UMUNTU NGUBANTU – Our Humanity is our Divinity by liwenting

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									                           The Pan African Agenda
                          African World News & Views Spring 2010
                          Minister P.D. Menelik, IAM Ubuntu –na Zulu
                UMUNTU NGUBANTU – Our Humanity is our Divinity (& our Destiny)
                        I am because we are, so we are because I am.

THE PAN AFRICAN AGENDA:

*Kagame Urges Africa to Unite            *Africa New Oil Hot Spots
*IFCO, Pastors for Peace – Haiti         *WADU President to Senegal
*Zuma Economic Vision for Africa         *Africa on the Rise
*Africa - Land Grab                      *Libya – Africa State Power
*Sending Money to Africa                 *WADU Defending Africans

NEWS:Africa: Kagame Urges Africa to Unite,                           19 March 2010
Kigali — President Kagame today participated in an Eminent Persons discussion at the
Pan-Africa Media Conference in Nairobi organised by the Nation Media Group to celebrate their
50th anniversary. Other panellists in the session moderated by John Sibi-Okumu were Prime
Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya, former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa and Nobel Prize
Laureate, Wangari Maathai. On Pan Africanism, the President said that regional integration
should be seen as part of the African-wide struggle to bring Africans together, to give the
continent the relevance it deserves, and its people a stronger voice in the world.

However, he pointed out that that Pan Africanism will only work in so far as we can make it
work, if we remain divided and unaccountable to each other, then the continent will remain
weak. President Kagame spoke of Rwanda's efforts to unite her people and of the country's
commitment to successful integration of the East African Community. However he questioned
why Africa was still looking back at pan-African heroes of 40 years ago rather than looking to the
future. Having a vision was important, President Kagame told the conference, adding that "if we
don't get on with what we should be doing, we will be left with just a vision forever".
In a rallying call to the two thousand delegates, Kagame said there was no excuse for
perpetuating the past divisions imposed on Africa. "We need to work together to stop
succumbing to negative outside influences, to hold ourselves to higher standards, to have
ownership of our future, to hold on to our values and to be ourselves," he said. Asked why media
was more responsible in Rwanda than in the rest of East Africa, President Kagame suggested it
was because "we made so much noise in the past, we had to calm down. We have learned the
lessons of our past and are now focused on serious business". He pointed out that Rwanda's
media, civil society and leaders were now "building institutions that will endure" and that are not
centred on individuals, a system had caused many of Rwanda's problems in the past.

Kenya: Vision For Africa                         18 March 2010
Nairobi — Africa‘s economic future and the challenge of uniting people and nations drew eminent
politicians and scholars into a historic public debate in Nairobi on Thursday. They examined the
role of a free Press in Africa, debated the path to regional integration and spoke out on the
continent‘s quality of leadership as the curtain rose on the Nation Media Group‘s 50th anniversary
celebrations. A sharp warning was sounded against the dangers of foreign aid by former
Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, who came out strongly against a proposed free
trade agreement between Europe and Africa — the Economic Partnership Agreement —
which he described as ―another form of the Berlin agreement‖.
                          …………………………………………………………………….
NEWS:
Africa: New Oil to Flow From Continent's Hotspots
The power balance in Africa's crude oil production landscape is set to
shift in the near future as a number of new oilfields come online.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201003110118.html

NEWS: Haiti - IFCO / Pastors for Peace
Read the entire story and see photos at:
http://www.indypendent.org/2010/03/11/hope-fo...
After the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Dr. Melissa Barber received a call asking her
to help treat people left injured and living in squalid conditions. ―There was no question,‖ said
Barber, 30, who was born and raised in the Bronx and worked in quality assessment at St.
Barnabas Hospital in the heart of the borough. ―I actually resigned and I made plans to go to Haiti
for a month. That is how much it‘s ingrained in me to help the underserved communities when
they are in need.‖ Barber‘s sense of service stems from her training at the Latin American School
of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. Like thousands of fellow graduates from poor and indigenous
communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, she received a full scholarship to attend
the school in exchange for a commitment to work in areas that lack adequate access to
healthcare. Haiti no doubt fit that definition before the earthquake, and even more so afterward.
So Barber joined six other Cuban-trained doctors from the United States — all of them women —
who packed their bags full of donated medical supplies and arrived Jan. 26 in the Dominican
Republic, beginning a commitment that could last for years.

ON THE GROUND IN HAITI
On the bus ride into Haiti, the physicians from New York City, Houston and Oakland got a crash
course in Creole from their Haitian-American colleague, Dr. Martine Pierre. She taught them
useful phrases like, ―What‘s your name?‖ and ―What‘s wrong with you?‖ For the next month the
doctors would use these phrases while treating hundreds of patients a day. Their home base was
a clinic in Croix des Bouquets, a suburb of Port-au-Prince that lies eight miles northeast of the
ruined capital. Cuban doctors working in Haiti before the quake set up the makeshift hospital a
week before they arrived, and already word had spread to longtime residents and newly arrived
refugees living nearby in tent villages.

―The line to see us would start at four in the morning,‖ Barber said. ―Once they realized there is
free medical care and medicine, they were like ‗Oh my god, I can finally see a doctor.‘‖
Many of the patients treated at the clinic had never seen a doctor before. In addition to receiving
treatment for quake-related injuries and water-borne diseases, they sought help for chronic
conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. The doctors relied on their Cuban-training that
focused on primary care medicine, as well as two years of training in disaster relief. But nothing
could prepare Barber for experiences like treating a 4-year-old boy who was brought in by his
mother in a state of severe dehydration. Within 10 minutes of his arrival he died. The mother said
she had left her son to search for his father when he went missing after the earthquake. By the
time she returned home he had been suffering from diarrhea for four days. ―That kind of stuff is so
preventable,‖ Barber said. ―It speaks of a lack of healthcare that they need.‖
Read the entire story at: http://www.indypendent.org/2010/03/11/hope-fo...

          WORLD AFRIKAN DIASPORA UNION (WADU)
     Economic Determination – For Political & Cultural Rebirth
                ―Blueprint for Pan African Economics‖
  Susu, Business, Investments, Credit Union, Trade, Cooperatives…
                        Afrikan Poetry Theatre
      176-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, NYC/718-523-3312/WADUPAM.ORG
                             IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                              March 30, 2010
                   WADU President to Senegal Anniversary
                  Contact: 718-523-3312/404-527-7756/WWW.WADUPAM.ORG

   Africa's ―Living Legend‖ His Excellency Baba Dudley Thompson, President of the World
   African Diaspora Union (WADU) enroute to Senegal for its 50th independence
   anniversary tribute calls the Senegalese celebration of the African renaissance ―an
   inspiration of the work of those great Pan Africanists like Marcus Garvey, Dr. WEB
   Dubois, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and George Padmore.‖ He further stated that the ―African
   renaissance promoted by President Abdoulaye Wade is also a tribute to the indomitable
   contributions of Dr. Cheik Anta Diop in furthering the legacy of Pan Africanism by
   exposing the myth of white superiority with scientific precision.‖

   Ambassador Dudley with others of the Diaspora were invited by President Abdoulaye
   Wade of Senegal. Wade is a leading voice within the African Union (AU) for the
   immediate integration of Africa as a ‗United States of Africa.‘ President Wade like Dr.
   Diop, has carried the mantle of Pan Africanism and has consistently called for the
   realization of African unification ―in order to protect (Africa‘s) sovereign independence
   and be heard in the international political order, Africa must become a viable economic
   power.‖ He also pointed that ―It is the destiny of Africa, after four centuries of
   incomprehensible conflict and turmoil, to now become a continent united by the best of
   human achievement…‖

   The commemoration and celebration in Senegal from April 2-4 is to mark the national
   independence of Senegal, the resurgence of Africa and is a tribute to those Africans
   perished during the horrific enslavement and colonization of Africa. In addition to Dr.
   Dudley Thompson, some other members in the African Diaspora delegation to Senegal
   are Dr. Leonard Kweku Jeffries, Dr. Rosalyn Jeffries, Dr. Joyce King, Dr. Julius Garvey,
   Dr. Maulauna Karenga, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Herbert Daughtry and Mel Foote.

   Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Vice President of WADU stressed that ―Africans have suffered a
   triple catastrophe of chattel slavery, predator colonialism and 'vulture' debt under neo-
   colonialism..." Dr. Jeffries stated that the issue of reparations is key to Africa's
   restoration and will be raised in Senegal. WADU leaders are urging other leaders in
   Africa and the African Diaspora to participate in the next WADU Summit in Ethiopia from
   July 5-15, 2010. The WADU Summit will mainly promote Pan African economic trade,
   investments and sustainable development projects, and also promote African dual-
   citizenship and African re-education. For more information, please contact John Watusi
   Branch, Chief Secretariat of WADU at WADUPAM.ORG or in NYC at 718-523-3312.
                    …………………………………………………………..
              WORLD AFRIKAN DIASPORA UNION (WADU)
       JOIN THE WADU PRE-SUMMIT FORUMS ACROSS THE DIASPORA
    APRIL – Economic Empowerment Forums – Diaspora Business with Africa
MAY is Africa Month – Political Actions – Towards a Unified Diaspora & Africa
  JUNE – Cultural Actions – Towards a Pan African Diaspora University System
                  JULY – WADU & AU SUMMITS IN AFRICA
               REGISTER NOW FOR THE WADU 2010 SUMMIT
NEWS: Zuma’s Economic Dream for Africa
http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/887076/-/wjuafa/-/index.html

Africa’s future lies in erasing the colonial borderlines that divide the continent and replacing them
with railway lines and other transport links to facilitate trade, South Africa’s President Jacob
Zuma said yesterday. Addressing Parliament at the start of his two-day State Visit, President
Zuma noted that trade offers the best hope for Africa which, despite being endowed with natural
resources, remains the poorest continent in the world.

New lines
“We have to overcome lines drawn on a map; lines that reflect more the differences between the
nations of 19th Century Europe than between the people’s of today’s Africa,” he said. ―We must
draw our own lines on the map. These should be lines that represent roads, railways,
electricity lines, pipelines, fibre-optic cables. Africans must develop the capacity to trade
with other Africans.” Mr Zuma noted in his speech that about 50 South African firms are doing
business in Uganda but also revealed the skewed nature of the trade: while Uganda exports goods
and services worth Shs25 billion annually, its imports from South Africa are worth Shs338
billion. Mr Zuma, whose delegation includes several South African businesspeople, said there
was a “tremendous scope” for further investment in Uganda’s economy, particularly the energy
sector. “Uganda is a country with great economic potential and an important destination for South
African trade and investment,” he said. President Museveni, in his own speech, said he had
discussed with President Zuma the possibility of South African investment in energy
infrastructure as well as agro-processing. South Africa’s Eskom is already a significant investor
in Uganda’s electricity generation and distribution sectors. President Zuma, who is the leader of
the African National Congress party, also used his speech yesterday to thank Uganda for the
“sacrifice, solidarity and support” the country extended to South Africa during the anti-apartheid
struggle in the 1980’s. “Our relationship is based on that strong comradeship. The bonds of
solidarity endure,” he said.

Military training

Uganda was a place of refuge for hundreds of South African dissidents and exiles and hosted a
military training camp for the ANC in Kaweweta, Mubende District. The camp, named after
renown South African anti-apartheid politician Oliver Reginald Tambo, was upgraded into a
school of leadership for senior police, prisons and military personnel with South African
taxpayer’s funding and shall be officially opened today by President Zuma. “Our words of
gratitude to the Ugandan people should be heard by all in this beautiful country, young and old,”
Mr Zuma said yesterday. “We will always remember the sacrifice, solidarity and support of
Uganda during the struggle against one of the worst crimes against humanity.

The people of Uganda never denied us shelter and assistance, and they never asked for anything
in return.” After his address to Parliament, President Zuma officiated at the South Africa-Uganda
Business Forum, where he launched the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, an entity that
represents the interests of the mining and petroleum sector in Uganda.

  Posted by TheBlackList Login to our Pan African social network http://www.TheBackListpub.ning.com
                              ………………………………
NEWS: Africa on the Rise:
Join China & Invest in This Booming Continent

By Jazelle Reed on Mar 18th 2010

It is official! Africa has been named the "new Asia" due to competitive GDPs and its
outperforming many emerging markets during the global recession. Many may find this surprising
due to the conventional view of Africa as a poor and corrupt continent plagued by political
uncertainty. However, the best investment opportunities exist where perception does not match
reality. Because the state of Africa is not as bad as has been portrayed, firms that do attain
success are some of the savviest and ripe for being invested in. Why? Because, indigenous
African companies trade at half the levels of their Western counterparts due to the perception the
world has of Africa.

Over the course of the past 10 years, there are parts of Africa that have taken gradual steps
towards greater democracy, security and prosperity. Even Nigeria is considered a
macroeconomic success by conventional standards, despite its reputation as today's most
corrupt nation on earth. Its annual GDP growth rate more than doubled to an average of 7.3%
between 2003 and 2006. In addition, inflation lowered to single digits last year. Most importantly,
foreign exchange reserves are nearing $50 billion due to the boom in oil exports.

Sub-Saharan African countries have experienced an average growth rate of 6% for the
third straight year, which is growing toward 7% this year. At this rate, Africa's poverty
rate is expected to be reduced by 50% by 2015. That said, sub-Saharan Africa is growing
faster than Asia, with the exception of India and China. The growth rates seen by African
nations is due to various factors such as high oil and other commodity prices, practical
government policies and an emphasis on tourism. Of interest, Kenya is one of Africa's
fastest growing economies, despite the fact that it does not have any commodities,
because of the revenues it brings in from tourism. In addition, Zambia's growth is due to
copper and agricultural exports. This may come as a surprise to many but, Africa has
developed an emerging middle class and Nigeria has a mobile-phone penetration of 8%,
which is rising rapidly.

Of particular significance is China's decision to invest in Africa. Even during China's
economic slump, it is looking to invest in Africa more. In fact, the nation's President, Hu
Jintao, recently concluded an eight-nation tour of Africa. China's efforts have been
proven fruitful as trade between China and Africa rose to a record $55.5 billion last year.
Amazingly, a third of Chinese oil is now imported from Africa. It is important to note
that China's efforts are fueled by pure economic self-interest rather than good
development policies because it needs Nigerian oil, South African platinum, Tanzanian
timber and Zambian copper to attain status as a superpower. Therefore some, like the
Zambians, have expressed that they feel they are not benefitting from their nations' recent
growth as much as the Chinese. I am sure that we will continue to hear similar stories
from natives from other countries as time progresses.

Optimists hope that a combination of improving infrastructure and debt forgiveness in
conjunction with accumulated financial reserves will create a momentum that will
continue in Africa after its commodity/tourism boom turns, as all markets do.
NEWS = LAND GRAB IN AFRICA
How food and water are driving a 21st-century African land grab
An Observer investigation reveals how rich countries faced by a
global food shortage now farm an area double the size of the UK
to guarantee supplies for their citizens
John Vidal in Juba, Sudan ; The Observer, Sunday 7 March 2010
We turned off the main road to Awassa, talked our way past security guards and drove a mile
across empty land before we found what will soon be Ethiopia's largest greenhouse. Nestling
below an escarpment of the Rift Valley, the development is far from finished, but the plastic and
steel structure already stretches over 20 hectares – the size of 20 football pitches. The farm
manager shows us millions of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables being grown in 500m
rows in computer controlled conditions. Spanish engineers are building the steel structure,
Dutch technology minimises water use from two bore-holes and 1,000 women pick and
pack 50 tonnes of food a day. Within 24 hours, it has been driven 200 miles to Addis
Ababa and flown 1,000 miles to the shops and restaurants of Dubai, Jeddah and elsewhere
in the Middle East. Ethiopia is one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than
13 million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least
3m hectares of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world's most wealthy
individuals to export food for their own populations.

The 1,000 hectares of land which contain the Awassa greenhouses are leased for 99 years to a
Saudi billionaire businessman, Ethiopian-born Sheikh Mohammed al-Amoudi, one of the 50
richest men in the world. His Saudi Star company plans to spend up to $2bn acquiring and
developing 500,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia in the next few years. So far, it has bought four
farms and is already growing wheat, rice, vegetables and flowers for the Saudi market. It expects
eventually to employ more than 10,000 people. But Ethiopia is only one of 20 or more African
countries where land is being bought or leased for intensive agriculture on an immense scale in
what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.

An Observer investigation estimates that up to 50m hectares of land – an area more than double
the size of the UK – has been acquired in the last few years or is in the process of being
negotiated by governments and wealthy investors working with state subsidies. The data used
was collected by Grain, the International Institute for Environment and Development, the
International Land Coalition, ActionAid and other non-governmental groups. The land rush,
which is still accelerating, has been triggered by the worldwide food shortages which
followed the sharp oil price rises in 2008, growing water shortages and the European Union's
insistence that 10% of all transport fuel must come from plant-based biofuels by 2015.

In many areas the deals have led to evictions, civil unrest and complaints of "land grabbing".
The experience of Nyikaw Ochalla, an indigenous Anuak from the Gambella region of Ethiopia
now living in Britain but who is in regular contact with farmers in his region, is typical. He said: "All
of the land in the Gambella region is utilised. Each community has and looks after its own territory
and the rivers and farmlands within it. It is a myth propagated by the government and investors to
say that there is waste land or land that is not utilised in Gambella. "The foreign companies are
arriving in large numbers, depriving people of land they have used for centuries. There is no
consultation with the indigenous population. The deals are done secretly. The only thing the local
people see is people coming with lots of tractors to invade their lands. "All the land round my
family village of Illia has been taken over and is being cleared. People now have to work for an
Indian company. Their land has been compulsorily taken and they have been given no
compensation. People cannot believe what is happening. Thousands of people will be
affected and people will go hungry."
It is not known if the acquisitions will improve or worsen food security in Africa, or if they will
stimulate separatist conflicts, but a major World Bank report due to be published this month is
expected to warn of both the potential benefits and the immense dangers they represent to
people and nature. Leading the rush are international agribusinesses, investment banks,
hedge funds, commodity traders, sovereign wealth funds as well as UK pension funds,
foundations and individuals attracted by some of the world's cheapest land. Together they
are scouring Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Zambia, Uganda,
Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and elsewhere. Ethiopia alone has
approved 815 foreign-financed agricultural projects since 2007. Any land there, which investors
have not been able to buy, is being leased for approximately $1 per year per hectare. Saudi
Arabia, along with other Middle Eastern emirate states such as Qatar, Kuwait and Abu
Dhabi, is thought to be the biggest buyer. In 2008 the Saudi government, which was one of
the Middle East's largest wheat-growers, announced it was to reduce its domestic cereal
production by 12% a year to conserve its water. It earmarked $5bn to provide loans at preferential
rates to Saudi companies which wanted to invest in countries with strong agricultural potential.

Meanwhile, the Saudi investment company Foras, backed by the Islamic Development
Bank and wealthy Saudi investors, plans to spend $1bn buying land and growing 7m
tonnes of rice for the Saudi market within seven years. The company says it is investigating
buying land in Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Uganda. By turning to Africa to grow its staple crops,
Saudi Arabia is not just acquiring Africa's land but is securing itself the equivalent of hundreds of
millions of gallons of scarce water a year. Water, says the UN, will be the defining resource of the
next 100 years. Since 2008 Saudi investors have bought heavily in Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia
and Kenya. Last year the first sacks of wheat grown in Ethiopia for the Saudi market were
presented by al-Amoudi to King Abdullah.

Some of the African deals lined up are eye-wateringly large: China has signed a contract
with the Democratic Republic of Congo to grow 2.8m hectares of palm oil for biofuels.
Before it fell apart after riots, a proposed 1.2m hectares deal between Madagascar and the South
Korean company Daewoo would have included nearly half of the country's arable land. Land to
grow biofuel crops is also in demand. "European biofuel companies have acquired or requested
about 3.9m hectares in Africa. This has led to displacement of people, lack of consultation and
compensation, broken promises about wages and job opportunities," said Tim Rice, author of an
ActionAid report which estimates that the EU needs to grow crops on 17.5m hectares, well over
half the size of Italy, if it is to meet its 10% biofuel target by 2015.

"The biofuel land grab in Africa is already displacing farmers and food production. The
number of people going hungry will increase," he said. British firms have secured tracts of
land in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania to grow flowers and
vegetables. Indian companies, backed by government loans, have bought or leased
hundreds of thousands of hectares in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and
Mozambique, where they are growing rice, sugar cane, maize and lentils to feed their
domestic market. Nowhere is now out of bounds. Sudan, emerging from civil war and mostly
bereft of development for a generation, is one of the new hot spots. South Korean companies last
year bought 700,000 hectares of northern Sudan for wheat cultivation; the United Arab Emirates
have acquired 750,000 hectares and Saudi Arabia last month concluded a 42,000-hectare deal in
Nile province. The government of southern Sudan says many companies are now trying to
acquire land. "We have had many requests from many developers. Negotiations are going on,"
said Peter Chooli, director of water resources and irrigation, in Juba last week. "A Danish group
is in discussions with the state and another wants to use land near the Nile." In one of the
most extraordinary deals, buccaneering New York investment firm Jarch Capital, run by a former
commodities trader, Philip Heilberg, has leased 800,000 hectares in southern Sudan near Darfur.
Heilberg has promised not only to create jobs but also to put 10% or more of his profits back into
the local community. But he has been accused by Sudanese of "grabbing" communal land and
leading an American attempt to fragment Sudan and exploit its resources.
Devlin Kuyek, a Montreal-based researcher with Grain, said investing in Africa was now seen as
a new food supply strategy by many governments. "Rich countries are eyeing Africa not just
for a healthy return on capital, but also as an insurance policy. Food shortages and riots in
28 countries in 2008, declining water supplies, climate change and huge population growth have
together made land attractive. Africa has the most land and, compared with other continents, is
cheap," he said. "Farmland in sub-Saharan Africa is giving 25% returns a year and new
technology can treble crop yields in short time frames," said Susan Payne, chief executive of
Emergent Asset Management, a UK investment fund seeking to spend $50m on African land,
which, she said, was attracting governments, corporations, multinationals and other investors.
"Agricultural development is not only sustainable, it is our future. If we do not pay great
care and attention now to increase food production by over 50% before 2050, we will face serious
food shortages globally," she said. But many of the deals are widely condemned by both western
non-government groups and nationals as "new colonialism", driving people off the land and taking
scarce resources away from people.

We met Tegenu Morku, a land agent, in a roadside cafe on his way to the region of Oromia in
Ethiopia to find 500 hectares of land for a group of Egyptian investors. They planned to fatten
cattle, grow cereals and spices and export as much as possible to Egypt. There had to be water
available and he expected the price to be about 15 birr (75p) per hectare per year – less than a
quarter of the cost of land in Egypt and a tenth of the price of land in Asia. "The land and labour
is cheap and the climate is good here. Everyone – Saudis, Turks, Chinese, Egyptians – is
looking. The farmers do not like it because they get displaced, but they can find land elsewhere
and, besides, they get compensation, equivalent to about 10 years' crop yield," he said.

Oromia is one of the centres of the African land rush. Haile Hirpa, president of the Oromia
studies' association, said last week in a letter of protest to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon
that India had acquired 1m hectares, Djibouti 10,000 hectares, Saudi Arabia 100,000
hectares, and that Egyptian, South Korean, Chinese, Nigerian and other Arab investors were all
active in the state. "This is the new, 21st-century colonisation. The Saudis are enjoying the
rice harvest, while the Oromos are dying from man-made famine as we speak," he said.

The Ethiopian government denied the deals were causing hunger and said that the land deals
were attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign investments and tens of thousands of
jobs. A spokesman said: "Ethiopia has 74m hectares of fertile land, of which only 15% is currently
in use – mainly by subsistence farmers. Of the remaining land, only a small percentage – 3 to 4%
– is offered to foreign investors. Investors are never given land that belongs to Ethiopian farmers.
The government also encourages Ethiopians in the diaspora to invest in their homeland. They
bring badly needed technology, they offer jobs and training to Ethiopians, they operate in areas
where there is suitable land and access to water."

The reality on the ground is different, according to Michael Taylor, a policy specialist at the
International Land Coalition. "If land in Africa hasn't been planted, it's probably for a reason.
Maybe it's used to graze livestock or deliberately left fallow to prevent nutrient depletion and
erosion. Anybody who has seen these areas identified as unused understands that there is no
land in Ethiopia that has no owners and users." Development experts are divided on the benefits
of large-scale, intensive farming. Indian ecologist Vandana Shiva said in London last week that
large-scale industrial agriculture not only threw people off the land but also required chemicals,
pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, intensive water use, and large-scale transport, storage and
distribution which together turned landscapes into enormous mono-cultural plantations. "We are
seeing dispossession on a massive scale. It means less food is available and local people
will have less. There will be more conflict and political instability and cultures will be
uprooted. The small farmers of Africa are the basis of food security. The food availability of the
planet will decline," she says. But Rodney Cooke, director at the UN's International Fund for
Agricultural Development, sees potential benefits. "I would avoid the blanket term 'land-grabbing'.
Done the right way, these deals can bring benefits for all parties and be a tool for development."
Lorenzo Cotula, senior researcher with the International Institute for Environment and
Development, who co-authored a report on African land exchanges with the UN fund last year,
found that well-structured deals could guarantee employment, better infrastructures and better
crop yields. But badly handled they could cause great harm, especially if local people were
excluded from decisions about allocating land and if their land rights were not protected.
Water is also controversial. Local government officers in Ethiopia told the Observer that
foreign companies that set up flower farms and other large intensive farms were not being
charged for water. "We would like to, but the deal is made by central government," said
one. In Awassa, the al-Amouni farm uses as much water a year as 100,000 Ethiopians.
                       ………………………………………..

NEWS: Libya As An African Power - Strategic Interests by J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.

Last Tuesday, just days after asserting that "we've said all we're going to say publicly"
and refusing a chance to retract his offhand comments about Colonel Muammar al-
Qadhafi, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley was back telling the press
that he and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had
called on the Libyan ambassador to explain that the "comments did not reflect U.S. policy
and were not intended to offend." Repeating his apology, Crowley expressed remorse that
his words had "become an obstacle to further progress in our bilateral relationship" and
his "hope that we can use ongoing dialogue at high levels to continue to advance the
U.S.-Libyan relationship." That this public mea culpa for what were, quite frankly,
embarrassingly maladroit remarks for someone who is supposed to head the Bureau of
Public Affairs, was even necessary is quite extraordinary. But that the State Department
moved so quickly to repair the breach, dispatching Ambassador Feltman to Tripoli this
week for bilateral consultations, is a clear sign of how far relations between the United
States and Libya have come since 2003, when the Qadhafi regime renounced its pursuit
of weapons of mass destruction and agreed to offer compensation to the families of the
victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

This episode, however, is just one of many that could be cited as evidence that there has
indeed been a change in Libya's foreign policy, one that behooves those not wedded to
ideological conceptions of the world to acknowledge. And perhaps nowhere is this more
evident than in what is emerging as one of the most strategically important geopolitical
spaces in the twenty-first century, Africa. While considerable attention has been given
to the activities of China, India, Russia, Japan, and other new or returning
international actors in Africa, there has not been much focus on what regional powers on
the continent are doing. Among these is certainly Libya, which has been consolidating its
ties to and expanding its influence with other African countries.

For the first two decades after the "Al Fatah" Revolution of 1969 overthrew the Senussi
monarchy, Libyan foreign policy was centered on the Arab world and the achievement of
Arab unity. Hardly a year passed without a chimerical attempt to unify with Egypt,
Tunisia, Syria, Algeria, or some other Arab state. Most of the time, the other states were
all too happy to play along with the schemes for a while in order to benefit from Libya's
oil wealth—the country has the largest petroleum reserves in Africa—without making
any binding commitments. For example, according to Mohamed Hassanein Heikal,
former editor-in-chief of Egypt's government-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, the Egyptians
accepted over $10 billion from Libya between 1970 and 1973 to prepare for its 1973 war
with Israel only to turn around in 1977 and fight a border war with their neighbors to the
west.

The Arab unity cherished by the Libyans proved bitterly elusive when, in the wake of the
Lockerbie bombing and, beginning in 1992, the imposition of a United Nations embargo
on flights to and from Libya and other sanctions, not one Arab country, including some
of the beneficiaries of Colonel Qadhafi's largesse, was prepared to stand by Tripoli.
Making things worse, the collapse of the Soviet Union at almost the same moment
deprived Libya of the support of a superpower. As a result, the Libyan regime began once
again to pay greater attention to Africa where it had supported numerous independence
movements—including those of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, and
Zimbabwe—in the 1970s. Less constructive were Libya's military actions in Chad related
to the contested Aouzou Strip, although Tripoli withdrew in 1981 and accepted the
International Court of Justice decision in favor of N'Djamena's sovereignty in 1994.

As I documented in my two books on the West African wars of the 1990s and reported
here several years ago, some of the initial forays in the Libyan return to Africa in the
early 1990s were nothing short of catastrophic for Africans, especially the backing of
warlord Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and Foday Sankoh's
Revolutionary United Front/Sierra Leone (RUF/SL) which unleashed more than decade
of havoc across West Africa from which the subregion is just barely recovering.

Eventually, however, Tripoli turned to more conventional statecraft exchanging financial
aid for diplomatic engagement. After several years of being shunned internationally,
Colonel Qadhafi was receiving state visits by the heads of state of countries in the Sahel,
including Presidents Alpha Oumar Konaré of Mali (later chairperson of the African
Union Commission), Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, and Idriss Déby Itno of Chad,
and Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. The breakout came in 1997 when the annual
summit of Organization of African Unity foreign ministers was held in Qadhafi's
hometown of Sirte (some of the diplomats attending were only able to do so because
Libya paid their country's arrears to the pan-African organization, thus restoring
their voting rights). The foreign ministers also set up a five-member committee to
mediate between Libya and the West over the Lockerbie dispute. On the heels of the
summit, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and South Africa's President Nelson
Mandela both visited Tripoli. African backing proved critical to the breakdown of
the sanctions regime and the subsequent agreement to hand over two Libyan
suspects for trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law for the Pan Am bombing.

Meanwhile, Libya's strategic engagements across Africa multiplied—a state of affairs
symbolically demonstrated by the change in name of the country's state broadcaster from
the "Voice of the Greater Arab Homeland" to the "Voice of Africa." In 1998, the
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (Communauté des Etats Sahélo-Sahariens, CEN-
SAD) was established with permanent headquarters in Tripoli. The charter members of
the CEN-SAD were Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Niger, and Sudan. The following
year, the Central African Republic and Eritrea joined, followed by Djibouti, The Gambia,
and Senegal in 2000. In the ensuing years, sixteen other countries, some quite far from
either Sahel or Sahara—Benin, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, São Tomé and
Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Tunisia—have become members (as did the
Somali interim "government" that was active in 2001). According to the treaty
establishing it, CEN-SAD's objectives include the establishment of an economic union
based on the implementation of a community development plan that complements the
sustainable development plans of individual member states; the removal of all restrictions
hampering the integration of the member countries through the adoption of necessary
measures to ensure the free movement of persons, capital, goods, and services of their
nationals; the promotion of external trade through investment in community members;
and the increase of land, air and maritime transport and communications links among
member states and the undertaking of common infrastructure projects.

While there is an annual CEN-SAD summit, so far the most effective institution of the
intergovernmental organization seems to be the Sahel-Saharan Investment and Trade
Bank with an authorized capital of 250 million euros, most of which has been contributed
by the Libyan government, although a modest peacekeeping mission, consisting of troops
from Djibouti, Libya, and Sudan was sent to the Central African Republic in January
2002, remaining there until relieved in November of that year by a force from the
Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC). Unfortunately
for the Central African Republic's democratically-elected president, Ange-Félix Patassé,
the CEMAC force proved incapable of preventing his overthrow four months later while
he was attending the annual CEN-SAD summit, meeting that year in Niamey, Niger.

Even the creation of the African Union in place of the tired Organization of African
Unity has a Libyan connection that is usually glossed over. In response to an initiative
promoted by Tripoli, the OAU Assembly of African Heads of State and Government met
in extraordinary session for only the fourth time in its nearly forty-year history at Sirte in
September 1999. In the resulting "Sirte Declaration," the African leaders professed to
have been "inspired by the important proposals submitted by Colonel Muammar Qadhafi,
Leader of the Great Al-Fatah Libyan Revolution, and particularly, by his vision for a
strong and united Africa, capable of meeting global challenges and shouldering its
responsibility to harness the human and natural resources of the continent in order to
improve the living conditions of its peoples" and resolved to "establish an African Union"
better able to "cope with the challenges and to effectively address the new social,
political, and economic realities in Africa and in the world." The declaration was
followed by summits at Lomé in 2000, when the Constitutive Act of the African Union
was adopted; at Lusaka in 2001, when the plan for the implementation of the African
Union was adopted; and at Durban in 2002, when the first Assembly of the new
organization was held. While the still-maturing AU has fallen short of both Qadhafi's
vision of a borderless "United States of Africa" and its own lofty ideals, my friend
Professor Hussein Solomon of the University of Pretoria is probably correct in his
assessment that, overall, the AU has "presented Libya with a prime platform from which
to project its foreign policy objectives towards the rest of the African continent and
presented Colonel Qadhafi with the perfect vehicle to further his continental ambitions."
Since its reengagement with Sub-Saharan Africa, Libya's economic reach across the
continent has grown considerably, powered by the substantial revenues from the
country's energy sector coupled with a relatively small population among which that
wealth has to be shared. Thus, while weakness in global prices for hydrocarbons in 2009
reduced economic growth to about 4 percent, down from the near 6 percent experienced
in previous years, Libya remains economically one of the best positioned African
states. With foreign investment and technology to rehabilitate equipment and
infrastructure that has deteriorated considerably since the peak period of the early 1970s,
Libya could potentially double its oil production and thus be in an even stronger
position to economically engage its African counterparts.

Tripoli has put part of the riches it already has to use assisting African countries,
especially since the establishment several years ago of the Libyan Fund for Aid and
Development in Africa, a branch of the Secretariat of the General People's Committee
for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation which focuses on basic infrastructure,
agricultural, power and water projects and similar development initiatives as well as
responds to humanitarian crises on the continent whenever the need arises. Appropriately
enough given the destruction that the RUF cadres Libya once trained and armed literally
cut through Sierra Leone, one of the Libyan Fund's projects in the West African country
has been an attempt to revive its agricultural sector. A similar effort is underway in
Liberia where, in early 2008, Libya formed a joint venture with a local nongovernmental
organization, the Foundation for African Development Aid (ADA), to invest $30 million
in a 15,000-hectare farm in northwestern Lofa County that the group had received from
the Liberian government. The plan, which was implemented last year on an initial 1,700-
hectare plot, is to introduce high-yield hybrid rice into Liberia and to grow it
commercially on a large scale, thus potentially bridging the gap between current local
production and demand, thus minimizing the country's dependence on food imports.

Considerably more important than its role as a donor of development assistance has
been Libya's role as an investor in Africa. A government entity, the Libya African
Portfolio for Investments (LAP), overseen by the country's main sovereign wealth fund,
the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), numbers among its companies the Libyan Arab
African Investment Company (LAAICO), which has a mandate to promote business
growth in Africa by investing in sectors as diverse as agriculture, mining,
manufacturing, real estate development, telecommunications, and tourism.
Currently, LAAIC has holdings in some more than two dozen African countries,
including Benin, Burkina Faso, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo
(Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia,
Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South
Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Another LAP company, the Oil Libya
Holding Company (formerly Tamoil Africa), is engaged in refining, marketing and
distribution of petroleum products in a similar number of African countries. In Morocco,
for example, the Libyans have invested more than $5 billion to acquire about 200 gas
stations, approximately 10 percent of the local market. Yet another LAP asset, LAP
Green, has had telecommunications operations in Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Rwanda, and
Uganda. Last month LAP Green acquired 80 percent of Gemtel in South Sudan and the
company has been shortlisted among the suitors seeking to acquire a 75-percent stake in
the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) being offered by the Zambia
Development Agency.

As their own access to the high tech markets of the world has been reopened, Libyan
firms have become deeply involved in promoting technology in Africa. For example,
RascomStar-QAF, a company registered in Mauritius but financed by LAP, has the
agreement to provide the first dedicated satellite telecommunication project for
Africa under the aegis of the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization
(RASCOM). The joint project is intended to provide telecommunication services, direct
TV broadcasts, and internet access in rural areas of Africa.

Uganda is a good example of a case where Libya's investments have served its
strategic objectives while simultaneously helping the target country's economic and
social development. There are few African countries where Tripoli's past interventions
were so much on the wrong side of history. In late 1971, following a meeting with
Qadhafi, Ugandan despot Idi Amin expelled several hundred Israeli advisors and later
broke diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. The following year, during Idi Amin's
first confrontation with Tanzania over an abortive counterattack by former President
Milton Obote, Libya airlifted arms and Palestinian commandos to defend the regime. In
1978, after the blustering Ugandan tyrant made the mistake of formally declaring war on
Tanzania, more than three thousand Libyans—a mix of regular army and militia—fought
in the front lines trying, unsuccessfully, to stop a combined invasion of the Tanzanian
People's Defense Force and various Ugandan opposition forces, including the Front for
National Salvation (FRONASA) led by Yoweri Museveni. As the invaders advanced with
little resistance, Idi Amin went into exile, first in Libya and later in Saudi Arabia. As for
the Libyan expeditionary force, it was forced to retreat and was eventually repatriated
through Kenya and Ethiopia.

Since that period, however, relations have improved dramatically, in part because, as
Museveni recounts in his autobiography Sowing the Mustard Seed, Libyan Ilyushin-76
planes parachuted in 800 rifles and 800,000 rounds of ammunitions the Ugandan leader's
National Resistance Army (NRA) had purchased during a critical moment in the
subsequent struggle against the repressive regime Obote had established after Idi Amin
fled the country. Currently at least $500 million in Libyan capital is participating in
Uganda's growing economy. Libya owns a 49-percent stake in the National Housing and
Construction Company (NHCC), a public enterprise with a mandate to increase the
housing stock in the country, rehabilitate the housing industry, and encourage Ugandans
to own homes in an organized environment. Libya also owns 69 percent of Uganda
Telecom Limited (the Ugandan government owns the other 31 percent), where its capital
has been used to aggressively expand the company's market share. In a joint venture with
the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Libya has invested in a soluble
coffee plant that adds value to Ugandan production by making it compliant with
European standards. Libya also has the contract to build an extension of the Mombasa-
Eldoret oil pipeline in Kenya to the Ugandan capital of Kampala. The extension will be
designed to permit reverse flow once Uganda begins its own petroleum production.
Earlier this year, a team from Oil Libya visited Uganda to explore the possibility of
building an oil refinery.

In recent years, perhaps aided by their country's economic heft, Libyan diplomats
have proven themselves surprisingly adept mediators of African conflicts. Their
successes include the brokering of the deal that led to the departure of Chadian forces
from the Congo and the facilitation of the thaw between Uganda and the regime in
Kinshasa. Tripoli has also hosted discussions between the Sudanese government and the
various factions in Darfur. The Qadhafi regime's decision in 2003 to abandon its WMD
program, settle the Lockerbie claims, and give up its hitherto support of international
terrorism (the United States removed Libya from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in
2007) led to the lifting of numerous economic and trade restrictions as well as the ban on
American citizens doing business there. The potential economic and political rewards
of deciding to work with instead of against Washington may actually strengthen
Tripoli's capacity in dealings with the rest of the African continent, especially the
poorer states of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Given some of the anti-Western, post-colonial rhetoric that has emanated from Tripoli
over the years, it may be surprising for some to learn that since the thaw in bilateral
relations with Washington, Libya has even demonstrated greater openness to the U.S.
Africa Command (AFRICOM) than some other states on the continent. AFRICOM
Commander General William E. "Kip" Ward actually traveled to Libya twice in
2009 and met with Colonel Qadhafi—at the very least it was a warmer reception
than the one the general received just two years earlier from South Africa's former
defense minister, Mosioua Lekota, who not only refused to even respond to a formal
request for a meeting, but went on to publically threaten any African countries that
broke ranks with his self-declared boycott of the command. In any event, in January
2009, the United States and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding on defense
contact and cooperation. Theresa Whelan, then deputy assistant secretary of defense for
African affairs, characterized the accord as signaling that the two countries now have
military-to-military relations and would work together in fields of mutual interest such as
peacekeeping, maritime security, counterterrorism and African security and stability.
Apparently, while Libya remains opposed to the introduction on non-African
military forces to the continent on a permanent basis, the objections do not preclude
potential cooperation with the security capacity building mission of the AFRICOM.

Thus last May, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell arrived in Tubruq for a three-day
port visit that was the first of any U.S. military vessel to Libya in more than four decades.
During the visit, which occurred under the aegis of the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces
Europe-Africa, the crew of the Alameda, California-based Boutwell conducted various
training and leadership exchanges with Libyan maritime enforcement personnel and also
participated in several cultural exchanges. Subsequently, a group of Libyan defense and
military officials were hosted on a visit on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight
D. Eisenhower as it cruised through Mediterranean. The visits were returned in
September when a delegation of three senior Libyan officers visited AFRICOM
headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as U.S. Air Force Africa headquarters at
Ramstein Air Base. During the officers' visit, General Ward gave an unprecedented
interview to Al-Musallh, the official journal of the Libyan armed forces, in which he
described his discussions of African security matters with Qadhafi and "we look forward
to working together in ways that help us achieve those common objectives for peace and
stability."

And it is not just African security, strictly speaking, that is at stake. Libya is a major
transit hub for clandestine immigration and human trafficking of Africans and Asians to
Europe—it should be recalled that the Italian island of Lampedusa, the first European
landfall for many of these migrants, is closer to the North African shore than it is to
Sicily. Hence any effort to reduce human trafficking, save lives, and defeat the criminal
gangs engaged in this abuse will clearly require Tripoli's cooperation.

In the interest of renewing links to professionals in the Libyan military and security
services after a nearly four-decade hiatus, the Bush administration requested
$350,000 in State Department-administered International Military Education and
Training (IMET) funding for Libya in fiscal year 2009. The Obama administration
requested the same amount for the current fiscal year, specifying that the funding would
be used for English language education as well as courses on civil-military relations,
border security, and counterterrorism (Libya has been invited to join the U.S.-led Trans-
Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership). In addition, the Obama administration budget
also allocated, for the first time ever, a token $250,000 in Foreign Military Financing
(FMF) to provide assistance to the Libyan air force in developing its air transport
capabilities and to the Libyan coast guard in improving its coastal patrol and search-and-
rescue operations. As significant as these steps may be, there is no reason why bilateral
cooperation should not extend to other spheres. As Saif Aleslam al-Qadhafi, noted at the
start of the U.S. rapprochement with his father: "Libya does not envisage limiting
relations to fighting terrorism. It proposes joint efforts, for example, to meet the needs of
Africa by eradicating disease and promoting investment."

Muammar al-Qadhafi recently stepped down from his one-year term as chair of the
African Union, having used his tenure to continue his advocacy for a "United States
of Africa" where colonial borders are erased. While the idea may well prove to be
another one of the Libyan leader's pipedreams, there is no denying that Libya has been
largely successful in redefining itself as an African country and reinventing the
"Brotherly Guide" as a champion of African peoples and causes. Given his many
instances of rogue behavior over the years—including not a few in Africa—as well as his
continuing eccentricities, there is reason to be cautious, if not wary, of both Qadhafi's
intentions and the sustainability of a foreign policy that remains heavily influenced by a
larger-than-life personality. Nevertheless one thing that American policymakers,
analysts, and businesses cannot afford to do as they increase their own engagements
with Africa is to ignore the significant role that Libya has carved out for itself as a
political and economic force on the continent. To this end, engagement, constructive
but without sacrificing the critical faculties, is the best course for advancing U.S. national
interests in Africa as well as those of the peoples of the continent.
NEWS: Sending Money Home to Africa
IFAD, October 2009 [Excerpts]/ http://www.ifad.org/remittances

Introduction
For the region as a whole, remittances far exceed official
development assistance, and for many countries they exceed
foreign direct investment as well.1 With investment and aid
flows heavily under pressure as a result of the financial
crisis, remittances remain a resilient and vital lifeline for
tens of millions of African families. Nevertheless, despite the
significant direct impact of remittances on the lives of
recipients, these flows are not yet reaching their full
development potential. This report outlines the main results of a study
of regulatory issues and market competition in 50 African countries
representing 90 per cent of remittance flows to the region.

High cost of African remittances
The cost of sending money to Africa, however, remains relatively
high and subject to wide variations. Transfer costs from the
United States are generally among the lowest, followed by
transfer costs from Europe. The cost of sending remittances
within the continent is far higher ... the cost of sending
remittances from South Africa to other African countries is
generally higher than sending money to Africa from abroad. These
costs range from 12 to as high as 25 per cent of the amount
sent. Remittances are particularly relevant - and particularly
expensive - to Africa's underserved rural areas, which receive
an estimated 30-40 per cent of all flows. Often these
remittances are picked up far from home, and families must add
substantial travel costs and time to the already high transfer
fees.

Major findings
* The African remittance market exhibits a low level of
competition and has limited payout presence in rural areas.
* Two major money transfer companies control 65 per cent of all
remittance payout locations.
* Effectively, 80 per cent of African countries restrict the type
of institutions able to offer remittance services to banks.
* Exclusivity arrangements severely limit competition and create
barriers to entry.
* More than 20 per cent of the people within the reach of MFIs
receive remittances. Yet MFIs currently represent less than 3
per cent of remittance payers.
* Post offices could potentially play a significant role in
expanding remittance services.

Africa's remittance market
The formal market for money transfers to Africa is relatively
young and faces the challenges typical of emerging markets.
These issues include uncertainty about the volume of
remittances, limited competition, high transfer costs and a lack
of technological innovation (with the notable exception of mobile
banking in Kenya and South Africa). A robustly competitive market is
key to expanding financial access, because it drives market players to
innovate and expand services to the underserved areas and groups.
Competition drives technological innovation and reduces the cost of
sending money home. ... these costs remain relatively high in Africa
(especially within the continent) and are higher still in rural
areas.
...
Remittance service providers for Africa: the rule of money
transfer operators
Money transfer operators (MTOs) dominate the market for transfers
from the United States and European migrant destinations. There
are fewer than 100 MTOs operating in the entire African
marketplace, together comprising almost 90 per cent of all
remittance service providers (RSPs). Of the MTOs, Western Union and
MoneyGram are, by far, the most significant market players. As
pioneers these companies were instrumental in creating the
international network that has made remittance transfers possible. Both
companies, however, have protected the returns on their initial
investment by requiring that agents sign exclusivity agreements.5
These agreements effectively 'lock' more than half of all available
payout locations. Because they apply to all agents - banks, foreign
exchange bureaus and post offices, among others - an effective
control of 65 per cent of the authorized payout market results.
The continuing dominance of Western Union and MoneyGram is not a
result of exclusivity agreements alone, however. Among the
institutions paying out remittances there is also a lack of
knowledge of the money transfer market. Many African banks
incorrectly perceive Western Union and MoneyGram to be the only
companies offering international money transfer services. As a
result, banks are prepared to sign exclusivity agreements in
return for guaranteed volume. ...

Remittance-paying institutions in Africa
Most regulations in Africa permit only banks to pay remittances.
In most countries, they constitute over 50 per cent of the
businesses paying money transfers. About 41 per cent of payments
and 65 per cent of all payout locations are serviced by banks in
partnerships with Western Union and MoneyGram. While non-bank RSPs play
only a marginal role in most countries, there are alternative models
that highlight the potential role of post offices, foreign exchange
bureaus, retail stores and MFIs. Post offices, for example, constitute
95 per cent of the payers in Algeria, while MFIs constitute 29 per cent
of the payers in the Central African Republic.

Money transfers paid by post offices
In Africa as a whole, post offices do not yet play a significant
role in transferring remittances. The notable exception is
Algeria, where the postal system is engaged in a partnership
with the French postal system. Algerians sending money home from
France have adopted the use of post offices as one of their
preferred methods of sending remittances. While post offices have a
strong geographical presence, they lack the capacity to pay
remittances. Many cannot yet realize their full potential because they
lack sufficient cash flow to pay transactions, effective communications
infrastructure or properly trained staff. In total, about 20 per cent
of all post offices in Africa currently pay remittances.

Post offices play a very significant role in rural areas: 74 per
cent of all post office locations paying remittances are outside
the capitals of their respective countries. The potential for
increasing their market share is significant, especially in
rural areas. There are also challenges, however, as 36 per cent
of the post offices outside of Algeria are agents of Western
Union and are bound by exclusivity agreements.

Money transfers paid by MFIs
In places where other non-banking financial institutions are
allowed to transfer remittances, the participation of MFIs
remains relatively limited. For the continent as a whole, only 3
per cent of payout locations are MFIs. But, as the example of
the Central African Republic shows, MFIs can play a much greater
role.
...
The role of non-bank financial institutions
Non-bank financial institutions such as credit unions or MFIs
could potentially expand the reach of remittances and related
services significantly. This is the case both in terms of
geographical coverage and in terms of meeting the financial
needs of the less wealthy client base. Regulations covering
microfinance activities vary widely across Africa, in part because of
the fact that virtually no microfinance legislation existed prior to
2007. In some cases, the only clearly regulated MFIs are cooperatives
or credit unions, and in almost half the countries no specific MFI
legislation exists. Even while several countries allow MFIs to
carry out money transfer services, these organizations are faced
with legal and institutional challenges.
...
According to the study, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana
and Kenya are the only countries in which MFIs are allowed to
carry out international money transfers. Even in these
countries, however, their participation is limited by a lack of
technical capacity enabling them to function as payers. Most
countries prohibit MFIs from making money transfers. ...

Role of MFIs in remittance transfers and financial access
The role of MFIs is of particular interest, as these are present
in more rural areas and specifically target market segments
underserved by larger financial institutions. Expanding the role of
MFIs could yield great benefits. The study shows, however, that two
potential key changes would need to be addressed:
* First, regulatory frameworks need to be examined and
streamlined to allow MFIs to play a greater role in money
transfers and potentially in deposit-taking.
* Second, investments in the capacity of MFIs and their employees
are needed to enhance their knowledge of new services, integrate
new technology and ensure regulatory compliance. ...
Policy implications and recommendations
... this report advances several recommendations that can
enhance financial access in Africa.
Improving information to improve policy decisions
As yet, relatively little is known about remittances to Africa.
The key to both informed policy decisions and private-sector
interest is the availability of timely, accurate information. As
more information becomes available on a regular basis,
governments, the private sector and the donor community are each
better able to play their roles in maximizing the impact of
remittances.
Pursue regulatory reform
Regulatory reform is central to leveraging the impact of
remittances. There are a range of businesses that have the
operational and financial capacity to conduct transfers, but
that are not permitted to do so. When banks can perform
transfers and MFIs can only act as sub-agents, both institutions
suffer as they encounter barriers or lack incentives to enter
the market. Allowing more actors to perform money transfers will expand
the reach beyond banks and foreign exchange bureaus, allowing
greater competition among RSPs. While there are eight banks on
average in each African country, there are more than 15 MFIs,
half of which are regulated, and at least three or four of which
could compete as payers. Africa has a very low number of payout
locations. Mexico alone has almost as many payout locations as the
entire African continent, despite having only one- tenth of Africa's
population. Simply bringing MFIs into the market would double the
number of payout locations.
Phase-out exclusivity agreements
Contracts that prevent agents from forming partnerships with
other providers block competitors from entering the market.
Given the fact that 60 per cent of payers in Africa are banks,
and that 80 per cent of banks are already paying remittances,
the opportunities for RSPs to enter the African marketplace are
restricted.
...
IFAD Financing Facility for Remittances
IFAD's US$15 million, multi-donor Financing Facility for
Remittances is funded by the Consultative Group to Assist the
Poor, the European Commission, the Government of Luxembourg, the
Inter-American Development Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Cooperation of Spain, and the United Nations Capital
Development Fund. The Facility works to: (i) increase economic
opportunities for poor rural people through the support and
development of innovative, cost-effective and easily accessible
remittance services; (ii) support productive rural investment
channels; and (iii) foster an enabling environment for rural
remittances.
For more information, please visit http://www.ifad.org/remittances




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            176-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, NY/718-523-3312
Join WADU, the Pan African Movement that is sweeping the world & unifying the
 Diaspora to reclaim our Motherland Africa, & building a worldwide Pan African
            movement for Economic, Political & Cultural Rebirth.
            Join us in Ethiopia at the WADU Summit, July 5-15, 2010 –
  The 110th Anniversary of the formal launching of the Pan Africans Movement.
                            Go: WADUPAM.ORG
                          …………………………………




                  RHAW & IAM UBUNTU
                       Heritage Power Sunday
                Sunday, April 4, 2010/2:00 p.m. at ITC
              With Dr. Ndgugu T-Ofori-Atta & Minister P.D. Menelik
 IAM Ubuntu (1999) is a Pan African Traditional Ministry continuing the work of the
   RHAW (1966) to promote Ubuntu na Zulu - A Pan African Way of life. Join us!
  Also, join us on the Pilgrimages to Africa & the Diaspora - July 2010 is Ethiopia.
                      Contact us at 404-822-2049/404-527-7756.
                          WADUGA MEETING @ 3:00 P.M.
                      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
           Spring…The Pan African Agenda… 2010
      Minister P.D. Menelik, IAM Ubuntu –na Zulu (African Sacred World Community)
                              Our Daily Prayer Libation/Invocation:
          UMUNTU NGUBANTU – Our Humanity is our Divinity (& our Destiny)

								
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