Belgium Donates Rwf 650 Million to Local NGOs

Source: Lillian Nakayima, The New Times, http://allafrica.com

Rwanda: Belgium Donates Rwf 650 Million to Local NGOs


Kigali — The Kingdom of Belgium on Tuesday signed an agreement with local

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for the funding of four new projects to

be implemented by the organizations.

The donation is worth EUR 832,028 to be given in phases to the organizations

with effect from February 2009.

"We shall give out the money in installments to ensure its equitable use before giving out more,"

said Theo Baert, the Head of the Belgian Co-operation.

Some of the projects to be funded include one that supports Federation Imbaraga to implement

agricultural strategic plans meant to transform agriculture in Rwanda.

This Project will be implemented within two years in the 24 districts of Rwanda and

its budget is worth EUR 242,432.

The next project is on strengthening the economic power of women in the Northern Province,

which will be carried out by the Twese Hamwe and it will cover Musanze, Gakenke,

Rulindo, Burera and Gicumbi districts.

It will feature Agriculture, vocational trainings and handcraft. It will run for two years and

is worth EUR 223,732. The third one is on Bee keeping for.

"This will help eradicate poverty without passing through the farming process,"

Iso Goemans the Belgian Ambassador to Rwanda explained.

Landless women in Gasabo, Bugesera, Nyarugenge and Muhangawill

receive EUR 170'154 for Bee keeping projects.

"This agreement is a way to empower and build the capacity of local organizations

in Rwanda," said Goemans.

The Belgium government has for years been funding several development activities

ranging from health, education and agriculture.

Source: Lillian Nakayima, The New Times, http://allafrica.com

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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SCE makes inroads for S'pore

Photo: Surbana Corporation

Source: Cassandra Chew, http://www.straitstimes.com

SCE makes inroads for S'pore

Each month, it receives about 10 foreign government

 delegations which come here to seek Singaporean

public sector expertise, usually in infrastructure

development, masterplanning or water treatment.

STARTING next month, Singapore will help to modernise fellow Asean member

Laos' treasury, tax and customs systems.

Coordinating this capacity-building effort is a little-known agency called

the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).

It was set up in 2006 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the

Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to share Singapore's governance

expertise with other countries.

Within two years, the not-for-profit outfit has handled more than 80 projects in over

20 countries from Libya to Russia, while also bringing in about US$40 million

(S$59 million) into the Singaporean economy.

SCE has, among other projects, advised Bhutan on setting up e-government services,

helped China with water treatment solutions, and overhauled the public finance system in Qatar.

Each month, it receives about 10 foreign government delegations which come here to seek

Singaporean public sector expertise, usually in infrastructure development, masterplanning or water treatment.

Operating out of a 3,000-sq ft office at Great World City West Tower,

SCE's staff of 19, mostly former civil servants, tap on the respective expertise of

15 ministries and over 60 statutory boards, as well as that of retired top civil servants.

These include former Housing Board chief executive Liu Thai Ker, 70, who in January

last year offered masterplanning advice on a Saudi Arabian township project,

and former Institute of Public Administration and Management director David Ma, 63,

who in June wrote a public service research paper for Kazakhstan.

Chief executive Alphonsus Chia, 49, formerly deputy chief executive of International Enterprise

(IE) Singapore, said SCE is currently funded by an undisclosed grant from MFA and MTI,

meant to last until it becomes self-sustainable, hopefully 'in a few years' time'.

Its average billings for projects are between US$1 million (S$1.5 million) and 'tens of millions

of dollars'. But SCE sees its main mission as 'opening doors for fresh partnership opportunities

in new countries', not the bottomline, said Mr Chia.

'We want to trade with them, get to know them better, demystify these countries for our own companies,

and look at how these countries can do business in Singapore,' he said.

A case in point is SCE's strong partnership with Rwanda, which has led to plenty of repeat business.

The central African country's interest in the Singapore model was sparked when its officials attended

the World Bank-IMF meetings here in 2006. In 2007, it engaged SCE to bring in award-winning

Changi Airports International to improve its airport operations. That led to four more projects.

Earlier this year, SCE also helped set up the Rwanda Workforce Development Agency,

which offers vocational training programmes, modelled on Singapore's Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

It also helped overhaul Rwanda's social security scheme, modelling it on the Central Provident Fund here,

and arranged for the training of 20 Rwandan officials at the Singapore Civil Service College International here.

Source: Cassandra Chew, http://www.straitstimes.com

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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Home: (250) 55104140
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Kigali - RWANDA
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Sometimes in April (Movie)

Source: Robert Horton, http://nathan8510.endover.org

Watch Sometimes in April View

Watch Sometimes in April View

The eye-opening movie,Sometimes in April, featuring Idris Elba is exactly enjoyable,

with a supporting cast of top stars, rejoice in Carole Karemera ,

will of course be worth while to set off and behold.

extraordinary & wondrous with the pace never slowing it noticeably keeps your attention,

while not over exaggerating the plot.

Get Sometimes in April online by clicking here!

Idris Elba has never ungratified. The character in Sometimes in April is not a far stretch

from previous roles, yet it seems Idris Elba has never been

more staggering then with this impersonation.

See Sometimes in April online by clicking here!

The awesome cast in this movie is amazing: Idris Elba, Carole Karemera,

Pamela Nomvete, Oris Erhuro, Fraser James

Definitely an award winning engagement with characters that you can clearly relate to,

the movie is pivotal to address the least.

I will not forget to mention that Carole Karemera is awesome also!

You will want to watch Idris Elba in Sometimes in April today!

You can also purchaseSometimes in April new or consumed

at Amazon.com by clicking here

A clear-eyed look at the Rwandan genocide is offered in Sometimes in April,

a frank take on the 1994 slaughter that claimed upwards of 800,000 lives.

Some overlap with Hotel Rwanda is inevitable, and this HBO feature does have similarities,

but without the strong suspenseful storyline of Hotel.

Its protagonist (the strong Idris Elba, from The Wire) pieces together

the past tragedy from the perspective of a decade-later war-crimes tribunal,

where his brother is on trial. It's hard to know which is less bearable–the depiction of atrocities,

such as mass murder at a girls school, or the second-gussing of the international community,

which largely stood by while the horror was unfolding. (Like Hotel Rwanda,

this film zeroes in on the U.S. government's distinction that "acts of genocide" occurred

in Rwanda rather than "genocide," a Joseph Heller-like absurdity.)

The plain style of director Raoul Peck, shooting on location in Rwanda, works for the subject;

his film Lumumba was also a direct, blunt account of a tragedy in Africa.

The approach doesn't work as well in the U.S. scenes,

which feature Debra Winger as a concerned official; these just look clumsy.

But the subject itself remains worthy of close attention.

Source: Robert Horton, http://nathan8510.endover.org

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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Uganda's first test tube baby

Photo: Test Tube Baby's graphic

Source: Carol Natukunda, http://www.newvision.co.ug

Uganda's first test tube baby is four years old

UGANDA'S first test tube baby celebrated her fourth birthday on October 2, 2008. She has finished Middle Class at a nursery school in Kampala and is going on to Top Class.

She plays joyfully along with other children, laughs, talks and sings nursery rhymes, like any child her age.

Her parents had endured years of childlessness. They had consulted all major hospitals in vain. A miracle came their way when they eventually landed at the Bukoto based Women's Hospital International and Fertility Centre. Her mother conceived with the aid of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

The IVF involved removing a ripe egg from a woman's ovary, fertilising it in a dish using the husband's sperm and then placing the embryo in the woman's womb. Thirty six weeks later, the baby girl was born.

Dr. Tamale Ssali, the director of the centre, says the scientific procedure has brought hope to hundreds of couples were hitherto unable to conceive.

He says at least 100 patients are able to conceive every year after receiving the treatment. So far, over 150 babies have been born through IVF in Uganda in 80 deliveries, implying that most of them were twins.

Uganda was the first country in east and central Africa to introduce the phenomenon.

The cost of the treatment depends on the cause of infertility but is between sh6m and sh12m.

Most couples who resort to IVF are those where the husband cannot produce sperm during sexual intercourse, Ssali says.

Prevalence of infertility is 15-20% here, says an expatriate doctor at the centre. My experience in Kampala is that most sperm problems arise from infections. Women may have problems with their uteruses or fallopian tubes. For others, it is age. It is estimated that beyond the age of 37, fertility goes down tremendously. There are also younger women who go for IVF to give part of their eggs to an older woman, for a fee.

And for some couples, it might be because one of them is HIV positive and does not want to infect the other during intercourse.

However, information about individuals involved in IVF is scanty because of the fear of stigma directed at the parents and their newborns. Others find it leaves them feeling inadequate.

One of the mothers, whom Saturday Vision met at the centre confided that she still wonders about her husband. Sometimes I think he will go for another woman. I keep on thinking that he will want a child through the natural process.

But she is happy that she has her baby. I breastfeed her, take her for immunisation, buy her a lot of all those little baby things you can think of. When she smiles at me, I feel so happy, the woman says with a broad smile.

Ssali agrees: Some people may think the child is some artificial thing. Yet, it is real.

He says some parents come out of it withdrawn.

There are some you meet in town and they look away. Maybe, they think that you are going to tell somebody else that this is the person who did this and that. Some leave as soon as they have had their baby and you never see or hear from them again, he adds.

Ssali stresses: God has helped us develop a technique that prevents childlessness, an issue that brings misery into many homes. Internationally, test tube babies have been appreciated as normal.

Louise Brown, the world's first test-tube baby, gave birth to a baby boy last year, ending fears that girls born through IVF treatment may not be able to have healthy children. Brown, 28, conceived naturally.

Source: Carol Natukunda, http://www.newvision.co.ug

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm:   (250) 08470205
Home: (250) 55104140
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Happy Holiday!‏

" For to us a Child is born, Unto us a Son

is given; And the government will be upon

his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace
..." Is 9, 6

Merry Chrismas to you and your family,

let's all remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm:   (250) 08470205
Home: (250) 55104140
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Kigali - RWANDA
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La clé du succès du christianisme


Photo: Polytechnicien, ingénieur des Ponts et Chaussées,

Robert Branche a commencé sa carrière en 1979 au sein de l'administration

avant de rejoindre le groupe L'Oréal en 1985.

Il s'oriente ensuite vers le conseil stratégique de groupes internationaux.

Source: http://www.agoravox.fr

La clé du succès du christianisme : un judaïsme light façon Mc Do ?

En ce jour qui célèbre la naissance du Christ (même si Noël est devenu largement

une fête païenne, avec pour preuve son développement récent dans un pays

non chrétien comme la Chine), et donc le lancement de la religion chrétienne,

se poser la question de comment elle s'est développée m'a paru pertinent.
Le titre n'est pas une provocation, il m'est venu à partir de

la série Apocalypse diffusée sur Arte.

Cette série a cherché à répondre à la question suivante :

« Comment et pourquoi l'attente imminente de la Fin des temps qui anime

une petite secte juive de disciples de Jésus a-t-elle pu,

en à peine plus de trois cents ans,

aboutir à la religion officielle et unique de l'Empire romain,

tournant capital de la civilisation occidentale ? » ">

Dans le dernier épisode, un des chercheurs historiens interviewés avance

l'hypothèse suivante : une des raisons du succès du christianisme pourrait être de

s'être présenté initialement comme un « judaïsme allégé »,

c'est-à-dire avec moins de contraintes – pas de sabbat, pas de règles

alimentaires notamment –

et plus de souplesse d'adaptation aux situations locales.

Il a pu ainsi « profiter » de l'affaiblissement des religions polythéistes et de l'attraction

créée par le monothéisme judaïque, des infrastructures de l'empire romain

qui ont facilité sa diffusion, de la décentralisation en s'adaptant

aux régimes locaux.

Finalement, si l'on suit cette hypothèse en la caricaturant,

le christianisme apparaît une  << industrialisation » du judaïsme bien adapté au « marché local ».

Un peu comme Mc Donald a su industrialiser le concept du burger et le propager dans le monde entier.

On est bien loin de la vision habituelle, telle qu'enseignée dans le catéchisme

(j'ai été dans l'enseignement catholique jusqu'à la terminale et avais alors suivi

un « training » intensif…).

Je ne sais pas si cette hypothèse est exacte,

mais elle me semble ne pas pouvoir être balayée d'un revers de main.

Plus généralement cette série d'Arte a le mérite de restituer le développement

du christianisme dans son contexte initial historique.

Elle fait ainsi réémerger bon nombre d'informations et de

questions passées dans notre inconscient collectif.

Source: http://www.agoravox.fr

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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Combien de jours durera la lune de miel de Barack Obama ?

Photo: Après avoir oeuvré une dizaine d'années dans le secteur privé

des communications (radio-télévision), je me suis orienté vers le secteur

de la Fonction publique du Canada et du Québec du 1970 à 2005.

J'ai occupé des fonctions de conseil, de gestion et d'analyste.

Je me suis particulièrement intéressé à la télédiffusion des débats parlementaires,

aux services en ligne gouvernementaux et aux communications stratégiques

gouvernementales. J'ai touché au domaine des relations internationales et

du développement international au sein du gouvernement

du Canada et auprès d'une importante université (...)

Source: http://www.agoravox.fr

Combien de jours durera la lune de miel de Barack Obama ?

Barack Obama veut proposer à la population des États-Unis un « new New Deal ».

Pour cela, il convie l'Amérique à s'unir pour « faire tourner la roue de l'Histoire »

et surmonter ensemble la crise économique.

Confiant, le président désigné a déclaré, dans son message

de Noël : « je sais que nous pourrons faire en sorte que les gens retrouvent

du travail et mener le pays dans la bonne direction ».

En peu de mots, Barack Obama a, le plus simplement, défini

le défi qui l'attend : « Au milieu des bienfaits de la foi et de la famille,

nous savons que des millions d'Américains n'ont pas d'emploi.

Beaucoup d'autres luttent pour payer leurs factures ou pour pouvoir

garder leurs maisons. Pour des étudiants mais aussi des retraités,

l'avenir semble incertain ». Le 20 janvier, Barack Obama deviendra

officiellement le 44ième président des États-Unis.

Le défi incommensurable qui attend Barack Obama est d'abord de redonner

aux États-Unis « une stature morale ».

Voilà plus de six semaines qu'il planche tambour battant sur la formation de son cabinet.

Son « équipe est déjà au travail ». Sur la base du principe qu'il n'y a qu'un seul président

en poste aux États-Unis, Barack Obama doit se battre contre la dégradation

du temps : deux guerres interminables, ruineuses, impopulaires et la plus grave

crise économique depuis la Grande Dépression de 1929.

Mais il n'est pas encore au pouvoir. Il n'a pas encore le pouvoir.

Il sait qu'il lui faut être patient. Et il sait que le peuple américain est pour sa part très impatient.

Selon un sondage du Washington Post, près de la moitié des personnes sondées

croit qu'il sera en mesure d'améliorer leur situation après son arrivée aux affaires.

Pour l'heure, Barack Obama culmine à 82 pour cent de satisfaction selon cet

autre sondage CNN/Opinion Research. Et 80 pour cent approuvent ses nominations.

Joe Biden, le vice-président, prépare le terrain en distillant des messages dont l'objet

ne fait aucun doute : l'économie américaine est dans un « état bien pire »

que ce qu'il imaginait. « Nous allons hériter du déficit le plus important dans l'histoire

des États-Unis d'Amérique ». Ce qui a été confirmé par la Maison Blanche.

« La taille du déficit budgétaire, quel que soit le chiffre...

je ne suis pas en mesure de prédire si ce sera mille milliards ou moins que ça.

(Le déficit) va être grand. Et ce sera un chiffre très important », a commenté Tony Fratto.

La priorité des priorités, avant toute autre décision politique, sera, pour Barack Obama,

de créer des emplois et d'investir dans les infrastructures pour remettre l'économie sur des rails.

L'objectif n'est plus de créer 2,5 millions d'emplois en deux ans,

comme cela avait été annoncé il y a un mois, mais trois millions d'emplois.

Le coût ? 850 milliards de dollars. Ce plan musclé est destiné à contrer les nouvelles

catastrophiques qui s'amoncellent sur le pupitre du président désigné :

un taux de chômage de 6,7 % en novembre et une prévision de pertes

de 3 à 4 millions d'emplois en 2009.

Et comme si cela ne suffisait pas, il faut compter un PIB qui devrait chuter de 4,5 %

au quatrième trimestre et un taux de chômage qui pourrait passer le cap

des neuf pour cent (9 %) à la fin de 2009.

Barack Obama centrera toute son action sur la famille :

« Mon administration sera totalement dévouée à l'avenir de la classe moyenne et

aux familles qui travaillent ». Joe Biden devra, pour atteindre cet objectif,

conduire un groupe de travail (un « White House Task Force on Working families »)

essentiellement dévoué à cette tâche.

Ce groupe sera composé des secrétariats responsables du Travail, de la Santé,

des Services humains, de l'Éducation et du Commerce.

Se joindront également au groupe le Conseil national économique,

le Bureau de gestion et du budget, le Conseil de politique intérieur et

le Conseil des conseillers économiques.

Les républicains, évidemment, s'interrogent. Que peuvent-ils faire d'autres ?

Le représentant Eric Cantor se demande d'où viendra l'argent pour financer

un tel plan de relance ? Certainement pas des économies réalisées par

l'administration de Georges W. Bush. Pendant que la tempête ne cesse de s'élever à l'horizon,

Dick Cheney, dans une indifférence proverbiale, déclare qu'il est très à l'aise avec ce bilan et

avec ce que l'administration de Georges W. Bush a réalisé.

« Je pense que nous serons jugés favorablement par l'Histoire », a déclaré le vice-président sur Fox News.

Le FMI et l'OCDE estiment qu'il faut des investissements de 1.240 milliards de dollars

pour sortir du marasme dans lequel est plongée l'économie mondiale.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, du Fonds monétaire international, se montre

peu optimiste. « Je suis spécialement préoccupé par le fait que nos prévisions,

déjà très sombres (...) seront encore plus sombres s'il n'y a pas assez de mesures

d'incitation budgétaire ». Selon le directeur général du Fonds : « Nous anticipons

une très mauvaise année 2009, avec une récession pour la plupart des

économies développées et une baisse de la croissance pour les économies émergentes ».

Strauss-Kahn précise : « Je ne suis pas réputé pour être laxiste en matière de politique fiscale.

Mais nous sommes au milieu de la plus grande crise que nous ayons connue ces 60 ou

70 dernières années et nous devons prendre cela en compte ».

Le message a été entendu aux États-Unis.

Pour Barack Obama : « A moins que nous n'ayons une approche audacieuse,

on pourrait voir l'économie continuer à décliner plutôt rapidement et ce n'est pas acceptable

pour moi et je ne pense pas que cela soit acceptable pour le peuple américain ».

Si Barack Obama entend accorder une priorité aux affaires domestiques du pays,

il ne fait aucun doute qu'il prépare soigneusement sa politique des étrangères affaires.

Sortir de l'Irak et combattre en Afghanistan résumeraient assez bien sa position maintes fois exprimée l

ors de la campagne présidentielle américaine. Et pour bien marquer le pas,

il a reconduit à son poste Robert Gates, secrétaire à la Défense,

et nommé le général James Jones à la tête du Conseil de sécurité nationale.

Une grande partie de la problématique de combattre le terrorisme en Afghanistan est

aussi entre les mains des pays alliés. Obama saura-t-il les convaincre d'investir

davantage dans une cause qui peine à trouver sa légitimité ?

Après l'ovation et l'engouement pour le nouveau président américain,

il faudra bien, un jour, s'asseoir à la table des négociations et prendre des décisions.

La force internationale en Afghanistan compte 65 000 soldats étrangers.

S'il n'en tient qu'à la Grande Bretagne, les deux tiers des Britanniques sont favorables à un

départ d'Afghanistan. Au Canada, le gouvernement Harper a été sollicité par Robert Gates

pour qu'il maintienne ses troupes au-delà de l'échéance de 2011.

Selon l'armée américaine, 30 000 soldats supplémentaires pourraient être déployés

dans l'est du pays afin de lancer un projet pilote qui consisterait à armer

des combattants des zones tribales afin de lutter contre les talibans.

Le ministre de la Défense nationale du Canada, Peter MacKay,

n'est pas chaud à cette idée qui n'a, par ailleurs,

pas fait l'objet d'une entente chez les dirigeants des pays

ayant des troupes dans le sud de l'Afghanistan.

Chris Patten, ancien commissaire européen, s'interrogeait dans

le quotidien Le Monde  : « Que répondrons-nous lorsqu'Obama viendra nous

demander notre détermination, notre argent, notre solidarité et

nos troupes ? (...) La nostalgie du tandem Bush-Cheney nous saisira peut-être.

Il était si facile d'être partisan du multilatéralisme à Bruxelles,

quand Washington était dirigé par un président unilatéraliste ».

Déjà qu'en prévision d'une fermeture de Guantanamo,

l'accueil de prisonniers en sol européen ne fait pas l'unanimité.

Luis Amado, ministre portugais des Affaires étrangères,

a beau exhorter ses collègues européens de donner un signal clair d'une certaine

volonté d'aider le gouvernement des États-Unis à résoudre le problème de Guantanamo,

il ne parle qu'en son nom. Amnistie internationale a également beau de relayer le message

en incitant l'UE à suivre « l'exemple courageux » du Portugal,

le message ne reçoit pas l'enthousiasme attendu.

Si les pays européens applaudissent à l'idée de fermer Guantanamo,

ils se montrent plus réservés sur l'éventualité d'accueillir des détenus.

Pour l'heure, les Pays-Bas n'accueilleront pas de prisonniers de Guantanamo.

Le Danemark a également rejeté cette possibilité.

Pour la Suède, les États-Unis ont la responsabilité de leurs prisonniers.

Aux Pays-Bas, le constat est lapidaire : « S'ils ne doivent plus être jugés mais ne peuvent

pas rentrer dans leur pays, c'est avant tout de la responsabilité du pays qui

les a arrêtés et les a mis en prison : les États-Unis ».

La question se pose malgré tout : le gouvernement de Barack Obama

cherchera, normalement, à renvoyer un maximum de détenus dans leur pays d'origine.

Qu'arrivera-t-il de ces prisonniers menacés de persécution dans leur patrie,

comme les Chinois ouïgours, les Algériens ou les Libyens ?

La porte risque de se fermer rapidement en Europe. Bernard Kouchner estime que

l'accueil de ces prisonniers en Europe devait faire l'objet de « consultations »

et d'une « réponse concertée » entre Européens. Que sous-tend ce message de la France ?

Mirek Topolanek, l'actuel Premier ministre tchèque, va assurer, à compter

du 1er janvier prochain et pour six mois, la présidence tournante de l'Union européenne.

Derrière le Premier ministre se profile le chef de l'État tchèque, Vaclav Klaus, qui, f

ort de ses tirades europhobes, pourrait mener une guérilla de nuisance.

Comme pour rassurer ceux qui doutent, les analystes commentent en ces termes

le prochain semestre de l'UE : « Durant les six prochains mois,

le pouvoir de nuisance du président tchèque sera « terrible ».

Mirek Topolanek, dans une entrevue à Euronews, déclarait :

« Nos divisions internes portent surtout sur l'ampleur du processus d'intégration,

sur le projet européen dans son ensemble, et ses perspectives.

Mais les Tchèques ne sont pas hostiles à l'Union européenne, à la communauté européenne ».

L'Union européenne devra mener des négociations délicates avec les États-Unis

relativement aux nouveaux plans stratégiques qu'entend adopter Barack Obama

en matière de politique étrangère. Malgré tout le mérite qui lui revient pour

sa gestion des crises, Nicolas Sarkozy n'a pas réussi à imposer l'idée qu'il puisse

continuer à présider l'UE au niveau de la zone euro.

Il appartiendra à Mirek Topolanek de poursuivre l'héritage

du président français : « Nous avons essayé d'organiser toute notre action autour

de deux convictions : le monde a besoin d'une Europe forte ;

il ne peut pas y avoir d'Europe forte si l'Europe est désunie ».

Pour le Premier ministre tchèque : « Nicolas Sarkozy, quand une solution tarde plus de cinq minutes,

il montre son vrai tempérament et prend lui-même les choses en main.

Moi, cela ne me dérange pas. Je suis un peu comme lui. Cela dit,

il faut bien avouer que les Français ont une certaine tendance à essayer

de prolonger leur présidence ». Il n'en demeure pas moins que Mirek Topolanek assurera,

au nom de son pays, la première présidence de l'UE avec un gouvernement très faible.

Et Nicolas Sarkozy veillera au grain : « il n'entend pas rester muet dans son coin ».

Barack Obama devra-t-il affronter une chorale qui chante d'une seule voix ou une cacophonie à l'européenne ?

Il ne fait aucun doute que l'année 2009 sera, à plus d'un point de vue,

une année particulière et singulière aux plans des émotions individuelles et collectives.

De grandes joies se mêleront à de grandes déceptions.

Monsieur Obama aura beaucoup de fronts à gérer.

Le premier, interne. Le second, externe, avec une Europe moins unie que

ne le souhaiterait Nicolas Sarkozy.

Source: http://www.agoravox.fr

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony

[Photo: A day after Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States,
carpenters started building a reviewing stand in front of the White House for the inaugural parade.
Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP-Getty Images]

Source: Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times

Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony: How to get inauguration tickets

How do you get tickets to the Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration of Barack Obama

and Joe Biden?

It's the thought popping into many people's mind as they mull grabbing a flight

(maybe you already have booked one) to Washington, D.C., for a front-row seat

to history. But how do you get that front-row seat, or any seat for that matter,

to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States?

Let's just say it's probably easier to get a bill through Congress —

but that doesn't mean you can't try.

The theme of the 2009 inauguration will be "A New Birth of Freedom," and for the first time,

a woman and a Californian — Sen. Dianne Feinstein — heads the committee overseeing

some of the festivities, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

So, let's start with the basics.

The events: There are many — the parade, the swearing-in ceremony, the balls, etc. —

and different committees (some of which haven't even been formed yet) plan different aspects of

the inauguration and issue and distribute tickets differently. Confusing enough for you yet?

The tickets: Let me just say this emphatically for those who still have money to burn

despite the recession: Anyone selling a ticket to, say, the swearing-in ceremony,

simply doesn't have the goods.

The 240,000 tickets that have been printed for this event "are in a secure location,"

according to the committee.

"Any website or ticket broker claiming that they have inaugural tickets is simply

not telling the truth," Howard Gantman, staff director for the committee,

said in a release. "Tickets for the swearing-in of President-elect are all provided

through members of Congress, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect

through the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

We urge the public to view any offers of tickets for sale with great skepticism."

The truth: Tickets to the swearing-in ceremony are free —

but you have to request them from your U.S. representative or senator.

Best to call his or her Washington office if you haven't already.

(I called the office of my congresswoman, Jane Harman, and got a staff person who didn't yet

have much information but helped me navigate to the "request a tour" form

on Harman's website so I could get a virtual place in line.)

Demand will be high, and there's no guarantee you'll get tickets if they run out.

The loophole: It's not illegal to resell your ticket,

but it is, well, discouraged.

"We can't stop people from turning around and selling those tickets,

but it goes against the spirit of an open public inauguration,"

said media spokeswoman Carole Florman.

But constituents won't be able to pick up their tickets until the day before the event —

leaving little time for an EBay bidding war.

The weather: After all that, even if you are one of the lucky 240,000 who gets a ticket

held on the west front of the Capitol building,

you may get shut out if the weather tanks. Inclement weather could force

the ceremony inside (as it did in 1985 when President Reagan's inauguration was held

inside the Rotunda), dropping the number of spectators

from hundreds of thousands to a few hundred.

Everything else: The parade and balls are organized by the Presidential Inaugural

Committee, which is just being formed. This committee determines the type of inaugural events

to hold, raises private money to fund them and decides how to distribute the tickets.

More on that when I get hold of those folks…

Source: Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times

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Passi & Fally Ipupa - Désarmons nos Cœurs


Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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The European brain drain

Photo: Gilles Saint‑Paul
Toulouse School of Economics and Scientific Advisor

to the Economic Studies Directorate at the French Ministry

of the Environment. CEPR Research Fellow

Source: Gilles Saint‑Paul, http://www.voxeu.org

The European brain drain: European workers living in the US

This column surveys evidence describing the brain drain from Europe to the US.

Europeans living in the US are exceptional – they are more educated, earn higher wages,

are more likely to be employed, and more entrepreneurial than their American or

European counterparts. Europe's growth prospects may be dramatically

reduced by its best and brightesting living in the US.

Since 1995, America has grown faster while enjoying lower unemployment than Europe.

Adding to Europe's growth angst are worries about aging populations,

its inability to adapt to technical change, the burden of its welfare state, and

the pains of labour market deregulation. A particular worry is that Europe is losing

its most talented workers to the US. Stories of succesfull expatriates in Silicon Valley and

top academic departments abound. European politicians and businesses complain

that they cannot compete with the US due

to taxes and regulations (François-Poncet 1999, Mahroum 1999).

Is this brain drain for real?

While Becker et al. (2002) look at data on the brain drain from Italy to

the rest of Europe, this column draws on my research using US census data

for 1990 and 2000 to measure the characteristics of European expatriates

and see how they fare in the US labour market (Saint-Paul 2004, 2008).

The fractal nature of the brain drain

People who believe the brain drain is not a big problem argue that it is

quantitatively modest relative to the size of the source economy.

Furthermore, in many European countries the outflow of brains is often matched

by an inflow. Yet when one looks at the problem from the inside

(i.e. the French economics profession as far as I am concerned),

we see that the inflow does not match the outflow in terms of quality,

since the latter easily accounts for say 50% of the brightest French economists.

Furthermore – though it is very difficult to measure and to extrapolate

to other sectors – the problem is even more significant if one takes into account

the importance of their publications.

Thus losing 2% of graduates may seem unimportant at face value but

it could be critical if those 2% are the bulk of innovators.

Indeed, the available evidence suggests that the brain drain appears fractal.

That is, on average the best are more likely to leave regardless of which

slice of the population is used to form the average.

The brain drain becomes more severe as one looks at increasingly

"select" segments of the population. That is,

the brain drain intensifies as one moves from say BAs to masters to PhDs.

While it is not possible to go further and select the top PhDs,

extrapolations suggest that concerns about growth and innovation are not unfounded.

Basic demographics

Table 1 reports the number of US citizens of working age (25–64 years) born in

six European countries in the two US censuses, and their share of the working

age-population in their country of origin.

These fractions vary from a small 0.36% in Spain to 1.66% in the UK.

That suggests that the macreconomic effects of the brain drain are not

likely to be very large, but they need not be insignificant either.

Table 1. The European-born population aged 25-64 in the US.

  1990 2000
Country Number % of home pop. Number % of home pop.
Belgium 21561 0.45 22631 0.62
France 115245 0.40 133873 0.43
UK 450804 1.53 524922 1.66
Spain 57375 0.29 78061 0.36
Italy 344406 1.15 303685 0.93
Germany 657937 1.40 720555 1.54

A comparison between the two census years also reveals that the drain is accelerating

(though not dramatically) in all countries except Italy,

reflecting the phasing out of low-skilled migration from Italy to the US.

These numbers suggest that there is no strong acceleration in the latter part of nineties,

and that the phenomenon is of the same order of magnitude as in the eighties.


The next two tables compare the employment rates of expatriates with those of

other US residents and labourers in their countries of birth.

We find that for men, employment rates for European expatriates are higher than

average in the US labour market, and therefore substantially higher than

in their home countries. For women, the employment rate is higher than in

their home countries but lower than in the US labour market.

These results are not surprising: one does not emigrate to a country like

the US if one does not have good employment prospects there. But,

to the extent that it signals greater employability of expatriates relative to

those staying behind, that effect should also be added when

computing the adverse effects of the brain drain of GDP per capita.

Table 2. Employment rates

Men 1990 2000
  US residents Home country US Home
Belgium 87.4 77.1 87.5 78.1
France 88.3 80.5 85.1 78.5
UK 89.7 84.2 87.5 82.2
Spain 85.4 79.5 80.8 80.2
Italy 83.6 81.4 76.7 75.6
Germany 88.4 85.3 85.5 77.4
USA       85.2
Women 1990 2000
  US residents Home country US Home
Belgium 55.0 44.3 61.7 57.5
France 61.8 57.4 65.9 62.5
UK 64.3 62.0 64.8 66.9
Spain 60.9 32.7 61.4 45.1
Italy 53.3 39.7 56.6 43.2
Germany 64.0 57.7 65.8 60.7
USA   66.1   70.2


Table 3 lists the share of expatriate population with tertiary education,

i.e. highly skilled people with the most advanced degrees.

As can be seen, it is far larger than in the US labour market at large and

even larger than in the corresponding home country.

For example, in 2000, 56% of French-born workers living in the US had a college degree,

against 2 % in France. Most remarkably, the education level of the expatriates seems

to have improved during the nineties at an even higher pace than in the source countries.

Table 3. Fraction of the expatriate population with tertiary education,

vs. corresponding fraction in home country and whole US census.

  1990 2000
  US census Home country US census Home country
Belgium 47.6 17 59.6 26
France 42.7 14 56.1 24
UK 38.9 15 49.2 25
Spain 30.6 9 44.1 21
Italy 17.1 6 25.7 13
Germany 34.6 17 41.9 28
USA 29.7   33.8  

These data confirm that the expatriates are heavily selected among

the most educated workers. This skewness increases when one moves up the skill ladder

as seen in Table 4 which reports the fraction of expatriates who have

a PhD and compares it to the average US workers.

Table 4. Proportion of expatriates with a PhD versus US labour market

  1990 2000
Belgium 4.33 5.78
France 3.1 4.9
UK 3.2 3.9
Spain 2.7 4.6
Italy 0.96 2.0
Germany 1.72 2.39
USA 0.82 0.98


Europeans also earn more than their counterparts in the US labour market.

Table 5 reports the ''European premium'' which is uniformly positive

and significant, ranging from 2% to 16%.

Table 5. Wage premia for European expatriates, percentage

  1990 2000
France 4.9 10.7
Italy 16.7 11.5
Germany 3.12 2.14
UK 12.6 16.3
Spain 6.2 7.9
Belgium 15.1 13.8


In light of the view that the brain drain is a matter of concern because a number

of expatriates are exceptional individuals, we may ask whether entrepreneurs

are over-represented among expatriates.

Table 6 reports the proportion of workers who have

an entrepreneurial activity, and compares it to the US labour market.

Table 6. The proportion of entrepreneurs (%).

  1990 2000
Belgium 13.18 11.51
France 10.67 11.39
UK 9.84 10.55
Spain 10.96 10.29
Italy 13.42 14.21
Germany 9.85 9.39
USA 8.08 9.08

The proportion of entrepreneurs among expatriates is slightly higher

than among Americans and is stable over time.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2002) suggests that

European entrepreneurship is about half that of the US.

If one takes that proportion seriously,

then European expatriates are a bit more than twice as likely

to be entrepreneurs than those who remain in Europe.


The data confirm the presumption that the skill composition of expatriates

is much better than the source countries' general population.

The quantitative significance of that, however, is open to debate,

as the total number of expatriates ranges between 0.5% and 1% of the population.

If one takes the view that labour is a small number of homogeneous inputs,

such as skilled labour and unskilled labour,

then our back-of-the envelope computations suggests a moderate adverse effect

of the brain drain on inequality and income in home countries,

with say a 2-3% increase in the relative wage of the skilled and a 0.5-0.7%

decline in GDP per capita.

On the other hand, if one assumes that labour is not a collection of homogeneous inputs,

but instead that very talented individuals are crucial for innovation,

business formation, and management1,

the loss could be considerably bigger, though much harder to estimate

(an interesting first step is Zucker et al. 2003).

My speculative extrapolations suggest that the proportion of Europeans

who ''matter'' and who are in the US could be as high as 50%;

that is huge and could in principle have dramatic consequences for

Europe's growth potential – while such a number can be disputed,

casual observation suggests that in my field (research in economics), it is about right.


Becker, S., A. Ichino and G. Peri (2002), ''How large is the brain drain from Italy?'',

Munich University Working Paper.

Borjas, George J. (1987), ''Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants'',

American Economic Review, Volume 77, Issue 4, September 1987, Pages 531-553.

François-Poncet, J. (1999), ''La fuite des cerveaux : mythe ou réalité ?''

Report to the French Senate

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Consortium (2002), Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Mahroum, S. (1999) ''Europe and the challenge of the brain drain'', IPTS Report 29.

Saint-Paul, Gilles (2004), "The Brain Drain: Some Evidence from European Expatriates in the US",

CEPR Discussion Paper 4680, reprinted in Saint-Paul (2008), CES-Ifo Forum 3/2008, 19-27

Stephan, P. and S.G. Levin (1999), ''Exceptional contributions to US Science by

the foreign-born and foreign-educated'', Science, 285.

Zucker, Lynne G.; Darby, Michael R.; Brewer, Marilynn B (1998),

''Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises'',

American Economic Review, Volume 88, Issue 1, March 1998, Pages 290-306.

1 Stephan and Levin (1999) document the exceptional contributions

to US science by foreign-born researchers.


Source: Gilles Saint‑Paul, http://www.voxeu.org

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Justice Minister, Mrs Rachida Dati

Photo: Justice Minister, Mrs. Rachida Dati

Source: Eduardo Cue, http://www.usnews.com

The Storm Around France's First Muslim Cabinet Minister, Rachida Dati

PARIS—Born in France to poor Muslim immigrant parents,

French Justice Minister Rachida Dati is a powerful symbol of a society that is changing rapidly,

if reluctantly. Intelligent, young, ambitious, attractive, she is a fighter driven by outsize ambition

and cheekiness in a country where immigrants rarely attain stellar heights in business,

academia, the media, or government. Her ascendance is the French version of "Yes We Can."

But what happens when the symbol of change runs into the hard wall of political reality, or,

as some see it, sexism and bigotry? Dati, France's first Muslim cabinet minister,

is proving to be a lightning rod. Issues from her haute-couture wardrobe and

"complicated" personal life to her advocacy of tough policies on crime and

judicial reform have put her front and center in the French press.

Ironically, the news that unmarried Dati, 43, is expecting a baby in January has been

the least of the issues in a country in which about half of all babies are born to unwed mothers

(with some couples opting for civil partnerships rather than marriage).

But the rounds of speculation over the father, whom she chooses not to identify,

has brought an element of farce with awkward denials of paternity from various men,

including a former Spanish prime minister and a prominent sports figure.

On the outs? By some accounts, Dati's mentor, French President Nicolas Sarkozy,

is looking for a way to ease her out—even though many of the most disputed judicial measures,

such as stricter sentencing rules, reflect his policy priorities.

It probably doesn't help that she has been close to Sarkozy's now ex-wife Cecilia and

reportedly has a chilly relationship with his current wife,

singer and former model Carla Bruni. But Sarkozy risks political damage to himself if

he is seen as eager to toss his protégé overboard.

Some speculate that the baby's birth will give her cover to leave politics or acquiesce

to a less prominent government position.

"If her name was not Dati, she would no longer be a minister,"

a cabinet colleague says under cover of anonymity.

Dati's life may be seen as something of a rags-to-riches story with an Arab twist.

Born in the Burgundy village of Saint-Rémy,

she was the second of 12 children of a Moroccan stonemason and an illiterate Algerian mother.

By 14, she was selling cosmetics door to door, soon becoming Avon's best saleswoman in the region.

It was a preview of what would become the Dati technique—selling her product and herself.

"I was staggered by the energy and the dynamism of this young lady,"

Pierre de Bosquet, a former head of the French Intelligence Services,

recalled many years later.

"She was not afraid of anything; she had no complexes. Nothing could stop her."

After selling cosmetics, Dati held numerous jobs to help her struggling family

and pay for her education. Baby sitter, of course,

but also cashier at a local supermarket and night nurse for three years

while studying economics at the University of Paris.

In 1987, she sent a letter to the Algerian Embassy asking to be invited to

its Independence Day celebration.

It was there that she approached the then French Justice Minister Albin Chalandon

and managed to get the stately man to invite her to lunch.

Today, 21 years later, the two are still close friends.

Her contacts with the powerful helped open doors for jobs in accounting

at the Elf Aquitaine Oil Co. and in the audit department at

the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Eventually,

under the advice of former Social Affairs Minister Simone Veil,

regarded as the grand lady of French politics,

Dati attended magistrates' school, which enabled her to become a family, juvenile,

and investigative judge. Dati met Sarkozy when he was mayor of the rich Paris suburb of Neuilly,

later becoming his spokeswoman during the 2007 presidential campaign.

Dati's appointment to the sensitive post of justice minister last year was seen as

a masterful political stroke by the newly elected, law-and-order President Sarkozy.

It was presented as an unequivocal message to the alienated immigrant youths that

they can have faith in the French judicial system and, by extension, in the nation itself.

France has the largest Muslim population in western Europe

(about 6 million in a population of 63 million), most like Dati tracing

their heritage to France's former Northern Africa colonies of Algeria, Morocco,

and Tunisia. Her appointment was striking, given that the nation's Muslims,

most living in impoverished suburban neighborhoods with high crime

and unemployment, have little representation in the political system.

She was the face of change in ways many didn't expect.

She turned out in designer clothes at official events—a full-length Dior gown for

a White House dinner, for instance—and posed for the cover of

the glossy Paris Match magazine wearing a pink Dior dress and knee-high black leather boots.

And Dati's immigrant background has not precluded her from adopting

uncompromising positions on law-and-order issues.

She defended the establishment of minimum sentences for young offenders,

in many cases unemployed immigrants, and instituted a system of penalties

that will keep dangerous criminals in prison even after they have completed their sentences.

She has also backed calls to jail criminal offenders as young as 12.

Sarkozy, with his tough stands on immigration, is detested in the banlieues,

the high-rise immigrant ghettos near Paris and other French cities,

and Dati is seen as an extension of his conservative policies.

To immigrants, says Mehdi Dahar, a 22-year Frenchman of Algerian origin,

"she may appear more of a traitor than as someone who is going to serve their cause."

In addition, the so-called judicial reforms have triggered work-stoppage protests

from magistrates and lawyers, who complain that her willingness to push through

Sarkozy's initiatives endangers the already tenuous independence of the judiciary.

And senior staffers have quit, complaining about her manner.

Dati has responded to her critics by conceding that she may not be the easiest person

to deal with. "Authoritative? One would not say that of a man,"

the minister told an interviewer from Le Figaro in April. "But I accept it. It is,

however, a question of efficiency and not temperament.

We are not in a family setting but rather in a professional one."

And some of her defenders see elements of sexism and racism in political attacks on her.

"I think that Rachida Dati is paying the price for being an atypical minister because she is

young, a woman and of North African origin,"

Dominique Sopo, the president of SOS Racisme,

France's best-known antidiscrimination group, told the daily Liberation in 2007.

"Unfortunately, this profile creates resentment among a French elite made up of white men over 55."

Inevitably, Dati has found herself caught in the cultural rift between

the French mainstream culture and that of the growing Muslim immigrant community.

For instance, Dati backed an appeal of a court ruling that annulled a Muslim couple's marriage

after the new husband asserted that his wife had lied about her virginity.

Dati initially supported the verdict; since the wife hadn't objected to the annulment,

this allowed for a dissolution of an unwanted union.

But she shifted amid a public outcry that the judgment undermined women's privacy rights

and seemed to blur the line between religion and politics.

In November, an appeals court reinstated the marriage.

For Dati, the controversy touched on her own past: a forced marriage and later annulment.

Those present at her November 1992 wedding recall a barely audible "yes" when asked

if she took the Algerian engineer standing at her side as her husband.

"I consider the answer to be yes," said the civil officer presiding at the ceremony

as some members of Dati's family wept. (The marriage was later annulled.)

Escaping the ghetto. There is no denying that Dati's success is stunning.

To recognize just how remarkable, consider her own siblings.

Two of her four brothers have been in frequent trouble with the law for a variety of offenses,

including drug dealing. And, if it is difficult for the male children of immigrants to climb out of the ghetto,

it is even more so for young girls of North African origin.

They are often expected to follow traditional practices that include wearing a veil in public

and leaving home only when accompanied by a male family member.

Dati recoils at the notion that she is living a Cinderella life.

"My life is not a novel; it is a journey," she told the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur

after being named justice minister in May 2007.

"The more people try to make a storybook out of my life,

the more that in reality they try to take away my legitimacy.

I worked, that's all, and no one, not even those who do not like me, can take that away from me."

Source: Eduardo Cue, http://www.usnews.com


Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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Together we stand, divided we fall


Photo: The New Times Logo

Source: The New Times, http://allafrica.com

Rwanda: Together We Stand, Divided We Fall


Kigali — The success of the East African Community's (EAC) regional integration efforts

lies in the ability of the five Partner States to lift each other in times of need.

Solidarity amongst the countries is an essential bedrock in fostering a strong relationship,

that will not only see the block emerge stronger, but also deliver many benefits to her citizens.

So often regional blocks or groupings miss the point of the basis of their integration.

At times, just focusing on economic issues at the peril of political issues or the reverse.

Both being so interlinked you ignore one at the mercy of the regional grouping's overall agenda.

That is what makes the recent announcement by the Government of Rwanda

to contribute a total of USD 1 million towards Burundi's fees to the EAC, a break from the past.

The EAC is tackling the political and the economic issues at the same time,

given that Burundi is emerging out of a devastating civil strife,

but also being a key trade partner within the EAC.

The sooner she is assisted to get back on her feet, the better for the whole bloc.

The EAC's agreement to assist Burundi also carries importance in the crafting

of a new kind of politics amongst Africans themselves.

To start with, so often African institutions have relied solely on funding from western countries

for their operations, often compromising them in times of crucial decision-making.

Examples are there of trade negotiations with western countries, in which African regional blocs

are arm-twisted to agree to unfavourable trading arrangements.

Relevant Links

All because they would like to keep the donor funds trickling in to buy, paper and printer toners.

That is why the example set by the EAC, with Rwanda setting the ball rolling,

in assisting a member who cannot pay fees is important for other regional blocs, to follow.

Other EAC member states, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, also pledged to support Burundi

in this endeavour, to raise the USD 8 million she needs for her annual fee payment.

Surely if African solutions to African problems are to become a reality our leaders

have to start putting their money where their mouths are. After all it is said money talks.

Source: The New Times, http://allafrica.com

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La patate Orange, panacée?

Source: http://www.lemonde.fr

Au Mozambique, la révolution de la patate orange


Par plus de trente degrés, Virginia Machava, la soixantaine, délaisse sa houe

pour quelques minutes et montre du doigt, au loin,

des terres en friche bordées de hautes herbes et

quelques arbres : "L'année prochaine, on va agrandir

la parcelle de patates orange de ce côté-ci." Pour le moment, la communauté

agricole du 25-Septembre, composée de trente-huit agriculteurs dont Mme Machava est la présidente,

ne cultive que deux hectares de patates douces, à une trentaine de kilomètres au

nord-ouest de la capitale, Maputo. Mais cette mère de six enfants ne tarit pas d'éloges

sur le tubercule cultivé depuis un an : "C'est bon pour la santé et, en plus, c'est rentable !"

La révolution orange est en marche au Mozambique. Lancé il y a une dizaine d'années

par le Centre international de la pomme de terre (CIP), le projet d'introduction

de la patate douce, à chair orangée, dans les cultures et la consommation

des habitants de ce pays rural d'Afrique australe n'a véritablement pris

son essor que récemment. Un million de paysans mozambicains sont aujourd'hui

concernés, pour un coût total de 2,5 millions d'euros.

Une dizaine de nations africaines ont emboîté le pas au Mozambique,

dans le cadre d'un programme intitulé "Vitamine A pour l'Afrique".

L'initiative est partie d'un constat : près de 70 % des enfants mozambicains

âgés de 6 mois à 5 ans présentent une carence en vitamine A,

ce qui conduit une partie d'entre eux à perdre partiellement ou totalement la vue.

Quelque 125 millions d'enfants sont affectés dans le monde.

Or, contrairement à la patate à chair jaune, celle teintée d'orange

est riche en bêta carotène, qui est le précurseur de la vitamine A.

"Dès l'origine, le gouvernement mozambicain nous a soutenus,

se rappelle Jan Low, représentante du CIP en Afrique subsaharienne.

'' Il préférait notre solution à celle consistant à distribuer

des capsules de vitamines A tous les six mois, qui créait une dépendance."

Inconnue des paysans locaux, la patate douce a dû se faire

une place sur le sol mozambicain. Le coup d'accélérateur remonte à 2002.

"Les terribles inondations de cette année-là ont été un mal pour un bien,

car elles ont libéré de l'espace", raconte Maria Isabel Andrade,

responsable du projet au CIP. Ruinés, un millier de cultivateurs ont alors

reçu chacun deux cents plants gratuits.

Au bout de trois saisons, la patate orange était devenue incontournable.

Mais la plantation n'est que le premier maillon de la chaîne.

Il faut ensuite convaincre les mères de famille de l'intérêt d'inclure cet aliment

non traditionnel dans les repas du foyer. Dans les villages,

la communication du CIP est bien rodée. D'un côté, la couleur orange

est omniprésente : sur les camions, les casquettes, les affiches et même sur

des capulanas, ces paréos mozambicains distribués pour l'occasion.

De l'autre, un message simple - "La douceur qui apporte la santé" -,

distillé par la radio et des pièces de théâtre. Objectif : habituer la population au goût

de ce tubercule, plus sucré que la pomme de terre, et la sensibiliser à ses vertus nutritives.

Les résultats sont là : "Sur une période de dix-huit mois, nous avons constaté une diminution

de 15 % du nombre de personnes touchées par une carence en vitamine A",

explique Jan Low, qui estime que cette proportion pourrait encore augmenter.

En moyenne, l'apport en vitamine A a été multiplié par huit dans les ménages consommant de la patate douce.


Pour pérenniser cette culture, le CIP s'est efforcé d'en souligner les contreparties

en espèces sonnantes et trébuchantes. Les paysans de la communauté

du 25-Septembre l'ont vite constaté. "A côté des concombres, des tomates, des oignons

ou des haricots secs, la patate orange est l'une des cultures les plus rentables",

reconnaît Alfredo Chavangwane, secrétaire du groupement villageois.

Autre atout, les multiples façons de l'accommoder : biscuits, jus de fruits, gâteaux,

beignets, pain. Certaines boulangeries mozambicaines se sont même spécialisées dans

la production de ce pain doré, à la texture plus lourde que celle du pain blanc.

Et Albertina Biva sait désormais faire de la confiture à partir de la patate orange.

"C'est vraiment bon, et mes huit enfants adorent ça", dit-elle.

Dernier défi pour cette culture : résister aux sécheresses qui frappent le pays chaque année,

pendant une période de trois à six mois. Aujourd'hui, un tiers des plants n'y survit pas.

A quelques kilomètres du champ de la communauté du 25-Septembre,

se trouve le centre agronomique d'Umbelizi. Dans les parcelles d'expérimentation,

Jabula Arlindo Zibia, agronome, sélectionne les plants

les plus résistants : "Le processus dure en moyenne trois ans,

mais nous devrions disposer de nouvelles variétés l'an prochain"
, assure-t-il.

Source: http://www.lemonde.fr

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm:   (250) 08470205
Home: (250) 55104140
P.O. Box 3867
Kigali - RWANDA
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