Cooperation with the EEC
by Neil CRUMBIE
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tomnd Principe joined the Lom Convention in 1978, two years after its accession to independence. There have
therefore been almost 15 years of cooperation with the Community. An Off´ce
of the EEC was opened in Sao Tomn 1979, from where a Resident Adviser reports
to the Delegation of the Commission in Libreville and acts as a link with the
The National Indicative Programme of the LomV Convention was
signed in December 1990 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and
the National Authorising Officer of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tomnd
Principe, Mr Guilherme Posser, and by Mr Jean Delorme on behalf of the
Commission of the European Economic Community. The details of this programme are
explained later in this article.
Member States accredited to Sao Tomnd Principe are Belgium,
Italy, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Portugal, of course, is represented by an Ambassador who exercises the
Presidency 'itre permanent' for the Community, being the only Member State
Ambassador resident in Sao TomThe others exercise their accreditation either
from Luanda in Angola or Libreville in Gabon.
Sao Tomnd Principe has benefited principally from Community
aid in the form of interventions under the National Indicative Programmes of
Lom, II and III and now under the LomV Programme which is starting in
1992. To this must also be added transfers made under the system of Stabex as
compensation for loss of receipts following the export of basic products, cacao
in the case of Sao Tomnd Principe, when prices fell below those that had been
forecast. The total amount of Stabex transfers was more than ECU 9 million
between 1981 and 1991.
Sao Tomnd Principe has also benefited from regional
programmes in the Gulf of Guinea as well as aid financed by the European
Over the last few years, therefore, the EEC has been one of the
principal sources of development aid for Sao Tomnd Principe together with
Portugal, France, Italy, Sweden, Angola, the World Bank and the United Nations.
Development aid under Lom, II and III has been allocated in
support of the development aims of Sao Tomnd Principe.
The development of agriculture and fishing
A project including the planting of a 600 hectare palm
plantation to supply a palm oil factory which was financed by risk capital
managed by the European Investment Bank was completed and is now in operation.
The aim of this project was to provide a capacity for import substitution
ensuring a regular supply to the local market while at the same time providing
for savings m foreign exchange.
A refrigeration project consisting of four cold storage units
was also financed to provide commercial support and a distribution facility to
the fishing industry, an important element in the day-today life of the
Saotomense people. In time these were supported by two ice-making units.
Finally Sao Tomill benefit from a regional project designed
to develop small fishing in the Gulf of Guinea. This will be located at Neves
and will involve the rehabilitation of the boatyard.
Projects to provide urban water supplies to Trinidade and
Agolares have both been completed as has the structural rehabilitator of the
hospital on the island of Principe, which was completed in conjunction with the
Portuguese NGO AMI in late 1991.
Other current activities include the construction of a blood
bank in conjunction with French and Portuguese aid, in the capital of Sao Tome.
Development of international transport links
A major project has been the rehabilitation of the Port of Sao
Tomofinanced with German aid (KFW), who have provided a powertug and two of
the four barges, and the United Nations Equipment Programme, which has provided
cranes. The Community rehabilitated the quays, and provided for lift trucks and
As part of a regional programme the Community funded the
provision of a 200-tonne merchant vessel now named 'Pague' which trades in the
Gulf of Guinea between the islands of Sao Tomnd Principe and Cameroun,
Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. This vessel cost ECU 430 000.
This programme was in support of the balance of payments
programme of Sao Tomnd Principe and included the supply of basic products
such as soap, caustic soda, powdered and condensed milk and sugar.
A 1000 KVA generator and 8000 meters were also provided to
support the islands" infrastructure and facilitate cost recovery.
The 1000 KVA generator, provided by ABC in Brussels, Belgium,
still continues to make a very significant contribution to the supply of energy
in Sao Tom
Community food aid principally involved the supply of wheat,
corn and rice which Sao Tomnd Principe needed as they were unable to produce
sufficient quantities of basic foodstuffs for the national diet. The principle
involved is that the sale of food and other supplies to the population builds up
counterpart funds which are then managed jointly by the Government and the
Commission to finance labour-intensive projects in the programme to achieve food
security, improve health, education, sanitation and provide for the construction
of schools. One such school will shortly be opening in Sao Joao dos Angolares.
The Fishing Agreement between the Community and Sao Tomnd
Principe permits fishing licences principally for tuna to be given to Member
States' fishing boats. Currently, 30 licences are in operation, for which the
Government receives the sum of ECU 1.65 million over a three-year period that
started on I June 1990, ECU 150 000 for scientific and technical programmes and
ECU 375 000 for commitments to more general fishing and maritime activities.
Of all the health threats to Sao Tomnd Principe, that of
malaria remains the greatest and this is now subject to World Bank
interventions. During the period of Lom11, the Community provided emergency
aid in the fight against malaria amounting to ECU 465 000.
The LomV Convention entered into being in September 1991 and
consists of two main sectors which are:
1. The consolidation of the palm oil project in Ribeira Peixe by
the rehabilitation of the road between Ribeira Peixe and Sao Joao dos Angolares
for an estimated ECU 1.3 million. The African Development Bank, as part of its
programme, is financing the rehabilitation of the road between Sao Tomnd Sao
Joao dos Angolares.
2. A major project to improve the water supply, drainage and
sewage systems in the capital Sao Tomtself for an estimated ECU 3.9 million.
The technical studies for both these major projects have been
completed and invitations to tender will be published later in 1992 with works
starting in late 1992 and early 1993.
Further funding amounting to ECU 1.3 million will also be made
available for agricultural diversification, assistance to small and medium-sized
enterprises and the provision of technical assistance.
Finally, discussions are under way concerning the ECU 1.5
million available to Sao Tomnd Principe under the programme for structural
adjustment and the ECU 1.5 million available as risk capital from the European