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close this bookThe Courier N 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
close this folderACP - Regional cooperation
View the documentEEC - Pacific Ministers meet for the third time
View the documentA more dynamic and responsible approach to regional cooperation
View the documentRuzizi II - a fine example of regional cooperation

EEC - Pacific Ministers meet for the third time

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.

...and complaints

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,

Complex procedures

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.

A more dynamic and responsible approach to regional cooperation


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.

This means:

- 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 organisation’s 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.

Ruzizi II - a fine example of regional cooperation

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.

Map 2.

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).

Ruzizi II

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 SNEL’s 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.