UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Edition # 8 25 September 1997
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In this edition:
PROGRAMME AGAINST POVERTY - ARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE GETTING THE AID?
1. AFRICAN LEADERS DISCUSS AFRICA IN THE 21ST CENTURY
2. HUGE LOSSES DUE TO ILLEGAL SALES OF TOBACCO
3. WAR TRAUMA STAYS WITH THE CHILDREN OF MOZAMBIQUE
4. LANDMINE DEMONSTRATION AT US EMBASSY IN MAPUTO
5. SHRIMP PRODUCTION BEST IN TEN YEARS
6. CENSUS OFFICE ADMITS MISTAKES
7. PORTUGUESE-MOZAMBICAN INFECTIOUS DISEASES CONGRESS
8. JAILS FULL DUE TO TRIAL DELAYS
9. ECONOMIC POLICIES CRITICIZED
10. EIGHT GOLD MEDALS TO MOZAMBIQUE IN THIRD CPLP GAMES
PROGRAMME AGAINST POVERTY - ARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE GETTING THE AID?
The poverty alleviation project financed by the African Development Bank (ADB), for aid to the underprivileged through credit concessions so as to enable small scale projects to create self reliance, is raising many questions with people in Mozambique. The manager of the project has been accused of distributing funds to some who are not considered to be in the target group.
Zabar Jerafe, an ex-soldier and a candidate for the credit said it would be better if the name of the project was changed because it could be seen that at the end of the day it is not actually the poor who get the benefits. Mr. Jerafe said he submitted a very interestingproject on agriculture in Muecate, in the northern province of Nampula, and the project was turned down even after he had followed all the requirements. And, he said, he knows of many others to whom this has happened.
Another candidate who also did not succeed in gaining help from the Poverty Alleviation Project is Abacar Buene. He is certain that the project is nothing more than a 'fiasco'. "They could at least have saved us the sacrifice. Can you imagine someone having to spendall their meager savings on documents which are worthless," Buene lamented. The African Development Bank is at fault, he said. "If it just gives funds to the wrong people there is something fishy."
The acting manager of the project denies the allegations. Mr. Almeida Lee said in his explanation that the main problem which candidates face is that most of them have submitted the same project proposals and the same innovations. "It is quite childish for the Bank to allow credit to someone who wants to open a 'kiosk' or thelike," he said. When asked about procedures which could lead candidates to be more specific and selective about projects, Almeida said that his institution did not have a specific model. ìThere are many factors to be considered," he said and added that being poor only was not enough to create an argument for credit guarantee. He said that the allegations had no foundation. According to Lee there are other requirements to be considered which in turn did not favour the 'dumped' candidates.
The selection of candidates or beneficiaries is decided through the involvement of the local administration and the Ministry of Labour. Funds available vary from 10 000 to 150 000 US dollars. Seventy people have so far benefited from the project. They are in the most populated province of Nampula.
1.AFRICAN LEADERS DISCUSS AFRICA IN THE 21ST CENTURY
African leaders, politicians and academics gathered in Maputo for one more session of theAfrican Leadership Forum (ALF), organised to discuss 'Africa Towards the 21st Century'.
To became a partner and not a victim of globalisation was the message that come out of the forum, opened by Joaquim Chissano, the Mozambican president. At the opening ceremony Chissano said that it was due to the weakness of African institutions that Africa suffered more from the effects of the globalisation phenomenon.
Many politicians defend the idea that beyond the institutional weaknesses in the African continent, the end of the cold war created a kind of competition between Africa and east Europe for aid and this has contributed to the growing marginalisation of the African continent.
In the different working groups at the forum the main focus for discussion was on strategy for development and how this should be centred in the sub regional groups, like SADC or ECOWAS. Professor Samuel Assante of the UN Economic Commission for Africa said that 'some of these regional groups should first consolidate themselves'.
The conference took place with the notable absence of Nigeria's General Olosegun Obasanju, the originator of the idea of reinforcement of African leadership.Obasanju is in jail in Nigeria. It was announced at the conference that General Obasanju would be receiving the "Freedom Prize for 1997" presented by the International Freedom Organisation based in London. The ALF promised to do everything in its power to make sure that Obasanju was able to go to London in November to receive the prize himself.
At the conference, a Commission was created to guarantee the implementation of all recommendations taken at the Maputo conference.
2.HUGE LOSSES DUE TO ILLEGAL SALES OF TOBACCO
During the last agricultural season (1996/97), about 500 tonnes of tobacco were sold illegally in Malawi by peasant farmers in the northern Niassa province.
With this action, the Joao Ferreira dos Santos Tobacco Company (JFS), may have lost about $7 billion meticais (US$1,00=11.500,00Mt).
According to the Niassa JFS director, Mr. Virgilio Francisco, the 'peasant farmers did not honour their obligations to sell the tobacco to the company'.
3.WAR TRAUMA STAYS WITH THE CHILDREN OF MOZAMBIQUE
The effects of war on the children of Mozambique did not end with the achievement of the general peace accord or with the general elections in 1994. This was the observation ofparticipants at a seminar on war affected children. The seminar was organised by the Foundation for the Development of the Community (FDC), an NGO under the auspices of Mrs GraÁa Machel.
Mrs Machel stressed that problems resulting from the war are still with Mozambique's people and they could not be ignored. She said that it was urgent to define specific and more ample programmes for the children of Mozambique under the framework of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The war in Mozambique has led to a degradation of moral values that affects not only the traumatised but also the entire society. Last week, in one of the Maputo neighourhoods, two young man decapitated their friend. They said that they were to receive $500 million meticais from a 'boer'(a white South African), who asked for the head of a young black man. This week, in Tete province, a man in his 50s sexually abused a woman in her 60s after which he mutilated and decapitated her. Recently, a group of teenagers from good families, the so-called Baseball Gang, beat and seriously injured a young man from a rival group after which they tried to run over him with their vehicle.
All those cases show a kind of violence that is not usual to the Mozambican mentality. To some observers the reasons are not only linked to the degrading of moral values but also to the economic marginalisation of most of the population of the country.
4.LANDMINE DEMONSTRATION AT US EMBASSY IN MAPUTO
"Bill Clinton, stop your warlike policy" and "Africa free of landmines," were some of the slogans written on the banners held by about 200 people outside the American Embassy in Maputo last week.
The demonstrators, mainly women and children who are the major victims of landmines in Mozambique,went to the US Embassy "to launch an appeal for the implementation without restrictions of the Ottawa Treaty". According to Mr. Domingos Mboa, member of the Mozambican Campaign Against Landmines (CMCM), the idea of the demonstration was to give a message to repudiate the US Government position of restrictions in the ban on landmines.
Sources at the embassy said they considered the demonstrationpeaceful anda "classic example of democracy in action". The same sources said that they had explained the position of the US government to the demonstrators.
5.SHRIMP PRODUCTION BEST IN TEN YEARS
In contrast to the last 10 years, this year's shrimp harvest is going well with more than 700 kilos daily. According to Isidora Faztudo, deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fishery, this production is a result of government measures to help the fishing industry, and also the floods in the Zambezi river where the shrimp are spawned.
The abundance of shrimp has meant that the fishing fleets easily filled their quotas compared with last years. Due to this situation, government has decided to give shrimp boat owners an additional quota.However, and apparently in disagreement with the decision to increase the shrimp quota, the director and deputy director of Fishery and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery resigned from their posts.
Shrimp is one of Mozambique's major export products and Faztudo said that export of shrimp has increased by 24%.
6.CENSUS OFFICE ADMITS MISTAKES
The Central Office for Census (GCR),admitted that there were mistakes in the second national census held in August. The mistakes, according to the GCR press release, involved leaving out hundreds of families in different regions of the country.
The main reason for these mistakes were the cartographic maps made during the war in a period in which people, especially in the rural areas, moved from one place to another, to escape the fighting.
A press release reported that areas which four or five years ago were desert are todaypopulated by hundreds or even thousands of people.
7.PORTUGUESE-MOZAMBICAN INFECTIOUS DISEASES CONGRESS
In the Mozambican capital, Maputo,violence is the main reason for death for people agedfrom 15 to 40. First in line are car accidents, followed by murder.
This is one of the conclusions of the first Portuguese Mozambican Congress of Infectious Diseases and the 10th Health Workshop. During the Congress, 150 themes were discussed by about 400 health experts from Mozambique, Portugal and other countries. According to Dr. Martinho Djedje, the coordinator, "the congress was a success and the objectives were achieved".
During the Congress it was announced that in mid 1998, in the ManhiÁa region of South Mozambique, the anti-malariavaccine, invented by the Colombian doctor Manuel Patarroyo, will be tested for the first time in Mozambique. Dr Djedje said the vaccine will only be tested after a guarantee of its safety for use on humans. Malaria is another of the main causes of death in Mozambique.
8.JAILS FULL DUE TO TRIAL DELAYS
JosÈ Abudo, Mozambique's Minister of Justice, has admitted that places of detention in Mozambique are over populated. One of the reasons blamed for the over-population is the delay in bringing people to trial due to bureaucratic procedures. "There are few trials and many detentions, with detentions often exceeding the preventive detention time limit," said Dr Abudo.
Gaza province is one example with only about 40 cases having been heard and sentences passed, among a group of about 300 detained.
To solve the situation of over-population in the jails the Minister of Justice spoke of the possibility of creating 'open jails'. "In the near future there are no possibilities for building new jail houses. Now we are building one in Maputo for women and another in Beira. In the rest of the country we will only do rehabilitation," said Mr Abudo.
Jails in Beira, Mozambique's second city, are facing problems of space and due to the overcrowded conditions diseases are rife.
9.ECONOMIC POLICIES CRITICIZED
In a recent debate on economy organised in Maputo by the Mozambican Association of Economists and the Bureau for Public Information (BIP), Joseph Hanlon, a British journalist and researcher criticized the Mozambican policies in the economic sector.
Hanlon said that when he arrived recently in Maputo he thought that someone was giving him newspapers from the 80s. This was because most of the news carried was about important economic projects depending on foreign investment which were supposed to bring development to the country.
"The difference is that those in the 80s were financed by the socialist European bloc and that these today are financed by South Africans and countries in the west at the climax of capitalist development," he said.
The period remarked on by Hanlon is the one of 'socialist centralized planification,' in which, for example, the Prospective Indicative Plan (PPI) was instituted. This was intended to bring development into the country over a 10 year term. The project failed.Hanlon argued as to why this should be resuscitated 20 years down the road. He said that he did not think that projects like the iron reduction plant, the aluminium project, a 400 000 hectares cotton project and the Pande natural gas project, will succeed.
For Hanlon, PPI failed not only due to the 'central planning'. "It failed because these big projects create few jobs and do little for the development of the rural areasî.According to the British researcher, the big projects also depend on money and skilled manpower from outside the country while Mozambicans only provide cheap manpower. "There is no reason to believe that the new PPI will succeed in Mozambique. Like seventeen years ago, development depends on thousands of small projects which can create jobs and rural wealth," he added.
Joseph Hanlon has written several books on Mozambique concentrating on the period of tense relations with the Apartheid regime. His most recent book on Mozambique is "Peace Without Profit - How the IMF blockades Mozambique's Reconstruction".
10.EIGHT GOLD MEDALS TO MOZAMBIQUE IN THIRD CPLP GAMES
Mozambique became the CPLP champion in sub 16 soccer, after beating Angola by 5-3 in penalties, at the end of the third Games of the Portuguese speaking countries.
Guinea-Bissau, the ex-champions, remained in third position after beating Portugal.
In basketball, Mozambique won second place after being beaten by Angola and in athletics,Mozambique won 8 gold medals.
The third CPLP Games ended to criticism from some sectors. One of the problems pointed out was the delay in starting the rehabilitation of the 'Parque dos Continuadores,' venue for the athletics.A new synthetic track should have been ready at the start of the games but due to heavy rains, work was delayed, and the athletics had to take place at an alternative venue, the National Stadium with its sand tracks.
Journalists from the seven CPLP countries also added their complaints. They did not have a suitable press centre and foreign journalists had to resort to the national radio station and the news rooms of various newspapers in order to file their stories.
However, the organisers, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports said they considered the games successful, as 'they made possible the strengthening of the relationship between the CPLP country members'.
From: AfricaNN@inform-bbs.dk (Africa_news Network) Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 21:09:28 +0200 Subject: MOZAMBIQUE NEWS ONLINE #8 Message-ID: <email@example.com>
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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