close this bookThe Courier - N°159 - Sept- Oct 1996 Dossier Investing in People Country Reports: Mali ; Western Samoa
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The courier’s mailbag

Plea for African solidarity

Thank you sincerely for your report on the second plenary of the Global Coalition for Africa which appeared in the March-April 1996 edition. As a 'displaced' Liberian, I would like to comment on some of the issues reported in the article.

First, I hope that Africans recognise and appreciate all that former President Jimmy Carter has done and continues to do for our beloved continent.

Second, I support the view of Ms Johnson-Sirleaf and President Afwerki of Eritrea that we, as Africans, must invest in ourselves and in productive endeavours in our own countries. However, given the number of civil wars, that have resulted in displacement of our peoples and migration of the labour force, it is imperative that we also begin to think of and recognise each other as Africans first - and only then as members of whatever ethnic group we belong to. As a Liberian with professional qualifications who relocated to Ghana in 1992, I met with opposition and resentment because of my nationality and sex. I subsequently went to the Caribbean where my acceptance as an African was easier.

When there is a population movement, the psychological impact associated with feelings of rejection and intimidation is severe. Sub-Saharan Africa will never develop or reach its fullest potential until we begin to think and act as a united, yet diverse group of people.

I agree that it is important to develop our homelands first, but in the case of Liberia, Burundi or Rwanda, where no one seems to understand the concept of peace or the idea of having a future, it is crucial that the displaced be respected and accepted as fellow Africans. It would be even better if we were afforded the opportunity to integrate and assimilate into society.

Ciata A. Bishop, Grand Cayman.

What about Guinea-Bissau ?

I am a student from Guinea-Bissau reading international law and political science at the Social Science University in Toulouse. I have also been a faithful Courier reader for more than seven years. In the March-April issue of 1996, you published an article on fisheries by Anthony Acheampong entitled 'A vital food source in West Africa'. You gave the figures for fish production in 16 West African countries-but did not mention my native country! I should point out that Guinea-Bissau consumes and exports a great deal of fish, and the product is an important source of foreign exchange to the country.

F.J. Alves d'Almada, Toulouse, France.

Media and democracy in Southern Africa

I refer to the article with the above title by Francis Caas which appeared in issue no. 154 of The Courier (November-December). I enjoyed reading the text which examined the emergence of a free press due to the advent of political liberalisation in the Southern African region. However, I wish to make a correction as to what I think is a misrepresentation of fact. The author said, and I quote: 'The installation of a democratic regime in 1994 (in Malawi) enabled the MBC to begin broadcasting in all languages spoken in the country'. This is not actually correct although the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, apart from broadcasting in English and Chechewa, has since introduced Tumbuka on the radio. I felt it was important to put the record straight on this.

Disher G.DJ. Pindani Lecturer in Public Administration, Chancellor College, Zomba, Malawi.

Corrigenda

In issue no 157, a number of 'author' footnotes were inadvertently omitted.

Pascal Dotchevi, author of 'Togo: the victory of the taxi. bikes' (p.11) is a journalist on Kpakpa Desenchante, a satirical weekly published in Lomé

Piritta Sorsa, author of 'Banking and securities' (p.13) works at the IMF office in Geneva.

Yves Delafon, author of 'Developing consultancy work in the ACP countries' (p.15) is the director of a consultancy and President of the Federation of External Trade Associations in Provence/ Cote d'Azur.

N'Gone Fall, author of 'Fashion; Out of Africa.. the breath of inspiration' (p.53) is a journalist.

Also in issue 157, some errors appeared in the article entitled 'Sparks fly in Namibia'.

In the introductory section it was stated that secret harlots were held on resolutions relating to Nigeria, Niger and Sudan. This should have read Nigeria, Niger and Equatorial Guinea; a resolution on Sudan was passed by normal, open vote procedure.

Under the heading 'The future of Lomé' the ACP Generai Rapporteur vvas refered to as Mr Firmin, which is the forename. The General Rapporteur's surname is Mr Jean-Louis.

In the fifth paragraph under the same heading, there was a reference to Helena Torres Couto. This should have read Mr Jose Manuel Torres Couto.

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