Africa News Update
Monday, 2. February 1999

FREE of charge news and background service from the Norwegian Council for Africa. The Norwegian Council for Africa (Fellesr├ądet for Afrika) is a non-profit making NGO. The news items and background stories are for reading and information only, and strictly not for publication, broadcast or other forms of redistribution. Some of the articles included in AFRICA UPDATE are shortened.


CONTENTS:

1. Zambia: Why local traders cannot penetrare global market?

2. Zambia: Finance minister presents Zambia's 1999 budget

3. Zambia: Chindoloma must go

4. Tanzania: Foreign Ministry on 34m/- spree

5. Uganda: Handbook on media in Uganda launched

6. Africa: Kenya and Ethiopia exchange words over border

7. Guinea-Bissau: 292 ECOMOG soldiers en route to Bissau

8. Nigeria: Fumes over Taylor's alleged role in Sierra Leone

9. Namibia: Nujoma calls for change

10. South Africa: IFP axes Ngubane



*******************NEWS and BACKGROUND************************


1. Zambia: Why local traders cannot penetrare global market?

The Times of Zambia, 1 February 1999

By Business Review Reporter

Lusaka - Inadequate access to venture capital and limited capacity are among
some of the factors which have hindered local business from penetrating the
global market significantly.

A spokesman for the newly launched Zambia Enterprise Network Association
(ZENA) Mr. Aaron Chungu said yesterday that although Zambia had high levels
of technical expertise and experience, limited access to financial resources
had affected the full utilisation of such assets. Mr. Chungu explained that
in the absence of readily available venture capital, most local
entrepreneurs find it difficulty to grow and increase their capacities.

He said this inability to build capacity to international levels made it
difficulty for many entrepreneurs to find their niche on the global business
scene. He said ZENA had been formed to address such difficulties faced by
dynamic young entrepreneurs.

The association, which is part of a network of enterprise associations on
the continent, is non-partisan and will facilitate access to finance for its
members as well as guaranteeing loans. The association will also promote the
exchange of views on national issues with the country's cooperating partners
especially donors and will strive to promote entrepreneurship development.

The organisation will be officially launched by Commerce Minister David
Mpamba this month.

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2. Zambia: Finance minister presents Zambia's 1999 budget

Panafrican News Agency, 29 January 1999

By Mildred Mulenga

Lusaka - Zambia's finance minister Edith Nawakwi Friday presented a 2,227.7
billion kwacha budget which she said had been designed to reverse the
economic decline experienced in 1998 and stimulate growth. (1 US dollar=
2500 kwacha).

Nawakwi said government plans to raise 65.5 percent or 1,460 billion kwacha
of the budgeted sum from internal sources while the remaining percentage,
equivalent to some 300 million dollars would be externally financed.

Nawakwi's budget has earmarked over 45 percent of the expenditure towards
the social sector, including health and education.

''I have submitted a budget which lays a firm foundation for the revival of
our nation and its economy after a difficult period for both Zambia and most
of the developing world,'' Nawakwi said.

Nawakwi noted that the country's economic performance in 1998 was very poor
because donors withheld promised balance of payments support.

Balance of payments support of 235 million dollars that had been pledged by
the Paris Club had not been released to be disbursed in 1998, while Zambia's
export earnings fell by 332 million dollars in the same year, a decline
equivalent to 10 percent of the gross domestic product.

''The absence of balance of payments support on our economy is a firm
confirmation of the direction we need to take in the years to come. Our
economy can only be consolidated by in-flows from foreign direct investment
and the emergence of a strong export base,'' Nakakwi said.

She said the denial of the balance of payments support had put tremendous
pressure on the exchange rate and foreign reserves with the kwacha falling
by 69 percent against the dollar.

Lusaka's western donors who had in the past provided the country's balance
of payments support made privatisation of the Zambian mining industry as one
of the conditions for aid.

Nawakwi was, however, optimistic that considerable support from multilateral
institutions and bilateral donors would be given this year for the core
priority programmes.

Government had in 1998 expected to improve on the five percent economic
growth rate achieved in 1997, but instead, the economy contracted,
registering a negative growth rate of two percent. Inflation, which had been
expected to be reduced by 50 percent from 18.6 percent in 1997, rose to
around 27 percent.

Nawakwi said government intended in 1999 to achieve a growth rate of 4
percent and reduce inflation to 15 percent and strengthen external reserves
positions by adding 120 million dollars, while maintaining tight monetary
polices and limit overall fiscal deficit to 1.8 percent of the Gross
Domestic Product.

She said the main contribution to the budget is expected to come from
mining, agriculture, construction, tourism and export oriented manufacturing.

Nawakwi said the growth projections were based on an annual increase in
copper production of 6 percent, an expansion of agricultural output of 5.5
percent and growth in non-traditional exports of 15 percent.

The Anglo-American Corp., through Zambia Copper Investment in which it holds
shares, last week ratified the memorandum of understanding on the sale of
Konkola, Nkana, Nchanga and Nampundwe mines for 90 million dollars.

Nawakwi, Zambia's first woman finance minister, said prospects for growth
were based on the expected increase in investment from 17 percent of Gdp in
1998 to 20 percent in 2001.

She said an important objective for 1999 would be to continue the
modernisation of the tax regime and to lay the foundation for broadening the
tax base by increasing compliance.

To further widen the tax base, government intends to introduce a witholding
tax of 15 percent on income paid as commission to non- residents which she
said would raise 0.8 billion kwacha.

She noted that some individuals who were not in employment but earned
commissions, did not pay income. She cited the many people from neighbouring
countries earning tax free commissions in Zambia by providing clientele to
the tourism sector, for example.

In the 1999 budget, government has also proposed a reduction in customs duty
on selected items used in manufacturing process and also remove excise duty
on the imported raw materials for the manufacture of portable spirits.

This is intended to stimulate the growth of the local manufacturing industry
which had hitherto faced competition from foreign and cheaper products.

The budget has also proposed that Zambia should implement the World Trade
Organisation valuation code for customs valuation which she said recognises
discounted prices resulting from business negotiations. Over 160 major
trading nations use the WTO code for customs valuation.

Nawakwi hoped that now that privatisation of the mining industry was almost
complete, the country would begin to benefit from a significant increase in
the in-flow of foreign private sector investment.

''The confidence of our cooperating partners in our economic programme has
been restored and balance of payments support has resumed... We must have
the determination to transform our economy into one where hard work and
enterprise are rewarded,'' Nawakwi said.

***************************

3. Zambia: Chindoloma must go

The Times of Zambia, 1 February 1999

By Times Reporter

Lusaka - MMD youths in Lusaka have mobilised themselves to block Chipili
Member of Parliament Ntondo Chindoloma from entering Parliament tomorrow
afternoon for allegedly insulting President Chiluba.

Lusaka district chairman Michael Bwalya said in an interview yesterday the
youths were incensed by Mr Chindoloma's derogatory remarks against President
Chiluba in and outside Parliament and would no longer tolerate such behaviour.

He said the youths would gather in numbers at least 30 metres away from the
Parliament buildings and ensure Mr Chindoloma did not enter the precincts.

In his contribution to Mr Chiluba's opening address of Parliament last week,
Mr Chindoloma described the speech as uninspiring and had nothing to offer
to the Zambian people.

But Mr Bwalya said the youths in Lusaka were aware that Mr Chindoloma was
merely a mouthpiece for other forces and warned all those masquerading as
MMD and were supporting the member of Parliament's utterances that they
would be flushed out.

The Lusaka youths wholly supported eight provincial youth chairmen for
calling for Mr Chindoloma's expulsion from the party saying they would not
settle for anything less.

"We the youths have mobilised ourselves and on Tuesday we are going to
Parliament to make sure Mr Chindoloma is not allowed into the House. For a
long time Mr Chindoloma has been insulting the President, we wonder whose
interest he is serving," Mr Bwalya said.

He said Luapula Province MMD chairman Norman Chibamba should quickly act
against Mr Chindoloma before he derailed the MMD from addressing the
economic and social ills in Zambia.

But when contacted Mr Chindoloma declined to respond.

And MMD leaders in Luapula Province are disappointed with Mr Chindoloma for
insulting the President in Parliament.

Luapula Province vice-chairman Kunda Chama said from Mansa yesterday he had
summoned Mwense district chairman and Chipili constituency chairman to
discuss the matter. The duo are expected in Mansa today.

He said although Luapula provincial youth chairman did not append his
signature to the petition the leaders fully supported the call by other
youth chairmen that Mr Chindoloma should be expelled.

"It is a sad development coming from an MP who hails from President
Chiluba's Province. We fully support the views of the youths and Mr
Chindoloma has only succeeded in provoking other cases which are known to
the provincial leaders," he said.

Mr Chama said the youth chairman was not available at the time when the
petition was being signed because he was still in Mansa.

****************************

4. Tanzania: Foreign Ministry on 34m/- spree

The Express (Tanzania) 28 January - 3 February 1999

By Nicodemus Odhiambo

Dar es Salaam - Despite severe budgetary constraints and major cutbacks in
foreign service expenditure in recent years, the government plans to spend
over 50,000 US dollars, equivalent of Tshs 34 million, to convene a meeting
of its ambassadors and high commissioners functioning in different parts of
the world, The Express has learnt.

The date for the meeting has not been set, but an official of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Simeon Ileta, confirmed it
would held in Dar es Salaam in March. President Benjamin Mkapa is expected
to open it.

Envoys from 24 missions in Africa, Europe, Asia and Americas are scheduled
to meet for a brainstorming session to chart the future of the country's
foreign policy. "We are going to assess where we are coming from and chart
where we are going," Mr Ileta said. "World politics have changed and we need
to review the present developments."

The meeting will give an opportunity to the top diplomats to fine-tune the
country's foreign policy after the cold war and find ways of moving away
from pure diplomacy to the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and
regional cooperation.
"We want to reach a stage where embassies can be judged by the number of
tourists they bring into the country, the amount of foreign currency they
raise for Tanzania and to be seen to be contributing towards the fight
against poverty," Mr Ileta added.

Tanzanian diplomats are currently being urged to move away from a purely
political outlook, characterised by the previous Ujamaa policies and embrace
free market policies.

The meeting became certain when Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete last month
allayed earlier fears of lack of funds and confirmed the coming of the
envoys. He refused to speculate on the amount of money expected to be spent
in hosting the two to three-day meeting.

Tanzania has missions in Addis Ababa, Bonn, Brussels, Cairo, Geneva, Harare,
Kampala, London, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo, Pretoria, paris, Peking, Riyadh,
Rome, Stockholm, Moscow,
Nairobi, New Delhi, New York, Ottawa, Tokyo and Washington DC.

******************************

5. Uganda: Handbook on media in Uganda launched

The Nation (Uganda), 1 February 1999

Nairobi - A handbook on the state of the media in Uganda has been launched
in Kampala. The book jointly published by the East African Media Institute
and the Frederick Ebert Foundation (FES) is an expose of the development of
the media in Uganda since 1986.

The handbook which was launched by Uganda's Prime Minister Mr. Kintu Musoke,
points out in its introduction that the government was literary running the
public media while the private Press had the impossible task of choosing
between responsibility and persecution often times culminating into death.

"There was no Press freedom whatsoever," says the introduction.

The State of the Media in Uganda highlights the regulatory framework and
media legislation in the country. It also focuses on the Press and
journalism statute of 1995, the electronic media statute of 1996 and codes
and ethics.

It also discusses sections of the penal code relating to the media. The
handbook which has been received with acclaim among the Uganda journalism
fraternity, also provides a comprehensive database on individual newspapers
on ownership, frequency, circulation and founding dates.

The book points out that several media organisations have been established
in Uganda especially in the last 10 years. "This period has seen
unprecedented activity by the civil society thus a boom in the birth of
non-governmental organisations under which these media groups fall."

The book points out that the East African Media Institute (EAMI) survey
reveals that 54.8 per cent of journalists in Uganda are employed on
permanent and contract basis compared to 45.2 per cent as freelance.

"In terms of remuneration, journalism is a fairly paying profession to those
employed as full time staff", says the handbook.

The survey shows that 16.3 per cent of permanent staff earn less than
USh200,000 ($200) per month compared to 59.2 per cent freelance; 45.3 per
cent of full-time staff earn over USh400,000 ($400) compared to 2.1 per cent
freelance.

The survey also reveals that over 80 per cent of freelance journalists are
attached to particular media houses and are more or less semi-employed.

***************************

6. Africa: Kenya and Ethiopia exchange words over border

The East African, 28 January - 3 February 1999

By Said Wabera

Nairobi - Kenyan and Ethiopian delegates traded accusations at a meeting
called last week to discuss a border skirmish in which 60 Ethiopian
government soldiers were killed by rebels of the Oromo Liberation Army.

The high-level security meeting collapsed on Thurday after the Kenyan
delegation, led by Moyale District Commisioner Stephen Kipkibut, contested
accusations by the Ethiopians that Nairobi was backing the Oromo rebel
group. The delegation from Addis Ababa was led by the Southern Military
Commander Gebre Medina. The talks were held on the Ethiopian side of the
Moyale border town.

Kenya insisted that three people abducted by the Ethiopian soldiers as they
returned to their side of the border be released before any meaningful talks
could be held.

Government sources at the meeting said Nairobi demanded that Ethiopia end
its military incursions and violation of the common border. In turn, Addis
Ababa accused Kenya of allowing the rebel group free movement, offering it
facilities and turning a blind eye to its strikes across the border.

Both the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Bonaya Godana and Permament
Secretary Mutuma Kathurima were in Arusha last week for the East Africa
Co-operation heads of state summit.

Last week's abortive talks between Nairobi and Addis come in the wake of the
first successful raid by the Oromo rebels from their bases at Sololo in
Kenya against the Ethioipian government. More than 60 soldiers were killed
and hundreds of others wounded in the raid. Sources said the Ethiopian
forces sustained the casualities in a bid to recapture two garrisons overrun
by the rebels.

Initial reports of the raid said Ethioipian troops attacked a manyatta at
Dambalafachala on the Kenyan side of the border as they pursued the Oromo
rebels. The rebels enjoy massive support among Kenya's Boran community,
which bore of the brunt of attacks by Ethiopian troops.

DC Kipkibut said: "It seems that this was a deliberate attack on us since
the Ethiopians know the start and the end of the common borders we share."
He said Kenyan troops were patrolling the border.

Last year, armed groups believed to be Gabbra and Boran clansmen backed by
the Oromo rebels attacked villages in Wajir killing 42 peope, in what was
dubbed the Bagalla massacre by the local press.

Leaders from Wajir and other parts of Kenya's North Eastern Province claim
that the rebels have bases in the area, particularly at Makutano, Ambala
Uraan and Kinisha areas of Moyale - a charge Kenya, through the Minister in
charge of Internal Security, Major (rtd) Marsden Madoka, has not managed to
deny convincingly.

The Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi said it was awaiting instructions from
Addis before commenting on the incident and the abortive meeting.

Sources close to the embassy, however, privately talked of a wider
conspiracy involving the Eritrean government. They said Kenya's reluctance
to crack down on the Oromo Liberation Army is based on the firm business
relations Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki enjoys with the son of a top
Kenyan politician.

They are said to jointly own a giant flower farm and marble manufacturing
plant in Kenya.

Ethiopia is currently embroiled in a border dispute with Eritrea.

Other sources said three weeks before last week's attack, the Oromo rebels
received a large consignment of arms and ammunition from the Eldoret
Munitions complex in Eldoret. Senior military refused to confirm or deny the
reports when contacted by this newspaper.

With southern Sudan, northern Uganda, Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi facing rebel
activity and Somalia virtually under the control of an assortment of
clan-based warlords, the Eldoret-based bullet factory may come under close
scrutiny, particularly if Addis proves that it is supplying arms and
ammunitions to the Oromo rebels.

*****************************

7. Guinea-Bissau: 292 ECOMOG soldiers en route to Bissau

Panafrican News Agency (PANA), 1 February 1999

Dakar - A contingent of 292 soldiers of the West African peace Monitoring
Group, ECOMOG, arrived in Dakar Sunday on board a French ship, en route to
Guinea-Bissau on a peace mission.

The contingent, made up of 146 soldiers each from Niger and Benin, is part
of a 600-ECOMOG force on a peace mission to the former Portuguese colony
where an army mutiny sparked off civil war in June.

Other members of the contingent, composed of Togolese and Gambian soldiers,
are due to arrive in Bissau Wednesday, the official Soleil newspaper
reported Monday.

The paper cited reports from Bissau as saying the situation suddenly
deteriorated Sunday, when government troops and rebels led by Gen. Ansumane
Mane exchanged heavy artillery fire Bissau, the capital.

Mane was quoted as saying government troops started the confrontation.

However, the situation was reported to have calmed down later in the day,
making it possible for the ECOMOG troops to be deployed in Bissau.

The multinational force is expected to help ensure that "the fragile peace
accord is respected," the head of the Niger battalion, Maj. Abdou Assoumane,
said shortly on arrival.

"We need to be on the ground to select a suitable position for the
deployment of our troops between the warring parties. We must make sure they
understand each other through our behaviour, our deeds and words," he added.

An accord signed in Abuja, Nigeria, 1 November, 1998, provides for the
gradual withdrawal of some 2,600 troops from Senegal and Guinea dispatched
to Bissau at the behest of embattled President Joao Bernado Vieira eight
months ago.

The agreement put an end to the civil war which began on 7 June when a large
section of the army mutinied after Vieira sacked Ansumane.

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8. Nigeria: Fumes over Taylor's alleged role in Sierra Leone

Panafrican News Agency (PANA) 1 February 1999

Lagos - Nigerian foreign minister Ignatius Olisemeka said there is a policy
in the pipeline to "contain" the alleged aggression in Sierra Leone by
fighters from Liberia.

The Monrovia government has of late come under fire from the international
community, including Nigeria, for alleged support of Sierra Leonean rebels
against the elected government of president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

Liberia denies the charge.

But in a Lagos statement at a weekend reception in his honour by former
Nigerian diplomats, Olisemeka said "we are fashioning a policy to contain
him (Charles Taylor). We are fashioning a policy to contain the countries
from where they get arms to kill innocent peace-keeping troops in Sierra
Leone."

Nigeria leads the West African peace monitoring force, ECOMOG, backing
Kabbah against rebels of the Revolutionary United Front and their allies who
invaded and burnt down Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, last month.

ECOMOG, set up in 1990 by the 16-nation Economic Community of West African
States, had restored peace in Liberia after a seven-year bloody civil war
waged by Taylor in that country, before relocating to Sierra Leone.

Taylor, a former warlord, won the 1997 post-war presidential election in
Liberia.

Olisemeka was quoted as saying that Taylor's alleged role in Sierra Leone
amounted to "biting the finger that fed him."

Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings has also accused Taylor of supporting the
RUF, describing the act as a stab in the back of ECOWAS states.

***************************

9. Namibia: Nujoma calls for change

The Namibian (Namibia), 1 February 1999

By Tabby Moyo

Windhoek - President Sam Nujoma has called for the restructuring of
international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and the World Bank as a first step towards addressing the world
economic recession triggered by the collapse of financial markets in South
East Asia.

The President's made his plea in a New Year message to representatives of
foreign governments at State House in Windhoek on Friday.

He said Namibia believed that the global economic downturn, and the
accompanying crises, required a common approach aimed at redefining,
redesigning and reorientating the international financial system.

"In this area, as it is in others, the survival of each one of our countries
and nations depend to a large extent on the survival of the entire world
community," President Nujoma told the diplomats in a wide-ranging message.

"The spread of HIV-AIDS, especially in developing countries, has also
increased markedly ... In addition, the world was further plagued by a
resurgence of old diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and
others which we thought to have been under control." Most of these diseases,
he said, affected developing countries, particularly those in Africa.

Nujoma said he believed that no single country, big or small, weak or
powerful could claim to have all the answers to the world's woes.

The President appealed to the international community to redouble efforts to
combat the spread of HIV-AIDS by making available additional resources of
both a technical and financial nature.

"The developed countries will have to consider making additional resources
available to support specific initiatives in developing countries, such as
AIDS control programmes, AIDS awareness and education campaigns, support for
HIV-AIDS research and support for HIV-AIDS infected and or orphaned children
in Africa," Nujoma stressed.

In Namibia it is estimated that the number of children orphaned by HIV-AIDS
will shoot up to over 21 000 by the year 2000.

Turning to international politics, President Nujoma blamed the perpetual war
in neighbouring Angola on Unita leader Jonas Savimbi.

"It is an open secret that the Savimbi war machine is being fuelled by the
smuggling of Angolan diamonds and the sale of weapons of war to Unita. The
United Nations and the international community must address this crisis as a
matter of utmost urgency if the blood-letting in that sister country is to
be prevented once and for all," he said.

The President also said Namibia's involvement in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) should be seen in the light of the principle that Africans
needed to assume the primary
responsibility for resolving conflicts on our continent.

**************************

10. South Africa: IFP axes Ngubane

Mail&Guardian (South Africa), 1 February 1999

Johannesburg - The Inkatha Freedom Party sacked KwaZulu-Natal premier Dr Ben
Ngubane and education MEC Vincent Zulu at the weekend because of poor matric
results in the province.
Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Lionel Mtshali is expected to
replace Ngubane as premier, and Public Works Deputy Minister Eileen Shandu
is to replace Zulu.

In a joint statement on Sunday, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Ngubane
said the province's poor matric results and IFP internal differences were
the reasons for the redeployment. The decision, Buthelezi said, was made on
January 28 at a meeting of the IFP's executive.

He vehemently dismissed speculation that Ngubane has been removed over a
simmering dispute relating to his handling of gambling in the province. This
comes after Ngubane dismissed claims last week that his job was on the line
after the provincial government twice rejected the provincial gambling
board's recommendations for preferred bidders for Durban licences.

Business Day reported on Monday that one of the bidders was John Aspinall,
said to be a close friend of Buthelezi's.

"While recognising that the KwaZulu-Natal government and its leadership have
tried their utmost best to make the province's education system a successful
one, it is clear that this year's matric results have shown that even their
best was objectively not good enough," Sunday's statement said. It added
that the IFP accepted responsibility for the results and has undertaken to
address the situation, "if needs be with drastic measures".


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