|The Courier N° 136 - Nov-Dec 1992 - Dossier Humanitarian Aid - Country Reports: Soa Tomé- Principe- Senegal (EC Courier, 1992, 96 p.)|
|Senegal: Democracy pays dividends|
Until recently, Senegal was French-speaking Africa's only democracy. This, the authorities say, has more to do with colonial heritage than national tradition and it is an historical premise which has its importance in both the practice and the development of the country's political institutions, particularly since a State organisation and operation model often reflects the ambitions of those who design it, in addition to all the socio-cultural and economic factors.
At first sight, Senegalese society has all the hallmarks of a democratic organisation. There is less State pressure on the individual than in many other African nations and the coercive attitude typical of the authorities elsewhere on the continent is virtually imperceptible here. Officially, the country's democracy is a real and positive thing, but the Senegalese themselves can be virulent in their criticism of its political workings - and for domestic far more than historical reasons.
Democracy grinds to a halt
Democratic organisation goes back a long way, but it was set aside nonetheless just after independence in June 1960, when the then Head of State, eminent grammarian Lold Sedar Senghor, was the next leader to be seduced by the one-party system, which lasted until 1978. The single party in question, the Senegalese Progressive Union (UPS), in fact looked more transparent because it included the socialist faction of former Prime Minister Mamadou Dia, although Dia was abruptly removed from power in 1962.
Senegalese politics are heavily influenced by what goes on in Paris and the events in France in May 1968 had their constitutional fall-out, leading to the reestablishment of the post of Prime Minister and a start on a multi-party system in only four years. The new system was made official in 1978, with the recognition of two new parties - the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and the Independence and Labour Party (PIT). But hidebound regulation of the division between the ideological positions on which the parties were lined up meant that Senegal's democracy was stillborn, its machinery doomed first to freewheel and then grind to a halt. Paradoxical though it may seem, President Senghor thought and decided that the PDS, led by Abdoulaye Wade, the brilliant lawyer, could be nothing but a fairly right-wing free-market organisation and the PIT, Marxist or with Marxist leanings, could only be the extreme left. Only his own party, the Senegalese Progressive Union (UPS), bore the label of social democracy. So the rules of the democratic game were hard and fast and destined to lead, not to a proper pluralist system, but to governance by a dominant party which outstayed its welcome in power, radicalised the official opposition and aroused frustration in all those passed over by an economic policy totally reliant on external aid. The other consequence - one of the most perverse effects of this democracy programmed to seize up - was the development of a one-party cult in Senegal, even among the opposition, because there was no alternative to State direction.
With Africa's economic problems, national constraints and widespread one-party government, successive Senegalese authorities found it easy to develop a democratic image and to reap the dividends on the international scene.
Yet although Senegal's system has a long way to go before it becomes an average democracy, many African peoples - not leaders - would still find much to envy in the lot of the Senegalese. Despite such a firm commitment to the one-party system in its choice of leaders and its attitude to them, Senegal has, to a very large extent, the basic features of pluralist opinion, an aspect of public life which is reflected in great freedom of debate, in religious freedom in a country with a Moslem majority, in the right to be politically active without running any major risk and in the (for an African country) profusion of newspapers, whose lively tone is at variance with the conformity and 'poor standard' of the official media.
Opposition commits hare kiri
In Africa more than on other continents, the State has wanted to be a real provider and opportune or opportunistic sticking to the existing power has helped slow the move towards democracy and bolstered the one-party cult which, in Senegal, has taken hold of the opposition too. The Senegalese opposition was fairly moderate to begin with - more as a 'force of proposition' in the eyes of its principal leader, Abdoulaye Wade - and it has become more radical because of the lack of any alternative. But political combat in Africa has more to do with wielding power than achieving objectives or furthering any concept of the society that is to be built and, in 1990, the Head of the PDS yielded to temptation and joined President Diouf's Government, with neither condition nor portfolio. Just what concessions and assurances did Wade get to go into the Government and why? Newspapers and people close to the PDS leader maintain that there has never been an answer... and Senegalese housewives are still waiting for his promised slash in the price of rice.
Much the same has happened with the PIT. One or two of its leaders joined the Government at the same time as the PDS representatives, but this has done nothing to alter the policy of President Diouf and Habib Thiam, his Prime Minister.
Joining the Government spells hare kiri for the opposition and its principal leader Abdoulaye Wade, they say in Dakar - but without the honour that usually goes with this traditional Japanese form of suicide. The fact that the Government's only Minister of State is standing against President Diouf in the presidentials in February 1993 added to the confusion and made the head of the PDS's position more untenable and, in mid-October, he (like his two partisans) was forced to try and right the situation by resigning from his Government functions. But will this be enough to bring him better fortunes in the presidential elections, particularly in a country where, despite the waning authority of the holy men, particularly in the towns, Moslem brotherhoods can still greatly influence the voters' behaviour?
The other handicap, as one former PDS leader put it, is that the Senegalese opposition has failed to steer democracy or make sure it is properly rooted.
Anxious not to be outpaced
The democracy label attracted international aid for the Government and Senegal has the highest per capita rate of aid in Africa. This has its advantages, of course, but there are disadvantages too, not least the very common belief that aid is inevitable if Senegal is to survive.
The emergence of or the opening to democratic ideas in most of the other countries of Africa since Frans Mitterrand's famous speech at La Baule in 1989 has brought the Senegalese authorities the threat of competition in an area where Senegal has so far been treading a lone path on a continent where democracy was interpreted in widely different ways and was much subject to the carping of the leaders.
Anxious not to be outpaced in the democracy marathon slowly being run on the continent, the Senegalese Government has embarked upon a vast overhaul of its system, setting up a new electoral code, whose first merit is that it was adopted by all the political parties. Voter identity, the secrecy of the ballot (individual booths must be used), the count and transparency in all electoral operations in general are much more stringently controlled than before.
Votes, for example, will now be counted by about 30 committees, each one chaired by a magistrate and comprising representatives of the political parties, but none of the State - 'a real innovation', the Minister for Home Affairs emphasised, although he objected to the 'lack of a State presence' in this matter and thought the Government was at fault ' for going along with it. 'We have gone; further on this one than they have in France,' he added.
But if this is democratic progress for the people, what is the point in regretting going one better than those set up as the example?
There is a limit on the number of terms a president can serve now too - two lots of seven years - and independent candidates can stand, on far easier terms than before.
But one of the most important provisions in the new electoral code concerns the basis on which the President of the Republic is elected. The new Article 28 says that 'henceforward, no-one may be proclaimed elected on the first round unless he has obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, representing at least one quarter of the electorate, and... if no candidate has obtained the requisite majority, there shall be a second ballot... to take place on the second Sunday following the first round'. There are a number of advantages to this: three of them are that it forces the Government to announce how many people are on the electoral roll before the election, it broadens the basis on which the president is elected (thus avoiding an ethnic, minority-based election in which list manipulation could bypass heavily populated areas hostile to a particular candidate) and it can encourage greater civic duty among the citizens.
Senegal has made a huge effort to update its democratic system in time for February 1993. It has been an expensive undertaking, very expensive indeed bearing in mind the country's income and requirements, and part of the cost has been covered by the international funders, with the European Community giving something like ECU I million.
But going beyond the heavy cost of a better system of democracy, what Senegal's political leaders, opposition included, have to do - and this is most important - is to create optimum conditions in which to safeguard the returns on democracy from which the country has derived so much benefit in years past.
by Famara Ibrahima SAGNA,
Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs and Planning
Under LomSenegal has placed a lot of emphasis on agriculture and rural development in general, economic and social infrastructure and the promotion of business, trade and craft. These sectors were chosen for the simple reason that they are priority areas of our economy.
This aid fits in with the general aims of development in that it stimulates exports and helps with the balance of payments. At the same time, it constitutes support for our drive to promote economic and social development by financing key sectors of the economy.
The aid, which is normally absorbed by the Senegalese authorities, has made it possible, inter alia, to run major schemes in agriculture and rural development in general and in economic and social infrastructure and to set up machinery to stabilise our export revenue or finance particular products, emergency aid and so on.
We in Senegal use Stabex and we have had more than CFAF 76 billion for our groundnut products so far.
Commnity aid for Podor
Aid has been focused on a region like Podor above all to make up for regional differences in economic awl social infrastructure, to provide support for the opening of SMEs and to promote development at grass roots level. It is therefore in line with the trend in cooperation which began with the 6th EDF, which, true to the principle of geographical concentration, channelled CFAF 33 billion into the Podor region, as follows:
- CFAF 16.8 billion for hydro-agricultural developments;
- CFAF 1.75 billion to restore the natural environment;
- CFAF 700 million as support for the opening of SMEs;
- CFAF 8 billion for economic and social infrastructure;
- CFAF 3.15 billion as support for a variety of grassroots development schemes.
Human rights and development
The problem does not arise in Senegal's case, because our country began taking notice of human rights long before the funders thought about them as an attribute of aid. Our country made this factor, the human condition and human rights, an integral part of the untouchable principles of its economic and social management a long time ago.
In Senegal, we believe that the Convention is the preferred framework for cooperation. That poses no problems since, alongside this cooperation under the Convention, the other, non-Convention cooperation, with its special programmes of emergency aid and fishing programmes and Stabex and Sysmin and so on, is very fruitful and our country has had a lot of advantages from it so far.
The 6th EDF
Let us look at the nine most important aspects covered here.
The following general aims have been achieved.
- The most efficient growing techniques (animal-drawn machinery,
wind breaks and R&cD) have been phased in.
- The degree of financial and technical autonomy of producers, now grouped together in economic interest groups, has been improved.
- They have been equipped with mills, huskers, threshers etc.
- The back-up structure is equipped and working properly.
- Women have been involved in production.
Training for farmers, particularly when it comes to management and keeping accounts, is still the weak spot here.
Restoring the natural environment
Despite unfavourable local eco-climatic conditions (drought, wind erosion and the over-exploitation of natural resources), quantity-wise the project targets have been met overall.
The difficulty is actually to involve the peasant farmers in the preservation and restoration of the environment in which they live.
Small and medium-sized businesses
Something like 100 projects have been run here since January 1990. The people are displaying an increasing interest in access to bank loans and joining economic interest groups and the setting up of the CNCAS in Ndioum and the BICIS in Podor should help this along.
However, the problems are:
- getting the promoters to realise that the idea of
reimbursement is in fact a reality, an obligation which cannot be ducked and is
beneficial for all concerned;
- generating collective solidarity between all promoters by means of the mutual guarantee fund;
- diversifying agricultural production;
- setting up small, lasting, profitable processing units.
- rehabilitation of the RN2, the second national road, with
cofinancing from Italy;
- the making of production and communication tracks on the island of Morphil;
- urban infrastructure (water supplies, drainage, the bus station and extensions to the market) in Podor;
- regional radio, with a view to Senegalese Radio and Television (RTS) covering the northern parts of the valley.
This is going well, but the health authorities' meagre contribution to the proper running of the programme could be a barrier.
Socio-cultural environment and the promotion of women
Micro-projects were run here to provide support for various development schemes at grass roots level.
Coordination and monitoring
Community support here is in the form of:
- financing of the national expert for the programme monitoring
committee at the Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs and Planning since
October 1988; - financing of technical assistance for the unit responsible for
maintaining the dam;
- financing of the expert missions needed to prepare, implement and evaluate the programme;
- financing of a study of the economic power of women in the Podor department.
Cooperation outside me indicative programme
- EIB loans of CFAF 2.275 billion to the SOFISEDIT, CFAF 2.45
billion to the State for its share in the extra capital of the ICSs and CFAF 4.2
billion to SONATEL.
- CFAF 37 billion-worth of Stabex transfers.
- CFAF 1 billion to resettle returnees from Mauritania.
- CFAF 4 billion-worth (100 000 t) of crude oil in 1988 as support for the balance of payments.
- A Sysmin loan of CFAF 5.3 billion to remove cadmium from Senegalese phosphate.
Senegal has benefited from some CFAF 45.5 billion here, used to set up 10 regional projects including a solar programme, a butane programme, the Dakar-Banjul road and support for ASECNA.
Trying to describe Senegal's economy in one, short article is something of a challenge. The situation has broken down to the point where structures have disintegrated and the informal sector has mushroomed. The causes are deep-rooted. 'The policy of post-l 960 Governments can be seen as a continuation of the colonial administration that went before' and, on top of that, the structural adjustment policy applied since 1980 has failed to do anything about the problems or get the economy going again on firmer foundations.
There is of course always matter for debate here. The official line is that the policies are sound and the current economic situation inauspicious. But scratch the surface and opinions as to the state of the Senegalese economy are mixed and sometimes harsh. 'No national accounting has been done since 1981. Saving is a thing of the past, although medium- and long-term bank deposits seem to be increasing at the same time,' Frans Boye, Head of the Economics Teaching and Research Unit at Senegal's Saint-Louis University, told me. Could these banking assets be a way of financing the economy?
'No', Frans Boye said. 'Paradoxically, the opposite is happening and the Prime Minister is going to the African Development Bank (ADB) to borrow something like CFAF 39 billion to finance the SMEs at the same time.'
The new industrial policy (NIP)
In theory, relatively healthy Senegalese banks should help prop up investments, especially in industry, but, in practice, they do not. Traditionally, Africa's financial establishments are chary about investing in production, for a start, and the 'complete failure of the NIP' and the 'inconsistency' of the general economic policy are holding back the development of industry, despite the Government's attempt to reshape the policy for this sector, which, as one international report made clear, has, typically, none of the major multiplying factors, fails to capitalise on local resources and has high production costs. So the major part of the manufacturing sector - with 17% of GDP in 1987, second only to Cd'Ivoire in this part of Africa - has taken a hard knock, although statistics produced by the Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs and Planning suggest that the industrial component of GDP went up by 0.3% overall in 1991 (to 18.9%, from the 18.6% of 1990).
However, analyses do not predict any significant change in 1992 or 1993, particularly since the main products (textiles, preserved fish, oil and groundnut by-products) are selling badly because of international competition or poor competitiveness or because Africa in general and Senegal in particular have a tradition of importing the goods (other than textiles, for the most part) the consumer wants.
The phosphate sector has seen its export opportunities dwindle because of the high cadmium content of the Senegalese product, but output and income could well be looking up soon with aid of something like ECU 15 million from the European Community helping to get the 3 industry on its feet again.
Yet there will be no real take-off for any branch of the nation's industry without a thorough rationalisation of the management and economic objectives of the whole - which is the Government's aim in embarking on a strategy of rehabilitating the businesses in which the State is still a shareholder and following the World Bank's recommendations by bringing in measures to create a climate conducive to foreign investment. This means a new labour code in the very near future, the possibility of a single tax or flexible price control and many other measures to bring down management costs.
This is all very laudable, but the businessmen apparently want more than that. Their feeling is that the approved arrangements have had only a minimal effect on management cost compression so far. 'Senegal's employers wish to put the Government on its guard about the economic policy, which is worsening the financial situation of the country's businesses,' Amadou Moctar Sow, the chairman of the National Employers' Confederation, told me. The State, he maintained, should have asked the economic operators for their advice before coming up with its own measures on tax and work organisation and company competitiveness.
The futility of Senegal's ten years of structural adjustment was also to be blamed on those same errors of Government approach, he said, 'in allowing the World Bank to graft onto Senegal measures which bore no relation to local economic or political reality... and could only lead to the bad results we all know about.' This analysis of the situation comes fairly close to that of the country's main funders, who are keen to see macroeconomic factors and the structure of the market completely changed to make for a better balance of industry and services and stop the informal sector from proliferating to the increasing detriment of modern industry. But of course, with internal and external debt precluding any far-reaching tax measures (see profile), the Government is going to find any investment incentive and support policy difficult.
Agriculture - drought not the only culprit
Few countries can make a success of industrialisation without developing a strong agricultural sector first. Senegal and the other African States spent nearly three decades running policies aimed at proving this natural process of economic development wrong. They failed and now they have difficult food situations on their hands. Unsuitable measures have left domestic production in ruins and the drought which has crippled agricultural potential In Senegal and the rest of the Sahel is no longer alone in bearing most of the blame for the decline of the nation's farm sector.
The production sector has gone through nationalisation, which had more to do with introducing civil service practices, and it has undergone total and partial privatisation, but Senegalese farmers have always stuck to their traditional methods and grown what they did in the period, with just one crop or, at best, a two-crop system relying heavily on groundnuts. Attempts at diversifying into off-season vegetables (tomatoes) for export failed to make their mark because they involved a high-cost product aimed essentially at the export market and oyerlooked the psychological barriers and regulations hampering international trade. Although Senegal's agriculture accounted for 22% of GDP and provided employment for 80% of the country's workers in 1987, the national food record is largely negative. In 1990-91, an estimated 517 900 t of the available 1 289 396 t of cereal equivalent came from imports and 51 952 t were food aid - figures which, along with those for other areas, show just how export-oriented the Senegalese economy is.
Then there is the population count, expected to reach 10 million in eight years at the present rate of growth of 3.2% p.a. and implying an increase in cereal equivalent of something like 561 000 t. The Government has also adopted a new agricultural policy (the NAP), intended to bring about 80% self sufficiency in food by the year 2000 and involving being able to push the current rice output of 181000t p.a. up to 740000 t by that date. Notwithstanding an energetic drive forward, in particular with the vast European Community-supported Podor rice project in the Senegal Valley, there is little chance that the NAP target will be reached without difficulty, unless every potential resource is put to work, especially in Casamance. But, given the historico-political (and possibly economic) issue facing the people there, which loomed large for the first time in 1992 and all but upset the even tenor of Senegalese politics, Casamance's problem has to be completely solved first.
Almost every economic parameter is negative. What can be done about it? That is the question and few are willing to hazard even the slightest guess. Senegal's economic problem is a problem of the people and a problem of the Government, in contrast with some places where politics are a bigger burden on the economy. Frans Boye, head of the economics faculty at Saint-Louis University, said that 'no enterprise will last unless the rules of the game are made clear... and thoroughgoing political reform is undertaken.'
'Politicians do not tell the truth,' the economist went on. 'With all its deficits financed from abroad, Senegal is a land of plenty'. But how much longer will it last?
Tourism remains one of the sectors which Senegal can rely on to increase its income in hard currency and to reduce the balance of payments deficit. Indeed, in French-speaking Africa, Senegal is the principal tourist destination, ahead of the Ivory Coast. In the continent as a whole, it is in fourth place behind Kenya, Zimbabwe and Botswana as regards total international tourist arrivals.
But this flattering comparison may be somewhat misleading. In overall world terms it emerges that, of the 400 million tourists recorded in 1989 by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), barely five million visited Africa (1.2% of the total) and only 265 000 of these spent their holidays in Senegal. In financial terms, these visitors represented c $123 million in income to the country,, making Senegal the top earner from tourism in West Africa and the third most important tourist destination in the continent. It is worth noting that Africa's five million tourists generated only 0.7% ($1.37 billion) of the world's total tourist earnings (5194.5 billion) in 1989.
There are also indications that all is not well with Senegal's tourist industry. The reasons for the decline in this sector are, as elsewhere, related to internal structural problems combined with unfavourable economic conditions in the tourists' own countries.
As regards the first of these, it is stated in an expert report that 'the Senegalese tourist product, the cost of which is too high in relation to the competition, has become tarnished and outdated'. This assessment is corroborated by the information coming from tourist operators. Broadly speaking, they are pessimistic about the future. An example which illustrates the problem is the 'Club Aldiana' which has now been operating in Senegal for 20 years. Usage of the 230-bed establishment, which caters mainly for European tourists, has been declining for a number of years. The occupancy rate, which averaged 67.18% in 1989, fell to 60.09% in 1990, 54.31% in 1991 and the trend has continued since then.
Senegalese tourist promoters attribute this state of affairs, at least partly, to the strength of the CFA franc, which has a fixed parity with the French currency. This means that prices in Senegal are largely comparable with those of developed countries. They also contrast unfavourably with the prices charged in neighbouring Gambia, which offers a tourist product of similar quality. Hence the latter enjoys a competitive edge.
In short, it appears that Senegalese tourism needs to be redesigned in terms of both the product and its operation, with a view to attracting visitors who are not necessarily in the habit of acquiring a loyalty to a particular holiday destination.
Map of Senegal (A)
Map of Senegal (B)
Table 1: Balance of payments (in billions of CFA francs)
Table 2: Foreign national dept outstanding (in billions of CFA francs)
Senegal and the European Community have been partners for a long time. For 30 years, the two countries have worked side by side to create development policies which have had an effect on all the major economic sectors.
More than 370 billion CFA francs have been made available to the Senegalese authorities, principally through the European Development Funds, but also by virtue of a range of other instruments set up by the Community over the years.
At the heart of the relationship lies technical and financial cooperation, which has covered and continues to cover a wide range of areas. Today, the main focus is on two of the principal sectors in Senegal's development namely, agriculture and road infrastructure.
As a country bordering the Atlantic Ocean which has traditionally derived an income from its maritime resources, Senegal has, not surprisingly, also benefited in no small measure since 1979 from the fishing agreements which it has concluded with the European Community.
A third source of assistance for Senegal has been through SYSMIN, the system of support for mineral exports. This support has had a continuing and significant impact on the development of the phosphates industry, which is a major provider of foreign exchange for the country. The European Investment Bank (EIB), an important partner for Senegal, has been active in providing backing to the phosphates sector, and is also involved in other major projects including the upgrading and extension of the telephone network and improvements to Dakar's water supply system.
Very recently, Senegal has made use of funds, coming partly from the 'human rights and democracy' budget heading for developing countries, for the organisation of the May 1993 general elections.
Finally, under the heading of regional cooperation, Senegal and other countries of West Africa will, with EC support, shortly begin implementation of the Regional Indicative Programme. Eighty billion CFA francs (ECU 228 million) have been made available for this purpose and the funds will be directed towards three focal sectors - the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment, transport and telecommunications, and the improvement of the natural resource base.
Financial and technical cooperation, fishing agreements, SYSMIN, help for the democratic process, regional cooperation - these are all examples of a cooperative relationship which has many aspects but just one essential goal - the development of Senegal.
An agricultural country
Primary production still predominates in Senegal, 30 years after independence. Notwithstanding the relative importance of other areas of activity, the country remains fundamentally an agricultural one. This sector still leads the field in economic terms, providing 22% of GDP in 1991 and work for almost three quarters of the population.
Cooperation between the EC and Senegal has been influenced by this situation, following broadly the orientations and priorities set by the Senegalese authorities. After independence, Senegal, with the support of the first EDF (19581963), developed and modernised its export crops, which were the only source of foreign exchange available to pay for equipment and administration. Groundnuts were specifically targeted. The aim of the cooperation was, in essence, to enable this sector to remain competitive while at the same time meeting the requirements set out in the rules adopted by the newly established European Community.
The second EDF (1964-1969) went on to provide assistance for agricultural diversification with support for cotton growing in eastern Senegal as well as a number of support measures for farmers (equipment for new farmers, soil improvement, seed distribution etc.).
The drought of the 1970s came as a major shock. National authorities and donors alike had to respond rapidly to the immediate needs of the population before embarking on the search for new, longer-term solutions to the crisis. This involved the re-establishment of both productive projects and infrastructures. The third and fourth EDFs (1970-1980) were to reflect these concerns.
The fifth EDF (1981-1985), imbued with the spirit of the 'Memorandum on Community Development Policy' drafted by the Development Commissioner, Mr Pisani, emphasised development programmes and projects per se rather than more generalised aid.
The purpose of these interventions is to bring about food security for the population, improve the environment and fight desertification. In order to achieve the objectives, a framework of measures was put in place by the authorities. These included the establishment of a Cereal Plan in 1986 and the construction of dams at Diama and Manantali which came into service in October 1992 after ten years of effort.
The Cereal Plan gives a diagnosis of the food situation in Senegal and sets out the main principles on an overhauled agricultural policy. The plan strongly emphasises the importance of national production, supported in particular by an incentive pricing policy. There are plans to reduce the country's food deficit through increased use of irrigation, primarily in the Senegal River Valley. It deals at length with the redefinition of the role of the State and of regional development enterprises, with enhanced participation by the people and the private sector.
Irrigation based on the Senegal River in this way is rendered possible by the building of dams. These dams are a major priority for the three riparian States - Mali, Mauritania and Senegal - since they offer the means of re-establishing food security for the populations affected by drought. The European Community will be heavily involved in the execution of this project, the purpose of which is to fight desertification and help the local people to meet their own needs for food as well as to generate sufficient income.
The expansion of the rice sector, which is currently the only feasible option for increasing rural incomes, involves developments aimed at the peasant populations and designed to increase profitability. Experience acquired in the field by the European Community, which has over the years developed more than 6800 hectares of irrigated land, given over mainly to rice, has provided a good basis for its participation in the discussions about the agricultural structural adjustment programme, in so far as it affects the rice sector. The rice component of the programme involves an agreed approach between the donors and the Senegalese Government, along the lines of the wider Cereal Plan, which supports the disengagement of the Government from this sector.
The 6th EDF and Podor
The framework having been established, the European Community increased its existing efforts in the Senegal River Valley under the 6th EDF (19851990). The implementation of a support programme costing 35 billion CFA francs for the development of the Podor Region has had a visible impact upon its landscape. There were a number of different objectives - to ensure food security, to restore the natural environment and to open up the region.
This programme, which was based principally on hydro-agricultural development, was also directed towards the road infrastructure. There was, furthermore, a novel component aimed at creating employment through small and medium-sized enterprises and at achieving social development through microprojects.
Different types of project
To achieve the food security objectives, different types of complementary hydro-agricultural development were put in place. They should provide peasants with the capacity to feed themselves and to release savings. Implementation of the schemes fits in with the increased responsibility being taken by peasants, who are organised in Economic Interest Groupings (EIGs). EIGs themselves have made significant progress over the period.
The first developments, the basins, are large surface areas equipped with a pumping station. Development works cost some CFAF 5 million per hectare. The areas are brought into productive operation by the peasants, who are provided with high-quality equipment and materials for the purpose. Following the previously estabilished pilot scheme at Nianga (633 hectares), and the one now set up at Diomandou (470 hectares)' two further sites, at Ndioum (700 hectares) and A Lao (1025 hectares), will be made available for the peasants.
Then there are 1050 hectares of irrigated village perimeters which have progressively been made available under the programme, following on from the 2293 hectares under previous EDFs. The individual plots, which are closer to the villages and have an average area of between 10 and 20 hectares, will henceforth include agro-forestry as well. Development work in this area is more modestly priced at about CFAF I million per hectare. Finally, almost 300 hectares of perimeter have been made available to villagers under the SME programme. This is mainly for the benefit of private individuals, and development costs are between 0.3 and 0.4 million CFA francs per hectare.
Work to restore the natural environment, which is one of the objectives of the programme, has been carried out under the 'Prna' heading with a budget of CFAF 1.7 billion. The object is to reverse the process of degradation of natural resources. Thirty years ago, forests covered hundreds of thousands of hectares in the river area. Today, no forest remains. 'Prna', which began in 1988, follows on from two previous forestry projects, from which valuable experience was gained. The programme, which faces many difficulties, is designed to induce the local people to take charge of the management of the forest resource in a way which fits in with agriculture, livestock and water supply.
Roads - a speciality of European cooperation
For 30 years, the European Community has put considerable amounts of effort into road infrastructures - in financial terms, more than 22 billion CFA francs. In the St Louis region alone, the Rosso-Bio-Ndioum link was financed under the 6th EDF at a cost of 3.6 billion CFA francs. A logical next step was the rehabilitation of a stretch further up on the Dakar-St Louis route with a view to opening up the northern region. On a different level, tracks have been laid out in the Podor region under a CFAF 1.8 billion programme which allows the people of the island of More, phil, a zone which is cut off from the ' world during the rainy season and when the river is high, to go about their business.
Work in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises is not confined exclusively to the agriculture sector. It also extends to a range of other activities. The aim is to increase the value of private enterprise and to meet the strong demand for credit facilities which is not met by the traditional banking sector. This introduction to the business world has as its basis the withdrawal of the State and the privatisation of agricultural activities - a very different state of affairs from the development options of the 1960s and 1970s.
The establishment of SMEs was carried out initially through two separate projects which were merged in 1991. The first, which was emergency aid finance, involved the integration of returnees from Mauritania while the second took the form of support for the creation of SMEs made available under the 6th EDF. A total of almost two billion CFA francs has been injected into the region under this project, helping in the establishment of more than 500 SMEs throughout the Senegal River Valley.
This highly positive experience has also resulted in a change of attitude, as regards SMEs, on the part of the commercial banks. There is, on the current agenda, the opening of a line of credit of more than CFAF 600 million, to be allocated in part to the banks and in part to a financial company for risk capital investments in enterprises.
A community approach
This approach in no sense excludes local community participation. The microprojects budget heading, which has CFAF 500 million (ECU 1.4 million), supports initiatives in favour of women and young people in the development of the region. Henhouses, sheep enclosures, gardens, onion storage centres, school renovation schemes and health facilities, all established with community participation, are highly appreciated, particularly in those areas where women or young people have not hitherto received much attention.
Similarly, through the health programme financed under the 6th EDF (CFAF 700 million), the focus is mainly on improving basic health care for people in the Podor region. This has been possible, in no small measure, thanks to the major efforts undertaken through previous EDFs, which resulted in the building of regional hospitals in Ndioum and Ourossogui and the renovation of that of St Louis.
The health component of the 6th EDF was developed in close liaison with the rest of the support programme for the Podor region. It is clear that while the improvement in living conditions necessarily entails hydro-agricultural development, it is unfortunately also the case that this leads to an increase in malaria and bilharzia - illnesses linked to water. It was necessary to tackle these issues, and the related one of water hygiene, without delay. This was why the highly popular and decentralised programme for malaria and the 'water-hygiene-health' programme were developed. These concentrated on education, training and awareness-raising throughout the area and involved a series of concerted actions which brought together local people and medical staff working in the region. Research has also been funded in the fight against bilharzia.
The improvement of water quality is one of the two objectives of the village water scheme, which has been allocated CFAF 2.5 billion under the Support Programme. This scheme, which is increasingly to be taken over by the local people, aims to provide the population of 36 villages in the Podor region with water in sufficient quantity and of suitable quality. The programme involves the restoration of existing boreholes and wells, the sinking of new boreholes and the development of infrastructure for storing and distributing water. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, the village water programme was linked to the regional solar programme (CFAF 1.5 billion) which allows for the provision of photovoltaic equipment for pumping but also for lighting, sanitary refrigeration and the recharging of batteries.
Table 1: Summary of Community aid to Senegal Situation at 31 December 1991
No discussion of the impact of the 6th EDF would be complete without a reference to the modernisation of the town of Podor under the budget heading of 'urban infrastructure', to the tune of CFAF 1.4 billion. At the entrance to the town there is now a large bus station used by bush taxis, while in the centre a covered market and shops have contributed to an improvement in facilities for the retail trade and for the storage of fresh products. Finally, as regards environmental improvements, water supply and sewage networks have been developed beneath new asphalted roads.
7th EDF - job creation and - food security
The finishing touches are currently being put to the 7th EDF programme, which has been allocated CFAF 38 billion (ECU 112 million). This will build on the work undertaken through previous EDFs. In the 'roads' section of the sectoral transport adjustment programme, the strategy which has been adopted involves preserving what had already been achieved through rehabilitation and maintenance. This will be carried out in future by the private sector. A substantial amount - some 25 billion CFAF - has been set aside for the implementation of the roads programme.
The other principal areas of activity will be in job creation and food security. Priority programmes in the social, political and economic spheres involving SMEs and microprojects will be extended to other regions and will be mixed with small public investment programmes of high labour intensity. Food security will be the major objective behind the implementation of low-cost hydro-agricultural developments aimed at crop-growing in an increasingly 'privatised' environment.
Trade cooperation - fish top the export league
Senegal, which has very favourable natural conditions for fisheries with its 700 kilometres of coast, has traditionally been able to exploit this position to its advantage. Fish continue to be the principal source of export revenues (some 23% of the total in 1989, representing more than 60 billion CFA francs).
The fisheries agreements between the European Community and Senegal have represented both a significant and an original initiative as regards cooperation in this area. Concluded first in 1979, and then renegotiated every two years, the agreements have established a precedent. In effect, the two-yearly operating protocols set out fishing rights for Community vessels as well as the compensatory payments to be made by the Community. To the latter must also be added the payment by vessel owners of annual fishing licence fees.
One of the most important original aspects of the agreement is the establishment of a series of specific provisions including the obligation to land tuna catches in Senegal. This ensures a source of supply for Senegalese canneries. The payment by the Community also contains an element which is used to finance scientific programmes as well as study and training grants.
The most recent operating protocol, signed on I October 1992 for a two-year period, broadly maintains the previous position. The total allowable catch is the same as in the previous protocol calculated on the basis of vessel tonnages (30 600 tonnes) with adaptations to the needs of Community fishermen as well as to categories and types of fishing (with freezing). Financial compensation has increased - up from CFAF 10.062 billion (ECU 28.75 million) to CFAF 10.608 billion (ECU 31.2 million) with CFAF 210 million (ECU 600 000) devoted to the financing of scientific programmes and CFAF 70 million (ECU 200 000) given over to bursaries and studies.
Industrial cooperation - phosphates
The phosphate industry is a third important source of foreign exchange for Senegal, contributing about 22% of export earnings.
Senegal has benefited and will continue to benefit from a range of European financial mechanisms designed to help restore the competitiveness of this sector in an international market affected by recession and by a tendency towards lower prices. This is a competitiveness which has been further affected by the fact that Senegalese phosphates have a high cadmium content, and this poses ecological risks for the purchasing country.
An initial sum of some 5 billion CFA francs (ECU 15 million) was agreed in 1990. This allows for the development of techniques aimed at reducing cadmium levels as well as for adaptation by the relevant companies to the extra costs which have resulted. This project is currently under way.
A new agreement was signed on 28 October, involving the sum of CFAF 3.7 billion (ECU 10.5 million) in order to increase the capacity of one of the factories operating in this sector. This drive for productivity will also be supported by the European Investment Bank. The EIB is presently studying a project proposal costing CFAF 5 billion (ECU 15 million) in order to assist in the exploitation of new reserves.
Overall, the support of the European Community for the maintenance of Senegal's phosphate industry will, therefore, be substantial, amounting in total to CFAF 15 billion (ECU 45 million). To this sum should be added the various other sources of financial assistance from the EIB, which have amounted to some 12 billion CFA francs (ECU 35 million) since the beginning of the 1980s.
More than CFAF 500 million for elections
A new approach introduced by the European Community, from which Senegal has been able to benefit, is that of assisting the democratic process. CFAF 525 million (ECU 1.5 million) has been provided to support the electoral process in the forthcoming poll (in 1993). Part of the funds comes from the special budget heading to support actions favouring human rights and democracy in developing countries. The remainder is in the form of resources from Senegal's own national indicative programme under the 7th EDF.
Through this measure, the European Community is making a concrete contribution to the implementation of the new, consensual electoral code which was promulgated on 7 February 1992. This code requires the mobilisation of substantial financial resources to cover a series of technical operations which must be carried out if the new system is to work successfully.
In cooperation with the Senegalese authorities and other concerned donors, the help supplied by the Community will mainly involve the printing of the election documents for the May 1993 general elections. Most of the budget is for ballot papers, election envelopes, information posters and voting cards.
In short, this illustrates the desire within Europe to offer support and assistance, through positive action, for the democratic process and ways of enhancing it.