each receive ECU 1000 and 50 copies of The Courier for publicity purposes.
The ACP - EEC Foundation for Cultural Cooperation reserves the right to publish an anthology of the best works in 1991 and a standard fee of ECU 50 will be paid, after agreement, to each of the authors published. Filmog, the TV film company which initiated the Mille univers, une langue series (co - produced by the Commission of the European Communities), will be offering a prize of ECU 350 to the author of the story with the best television potential and a further ECU 350 for his or her collaboration on the subsequent adaptation.
We should like to thank all those who sent in stories and hope that this initiative brings to light new literary talent, to take its place alongside fine talent already recognised, thereby contributing to the enrichment of ACP cultural expression.
Marie - Hne BIRINDELLI
Secretary - General,
ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation
Main themes of the stories in French
Social problems and inequalities, abandoned children, the rural exodus, politics, development and development cooperation, relationships between tradition and modern life, culture shock, the family and the generation gap, polygamy, marriage, unrequited love, the marvellous and the fantastic were among the themes covered by the French language writers.
The French language entries as a whole, irrespective of their very varied literary merit, clearly reflect the major problems which people living in ACP countries have to face in their everyday lives and, as such, they constitute a meaningful and highly informative mirror of society.
Main themes of the stories in English
Africa: Writers covered education and the lack of it as a factor of failure or success at work, town - village conflicts, tradition and the modern world, the fantastic in everyday life, the survival of tradition, corruption and the conquest of power. They also sent in love stories, folk tales and stories on ecology.
The Caribbean: Caribbeans wrote about drugs and violence, the move to the towns, problems of social integration as an emigrant, going home after being in the USA, being a citizen of nowhere, family issues and love stories.
Like the stories in French - and, again, irrespective of literary merit - the entries in English give what is sometimes a very realistic picture of the difficulties which ACPs up and down the social ladder have to cope in their everyday lives.
Where the entries came from
My ambition is to make Air Afrique a real means of economic integration between the countries of Africa
Recorery under way. First reports positive - this is what they, are saying about Air Afrique in the international press now, although the multinational airline once nearly stopped business altogether. The company, which was set up by the Treaty of Yuoundn 1961, expanded steadily for the first 25 years hut went into rapid decline in the mid - eighties. Turnover declined, running costs and overheads increased and the financial situation was so had that bankruptcy seemed imminent. In 1987, the deficit was CFAF 8.2 billion, turnover CFAF 117.3 billion and things were going from had to worse. By 1988, turnover was down to CFAF 113.8 billion and the net loss Up past the CFAF 14.4 billion murk. Was the hell to toll for the roan antelope, the emblem which figures on all Air Afrique planes?
In March 1987, the Heads of State of the 10 members (Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, CdIvoir e, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo), which have 72% of the shares distributed equally between them (the other 28% belonging to Sodetraf; the African Air Transport Development Company, 75% of whose capital is in the hands of the Group of United Shippers and 25% the Caisse des Dts et Consignation). invited Ivorian President Fx Houphouet - Boigny to find a way of putting Air Afrique back on its feet. At a second summit in Cotonou in August 1988, it became clear that they could depend on France for a considerable amount of financial support - about CFAF 37 billion - and they agreed on the principle of having a company chairman who was not a national of any of the member countries, a decision which inevitably caused a stir in Africa. Whoever would be willing to produce a diagnosis and devise and implement a plan for recorery in these difficult conditions?
The man chosen for the job was Yves Roland - Billecart, a 63 - yeur old Inspecteur des Finances and graduate of the National School of Administration in Paris. He had no ties with the transport sector, but he knew Africa well, having begun his career in Tunisia, spent 10 years or so in Algerian affairs and then built himself a solid reputation in finance, first as Deputy Director - General (1968 - 79) and then Director - General of the Caisse Centrale de Cooption Economique. He is, as he puts it himself, a banker first and an economist only second. In this interview, he explains how he came to take on the top job in Air Afrique on 3 March 1989 and outlines the first steps he took painful ones too, in some cases, as they included laying off 1600 staff: He also gives his first years results a 12% increase in turnover to CFAF 127.2 billion in 1989, a 6.2% increase in traffic (754 000 passengers) and net profits of CFAF 366 million (including a CFAF 269 million trading profit proper).
On 17 May, a few weeks after this interview was conducted, the Chairman of Air Afrique announced that five 310 - 300 Airbuses had been ordered and options taken on a further four Deliveries will begin in mid - l991 and will be spread until 1994, or perhaps even 1996, if the options are taken up. The total cost of renewing the fleet will have reached US $ 1 billion by the end of the operation (US $ 500 - 600 million at current prices), hut it will provide the airline with more, and more suitable, planes for its flight network The use of a single type of aircraft will reduce operating costs, and the Airbus should ensure fuel savings of up to 20%.
So Air Afrique seems to have found its deus ex machina and its structural adjustment seems to be bearing fruit. The strength that comes from having full powers, combined with the stringency of the financier who is not a sense of humour (Dont they talk about Billecartisation in Africa now when a white man turns Up to ran a firm?) has enabled the company to take off again.
· Mr Roland - Billecart, some of the comments when you were made Chairman of Air Afique just over a year ago were rather critical with people wanting to know why a Europecm should head an African company. How do you see that period now a year later, and how did you manage to fit into an environment which you werent even familiar with at the beginning?
Those are the very questions I asked myself when I was sounded out about taking Air Afrique in hand. The first thing to make clear is that it was the Africans who did the asking and that nothing was forced upon them, because Ive heard people say that Frances aid was tied to the appointment of a European Chairman. Let me tell you that it was the Africans who asked me to take over the company. Why me? Im not an airline specialist, after all. Well, probably because I had some kind of a reputation in Africa through the jobs I had before. As you know, I was Director - General of the Caisse Centrale for 10 years and Deputy Director - General for 10 years before that, so I know Africa well and I knew most of the Heads of State of the members of Air Afrique personally. Thats why they came to me, I think.
They were looking for someone who was known to be a stringent manager. When [arrived at the company, the fact that I wasnt a transport specialist was rather a good thing, as it didnt look like a step into the past. Although Air Afrique had an African Chairman from the word go, the Deputy Director - General was a UTA man for a very long time and, if they had appointed a UTA man this time, it could have looked like a move back into the past Here they are again! Thats the first thing my predecessor, Mr Ikonga, who was still here when the first contact was set up, told me. You dont realise that the fact that its you he said, is a terrific relief to us all. When we knew that the Heads of State had decided to call in a non - African, we were very worried about it being seen as the big return of our French UTA partners. But you arent an air transport man, so for us youre neutral! . And I told the company that. well, I hadnt come to carve out a career here. I look at it as being on mission. Ive been given five years to put the company back on its feet and my age - Im 63 and the very nature of the job are clear indication that I shall be handing what I hope is a sound company back to the Africans when I go. So there is no question of a step backwards. I dont think Im the best person to say how its perccived in the company today. Youd better ask the staff. But I can tell you what I think and that is that the staff have stuck to what I said about everyone having to roll up their sleeves and get down to work to save Air Afrique. They got going and 1 have to say that, although there havent been any wage increases for the past 10 years or so and all promotions have been frozen, everybody has made a really surprising effort. Obviously they all realise that the company was in a drastic situation and nearly had to close down and that a fair number of costs clearly had to be cut Those who were lucky enough to stay know that it is through their work that the situation will be righted, because, clearly, if we manage to get Air Afrique out of the woods, we can go for a policy which will improve the staff situation again.
· There was still some fairly hardline negotiating when you first arrived nere as crisis manager wasnt there, with you insisting on full powers perhaps because you remembered UTAs previous experience with the co - munagenzent of Air Zaire. So you came and the staff knew that some of them would have to go...
I was asked on 17 August 1988 whether I would do the job if it were offered and nine days before, on 8 August, the Heads of State of the 10 member countries had met in Cotonou and decided to have a Chairman with full powers, someone who was completely responsible for management and with nothing to prevent him from doing as he saw fit. They didnt want a national of any of the member countries, obviously. They wanted someone to whom they could say: Were giving you all the powers you need to put the company back on its feet and we want results. And what I said to that was, obviously: Thats fine. I really do want proper powers because that will give me proper responsibility. And I also said that I couldnt undertake to do the job until I had seen the size of it - which is why, although this all came up on 17 August 1988, I didnt become Chairman until 3 March the following year. There had to be a gestation period for me to devise a recovery programme and it went quite quickly, because I handed it in on I December. Then the States had to digest it and agree to it and that is why I had time to size up the problems and lay down my terms and they had time to take their decision - which they did, in full knowledge of the facts, just over a year ago.
· How healthy is Air Afrique at the moment?
We have already published our results and we have managed to get the company out of its deficit. The accounts for 1989, which I shall be handing to the Board in a day or two (1), show net operating profits for the first time for years. This is a spectacular recovery, because we lost CFAF 14 billion in 1988, CFAF 11.3 billion of them in operating costs and we are going to wind up 1989 with a small surplus of CFAF 366 million, CFAF 269 million of it as operating profits - the sign of a return to financial balance. Its not enough, because in the world we live in, all companies have a huge problem with replacing and modernising their fleets. Aircraft are very expensive and we have to be able to replace the whole of our fleet if we are going to survive. That will mean investments roughly equal to a billion dollars by the end of the decade - which means we have to have a bigger operating profit than we have at the moment. So we are not out of the woods yet. But I have to say that we are a little bit ahead on the time tabling I had fixed, as I thought we would only manage to get the books balanced during the course of 1990 and we in fact did so in 1989.
· Why are you optimistic?
Its looking at the actual situation rather than optimism. Its seeing that we had positive results at the end of 1989 that I never thought we would achieve before the end of 1990.
As far as optimism about the future is concerned, there is one thing which does not depend on the Chairman of Air Afrique and that is the way the continent of Africa develops. If the economic crisis is coupled with a political crisis, as seems to be happening in some areas, it will have an effect on air transport, not just Air Afrique, but all the airlines. So it is getting more and more difficult to increase turnover in a contracting market as we have done the improvement last year was 10 % - and as we are still doing. In this sort of market, where there are still as many operators, increasing services means either making pricing sacrifices to the detriment of the total revenue or making considerable improvements to the services - and there is still plenty of room for improvement.
When I took over, the companys reputation was that it was unable to keep to its timetable and that booking was a matter of luck. I wouldnt go so far as to say that all this is now a thing of the past. There are still problems due to the fact that we dont have enough planes and this puts a strain on the fleet, because the slightest technical hitch calling for urgent servicing outside the regular service periods holds up flights for hours. We arent the only company to have this problem, but it tends to happen more easily to us because we dont have that many aircraft eight in all if you dont count the two cargo planes (no one makes a lot of fuss if goods arrive late, unless its fresh fish!) Two of our eight passenger planes are chartered, so that leaves six, properly speaking, for Air Afrique and its a big problem if one of them breaks down.
· The first thing you had to do when you arrived, was to lay off several hundred staff. How did you feel about it and, above all, how did you go about remotivating the staff who stayed?
Yes it really was a very difficult time and I realised that we had to get through it fast, because the credit I had - in theory I had been given an overall authorisation for all this in the recovery plan - what you might call a grace period, wasnt going to last long. I was convinced that it had to be done in the first six months. It had to be done quickly. At the same time, I wondered just how to go about it, arriving in a company where I didnt know anyone, where everyone knew there were clans and in - fighting and where, when you listen to what people tell you about what someone is worth, you wonder whether you arent being manipulated. So I wondered how to act fast before I had the time really to get to know people and what they were worth. It was a bit of a paradox, but I solved the problem by calling in some consultants to assess the staff and produce a rational staff plan based on the best management techniques and that gave us 1600 redundancies - i.e. a 30% cut, as we started with 5100 and ended up with 3500. We selected staff in the light of assessments of managerial and other staff in Abidjan - because tests were administered there and in Paris and Cotonou, although there were objections elsewhere. In the other cases, we were forced to use the rather silly criteria of collective bargaining, such things as last in, first out , which put long servers at an advantage. We negotiated it all and we went for dialogue, taking the time to convince the employers, the employees and the governments and negotiate the compensation. In some states, things went fast. In CdIvoire, for example, the Government made a very firm commitment to support the recovery programme because it was CdIvoire which, basically, was the sponsor and so that is where we began. We laid off 900 people there on 13 June, as this was where the biggest contingent was, because the headquarters are in Abidjan and that is where the companys most expensive managerial staff are. Things went a great deal slower in some places. The negotiating took about a month and a half in Senegal and quite a long time in Congo and it varied in other places. We never made staff cuts without a formal agreement with the trade unions and labour inspectorate, so we were able to avoid strikes and labour disputes. We were worried about vengeance and sabotage and so we took the appropriate precautions and had the installations guarded, but there were no attacks. All staff made redundant got the compensation which collective bargaining had provided for and even a little bit more and we were still able to introduce a social plan financed by external aid. And how did the staff who stayed take this? There was a certain amount of gloom and despondency. For example, there were cases where husbands were compressed (as the Africans put it) and wives werent and a lot of trouble caused on the domestic scene as a result. But those who stayed realised that they were highly privileged and that they had to earn this privilege with their work. This they understood. I am working hard on internal communications, sending every employee a personal letter from the Chairman, keeping people up to date with the results of their efforts and fixing new targets for the following weeks and months and I think it is going down very well. What is really good is that they feel that the team behind me is a united one and that everyone in it is striving towards the same goal. There really is a common aim which all the staff share, I think.
· Can you, as Air Afriques structural adjuster, tell us where you have got with the recovery plan? First of all, you had your financial balance to strike, with the reduction in staff and other costs. What are the next stages?
The next stage now is to come up with the new staff regulations. I found a situation with as many types of staff as states and jobs, and this interferes with mobility and creates frustration amongst the workforce.
And its a big job, because we have to contrive to reach agreement with the unions and the Ministers of 10 different States. I believe we will succeed. I have already managed to get an interstate convention adopted to ensure retirement pensions and social security coverage for employees who have moved about but havent so far been guaranteed any rights unless theyve stayed put for 10 years.
There are people who have spent their entire career with Air Afrique but ended up with ridiculous pensions because they worked in several places but never for 10 years. Its a very difficult problem indeed and they had been aware of it for some time. Texts had been negotiated but never adopted - but thats what I managed to do in February. What we have to do now is replace the fleet.
· People used to complain about Air Afriques performance in its main markets being lethargic. Some said that it let other airlines get the better of it for far too long and so they did well on the African market. You came along and stirred things up and Sabena, for one, felt the draught. Alitaliu wasnt all that pleased either. How are relations with them now? And how do you see things developing?
Im glad youve asked me that because its something people often misunderstand. I think that if we ended up asking the member countries of Air Afrique for some regulation of numbers of seats and frequency of flights, it was because we have proof that the airlines balanced their traffic by frequent recourse to what we call the sixth freedom (2) over France, because they didnt have traffic rights over France, but over other European countries unlike Air Afrique and the French airlines. But because of colonisation, the French speaking States of Africa do most of their economic and cultural trade with France and that is where the market is. Other airlines filled up their planes on the Abidjan and Dakar lines by taking passengers bound for Paris and that did us a lot of harm because they did it by offering rebates and cheap tickets and more frequent flights. The more flights you have on a particular line, the more possibilities of deflected traffic you create, obviously, because of timetables and days when there are no planes available. And even in places like Abidjan where we currently have 10 flights a week - there are flights every day, not to mention UTA, which has seven or eight a week, too, at the moment - so there are more than two planes a day, there is still some deflection of traffic.
We wanted to restrict this and it really caused acute problems with some states, but we have reached a modus vivendi for the moment - other than with Alitalia, which has suspended its regular Abidjan service and got its Government to ban us from serving Rome from Abidjan in return. But no other company has followed this example. Some of them, Swissair for example, have decided to sign a cooperation agreement with us, saying that they understand our problems and want the customers they lose to come to us and not to French or other European airlines. We havent got agreements with the other companies, but let us say theyve accepted it, for better or for worse. Originally the rule was one flight per week, but now its agreed that two are OK. And the arrangements are that there are specific numbers of seats and passengers which can be increased. We started by restricting the number of passengers to 100 per week and to 90 each way on some of the less important lines. We have always maintained this limit, but weve added tourists on inclusive tours, with an all - in price that includes services on the ground - these are the flights sold to tour operators - and, by and large this isnt deflection of traffic. Its proper traffic. Its generated by tour operators and so we are not restricting them at all. I think this can also help make it easier to implement our measures. The third thing I have to say is that these measures were presented as transitional from the word go, with the idea that the quotas would be stepped up as Air Afrique got better and we would ultimately get back to a normal situation where we tried to conclude trade agreements with the other airlines so everybody got something out of it.
· One of your main shareholders, UTA, has just been taken over itself, by Air France. Will this have any effect on Air Afriques activities?
I think it is still too early to say what effects Air Frances take - over of UTA will have on Air Afrique. It will all depend on the new strategy of the group. UTAs strategy, of course, was to say that, well, Africas given us a good living in the past, but it wont give the company much of a future. Our futures in Europe and Asia and on the Atlantic run. UTA was competing in Africa, but I dont have the feeling that it was the spearhead of its operations. One possible strategy is confining UTA to Africa without ultimate loss of its European hopes. Air France, as we have seen, has already started to serve the USA again from the provinces. So the people at UTA will be forced to take a much bigger interest in Africa again and I think this means they will go on being competitors. However, its an airline with the same rights as us, because it works with reciprocity of the third (3) and fourth freedoms over France and it will be very careful to maintain a balance in internal capacity. We havent noticed any difference so far. One thing is certain and that is that the repeated strikes at UTA - they were tied up with the companys European ambitions and a desire to cut its costs - have lost it some of its share in the market. But thats over and done with now, because, obviously, the Air France group has a totally different wage policy and that, I think, will help UTA get back on the market.
· You talked about the trauma of 1993 recently. What exactly do you mean?
I think - and perfectly reasonably too - that in 1993 there is going to be a Community transport policy which I would compare with what happened with fishing rights - we arent going to be discussing with the individual governments any more, but with the European Commission and theres no doubt that the Commissions powers of negotiation with Air Afrique are going to be far greater than those of the states individually. Secondly, we are going to find ourselves in a period of theoretically total deregulation in Europe and its going to be more difficult to maintain a balance with our traditional partners, Air France in Senegal and UTA elsewhere, since it is the Community we are going to have to deal with. We are going to have relations of a different kind and the trauma will be having no idea what is going to happen on the European side. Are we going to see a host of new operators like there were when the USA first deregulated, getting traffic rights all over Africa? That will mean we have to fight to restrict these new arrivals, because even if the inside of Europe is deregulated, the rule will still be a division of continental traffic between the African and the European transporters when it comes to serving the African market. And that wont be a very easy one to solve.
· Can you tell us how you see the companys future? What sort of Air Afrique do you want to leave behind you when you go?
My ambition, I think, is to make the company a means of bringing about genuine economic integration between the nations of Africa. Economically Africa suffers from a certain amount of fragmentation and balkanisation and Air Afrique is its unique example of regional transport cooperation. I think that there is nothing else like it in the world, apart maybe from SAS, which combines the Scandinavian countries, and Gulf Air in the Emirates. So I believe it is worthwhile. What I remember from the message from the head of IATA is that there is no future for you in air transport if you dont unite. So I think that Air Afrique is the way for an African state to remain in this industry. Maybe my ambition is to see other states join in too. When I see the impossible difficulties facing some airlines - some of which, like Air Mali, have been forced to suspend all their flights, while others, Air Gabon and Air Cameroon, for example, from the two countries which have left us (Gabon and Cameroon were founder members of Air Afrique) - I think that the Air Afrique formula is a good one.
· A financially sound Air Afrique would perhaps have more assets...
Yes, that is a sine qua non, I believe. If Air Afrique is to have a future, then there can be no question of a return to treating us as the sort of organisation where everyone takes out as much as they can without being willing to accept the slightest constraint.
· So you arent just trying to get back your traditional markets. Youre trying to branch out. too, for example to Brussels this yeur and maybe to other destinations in Africa...
Thats right. You know, if we havent been that far, to Brussels I mean, before, its because we didnt think there was enough trade to warrant it. And that is also why we have deflected traffic, because if we use our rights in Brussels - we have reciprocal rights with Sabena - I think that there will be less deflection. Those are things we have to think about. As I said, I should like people to stop thinking that you only take Air Afrique to go to France.
Interview by Roger DE BACKER
by Bernard RYELANDT
Negotiating a fine convention and getting it signed is not the whole story. It still has to be ratified and applied. And without much delay either, so that the ACPs can derive the anticipated advantages from it as soon as possible. The transitional measures between LomII and LomV, in effect since the former Convention expired on 28 February, cannot be extended for ever and they are not such as to allow use of the considerably larger financial allocations of LomV.
The European Parliament has had a much more decisive part to play in ratification since the advent of the Single Act. Before that, it gave its opinion on the text, but there was nothing constraining about it and the only essential thing was ratification by the national Parliaments of the Member States. But now there is a 13th ratification, as the European Parliaments assent constitutes a real ratification just like those of the 12 national parliaments and, without it, the EEC Council cannot complete the ratification process or the Convention take effect.
The assent has to be given by a special majority, polling more than half the members votes (260) regardless of how many are actually present in the House. And assent was indeed given during the May session, by a comfortable majority of 294 in favour, 92 against and 8 abstentions the first European ratification of the Convention. Parliament wanted to act fast, before the national assemblies, to ensure maximum European political legitimacy for the outcome of the Lomegotiations and give a political sign to the national parliaments.
Before analysing the vote (those against not being of the negative nature one might imagine), it is worth looking at the major role the European Parliament has always played in encouraging a progressive European Community cooperation policy, and at the way in which it followed the whole LomI negotiation process and prepared its assent.
Parliament and the European development cooperation policy
In spite of powers that are in theory limited, Parliament has often made positive and important contributions to helping the developing countries, and the ACPs especially, particularly since the first direct elections 11 years ago, rightly thinking that relations with these countries were a vital part of the image of the Europe now under construction and of its place in the world.
So it has always put priority on the development chapter of the Communitys annual budget, backing up - or even stepping up the Commissions credit applications and helping to finance the launching of new initiatives. It has also pushed for policies to be reformed or recast in the light of trends in the developing countries and the lessons of cooperation schemes already run. This is something which shows the full meaning of the powers of control which Parliament exercises over the executive. It does not just check that things are done according to the regulations. It also assesses the real and lasting effects of development and draws conclusions for the future with the executive.
Random examples of this are the emphasis on rural development and food security, the reform of food aid, the guidelines for cooperation with the countries of Asia and Latin America, the insistence on development projects being evaluated and the schemes to counter the effects of apartheid in Southern and South Africa.
There has been conflict between Parliament and the Commission, of course, with the former criticising the management of the latter and urging it to do more and do it better. But both institutions have really been working towards the same goals, consciously and openly playing the critical cooperation game, each in its own way, to achieve the common aims and obtain the desired decisions from the Council a fine example of positive use of inter - institutional dialogue in the Community.
Have the recent moves towards the Single Market of 1992 and the changes in Eastern Europe pushed development into the background, as feared by the developing countries, the ACPs especially, with all their worries about increasing marginalisation? Parliament will of course be focusing its immediate action on this, thereby reflecting the interest of European opinion in the subject. But, like the Commission, parliament has no intention of neglecting the prospects of cooperation with the developing nations. It made this clear with its performance in the Lomegotiations and its ratification of the Convention and it is making it clear again with its call for a bigger allocation for all the developing countries alongside the budget decisions for Eastern Europe.
Parliament and the LomV negotiations
Parliament followed the preparation and the work of the negotiations from beginning to end, stepping in several times to put its views across and say what it wanted on the essential subjects of discussion. Parliament has to be properly informed if it is to influence the course of events and there was a procedure for this, enabling the Council and the Commission to keep it in the picture (the Luns Westerterp procedure, as it was called in Eurospeak), before the Single Act. And the Commission had already organised a sophisticated system of information with Parliaments Committee on Development. But this time, with the assent in view, things were taken further.
In January 1988, the Commission told the Committee on Development about its guidelines for the negotiations as they were being drawn up and passed on the text once it was ready. Parliament used this and its own reflections as the basis for a report, which was written by Mr Bersani (Italian Christian Democrat and former Co - President of the Joint Assembly), and a resolution defining its views on the forthcoming Convention and aiming to influence the negotiating directives the Council was to give the Commission was voted in May 1988. These views in fact turned out to be very close to both the Commissions guidelines and the concerns and wishes already expressed by the ACPs.
Lastly, the Council and above all the Commission (through its successive Development Commissioners, Lorenzo Natali and Manuel Marin, and Development Director - General Dieter Frish) had frequent exchanges with the Committee on Development throughout the period of preparation of the negotiating directives and the negotiations themselves. This and other less formal contact was an opportunity for the European MPs to pressurise the negotiators for greater awareness of ACP needs.
Particular attention should be drawn to the resolution tabled on the initiative of the Chairman of the Committee on Development, the French Socialist Mr Saby, which was voted through in October 1989 at a decisive moment when the EEC Council had to say where it stood on the crucial subjects of negotiation (i.e. the size of the EDF, trade arrangements, commodities, debt and structural adjustment). In it, Parliament laid down the minimal conditions for its subsequent assent, putting all its weight behind what it believed to be right.
But it did more than maintain relations with the European institutions as it also kept up regular contact with the ACP negotiators. Its role is bound up with that of the ACP - EEC Joint Assembly, which, with the help of the ACP representatives and the European members, too, constantly worked along the same lines, seeing many development policies made and formulated and proving to be a fruitful meeting place where MEPs could keep up to date on the problems and desires of the ACPs.
The assent - preparation, voting and scope
The voting was prepared with a report drafted by Leo Tindemans (Belgian Christian Democrat and Co - President of the Joint Assembly), who pointed to various places where the Convention fell short of what Parliament (and indeed the Commission) wanted, but said that the outcome of the negotiations was very much in line with the Bersani resolution of May 1988 and that, in spite of its limitations, LomV constituted considerable progress on a number of crucial points - the priority guidelines for cooperation, human rights, decentralised cooperation, some aspects of the trade arrangements and the commodity problems, the nature and conditions of the support for structural adjustment and the volume of financing. The conclusion was that the Convention largely warranted Parliaments approval.
There had already been animated discussion on this in the Committee on Development - which shows that 1992 and Eastern Europe have not blunted interest in development matters. Both the Committee and the parliamentary part - session in May were seen as opportunities to complain about the volume of the EDF not being up to Parliament or Commission expectations (and not really being negotiated by the Community either...), about the reluctance to grant broader trade concessions, about the failure to provide a basic answer to the ACP debt problem, about (for some Euro - MPs) structural adjustment, and soon and this was reflected in the ultimately fairly high percentage (25%) of negative votes.
But let there be no mistake about this. The vast majority of the negative votes were not against Lom148; or against the ACPs. They were more and indication of the shortcomings of the negotiation results (deemed radical by some MPs)) in comparison with the challenges the ACPs currently have to face or a pressure to do more for them.
Many of those who voted in favour in fact also had criticisms of this sort and called for a greater effort to be made outside the Convention. But they did not feel that LomV deserved a negative judgment overall, far from it, or that is was good tactics to register a negative vote that might be misunderstood by European opinion or the ACPs. The ACP Ambassadors had indeed already met the Committee on Development in April and made an urgent appeal for rapid ratification of a Convention which, in spite of its shortcomings, their Governments recognised as positive.
The most popular subject of debate was the ACP debt to the Community, which the Community on Development wanted to see written off. The sums were not considerable, but writing them off was seen as both a great relief and a matter of principle and, on a number of occasions, Commission Vice - President Manuel Marin has said he wants to think about this and prepare positions on it.
So Parliamentss ratification was the first in Europe (although two ACP States ratified on the same day) and it remains for the 12 Member States and at least two - thirds of the ACPs to ratify as soon as possible for the Convention to take effect.
But a fresh challenge is already with us - that of making a fast and efficient job of implementing what is so far only text, which means realising the full potential of the new Convention and reconciling the two, almost contradictory, aims of speed and quality of implementation. Such is the task which the Commission and the ACPs are to carry out... under the critical eye of the European Parliament.
by Ole SCOTT - LARSEN
When the ACP - EEC Council of Ministers met in Fiji in March of this year, an important instrument of new comparative international law was created. This legislation concerns the complex of conditions which will govern the way in which future contracts are awarded and implemented in EDF - financed projects. Its aim is to provide a single set of rules which will be applied uniformly to all contracts and projects carried out within the framework of the EDF.
The decision to adopt this legislation follows more than 10 years of drafting and negotiation on the part of the Commission and the ACP States - a length of time which is understandable, considering the ultimate goal: to combine the features of two major and distinctly different legal systems and traditions, i.e., Common law and Roman law, into one regulatory framework governing this area of activity.
At present, contracts are governed by various conditions, which depend largely upon where in the world the project is executed although the FIDIC rules in one form or another have been the predominant basic rules. This situation has led to a plethora of rules which have not always been easy to administer and which, over the years, have given rise to numerous disputes.
Furthermore, the uncertainty of the tenderer as to what his precise rights and obligations might be under any contract has had to be borne by the EDF in the form of the safety margin which the tenderer naturally has to build into his price.
It was therefore very much in the interests of all parties, administrators, contractors, suppliers and consultants alike, to have conditions which would be uniformly applied.
The new contract rules, known as the General Conditions of Contract, will apply in all ACP States when contracts are to be awarded for EDF - financed projects. For the tenderer this means greater legal certainty. Regardless of the geographical location of his potential project, the tenderer may be assured that when he tenders, the rules applicable will be the same wherever he goes. For the administration - both in the ACP States and in the EDF - only one set of rules will have to be applied, and the various difficulties of a contractual nature which may arise during the implementation of a project can now be dealt with in an uniform way.
The General Conditions of Contract are divided into five parts. The first document the General Regulations - sets out the rules for the tendering, selection and award of contracts. It regulates the relationship between the ACP State and the Commission and its Delegates, as well as the relationship between the ACP State and the tenderers for the contract in question. These General Regulations apply to all contracts regardless of their nature (Works, Supplies and Services), and derogations from these regulations are not permitted. In this way, openness is assured at a vital stage in a project, namely when a contract still does not exist.
Three more specific documents establish the rules for the implementation of Works, Supplies and Service contracts, respectively. They apply to the life cycle of a project, from the award of contract stage until the completion of the contract. These documents can, to a certain extent, be amended and modified through the Special Conditions of Contract, which are drawn up individually for each project and which reflect the special needs and nature of the project.
Finally, the fifth document governs conciliation and arbitration and sets out the procedures for the parties to follow in the event of a dispute arising between the contracting parties during the implementation of the project. The rules in this document are based on the internationally recognised UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission for International Trade Law) uniform rules for arbitration.
Although the General Conditions of Contract were adopted in March of this year, the actual entering into force still has to be decided. This decision is expected to be taken soon by the Article 193 Committee of Ambassadors, which was mandated to do so by the Council of Ministers.
O. S - L.
A few months ago, an opinion poll was carried out among African and Malagasy opinion - leaders on the image of Europe and the European Community, both in themselves and also regarding the impact of European - ACP cooperation. One conclusion has emerged, which will be of little comfort to those working in the field of development. It is that, despite definite awareness of, and positive judgements on many of its actions, the EEC and its cooperation policy take only third place in the view of African and Malagasy opinion - formers, coming behind bilateral cooperation or cooperation with the UN and its specialised agencies (FAO, UNDP, WMO, UNICEF, and so on). With some exceptions, compared to cooperation with these latter, EEC aid was found by them to be:
- less important in terms of volume,
- less suited to what was needed,
- the least effective,
- the aid producing the fewest long term results,
- the worst, overall.
There could be a number of specific reasons for this very negative overall picture the state of the Lomegotiations at the time the survey was carried out (August - September 1989), the poor communications of the Commission, but, at the very least, the report shows that something is wrong with EEC - ACP morale, and perhaps with the planning and implementing of Community cooperation. Is this the hangover after the celebrations at Lom
The survey, conducted by Secodip International, was commissioned by the European Commission, and interviews were conducted with 1253 people, 744 French - speakers and 509 English - speakers in seven countries, Senegal, Cameroon, Za, Madagascar, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania.
Opinion - leaders were defined in the light of previous research studies as being the group which with its function and know - how, the position it occupies in society and its kinds of activity, tend to be open to the out side world, and well - informed about current affairs, national and international. It brings together most of the decision - makers and executives as well as its own opinions, consumption patterns and way of life.
Whatever the nature of the sample population, it is certainly a well informed one. National radio is listened to first and most regularly, but on total listening, 65 % of those interviewed also listened to the BBC, 59% to Voice of America, 60% to Radio France International, Africa N° 1 with 33 % overall, Deutsche Welle with 32 % and Radio Moscow with 20%. When it comes to reading newspapers, the English - speakers seem more assiduous than French - speakers, with 97% daily readers as opposed to 81%. Moreover, around 20 % in Zambia and Ghana read more than one paper, while in Cameroon and Senegal there is only one daily paper. The French - speakers thus turn to the foreign press: 50 % of them read a foreign paper compared to only 24% of English - speakers. The most widely read foreign paper by a long chalk is Le Monde .
And the opinion - leaders do a lot of comparing, too. In answer to the questions What is the main problem facing the countries of Africa and the Indian Ocean today? and What is the main problem facing your country?, there was a considerable amount of variation, from country to country, and theme by theme. The three major problems for the whole of Africa and Madagascar were reckoned to be debt (21 %) economic crisis (20 %) and underdevelopment (16%), but while French - speakers chose debt as the main threat (26%) English - speakers cited the economic crisis in general (25 %), debt being given only 15 % of the votes. And there was a wide range of subsidiary problems cited, Ghanaians worrying about political division and instability, and Tanzanians about lack of infrastructure, while Madagascans cited poverty and lack of self - sufficiency in food. At the individual country level, three countries cited mismanagement high on the list of problems, and two cited employment prospects.
And while 95 % of respondents considered aid to be an important matter for Africa and Madagascar in general, and their country in particular, 55 % replied, in response to a further question, that international cooperation was a disguised form of exploitation, 10% thought it unsuitable, another 10% thought its results disappointing, 9% thought aid levels too low and 6 % felt that it was being embezzled. A total of 75 % of respondents felt that aid was principally of benefit to the industrialised countries, 14 % felt that the benefits were equally shared by North and South and only 5 % felt that Africa and the Indian Ocean countries were the real beneficiaries.
The most popular areas of cooperation were health (93 %) agriculture (91 %) and science and technology (91%). The least popular were economic aid (49%) military (41 %) and public administration (31%). And as for the donors, every single country put bilateral aid first in terms of volume, suitability, effectiveness, durability and general merit, and put multilateral aid second. Community aid came in third place, with certain rare exceptions. French - speakers, for example, gave it second place in terms of volume of aid, and Madagascans placed it second overall, while Zambians rated it highly for everything except volume. This being the case, it was interesting to note the replies to the question. Do you think that the countries of the ACP Group and the European Community have interests in common or not? 59 % thought so, as against 32% who did not, and while the majority of positive thinkers was over 70 % in Madagascar, Zambia and Senegal, it was in a minority in Za (44% to 47%). A very wide margin gave economics the key role in this relationship - the interdependency of markets was cited by 60% of all respondents. Sentiment and idealism were squeezed to the very bottom of the list: only 3 % thought that there might be a common interest in development, and the same percentage cited historical and linguistic links. When asked Why do the ACP countries need Europe? and Why does Europe need the ACPs? a surprising 95 % across the board agreed that we do need each other, not quite the same as having interests in common. Indeed, it is a darkly cynical view: our interests are relatively divergent, our relationship exploitative (at least on the side of Europe) yet we must hang together for fear of hanging separately. The ACPs, according to the questionnaire need Europe for technology transfer (38%) general development (21 %) trade opportunities (15%) and capital inflows (13 %). Europe is perceived by 69 % of respondents as needing Africa for its raw materials, as an outlet for manufactured goods by 37 %, and, in general, as a trading partner by 22 %. Thus whatever the weak points, whatever the suspicion of Europes motives, there is a relationship which is recognised as a special one and one on which a great deal depends.
But the real disappointment seems, according to this survey, to be reserved for the concrete expression of that relationship, the application of EEC - ACP cooperation. The final question was designed to allow the respondents the possibility of expressing themselves freely about European aid and pull together the conclusions of this report themselves according to Secodip. The question was: What do you think about European aid and what do you expect from Europe these days?. The following percentages were obtained:
- It is a good thing, beneficial
- It is a necessary help
- It is insufficient
- It maintains dependency, is a form of exploitation
- It is ill-suited and misdirected
- It is hypocritical and self-interested
- It is ineffective
- It imposes too many conditions
Thus, 69 % of opinions expressed were negative and only 22 % positive. (The 18% who replied that it was a necessary help are not classifiable since there is no positive or negative value - judgement implied.)
Even where Community spokesmen have admitted to shortcomings in the performance of aid under Lomthey have gone out of their way to stress that Loms different: stable, predictable, long - term and multi - faceted. But is Lomerceived as different by African and Madagascans opinion leaders? Two questions were asked on this, Is Lomifferent from other forms of aid and cooperation? and How is it different?. The results, again, must be cause for serious disappointment. 55 % of respondents saw no difference between Lomid and other aid, the exceptions being Zaire and Senegal who noticed the difference in 56% of cases. And the differences noted were not always flattering: 12% agreed that it came with many advantages , 7 % felt that it was well - diversified, but 5 % claimed that it imposed more conditions, 6% felt it imposed its views on ACPs and 7 % felt that it benefited the EEC more than the ACPs. And if there was one theme that was hammered home time and again, it was that of access to European markets. Despite its liberality, Lomcores worst on this, the one really profoundly different aspect of its cooperation.
All in all, then, the survey is a sobering one for Europe in general and the Commission in particular. The consultants who carried out the survey preface it with the following remarks:
This report conveys more a lack of information than it takes account of real facts. But it is a justification, if this were needed, for starting work on a systematic awareness and information policy very quickly, with the aim of influencing the views of these opinion - formers and modifying the image they have of European cooperation, taking account at the same time of the role they play in forming the opinions of the African... population and the importance of the efforts made for years by Europe in their countries.
But maybe this is something which cannot be overcome by a media campaign. One of the sobering facts for The Courier is that nobody mentioned reading it, and we send 350 000 copies a year to Africa. Maybe they dont read it; maybe they read it and dont believe it; maybe, however, they read it, believe it and dont mention it because it is not information which is lacking, but a fundamental faith in EEC - ACP cooperation. T.G.
Information and development education
On seeing the results of this poll, the Commission Delegate in one of the countries covered protested: But, you havent put these questions to any peasants! That would have been! more interesting, because they are the ones who really benefit from our aid! People in towns civil servants, you know what theyre like...
A reaction such as this does not, ofcourse, make the results of the poll, any less interesting even if they may be partial nor does it detract from the lessons to be learned from it. It makes. undoubtedly, interesting reading.
What is, after all, known in Kinshasa about rural development projects in Kivu, whether or not they are financed by the Community? To what extent are townspeople and the nations elites informed of development projects and programmes which, are being carried out far away, deep in the countryside? How much does the town care about the country, anyway? Is there, in fact, enough development education going on in the developing countries themselves?
These questions, which cannot, of course, be answered in these few lines, are perhaps the most fundamental ones to be raised - albeit indirectly - by the poll.
The results of the poll would probably apply for most forms of cooperation Community cooperation having the disadvantage of tending to be more rural - based than others. Nevertheless, it is clear that the image of European development cooperation amongst African elites seems to be more cloudy than those of other bilateral or multilateral donors, which means that, as things stand, it has a low political profile. This is not without significance: while Community aid should, above all, be effective it should also if it is effective - be recognised as being so. If not, the EEC - ACP partnership is in danger of being seriously perturbed.
Perhaps it might help without resorting to pure propaganda - to give greater emphasis to information, a field in which to date the Community has tended to show some reticence. Perhaps, then, we should encourage a strengthening of our communications efforts where, and whenever these are possible because the twin objectives of information and development must and should become complementary.
Counterpart funds are now well known throughout ACP States. They accrue through the operation of food aid, General Import Programmes, Sectoral Import Programmes and, in some cases, in Stabex and Sysmin transfers. They are the local cash equivalent of products normally requiring foreign exchange which have been imported by the cooperating partner. For example, in times of food scarcity, the Community will send 50 000 tons of wheat or maize to Country X, using its own foreign exchange. The 50 000 tons will be sold in local currency to those who wish to buy, and the local money thus generated (since the food is normally sold and not distributed free) can be used for a variety of purposes: it can, and often is, earmarked for specific development programmes which have a local currency content (wages and salaries, local materials and so on); they can also be used to reduce the governments budgetary deficit; they may, on the other hand, remain on deposit for some time in either the Central Bank or in commercial banks. However they are used, counterpart funds are playing an ever - greater role in the macroeconomic behaviour of a number of ACP States, for good and ill.
The origins of counterpart funds date back to the early post - war period, when they were used in the framework of the American Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe. In 1954, the US government passed the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act (Public Law 480) which attempted to deal with US agricultural surpluses and developing country food deficits and whereby the proceeds from the sale of PL 480 products was loaned to the governments of recipient countries. India has been a major recipient of food aid from the US, and counterpart funds have been in operation there since 1960, while the EEC also used them there in the framework of Operation Flood, a scheme to extend milk consumption in urban areas, based on milkpowder from the EEC with counterpart funds used to expand local production and distribution. But the background to renewed concern about counterpart funds in ACP States lies in the fact that they have, in recent years, become far more widespread and their effects more far - reaching. Almost all African ACP States are now recipients of the sort of aid that generates counterpart funds. Partly this is because of the deterioration of their food supplies (food aid) or their export crops (Stabex). Sometimes climatic conditions are to blame for this, but more often than not it can be traced to other sources - world prices for the raw materials, environmental degradation or population growth. But it is equally true that a worsening of the external and internal imbalances in many a developing country has played an equally important role: the Import Programmes financed by the Commission, the aid to balance of payments provided by the Bretton Woods Institutions are evidence of a more widespread failure. And the adoption of structural and sectoral adjustment programmes is the ultimate testimony of all that went before.
Given the deteriorating conditions in Africa and the countries desperate need for foreign exchange simply to keep going, counterpart funds have assumed enormous importance in macro - economic planning, largely because they represent a higher proportion than ever before of the States own resources. In 1987, Kenya saw the creation of counterpart funds of a value equivalent to US$ 93 m, the equivalent of 18 % of that years budget deficit and of 4% of total money supply. In 1989, Somalia possessed more than $ 100 m, representing 30% of the State budget. Sums like this are like an unexploded bomb when the country is, at the time of piling up counterpart funds, undertaking structural adjustment, one of whose staple ingredients is invariably the rectification of budgetary imbalances.
Counterpart funds - the macroeconomic effect
In themselves, counterpart funds are neutral. If food worth ECU 1 m, say, is delivered and sold, the local money equivalent of ECU 1 m, let us call it 500x, is put into either the Central Bank, or into a commercial bank. While the food is being sold, there is a deflationist tendency, as 500 x is taken out of circulation (to buy the food) and put into the Central Bank. If the funds are used rapidly, and for specific projects linked to a long - term development programme, then within a short time, the 500 x reappears in circulation and thus will have no impact on inflation.
But, as is so often the case, the funds are not wholly used. This may be because the project or programme is not a heavy user of local money, or because the local elements of the programme (people, materials, etc.) cannot be got together. Let us say that only 200 x of the 500 x is actually used on the programme, and that 300 x remains on deposit with the Central Bank. If the Central Bank remains passive, the money on deposit has a deflationary effect because the amount in circulation is reduced by 300 x . But over time, it is unlikely that a Central Bank will remain passive for long, and then the 300 x, appearing on their books as a credit, becomes a stimulus to lending to the private sector.
The money is lent on to commercial banks, who lend it to their customers who use it, more often than not, to convert it back into hard currency to finance imports. Sometimes the counterpart funds are put directly into the commercial banking system and there is no gap between the deposit and the stoking of inflationary fires. The moment the 500 x is deposited with a commercial bank it appears on the ledgers as part of the banks reserves. If the obligatory reserves are topped up, the bank can lend on to customers while maintaining the book value of 500 x on the debit side. Interest on the loans swell the reserves, higher reserves mean higher lending, and the longer the delay between depositing the 500 x and using them in an approved fashion, the more money is created.
Then there is the problem of resource transfer and allocation. The idea behind the counterpart funds is that there is a real transfer of goods from donor to receiver. In the case of a General Import Programme, goods are delivered from overseas and paid for in local currency. So far so good: the receiving country has saved valuable foreign exchange and can, in theory, use local money to pay for the local element of, say, a social programme. But in countries of the Franc Zone where the local money is convertible, the counterpart funds can be used to finance imports which give rise to new counterpart funds, which can be used to finance new imports, and so on forever. And the next danger to be faced is that of resource transfer from the private to the public sector. Food aid is an example: imported food is sold to people and the money is placed in the Central Bank. At some time, this money emerges to finance a development programme in the public sector, thus causing the private sector to lose out.
The Kenyan example
An interesting example of counterpart funds utilisation, already experimented under LomII, is the integration of counterpart funds into one of the components of a structural adjustment programme. This has been the case in Kenya for the Cereals Sector Reform Programme. Under the programme, the marketing of maize, historically under the monopoly of a State Marketing Board (NCPB), is going to be gradually liberalised. NCPB, which is going to retain the functions of market stabilisation and management of the food reserve stock (maize being the staple food in the country) is being restructured, with the aim of enabling it to manage efficiently the new and more limited functions it is going to perform, and to recover from the huge budget deficit it used to run in the past.
One of the immediate objectives of financial restructuring was to create a separate crop purchase fund, covering the commercial operations of the Board, and enabling it to pay the farmers without long delays. The programme included a foreign exchange facility component - in the form of a sectoral import programme for inputs for the agricultural sector - whose immediate aim was to ease the serious balance of payments constraints of the country.
The counterpart funds generated by this import programme have been entirely allocated to the establishment of the crop purchase revolving fund. In this way, the funds allocated to the Import Programme (ECU 42 m in total) have both enabled the private sector to obtain the foreign currency needed for essential imports, and, through the counterpart funds, contributed to the reorganisation of the cereals market, enhanced the competitiveness and sound management of the NCPB and contributed to the Budget Rationalisation Programme of the country (as the budget deficit of the NCPB is eventually covered by a government subsidy and thus ends up in the deficit of the State Budget).
The whole machnism is not without its problems: first, the funds thus mobilised represent a limited contribution to the functioning of the system and do not even cover entirely the current needs of the crop purchase revolving fund; second, as Kenya had, for a number of years, a surplus production of maize, the crop purchase revolving fund is somewhat sterilised in the piling up of surplus stocks and does not fully perform the function envisaged in the reform programme.
A set of complementary measures is necessary to implement the financial restructuring of the Board, and even more to tackle the more fundamental structural problems of the cereals sector. However, the possible negative consequences outlined above, deriving from an uncontrolled use of counterpart funds, have been avoided by binding such funds to a direct utilisation in the framework of a sectoral adjustment programme.
Counterpart funds and structural adjustment
As over 30 countries in Africa know, structural adjustment is usually preceded by an IMF - steered stabilisation programme, geared to rectifying public finances prior to a sectoral or structural adjustment programme which deals with the broader aspects of supply and demand.
How do counterpart funds enter the picture here? Obviously, they are government receipts, local currency counterparts paid by the importer as part of SIP/GIP or income from the sale of food or other items. But, in balancing the budget, the government must also look to the long term, and assess the future impact of the programmes to which these funds are allocated. Will they not create further strains on the budget by involving the budget in recurrent costs? Will they generate further imports? Will there be a big time - lag between receipt and expenditure?
Moreover, since the projects themselves are in the public sector they will, by their nature, involve the budget more heavily in relation to the private sector. Where the stabilisation effort calls for civil and public servants to be retrenched, the counterpart funds offer a lifetime - salaries for them while they work on the chosen programme. When the public debt should be repaid, the counterpart funds offer the possibility of solvency by appearing on the credit side of the Central Banks ledgers. While imports should be curtailed, and foreign exchange hoarded, counterpart funds, by appearing in banks books, offer the legitimate possibility of extending credit and, in the cases where the local currency is freely convertible, of financing non - essential imports.
Thus, while the programmes generating counterpart funds offer a valuable service - the use of local money to finance needed imports - there are a number of potential pitfalls. The programmes to which they are devoted may not become operational for some time? and during that time, the local funds may accumulate and form the platform for some serious destabilisation of the money supply, the balance of payments and the State budget. And, in the case of structural adjustment, which normally involves a shift from the public to the private sector, counterpart funds may undo whatever good work was done and push the balance back into the public sector.
None of the foregoing means of necessity that counterpart funds are a bad thing. Indeed, they have a number of advantages: aid is timely, aid comes in a very acceptable form; the funds themselves can be targetted to very specific programmes to aid sectors or social groups most in need. But there are also dangers, those outlined above, that the funds could have a destabilising effect. With the emphasis in LomV even more firmly on debt and structural adjustment, both sides, donors and recipients, will have to look at ways of making counterpart funds serve the interests of the structural adjustment process. It is with this preoccupation in mind that the LomV negotiators stipulated that the counterpart funds generated by the various Community instruments shall be used for budgetary support to alleviate domestic financial constraints.
It is therefore in the framework of the overall budgetary policy of the government, and in particular of its recurrent budget (The Public Expenditure Programme) that the use of counterpart funds must be put. In this context, typical examples of expenditure that could be supported are those relating to health, education as well as those attenuating the negative social consequences of adjustment.
Money is neutral - Non odet. It does not smell remarked a Roman emperor of the money received from a tax on waste disposal. But it is a force - and whether in the form of counterpart funds it is a force for good or ill will be for the Commission and its ACP partners to work out.
Two good agricultural years in a row have not just made Mali self - sufficient again. They have also made it a net exporter of grain. There would be nothing unusual about this in a normal year, of course, in a country whose vast hydro - agricultural potential once made it seem destined to be the supplier of all West Africa, but nothing has been normal in the Sahel since the early seventies, particularly the rainfall.
Although the weather is still largely outside mans control, making every economic forecast a matter of chance in this land of long agricultural tradition, people still try to bring the economy into line wherever they can, rectifying the aim if need be. So Mali, too, is in the throes of adjustment. The various structural and macro - econonzic measures there are going well and the positive effects, combined with decent weather, made a successful year of 1989, with 9.9% real growth of GDP.
Sound economic performance is not the only reason for the satisfaction which the Mali an autorities clearly feel, as, for part of last year, their Head of State was also President of the OAU and in a position to bring Mali out more on the international scene.
But the country is still not out of the woods, as its agricultural future is uncertain. The complementarity of the two lines along which it is working to safeguard its future - food strategy and economic adjustment - has borne fruit, however, and a relaunch of cereal production (thanks to proper rainfall), with greater responsibility for the producers, liberalised marketing at long last and better water control, has gone hand in hand with a significant decline in the role of the State and of the weight of what was a cumbersome and often ill managed public sector.
A land of transition
Mali, a landlocked country of the West African Sahel, covers an area of 1 241 238 km² - almost twice of the size of France and Benelux combined - and shares about 6000 kilometres of border with seven neighbours. Bamako, the capital, is almost at an equal distance from the main outlets on the sea, Dakar (1250 km by rail) and Abidjan (1227 km by road). So this is a land of transition, from the Sahara to the forests of Guinea, and more than half of it is desert.
The sub - desert zone, usually referred to as the Sahel, is some 200 000 km² in area, has poor (300 - 500 mm p.a.) rainfall and sparse, mainly thorny, vegetation and is really only suitable for herding. Further south is a Sudan - type zone where dry savannah gradually gives way to wet savannah, with rainfall of 600 - 1300 mm p.a. and land suitable for the traditional millet, sorghum, maize, cotton, rice and groundnut crops as well as livestock.
A dry season tends to alternate with a rainy one (or winter season, as the local usually call it), but duration and intensity vary widely according to region and, alas, year - as the various lengthy droughts of recent decades have shown.
The Senegal and its confluents flow across a small part of the western fringe of Mali, but the lifeblood is the countrys 1500 - km stretch of the River Niger. The Bambara (Malis principal national language) word for Niger is Djoliba , meaning plenty of blood. Niger, the more common name, has nothing to do with Black at all, but apparently comes from the Berber expression ghern - igheren or river of rivers and it is here that it takes on its full meaning, as this is where its famous majestic loop and vast central delta lie. All Malis main towns (other than Kayes on the Senegal) are on its banks or by its inland delta - Bamako, the capital, Su, focus of the development of the Delta, Djennwhose architectural splendours earned it the status of a UNESCO protected site, Mopti, the so - called Venice of the Sahara, Timbuctu, the desert capital, and Gao, which marks the end of the navigable part of the river.
And, obviously, it is along the river, and the navigable waterway it is for four or five months of the year, that the vast majority of the population lives. And it is a young population, as the final figures for the 1987 census show, with 46% of the countrys then 7696000 people under 15. The urban population, at 22 % of the total, was still small at that stage, but it in expanding nonetheless, particularly because of the drought, which encourages people is to leave the countryside, but also because of the higher rate of natural expansion in the towns. The same census put population growth at 1.8 % p.a. since 1976, but the figure for the last decade is usually said to be around 2.7%. Although the average density (only six people per km²) is very low, it is also very unevenly spread. But cause of even greater concern is the 1987 literacy rate of only 19.4%, with educational coverage of 27 % major handicaps to any kind of development.
Mali is not only a land of geographical transition. It is a meeting place of cultures, languages and ways of life, too, with Bambara, Fulani (Peuls), Malinka, Songhai, Soninka, Tuareg and Dogon among the main tribes found there. Some of them are sedentary and others nomadic and some are farmers and others herds men - although the distinction between the two is disappearing in many places. Islam predominates in a population which is 80 - 90% moslem, and everyone shares a prestigious past, for the region known as Mali today has a rich and varied history, known particularly for its three successive famous empires - Ghana (6th century to 12th century), Mali (13th to 15th) and Songhai (15th to 16th). Throughout their history, the people of Mali have developed a feeling for trade and few towns in Africa and further afield are without a tradesman of Malian origin, even today. But, as the Planning Minister, Souleymane Demb says, trading and bargaining have never developed a country by themselves, so Mali is currently aiming for a change of direction and outlook, above all, by putting the emphasis on a spirit of enterprise.
The many natural constraints (being landlocked, having problems with drought, water management, poor soil, etc) are difficult to get under control and they combine with the handicaps of human resources to make the variations in national output extremely erratic. The average growth of GDP, in real terms, over the past five years (1985 - 89) was 5.6%, peaking at 18.6% in 1986, with a - I % trough in 1985. Although there was still a 9.9 % growth last year, the estimated figure for the current year is zero, agricultural output having declined after the record high of 1988 - 89. But the target for the coming years (1991 - 93) is an average of 4% p.a. nonetheless.
The recent and rather spectacular recovery of the productive sector, in particular thanks to the performances in the production and marketing of food and cash crops, has obviously helped reduce some of the financial deficits and imbalances. Historically, Mali has the reputation of having endemic problems here and, in the 1970s, there was much reference to unsuitable economic and financial policies causing structural problems which were worsened, in turn, by a rapid dcterioration in the terms of trade and repeated natural disasters. The Government tackled this by opening discussions with the IMF in 1982 and embarking on a first series of financial and economic adjustment with its help. There was some progress, but, in 1986, the year of the slump in the price of cotton, the countrys main export, there was talk of serious problems, leading to a break with the IMF in 1987. However, the financial crisis then took on proportions such that the Government decided to reopen the dialogue with the Bretton Woods institutions and this led to an agreement on a fresh adjustment programme being concluded with the IMF in August 1988. Various multilateral and bilateral donors, including the European Community, backed it and offered varying degrees of help in liberalising the economy and reducing the role of the state, which gave way to private enterprise.
There are signs of improvement on most financial fronts. The balance of payments, for example, has been showing a surplus for two years now (CFAF 18.9 billion in 1989 and CFAF 11.8 billion in 1988), although there were deficits in 1985 ( - CFAF 22 billion) and 1986 ( - CFAF 17.7 billion). The current payments balance went from 31.2% of GDP in 1985 to 15.1 % last year and the budget deficit (on a commitments basis but excluding grants) has been brought down to 9.5% of GDP.
But the external debt burden is still very considerable, in spite of rescheduling and some cancellation, with a figure of CFAF 727 billion - 126% of GDP - at the end of 1988. The country expects the external partnerscommitment to supporting its development drive to continue and, meanwhile, the state is withdrawing wherever it can so as to relieve the strain on the budget and boost revenue by making way for a productive economy based on the growth of the private sector.
There are no special problems attached to cooperating with the Bretton Woods institutions at the moment, Minister Demb confirmed. We had already made our own diagnosis before they came back and we were clear about the fact that no structure can live beyond its means. For the moment, we share the same point of view and the Community can follow the common guidelines. Only if there was any divergence with the IMF and the IBRD on this would it have to follow our approach instead... Handling the social side of adjustment is a key issue. Education and health are only productive indirectly and we do not have the money to cope with the enormous demands in these sectors, so we are counting on our partners collaboration here. And the same goes for the private sector, which is currently poorly structured and concerned mainly with trade and very little with actual enterprise. Obviously we lack the finance and technology to develop this spirit of enterprise and we have problems with our outlets and vocational training, so we are actively looking for partnerships with operators from the North .
Peasants into businessmen
The Agriculture Minister, Moulaye Mohamed Haidara, says it is already clear that a whole new class of businessmen, the peasants, has surfaced. Decentralisation and the greater responsibility now on the peasants shoulders has made them take their future into their own hands and more and more of them are beginning to go in for self - management and self administration and no longer seem content just to be producers. They are becoming real economic operators who are unwilling to see their production taken away from them, he said.
In a country where the primary sector represents half of GDP and occupies nearly 90% of the population, agricultural results such as those achieved in 1988 - 89 tend to give rise to some euphoria. In the cereal sector, for example, millet and sorghum production went up by 44.7 % to more than 1.275 million tonnes and paddy rice by more than 55 % to 289000 tonnes. And the same went for cash crops, where cotton seed harvests were up at the 200 000 - tonne mark, as against 143 000 tonnes in 1988, and groundnut figures increased by 200 % to more than 1 12 000 tonnes. We are now the only country in CILSS to have a cereal surplus, although we get the same rainfall as the others, the Agriculture Minister said, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But the striking thing is this mans conviction that the liberalisation of the cereal market and the greater responsibility demanded of the peasant are behind a profound (r)evolution in Malis rural world. The effects of liberalised cereal markets made the rural world sit up and take itself in hand, so structural adjustment has not had the negative effects that were in fact predicted, and the peasants formed village associations - the most sophisticated ones being the tons, the Bambara word for associations for their particular crops. The World Banks mistake, if thats the word, was believing that the peasant was going to stay just a producer and the tradesman just a tradesman all along the line, when, through its own organisations, the rural world has taken over the marketing of cereals. And in spite of the surpluses, the prices they are getting now are the highest for years and. in the long run, in a couple of years, it would come as no surprise to me to see village associations taking over premises in the towns and retailing their cereals direct and later on even going in for export. This would be a good thing, as all the traditional tradesmen would have to do then would be to invest in the processing of agricultural produce. I am by no means unhappy at the way things are going. Quite the contrary. Why shouldnt we support the new peasant - trader? Devolution of cereal marketing on the economic operators and abolition of the monopoly of OPAM (Malis Agricultural Produce Board, which now does no more than manage a buffer food stock) could have made the peasants vulnerable to speculation by the traditional tradesmen, but their village associations went a long way to protecting them from this and it is the tons which are currently controlling the market.
The positive effects of the cereal market reorganisation programme, the Minister went on, are such that we have no regrets about the States withdrawal from the rural sector. On the contrary. We dont want to be stuck with that any longer and the private operators have to play their part to the full, even if there are problems to begin with. E;veryone has to pull his weight, because we think that is the only sure and economically viable way, one which reflects the actual situation in the field and the prices and the economic and commercial patterns.
There is more to it, obviously, than achieving self - sufficiency in food, he said. The most important thing is to guarantee supplies in both good and bad years and this means working along our other main line of activity and getting both our surface and underground water resources under control , in addition to organising the rural world. Not only is the hydro - electric potential of the three existing dams (at Manantali, Markala and Snguunder - exploited, but not nearly enough is made of the hydro - agricultural potential either and some sources claim that only 2 million of the total 12 million hectares of arable land available here is being used. There is a general drive - in close collaboration with the external donors, of course - to develop and in some cases redevelop several thousand hectares of irrigated land now to increase the guarantee of regular food supplies. The Minister also mentioned the albeit distant (financing has not yet been ensured) possibility of a fourth, CFAF 120 billion, dam, at Tossaye, near Gao, with a potential area of irrigated land of about 200 000 ha. This would mean we could develop virtually the whole area from Mopti to Gao. And something not accounted for in the plans is that, by introducing a kind of green revolution in this part of the country, we could be helping halt the advancing desert .
A great farming and herding tradition
The anti - desertification campaign is one of the main concerns of the Minister of the Environment and Livestock, Morifing Kontoo. This is one of our top priorities, he maintains and indeed the Government has adopted and launched a national desert control programme with a wide range of components, ranging from a campaign to spread information and make people aware of the legal texts governing everything that may have a negative effect on the ecosystem to comprehensive regional development, the adjustment of traditional activities and the establishment of green barriers (which are far more than belts of trees and include crops, forestry and herding, too).
The livestock rationalisation operation, aimed at making this sector part of the economic life of the nation as a whole, is being undertaken with a view to the least possible risk to the ecosystem. This is no easy matter, however, as Mali has a great farming and herding tradition. Livestock represents almost a fifth of GDP and is a big export earner, too, the estimated CFAF 18 billion it brought into the country in 1988 making it second only to cotton.
Mali has one of the biggest herds in the Sahel (more than 4.7 million head of cattle, plus 11 million sheep and goats and about 231000 camels in 1988) and every move poses problems with relations between the farmers and herdsman and with the cattle itself - whose state of health and supplies of water and feed are such that losses are common. And the situation is exacerbated by drought, obviously. Losses in 1972 - 73, for example, were put at CFAF 13 billion and those in 1982 - 85 at almost CFAF 18 billion.
Most cattle is exported on the hoof, with all the problems that entails, and most of it goes to the neighbouring countries on the coast. Morifing Konays that very few dealers export meat as such, which is why all the professionals of this sector will soon be looking at the problem of livestock as a whole. And one of the items on the agenda, the Minister said, will certainly be the ever greater threat to our exports from subsidised meat imports from Argentine and the areas covered by the EECs common agricultural policy.
Here too, structural adjustment is making its presence felt. The idea is to get the herdsman more and more involved in the economic fabric of the nation, a time - consuming task, bearing in mind the persistence of tradition, the Minister said. Livestock associations are gradually educating the herdsman, maybe even making him literate and giving him training, and he is being introduced to the techniques of grazing, animal health and marketing so as to improve the livestock networks and the economy as a whole. The Minister also plans a stage - by - stage integration of farming and herding, which he sees as being interdependent and complementary. And he is convinced that Mali has learnt from the past and both the people and the authorities are now in a better position to contain the effects of any further drought - although he obviously hopes they do not have to put this to the test.
Mining and industry poorly developed
The primary sector is clearly preponderant in the Malian economy and the secondary sector makes only a relatively small contribution (about 12%) to GDP. Many of the industrial enterprises were public ones until the recent reforms and in great need of rationalisation, privatisation or just plain liquidation. On top of the usual handicaps of a narrow market in a landlocked country, a poor international economic environment and so on, the private firms also had to contend with a national environment which was often not conducive to their development. In any case, this sector depends to a large extent on agricultural performance, agro - industry representing almost 40% of the total and textiles (cotton) accounting for almost a quarter of the value added in industry.
A great deal of work has gone into geological and mineral research because the potential could be considerable, as it is, for example, in neighbouring Niger, Algeria, Mauritania and Guinea. Good deposits of bauxite (800 million tonnes of 40 - 45 grade ore), iron ore (about I million tonnes) and manganese (about 3.5 million tonnes) have been located, for example, but the conditions of exploitation, far away in landlocked areas with no energy supplies, not to mention financial considerations, are far from being encouraging. Uranium and oil prospection has not come up with anything so far, but salt, phosphates and gypsum are already being worked and Mali revived an old production tradition - alongside the small - time panners who have always existed - with the first 55.249 kg of gold from the Dyama field in February.
The tertiary sector is clearly dominated by the import - export trade - which, bearing in mind the limited controls along what is a very long frontier, probably makes a far greater contribution to GDP than the official figures suggest.
Reducing the role of the state
The tertiary sector is also feeling the full force of the austerity policy which accompanies the structural adjustment programme, the main features of which include cutting civil service spending in the state budget, rationalising public firms and making the private sector more dynamic again.
All this, of course, has a direct effect on employment. Automatic state jobs for young graduates were done away with in 1983, for example, and supernumary civil servants are encouraged to resign. And what about all the victims of the rationalisation, privatisation and liquidation of the state firms? The difficult job of finding a solution to this complex problem rests on the shoulders of Malis only woman Minister, Diallo Lalla Sy. Given all our employment problems, she says, we ran a Round Table with our main funders early this year. The target groups for the moment are young graduates, compressed (redundant) workers and those taking early retirement. And how can they be catered for? Roughly speaking, the plan hinges on creating a network of small and medium - sized firms and industries. The idea is to make for an environment that is conducive to the development of a spirit of enterprise and to remove the guilt attached to private initiative, encourage it even, getting lines of credit and guarantee funds organised with our external partners to finance the risks that initiative entails, she said. The normal way of pruning the civil service currently with about 45 000 people on the payroll, is by means of voluntary departures, and a first, USAID - financed scheme provided an opportunity to retire more than 600 staff although there were about 2000 applications. The pros and cons of the scheme have been assessed and another is to be run soon. We have already finalised 1800 applications for departure and demand could well outstrip supply... We are not just aiming to save on budget spending and make the private sector more dynamic by injecting these staff into it. We are also trying to improve the efficiency of the people who stay in the civil service. The ability to analyse and control the labour market absolutely has to be improved, the Minister maintained. She also highlighted the Community scheme for young graduates and civil service departure volunteers (see article on page 32), the first results of which are very encouraging.
What future to choose?
Economic structural adjustment is not the only thing occupying - and preoccupying - Mali, as the country is by no means indifferent to what is going on in the world as a whole and in Africa itself. In April, for instance, the countrys single party, the Democratic Union of the Malian People (UPDM), held a conference on exercising democracy within the party. Djibril Diallo, the political secretary of BEC (the executive office which runs the party) told participants: Of course, a new wind is blowing in the four corners of the planet, questioning long - established values and hierarchies. And this wind, which some have no hesitation in calling the wind of freedom and democracy, the only thing which can engender multiparty systems, has already shaken up the countries of the East. The continent of Africa will be unable to avoid the political tempest now blowing through the world and everyone is preparing to receive it in his own way and with his own means.
The Malian people are well aware that multiparty systems have their advantages and disadvantages, just as single party systems do, and it was in 1974 that they opted for a constitutional, single party which derives its strength and distinctive from the fact that it is anchored in Malian culture and in the legitimate concerns of a hard - working population. Is this really outmoded now? We believe that the people of Mali are mature enough to make the choices their development dictates when the time comes, completely democratically, calmly and serenely and in a spirit of constructive dialogue, in accordance with their traditional values.
Some of Malis leaders, and Planning Minister Souleymane Demb for one, think that debating the multiparty issue is maybe being a slave to fashion. In this country we have dialogue between the state and the people actually working in development at all levels, so we really do have democracy. Our main task, and our common aim, is to make sure that everyone has a proper standard of living and our society is already organised in such a way as to have a permanent dialogue on this at every level. So there is no point in wasting effort and resources on setting up a multiparty system which isnt called for here (see also the interview with the President).
But only time will tell. Meanwhile, Mali is still living with the problems of its landlocked situation and the rigours of a Sahelian climate. Talking about a revolution in the rural world could be overlooking the calm strength with which the peasantry preserves traditions. Calling it evolution could be overlooking the extent to which it is responding to the new environment emerging from structural adjustment. If it rains and if water resources are properly controlled at last, it is not the peasant who will be the main brake on Malis drive to go beyond self - sufficiency in food and guarantee its future.
Roger DE BACKER
No short-sighted mimicking of perestro in Africa says President Moussa Traorn an interview with The Courier
General Moussa Traoras been Malis Head of State since November 1969, when, at the age of 32, he led the group of officers which took over the reins of power. Now, at OAU summits, he is one of the old guard and people heed his words and support his actions - and indeed there were many of them during his term of off ice as President of the OAU (May 1988 - July 1989), with all the sub - regional conflicts to deal with.
He also took a special interest in Southern Africa and worked hard to do something about the continents debt, in combination with the deterioration in its terms of trade, a paradoxical situation he comments on in this interview. But he starts by looking at the political upheavals on the world scene - where perestro seems to be behind some astonishing reversals.
· Things are changing in Eastern Europe. Single parties are becoming a thing of the past and liberalisation and democratisation are the order of the day. Do you think that the needs of this part of the world are in competition with those of the developing countries? And do you have the impression that Africa is swimming against the tide?
- Since perestro, Eastern Europe has undergone profound political and economic reform, in some cases bringing down political systems which had been in place for the past 40 years. That is their prerogative. It is the legitimate aspiration of the peoples of those countries. But we in Africa do not believe we have to do what everybody else does. That would be short - sighted mimickry. Eastern Europes culture is different from Africas. All the countries of Eastern Europe have their own identity, just like the countries of Africa - Mali, for instance. What applies in the Soviet Union and Hungary and Romania and Poland doesnt apply in Africa in general or Mali in particular, so it is wrong forever to be thinking that Africa is swimming against the tide of what is going on elsewhere, in Eastern Europe in the case in point.
It needs reforms - economic ones certainly and in some cases political ones too, maybe, when the legitimate aspirations of the people require it. Your trip to Mali coincides, in fact, with the start of a national debate on democracy in the Party. A large majority of our leaders and cadres think that the Party texts are good, but that an effort is needed to choose cadres within the Democratic Union of the Malian People. To paraphrase the Pope, who talked about happiness merchants, I should say that its by no means sure that these merchants do indeed sell happiness. Its not true. Our people will only agree to consume what they produce - by which I mean that they will only embark on courses of action which fit in with their own cultural values.
As to whether Eastern European needs are in contradiction with ACP ones - I should like to say that there is a Convention linking the Twelve to the ACPs. I am not convinced that there is any conflict between Eastern European and ACPs needs, but if the Twelve want to help their brothers in the East, is it their absolute right to do so and the ACPs have absolutely nothing against it. It is up to the ACPs, and the Africans in particular, to find the best ways of ensuring that their development is founded on their own peoples and that the Community contribution is only a top - up. So I am not party to the fear about Eastern Europe taking the bread out of the ACPs mouth.
· And you dont subscribe to the view that Africa is becoming marginalised, becoming less and less competiive, with a tendency to disinvestment...?
Listen - you hear about the marginalisation of Africa in some circles, but what is it supposed to mean? For several decades now, Africa, which has plenty of raw materials, has been exporting its commodities to the industrialised world, with the gap between the cost of production and price of external sales widening all the time. But over this period, Africa has run itself into debt to develop its agriculture, its communications facilities and so on - its development infrastructure in general, that is to say - and, with dwindling raw materials prices, it is perfectly normal for it to be finding repayments difficult.
Some people call this marginalisation - which is why, when I was President of the OAU, I kept saying that the continents debt problem had to be linked to its development. Until it is, the debt wont be paid. When you bring down the price of raw materials and say: Youve still got to pay your debts, it is like telling someone who can usually jump two metres that youre going to stop giving him anything to eat but hes still got to jump that high anyway. Hell be too weak to do so. Africa is going to overcome its problems and stop being called marginalised, of course. Practical steps have been taken in the subregions to create regional economic communities and even a big African common market. That is one way of solving Africas problems - which will stop being expressed in terms of marginalisation.
· Mali is currently applying the global and sectoral structural adjustment policies negotiated with the Bretton Woods Institutions. What are you hoping for in this field from the other donors, including the Community, where structural adjustment is one of the major innovations of LomV? Do you expect to see some kind of specificity in the EECs involvement?
Mali is indeed involved in a number of adjustment programmes, as you said. There is the 4th structural programme with the IMF and three is the public enterprises adjustment programme with IDA. And there other programmes are being negotiated with IDA, too, including an adjustment programme for agriculture and one for education. We have made some progress, thanks to the structural adjustment programmes, but all the countrys economic difficulties havent been ironed out yet.
We hope to be able to overcome them with the help of our development partners, who include the EEC. Mali is delighted that LomV provides extra resources to help with economic rationalisation policies, and it thinks it can meet the criteria of eligibility laid down in Article 246. There are three things we hope our adjustment programme donors will do. First of all, we hope that they make their financial assistance within a concerted framework which is in line with the position of the adjusting country. It will be easy to make a success of a programme in which each party is dovetailed like a piece in a puzzle. Secondly, we hope the donors give more and more of their financial support to programmes to retrain people who have been made redundant and encourage self - employment schemes for youngsters. And lastly, we hope that the structural adjustment programmes dont lead our economies into debts which we cannot handle.
· Some people are worried about the social side of structural adjustment and its effects on sectors such as education and health. What do you think about this and what policy do you recommend in the long term?
- We have always maintained that man was the alpha and the omega of all development, or, to put it plainly, that the aim of all development is to raise the standard of living and create happiness. That is to say that no process which fails to take education and health into account can claim to create wellbeing. Can you produce without being in good health? Can you produce and boost production and productivity without having training or skills? If the answer is a resounding no, then clearly education and health are a sine qua non of successful economic and financial recovery programmes.
· The welfare state duesnt seem to be a viable proposition in Africa and so the idea is to look to the people. But there will always be sections of the urban population who are unable to cope. Will they be passed over?
- To the best of my knowledge, the welfare state doesnt work anywhere and I defy anyone to show me it does. But the urban populations of Africa have always tended to be favoured in spite of being relatively better off and more demanding than the rural populations. So if the rural populations can get themselves organised to take their development in hand, why cant the urban ones? Its a question of justice and fairness. Why should the have - nots support the haves? The urban populations should get themselves organised to cater for their own development demands in the same way as the rural ones and all the State will have to do is top up where its help is vital and coordinate, harmonise and control for the benefit of the communities.
How do you see the emergence of a private sector and of an entrepreneurial spirit rather than just a trading one in your country? How can you avoid the disappearance of the old stale monopolies leading to a monopolistic private sector?
- Mali has always had a private sector. It didnt develop to any great extent, but that was more a matter of economic and historical choice than anything else. Our civilisation has always had an entrepreneurial spirit in trade, and barter too. As you know, Malis economic fabric is relatively weak and flimsy and has to be strengthened and diversified and organised - a long - term aim which can only be achieved in successive stages.
The private sector, as the industrialised nations see it through trade, industry and business, is certainly not so strong in Mali and the reforms being carried out here at the moment are aimed at getting it to be a driving force in economic growth, with the State only involved in the strategic firms. What the State has to do to help the emergence of a modern private sector is to create the sort of institutional, economic, tax and legal environment that encourages private initiative and makes for the growth of national economic activity.
· What are the main practical results of the recent Round Table on employment and how does Mali intend coping with its urgent job creation requirements?
- As you know, our country has embarked upon a series of economic and institutional reforms to get the economy off the ground again - with very marked contraction of the job market as a direct result of the trimming of the public sector and the policy of cutting public spending by restricting civil service recruitment. For all these reasons and because of the overriding need to do something about the situation, the Party and the Government held a national debate to sound out the possibilities of promoting employment in our country and see what stratogies to use in the short, the medium and the long term. The recent Round Table on employment is, if you like, the culmination of the national process of greater consultation of the development partners who had manifested support - and indeed their support was confirmed at this major meeting.
The practical results, we think, are the willing ear which our partners have lent to our concerns, consolidating the framework of joint consultation and making it more operational, and the commitments to help us with technical support schemes to back up the creation and development of firms and assist individuals and socio - professional groups with integration, reintegration and conversion through training, advanced training and induction courses and with developing our analytical skills and national employment policy management ability.
This common desire to invest in people, developing their sense of initiative and their basic and advanced training to invest in public, private and associative institutions so as to support firms and the transfer of technical, management and commercial know - how and to invest in improving analytical skills and the management of the programmes of the institutions responsible for running the employment policy, together with its translation into effective schemes, is, we believe, the platform which will bring us practical results.
Basically, we have agreed to make the employment programme hinge on the setting up of companies. These seem to me to be very practical results indeed and the Government will be monitoring the implementation process very carefully. Lasting employment promotion, of course, cannot be managed outside the global context of the national economy, which has to be rationalised and revived with the help of all the sectors concerned with investment. Our country is being determined about this and the results are generally thought to be very considerable.
· In this time of budgetary austerity, with all the pressure for reform in the short and medium term, what has happened to the longer - term priorities such as agriculture, infrastructure and anti - desertification?
- Africa still has a long way to go with its development. As long as there are Africans without enough to eat, as long as the continent is without the basic infrastructure it needs to develop its resources and as long as we are still waiting for the present large - scale schemes to have a practical effect on the protection of the environment, our priority aims - which are clearly set out in African documents such as the Lagos Plan of Action and the programmes of the CEAO and ECOWAS, of which Mali is a member - will remain so.
It is sometimes very difficult, technically and politically, to reconcile the furtherance of these aims with our present short - term economic difficulties.
· Although young people are a major asset as far as development is concerned, there has to be a population policy - and this is one of the new aspects of Lom V. What are the main features of your birth spacing policy?
- Young people are a big asset as far as development is concerned, of course, but is goes without saying that they have to be hale and hearty and not suffering the effects of debilitating childhood diseases or malnutrition. This is why we have introduced a birth spacing policy, aimed primarily at protecting the health of mothers and children. Properly spaced births give the mother a chance to recover and more time to look after the babys health and diet, particularly if she breast - feeds. And it has to be admitted that this has its effects on the rational management of the familys budget.
This birth spacing policy of ours has had practical, conclusive results and has won the total support of the people because of it, thanks to the many publicity campaigns the Party and the Government have organised and, above all, to the National Union of Malian Women, which is behind it all the way. And apart from the publicity, which is a vital part of the policy of course, we had to make known all the methods of contraception which would help achieve our aim. Family planning centres were opened, training and advanced training courses run for all levels of staff and an association, the Malian Association for the Welfare and Promotion of the Family, was formed. And, of course, our development partners gave considerable support to the Governments efforts. All this is being evaluated at the moment.
· Mali still has very poor educational coverage and literacy rates. How can you overcome this sort of obstacle to development? On the other hand, the countrys Medersa establishments, (Koran schools), are on the increase. Do you see them as a good alternative to stagnating lay schools?
- Schooling in Mali is indeed 30 %,at the moment, which is very low, and there are a number of things we have to do if we are going to improve it. First of all we have to use the national languages, which have proved their worth over nearly a decade now. And then we have the Medersa schools, which existed before French was taught in Mali. Timbuctu was a major centre of culture, the pride of Arabic teaching in Africa, with great scholars, at a time when the industrialised countries of today were still at a tribal stage, and Djennas a very important cultural centre, too, and in mediaeval times it had more than 1000 teachers, doctors and scholars who had studied in Arabic. So if we are to achieve our socioeconomic development aims, we have to start by using our own cultural resources.
· Mali has been self - sufficient in food and producing supluses for two years now. Can you capitalise on this in future by, for example, protecting yourselves against the volatility of agricultural production?
- Mali has indeed been had a food surplus for the past two years. The combined cereal surplus from 1988/89 and 1989/90, for example, was an estimated 600 000 tonnes at the end of 1989. Obviously there is benefit to be derived from this situation actual self - sufficiency thanks to proper supplies through greater domestic trade between one area and another, sales from cross - border trade, processing to add value and the replenishment of our buffer stocks. There could have been more if the sub - region had been properly integrated, but we have the moral satisfaction of helping to ease the food supply situation of some of our brothers in area.
As to being prepared for the ups and downs of agricultural production, let me tell you that we are using this as an opportunity to launch major (surface and underground) water control programmes to make our agriculture more reliable. And the cereal surplus is forcing us to expand and improve our storage facilities and try and process the product and get the producers interested in diversification. What we have to do is to produce and diversify both quantity and quality in the best combination of agriculture and livestock.
Interview by R.D.B.
Africa is not swimming against the tide says Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister NGolo Traor
Dr NGolo TraorMalis Foreign Minister, is also in charge of International Cooperation and therefore National Authorising Officer as well. A Courier interview with him cavered a wide range of topics and some of what he had to say on specific, up - to - the - minute issues, is printed here.
· On poor regional trade
- Mali does a lot of trade with its neighbours, with CdIvoire, Senegal and so on, and it is trying to see that this sort of thing becomes the rule throughout the sub - region. Obviously there is a lot more trading between North and South now because of imported capital goods and our exported raw materials, but the interests of the countries of Africa would be served, maybe not by a reversal of the present trends, but by further development of the trade between the various nations. And the possibilities are enormous. Mali is a fundamentally agricultural country with vast animal production potential, and places like CdIvoire and Ghana and Nigeria are traditionally short of such things, so there is a huge and fruitful opening here for trade between coastal countries like them and countries like us and Burkina Faso and Niger. The processing industries growing up here and there would also be more profitable propositions if they were harmonised so they could all aim for the same big market. The work could be judiciously shared out among the different units so that every country gained something from having the various factories working for the same big market in the CEAO and ECOWAS.
· On the sometimes controversial role of the IMF and the World Bank
- I have to say that, when Mali asks the Bretton Woods institutions for their help, it has already diagnosed the situation itself - I am harking back here to 1978 - 79, when we had to take stock of the critical situation of our state companies and firms, which accounted for 70 % of the national economy. Obviously, the Bretton Woods institutions have their own rules. We knew exactly what they were. We analysed them and we analysed our programme and we assessed our ability to accept some features and reject others and it is in the light of this that we decided on the economic recovery and structural adjustment plan with the help of the IMF, the World Bank and the other partners. Obviously programmes of this sort are extremely difficult from the point of view of their social effects and of the technical and professional skills you need to keep proper control of all the essential workings of the economy and go for growth when there is no guarantee that the international economic situation is such that you can actually get the results your efforts should bring. Mali knows what it is doing in having this programme and in acting to run it to the countrys best advantage.
· On the Single Market of 1992
- I dont know whether Europe will be a closed fortress or whether it will still be open to cooperation with Africa as it has been in the past, but this is an extremely important issue and must be monitored carefully. It is linked to the way Europe perceives its interests in a reorganising world and, obviously, the present keenness on Eastern Europe is an historical fact which Europes partners are forced to cater for. But I dont see any call for alarm. I think its perfectly natural for Europe to want to organise itself inside its boundaries, with all the peoples of Europe, and try and get the problems of the technical, human, social and cultural sides of development under control. But I am sure that Africa, which is a privileged partner of Europe in a number of fields, will find a mutually advantageous way of cooperating with it. I think the problem has to be seen in terms of real, identified interests which are embodied in a real policy of cooperation. I think that Europe is showing signs of opening up. And at all events, there is no point in Africa shutting its doors - unless it has to for reasons beyond its control.
· On contagious democracy from the East
- The events in the East are not just a spontaneous phenomenon, in spite of the fact that they occurred at a virtually unheard - of speed, and the changes were only possible because of a certain maturing of the peoples of Eastern Europe meeting an intense need for freedom, democracy and the satisfaction of various social and cultural needs. I dont think it will be spontaneous generation in Africa either. There will be a maturing of the peoples of the continent and, whenever the conditions are right, I think the African countries will find the proper response, in their midst, to this need for freedom and democracy and for access to social and cultural goods through the conquest of industrial technology. So I dont think that Africa is swimming against the tide.
· On structural adjustment under LomV
- We have noticed a substantial improvement in the way our problems are understood, because the fact that structural adjustment programmes are taken into account now is something to be welcomed, particularly in view of the emphasis on the ACPs being autonomous when it comes to identifying the need for structural adjustment, laying down guidelines (political ones included) for it and deciding on the programmes which are to get support. Too big a gap between the hard - line measures and the cushioning ones is a very, very serious threat to the structural adjustment programmes - and not just to their political and social acceptability either, but to efficient implementation, because of the difficulties it creates with the partners and I think it is a good thing for the EEC to set the example here.
Interview by R.D.B.
Nomad - what a strange shift in meaning. Etymologically, it means rearer of animals on pasture , but now it is ordinarily applied to someone who is forever on the more, be he farmer (as in Indonesia, where itinerant growers raise crops on burnt earth), hunter (as in Amazonia) or fisherman (as round the great lakes of Africa) or of course herdsman, like the Tuareg of the Sahara, who are among the biggest nomadic tribes, along with the Bedouins and, far from Africa, the Kirghiz, the Mongols and the Tibetans.
Nomads, wherever they are, are never popular with the politicians, who usually try and get them to settle and may even persecute them - Europeans still remember Hitlers attempts at eliminating the gypsies. Their way of life seems a malediction to many, as the myth of the wandering jew shows, yet many people still follow it and there are probably about 900 000 Tuareg, for example, on the move between the Touat group of oases in southern Algeria, west of Tad and the Sudano - Sahel zone. Most of their camps are in northern Mali and Niger, where they go to look for water and grazing land for their animals (cattle, camels, sheep and goats) and to obtain the one or two consumer goods they needs the semolina, millet, tea and sugar, and the salt they have to go hundreds of miles in caravans to Taoudenni to fetch, to add to their own curds and rancid butter and, on good days, mutton from their herd.
In northern Mali, there are many groups moving about in this way, travelling up to the Adrar des Iforas, for example, or down to Gao or the Niger border with the changing seasons and the situation of water and grazing resources. Every man and every boy over the age of 12 covers many miles every day, rising early in the morning to take the animals to the well or the pasture, feeding and watering them, rounding up strays, drawing water from the well to fill the skins the donkeys carry, and getting back to camp before nightfall - all this because the pastures are soon exhausted, since there is no water to replenish them, and water points are rare even rarer since resources have been run down to nothing by the drought of 1974 and 1984, causing traditional grazing grounds now useless, to be abandoned. And fewer pastures means over - use of those which remain, friction between the herdsmen, and a harder and harder life for the nomads. But water, precious water, exists. It is there, after every rainfall, when dried up up wadis turn into violent torrents carrying gallons and gallons of water, most of it to evaporate or be lost in the sand. Once upon a time, they say, many of these wadis flowed naturally into large ponds, but some of them eroded their beds, hollowing them out until the waterline was below the overflow level. So now the level has to be raised again during periods of flow.
Hence the idea of a man who is no ordinary Tuareg (he is of French origin), El Bechir, who has been adopted by the Chamanamas group and lived in the desert for years. He suggests channelling surface water to feed the water table, regenerating ponds and natural pastures and setting up reserves of water stored in tanks. Two dams and two tanks could be built on a 20 000 km² area of grazing land south of Kidal (stones and earth to be shifted cement purchased local labour to provide the maintenance small items of equipment) for CFAF 3 million per dam and CFAF 4.5 million per tank, such a ridiculously small sum that there is no point in bothering a financial institution. An NGO maybe... but could it be found?
Technically speaking, the idea is a simple one. The (filter) dams built of large blocks of rock piled one on top of the other and fixed with gablons, with downstream protection of the wadi banks should, when the wadi is in spate after a storm, allow for an outflow to be channelled through tracks downstream to stagnant ponds to constitute important reserves for herds.
Siphons along the flowpaths should feed the water table. An experimental dam of this type, built with the help of Malis National Directorate of Rural Engineering, enabled the technical and financial assumptions to be checked. The 900 m³ tanks, filled with rainwater run - off, should mean that a few herding families (with 200 - 300 head of cattle) can settle on a seasonal basis in an area of abundant pastureland 50 km from any other water point.
What is the point, it will perhaps be asked, of trying to keep the Tuareg in such a primitive way of life instead of getting them to settle down and have the benefits of modern civilisation ? Quite simply because this is what they seem to want. There are still people for whom happiness is not congregating in a slum on the edge of an averagely wealthy city, breaking with tradition and desperately seeking a job in town.
Should they be left to die out?
M. - H.B.
Malis relations with the Community are especially important because the country very much depends on the outside world for both supplies and development financing. And the Community is its biggest trading partner, accounting for more than half its exports.
Since the advent of Lomolicy with the 4th EDF, resources have been increased and adapted to the needs of the moment and there has been non - programme aid on top of them to help cope with the harmful effects of unforeseeable situations caused by drought, export price slumps, epidemics and so on.
A total of Ecu 97.7 million was provided under Lom - Ecu 79.9 m of it for EDF - EIB projects and programmes, Ecu 9.8 m in Stabex payments (for groundnuts, cotton and gum arabic), Ecu I m in exceptional aid and Ecu 7 m from the Natali Plan. The total for LomI was Ecu 124.6 m, with Ecu 99.4 m of it going to EDF - EIB projects and programmes, Ecu 10.6 m in Stabex payments (for groundnut oil and other groundnut products and karit Ecu 13.3 m in exceptional aid and Ecu 1.3 m from the Natali Plan. The various figures for LomII, totalling Ecu 178.6 m, were Ecu 157.5 m (EDF - EIB projects and programmes), Ecu 20.3 m (Stabex, for cotton), Ecu 0.8 m (exceptional aid) and Ecu 15 m (Debt Programme).
And then there has been aid outside the framework of the Convention, such things as food aid (worth Ecu 41.2 m over the 1979 - 89 period) and cofinancing with NGOs (Ecu 3.8 m).
Regional cooperation allocations have also been stepped up over the successive Conventions and, by LomII, the sum of Ecu 185 m was available for West Africa under this heading. Mali is involved in a number of regional schemes aimed at improving the forecasting of agricultural conditions (there is a permanent Diagnosis project, for example) and preserving the regions natural resources.
But despite the considerable increase in resources, the rate of disbursement has not always kept up with the rate of commitment, delays being caused both by the cumbersome procedure of all parties concerned and the complexity of recent programmes (Food Strategy Support, Food Security in the 5th region etc).
The Commission has announced an initial allocation of Ecu 155 m for the indicative programme under LomV (this includes Ecu 19 m from EIB - managed resources) and there will no doubt be further Commission resources over and above this, particularly from Stabex and the structural adjustment support facility. And there is the regional aid quota and extra - Convention aid, too.
Cooperation under LomII
Indicative programme (revised)
| || |
· Food strategy support programme
· Support for grass - roots schemes (micro - projects)
· Food security programme
· Programme to intensify rice crops on large irrigated plots
· Studies, technical assistance and miscellaneous
· Company creation support
· Special import programme
· Risk capital
· not committed
| || || |
Sub - total
Outside indicative programme
| || |
· Emergency aid
· Risk capital (EIB)
| || ||
Sub - total
| || || |
Adapting to circumstances
The relative weight of the different sectors of Community assistance has changed and new types of aid have appeared as one Convention has followed another. The 4th EDF, for example, put the emphasis on infrastructure (with the SnguDiama and Manantali dams and the Sienso - Srnd Bla - San roads) and the rural sector (Su Rice Scheme, the development of fisheries, food crops, etc) and paid some attention to the social sector, too (improvements to health facilities in Bamako and the Nioro region and the building of health posts and dispensaries). The 5th EDF continued along these lines with further financing for the Sngund Manantali dams, roads, phase II of the Su Rice Scheme, health infrastructure at Bamako and so on, although there were new projects too the village water engineering operation in the 1st, 2nd and 5th regions, livestock development in the north east, geological and mineral prospection, micro - projects and assistance for the Ministry of Planning to facilitate the programming of Commission schemes in Mali.
With the 6th EDF, some original features have appeared, multi - sectoral programmes (including a special import programme) now being included and Commission schemes being focused on the 4th and 5th regions. The programmes should enhance the effect of EEC cooperation in that focal area. Two more programmes, on food security and agricultural production, plus a programme of micro - projects, are also being run and there is a special import programme of Ecu 25 m to cushion various economic and financial imbalances by financing imports of two products which are vital to the Malian economy - sugar (20 000 tonnes) and hydrocarbons (60 000 tonnes). These products will be sold on the local market and the money used for a counterpart fund to finance job creation, development schemes and structural adjustment support.
None of this of course means that the Community is neglecting either its schemes in other parts of the country or its regional operations. The 6th EDF has also seen financing for trade events, the purchase and distribution of vital medicines in the 6th and 7th regions, the financing of an HT line between Bamako and Su and support for the CMDT with EIB capital (Ecu 20.5 m) and there have been two original high - impact schemes in addition, one to provide support for the reorganisation of the cereal market (PRMC) and the other to set up small businesses.
Original, high - impact schemes
We shall take the older of these, the cereal market reorganisation operation, first. Since 1981 - 82, the Malian Government has been running a new policy with its Cereal Market Reorganisation Programme (PRMC) and backing from nine countries and bodies providing food aid (i.e. seven bilaterals Belgium, Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA and two international organisations the EEC and the WFP).
Reorganisation of the cereal market
The new policy, which includes the liberalisation of cereal prices and the cereal trade, marks state withdrawal by changing the Cereal Board, which had a monopoly, into a competitive body whose job is now confined to looking after food security. The informal private sector is being converted into a socio - professional sector which can take over most of the work hitherto carried out by the public sector.
The first phase of implementation of the policy (1981 - 82 1985 - 86) was at a time of considerable shortages, so the approach had to be in terms of cereal availability - i.e. local production plus external aid donations and commercial imports.
During these years of penury, the Government stuck to its major political commitment to liberalisation and refrained from bringing back the old economic controls. And the authorities organised direct exchanges on the primary circuit between groups of producers and consumer cooperatives and producers and breeders, too, and encouraged the private sector to transport goods from the production sites to the urban centres and places with shortfalls. At the same time, OPAM (Malis Agricultural Produce Board) set up a buffer stock and this was sold mainly through the consumer cooperatives in accordance with a national food plan produced annually with a view to sharing the programme resources fairly.
These measures did not solve all the problems, but they considerably relieved what had looked like very dangerous tension. From 1985 - 86 onwards, with the long - awaited return to normal harvests, food security (in which the countrys consumer requirements are covered by the tonnage it harvests) was able to be tackled. The problem was to contain the real supply with the actual demand too low, and this was achieved by encouraging the peasants to store, the village organisations to purchase and store and the private sector to store. The private sector kept its buying strictly to National Buffer Stock (SNS) requirements. New ways of financing had to be found to go from cereal shortage to cereal balance - and without too much help from the state either, in view of the resources which could be mobilised.
The Community, which has made a massive contribution to the PRMC (45000 tonnes of cereal supplied in money equivalent since 1986), is also financing a technical assistant in the Ministry of Finance to act as a link between the Malian authorities and the group of donors.
The other distinctive aspect of the Communitys work in Mali has to do with setting up firms and settling young graduates in employment. Thanks to four offices in Bamako, Su, Sikasso and Mopti (a fifth is to be opened in Kayes soon), almost 300 small firms have been financed by the project and almost 1100 jobs made available. Almost every area of the economy (agri - food, distribution, art and craft, health etc) has received financing through the informal sector which has always found it very difficult to get bank credit hitherto (see article on page 32). the encouraging results of the first two - year phase, which is just coming to an end, mean that a second phase can be envisaged with optimism.
Regional cooperation schemes
Any review of the Communitys fields of cooperation in Mali would be incomplete without mention of the regional schemes. Priority schemes here include:
- using photo-voltaic energy to pump surface and underground water and run community equipment (medical retrigeration facilities, lighting, TV and batteries);
- promoting butane gas as a substitute for energy derived from wood;
- providing primary school teachers and pupils with training in and information on the protection of the environment.
These will supplement schemes already being run as part of DIAPER, the regional food security permanent diagnosis operation. They are aimed at building up a better knowledge of the rural world to make for more efficient forecasting and they are backed by a European Community Statistical Office unit, which has been operating in Mali since 1985. In addition to its work with DIAPER, this unit has also helped the Early Warning System responsible for detecting areas threatened with food imbalances and targeting populations suffering from chronic or periodical food shortages.
by Georges NICOLET
An EDF project to help set up companies and settle young graduates in jobs first saw the light of day in July 1987. The aim was to start providing an opening both for young graduates with no jobs to go to and civil servants taking voluntary retirement. Others interested in business could take advantage of the scheme, too. So the basic aim, it could be said, was to create an entrepreneurial class in Mali.
It is a pilot project, under the aegis of the Ministry of Employment and the Civil Service, and it has so far resulted in four offices being opened (in Bamako, Su, Sikasso and Mopti), with a probable fifth scheduled for Kayes in the coming months. A first line of credit of Ecu 1.4 million has already been used up and a second, of Ecu 3.2 m, is now available. To date (end February 1990), 263 small and medium - sized firms have been financed, creating almost 1100 new jobs, with investments totalling upwards of CFAF 1.2 billion.
Various sectors of the Malian economy are involved, but the more traditional activities have benefited most, with farming and herding accounting for 32 % of investment, trade and service for 48%, art and craft 11%, industry only 3 % and the rest shared between transport, tourism and distribution.
Projections suggest that 400 small firms could be created by June 1991 and 600 by June or July 1992 - an increase in numbers which poses a problem, since one of the main components of the project is management training and technical assistance for promoters and the productivity of the Malian management monitoring the firms (or indeed the number of Malian management with the project) has to keep pace with this rapid expansion.
The above figures indicate that the EDF project is a success and well on the way to achieving its main aims of:
- creating jobs;
- running an imaginative operation to train promoters (to develop a spirit of enterprise, handle savings, learn technical and commercial management and use the banking service);
- training the Malian management on the project to supervise various aspects of the SME;
- showing that it is possible to lend money to small firms and get high rates (around 85%) of repayment;
- giving promoters an incentive to save;
- creating economic interest groups to drain the savings and perhaps one day make investments themselves.
The main reasons for choosing the project formula, independently of its intrinsic merit as a system, were as follows:
- the project is a non-institutionalistic, non-bureaucratic
structure which is properly integrated in the SME environment and independent of
the various pressure groups;
- this autonomy makes for highly motivated project managers;
- there is very considerable supervision before and during the period of the loan (the project is an expensive one as a result) and it justifies the high rate of reimbursement. G.N.
The new businessmen young graduates and ex - civil servants
Abdoulaye, our chauffeur, cut the engine on the corner of 30th and 25th streets in the dusty Bagadadji district of Bamako, just in front of Malis Modern Honey Works, and the companys new - style young boss, Kissima Sylla, who was expecting us, came bounding out to meet us. Not without a certain pride he showed us round his modest shop, where rows of different - sized pots of various types of honey were waiting for their buyers, and then took us to the annexe where staff pot the honey under his supervision. He has become a promoter (he prefers the classification to entrepreneur ) and now, since production and sales began on 3 June 1989, he is an employer too, with four people on his payroll.
Sylla qualified as a waterways and forestry engineer, wrote his dissertation on beekeeping and took a course at the National Horticulture Centre. But I didnt want to go into the civil service, he said, Ive always wanted to be a promoter and I have nothing to complain about, because I make a relatively good living and business is ticking over nicely. Having produced an investment dossier, Sylla got a CFAF I 926 000 loan and financing of CFAF 690 000 (repayable at 10 % over four years) from the EDF line of credit on 28 November 1988.
He gets his basic materials, the raw, unheated honey which he and his staff then process and pot, from the beekeeping associations of Sikasso.
Getting the pots - supplies have to be imported from France - is a big problem and I absolutely have to find a solution, he says.
He sells to both supermarkets and local shops, as well as retailing from his own premises. His success provoked imitators, but. the other manufacturers were no competition because they had neither the equipment nor the know - how to turn out the same quality. His dream is to build an extension for closed - circuit honey conditioning i.e. the whole process from extraction to potting, including filtering and dosing, all of which are currently carried out with individual pieces of apparatus.
Syllas enterprising attitude and know - how - and the added boost of finance and backing at the right moment - should mean he can achieve this.
On the other side of Bamakos as - yet only bridge over the Niger and a difficult one to cross, with 10 - minute waits and more at peak periods - the atmosphere in the area where we visited the Les Castors ( the beavers) nursery school was different, less working - class and, if the houses were anything to go by, altogether smarter.
Shouting and laughter come from behind the walls and fences of the school, housed in twin villas, whose gate is guarded during the daytime by a (sleepy) porter, for what child would not like to slip out and explore? Once we are in the courtyard, with all the swings and games, little children, grinning broadly, come crowding round the big white man with his camera - Sir, Sir, take my picture, Sir. But the arrival of the headmistress, Oumou Louise Sidibwho commands respect and brings calm to the noisy gathering, means we can move on to her office and hear about her enterprise
I was a high school teacher until my voluntary departure in 1987, she said, and as soon as I heard about the IMF - inspired voluntary retirement scheme, and the allowance that went with it, I applied for it and the authorities agreed. When I left, I thought about opening a nursery school of my own, and later on a primary school, and I started up in March 1988, right in the middle of the academic year. I only had five pupils to begin with but things went so fast that weve already got 110, 19 of them in the primary section. There were teething troubles of course, but now its mainly a question of keeping up with the demand which is growing all the time as the word gets round .
Thanks to the EDF line of credit, Mrs Sidibas able to get a CFAF 3.147 million loan for the nursery school proper, and a further CFAF 1.5 m for the primary school. Her initiative filled a gap, because there were no state kindergartens or nursery schools before, other than the Les Lutins establishment for the children of cooperation officers whose headmistress offered advice lending Mrs Sidibo make French the language of teaching at Les Castors.
Mrs Sidiblready employs seven teachers, plus the porter, and further expansion is on the cards as the parents, who pay the fees from their own pockets, are insisting that full primary school facilities be provided. But there are material constraints here. We can build three more classrooms on the roof of the twin villas, which are rented, but that would only do for another two years, so we have to build a completely new school if we are to keep pace with demand. And that, I hasten to add, would mean aid from an international organisation, she said...
This former civil servant, who is clearly delighted at having made a success of her change of career, went back to the playground to pose for a last photo with her little beavers, whose enthusiasm is in itself a guarantee of the continuing success of this educational enterprise.
Area: 1 241 238 km²
Population (1987): 7.696 million (46 % under 15).
Growth rate: 2.7% p. a.(1982 - 87).
Literacy rate: 19.4 %
Educational coverage: 27%
Capital: Bamako (approximately 800 000 inhabitants).
Main towns: Su, Mopti, Kayes and Sikasso.
Independence: 22 September 1960.
President of the Republic: General Moussa Traorelected by universal suffrage in 1979.
Constitution of June 1974: A President of the Republic, a single party (the UDPM), a national assembly and a civil government.
Official language: French.
Agriculture: Main products (1988 - 89):
millet and sorghum:
1 275 000 tonnes
289 000 t
202 000 t
112 000 t
sugar cane, dah and vegetables.
Livestock: Approximately 4.7 million head of cattle, 11 million sheep and goats and 231 000 camels.
Fisheries: Approximately 100 000 t fresh fish p.a.e
GDP 1989 (current prices): CFAF 641.8 billion.
Real growth of GDP: 1989: 9.9% 1985 - 89: 5.6 %
Contribution to GDP: Agriculture: 49%; Secondary sector: 12%; Tertiary sector: 34%.
Trade balance (19X9): Negative balance of CFAF 69.9 billion.
Balance of payments (1989): CFAF 18.9 billion.
External debt (end 1988): CFAF 727 billion.
Debt servicing as a percentage of exported goods and services (1989): 29.1 %.
Concern about prices, the 1992 strategy and the point of view of Tate & Lyle
The third Special Ministerial Conference of ACP sugar exporters (Barbados, Belize, CdIvoire, Congo, Fiji, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zimbabwe) was held in London from 9 - 11 May. Price fixing and the future of ACP sugar cane in the Single European Market of 1992 were on the agenda as well as the economic diversification of the countries concerned and the competition from new (natural and chemical) sweeteners were also discussed. Mr M. Dulloo, the Mauritian Agriculture Minister and Spokesman of the Conference, reminded the meeting that the British capital had been chosen as the venue to highlight the fact that the United Kingdom had a high symbolic value and was the Community Member State which has been most significantly and directly instrumental in the establishing the Sugar Protocol in 1975. The British Government showed its appreciation of this choice by sending the Junior Agriculture Minister, David Curry, to the Conference.
The ACPs and first of all Lawrence Anthony (Malawi), the President of the Sugar Sub - Committee of ACP Ambassadors in Brussels, began by reminding delegates of the historical context of the Sugar Protocol, which was established to give continuity to the commitments which the UK had made to ACP sugar under the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement guaranteeing the large UK sugar industry supplies from the producer countries before Britain joined the European Community.
The Protocol, like the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, had been signed at a time when the world market favoured the producers who had made sacrifices to save the British industry, Mr Anthony pointed out. ACP sugar had made a big contribution to the the success of Britains post - war sugar policy and had played a vital part in the negotiations when the United Kingdom joined the Community. The Protocol had been devised to ensure continuity for the commitments the British had made under the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, but this continuity was forever being compromised, in both the Community and the world at large by trends whose main result was to reduce both the significance of the Protocol and the advantages which the ACPs were supposed to derive from it. Dr Ghebray Berhane, the Secretary - General of the ACP Group, echoed these sentiments, saying that the prolonged freeze of the guaranteed sugar price, which has now turned into a decrease, combined with the reluctance of the community so far to adopt other measures to counteract the effects of such actions and to alleviate the effects of international developments, pose a serious threat to the ability of the protocol to meet its objectives .
Guaranteed prices - shock item?
Mr Dulloo, also mentioned the economic side of the Protocol, but he put the main emphasis on its &political, socio - historic and cultural significance, the better to highlight the importance of the Communitys commitments to the ACP Sugar Protocol signatories. The fact that the Protocol was of unlimited duration and that it was independent of the Lomonvention showed just how important they thought it was for the Member States to make sure the provisions were applied, particularly when it came to the Single Market of 1992 and developments on the international sugar market. The various economic and international parameters in the sugar sector were causing the ACPs many worries, Mr Dulloo went on, and the fixing of a guaranteed price for cane sugar as prescribed in the Protocol was one of the first of them. The Ministers maintained that the Community was failing to apply the Protocol in refusing to embark on joint action with the ACPs to fix the annual guaranteed price for their sugar - a shock item which has always been a bone of contention. However, various international expert reports made to the Conference underline the fact that it would be wrong for the reference price for white sugar to be the benchmark according to which the ACPs adjust their approach. The ACPs, as Philippe Chalmin for one said, should devote more of their energies to the transport (cif to fob) issue and to the Portuguese market, where 200 000 tonnes of raw sugar cane are at stake.
As to the actual level of sugar prices, Chalmin went on, the fate of the ACP sugar producers is linked to that of the European ones, which is both the strength and the weakness of the Protocol. The strength is that it was negotiated within the framework of Lomithout depending directly on it, the cost being in the EAGGF budget in the form of the cost of the refunds required to re - export equivalent quantities of European sugar. And in some years this has been a great deal, upwards of ECU 500 million and well in excess of the Stabex allocation, for example. As things stand, the Sugar Protocol is not being contested by the European beet and sugar producers, because they benefit from the extra ACP pressure in the negotiation of European prices and it is in their interest to maintain the status quo, with identical price levels, that is to say.
But that is what is ambiguous about the Sugar Protocol, Philippe Chalmin continued, is that the ACPs have to submit to the logic of the common agricultural policy whereby agricultural spending is reduced and Community prices drop as a result. It could be dangerous to have special compensation for price drops, as has been projected, because it would be creating a precedent and singling out a Sugar Protocol item, opening up a gap between the beet system and the ACP producers and opening the door to complaints from the European sugar industry about the Protocol being financed from the EAGGF rather than the EDF. Too much open insistence on price rises could well bring down the whole fragile edifice - which, paradoxically, has the beet producers and the ACPs on the same side for the moment.
The ACP sugar producers should not focus on the reference price for white sugar, Mr Chalmin went on. On the contrary, their interests lie in staying linked to the fate of the European producers, he added.
Dont wave a red flag at the bull
David Curry, the U.K. Junior Agriculture Minister and the only member of a Community Government to attend the meeting (the Community as such was not in fact invited), looked at the various ACP problems and complaints related to the common agricultural policy and its effects on the uncertain future of their sugar in the large market of 1992.
The evolution of Community support price and their implications for ACP sugar prices, the future of the Communitys sugar regimes, the GATT negotiations, the completion of the large internal market and the impact of developments in Eastern Europe, and the possible future shape of the British sugar industry, were causes of ACP concern. Mr Curry tried to give some answers, while warning that his answers did not constitute a panacea .
He began by reminding the Conference that the United Kingdom was only one out of 12 voices in Community affairs and that decisions were taken by a majority vote. The point of reforming the common agricultural policy (CAP), he said, was to have a policy which was sound - based, economically realistic CAP. The United Kingdom was virtually the only Member State to have much interest in ACP sugar or to show any particular understanding of ACP concerns. It would continue to have great need of raw sugar from the ACPs - and without a sugar industry to use it in Britain, it was difficult too see how the 1.3 million tonnes of ACP sugar could get into the Community every year for refining. Which was why, Mr Curry said, they had to advocate: no weakening of the Protocol; a fair ACP price offering stability; no ammunition - giving to enemies. If the price for ACP sugar was put higher than the price for Community sugar, it would be waving a red rag at the bull, he emphasised.
The Minister then said that the Community should be seeing how to solve the crucial problem of the cost of transport in the ACP sugar price. He also mentioned the United Kingdoms twin responsibility - to the beet producers and the sugar cane industries.
A dynamic export strategy
The ACP Ministers also discussed what they should do to make their problems known to the various groups in the Community which might have a positive influence on the Twelves sugar decisions. It was agreed that ACP sugar - exporting countries would run a press and information campaign in the Member States, although not all participants were keen on this, as some feared that the shortage of time and money would hinder success and others, Barbados in particular, had reservations, especially about the financial aspects. Malawis Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister, Mr R.W.Chirwa, also expressed doubts as to whether they were all equally enthusiastic about such an information campaign, the cost of which was considerable. And Jamaica stressed that understanding on the part of one Member State, the United Kingdom in this case, was no indication of what the position of the other 11 Community countries would be.
The press campaign and the ACP Ministers tour of the Community would be financed via a levy on the sugar earnings of the countries concerned. Revenue from this special tax, a propoal from the Fjiain delegation led by Viliane Conelevu, the Minister for Primary Industry, would also be fed into a fund to provide permanent financing for the work of the Sugar Group in the ACP States.
Ministers at the London meeting also pointed out that sugar was of social and cultural as well as economic importance to the exporting countries. One or two states, Mauritius and Jamaica for example, took part in the exhibition run in the Commonwealth Secretariat to demonstrate the economic and socio - cultural aspects of sugar cane - growing in the countries concerned. This event was organised by the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation, with technical back - up from Georgia Bernard, the Cultural Affairs Expert at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels. Mauritius Ambassador, Raymond Chasle, the doyen of the ACP diplomatic corps, made a short speech on this occasion, saying, in particular, that, if the Community safeguarded the sugar industry in the ACP exporting countries, it would be contributing to the defence of an important part of a literary and cultural life which had for centuries been inspired and nourished by the story of sugar cane - growing.
As well as dealing with the major and immediate issues of prices, 1992, the international market, the GATT negotiations and so on, the Conference heard what professionals from the sugar industry had to say. There was a great deal of interest in a much awaited speech by Neil Shaw, the Chairman of Tate & Lyle (the company which looms large in the European sugar industry), who presented the industrys point of view and explained his companys strategy. The strength of Tate & Lyle, he maintained, would also be beneficial to the ACP production - which the company would always need. (Extracts from Mr Shaws speech follow).
Practical decisions still had to be taken on most of the points at issue when the Conference ended, although the participants broadly agreed on the need for a dynamic exporters policy for the post - 1992 era. L.P.
Neil Shaw, President of Tate & Lyle
We want to work for you and be paid on the basis of results
The following is a rmf the speech given by the President of Tate & Lyle to the ACP special ministerial conference on sugar in London:
(...) Looking ahead, lets try and get a feel for what is happening in the overall sweetener industry on a worldwide basis. First, Mr Shaw said, by the end of this year, there will be a final Bill in the United States to cover the new Foreign Bill and obviously the Sugar Act in the United States is part and parcel of the Foreign Bill. The trend in the United States for cane sugar and cane sugar imports is good. I believe we will see a Bill passed by the Senate and the Congress that will give a minimum import figure of cane sugar imports into the United States of 1250 000 tonnes. Some of you here will recall a couple of years ago when the initial import figure was set at 750 000 tonnes. So we see a minimum figure which is significantly above that at which we started out a couple of years ago and we should see figures that approach 2 million tonnes of imports and this year we could easily count up to 1.8 m. That is a good trend.
We will see controls on the amounts of beet and of cane sugar that can be grown in the United States. We will see, certainly, controls on the amount of corn sweeteners that can be marketed in the United States. And this is a major development, and one in which Tate & Lyle has had an important part to play because the corn refiners in the United States have been against any controls, they wanted to expand their industry without any kind of governmental controls. (...)
A healthy outlook
One of the other points that is important is that there will not be any increase in the minimum price for sugar that enters into the United States, at least for the first year and a half, until 1991 or 1992, when it will be allowed to increase by the Consumer Price Index. Why is that important? There is at the present time a minimum support figure of 18 cents U.S. per pound. That minimum figure is a very lucrative one to any efficient producer of beet or cane in the U.S. and certainly to the corn and sweetener industry. It is important that we dont see an increase in the price because in the U.S. if we were to see one, we would see increases in beet sugar production, and that would happen in marginal areas that are not efficient sources for beet sugar production. But once it starts, its very difficult to limit the future growth of that industry. (...)
So the outlook in the United States is good. Tate & Lyle has changed. We have broadened our field in a significant way in terms of our focussing on the sweetener industry. We say to our customers were in the sweetener industry. We are prepared to supply sweeteners from whatever origin, be it cane, be it beet, or be it corn. And we will be in a position to support their requirements in the non - calorie or artificial sweeteners.
Today, we are a stronger, fitter, more widely geographically dispersed company than ever before in our history. We continue with the basic policy with which we started early in the 1980s, that we do not own or control any raw sugar producing estates anywhere in the world. We manage many industries in different parts of the world on behalf of the owners, which is usually the Government - or in many cases a mixture of government and private sector in that particular country. And thats the way we are going to keep it. We want to be in any of your countries if you want us in terms of management contracts. We want to work for you, and we want to be paid on the basis of results. If you dont produce more, we dont get paid more. We believe strongly thats the way, from a technical and production point of view, that Tate & Lyle can participate without having any of those difficulties which inevitably must arise, where, when the times are good, that one is accused of being a multinational that is taking out large profits from individual countries. That will not be the case with Tate & Lyle. We will on occasion be a 5 or 10%, maybe even a 15 % shareholder in raw sugar estates, but we will not, under any circumstances, have the controlling interest. (...)
You should not worry
Tate & Lyle is a strong partner of units. We are anxious and still totally committed to the basic business of cane refining industry, and the management of cane sugar estates.
You should not worry about the fact that we may have lost our interest in cane because we have new sources of income in different parts of the world from different products. That is not the case. Our interest and commitment to cane is total. It is long term, and it is one that we will not change. As far as Tate & Lyle is concerned in the UK you will see, starting very soon, a very strong advertising campaign promoting sugar. Sugar is a natural food, an important part of any balanced nutritional diet. (...)
The ACPs concerns as a Group
Mr Neil Shaw went on to analyse ACPs concerns as he sees them. The number one concern , Mr Shaw said, is price. And you need a price which is reasonable and one that you can defend. I strongly resist, I believc you should resist (as it is boing resisted in the United States) any attempt to produce prices for sugar that will allow uneconomic expansion of the industry. If that happens, we start to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. There is a very fine line between what is too much and what is reasonable, and it is one that you in your Group should be doing.
Concern N° 2 is obviously that Portugal has joined the Common Market. It has had a long history of importing cane sugar. It is part and parcel of the Common Market. It has been given assurances that sugar will be made available when the introductory period ends in 1992. And, again, if I were looking ahead, Id say to you, your concerns are ones that you can act on.
Your third concern is the whole regime of 1991, of the sugar logislation, and that encompasses many parts of the supply distribution costing refining of the product line to the consumer.
The fourth concern is Tate & Lyle. What shape is Tate & Lylc in? Is it prepared and able to receive your sugar, refme it in a very efficient way on a low - cost basis that will get to the consumer in the UK?
The concerns on price I leave to you. But I would like to summarise on all of those points be they: price, Portugals market, or the future 1991 regime. Now is the time that this group has to work together. Not just at conventions or at seminars, or Group meetings such as this, but every day. You have a lot of pressure, a lot of lobbying capability, but youre going to have to see the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Danes, those members of the Common Market, and of course Portugal, to sell the fact that the EEC has to look after not only its own agricultural interests, but its role as an international player in the food agricultural system. You have to do it now, and you will be surprised at how many converts you will achieve. This, the Western world be it in North America, or in Europe - is moving very quickly, away from aid and much more from trade and there is no product line in the world that is a better example of legislation which has made it very difficult for a product which you grow more efficiently than countries in temperate climates.(...)
So the ability to put your Group together and to start lobbying in a disciplined, regular way, a way that gets down to people contacts. The Commission is one of the most important points of contact that I could stress to you at the present time. Because right now the Commission isnt really listening very much. It has more or less made up its mind what it is going to do for 1991. I do not think it is too late to have the Commission realise that there is a push from the politicians who say: look, we should be treating this subject on a more equal basis between our domestic producers and the people with quota import licences into this country. (...)
We believe the quotas are at an absolute minimum and should be increased to the extent of a share of the Portuguese market. We believe that there should be some mechanism whereby if there is a role for increased production in Europe, that the cane sugar suppliers should be part of that increase. I think we have to go aggressively at trying to increase and certainly hold ourselves at the present levels and the pricing arrangements for those levels. (...)
At the end oJ March, Suva (Fiji) hosted a ministerial meeting on regional cooperation in the Pacific. Berenado Vunibobo, the F4ian Trade Minister, and Philippe Soubestre, the Deputy Director - Generalior Development at the Commission of the European Communities, chaired the session, which brought together representatives of the eig/t Pacific ACPs, a Commission delegation including Aslam Aziz, who heuds the Pacific diPision, and the leuders of various regional institutions, inclading Henri Naisali, the Secretary - General oJ the South Pacific Forum, whose organisation coordinates regional cooperation.
The ACP - EEC joint ministerial meeting on regional cooperation, an annnal event, was first held in Apia (Western Samoa) in April 1988, under the co - chairmanship of the late Loreuzo Natali, the then Commission Vice - President. The second meeting took place in Suva, as did the most recent (on 31 March), which involved a detailed, project - by - project examination of regional cooperation under LomII and guidelines for LomV and was preceded by two weeks of non - stop contacts during which the participants were able to clear a good deal of ground.
Thrce ministers from three Pacific countries had pleaded their regionts case at length at the ACP - EEC Joint Assembly in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea (sce Courier No 121, page I). Manuel Marin, the Commission Vice - President responsible for Development and FisLeries, also took stock of EEC - Pacific cooperation on this occasion and he discussed all the regional cooperation implementation problems with this hosts in PNG and, later on, with Fijian leaders and Pacific ministers in Suva. Even the Prime Ministers of PNG Rabbie Namaliu - and Fiji - Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara - joined in the discussions.
Many rensons for satisfaction...
Many positions were taken up, sta - , tements made and discussions held, but the main theme was the unanimous welcoming of the increasingly important part played by regional cooperation in successive Conventions and the concomitant increase in the money allocated to it. Regional credits had risen from ECU 10.3 million under Lom to ECU 30.4 m under LomI and ECU 39 m under LomII, and the upward trend will probably be maintained under LomV, although the exact figure was not known at the time of the meeting.
The partners also welcomed the fact that the field of application of regional cooperation had been extended - LomV had clarified the notion of regionality once and for all, Mr Vunibobo was pleased to say, which, he felt, would avoid any problems in the future. They also realised that the priorities which had been established here were at the heart of their development drive. Regional projects, whether to do with telecommunications, trade promotion, agriculture, exploitation of marine resources, tourism or air and sea transport, were only run in vital areas of the Pacific economies.
But not all regional cooperation is quite so rosy, far from it, for these same countries deplored the time it takes to get projects implemented. One illustration of this was SOPAC, the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, which, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara said, had been granted ECU 5 m from the Pacific ACPs regional indicative programme in early 1986, but had to wait until March 1989 for the financing proposal to be signed and March 1990 for the first expenditure to be approved. And in the meantime there was a new Convension , he added.
Whose fault is this? Manuel Marin repeatedly told the Joint Assembly and the Council of Ministers that the responsibility was shared and that the delays had as much to do with the ACP authorities as with Commission procedures. Philippe Soubestre confirmed this at the special EEC - Pacific moeting and a look at the SOPAC project implementation process did indeed show that, although the Commission took six months to approve the financing proposal at the end of it, the leaders of SPEC (as the Pacific Forum used to be called) took nine months to come up with additional information requested at the beginning,
Another complaint about red tape was what the Pacific countries call the complexity of project formulation and implementation procedures, which make excessive demands on the limitod administrative facilities of the islands. The Community has already recognised that this is a problem, because it has been financing an ACP - EEC unit in the Pacific Forum to coordinate the formulation and implementation of the regional programme since 1988 and has agreed to expand this.
Lastly, when projects call for importod equipment, the distance from Europe makes it more expensive - another complaint - than it would be if it were bought in the region itself, the cost to the project budget being pushed up accordingly. But a solution may be in sight, as, at the Joint Assembly in Port Moresby, Manuel Marin said they might envisage removing the ties on EEC aid in some regional projects.
For all these reasons, the rate of payment of the Pacific regional programme under LomII is, at 8 %, very poor, although the 70% rate of commitment looks good.
Keeping the same plorities
Things may be different under the new Convention, with the implementation of regional cooperation now boing well organised under the aegis of the Pacific Forum, with an experienced ACP - EEC unit and an annnal Conference of Ministers as a vital driving force. And there is no need for new priorities, since what is vital is to carry on with the LomII schemes. As Ratu Mara made clear: For the Pacific ACP countries, the development of trade and tourism, transport and communications, and natural resources remain of the utmost importance. A sustained effort in the same areas over a lengthy period of time is bound to be more effective in terms of development than changing priorities every few years - particularly if the programmes fit in harmoniously with the different national strategies.
Philippe Soubestre insistod that the regional projects and national indicative programmes should complement each other. This, he felt, was the only way of making the best of results and promoting dynamic, integrated development. The tourist sector, one of the principal bases of the Pacific economies, was an telling example of how vital links between regional and national affairs were. While the regional tourist programme (already in phase two) was going well, the development of the national tourist offices and the promotion campaigns in the individual countries were less of a success. Is is clear, he said, that the efforts to promote the South Pacific as a tourism destination can only take off now if these national programmes are developed rapidly and that if they are not, then even the regional programme cannot succeed .
The experience of OCTs
Lastly, the Pacific countries will be able to benefit from the experience of their neighbours in the Overscas Countries and Territories (of one of the Member States of the EEC), with which cooperation will now be better, as, for the first time, LomV provides (in the body of the text) for the possibility of promoting regional projects involving ACPs and OCTs. And, undeniably, in tourism - Tahiti is a well - known attraction - and fishing and photo - voltaic energy, the OCTs know what they are doing.
The next mocting of the ACP National Authorising Officers in Brussels will no doubt provide an opportunity to continue some of the discussions begun at this third EECPacific ministerial meeting in Suva. And then the next big occasion for those concerned by regional cooperation in the Pacific will be the 7th EDF programming session to be held before the end of 1990. A.T.
by Brah MAHAMANE
Rarely has there been such general agreement as we have on regional cooperation, with every decision - maker seeing the gradual emergence of the integrated regional units it shouldioster as a vital step in the development process and regional and sub - regional organisations springing up in the varieus parts of the ACP Group, especially Africa, as a result..., although since these organisations have not always achieved their stated aims, many people no longer have any hesitation in talking about a real crisis in regional cooperation.
One of the leading lights in this feld, Brah Mahamane, former Executive Secretary of CILSS, the Permanent Inter - State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel, gives us his personal opinion in the following article.
When they became independent, the new states of West Africa hoped to consolidate through development policies that were exclusively national. But they soon saw the limitations of the narrow fields of application, the paucity of the means available and the isolated nature of their approaches - just when problems were emerging as being increasingly interdependent and economies complementary and the nced for convergence and concertation was highlighted - and, anxious to put an end to the pitfalls attendant on such balkanisation, they put their faith in regional cooperation.
It was seen as the miracle cure, a magic answer to the present and future problems of the fragmented national economies and, in West Africa, it saw the light of day with the creation of a whole host of general and specialised inter - state organisations. The initial results seemed very promising, many countries espoused the idea enthusiastically and funders made confident commitments.
But harsher realities came to dampen the early enthusiasm and give the lie to the initial myth.
The first reviews showed that regional cooperation could be a trap every bit as dangerous as the national isolation it sought to avoid, as it replaced national efforts but ignored them in its approach, failing to involve them and doing without them during implementation. Reports revealed a wide discrepancy between the organisations stated aims and practical achievements, as in the poor performance of economic integration projects. The initial fervour inevitably gave way first to remonstrance and then reluctance and now there is scepticism and indifference - a serious sign of disappointment.
This is very regrettable, but that, as Hegel said, is the way it is. It is a recognised and accepted fact that, institutionally speaking, the process of integration of the national economies is making only slight, hesitant or even negative progress. But there are still valid reasons for not giving up. Quite the contrary. What we must do is look at the past and be lucid and courageous in our acceptance of all it implies and holds up to question, so we can learn an objective lesson from it and achieve those aims which remain a positive contribution to the common future of the region. But this means another vision and an enlightened faith that stresses regional considerations. And it means that regional cooperation must take a more pragmatic and responsible approach.
A more realistic vision
If most of the regional organisations have failed to obtain the anticipated results, there are no doubt three main reasons:
- aims far too broad for their possibilities and potential;
- structures far more institutional and bureaucratic, therefore than operational;
- implementation planned without any reherence to the rea] needs and constraints of the states and sometimes startod without any real involvement of the national decisionmakers and operators.
One might well conclude that the organisations only success has been to provide structures which mobilise resources for the states. But by trying to replace the states in their action, they have weakened themselves in two ways:
- firstly, they have gone about it in the wrong way. They did not have to act instead of or on behalf of the states. What they had to do was get the states to have the same attitude and make for a common approach, to use the same syntax and talk the same language, to tackle things in the same way and make joint decisions, acting along the same lines on a task that was shared; secondly, they have excceded their brief, which was to convince rather than impose, to assist rather than decide, to accompany rather than steer, to back up rather than lead and to encourage rather than complete.
Regional cooperation cannot be decreed. It has to be built and moulded day by day, for there can be no question of striking out what exists with one stroke of the pen. Furthermore, it has to be realised that regional matters cannot take shape without national backing either, for they are the roof of the construction and the states involved are the foundations.
So, if regional cooperation is to be put into practice and fostered, there have to be:
- political adjustments by those involved;
- firm commitments going beyond the simple payment of contributions;
- support systems to give the necessary back - up with identitication, planning and implementation;
- consultation and coordination machinery to ensure the interfaces in operation, monitoring and control.
Yes indeed, regional cooperation means political encouragement and transparency in the joint dialogue between states and donors. The solutions are there and there are real opportunities for promoting it.
The real job of regional cooperation
So far, regional cooperation has not really tried to develop what must be its essential vocation - that of getting the states to reflect on the possibilities of a common destiny and to act to bring about a shared future.
- identifying a common way of finding those points of convergence in the national economies where joint solutions are called for;
- defining a common language to make for transparency and easier understanding - hence devising a harmonised and generally accepted method.
So the idea of regional cooperation is in fact not so much to do, as to help things get done. It is not to operate, but to trigger activity, organise structures and manage interfaces, a job which becomes clearer in that it involves explaining, advising and stimulating and facilitating the action of the parties involved to encourage progress with the common task which they have set out and agreed to.
The true work of regional cooperation
These are to:
- reveal the successive stages in the process of integration calling for frank cooperation and solidarity between the states;
- ensure that it is always the national authorities which decide-freely-on the future;
- establish a permanent dialogue on policies, strategies and means to ensure convergence on what paths to take and what ground to cover;
- ensure that the national authorities are always the basic operators of the project in hand, in particular by providing the appropriate means;
- ensure that regional aims are always closely relatod to, and the completion and extension of, national ones;
- make sure that the principle of sovereignty is respected in the implemention of national schemes;
- maintain the regional naturc of projects so that the member countries can usc the same syntax and speak the same language;
- manage the state-donor interface as a catalyst of a permanent dialogue;
- provide the states support with their identification, definition programmmg, runmng, management, monitoring and evaluation capacities.
A more pragmatic approach
If the new vision of regional cooperation is to be shared, then the dynamic relations between the member countries and their organisations have to change to something which is both more complex and eusier than will be imagined and has, above all, to do with behaviour and state of mind.
This is why, while sticking to the same frame of reLerence, we shall insist, in thc contribution which the CILSS is making and can continue to make, on the emergence of the sort of regional cooperation which is not just a dream, but something sought after, something decided on rather than undergone, something not isolated but shared,with pragmatism the basis for its action. This is whcre the CILSS makes its contributiom modestly and surely not without some difficulty perhaps, but with lucidity and conviction. And there is no secret about the fact that our organisation can go even further and do more and better.
Adjusting the sights
The interdependence of the economies of the Sahel and those of the coastal nations of West Africa is forcing us to revise our strategy. We have to be more ambitious and broaden our aims and the actual situation and our natural complementarity mean we should see our action on desertification control, the drive for food security, the integrated development of the economies and the development of the natural environment - in the context of West Africa from now on.
Today, the fact that increusingly well - informed populations are being more demanding about projects yielding the anticipated results means we have to go for stronger, better management of State - organisation, Statedonor interfaces so as to keep the benefit of the confidence which our sub - region enjoys.
And today, again, the nced to optimise the use of the resources that are increasingly difficult to mobilise is forcing us to become management bodies which put up a better and better performance in terms of rationalising work programmes, harmonising methods and refining the consultation and concertation processes. So we have to adapt our approaches to the characteristics of the problems and the constraints of the environment, perceive situations in a more dynamic way which takes greater account of the way things develop and do a better job of allowing for unforeseen contingencies in any solutions we may use in the future.
Reiteration of the fact that responsibilities must be shared
The responsibility for project implementation must be neither exclusive nor unilateral, but shared between the various parties. First of all, the states are and remain the source of the guidelines laid down, the policies defined, the strategies adopted, the provisions agreed to and the schemes run, not just out of respect for their sovereignty, but because of the responsibility, be it specific or community, which they bear in the development operation.
Secondly, the organisations responsibility focuses on the running of structures and the management of interfaces. It is in no way supranational and it can in no way replace the states when it comes to the overall responsibility for decision - making or implementation. It is merely a platform for dialogue, a crossroads where ideas are exchanged, a place of reQection, a structure which facilitates matters and an auxiliary in action.
Lastly, the donors responsibility, above all, is to ensure that their contribution is a response to the reul needs expressed, that it takes account of the respective higher interests, adapts to the specific features of the environment and encourages the emergence of national competence. This means that there must be:
- a joint search for the main avenues of cooperation;
- outline cooperation contracts which include all the recurrent costs;
- the will to ensure that external investments give maximum returns to the beneficiaries.
These, then, are one or two new guidelines which should now inspire our regional activity and ensure it regains its credibility, creates a new dynamic movement and mobilises energies once again. Regional cooperation must go in for a more realistic view of things and be more pragmatic in action if it really is keen to be recognised as a suitable frame of reference, a credible power of negotiation and a useful back - up.
It will no longer be a cake to be cut up, but a school of responsibility shared and a centre of mutual solidarity aimed at seeing that the States really do ensure their complementarities properly through the sort of harmonisation that is freely agreed to and sovereignly implemented. B.M.
by Alfred LAMERS
The altitude of Lake Kivu is 1 450 m and the altitude of Lake Tanganyika about 775 m, a difference of about 675 m, The two lakes are linked by the River Ruzizi, which acts as a sort of overflow for Lake Kivu and takes its source up near the towns of Bukavu in Za and Cyangugu in Rwanda.
The Ruzizits rate of flow is very constant (at around 100 m3 per second) and the main changes in level occur over the first 40 km (between Bukavu - Cyangugu and Kamanyola, at 950 m), so these are ideal natural conditions for a series of hydro - electric stations with a theoretical potential (in stages) of around 500 MW.
A brief history
The first HE station was opened a few hundred metres downstream of the outlet of Lake Kivu during the colonial era, in 1958. It was called Ruzizi I and it had four sets of turboalternators of a total power of 28 MW supplying electricity to the towns of Bukavu and Bujumbura (linked to the station by a 70 KV high tension line). On independence, the station remained the national property of Za, under SNEL (the National Electricity Board) management, in spite of the fact that it was sited on the border with Rwanda. In 1978, a 110 KV line between Kigali and Ruzizi I came into service (thanks to financing from the EDF), thereby completing the connecting up of the national networks of Rwanda, Burundi and ZaIre (Kivu region).
In the 70s, expanding energy consumption in the region revealed a need for extra stations. So Rwanda built the 11 MW Mukungwa station in 1978 - 82 (mainly with EDF financing) and Burundi built the 18 MW Rwagura station in 1982 - 86 (with some EDF financing).
The idea of building a regional HE station, ideally placed on the Ruzizi, emerged and, in 1975, an EDFfinanced preliminary study identified the present Ruzizi II site and defined the requisite power as 40 MW. In early 1978, an EDF - financed study contract was signed by the non - profit - making company for the electrification of the Great Lakes (called the EGL) and a group of engineering consultants - Tractebel (Belgium) and RRI (Austria) with the aim of studying the final plans for a second HE installation on the Ruzizi Ruzizi II for short. At the end of the study (which was to take two years), EGL was supposed to have specifications for invitations to tender for all the work involved in the new installations.
Finally, after delays with the financing, the various lots were put out to tender in 1983 and the contracts were signed in 1984 (see table).
Work (civil engineering) began on the site in November 1984. Meanwhile, in 1983, the three countries involved had set up an international electricity company for the countries of the great lakes (called SINELAC for short) to take overall charge of the building and running of Ruzizi II with regulations such as to enable it to put up other energy - producing installations later on. Its capital is split equally between the three countries of the CEPGL.
Ruzizi II HE station
Description of Ruzizi II
The project, sited 16 km downstream of Ruzizi I, uses a natural change in level of 30 m created by the falls between the days of Kiandja and Kitimba.
It has all the standard features of an HE station:
- an 11 m - high dam retaining only a small amount of water in view of the fairly regular flow of the Ruzizi. It includes a fish ladder;
- flow regulating machinery (with two segmented floodgates with valves at the top for fine control);
- a water catchment device with two sluices fitted with caissons and slip valves;
- a fully concreted gallery (inside diameter 6 m, length 495 m);
- reinforced concrete surge tank (diameter 18m, height 17m);
- a duct (diameter 5.20 m, length 120 m) joined at the downstream end to a three - way distributor feeding the three turbines;
- the station angled so that water from the turbines can flow into the middle of Kitimba Bay down a tailrace (width 31 m, length 200 m);
- a solid (22 X47 m) four - storey building housing the two sets of 13.33MVA turbo - alternators (with a space for a third set later on), the auxiliaries, the command room, the workshops, stores and offices.
The vertical turbo - alternators are driven by a Francis turbine, the nominal power of which is 14.6 MW under a clear fall of 28.5 m and flow of 57.5 m3 per second. The sets run at 187.5 rpm.
Description of the work
The work on the different sub - lots (dam, regulator, water catchment, gallery etc.) proceeded as planned, without any incident of note, except for the station building.
Unforeseeable problems occurred with drying out the trenching, which had to go under the water table through permeuble eurth formed of scree, alluvial dcposit and volcanic lava.
The plan ar investigations (drilling) at the study stage was to put the foundations on a layer of impermeable clay. This was based on the reading of material from four deep boreholes in the rectangle of the future station (94 m in all).
But all the extra drilling at the beginning of the work by the firm which won the contract revealed that this layer was by no means continuous and would not therefore keep the water out properly.
So major work not originally catered for had to be carried out to:
- deepen the impervious layer from 25 m to 40 m so as to keep the amount of water to a level compatible with feeding the pumps;
- install a filter pump drawing system of a capacity of 750 litres per second (about 20 such pumps have been installed).
So the structure of the ground was far more complex than the study had suggested. This single technical hitch ultimately led to the project taking an extra year to complete and costing several million ecus more then planned.
The two sets of turbo - alternators went into service between April and June 1989 and industrial power production on the interconnected network began in July.
Supplying the energy produced
One unusual thing about the project is the way the power is supplied. After it has been increused from 6.6. to 110 KV, it is transmitted to the Mururu 2 supply unit 15 km from Ruzizi 11, in Rwanda, opposite Bukavu and 300 m from Ruzizi I and from Mururu 2, which was built as part of the project, it goes to the thrce national systems (whose energy counters are also locatod here)
Outiook for the future
The energy produced by the two turbo - alternators at Ruzizi II seems able to be absorbed fairly rapidly by the interconnected network, since this was saturated before and advantage is being taken of the opening of Ruzizi 11 to rehabilitate old stations, particularly Ruzizi 1, which had served their time.
A market study (of supply and demand) of the interconnected network is being run at the moment and this will make it possible to fix a time for installation of the 3rd set of turbo - generators at Ruzizi 11, in the light, in particular, of an EGL boiler conversion (to electricity) programme. The Bukavu brewery (Bralima), for example, has been producing its steam with electrically heated boilers since 1984 and it is the SNELs biggest customer by far in the Kivu region.
Alongside all this, a feasibility study of the overall HE potential of the Ruzizi Valley - which should lead to a site being designated for Ruzizi III - is being run with EDF financing. As we saw with Ruzizi II, a long time (as much as 15 years) may pass between the feasibility study, the final project, the search for financing, the invitations to tender and the actual work - which is why the preliminary study for Ruzizi III needs launching now. A.L.
by Ferdinando ALBANESE
The dossier on national languages in No 119 of The Courier mentioned that the developing countries were not the only ones to have a problem with their regional - or minority - languages. It is something that crops up all over the world, including Europe, the USSR and the USA.
This article outlines the situation in Europe.
We do not know exactly how many people in Europe speak a language other than the main or official one of the state in which they live. The European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages has suggested a figure of almost 50 million for the European Community alone and this will, of course, be higher if all the countries of the Council of Europe () are taken into account.
Yet the concept of regional or minority language and the way it differs from a dialect are not always easy to define. And in many cases what counts is the de facto situation, not the official status of the language. Irish (Gaelic), for example, is one of the official languages of Ireland and Ladin one of the national lanuages of Switzerland, although they are both minority languages in comparison with the number of speakers of the other official and national language(s). And Catalan, for example, is the majority language of one area of Spain, Catalonia, but a minority language in the state as a whole.
It is not easy to produce a list of the minority and regional languages of Europe, but here, with no attempt at being exhaustive, are some examples - Ladin in Switzerland; German in Denmark; Danish in the Federal Republic of Germany; Lapp in Norway, Sweden and Finland; Catalan, Basque and Galician in Spain, German, Slovenian, French, Albanian, Greek, Provencal and Ladin in Italy; Catalan, Corsican, Occitan, Alsatian, Basque and Breton in France; Irish Gaelic in the UK, and Slovenian in Austria.
Great variation in status
The de facto and de jure situations of these minority and regional languages are very different.
The de facto situations vary widely, with the language being spoken in a homogeneous region or part - region of a state in some cases, on either side of a frontier astride two or even three states in others, or, as with Albanian in Italy, in a whole series of separate villages in different regions.
The legal status varies widely, too, with some languages being protected by domestic laws and some by international treaties and others having no legal protection at all. The practical content of such protection, where it exists, varies from one country - and often from one language - to another within the same country.
This is the very varied background against which the initiative taken by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), which represents local and regional authorities on the Council of Europe, is set. In 1988, this body adopted a Resolution suggesting that the Committee of Ministers adopt a convention - type Charter on regional and minority languages - a proposal which the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved.
The CLRAEs idea was 1Dasica\y a cultural one. It was not to safeguard the rights of national, ethnic or linguistic minorities, but to protect the various languages spoken by minorities in the different parts of the countries of Europe, thereby preserving the cultural wealth of our continent.
This essentially cultural concern is reflected in various paragraphs of the CLRAEs draft Charter, which clearly state that the drive to protect linguistic and minority languages must respect the territorial integrity and traditions of each state and do nothing to interfere with the development of the official language(s) of that state.
In other words, a knowledge of minority languages is both the natural expression of a population locally and a cultural bonus nationally.
Lallans, sometimes also called Scots, is the vernacular language of Scotland south and east of the Highlands - an area which contains four - fiths of Scotlands: 5130175 population within a total area: of 78 763 sqkms. With the retreat of Gaelic from the loulands in the fourteenth c entury, Lallans became the everyday language of: the population in the lowlands. It remained so until three events led to ihe upper classes turning ro English - the publication of the Bible in English in 1560, the Unio n of the Crouns of England and Scotland in /603 and the Union of the two Parliaments in 1707 - and of course, the a7On?inanCe of English in government and commerce for the last 250 years. T1ere is no census or estimate of the number of speakers of fallans.
The Lailans tongue has no lega I status. There is no formal use in public administratio7? although it is used in spoken communication. Similarly there is no formal educational use of the language. Use of the language on television and roatio is restricted to informal situations. Greater use is moae of it in the press, especially in one Sunday newspaper.
Regional or minority languges of the European Community
From LINGUA to MERCATOR: fostering communication between languages
Proof of the European Communitys interest in the language problem is supplied by its financing of various programmes in this feld - LINGUA and MERCATOR, for example, adopted in 1989.
LINGUA, which has heen allocated ECU 200 million for 1990 - 94, has been designed to proyide Communitv measures to support and back up the national schemes in each of the Member States of the EEC. The idea is to encourage Europeans to spealc languages other than their mother tongue properly - including those u hiclt are less common and less taught. The: particular aims of the Community measures are to promote the in - service training of foreign language teachers, the learning of foreign languages in universities and, more especially, the initial training of foreign language teachers, a knowledge of the foreign languages used in work relations and economic lite, and the development of educational exchanges Jor young people following a technical or vocationul training course and those undergoing specialist or rotational training within the Community.
It should he remembered that the language question is of particular operational importance in the European institutions because the Community currently uses nine oJ:ficial ku~guages - Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Pornighese and Spanish.
Currently second only to oil and! almost certain to become the big - gest sector in international trade bythe year 2000, tourism is increas - I ingly providing a large number of developing countries an avenue of escape from the quagmire of the international commodity markets. Once frowned upon and described by many as neocolonialist and dangerous to the social and moral fabrics of the Third World, the growth of tourism is all the more remarkable for its consistency. In the four decades since international travel became accessible to the general public, says the World Tourism Organisation, tourist activity has risen each year at an average rate of 7.1% in terms of arrivals and by 12.5% in terms of receipts (based on current prices and excluding international transport) .
Tf tourism has weathered the storms of the world economic recession and the political upheavals and conflicts that characterised many parts of the globe in the 1970s and early 80s, it is clear that the urge in man to travel either for business or for leisure is very strong indeed. Linked to this are factors overwhelmingly positive to the development of tourism: the rise in Gross National Products and real incomes in the industrialised world, the extension of holiday and leisure time, the fall in unemployment, the spread of higher education, the influence of television and the mass media, etc.
With international receipts from tourism in 1989 estimated at US $ 209.2 billion, excluding transport, WTO forecasts a rise in glabal receipts to $ 527 billion in the year 2000 - i.e. an average annual growth of 9%. This forecast is based on the 1980 - 1989 data. If account is taken of the opening up of Eastern Europe, its transition to the market economy and the expected rise in incomes and standard of living of its populations, then that figure can only be revised upwards.
The developing countries faith in tourism is therefore not illplaced, at least not by recent statistics. Their aggregate share of world arrivals over the last decade was 22.1 %, a three - point increase over the 1970 - 80 period. (Last year there was a total of 89.5 million arrivals). Although their share of global receipts declined equally by three points, i.e. from 26.7% in 1980 to 23.2% in 1989, their total receipts on average for the decade rose 6.5% per annum, bringing in $48.6 billion in 1989 alone. This represented more or less the 9.6 % of the total value of their exports recorded in 1988. The importance of the sector becomes even more significant at the country level, from the traditional holiday resorts of the Caribbean, where it helped keep the economies afloat, to The Gambia and Sierra Leone where tourism newly embraced, emerged during the decade as the most important source of foreign exchange. More and more ACP countries are turning to it and, for them, the LomV Convention comes in handy.
Apart from its foreign exchange earning ability (this, though, is often the subject of controversy and criticism as to the proportion that is ultimately retained by the host country), tourisms impact on the economy need no longer be demonstrated. It provides employment and can boost agriculture, manufacturing, construction, small and medium - sized enterprises, handicraft production, and the services in general. Its virtue lies in its variety: holiday tourism open to countries with natural assets that offer recreational and educational activities (fine weather, beaches, coral rcefs, wildlife, mountains, forests, lakes, historical sites, cultural heritage, sceneries, etc.); business and conference tourism open to well - located countries with appropriate infrastructure and facilities; and domestic tourism open to all countries. A country may opt for either luxary or mass tourism. Indeed it is believed that one sort or another of tourism is feasible in almost all developing countries, and for those with very few, if any, development options a significant level of tourism may become necessary.
Despite its attraction and multifaceted characteristic, tourism is not an easy sector to develop. It thrives, first of all, in an atmosphere of peace and security. It requires good marketing - market research, interpretation, orientation and promotion to be successful. And, although it is essentially a private sector affair, it requires infrastructural support from the public sector (airports, good transport and communications networks and public services such as water and electricity supplies). It requires, above all, careful planning, without which, experts warn, tourism could do more harm than good; it may result in an unsatisfactory proportion of tourist expenditure being retained as has already been pointed out; it may provoke imbalances in the local wage structures and fail to have any deep linkages with the productive sectors of the economy; most importantly, it could have devastating socio - cultural and environmental consequences.
Because of this, our Dossier lays particular emphasis on planning and on the socio - cultural and environmental dimensions, not only because tourism itself survives largely on these aspects, but because it fits in with the current international concern for our planet, the Earth. Our regional studies (of the ACP), though, reveal that what may be socially acceptable in one region may not be in another. Situations vary. However, one thing is universally accepted: tourism is an important development factor whose benefits should be maximised and evils minimised: everything possible should be done to reduce its negative socio - cultural, heulth and environmental effects.
Tourism activity in the 1980s and 1990s: Facts and figures
Total international tourist arrivals for 1989 are provisionally estimated at 405.3 million, having grown at an average annual rate of just below 4 % over the previous decade. Though this represents a slowing down in growth rate compared with the performance in the three previous decades, there has been a resumption of strong growth since 1983. After total arrivals stagnated at around the 285 million mark in each year between 1980 and 1983, there occurred an average annual rise of 6.1 % in international arrivals between 1983 and 1989.
Receipts (excluding international transport) from international tourism reached an estimated 209.2 billion in 1989, having grown at an average annual rate in current terms of 8.2% during the 1980s.
Taking the four decades since international travel started to become accessible to the general public, tourist activity has risen each year at an average rate of 7.1 % if measured in terms of international tourist arrivals, and by 12.5 % based on international tourist receipts (at current prices and excluding spending on international transport). Each day in 1989 there were 1.1 million people travelling outside their home country and spending an average of US$ 573 million on accommodation, meals, entertainment and shopping.
Development of international tourist arrivals and receipts worldwide (1950 - 1989)
Regional performance international arrivals and receipts
The fastest growing tourist receiving region during the 1980s was the composite grouping of Eastern Asia, South - eastern Asia and Oceania (commonly termed East Asia and the Pacific) which recorded a 9.2% average annual rise in international tourist arrivals. Other regions to record above - average annual growth were Africa (7.1%), the Americas (up to 4.4.% a year during the period 1980 - 1989) and South Asia (4.2%). The worst performing regions were Europe and Middle East which achieved average annual growth in arrivals under 3% during the 1980s.
The effect of these variations in arrivals growth rates is some change in regional market shares. Europe and the Americas maintain their domestic and international tourism accounting for a combined share of nearly 82% in 1989. However, this share (and particularly that of Europe) is falling - from 96% in 1950 to 93% in 197O, further down to 87% at the beginning of the 1980s and to below 82% at the end of the decade.
The most successful tourist receiving region by far is East Asia/Pacific, which has achieved rapid success throughout the past three decades from I % of international tourist arrivals in 196O, to 3 % in 197O, 7 % in 1980 and 11 % in 1989.
Regional breakdown of international tounst arrivals, 1980 - 1989 (in millions of arrivals)
Breakdown of international tourist arrivals by region 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1989 (in percentage)
Contribution to the economy
International tourist receipts, contribution to the economies of the regions and sub - regions varies widely. Tourism is of most importance in holiday resort regions (e.g. Caribbean and Southern Europe where 24.9 °/O and 18.4 % respectively of export receipts are through tourism). By contrast, tourism is of least significance in terTns of foreign exchange earnings in Eastern Europe where less than the equivalent of 1 % of the value of exports was created through tourism receipts in 1988.
International tourist receipts as a percentage of total export receipts, by region and sub - region, 1988
Developed vs developing countries
Over the last decade, developing countries aggregate share of world arrivals rose by three points to 22.1 % in 1989 when 89.5 million international tourist arrivals were recorded. By contrast, though total receipts of developing countries from international tourism rose by an average of 6.5% a year during the 1980s to $48.6 billion in 1989, their share of global international tourism receipts declined by three points (i.e. from 26.7% in 1980 to 23.2% in 1989).
International tourisms contribution to the economies of developing countries is more significant than to industrial countries. Whereas on a worldwide basis tourism receipts of developed market economy countries in 1988 represented 7% of the total value of exports, for developing countries the share was 9.6%.
Participation of developed and developing countries in international tourism, 1980 - 1989
Outlook for 1990 - 2000
· global receipts (at 1989 values) from international tourism will rise by close to 9% a year, reaching more than $ 527 bn in 2000 (based on the 1980 - 1989 data),
· regions recording higher - than - average growth in terms of arrivals are likely to be Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Africa, all at the expense of Europe, the share for which is forecast as falling from 62 % of international tourist arrivals in 1989 to 53% by the year 2000,
· the regional pattern forecast for receipts shows one variation from that for arrivals - Africas share of global tourist receipts will decline (from 3.2% in 1989 to 2.7% in 2000), despite an expected rise in the regions share of arrivals (from 3.8% in 1989 to 5% in 2000),
· outstandingly the most successful tourist receiving region is likely to be Asia/Oceania. Its share of international tourist arrivals is forecast to rise from 14.7% in 1989 to 21.9% in 2000; while for receipts the regions rise is even more marked - from 19.5% in 1989 to 30.5% in 2000.
International tourism forecasts and shares, by region, 1989 - 2000
by Eric PETERSON
Forty years ago, tourism was a peculiar little industry based principally in Western Europe and the United States. It was viewed largely as a frivolous endeavour, largely the domain of those with a lot of time and money on their hands with no better way to spend it. As standards of living, levels of education, and means of transportation and communication improved, the ability and the willingness of the worlds upper, middle - upper, and middle class to travel increased.
Today over 170 countries compete for the travel business of their own citizens, and more than 400 million individuals who leave their homelands each year to explore foreign destinatins for business, leisure, and education. In 1989, worldwide expenditures for domestic and international tourism were estimated at over $ 2 trillion, and expectod to double by the year 2000.
Consequently, tourism is the worlds leading employer, and among the leading contributors to the worlds economic, social, and political development. Further, it is one of the most efficient sources of new wealth for most nations.
For developing countries, especially, the construction and maintenance of tourist and travel facilities and the establishment of accompanying services are important incentives for economic growth and development. For those countries with natural tourism resources and limited industrial capability, tourism is an important source of income, foreign exchange receipts and employment.
But whether a nation should develop its tourism industry depends on numerous factors. To make this decision, a nation and its tourism industry leaders must evaluate:
- national interests;
- the national needs tourism could fulfil; and
- the relationship of the benefits of tourism to the costs of a tourism programme.
To be successful, a countrys goveroment, its travel industry, and those outside the industry must place strong emphasis on the demand and supply of tourism services as part of the nations overall economic development strategy.
On the demand side, it is necessary to first research the potential interests and motivations of tourists, locate and identify prospective markets, develop pricing techniques and position marketing and promotional campaigns to attract consumers from those markets.
On the supply side of tourism there are several factors which must be addressed. These include the economic, social and political environments of the country. They also include natural resources such as scenic land, good climate, flora, fauna, water, beaches, etc. Availabilty of water supply systems, sewage disposal plants, transportation facilities, and related kinds of infrastructure are fundamental to meeting the nceds of tourists. Needed also are lodging and eating establishments, shopping facilities, taxis, planes, buses, and an almost endless list of supply components which are integral to a tourism experience. Other important factors include the quality and character of hospitality services such as friendliness of the host nation and its people, and the availability of cultural and entertainment activities which enhance the travel product.
To ensure that the demand and supply of these components are balanced, a carefully developed strategic plan is required. There must be a national commitment to this plan and to quality development of the nations tourism product. The experience of nations which have successfully developed their tourism industry and its products show there are eight key steps in this strategic planning process. They are to:
1. Inventory and describe the nations social, political,
physical and economic environment;
2. Forecast or project trends for the nations future development;
3. Set goals and objectives;
4. Study alternative plans of action to reach the nations goals and objectives;
5. Select preferred alternatives to serve as a guide for recommending action strategies;
6. Develop an implementation strategy;
7. Implement the plan, and
8. Evaluate the plan.
The net effect of this eight - step process will be to:
- gain the cooperation and input of the nations business, political and civic leadership, particularly those in the communities and regions that will be affected;
- develop a comprehensive data base on potential consumer markets (including their interests, expectations, travel habits, and financial abilities) and the competition (including a complete inventory of their accommodations and attractions, as well their pricing structures, their transportation facilities and infrastructure, their markets, and their marketing strategies);
- analyse and interpret this data base; and
- develop and implement a national marketing plan, including both shortrun and long - run components, identifying potential sources of funding for implementation, and gaining the support of these funding sources.
In addition, it is vital that any political or social barriers which either limit or promote the potential for tourism development be identified and addressed. And finally, the professional training nceds of the nations labour force and its ability to provide the services needed and expected by prospective travellers must be determined.
Requirements of a tourism industry
Tn theory these are among the most important considerations in successful tourism development. In reality, they are frequently the most overlooked. To this end, those who look to tourism as a means of diversifying, revitalising, or simply developing a nations economy must be politically attuned, and willing to be responsive to the expectations of the market.
The experience of travel industries no matter where they are located is uniform in this regard. A supportive political environment, and well trained personnel, ensure greater success and larger economic benefit even when the financial resources and/or the definition of the strategic and marketing plans are not completely adequate.
Together, the level of political support given the industry, and the level of training provided to the industrys labour force, demonstrate more than any other considerations a nations commitment to making tourism development an integral part of its overall economic development plan. In turn, a highly integrated economic development plan will provide a balanced approach to the successful development of tourist infrastructure and services. (See the article on page 81. Tourism: a development concept in the South Pacific) E.P.
by Dr Gunter ESER
Now, here you sce, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the s~e place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
The Red Queents observation has long been an accepted truism of managing an economy. If keeping in the same place consists of merely maintaining the value of certain benchmarks - real per capita incomes, employment rates, infant survival rates, literacy levels, etc., then it should be evident to anyone that such a task demands the annual commitment of considerable resources - capital and human.
This will be true, even without population growth - as capital goods have to be replaced and the age structure of a population changes. Add in the effect of population growth and the commitment to run fast is that much larger. Even such running may prove difficult. The list of countries who have actually become poorer in the past decade is depressingly long.
If the notion is commonly accepted at the level of an economy why does it sometimes seem to be ignored at the level of industries - such as air transport and tourism?
At least part of the reason has its origin in the very success of these sectors of the world economy. Far from running to stand still, they have been among the worlds fastest growing activities during four decades of development. Both consumers and governments have been glad to accept the employment, revenue generation and recreational aspects of what, for many, are glamorous activities. Concentrating on the visible, they have come to take for granted - or simply been unaware of - the invisible, the air transport infrastructure for tourism.
That infrastructure consists of airports. When a journey is going smoothly, a travellers awareness of airports consists of an ability to relax, browse, shop. The traveller, very conscious of the superb new aircrawhich speeds the actual journey, tends to be unaware of the very large commitment of capital tied up in the airport.
Air Traffic Control services are the other main element of infrastructure. A smooth journey entails no awareness whatsoever of such services on the part of the traveller. But awareness has arrived - in Europe and in other parts of the world - in a wholly negative way.
A combination of insufficiently optimistic forecasting, during past years, of nationalistic attitudes towards airspace, of an understandable but disastrous yielding to local pressure groups (yes, I want a new airport, but not in my backyard), and of political reluctance to commit public funds - all these things have created a crisis. That crisis has become manifest only during the past two years - as delays have grown exponentially. But unless it is solved, Europes air transport system, for example, will actually slide back. The option of merely doing enough to keop in the same place does not exist.
We are looking at very large activities. Excluding passenger fares, international world travel and tourism primary receipts in 1989 were US$ 209 000 million. To put that figure in perspective, it was equivalent in size to 4.1 % of the entire Gross National Product of the United States, 8.7% of that of Japan, 16% of that of the Federal Republic of Germany and 117.2% of that Switzerland. Travel and tourism (albeit invisible, according to national accounting methods) is bigger than any single item of international trade except crude oil.
Large scale also characterises air transport. It is probable that more than 320 million people (on both scheduled and charter services) travelled internationally by air in 1989. Another 870 million did so domestically. Many of those journeys, of course, were undertaken by frequent flyers.
There is also a heavy concentration of air travel in Europe, in the United States and in East Asia. But again, to put the total of air travellers in perspective - it is equivalent to I in every 4.2 of the worlds population travelling by air once, during the year.
Another measure of the success of tourism and aviation is their growth. International tourist numbers and expenditures have both more than doubled during the past decade. Unfortunately, from the point of view of less developed countries, the expenditure has continued to be concentrated. The worlds major tourist destinations consist of the United States and seven Western European nations (of which five are European Community members). In 1980, those eight countries received 53.6% of world international travel and tourist expenditures. In 1988, the proportion was 54.9%.
Most of those receipts were from other nations within the eight. That situation suggests a rather cosy, inwardlooking club . There are, however, some indications that world travel and tourism is becoming less of a process of exchanging money between already rich nations.
The first indication arises out of a statistical quirk. The United States Travel and Tourism Administration has changed the basis upon which it estimates foreign visitor expenditure. This has the effect of increasing their officially estimated receipts in the one year between 1987 and 1988 by 50%. If the traditional methods had been used, then the club of 8 s share of world travel and tourism receipts would have been 51.2% rather than 54.9%. Thus, magically, the decade would have witnessed less, rather than greater, concentration of receipts among the richer nations!
But there are more solid indications than this. In the Caribbean, for example, visitor arrivals have increased 33.1% during the latest four years of available data. Receipts have grown by 55.8 % to US$ 6 700 million. Following a decline, visitor arrivals in Africa increased by 8.9 % in 1987 to 10.1 million. In Kenya alone, 662 000 visitors brought in US$ 343.5 million. Tanzania, after years of official disapproval, is building up its visitor infrastructure.
These are only a few straws in the tourism development wind. For most of the less developed countries that wind will not become a gale during the next few years - but it will at least continue to blow. Take Europe as a benchmark. The IATA airlines expect average annual scheduled international passenger traffic growth of 6.4% in all traffic flows involving Europe, during the period 1989 - 93.
Some other equivalent figures are: for Upper South America, 5.8 %; for Lower South America, 7.9 %; for North - Eastern Africa, 2.6 %; for North - Western Africa7 4.1%; for Eastern Africa, 5.6 %; for Central and West Africa, 4.8%; for the Indian subcontinent, 5.2 %. By contrast, the figure for North - East Asia is 10.8% and for South - East Asia, 8.5% the new decade is confidently expectod to be the time of the Pacific Rim.
To those who recall air traffic growth rates of previous decades, these figures - even those for the Pacific Rim - might not appear spectacular. One must remember, however, that to double any number in a decade requires an annual compound growth rate of only 7.2%. And, if a doubling of tourist numbers to a particular destination represents twice as much income for the hosts, it can also imply the need for twice as much infrastructure.
The air transport industry does not have the luxury of a decade in which to get its infrastructure in shape. The Single Market in Europe will be in place by 1993. What an irony if, two years later, Europets airspace was utilised to its full capacity under current and newly - envisaged operating procedures. What an irony if, in that same year of 1995, half Europes major airports were obliged to put up No Vacancy signs to fledgeling carriers who had been given the theoretical ability to Qy anywhere but found that they had the practical ability to fly nowhere.
This would affect not only Europe but the world, as airlines and national governments quarrelled over the means of rationing such finite resources as overQights and take - off/landing slots.
It would damage Europes economy - again, with results which could not be limited to Europe. The current annual cost of air traffic delays in Europe is US$ 5 000 million - including the value of lost passenger time. IATAs congestion report completed recently by Stanford Research International (SRI) shows that the cost of doing nothing to Europes air transport infrastructure - beyond implementing current plans - will be US$9 500 million by the year 2000, not including the value of lost time.
The airlines are making capital investments of US$ 5 000 million annually, to acquire new aircra European government spending on supporting infrastructure is only US$ 1 500 million a year. This is inadequate to support even natural growth - without any boost from the Single Market.
Remedial action, to allow for unconstrained natural growth up to the year 2010, would cost US$ 5 000 million to 8 000 million in total. It would also, without impinging on national sovereignty, imply the ceding of upperairspace control to a truly supranational authority.
The airlines have an action plan - involving Eurocontrol, the European Communities, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and national governments - to make sure that these things happen.
The airlines want to get somewhere else. They are conscious of being in a race. The benefits of the Single European Market are held out as a trophy upon completion of the race. Their fear is that the racetrack - Europes aviation infrastructure - might collapse. Not before the race is completed, but before it has even startod.
Held back rather than halted by the recession, the growth of tourism and related activities are again increasing fast and should be the leading sector of the world economy by the year 2000.
The industry is one of the biggest employers worldwide, with jobs for an estimated 100 million workers - many of them overworked, underpaid and ill - protected. Others, however, draw better wages than they would in the world of commerce and have a 40 - hour week and decent social security, as an ILO report on progress and problems with pay, hours and conditions in the industry has found out.
In spite of recent improvements, wages in the hotel, catering and tourist trade in much of Western Europe tend to be lower than those paid for similar jobs elsewhere, the report says. Italy and Switzerland, where the average pay in hotels and restaurants is better than in business, are exceptions.
Women, most of them relegated to low - grade, unskilled jobs, usually earn less than men, although they make up 50 % of the workforce in many places.
The effect of this double disparity comes out in a study produced in the United Kingdom, which emphasises that about 60% of the women working in hotels and restaurants in 1985 were not earning enough to take them above the breadline.
And the ILO report points to serious problems with regard to the protection of migrants, clandestine workers and young people, students especially.
In the USA, for example, a recent enquiry by the Central Office of Accounts in New York and Los Angeles has revealed the frequency of exploitation of this category of workers in a large number of restaurants and some hotels and motels.
However, improvements are to be expected. The old systems of payment based solely on tips or service charges added to the bill are being phased out and replaced by fixed wages. Guaranteed minimum incomes for the off - season are increasingly common and standard service charges are shared out fairly amongst all the staff.
And in an increasing number of Third World countries which have seen considerable tourist expansion, hotel and catering pay seems to have caught up with other sectors, being 20 - 50% higher, even, in some of the big establishments in Cyprus, Egypt and the Philippines.
The report emphasises that, regardless of economic pressure and fierce competition, many employers make it a point of honour always to ensure fair pay and decent working conditions.
Another positive thing is that the 48 - hour week which ILO recommendation No 1 16 prescribes for the sector has been adopted by most of the industrialised nations and some of the developing ones.
Collective bargaining has shortened the working week. It has made the normal timetable a 40 - hour one in Italy and the Federal Republic of C;ermany, for example, although the legal figure is in fact 48.
However, people are still expected to work for long hours in many hotels and restaurants, particularly in the developing countries where staff are often forced to put in weeks of 50 hours or more.
Hotels and restaurants have constantly to be able to cope with unfore seen demand and seasonal fluctuations in staff requirements - which is why the tendency is to go for seasonal, part - time and temporary workers, particularly in the small businesses which predominate in the trade.
According to the latest figures, seasonal work accounts for 44.6 % of employment in this sector in France, 35% in Ireland and 25% in Spain.
Part - time work is particularly common in free market economies in the industrialised world, representing between 12% (Switzerland) and 51% (Australia) of total employment in the sector, with figures of more than 30 % in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Women make up the majority of these staff and in France, for example, represent two thirds of all the part - timers.
There are fewer temporary and occasional workers, who are often locked upon as a way of coping with emergencies. Employers usually take them on at sudden peak periods and to do jobs demanding minimal or no qualifications. They are usually from the dole queue, youngsters seeking a first job, students or clandestine workers and they are in no position to be difficult about conditions of work or employment.
Almost all seasonal, part - time and occasional workers are very vulnerable. Not only are their jobs not secure, but a whole range of benefits (related to health cover, holiday pay, sick leave, unemployment benefits and pensions) are denied them.
So the labour and welfare laws have to be changed so that these vulnerable sections of the population are no longer deprived of social protection, the report says.
And it is every bit as urgent to improve their coverage through collective bargaining too - a challenge for the organised workers in a sector where the rate of union membership tends to be very low.
Lastly, job stability has to be improved. In some cases, measures have indeed been adopted to spread the work more evenly over the year and to make it easier for people to get jobs in other sectors during the off - season. But there is still a long way to go.
by Gabriel LEE
Growth in the tourism sector internationally since 1950 has been very striking and demonstrates the very dynamic character of the sector as one of the areas of growth in world trade in goods and services as a whole.
It is natural therefore for tourism to be included in the Fourth Lomonvention, in spite of the relatively small share of international arrivals and receipts held by the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
In 1950, only 25 million travellers crossed international borders. By 1960 this figure had grown to 69 million, representing less than 2.3% of the worlds population. Since then tourism has shown consistent annual growth of 6.3 %, despite certain shocks along the way due to oil prices, terrorism and AIDS, culminating in 1989 in a record 404 million international arrivals of 8 % of the worlds population. Would that visitors and hosts alike were well versed in citizen diplomacy and understanding, thus creating the substance for stability and peace between peoples! In the same period (1960 - 1989) international tourism receipts grew from US $ 6.9 billion to US $ 209 billion showing average annual growth of 125 %.
World tourism market - indicative shares
In 1960,72 % of world arrivals and 57% of receipts were concentrated in Europe. By 1989 Europes share of arrivals had declined to 62% and its receipts to some 50 %. Asia and Oceania saw arrivals growing from 2% in 1960 to 15% in 1989 and receipts from 4 % to 20 %. The Americans share also declined from 24 % to 20 % for arrivals and from 36 % to 27 % for receipts.
The vast continent of Africa experienced some growth in arrivals, from 2 % to 4 %, while receipts declined slightly. Africa has not shared in world - wide growth except for certain countries in North Africa, despite its enormous potential.
Some commentators place world spending for domestic and international travel in excess of US $ 2 000 billion, making tourism the largest business in the world representing about 12 % of the global economy. This is larger than the GNP of any single country, except the U.S.A. and more than double the $900 billion spent by the worlds military establishments.
Indications such as airline traffic, automobile registration and reports from individual countries and regions all indicate continued growth in world - wide tourism up to the year 2000. Major aircraft suppliers estimate that the worlds airlines will spend between $ 222 billion and $ 280 billion on new aircraft, while a further $ 90 billion will be needed for airport expansion.
Therefore, while forecasts are continuously being revised and in spite of some constraints and setbacks, the worlds political and economic atmosphere today seems better disposed to increased growth than at any time in history. But will the development of the industry world - wide be of benefit to the ACP States? What will be the effects of growth on the environment, on incomes, employment, economic diversification, and on social and cultural values?
Tourism in the context of LomV
The present Lomonvention LomV - provides a total of ECU 12 billion over five years (1990 - 1995) for development cooperation of all kinds, while the Convention itself has a 10 - year duration to the year 2000. By way of comparison, LomII (1986 - 1990) provided ECU 8.5 billion, LomI (1981 - 1985) ECU 5.7 billion and Lom (1975 - 1980) ECU 3.45 billion.
The new Convention does not create a new framework for cooperation but it does entail substantial adaptation and innovation in areas which complement the tourism sector and which, in themselves, are major areas of cooperation.
- The environment.
This topic is at the top of the list of areas of cooperation so that economic and social development are based on a stable balance between economic objectives, the management of natural resources and the best use of human resources.
- Agricultural cooperation.
Already the core of sectoral strategies in LomII, it includes the regional dimension of food supply and rural development.
- Development of services, including support services for trade, enterprises, regional integration and stronger measures on tourism, transport, communications and computerisation.
- Industrial development.
This covers the development of enterprises, including SME and investment.
- Cultural and social cooperation.
New topics include nutrition, population, demography.
- Regional cooperation, including strengthening of regional economic integration.
However, the major innovation of the Convention lies in the support it provides for Structural Adjustment which will receive special funding of ECU 1.15 billion.
Chapter 3: Tourism
Recognizing the real importance of the tourist industry for the ACP States, the Contracting Parties shall implement measures and operations to develop and support tourism. These measures shall be implemented at all levels, from the identification of the tourist product to the marketing and promotion stage.
The aim shall be to support the ACP States efforts to derive maximum benefit from national, regional and international tourism in view of tourisms impact on economic development and to stimulate private financial flows from the Community and other sources into the development of tourism in the ACP States. Particular attention shall be given to the need to integrate tourism into the social, cultural and economic life of the people.
Specific tourism development measures shall aim at the definition, adaptation and development of appropriate policies at national, regional. subregional and international levels. Tourism development programmes and projects shall be based on these policies on the basis of the fallowing four components:
(a) Human resources and institutional development, inter alia:
- professional management development in specific skills and continuous training at appropriate levels in the private and public sectors to ensure adequate planning and development;
- establishment and strengthening of tourism promotion centres;
- education and training for specific segments of the population and public. private organizations active in the tourism sector, including personnel involved in the support sector of tourism;
- intra-ACP cooperation and exchanges in the fields of training, technical assistance and the development of institutions;
(b) Product development. inter alia:
- identification of the tourism product, development of non - traditional and new tourism products, adaptation of existing products including the preservation and development of cultural heritage, ecological and environmental aspects. management, protection and conservation of flora and fauna historical, social and other natural assets, development of ancillary services;
- promotion of private investment in the tourist industry of ACP States, including the creation of joint ventures;
- provision of technical assistance for the hotel industry
- production of crafts of a cultural nature for the tourist market.
(c) Market development, inter alia:
- assistance for the definition and execution of objectives and market development plans at national, subregional, regional and international levels;
- provision of support for ACP States efforts to gain access to services for the tourist industry such as central reservation systems and air traffic control and security systems:
- provision of marketing and promotional measures and materials in the framework of integrated market development plans and programmes and with a view to improved market penetration, aimed at the main generators of tourism flows in traditional and non - traditional origin markets as well as specific activities such as participation at specialized trade events. such as fairs, production of quality literature, films and marketing aids.
(d) Research and information, inter alia:
- improving tourism information and collecting. analysing, disseminating and utilizing statistical data:
- assessment of the socio - economic impact of tourism on the economies of ACP States with particular emphasis on the development of linkages to other sectors in ACP States and regions such as food production, construction, technology and management.
The tourism sector and LomV
Tourism is not a development priority in all developing ACP countries. However, for some countries it has become one of the most important sources of foreign exchange and employment.
For such countries and regions, with little or no industrial or agricultural base or limited developmental potential in other areas but with indisputable advantages due to location, climate, landscape, natural or man - made assets, it is usually worthwhile, from a development point of view, to make the best use of such assets.
The development of trade and services, including tourism, are playing an increasingly important role in many ACP States and regions and the Community offers a broad spectrum of opportunities to develop the tourism sector from policy formulation to the development of human resources, products and markets, research and information. This includes infrastructure, communications, transport, preservation of cultural and ecological heritage, protection of plant species and wildlife, education and training and all forms of product and market development.
What is new in tourism in LomV?
Whereas in Lom and II tourism was hardly mentioned, LomII made special mention of tourism as an integral part of cooperation in trade and services, as part of regional cooperation, social and cultural cooperation, and in the sectors supported by the European Investment Bank.
LomV recognises the real importance of the tourism industry for the ACP States, which, like the Convention itself, is probably unique in North/South development cooperation agreements (See Box above).
The scope of the chapter on tourism is broad, covering all levels from identification of the tourism product to the marketing and promotion stage, the stimulation of private financial flows into the development of tourism while paying particular attention to the need to fully integrate tourism into the social, cultural and economic life of the people.
Among the areas of weakness in some ACP States and regions is the absence of policies appropriate to the sector at national, sub - regional, regional and international levels. The Convention encourages intervention at the level of policy definition, adaptation and development so that programmes and projects can be soundly based on appropriate policies.
Four components are emphasised: - Human resources and institutional development (Education and training);
- Product development (including preservation of heritage, ecological, environmental aspects technical assistance for hotel sector);
- Market development (definition and execution of integrated market development plans, central reservation systems, air traffic control and security systems);
- Research and information (development of linkages with other productive sectors such as food, construction, technology, management).
Special provision is made for operations of a regional character in trade and services, in addition to the appropriations which may be allocated to these sectors in national indicative programmes. The indicative amount for such operations is ECU 70 million (Financial protocol annexed to LomV).
A Joint Declaration (Annex XX) on the improved use of the trade and services development provisions reaffirms the need to give greater emphasis to trade and services in the context of national and regional programmes of Community aid.
At the same time the Convention (Article 136.4) supports participation in trade fairs, exhibitions and trade missions only where such events form an integral part of overall trade and market development programmes. Here the negotiators clearly had in mind the elimination of ad hoc isolated actions in favour of more global integrated programmes focussed on support at various points from the beginning of the development cycle rather than solely at the end of the marketing and promotion chain.
ACP States should also be aware of the support by the European Investment Bank for productive projects and programmes in industry, agroindustry, tourism, mining, energy and in transport and telecommunications linked to these sectors (Article 236).
In development terms, support for tourism is most likely to be successful where programmes are fully integrated into the social, cultural and economic life of the people and directly linked to other priority productive sectors.
Services account for more than 50 % of output produced and consumed in developed societies. This includes the tourism sector and represents a new revolution characterised by the shift from industrial to service employment.
The authorities of ACP States and their regional organisations have their own responsibilities in the services and tourism sector as in all areas of economic and social development. These include the establishment of policies and priorities in the sector, decisions on the level, type and volume of tourism which the country or region can support through planning, research and development with emphasis on economic, social cultural and environmental aspects. As a factor in development tourism must be evaluated in terms of its merits and demerits against other competitive sectors and directly linked to them, it cannot survive alone.
The modern tourism sector and rapid developments in technology requires the same attention and professionalism, support and planning, as has traditionally been applied, down through the years, to agriculture and industry. Tourism is not a second class industry which can be expected to grow and prosper in isolation or by accident.
LomV provides an important opportunity to ACP States and regional organisations to better integrate policies and strategies in services and tourism generally into overall economic objectives and sectors of concentration during the programming and execution phases of LomV. Those who do so effectively will be better placed to face the challenges of the future.
Some tourism, however limited, is feasible in almost all ACP States. For many among them, particularly those with limited developmental options, a significant level of development in the services and tourism sector may be regarded as necessary.
With a major share of world tourism arrivals and receipts, Europe has a vast reservoir of experience and competence in most aspects of tourism development, making this a natural area for the transfer of resources to ACP States.
by Jean HOLDER
Tourism is an environmentally dependent industry if for no other reason than that, by definition, the tourist must have a host community and the traveller a physical destination to which he arrives. To the extent therefore that the tourist destroys either the social or the physical fabric of the society that hosts him, to that extent, he is destroying the tourism activity itself. There is a view held by some environmentalists that this self destruction is an inevitable result of the interaction between tourist and environment.
The theory goes something like this.. Tourism almost inevitably develops and declines in cyclical fashion somewhat as follows:
A remote and exotic spot offers peaceful rest and relaxation and provides an escape for the rich who live in isolation from the resident population.
Tourism promotion attracts persons of middle income who come as much for the rest and relaxation, as to imitate the rich. More and more hotel accommodation and tourist facilities are built to attract and accommodate more and more tourists. This transforms the original character of the place from escape paradise to a series of conurbations with several consequences:
- The local residents become tourism employees and earn more than ever before.
- The rich tourists move on elsewhere.
- The growth in tourist population makes interaction between tourist and resident population inevitable, leading to a variety of social consequences.
- Increased tourist accommodation capacity leads to excess supply over demand and a deterioration in product and price.
The country resorts to mass tourism attracting persons of lower standards of social behaviour and economic power. This leads to the social and environmental degradation of the tourist destination.
As the destination sinks under the weight of social friction and solid waste, all tourists exit, leaving behind derelict tourism facilities, littered beaches and countryside and a resident population that cannot return to its old way of life.
This model of tourism growth and inevitable decay is one to which countries, particularly the traditional tourist destinations, must pay attention, but which they cannot afford to accept. The world is currently at a stage in which industrialists and environmentalists often see themselves on opposite sides and the debate joined here is much bigger than the impact of tourism.
The debate is part of a wider discussion going on in the world - particularly the industrialised world - about the prospects for co - existence between environmental control and industry. It is important to recognise that these conflicts sometimes arise from a clash of goods rather than a clash of good and evil. The purpose of industry is, in my opinion, to create goods and services for the community, at a profit to the entrepreneur. In so doing it creates employment and incomes for the citizens. This interest in employment creation is shared by the entire population, the private entrepreneur, and the government. The latter also depends on industry for revenue to provide a wide range of social services in the discharge of its mandate and its obligation to look after the citizens and generally improve their quality of life. The traditional wisdom has always been the more industry the better. This point of view is now being seriously questioned. In developed societies, where the average person is already adequately fed, clothed and housed, definitions of acceptable quality of life now go far beyond meeting the basic material needs. The citizens are determining what kind of society they wish to live in which includes, inter alia, the type of air they wish to breathe, and the water they wish to drink. They are organising themselves as pressure groups to persuade or force governments to make environmental decisions which can adversely affect certain types of industrial development.
I have commented on the on - going debate to illustrate that these are complex matters in which the private entrepreneur, the citizen and the Government have legitimate, though at times apparently conflicting, interests.
Tourism is an industry. All industries create their own problems. Tourism, although smokeless, is by no means pollution - free. Tourism brings problems which grow as it grows and if uncontrolled can destroy the amenities on which its success depends. The Caribbeans economic realities, however, demand that it distances itself from those who see tourism as a necessary evil at best and whose perception of it is that it is a fickle and short - term vehicle, in transit to other forms of more respectable developmental options. The history and reality of tourism in the Caribbean is otherwise.
For the Caribbean the fairest verdict is that tourism has acted somewhat as a two - edged sword. There is a basic resentment of the industry, stemming essentially from the resentment at being economically dependent on it. This factor is of powerful significance. The basic situation of potential conflict can be intensified or ameliorated depending on national tourism policies. These include ownership and management policies, particularly in relation to promotion opportunities for local people, public access to beaches, tourism facilities and national parks, the adequacy of local facilities, utilities and services for both local residents and tourists, cultural policies, and programmes of Governments and local non - government groups. The formulation of such a policy must recognise the potential for crisis of identity in newly emerging societies which tend to alternate, in contact with first world visitors, between defiant aggression and embarrassing imitation. Some of the negative aspects of this imitation range from the rather harmless imitation of accents, through the treacherous paths of expensive life style, to other undesirable forms of behaviour. But there are positives. That tourism has brought a change in the social structure is clear. There are new types of employees and entrepreneurs e.g. entertainers, artisans, boat operators, restaurateurs. The new employment opportunities create more jobs for women and the young and therefore provide them with greater economic independence.
Tourism has also had interesting impacts in the area of race. In these islands, local whites have traditionally enjoyed a special status based on their superior economic power and a kind of voluntary segregation. However, the volume and varied types of white visitors brought into daily contact, including intimate contact, with locals, are changing local racial perceptions. This process is further accelerated by the fact that tourism has created places of local entertainment to which white visitors, local whites and blacks go, and so has probably for the first time created a social setting in which local whites and local blacks find themselves. Such encounters had previously been kept to the work environment. Social structural changes are inevitable, and considering that the Caribbeans live in societies that are as wide open socially as economically, their communities remain remarkably resilient. This is probably because Caribbean society is fundamentally very religious.
Arts and crafts
With respect to arts and crafts, conservation and architecture, the evidence is that on balance the overall influence of tourism has been positive. One has to accept that there has been some mass production of art sometimes referred to as airport art . One has also to agree that tourisms demand for things to see, do, and buy, has stimulated a demand for the visual arts and performing arts and for conservation in places where there had previously been little demand for the work of the local artists and little or no interest in the historic sites and monuments of the country. The view, sometimes cynically expressed, that artistic forms deriving from tourism demand must inherently be debased is totally unacceptable and not borne out by the evidence. The restoration of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, of the Gingerbread Houses in Haiti, of the Careenage Buildings and traditional architecture in Barbados, of Brimstone Hill in St. Kitts and other historic forts throughout the Caribbean, have all been tourism - inspired. The hotels have also set excellent examples in the landscaping and beautification of their immediate environment. It is tourism that has influenced governments to follow their example in cleaning up and beautifying the airports, the roads leading from them, and other public areas, and in creating national parks and upgrading botanical gardens formerly left in varying stages of neglect. These are public places open to all the people who must have access, and who, like the tourist, must be restrained from littering and vandalising them. People who object to improvements because they have been tourist - inspired should not be taken seriously. J. H.
by Ivor JACKSON
Environment and tourism
International tourist arrivals grew from 168 million in 1970 to 333 million by 1985. A major reason for the continuing growth is the opportunity for leisure and enhancement of knowledge that the natural environment provides for travellers. The worlds outstanding landscapes and warm coastal areas have always been at the root of travel vacations whether or not persons journeyed by airplane, cruise - ships, yachts, trains or vehicles. In recent times an enhanced awareness of the importance of the environment to mans welfare has triggered the curiosity in the complexity of nature. Thus, two of the worlds most productive and intricate ecosystems, the tropical rain forest and the coral reef, have become major tourist attractions. For example, Belizes tourism derives almost entirely from the diverse flora and fauna of its forests and its 220 - km long barrier reef, while wildlife provides the backbone for Kenyas tourism.
Tourisms links with the environment can be both positive and negative. On the positive side, in addition to the benefits enjoyed by travellers, tourism may reward indigenous communities by heightening appreciation of the environment, encouraging improved management of solid and liquid wastes, and through the creation of jobs, income and other social and economic benefits the effects of which are most notable in developing countries. In some of the smaller countries of the Caribbean, the combined direct and indirect contribution of tourism to GDP may be in excess of 50 %.
While tourism is viewed by many countries as a key and dynamic force for economic growth, there is no denying that the industry is accompanied by negative and sometimes disconcerting impacts. In some of the developing countries such impacts derive, to a large degree, from weaknesses in environmental policies and the capacity to manage their environments. However. Even where adequate management capacity exists, the large volumes of tourists using some of the worlds outstanding natural attractions can produce undesirable effects over the long run. The deteriorating state of a number of US national parks and the Alps caused by consistent and growing visitation is now of major concern, for example.
Environmental impacts have been particularly severe in coastal areas. In many countries drastic transformation of the coastline has occurred to accommodate tourism facilities. Quite often wetlands and lagoons are dredged to create marina basins. Mangroves, sea grass and corals, whose value to coastal fisheries is well documented, are removed or damaged in the process.
In island communities, beaches, which are considered a major recreational and marketing asset in tourism, are under severe pressure because (i) beach sand is the most readily available I fine aggregate for use in the construction of hotels, other tourism facilities, homes and commercial buildings (ii) in tourism resort areas, the practice of constructing buildings and other structures in active beach zones often induces erosion and renders beaches incapable of achieving natural equilibrium after storms or hurricanes. Such circumstances frequently impair the aesthetic and functional qualities of beaches and may require costly coastal defence measures for the protection of property.
The solution to such problems lies in part with the application of land use, zoning and more effective development control measures, which is often lacking. Such measures should also be applied to protect productive agricultural lands against rapidly expanding urbanisation, to which tourism contributes. In the absence of zoning, for example, tourism has had the effect of drastically increasing land values to the point where agriculture and other land uses are rendered uncompetitive.
Agriculture and tourism
The land and soils provide the basis for domestic and export crops and livestock farming. Forests stabilise soils, regulate the flow and storage of water and moisture retention in crops. Fisheries, which is defined as a component of agriculture in many countries, also benefit from complex environmental processes. Coral reefs, sea grass and mangroves are primary sources of productivity for the coastal fisheries of tropical countries.
In the effort to boost agricultural yields, agro - chemicals are often overused in many countries with detrimental environmental effects. The overuse of fertilisers and pesticides on coastal farm lands may cause harm to mangroves, corals and sea grass by outwashed chemicals and contaminated sediments. Organochlorine insecticides, such as DDT, Heptachlor and Chlordane, which can cause acute poisoning in fishes and humans, and which persist in the environment long after use, are still widely used in some developing countries.
For reasons of land tenure and other socio - economic conditions, rural farmers of the developing world continue to practice shifting, slash - and - burn agriculture to the detriment of tropical forests. When this occurs on steep lands, as is often the case, erosion and loss of valuable top soil result. Because of the inability of banana plants to hold soil, banana crops may produce soil loss of up to 22.2 tons/acre/year as against 1.5 tons/acre/year for rain forests, based on estimates done for one Caribbean island.
The use of local agricultural produce and fish in the preparation of meals for tourists defines the substantive linkage between tourism and agriculture. In some developing countries linkage potential is not fully realised in the use of meats because of poor - quality in production and irregularity of supply. The performance is marginally better with fruits and vegetables, but in the tourist dominated economies of some Caribbean countries, such items are still largely imported. One of the best sources of linkage is in seafood, particularly fish and lobster, which are demand items on hotel and restaurant menus. Unfortunately, this demand creates conditions where fisheries stocks may produce declining yields due to overfishing.
Tourism and agriculture depend to a large extent on the natural resources of the environment. Effective and positive linkages provide ample benefits to the tourists as well as the host population. Negative linkages occur in part when the policies and institutional mechanisms of the host country prove ineffective in managing the environment. The rapid growth of international arrivals in recent years further aggravates policy and institutional weaknesses, thus tourism may exacerbate pollution problems, shortages in drinking water, energy deficiencies and urban congestion and other social ills. Solutions to these problems can and must be found, particularly for those countries which view tourism as the sector presently most capable of generating employment and foreign exchange earnings so badly needed. Environmental problems related to agriculture can and should also be similarly resolved. In an effort to maximise the earnings from tourism, small developing countries in particular must devise means to increase the consumption of local meats, fruits. vegetables and staples by the tourist sector.
by George ALLEYNE
The image of the tourist as a member of a very select group of very rich individuals who travel in luxury to very exotic places no longer obtains. Indeed, that fiction may never have existed as the mass movement of man is as old as man himself. Tourism is now one of the fastest growing exports in the world - currently second only to oil. International tourist arrivals in 1980 amounted to 285 million and this figure is projected to increase by 40% during the decade of the 90s. The developing countries which see their primary products declining in value, and facing ever more restricted outlets for them are increasingly marketing their natural resources and the services which go along with these. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the inter - relationship between health in general and tourism even though health and health services, as we will show, are important considerations for tourists.
The aspect of health which is most commonly considered in relation to tourism is the health of the tourist, and a special discipline emporiatrics deals with this. It has been estimated that 20 - 50 % of tourists suffer some ailment during their travel. This aspect of tourist health has been so important that an international Association of Tourist Health has been formed, and tourist health has been promoted as a new branch of public health. The illnesses of tourists are in the main very mild, with the most important being diarrhoea which may be caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses. The illness is usually self - limiting and short - lived, and it is rarely necessary to resort to antibiotics. Travellers are usually warned about simple precautionary hygienic measures, and are usually advised not to take prophylactic antibiotics. The provision of safe food is of great concern to the tourist industry as there are few things which impact more negatively on a tourist establishment than an outbreak of food - borne illness - usually diarrhoea.
The types of diseases or disorders which affect the tourist more severely are those which result from the risktaking behaviour that accompanies the change from the normal routine and the assumption of a holiday or leisure behaviour. There are problems associated with excessive use of alcohol and acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. It has been reported, for example, that sex tours to Thailand have been promoted, and as a result of the tourist boom the numbers of male and female prostitutes increased in the major tourist destinations of that country. Whereas the diseases of major concern were formerly gonorrhoea and syphilis, today the threat of AIDS make illicit sex even more unsafe for the tourist.
Drug abuse is another form of risktaking behaviour which may be associated with tourism. In one study from the Caribbean, 30% of tourists on the beaches were offered drugs of one sort or another. Drug - taking is not only damaging in its own right, but intravenous drug use is associated with the transmission of the AIDS virus.
The health of the tourist is not only important in terms of his or her own welfare, but there is always the concern that the returning tourist may introduce diseases into his or her country of origin. This transmission of disease by travellers is an ancient concern - it was responsible for many of the plagues and scourges of ancient times, and gave rise to the development of the quarantine law and conventions. This introduction of exotic diseases applies not only to the traveller, but sometimes to their pets which introduce animal diseases such as rabies into countries free of such diseases.
The effect of the tourist on the health and health services of the destination country is also important. This is usually considered from the point of view of the environment. Many of the tourism developments have taken place with scant regard for their environmental impact, and it has not been unusual to find tourist destinations which have become so popular that the environment cannot support the visitors density, and deteriorate, ultimately becoming unattractive to the tourists themselves. With the growing concern for sound ecological management, more governments in developing countries are weighing carefully the extent to which they mortgage their long - term development by allowing depreciation of the natural environment with the object of short - term gain. The thrust has to be towards tourist development which is ecologically sound.
Tourism has an impact on the health services of the destination country. Not only are the local health services called upon to treat many of the minor aliments which occur, but, with an increase in age of the tourists, they sometimes have to manage more severe illnesses. It is not infrequent to have patients being repatriated by flight ambulance for severe medical problems such as myocardial infarction, severe trauma, etc.
In small countries with a high tourist density there may be a significant demand on the local health services, and the availability of such services has to be taken into account when tourist destinations are promoted. Mention must also be made of patients with special problems, e.g. patients on chronic haemodialysis who travel and have their treatment in the local health facilities. Various associations provide, on request, information about the availability of health facilities.
It should also be noted that the local population is at risk of having diseases transmitted by tourists. If the term tourist is extended to mean traveller, it is highly probably that the deadly AIDS virus was introduced into some countries in this manner.
The third and perhaps most neglected aspect of the health and tourism interaction is health tourism, i.e. persons travelling for health reasons. It has even been said that health was the original motive for tourism as we know it today, as ancient travellers were attracted to the various spas which were thought to have healing characteristics. It has also been argued that, to the extent that rest and relaxation contribute to good mental health, most tourism has a health motive. Several tropical destinations are promoted in exactly this way - the peace and tranquillity to isolation which contribute to mental recuperation.
There is, however, health tourism related to specific health - care interventions. Large metropolitan countries promote centres for specialised health care. A not insignificant part of the practice in Londons famous Harley Street comes from visitors. Centres such as Houston and Miami in the United States attract visitors for health care. But health tourism is also growing in the developing countries as the cost of medical care rises in the developed countries. There needs to be a more aggressive approach to the research and development of this aspect of tourism.
These points of interaction between health and tourism need to be explored further. There are some data on the health of the tourist, but very sparse information on how the health of the national population is affected by tourism, and almost no information on the impact of tourism on the local health services in the developing countries.
There is laudable concern for the health of the tourist; this should be matched by research on and attention to the impact of tourism on local physical and environmental health and the extent to which health tourism can be a part of the tourism product which makes the developing countries attractive to tourist visitors.
by Filifing SAKO
The tourist trade expanded fast in the years following independence in most of the countries of Africa - a trend which has continued and in some cases accelerated since.
Many economic benefits were expected from tourist development and particularly:
- foreign exchange earnings;
- the development of areas with no other immediate possibilities of expanding economic activity;
- new jobs;
- a boost for the local production of the goods and services consumed by the tourists;
- more tax revenue for the State;
- the integration of national cultures and societies and safeguarding of the national cultural identity;
- reasonable returns on investments in the sector;
- the promotion of the sort of image of the country that attracts holidaymakers and, above all, foreign businessmen and government leaders as part of the drive to step up international political and economic cooperation.
During the period 1980 - 1988 international tourist arrivals increased by 69.7 %, from 7 070 000 to 12 000 000 (an average of 6.8% p.a.), which was better than the world rate.
Intra - regional travel represented 37.5 % of tourist trips to Africa in 1987, as against less than 30% in the early 80s.
There is a clear North - South trend in intra - regional travel. The countries south of the Sahara account for around 60 % of all intra - regional tourist travel, the relative share of which has fluctuated between 56 % and 52 % since the early 80s. The fact that the intra - regional share has increased constantly since 1980 is also worth mentioning, although it is the region with the lowest figure in comparison with the rest of the world. The reason for this is not just to be found in the continents poor level of development. It also has something to do with the obstacles to economic, social, cultural and political integration in Africa.
The increase in African hotel capacity in 1981 - 87 was 55% (from 197 983 to 244 947) for rooms and 71 % for beds (from 301 828 to 515 174). North Africas share of this was about 60% in the early 80s, but it had dropped to 40 % by 1987, which suggests a huge effort with hotel facilities in the countries south of the Sahara.
The revenue from international tourists went up by an average of 6.6 % between 1980 and 1988, from $ 2.7 billion to $ 4.5 billion, but with revenue varying widely from one subregion to another, depending on the country, being better in North and East Africa than elsewhere, but remaining very poor in all other cases, bearing in mind the tourist potential of the countries and the continent in general.
The picture for tourism and external trade is much the same, tourist revenue being an average of 6% of export earnings in 1988, as against 2.8% in 1980, with better results in North and East Africa than in other sub - regions. However, tourism is becoming a significant export product and making an increasingly large contribution to the balance of payments in more and more countries. Those which have taken the proper measures (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Seychelles, etc) now have tourism as one of their leading export products. Senegal, for example, has enough tourist earnings to pay for its imported rice and even petroleum products.
In spite of faster growth of both tourist arrivals and revenue, Africas share of world travel remains constantly small, with arrivals varying from between 2.5% and 3% of the total in 1980 - 88 and revenue at 2.3% at the end of the period, as against 2.6% at the beginning.
The main areas of tourist activity hotels, restaurants and travel agencies provide jobs for about 400 000 permanent staff, which is far below their real capacity.
Although other developing sectors have seen decline, stagnation and other crises, tourism has not been so hard hit, as any variation has been minimal and there has been a general tendency towards growth as a result.
The African States have made a big effort to build the hotels they need to capitalise on their tourist resources.
But the big question is the economic results. The import - export revenue gap, it is agreed, is around 3 %, but the tourist figures only show the income and outlay of the tourists themselves, omitting any currency outflow or financial transfers related to investments and the presence of foreigners in the sector, and there would be a noticeable deterioration in the tourist balance if they were included.
This is partly due to the extraverted nature of the African tourist trade, which, as we have already mentioned, depends essentially on inter - regional travel, with hotel building making massive use of imported technology, equipment and human resources.
The Regional Conference on African tourist cooperation (held in Niamey in 1984) analysed this situation and recommended that priority be given to developing intra - African tourism with the corollary that a tourist product using indigenous features and more local resources had to be designed.
The development of this sort of tourism also reflects the desire to make it a more active part of African integration programmes. The top level creation of the Conference of African Tourist Ministers ( 1984 - 86) and the sub - regional consultation machinery of the national authorities and technical bodies (the African Tourist Association and the Association for Tourist Training and Resource Centres), together with the organisation of inter - state circuits, tourist promotion and so on are just some of the regional steps taken to reverse the trend towards extraverted exploitation of the tourist resources. And let us not forget the individual (national and sub - regional) measures aimed at ensuring the harmonious and beneficial promotion of tourism and boosting sub - regional tourist cooperation.
Intra - African cooperation
An analysis of the situation, following ECA missions to the sub - regional organisations, shows that:
1. Only a handful of IGOs (intergovernmental organisations) have specific tourist activities enshrined in the texts setting them up.
2. However, even when there is no specific tourist protocol, most of them have run or are running systematic or ad hoc tourist activities.
3. In most cases, tourism is a trade improving activity and the business world (chambers of commerce and industry) therefore sometimes put pressure on the IGO secretariats and national governments to get a more systematic approach to tourism so they can mobilise even more of the resources they need to boost intra - African trade and socio - economic integration.
4. IGO action is geared mainly to sub - regional cooperation involving the joint promotion of tourist products, the setting up of inter - state circuits and the harmonisation of laws and regulations with a view to subregional integration. Some community investments have already been made, but it has to be admitted that, so far, joint hotel - building projects have fallen by the wayside and vocational training is still provided on a piecemeal, national basis, with few high - level community training schemes.
5. The IGOs have run many studies, often duplicating those run elsewhere. And they have remained confined to the areas in which they were produced, other bodies having failed to exploit them. because information has not been exchanged.
6. Cooperation between the African IGOs is vital to coordinate activity and ensure greater efficiency - something of which most of the secretariats are aware.
7. Most IGOs are now prepared for such machinery to be set up at regional level.
In 1989, following this evaluation, the Conference of African Tourist Ministers set up a tourist coordinating committee with members from the African IGOs, African tourist professionals, organisations, development aid and financing institutions and universal IGOs not in the UN system.
At national level, the meagre resources made available and (sometimes) the absence of any joint, coherent promotion policies reduced the effect of promotion campaigns run by individual African countries. And a failure to run in - depth analyses of the various markets providing the demand has apparently led to efforts being dispersed.
On top of this, there is the approach to designing tourist products which only aims to meet existing demand, when long - term benefit would in fact be derived from promoting an original, authentic product on the consumer market.
One of the advantages of this latter approach is that a product designed in this way takes greater account of the realities of the host countries and the needs of their people, reduces dependence on the outside world and makes for genuine development of the national tourist potential.
The ECAs work is bringing about a better balance of development by promoting an African tourist product which takes account both of African needs and of the demand generated by rational promotion.
The Conference of African Tourist Ministers is evaluating the African tourist situation with this is mind. National and sub - regional thinking on the matter should lead to the defining of general concepts to guide the future development of the African tourist trade.
Given the under - development of tourism in Africa and assuming that current trends become clearer and go on developing at the present rate, it would be reasonable to think that the tourist trade will become a preponderant part of the economies of many countries of the continent.
Travel is no longer for the te. Characteristics change with the technological developments of modern society and more leisure time, an increasing need to get away from the everyday environment, paid holidays, a generally higher standard of living and, in Africa, the fact of welcoming tourists from elsewhere are just some of the things working in favour of an expansion of the African tourist trade.
The forecasts suggest that international tourism will go on expanding until the end of the century at much the same rate as over the past few years. They show markets being established in the developing countries to receive the tourists whom other, saturated regions can no longer cater for. And they also show a decline in the average age of the population of the world. so new openings have to be found for young peoples travel.
This will not always be possible, however, because of the problem posed by unemployed youngsters in a large number of industrialised countries and the few opportunities open to them in the developing ones. And it would mean competition having an effect on the tourists own choice of destination, deregulation bringing down the price the international transporters make the traveller pay and greater segmentation of the market and a wider range of products giving rise to a friendlier kind of tourism that is more active, more cultural and more ecological. The countries of Africa are in the best position to meet the demand for tourism with a human face in a healthier and original environment.
However, most of the countries of Africa have failed to recognise tourism as a factor of development so far and decision - makers often look upon it with a certain amount of condescension. Tourism is not well enough organised at either national or international level to constitute a pressure group, although very considerable financial resources are often involved - the averagc hotel room costs CFAF 30 - 40 million to construct, for example, so a 1 00 - room hotel will come to about $ 13 million. This is far more than a farm or a poultry rearing centre in Africa, but the hotel will provide jobs for more than 120 people, whereas the agricultural undertaking needs fewer than 50 manual workers and supervisors.
The tourist forecasts may seem very optimistic and indeed they are, because of the very nature of the phenomenon whereby benefit is derived from both the technological developments in Africa and the changes in travel outside the continent. And the reasons for people travelling and the sought - after African tourist resources being unexploited suggest that a more expansionist vision of African tourism is called for. The above constraints will hamper tourism on the continent, but not annihilate it entirely.
Increasingly, practical and sustained schemes are being run at international level to ensure that tourism has its rightful place in economies and societies, and in peoples minds.
The ECA acts within the framework of the economic, social and cultural development programmes and of the general policy guidelines laid down by the member countries and, in the coming years, its work in the tourist sector will involve:
(i) priority for intra - African tourist development
(ii) technical training for African tourist staff;
(iii) the creation of inter - State tourist circuits;
(iv) the establishment of intra - African tourist cooperation systems at various levels, to promote the rational exploitation of the continents tourist resources and potential.
Tourism and the environment
The idea that tourism is a socio - cultural destabiliser in Africa is increasingly a thing of the past, but it lasted for years. There were studies to show that the pernicious effects of tourism were no greater than those of other major sectors and that intelligent schemes involving the parties concerned would reduce the negative effects, if not do away with them altogether. In the developed countries, it was found, all the sectors have these social phenomena. No one in Europe seriously believes that prostitution and drug addiction are byproducts of tourism.
However, it has to be admitted that tourism does interact with the natural and human environment in Africa, as can be seen from the fact that the African tourist product consists mainly of visits to nature parks and villages.
The realisation that this is the case is behind the tourist development policies laid down in meetings of the ECA Conference of African Tourist Ministers.
A tourist product created for Africans in the light of their own cultures is a means of reducing deviation and preserving their originality as far as possible - which is not always the case when consumers are presented with a product which is foreign to their cultural environment. An African watching a folk dance is more demanding about the standard than a non - African would be.
If the African tourist trade is to go on promoting the art and craft and other cultural output of the peoples of the continent, special attention has to be paid to the authenticity of what is presented to the tourist.
Some countries have taken steps to involve representatives of cultural expression in tourist choices. There again, African responsibility alone is involved. The choice of tourist development is a political act which also implies that a precise analysis of the effects on the human and natural environment must be made.
When it comes to preserving the natural environment, the choice of location for some of the infrastructure at some stages of tourist development in some countries has, of course, adversely affected both fauna and flora. But tighter control of such developments has made these teething troubles a thing of the past and the new style infrastructure is increasingly environment - friendly, integrating tourism into the milieu without upsetting its everyday life.
Study of the whole question of African wildlife suggests that, in many cases, a global approach has been lacking.
The problem is one of mans management of his natural environment and, in the case in point, the Africans are the first to be concerned because they are in direct contact with the parks and nature reserves. But the big decisions, it would seem, are taken elsewhere and the farmers and herds men who live close by are, in fact, not consulted at all. So it comes as no surprise that the natives happily carry on poaching and killing great numbers of lions, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses and the mountain gorillas which are 100 % protected, or that the ban on trading ivory has ensured better incomes for the people who export it.
The new approach should take account of the interests of the local population which has to help manage its environment. It is a commonplace to say that you dont see people waving placards to save sheep, cows and horses from extinction because these are domesticated species and managed by man. Why should a herdsman keep his best grazing land for gnus and buffaloes when products from the reserves are sold outside and elephant (once the tusks have been removed) is fed to hyenas and other wild carrion eaters, whereas he himself is short of meat?
The current thinking is that a way should be found of getting the fauna managed by all the parties concerned. The idea is to get the local people interested in protecting and developing herds of wild animals, setting up wildlife farms and introducing wildlife grants so that wild animals can be sold outside Africa and cared for by local shepherds . They would be exploited rationally and ecologists would help protect the various species and look after the interests of the local populations who would be the prime protectors and defenders of their natural heritage.
The ECA is ready to run a scheme on tourism and African wildlife management, taking a global approach to the present problem of the protection of African fauna, with a view to rational exploitation for the benefit of all mankind - starting with the people most closely concerned.
So we would like to place particular emphasis on the need to establish cooperation within Africa to obtain a concerted approach to the development of African tourism. And 1991 will be the high point in the African States discussion of how to improve the African tourist trades involvement in the continents economic, social and cultural development programmes.
by Stan HIGGINS
Zimbabwes tourism industry is in a healthier state at present than for many years, thanks in part to the worldwide boom in travel and also to efforts by Zimbabwe to promote the country as a principal destination for visitors to Africa.
Although the country is landlocked, it has a number of attractions for visitors, particularly those from the northern hemisphere and Australasia. Chief among these is the abundant wildlife in national parks and game reserves, with the famous Victoria Falls running a close second.
A major problem for the country has been a shortage of seats in aircraft arriving from overseas points of departure. During the past year, however, there have been a number of helpful developments on the air travel scene: the purchase of wide - bodied, long - haul aircraft by Air Zimbabwe; the establishment of a third weekly service between London Heathrow and Harare by British Airways; the introduction of a second weekly service between Australia and Harare by Qantas and the introduction of a twice - weekly service between Frankfurt and Harare by Lufthansa.
A number of other airlines now operate regular services into Harare each week, including TAP (Air Portugal), Aeroflot and Balkan Airlines. With Air Zimbabwe connections and flights into the country by other African carriers, Harare is now reasonably well - served by services to and from major areas of tourist potential.
Another major problem has been the lack of promotion of the country abroad, mainly through lack of funding for the Zimbabwe Tourist Development Corporation (ZTDC), the parastatal body responsible for implementing marketing strategies. Various private sector operations in the country have, however, been successful with low - budget, high - impact blitzes on the travel trade and media in various parts of the world.
The forthcoming establishment of an EC - funded programme of study and assistance for the Zimbabwean travel and hospitality industry will, however, see a major improvement in this area of operation.
Zimbabwe has a long history of tourism, dating from the days when soon - to - be - US - President Teddy Roosevelt and the father of Sir Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill, visited the country at the turn of the century, mainly for hunting safaris.
The number of tourist arrivals grew steadily over the decades, peaking in 1972. The start of the long war for independence saw a major change of fortunes, with the industry all but disintegrating in 1979. Independence and the wars end in 1980 heralded an upsurge, but it was not until 1988 that the industry really picked up, with a dramatic increase in the number of tourist arrivals from Europe, North America and Australasia. The 1990s promise record arrivals, provided the local infrastructure can cope with it.
The country has several distinct areas of appeal to visitors. The Victoria Falls, on the north - western border with Zambia, is a must for all visitors to the region. The small town adjacent to the Falls and surrounding national park has five hotels at present and will receive a major boost next year ( 1991) when the luxury, Z$100 million - plus Elephant Hills Hotel is opened.
This operation, being built by the countrys largest hotel chain, Zimbabwe Sun, will almost double the number of bednights available in the town. One of its first activities will be hosting the weekend retreat of the Heads of State and Government of the Commonwealth, due to hold their next summit in Zimbabwe late in 1991.
About 150 km south of Victoria Falls is the massive Hwange National Park, famous throughout the world for its abundance of all kinds of wildlife, particularly lion and elephant. Safari camps, game lodges and national parks accommodation provide adequate bedspace for visitors.
The sprawling Lake Kariba, covering nearly 300 km of the Zambesi River border with Zambia, is another major tourist attraction. Hotels in the town of Kariba cater mainly for Zimbabwean domestic tourists, but game lodges and fishing camps along the lakeshore and on islands in the middle of the lake are attracting increasing numbers of visitors from outside the country, mainly for the sun and the game.
On the countrys eastern border with Mozambique is the Eastern Highlands, made up of three distinct mountain ranges - Nyanga, Vumba and Chimanimani. Not as popular with outsiders as other tourist areas, the highlands have a range of hotels and lodges which have reported an increase in non - domestic visitors since early 1989. This large area is also extremely popular with domestic tourists and with conference organisers.
Other areas of tourist importance include the Great Zimbabwe monument, in the south - east of the country, the site of an ancient city and the symbol of the heritage of the modern nation; Bulawayo and the Matopos Hills, the second city of the country and a nearby national park; Gonare - Zhou, a game reserve on the southeastern border with Mozambique; Harare, the capital city and a stop - off point for nearly all visitors to the country.
Zimbabwes hospitality industry is diverse and expanding. The country has several large chains operating three - , four - and five - star hotels, as well as a large number of individual operators with smaller hotels of all classes. The international Sheraton organisation operates a five - star hotel in Harare adjacent to the countrys international conference centre.
Travel within the country is usually facilitated on Air Zimbabwe, which flies to main centres and most tourist attractions. Coach operations also run between main centres. An old time steam rail safari operation between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls is popular with visitors from abroad.
Despite the progress made and the expansion of the physical infrastructure taking place, Zimbabwes tourism industry still faces a number of formidable problems, including shortages of skilled manpower for hotels and other establishments.
The private sector, represented by the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism and the Hotel and Restaurant Association, has, together with Government and the ZTDC, been involved in discussions to look into these areas and define methods of overcoming them. EC assistance, through a multi million dollar support programme, will be instrumental in this regard in 1990 - 1992.
The prime goal of the industry is the attraction of greater numbers of tourists in the coming decade, mainly those on Zimbabwe - only holidays, but also those on regional holidays, taking them to coastal and other destinations such as Mauritius on the same holiday.
Concern has been expressed, however, that the number of tourists should not have a detrimental effect on the countrys environment or social structure and efforts are being made to cater for this concern when arrivals eventually - and hopefully - reach that level.
by Jean HOLDER
The greatest blessing is to live in a society where one is free to make the choice for onself. It is perhaps ironic that one of the results of the industrial revolution was to increase the physical stress which made a break from work necessary. Thomas Cook seized the opportunity for introducing the organised vacation away from the normal place of residence. And so tourism, the major industry in the Caribbean, was born.
The role of tourism in Caribbean development
The role of tourism in Caribbean development has to be seen not only in terms of its own contribution but in relationship to the performance of other sectors. Speaking of the CARCICOM region, the economic situation is serious, for not only intraregional but also extra - regional trade has declined. Intra - regional trade fell from US $ 587 million in 1981 to US$ 350 million in 1988. From 1978, the CARICOM has been experiencing a deficit on current account in its balance of trade. That situation worsened considerably between 1979 and 1988. Without tourism earnings, these deficits would have been unmanageable.
Against that background we see that in 1988 alone 10.25 million stayover visitors and 6.26 million cruise ship visitors came to the Caribbean region and spent US$ 7.3 billion. Of this over $ 3 billion was spent in the 12 CARICOM States alone.
The economic importance of tourism as a generator of foreign exchange has therefore grown dramatically as prices for export of agricultural produce, oil and bauxite have fallen greatly, reducing the foreign exchange earned by these sectors. For this region, as for all others, the creation of new jobs in a situation of chronically high unemployment, is the difference between social order and social chaos. Tourism created in 1988 some 325 000 jobs for the region and approximately 150000 for the Caricom countries. As a region that imports most of what it consumes, the Caribbean needs large amounts of foreign exchange, and, as has been pointed out, its foreign reserves are in a state of critical deficit. Should regional trade problems remain unresolved, should markets for sugar, bananas, and other export crops worsen, should oil and bauxite prices continue to fall, the projections are for far greater dependence on tourism in those countries that already have a major tourism industry, and the adoption by those that formerly ignored it or actually rejected it. This is a prophecy already fulfilled by the recent formal adoption of tourism policies in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
An over - dependence on tourism is, however, undersirable for several reasons, but for one in particular, this is, that in spite of the predominance of tourism in the Caribbean, there appears to be a deep - seated resentment of the industry at every level of the society - a resentment which probably stems from the historic socio - cultural associations of race, colonialism and slavery. This resentment which is probably not always recognised as such, is evidenced in the attitudes of all sectors of Caribbean communities.
At the level of Government, even in countries with economies that are almost totally dependent on tourism, ministerial priorities would suggest that visible trade and industry are the all - important concerns. It is possible that, were half the energies of the cabinet and public service spent on getting tourism right that is spent on trying to coerce unwilling and/or unable Caribbean partners to purchase their goods, or planning to break into the difficult markets of Europe and North America, there would be a positive revolution in Caribbean tourism. As it is, the tourism ministerial portfolio tends to be tacked on to several others. It is even possible to contest general elections in the Caribbean without either side dealing seriously with national tourism policy.
At the level of employees in tourism and tourism related activities, the aggressive attitudes that often emerge, in spite of several training courses and tourism weeks, have their basis, to some extent, in the fact that a significant number of the employees are not proud of what they do, and harbour resentments rooted in the inability to distinguish between service and servitude.
At the level of the wider society, the occasional social unhappiness frequently derived from the irritation felt in the competition for space and services between visitor and resident where physical areas are limited.
This situation presents the Caribbean with its first dilemma - a serious social dilemma. It is forced to choose between an industry it deep down does not really want, and the economic fruits of that industry which it needs and which. it seems, more and more only tourism will provide. This conflict explains why Caribbean people intellectually understand that tourism is economically important but act out, perhaps involuntarily, social attitudes hostile to the industry. The economic considerations will, however, force the Caribbean into more and more tourism.
This brings us to the second dilemma, and that is that the more tourism the Caribbean actually gets, the more potential this tourism success has, in the long term, to destroy the very tourism which the Caribbean currently needs for economic survival. The real debate here must be about whether tourism growth must lead inevitably to environmental disaster in both the social and ecological sense, or whether there is an opportunity to use it as a positive instrument of social and environmental development. I wish to turn therefore at this point to tourism growth in the Caribbean, its impact to date, and to raise questions about how much tourism is too much.
The growth of tourism and some of its impacts
The fears with respect to tourism are expressed largely in terms of its growth within the context of small islands with fragile social and environmental fabrics. I will use a number of indicators of growth which I hope will be accepted as relevant. In many case I will proceed by using selected countries. If we look at visitor expenditure for 1988 as a percentage of visible exports, we find that this is 51 % for the Bahamas, 31 % for Antigua and Barbuda, 73% for St. Kitts - Nevis, 48 % for St. Lucia, 30 % for Barbados, 38% for Grenada, 31 % for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 13% for Dominica.
Table 1: Selected economic indicators
What do these increases mean in terms of tourism density in relation to the Caribbean geographical areas and its populations? The Bahamas, with an area of 13 940 sq. kms, and a resident population of 238 500, received in 1988 1 475 000 stay - over visitors, 178 000 excursionist (or day visitors) and 1 505 000 cruise ship passengers. Barbados with an area of 430 sq. kms and a resident population of 253 500 received in 1988, 451 485 stay - over visitors and 290 273 cruise ship passengers. St. Maarten with an area of only 41 sq. kms and a population of 19 000 received in 1958, 479 740 stay - over visitors and 450 926 cruise ship passengers.
To keep these rather impressive figures in perspective, it is important to recognise that the number of stay over visitors who can be accommodated in the country on any day is constrained by the number of available beds. In the Bahamas, Barbados and St. Maarten there are not more than 26 000, 14 000 and 7 000 visitors in tourist accommodations in each respective country, on any one day, during the periods of highest occupancy. In theory this number could be increased by visitors staying with family and friends. However, the reality is that there is never really total hotel occupancy, and near full occupancy relates to a very short season in a full year. The visitor arrival figures, however, mean that in the Bahamas there are two visitors per sq. km and 11 per 100 in the population, in Barbados 33 per sq. km and 6 per 100 in the population and in St. Maarten 170 per sq. km and 37 per 100 in the population. With respect to cruise ship passengers it is possible in the countries with large port facilities to receive, in any one day, from three to seven cruise ships, each with 700 passengers. In ports like St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands normal residential and tourism traffic could be increased by as many as 4 000 passengers, impacting on the urban facilities and tourism amenities on any one day. Even with respect to stay - over visitors it must be recognised that the tourist accommodation and tourism amenities tend to be crowded into very specific coastal areas suitable for tourism development, resulting in the tourist density there surpassing that of the local population. An example of this is the highly urbanised 24 - mile strip in Barbados, stretching from the town of Oistins on the South Coast to Heywoods, Speightstown, in the North - West, where there is an almost unbroken concentration of tourist accommodation and other amenities.
Table 2: International tourist arrivals in the world and Caribbean 1970 - 88
Growth of accommodation
Turning to growth in tourist accommodation, a review of rooms built in some 30 Caribbean countries for the period between 1975 and 1988, demonstrates quite spectacular percentage increases in the smaller islands of the Caribbean, whereas accommodation capacity in some of the large islands has remained relatively static and even declined.
Illustrative of this phenomenon is an increase in Anguilla from 77 rooms to 655 rooms, in the Cayman Islands from 840 to 2 579, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 498 to 985, in Antigua and Barbuda from 1 200 to 2 572. One is admittedly starting from a small base in 1975 in most of the smaller islands.
In contrast, the number of rooms available in the Bahamas rose only 6% from 11 395 to 12480, and actually fell in US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. In absolute terms, the largest increase occurred in the Dominican Republic (plus 10 000 rooms).
Growth in activities
The growth in accommodation and in numbers of tourists inevitably led to an increase in the volume and category of the various activities pursued for fun and recreation. These induced the visitors to travel inland in search of such natural attractions as rain forests, wildlife, rivers, crater lakes, waterfalls, limestone caves, scenic areas and landscapes and man made edifices such as corte, historic churches and structures of architectural and archeological interest. They were also tempted out to sea by sailing and fishing and under the sea by scuba - diving, wrecked ships and coral reefs. The marine activity led to greatly increased utilisation of the sea adjacent to the islands. In the combined British and United States Virgin Islands, there are some 500 locally - based charter bareboats and over 200 crewed charter boats.
Table 3: Cruise passenger arrivals (thousands)
Evaluation of costs and benefits of tourism development to date
Given the considerable tourism growth it would have been surprising if there have been no social and environmental costs. It can, however, be demonstrated as well that there have been social and environmental gains (See the article on page 64). It is important that both costs and benefits be discussed, since only if we disentangle the myths from the facts can corrective action be taken where it is really needed.
Siting and nature of hotels and tourist facilities
With respect to the building of tourism facilities we must recognise that there are Caribbean tourism developments that are quite mature and go back to the environmental Dark Ages of the 1960s when a great deal of the environmental impacts were not common knowledge. There are therefore quite outstanding examples of concrete hotel monstrosities sited often within less than 800 metres of the high water mark. These, together with structures such as groynes erected along the beaches and piers put out into the sea, where this has been done without proper advice, have in many cases caused coastal erosion, contributed to water problems including flooding of low - lying areas, blocked out the view of the sea and failed almost any reasonable aesthetic test. Natural erosion has at times, in some islands, been supplemented by man - made erosion caused by the removal of sand from the beaches for hotel and other construction. In many of the cases, trees and other plant life could have been saved, water courses respected, the height of buildings controlled, the architectural design made more relevant to the local climate, environment and energy needs, and windows to the sea preserved, had proper physical planning been done. There are, however, fine examples of resort hotel constructions in the Caribbean, which are totally at one with their environment.
With respect to marinas, it is highly unlikely that due regard was formerly paid in siting them to such factors as the destruction of mangrove and other lagoonal habitats. There are, however, other problems to be guarded against. Dense utilisation of marinas, as well as high concentrations of coastal constructions, can also pose a major threat to health and to the physical environment where there is unscientific disposal of waste. In many cases sewage and human waste from hotels and from boats anchored out to sea are still disposed of in the sea. This is sometimes done from land - based facilities by means of a long pipe. This can lead to in - shore pollution depending on the run of ocean currents and the steepness of the sea - bed and can be most destructive of coral reefs. Even where septic tanks are used for waste disposal and only the water spill - over from these tanks is piped out to sea, the high concentration in this water of nitrates and phosphates proves an excellent fertiliser for seaweeds which spoils beaches and smothers coral reefs. It must, however, be remembered that coral reefs provide excellent underwater vistas for scuba - divers and are the habitat for certain species of fish, sea urchins and other creatures. But most importantly they play a vital role in protecting the shores. To the waste from land - based operations and from marinas we must also be aware of possible pollution from the dumping of waste at sea and fuel spills from cruise ships which are likely to increase in size.
Utility services and infrastructure
With respect to such utilities as water, electricity and telephone and communications systems, it is clear that pressure is put on the systems by tourism in small islands when there are large number of tourists in relation to small resident populations. The tourist per capita utilisation of these resources, especially water and electricity, is much higher than that of resident populations because of such factors in hotels as swimming pools, bathing to remove sea water, toilet flushings, large and busy kitchens, air conditioning, wasteful use of electricity for lighting, a telephone in every room, etc. This can lead to strain and countrywide outrages in the peak tourist season. A major problem is that although tourism remains to date so seasonal, the country has to gear up utility systems to cope with the period of maximum utilisation, which may last for only 4 to 5 months of the year. The problems are less acute where countries are reasonably large and resident populations significant. All these factors have, however, to be balanced by the fact that it is earnings from tourism that often is meeting the cost of these services and much besides.
Land and manpower utilisation
A frequent complaint about tourism is that it causes a rise in the price of all land, it causes changes in land use, and it draws labour away from agriculture. An often repeated claim, that tourism has influenced land values to the point where land use patterns have been modified, seems to have been exaggerated. Arable land has in the past 30 years, been lost largely to residential middle - income housing, government lower - income housing and factory space, where there have been industrialisation programmes. This increased demand has pushed up land costs. Tourism has largely used up unproductive coastal strips unsuitable for agriculture that had little or no economic value prior to the arrival of tourism. With respect to tourism drawing labour away from agriculture, the drift from low paid and difficult work on the sugar and banana plantations in the Caribbean heat was inevitable. The shift from this type of employment to industry - whatever that industry - always takes place. People cannot be kept in agriculture as labourers by preaching to them about the virtues of agriculture or the countrys needs. People are kept in agriculture by revolutionising agriculture and creating conditions that can compete with other sectoral activities.
With respect to tourisms impact on fisheries, experience shows that tourists coming to island resorts expect seafood to feature highly on the menu. Lobster, shrimp, conch and snapper are high on the list of things they hope to eat and disappointment is often expressed if they are not available or are extremely expensive. There is already a danger of over - exploiting existing fisheries coupled with inadequate knowledge of how stocks are to be conserved and increased. (See the article by Ivor Jackson on page 66 on links between tourism, agriculture and the environment). Several types of seafood are now exported from some Caribbean islands to others because of the high prices paid due to tourist demand. The result is that certain types of seafood, particularly lobster, are no longer available to the general population either because of scarcity or price, or both.
Table 4: Key indicators of Caribbean tourism: 1988
The Caribbean tourism sector has been a recipient of funding under the Lomonventions and OCT arrangements since their inception, with substantial investment taking place in a wide range of public infrastructure such as airport facilities, utilities, scenic roads and hotel training schools. Also, global loans extended by the EIB have largely benefited tourism entreprises. At regional level, comprehensive support programmes focussing on tourism development, marketing and related activities were carried out under Lom and II to the value of over ECU 9 million. Under LomII, tourism development assistance in various forms is being financed from the national indicative programmes of several Caribbean ACP States, while in the case of the Netherlands Antilles no less than 70% of this OCTs programme will be spent on sector support. The LomII Caribbean regional programme allocates approximately ECU 17 m to tourism and trade, supplemented by Article 100 resources. Activities financed to date have included an accommodation sector training programme which will combine core training at the Bahamas Hotel Training College with decentralised skills tuition provided by an itinerant team of experts. The Caribbean programme is also financing tourism - related transport infrastructure with the construction of Bequia Airport (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and studies for the upgrading of airports on Beef Island (British Virgin Islands) and Nevis.
Moreover, following an evaluation of the regional activities financed under LomI, the Commission is now finalising with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) a new region - wide tourism support programme for funding from LomII balances. This programme (and a parallel sub - regional package being developed with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) will be based on a policy framework and sector support proposals set out by the Commission at a meeting of CTOs Council of Ministers and Board of Directors in Puerto Rico in January this year. Salient policy features are as follows:
Action is needed to sustain the sector in the following key areas: product development, linkages between tourism and other sectors, development of European markets, and the overall policy framework.
Product development: The Commission has identified two major areas of concern: training and tourism education, and protection of the product environment. On training, there is a massive need to improve standards in both the public and private sectors, while tourism education in schools and attitude training for hotel and other workers, are equally fundamental. The Commission is providing support for private sector staff through the regional hotel training programme already mentioned, and public sector needs are being assessed in order to determine how best to assist at that level. Regarding the product environment, pollution control and sensible land use planning are vital, and countries cannot escape heavy expenditure on infrastructure to preserve environmental standards. The Commission plans to assist here through specialist advice on product development and studies to help countries cope with the environmental impact of tourism and protect the tourism product.
Tourism linkages: Substantial scope appears to exist for increasing intraregional trade in goods and services to reduce the Caribbean tourism sectors heavy import dependence. The Commission is prepared to help substantiate this by studying the feasibility of a regional trade event.
Market development: Marketing and promoting the Caribbean has proved difficult in the past, and the Commissions experience and the evaluation carried out jointly with the region call unequivocally for the concentration of resources on specific, as opposed to generic, marketing activities, i.e. by placing the emphasis on measurable market development activities rather than soft - sell operations. The corollary is that special skills are needed to match the Caribbeans diverse tourism products to diverse markets in Europe, and specialist assistance is planned. The Commission sees donor support as serving to pump - prime and act as a catalyst in promoting new products to new markets in conjunction with the private sector and national tourism offices as appropriate. It envisages providing support through the financing of experts to develop packages with the European trade, together with limited collateral materials for specific marketing activities, and is investigating a programme of traineeships to enable Caribbean nationals to acquire operational skills in the marketplace. This would involve tailored diploma courses in European specialist institutions, together with spells of in - service training with leading tour operators and carriers and also with established national tourism offices recognised as providing good service. This arrangement will contribute to long - term sustainability of the regions industry.
The worldwide trend towards the growing individualisation of the holiday cannot be ignored. Computerised reservations systems will soon give the individual consumer direct access to hotels and other services. The Commission has indicated that it would be prepared to povide some support for a dedicated system for the Caribbean.
Tourism policy: Countries need to set out clear policy objectives so as to build a solid sector framework, given the intense competition for the use of land and other resources characteristic of the Caribbean. This can only be achieved if there is a real consensus between governments, the private sector and the broader community. It is for governments to set the framework - economic, environmental, social, etc. - with the private sector being enabled to operate freely but responsibly within it. Public/private sector synergies must be systematically sought through the development of a genuine dialogue to arrive at sensible parameters in such areas as fiscal regimes, import licensing and exchange controls and attitudes towards foreign investment. The definition of national and regional tourism policies and strategies will increasingly condition sector support, and the Commission is prepared to assist in this area.
Directorate - General for Developmnent
by John YACOUMIS
While economic growth and development in most South Pacific islands is hampered by dependence on a narrow economic base of agricultural commodities, limited geographical size and small populations and a lack of alternative natural resource wealth, the development of tourism would seem to offer an obvious and attractive economic development strategy. After all, the South Pacific islands possess significant natural and cultural attractions and an outstanding marine environment, in addition to their sun - drenched tropical ambience and exotic image. Yet South Pacific island governments have been hesitant in recognising the potential of the tourism sector and, with one or two exceptions, have been slow in achieving the economic benefits of tourism development.
Volume of tourism in the South Pacific
In global terms, the South Pacific island region receives an almost negligible proportion of international tourist arrivals. With an estimated 508 000 arrivals in 1989, the regions share of international tourist arrivals was a mere 0.15 %. As can be seen from Table 1, the performance of the region has remained virtually static over the years. Thus, in 1986 a total of 615 000 arrivals were registered which amounted to 0.18% of world tourism arrivals.
In terms of individual market shares the South Pacific island region is dominated by Fiji and Tahiti, which together account for about two - thirds of international tourist arrivals. With 258 000 arrivals in 1986, Fiji accounted for 42% of all international arrivals, while Tahiti, with 161 000 arrivals, accounted for 26%. Their respective shares in 1989 are estimated at 40.3% and 22.5%.
Other island countries lag considerably behind Fiji and Tahiti, whose dominant position is underpinned by their role as gateways on the international airline route network and benefits from strong government support.
As can be seen from Table 2, the main source markets of tourist traffic to the South Pacific are Australia and New Zealand, which together accounted for 36% of all arrivals in 1988. North Americas share of tourist arrivals in the region had declined from close to 43 % in 1986 to just over 28 % in 1988, due to reduced airline services, particularly to Fiji. On the other hand, Europes share of the market increased from over 11 % in 1986 to over 16% in 1988. Current indicators also point to a resurgence of the Japanese market.
Table 1: Tourist arrivals in selected South Pacific island countries 1986 - 1989 (000)
Table 2: Tourist arrivals in TCSP countries by main market (000) .
Value of tourism in the South Pacific
In spite of its relatively small size, foreign tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of individual island countries. Fijis tourism receipts in 1988 were US $ 188 m, or 53 % of its visible exports, making tourism the countrys second largest foreign exchange earner, after sugar. Tahitis 1988 tourism earnings of US $ 146 m were almost twice as much as its total exports. With an estimated US$ 8 m in tourism receipts in 1988, Tonga earned twice as much from the tourism sector as from its domestic exports.
A number of studies have assessed the economic significance of tourism in terms of the impact of tourist expenditure on income generation, government revenue, earnings, and employment creation.
For instance, the income multiplier of tourist expenditure in Vanuatu has been estimated at 0.56 and in Tonga at 0.42. In other words, every 100 dollars of tourist expenditure generates an income of $ 56 and $ 42 to the local economies of Vanuatu and Tonga respectively at direct and secondary levels.
The same studies also found that the government revenue multipliers are relatively high. For instance, in Kiribati this was estimated at 0.31, while in Tonga and Vanuatu they were 0.30 and 0.21 respectively. This means that every $100 of tourist expenditure in Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu generates $ 31, $ 30 and $ 21 respectively of government revenue.
Tourisms impact on employment is also significant. Apart from the fact that the sector as a whole is relatively labour intensive, studies have concluded that considerable indirect employment is also created. Thus, the ratio of direct to indirect employment, i.e. the number of jobs created in other sectors of the economy as a result of one job created in tourism was 1:0.88 in Vanuatu, 1:0.57 in Tonga, and 1:1.15 in Papua New Guinea.
Constraints on growth
The principal constraints on tourism development and market growth in the South Pacific are the following:
- inadequate, and historically erratic, air access from major tourist generating markets, particularly from North America and Japan. This is further compounded by rather uncoordinated intra - regional airline operations and relatively expensive inter - island fare structures;
- lack of the necessary infrastructure and facilities of a sufficient capacity and quality to attract sizeable flows of international tourists;
- insufficient public and private sector investment for bath development and marketing purposes;
- shortage of trained manpower at all levels of skills in the tourism sector;
- lack, although in varying degrees, of an appropriate institutional framework for the development and promotion of tourism, comprising coherent policies, systematic planning, necessary legislative measures and effective organisational structures.
Development problems and solutions
Several fundamental, although not intractable, development problems need to be effectively addressed, before the tourism sector in most South Pacific islands makes real head way.
There is, first, the question of the required tourism infrastructure and facilities. There are encouraging indications that more Pacific island governments are beginning to pay greater attention to tourism. Clearly, a sustained development effort needs to be made, backed up with systematic planning, efficient allocation of resources, and systematic investment promotion. In this respect, the question of traditional land tenure patterns in certain islands tends to impede development of the tourism sector and governments need to find urgently satisfactory solutions. Here, Fijis arrangements through the Native Land Trust Board certainly offer a good example to follow.
Secondly, high priority must be given to the improvement of the accessibility of the region in terms of increased capacity and frequency of airline services both from main metropolitan centres and within the region itself. Close coordination and cooperation among the air transport operators in the region is required, although admittedly little influence can be exerted on foreign airlines by Pacific island countries. In this context, Air Pacifics current efforts to expand links with key market areas is bound to improve not only Fijis position, but also that of the region as a whole.
Thirdly, as part of a concerted effort to develop their tourism sector, island countries have to address the urgent need for extensive tourism education and training. Systematic and sustained efforts in human resource development are seen as a necessary pre - condition not only of tourism development on any significant scale, but also of increased participation of local communities, particularly in an entrepreneurial capacity. Among other things, the University of the South Pacifics plans to introduce degree level courses in tourism studies undoubtedly augurs well for the region.
Fourthly, the all - pervasive nature of tourism in economic, social and environmental terms, requires an integrated institutional and planning framework, rather than a fragmented approach. Island countries, almost invariably, need to strengthen their organisational structures for tourism and undertake systematic tourism development planning. At the regional level, cooperation among small island countries with limited resources has been recognised as a paramount need. The recent establishment of the Tourism Council of the South Pacific as a regional intergovernmental organisation is clear evidence of the island governments desire to foster regional cooperation in the development and promotion of tourism.
Finally, sustained long - term development of the tourism sector, with a more even distribution of tourist flows throughout the South Pacific region, ultimately depends on the islands ability to develop new long haul markets, mainly North America, Western Europe and Japan. This task can be achieved through a regional cooperative effort, by pooling of resources. There are hopeful signs that this approach is gaining wide acceptance, as evidenced by the Tourism Councils successful initiatives in the organisation and coordination of the regions participation at major international travel fairs, and the newly - established regional tourism marketing representations in Western Europe.
Opportunities and prospects
There is a growing realisation among most South Pacific island countries that tourism holds a significant development potential, which should be fully exploited, albeit in a planned and controlled manner. It is anticipated that during the 1990s island governments and development aid donors will focus increasing attention on the tourism sector in the South Pacific.
Current global and regional tourism trends appear favourable for South Pacific islands. The Western European market is set to continue its steady growth trend, while the Japanese market is now showing signs of strong revival. The considerable North American market potential will begin to be tapped as soon as adequate airline services to the region are reinstated.
In a wider sense, the South Pacific regions relatively late entry into the international tourist industry can be turned into a major long - term advantage. In adopting a planned and regulated development approach, Pacific islands, by and large, are still in a position to expand their tourism sectors in a way which emphasises environmental conservation and enhances the quality of the overall tourist experience. This will, no doubt, contribute substantially towards improving the standard of living and quality of life of their peoples.
An integrated approach under the South Pacific Regional Tourism Development Programme
by Richard ARNDELL
Tourism development is sometimes seen as a panacea for overcoming trade deficits, providing foreign exchange, and developing local economies in general. But to what extent are tourism revenues re - exported by travel operators, leaving the host countries with only the social, environmental and cultural degradation created by the tourists influx? This article looks at the measures introduced to combat these imbalances in the Pacific Regional Tourism Development Programme, from the beginning of the design stage through into implementation.
The potential and the fears
The Pacific ACP States requested financial assistance at regional level from the EC for tourism development in 1981. At that time, there was quite some opposition to tourism development in the South Pacific islands. Although the potential economic benefits were recognised, there were fears that the expansion of tourism would be accompanied by serious disruption of local social life and traditional cultures; and that any benefits that accrued would be leaked out of the country to buy food and other materials, or that international hotel chains and travel operators would transfer profits abroad, serving their own interests rather than the economic development of the host countries.
There was a real basis to these fears; financial leakages of up to 75 % have been recorded for some developing countries. And the sudden influx of inflated wages in the tourism industry can overturn traditional social and cultural values and the balance of local social hierarchies.
At the same time, for micro - economies such as the Pacific Island countries, isolated by distance and with limited local resources, the economic advantages to be derived from tourism provide opportunities for general economic development and the acquisition of foreign exchange earnings not foreseeable from any other sector.
The origins of the programme
The first phase of the Pacific Regional Tourism Development Programme was approved under LomI in January 1985 for a total of ECU 3.2 million. The programme included standard measures for promoting the South Pacific ACP States as a tourism destination, including market research, the production of films and brochures, representation at travel fairs and training in tour operation and hotel management.
A major aspect of the programme was the establishment of the Tourism Council of the South Pacific (TCSP), located in Suva, Fiji, housing the programmes secretariat and also a computerised data base of statistics on the sector in the region. Growing from the project, the TCSP was established in October 1988 as an independent intergovernmental organisation by a Memorandum of Association signed by the ministers of tourism of the Pacific Island countries. Its director and division managers are now all Pacific Islanders, and it expects to be financially self - supporting by the end of 1990.
The programme was extended into phase two by funding for ECU 7.4 m approved under LomII. The programme is conceived in four sections corresponding to the four divisions of the TCSP: tourism planning and development; marketing and promoting; research and statistics and education and training.
Development concepts and linkages in the integrated approach
In order to combat negative influences and to channel economic development from tourism along lines compatible with the host countries own social, cultural and economic aspirations, the first phase of the programme, joined to the traditional measures of support for marketing and promoting, a number of development concepts designed to protect the local cultures and to ensure that a fair share of the economic benefits remained in the host countries and stimulated development of the economies as a whole.
These concepts fell into three broad categories:
- linkages survey and pilot projects;
- cultural awareness programmes;
- assessment of the economic impact of tourism.
Environmental protection was added as a fourth category under phase two.
The linkages survey and pilot projects were designed to provide practical information on how tourism revenues could best be spun off into developments in local economic sectors, particularly agriculture, traditional construction and handicrafts. Criteria for environmental impact assessments and other tools for protecting nature sites were introduced as a precondition for tourism development. The awareness programmes were aimed at providing the tourist with a genuine insight into local culture (external awareness) as well as helping local people to relate to tourism in a way which permitted harmonious local development (internal awareness). Economic impact analysis is an essential tool in the maximisation of tourism revenue and its injection into the home economies.
It is significant that the first division of the programme as conceived in phase two is planning and development; the provisions for tourism development plans, including the promotion of investment in tourism plant and the transport infrastructure, accompany the economic linkages and cultural awareness measures in the same division as an integrated programme. Marketing, promotion, training and so on are included in the other divisions.
Linkage pilot projects studies have been launched on hotel construction in Tuvalu and Western Samoa; handicrafts in Tonga and Kiribati; tourism - agriculture linkages in Fiji; nature and archaeological sites in Fiji, Tonga and the Solomon Islands; fruit processing in Vanuatu; and the use of local materials and designs in Papua New Guinea.
The study on the design and development of a locally owned village hotel/guest house in Western Samoa proposes the construction of a complex of individual traditional circular bungalows, or fale with terraces overlooking one of the longest white beaches in the country, a few hundred metres from the nearest village. A reception fale and a kitchen/dining fale form part of the complex. Local building materials will be used in construction: poumuli and ifilele wood for foundations and rafters; the roofing being traditionally thatched and braided. Modern materials such as stainless steel taps and ceramic tiles will be added for functional effect. The construction and carpentry will be carried out by craftsmen from the nearby village. The site is owned by the village or by individual villages, and foods such as fish, eggs, taro, breadfruit and several tropical fruits are available for supply.
Estimates of capital costs of construction and furniture and fittings, based on prevailing price levels of local material and labour, together with an analysis of foreseeable visitor demand, give a healthy internal rate of return on the project.
The tourism - agriculture linkage study in Fiji examines ways of increasing the linkages between the agricultural sector in the Sigatoka Valley in the West of Fijis main island and the hotel sector (capacity: 2800 rooms) on the adjacent Coral Coast, in the context of the already ongoing Sigatoka Valley Rural Development Project (SVRDP).
Estimates of the local production of fruit and vegetables, allied to foreseeable levels of purchases by the hotels, indicated that there was considerable scope for extending the links between the two sectors. However, the potential for this was limited by doubts in the hotel sector as to the quality and reliability of supplies, and also by limitations on the quantity of productions imposed by climatic conditions, labour shortage and land tenure arrangements. Moreover the extreme seasonality of some crops often led to heavily fluctuating farmgate prices. These factors appeared to have created a barrier of mutual lack of confidence between the two sectors.
The report proposed an improvement in the planning of agricultural production in the Valley, obtaining at the same time more detailed and reliable introduction on the hotel sectors demand for individual crops. Marketing could be improved by support from the National Marketing Authority. Increased use of cold storage facilities would extend the seasonal availability of certain products. Further information on the seasonal availability of crops was to be gathered - and a coloured poster has now been produced showing the months when local fruits and vegetables can be obtained. A commercial cookery book concentrating on recipes of local fruits and vegetables has now been produced; and it is proposed to launch a promotional campaign for the use of local agricultural produce under the title: Get a taste of tropical Fiji.
Implementation of the recommendations was to be coordinated by a Committee of representatives of the Ministries of Tourism and Primary Industries, the National Marketing Authority, hotel managers and chefs, and the TCSP.
The feasibility study on the identification of nature sites and nature subjects of special interest in the Solomon islands was complied with the objectives in the governments Third National Development Plan of a balanced development of tourism in mind. Sites were identified which offered best access to the enormous diversity of wildlife, forests, mountains, flowers, lakes and oceans of the countrys habitat. An interesting feature was the proposal to introduce tourism in one forest area as a more economic alternative than logging the trees - thus conserving the natural domain. Under the Tongan handicrafts study, a wood replantation programme was proposed to provide material for the sector, whose development would provide both cash income and employment to the village economies and give particular support to womens groups.
The TCSP published Guidelines for the integration of Tourism Development and Environmental Protection in the South Pacific in February 1990. This document gives very detailed and comprehensive guidelines on legislation to protect the environment, physical and other environmental protection measures, the planning of development projects, preceded by environmental impact assessment (EIA), education and information on wildlife and carrying capacities. A list of protected areas or proposed protected areas in the South Pacific countries is also given.
The carrying capacity of an area is defined as the maximum number of tourists that can be catered for while making full use of the recreational facilities and without damaging the environment. Limitations to capacity may be physical (crowding, visual deterioration), biological (degradation to wild life) or social/cultural (unacceptable change to local lifestyles). The parameters of capacity are defined in detail, as well as measures for avoiding damage.
The ways and means of organising environmental impact assessments (EIA) at the beginning of tourism development projects and of monitoring ongoing projects are set out in detail. Particular attention is paid to waste disposal.
The environmental guidelines for tourism operations themselves form the basis on which development should be operated on a day - to - day basis and planned for the future. Protection of natural ecosystems (reefs, forests...) and processes (animal behaviour, lakes and water - courses) are covered - and also education of tourists, prevention of site - erosion, protection of cultural (e.g. religious) sites. Guidelines are given for tourist behaviour management in coastal areas (prohibition of spearfishing, prevention of anchor damage to reefs), and inland areas (bans on hunting, collecting or fires in forest areas).
As regards the list of protected areas, a word of warning must be made about site reservation. There is strong economic pressure on developers to preserve tourism sites only just enough to protect the product . The influx of tourists into natural sites will inevitably produce environmental degradation in any event. The policy of the Pacific governments has therefore been to restrict development to a few selected sites, which are major tourism assets, but sufficiently far from population centres to avoid socio - cultural conflicts and in which the environment can be properly protected.
It is hoped that this policy will be continued, and that the majority of the designated protected sites will therefore not be the object of tourism development at all - but be simply preserved for the normal social, cultural and economic development of the local people as they determine it, in the context of the natural ecosystems.
Having said this, the Environmental Guidelines nonetheless provide a most useful set of legislative and other measures and criteria for integrating tourism development with environmental protection, based on consultation with, and the consent of, the local people.
Awareness programmes were included, aimed at providing the tourist with a genuine insight into local culture (external awareness) as well as helping local people to relate to tourism in a way which permitted harmonious devopment (internal awareness).
For example, to improve external awareness of the region, the annual Travel Manual giving details on the hotels, nature sites and tourism facilities in each country also gives the main social and economic indicators: land mass, population, GDP, and a brief history. And the films produced under phase one were conceived not as advertising tools, but as documentaries designed to give the Pacific people a voice in putting across the South Pacific landscapes and cultures to the world. Internal awareness programmes included teaching the linkages of tourism with local agriculture and other production sectors in schools, as well as the conventional professional training modules.
In addition, the linkages projects, economic impact assessment and environmental protection measures are also powerful tools for protecting local cultures, and indeed stimulating their independent growth and self expression.
Economic impact assessment
Most of the Pacific ACP States have a relatively big trade deficit and are hampered by lack of foreign currency. Tourism development could help to close these constraints, provided expenditure in the tourism sector remains in the national economies.
The situation as to present and potential expenditure thus has to be analysed, and measures taken to ensure that a maximum proportion of the returns from tourism stay at home.
The TCSPs Background Papers on the Economic Impact of Tourism, produced in preparation for Phase II of the programme, propose the gathering of information in four areas: employment generation, generation of foreign exchange, contribution of tourism to the national income and government expenditures.
Existing data in the region is rather weak, and so visitor surveys have been made in several countries. Data has been gathered on the propensity to import, and on employment generation; and data on the import content of hotel food and beverages was examined.
The propensity to import, also called the leakage factor, is a key issue.
The leakage factor contains not only the direct import by the tourist establishment (first round) and the import component of goods and services purchased locally (subsequent rounds) but also the leakage due to import content of capital goods
needed to develop the tourist sector such as development of facilities, amenities and infrastructure, and also payment in foreign exchange to production factors such as interests, profits, salaries to expatriate staff, foreign management fees, etc.
Existing data will now have to be expanded by further visitor and tourism establishment surveys, economic impact surveys and sector linkage studies showing the spin - off effects of tourism on local development sectors, particularly agriculture. Phase II of the programme gives added weight to these efforts by including 18 man months of technical assistance for economic analysis, with a view to boosting the information obtained under Phase I into the development of coherent practical tools for assessing the returns from the sector and converting them into overall economic development in the longer term...
Looking to the future
Getting into the second phase, the TCSP having been established, Pacific islanders now occupying the posts of director and heads of the various divisions at the TCSP, and the basic promotional material and linkages and impact studies having been gathered, the promotion of the South Pacific as a tourism destination is now starting to gather momentum. Private investment in tourism plant and infrastructure is being encouraged, promotion is being stepped up by agents and operations in America, Japan, Australasia and Europe, and development is being sought of the regional air transport network.
The project having been planned from the start as an integrated development programme, the structure and tools for assessing economic returns, making linkages to local sector development and protecting the environment have now been put in place.
It is hoped that, on this basis, the development of tourism in the South Pacific will offer a means for fulfilling the Pacific ACP States aspirations for economic growth, while strengthening and conserving the economic, social and cultural expression and autonomy of the Pacific Island peaples.
by E. MACHand A. MOUSSA TOUR
There, where Benin meets the mountain, that great ridge of Atacora which splits the north into two like a spine, the territory of Africas big wild animals stretches 450 000 hectares to the border with Burkina Faso.
Hard up against the mountain, covering the whole southern flood plain of the River Pendjari, lies the national park of the same name, a huge area of parkland, shrub and savannah, with swathes of forest, in an appealing succession of changing views.
For years, the park which was created in 1961 presented an enviable picture of the wealth of Africas natural attractions and a wide range of wildlife. But like many other African parks, it was unable to withstand the mounting human pressure of all kinds and it ended with severe depletion of animal life in the 1980s, aggravated by the devastating effects of fire and a gradual drying of the climate (with a rain shortage of 300 - 350 mm p.a.).
In 1983, conscious of the extent of the damage, the Benin government decided not to reopen hunting on the game reserves by the park and asked the EEC to set up a project to rehabilitate all the protected areas as soon as possible. Thus the project to develop national parks and protect the environment in Benin was born, the first of its kind in Africa for a major funder like the EEC and a follow - up of the studies which the FAO had been running for five years. The project began in 1985.
More than 1 200000 hectares over the whole of northern Benin was covered by the scheme, since it also took in the W park. The size and the more regional nature of this latter parks problems were such that the people in charge decided to focus on the Pendjari area and ensure a minimum of results in the three years allocated. This wise decision turned out to be a very effective one which showed how absolutely vital it was to proceed in concentrated, logical stages when working with the environment.
To many, the complexity of the situation (the human one not least so) and the lack of experience of this kind of scheme in North - South relations made rehabilitation look quite a challenge. The idea of taking and keeping command of such a vast and relatively lost stretch of land, of halting the rapid disappearance of the animals and even getting gradual growth started again, of combating the deterioration of the environment, exercising fire control, ensuring efficient logistical, technical and scientific monitoring and setting up a rational system of management seemed unrealistic and rather Utopian in 1985.
So we must emphasise the merit of all those, both within the EEC and the local authorities, who took the idea up and got it accepted. We should also underline the fact that a two - man Benino - European team of forestry and ecology specialists was appointed to direct the project. With total financing of CFAF 1.5 billion and staff numbers fluctuating between 150 and 250 (including three technical assistants from AGRER), it was an extremely praiseworthy act to hand the management over to a pair of ecologists, bearing in mind the authorities usual view of such things, particularly five years ago!
These commitments were not in vain and the record today is a positive one, with even better harvests than the ecologists themselves anticipated.
Four years of project work have seen the Pendjari area rehabilitated to the point where it is the premier wildlife zone of West Africa and no doubt one of the best if Central Africa is included, too.
But that is not to say that the battle is won. Far from it, for the state of the conservation of Africas last natural zones as our experience with the Pendjari project clearly shows - is such that we are forced to leave conventional views behind us and espouse ideas that are completely innovatory if we are to ensure the harmonious development of the natural regions of Africa and preserve the continents big animals.
How did rehabilitation start?
If the preservation and subsequent development of an area are to become realities, then there are various operations to carry out first, including the timetabling of the process.
Various (simultaneous and successive) phases were defined as a lasting, functional basis for the undertaking. It is obvious]y just as pointless to lay tracks without the people to look after them as it is to instal expensive scientific equipment without a proper system of tracks to facilitate access to and monitoring of the area.
The various phases are.
- strategic control, which is vital if achievements are to be protected and to last for a relatively long time;
- scientific control, without which any form of management is impossible because there are no biological indicators to guide the strategies;
- generation of a dynamic local movement with which, by systematically approaching the active components of the local system of production and exploitation, it is possible to trigger proper development of the region.
The natural heritage to be rehabilitated must be taken care of, and so a system was set up for this purpose, using fully - equipped teams of five to 10 men, placed strategically about the protected area.
The facilities were:
- infrastructure, with buildings out in the bush to house staff and a network of tracks, bridges, culverts and so on, to enable them to move around and across the area;
- all the equipment required to make the teams operational, from safari clothing to firearms, camping gear and observation and transmission equipment, cars and motorbikes;
- a work plan based on monthly patrol programmes organised in a structured manner such as not to hamper initiative.
The system (11 teams) has:
- caught more than 800 poachers (one fifth on them persistent offenders) since the beginning of the project and seized 200 lots of sophisticated and other weapons;
- collected CFAF 15 million in fines;
- triggered 73 man - months of penal servitude (the biggest sentence being two years for elephant poaching).
In addition to the construction of accommodation for the 11 teams, 250 km of track were laid and more than 80 bridges and culverts built.
Once the system of protection was introduced, the need to the able to assess the various ecological considerations arose so that environmental trends could be monitored and developments finalised.
It soon became clear that, with constantly deteriorating ecosystems, what were needed were methods of intervention that could halt the downward trends. At a certain stage, environmental imbalances, whether man - made or natural, bring about changes which can only lead to the ever - faster deterioration of the environment. So nature has to be sorted out.
Studies were therefore programmed to establish the bases for correct identification of the levels of action where intervention was called for. Qualified staff were recruited, special equipment purchased and the logistical side of things taken care of with a vehicle, a station in the bush and a system of monitoring.
With a dozen study programmes running at the moment (some of them, including the ones on cartography, the spatial dynamics of fauna, the effect of fire and ecological considerations of threatened species, have already had good results) and university dissertations being written, wildlife censuses run etc. the project has already acquired some absolutely decisive elements of appreciation. However, any investigation of the living world has to take a relatively long time and many a study has yet to be finalised.
Data from the scientific monitoring process were the basis for a number of schemes making for rational management of the area. These involved:
- fire management (zoning, early burning etc);
- water point management (rehabilitation of ponts);
- the development of tourist activity (planning circuits. putting up light observation posts etc).
The project showed the effectiveness of the method with its remarkable development of the mid - park Bali lake, which recovered all its attraction and ecological interest, but management must also bear the human dimension in mind and develop the areas on the periphery. The conservation and development of any area depends ens much on the drive to rally the interest of the local (and then national) population as on the effort which goes into efficient protection.
So the project tried to put the locals in the picture and freed almost 20 000 ha of land for agricultural production at the request of villagers on the edge of the reserve. But this phase is running the biggest deficit, essentially because the timetabling of project activities and the means available are such that it can only be operational during the present period.
The number of animals is increasing fast thanks to the synergy of all these schemes and the herd is getting back to what it was 15 years ago when the Pendjari reserves still flourished. The table gives the latest estimates from the census and shows just how far rehabilitation has got - eight years ago, the figure were half the present ones and sometimes even less! With a biomass of 2.6 tonnes per km² (Comoas 1.4 t, Kainji 1.2t and Arly 1.8 t), Pendjari is the premier park of West Africa.
And the tourists agree. They soon realised that animals were plentiful and large, had fine pelts and only retreated a short way (20 - 100 metres) and tourist arrivals, which went from 1000 in 1986 to 3200 in 1989, are still on the increase as a result.
All this practical proof in constantly motivated teamwork is very encouraging. But although the scheme has demonstrated the reliability of certain methods, it has given rise to contradictions which point to an absolutely basic problem.
Pendjaris wildlife is increasing, the damaging effect of uncontrolled bush fires is on the wane and the deterioration of its water points is being halted. It is gradually becoming a haven of nature, pleasant of course, but how isolated it is from trends throughout the rural world which hems it in!
The ecologist moves into another world only a few kilometres away from the edge of the reserve. It is not the place here to stress the dramatic state of the biological, social and economic environment of this other world - reports on the catastrophic situation are now on the decision - makers desks... at long last.
But is there any point in spending a lot of money on maintaining an oasis of protected natural beauty in the midst of such constant and relentless deterioration? In the short term, maybe there is, but this is not our way of thinking. The future of Africas big animals and rural populations depends on something which is urgent enough to need tackling in the short term, but of a nature and size which can only be handled in the long term.
Pendjari National Park
Park versus population
In many countries of Black Africa the rural world is increasingly seen as the only way out of the terrible economic and structural crisis afflicting the continent. The move back to the land (as the only answer to the unemployment problem) is now gathering momentum and every environmental and territorial manager should keep a close eye on it.
The first phase of the project took a repressive approach to stopping a situation that was highly prejudicial to the wealth and lasting survival of the milieux involved. Such repression was unavoidable and it has proved to be efficient, although conditionally so, as the local people are bound to see the park as an extremely negative departure for the time being. now that a whole range of things are banned and a vast and apparently rich tract of land has been taken away from them.
Park versus population is a classic case (and not just in the tropics either) which has generated a great deal of literature and given rise to many theoretical models. A crucial time is coming for Africas big animals, for, over the next 30 years, on poor and unproductive land, they are going to have to withstand the greatest population increase ever known. But if people already persist in being happy with (well - intentioned but unrealistic) theories, with no resolute commitment to practical measures, there is no point in pitching wildlife against the local population, as we know what will happen to the wildlife. But have we any idea what awaits the local population when its environment has been destroyed, as has happened in some parts of Africa?
For are we not being shortsighted in saying that reserves prevent honest men from eating wild meat? Are we not forgetting that, without the reserves, the fauna - less stretches of land between them would soon cover the whole territory... and deprive the population of every possibility of animal protein from the wild once and for all?
And when we try for integration and grant 20 000 hectares of a protected area like Pendjari to the farmers, we are being prejudicial by default as long as we fail to change the highly damaging growing methods of peasants who are over - dependent on the lobbies which have made such a bad job of shaping African agronomy. It takes only three years for the 20 000 ha to be bare and eroded and unproductive, to the point where the villagers want more land from the reserve, rightly thinking it to be fertile, although apparently refusing to see that this fertility has anything to do with the system of protection.
When peasants are more gatherers than protectors in outlook, is it reasonable to try and integrate a heritage and environment policy into the rural society of Africa? The approaches involved are so far removed from village practices that we feel we have to rethink the whole issue.
Is the African peasant living on borrowed time?
There are plenty of examples - Peuls and Dama gazelles in the Ferlo area of Senegal, the fauna management company in the Nyaminyami district of Zimbabwe and the village hunting association in Burkina Faso - of the current drive to restrict, or indeed completely transform, the antagonism which seems to prevail between wildlife and the rural populations.
Specific approaches of the kind involved in the biosphere reserves (of which the Pendjari park is one) provide us with integration - seeking models which are useful food for thought.
But time is so short that decisions have to be taken now. Involving the people in protecting and managing the last natural ecosystems of Africa does not mean pondering on the ability of one to understand (or assimilate) the needs of the other. The population explosion and Black Africas present position on the checkerboard of the international economy force us to look to other benchmarks which suggest that the African peasant and his environment are living on borrowed time. And people living on borrowed time cannot be taught, particularly about the need to protect something they have always looked upon as inexhaustible.
But the question remains. Although it is possible to rehabilitate a natural area, as Pendjari shows, is it a viable proposition if the surrounding areas are not rehabilitated too? And rehabilitating the surrounding areas means being able to get soil conservation measures applied fast and providing management techniques that have a proper effect on current practices, so there is no doubt that encouragement must be given to agrobiology and agro - ecology techniques (being tested near the project) and to the establishment of land management and self - supporting peasant village groupings (some in the Sahel, such as the Six - S NGO, hold out considerable hope) with this mind.
But effectiveness still depends on being able to give proper training to up - and - coming generations of farmers.
So we are moving towards a more global view of the management of these last sanctuaries of African wildlife, which, if it is to stand up, must consider the protected areas and the rural world as an indivisible whole.
Can it do this? It would be presumptuous to answer a question involving more political will than means here. The decision - makers must be rapidly aware of their responsibilities in the historic evolution of the planets natural assets and, once they are, we can contemplate moving away from the repressive system which worked in Pendjari and going for an as - yet - to - be - designed cooperative system involving all those concerned by local and regional development.
In maintaining the park as illustrated above, the project should be able to count on the NGOs, finance back - up programmes (of village water engineering, land management, agricultural stabilisation and so on) and step in, as the occasion demands, through cooperative but contractual links with the rural communities. Later on, it will be a good idea to try and integrate the local population and make it aware of the environmental issue, although this would mean planning (much of it as yet to be defined) calling for what are currently barely perceptible changes in the rural world of Africa.
What would Pendjaris 7000 hartebeests come to if the project were to stopped? With the rural world minus its structure and its balance and totally unable to hang on to its own natural resources, alas, not much.
The duo of the future
There are plans to continue the Pendjari project by creating a huge regional project over 3 000 000 ha of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger - an extremely exemplary increase in size which will only be understood if a change in outlook goes with it.
The land and the wildlife of Black Africa, one naturally poor and the other naturally rich, are perhaps the continents duo of the future - provided development means preserving both. For both can be exploited and both represent the soundest way to rational development that is adapted to the present context of Africa.
The challenge is there and we have to be methodical in taking it up, for the gravity of the situation leaves us no latitude. We have both to obtain land to ensure the long - term reliability of the system of protection (and wildlife needs a great deal of room) and be quick to get the rural world to realise it has to manage and protect its land. Otherwise, the dawn of the 21st century will inevitably break on a scene of African devastation, where parks, reserves, wildlife and forests are no more!
And we shall have mortgaged once and for all a fantastic heritage of biological, genetic and cultural resources without equal on any other continent. It seems reasonable to doubt that this will improve Africas development...
So we have to react fast. The help of a funder such as the EEC is valuable and vital and people are bound to encourage us, but it is up to the people in the field to turn this commitment into a coherent, innovatory system which holds out hope for the long term.
The Pendjari park is an undeniable success after four years of the project. But the results will have to be spread elsewhere if we are to avoid being an oasis that is mathematically doomed to rapid disappearance because it has broken its synergy with a rural world that is creeping up on it and will gradually wipe it out altogether.
E.M. and A.M.T.
by Grd VERNIER(*)
How can an adolescent hope to find his feet when social adaptation is already difficult because he has made one or two silly mistakes?
The staff of La Commanderie, a centre for youngsters with problems at Ballan - Mirear Chinon in Touraine (France), have come up with an unusual way of tackling this daunting task.
The idea was to get six of these young people, boys and girls of between 14 and 18, to try out real cooperation by going to help the local people in Burkina Faso build a classroom for the future college of Tenkodogo, in the hope that working together would be enriching for all concerned. It was put into practice as part of the Chinon - Tenkodogo town twinning operations which began in 1975.
The three - week work camp, in July 1989, was preceded by some serious groundwork. The future cooperation officers learnt bricklaying and carpentry from professionals and, during the previous winter, they started corresponding with youngsters in Tenkodogo. They also did various jobs in Touraine to try and cover some of their estimated costs of FF 70 000 (CFAF 3.5 million) - not just travel expenses, but building materials to be bought in Burkina Faso, plus tools (buckets, trowels, saws, etc) from France to be left on site at the end of the stay - and, thanks to various contributions, including a grant from the Europe Third World association of European Community officials, they got this amount together. The youngsters also took out medicines collected from laboratories, doctors and hospitals in the Chinon area for the Tenkodogo hospital.
Does this mean that all the aid came the North? The spirit of cooperation on which the scheme turned was quick to make the traffic two - way - the French youths, who had gone out to help others in a distant land, themselves derived enormous moral benefit from the stay in return.
They integrated fast, making friends with the Burkinabalthough they had always found contact difficult before. Becoming the partners of Africans gave the project a different dimension for them by enabling them to discover the problems of development and enter into a different culture with enriching values of its own. The paradox of being assisted youngsters in the position of cooperation officers actually helped them get away from their personal (and frequently inhibiting) problems. And they also felt that their work got adult recognition when, for example, the Minister of the Environment and Tourism visited the site a gesture which did a lot to boost the selfrespect of adolescents who often doubted their own abilities.
In fact the educational support represented by this humanitarian scheme ensured that the work camp not only provided a classroom and the opportunity to make friends with the local people, but catered for the needs and wants of all youngsters in the longer term. The preparation and implementation of the project meant that they - who used to give no thought to the future and were often doomed to failure - had the opportunity to see something through, and this resulted in greater self - assurance or a change in their relations within the family as soon as they got home.
Clearly this experiment, which could well be repeated, is an imaginative way of capitalising on the term cooperation and showing that aid does not have to be one - way, Southbound traffic.
by Henri CLAIREAUX
This article takes an idea used in Comoros (Courier No 118, pp 83 - 85) and extends it to the developing world as a whole. The author was born on St. Pierre, one of the small St - Pierre - and - Miquelon group, the French territory in the mouth of the St Lawrence, only an hour by plane from Canada, and spent part of his childhood in the dories of the fishermen of Miquelon. He was elected senator in 1949 and took a particular interest in the islands 450 fishermen who worked with 220 dories - bouts which have proved their worth in many countries of the Third World since then.
Modernising and developing traditional fishing methods
In the Third World, fishing by traditional means from pirogues, catamarans, jangadas and so on is far wider spread and more profitable than industrial fishing from trawlers. There are more than 10 million artisanal fishermen landing 20 million tonnes of fish to feed the people every year, yet their traditional craft could well be wiped out in the fairly near future if fishing by all national and foreign trawlers is not banned from the 20 mile zone - which is easy for the small coastal fishermen to get to and should be reserved for them alone.
There are fishing villages all along the coasts of the Third World and trying to group the fishermen together near the rare ports would be cutting them off from their roots. So if their way of life is to be preserved, they must have a new kind of artisanal vessel, with a motor, that is easy to beach near their villages. Dories, flat bottomed boats which are very safe out at sea, fit the bill very well.
In 1953, our first freezer factory meant that the fiskermen could deliver their fish whole instead of having to cut, slice and salt it. Later on, the dories were fitted with electronic fish detection devices and, in 1968, diesel engines gradually began to replace the old petrol ones.
Where the dories came from
The mighty River Douro rises in Spain and flows across Portugal to the Atlantic near Oporto. A flat bottomed boat used to carry wood down this river was subsequently tested out, successfully, on the high seas and the name dory probably comes from here.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese and other Europeans used dories to fish for cod off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Later on, the trip was done by sailing ships, with 20 or 30 dories piled up on deck. These little boats are still used by the small coastal fishermen of Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and St - Pierre - and - Miquelon today.
Building dories on St - Pierre - and - Miquelon
In our islands, dories have always been built by craftsmen, who passed their skills down from father to son. At the beginning of the century, our dories were 6 or 7 metres long all told, and they were propelled with oars. With the arrival of petrol engines in about 1914, the length was increased to 8 metres, so 3 tonnes of cod could be loaded in bulk on board and, although engines got very much more powerful over the year, 8 metres remained the most popular length with the fishermen round our coasts.
Before the last war, all our dories were made of imported Canadian pine. The bottoms were 35 mm thick and the 250 mm x 22 - 25 mm side planks were overlapped like roof tiles to ensure complete water - tightness and fixed to the frame with galvanised clinkers. This type of construction is certainly to be recommended in the Third World, where good quality timber is often available, and chemical treatment against ship - worm would ensure that the dories lasted for a long time - 10 years at least. In 1968, six such models were sent out to Madras (India), where the Indian fishermen used them for a decade.
Dory construction at St Malo
Our Committee had the first dories built of plywood, chemically treated to prevent land and sea parasites, at St Malo in 1976. They were the same size, overall, as the dories built on St Pierre, although the plywood bottoms and side plating were not as thick as the pine used there. Since the planks could not be nailed to the edge of the bottom boards, they were clamped, tacked and glued along the whole length of the boat. These dories were used in Madagascar for six years and in Senegal for nine, to the great satisfaction of the fishermen who sailed them.
Installing the engine, the shaft and the propeller
A diesel motor - 20 - 25 horsepower, running at 6 or 7 knots - mounted in the centre of the dory increases its stability. The propeller is on a universal joint on the shaft and raised before the boat is beached. It would also be possible to have a straight shaft without a universal joint and a non - lifting propeller protected by a keel and sternpost, but this is something we never did on St Pierre, as the dories are flat - bottomed boats and easy to hitch onto rollers and winch up the beach.
Cost of a fully - fitted dory
It takes a craftsman about 500 hours to build and fit out a dory and the cost will therefore depend on his hourly rate of pay. If he has modern materials available, the Third World craftmans costs will be lower than those of his French counterpart, but the price we were quoted by an African shipyard was double the French craftmans price.
In 1986, the cost - price of a fully - fitted 8 - metre plywood dory made by a French craftsman, with ice - box and a 25 hp diesel engine with accessories and mounting, was about FF 160 000. It will probably be somewhere in the region of FF 200 000 this year. However, the capital invested per man is a hundred times greater for a trawler than for a dory.
The total weight of a fully - fitted dory is 1000 1200 kg, according to the type of engine. An 8 - metre dory which is 2.25 m at its widest point can carry 3000 kg fish on deck or 5001000 kg in one or two ice - boxes.
Advantages of dories
Their uses at sea are well known and accidents with dories are extremely rare on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and around St - Pierreand - Miquelon, where conditions can be very bad. Properly built dories will neither turn over nor sink if they are full of water and they cope very well with the rollers on the beaches of India and Brazil.
In view of the shape and the solid construction, diesel engines are easy to fit - which is not the case with traditional Third World vessels. An engine of this kind used 5 litres per hour, whereas an outboard on a traditional vessel uses 8 - 10 litres, and if properly maintained, it will last 10 years, whereas an outboard rarely lasts more than three.
Test fishing with dories has been carried out in several countries of the Third World (India, Brazil, Madagascar, Senegal etc) since 1968, to the satisfaction of the local fishermen and, provided a 20 - mile zone is reserved for coastal fishermen, these vessels have a great contribution to make to the modernisation of traditional fishing methods in the Third World.
After an initial period of thought as to what the aims of a body devoted to subjects connected with cultural cooperation could and should be (The Courier reported on this), the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation has considerably diversified its activities over the past year. And, with its organisation of the three events described below, it has made a successful entry into three specific cultural domains, those of Mauritian architecture, Caribbean history and African music.
Mauritian architecture was the theme of an exhibition of watercolours by Marc Gosswith comments by Raymond Chasle (Mauritian Ambassador to Brussels and Secretary - Ceneral of the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation) at ACP House in the Belgian capital in June 1989, and bath texts and pictures are to appear in a book scheduled for publication in 1991. Caribbean history was presented in an exhibition entitled Primacias de America en La Espanola 1492 - 1542, also held in ACP House, in April 1990, and African music was in the limelight in Brussels on 30 April at an outstanding concert at which the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation premid Jour dAction de Gr (Thanksgiving Day), a symphonic work by Burkinabomposer B.R. Guirma.
Houses of Mauritius and Rodrigues
by Marc GOSS
Before falling for the islands, I loved the desert and its oases, like Le Clo did. The towns and ksours, kinds of urban villages, of the Sahara are like islands in the middle of the immense stretches of sand and rock where, before the asphalted road came, people travelled on ships of the desert, meharis.
Le Clo talks about the sea as a visible boundary, saying he likes to think of the sea as a wall and of all there is on the other side of it.
An island, potentially, is a combination of two things. It is the home of a political (from polis, the Greek word for city) link of sorts between all the inhabitants, be they from town or country, and it is a place hemmed in by the sea, acting as a wall. It is a place of sea views, the only views which bear no physical trace of that human endeavour which can replace terra firma by unpredictable hurricances, and only reflecting memories of dreams and voyages, pure myths of untamed nature, wild and eternal.
Architecture is an expression, in materials and space, of this other place and the islands and their buildings still bear active witness to the most sublime achievements of architects the world over. Simple local styles have been transplanted and reinterpreted (see J. L. Pagand R. Chasle in Maisons traditionnelles de lIle Maurice, Ed. Oc Indien, 1980) and there are sophisticated buildings too, gothic and Renaissance churches, Buddhist temples and mosques from all over the East. And it has all been pertinently chosen, adapted to surroundings, climate and people and reinvented, where necessary, with all the incomparable charm of the islands culture, whose feet are firmly planted in this crowded land but whose thoughts travel about an inaccessible world hidden behind the wall of the sea.
This is no exotic dream, nor in the look of a foreigner who is blind and deaf to the poverty of the islands, to their isolation, their meagre resources and their menacing overpopulation. If many people, like Gauguin, for example, and Segalen and Brel, see the islands as havens of universal exoticism, catalysts of imagination and curiosity (particularly through tourism, which has to avoid over - commercialisation and the self - destruction that goes with it) and images of a distant paradise, still welcoming and peaceful, it is because they are closer to them than to the concrete jungles where their dreams take shape.
Island towns and facilities are often seaports ports (and, of late, airports). Built - up roads sometimes grow between the sea port and the airport, as has happened on Mauritius, with the risk of turning the whole island into an urban area, with buildings scattered at first and then everywhere, stifling and uncontrolled, soon creating a concrete jungle in the middle of the ocean, with the surrounding sea forcing the high - density, high - rise developments beloved of the speculators and all those who do not have to live or work in them.
Economic development is called for, of course, but there can be no real development without a proper setting in which to live - without that essentially cultural phenomenon, architecture. And such a setting is the islands main resource.
Mauritius domestic architectural heritage is remarkable, but under threat, for are todays buildings really worthy of the past?
This island was discovered by the Arabs and then by the Portuguese, settled for the first time by the Dutch, who called it Mauritius, then renamed Ile de France until 1810 when the British arrived. And independent Mauritius has a heritage from them all. Its people are of European, African, Indian and Chinese origin and its society is a multiracial and multicultural prototype, each group having brought in elements of its own culture and own land in the different waves of migration. And an distinctive national outlook and culture have taken shape.
The types and techniques of building in all these places are apparent in the islands architecture.
The first houses are reminiscent of rustic dwellings in Brittany and Normandy and maybe (with the shingled roofs) the Jura, and they later inspired the nigger cabins of the era of slavery. But the patrician dwellings of the sugar dealers and other traders soon displayed signs of the sophisticated style then in fashion, Mauritius vernacular architecture borrowing from it, happily, with a romantic island approach of its own.
The influence of Palladio, the Renaissance genuis, whose works set the scene in Europe and its colonies - in Louisiana, Africa and Malabar and Dravidian India - is all over the Mascarenes.
Through the Palladian style, cursiously enough, houses began to hark back to an even earlier model, the Gallo - Roman villa, with a colonnaded facade and a large central room (as in Villers - sous - Ailly, Mayen and Stahl, near Trier) and the Mauritian (or Rodrigues) villa is laid out in exactly the same way, with a verandah - style facade between two pavilions and a communal room.
Going beyond any considerations of typology, this architecture developed a style of its own - creole as it is called in the language and popular culture of the same name - based on the then plentiful, high - quality wood worked by talented craftmen.
Patrician houses and working mens cabins alike have their facades, their columns, their fanlights and their balustrades adorned with lacelike borders and unusual mouldings and their wooden roofs and frontages painted - an approach which shows that a specific tradition can be born at the crossroads where foreign influence meets home - grown local talent.
Is this not something to be borne in mind when tackling the development issue? Have we forgotten that development is an essentially cultural notion embracing quantity and quality and economic, ethical, scientific and artistic considerations as well? Raymond Chasle, the Mauritian Ambassador to Brussels, has made no small contribution to getting development redefined with this in mind, both in Mauritius and in Brussels and in the Lomegotiations.
Architecture is what society uses to provide a place worthy of its memory and its future projects and, since materials, know - how, employment, techniques and economic considerations are all involved, it may be a way to global development too.
A number of local architects have embarked on a promising process of cultural reassessment and are innovating, while modernists remain content to imitate an already - outmoded fashion from elsewhere. And the work of the European post - modernists, who are now harking back to their traditions, sometimes bear a surprising resemblance to the creole style.
Reinterpreted, rehabiliated versions of the traditional houses of Mauritius and Rodrigues reflect the true modernism of living in pleasure and comfort in time and space.
A chapter in the history of Hispaniola
Spain and the rest of the Spanish speaking world are getting ready for gala celebrations in 1992 to mark the 5th centenary of Christopher Columbus discovery of America. The mariner stopped in the Caribbean several times before reaching the continent proper and, on 12 October 1492, he landed on the island that is now divided into Ha and the Dominican Republic. He called it Hispaniola, because it reminded him of the Spanish (Espanol in Castilian) province of Castille, and he apparently always remained fond of it.
The Primacias de America en la Espanola exhibition, part of the celebrations, was run, in conjunction with the Latin Union, in ACP House in April 1990, with the added intention of marking Dominican Republics accession to LomV, and there were some extremely interesting exhibits which institutions in Spain and Dominican Republic had loaned to illustrate the meeting of the two worlds . They included books from the Tabula Americae collection of facsimiles of old documents from the archives, a series produced in Spain at the instigation of the Spanish 5th Centenary Committee and specifically intended, of course, for bibliophiles and people who specialise in this period of history. There were also posters of paintings, maps, engravings and photographs of buildings, statues and currency, all from Dominican Republic.
All these documents are filled with emotion. It is impossible not to be captivated by the Libro de las maraxillas del Munzo, the Book of Wonders of the World by Marco Polo, the Venetian, with annotations in the margin by Colombus himself, or Columbus Book of the First Voyage, a manuscript by Brother Bartholomew de Las Casas, who accompanied him. Or indeed the Veitia Code Modos que tenian los yndios de la Nueva Espana de Zelebrar sus fiestas (how the Indians of New Spain Celebrate) or The Maritime Atlas of Juan Riezo - Oliva ( Atlas Portulano ) covering the known world in the era of discovery and printed in Naples in 1580.
And how can the visitor pass by the first map of America, drawn by Christopher Columbus in 1493, or the plan of La Isabela, the first European town in America, founded in January 1494, or the first road, built of huge blocks of stone in March 1494 to link La Isabela to Saint Thomas de Janico via the Col des Hidalgos in the northern Cordileras? How can he fail to be interested in the first town council (24 April 1494), the first monastery (1502), the first hospital (1503), the first Chamber of Commerce (1503), the first currency (1505), the first lump of sugar (1506) and the first banana tree (1516)? Or the first uprising of the slaves (1522), the first peace agreement between the Europeans and the Indians (1533) and the first university (1538)?
Monsignor Lopez Rodriguez, Metropolitan Archbishop of Santo Domingo and Primate of the Americas, who presided at the private view as Chairman of the Dominican Standing Committee for the Celebration of the 5th Centenary of the Discovery and Evangelisation of America, mentioned various aspects of the exhibition (over and above its historical content) which seemed, not surprisingly, to echo the aims of the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation human dignity (Hispaniola was the scene of its first proclamation in America), equality (the need to emancipate the black slaves was also announced on Hispaniola, as Raymond Chasle was to point out, in connection with the revolt which Toussaint Louveurte led at the end of the 18th century), and the inter - cultural dialogue, as Hispaniola is, par excellence, a melting pot of races and languages.
M. - H.B.
Jour dAction de Gr: Symphony
This symphony, by the Burkinabomposer Belemsida Renuirma, was first conceived as a ballet, which the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation hopes to put on one day. But the work, as premid in Brussels on 30 April, is a piece for choir and orchestra and it was played by the Symphony Orchestra of Europe conducted by Pierre Roullier. Here is how the Foundation describes it:
Father Guirmas symphony Jour dAction de Gr for choir and orchestra, is a magical ballet in the popular tradition of the Mossi, one of the tribes of Burkina Faso.
All the Mossi songs, dances and rhythms which give the work its texture date to back into the mists of time.
Every year, after bringing in the crops, the Mossi held great festivities to offer thanks to God and manna to their ancestors in honour of the latest harvest which could not be eaten before the celebrations had taken place. The Moro Naba, King of the Mossi, and his vassals made huge amounts of beer from the new sorghum and sacrificed many animals in the process, turning it into a national festival, where everyone ate and drank their fill at the expense of the King (or Lord). In the Mossi language, they called it the beerfest of the King.
On the day of the ceremony, which was punctuaded by music and dancing, people from every class of society came to pay hommage to the monarch.
This is why sections of B.R. Guirmas piece are entitled Naab Rayuuya (festival of thanksgiving), Mossi Royal March , Naaba Zanne (entry of the dancers of the Warba, the folkdance of the Mossi of Ouagadougou), Ballad of the Mirgrants of Yatenga , Wenega (popular rejoicing), Fulani Dances and Peul Dances.
The composer remains faithful to the sources of tradition and successfully brings in variations and harmony, combining inspiration with masterful borrowing from Western music. . The words of the songs are from the oral tradition and there is every respect for the musical grammar of Burkina Faso in the use of popular melodies and harmony, both genre and technique being strictly authentic. By taking its inspiration from the folk dance and music of the ritual ceremony, Guirmas symphony is echoing the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundations concern with the promotion of a peoples cultural identity through its collective memory.
It is also a fine illustration of the inter - cultural dialogue, which is one of the fundamental areas of activity of the Foundation.
Since the instrumental sounds in a symphony orchestra exist in Africa, Guirma can score for Western instruments without changing the nature of the African music.
Here, then, he has produced a specifically African work for symphony orchestra in which tradition and modernity have been fused to bring out the values of traditional achievements.
It should be recalled that Father Guirmas other compositions include the theme music from Wend Kundi, by the Burkinabilm - maker Gaston Kabor
The Symphony Orchestra of Europe, itself an inter - cultural enterprise with members from 14 different countries (seven of them in the EEC), was joined on this occasion by singers, including two Africans - Opportune Nana - Tapsoba, the Burkinablto, and Venance Mobio, the Ivorian tenor. An enthusiastic audience warmly applauded them all and gave an ovation to the composer.
M. - H.B.
The spirit and vitality of the West African peoples
In June last year the French version of Ola Baloguns film, River Niger, Black Mother, had its premi at the European Commission in Brussels in the presence of the producer himself and of the wealthy Nigerian businessman and press baron, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the latter having flown in, it was said, specially for the showing. In a few months time, the English version will be out and, together with the French, will be distributed among ACP countries. The production has been financed by the European Development Fund under the cultural cooperation agreement of LomII.
A 60 - minute documentary, which will also form the basis of a book, the film evokes, through the River Niger, the history and culture of the peoples across whose lands the Great River flows, from its source in the Fouta Djallon hills to the Delta creeks where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. This awe - inspiring river has, since time immemorial, been the silent witness of the rise and fall of great empires and has been, and always will be to a great extent, the moulder of the characters and beliefs of the diverse peoples who live near it and by it. Providing an unbroken link between the past and present, the River Niger symbolises the common ancestry of the West African peoples one mother, the Black Mother.
Ola Baloguns essential task has been to let this silent mother take us on a journey, through time and space, to remind West Africans of their dignified past. The river speaks to us not only through the historic cities like Niani - ba, Djenne, Timbuktu, Gao, Niamey, Bornu, Lokoja, Onitsha and Bukuru, but also through the griot (minstrel), the traditional means through which history is handed down from generation to generation in West Africa.
The griots here are none other than the Kouyates (an old man relayed by his brother), descendants of the great Balla Fas Kouyate, who, in the thirteenth century, secured (for himself and his clan) the exclusive right to the griot profession from King Soundjata Keita.
The film inevitably lingers for long in the upper reaches of the Niger as the griot, playing the balafon and assisted by a female member of the family, sings and narrates the story of Soundjata Keita, founder of the great Mali empire. The episodes are enacted by the Mali National Ballet Troupe. The epic poems and songs tell of the marriage of Soundjatas mother, the ugly, hunchback Sogolon, the woman buffalo , to king Naraghan, the birth of Soundjata a cripple, the usurpation of the throne by his brother, Dankaran Touman, with the connivance of his mother, Sassouma Bar at the death of the King, the humiliation of Sogolon at the court, Soundjatas recovery of the use of his legs, his flight into exile, his return to Niani to claim his fathers throne after defeating the cruel and fearsome Soumaoro in a military campaign, and the founding of the Mali Empire.
A shot at Djennes remarkably well - preserved architectural style of the Middle Ages provides the opportunity to evoke memories of the powerful emperor Kaya Magha and the splendour of Wagadou Empire.
The film moves into the desert to remind us of the caravan of Mansa Musa and his famous pilgrimage to Mecca - a caravan which must have crossed the Niger - the rise of Sonni Ali Bers Songhai Empire, the destruction of that empire by the Moroccan army in the sixteenth century, the rise and fall of various other empires and the advent of the Europeans in the nineteenth century. Here, we are reminded of the profound influence Islam has in this part of West Africa with shots of Islamic architecture in Timbuktu and a Koranic school near Sankore mosque.
As we follow the course of the Niger southwards, the film moves away from the historical perspective to the observation of the customs, and lifestyles of the different peoples who live along the banks of the Niger: Tuareg, Soninke, Songhai, Haussa, Yoruba, Nupe, Igala, Ibo, Itsekiri, Urhobo and Ijaw. These peoples perform rituals that in one way or another concern the Great River. We are shown fishermen on the Niger, farmers tilling the land and master blacksmiths at work. The role of the Niger as a means of transport and communication comes across clearly.
The beauty and poetry of this film lie in its double movement: in time and in space. We watch the sun rise in the upper reaches of the Niger where we are plunged into the thirteenth century and the legend of Soundjata Keita. This closes with the sun setting over the hills of Kulikoro. We move on to Djenne and we are in the seventeenth century, and by the time we reach Lokoja, Onitsha, Warri and Buguma we are in the twentieth century, watching the present - day rulers of Nupe and Onitsha perform ceremonial duties and Kalabari masquerade dancing. We are, we are told, in the mysterious stretch of the river . The film dissolves in the twilight as the Niger flows, along with the libation poured by a masquerade, into the sea bearing with it tales of the human settlements and landscapes that it has crossed as well as a logacy of the magic, legend and historical deeds that embody the spirit and vitality of the peoples of West Africa .
From the photographic point of view there is no doubt that Ola Balogun performed very well in portraying in 60 minutes the physical features, grandeur and beauty of a river that spans some 4 200 km and which flows through different climatic conditions and vegetation. From the rocky slopes of the Fouta Djallon, the river flows northwards, through the granitic caves of the Manding hills and the flat grassland of the Savannah to the inner delta and lakes between Mopti and Timbuktu. It then curves southwards through the desert and down, in a breath - taking sweep, flows through the lush tropical rain - forest and the mangrove trees of the Niger delta before disappearing into the Gulf of Guinea. In its course, the Great River is sometimes tumultuous, cascading over rocks in great waterfalls; sometimes it is quiet and shimmering in the sunshine, and sometimes it is dark and mysterious.
Ola Balogon has succeeded in explaining the customs and lifestyles of the different peoples for whom the Great River means life itself. Given the resources available, these are achievements that deserve commendation but this cannot detract from the fact that these achievements are minimised set against the vastness of the subject which he took on. The legend of that larger - than - life personality, Soundjata, for example, given its historical importance, the richness of the material, deserves a film of its own. It is indeed not surprising that the legend took a disproportionate part of the 60 minutes. Soundjatas epic battles will make a very good film. More than that, Soundjata was an archetypal leader whose qualities are sadly lacking in Africa today. This film inevitably misses out on the formative period of his character, his innate generosity put to test by the three witches, (the co - conspirators of Sassoma Bar), the founding of the Mali Empire which was not coercive but by the will of the varios kingdoms as evidenced by the swearing of allegiance at Kaba, presided over by the able Balla Fas Kouyate, and the rough system of checks and balances Soundjata introduced in the Empire between the Kings and the nobles to prevent the former slipping into despotism. This said, River Niger, Black Mother is a film that is good to watch.
The Pan - African Association of Writers is born
Representatives of literary organisations from 40 African countries, meeting in a constitutive congress in Accra Ghana, last November, set up a continent - wide organisation called the Pan - African Association of Writers (PAAW).
This event was the culmination of half a century of efforts by men of culture among whom are people who become political leaders on the continent. The beginning of these efforts goes back to the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists held at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1956. Since then there has been a series of fruitless attempts - fourteen of which the last was the literary anti - apartheid symposium held in Brazzaville in May 1987.
The birth of the Association was marked by the signing of a proclamation and the election of a Constitutive Council of nine members (Guinea, Algeria, Nigeria, Rwanda, Angola Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal and Niger). The Pan - African Association of Writers is open mainly to literary organisations and distinguished men of culture be they Africans or not.
The Association proposes, amongst other things, to:
- bring together men of the pen in the continent in
order to coordinate efforts in the achievement of their common and noble
- encourage the existence of one literary organisation in each African country;
- stimulate cooperation between PAAW and literary organisations all over the world;
- set up an African publishing house and an appropriate system of distribution of works;
- protect the royalty rights of authors;
- establish a literary prize;
- create a continental literary review
The importance of the current achievement and the compelling character of the commitment to the future have been established. The credit goes to those who gave birth to the idea and nourished it for so many years. A good part of the credit goes also to the present generation, especially the statesmen and men of culture of all continents who morally and materially supported the creation of the Pan African literary organisation.
The first step having thus been taken, it remains for the established programme to be carried out.
Charles TOLNO, member of the Pan - African Association of Writers, Conakry, Guinea.
by Sarah REYNOLDS
In most African countries 70 - 80 % of the population is still engaged in agriculture but, despite this, food production is not growing fast enough to keep up with population growth. It is apparent that to increase agricultural output the productivity of the land under cultivation must be increased and a substantial improvement would be achieved through improved mechanisation.
Mechanisation does not mean solely tractorisation, however, but all implements from hand tools, animal draft implements, tractors and postharvest machinery used to transport, process and store produce. But mechanisation must be appropriate to the varying conditions of different regions and not only appropriate but affordable. A farmer has to make a significant profit before he can buy, or get a loan to buy, motorised equipment or even draught animals and the appropriate tools. He must mechanise in stages.
Many African farmers have small holdings of mixed crops and motorised machinery may not, contrary to expectation, actually improve yields. Most serious trials have shown that, in mixed cropping systems, good hand cultivation is more effective. In particular, post emergence weeding is difficult by machine and agricultural engineers can do more to help such farmers by improving hand tools and draught animal harness and equipment. Kenya, among other countries, has recognised the importance of this first step - that improvement of animal traction harness and equipment will increase the productivity of both man and animals. Old European designs have been modified using local fibres and fabrics in the harnesses. Tools are made lighter than European models to ease the load on draught animals faced with breaking up hard dry soil and, where necessary the width of cut on ploughs and cultivators has been reduced.
Hand tools remain the most widely used implements in Africa for cultivation, weeding, harvesting and even threshing. Many traditional designs reflect the materials available in the past when relatively simple technology for casting metal often resulted in heavy hoes and sickle blades. Now that modern steel is available, it is possible to make strong and long - lasting hoes and other tools from less weight of metal. This in turn permits a change in design of handles: - for instance, hoe handles can be made longer and cultivation and weeding can be done with less effort and with a straighter back.
It is essential that farmers are encouraged to increase yields and produce more for sale so that extra income is generated. It is only when yields have been achieved which are above those required for susbsistence, and there is a market for their produce that provides them with a profit. that farmers will have money to invest in improved mechanisation. Therefore marketing and pricing policies for farm produce must take account of this. Shortage of money is the main constraint preventing improved mechanisation for, if machinery is to be developed, there must be a market in which to sell it. Further, for larger, more complicated machinery which carries high development costs, the potential market has to be wider than one nation. It is here that regional cooperation through such associations as the African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) and the Euro African Association of Agricultural Engineers (ACEMA) is essential to achieve standardisation. And standardisation brings with it economics of scale. Too often in the past individual nations have developed their own design specifications resulting in too many machines available for one job/process, all requiring their own spare parts, in a market that is too small. Regional cooperation could lead to different countries specialising in different equipment. (This sounds like Utopia, whereas the reality is more likely to be a desire on the part of each nation to be the one with the manufacturing base selling to all its neighbours). Governments must agree on a realistic level of cross - border tax levies since high tax on spare parts will discourage proper maintenance.
Agricultural engineers have to realise that appropriate technology is not necessarily simple technology. A battery - started engine that is incapable of hand - starting will soon cease to be useful if there is no readily available power source to recharge the battery. Spare parts must be easily and quickly available and stored efficiently. It has been found that up to 15% of spare parts may be unusable through bad storage which has led to corrosion and other damage. Maintenance input must be kept low and simple or running costs can be ruinous.
The small farmer may well derive more benefit from technological development in produce storage, handling and processing than in tractorisation. Up to 30% of a crop can be lost post - harvest and if this largely unnecessary wastage can be reduced by improving harvesting, transportation from field to store, improving threshing and shelling machines and conveyors then the principal aim of increasing agricultural productivity of the land will already, to some extent, have been achieved.
Simple tools developed for easier harvesting of cassava allows tubers to be lifted over a longer season even from dry, hard soils. This removes the need to harvest only when soils are soft and this reduces long - term storage of tubers which spoil in store. Improvements to groundnut shellers can reduce cracking and greatly increase the value of shelled nuts offered for sale. More efficient sugar cane crushers and palm nut crackers yield more juice and oil. Simple solar driers speed the loss of moisture and, in the case of fish, can reduce losses to insect infestation. Improved stores improve smoking of fish and reduce fuel costs.
For pest control in the field, the development of lightweight battery driven ultra low volume (ULV) sprayers has reduced the difficulty of finding a supply of clean water since the pesticides formulated for these sprayers do not require dilution: a plastic container of ready - to - use chemical is simply screwed onto the sprayer head. Operators are also spared the weight of a water - filled knapsack sprayer on their backs resulting in less fatigue and a much faster rate of work.
Tractorisation has most potential in areas of limited rainfall and where field size is sufficient for manoeuvrability. Although smaller, cheaper tractors or even two - wheel cultivators may seem desirable and more attainable for the small farmer, the often hard dry conditions in Africa require a bigger, more powerful machine. Since few farmers have sufficient land to justify a tractor, this leaves him with the option of purchasing the tractor and hiring it out on a contract basis or forming a tractor - owning cooperative. Both options can be successful but for contract hire it is essential that land is cleared of rocks and tree stumps or the cost of repairs to the tractor will soon exceed the hire charge. Communal ownership is proving successful in Zimbabwe although there are problems with the input of time and the level of mangement skill that is required to operate the scheme: small farmers cannot spare time from their own farm work to manage the tractor hiring and, in many cases, do not have the numeracy and literacy skills required. This highlights a major need - that of training. This has to be solved by long term planning if mechanisation is to be successful and to achieve its objectives.
The African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) based in Ibadan, Nigeria, was established in 1980 to develop the capability for engineering design and manufacture of industrial and agricultural machines and equipment. It now has 24 Member States and 250 African engineers trained in design and development. It is funded by annual contributions from Member States and by grants from international organisations, national governments and financial institutions. It is cosponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
ARCEDEM, which has a staff of 250 trained engineers, provides facilities for the design, development, adaptation and testing of machinery and equipment and also training in design, manufacture and maintenance.
Km 9 Ibadan - Iwo Road, PMB 19, UI Post Office,
Theoretical training and practical training - working on farms or in workshops - must be encouraged. But practical training necessitates a network of such farms as can provide trainees with the right sort of experience and learning. Students of general agriculture in University should be given a background in mechanisation while those studying engineering should be exposed to aspects of agriculture. Trainers themselves need training since they do not always understand the needs and attitudes of their trainees and there are insufficient good teaching aids available for teacher support. Trainers must be able not only to inform but to motivate trainees to learn more and practice what they have been taught. Maintenance is an attitude of mind and if people think that all is well provided the tractor is running and that therefore no attention need be given to lubrication or to warning signs of impending mechanical trouble then that tractor will have a short working life.
Development of industrialisation in general will also have some benefits for agriculture but this argument cannot be taken too far. Trained mechanics in Africa are often the graduates of automotive mechanic courses and two problems result: either these mechanics are unable to meet the demands of agricultural machinery services, adjustment, maintenance and repair because of their lack of relevant training; or they move from agricultural machinery maintenance to work with cars and trucks where they feel more comfortable, are part of an urban community and usually earn more. With regard to skilled operators of agricultural machinery few training programmes do more than train drivers. The skills needed to operate complex agricultural machinery effectively, safely and efficiently go far beyond an ability to steer a tractor through the field or down the road pulling a trailer. Furthermore, these skills are not developed in a two - week or even two month course at a training institute; they can only be developed in a supervised work experience environment which spans at least two agricultural seasons. Few African countries yet have training programmes that meet these criteria and the results can be seen in machinery graveyards and additional work for mechanics already in short supply.
Exchange of information can help to ensure that machines are developed not only to high common standards but that they are developed to do the jobs for which they are most appropriate. ARCEDEM, which has 250 African engineers trained in design and development, plays an important role in conducting engineering design and manufacturing training programmes but it has also introduced specialised courses for maintenance of machinery, project studies, production techniques, etc. It provides a unique opportunity for agricultural designers to work on design and produce new prototypes. It is also conscious that while individual nations have established their own research and development organisations there is a serious shortage of laboratory testing equipment for prototype development. This is an area where European countries can provide both financial and educational assistance.
There will be no progress towards successful agricultural mechanisation unless policy - makers and governments in Africa give it priority. It is necessary on a national basis to assess all needs and prioritise those needs; to review existing networks for the distribution of equipment and spare parts; to examine existing training facilities, to strengthen those sectors that are weak and to institute training in sectors where it is lacking; finally, to analyse current import policies, their impact on local manufacture and to modify policies to encourage appropriate local design and manufacture.
Ideally, national Agricultural Mechanisation Committees should be set up to advise on national policies and to liaise through ACEMA with similar bodies in Africa and Europe. Meanwhile, European governments (possibly through the EC) could assist by helping to fund ACEMA and by encouraging European manufacturers to make available designs for equipment no longer in production. And both African and European partners in this endeavour must put much more emphasis on training and communication at all stages of the mechanisation process.
At a recent congress held in Brussels (13 - 17 February 1990) discussion centred on the challenges of appropriate mechanisation in Africa. The Congress was organised by the Belgian Federation of the Agricultural and Horticultural Equipment (UGEPO) and was funded by the Belgian Government, the Commission of the E.C. and by The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). A further congress which is to be held in June, also in Brussels, will have as its theme Crop Intensification and the Environment in Africa. This will also be supported by CTA and will include discussion on the role of mechanisation in crop intensification.
The Euro - African Association of Agricultural Engineering Centres (ACEMA) which is based in YaoundCameroon, was established to develop cooperation between European and African centres in the field of agricultural engineering? to exchange information on research, testing and development of agricultural machinery and to provide advice to countries wishing to develop Agricultural Engineering Centres.
PO Box 1040 YaoundR>Cameroon
Tel: 22 33 54
Telex 8325 KN (Minagri)
On the subject of national languages
I have just read The Courier of Jan. - Feb. 1990 (No. 119) and found the Dossier National languages disturbing. Everything is disturbing, everything from the fact that our vernacular languages are disappearing to the question of which language to use in writing mother tongue or the colonial language.
I particularly liked the articles by A. Babs Fafunwa (Is a lingua franca possible in Nigeria?), Otto Manganau Nekitel (Languages in danger of disappearing: the case of Papua New Guinea)...
Babs Fafunwa maintains that there is little or no continuity between the African childs home experience and his school experience. This is absolutely true. When I was in primary school, we passed round the marker,, that stick given to one unfortunate enough to say something in a language other than English. And because most of us, no, all of us, knew very little of this foreign language, we usually carried out our conversations in mime. And when it was time to go home, sighs of relief could be heard from all. We could now converse in Kiswahili. And, in the house we spoke in our mother tongues and Kiswahili. And this was not long ago either, it was in the 70s.
Fafunwa also suggests that a childs mother tongue should be his medium of education for the first six years of his life. But what about those children from different ethnic tribes learning together in city schools? What if a class has 50 children from 50 tribes? What happens? Teach in the national language? Will not these children then be at a disadvantage compared to their rural counterparts? Anyway, here in Kenya I do not know whether it is possible to teach young people like secondary school pupils a vernacular language. Some people are ashamed of their own mother tongue. That is why I particularly liked the article about language disappearance in Papua New Guinea.
That article could well have been titled: Languages in danger of disappearance: the case of Kenya , substituting Abu with Kisii, Kamba, Dholuo, Nandi, etc. The reasons given as to why this Papua New Guinean language is disappearing, and the attitudes of the people - interethnic marriages, educated Abuans not being able to converse in Abu, being shy and uncomfortable, afraid of being ridiculed by others all these reflect absolutely the situation in Kenya.
The issue of writing in mother tongues is sometimes discussed here and I think that it is not possible, at least not with my age group. The reason is simple: I doubt whether there is anyone in my age group in Kenya who can speak his mother tongue like does his or her grandmother or great grandmother. This is because we started our early education in the English and Kiswahili languages and know little about the sayings, rhythms and proverbs of our vernacular languages. Some of us are multilingual, with no thorough grasp of any one language. So how can we, even if we wanted to, write in the language of our forefathers?
When my age group was growing up, the story - telling tradition had died (or was in the process of dying). We saw our grandmothers very rarely because our fathers and mothers lived in the city, trying to earn a living. And we always conversed in Kiswahili in school.
Another thing. Here in Kenya, the more young people forget their native languages, the less tribalistic they become. Schoolchildren do not much care about which part of the country their friends come from. Of the knowledge of tribal languages I tend to think that revival would revive tribalism, nepotism, etc., too.
Beatrice Moraa, Nairobi, Kenya
Bravo to the EEC
In The Courier No 119 of January - February, 1990, the cooperation between ACP and EEC institutions and universities was X - rayed.
Let me take this opportunity to register my heart - felt gratitude anal deep appreciation to EEC for her wonderful gesture in initiating this humane co - operation.
In fact, the benefit accruing therefrom to the students and staff of University of Nigeria is tremendous. It has brought much joy and! comfort not only to the university, but also to - all Nigerian citizens. And in this respect) we say Bravo to EEC.
I should add that The Courier enjoys wide readership in Nigeria because of the positive steps regularly taken by EEC to improve the deplorable conditions of most Third World countries.
Uba Aham, Nsukka, Nigeria
A weekly Courier?
I learned c lot from Courier No 103, because I hadnt before had such accurate and broad information on alley - cropping. It is this kind of information, on simple and appropriate agricultural practices, that should take up more space in the magazine. I wish that The Courier could be weekly.
Kambale Sivaminya, Butembo, Zaire
European Parliament welcomes Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, Vice - President of the African National Congress (ANC), was welcomed by Community MPs when he visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 11 - 14 June. The House paid tribute to his courage and democratic convictions and to his determination to seek broad agreement on new democratic institutions in South Africa. Since you were freed, European Parliament President Enrique Baron Crespo told Mr Mandela, the whole world has been impressed by your sense of dignity and immense bravery and especially by your will to dialogue with the South African Government to find a peaceful solution to the problems raised by apartheid... Therein lies the immense strength of the unshakeable tenacity of the past 30 years which has sustained you in your uncompromising rejection of racial segregation and in your quest for a new political order based on one man, one vote.
Nelson Mandela responded to the President and other speakers by saying that, in pursuing the cause of the freeing of all the political prisoners in South Africa and the emancipation of our people from racial bondage, the European Parliament had given proof of the nobility of the human mind .
He went on to stress to importance of maintaining economic sanctions against the South African Government. He reminded the House of his confidence in President De Klerks good faith and recognised the progress which the South African Head of State had made towards abolishing apartheid. However, Mr Mandela said, the principal foundations of the apartheid policy were still in place and it would be weakening the ANC to remove the economic sanctions against the Pretoria Government now. It would be a knife in our peoples back, because the conditions for relaxing external pressure on the Pretoria authorities were not there, he thought. We want to put you seriously on your guard that any retreat from this position would be a threat to the process of negotiation itself - a plea repeated time and time again in the many talks he had with leading political, economic and trade union figures in Strasbourg.
Nelson Mandela also mentioned the economic aspects of what he was doing. It is equally important for the political changes to be accompanied by significant economic transformations , he maintained, as we have to make sure that the economy serves the interests of all our people and is used to put an end to the terrible poverty and deprivation which are the legacy of apartheid.
And here, Mr Mandela said in answer to a question from The Courrier, the Community had a considerable part to play in the process of establishing democracy and peace in South Africa. More specifically, he also hoped that the Community would provide a large amount of aid to resettle (roughly 120 000) refugees, train workers and ensure the general development of the economy.
The European Parliament, with a left - wing majority, supported and voted for a resolution to maintain economic sanctions against Pretoria.
But the French Liberal, Simone Veil, also took a constructive position, pleading for sanctions to be maintained but also for a gesture to be made to President De Klerk so as not to ignore the efforts of the South African Head of State - who had to stand up to white extremists, just as Nelson Mandela had to stand up to the hard - liners of violent action in the black population.
Before leaving Strasbourg for Rome, Canada and the USA, Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie, together with Peter Pekane. the ANC representative in Brussels, received a delegation of ACP Ambassadors led by Amaduaogo (Burkina Faso), the President of the OAU Group in Brussels, and Raymond Chasle (Mauritius), the doyen of the ACP diplomatic corps. The meeting was also attended by, Emmanuel Gasana, the Head of the OAU office in Brussels, and Kapembe Nsingo, the Zambian Ambassador, who paid enthusiastic tribute to Mr Mandela.
In 1988, the European Parliament awarded Nelson Mandela the Sakharov prize, which goes to leading figures who have made a significant contribution to the furtherance of human rights and freedoms. The publishers P. Staedl, of Strasbourg, also paid a philatelic tribute to the South African leader at the Palais de lEurope.
ACP National Authorising Officers or their representatives recently met in the ACP Secretariat - General in Brussels to pool their experience of the implementation of LomAt their previous meeting three years ago, also in ACP House, they had concentrated on the preparation, execution, supervision and evaluation of projects, but this time, although considerable attention was paid to the problems of implementing LomII, the discussions, chaired by N.Rapha Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, focused on the provisions of LomV - and perfectly reasonably, too, since the programming for the new Convention is only a few weeks away and the National Authorising Officers have an essential part to play in it.
In the middle of their fortnights work, they met representatives of the Commission and the EIB to exchange views on various topics, including the forthcoming programming of Community aid. The first phase (indication of the amount) in this five - phase process has already taken place and the announcement of the first instalment of the structural adjustment funds, the expression of ACP intentions, the discussions between the ACP authorities and the Commission Delegates and the negotiation of the indicative programme come next. And there is the internal approval process in the ACPs and the Commission in addition.
As far as the principles of programming are concerned, LomV confirms and reinforces LomII, particularly when it comes to sectoral policies, the focusing of aid, the notions of mutual commitment and the policy dialogue. The Commission, through Manuel Marin, has, as we know, made it clear that it wants to see all the indicative programmes signed before the end of the year, which, Deputy Director - General for Development, Philippe Soubestre, says, means a rather different approach from that used before. Only where absolutely essential will the Commission now send out missions and it is the Delegate who will be negotiating and concluding the indicative programme - which should, where appropriate, include new areas such as population and demography, support for the private sector and structural adjustment. Regional aid, too, will be focused on a limited number of sectors, but the fact that economic integration is the central aim of cooperation under LomV makes this a harder and more demanding task.
The EIB representative said that the LomII system of earmarking 40 - 45 % of the risk capital for the least developed countries, each of which would be notified of the minimum amount it would be receiving, was to be continued. The Bank would be emphasising aid to private projects this time a new policy departure, although this kind of operation had already been financed before - and using ACP development banks and the private banking sector there to do so.
At the end of the discussions Dieter Frisch, the Director - General for Development, came in to suggest that the National Authorising Officers meet the Commission Delegates as often as possible to see where the bottlenecks are. In his eyes. they bore just as much responsibility as the negotiators, who would have been indulging in art for arts sake if the Convention were not properly applied.
The Commission has just taken these financing decisions following a favourable opinion from the EDF Committee:
Burundu, Rwanda and Tauzania
Bukombe - lsaka road
Grant: ECU 42 000 000
This project sets out to asphalt the 113 km Bukombe - lsaka stretch of the surfaced road linking Isaka with Rusomo and the Rwandese frontier. A road - rail terminal for goods in transit to landlocked Rwanda (and to a lesser extent other countries in the sub - region too) is being built at Isaka, also with EDF funds, so the new project is one of a series of Community - financed schemes to improve the landlocked countries transport infrastructure by means of the Tanzanian central corridor. It will also supply maintenance equipment and material to enable the Tanzanian authorities to maintain the whole of the Isaka - Rusomo route.
Rural health facilities
Grant: ECU 3000000
Moderate efficiency of a complete health service is the aim here, as a basis for the development of primary health care, with restrictions on nonessential consultations in expensive hospital departments.
The project, which will help the Ministry of Health and the Medical Services put the national health plan into practice, comprises three main complementary, properly structured operations:
- a system of health information and cost recovery;
- permanent training courses for nurses;
- a general equipment and infrastructure programme.
Angola, Cameroon, CAR, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, Sao Tomnd PrincipZa and Zambia
Regional cultural cooperation in the Bantu world
Grant: ECU 5 600 000
This cultural cooperation programme has been designed to help develop and bring a dynamic approuch to Bantu culture in all the countries which share it and are part of it. It is being run from CICIBA, the International Centre for Bantu Civilisations, in Libreville and the idea is to support a series of cultural activities to benefit people in the member countries of CICIBA and Cameroon.
Memory and creativity and their place in the development process are the focal themes of the programme, which will start by helping with the collection in the field, the conservation and the exploitation of Bantu knowledge and know - how (oral tradition, language, music, dance, manufacturing processes, etc. ) in all the countries concerned by multidisciplinary teams trained and equipped for this purpose. A series of (art and craft, drama, literary, etc.) microprojects will be run alongside this to make for better appreciation of the cultural dimension and improve on the way it is included in the development process. Encouragement will also be given to present - day artists by means of such things as an artwork purchasing centre and support for various regional cultural events.
Maritime protection installations
4th, 5th and 6th EDFs
Grant: ECU 2 711 000
Coastal protection facilities around St Helena are to be improved by the construction of concrete groynes at St James and Ruperts Bays. The present system can no longer cope with the destruction wrought by heavy storms and the infrastructure has to be improved if the installations on the coast are to be preserved and the wellbeing of the local people maintained.
Aid for agriculture
4th, 5th and 6th EDFs
Grant: ECU I 557000
This project will be providing funds to finance the Falklands agricultural assistance system run on behalf of the Government by the Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC). The system helps local farmers with financing to invest in infrastructure to stimulate the growth of the islands main productive sector.
Wallis and Futuna
Improvements to roods
Grant: ECU I 300000
Loan: ECU 600 000
This scheme, which is part of the territorys road improvement initiative, is also intended to give the islands a degree of independence by providing plant for public works.
The Public Works Department will be endowed with new plant and equipment so it can both ensure new (road and drainage) installations and maintain the existing network in Wallis and Futuna. Roadworks will also be carried out over 6.95 km (2.7 km on Futuna and 4.25 km on Wallis).
Members of ECOWAS and the CEAO
Automatic statistical and customs data processing
Grant: ECU 5000000
The idea here is to encourage regional integration and boost trade in West Africa by setting up a regional data processing system to handle trade statistics and customs information in ECOWAS and the CEAO.
The project will standardise statistics and customs data and centralise them in the region. Successive schemes will be run to define a common method of compiling external trade statistics in the countries belonging to the two organisations, produce a comparative table of nomenclature and then get the customs procedures computerised in the member countries with the TRACE programme devised by the Statistical Office of the European Community.
Assistance for the FIIRO Research Institute
Grant: ECU I 200000
Technical and financial assistance is to be provided here to three institutes - FIIRO (a federal body dealing with industrial research), PRODA (project development) and the NBRRI (research into roads and construction) - so that applied research programmes can be run to help solve current and potential problems in the industrial sector.
Business development plan
Grant: ECU I 500 000
The business development plan is part of a global scheme to boost the productivity of the manufacturing industry, commercial services and international trade.
The idea is to improve the potential of activities in these sectors, particularly with export in mind. The direct effect of this financing proposal should be a 15 % average annual increase in the sales of manufacturing, trading and service companies over the period of the project.
The plan provides for technical assistance with setting up a management unit in an organisation called CURACAO Incorporated (a consortium of firms and bodies from both the private and public sectors) and a fund to help with marketing, training, management, investment and feasibility studies in existing and future firms.
Tanzania, Za, Burundi,
Rwanda and Uganda
Grant: ECU 36000000
Goods to and from Za, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda transit across Tanzania through its central corridor and goods to and from Zambia, Malawi and other SADCC countries through its southern corridor. All these countries use Tanzanian facilities, in the light of corridor capacity and political situation, for their imports and exports. This project aims to improve the transit of goods through the central corridor by providing the Tanzanian Railway Company with the rolling stock to make up and run six shuttles to and from the landlocked countries of Za, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. Financial support for technical assistance with traffic management is also included.
The shuttles will only be used to shift transit goods for the landlocked nations from the port of Dar - esSalaam by the TRC central line to Kigoma (for Zaire and Burundi), Isaka (for Rwanda and Burundi) and Mwanza (for Uganda).
Technical and institutional support for the forestry
Grant: ECU I 190000
Forestry is important to this countrys economy, accounting for almost 50% of export earnings and around 37% of national tax revenue in 1987. But since production is still far short of the potential figure, the nations development strategy is largely based on expanding activity in the sector and a number of funders are sending aid with the twofold aim of bringing exploitation up to the appropriate level and maintaining the balance of the tropical forest as an ecosystem and an economic asset.
The project is to provide:
- aerial photographic and radar coverage of continental
Equatorial Guinea to produce a detailed inventory of the forestry
- logistical support and technical assistance for OCIPEF, the forestry information and promotion board;
- training for national staff.
Grant: ECU 3420000
This is the consolidation and extension of a lowland rice development operation in Comorovince in south - western Burkina Faso. It follows on from the first project to develop rice - growing in the Comoegional Development Organisation, which has had ECU 2.9 million in Community financing since 1978.
The present scheme, phase two, involves developing a total of 620 ha (spread over 10 different sites), using partial irrigation, to add to the 850 ha (seven sites) already developed, while the drive to organise the exploitation of the plots, with peasant management and more modern growing methods, is continued alongside.
Roads in the commercial district of Ouagadougou
Grant: ECU 3 730 000
Roads serving Ouagadougous new central market are to be rehabilitated under this scheme. The work, which involves rebuilding about 5.6 km of road and 7.4 km of channels, includes attendant investments in such items as parking spaces and bus stops.
This is one of the priority urban projects for the development of the commercial district of the capital, the first stage of which was the rebuilding of the main central market, and it complies with the general specifications laid down in August 1985 on land use, traffic and the nature of the infrastructure used to develop the area.
Members of RECTAS and other countries of Central and West Africa
Support for RECTAS
Grant: ECU 3 000 000
The aim of the project is to improve RECTAS training (and research) potential and thereby give the African countries more independence in such areas as training in photographic surveying, cartography, photographic reproduction and remote sensing for resource inventory and management.
The project, to be run with the International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences, the leading partner, and the Groupement pour le Dloppement de la Tdction Aspatiale, an associate, will provide RECTAS with institutional support between July 1990 and June 1995.
Africa in general and the west and central regions in particular will get the benefit of this improvement in the services RECTAS provides.
The project includes training in the Netherlands and France for RECTAS staff - i.e. study grants for courses and practical traineeships (short missions) designed specially to update knowledge.
Grant: ECU I 500 000
This is to:
- improve those areas of the public sector to which Community
aid is granted;
- raise vocational training standards.
This will be achieved mainly through grants for study in Europe, training courses in Uganda, a supply of teaching materials and equipment and the provision of technical assistance.
Sectoral import programme
Grant: ECU 41 000 000
The programme is the result of the National Authorising Officers request to reorient the indicative programme to make for financing for a sectoral import programme to back up the economic recovery drive the Government is currently running in coordination with the Washington institutions. A first phase of financial stabilisation should considerably reduce the public finance and balance of payments deficits. The Government has already taken steps to cut public spending, particularly in the cocoa and coffee sectors and in the civil service, and operating and investment expenditure has gone down, too. A second phase should see the right conditions for medium - term recovery through reforms to make the country economically competitive again. The restructuring the Government is to undertake (though agriculture and energy sector adjustment programmes) has been negotiated with the IBRD.
The ECU 41 m programme involves the country getting about 2 300 000 barrels of crude via SIR, the Ivorian refining company, which will pay the counterpart funds into a special account at the treasury, to be spent on rural development (about 60%) and health (about 40%).
Jamaica: ECU I m for equity participations in small and medium - scale companies
The European Investment Bank is providing a global loan of ECU I m to Trafalgar Development Bank (TDB), a private sector institution in Jamaica. TDB will use the proceeds of the loan to take equity participations in small and medium - scale enterprises in the industrial, agroindustrial and tourism sectors throughout Jamaica.
The funds are advanced for 25 years at 2% in the form of a conditional loan from risk capital resources provided for under the Third Lomonvention and managed by the EIB.
TDB was incorporated in 1983 and major shareholders are eight Jamaican private companies, as well as Deutsche Finanzierungsgesellschaft fur Beteiligungen in Entwicklungslandern (DEG) and Nederlandse Financieringsmaatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMA).
This operation is the fourth in Jamaica under the third Lomonvention and the first from risk capital resources. A global loan of ECU 10 m was granted to the National Development Bank in 1986 for financing small and medium - sized projects in industry, agro - industry and tourism. In 1987 the EIB provided ECU 5.2 m for the extension of the port of Montego Bay, and in 1989 ECU 16 m for the extension und upgrading of the Kingston container terminal.
Malawi: ECU 2.5 m for water supply
The European Investment Bank also provided two loans totalling ECU 2.5 m for expanding the water supply in Blantyre, Malawis major industrial and commercial centre.
The funds are being made available under LomII to the Republic of Malawi in form of:
- a loan of ECU I m from the EIBs own resources, for on - lending to Blantyre Water Board (BWB), the official body responsible for the citys water supply. The loan is advanced for 15 years at 6.05 %, allowing for an interest rate subsidy drawn from EDF resources;
- a conditional loan of ECU 1.5 m for 20 years at 2% from risk capital resources provided for under the Convention and managed by the EIB. The State will use the proceeds of the loan to fund a convertible loan to BWB.
The project, which is part of a larger investment programme
requiring some ECU 25 m over a period to the mid - 199Os, comprises the
refurbishment of pumps ensuring the transmission of water from source to the
urban network, expansion of treatment installations, enlargement of the
citys main reservoir and the study and design in preparation for the next
phase of the expansion programme. The investment will allow BWB to meet
Blantyres growing water requirements and will ensure greater reliability
of supply. Works are scheduled to be completed by the end of 1991.
15th anniversary of the ACP Group
The 15th anniversary of the signing of the agreement setting up the ACP Group (Georgetown, 6 June 1975) was celebrated in ACP House in Brussels. ACP Secretary - General Ghebray Berhane went over the main stages in the life of the Group at the press conference held on this occasion and announced that the ACP Ambassadors had just met to discuss cooperation within the ACP Group, its experience, its achievements in relation to its aims, its difficulties and, most important, its future - a subject to be taken further by a special working party. This, which comprised the officers of the Committee of Ambassadors, two or three other co - opted members and the Secretary General himself, was expected to complete the first part of its work in July and to prepare for a second, specific meeting in the second half of the year.
The anniversary celebrations continued in the evening with a reception in a Brussels hotel to which many ACP and European personalities were invited.
Various speakers recalled the difficult history of the ACP Group, which is now finding it has an important part to play in international economic relations.
In his capacity as Secretary - General of the ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation, the Mauritian Ambassador, Raymond Chasle, the doyen of the ACP diplomatic corps, also gave the results of the competition run two year ago to find the best answers to a quiz on the ACPs and the best technical invention by one or more young ACP nationals.
The quiz winners, youngsters from the CAR ( 1st prize) and Burkina Faso (2nd prize), will be getting flight tickets to Europe via Kenya, and Bfrs 1000 000 (about US $ 30 000) goes to the winning inventor, a young Tanzanian who devised a machine to process sugar cane.
Music for the reception, folksongs from Nigeria, was provided by one of that countrys best bands.
Two new Ambassadors, from Rwanda and Sudan, have presented their credentials to the Presidents of the Council and the Commission of the European Communities.
Frans Ngarukiyintwali, a 50 year old who began a lifetimes career in his countrys diplomatic service in 1964, has been Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Director - General for External Relations and Secretary General at the Foreign Ministry and spent 10 years (1979 - 89) as Foreign Minister before coming to Brussels.
Saeed Saad Mahgoub Saad, the new Sudanese Ambassador, now 54, qualified in economics at the Universities of East Anglia and Leicester in the United Kingdom. He left a short career in banking to enter the diplomatic service and has since held various posts, including that of Sudans Permanent Representative to the UN and Ambassador to Japan, South Korea and Australia.
A high - level delegation visits the Commission
A ministerial delegation from Namibia led by Mr Ben Amathila, Minister of Trade and Industry, held exploratory talks with Commission officials in Brussels from 31 May to 6 June prior to the countrys accession to the Lomonvention. The delegation, which included Gert Hanekom, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Deon Gous, deputy secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Peter Manning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and H. W. Kreft, Managing Director of the Namibian Meat Board, met several times with Vice - President Manuel Marin and held meetings with Dieter Frisch, Director - General for Development, and his two deputies Peter Pooley and Philippe Soubestre.
The purpose of the visit, which was made at the invitation of Commissioner Marin, was to get first hand information on the Convention and become acquainted with its procedures. A few days after Namibias independence, the country expressed its desire to accede to the Lomonvention.
The issues raised during this visit covered Namibias main areas of interest, including trade arrangements, financial and technical cooperation, Stabex, Sysmin and the Beef Protocol. At a press conference in Brussels, Mr Amathila said that his country was hoping to be given a realistic quota for beef exports to the EEC.
The formal negotiations for accession are expected to start in July and by September it is hoped that Nambia will become a full member of the Convention. It will then be able, under the transitional measures, to benefit from the trade provisions. Only when the Convention is finally ratified, however, will its financial and technical provisions be applicable to all ACP countries.
Cape Verdean Prime Minister Pedro Peres in Brussels
Pedro Peres, Cape Verdes PM, met Commission Vice - President Manuel Marin, who is responsible for Development and Fisheries, on 23 April.
The Brussels visit, during which the Prime Minister was accompanied by Adao da Silva Rocha, Minister of Industry and Mining, was the opportunity to discuss three subjects of special mutual interest - bilateral relations between the EEC and Cape Verde, regional cooperation and Cape Verdes eligibility for the LomV structural adjustment allocation.
EEC - Cape Verde relations
Mr Marin and Mr Peres said they were pleased with the way things were at the moment. Both parties thought that the prospects of speeding up implementation of the LomII national indicative programme and renewing the multiannual food aid agreement between the EEC and Cape Verde (concluded for a two - year period on 15 May 1987 and due for examination by the Food Aid Committee this May) were good.
The Cape Verdean Delegation also gave its views on the LomV indicative programme for which it will be receiving ECU 27 million (the LomII figure was ECU 23 million). The schemes this time will probably focus on urban development in Praia, the capital, as they did under the previous Convention.
The Delegation mentioned the countrys particular regional cooperation problems and prospects under LomV.
Cape Verde, an island, has relations with its neighbours in the Sahel and with other Portuguese - speaking countries of Africa and it would like the LomV regional programme to bear this in mind. The Prime Minister also mentioned the possibility of taking part in regional programmes which would provide support for his countrys present policy of economic opening.
Eligibility for structural adjustment arrangements
The Cape Verdeans told Manuel Marin of the Governments economic policy plans, two of the most important aspects of which were greater opening onto the international economy and the reorganisation of some sectors.
Mr Marin made it clear that, once the Cape Verdean authorities had finalised their economic projects, they would discuss jointly how far these met the criteria which the Convention lays down for eligibility for structural adjustment. Cape Verde is in fact not automatically entitled to this assistance as it is not currently running any structural adjustment measures, but it could become eligible if it embarked upon a programme of reform which was recognised and backed by the main multilateral funders or if it demonstrated that it complied with the criteria (on levels of indebtedness, repayment problems, the monetary and budgetary situation, unemployment, etc.) mentioned in Article 246 of LomV.
Gabonese Prime Minister visits the Commission
Casimir Oyba, Prime Minister and Head of the Gabonese Government, visited Brussels at the head of a large delegation which included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Planning, Mining, Hydrocarbons and Agriculture and the Minister delegated to the Prime Ministers Office with responsibility for Decentralisation. On 11 June, the Prime Minister told a press conference that his mission was one of friendship, explanation and information. Mr Oybas Government was formed in a sensitive political context after the national conference - a very big moment in the political life of Gabon and what the President wanted and it is in office on a transitional basis pending the legislative elections.
All members of Gabonese society had the opportunity to say what they thought for a month and their requests were put to the President, who granted many of them - the constitution of a new Government (formed on 29 April 1990) with a range of political colours, for example, the adoption of a basic charter of freedoms, the setting up of a commission to prepare the future Constitution, the launching of a campaign to bring order to the national economy and a drive to rationalise public finances.
The Prime Minister placed particular emphasis on the effort they were making to reform the public sector. This was something they were tackling in depth, pragmatically and without being dogmatic and, since the populations needs had to be met at a reasonable cost, it might well go as far as the liquidation or privatisation of some public firms which were a permanent drain on the State Budget. The results would be apparent in the long term.
The rationalisation of public finances, currently running an intolerable deficit, was being sought through a cut in State spending (reducing staff costs and reorganising the institutions), an increase in State revenue (particularly from oil and customs) and an attempt to handle the problem of debt - for which, Mr Oyba said, there should be special solutions for countries like his. We want to pay our debts, but we cant pay them all, and so the creditors should make a gesture, he maintained, remembering that Gabon, too, has something to offer... and that it is in no ones interest to see it go down .
The Gabonese Delegation, which came from Paris to visit the Belgian authorities and the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels, then travelled to Luxembourg.
When the Prime Minister met Manuel Marin and presented his Governments economic and political programme, the Commissioner congratulated him on progress with the political and economic democratisation process, but stressed the importance that the Commission and the whole Community attached to human rights.
Ethiopian Deputy PM visits Brussels
Wollie Chekol, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, visited Brussels on 7 May on his tour of Europe and America to tell the various cooperation partners about his countrys recent reforms. In March, the Government passed a number of resolutions, in particular bringing in a programme of economic reform and an overhaul of both the party and the political structure of the nation - the latter to make for coherence with the economic changes.
The main aim of the programme is to promote a mixed economy, using the machinery of the market, encourage the private sector, make public management more competitive and profitable, form cooperatives on a strictly voluntary basis and decentralise economic decision - making.
The appropriate steps have been taken to do this, in particular by abolishing ceilings on private investment, introducing a large number of tax and customs incentives (such things as repatriation of dividends and income tax exemption for foreign investors who plough their profits back into the country), preparing for membership of MIGA (the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) and making it possible for foreign investors to have majority holdings in Ethiopian firms.
The Deputy Prime Minister thought that the assets of the Ethiopian economy (relatively well - developed infrastructure, a good standard of financial services, human resources etc.) were such that the reforms he had described would make for rapid progress in the 90s provided the international community backed up the national effort, particularly when it came to structural adjustment, financial and technical cooperation and private investments.
This is why the Ethiopian mission was not just to visit representatives of the authorities of the countries on its tour, but businessmen as well.
Salim Ahmed Saim,
OAU Secretary - General, on tour
The Secretary - General of the OAU visited Brussels in June as part of a tour he made to establish contact and get a better idea of the methods the Community used in its work and cooperation with the ACP States. This was an opportunity for Salim Ahmed Salim to talk to many people, including Ghebray Berhane, Secretary - General of the ACP Group, officials of the Commission of the European Communities and representatives of the Belgian authorities.
At a press conference in ACP House, Mr Salim said he thought that human rights, and political ones especially, were not just the concern of Europe, but of Africa as well. But he rejected the idea of aid being tied to political conditions, because, he maintained, African States ought not have the feeling that they are undergoing external pressure to be democratic in their own countries.
The Courier will be reporting on Mr Salims visit in greater detail in the next issue.
Mr Marin visits Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda
From 2 to 9 June, Vice - President Manuel Marin, Commissioner for Development and Fisheries, paid an official visit to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Under the new LomV Convention signed by 68 ACP States and the 12 EC - Member States on 15 December 1989 and covering the period 1990 - 200O, Tanzania continues to be in the top group of recipient countries among the ACP States. Tanzania will receive a minimum of ECU 195 million (US$ 230 m) for the period 19901995, of which ECU 166 m in grants.
During his visit, Vice - President Marin held discussions with the President, Ali Hasasan Mwinyi, as well as the Second Vice - President, Idris Abdul Wakil, and several Ministers. The principal themes of discussions were the political prospects for Tanzania and the whole region, those of cooperation and development and the major objectives of Tanzania within the structural adjustment process. Mr Marin was duly impressed by the efforts of the government towards economic recovery and confirmed future EC - support for the transport sector, agriculture, with special emphasis on coffee, and for the social sector. He also stressed the importance of further measures and decisions to be taken and implemented by the Government in order to obtain optimum results from EC - investments.
During his visit, the Vice - President signed two financing agreements concerning blocktrains on TRC for landlocked countries and the construction of the Isaka - Bukome Road, a stretch mostly used for regional traffic to and from Rwanda and Burundi. He also visited two EC - financed projects in Zanzibar.
The aim of this first official visit to Kenya was to discuss with the authorities the present state of implementation and future prospects of cooperation between the EEC and Kenya.
During his visit Mr Marin met President Daniel Arap Moi, Vice President and Minister of Finance, George Saitoti, Dr Z. Onyonka, Minister of Planning and National Development, as well as several Ministers and officials responsible for cooperation.
He confirmed that Europes commitment towards its ACP partners has not been modified by the efforts that are being deployed in view of the completion of the internal market in 1992, or by the possibilities of closer cooperation with Eastern European countries, following the changes presently occurring in these countries. Mr Marin stressed that although there is a real risk of growth in economic disparities, the effects of the ECs internal market and the democratisation in Eastern Europe must not be viewed pessimistically: they constitute above all a challenge and an opportunity that ACP countries must not ignore. The signature of the fourth Lomonvention underlines the strength of Europes ties with the ACP countries.
During the meetings, the outlook for the Kenyan economy and for Kenya/EEC cooperation was reviewed. Vice - President Marin expressed his appreciation of the strong performance of the Kenyan economy in the past few years and for the determination of the government to implement a number of important reforms aimed at redressing some structural imbalances of the economy. He recalled the contribution that the EEC has made to the structural adjustment policy in Kenya, through a majors reform programme m the cereals sector and through balance of payments support in the form of an agricultural import programme. The prospects of further cooperation in this field were also examined.
For the period 1990 - 95, Kenya will be entitled to a minimum of ECU 140 million in programmable resources, entirely in the form of grants, to which an allocation will be added for structural adjustment. It will also be entitled to other EEC resources, such as STABEX, depending on the trends on the coffee market, food aid, co - financing with nongovernmental organisations, and loans by the European Investment Bank.
Under the new LomV Convention, Uganda, like Tanzania, continues to be in the top group of recipient countries; it will be entitled to a minimum of ECU 160 million (US$ 190 million) for the period 1990 - 1995, out of which ECU 145 m is in grants and the balance in very soft loans.
During his visit, Vice - President Marin had discussions with President Yoweri Museveni and several Ministers and senior officials. The principal themes of discussions were the political outlook for Uganda and the whole region, cooperation and development and the major objectives of Ugandas adjustment efforts.
Mr Marin also pointed out the need for private initiatives and investments in order to ensure sustained economic and social growth.
During his visit, the Commission Vice - President announced the approval of a number of new projects and signed several financing agreements concerning additional wagons for Uganda Railways Corporation, microprojects for Northern and Eastern districts and a training programme for a total of ECU 9.5 m (US$ 11.5m). Mr Marin visited several EC - fnanced projects in Kampala and in the South - West.
Protection for forest ecosystems in Central Africa
Brazzaville was host to a ministerial forestry conference on 31 May and 1
June. The meeting was held on the initiative of the Congolese Government, with the collaboration and participation of the Commission of the European Communities, and it brought together Ministers responsible for forestry and conservation in seven countries of Central Africa - Cameroon, CAR, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tomnd Principnd Za.
The main aim of the conference, which was preceded by a preparatory meeting, was to approve a request for financing from the Commission of the European Communities (about ECU 24 m over a period of three years) for a regional programme of conservation and rational utilisation of the forestry ecosystems of Central Africa.
The programme, designed with the provisions of LomII in mind, is completely in line with the new LomV guidelines on the protection of the environment and natural resources. It is also an integral part of the Central African regional plan for the protection of the tropical forests which the Ministers adopted at the conference.
The approach which the seven countries adopted and advertised during the conference is a model of regional cooperation - a Lombjective which the Commission has always kept to the fore.
And it is an avant - garde approach to protecting the tropical forests, too. As A.J. Fairclough (special adviser to Manuel Marin, who represented the EEC Commission at the conference), said in his opening speech, developing this forest is developing our region and giving it something other parts of the world do not have - a positive and exemplary image of man being reconciled with his environment.
At the end of the conference, the Declaration of Brazzaville on the Conservation and Rational Utilisation of Forestry Ecosystems in Central Africa was adopted and made public.
The Community has just proposed a coherent and pragmatic method of gradually integrating textiles in a stronger GATT at the Uruguay Round discussions in Geneva, thereby showing its desire to make headway with the negotiations in the hope of obtaining an outline agreement in July. The recommended system is based on the gradual liberalisation of the existing Multifibre Arrangement.
The Community has already rejected all idea of a system based on the globalisation of restrictions, since this does not comply with the demand of gradual reduction of the existing restrictions.
Its suggestion for the dismantling of restrictions in the textile sector is fully compatible with the real and gradual integration of textiles in GATT and would start with the existing restrictions at their present level - not therefore holding the present conditions of access to markets up to question. The Community is also willing to negotiate a list of products which could be included in GATT at once, without any need for transitional arrangements.
The transitional programme provides for stage - by - stage dismantling in the light of existing agreements and rules known to the economic operators so they would be able to see far enough ahead to ensure the greater, harmonious development of trade.
Each stage in the transitional period should, the Community says, involve:
- liberalisation of a number of restrictions, each country having to take such decisions as are required to achieve the agreed percentage of liberalisation at each stage;
- better market access where restrictions are maintained, to be achieved by a gradual increase in quotas, the possibilities of flexibility and a guarantee of minimum growth in exceptional circumstances.
Transitional safeguard machinery is provided to cope with any problems which arise during the transitional period. However, the Community proposed that specific provisions be made to ensure that such machinery did not impede dismantling.
Lastly, the Community again said that the dismantling of restrictions must take place in conjunction with application of the stronger GATT rules and regulations designed to ensure the opening of markets and the creation of fair conditions of competition. It also said it had already suggested setting up a multilateral system of monitoring and checking on commitments, fulfilment of which triggered the beginning of the next stage.
Its proposals confirmed the fact that it had embarked on the Uruguay Round with the firm political will to orchestrate a credible collective drive to liberalise the trade in textiles for the benefit of all concerned.
The references to Swaziland on pages 6, 9, 155 and 185 of No 120 of The Courier, taken in good faith from a document in fact containing an error, should be replaced by the exact title of the Head of State of Swaziland: His Majesty the King of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Community relief for Palestinian refugees
Abel Matutes, the Commissioner responsible for the Mediterranean policy, recently signed a new EEC - UNWRA agreement (for 1990 - 92) with Giorgio Giacomelli, the General Commissioner of the UN Work and Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees. It involves the Community granting a total of about ECU 72 million for 1990, 1991 and 1992, plus food aid worth an estimated ECU 20 m p.a.
The Community has been backing UNWRA with three - year agreements since 1972. Its total assistance to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza so far (direct contributions in cash to education programmes and in kind in the case of food aid progammes) is an estimated ECU 429.4 m (1972 - 89) and it and the Member States are the biggest contributors to the Agencys programmes (with 23 % and 17 % respectively).
And not only has the Community contributed to UNWRAs normal budget. It has also backed emergency programmes in Lebanon and the occupied territories - ECU 1.6 m in 1987 (Lebanon), ECU 1.7m in 1988 (occupied territories), ECU 290 000 in 1989 (occupied territories) and ECU 370 000 in April 1990 (occupied territories).
The Commission proposes updating the Mediterranean policy
The Commission has adopted a communication from the Council aimed at updating the Communitys Mediterranean policy along two lines:
- A series of schemes for all third countries in the Mediterranean is to be launched in the fields of the environment, human resources, regional cooperation, joint ventures and projects of common and regional interest. An indicative amount of ECU 420 m has been proposed from the budget, for the period 1992 - 96, and a ceiling for EIB loans has been set at ECU 3 500 m. Some schemes will be able to start in 1991.
- It is suggested that the financial protocols with the eight countries south and east of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, lsrael, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia) be renewed as from 1 November i 991 and a substantial increase in the level of resources (ECU I 425 m for the budget and ECU I 400 m for EIB loans) included.
The European Council of Strasbourg thought, on the basis of a first Commission communication on the updated Mediterranean policy, that relations between the Community and the third countries in the Mediterranean should be extended and intensified.
The Commission has adopted a second communication detailing operational proposals which can start being applied in 1992 (although one or two could begin in 1991). This is at the suggestion of Abel Matutes, the member of the Commission responsible for the Mediterranean policy.
Generally speaking, the Commission ensures that Community support fits in with the countries own efforts to right their economies and make the appropriate adjustments and it believes that these efforts have to be continued and the external financing of them considerably augmented.
It feels that the creditors, the donors and the Mediterranean countries themselves have to combine various types of schemes - bank financing, lighter debt servicing, more official external financing, more private investment and more efficient use of national savings - to cope with the debt and suggests ways of cooperating with the Member States in cases of debt crisis. The Commission also proposes that the Community increase the opportunity for discussion on economic matters (general aspects, monetary, financial, agricultural and industrial considerations, transport, etc.), social issues (immigration and demography) and political questions of joint interest with its Mediterranean partners.
On the trade front, the Commission thinks the time is ripe to bring textiles into the free access arrangements provided for in the current cooperation and association agreements. This would be done in a gradual manner, in the light of positive results of the textile negotiations in the Uruguay Round.
The Commission is also favourably disposed towards the introduction of rules authorising cumulative origin for such groups of third Mediterranean countries as requested it.
It feels that, pending the tariff dismantling (I January 1986 at the latest), a response to requests from some of the Mediterranean partners could be made by bringing limited changes to quotas, ceilings, timetables and new products in the trade in agricultural products.
When it comes to cooperation with the Mediterranean as a whole, the Commissions idea is that better economic cohesion should be brought about between the Community and the partners with such things as support for regional cooperation, the development of enterprise, incentives for private European investors, environmental protection, the development of human resources and the financing of projects of regional or common interest. And scientific and technical cooperation will be actively pursued in the energy sector.
The (indicative) financial means to be earmarked for this are ECU 420 m from the budget (ECU 100 m for the environment and ECU 100 m for joint ventures) and ECU 3 500 m from the EIB (10% of it for environmental operations, with interest rebates), although the amounts budgeted for such schemes hitherto have been very small (totalling ECU 3.5 m in 1 990).
The financial protocols with the eight countries south and east of the Mediterranean expire on 31 October 1991 and the Commission proposes to renew them, keeping the amounts for each countrys programme (an important guarantee for the recipients) and adding a non - programme, all countries amount to be used as support to ensure the rapid success and cushion the social effects of economic reforms.
The proposed means for this are ECU 1.425 m for five years from the budget (as against ECU 815 before) and ECU 1.400 m from the EIB (ECU I 003 m before).
All the suggested budget means are included in proposed revisions of the financial prospects adopted by the Commission on 21 February 1990. These proposals mean a substantial increase in the financial means the Community has available for the Mediterranean - an amount to which will soon be added the figures to be decided for Yugoslavia and Turkey.
The Commissions proposals reflect the quantitative and qualitative improvements which it hopes to bring about in relations between the Community and the third Mediterranean countries, as it is convinced that geographical proximity and the intensity of relations of all kinds make the stability and prosperity of these countries an essential aspect of the future of the Community itself.
EEC - LAA
New guidelines for the 1990s
The Commission has adopted the new guidelines for cooperation with the countries of Latin America and Asia. On the initiative of Mr Matutes, the Commission is proposing to the Council and Parliament the implementation of a balanced package of cooperation instruments structured along two major lines: development aid for the poorest population groups, and economic cooperation with regions which have high growth potential. Particular attention is given to environmental considerations.
The new guidelines are accompanied, for the first time, by a five - year financial perspective amounting to ECU 2 900 m for the period 19911 995.
The Commission proposal is a response to the political need to increase the levels of financing and adapt the instruments used for cooperation - which had never been reviewed since it began in 1976, despite the profound changes which have taken place in Latin America, Asia and the Community itself.
The strengthening of Community cooperation with the Latin American and Asian (LAA) developing countries, as proposed by the Commission, takes account of the tremendous needs of the 40 developing countries concerned, with their population of 2 300 million and their extremely diverse economic, social and cultural situations.
The Commission also wishes to ensure that LAA cooperation remains consistent with the Communitys policies of cooperation with the developing countries in the Mediterranean, the ACP countries and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
There are currently two distinct approaches to cooperation between the Community and the LAA developing countries: development aid (financial and technical cooperation, humanitarian and food aid) and economic cooperation (promoting exports and European investments, training, cooperation in the fields of industry, energy, science and technology).
The Commission considers that that, in view of the serious problems facing most of the LAA developing countries (population growth, mass poverty, financial and environmental problems, etc.), Community support should be maintained and strengthened through development aid.
The amount of aid involved should be consistent with the Communitys economic strength and its worldwide responsibilities, since the common feature of all these difficulties is that they seriously hinder development in the countries concerned and are a major threat to world economic equilibria. In the Commissions view, aid should continue to be targeted on the poorest strata of society and the poorest countries but the operating principles should be modernised (e.g. by introducing structural schemes) and more account taken of certain specific problems such as the role of women in development, population growth, environmental and urban problems, etc.
Accordingly, in order to take account of the diversity of situations and new methods of granting aid, the Commission proposes six major areas of action: (i) support for the rural sector in the broad sense, (ii) the environment, (iii) the human dimension of development, (iv) the structural dimension of development, (v) regional cooperation and (vi) aid relating to natural disasters.
At the same time the Commission considers that well - structured and effective economic cooperation between the Community and the LAA developing countries should be promoted.
A considerable number of LAA developing countries or regions have a high growth potential, and this calls for closer forms of cooperation.
Economic cooperation should encourage direct contact between operators, who are the driving force behind economic expansion, and it is thus very much in line with the favourable trends emerging in a number of Asian and Latin American countries: the tendency for the private sector to play an increased role, the introduction of market rules and disciplines, the orientation of economies towards international trade, infrastructure modernisation and extension, the attempt to make better use of human resources in education and research and to encourage people to invest their savings in the manufacturing industries.
The Commission intends to take action on three levels:
(i) to strengthen the scientific and technological potential of the LAA developing countries and facilitate high - level economic and technical dialogue with these countries by speeding up the exchange of information and promoting technology transfers;
(ii) to ensure that the economic environment of the LAA developing countries improves and becomes more favourable to investment and development through appropriate institutional and regulatory support measures;
(iii) to improve the competitiveness of firms by providing better training (technical, in particular), facilitating technological exchange, improving market access and promoting Community investment in these countries.
The environment: an ever - present concern
In the Commissions view, it is essential to develop cooperation on the environment with the developing countries of Latin America and Asia, since the environment is a matter of global concern, some major environmental problems (e.g. protection of the tropical rain forests) relate specifically to the LAA developing countries and there is a clear need for these countries to receive from the Community increased financial and technical support in dealing with environmental problems.
A multiannual perspective and increased financing
In the Commissions view, considerably greater financial resources should be allocated to LAA aid schemes so as to provide the necessary critical mass of aid and to ensure that it is acceptable by comparison with schemes operating in Central and Eastern Europe and the ACP States. The Commission also considers that, for the first time, multiannual perspectives should be established, enabling a medium - term programme of activities to be drawn up in line with the wishes of the Council and Parliament.
In view of the financial discipline imposed by the present inter - institutional Agreement (which expires in 1992) and of the fact that there is, as yet, no agreement relating to the period after 1992, the Commission has decided, for the time being, to limit its proposal to ECU 2900 million for the five - year period 19911995. This amount takes no account of any additional drive for growth which the Community might make nor of any re - consideration by the Commission of its proposals.
Support of economic reform in Eastern and Central Europe: analyses and strategies
In July 1989 the Commission was invited to coordinate the aid efforts of 24 Western countries to Poland and Hungary. The number of recipient countries in Eastern and Central Europe has since been expanded. The Commission decided in the early autumn to bring together a group of high level economic experts from the Member States, Poland and Hungary in order to establish the analytical background for economic reform and aid from the 24 countries, the Community, the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The results of this work are now being presented by Vice - President Christophersen in a special issue of European Economy (no. 43), which is devoted to Economic Transformation in Hungary and Poland.
The papers in this volume emphasise the diversity in the situations of these two countries. But they also show that the critical factors that will determine the successes of the transition from communism to market economies are common to both. First, the private sector is crucial. The public sector can help to ease the transition, but only the private sector can ensure that it is accomplished.
The second insight, which is peculiar to the work of the Commissions group of experts, is the importance of robust sequencing . This means, for example, that privatisation should not be implemented until the tutelage system has been dismantled. This system of bargaining between ministries and enterprises over taxes and subsidies lies at the heart of the lack of competition in the bureaucratic economic system. While it persists, the emergence of a market environment will be hampered.
Sequencing is also important in the context of credibility. If people believe that the change in economic regime will not succeed, their behaviour will bring this about. Hence it is necessary to convince them that the process will be pursued systematically and thoroughly. Yet progress cannot be too slow, since this too would jeopardise the regime change.
Similarly, macroeconomic stabilisation needs to come before structural reform. To embark on liberalisation in conditions of high inflation would be risky, since high inflation impedes rational economic decisions, promotes hoarding and distorts income distribution.
None of this is to say that the same sequencing of measures will be appropriate to all economies. It should be determined on the basis of a detailed assessment of each countrys economic situation, though price stability is always likely to be a priority.
Analysis of policy measures
Central and East European countries have suffered severely from central planning and state trade within the CMEA. The absence of competitive markets in these economies, and their exclusion from the beneficial impact of the international division of labour have contributed to low levels of productivity, outdated technology, slow rates of technological progress and inefficiency in management and organisation. Centralised control of production decisions and administered price systems have compounded these problems.
The economic measures which are summarised below would contribute to a predictable economic environment in which price incentives can work.
Openness and improved access to the world market will be an important stimulus to economic reform. It will require greater convertibility, especially in current transactions, and stronger external monetary reserves. An appropriate exchange rate policy will have to be devised, possibly by pegging currencies to the ecu as a basket currency.
Several countries in transition from socialism suffer from severe internal and external disequilibria. A firm macroeconomic stabilisation plan capable of curbing inflation during the period of structural change will be advisable so as to underpin reforms and signal the change of economic regime.
Sound government financial policies will be required, including reform of the national budget by improving budgetary controls and by eliminating financing through money creation. Reform of the fiscal system, together with more efficient administration and greater openness in taxes and subsidies, will be an important element. A substantial reduction in subsidies is also called for.
To curb inflation, firm monetary policy will be necessary. This will require a strong, independent central bank. For goods and services, efficient markets will imply that centralised price determination and production planning, as well as state interference in the decision - making of firms, must be abandoned.
This should go hand in hand with the creation of a legal framework that includes private property, company, competition and contract law.
Labour markets need fundamental institutional and legal reform in order to end administered full employment and structural rigidity.
Particularly in the transitional period, the necessary training and investment support to private or reformed socialised sectors needs careful monitoring in order to remain conducive to liberalisation.
Improved infrastructure, a cleaner environment and more efficient energy utilisation will improve growth prospects and facilitate reform.
Western assistance and coordination
For the external financing needs of these countries private financing on capital markets must be the general rule. The financing of balance of payments gaps, the provision of structural adjustment or of stabilisation loans would be the exception. In the first phase, however, official assistance may play a role in external financing for many countries, not least to boost confidence. As the transition advances sufficiently to attract a substantial flow of private investment which will be the test of the success of reform - official assistance can be scaled back. Some forms of public funding (technical cooperation and lending, notably by the EBRD) will play a continuing role.
107 new projects have been selected by the Commission for launching within the European Strategic Programme for Research and Development in Information Technology (ESPRIT). This is the result of a thorough evaluation by over 200 independent experts of the 450 submissions entered during ESPRITs latest general call for proposals. Also included are three projects forming part of the 18 - month start - up phase of JESSI (Joint European Sub Micron Silicon). JESSI is a Eureka initiative designed to strengthen Europes international competitiveness in the design, manufacture and application of a new generation of standard and customised microchips. In addition to the 107 new projects, 43 exploratory actions, comprising workshops, demonstrations and studies will be initiated to further increases the involvement of SMEs in the Esprit programme.
Negotiations are now starting with the companies, research institutes and universities involved, with the objective that work can start on most projects before the summer break.
Most of the projects are scheduled to be completed in three years or less, showing the dynamic European response to the accelerated pace of the international technology race. The total cost of the projects likely to result is about ECUS 690 million, half of which will be financed by the European Communities.
Meeting of the Development Cooperation Council
During a meeting held at the end of May in Brussels, the Council of European Development Cooperation Ministers pursued its discussions on the need to draw up guidelines enabling environmental considerations to be better integrated into development cooperation, and to devote specific and appropriate means to this task.
On the basis of the discussions held and of a paper provided by the Commission services, the Council reconfirmed the conclusions reached on 6 November 1984 and 9 November 1987 on the need to integrate environment and development and on the means to be used to this end.
The Council recognised that it is for each country to determine its broad environment policies. However, it confirmed that all projects and programmes financed by the Community and the Member States in whatever sector should take into account at all stages their effect on the environment.
This may entail specific environmental safeguards agreed in conjunction with developing countries on individual aid projects and programmes.
The Council underlined that the environmentally sound and sustainable management of natural resources is of fundamental importance to developing countries. It further recognised that the enforcement of sound environmental policies is made more difficult by the lack of adequate technical and financial resources and that these policies face a serious challenge from the rapid and concentrated growth of population. Soil erosion, desertification, deforestation, air and water pollution and rapid urbanisation, are amongst the most pressing environmental problems facing those countries. These issues represent real barriers to economic growth and sustainable development and are priorities for development assistance.
Micoenterprises in Developing Countries. Intermediate Technology Publications, 103 - 106 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HH - UK
Microenterprises, very small businesses consisting of a single self employed person, a family, or at most a few employees, are the main source of livelihood of up to half of the population of most developing countries. In the past, this vital sector, often referred to - almost slightingly - as the informal sector, has received inadequate attention. Increasingly, however, multilateral and bilateral agencies and NGOs are searching for ways to help increase the effectiveness of microenterprises and to help them make a greater contribution to the development of the region and the country in which they are to be found, and to the overall efforts to increase incomes and raise the living standards of the developing world.
This collection of papers by experts with considerable experience in the field is the result of an International Conference on Microenterprises which took place in the USA in 1988. It is organised according to the major issues relating to the subject: the structure of the microenterprise sector; government policies towards microenterprises; informal credit markets; financial and technical services; institutional aspects and a review of the experience of assistance projects.
RAMSES 90 - Edited by Thierry de Montbrial and Jacques Edin and published by Dunod for the Institut Frans des Relations Internationales
Every year brings its RAMSES and we report on it punctually because this IFRI publication is an interesting one. The eighth edition, which came out in October 1989, is in four parts, on the end of an era, arms for the Third World, questions and conflicts in the world economy and the new Spain. Part four, on Spain, which joined the Community on I January 1986, is an excellent analysis of present - day Spain and the way it is developing. Parts one and three do not, of course, cover the recent rapid developments in the Eastern bloc and so are somewhat less interesting than they might be. So we shall only comment on the two parts dealing more particularly with the Third World the end of part one, that is to say, the one entitled: The cocaine era the drug between the two Americas, and part two: Arms for the Third World .
According to the National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee, Latin Americas share of drug sales in the USA in 1987 was 100% for cocaine, 40 % for heroin and 63.4 % for marijuana - and there were six million cocaine takers in the USA at the time. This drug is the biggest product of Bolivia and probably Peru too and the second, after coffee, of Colombia. These figures go to show the extent of the scourge and the fact that it is also a problem of underdevelopment. Cocaine has its economic networks and geographical set - up. It is present to varying degrees in the economy, the politics and the social life of several countries in South America and in Central America and the Caribbean and it is a subject of increasing concern in the USA, which is trying to combine internal suppression with external pressure on the countries of supply and transit. But should more be done to contain supply (production and marketing and the laundering of drug money) and demand (prevention, treatment and the repression of drug addition)?
Part two, Arms for the Third World, is a mine of information. World arms sales, it says, are declining (although they were still worth $ 35 billion in 1986), 80% of arms exports are to the developing countries, the six biggest suppliers are still the USSR, the USA, France, the UK, the Federal Republic of Germany and China, and arms exports are highly geographically concentrated. In 198286, for example, 50% of exports to the Third World went to the Middle East, 17% to Africa and 13% to the Far East. But there are plenty of countries producing arms - 40 or so at the moment, twice as many as there were 10 years ago. Although the proliferation of nuclear arms is fairly circumscribed, chemical weapons, on the other hand, are increasingly common. They are cheap and easy to produce and their potential was highlighted in the Iran - lraq conflict. Briefly, as a major economic journal said recently, the more progress that is made with East - West disarmament, the more the Third Worlds arsenals swell.
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