EU helps alleviate poverty Feb02
I do not write what the Conservative Party or the EU wish or expect me to
write – I write what I believe in on the basis of my 40 years work
experience in Africa as well as my assessment of data that I analyse.
Global poverty existed
long before the EU was established. Free market policies and conduct of
international trade are matters for negotiation and agreement between
countries as witnessed in Doha recently.
Mr. D’Sa, using emotive
language of an armchair theoretician, fails to offer a single practical
solution that will eliminate hunger, disease and poverty
- a solution that can be widely supported, financed and sustained.
He fails to realise the simple truth:
the poor need equal opportunities to be self-reliant. “Don’t give
me fish, teach me how to fish” is the cry from the poor! They need help
to exploit their natural resources; help to grow, harvest, store, process,
package and market their produce. They need help in creating value added
products yielding surpluses that will finance education, health and better
shelter for their families. They do not wish to remain beggars for life,
drip-fed from EU surpluses!
The EU aid policies are not
perfect. They are being challenged, revised and refined to yield better
results. A number of my proposals have been accepted by the ACP and form
part of the new Cotonu Agreement. My proposals cover technical aid and
direct investment to support rural economic development including agrarian
reform, regional co-operation, transfer of technology, joint EU:ACP SME
partnerships and extensive use of renewable energy, especially biogas,
solar and wind. My next European Parliament Report on “Agricultural
policy, agrarian reform and rural economic development for self reliance
in developing countries” will consolidate my earlier proposals. My
Report will be presented to Parliament in April 2002.
Migration – both
North-South and South-South - is a major issue for discussion in a
workshop in Cape Town (ACP:EU Joint Assembly 18-22nd March)
where the EU will seek consultation, consensus and action. The affluent
western countries, with smaller populations, face unlimited inflow of
people from the densely populated poor countries in the east and south.
Such a flow of refugees and economic migrants needs to be managed on the
basis of consultation and consensus. An open door policy is neither
practical nor desirable as it threatens the political stability, social
cohesion and economic prosperity for all including millions of immigrants
already settled in western countries. Many of these immigrants settled in
the west offer substantial financial support to their families back home.
Developing countries have
unlimited resources – human and natural – that need to be exploited
for the benefit of their poor citizens. This effort requires a partnership of rich and poor nations to target the causes of
poverty and deliver the equality of opportunity to work and live in peace.
Rural investment in education, health and agriculture will give the poor a
stake in their local economies. It creates a civil society that requires
democratic representation, law and order. Such rural economic development
yields prosperity, civic order and disables the warlords who exploit the
poor and precipitate internal conflict. Millions of poor Africans are
terrorised, looted, raped and killed by fellow citizens in countries like
Burundi and Congo – fertile countries that could be the grain basket for
the whole of Africa!