Background Notes on Selected African Countries from the Department of State


ALGERIA

HISTORY

Since the 5th century B.C., the indigenous tribes of northern Africa (identified by the Romans as "Berbers") have been pushed back from the coast by successive waves of Phoenician, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish, and, finally, French invaders. The greatest cultural impact came from the Arab invasions of the 8th and 11th centuries A.D., which brought Islam and the Arabic language. The effects of the most recent (French) occupation--French language and European-inspired socialism--are still pervasive.

North African boundaries have shifted during various stages of the conquests. The borders of modern Algeria were created by the French, whose colonization began in 1830. To benefit French colonists, most of whom were farmers and businessmen, northern Algeria was eventually organized into overseas departments of France, with representatives in the French National Assembly. France controlled the entire country, but the traditional Muslim population in the rural areas remained separated from the modern economic infrastructure of the European community.

Indigenous Algerians began their revolt on November 1, 1954, to gain rights denied them under French rule. The revolution, launched by a small group of nationalists who called themselves the National Liberation Front (FLN), was a guerrilla war in which both side used terrorist tactics. Eventually, protracted negotiations led to a cease-fire signed by France and the FLN on March 18, 1962, at Evian, France. The Evian accords also provided for continuing economic, financial, technical, and cultural relations along with interim administrative arrangements until a referendum on self-determination could be held.

The referendum was held in Algeria on July 1, 1962, and France declared Algeria independent on July 3. On September 8, 1963, a constitution was adopted by referendum, and later that month, Ahmed Ben Bella was formally elected president. On June 19, 1965, President Ben Bella was replaced in a bloodless coup by a Council of the Revolution headed by Minister of Defense Col. Houari Boumediene.

The National Assembly was dissolved and the constitution suspended after the overthrow of the Ben Bella government; 11 years of rule by decree followed. A new constitution was approved by popular referendum on November 19, 1976, and Houari Boumediene was elected president of the republic on December 10, 1976. He died 2 years later.

Following nomination by an FLN Party Congress, Col. Chadli Bendjedid was elected president on February 7, 1979; he was elected to a second 5-year term in January 1984. Political Conditions Since 1965, Algeria has enjoyed relative political stability, including a peaceful and constitutional transition to President Bendjedid's leadership. The FLN seeks to mobilize popular participation in politics through its own countrywide structures and those of its mass organizations for peasants, youth, veterans, and women. In keeping with the National Charter and the constitution, the Algerian Government espouses revolutionary socialism and applies this philosophy to its domestic and foreign policies. Its principal domestic objectives are to achieve economic development through industrialization and increased agricultural productivity and to raise the standard of living under a socialist system.

President Bendjedid seeks to revitalize FLN party and government structures as well as the economy. The government's 1987 economic slogan, "autonomy for enterprises," reflects its current effort to grant greater financial and managerial autonomy to state-owned enterprises, which account for 80% of the country's GDP.

Population growth and associated problems--unemployment and underemployment, inability of social services to keep pace with rapid urban migration, inadequate industrial management and productivity, insufficient agricultural production, and inefficient distribution of consumer goods--are being addressed by the government.

Source: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, November 1988.


CHAD

PEOPLE

There are more than 200 ethnic groups in Chad. Those in the north and east are generally Muslim; most southerners are animists and Christians. Through their long religious and commercial relationships with Sudan and Egypt, many of the peoples in Chad's eastern and central regions have become more or less Arabized, speaking Arabic and engaging in many other Arab cultural practices as well. Chad's southern peoples took more readily to European culture during the French colonial period.

HISTORY

Chad has known human habitation since time immemorial. The oldest humanoid skull yet found in Chad (Borkou) is more than 1 million years old. Because in ancient times the Saharan area was not totally arid, Chad's population was more evenly distributed than it is today. For example, 7,000 years ago, the north central basin, now in the Sahara, was still filled with water, and people lived and farmed around its shores. The cliff paintings in Borkou and Ennedi depict elephants, rhinoceri, giraffes, cattle, and camels; only camels survive there today. The region was known to traders and geographers from the late Middle Ages. Since then, Chad has served as a crossroads for the Muslim peoples of the desert and savanna regions and the animist Bantu tribes of the tropical forests.

Sao people lived along the Chari River for thousands of years, but their relatively weak chiefdoms were overtaken by the powerful chiefs of what were to become the Kanem-Bornu and Baguirmi kingdoms. At their peak, these two kingdoms and the kingdom of Ouaddai controlled a good part of what is now Chad, as well as parts of Nigeria and Sudan. From 1500 to 1900, Arab slave raids were widespread. The French first penetrated Chad in 1891, establishing their authority through military expeditions primarily against the Muslim kingdoms. The first major colonial battle for Chad was fought in 1900 between the French Major Lamy and the African leader Rabah, both of whom were killed in the battle. Although the French won that battle, they did not declare the territory pacified until 1911; armed clashes between colonial troops and local bands continued for many years thereafter.

In 1905, administrative responsibility for Chad was placed under a governor general stationed at Brazzaville in what is now Congo. Although Chad joined the French colonies of Gabon, Oubangui-Charo, and Moyen Congo to form the Federation of French Equatorial Africa (AEF) in 1910, it did not have colonial status until 1920. The northern region of Chad was occupied by the French in 1914.

In 1959, the territory of French Equatorial Africa was dissolved, and four states--Gabon, the Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), and Chad--became autonomous members of the French Community. In 1960, Chad became an independent nation under its first president, Francois Tombalbaye.

A long civil war began as a tax revolt in 1965 and soon set the Muslim north and east against the southern-led government. Even with the help of French combat forces, the Tombalbaye Government was never able to quell the insurgency. Tombalbaye's rule became more irrational and brutal, leading the military to carry out a coup in 1975 and to install Gen. Felix Malloum, a southerner, as head of state.

In 1978, Malloum's Government was broadened to include more northerners. Internal dissent within the government led the northern Prime Minister, Hissein Habre, to send his forces against the national army at N'Djamena in February 1979. This act led to intense fighting among the 11 factions that emerged. At this point, the civil war had become so widespread that regional governments decided there was no effective central government and stepped in.

A series of four international conferences held first under Nigerian and then Organization of African Unity (OAU) sponsorship attempted to bring the Chadian factions together. At the fourth conference, held in Lagos, Nigeria, in August 1979, the Lagos accord was signed. This accord established a transitional government pending national elections. In November 1979, the National Union Transition Government (GUNT) was created with a mandate to govern for 18 months. Goukouni Oueddei, a northerner, was named President; Col. Kamougue, a southerner, Vice President; and Habre, Minister of Defense.

This coalition proved fragile; in March 1980, fighting broke out again between Goukouni's and Habre's forces. The war dragged on inconclusively until Goukouni sought and obtained Libyan intervention. More than 7,000 Libyan troops entered Chad. Although Goukouni requested complete withdrawal of external forces in October 1981, the Libyans pulled back only to the Aozou Strip in northern Chad.

An OAU peacekeeping force of 3,500 troops replaced the Libyan forces in the remainder of Chad. The force, consisting of troops from Nigeria, Senegal, and Zaire, received funding from the United States. A special summit of the OAU ad hoc committee on the Chad/Libya dispute in February 1982 called for reconciliation among all the factions, particularly those led by Goukouni and Habre, who had resumed fighting in eastern Chad. Although Habre agreed to participate, Goukouni refused to negotiate with Habre on an equal basis. In the series of battles that followed, Habre's forces defeated the GUNT, and Habre occupied N'Djamena on June 7, 1982. The OAU force remained neutral during the conflict, and all of its elements were withdrawn from Chad at the end of June.

In the summer of 1983, GUNT forces launched an offensive against government positions in northern and eastern Chad. Following a series of initial defeats, government forces succeeded in stopping the rebels. At this point, Libyan forces directly intervened once again, bombing government forces at Faya Largeau. Ground attacks followed the bombings, forcing government troops to abandon N'Djamena and withdraw to the south. In response to Libya's direct intervention, French and Zairian forces were sent to Chad to assist in defending the government. With the deployment of French troops, the military situation stabilized, leaving the Libyans and rebels in control of all Chad north of the 16th parallel.

In September 1984, the French and the Libyan Governments announced an agreement for the mutual withdrawal of their forces from Chad. By the end of the year, all French and Zairian troops were withdrawn. Libya did not honor the withdrawal accord, however, and its forces continued to occupy the northern third of Chad.

President Habre's efforts to deal with his opposition were aided by a number of African leaders, especially Gabon's President, Omar Bongo. During accords held in Libreville, Gabon, in 1985, two of the chief exile opposition groups, the Chadian Democratic Front and the Coordinating Action Committee of the Democratic Revolutionary Council, made peace with the Habre Government. By 1986, all of the rebel commando (CODO) groups in southern Chad came in from the forests, rallied to President Habre's side, and were re-integrated into the Forces Armees Nationales Chadiennes (FANT).

In the fall of 1986, fighters loyal to Goukouni Oueddei, leader of the GUNT, began defecting to the FANT. Although Libyan forces were more heavily equipped than were the Chadians, Habre's FANT, with considerable assistance from ex-GUNT forces, began attacks against the Libyan occupiers in November 1986 and won victories at all the important cities. The Chadian offensive ended in August 1987, with the taking of Aozou Town, the principal village in the Aozou Strip. Chad Government forces held the village for a month but lost it to a heavy Libyan counterattack.

The OAU ad hoc committee continued to seek a peaceful solution to the Chad/Libya conflict, holding meetings over the years with heads of state or ministerial-level officials. In October 1988, Chad resumed formal diplomatic relations with Libya, in accordance with recommendations made by the OAU. A month later, Habre's reconciliation efforts succeeded, and he took power in N'Djamena. In April 1989, Idriss Deby, one of Habre's leading generals, defected and fled to Darfur in Sudan, from which he mounted a series of attacks on the eastern region of Chad. In November 1990, he invaded; on December 2, 1990, his forces entered N'Djamena without a battle, President Habre and forces loyal to him having fled. After 3 months of provisional government, a national charter was approved by the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) on February 28, 1991, with Deby as President.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

The Fundamental Act of the Republic, proclaimed on October 18, 1982, served as the constitutional basis for government until December 10, 1989, when it was replaced by a new constitution. The latter was revoked by the MPS on December 4, 1990, after Habre's fall.

Until the December 1990 takeover of the government by the MPS, Chad's political structure comprised an executive office, a national assembly, and the National Union for Independence and Revolution (UNIR), the sole political party. The MPS embarked on an ambitious democratization program, which included authorization for multiple political parties in October 1991 and presidential, legislative, and local elections in 1993. The current government, self-described as a transitional or provisional government, is headed by President Idriss Deby. Prime Minister Jean Bawoyeu Alingue is charged with administration of government. A council of ministers, which the president heads, directs government policy. Authority for the current government structure comes from the national charter of March 1991. Until March 1992, the MPS was the only political organization permitted. Since then, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (headed by Lol Mahamat Choua), the Democratic Union for Progress in Chad (Elie Romba), the National Rally for Democracy and Progress (Kassire Joumakoye), the Union for Democracy and the Republic (Jean Bawoyeau Alingue), and the Chadian People's Assembly (Dangde Laobele Damaye), were authorized.

The MPS is composed of a 28-member executive committee and a 155-member national committee. Idriss Deby is the president of the MPS. Chad's politics are dominated by the democratization agenda, established by the MPS as a priority. Progress has been made in ameliorating Chad's human rights record and in liberalizing politics. Currently, an outspoken press, two trade unions, and two human rights organizations function openly.

Relations between Chad and Libya are important factors in Chad's political environment. Idriss Deby and the MPS have advocated a good-

neighbor policy with all countries bordering Chad, including Libya. This has resulted in a lessening of the military tensions evident under the Habre regime, but concerns remain as to Libya's political intentions in Chad, and the dispute over the Aozou Strip remains unresolved. The case was referred to the International Court of Justice for review.

DEFENSE

The Chadian military under former President Hissein Habre was dominated by members of Gourane, Zaghawa, Kanembou, Hadjerai, and Massa groups. Idriss Deby, a member of a minority Zaghawa clan and a top military commander, revolted and fled to the Sudan, taking with him many Zaghawa and Hadjerai soldiers in 1989.

The forces Deby led into N'Djamena on December 1, 1990, and which overthrew Habre were mainly of Zaghawas, including a large number of Sudanese Zaghawa. Many of these were recruited while Deby was in the bush. Deby's coalition also included a small number of Hadjerais and southerners.

Chad's armed forces numbered about 35,000 at the end of the Habre regime but swelled to an estimated 50,000 in the early days of Idriss Deby. The growth was a result of recruiting tribal members loyal to Deby and his principal commanders and of combining Habre's and Deby's armies into the new national Chadian army, FANT.

With French support, a reorganization of the armed forces was initiated early in 1991. The reorganization goal is to reduce the armed forces from 50,000 to 25,000 and to restructure it into a ground army of approximately 20,000, consisting of a republican guard, infantry regiments, and support battalions. Also included in the new structure is a gendarmerie of about 5,000 and an air force of about 400. Ethnic composition of the regiments is to reflect that of the country as a whole.

A key challenge for the national army of Chad is the reduction portion of the overall reorganization plan. Limited funds to pay mustering out bonuses and pensions and a lack of employment opportunities in the economy have inhibited efforts. However, a list of the initial reductions has been drafted and is being reviewed by government officials for implementation.

ECONOMY

About 85% of Chadians make their living from subsistence agriculture, fishing, and stock raising. Cotton and livestock are the two major exports, accounting for 70% of Chad's export earnings. In years of adequate rainfall, Chad is self-sufficient in food. In years of drought, such as those that occurred in the mid-1970s, in 1984-85, and in 1990, large quantities of foodstuffs, primarily cereals, must be imported.

Cotton alone accounts for 10% of agricultural GDP. Primary markets include neighboring Cameroon and Nigeria and France, Germany, and Portugal. In 1986, cotton prices on the world market declined by more than 50%, and CotonTchad did not show a profit again until 1991. Rehabilitation of CotonTchad, the major cotton company, has been financed by France, the Netherlands, the European Economic Community (EC), and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Because of cotton's importance to the economy, the government excused the collection of export taxes until the company returned to profitability. CotonTchad is adhering to its agenda and is well on the road to recovery.

The other major export is livestock, herded to neighboring countries. Herdsmen in the Sudanic and Sahelian zones raise cattle, sheep, goats, and, among the non-Muslims, a few pigs. In the Saharan region, only camels and a few hardy goats can survive. Chad also sells smoked and dried fish to its neighbors and exports several million dollars worth of gum arabic to Europe each year. Other food crops include millet, sorghum, peanuts, rice, sweet potatoes, manioc, cassava, and yams.

In both the north and the south, industrial activity and minerals exploration peaked in 1978. The civil war and the Libyan intervention in 1980 devastated N'Djamena and destroyed most of the economic infrastructure there. Between the first outbreak of heavy fighting in N'Djamena in February 1979 and the withdrawal of Libyan forces from the capital in 1981, southern Chad became an autonomous area, not to be fully integrated into the country until 1983. The south continued to export cotton, but none of the economic benefits of that trade reached the rest of the country.

The effects of the war on foreign investment are still felt today, as investors who left Chad between 1979-82 have only recently begun to regain confidence in the country's future. By early 1983, the return of internal security and a successful Geneva donors' conference had prompted a number of international business representatives to make exploratory visits to Chad.

An international consortium is conducting exploratory drilling for petroleum in the south. By mid-1991, seismic studies by an American oil company in the north-central desert area were completed. The World Bank has agreed to partially finance a pipeline/mini-refinery/power plant project in N'Djamena using small crude oil deposits found north of Lake Chad.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Chad is officially non-aligned but has close relations with France, the former colonial power, and other members of the Western community. It receives economic aid from countries of the European Community, the United States, and various international organizations. Libya supplies aid and has an ambassador resident in N'Djamena.

Other resident diplomatic missions in N'Djamena include the embassies of France, the United States, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Germany, the Central African Republic, Zaire, Nigeria, China, Cameroon, and the European Economic Community. A number of other countries have non-

resident ambassadors. In 1988, Chad decided to recognize the "State of Palestine," which maintains an "embassy" in N'Djamena. Chad has not recognized the State of Israel.

With the exception of Libya, whose expansionist policies have kept the two nations in conflict since 1980, Chad has generally good rapport with its neighbors. Although relations with Libya improved with the advent of the Deby Government, strains persist.

Chad has been an active champion of regional cooperation through the Central African Economic and Customs Union, the Lake Chad and Niger River Basin Commissions, and the Inter-state Commission for the Fight Against the Drought in the Sahel.

US-CHAD RELATIONS

Relations between the United States and Chad are good. The American Embassy in N'Djamena, established at Chadian independence in 1960, was closed from the onset of the heavy fighting in the city in 1980 until the withdrawal of the Libyan forces at the end of 1981. It was reopened in January 1982. The US Agency for International Development (AID) and the US Information Service (USIS) offices resumed activities in Chad in September 1983.

The United States enjoyed close relations with the Habre regime, although strains over human rights abuses developed prior to Habre's fall. Cordial relations with the Deby Government continue. The USAID program is expanding, both in terms of project assistance and emergency aid. Approximately $15 million in emergency assistance was granted to combat a cholera epidemic and to prevent famine in 1991.

The US development program in Chad concentrates on the agricultural, health, and infrastructure sectors and includes projects in road repair and maintenance, maternal and child health, famine early warning systems, and agricultural marketing. USAID works with several American voluntary agencies such as CARE, AFRICARE, and VITA on some of its projects. The first Peace Corps volunteers of the post-war period arrived in Chad in September 1987, and about 40 are currently assigned.

Development assistance had increased from $3.3 million in 1982 to $15 million in 1991. Budget constraints have forced economic support funds cutbacks for FY 1992, however.


ERITREA

GEOGRAPHY

Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the northeast and east by the Red Sea, on the west and northwest by Sudan, on the south by Ethiopia, and on the southeast by Djibouti. The country has a high central plateau that varies from 1,800 to 3,000 meters (6,000-8,000 feet) above sea level. A coastal plain, western lowlands, and some 300 islands comprise the remainder of Eritrea's land mass. Eritrea has no year-round rivers.

PEOPLE

Eritrea's population comprises nine ethnic groups, most of which speak Semitic or Cushitic languages. The Tigrinya and Tigre make up four-fifths of the population and speak different, but related and somewhat mutually intelligible, Semitic languages. In general, most of the Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional beliefs live in the lowland regions. Tigrinya and Arabic are the most frequently used languages for commercial and official transactions, but English is widely spoken and is the language used for secondary and university education.

HISTORY

Eritrea officially celebrated its independence on May 24, 1993, becoming the world's newest nation. Prior to Italian colonization in 1885, what is now Eritrea had been ruled by the various local or international powers that successively dominated the Red Sea region. In 1896, the Italians used Eritrea as a springboard for their disastrous attempt to conquer Ethiopia. Eritrea was placed under British military administration after the Italian surrender in World War II. In 1952, a UN resolution federating Eritrea with Ethiopia went into effect. The resolution ignored Eritrean pleas for independence but guaranteed Eritreans some democratic rights and a measure of autonomy. Almost immediately after the federation went into effect, however, these rights began to be abridged or violated.

In 1962, Emperor Haile Sellassie unilaterally dissolved the Eritrean parliament and annexed the country, sparking the Eritrean fight for independence that continued after Haile Sellassie was ousted in a coup in 1974. The new Ethiopian Government, called the Derg, was a Marxist military junta led by strongman Mengistu Haile Miriam.

During the 1960s, the Eritrean independence struggle was led by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF). In 1970, members of the group had a falling out, and a group broke away from the ELF and formed the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). By the late 1970s, the EPLF had become the dominant armed Eritrean group fighting against the Ethiopian Government, and Isaias Afwerki had emerged as its leader. Much of the materiel used to combat Ethiopia was captured from the Ethiopian Army.

By 1977 the EPLF was poised to drive the Ethiopians out of Eritrea. That same year, however, a massive airlift of Soviet arms to Ethiopia enabled the Ethiopian Army to regain the initiative and forced the EPLF to retreat to the bush. Between 1978 and 1986, the Derg launched eight major offensives against the independence movement--all failed. In 1988, the EPLF captured Afabet, headquarters of the Ethiopian Army in northeastern Eritrea, prompting the Ethiopian Army to withdraw from its garrisons in Eritrea's western lowlands. EPLF fighters then moved into position around Keren, Eritrea's second-largest city. Meanwhile, other dissident movements were making headway throughout Ethiopia. At the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union informed Mengistu that it would not be renewing its defense and cooperation agreement. With the withdrawal of Soviet support and supplies, the Ethiopian Army's morale plummeted, and the EPLF--along with other Ethiopian rebel forces--began to advance on Ethiopian positions.

The United States played a facilitative role in the peace talks in Washington during the months leading up to the May 1991 fall of the Mengistu regime. In mid-May, Mengistu resigned as head of the Ethiopian Government and went into exile in Zimbabwe, leaving a caretaker government in Addis Ababa. Having defeated the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea, EPLF troops took control of their homeland. Later that month, the United States chaired talks in London to formalize the end of the war. These talks were attended by the four major combatant groups, including the EPLF.

A high-level U.S. delegation also was present in Addis Ababa for the July 1-5, 1991 conference that established a transitional government in Ethiopia. The EPLF attended the July conference as an observer and held talks with the new transitional government regarding Eritrea's relationship to Ethiopia. The outcome of those talks was an agreement in which the Ethiopians recognized the right of the Eritreans to hold a referendum on independence.

Although some EPLF cadres at one time espoused a Marxist ideology, Soviet support for Mengistu had cooled their ardor. The fall of communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc convinced them it was a failed system. The EPLF now says it is committed to establishing a democratic form of government and a free-market economy in Eritrea. The United States agreed to provide assistance to both Ethiopia and Eritrea, conditional on continued progress toward democracy and human rights.

In May 1991, the EPLF established the Provisional Government of Eritrea (PGE) to administer Eritrean affairs until a referendum was held on independence and a permanent government established. EPLF leader Isaias became the head of the PGE, and the EPLF Central Committee served as its legislative body.

On April 23-25, 1993, Eritreans voted overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a UN-monitored free and fair referendum. The Eritrean authorities declared Eritrea an independent state on April 27. The government was reorganized and after a national, freely contested election, the National Assembly, which chose Isaias as President of the PGE, was expanded to include both EPLF and non-EPLF members. The EPLF established itself as a political party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), and is now in the process of drafting a new constitution and setting up a permanent government.

Meanwhile, Sudan's aggressiveness toward its neighbors, its goal of spreading Islamic fundamentalism throughout the region, and its unwillingness to play a constructive role in regional development have raised security concerns along Eritrea's border with Sudan. Khartoum gives support and safehaven to a small, relatively ineffectual Eritrean insurgent group, the Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ). Eritrea, in turn, supports the Sudanese opposition, which has coalesced in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA has the stated objective of overturning the current National Islamic Front (NIF)-dominated government in Khartoum.

GOVERNMENT

The new government faces formidable challenges. Beginning with no constitution, no judicial system, and an education system in shambles, it has been forced to build the institutions of government from scratch. The present government includes legislative, executive, and judicial bodies.

The legislature, the National Assembly, includes 75 members of the PFDJ and 75 additional popularly elected members. The National Assembly is the highest legal power in the government until the establishment of a democratic, constitutional government. The legislature sets the internal and external policies of the government, regulates implementation of those policies, approves the budget, and elects the president of the country.

The president nominates individuals to head the various ministries, authorities, commissions, and offices, and the National Assembly ratifies those nominations. The cabinet is the country's executive branch. It is composed of 16 ministers and chaired by the president. It implements policies, regulations, and laws and is accountable to the National Assembly. The ministries are agriculture; construction; defense; education; energy, mining, and water; finance and development; foreign; health; information and culture; internal affairs; justice; local government; marine resources; transport; trade and industry; and tourism.

The judiciary operates independently of both the legislative and executive bodies, with a court system that extends from the village through to the district, provincial, and national levels. On May 19, 1993, the PGE issued a proclamation regarding the reorganization of the government. It declared that during a four-year transition period, and sooner if possible, it would draft and ratify a constitution, prepare a law on political parties, prepare a press law, and carry out elections for a constitutional government. In March 1994, the PGE created a constitutional commission charged with drafting a constitution flexible enough to meet the current needs of a population suffering from 30 years of civil war as well as those of the future, when stability and prosperity change the political landscape. Commission members have traveled throughout the country and to Eritrean communities abroad holding meetings to explain constitutional options to the people and to solicit their input. A new constitution was promulgated in 1997 but has not yet been implemented, and general elections have been postponed.

ECONOMY

The Government of Eritrea states that it is committed to a market economy and privatization, and it has made development and economic recovery its priorities. The economy was devastated by war and the misguided policies of the Derg, which disrupted agriculture and industry. Much of the transportation and communications infrastructure that was not destroyed by the war is outmoded and deteriorating. As a result, the government has sought international assistance for a variety of development projects and has mobilized young Eritreans serving in the National Youth Service to repair crumbling roads and dams. Small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, stores, auto repair, and crafts continue to thrive in the Asmara area. A brewery, cigarette factory, small glass and plastics producers, several companies involved in making leather goods, and textile and sweater factories operate in the Asmara area. The textile and leather industries have made a particularly robust recovery since independence.

The Eritrean economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs 80% of the population but currently may contribute as little as 22% to GDP. Export crops include coffee, cotton, fruit, hides, and meat, but farmers are largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture, and growth in this and other sectors is hampered by lack of a dependable water supply. Worker remittances from abroad currently contribute 40%-50% of GDP.

The Port of Massawa, destroyed by the Ethiopian Army during the final year of the war, is on its way to complete rehabilitation. With political stability and a liberal investment climate, Eritrea has begun to attract international businesses. Various U.S. and other Western concerns are planning to invest in tourism, mining, and offshore oil exploration.

DEFENSE

During the war, the EPLF fighting force grew to almost 110,000 fighters, almost 3% of the total population of Eritrea. The fragile peace-time economy cannot sustain such a large army, and in 1993, Eritrea embarked on a phased program to demobilize 50%-60% of the army, which had by then shrunk to about 95,000. During the first phase of demobilization in 1993, some 26,000 soldiers--most of whom enlisted after 1990--were demobilized. They received cash bonuses and six-month food rations, and many also took advantage of government loans, grants of farm land in western Eritrea, or vocational training courses. The second phase of demobilization, which occurred the following year, demobilized more than 17,000 soldiers who had joined the EPLF before 1990 and in many cases had seen considerable combat experience. Many of these fighters had spent their entire adult lives in the EPLF and lacked the social, personal, and vocational skills to become competitive in the work place. As a result, they received higher compensation, more intensive training, and more psychological counseling than the first group. Special attention has been given to women fighters, who made up some 30% of the EPLF's combat troops. By 1998, the army had shrunk to 47,000.

In order to fund the demobilization program, the government cut other expenditures, campaigned to raise voluntary contributions, took its first loans, and sought external aid. Germany, Italy, Israel, and the U.S. have provided help.

Although committed to demobilization, the Government of Eritrea has some legitimate security concerns and seeks U.S. assistance to upgrade its equipment and training with a goal of producing a smaller, more professional, and more efficient army. United States military assistance so far has included deploying in-country training teams, establishing a de-mining training program, ship visits during which U.S. service personnel contribute labor and materials for various community relations projects, and the training of Eritrean military officers in the United States.

The Eritrean Army is equipped with a hodgepodge of captured Ethiopian equipment, mostly of Soviet origin. Eritreans have proven particularly adept at maintenance, and in many cases have improved on Soviet designs.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Eritrea is a member in good standing of the OAU. It has a close relationship with the United States, Italy, and a number of other European nations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway, which have become important aid donors. Within the region, it is particularly close to Ethiopia, its largest trading partner and fellow IGADD member, and Uganda, also an IGADD member. In the Middle East, Eritrea has close ties with Yemen. Relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai are likely to become closer as their aid programs increase.

Eritrea broke diplomatic relations with the Sudan in December 1994. This action was taken after a long period of increasing tension between the two countries due to a series of cross-border incidents involving the extremist group the Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ). Although the attacks did not pose a threat to the stability of the Government of Eritrea (the infiltrators have generally been killed or captured by government forces), the Eritreans believe the National Islamic Front (NIF) in Khartoum supported, trained, and armed the insurgents. After many months of negotiations with the Sudanese to try and end the incursions, the Government of Eritrea concluded that the NIF did not intend to change its policy and broke relations. Subsequently, the Government of Eritrea hosted a conference of Sudanese opposition leaders in June 1995 in an effort to help the opposition unite and to provide a credible alternative to the present government in Khartoum.


 

ETHIOPIA

GEOGRAPHY

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan. The country has a high central plateau that varies from 1,800 to 3,000 meters (6,000-10,000 ft.) above sea level, with some mountains reaching 4,620 meters (15,158 ft.). Elevation is generally highest just before the point of descent to the Great Rift Valley, which splits the plateau diagonally. A number of rivers cross the plateau--notably the Blue Nile rising from Lake Tana. The plateau gradually slopes to the lowlands of the Sudan on the west and the Somali-inhabited plains to the southeast.

PEOPLE

Ethiopia's population is highly diverse. Most of its people speak a Semitic or Cushitic language. The Oromo, Amhara, and Tigreans make up more than three-fourths of the population, but there are more than 80 different ethnic groups within Ethiopia. Some of these have as few as 10,000 members. In general, most of the Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional African religions tend to inhabit lowland regions. English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is taught in all secondary schools. Amharic was the language of primary school instruction but has been replaced in many areas by local languages such as Oromifa and Tigrinya.

HISTORY

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. Herodotus, the Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. describes ancient Ethiopia in his writings. The Old Testament of the Bible records the Queen of Sheba's visit to Jerusalem. According to legend, Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, founded the Ethiopian Empire. Missionaries from Egypt and Syria introduced Christianity in the fourth century A.D. Following the rise of Islam in the seventh century, Ethiopia was gradually cut off from European Christendom. The Portuguese established contact with Ethiopia in 1493, primarily to strengthen their hegemony over the Indian Ocean and to convert Ethiopia to Roman Catholicism. There followed a century of conflict between pro- and anti-Catholic factions, resulting in the expulsion of all foreign missionaries in the 1630s. This period of bitter religious conflict contributed to hostility toward foreign Christians and Europeans, which persisted into the 20th century and was a factor in Ethiopia's isolation until the mid-19th century.

Under the Emperors Theodore II (1855-68), Johannes IV (1872-89), and Menelik II (1889-1913), the kingdom began to emerge from its medieval isolation. When Menelik II died, his grandson, Lij Iyassu, succeeded to the throne but soon lost support because of his Muslim ties. He was deposed in 1916 by the Christian nobility, and Menelik's daughter, Zewditu, was made empress. Her cousin, Ras Tafari Makonnen (1892-1975), was made regent and successor to the throne.

In 1930, after the empress died, the regent, adopting the throne name Haile Selassie, was crowned emperor. His reign was interrupted in 1936 when Italian Fascist forces invaded and occupied Ethiopia. The emperor was forced into exile in England despite his plea to the League of Nations for intervention. Five years later, the Italians were defeated by British and Ethiopian forces, and the emperor returned to the throne.

After a period of civil unrest which began in February 1974, the aging Haile Selassie I was deposed on September 12, 1974, and a provisional administrative council of soldiers, known as the Derg ("committee") seized power from the emperor and installed a government which was socialist in name and military in style. The Derg summarily executed 59 members of the royal family and ministers and generals of the emperor's government; Emperor Haile Selassie was strangled in the basement of his palace on August 22, 1975.

Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam assumed power as head of state and Derg chairman, after having his two predecessors killed. Mengistu's years in office were marked by a totalitarian-style government and the country's massive militarization, financed by the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, and assisted by Cuba. From 1977 through early 1978 thousands of suspected enemies of the Derg were tortured and/or killed in a purge called the "red terror." Communism was officially adopted during the late 1970s and early 1980s with the promulgation of a Soviet-style constitution, Politburo, and the creation of the Workers' Party of Ethiopia (WPE).

In December 1976, an Ethiopian delegation in Moscow signed a military assistance agreement with the Soviet Union. The following April, Ethiopia abrogated its military assistance agreement with the United States and expelled the American military missions. In July 1977, sensing the disarray in Ethiopia, Somalia attacked across the Ogaden Desert in pursuit of its irredentist claims to the ethnic Somali areas of Ethiopia. Ethiopian forces were driven back far inside their own frontiers but, with the assistance of a massive Soviet airlift of arms and Cuban combat forces, they stemmed the attack. The major Somali regular units were forced out of the Ogaden in March 1978. Twenty years later, the Somali region of Ethiopia remains under-developed and insecure.

The Derg's collapse was hastened by droughts and famine, as well as by insurrections, particularly in the northern regions of Tigray and Eritrea. In 1989, the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) merged with other ethnically based opposition movements to form the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In May 1991, EPRDF forces advanced on Addis Ababa. Mengistu fled the country and was granted asylum in Zimbabwe, where he still resides.

In July 1991, the EPRDF, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and others established the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) which was comprised of an 87-member Council of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as a transitional constitution. In June 1992 the OLF withdrew from the government; in March 1993, members of the Southern Ethiopia Peoples' Democratic Coalition left the government.

In May 1991, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), led by Isaias Afwerki, assumed control of Eritrea and established a provisional government. This provisional government independently administered Eritrea until April 23-25, 1993, when Eritreans voted overwhelmingly for independence in a UN-monitored free and fair referendum. Eritrea was declared independent on April 27, and the U.S. recognized Eritrean independence on April 28.

In Ethiopia, President Meles Zenawi and members of the TGE pledged to oversee the formation of a multi-party democracy. The election for a 547-member constituent assembly was held in June 1994, and this assembly adopted the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in December 1994. The elections for Ethiopia's first popularly chosen national parliament and regional legislatures were held in May and June 1995. Most opposition parties chose to boycott these elections, ensuring a landslide victory for the EPRDF. International and non-governmental observers concluded that opposition parties would have been able to participate had they chosen to do so.

The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was installed in August 1995. The EPRDF-led government of Prime Minister Meles has promoted a policy of ethnic federalism, devolving significant powers to regional, ethnically based authorities. Ethiopia today has 10 semi-autonomous administrative regions which have the power to raise and spend their own revenues. Under the present government, Ethiopians enjoy greater political participation and freer debate than ever before in their history, although some fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, are in practice somewhat circumscribed.

DEFENSE

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has approximately 100,000 personnel, which makes it one of the largest military forces in Africa. This number is significantly smaller than the 250,000 plus troops that existed during the Derg regime that fell to the rebel forces in 1991. The U.S. was Ethiopia's major arms supplier from the end of World War until 1977, when Ethiopia began receiving massive arms shipments from the Soviet Union. These shipments, including armored patrol boats, transport and jet fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks, trucks, missiles, artillery, and small arms have incurred an unserviced Ethiopian debt to the former Soviet Union estimated at more than $3.5 billion. Since the early 1990s, the ENDF has been in transition from a rebel force to a professional military organization with the aid of the U.S. and other countries. Training in demining, humanitarian and peace-keeping operations, professional military education, and military justice are among the major programs sponsored by the U.S.

ECONOMY

The current government has embarked on a program of economic reform, including privatization of state enterprises and rationalization of government regulation. While the process is still ongoing, the reforms have begun to attract much-needed foreign investment.

The Ethiopian economy is based on agriculture, which contributes 45% to GNP and more than 80% of exports and employs 85% of the population. The major agricultural export crop is coffee, providing 65%-75% of Ethiopia's foreign exchange earnings. Other traditional major agricultural exports are hides and skins, pulses, oilseeds, and the traditional "khat," a leafy shrub which has psychotropic qualities when chewed.

Ethiopia's agriculture is plagued by periodic drought, soil degradation caused by overgrazing, deforestation, high population density, and poor infrastructure, making it difficult and expensive to get goods to market. Yet it is the country's most promising resource. A potential exists for self-sufficiency in grains and for export development in livestock, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Gold, marble, limestone, and small amounts of tantalum are mined in Ethiopia. Other resources with potential for commercial development include large potash deposits, natural gas, iron ore, and possibly oil and geothermal energy. Although Ethiopia has good hydroelectric resources ,which power most of its manufacturing sector, it is totally dependent on imports for its oil. A landlocked country, Ethiopia uses the seaports of Assab and Massawa in Eritrea. Ethiopia also uses the port of Djibouti, connected to Addis Ababa by rail, for international trade. Of the 23,812 kilometers of Ethiopia's all-weather roads, 15% are asphalt. Mountainous terrain and the lack of good roads and sufficient vehicles make land transportation difficult. However, the government-owned airline is excellent. Ethiopian Airlines serves 38 domestic airfields and has 42 international destinations.

Dependent on a few vulnerable crops for its foreign exchange earnings and reliant on imported oil, Ethiopia lacks sufficient foreign exchange. The financially conservative government has taken measures to solve this problem, including stringent import controls and sharply reduced subsidies on retail gasoline prices. Nevertheless, the largely subsistence economy is incapable of supporting high military expenditures, drought relief, an ambitious development plan, and indispensable imports such as oil and, therefore, must depend on foreign assistance.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Ethiopia was relatively isolated from major movements of world politics until the 1895 and 1935 Italian invasions. Since World War II, it has played an active role in world and African affairs. Ethiopia was a charter member of the United Nations and took part in UN operations in Korea in 1951 and the Congo in 1960. Former Emperor Haile Selassie was a founder of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Addis Ababa is the host capital for the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the OAU.

Although nominally a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, after the 1974 revolution, Ethiopia moved into a close relationship with the Soviet Union and its allies and supported their international policies and positions until the change of government in 1991. Today, Ethiopia has very good relations with the U.S. and the West, especially in responding to regional instability and, increasingly, through economic involvement. Ethiopia's relations with Eritrea are extremely close, reflecting the shared revolutionary struggle against the Derg. Continuing instability along Ethiopia's borders with Sudan and Somalia contributes to tension with the National Islamic Front regime in Sudan and several groups in Somalia.


GHANA

GEOGRAPHY

Ghana is located on West Africa's Gulf of Guinea only a few degrees north of the Equator. Half of the country lies less than 152 meters (500 ft.) above sea level, and the highest point is 883 meters (2,900 ft.). The 537-kilometer (334-mi.) coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams, most of which are navigable only by canoe. A tropical rain forest belt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extends northward from the shore, near the Cote d'Ivoire frontier. This area, known as the "Ashanti," produces most of the country's cocoa, minerals, and timber. North of this belt, the country varies from 91 to 396 meters (300-1,300 ft.) above sea level and is covered by low bush, park-like savanna, and grassy plains.

PEOPLE

Ghana's population is concentrated along the coast and in the principal cities of Accra and Kumasi. Most Ghanaians descended from migrating tribes that probably came down the Volta River valley at the beginning of the 13th century. Ethnically, Ghana is divided into small groups speaking more than 50 languages and dialects. Among the more important linguistic groups are the Akans, which include the Fantis along the coast and the Ashantis in the forest region north of the coast; the Guans, on the plains of the Volta River; the Ga- and Ewe-speaking peoples of the south and southeast; and the Moshi-Dagomba-speaking tribes of the northern and upper regions. English, the official and commercial language, is taught in all the schools.

Primary and junior secondary school education is tuition-free and mandatory. The Government of Ghana support for basic education is unequivocal. Article 39 of the Constitution mandates the major tenets of the free, compulsory, universal basic education (FCUBE) initiative. Launched in 1996, it is one of the most ambitious pre-tertiary education programs in West Africa. Since 1987, the Government of Ghana has increased its education budget by 700%. Basic education's share has grown from 45% to 60% of that total.

Students begin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reforms implemented in 1987, they pass into a junior secondary school system for 3 years of academic training combined with technical and vocational training. Those continuing move into the 3-year senior secondary school program. Entrance to one of the five Ghanaian universities is by examination following completion of senior secondary school. School enrollment totals almost
3 million.

HISTORY

The history of the Gold Coast before the last quarter of the 15th century is derived primarily from oral tradition that refers to migrations from the ancient kingdoms of the western Soudan (the area of Mauritania and Mali). The Gold Coast was renamed Ghana upon independence in 1957 because of indications that present-day inhabitants descended from migrants who moved south from the ancient kingdom of Ghana.

The first contact between Europe and the Gold Coast dates from 1470, when a party of Portuguese landed. In 1482, the Portuguese built Elmina Castle as a permanent trading base. The first recorded English trading voyage to the coast was made by Thomas Windham in 1553. During the next three centuries, the English, Danes, Dutch, Germans, and Portuguese controlled various parts of the coastal areas.

In 1821, the British Government took control of the British trading forts on the Gold Coast. In 1844, Fanti chiefs in the area signed an agreement with the British that became the legal steppingstone to colonial status for the coastal area.

From 1826 to 1900, the British fought a series of campaigns against the Ashantis, whose kingdom was located inland. In 1902, they succeeded in establishing firm control over the Ashanti region and making the northern territories a protectorate. British Togoland, the fourth territorial element eventually to form the nation, was part of a former German colony administered by the United Kingdom from Accra as a League of Nations mandate after 1922. In December 1946, British Togoland became a UN Trust Territory, and in 1957, following a 1956 plebiscite, the United Nations agreed that the territory would become part of Ghana when the Gold Coast achieved independence.

The four territorial divisions were administered separately until 1946, when the British Government ruled them as a single unit. In 1951, a constitution was promulgated that called for a greatly enlarged legislature composed principally of members elected by popular vote directly or indirectly. An executive council was responsible for formulating policy, with most African members drawn from the legislature and including three ex officio members appointed by the governor. A new constitution, approved on April 29, 1954, established a cabinet comprising African ministers drawn from an all-African legislature chosen by direct election. In the elections that followed, the Convention People's Party (CPP), led by Kwame Nkrumah, won the majority of seats in the new Legislative Assembly. In May 1956, Prime Minister Nkrumah's Gold Coast government issued a white paper containing proposals for Gold Coast independence. The British Government stated it would agree to a firm date for independence if a reasonable majority for such a step were obtained in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly after a general election. This election, held in 1956, returned the CPP to power with 71 of the 104 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Ghana became an independent state on March 6, 1957, when the United Kingdom relinquished its control over the Colony of the Gold Coast and Ashanti, the Northern Territories Protectorate, and British Togoland.

In subsequent reorganizations, the country was divided into 10 regions, which currently are subdivided into 110 districts. The original Gold Coast Colony now comprises the Western, Central, Eastern, and Greater Accra Regions, with a small portion at the mouth of the Volta River assigned to the Volta Region; the Ashanti area was divided into the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions; the Northern Territories into the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions; and British Togoland essentially is the same area as the Volta Region.

Post-Independence Politics

After independence, the CPP government under Nkrumah sought to develop Ghana as a modern, semi-industrialized, unitary socialist state. The government emphasized political and economic organization, endeavoring to increase stability and productivity through labor, youth, farmers, cooperatives, and other organizations integrated with the CPP. The government, according to Nkrumah, acted only as "the agent of the CPP" in seeking to accomplish these goals.

The CPP's control was challenged and criticized, and Prime Minister Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act (1958), which provided for detention without trial for up to 5 years (later extended to 10 years). On July 1, 1960, a new constitution was adopted, changing Ghana from a parliamentary system with a prime minister to a republican form of government headed by a powerful president. In August 1960, Nkrumah was given authority to scrutinize newspapers and other publications before publication. This political evolution continued into early 1964, when a constitutional referendum changed the country to a one-party state.

On February 24, 1966, the Ghanaian Army and police overthrew Nkrumah's regime. Nkrumah and all his ministers were dismissed, the CPP and National Assembly were dissolved, and the constitution was suspended. The new regime cited Nkrumah's flagrant abuse of individual rights and liberties, his regime's corrupt, oppressive, and dictatorial practices, and the rapidly deteriorating economy as the principal reasons for its action.

Post-Nkrumah Politics

The leaders of the February 24 coup established the new government around the National Liberation Council (NLC) and pledged an early return to a duly constituted civilian government. Members of the judiciary and civil service remained at their posts and committees of civil servants were established to handle the administration of the country.

Ghana's government returned to civilian authority under the Second Republic in October 1969 after a parliamentary election in which the Progress Party, led by Kofi A. Busia, won 105 of the 140 seats. Until mid-1970, the powers of the chief of state were held by a presidential commission led by Brigadier A.A. Afrifa. In a special election on August 31, 1970, former Chief Justice Edward Akufo-Addo was chosen president, and Dr. Busia became prime minister.

Faced with mounting economic problems, Prime Minister Busia's government undertook a drastic devaluation of the currency in December 1971. The government's inability to control the subsequent inflationary pressures stimulated further discontent, and military officers seized power in a bloodless coup on January 13, 1972.

The coup leaders, led by Col. I.K. Acheampong, formed the National Redemption Council (NRC) to which they admitted other officers, the head of the police, and one civilian. The NRC promised improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians and based its programs on nationalism, economic development, and self-reliance. In 1975, a government reorganization resulted in the NRC's replacement by the Supreme Military Council (SMC), also headed by now-General Acheampong.

Unable to deliver on its promises, the NRC/SMC became increasingly marked by mismanagement and rampant corruption. In 1977, General Acheampong brought forward the concept of union government (UNIGOV), which would make Ghana a non-party state. Perceiving this as a ploy by Acheampong to retain power, professional groups and students launched strikes and demonstrations against the government in 1977 and 1978. The steady erosion in Acheampong's power led to his arrest in July 1978 by his chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Frederick Akuffo, who replaced him as head of state and leader of what became known as the SMC-2.

Akuffo abandoned UNIGOV and established a plan to return to constitutional and democratic government. A Constitutional Assembly was established, and political party activity was revived. Akuffo was unable to solve Ghana's economic problems, however, or to reduce the rampant corruption in which senior military officers played a major role. On June 4, 1979, his government was deposed in a violent coup by a group of junior and non-commissioned
officers--Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC)--with Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings as its chairman.

The AFRC executed eight senior military officers, including former chiefs of state Acheampong and Akuffo; established Special Tribunals that, secretly and without due process, tried dozens of military officers, other government officials, and private individuals for corruption, sentencing them to long prison terms and confiscating their property; and, through a combination of force and exhortation, attempted to rid Ghanaian society of corruption and profiteering. At the same time, the AFRC accepted, with a few amendments, the draft constitution that had been submitted, permitted the scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in June and July, promulgated the constitution, and handed over power to the newly elected president and parliament of the Third Republic on September 24, 1979.

The 1979 constitution was modeled on those of Western democracies. It provided for the separation of powers among an elected president and a unicameral parliament, an independent judiciary headed by a Supreme Court, which protected individual rights, and other autonomous institutions, such as the Electoral Commissioner and the Ombudsman. The new president, Dr. Hilla Limann, was a career diplomat from the north and the candidate of the People's National Party (PNP), the political heir of Nkrumah's CPP. Of the 140 members of parliament, 71 were PNP.

The PNP government established the constitutional institutions and generally respected democracy and individual human rights. It failed, however, to halt the continuing decline in the economy; corruption flourished, and the gap between rich and poor widened. On December 31, 1981, Flight Lt. Rawlings and a small group of enlisted and former soldiers launched a coup that succeeded against little opposition in toppling President Limann.

The PNDC Era

Rawlings and his colleagues suspended the 1979 constitution, dismissed the president and his cabinet, dissolved the parliament, and proscribed existing political parties. They established the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), initially composed of seven members with Rawlings as chairman, to exercise executive and legislative powers. The existing judicial system was preserved, but alongside it the PNDC created the National Investigation Committee to root out corruption and other economic offenses, the anonymous Citizens' Vetting Committee to punish tax evasion, and the Public Tribunals to try various crimes. The PNDC proclaimed its intent to allow the people to exercise political power through defense committees to be established in communities, workplaces, and in units of the armed forces and police. Under the PNDC, Ghana remained a unitary government.

In December 1982, the PNDC announced a plan to decentralize government from Accra to the regions, the districts, and local communities, but it maintained overall control by appointing regional and district secretaries who exercised executive powers and also chaired regional and district councils. Local councils, however, were expected progressively to take over the payment of salaries, with regions and districts assuming more powers from the national government. In 1984, the PNDC created a National Appeals Tribunal to hear appeals from the public tribunals, changed the Citizens' Vetting Committee into the Office of Revenue Collection and replaced the system of defense committees with Committees for the Defense of the Revolution.

In 1984, the PNDC also created a National Commission on Democracy to study ways to establish participatory democracy in Ghana. The commission issued a "Blue Book" in July 1987 outlining modalities for district-level elections, which were held in late 1988 and early 1989, for newly created district assemblies. One-third of the assembly members are appointed by the government.

Under international and domestic pressure for a return to democracy, the PNDC allowed the establishment of a 258-member Consultative Assembly made up of members representing geographic districts as well as established civic or business organizations. The assembly was charged to draw up a draft constitution to establish a fourth republic, using PNDC proposals. The PNDC accepted the final product without revision, and it was put to a national referendum on April 28, 1992, in which it received 92% approval. On May 18, 1992, the ban on party politics was lifted in preparation for multi-party elections. The PNDC and its supporters formed a new party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to contest the elections. Presidential elections were held on November 3 and parliamentary elections on December 29 of that year. Members of the opposition boycotted the parliamentary elections, however, which resulted in a 200 seat Parliament with only 17 opposition party members and two independents.

The Constitution entered into force on January 7, 1993, to found the Fourth Republic. On that day, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings was inaugurated as President and members of Parliament swore their oaths of office. In 1996, the opposition fully contested the presidential and parliamentary elections, which were described as peaceful, free, and transparent by domestic and international observers. In that election, President Rawlings was re-elected with 57% of the popular vote. In addition, Rawlings' NDC party won 133 of the Parliament's 200 seats, just one seat short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution, although the election returns of two parliamentary seats face legal challenges.

GOVERNMENT

The Constitution that established the Fourth Republic provided a basic charter for republican democratic government. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. Intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government, and one-party states, it is designed to establish the concept of powersharing. The document reflects lessons learned from the abrogated constitutions of the 1957, 1960, 1969, and 1979, and incorporates provisions and institutions drawn from British and American constitutional models. One controversial provision of the Constitution indemnifies members and appointees of the PNDC from liability for any official act or omission during the years of PNDC rule. The Constitution calls for a system of checks and balances, with power shared between a president, a unicameral parliament, a council of state, and an independent judiciary.

Executive authority is established in the Office of the Presidency, together with his Council of State. The president is head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. He also appoints the vice president. According to the Constitution, more than half of the presidentially appointed ministers of state must be appointed from among members of Parliament.

Legislative functions are vested in Parliament, which consists of a unicameral 200-member body plus the Speaker. To become law, legislation must have the assent of the president, who has a qualified veto over all bills except those to which a vote of urgency is attached. Members of Parliament are popularly elected by universal adult suffrage for terms of four years, except in war time, when terms may be extended for not more than 12 months at a time beyond the four years.

The structure and the power of the judiciary are independent of the two other branches of government. The Supreme Court has broad powers of judicial review. It is authorized by the Constitution to rule on the constitutionality of any legislation or executive action at the request of any aggrieved citizen. The hierarchy of courts derives largely from British juridical forms. The hierarchy, called the Superior Court of Judicature, is composed of the Supreme Court of Ghana, the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice, regional tribunals, and such lower courts or tribunals as Parliament may establish. The courts have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters.

ECONOMY

By West African standards, Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. The country is mainly agricultural, however, with a majority of its workers engaged in farming. Cash crops consist primarily of cocoa and cocoa products,which typically provide about two-thirds of export revenues, timber products, coconuts and other palm products, shea nuts, which produce an edible fat, and coffee. Ghana also has established a successful program of nontraditional agricultural products for export, including pineapples, cashews, and pepper. Cassava, yams, plantains, corn, rice, peanuts, millet, and sorghum are the basic foodstuffs. Fish, poultry, and meat also are important dietary staples.

Minerals--principally gold, diamonds, manganese ore, and bauxite--are produced and exported. The only commercial oil well has been closed after producing 3.5 million barrels over its seven-year life, but signs of natural gas are being studied for power generation, while exploration continues for other oil and gas resources.

Ghana's industrial base is relatively advanced compared to many other African countries. Import-substitution industries include textiles; steel (using scrap); tires; oil refining; flour milling; beverages; tobacco; simple consumer goods; and car, truck, and bus assembly.

Tourism has become one of Ghana's largest foreign income earners (ranking third in 1997), and the Ghanaian Government has placed great emphasis upon further tourism support and development.

Economic Development

At independence, Ghana had a substantial physical and social infrastructure and $481 million in foreign reserves. The Nkrumah government further developed the infrastructure and made important public investments in the industrial sector. With assistance from the United States, the World Bank, and the United Kingdom, construction of the Akosombo Dam was completed on the Volta River in 1966. Two U.S. companies built Valco, Africa's largest aluminum smelter, to use power generated at the dam. Aluminum exports from Valco are a major source of foreign exchange for Ghana.

Many Nkrumah-era investments were monumental public works projects and poorly conceived, badly managed agricultural and industrial schemes. With cocoa prices falling and the country's foreign exchange reserves fast disappearing, the government resorted to supplier credits to finance many projects. By the mid-1960s, Ghana's reserves were gone, and the country could not meet repayment schedules. To rationalize, the National Liberation Council abandoned unprofitable projects, and some inefficient state-owned enterprises were sold to private investors. On three occasions, Ghana's creditors agreed to reschedule repayments due on Nkrumah-era supplier credits. Led by the United States, foreign donors provided import loans to enable the foreign exchange-strapped government to import essential commodities.

Prime Minister Busia's government (1969-72) liberalized controls to attract foreign investment and to encourage domestic entrepreneurship. Investors were cautious, however, and cocoa prices began declining again while imports surged, precipitating a serious trade deficit. Despite considerable foreign assistance and some debt relief, the Busia regime also was unable to overcome the inherited restraints on growth posed by the debt burden, balance-of-payments imbalances, foreign exchange shortages, and mismanagement.

Although foreign aid helped prevent economic collapse and was responsible for subsequent improvements in many sectors, the economy stagnated in the 10-year period preceding the NRC takeover in 1972. Population growth offset the modest increase in gross domestic product, and real earnings declined for many Ghanaians.

To restructure the economy, the NRC, under General Acheampong (1972-78), undertook an austerity program that emphasized self-reliance, particularly in food production. These plans were not realized, however, primarily because of post-1973 oil price increases and a drought in 1975-77 that particularly affected northern Ghana. The NRC, which had inherited foreign debts of almost $1 billion, abrogated existing rescheduling arrangements for some debts and rejected other repayments. After creditors objected to this unilateral action, a 1974 agreement rescheduled the medium-term debt on liberal terms. The NRC also imposed the Investment Policy Decree of 1975--effective on January 1977--that required 51 % Ghanaian equity participation in most foreign firms, but the government took 40% in specified industries. Many shares were sold directly to the public.

Continued mismanagement of the economy, record inflation (more than 100% in 1977), and increasing corruption, notably at the highest political levels, led to growing dissatisfaction. The post-July 1978 military regime led by General Akuffo attempted to deal with Ghana's economic problems by making small changes in the overvalued cedi and by restraining government spending and monetary growth. Under a one-year standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 1979, the government promised to undertake economic reforms, including a reduction of the budget deficit, in return for a $68 million IMF support program and $27 million in IMF Trust Fund loans. The agreement became inoperative, however, after the June 4 coup that brought Flight Lieutenant Rawlings and the AFRC to power for 4 months.

In September 1979, the civilian government of Hilla Limann inherited declining per capita income; stagnant industrial and agricultural production due to inadequate imported supplies; shortages of imported and locally produced goods; a sizable budget deficit (almost 40% of expenditures in 1979); high inflation, "moderating" to 54% in 1979; an increasingly overvalued cedi; flourishing smuggling and other black-market activities; unemployment and underemployment, particularly among urban youth; deterioration in the transport network; and continued foreign exchange constraints.

Limann's PNP government announced yet another (2-year) reconstruction program, emphasizing increased food production and productivity, exports, and transport improvements. Import austerity was imposed and external payments arrears cut. However, declining cocoa production combined with falling cocoa prices, while oil prices soared. No effective measures were taken to reduce rampant corruption and black marketing.

When Rawlings again seized power at the end of 1981, cocoa output had fallen to half the 1970-71 level and its world price to one-third the 1975 level. By 1982, oil would constitute half of Ghana's imports, while overall trade contracted greatly. Internal transport had slowed to a crawl, and inflation remained high. During Rawlings' first year, the economy was stagnant. Industry ran at about 10% of capacity due to the chronic shortage of foreign exchange to cover the importation of required raw materials and replacement parts. Economic conditions deteriorated further in early 1983 when Nigeria expelled an estimated 1 million Ghanaians who had to be absorbed by Ghana.

In April 1983, in coordination with the IMF, the PNDC launched an economic recovery program, perhaps the most stringent and consistent of its day in Africa, aimed at reopening infrastructural bottlenecks and reviving moribund productive sectors--agriculture, mining, and timber. The largely distorted exchange rate and prices were realigned to encourage production and exports. Increased fiscal and monetary discipline was imposed to curb inflation and to focus on priorities. Through November 1987, the cedi was devalued by more than 6,300%, and widespread direct price controls were substantially reduced.

The economy's response to these reforms was initially hampered by the absorption of one million returnees from Nigeria, the onset of the worst drought since independence, which brought on widespread bushfires and forced closure of the aluminum smelter and severe power cuts for industry and decline in foreign aid. In 1985, the country absorbed an additional 100,000 expellees from Nigeria. In 1987, cocoa prices began declining again; however, initial infrastructural repairs, improved weather, and producer incentives and support revived output in the early 1990s. During 1984-88 the economy experienced solid growth for the first time since 1978. Renewed exports, aid inflows, and a foreign exchange auction have eased hard currency constraints.

Since an initial August 1983 IMF standby agreement, the economic recovery program has been supported by three IMF standbys and two other credits totaling $611 million, $1.1 billion from the World Bank, and hundreds of millions of dollars more from other donors. In November 1987, the IMF approved a $318-million, 3-year extended fund facility. The second phase (1987-90) of the recovery program concentrated on economic restructuring and revitalizing social services. The third phase, focused on financial transparency and macroeconomic stability is scheduled for March 1998.

Ghana intends to achieve its goals of accelerated economic growth, improved quality of life for all Ghanaians, and reduced poverty through macroeconomic stability, higher private investment, broad-based social and rural development, as well as direct poverty-alleviation efforts. These plans are fully supported by the international donor community and have been forcefully reiterated in the 1995 government report, Ghana: Vision 2020. Privatization of state-owned enterprises continues, with about two-thirds of 300 parastatal enterprises sold to private owners. Other reforms adopted under the government's structural adjustment program include the elimination of exchange rate controls and the lifting of virtually all restrictions on imports. The establishment of an interbank foreign exchange market has greatly expanded access to foreign exchange.

The medium-term macroeconomic forecast assumes political stability, successful economic stabilization, and the implementation of a policy agenda for private sector growth, and adequate public spending on social services and rural infrastructure. The ninth Consultative Group Meeting for Ghana ended November 5, 1997 after deliberations in Paris. Twenty-four countries and donor entities were represented at this meeting called by the World Bank on behalf of the Ghanaian Government. The World Bank announced that, of the targeted disbursement level of $1.6 billion sought from the donor community for 1998-99, they foresaw only a $150 million shortfall in commitments, and that this shortfall would be easily realized should Ghana rapidly enact its macroeconomic program.

The government repealed a 17.% value-added tax (VAT) shortly after its introduction in 1995, which resulted in wide-spread public protests. The government reverted to several previously imposed taxes, including a sales tax. The government has set in motion a program to reintroduce a VAT bill, with implementation in 1998 after an extensive public education campaign.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Ghana is active in the United Nations and many of its specialized agencies (including the World Trade Organization), the Nonaligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Economic Community of West African States. Generally, it follows the consensus of the Nonaligned Movement and the OAU on economic and political issues not directly affecting its own interests. Ghana has been extremely active in international peacekeeping activities under UN auspices in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rwanda, the Balkans, and Pakistan, in addition to an eight-year sub-regional initiative with its ECOWAS partners to develop and then enforce a cease-fire in Liberia. Ghana maintains friendly relations with all states, regardless of ideology.


 

KENYA

PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The urban sector employs 0.9 million people.

The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

The five state universities enroll about 38,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission.

HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

Cushitic-speaking people from northern Africa moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century A.D. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium A.D., Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population.

The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed by the arrival in 1498 of the Portuguese, who gave way in turn to Islamic control under the Imam of Oman in the 1600s. The United Kingdom established its influence in the 19th century.

The colonial history of Kenya dates from the Berlin Conference of 1885, when the European powers first partitioned East Africa into spheres of influence. In 1895, the U.K. Government established the East African Protectorate and, soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before it was officially made a U.K. colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the "Mau Mau" rebellion against British colonial rule. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly.

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the predominant Kikuyu tribe and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya's first president. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small tribes that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former vice president and Luo elder. The KPU was banned and its leader detained after political unrest related to Kenyatta's visit to Nyanza Province. No new opposition parties were formed after 1969, and KANU became the sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi became interim President. On October 14, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state, and parliamentary elections were held in September 1983. The 1988 elections reinforced the one-party system. However, in December 1991, parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution. By early 1992, several new parties had formed, and multiparty elections were held in December 1992.

President Moi was reelected for another five-year term. Opposition parties won about 45% of the parliamentary seats, but President Moi's KANU Party obtained the majority of seats. Parliamentary reforms in November 1997 enlarged the democratic space in Kenya, including the expansion of political parties from 11 to 26. President Moi won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections, and his KANU Party narrowly retained its parliamentary majority, with 109 out of 122 seats.

GOVERNMENT

The unicameral assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of up to five years, plus 12 members appointed by the president. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly. The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a chief justice and at least 30 High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal (no associate judges), all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 63 rural districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special status and is not included in any district or province. The government supervises administration of districts and provinces.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

A bipartisan parliamentary reform initiative in the fall of 1997 revised some oppressive laws inherited from the colonial era that had been used to limit freedom of speech and assembly. This significantly improved public freedoms and assembly and made for generally credible national elections in December 1997. Kenya is now focusing on a comprehensive review of the national constitution.

ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation.

Between 1974 and 1990, however, Kenya's economic performance declined. Inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributed to the decline in agriculture. Kenya's inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya's manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991.

In 1993, the Government of Kenya began a major program of economic reform and liberalization. A new minister of finance and a new governor of the central bank undertook a series of economic measures with the assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of this program, the government eliminated price controls and import licensing, removed foreign exchange controls, privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. From 1994-96, Kenya's real GDP growth rate averaged just over 4% a year. However, estimates show GDP growth dropped to around 2% in 1997 due in part to adverse weather conditions and reduced economic activity prior to general elections in December 1997.

In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the IMF on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended its Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) with Kenya that totaled $218 million. The World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit (SAC) on hold. To date, Kenya has not fully met conditions to negotiate a new ESAF or SAC.

In 1998, Kenya faces a growing budget deficit, high interest rates, rising inflation, and deteriorating infrastructure. Although many economic reforms put in place in 1993-94 remain, further reforms, particularly in governance, are necessary if Kenya is to increase GDP growth and combat poverty among the majority of its population. Corruption and inefficient use of government funds remain problems.

Nairobi continues to be the primary hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branch or representative offices in the city. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Cooperation (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit. The lack of a cohesive government in Somalia prevents normal contact with that country. Kenya serves as the major host for refugees from turmoil in Somalia.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are often blamed on Western pressures.


 

MOZAMBIQUE

PEOPLE

Mozambique's 10 major ethnic groups encompass numerous subgroups with diverse languages, dialects, cultures, and history; the largest are the Makua and Tsonga.

The north-central provinces of Zambezia and Nampula are the most populous, with about 40% of the population. The estimated 4 million Makua are the dominant group in the northern part of the country--the Sena and Ndau are prominent in the Zambezi valley, and the Tsonga dominate in southern Mozambique.

Despite the influence of Islamic coastal traders and European colonizers, the people of Mozambique have largely retained an indigenous culture based on subsistence agriculture. Mozambique's most highly developed art forms have been wood sculpture, for which the Makonde in northern Mozambique are particularly renowned, and dance. The modern elite continues to be heavily influenced by the Portuguese colonial and linguistic heritage.

During the colonial era, Christian missionaries were active in Mozambique, and many foreign clergy remain in the country. While precise statistics are impossible to obtain, most observers believe that about 20 to 30% of the population is Christian, 20-30% Muslim, with the rest mainly influenced by traditional beliefs.

Under the colonial regime, educational opportunities for black Mozambicans were limited, and 93% of the population was illiterate. After independence, the government placed a high priority on expanding education, reducing the illiteracy rate to about two-thirds as primary school enrollment increased. Unfortunately, in recent years, school enrollments have not kept up with population increases and the quality of education has decreased.

HISTORY

Mozambique's first inhabitants were Bushmanoid hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. Between the first and fourth centuries AD., waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River Valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The Bantu were farmers and ironworkers.

When Portuguese explorers reached Mozambique in 1498, Arab trading settlements had existed along the coast for several centuries. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. Later, traders and prospectors penetrated the hinterland seeking gold and slaves. Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers who were granted extensive autonomy. As a result, development lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to colonization of Brazil.

In the early 20th century, the Portuguese shifted the administration of much of the country to large private companies, controlled and financed mostly by the British, which established railroad lines to neighboring countries and by supplied cheap--often forced--African labor to the mines and plantations of the nearby British colonies. Because policies were designed to benefit white settlers and the Portuguese homeland, little attention was paid until the last years of colonial rule, to the development Mozambique's economic infrastructure or the skills of its population.

After World War II, while many European nations were granting independence to their colonies, Portugal clung to the concept that Mozambique and other Portuguese possessions were overseas provinces of the mother country and immigration to the colonies soared. Mozambique's Portuguese population at the time of independence was over 200,000. The drive for Mozambican independence developed apace, and in 1962 several anti-Portuguese political groups formed the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which initiated an armed campaign against Portuguese colonial rule in September 1964. After 10 years of sporadic warfare and major political changes in Portugal, Mozambique became independent on June 25, 1975. FRELIMO quickly established a one- party Marxist state and outlawed rival political activity.

A civil war between the FRELIMO government and the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) began in 1976. RENAMO originally emerged as a creation of the Ian Smith regime in Southern Rhodesia to destabilize the Mozambican government which supported Zimbabwean and South African liberation movements. After Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980, the South African government took over the external sponsorship of RENAMO and began providing the insurgents with logistical support and training. Despite its brutal methods and documented human rights abuses, RENAMO was also able to draw upon strong internal dissatisfaction with FRELIMO to garner some support among local populations.

On March 5, 1984, the Government's of Mozambique and South Africa signed the Nkomati accords, which committed both countries to cease hostilities against the other and to search for ways to increase economic cooperation. Thereafter, Mozambique severely restricted African National Congress (ANC) activities within Mozambique, and the volume of official South African support for RENAMO diminished.

Mozambique's first president, Samora Machel, died when his aircraft crashed near Mbunzi on South Africa's border with Mozambique in October 1986. Machel was succeeded by Joaquim Alberto Chissano, who had served as Foreign Minister from 1975 until Machel's death.

Despite a reduction in external support to RENAMO, the government was unable to defeat the insurgents. As early as 1980, the war's stalemate had led the two sides to begin peace talks in Rome under the auspices of Italy and the Catholic Church. Not until December 1990, however, did FRELIMO and RENAMO agree to a partial cease-fire covering two of the country's principal transportation arteries: the Limpopo and Beira corridors. The partial cease-fire continued through mid-1992. Though the negotiations only progressed slowly during 1991 and 1992, the parties were able to agree on three protocols regarding the electoral system, political parties, and the structure of the talks. In June 1992, the United States was invited to become an official observer to the talks, and the General Peace Accord was signed in October 1992. A UN Peacekeeping Force (ONUMOZ) successfully oversaw the cease-fire and the two year transition to multiparty elections (see below). The last ONUMOZ contingents departed Mozambique in early 1995.

By mid-1995, the over 1.7 million refugees who had sought asylum in neighboring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned to Mozambique, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub- Saharan Africa. Additionally, a further estimated 4 million internally displaced persons had largely returned to their areas of origin.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Until November 1990, Mozambique was formally a socialist, one-party state ruled by FRELIMO. As early as 1983, the government began to introduce various economic and political reforms aimed at transforming Mozambique into a more pluralistic society and the pace of reform accelerated after 1987.

Those efforts culminated in the enactment of a new constitution in November 1990 which provided for a multiparty political system, a market-based economy, and free elections. In 1991, FRELIMO party activities and government responsibilities were officially separated, and mass organizations created by FRELIMO (such as the worker, youth, and women's groups) declared themselves independent, autonomous entities. However, FRELIMO has maintained a de facto monopoly over the government and many societal organizations.

Following enactment of constitutional guarantees for a multiparty political system, political activity in the country increased. During the country's first multi-party democratic elections in October 1994, 14 parties contested seats in the National Assembly and 12 candidates ran for President. The international donor community played a major role in financing and supervising the elections, which were held under the formal supervision of an independent National Elections Commission. The polls were monitored and pronounced generally free and fair by the UN and other international organizations.

Opposition parties, including RENAMO, accepted the results despite their complains of irregularities. Chissano was elected president by a margin of 53-34% over RENAMO leader Afonso Dhlakama and FRELIMO gained a narrow majority in the National Assembly. RENAMO made a strong showing, outpolling FRELIMO in five central and northern provinces, including the two most populous.

The National Assembly, after a rocky start in which RENAMO walked out to protest the election of the Speaker by secret vote, has steadily matured. Its effectiveness is limited, however, as the Assembly has yet to develop as a check on executive power and suffers from a lack of resources and experience.

ECONOMY

Prior to independence in 1975, the economy of Mozambique was based on the export of agricultural products to Portugal and associated services, e.g. shipping and transportation. A limited manufacturing sector produced some products for domestic consumption. With the exodus of 250,000 resident Portuguese after independence, the country lost most of its entrepreneurial and technical talent. FRELIMO's political leadership immediately embarked on replacing colonial mercantilism with Marxism. Private enterprises were nationalized, collective farms created, and centralized planning adopted. Armed resistance from opposition RENAMO forces easily succeeded in rapidly choking off trade and industry through systematic sabotage of the country's infrastructure. By the mid-1980s, the Mozambican economy was in disarray.

Economic reform began in 1984 when Mozambique joined the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and IMF) and the Lome Convention. Until 1993, progress was painstakingly slow and shrouded by ongoing civil war, seasonal droughts, and a lingering distrust of free market principles within FRELIMO. Corruption found fertile ground and flourished until it became a real problem in the 1990s. Since 1993, the pace of market oriented reform has quickened and substantial foreign assistance was restoring much of the nation's basic infrastructure.

For now, the country's beleaguered economy is entirely dependent upon foreign assistance and, even under the brightest of scenarios, will continue to be so for the next 3-5 years. In recent years, annual foreign assistance pledges have totaled $1 billion, with about two-thirds to three-quarters actually being disbursed in any given year. This compares to an official GDP of $1.6 billion. The country's large foreign debt of $5.2 billion ($1.6 billion to the former Soviet Union) has cost the country less than $50 million to service, but these charges will grow as grace periods lapse. Mozambique is seeking debt relief along with many other African countries.

An estimated 80% of Mozambique's population relies upon subsistence agriculture and fishing to survive. The principal staple is corn; wet rice is also grown in the natural flood plains of the country's many rivers; but all wheat is imported. Time needed to resettle those displaced by war and reestablish rural trading and transportation networks, coupled with two devastating droughts, has slowed Mozambique's post-war effort to regain self-sufficiency in food production. Hopes run high that 1996-97 will prove different.

Business activity in Mozambique is centered upon import/export trading. Foreign assistance programs supply the foreign exchange required to purchase imports of goods and services. At nearly $1 billion, official imports are five times official exports. These figures exclude a vibrant and growing informal sector that conducts much of the trade along the porous borders with six neighboring countries and outside of the formal economy. Historically, principal exports have been shrimp, cashews, copra, sugar, cotton, tea, and citrus fruits. Private initiatives in each of these areas are currently being undertaken. These initiatives, coupled with the rehabilitation of electricity transmission from the giant Cahora Bassa hydro-electric dam in South Africa and Zimbabwe; proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline to South Africa; and reform of transportation services could make a major impact on foreign exchange earnings in the future. The export of minerals could also be a source of future foreign exchange earnings.

What manufacturing industry there is has either recently been privatized or is currently undergoing privatization. Obsolete and poorly maintained capital equipment coupled with the lack of managerial capacity and an excess of employees has caused a number of privatizations to immediately fail. On the other hand, foreign managed privatizations, most notable Portuguese and South African, have been scoring some successes, particularly in plastic products, tires, cashew processing, milling, beverages, and construction materials. Practically all manufacturing is located in the major urban areas of Maputo, Beira, and Nampula, which are situated along historic transportation corridors to neighboring countries.

All transportation corridors are receiving increased attention from neighboring states and foreign investors, but none more than the Maputo (or Limpopo) corridor, the object of a high level bilateral initiative between the South African and Mozambican governments. A major sticking point, however, has been the desire of the Mozambican government to limit the level of private management in port and rail operations. The port and rail authority continues to be widely criticized for inefficiency, mismanagement, and corruption,

In the past few years, over 500 privatizations have been accomplished, most of which involve small enterprises. More recently, larger enterprises have been subject to privatization. In 1996, the government plans to privatize the country's largest commercial bank, and a number of sizable manufacturing companies. Other reform measures being considered include the privatization of customs operations, customs and tax reform, and the introduction of competition and/or private participation to the transportation, energy, and telecommunications sectors.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

While allegiances dating back to the liberation struggle remain relevant, Mozambique's foreign policy has become increasingly pragmatic and less ideological. The twin pillars of Mozambique's foreign policy are its desire for good relations with its neighbors and the need to maintain and expand ties to current and potential donor states.

During its first two decades, Mozambique's foreign policy was inextricably linked to the struggles for majority rule in Rhodesia and South Africa as well as superpower competition and the Cold War. Mozambique's principled decision to enforce UN sanctions against Southern Rhodesia and deny that country access to the sea, led Ian Smith's regime to undertake overt and covert actions to destabilize the country. While majority rule in Zimbabwe in 1980 removed this threat, the apartheid regimes in South Africa continued to keep the pressure on Mozambique. The 1984 Nkomati accord, which provided the beginnings of a political and economic accommodation with South Africa thus marked a watershed in Mozambique's history. This process gained momentum with South Africa's own implementation of internal political reforms, which culminated in the establishment of full diplomatic relations in October 1993. While relations with neighboring Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania show occasional strains, Mozambique's ties to these countries remain strong.

In the years immediately following its independence, Mozambique benefited from considerable assistance from some western countries, notable the Scandinavians, but quickly fell under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. During these years, Moscow and its allies became Mozambique's primary economic, military, and political supporters. In exchange, Mozambique's foreign policy was closely linked to the goals of its patrons. This began to change in the mid-1980s and notably, in 1984, when Mozambique joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Western aid quickly displaced Soviet largess in supporting the Mozambican state. While the Scandinavians continue to provide significant amounts of aid, the United States, the Netherlands, and the European Union are increasingly important sources of development assistance. Italy also maintains a high profile in Mozambique as a result of its key role during the peace process. Relations with Portugal, the former colonial power, are close and of increasing importance as Portuguese investors play a significant role in Mozambique's economy. Mozambique is a member of the Non- Aligned Movement and ranks among the moderate members of the African Bloc in the United Nations and other international organizations. Mozambique also belongs to the Organization of African Unity and the Southern African Development Community, which is increasingly assuming a political, as well as economic role. In 1994, the government became a full member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in part to broaden its base of international support but also to please the country's sizable Muslim population. Similarly, in early-1996 Mozambique joined the Commonwealth, an organization which includes all of its anglophone neighbors. At the same time, Mozambique will be a founding member of the community of Portuguese language countries when that organization is launched in mid-1996.


 

NAMIBIA

PEOPLE

Namibian Africans are of diverse ethnic origins. The principal groups are the Ovambo, Kavango, Herero/Himba, Damara, mixed race ("Colored" and Rehoboth Baster), white (Afrikaner, German, and Portuguese), Nama, Caprivian (Lozi), Bushman, and Tswana.

The Ovambo make up about half of Namibia's people. The Ovambo, Kavango, and East Caprivian peoples, who occupy the relatively well- watered and wooded northern part of the country, are settled farmers and herders. Historically, they have shown little interest in the central and southern parts of Namibia, where conditions do not suit their traditional way of life.

Until the early 1900s, these tribes had little contact with the Nama, Damara, and Herero, who roamed the central part of the country vying for control of sparse pastureland. German colonial rule destroyed the war-making ability of the tribes but did not erase their identities or traditional organization. People from the more populous north have settled throughout the country in recent decades as a result of urbanization, industrialization, and the demand for labor.

The modern mining, farming, and industrial sectors of the economy, controlled by the white minority, have affected traditional African society without transforming it. Urban and migratory workers have adopted Western ways, but in rural areas, traditional society remains intact.

Missionary work during the 1800s drew many Namibians to Christianity. While most Namibian Christians are Lutheran, there are also Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, African Methodist Episcopal, and Dutch Reformed Christians represented.

Modern education and medical care have been extended in varying degrees to most rural areas in recent years. The literacy rate of Africans is generally low except in sections where missionary and government education efforts have been concentrated, such as Ovamboland. The Africans speak various indigenous languages.

The minority white population is primarily of South African, British, and German descent. About 60% of the whites speak Afrikaans (a variation of Dutch); 30% speak German; and 10% speak English.

HISTORY

Bushmen (or San) are generally assumed to have been the earliest inhabitants of the region. Later inhabitants include the Nama and the Damara or Berg Dama. The Bantu-speaking Ovambo and Herero migrated from the north in about the 14th century A.D.

The inhospitable Namib Desert constituted a formidable barrier to European exploration until the late 18th century, when successions of travelers, traders, hunters, and missionaries explored the area. The 1878, the United Kingdom annexed Walvis Bay on behalf of Cape Colony, and the area was incorporated into the Cape of Good Hope in 1884. In 1883, a German trader, Adolf Luderitz, claimed the rest of the coastal region after negotiations with a local chief. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and Germany resulted in Germany's annexation of the coastal region, excluding Walvis Bay. The following year, the United Kingdom recognized the hinterland up to 20o east longitude as a German sphere of influence. A region, Caprivi Strip, became a part of South West Africa after an agreement on July 1, 1890, between the United Kingdom and Germany. The British recognized that the strip would fall under German administration to provide access to the Zambezi River and German colonies in East Africa. In exchange, the British received the islands of Zanzibar and Heligoland.

German colonial power was consolidated, and prime grazing land passed to white control as a result of the Herero and Nama wars of 1904-08. German administration ended during World War I following South African occupation in 1915.

On December 17, 1920, South Africa undertook administration of South West Africa under the terms of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and a mandate agreement by the League Council. The mandate agreement gave South Africa full power of administration and legislation over the territory. It required that South Africa promote the material and moral well being and social progress of the people.

When the League of Nations was dissolved in 1946, the newly formed United Nations inherited its supervisory authority for the territory. South Africa refused UN requests place the territory under a trusteeship agreement. During the 1960s, as the European powers granted independence to their colonies and trust territories in Africa, pressure mounted on South Africa to do so in Namibia, which was then South West Africa. In 1966, the UN General Assembly revoked South Africa's mandate.

Also in 1966, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) began guerrilla attacks on Namibia, infiltrating the territory from bases in Zambia. After Angola became independent in 1975, SWAPO established bases in the southern part of the country. Hostilities intensified over the years, especially in Ovamboland.

In a 1971 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice upheld UN authority over Namibia, determining that the South African presence in Namibia was illegal and that South Africa therefore was obligated to withdraw its administration from Namibia immediately. The Court also advised UN member states to refrain from implying legal recognition or assistance to the South African presence.

International Pressure for Independence

In 1977, Western members of the UN Security Council, including Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States (known as the Western Contact Group), launched a joint diplomatic effort to bring an internationally acceptable transition to independence for Namibia. Their efforts led to the presentation in April 1978 of Security Council Resolution 435 for settling the Namibian problem. The proposal, known as the UN Plan, was worked out after lengthy consultations with South Africa, the front-line states (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), SWAPO, UN officials, and the Western Contact Group. It called for the holding of elections in Namibia under UN supervision and control, the cessation of all hostile acts by all parties, and restrictions on the activities of South African and Namibian military, paramilitary, and police.

South Africa agreed to cooperate in achieving the implementation of Resolution 435. Nonetheless, in December 1978, in defiance of the UN proposal, it unilaterally held elections in Namibia which were boycotted by SWAPO and a few other political parties. South Africa continued to administer Namibia through its installed multi-racial coalitions. Negotiations after 1978 focused on issues such as supervision of elections connected with the implementation of the UN Plan.

Negotiations and Transition

Intense discussions between the concerned parties continued during the 1978-88 period, with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative, Martti Ahtisaari, playing a key role. The 1982 Constitutional Principles, agreed upon by the front-line states, SWAPO, and the Western Contact Group created the framework for Namibia's democratic constitution. The U.S. Government's role as mediator was critical throughout the period, one example being the intense efforts in 1984 to obtain withdrawal of South African defense forces from Southern Angola.

In May 1988, a U.S. mediation team, headed by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester A. Crocker, brought negotiators from Angola, Cuba, and South Africa, and observers from the Soviet Union together in London. Intense diplomatic maneuvering characterized the next 7 months, as the parties worked out agreements to bring peace to the region and make implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 435 possible. On December 13, Cuba, South Africa, and the People's Republic of Angola agreed to a total Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola. The protocol also established a Joint Commission, consisting of the parties with the United States and the Soviet Union as observers, to oversee implementation of the accords. A bilateral agreement between Cuba and the People's Republic of Angola was signed in New York on December 22, 1988. On the same day a tripartite agreement, in which the parties recommended initiation of the UN Plan on April 1 and the Republic of South Africa agreed to withdraw its troops, was signed. Implementation of Resolution 435 officially began on April 1, 1989, when South African-appointed Administrator General Louis Pienaar officially began administrating the territory's transition to independence. Special Representative Martti Ahtisaari arrived in Windhoek to begin performing his duties as head of the UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG).

The transition got off to a shaky start on April 1 because, in contravention to SWAPO President Sam Nujoma's written assurances to the UN Secretary General to abide by a cease-fire and repatriate only unarmed insurgents, approximately 2,000 armed members of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO's military wing, crossed the border from Angola in an apparent attempt to establish a military presence in northern Namibia. The special representative authorized a limited contingent of South African troops to aid the South West African police in restoring order. A period of intense fighting followed, during which 375 PLAN fighters were killed. At Mt. Etjo, a game park outside Windhoek, in a special meeting of the Joint Commission on April 9, a plan was put in place to confine the South African forces to base and return PLAN elements to Angola. While the problem was solved, minor disturbances in the north continued throughout the transition period. In October, under order of the UN Security Council, Pretoria demobilized members of the disbanded counterinsurgency unit, Koevoet (Afrikaans for crowbar), who had been incorporated into the South West African police.

The 11-month transition period went relatively smoothly. Political prisoners were granted amnesty, discriminatory legislation was repealed, South Africa withdrew all its forces from Namibia, and some 42,000 refugees returned safely and voluntarily under the auspices of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Almost 98% of registered voters turned out to elect members of the constituent assembly. The elections were held in November 1989 and were certified as free and fair by the special representative, with SWAPO taking 57% of the vote, just short of the two-thirds necessary to have a free hand in drafting the constitution. The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, the opposition party, received 29% of the vote. The Constituent Assembly held its first meeting on November 21 and its first act unanimously resolved to use the 1982 Constitutional Principles as the framework for Namibia's new constitution.

By February 9, 1990, the Constituent Assembly had drafted and adopted a constitution. March 21, independence day, was attended by Secretary of State James A. Baker III to represent President Bush. On that same day, he inaugurated the U.S. Embassy in Windhoek in recognition of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

On March 1, 1994, the coastal enclave of Walvis Bay and 12 offshore islands were transferred to Namibia by South Africa. This followed three years of bilateral negotiations between the two governments and the establishment of a transitional Joint Administrative Authority (JAA) in November 1992 to administer the 300 square mile territory. The peaceful resolution of this territorial dispute, which dated back to 1878, was praised by the U.S. and the international community, as it fulfilled the provisions of U.N. Security Council 432 (1978) which declared Walvis Bay to be an integral part of Namibia.

GOVERNMENT

After 80 days, the Constituent Assembly produced a constitution which established a multi-party system and a bill of rights. It also limited the executive president to two five-year terms and provided for the private ownership of property. The three branches of government are subject to checks and balances, and a provision is made for judicial review. The constitution also states that Namibia should have a mixed economy, and foreign investment should be encouraged.

While the ethnic-based three-tier South African-imposed governing authorities have been dissolved, the current government pledged for the sake of national reconciliation to retain civil servants employed during the colonial period. The government is still organizing itself both on a national and regional level.

The Constituent Assembly converted itself into the National Assembly on February 16, 1990, retaining all the members elected on a straight party ticket.

The judicial structure in Namibia parallels that of South Africa. In 1919, Roman-Dutch law was declared the common law of the territory and remains so to the present.

Elections were held in 1992, to elect members of 13 newly established Regional Councils, as well as new municipal officials. Two members from each Regional Council serve simultaneously as members of the National Council, the country's second house of Parliament. Nineteen of its members are from the ruling SWAPO party, and seven are from the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA). In December 1994, elections were held for the President and the National Assembly.

National Security

The constitution defined the role of the military as "defending the territory and national interests." Namibia formed the National Defense Force (NDF), comprised of former enemies in a 23-year bush war: the PLAN and South West African territorial force. The British formulated the force integration plan and began training the NDF, which consists of five battalions and a small headquarters element. The UNTAG Kenyan infantry battalion remained in Namibia for 3 months after independence to assist in training the NDF and stabilize the north. According to the Namibian Defense Ministry, enlistments of both men and women will number no more than 7,500. Currently, Namibia has no air force or navy. Defense and security account for less than 8% of government spending.

Defense cooperation at various levels has been explored with several governments, including the United States. Areas of cooperation include military education, training, and a fisheries program. A bilateral International Military Education and Training (IMET) program was concluded between the United States and Namibia in January 1991.

On May 21, 1990, Namibia signed a border-control agreement with Angola but to date has not entered into defense agreements with any country.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Namibia has about 40 political groups, ranging from modern political parties to traditional groups based on tribal authority. Some represent single tribes or ethnic groups while others encompass several. Most participate in political alliances, some of which are multi-racial, with frequently shifting membership.

SWAPO is the ruling party, and all but one of the new government's first cabinet posts went to SWAPO members. Two deputy ministers are from other parties. Formerly a Marxist oriented movement, SWAPO now espouses the principles of multiparty democracy and a mixed economy. SWAPO has been a legal political party since its formation and was cautiously active in Namibia, although before implementation of the UN Plan, it was forbidden to hold meetings of more than 20 people, and its leadership was subject to frequent detention. SWAPO draws its strength principally, but not exclusively, from within the Ovambo tribe. In December 1976, the UN General Assembly recognized SWAPO as "the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people," a characterization other internal parties did not accept.

The principal opposition party is the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), a coalition of several ethnically based parties, tribal chiefs, and former SWAPO members. The DTA, which governed Namibia under Pretoria's supervision for 10 years, holds 21 seats in the National Assembly. Some of the smaller parties in the National Assembly also are ethnically based. The United Democratic Front (4 seats), led by Justus Garoeb of the Damara group, is comprised of ethnically based parties and former SWAPO members allegedly tortured in SWAPO camps in Angola. The Monitor Action Group (3 seats) is a conservative party with support from the white community; it favors legislation to protect minority rights, which comprises around 50% of Namibia's population.

ECONOMY

The Namibian economy has a modern market sector, which produces most of the country's wealth, and a traditional subsistence sector. Namibia's average GDP per capita is relatively high among developing countries but obscures one of the most unequal income distributions on the African continent. Although the majority of the population engages in subsistence agriculture and herding, Namibia has more than 200,000 skilled workers, as well as a small, well-trained professional and managerial class.

The country's sophisticated formal economy is based on capital- intensive industry and farming. However, Namibia's economy is heavily dependent on the earnings generated from primary commodity exports in a few vital sectors, including minerals, livestock, and fish. Furthermore, the Namibian economy remains integrated with the economy of South Africa, as the bulk of Namibia's imports originate there.

Since independence, the Namibian government has pursued free market economic principles designed to promote commercial development and job creation to bring disadvantaged Namibians into the economic mainstream. To facilitate this goal, the government has actively courted donor assistance and foreign investment. The liberal Foreign Investment Act of 1990 provides for freedom from nationalization, freedom to remit capital and profits, currency convertibility, and a process for settling disputes equitably. Namibia is also addressing the sensitive issue of agrarian land reform in a pragmatic manner.

In September 1993, Namibia introduced its own currency, the Namibia dollar, which will remain linked to the South African Rand. There has been widespread acceptance of the Namibia dollar throughout the country and, while Namibia remains a part of the Southern African Common Monetary Area, it now enjoys much greater flexibility in monetary policy.

Given its small domestic market but favorable location and a superb transport and communications base, Namibia is a leading advocate of regional economic integration. In addition to its membership in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia presently belongs to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Within SACU, no tariffs exist on goods produced in and moving among the member.

Ninety percent of Namibia's imports originate in South Africa, and many Namibian exports are destined for the South African market or transit that country. Namibia's exports consist mainly of diamonds and other minerals, fish products, beef and meat products, karakul sheep pelts, and light manufactures. In recent years, Namibia has accounted for about 5% of total SACU exports, and a slightly higher percentage of imports.

Namibia is seeking to diversify its trading relationships away from its heavy dependence on South African goods and services. Europe has become a leading market for Namibian fish and meat, while mining concerns in Namibia have purchased heavy equipment and machinery from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. However, most imports from outside the customs union are subject to tariff rates which are usually quite restrictive. Recently, some of the smaller SACU members have called for reform of the customs union, which is viewed by many as a protectionist vestige of South Africa's apartheid past. Also, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is putting pressure on SACU to reduce its prohibitive tariffs and other barriers to trade, which have tended to inhibit true competition within the region.

In 1993, Namibia itself became a GATT signatory, and the Minister of Trade and Industry represented Namibia at the Marrakech signing of the Uruguay Round Agreement in April 1994. Namibia is also a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and has acceded to the European Community/Union's Lome Convention.

Mining and Energy

Although beset in recent years by increasing global competition, slack demand, and falling prices, mining remains Namibia's most important economic sector. In 1993, mining contributed about 18% of GDP and 54% of exports.

High value, gem-quality diamonds remain Namibia's leading generator of export earnings. Other important mineral resources are uranium, copper, lead, and zinc. The country is also a source of gold, silver, tin, vanadium, semi-precious gemstones, tantalite, phosphate, sulfur, and salt.

During the pre-independence period, large areas of Namibia (including offshore) were leased for oil prospecting. Some natural gas was discovered in 1974 in the Kudu Field off the mouth of the Orange River, but the extent of this find is not fully known. The Namibian government has invited foreign firms to explore for hydrocarbons in Namibia, with a view to lessening its dependence on South Africa for its energy supply.

Early in 1993, the government awarded the first round of licenses to several foreign consortia (including Chevron) to undertake offshore exploration for oil. One of the concessionaires, Norsk Hydro, sank its first exploratory well in late 1993, but the company has yet to reveal whether this initial effort was successful. The government is conducting a second petroleum licensing round, from October 1, 1994, to July 31, 1995, during which all available offshore and onshore blocks will be open for international bidding.

In November 1993, the Minister of Mines and Energy announced his government's intention to proceed with the feasibility study of the major Epupa Falls hydropower project on the Kunene River border with Angola.

Agriculture

Namibian agriculture contributes only 8% of Namibia's GDP, but approximately 70% of the Namibian population depends on agricultural activities for livelihood, mostly in the subsistence sector. In 1993, agriculture products constituted roughly 7% of total Namibian exports.

In the largely white-dominated commercial sector, agriculture consists primarily of livestock ranching. Cattle raising is predominant in the central and northern regions, while karakul sheep, goat, and ostrich farming are concentrated in the more arid southern regions. Subsistence farming is confined to the "communal lands" of the country's populous north, where roaming cattle herds are prevalent and the main crops are mahango (millet), sorghum, corn, and peanuts.

The government introduced its long-awaited agricultural land reform legislation in September 1994, and a companion bill dealing with the communal areas will be presented later. As the government addresses the vital land and range management questions, water use issues and availability considered.

Fishing

The clean, cold South Atlantic waters off the coast of Namibia are home to some of the richest fishing grounds in the world, with the potential for sustainable yields of up to 1.5 million metric tons per year. Commercial fishing and fish processing is becoming the fastest- growing sector of the Namibian economy in terms of employment, export earnings, and contribution to GDP.

The main species found in abundance off Namibia are pilchards (sardines), anchovy, hake, and horse mackerel. There are also smaller but significant quantities of sole, squid, deepsea crab, rock lobster, and tuna. However, due to the lack of protection and conservation of the fisheries and the overexploitation of these resources in the pre- independence era, fish stocks have fallen to dangerously low levels. This trend appears to have been halted and reversed since independence, as the Namibian government is now pursuing a conservative resource management policy along with an aggressive fisheries enforcement campaign.

Manufacturing and Infrastructure

In 1993, Namibia's manufacturing sector contributed approximately 9% of GDP. Namibian manufacturing is inhibited by a small domestic market, dependence on imported goods, limited supply of local capital, widely dispersed population, small skilled labor force and high relative wage rates, and subsidized competition from South Africa.

Since the March 1994 return of Walvis Bay from South Africa, there has been interest in developing a free trade zone or export processing zone in the harbor town. Walvis Bay is a well-developed, deep-water port, and Namibia's fishing infrastructure is most heavily concentrated there. The Namibian government expects Walvis Bay to become an important commercial gateway to the Southern African region.

Namibia also boasts world-class civil aviation facilities and an extensive, well-maintained land transportation network. Construction is underway on two new arteries -- the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari Highways -- which will open up the region's access to Walvis Bay. Furthermore, Telecom Namibia is in the process of procuring state-of- the-art technology to modernize its already impressive communications infrastructure, including the erection of three new satellite earth stations which will link Namibia with the world.

Labor

While most Namibians are economically active in one form or another, the bulk of this activity is in the informal sector, primarily subsistence agriculture. In the formal economy, official estimates of unemployment range from 25% to 35% the workforce. A large number of Namibians seeking jobs in the formal sector are held back due to a lack of necessary skills or training. The government is aggressively pursuing education reform to overcome this problem.

Namibia's largest labor federation, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) represents workers organized into seven affiliated trade unions. At its September 1993 Congress, the rank-and-file agreed to maintain the NUNW's close affiliation with the ruling SWAPO party, despite the objections of some members.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Namibia follows a non-aligned foreign policy. Former SWAPO offices abroad began performing some diplomatic functions after Namibia's independence, and the government established 11 overseas embassies in the first year of independence.

With a small army and a fragile economy, the Namibian government's principal foreign policy concern is getting along with its powerful neighbors. As its economy is closely tied to South Africa, Namibia's relations with its former colonial metropole have been pragmatic. Namibia's warm relations with Zambia and Angola, and other black- ruled neighboring countries, are the result of those countries' support of SWAPO during its 23-year war with South Africa. Relations with Botswana are excellent; Namibia has looked to Botswana's democratic institutions and market-based economy as models.

Namibia became the 160th member of the United Nations on April 23, 1990, and the 50th member of the British Commonwealth upon independence.



 

RWANDA

GEOGRAPHY

Rwanda's countryside is covered by grasslands and small farms extending over rolling hills, with areas of rugged mountains that extend southeast from a chain of volcanoes in the northwest. The divide between the Congo and Nile drainage systems extends from north to south through western Rwanda at an average elevation of almost 9,000 feet. On the western slopes of this ridgeline, the land slopes abruptly toward Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River valley, which form the western boundary with the People's Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and constitute part of the Great Rift valley. The eastern slopes are more moderate, with rolling hills extending across central uplands at gradually reducing altitudes, to the plains, swamps, and lakes of the eastern border region.

PEOPLE

Rwanda's population density, even after the 1994 genocide, is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa (230 per sq. km.--590 per sq. mi.). Nearly every family in this country with few villages lives in a self-contained compound on a hillside. The urban concentrations are grouped around administrative centers. The indigenous population consists of three ethnic groups. The Hutus, who comprise the majority of the population (85%), are farmers of Bantu origin. The Tutsis (14%) are a pastoral people who arrived in the area in the 15th century. Until 1959, they formed the dominant caste under a feudal system based on cattleholding. The Twa (1%) are thought to be the remnants of the earliest settlers of the region. About half of the adult population is literate, but not more than 5% have received secondary education. During 1994-95, most primary schools and more than half of prewar secondary schools reopened. The national university in Butare reopened in April 1995; enrollment is over 4,000. Rebuilding the educational system continues to be a high priority of the Rwandan Government.

HISTORY

According to folklore, Tutsi cattle breeders began arriving in the area from the Horn of Africa in the 15th century and gradually subjugated the Hutu inhabitants. The Tutsis established a monarchy headed by a mwami (king) and a feudal hierarchy of Tutsi nobles and gentry. Through a contract known as ubuhake, the Hutu farmers pledged their services and those of their descendants to a Tutsi lord in return for the loan of cattle and use of pastures and arable land. Thus, the Tutsi reduced the Hutu to virtual serfdom. However, boundaries of race and class became less distinct over the years as some Tutsi declined until they enjoyed few advantages over the Hutu. The first European known to have visited Rwanda was German Count Von Goetzen in 1894. He was followed by missionaries, notably the "White Fathers." In 1899, the mwami submitted to a German protectorate without resistance. Belgian troops from Zaire chased the small number of Germans out of Rwanda in 1915 and took control of the country.

After World War I, the League of Nations mandated Rwanda and its southern neighbor, Burundi, to Belgium as the territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Following World War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a UN trust territory with Belgium as the administrative authority. Reforms instituted by the Belgians in the 1950s encouraged the growth of democratic political institutions but were resisted by the Tutsi traditionalists who saw in them a threat to Tutsi rule. An increasingly restive Hutu population, encouraged by the Belgian military, sparked a revolt in November 1959, resulting in the overthrow of the Tutsi monarchy. Two years later, the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (PARMEHUTU) won an overwhelming victory in a UN-supervised referendum.

During the 1959 revolt and its aftermath, more than 160,000 Tutsis fled to neighboring countries. The PARMEHUTU government, formed as a result of the September 1961 election, was granted internal autonomy by Belgium on January 1, 1962. A June 1962 UN General Assembly resolution terminated the Belgian trusteeship and granted full independence to Rwanda (and Burundi) effective July 1, 1962.

Gregoire Kayibanda, leader of the PARMEHUTU Party, became Rwanda's first elected president, leading a government chosen from the membership of the directly elected unicameral National Assembly. Peaceful negotiation of international problems, social and economic elevation of the masses, and integrated development of Rwanda were the ideals of the Kayibanda regime. Relations with 43 countries, including the United States, were established in the first 10 years. Despite the progress made, inefficiency and corruption began festering in government ministries in the mid-1960s. On July 5, 1973, the military took power under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana, who dissolved the National Assembly and the PARMEHUTU Party and abolished all political activity.

In 1975, President Habyarimana formed the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND) whose goals were to promote peace, unity, and national development. The movement was organized from the "hillside" to the national level and included elected and appointed officials.

Under MRND aegis, Rwandans went to the polls in December 1978, overwhelmingly endorsed a new constitution, and confirmed President Habyarimana as president. President Habyarimana was re-elected in 1983 and again in 1988, when he was the sole candidate. Responding to public pressure for political reform, President Habyarimana announced in July 1990 his intention to transform Rwanda's one-party state into a multi-party democracy.

On October 1, 1990, Rwandan exiles banded together as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and invaded Rwanda from their base in Uganda. The rebel force, composed primarily of ethnic Tutsis, blamed the government for failing to democratize and resolve the problems of some 500,000 Tutsi refugees living in diaspora around the world. The war dragged on for almost two years until a cease-fire accord was signed July 12, 1992, in Arusha, Tanzania, fixing a timetable for an end to the fighting and political talks, leading to a peace accord and power-sharing, and authorizing a neutral military observer group under the auspices of the Organization for African Unity. A cease-fire took effect July 31, 1992, and political talks began August 10, 1992.

On April 6, 1994, the airplane carrying President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi was shot down as it prepared to land at Kigali. Both presidents were killed. As though the shooting down was a signal, military and militia groups began rounding up and killing all Tutsis and political moderates, regardless of their ethnic background.

The prime minister and her 10 Belgian bodyguards were among the first victims. The killing swiftly spread from Kigali to all corners of the country; between April 6 and the beginning of July, a genocide of unprecedented swiftness left up to1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead at the hands of organized bands of militia--Interahamwe. Even ordinary citizens were called on to kill their neighbors by local officials and government-sponsored radio. The president's MRND Party was implicated in organizing many aspects of the genocide.

The RPF battalion stationed in Kigali under the Arusha accords came under attack immediately after the shooting down of the president's plane. The battalion fought its way out of Kigali and joined up with RPF units in the north. The RPF then resumed its invasion, and civil war raged concurrently with the genocide for two months. French forces landed in Goma, Zaire, in June 1994 on a humanitarian mission. They deployed throughout southwest Rwanda in an area they called "Zone Turquoise," quelling the genocide and stopping the fighting there. The Rwandan army was quickly defeated by the RPF and fled across the border to Zaire followed by some 2 million refugees who fled to Zaire, Tanzania, and Burundi. The RPF took Kigali on July 4, 1994, and the war ended on July 16, 1994. The RPF took control of a country ravaged by war and genocide. Up to 800,000 had been murdered, another 2 million or so had fled, and another million or so were displaced internally.

The international community responded with one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts ever mounted. The U.S. was one of the largest contributors. The UN peacekeeping operation, UNAMIR, was drawn down during the fighting but brought back up to strength after the RPF victory. UNAMIR remained in Rwanda until March 8, 1996.

Following an uprising by the ethnic Tutsi Banyamulenge people in Eastern Zaire in October 1996, a huge movement of refugees began which brought over 600,000 back to Rwanda in the last two weeks of November. This massive repatriation was followed at the end of December 1996 by the return of another 500,000 from Tanzania, again in a huge, spontaneous wave. Less than 100,000 Rwandans are estimated to remain outside of Rwanda in late 1997, and they are thought to be the remnants of the defeated army of the the former genocidal government and its allies in the civilian militias known as Interahamwe.

With the return of the refugees, a new chapter in Rwandan history began. The government began the long-awaited genocide trials, which got off to an uncertain start in the closing days of 1996 and inched forward in 1997. The success or failure of the Rwandan social compact will be decided over the next few years, as Hutu and Tutsi try to find ways to live together again.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

After its military victory in July 1994, the RPF organized a coalition government similar to that established by President Habyarimana in 1992. Called The Broad Based Government of National Unity, its fundamental law is based on a combination of the constitution, the Arusha accords, and political declarations by the parties. The MRND Party was outlawed. Political organizing is banned until 1999.

The biggest problems facing the government are reintegration of more than 2 million refugees returning from as long ago as 1959; the end of the insurgency and counter-insurgency among ex-military and Interahamwe militia and the Rwandan Patriotic Army, which is concentrated in the northwest; and the shift away from crisis to medium- and long-term development planning. The prison population will continue to be an urgent problem for the foreseeable future, having swelled to over 100,000 in the three years after the war. Trying this many suspects of genocide will tax Rwanda's resources sorely.

ECONOMY

The Rwandan economy is based on the largely rain-fed agricultural production of small, semi-subsistence, and increasingly fragmented farms. It has few natural resources to exploit and a small, uncompetitive industrial sector. While the production of coffee and tea is well-suited to the small farms, steep slopes, and cool climates of Rwanda and has ensured access to foreign exchange over the years, farm size continues to decrease.

Prewar population was growing at the high rate of 3% a year. By 1994, farm size, on average, was smaller than one hectare, while population density was more than 450 persons per square kilometer of arable land.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Rwanda's prudent financial policies, coupled with generous external aid and relatively favorable terms of trade, resulted in sustained growth in per capita income and low inflation rates. However, when world coffee prices fell sharply in the 1980s, growth became erratic.

Compared to an annual GDP growth rate of 6.5% from 1973 to 1980, growth slowed to an average of 2.9% a year from 1980 through 1985 and was stagnant from 1986 to 1990. The crisis peaked in 1990 when the first measures of an IMF structural adjustment program were carried out. While the program was not fully implemented before the war, key measures such as two large devaluations and the removal of official prices were enacted. The consequences on salaries and purchasing power were rapid and dramatic. This crisis particularly affected the educated elite, most of whom were employed in civil service or state-owned enterprises.

During the five years of civil war that culminated in the 1994 genocide, GDP declined in three out of five years, posting a dramatic decline at more than 40% in 1994, the year of the genocide. The 9% increase in real GDP for 1995, the first post-war year, signaled the resurgence of economic activity.

The Government of Rwanda posted a 13% GDP growth rate in 1996 through improved collection of tax revenues, accelerated privatization of state enterprises to stop their drain on government resources, and continued improvement in export crop and food production. It is estimated that in 1997 that food production levels will reach 81% of prewar levels, and should continue to improve as more returned refugees continue to put land back into cultivation.

Tea plantations and factories continue to be rehabilitated, and coffee, always a smallholder's crop, is being more seriously rehabilitated and tended as the farmers' sense of security returns. However, the road to recovery will be slow. Coffee production of about 15,000 tons in 1996 compares to a pre-civil war variation between 35,000 and 40,000 tons, while 1996 tea production reached 11,000 tons, compared to prewar production of about 13,000 tons. Rwanda's natural resources are limited. A small mineral industry provides about 5% of foreign exchange earnings. Concentrates of the heavy minerals cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, and wolframite are most important, followed by small amounts of gold and sapphires. Production of methane from Lake Kivu began in 1983, but to date has been used only by a brewery. Depletion of the forests will eventually pressure Rwandans to turn to fuel sources other than charcoal for cooking and heating, given the abundance of mountain streams and lakes, the potential for hydroelectric power is substantial. Rwanda is exploiting these natural resources through joint hydroelectric projects with Burundi and the People's Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Rwanda's manufacturing sector contributes about 15%-18% of GDP and is dominated by the production of import substitutes for internal consumption. The larger enterprises produce beer, soft drinks, cigarettes, hoes, wheelbarrows, soap, cement, mattresses, plastic pipe, roofing materials and textiles. By mid-1997, up to 70% of the factories functioning before the war had returned to production, at an average of 75% of their capacity. Investments in the industrial sector continue to mostly be limited to the repair of existing industrial plants. Retail trade, devastated by the war, has revived quickly, with many new small businesses established by Rwandan returnees from Uganda, Burundi, and the People's Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Industry received little external assistance from the end of the war through 1995. In 1996-97, the government has become increasingly active in helping the industrial sector to restore production through technical and financial assistance, including loan guarantees, economic liberalization, and the privatization of state-owned enterprises. In early 1998, the government will set up a one-stop investment promotion center and implement a new investment code that should create an enabling environment for foreign and local investors. An autonomous revenue authority should also begin operation, improving collections and accountability.

Possibilities for economic expansion, however, are limited by inadequate infrastructure and transport and the small available market in this predominantly subsistence economy. Existing foreign investment is concentrated in commercial establishments, mining, tea, coffee, and tourism. Minimum wage and social security regulations are in force, and the four prewar independent trade unions are back in operation. The largest union, CESTRAR, was created as an organ of the government but became fully independent with the political reforms introduced by the 1991 constitution. As security in Rwanda improves, the country's nascent tourism sector may expand. Centered around the attractions of a population of mountain gorillas and a game park, tourism has potential as a source of foreign exchange if the country's tourism infrastructure is improved.

In the immediate postwar period--mid-1994 through 1995--emergency humanitarian assistance of over U.S. $307.4 million was largely directed to relief efforts in Rwanda and in the refugee camps in neighboring countries where Rwandans fled during the war. In 1996, humanitarian relief aid began to shift to reconstruction and development assistance. The United States, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, Holland, France, China, the World Bank, the UN Development Program and the European Development Fund will continue to account for the substantial aid. Rehabilitation of government infrastructure, in particular the justice system, is an international priority, as is the continued repair and expansion of infrastructure, health facilities, and schools.

Rwanda's government-run radio broadcasts 15 hours a day in English, French and Kinyarwanda, the national languages. News programs include regular re-broadcasts from international radio such as Voice of America and Radio France International. There is a fledgling television station. There are several independent newspapers, mostly in Kinyarwanda, that publish on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Several Western nations, including the U.S., are working to encourage freedom of the press, the free exchange of ideas, and responsible journalism.

DEFENSE

The military establishment is comprised of an army and a paramilitary gendarmerie. Defense spending continues to represent a disproportionate share of the national budget, largely due to continuing security problems along the frontiers with the People's Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi in the aftermath of the war. The government has launched an ambitious plan to demobilize thousands of soldiers. Under the International Military and Training program, the U.S. has provided professional training for Rwandan military officers, especially in civil-military relations and respect for human rights.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Rwanda has been the center of much international attention since the war and genocide of 1994. Rwanda is an active member of the UN, having presided over the Security Council during part of 1995. The UN assistance mission in Rwanda, a UN chapter 6 peace-keeping operation, involved personnel from over a dozen countries. Most of the UN development and humanitarian agencies have had a large presence here.

At the height of the emergency, more than 200 non-governmental organizations were carrying out humanitarian operations. Several Western European and African nations, Canada, China, Egypt, Libya, Russia, The Vatican, and the European Union maintain diplomatic missions in Kigali.


 

SENEGAL

GEOGRAPHY

Senegal lies on the bulge of western Africa, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. The Gambia penetrates more than 320 kilometers (200 mi.) into Senegal. Well-defined dry and humid seasons result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds.

PEOPLE

About 70% of Senegal's population is rural. In rural areas, density varies from about 77 per square kilometer (200 per sq. mi.) in the west-central region to 2 per square kilometer (5 per sq. mi.) in the arid eastern section. About 50,000 Europeans (mostly French) and Lebanese reside in Senegal, mainly in the cities. French is the official language but is used regularly only by the literate minority. All Senegalese speak an indigenous language, of which Wolof has the largest usage.

HISTORY

Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times. Islam established itself in the Senegal River valley in the 11th century--95% of Senegalese today are Muslims. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the great Mandingo empires to the east; the Jolof Empire of Senegal also was founded during this time.

In January 1959, Senegal and the French Soudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became fully independent on June 20, 1960, as a result of the independence and the transfer of power agreement signed with France on April 4, 1960. Due to internal political difficulties, the Federation broke up on August 20, 1960. Senegal and Soudan (renamed the Republic of Mali) each proclaimed separate independence. Leopold Sedar Senghor, internationally renowned poet, politician, and statesman, was elected Senegal's first president in August 1960.

After the breakup of the Mali Federation, President Senghor and Prime Minister Mamadou Dia governed together under a parliamentary system. In December 1962, their political rivalry led to an attempted coup by Prime Minister Dia. Although this was put down without bloodshed, Dia was arrested and imprisoned, and Senegal adopted a new constitution. Dia was released in 1974.

Since assuming the presidency in 1981, Abdou Diouf has encouraged broader political participation, reduced government involvement in the economy, and widened Senegal's diplomatic engagements, particularly with other developing nations. Despite chronic economic problems, tempestuous domestic politics, which have on occasion spilled over into street violence, border tensions and a violent separatist movement in the southern region of the Casamance, Senegal's commitment to democracy and human rights appears reasonably strong in its fourth decade of independence.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Senegal is a republic with a strong presidency, weak legislature, reasonably independent judiciary, and multiple political parties. The president is elected by universal adult suffrage to a seven-year term. The unicameral National Assembly has 120 members, elected separately from the president. The Court of Cessation and the constitutional council, the justices of which are named by the president, are the nation's highest tribunals. Senegal is divided into 10 administrative regions, each headed by a governor appointed by and responsible to the president. The law on decentralization devolving significant central government authorities to regional assemblies came into effect in January 1997 following local elections held in November 1996.

Senegal's principal political party is the Socialist Party (name changed from Senegalese Progressive Union in 1976 after having joined the Socialist International), founded in 1949 by Leopold Senghor and now led by President Diouf. The Socialist Party, which has governed Senegal since independence in 1960, has advocated a moderate form of socialism based on traditional African concepts but increasingly has sought to encourage private enterprise, including foreign investment. Leopold Senghor was elected Senegal's first president in 1960 and served continuously until he stepped down in mid-term in 1980. In accordance with the constitution, Prime Minister Abdou Diouf succeeded Senghor as president. Diouf was elected to full five-year terms in his own right in 1983 and 1988. The constitution, which previously restricted the number of political parties to four, was amended in 1981 to legitimize previously unrecognized parties. The number of parties now stands at 25 of which several participated in the November 1996 regional and local elections. There are 120 seats in the National Assembly. The last national elections were held on February 21 and May 9, 1993. President Diouf was reelected for a 7-year term.

DEFENSE

Senegal has well-trained and disciplined armed forces consisting of about 19,000 personnel in the army, air force, and navy. The Senegalese military force receives most of its training, equipment, and support from France. Morocco, the United States, Great Britain, and Germany also provide support but on a smaller scale. Military noninterference in political affairs has contributed to Senegal's stability since independence.

Senegal has participated in international and regional peacekeeping missions. In 1992 Senegal sent 1,500 men to the ECOMOG peacekeeping group in Liberia, and in 1991, it sent a contingent to participate in Operation Desert Storm. The Senegalese contributed a 600-member battalion to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and also dispatched a battalion to the Shaba province of Zaire (now renamed Kataanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) as part of the Inter-African Force assembled to counter dissident attacks against Kolwezi in 1978. In August 1981, the Senegalese military was invited into The Gambia by President Dawda Kairaba Jawara to put down a coup attempt. In August 1989, the Senegalese-Gambian military cooperation, which began with the joint Senegalese-Gambian efforts during the 1981 coup attempt, ceased with the dissolution of the Senegambian Confederation.

ECONOMY

The former capital of French West Africa, Senegal is a semi-arid country located on the westernmost point of Africa. Its economy is dominated by agriculture, particularly by peanut production. The modern sector includes fishing, phosphates, tourism, and chemical industries. Senegal's economy is highly vulnerable to declining rainfall, desertification, and changes in world commodity prices.

The January 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc was an explicit condition set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for resumption of financing for economic adjustment. Senegal's adjustment efforts were funded primarily by a stand-by agreement from the IMF, which was replaced, in August 1994, by a three-year enhanced structural adjustment facility for U.S. $192 million.

The World Bank also supported Senegal under an economic recovery credit, a private sector adjustment and competitiveness credit and an agricultural sector adjustment credit. Senegal
also benefited from assistance from other multilateral and bilateral donors, including debt rescheduling from the Paris Club and other creditors. At the consultative group meeting in Paris in July 1995--the first sponsored by the World Bank since 1987--Senegal received pledges of about U.S. $1.5 billion for program and project aid for the period of 1995-97, which completely covered the 1995 financing gap.

Macroeconomic indicators show that Senegal has turned in a respectable performance in meeting the targets set under the IMF's ESAF program: annual GDP growth has improved from 2.3% in 1994 to reach 4.5% in 1995. Inflation has reported to be 8% in 1995 compared to 36% in 1994, and the fiscal deficit has held to 3.3% of GDP.

During 1995, Senegal made some encouraging progress in the implementation of structural adjustment policies aimed at creating a better regulatory framework for private sector development. Measures implemented to date include the:

--Elimination of barriers to free domestic trade (price liberalization of soap, milk, coffee, soft drinks, cement, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes);
--Abolition of monopolistic agreements in major industries (cement, textiles, wheat flour, tomato paste, packing materials, and fertilizers.);
--Elimination of export subsidies;
--Liberalization of rice and sugar imports;
--Abolition of the requirement for prior government authorization to lay off workers during economic downturns; and
--Preparation of a list of 18 major public enterprises to be privatized during the next three years.

Senegal's economy is principally agricultural, with more than 70% of the labor force engaged in farming. Peanut production accounts for half of agricultural output, and food crops, especially millet, rice, corn, sorghum, and beans, currently provide about two-thirds of the country's food needs. Export earnings from peanut oil and peanut cake have increased slightly since the January 1994 CFA devaluation. The government has invested heavily in the Senegal River basin with the aim of moving Senegal closer to food self-sufficiency.

The fishing sector has replaced the groundnut sector as Senegal's export leader. Its export earnings reached $274 million in 1995. The industrial fishing operations struggle with high costs and Senegalese tuna is rapidly losing the French market to more efficient Asian competitors.
Phosphate production, the third major foreign exchange earner, has been steady at about
$33 million. Receipts from tourism, the fourth major foreign exchange earner, have picked up since the January 1994 devaluation.

Senegal has met with limited success in attracting foreign investment to hasten economic development. Under the provisions of the 1987 investment code, the approval process has been shortened. Currently, there are no restrictions on the transfer or repatriation of capital and income earned, or investment financed with convertible foreign exchange. Direct U.S. investment in Senegal remains about $38 million, mainly in petroleum marketing, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, chemicals, and banking. Economic assistance, about
$350 million a year, comes largely from France, the IMF, the World Bank, and the United States. Assistance also is provided by Canada, Italy, Japan, Germany, and others.

Senegal has relatively good infrastructure. It includes well-developed though costly port facilities, a major international airport serving 24 international airlines, including scheduled service by U.S. firm world airways in its Newark, NJ-Johannesburg route, and direct and expanding telecommunications links with major world centers.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

President Senghor advocated close relations with France and negotiation and compromise as the best means of resolving international differences. To a large extent, President Diouf has carried on Senghor's policies and philosophies. Senegal has long supported functional integration among French-speaking West African states through the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Senegal has a high profile in many international organizations and was a member of the UN Security Council in 1988-89. It was elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1997.

President Diouf was chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1985-86 and again in 1992-93, host of the Third Francophone Conference in 1989 and host of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in 1991. Friendly to the West, especially to France and to the U.S., Senegal also is a vigorous proponent of more assistance from developed countries to the Third World.

Senegal enjoys mostly cordial relations with its neighbors. In spite of clear progress on other fronts with Mauritania (border security, resource management, economic integration, etc.), there remains the problem of some 35,000 to 40,000 Afro-Mauritanian refugees living in Senegal. Senegal practices energetic diplomacy, including the creation of bilateral and multilateral fora, to achieve peaceful resolution to its diplomatic problems.


 

SOMALIA

PEOPLE

Somalis have a remarkably homogeneous culture and identity. As early as the seventh century A.D., indigenous Cushitic peoples began to mingle with Arab and Persian traders who had settled along the coast. Interaction over the centuries led to the emergence of a Somali culture bound by common traditions, a single language, and the Islamic faith.

Today, about 60% of all Somalis are nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists who raise cattle, camels, sheep, and goats. About 25% of the population are settled farmers who live mainly in the fertile agricultural zone between the Juba and Shebelle Rivers in southern Somalia.

Sizable ethnic groups in the country include some 35,000 Arabs, about 2,000 Italians, and 1,000 Indians and Pakistanis. Nearly all inhabitants speak the Somali language, which remained unwritten until October 1973, when the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) proclaimed it the nation's official language and decreed an orthography using Latin letters. Somali is now the language of instruction in all schools. Arabic, English, and Italian also are used extensively.

GEOGRAPHY

Somalia is located on the east coast of Africa north of the Equator and, with Ethiopia and Djibouti, is often referred to as the Horn of Africa. It comprises Italy's former Trust Territory of Somalia and the former British Protectorate of Somaliland. The coastline extends 2,720 kilometers (1,700 mi.).

The northern part of the country is hilly, and in many places the altitude ranges between 900 and 2,100 meters (3,000-7,000 ft.) above sea level. The central and southern areas are flat, with an average altitude of less than 180 meters (600 ft.). The Juba and the Shebelle Rivers rise in Ethiopia and flow south across the country toward the Indian Ocean. The Shebelle, however, does not reach the sea.

HISTORY

Early history traces the development of the Somali people to an Arab sultanate, which was founded in the seventh century A.D. by Koreishite immigrants from Yemen. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese traders landed in present Somali territory and ruled several coastal towns. The sultan of Zanzibar subsequently took control of these towns and their surrounding territory.

Somalia's modern history began in the late l9th century, when various European powers began to trade and establish themselves in the area. The British East India Company's desire for unrestricted harbor facilities led to the conclusion of treaties with the sultan of Tajura as early as 1840. It was not until 1886, however, that the British gained control over northern Somalia through treaties with various Somali chiefs who were guaranteed British protection. British objectives centered on safeguarding trade links to the east and securing local sources of food and provisions. The boundary between Ethiopia and British Somaliland was established in 1897 through treaty negotiations between British negotiators and King Menelik.

During the first two decades of this century, British rule was challenged through persistent attacks led by the Islamic nationalist leader Mohamed Abdullah. A long series of intermittent engagements and truces ended in 1920 when British warplanes bombed Abdullah's stronghold at Taleex. Although Abdullah was defeated as much by rival Somali factions as by British forces, he was lauded as a popular hero and stands as a major figure of Somali national identity.

In 1885, Italy obtained commercial advantages in the area from the sultan of Zanzibar and in 1889 concluded agreements with the sultans of Obbia and Caluula, who placed their territories under Italy's protection. Between 1897 and 1908, Italy made agreements with the Ethiopians and the British that marked out the boundaries of Italian Somaliland. The Italian Government assumed direct administration, giving the territory colonial status.

Italian occupation gradually extended inland. In 1924, the Jubaland Province of Kenya, including the town and port of Kismayo, was ceded to Italy by the United Kingdom. The subjugation and occupation of the independent sultanates of Obbia and Mijertein, begun in 1925, were completed in 1927. In the late 1920s, Italian and Somali influence expanded into the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia. Continuing incursions climaxed in 1935 when Italian forces launched an offensive that led to the capture of Addis Ababa and the Italian annexation of Ethiopia in 1936.

Following Italy's declaration of war on the United Kingdom in June 1940, Italian troops overran British Somaliland and drove out the British garrison. In 1941, British forces began operations against the Italian East African Empire and quickly brought the greater part of the Italian Somaliland under British control. From 1941 to 1950, while Somalia was under British military administration, transition toward self-government was begun through the establishment of local courts, planning committees, and the Protectorate Advisory Council. In 1948 Britain turned the Ogaden and neighboring Somali territories over to Ethiopia.

In Article 23 of the 1947 peace treaty, Italy renounced all rights and titles to Italian Somaliland. In accordance with treaty stipulations, on September 15, 1948, the Four Powers referred the question of disposal of former Italian colonies to the UN General Assembly. On November 21, 1949, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that Italian Somaliland be placed under an international trusteeship system for 10 years, with Italy as the administering authority, followed by independence for Italian Somaliland. In 1959, at the request of the Somali Government, the UN General Assembly advanced the date of independence from December 2 to July 1, 1960.

Meanwhile, rapid progress toward self-government was being made in British Somaliland. Elections for the Legislative Assembly were held in February 1960, and one of the first acts of the new legislature was to request that the United Kingdom grant the area independence so that it could be united with Italian Somaliland when the latter became independent. The protectorate became independent on June 26, 1960; 5 days later, on July 1, it joined Italian Somaliland to form the Somali Republic.

In June 1961, Somalia adopted its first national constitution in a countrywide referendum, which provided for a democratic state with a parliamentary form of government based on European models. During the early post-independence period, political parties reflected clan loyalties and brought a basic split between the regional interests of the former British-controlled north and the Italian-controlled south. There also was substantial conflict between pro-Arab, pan-Somali militants intent on national unification with the Somali-inhabited territories in Ethiopia and Kenya and the "modernists," who wished to give priority to economic and social development and improving relations with other African countries. Gradually, the Somali Youth League, formed under British auspices in 1943, assumed a dominant position and succeeded in cutting across regional and clan loyalties. Under the leadership of Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, prime minister from 1967 to 1969, Somalia greatly improved its relations with Kenya and Ethiopia. The process of party-based constitutional democracy came to an abrupt end, however, on October 21, 1969, when the army and police, led by Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad, seized power in a bloodless coup.

Following the coup, executive and legislative power was vested in the 20-member Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), headed by Maj. Gen. Siad as president. The SRC pursued a course of "scientific socialism" that reflected both ideological and economic dependence on the Soviet Union. The government instituted a national security service, centralized control over information, and initiated a number of grassroots development projects. Perhaps the most impressive success was a crash program that introduced an orthography for the Somali language and brought literacy to a large percentage of the population.

The SRC became increasingly radical in foreign affairs, and in 1974, Somalia and the Soviet Union concluded a treaty of friendship and cooperation. As early as 1972, tensions began increasing along the Somali-Ethiopian border. In the mid-1970s, the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) began guerrilla operations in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Fighting increased, and in July 1977, the Somali National Army (SNA) crossed into the Ogaden to support the insurgents. The SNA moved quickly toward Harer, Jijiga, and Dire Dawa, the principal cities of the region. Subsequently, the Soviet Union, Somalia's most important source of arms, embargoed weapons shipments to Somalia. The Soviets switched their full support to Ethiopia, with massive infusions of Soviet arms and 10,000-15,000 Cuban troops. In November 1977, President Siad expelled all Soviet advisers and abrogated the friendship agreement with the U.S.S.R. In March 1978, Somali forces retreated into Somalia; however, the WSLF continues to carry out sporadic but greatly reduced guerrilla activity in the Ogaden.

Following the 1977 Ogaden war, President Siad looked to the West for international support, military equipment, and economic aid. The United States and other Western countries traditionally were reluctant to provide arms because of the Somali Government's support for insurgency in Ethiopia. In 1978, the United States reopened the U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Somalia. Two years later, an agreement was concluded that gave U.S. forces access to military facilities in Somalia. In the summer of 1982, Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia along the central border, and the United States provided two emergency airlifts to help Somalia defend its territorial integrity.

From 1982 to 1990 the United States viewed Somalia as a partner in defense. Somali officers of the National Armed Forces were trained in U.S. military schools in civilian as well as military subjects. Within Somalia, Siad Barre's regime became increasingly a victim of insurgencies in the northeast and northwest, whose aim was to overthrow his government. By 1988, Siad Barre was openly at war with sectors of his nation. At the President's order, aircraft from the Somali National Air Force bombed the cities in the northwest province, attacking civilian as well as insurgent targets. The warfare in the northwest sped up the decay already evident elsewhere in the republic. Economic crisis, brought on by the cast of the anti-insurgency, caused further hardship as Siad Barre and his cronies looted the national treasury.

By 1990, little remained of the Somali Republic. The insurgency in the northwest was largely successful. The army dissolved into competing armed groups loyal to former commanders or to clan-tribal leaders. The economy was in shambles, and hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes. In 1991, Siad Barre and forces loyal to him fled the capital; he died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to the political chaos and death in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes--one man-made and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia. The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew after a pitched gun battle with Somali gunmen that left hundreds dead or wounded.

GOVERNMENT

Somalia has no government at present. For administrative purposes, Somalia is divided into 15 regions, each governed by a Regional Revolutionary Council whose members are appointed by the president.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the wake of the collapse of the Somali Government, factions organized around military leaders took control of Somalia. The resulting chaos and loss of life promoted the international intervention led by the United States, UNITAF. That operation was followed by the United Nations Operations in Somalia, UNOSOM, which ended in 1994. Since that time, various groupings of Somali factions have sought to control the national territory and have fought small wars with one another. Hussein "Aideed", and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, leaders of such factions, both claimed executive power in a new "government" based in Mogadishu. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, first President of Somalia, was selected by elders as President of "Somaliland" which is made up of the former northwest provinces of the republic. As many as 30 other factions vie for some degree of authority in the country.

Efforts at mediation of the Somali internal dispute have been undertaken by many regional states. Ethiopia has played host to several Somali peace conferences and initiated talks at the Ethiopian city of Sodere, which led to some degree of agreement between competing factions. The Governments of Egypt, Yemen, Kenya, and Italy also have attempted to bring the Somali factions together. In 1997, the Organization of African Unity and the Inter-Governmental Agency on Development gave Ethiopia the mandate to pursue Somali reconciliation.

ECONOMY

Somalia lacks natural resources and faces major development challenges. Its economy is pastoral and agricultural, with livestock--principally camels, cattle, sheep, and goats--representing the main form of wealth. Because rainfall is scanty and irregular, farming generally is limited to certain coastal districts, areas near Hargeisa, and the Juba and Shebelle River valleys. The modern sector of the agricultural economy consists mainly of banana plantations located in the south, which use modern irrigation systems and up-to-date farm machinery.

A small fishing industry has begun in the north where tuna, shark, and other warm-water fish are caught. Aromatic woods--frankincense and myrrh--from a small forest area also contribute to the country's exports. Minerals, including petroleum, natural gas, and uranium, are found throughout the country, but none have been exploited commercially. Several oil companies are exploring for petroleum. With the help of foreign aid, small industries such as textiles, handicrafts, meat processing, and printing are being established.

There are no railways in Somalia; internal transportation is by truck and bus. The national road system comprises 14,400 kilometers (9,000 mi.) of roads that include about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 mi.) of all-weather roads.

Air transportation is provided by small air charter firms and craft used by drug smugglers. The UN and other NGOs operate air service for their missions.

The European Community and the World Bank jointly financed construction of a deepwater port at Mogadishu. The Soviet Union improved Somalia's deepwater port at Berbera in 1969. Facilities at Berbera were further improved by a U.S. military construction program completed in 1985. During the 1990s the United States renovated a deepwater port at Kismayo that serves the fertile Juba River basin and is vital to Somalia's banana export industry. Smaller ports are located at Merca, Brava, and Bossaso.

Radiotelephone service is available to Aden, Zanzibar, and Nairobi, as well as to Rome and London. The internal telecommunications system has broken down completely. Somalia is linked to the outside world via ship-to-shore communications (INMARSAT) and private telephone networks operating from other countries. Most cities and villages are not linked to Mogadishu or Hargeisa. Radio broadcasting stations operate at Mogadishu and at Hargeisa, with programs in Somali, English, Italian, Swahili, and Arabic.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since independence, Somalia has followed a foreign policy of nonalignment. It has received major economic assistance from the United States, Italy, and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as from the Soviet Union and China. The government has sought close ties with many Arab countries.

The status of expatriate Somalis is an important foreign and domestic issue. A goal of Somali nationalism is to unite the other Somali-inhabited territories with the republic consistent with the objectives of pan-Somali tradition. This issue has been a major cause of past crises between Somalia and its neighbors--Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti.

In 1963, Somalia severed diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom for a period following a dispute over Kenya's northeastern region (Northern Frontier District), an area inhabited mainly by Somalis. Somalia urged self-determination for the people of the area, while Kenya refused to consider any steps that might threaten its territorial integrity. Related problems have arisen from the boundary with Ethiopia and the large-scale migrations of Somali nomads between Ethiopia and Somalia. Since 1981, the Somali Government and Kenya have embarked on a rapprochement that brought an exchange of senior Kenyan and Somali officials in May 1983, and a visit to Mogadishu by Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi in July 1984.

In the aftermath of the 1977-78 Somali-Ethiopian war, the Government of Somalia continued to call for self-determination for ethnic Somalis living in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia. At the March 1983 Nonaligned Movement summit in New Delhi, President Siad stated that Somalia harbors no expansionist aims and is willing to negotiate with Ethiopia.

Since the fall of the Barre regime, Somali foreign policy has centered on winning international support for various plans for national reconciliation.

DEFENSE

The Somali National Army was made up of the army, navy, air force, and air defense command. High-ranking army officials play a major role in Somalia's political affairs. The total strength of the army was about 50,000 personnel. Most Somali military equipment and weaponry are Soviet hardware delivered between 1972 and 1977. About 50% of that equipment was lost during the 1977 Ogaden war, and much of the remainder is rapidly deteriorating. In recent years the government has turned to Western countries in seeking new and modern weaponry for its military. Western military aid has centered on modest deliveries of defensive arms, training, and improved maintenance. The People's Republic of China, Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have provided most of Somalia's recent foreign military assistance. The Somali Government's demise led to the de facto dissolution of the national armed forces.


SOUTH AFRICA

PEOPLE

Until 1991, South African law divided the population into four major racial categories: Africans (black), whites, coloreds, and Asians. Although this law has been abolished, many South Africans still view themselves and each other according to these categories. Africans comprise about 75% of the population and are divided into a number of different ethnic groups. Whites comprise about 14% of the population. They are primarily descendants of Dutch, French, English, and German settlers who began arriving at the Cape in the late 17th century. Coloreds are mixed race people, primarily descending from the earliest settlers and the indigenous peoples. They comprise about 9% of the total population. Asians descend from Indian workers brought to South Africa in the mid-19th century to work on the sugar estates in Natal. They constitute about 2% of the population and are concentrated in the Kwazulu-Natal Province.

Education is in a state of flux. Under the apartheid system, schools were segregated, and the quantity and quality of education varied significantly across racial groups. Although the laws governing this segregation have been abolished, the long and arduous process of restructuring the country's educational system is just beginning. The challenge is to create a single nondiscriminatory, nonracial system which offers the same standards of education to all people.

HISTORY

People have inhabited Southern Africa for thousands of years. Members of the Khoisan language groups are the oldest surviving inhabitants of the land; however, only a few are left in South Africa today, and they are located in the western sections. Most of today's black South Africans belong to the Bantu language group, which migrated south from central Africa, settling in the Transvaal region sometime before AD 100. The Nguni, ancestors of the Zulu and Xhosa, occupied most of the eastern coast by 1500.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope, arriving in 1488. However, permanent white settlement did not begin until 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a provisioning station on the Cape. In subsequent decades, French Huguenot refugees, the Dutch, and Germans began to settle in the Cape. Collectively, they form the Afrikaner segment of today's population. The establishment of these settlements had far-reaching social and political effects on the groups already settled in the area, leading to upheaval in these societies and the subjugation of their people.

By 1779, European settlements extended throughout the southern part of the Cape and east toward the Great Fish River. It was here that Dutch authorities and the Xhosa fought the first frontier war. The British gained control of the Cape of Good Hope at the end of the 18th century. Subsequent British settlement and rule marked the beginning of a long conflict between the Afrikaners and the English.

Beginning in 1836, partly to escape British rule and cultural hegemony and partly out of resentment at the recent abolition of slavery, many Afrikaner farmers (Boers) undertook a northern migration which became known as the "Great Trek." This movement brought them into contact and conflict with African groups in the area, the most formidable of which were the Zulus. Under their powerful leader, Shaka (1787-1828), the Zulus conquered most of the territory between the Drakensburg Mountains and the sea (now Kwazulu-Natal).

In 1828, Shaka was assassinated and replaced by his half-brother Dingane. In 1838, Dingane was defeated and deported by the Voortrekkers (people of the Great Trek) at the battle of Blood River. The Zulus, nonetheless, remained a potent force, defeating the British in the historic battle of Isandhlwana before themselves being finally conquered in 1879.

In 1852 and 1854, the independent Boer Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State were created. Relations between the republics and the British Government were strained. The discovery of diamonds at Kimberley in 1870 and the discovery of large gold deposits in the Witwatersrand region of the Transvaal in 1886 caused an influx of European (mainly British) immigration and investment. Many blacks also moved into the area to work in the mines. The construction by mine owners of hostels to house and control their workers set patterns that later extended throughout the region.

Boer reactions to this influx and British political intrigues led to the Anglo-Boer Wars of 1880-81 and 1899-1902. British forces prevailed in the conflict, and the republics were incorporated into the British Empire. In May 1910, the two republics and the British colonies of the Cape and Natal formed the Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion of the British Empire. The Union's constitution kept all political power in the hands of whites.

In 1912, the South Africa Native National Congress was formed in Bloemfontein and eventually became known as the African National Congress (ANC). Its goals were the elimination of restrictions based on color and the enfranchisement of and parliamentary representation for blacks. Despite these efforts, the government continued to pass laws limiting the rights and freedoms of blacks.

In 1948, the National Party (NP) won the all-white elections and began passing legislation codifying and enforcing an even stricter policy of white domination and racial separation known as "apartheid" (separateness). In the early 1960s, following a protest in Sharpville in which 69 protesters were killed by police and 180 injured, the ANC and Pan-African Congress (PAC) were banned. Nelson Mandela and many other anti-apartheid leaders were convicted and imprisoned on charges of treason.

The ANC and PAC were forced underground and fought apartheid through guerrilla warfare and sabotage. In May 1961, South Africa relinquished its dominion status and declared itself a republic. Later that year, it withdrew from the Commonwealth, in part because of international protests against apartheid. In 1984, a new constitution came into effect in which whites allowed coloreds and Asians a limited role in the national government and control over their own affairs in certain areas. Ultimately, however, all power remained in white hands. Blacks remained effectively disenfranchised.

Popular uprisings in black and colored townships in 1976 and 1985 helped to convince some NP members of the need for change. Secret discussions between those members and Nelson Mandela began in 1986. In February 1990, State President F.W. de Klerk--who had come to power in September 1989--announced the unbanning of the ANC, the PAC, and all other anti-apartheid groups. Two weeks later, Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

In 1991, the Group Areas Act, Land Acts, and the Population Registration Act--the last of the so-called "pillars of apartheid"--were abolished. A long series of negotiations ensued, resulting in a new constitution promulgated into law in December 1993. The country's first nonracial elections were held on April 26-29, 1994, resulting in the installation of Nelson Mandela as President on May 10, 1994.

GOVERNMENT

Following the 1994 elections, South Africa was governed under an Interim Constitution. This constitution required the Constituent Assembly (CA) to draft and approve a permanent constitution by May 9, 1996. After review by the Constitutional Court and intensive negotiations within the CA, a revised draft was certified by the Constitutional Court on December 2, 1996. President Mandela signed the new Constitution into law on December 10, and it entered into force on February 3, 1997.

The Government of National Unity (GNU) established under the Interim Constitution remains in effect until the next national elections in 1999. The parties originally comprising the GNU--the ANC, the NP, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)--shared executive power. On June 30, 1996, the NP withdrew from the GNU to become part of the opposition.

The Parliament consists of two houses--the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces--which are responsible for drafting the laws of the republic. The National Assembly also has specific control over bills relating to monetary matters. The current 400-member National Assembly was retained under the new Constitution, although the Constitution allows for a range of between 350 and 400 members. The Assembly is elected by a system of "list proportional representation." Each of the parties appearing on the ballot submits a rank-ordered list of candidates. The voters then cast their ballots for one party. Seats in the Assembly are allocated based on the percentage of votes each party receives. In the 1994 elections, the ANC won 252 seats in the Assembly, the NP 82, the IFP 43, the Vyheidsfront/Freedom Front (FF) 9, the Democratic Party (DP) 7, the Pan-African Congress (PAC) 5, and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) 2.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) consists of 90 members, 10 from each of the nine provinces. The NCOP replaced the former Senate as the second chamber of Parliament and was created to give a greater voice to provincial interests. It must approve legislation that involves shared national and provincial competencies as defined by an annex to the Constitution. Each provincial delegation consists of six permanent and four rotating delegates.

The president is the executive head of state. Following the April 1994 elections, the National Assembly elected Nelson Mandela president. In addition, both the largest and second largest parties--the ANC and NP--chose one executive deputy president each. With the withdrawal of the NP from the GNU, the ANC's Thabo Mbeki is currently the sole executive deputy president. The president's responsibilities include assigning cabinet portfolios, signing bills into law, and serving as commander in chief of the military. The president must work closely with the executive deputy president and the cabinet. There are 27 posts in the cabinet, 24 of which are currently held by the ANC and 3 by the IFP.

The third arm of the central government is an independent judiciary. The Constitutional Court is the highest court for interpreting and deciding constitutional issues, while the Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court for non-constitutional matters. Most cases are heard in the extensive system of High Courts and Magistrates Courts. The Constitution's Bill of Rights provides for due process, including the right to a fair, public trial within a reasonable time of being charged and the right to appeal to a higher court. The Bill of Rights also guarantees fundamental political and social rights of South Africa's citizens.

Challenges Ahead

The new Government of South Africa has made remarkable progress in consolidating the nation's peaceful transition to democracy. Programs to improve the delivery of essential social services to the majority of the population are underway. Access to better opportunities in education and business is becoming more widespread. Nevertheless, transforming South Africa's society to remove the legacy of apartheid will be a long-term process requiring the sustained commitment of the leaders and people of the nation's disparate groups.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), chaired by 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has helped to advance the reconciliation process. Constituted in 1996 and due to finish its work in 1998, the TRC is empowered to investigate apartheid-era human rights abuses committed between 1960 and May 10, 1994, to grant amnesty to those who committed politically motivated crimes and to recommend compensation to victims of abuses. The TRC's mandate is part of the larger process of reconciling the often conflicting political, economic, and cultural interests held by the many peoples that make up South Africa's diverse population. The ability of the government and people to agree on many basic questions of how to order the country's new society will be a critical challenge stretching into the 21st century.

One important issue continues to be the relationship of provincial and local administrative structures to the national government. Prior to April 27, 1994, South Africa was divided into four provinces and 10 black "homelands," four of which were considered independent by the South African Government. Both the Interim Constitution and the new 1997 Constitution abolished this system and substituted nine provinces. Each province has an elected legislature and chief executive--the provincial premier. Although in form a federal system, in practice the nature of the relationship between the central and provincial governments has yet to be determined and is the subject of considerable debate, particularly among groups desiring a greater measure of autonomy from the central government. A key step in defining the relationship came in 1997, when provincial governments were given more than half of central government funding and permitted to develop and manage their own budgets.

Although South Africa's economy is in many areas highly developed, the exclusionary nature of apartheid and distortions caused in part by the country's international isolation until the 1990s have left major weaknesses. The economy is now in a process of transition as the government seeks to address the inequities of apartheid, stimulate growth, and create jobs. Business, meanwhile, is becoming more integrated into the international system, and foreign investment has increased dramatically over the past several years. Still, the economic disparities between population groups are expected to persist for many years, remaining an area of priority attention for the government.

Human Rights

The new Constitution's Bill of Rights provides extensive guarantees, including the following: equality before the law and prohibitions against discrimination; the right to life, privacy, property, and freedom and security of the person; prohibition against slavery and forced labor; and freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and association. The legal rights of criminal suspects also are enumerated, as are citizens' entitlements to a safe environment, housing, education, and health care. The Constitution provides for an independent and impartial judiciary, and, in practice, these provisions are respected.

Since the abolition of apartheid, levels of political violence in South Africa have dropped dramatically. In some areas, such as parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province, tensions remain extremely high. Political and extrajudicial killings continue to occur. Violent crime and organized criminal activity is at high levels and is a grave concern. Partly as a result, vigilante action and mob justice sometime occur.

Some members of the police commit abuses, and deaths in police custody and as a result of excessive force remain serious problems. The government has taken action to investigate and punish some of those who commit such abuses. In April 1997, the government established an Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate deaths in police custody and deaths resulting from police action.

Although South Africa's society is undergoing a rapid transformation, discrimination against women and the disabled continues, and violence against women and children is a serious problem.

ECONOMY

South Africa has a productive and industrialized economy that paradoxically exhibits many characteristics associated with developing countries, including a division of labor between formal and informal sectors--and uneven distribution of wealth and income. The formal sector, based on mining, manufacturing, services, and agriculture, is well developed.

The transition to a democratic, nonracial government, begun in early 1990, stimulated a debate on the direction of economic policies to achieve sustained economic growth while at the same time redressing the socioeconomic disparities created by apartheid. The Government of National Unity's initial blueprint to address this problem was the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP). The RDP was designed to create programs to improve the standard of living for the majority of the population by providing housing--a planned 1 million new homes in 5 years--basic services, education, and health care. While a specific "ministry" for the RDP no longer exists, a number of government ministries and offices are charged with supporting RDP programs and goals.

In June 1996, the government announced a new market-driven economic plan--"Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macroeconomic Strategy" (GEAR). The GEAR emphasizes a private sector/market-based approach; parastatal privatization; and conservative fiscal and monetary policies to facilitate economic growth, job creation, and accelerated trade liberalization. South Africa aims to maintain an attractive business environment and encourages both foreign and domestic investment.

Financial Policy

South Africa has a sophisticated financial structure with a large and active stock exchange that ranks 19th in the world in terms of total market capitalization. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) performs all central banking functions. The SARB is independent and now operates in much the same way as Western central banks, influencing interest rates and controlling liquidity through its interest rates on funds provided to private sector banks. Quantitative credit controls and administrative control of deposit and lending rates have largely disappeared.

The South African Government has taken steps to gradually reduce remaining foreign exchange controls, which apply mainly to South African residents. Private citizens are now allowed a one-time investment of up to 200,000 rand in offshore accounts and are free to hold foreign currency accounts in South African banks. In January 1998, the Finance Ministry removed the ceiling on foreign exchange holdings for commercial banks.

Trade and Investment

South Africa has rich mineral resources. It is the world's largest producer and exporter of gold and also exports a significant amount of coal. The value-added processing of minerals to produce ferroalloys, stainless steels, and similar products is a major industry and an important growth area. The country's diverse manufacturing industry is a world leader in several specialized sectors, including railway rolling stock, synthetic fuels, and mining equipment and machinery.

Agriculture accounts for about 5% of the gross domestic product. Major crops include citrus and deciduous fruits, corn, wheat, dairy products, sugarcane, tobacco, wine, and wool. South Africa has many developed irrigation schemes and generally is a net exporter of food.

South Africa's transportation infrastructure is well developed, supporting both domestic and regional needs. The Johannesburg International Airport serves as a hub for flights to other Southern African countries. The domestic telecommunications infrastructure provides modern and efficient service to urban areas, including widespread access to cellular and internet services. In 1997, Telkom, the South African telecommunications parastatal, was partly privatized and entered into a strategic equity partnership with a consortium of two companies, including a U.S. telecommunications company. The South African Government pledged to reinvest $1 billion of the purchase price into to Telkom to facilitate network modernization and expansion into unserved areas.

South Africa's GDP is expected to increase gradually during the next few years. Annual GDP growth since 1994 has fluctuated between an estimate of 1.5% and 3.4%. The government estimates that the economy must achieve growth at a minimum of 6% to offset unemployment, which is officially stated to be about 30%. In an effort to boost economic growth and spur job creation, the government has launched special investment corridors to promote development in specific regions, and also is working to encourage small, medium, and microenterprise development. One of the great successes of the ANC government has been to get CPI inflation, which had been running in the double digits for over 20 years, under control. By December 1997, inflation had fallen to 6.1%. The government also has made inroads into reducing the fiscal deficit and increasing foreign currency reserves. Several factors could impact on this positive direction, including repercussions from financial crises in other areas of the world, low prices for minerals and metals, particularly gold, and continued lack of fiscal accountability by South Africa's provincial governments.

Exports and imports account for 44% of the GDP. South Africa's major trading partners include the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Japan. South Africa's trade with other Sub-Saharan African countries, particularly those in the Southern Africa region, has increased substantially. South Africa is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In August 1996, South Africa signed a regional trade protocol agreement with its SADC partners. While the agreement has yet to be ratified, negotiations continue to finalize tariff bindings and move the region toward economic integration.

South Africa has made great progress in dismantling its old economic system, which was based on import substitution, high tariffs and subsidies, anti-competitive behavior, and extensive government intervention in the economy. The new leadership has moved to reduce the government's role in the economy and to promote private sector investment and competition. It has significantly reduced tariffs and export subsidies, loosened exchange controls, cut in half the secondary tax on corporate dividends, and improved enforcement of intellectual property laws. It is in the process of drafting a new competition law. A U.S.-South Africa bilateral tax treaty went into effect on January 1, 1998.

South Africa is a contracting party to the Generalized Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). U.S. products qualify for South Africa's most- favored-nation tariff rates. Many South African shipments to the United States receive U.S. Generalized System of Preferences treatment. South Africa still maintains a list of restricted goods requiring import permits. Nevertheless, the government remains committed to the simplification and continued reduction of tariffs within the WTO framework and maintains active discussions with that body and its major trading partners.

As a result of a November 1993 bilateral agreement, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) can now assist U.S. investors in the South African market with services such as political risk insurance and loans and loan guarantees. In July 1996, the United States and South Africa signed an investment fund protocol for a $120 million OPIC fund that will make equity investments in South and Southern Africa. The Trade and Development Agency also has been actively involved in funding feasibility studies and identifying investment opportunities in South Africa for U.S. businesses.

Environment

South Africa's Government is deeply concerned about managing the country's rich and varied natural resources in a responsible and sustainable manner. It 1997, it ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Numerous South African non-governmental organizations are engaged in the public policy debate on climate change, habitat conservation, and sustainable development.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

South African forces fought on the Allied side in World Wars I and II and participated in the post-war UN force in Korea. South Africa was a founding member of the League of Nations and in 1927 established a Department of External Affairs with diplomatic missions in the main West European countries and in the United States. At the founding of the League of Nations, South Africa was given the mandate to govern South-West Africa, now Namibia, which had been a German colony before World War I. In 1990, South Africa granted independence to Namibia with the exception of the enclave of Walvis Bay, which was reintegrated into Namibia in March 1994. After South Africa held its first nonracial election in April 1994, most sanctions imposed by the international community in opposition to the system of apartheid were lifted. On June 1, 1994, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth, and on June 23, 1994, its credentials to the UN General Assembly were accepted. South Africa also joined the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Having emerged from the international isolation of the apartheid era, South Africa has become a leading international actor. Its principal foreign policy objective is to develop good relations with all countries, especially its neighbors in the SADC and the other members of the OAU. In August 1998, South Africa assumes the chair of the Non-Aligned Movement.


 

SUDAN

PEOPLE

In Sudan's 1981 census, the population was calculated at 21 million. Current estimates range to 25 million. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing, and ranges from 3-4 million, including over 1 million displaced persons from the southern war zone.

Sudan has two distinct cultures--Arab and black African--and effective collaboration between them is a major problem.

The five northern regions cover most of Sudan and include most urban centers. Most of the estimated 18 million Sudanese who live in this area are Arabic-speaking Muslims. Among these are several distinct tribal groups; the Kababish of northern Kordofan, a camel-raising people; the Jaalin and Shaigiyya groups of settled tribes living along rivers; the semi-nomadic Baggara of Kordofan and Darfur; the Hamitic Beja in the Red Sea area and Nubians of the northern Nile area, some of whom have been resettled on the Atbara River; and the Negroid Nuba of southern Kordofan and Fur in the western reaches of the country.

The southern region has a population of about 4-6 million and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy. Here the Sudanese practice mainly indigenous, traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. The south also contains many tribal groups and uses many more languages than the north. The Dinka (pop. 1 million or more) is the largest of the many black African tribes in Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they are among the Nilotic tribes. The Azande, Bor, and Jo Luo are "Sudanic" tribes in the west, and the Acholi and Lotuhu live in the extreme south, extending into Uganda.

HISTORY

Sudan was a collection of small, independent states from the beginning of the Christian era until 1820-21, when Egypt conquered and unified the northern portion of the country. Although Egypt claimed all of present Sudan during most of the 19th century, it was unable to establish effective control of southern Sudan, which remained an area of fragmented tribes subject to frequent attacks by slave raiders.

In 1881, a religious leader named Muhammad Ahmed ibn Abdalla proclaimed himself the Mahdi, or "expected one," and began to unify tribes in western and central Sudan. His followers took on the name "Ansars," which they continue to use today. Taking advantage of conditions resulting from Ottoman-Egyptian exploitation and maladministration, the Mahdi led a nationalist revolt culminating in the fall of Khartoum in 1885. The Mahdi died shortly thereafter, but his state survived until overwhelmed by an Anglo-Egyptian force under Kitchener in 1898. Sudan was proclaimed a condominium in 1899 under British-Egyptian administration. While maintaining the appearance of joint administration, the British formulated policies, and supplied most of the top administrators.

Independence

In February 1953, the United Kingdom and Egypt concluded an agreement providing for Sudanese self-government and self- determination. The transitional period toward independence began with the inauguration of the first parliament in 1954. With the consent of the British and Egyptian governments, Sudan achieved independence on January 1, 1956, under a provisional constitution. The United States was among the first foreign powers to recognize the new state.

The National Unionist Party (NUP), under Prime Minister Ismail el- Azhari, dominated the first cabinet, which was soon replaced by a coalition of conservative political forces. In 1958, following a period of economic difficulties and political maneuvering that paralyzed public administration, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Abboud overthrew the parliamentary regime in a bloodless coup.

Gen. Abboud did not carry out his promises to return Sudan to civilian government, however, and popular resentment against army rule led to a wave of riots and strikes in late October 1964 that forced the military to relinquish power.

The Abboud regime was followed by a provisional civilian government until parliamentary elections in April 1965 led to a coalition government of the Umma and National Unionist Parties under Prime Minister Muhammad Ahmad Mahjoub. Between 1966 and 1969, Sudan had a series of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence.

Dissatisfaction culminated in a second military coup on May 25, 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Muhhamad Nimeiri, became prime minister, and the new regime abolished parliament and outlawed all political parties.

Disputes between Marxist and non-Marxist elements within the ruling military coalition resulted in a briefly successful coup in July 1971, led by the Sudanese Communist Party. Several days later, anti-communist military elements restored Nimeiri to power.

In 1976, the Ansars mounted a bloody but unsuccessful coup attempt. In July 1977, President Nimeiri met with Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, opening the way for reconciliation. Hundreds of political prisoners were released, and in August a general amnesty was announced for all opponents of Nimeiri's government.

In September 1983, as part of an Islamicization campaign, President Nimeiri announced his decision to incorporate traditional Islamic punishments drawn from the Shari'a (Islamic law) into the penal code. This was controversial even among Muslim groups. After questioning Nimeiri's credentials to Islamicize Sudanese society, Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was placed under house arrest. On April 26, 1984, President Nimeiri declared a state of emergency, in part to ensure that Shari'a was applied more broadly. Most constitutionally guaranteed rights were suspended. In the North, emergency courts later known as "decisive justice courts," were established, with summary jurisdiction over criminal cases. Amputations for theft and public lashings for alcohol possession were common during the state of emergency. Southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north were also subjected to these punishments.

In September 1984, President Nimeiri announced the end of the state of emergency and dismantled the emergency courts but soon promulgated a new judiciary act which continued many of the practices of the emergency courts. Despite Nimeiri's public assurances that the rights of non-Muslims would be respected, southerners and other non-Muslims remained deeply suspicious.

Early 1985 saw serious shortages of fuel and bread in Khartoum, a growing insurgency in the south, drought and famine, and an increasingly difficult refugee burden. In early April, during Nimeiri's absence from the country, massive demonstrations, first triggered by price increases on bread and other staples, broke out in Khartoum.

On April 6, 1985, senior military officers led by Gen. Suwar el Dahab mounted a coup. Among the first acts of the new government was to suspend the 1983 constitution and disband Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union. A 15-member transitional military council was named, chaired by Gen. Suwar el Dahab. In consultation with an informal conference of political parties, unions, and professional organizations known as the "Gathering," the council appointed an interim civilian cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. El Gizouli Defalla.

Elections were held in April 1986, and the transitional military council turned over power to a civilian government as promised. The government, headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi of the Umma party, consisted of a coalition of the Umma, DUP, and several southern parties. This coalition dissolved and reformed several times over the next few years, with Sadiq al Mahdi and his Umma party always in a central role.

During this period, the economy continued to deteriorate. When prices of basic goods were increased in 1988, riots ensued, and the price increases were cancelled. The civil war in the south was particularly divisive (see "Civil Strife" below). When Sadiq refused to approve a peace plan reached by the DUP and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) in November 1988, the DUP left the government. The new government consisted essentially of the Umma and the Islamic fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF).

In February 1989, the army presented Sadiq with an ultimatum: he could move toward peace or be thrown out. He formed a new government with the DUP and approved the SPLA/DUP agreement. On June 30, 1989, however, military officers under then-Colonel Omar al Bashir replaced the government with the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), a junta comprised of 15 (reduced to 12 in 1991) military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet. General al Bashir is president and chief of state, prime minister and chief of the armed forces.

In March of 1991, a new penal code, the Criminal Act of 1991, instituted harsh punishments nationwide, including amputation and stoning. Although the southern states are 'officially' exempt from these Islamic prohibitions and penalties, the 1991 act provides for a possible future application of Islamic law (Shari'a) in the south. In 1993, the government transferred all non-Muslim judges from the south to the north, replacing them with Muslim judges.

Civil Strife

In 1955, southern resentment of northern domination culminated in a mutiny among southern troops in Equatoria Province. For the next 17 years, the southern region experienced civil strife, and various southern leaders agitated for regional autonomy or outright secession.

This chronic state of insurgency against the central government was suspended early in 1972 after the signing of the Addis Ababa accords granting southern Sudan wide regional autonomy on internal matters, but a 1983 decree by President Nimeiri dividing the south into three regions revived southern opposition and militant insurgency. After the 1985 coup, the new government rescinded this decree and made other significant overtures aimed at reconciling north and south. In May 1986, the Sadiq al Mahdi government began peace negotiations with the SPLA, led by Col. John Garang de Mabior. In that year the SPLA and a number of Sudanese political parties met in Ethiopia and agreed to the "Koka Dam" declaration, which called for abolishing Islamic law and convening a constitutional conference. In 1988, the SPLA and the DUP agreed on a peace plan calling for the abolition of military pacts with Egypt and Libya, freezing of Islamic laws, an end to the state of emergency, and a cease-fire. A constitutional conference would then be convened.

Following an ultimatum from the armed forces in February 1989, the Sadiq government approved this peace plan and engaged in several rounds of talks with the SPLA. A constitutional conference was tentatively planned for September 1989. The military government which took over on June 30, 1989, however, repudiated the DUP- SPLA agreement and stated it wished to negotiate with the SPLA without preconditions. Negotiating sessions in August and December 1989 brought little progress.

The SPLA is in control of large areas of Equatoria, Bahr al Ghazal and Upper Nile provinces and also operates in the southern portions of Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces. The government controls a number of the major southern towns and cities, including Juba, Wau, and Malakal. An informal cease-fire in May broke down in October 1989, and fighting has continued since then. In August of 1991, opponents of Colonel Garang's leadership of the SPLA form the so- called Nasir faction of the rebel army. In September of 1992, William Nyuon Bany formed a second rebel faction and in February of 1993, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol formed a third rebel faction. On April 5, 1993, the three dissident rebel factions announced a coalition of their groups called SPLA united at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 1991, the factions have clashed occasionally and thus, the rebels have lost all credibility in the West. Since late 1993, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda have pursued a peace initiative for Sudan under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) but results have been mixed.

The ongoing civil war has displaced over 2 million southerners. Some fled into southern cities, such as Juba; others trekked as far north as Khartoum and even on into Ethiopia. These people were unable to grow food or earn money to feed themselves, and malnutrition and starvation became widespread.

Following an international outcry, the Sadiq al Mahdi government in March 1989 agreed with the UN and donor nations (including the US) on a plan called Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), under which some 100,000 tons of food was moved into both government and SPLA-held areas in southern Sudan, and widespread starvation was averted. OLS was suspended when the informal cease-fire broke down in late 1989. Following prolonged negotiations, Phase II of OLS to cover 1990 was approved by both the government and the SPLA in March of 1990. In 1991, Sudan faced a food shortage across the entire country because of two consecutive years of drought. The US, the UN, and other donors attempted to mount a coordinated international relief effort in both northern and southern Sudan in order to avert a catastrophe. However, due to Sudan's human rights abuses and its pro-Iraqi stance during the Persian Gulf War, many donors have cut much of their aid to Sudan.

GOVERNMENT

Since 1983 Sudan has been divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a governor. Since the 1985 coup, regional assemblies have been suspended. Each region is now under the control of a military governor. All regions have limited budgetary powers and depend on the central government for economic support. Khartoum province, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a special commissioner.

ECONOMY

Sudan's primary resources are agricultural. Although the country is trying to diversify its cash crops, cotton accounts for nearly 50 percent of export earnings. Another large export crop is gum arabic, used in pharmaceuticals, food preparation, and printing, with Sudan producing four-fifths of the world's supply. Grain sorghum (dura) is the principal food crop, and wheat is grown for domestic consumption. Other crops such as sesame seeds and peanuts are cultivated for domestic consumption and increasingly for export. Livestock production has vast potential, and many animals, particularly camels and sheep, are exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries.

The inadequate transportation system and the high cost of hauling agricultural products over great distances are major hindrances to economic development. Sudan's only paved highways link Khartoum to Port Sudan and the capital to Kosti and the White Nile. Completed in mid-1980, the Khartoum-Port Sudan road has greatly increased commerce between these cities. Southern transportation is vulnerable to bad weather. Programs are underway to improve roads in southern and western Sudan.

At present, the country's transportation facilities consist of one 4,800-kilometer (2,784-mi.), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by river steamers, Sudan Airways, and about 1,900 km. (1,200 mi.) of paved or gravel roads.

Sudan has made large investments in growing cotton under various irrigation and pump plans, particularly the Gezira scheme, south of Khartoum between the White and Blue Niles. Rain-fed agriculture, primarily millet, sesame seeds, peanuts, and short-staple cotton, has had uneven success; there is progress in developing the rain-fed areas for mechanized agriculture. These lands are promising, provided the problems of transportation and irrigation to supplement rainfall can be resolved.

Sudan's limited industrial development consists principally of agricultural processing and various light industries located at Khartoum North. Although Sudan is reputed to have great mineral resources, exploration has been quite limited, and the country's real potential is unknown. Small quantities of asbestos, chromium, and mica are exploited commercially. Extensive petroleum exploration began in the mid-1970s and might eventually produce all of Sudan's needs. Significant finds were made in the Upper Nile region, but the ongoing civil war in that area has forced suspension of exploration and development activity there.

Sudan has an installed electrical generating capacity of 300 megawatts (MW), of which 180 MW is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. More than 70 percent of the hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are underway for expanding Roseires power station and for developing thermal and other sources of energy.

The United States, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) nations traditionally have supplied most of Sudan's economic assistance. Sudan's role as an economic link between Arab and African countries is demonstrated by the location in Khartoum of the Arab Bank for African Economic Development. The World Bank has been the largest source of development loans.

Sudan will require extraordinary levels of program assistance and debt relief to manage a foreign debt exceeding dollars 13 billion, more than the country's entire annual GDP. Since the late 1970s, the IMF, World Bank, and key donors have worked closely to promote reforms to counter the effect of inefficient economic policies and practices. By mid-1984 a combination of factors-including drought, inflation, and confused application of Islamic law-reduced donor disbursements, and capital flight led to a serious foreign-exchange crisis and increasing shortages of imported inputs and commodities.

The government fell out of compliance with the IMF standby program and accumulated substantial arrearages on repurchase obligations to the IMF. A 4-year economic reform plan was announced by the Sadiq government in 1988 but was not pursued. The government of General Omar al Bashir announced its own economic reform plan in 1989 and began implementing a 3-year economic restructuring program on July 1, 1990, designed to reduce the public sector deficit, end subsidies, privatize state enterprises, and encourage new foreign and domestic investment. Sudan remains the world's largest debtor to the IMF, with accumulated arrears of over $1.3 billion. In August of 1993, the IMF suspended Sudan's voting rights. In September of 1993, the World Bank suspended Sudan's right to make withdrawals under effective and fully disbursed loans and credits.

Sudan continues to suffer from a severe shortage of foreign exchange, as imports exceed exports by more than two to one. In October of 1993, the government reimposed currency controls, making it illegal to possess foreign exchange without prior approval. Exports are largely stagnant. The small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, and Sudan's inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic recovery. Foreign exchange rate policies discourage remittances from Sudanese working abroad.

DEFENSE

The Sudanese People's Armed Forces is a 60,000-member army supported by a small air force and navy. It is a defensive force, having the additional duty of maintaining internal security. Some rebels currently fighting in the south are former army members. Sudan's military services are hampered by limited and outdated equipment. In the 1980's, the US worked with the Sudanese government to upgrade equipment with special emphasis on airlift capacity and logistics. All US military assistance was terminated following the military coup of June 30, 1989. Sudan has most recently received military assistance from Iraq, China, and Libya.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Sudan in recent years has tried to steer a non-aligned course, courting western aid and seeking rapprochement with Arab states, while maintaining cooperative ties with Libya, Iran, the Comoros islands, and Iraq.

Solidarity with other Arab countries has been a feature of Sudan's foreign policy. When the Arab-Israeli war began in June 1967, Sudan declared war on Israel. However, in the early and mid-1970s, Sudan gradually shifted its stance and was supportive of the Camp David process.

Relations between Sudan and Libya deteriorated in the early 1970s and reached a low in October 1981, when Libya's leader began a policy of cross-border raids into western Sudan. After the 1985 coup, the military government resumed diplomatic relations with Libya, as part of a policy of improving relations with neighboring and Arab states. In early 1990, Libya and Sudan announced that they would seek "unity." It is not clear how or when this unity will be implemented.



 

TANZANIA

PEOPLE

Population distribution in Tanzania is extremely uneven. Density varies from 1 person per square kilometer (3/sq. mi.) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometer (133/sq. mi.) in the mainland's well-watered highlands and 134 per square kilometer (347/sq. mi.) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the capital and largest city; Dodoma, located in the center of Tanzania, has been designated to become the new capital by the end of the decade.

The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Haya, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Chaga have more than 1 million members. The majority of Tanzanians, including such large tribes as the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are of Bantu stock. Groups of Nilotic or related origin include the nomadic Masai and the Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya. Two small groups speak languages of the Khoisan family peculiar to the Bushman and Hottentot peoples. Cushitic-speaking peoples, originally from the Ethiopian highlands, reside in a few areas of Tanzania.

Although much of Zanzibar's African population came from the mainland, one group known as Shirazis traces its origins to the island's early Persian settlers. Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar account for 1% of the total population. The Asian community, including Hindus, Sikhs, Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, and Goans, has declined by 50% in the past decade to 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans reside in Tanzania.

Each ethnic group has its own language, but the national language is Kiswahili, a Bantu-based tongue with strong Arabic borrowings.

HISTORY

Tanganyika/Tanzania

Northern Tanganyika's famed Olduvai Gorge has provided rich evidence of the area's prehistory, including fossil remains of some of humanity's earliest ancestors. Discoveries suggest that East Africa may have been the site of human origin.

Little is known of the history of Tanganyika's interior during the early centuries of the Christian era. The area is believed to have been inhabited originally by ethnic groups using a click-tongue language similar to that of Southern Africa's Bushmen and Hottentots. Although remnants of these early tribes still exist, most were gradually displaced by Bantu farmers migrating from the west and south and by Nilotes and related northern peoples. Some of these groups had well-organized societies and controlled extensive areas by the time the Arab slavers, European explorers, and missionaries penetrated the interior in the first half of the 19th century.

The coastal area first felt the impact of foreign influence as early as the 8th century, when Arab traders arrived. By the 12th century, traders and immigrants came from as far away as Persia (now Iran) and India. They built a series of highly developed city and trading states along the coast, the principal one being Kilwa, a settlement of Persian origin that held ascendancy until the Portuguese destroyed it in the early 1500s.

The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama explored the East African coast in 1498 on his voyage to India. By 1506, the Portuguese claimed control over the entire coast. This control was nominal, however, because the Portuguese did not colonize the area or explore the interior. Assisted by Omani Arabs, the indigenous coastal dwellers succeeded in driving the Portuguese from the area north of the Ruvuma River by the early 18th century. Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said (1804-56) moved his capital to Zanzibar in 1841.

European exploration of the interior began in the mid-19th century. Two German missionaries reached Mt. Kilimanjaro in the 1840s. British explorers Richard Burton and John Speke crossed the interior to Lake Tanganyika in 1857. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary-explorer who crusaded against the slave trade, established his last mission at Ujiji, where he was "found" by Henry Morton Stanley, an American journalist-explorer, who had been commissioned by the New York Herald to locate him.

German colonial interests were first advanced in 1884. Karl Peters, who formed the Society for German Colonization, concluded a series of treaties by which tribal chiefs in the interior accepted German "protection." Prince Otto von Bismarck's government backed Peters in the subsequent establishment of the German East Africa Company.

In 1886 and 1890, Anglo-German agreements were negotiated that delineated the British and German spheres of influence in the interior of East Africa and along the coastal strip previously claimed by the Omani sultan of Zanzibar. In 1891, the German Government took over direct administration of the territory from the German East Africa Company and appointed a governor with headquarters at Dar es Salaam.

Although the German colonial administration brought cash crops, railroads, and roads to Tanganyika, European rule provoked African resistance, culminating in the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905-07. The rebellion, which temporarily united a number of southern tribes and ended only after and estimated 120,000 Africans had died from fighting or starvation, is considered by most Tanzanians to have been one of the first stirrings of nationalism.

German colonial domination of Tanganyika ended after World War I when control of most of the territory passed to the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate. After World War II, Tanganyika became a UN trust territory under British control. Subsequent years witnessed Tanganyika moving gradually toward self-government and independence.

In 1954, Julius K. Nyerere, a schoolteacher who was then one of only two Tanganyikans educated abroad at the university level, organized a political party--the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU-supported candidates were victorious in the Legislative Council elections of September 1958 and February 1959. In December 1959, the United Kingdom agreed to the establishment of internal self-government following general elections to be held in August 1960. Nyerere was named chief minister of the subsequent government.

In May 1961, Tanganyika became autonomous, and Nyerere became prime minister under a new constitution. Full independence was achieved on December 9, 1961. Mr. Nyerere was elected President when Tanganyika became a republic within the Commonwealth a year after independence.

Zanzibar

An early Arab/Persian trading center, Zanzibar fell under Portuguese domination in the 16th and early 17th centuries but was retaken by Omani Arabs in the early 18th century. The height of Arab rule came during the reign of Sultan Seyyid Said, who encouraged the development of clove plantations, using the island's slave labor.

The Arabs established their own garrisons at Zanzibar, Pemba, and Kilwa and carried on a lucrative trade in slaves and ivory. By 1840, Said had transferred his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar and established a ruling Arab elite. The island's commerce fell increasingly into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, who Said encouraged to settle on the island.

Zanzibar's spices attracted ships from as far away as the United States. A U.S. consulate was established on the island in 1837. The United Kingdom's early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade. In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited.

The Anglo-German agreement of 1890 made Zanzibar and Pemba a British protectorate. British rule through a sultan remained largely uncharged from the late 19th century until after World War II.

Zanzibar's political development began in earnest after 1956, when provision was first made for the election of six non-government members to the Legislative Council. Two parties were formed: the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP), presenting the dominant Arab and "Arabized" minority, and the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), led by Abaid Karume and representing the Shirazis and the African majority.

The first elections were held in July 1957, and the ASP won three of the six elected seats, with the remainder going to independents. Following the election, the ASP split; some of its Shirazi supporters left to form the Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party (ZPPP). The January 1961 election resulted in a deadlock between the ASP and a ZNP-ZPPP coalition.

On April 26, 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed the United Republic of Tanzania on October 29.

United Republic of Tanzania

TANU and the Afro-Shirazi Party of Zanzibar were merged into a single party (Chama cha Mapinduzi--CCM Revolutionary Party) on February 5, 1977. On April 26, 1977, the union of the two parties was ratified in a new constitution. The merger was reinforced by principles enunciated in the 1982 union constitution and reaffirmed in the constitution of 1984.

The elections that followed the granting of self-government in June 1963 produced similar results. Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom on December 19, 1963, as a constitutional monarchy under the sultan. On January 12, 1964, the African majority revolted against the sultan, and a new government was formed with the ASP leader, Abeid Karume, as president of Zanzibar and chairman of the Revolutionary Council. Under the terms of its political union with Tanganyika in April 1964, the Zanzibar Government retained considerable local autonomy.

Abeid Karume was named First Vice President of the union government, a post he held until his assassination in April 1972. Aboud Jumbe, a fellow member of the ASP and the Revolutionary Council, was appointed to succeed Karume. In 1981, 32 persons were selected to serve in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. The election marked the first poll since the 1964 revolution. In 1984, Jumbe resigned and was replaced by Ali Hassan Mwinyi as both President of Zanzibar and First Vice President of Tanzania. In the election of 1985, Mwinyi was elected President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Idris Wakil was elected President of Zanzibar and Second Vice President of Tanzania. In 1990, Wakil retired and was replaced as President of Zanzaibar by Salmin Amour.

In 1977, Nyerere merged TANU with the Zanzibar ruling party, the ASP, to form the CCM as the sole ruling party in both parts of the union. The CCM was to be the sole instrument for mobilizing and controlling the population in all significant political or economic activities. He envisioned the party as a "two-way street" for the flow of ideas and policy directives between the village level and the government.

President Nyerere handed over power to his successor, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, in 1985, Nyerere retained his position as Chairman of the ruling party for five more years, but in 1990, this post also was passed on to Mwinyi, who started his last five-year terms at that time. Nyerere retired from formal politics but remains influential behind the scenes.

In 1990, in response to the currents of democracy sweeping much of the world, Tanzania began making substantial changes to its political system.

GOVERNMENT

Tanzania's president, vice president, and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for 5-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president also selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members.

The unicameral National Assembly has 275 members, 232 of whom are elected from the mainland and Zanzibar. There are 37 appointed seats for women, and each political party receives a proportion of appointed seats commensurate with the number of constituency seats won. Also, five members are elected by the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the National Assembly. At present, the ruling CCM holds about 80% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.

Zanzibar's own House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently 76 members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including 50 elected by the people, 10 appointed by the president of Zanzibar, 5 ex-officio members, 10 women appointed by political parties commensurate with constituency seats won, and an attorney general appointed by the president. Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives are also 5 years. The semiautonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unique system of government.

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union.

For administrative purposes, Tanzania is divided into 25 regions--20 on the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar, and 2 on Pemba. Since 1972, a decentralization program on the mainland has worked to increase the authority of the regions. On July 1, 1983, the government reinstated 99 district councils to further increase local authority. Of the 99 councils operating in 86 districts, 19 are urban and 80 are rural. The 19 urban units are classified further as city (Dar es Salaam), municipal (Arusha, Dodoma, Tanga), and town councils (the remaining 15 communities).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

From independence in 1961 until the mid 1980s, Tanzania was a one-party state, with a socialist model of economic development. Founding Father and first president Julius Nyerere used the Kiswahili word "ujamaa" (familyhood) to describe the ideal of communal cooperation his government sought to foster.

National goals were set forth in more conventional socialist terms in the TANU constitution and reaffirmed in February 1967 in a party document, the Arusha Declaration. This declaration enunciated the principles of socialism and self-reliance, laying the foundation for government nationalization of the means of production. The Arusha Declaration also placed emphasis on improving rural living standards.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, under the administration of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Tanzania undertook a number of political and economic reforms. In January and February 1992, the government decided to adopt multiparty democracy. Legal and constitutional changes led to the registration of 11 political parties. Two parliamentary by-elections (won by CCM) in early 1994 were the first-ever multiparty elections in Tanzanian history.

In October and November 1995, Tanzania held its first multiparty general elections. The ruling CCM party's candidate, Benjamin W. Mkapa, defeated his three main rivals, winning the presidential election with 62% of the vote. In the parliamentary elections, CCM won 186 of the elected seats, while the two main opposition parties CUF and NCCR won 24 seats and 16 seats, respectively.

In the Zanzibar presidential election, incumbent CCM candidate Salmin Amour was declared the winner over rival CUF contender, Seif Sharif Hamad, in a controversial decision by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission. In the elections for Zanzibar's House of Representatives, CCM won 26 seats versus CUF's 24 seats, although the latter party decided to boycott the legislature as a protest against the Zanzibar presidential election results.

President Mkapa, Vice President Omar Ali Juma, Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye, and National Assembly members will serve until the next general elections in 2000. Similarly, Zanzibar President Salmin Amour and members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives also will complete their terms of office in 2000.

ECONOMY

Significant measures have been taken to liberalize the Tanzanian economy along market lines and encourage both foreign and domestic private investment. Beginning In 1986, the Government of Tanzania embarked on an adjustment program to dismantle state economic controls and encourage more active participation of the private sector in the economy. The program included a comprehensive package of policies which reduced the budget deficit and improved monetary control, substantially depreciated the overvalued exchange rate, liberalized the trade regime, removed most price controls, eased restrictions on the marketing of food crops, freed interest rates, and initiated a restructuring of the financial sector.

The Tanzanian Government agreed to a new 3-year Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) arrangement with the International Monetary Fund in November 1996. Tanzania also embarked on a major restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The program aims at privatizing some 425 parastatals. Overall, real economic growth has averaged about 4% a year, much better than the previous 20 years, but not enough to improve the lives of average Tanzanians. Also, the economy remains overwhelmingly donor-dependent. Moreover, Tanzania has a heavy debt burden. with an external debt of nearly $8 billion at the end of 1997. The servicing of this debt absorbs about 40 % of total government expenditures.

Agriculture dominates the economy, providing more than 60% of GDP and 80% of employment. Cash crops, including coffee, tea, cotton, cashews, sisal, cloves, and pyrethrum account for the vast majority of export earnings. The volume of all major crops--both cash and goods, which have been marketed through official channels--has increased over the past few years, but large amounts of produce never reach the market. Poor pricing and unreliable
cash-flow to farmers continue to frustrate the agricultural sector.

Accounting for only about 10% of GDP, Tanzania's industrial sector is one of the smallest in Africa. It has been hit hard recently by persistent power shortages caused by low rainfall in the hydroelectric dam catchment area, a condition compounded by years of neglect and bad management at the state-controlled electric company.

The main industrial activities include producing raw materials, import substitutes, and processed agricultural products. Foreign exchange shortages and mismanagement continue to deprive factories of much-needed spare parts and have reduced factory capacity to less than 30%.

Despite Tanzania's past record of political stability, an unattractive investment climate has discouraged foreign investment. Government steps to improve that climate include redrawing tax codes, floating the exchange rate, licensing foreign banks, and creating an investment promotion center to cut red tape. In terms of mineral resources and the largely untapped tourism sector, Tanzania could become a viable and attractive market for U.S. goods and services.

Zanzibar's economy is based primarily on the production of cloves (90% grown on the island of Pemba), the principal foreign exchange earner. Exports have suffered with the downturn in the clove market. Tourism is an increasingly promising sector, and a number of new hotels and resorts have been built in recent years.

The Government of Zanzibar has been more aggressive than its mainland counterpart in instituting economic reforms and has legalized foreign exchange bureaus on the islands. This has loosened up the economy and dramatically increased the availability of consumer commodities. Furthermore, with external funding, the government plans to make the port of Zanzibar a free port. Rehabilitation of current port facilities and plans to extend these facilities will be the precursor to the free port. The island's manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and processed agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-producing zones and encouraged the development of off-shore financial services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, petroleum products, and manufactured articles.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Throughout the Cold War era, Tanzania pursued a foreign policy based on the principle of nonalignment with the West or the communist bloc. Former President Nyerere defined nonalignment as the right of small nations to determine their own policies in their own interests and to have an influence in world affairs that accords with the right of all people to live equally.

Tanzania played an important role in several regional and international organizations, including the Non-Aligned Movement, the front-line states, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, the Organization of African Unity, and the United Nations and its specialized and related agencies.

As one of Africa's best-known elder statesmen, Nyerere has been involved in many of these organizations, particularly as former chairman of the six front-line states concerned with Southern Africa and as former chairman of the OAU (1984-85). Tanzania supported of liberation groups in Southern Africa and was a leading opponent of apartheid in South Africa.

In recent years, Tanzania has joined with many other developing countries to support a new international economic order. Tanzania acknowledges the need for structural adjustment in developing economies but also stresses the importance of developed country cooperation in the transfer of resources and technology and debt settlement.

Tanzania enjoys close ties with neighboring Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique. In 1977, the Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan partnership in the East African Community (EAC), established 10 years earlier, was dissolved. The breakup resulted in suspension of nearly all trade between Tanzania and Kenya and closure of the border to most tourist travel. The border was reopened in 1984, and relations with Kenya have improved significantly. Also, in March 1996, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda relaunched the EAC, which was renamed the East African Cooperation.


 

UGANDA

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups--Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with about 3 million members (18% of the population), constitute the largest single ethnic group.

The people of the southwest comprise 30% of the population, divided into five major ethnic groups: the Banyankole and Bahima,10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%). Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, are the next largest group, including the Langi, 6% and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamojong, 2% occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder. Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its density is highest in the southern regions.

Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned. About 3,000 Arabs of various national origins and small numbers of Asians live in Uganda. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include several hundred Western missionaries and a few diplomats and business people.

When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British "sphere of interest" in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. The high cost of occupying the territory caused the company to withdraw in 1893, and its administrative functions were taken over by a British commissioner. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.

Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership.

In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.

Idi Amin's 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. The Acholi and Langi tribes were particular objects of Amin's political persecution because Obote and many of his supporters belonged to those tribes and constituted the largest group in the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.

In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.

After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced President Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. The December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they lay waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.

Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with the insurgent forces of Yoweri Museveni and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry, and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA's support.

Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president.

Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, overseen the successful efforts of a human rights commission established to investigate previous abuses, initiated substantial political liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted broad economic reforms after consultation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments. A constitutional commission was named to draft a new constitution, which was debated and ratified by a popularly elected constituent assembly on July 12, 1995 and promulgated by President Museveni on October 8, 1995.

Under the transitional provisions of the new constitution, the "movement system" will continue for five years, including explicit restrictions on activities of political parties, which are nonetheless active. The Constitution also calls for a referendum in the fourth year (the year 2000) to determine whether or not Uganda will adopt a multi-party system of democracy.

Insurgent groups, the largest of which--the Lord's Resistance Army--receives support from Sudan--harass government forces and murder and kidnap civilians in the north and west. They do not, however, threaten the stability of the government. Due to Sudanese support of various guerrilla movements, Uganda severed diplomatic relations with Sudan on April 22, 1995, and contacts between the Government of Uganda and the National Islamic Front-dominated Government of Sudan remain limited.

GOVERNMENT

The executive consists of officials who predominantly espouse movement political views. Yoweri Museveni is the President and Minister of Defense, Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe is the Vice President, and Kintu Musoke is the Prime Minister. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is Eriya Kategaya.

Legislative responsibility is vested in the 276-person parliament, whose members were elected in June 1996. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrates courts, the high court, the court of appeals (which also hears constitutional cases as the "constitutional court") and the Supreme Court.

ECONOMY

Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. Yet, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.

After the turmoil of the Amin era, the country began a program of economic recovery in 1981 that received considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1984 on, however, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.

Since assuming power in early 1986, the government of President Museveni has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure--notably its transportation and communications systems which were destroyed by war and neglect--is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. By 1990, these policies were beginning to produce results. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 3.4% in 1994/95 and 5.4% for fiscal year 1995/96.

Investment as a percentage of GDP is estimated at 18.3% in 1995/96 compared to 17.9% in 1994/95. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 12.3% of GDP in 1995/96. Gross National Savings as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 20.9% in 1995/96. The Ugandan Government also has worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country's external debts.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings, with coffee alone (of which Uganda is Africa's leading producer) accounting for about 65% of the country's exports in 1995/96. Exports of hides, skins, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, and cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.

Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.

Uganda has about 30,000 kilometers (18,750 mi.), of roads; some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi.) are paved. Most radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Kapwach. Uganda's important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors--Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Zaire and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government seeks good relations with all nations and welcomes contacts without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Kenya have been periodically strained because of security concerns and occasional disagreements on trade.

In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda's relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda's strained relations with Sudan have been due to Sudan's support of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and other rebel groups. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder.

A group operating in western Uganda near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces, emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and has inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area.

DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)--previously the National Resistance Army--constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Due to the Sudanese-backed insurgencies, the Ministry of Defense increased defense spending in 1995, 1996, and 1997. In 1996, the United States announced that it would provide $4.5 million in non-lethal military assistance to Uganda to assist in maintaining internal security. U.S. military forces also have participated with the UPDF in training activities for the African Crisis Response Initiative.


 

ZAMBIA

PEOPLE

Zambia's population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking tribes. Some tribes are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. Most Zambians are subsistence farmers. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity.

Expatriates, mostly British (about 15,000) or South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activities. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians. The country is 42% urban.

HISTORY

The indigenous hunter-gatherer occupants of Zambia began to be displaced or absorbed by more advanced migrating tribes about 2,000 years ago. The major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants began in the 15th century, with the greatest influx between the late 17th and early 19th centuries. They came primarily from the Luba and Lunda tribes of southern Zaire and northern Angola but were joined in the 19th century by Ngoni peoples from the south. By the latter part of that century, the various peoples of Zambia were largely established in the areas they currently occupy.

Except for an occasional Portuguese explorer, the area lay untouched by Europeans for centuries. After the mid-19th century, it was penetrated by Western explorers, missionaries, and traders. David Livingstone, in 1855, was the first European to see the magnificent falls on the Zambezi River. He named the falls after Queen Victoria, and the Zambian town near the falls is named after him.

In 1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in Central Africa, obtained a mineral rights concession from local chiefs. In the same year, Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively) were proclaimed a British sphere of influence. Southern Rhodesia was annexed formally and granted self-government in 1923, and the administration of Northern Rhodesia was transferred to the British colonial office in 1924 as a protectorate.

In 1953, both Rhodesias were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Northern Rhodesia was the center of much of the turmoil and crisis that characterized the federation in its last years. At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.

A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new national assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. On December 31, 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on October 24, 1964.

At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. Abroad, three of its neighbors--Southern Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola--remained under white-dominated rule. Rhodesia's white-ruled government unilaterally declared independence in 1965. In addition, Zambia shared a border with South African-controlled South-West Africa (now Namibia). Zambia's sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial or white-dominated rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia. During the next decade, it actively supported movements such as the Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).

Conflicts with Rhodesia resulted in the closing of Zambia's borders with that country and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country's requirements for electricity. A railroad to the Tanzanian port of Dar Es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railroad lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola.

By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House agreement, but Zambia's problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies generated refugees and caused continuing transportation problems. The Benguela Railroad, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia's strong support for the ANC, which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided ANC targets in Zambia.

In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief; but as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.

GOVERNMENT

Zambia was the first British territory to become a republic immediately upon attaining independence. The constitution promulgated on August 25, 1973, abrogated the original 1964 constitution. The new constitution and the national elections that followed in December 1973 were the final steps in achieving what was called a "one-party participatory democracy."

The 1973 constitution provided for a strong president and a unicameral National Assembly. National policy was formulated by the Central Committee of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the sole legal party in Zambia. The cabinet executed the central committee's policy.

In accordance with the intention to formalize UNIP supremacy in the new system, the constitution stipulated that the sole candidate in elections for the office of president was the person selected to be the president of UNIP by the party's general conference. The second-ranking person in the Zambian hierarchy was UNIP's secretary general.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. In response to growing popular demand for multi-party democracy, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991. The constitution enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, establishing an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be members of UNIP. The constitution was amended again in 1996 to set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambian-born.) The National Assembly is comprised of 150 directly elected members, up to 8 presidentially appointed members and a speaker. Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed governor.

The Supreme Court is the highest court and the court of appeal; below it are high court, magistrate's court, and local courts.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

The major figure in Zambian politics from 1964 to 1991 was Kenneth Kaunda, who led the fight for independence and traditionally bridged the rivalries among the country's various regions and ethnic groups. Kaunda tried to base government on his philosophy of "humanism," which condemns human exploitation and stresses cooperation among people but not at the expense of the individual.

Kaunda's political party--the United National Independence Party (UNIP)--was founded in 1959 and was in power under Kaunda's direction from 1964 to 1991. Before 1972, Zambia had three significant political parties--UNIP, the ANC, and the United Progressive Party (UPP). The ANC drew its strength from western and southern provinces, while the UPP found some support among Bemba-speakers in the copperbelt and northern provinces. Although not strongly supported in all areas of the country, only UNIP had a nationwide following.

In February 1972, Zambia became a one-party state, and all other political parties were banned. Kaunda, the sole candidate, was elected President in the 1973 elections. Elections also were held for the National Assembly. Only UNIP members were permitted to run, but these seats were sharply contested. President Kaunda's mandate was renewed in December 1978 and October 1983 in a "yes" or "no" vote on his candidacy. In the 1983 election, more than 60% of those registered participated and gave President Kaunda a 93% "yes" vote.

Growing opposition to UNIP's monopoly on power led to the rise in 1990 of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). The MMD assembled an increasingly impressive group of important Zambians, including prominent UNIP defectors and labor leaders. During the year, President Kaunda agreed to a referendum on the one-party state and, in the face of continued opposition, dropped the referendum and signed a constitutional amendment making Zambia a multi-party state. Zambia's first multi-party elections for parliament and the presidency since the 1960s were held on October 31, 1991. MMD candidate Frederick Chiluba resoundingly carried the presidential election over Kenneth Kaunda with 81% of the vote. To add to the MMD landslide, in the parliamentary elections the MMD won 125 of the 150 elected seats and UNIP the remaining 25. However, UNIP swept the Eastern Province, gathering 19 of its seats there.

By the end of Chiluba's first term as president (1996), the MMD's commitment to political reform had faded in the face of re-election demands. A number of prominent supporters founded opposing parties. Relying on the MMD's overwhelming majority in parliament, President Chiluba pushed through a series of constitutional amendments in May 1996 that eliminated former President Kaunda and other prominent opposition leaders from the 1996 presidential elections. In the presidential and parliamentary elections held in November 1996, Chiluba was re-elected, and the MMD won 131 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. Kaunda's UNIP party boycotted the parliamentary polls to protest the exclusion of its leader from the presidential race, alleging in addition that the outcome of the election had been predetermined due to a faulty voter registration exercise. Despite the UNIP boycott, the elections took place peacefully, and five presidential and more than600 parliamentary candidates from 11 parties participated. Afterward, however, several opposition parties and non-governmental organizations declared the elections neither free nor fair. As President Chiluba began his second term in 1997, the opposition continued to reject the results of the election amid international efforts to encourage the MMD and the opposition to resolve their differences through dialogue.

ECONOMY

Zambia is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. About one-half of the country's 9.1 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are underpopulated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious. Per capita annual incomes are currently at about one-half their levels at independence, and at $350, place the country among the world's poorer nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth and maternal and infant mortality. The high population growth rate of 3.2% per annum makes it difficult for per capita income to increase. The country's rate of economic growth can support neither rapid population growth, nor the debilitating effects on maternal and child health resulting from it.

Agriculture provides the main livelihood for half of Zambia's population. Maize (corn) is the principal cash crop as well as the staple food. Other important crops include soybeans, cotton, sugar, sunflower seeds, wheat, sorghum, millet, cassava, tobacco and various vegetable and fruit crops. Zambia has the potential for significantly increasing its agricultural output; currently, only 20% of its arable land is cultivated. In the past, the agriculture sector suffered from low producer prices, difficulties in availability and distribution of credit and inputs, and the shortage of foreign exchange.

The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry, which has accounted for a significant portion of the gross domestic product (GDP), from one-third to one-half of government revenues and more than 90% of Zambia's foreign-exchange earnings. Due to a decline in world copper prices starting in the mid-1970s, lack of investment to increase productivity and output, naturalization and mismanagement, and limited technical expertise, the copper-mining base of the economy has eroded over time. Average annual output was nearly 700,000 tons in the early 1970s. This dropped to just over 300,000 tons in 1995.

After independence in 1964, and particularly beginning in the 1970s, Zambia relied heavily on socialist-style planning and administrative controls to manage its economy; on the public sector--especially parastatal enterprises--to undertake investment and generate economic growth and employment; and on international borrowing to finance public sector investments and to support levels of consumption that proved to be unsustainable. As a result, in late 1991, the Zambian economy faced many problems: basic goods and services were in short supply; the money supply was growing rapidly because of the manner in which the government's domestic debt was financed; military expenditures were rising while social sector expenditures were declining; tax compliance was low, the budget deficit was large and increasing; many parastatal companies were heavily indebted and suffered crippling losses; private investment had collapsed; business and consumer confidence had eroded; external debt was not being services; a parallel market in foreign exchange was flourishing; asset holders were transferring their capital out of the country and switching to foreign currency for local transactions; the country's physical infrastructure was rapidly deteriorating; and Zambia had neither food reserves nor the financial resources to deal with natural disasters and emergencies.

The present Chiluba government came to power after democratic, multi-party elections in November 1991, committed to an economic recovery program which included restoring Zambia's economic growth prospects by stabilizing the economy, moving toward external viability, promoting the private sector based on free market principles, delinking government from business activities more efficiently carried out by the private sector, a sharp reduction in the size of the public sector through a comprehensive program of privatization and parastatal reform, and reversing the decline in Zambia's social sector's delivery systems and infrastructure. Since these economic reforms began, Zambia has suffered droughts (three years out of the five) and falling copper production combined with the recurrent episodes of macroeconomic instability, these conditions have meant that the improvements in economic incentives have yet to result in economic growth, in fact, real GDP in 1995 was lower than it was in 1991. Nonetheless, positive effects are emerging.

The inflation rate has declined sharply, from triple-digit rates for several years up to 1992, to an average rate of 38% since mid-1993.

The allocation of financial resources has been improved through the maintenance of positive real interest rates and through the sharp reduction in the spread between lending and deposit rates through reductions in reserve requirements.

Non-traditional exports have risen by 100% since 1992.

Maize planting has declined in favor of more drought-resistant staples and commercial crops.

While high interest rates and the instability of the kwacha have inhibited strong growth in new investment, the elimination of exchange controls means that developing foreign exchange-based activities, such as tourism, have accelerated.

Substantial privatization of state-owned enterprises has taken place mainly reflecting direct foreign investment. The government has approved the privatization of the copper industry, which is expected to take place in 1997.

The domestic fiscal deficit was about 7% of GDP in 1991; in 1995, the domestic budget was nearly in balance, and domestic arrears were cleared as well.

The strengthening of the fiscal position was accomplished by a reduction in domestic expenditures from 25% of GDP in 1991 to a 1995 level of less than 18%. The main cuts were in subsidies and agricultural expenditure, but other current and capital expenditures also decreased.

The ratio of revenue to GDP stands at 19%, despite lower mining revenues; establishment of an independent revenue authority and the introduction of a value-added tax (VAT) are strengthening revenue performance.

The Zambian Government has implemented far-reaching market-oriented reforms. To begin with, the government has liberalized markets, and almost all prices are now market-determined. In particular, the government freed all agricultural prices and has steadily reduced its role in maize and fertilizer marketing. In 1991, virtually all marketed maize was handled by the government, whereas now nearly all marketing is carried out by the private sector, to the benefit of both producers and consumers. The same is true in the milling sector. The government has undertaken a privatization and parastatal reform program to reduce its direct role in commercial activities.

With donor assistance, and when the budget allows, rehabilitation of the country's infrastructure has become a renewed priority. Some roads are being repaired, some schools and hospitals are being refurbished and resupplied, water systems are being upgraded, and the telecommunications system is being readied for privatization. There has been far-reaching liberalization of financial markets. In 1992, interest rates were decontrolled and the kwatcha allowed to float. A treasury bill auction was introduced in 1993. Reform of the banking sector began in 1992, and weak commercial banks have been allowed to fail. Market-oriented methods of implementing monetary policy--where the central bank influences the supply of money and the price and availability of credit--were introduced in 1993 and are being developed further. Fiscal policy has been strengthened with the aim of enhancing efficiency and bringing more macroeconomic stability. Zambia is moving toward a more outward, export-oriented trade policy. All domestic and external trade, except petroleum products, has been left to the private sector, resulting in a greatly improved availability of consumer and producer products in the market. However, despite these reforms, the response of output to date has been uneven.

During the early 1990s, reacting to positive political developments in South Africa and Namibia, Zambia relaxed its restrictions on using South African ports. A new transportation route opened up through Namibia to Walvis Bay, which is of growing importance for Zambia's external trade. Zambia also is participating with its neighboring countries, under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in its efforts to strengthen, restructure, refurbish, rehabilitate, and improve the transportation infrastructure of Southern and Eastern Africa so as to reduce the region's economic dependence on the vulnerability of events in South Africa.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Zambia is a member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the front-line states, Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is headquartered in Lusaka.

President Kaunda was a persistent and very visible advocate of peaceful change in South Africa, supporting liberation movements in Angola, Namibia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and South Africa. Many of these organizations were based in Zambia during the 1970s and 1980s.

President Chiluba has settled for a much lower profile internationally. His government has played a very constructive regional role sponsoring Angola peace talks that led to the Lusaka accord. Zambia has provided troops to UN peacekeeping initiatives in Mozambique, Rwanda, and Angola. Zambia was the first African state to cooperate with the International Tribunal investigation of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

DEFENSE

The Zambian Defense Force (ZDF) consists of the army, the air force, and Zambian National Service (ZNS). The ZNS, while operating under the Ministry of Defense, is responsible primarily for public works projects. The ZDF is designed primarily for internal defense.