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October 7, 2013

Essay on NGOs in West Africa

For over a decade, the theme of development of private entrepreneurship, in particular the promotion of micro, small and medium industries will reappear regularly in official statements of policy makers, international donor agencies, economic operators and development officers. Meanwhile, since the early 1970's, the number and importance of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) has expanded to an exceptional speed. Fad or not, the role of NGOs is increasingly associated with economic and industrial development of developing countries in general and least developed countries (LDCs) especially.
To increase awareness of the importance of NGOs in the development of private entrepreneurship and micro-businesses in particular rural, it should be noted that over 80% of the population of LDCs are located in rural environment characterized by illiteracy, lack of means and channels of communication, lack of markets for agricultural products and the lack of technology and equipment for the processing of local products.
The continuing fragile socio-economic development of West Africa, especially in LDCs, and the expansion of poverty (the average GDP is 389 USD per head), despite the many efforts made by countries individually and collectively, in particular concern the most senior officials in charge of industry in these countries. The poor performance of the industrial sector, characterized by low productivity, performance and rates of capacity utilization, African ministers urged to put in place succession plan of Action of Lagos and the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic (CEA) and the decade of development of the industrialization of Africa whose second edition will be completed in 2002.

It is in this context that UNIDO launched in October 1996 in Abidjan, the Alliance for the Industrialization of Africa to accelerate the process of industrialization in Africa. Of the four priority themes proposed by the Alliance, are high on the establishment of links between industry and agriculture to enhance productivity and competitiveness of agro industry, promoting the growth of SMEs and promoting
private investment.

The NGO Forum took place in the framework of the Alliance and its purpose is, first, to determine the impact and role - actual or potential-played by NGOs in the development of private entrepreneurship in Africa of West, and second, to promote and strengthen this action. The focus is on the experience of NGOs and their contribution to the development of micro and small rural industries, taking into account the coexistence of formal and informal sectors. This forum is intended as a framework for reflection, consultation and exchange of views and information between UNIDO and NGOs and between NGOs themselves in order to define the elements of an integrated for development of private entrepreneurship in rural West Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of Africans will look first to traditional medicine when they fall ill, including when they are infected with HIV / AIDS. The potential role of traditional medicine, cheaper and more accessible than modern medicine in treating certain diseases, including certain types of opportunistic infections associated with HIV / AIDS is increasingly recognized in Africa.
It has been decades that modern medicine is in Africa but even more alarming fact is that it failed to encroach on traditional medicine.
Modern medicine needs of traditional medicine in the fight against AIDS, the second can be achieved much more Africans should enjoy.

Several initiatives to involve traditional medicine in the prevention of HIV / AIDS, but also in patient care, in this direction, among other projects supported by WHO.

In the context of severe shortage of health experienced by many African countries, the contribution of traditional medicine in the fight against AIDS is seen as a way to relieve the overburdened health workers, traditional healers by giving recognition and supervised the care of certain tasks.
Traditional healers, who are well integrated and valued by communities can be trained and become powerful agents of behavioral change in the dynamics to contain the HIV / AIDS in the region," said Dr Luis Gomes Sambo , Regional Director for Africa, in a message published in August 2005 on the occasion of the African Day of Traditional Medicine.

Define a legal framework

For that traditional medicine can develop in this direction, it would have granted a legal framework.

In the absence of a legal framework governing the practice of this medicine, the examples of abuse are legion, such as traditional healers claiming to cure AIDS, with sometimes fatal consequences for patients willing to cling to any hope of recovery.
"We want to establish a charter of 10 recommendations [define] the powers and limitations of traditional healers," said Abdoulaye. "We should disseminate this policy as widely as possible, ideally in all public places so that people are aware of the limitations of traditional medicine. We want [for example] to end the practice of geomancy [a technique of divination based on observation of stones]. "

Some traditional healers are already seeing for themselves the rules of conduct, not hesitating to recognize their limitations and refer patients to centers for HIV testing when they suspect an infection.
Mamadou Ba, traditional healers, and Coordinator Gestu director of the center of traditional medicine in Pout, a suburb of Dakar, has insisted that in its center, traditional healers encouraging HIV testing and established medical cards for everyone their patients to establish a complement modern medicine.
WHO has urged governments to strengthen the role of traditional medicine in the fight against AIDS and to fund training of traditional healers throughout Africa.
In Mali, there are efforts in this direction, told IRIN / PlusNews Noumoussa Saganogo, executive secretary of the network of NGOs and associations of Action against AIDS in Mali, which comprises about 150 NGOs.

The Malian government has since 1968 provided a place of traditional medicine by creating an institution responsible for the management and reorganization of the traditional system of care.

There are already groups of African NGOs. An example is the FAVDO with headquarters in Dakar. Regional groupings, have continental and international information and experiences, no doubt, would help NGOs and other community groups to understand the workings international and insert it.
Within the EU, NGOs have developed, over the last twenty years a strong coordination with 700 NGOs, "the Liaison Committee of Development NGOs to the European Communities", which is based in Brussels. Other major networks also exist in Europe: APRODEV for NGOs to Protestant persuasion, EURO-CIDSE EUROSTEP for Catholics and for the laity. Their headquarters is also located in Brussels. These coordinations have a wealth of information, especially about the activities of the European Union. African NGOs who want to approach the European Union would benefit from contact with them. Among the major activities of these networks include the rehabilitation of Africa, the revision of the Lomé agreements, the fight against apartheid.
Regarding the rehabilitation of Africa, European NGOs have managed to initiate discussions with the administration of the European Commission which led, among other things, the release of a special fund of 100 million for rehabilitation activities in five African countries most affected by the destruction (Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Somalia), but also to open a new budget forecast that could rise from 45 million ECU in 1994 to 60 million in 1995. Caribbean and Pacific Group of the European Union and other European NGOs are closely following the discussions between partners and able to influence decisions in favor of Third World peoples.
NGOs working in Africa have a certain autonomy vis-à-vis the states and would like to keep it. However, they are required to have professional contacts with state organizations. Both sides know each other so well, but in the field of development assistance, their approaches differ sometimes. This tends to skew the procedures and strategies of NGOs, when the money provided through co-financing is subject to constraints. To deal effectively with the negative effects caused by this marriage of convenience between NGOs and government and / or financial institutions, NGOs form of coordination can channel their basic ideas and defend them before the donors.
When disaster strikes or looms large, NGOs rush with their armada of high-tech equipment and rescue teams rush to tell people before cameras and microphones that they are good and effective. They are the darlings of the media, which, in fact, we readily see happening on ground. Armed with shovels, picks, stretchers, bags of rice, that knows what else, they seem ubiquitous. Yes, but here on the ground, things are often different. Large international NGOs have become, since the neoliberal turn in the 70's, the showcase imperialist humanitarian hawks. Not all, of course, but the most prominent, probably particularly those who are paid to USAID and receive significant government subsidies and donations from U.S. private sponsors. We remember the conditions that had imposed G. U.S. Walker Bush to NGOs in Africa: no subsidies if they too were distributing condoms or provide information about abortion. He was advocating abstinence and marital fidelity. And that is  what they did obediently. The money is an imperative for the humanitarian and public health. And this money, it is not easy if nothing spectacular happens. Donations are affluent with real compassion raised by a disaster and the hype that accompanies it.
James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, in "The Hidden Face of Globalization, Imperialism in the 21st Century", denounce NGOs accusing them of being "in the service of imperialism."But the case is much simpler, they are organizations of capitalism.

NGOs reflect the "development cooperation" of the World Bank and its partnership strategy, they reveal the same time the local face of imperialism."Cooperation" is therefore that the "subordination of the person receiving help from his donor." The main role of NGOs is to "provide the structural adjustment process (and globalization) and social dimensions of a human face" to calm the legitimate anger of the people and to bring leftists discouraged to adapt the realities of neo-liberal system while seeking to reduce the "abuse". The authors criticize the lack of democracy in the functioning of NGOs, including the directors of the largest "receive wages and benefits equivalent to those of CEOs of the largest private companies" and "manipulations they perform to replace and destroy the movement organized and left to recover their leaders and strategists intellectuals."
The aim of most NGOs is to "deceive and divert the discontent, to prevent it from directly addressing the profits and power firms and banks and referrals to local micro, a self-exploitation and "popular education" "apolitical" that avoid the class analysis of imperialism and the accumulation of capitalist profit."
In the end "the proliferation of NGOs has not contributed to reducing structural unemployment, nor the massive displacement of peasants, it has not provided decent wages to the growing army of informal workers. The work of NGOs is reduced to provide a narrow category of independent professionals, income in hard currency, enabling them to escape the ravages of neo-liberal about their country and their fellow citizens, and to raise the structures of existing classes. Though the authors acknowledge that NGOs "criticize dictatorships and violations of human rights, however they believe that "Western funding of NGOs 'critical' tantamount to insurance risk, if the reactionary ruling staggering.
While NGOs' focus on "survival strategies" rather than issue calls for a general strike, they organize soup kitchens, rather than mass demonstrations against those who control the food supply against the neo-liberal regimes or against U.S. imperialism.

The authors reflect the NGOs' development cooperation 'of the World Bank and its partnership strategy, they reveal the same time the local face of imperialism. " "Cooperation" is therefore that the "subordination of the person receiving help from his donor."
The main role of NGOs is to "provide the structural adjustment process (and globalization) and social dimensions of a human face" to calm the legitimate anger of the people and to bring leftists discouraged to adapt the realities of neo-liberal system while seeking to reduce the "abuse". The authors criticize the lack of democracy in the functioning of NGOs, including the directors of who "receive wages and benefits equivalent to those of CEOs of the largest private companies" and "manipulations they perform to replace and destroy the movement organized and left to recover their leaders and strategists intellectuals. "
The aim of most NGOs is to "deceive and divert the discontent, to prevent it from directly addressing the profits and power firms and banks and referrals to local micro, a self-exploitation and "popular education" "apolitical" that avoid the class analysis of imperialism and the accumulation of capitalist profit.  "

The book ends with the search for an alternative to liberal globalization wondering about socialism in the imperialist era.

The demonstrations since Seattle have shown that "significant minorities of working-class base, integrated or non official labor confederations, engage in many activities without the militant union (...) against multinationals, a massive protest against WTO, World Bank, IMF and the firms that are extending them abroad. "
To achieve socialism "First and foremost, the main social base of political support must be transformed to move from passivity to activity: the masses of exploited, excluded and displaced people must be mobilized and organized (... ). We must build an economic strategy that makes the social basis of the primary beneficiary regime in order to demonstrate that the revolution is made by and for the people. "
However the authors do not mention the need for a revolutionary party capable of delivering a class consciousness-oriented control and propose a credible alternative to the capitalist system. As well as they do not insist on the transition to a socialist society on the strategy to be implemented by a socialist state to survive in a capitalist world. Above all, one could blame them considering only the appearance of such a state in the dominated countries without taking into account the fact that workers in imperialist countries have a much greater power and they are probably the main hope for a reversal of the current system.
Despite this reservation it is refreshing to read a book that clearly states a revolutionary analysis of today's world and concluded that "the dynamics of globalization are creating now a huge poverty, they also offer an historic opportunity to transcend capitalism. "

The NGOs accredited to the UN perform a so-called soft power, that is, they influence decision-making bodies across the globe. For some it is a new form of democracy. However, NGOs are not elected, and their own forms of governance are not always democratic. To this we must add the links which some large NGOs with transnational animate in parallel with powerful lobbies. They also sometimes play a role in geopolitics, primarily through major donors such as ECHO and USAID European Union to the United States. Finally, among the NGOs accredited by the UN, many are actually foundations. These are often from large philanthropists families, multinational companies and banks. It also institutes, think tanks, etc.. In short, anything that can be called "civil society". Because of all this, it is difficult to categorize NGOs in general and the study of their operation is often hard and complex.

They are involved, but not necessarily in the form of funding, although this happens they are usually small relative to total funds raised by NGOs. By cons, partnerships between NGOs and multinational corporations are common. Large multinational practices are being challenged, particularly in developing countries, and may label their image.
Typically, a multinational company often acts out of interest, any partnership funding and raises questions about the legitimacy of NGOs, especially when the multinational in question has interests in countries where the NGO works. Finally, they have the opportunity to participate indirectly through people who have important positions in NGOs. A brief overview of their backgrounds shows that they have sometimes used these multinationals, today their NGO partners. Many NGOs believe that anthropogenic global warming will affect the acceleration of the African land reclamation, and therefore the loss of food crops.
The site of Le Monde has meanwhile published a list of NGOs involved in the "Robin Hood Tax". There are Oxfam and Greenpeace, organizations involved in the highly Copenhagen summit, Oxfam is also a partner of the Global Water Initiative. Note that these organisms have never expressed any doubt pursue the matter of climate, followed by the resignation of the president of CLU (Climate Research Unit), nor about the lack of consensus on the issue of theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Among the supporters of the project of "Robin Hood Tax", there are both political figures (Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy) and Warren Buffet. Buffet family is involved through its foundations in many programs of solidarity and interest in the solutions known as "green" electric cars, ethanol, etc.
Although the tax proposed by the NGOs and representatives of political and economic power proposes to tax financial transactions, we must consider the areas in which funds are regulated. This issue is especially according to Oxfam to "reduce poverty around the world and help poor countries adapt to climate change." Therefore it is prudent that I decided to tell the institutes and organizations involved in the development of this tax. It is therefore legitimate, given the history and implications of these organizations, to question their real ambition.

In addition, networks hidden Solidarity Françafrique, such as those of Charles Pasqua with 92 Co, and those of Jacques Attali with Planet Finance, showed that some networks could interfere with the ambition displayed humanitarian, particularly in Africa. This is also what we see in the case of the Oudin-Santini. Sometimes these bodies are created for purposes that have nothing to do with international solidarity, or are used for example in the case of Angolagate for criminal purposes.
To understand the present situation it is appropriate to refer to the past. It has many similarities with the present situation. To do this, read the book "Oil war a century, the Anglo-American world order," by William Engdahl, (especially pages 168-172) is particularly interesting. It shows how, decades ago, these issues of vital energy resources and gave rise to the most dubious acquaintances. These realities questioning the nature of the Copenhagen Summit, and invite questions about the way in which its architects undertake. It could be that this World Summit also reflects the struggle for the governance of life and energy future. And there is no denying that these areas are particularly important to U.S. interests, which, because of the economic crisis are losing ground. Indeed the U.S. administration has long been involved in these practices through foundations, think tanks and NGOs. So once again, a geopolitical reality that may in part explain the way in which those committed NGOs, foundations, and governments in the name of ecology.

 How NGOs are they the interests of Western states? The "humanitarian imperialism" is it a new form of domination of the great powers?

NGOs can serve the interests of Western states for the simple reason that they are transnational. They work everywhere, and a wealth of information back through their studies and assessments of their practices. Western states, meanwhile, have always sought to perpetuate colonialism, especially through their multinationals (such as Danone and Lafarge, for example). It is obvious that these sources of humanitarian to them a godsend, and allow to continue the colonial process that amount of information available. As for colonialism, only the forms change, but the goal remains the same: to privatize public assets, land, resources. NGOs assoient necessarily the hegemony of Western countries, as do the IMF and the World Bank.

The only difference that can be noted in comparison with the past is summed up by the fact that these "great powers" tend to be private, whereas previously they were state actors. While the practices of Western states were once made on behalf of sovereign peoples, with their money without their consent, it was to reinforce the hegemony of a nation today is to strengthen the multinational . Both practices should be condemned, but this finding is not trivial. This is consistent with the changing national policy towards anti-democratic global governance. It is this mutation that Francois Xavier Verschave described in his book "the Françafrique to Mafiafrique" when he explained that some major manufacturers no longer need a state to conduct their predatory practices in Africa. However, humanitarian imperialism is also a form of geopolitics, when administering a country for the interests of another country for example, is what can be observed particularly in Haiti. The intervention of the armed forces in humanitarian operations is widespread, this mix is ​​sad and speaks volumes about the long-term ambitions.


What do you think the model of development assistance? Is there not a desire to make all dependent countries in the world, international economic organizations (like the IMF)?

Absolutely. In this regard, I refer you to the committee to cancel Third World debt. It is certain that the programs provided by the World Bank and the IMF initially maintain the maintenance of poverty, loss of food sovereignty and autonomy in developing countries. In a second step, these models of governance arising under the pretext of economic readjustment and the name of a so-called global growth needed, will be visibly used in the developed countries currently affected by the economic crisis. Germany moreover called for the creation of an EMF (European Monetary Fund). What will happen? Greece Will it be sold to multinationals, as was the case in Argentina?

Development aid is, moreover, a concept hierarchy, which deserves some criticism. PRSPs (poverty reduction strategy papers of poverty) that followed the structural adjustment programs, integrating people say in decisions. But they only allow the continuation of a neo constantly changing, there is the so-called strategy. This strategy could not exist without the very questionable influence of Western culture, which itself is deeply ethnocentric and Imperial.


Capitalist globalization is moving towards the establishment of global governance. What were the stages of its development objectives and what is she?

It is difficult to answer this question. Globalism is not just a consequence of globalization but also an ideology. Pierre Hillard has recently published an article entitled "History of the New World Order" which describes all the processes set up by the great princes of globalism. There again, a mystical globalist assumed by its players. It is difficult to interpret, but its objectives are clearly stated. The processes are long and can take different forms.

Jacques Attali describes in "A Brief History of the Future" the perspective of this global governance. I do not think he is wrong, the ambitions that are also found in synchronicity with what we see today.


It would therefore be a question of global governance, in which every human being consume, think and act the same way and evenly over the globe. This obviously the abolition of sovereignty, not just actors, but also food, which I think is a huge danger. The intervention of the insurance also seems inevitable to achieve such a system: every person who is entitled according to socio-economic power in such a category, that category of health, education of such class, etc.. , The whole world ruled by insurance under the control of various departments and agencies worldwide. We already live in such a system but it is not fully locked. The aim is naturally lead to a profoundly undemocratic as modeled on European governance, which is nothing but the governance of lobbies. In this regard, only 40% of agencies are listed on the lobbyist registry in Brussels.


The opacity of European governance, could certainly be found in institutionalized global governance and its institutions would not be intrusive but exert only a primacy over national laws and constitutions. This will be accompanied of course, as demonstrated by presenting a prototype Medvedev part World Summit of the G20 to Aquila, a global currency. The current crisis is also undoubtedly accelerated the abolition of national currencies in favor of the emergence of new continental currency, which converge on the global currency.
At least this is indicated by the writings of the elite think tanks, including Foreign Affairs, the journal of the CFR. Note that the issuance of that currency will undoubtedly by private banks, which could destroy the very principle of sovereignty, and in fact spell the end of democracy. This is what has allowed the Article 104 of the Maastricht Treaty in Europe: a definitive end to the independence of people deal with private banks, service the debt of European countries while the IMF and the World Bank built the developing countries. Note that these debts colonial and undemocratic make no sense and no legitimacy in the eyes of many constitutions.



The issue of "Franco" is still relevant for you. Where's the relationship between the French and African states? The "African networks" of French political parties of Left Right as they still exist?

Provide a picture of the current Franco-African relations is a long and painful. I refer you to the work of the association survival. Samuel Foutoyet published in late 2008 a perfect summary of the situation in his book "Nicolas Sarkozy or Françafrique uninhibited." It should be understood that under Sarkozy we are dealing with the affairs of the branch Françafrique, networks Pasqua and therefore those of Corsica. African networks of French political parties exist, but it is certain that the Chinese networks, Israeli, American, Iranian and Lebanese, etc.. Are engaged in the "conquest of Africa." In addition, as explained Verschave, multinationals are also increasingly present and not acting on behalf of a country, but simply for profit. This is to get in touch with the changing international relations to global governance run by corporations and private banks.
Resistance to globalization has taken various forms in Europe. How do you balance the anti-globalization? The crisis of the movement, long represented by ATTAC, is it indicative of its initial weaknesses (a mixture of reformism and analysis of date)?

It is only my opinion but I will remain general: these organizations propose to address the consequences of the system. They propose to dismantle any tackling at its base. They do finally rationalize that the expression of society's ills, taking away all his vindictive charge. They appear mostly as civil society, but they are not elected. In short, they want to save the system, economics, democracy in short-saving things that have long been the confession of their own inconsistency. "


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