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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on 
Foreign Affairs

Issue 12 - Evidence - Meeting of April 19, 2005

OTTAWA, Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs met this day at 5:04 p.m. to examine the development and security challenges facing Africa; the response of the international community to enhance that continent's development and political stability; Canadian foreign policy as it relates to Africa. Topic: Peace and Security

Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Deputy Chairman) in the chair.


The Deputy Chairman: Honourable senators, I call the meeting to order. This meeting is a continuation of our study to examine the development of security challenges facing Africa. We are honoured today to have a group of individuals who I am sure will contribute to our understanding and knowledge of a very difficult and complex issue.

Our first witness is Mr. Adebayo Olukoshi, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

Mr. Olukoshi is a professor of International Economic Relations, who previously served as the Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos. We welcome you to Canada.

Before we start, let me thank the Canada-Africa Forum of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation who made us aware of your presence here in Canada, so that we could invite you and take advantage of this opportunity to hear your presentation. Thank you for coming.

Please proceed.

Mr. Adebayo Olukoshi, Executive Director, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa: Honourable senators, thank you for this opportunity to give this testimony. I will focus my presentation in the 10 minutes available to me on the challenges of building peace and managing conflicts in Africa.

My starting point in that regard is to remind you that the violent spate of conflicts that have wracked the African continent over the last 15 years have been the subject of considerable attention both within Africa and internationally. That is no more so truer than in Canada where there has been contribution not only to the peacekeeping efforts, but also to the post-conflict reconstruction efforts that have taken place in different parts of the continent.

I wish to observe that the genocide in Rwanda that caught the attention of the world may have been the most dramatic of the recent African conflicts, particularly in the cost of human life. However, it is by no means exceptional and practically every region of the African continent has experienced conflict in one form or another in the last 15 years.

If we turn our minds back to 15 years ago, as Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union and the Cold War came to the end with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact along with the Soviet Union itself, the expectation was high that the world would reap a peace dividend that would impact favourably on Africa. Africa, as you know, had been a theatre of some of the skirmishes between the superpowers, the ideological rivals, and skirmishes took place in Angola, Mozambique, and in parts of the Sudan.

The Cold War, whilst it lasted, helped to foil or prolong some of the conflicts that took place on the African continent. The end of the Cold War, unfortunately, did not result in the end of the conflicts and some of those conflicts assumed a life of their own, locked into local or regional considerations that prolonged them for a while.

The dimensions of the various conflicts that have plagued the continents are well known, and have been widely reported. Angola and Mozambique have been resolved for some time. The Great Lakes region is still in conflict. The Sudan, hopefully is moving towards a period of peace although the events in Darfur remind us of the fragility of the peace effort that has taken place over the last two or three years.

Perhaps, what is more interesting is that the end of the Cold War created a new context of conflicts in the form of popular pressures. These were connected with marginalized groups that previously were unable to express themselves openly due to the regimes with which they had to deal. They were either sheltered in one form or the other by one of the Cold War rivals or protected in the form of military support taking the shape of bases that were established across the continent. Many of these regimes have had to deal with these popular pressures and in several case have been unable to do so. The consequences were that in distant places, like Sierra Leone and Somalia, central government authority collapsed in the face of domestic rebellion and in many cases we are still dealing with those problems. Liberia and Guinea and the Ivory Coast are teetering on the edge and exemplify the problems of domestic pressure in the post-Cold War period.

It would be useful to remind ourselves that the conflicts have certain unique attributes that set them aside from the conflicts that we knew during the Cold War years. Many of these conflicts are intrastate as opposed to interstate.

In the immediate aftermath of independence, many of the conflicts that occurred took the form of border wars, contesting the colonially inherited boundaries of independence. Many were interstate conflicts. Today, many of the conflicts are intrastate, pitting populations and groups against one another or against a central government authority. Many of the participants in the conflicts are civilian populations, mobilized and fighting against one another with light weapons. An international protocol exists in the hope of controlling the proliferation of those light weapons that civilian groups use against one another. We also see civilian groups fighting against professional armies.

In the face of conflict, the professional armies often disintegrate into factions. The distinction between them and the local insurgent groups has more or less blurred in many of the conflict sites. The Sierra Leone example is perhaps the best-known case in which the civilian army dissolved into factions. As the people of Freetown say, ``The armed forces are comprised of soldiers in the daytime and rebels at night.'' The soldiers join the rebels to commit atrocities even if during daylight hours they present themselves as the professional Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The same is probably true in Somalia and Liberia.

The fourth distinctive feature of the post-Cold War conflict is that on a scale never before witnessed, civilian populations have become a direct target of military action and of military strategic considerations. The consequence is that in the post-Cold War period, Africa has had humanitarian emergencies on a scale that it has not previously witnessed in its history.

The fifth aspect is the recruitment of children and youth. The images of armed children, aged between six and 14, and younger combatants between the ages of 13 and 14, taking up arms has become a distinctive feature of many of the conflicts that are taking place today. Women particularly have been victims of these conflicts on a scale not previously seen, with the use of rape and other forms of violation, including amputation, being commonplace. Again, Sierra Leone may have been highly dramatic of this development, but it was not in any way unique.

The seventh element is that many of the combatants, the so-called guerrillas, are mostly conscripts with urban roots, so that there is a distinctive urban dimension to the composition of the armed groups. These armed groups have constituted themselves to contest the authority of the states and to contest the political system in their countries. They often find themselves operating in the rural areas of their countries, in a context in which they have very little knowledge of the rural populace or rural terrain. They often end up visiting unusual and mindless violence on the rural populace. Again, the case of Sierra Leone is highly illustrative of this, but it has repeated itself also in Liberia, in Somalia, and is going on in Côte d'Ivoire.

The use of terror to cower the population into submission would appear to have replaced the use of political education that was associated with the armed liberation movements of Southern Africa and parts of West Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. The idea of winning over the local population has been replaced by the idea of terrorizing them into submission.

The final unique attribute of the post-Cold War conflicts centres on the fact that the rebel movements themselves, unlike the liberation movements of the 1950s and 1960s, hardly have any clear discernible ideology or program around which they organize themselves.

The youth of Africa comprise between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of the population. Researches have found that the disaffected youth in many of the countries of Africa represent a particular constituency for these movements. The reasons why they join the movements are not clearly articulated either in a political program to end the conflicts, or to inform policy in the post-conflict framework.

The challenge we face as researchers is to try to understand the reasons for the post-Cold War conflicts across the continent. As I indicated, some of the conflicts had their remote origins in the proxy wars promoted by the cold warriors, but many others had their roots elsewhere in dynamics that are unique to the African context.

The majority of scholars often base their explanations on Africa's multi-ethnic fibre and fabric and the fact that cross-ethnic relations, even if they agree, remain rather narrow in their foundations. Scholars believe that these factors make it easy for various interests, including politicians, to manipulate ethnic identities to keep the conflict going. It is an old explanation, and it is a seductive explanation, in many respects. I argue that it is not sufficient as a basis to understand what is taking place, or on which to base policy.

Policies such as decentralization, which countries like Canada have promoted as part of a strategy for managing ethnic diversities, are welcome, but decentralization is not be sufficient as a basis for building a multi-ethnic society in which ethnicity itself becomes part of a civic identity rather than a problematic issue.

The second newer popular explanation is connected to the so-called ``conflict resources'' and the theory of grievance and greed that has been spawned around it. It is a highly attractive explanation insofar as many of the conflicts that we are dealing with are occurring in contexts that are marked by the stupendous richness of available resources. There are diamonds in Sierra Leone and forest resources and too many minerals to count in Liberia. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are high-value minerals supposedly connected to the next source of conflict resources on the African continent. I suggest that conflicts have also occurred in places where there are no obvious resource endowments that could motivate contestations and violence. Not all resource rich countries on the African continent, Botswana stands out in this regard, have witnessed the kind of total or partial collapse of governmental authority which has taken place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone or Liberia. Furthermore, resources in and of themselves do not cause violent conflicts simply by the fact of their existence.

The notion of conflict resources tends to detract from a broader assessment of the politics of resource development end use, including the many non-violent conflicts that are integral to the management of those resources. Unfortunately, researchers use this notion in policy formulations.

It seems that we must move toward alternative understandings and explanations of the African conflicts. I would like to suggest that perhaps one of the most important strategies we could take in this regard is to revisit the issue of citizenship. This is an issue that many of the current policy proposals do not adequately address.

Decentralization, which has been central to policy over the last decade, has almost run its course in Africa, and the feeling of popular disenfranchisement remains among the rural and urban populace.

Electoral reform, with a view to arriving at a greater proportionality in representation, has also been experimented with in various countries, but electioneering and electoral reform have not delivered the kinds of democratic dividends that the majority of the populace awaits.

The adoption of federalist principles, in whole or in part, represents a third area of policy intervention, but in many cases, such as Ethiopia, federalism has tended to reinforce ethnic divisions and unified ethnicity in directions which the proponents of federalism never imagined that the politicians would take it.

The establishment of international certification systems to prevent profiteering from blood diamonds is already in place and in force in many parts of the world, but it has not prevented non-diamond producing countries like Burkina Faso from featuring diamond exports as their most important export commodity. It has not prevented Burkina, Liberia, and other countries from selling diamonds stolen from Sierra Leone. The same also applies to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kimberley Process may be useful in policing the international market in precious stones, but it will not be sufficient to prevent the crystallization of conflicts and violence around mineral resources on the continent.

I suggest that we need to go back to the question of citizenship and how disaffected Africans feel about their governments and their policy regimes. At the socio-economic level, the continent has witnessed 25 years of unrelenting deprivation and impoverishment associated with IMF and World Bank austerity, the massive loss of employment and income, and the collapse of livelihood prospects. For 25 years, Africa has suffered an unrelenting brain drain and an unrelenting flight of capital.

At the social level, the deficit in citizenship has manifested itself in the form of the collapse of social provisioning by the states and the decline of practically every public service. The privatization of the supply of water, which has been defined as a policy priority in the context in which access to potable water is defined as one of the objectives of the millennium development goals, remains highly problematic. Even in countries as developed as South Africa, not more than 60 per cent of the population has access to regular potable water. In the rest of the continent, that percentage is much lower.

At the political level, the new electorate and the reforms that led to multi-party politics have pro forma in nature, emphasizing form more than content. The result is the populace feels that, a decade after the rebirth of multi-party politics, they do not have control over the politicians and are not able to exact accountability.

Economic crises, social decline, institutional decay, and political authoritarianism erode governmental and state legitimacy and give rise to various challenges in the post-colonial nation-state projects in Africa. Although these challenges may be organized using the idiom of ethnicity, regionalism, religion and generation, especially the youth question, this idiom should neither be confused nor conflated with the citizenship question that is in my understanding easily the most important political and developmental question facing every African state. At a time when the concept of state as an institution is at an historic low, the citizenship question hinges on the political development of the continent.

Many ordinary Africans encounter the state only in terms of its coerciveness and in the extraction of monetary benefit, usually as represented by the police and the security services. Every other expectation of the provision of access to education and to broad welfare has become a fallen hope for most citizens of the continent.

Who would want to count him or herself as a citizen in such a context? I often say to colleagues that we are in a situation where, if a ship were to berth at any of the major port cities of Africa, the number of people who would scramble to get on board in order to escape would probably exceed the capacity of the ship itself. That speaks directly to the absence of the social contract between state and society.

In a systematic and patient manner, we must create policies to reinvent and renew the state as an institution.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Olukoshi, I wonder if I could ask you to wrap up. We only have about 20 minutes left for questions from our senators, which is one of the most useful parts of the exchange ideas. I would appreciate that.

Mr. Olukoshi: Thank you. I am winding up now with four recommendations for the consideration of the honourable senators. The first is that working with African governments on the reinvention and the rebuilding of the state as an institution with a legitimate place in nation building has become an urgent task, and special attention will need to be paid to those units that are particularly crucial to the provision of public service behind a broadly-shared public purpose.

The second area of attention will be the restoration of a more conducive state-society relationship. In short, there must be a bargain in being a citizen of an African country. Today, it is not obvious what that bargain is. It will be necessary for such a bargain to be established in the form of a new social contract between state and society if Africa is to know long-term peace and stability.

The third element is the strengthening of public institutions of accountability and of non-governmental institutions of governance reform. I put the emphasis on the duality of strengthening state institutions of accountability but also on the non-governmental institutions that are capable of monitoring and exacting such accountability. I think it would be a departure from the existing practice of either investing in one or the other but not in both at the same time.

Finally, as you probably would expect, support for research and for policy dialogues on and in Africa on issues of peace and security will continue to be useful both to enable us to develop more targeted strategies of intervention in our prescriptions for peace building and conflict management in Africa, but also to ensure that our understanding is able to keep pace with an issue that is rapidly evolving and always changing but which nevertheless is crucial to the long-term development of the continent.

Senator Corbin: I thank the witness for his amazing presentation. Some of my views have been corrected as a result, especially with regard to the notion of tribalism. I should perhaps leave that matter aside, but I suddenly realize I have much more study and understanding to undergo before I fully appreciate the situation.

Over our many meetings so far, I do not think we have heard anything really positive, or very little, to be fair, with respect to the actions of the IMF and the World Bank. You addressed that matter briefly in your paper and indeed in your oral presentation. Would you expand on that by giving us example to substantiate what you advance?

We have already collated a number of situations in a number of countries, but I would like to hear your direct experiences.

Mr. Olukoshi: In many respects, it is not possible to tell the African story over the last 25 years without reference to the IMF and the World Bank insofar as both institutions effectively managed to take control of the entire policy process in almost every African country. Even countries such as South Africa and Botswana that do not have formal programs with the IMF and the World Bank, feel compelled to establish what they call ``shadow programs'' that are agreed on with the IMF and the World Bank. It is upon the shadow programs that they form and implement their policies.

Effectively, the introduction of the IMF framework for tackling the African economic crisis was a temporary measure. Every structural adjustment policy is supposed to be a temporary diversion from the task of development.

The tragedy of Africa is that structural adjustment became not only a permanent feature of policymaking, but also the essence around which development was to be organized. That proved completely impossible. The collapse of public services, currencies in the face of repeated devaluation, and the collapse of industry, all added up to produce a situation in which living conditions practically collapsed across the continent. Purchasing power is almost non-existent among the urban population that constitutes a critical part of the market in most African countries.

Even the very mode of introduction of the policy reform measures, since by nature they are austerity measures that involve raising prices and interest rates, was one that did not allow for the necessary dialogue between governments, citizens and interest groups.

We always had the metaphor of the IMF officials coming in the dead of the night, getting their deals signed and sneaking out at dawn to leave the governments with riots on their hands. These riots from all kinds of groups helped create long-term cynicism about the political system and eroded the legitimacy of government.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have recognized that their policies were flawed. They have put this in writing. They admit that their efforts at retrenching the states were a mistake. The macro-economic model that they imposed and the one-size-fits-all approach that ignored the nature of the crisis or the nature of the degree of the decline, they admit was flawed. Many other admissions have been made connected to the errors of the last 25 years.

What is amazing is that in spite of the admission, the core of policy to this day remains the same. It is almost like the more things change the more things stay the same.


Senator Prud'homme: I am a great admirer of that text. The witness drew his inspiration from it, but he did not read it in its entirety. If possible, I would like the complete document to be translated into French by our very competent staff. I would like to use it to write a speech on Africa, the focus of this committee's deliberations. Consider this a request on my part.

I am from the old school and I have seen just about everything, particularly when it comes to political matters. Often, it is easy for people to ascribe everything that is happening on the beautiful continent that is Africa to corruption. Based on my 41 years in public life, I know for a fact that everywhere I have encountered corrupt individuals —and my colleague are tired of hearing me say this — I have also encountered corrupters. Experience has taught me that these two kinds of people do not often come from the same neighbourhoods, regions or continents, setting aside for the moment the present situation in Canada. We are not in a position to give lessons on corruption. However unpleasant that reality might be, it is a fact. I have to wonder if a greater effort should not be made to understand this connection. That would represent my contribution to the work my colleagues have kindly entrusted to us. Perhaps there is a lack of stringency, rigour and public discourse in our society, which is not the society of Africa or Asia, to bring corrupters to task for corrupting others when the opportunity arises, and for taking delight in what they are doing. When one is corrupted, it is always possible to find others who are willing to be corrupted. Do you have any suggestions for me to reflect upon? For example, how could I develop the theme of this ludicrous arms buildup?

Some African nations have more modern weapons that we have here in Canada. By the way, I have chosen to speak in my mother tongue today because of an incident that took place on the Hill involving bilingualism. Therefore, I have decided to speak in French this evening.

I have to admit that some serious questions come to mind when I see the sheer lunacy of a budget allocation of $476 billion in the case of a neighbouring, ally country. We are told that the Africans do not like us. I can understand why, if all we have to sell them are weapons. I also think it is sheer lunacy to sell state-of-the art weapons to Pakistan. And, to keep India quiet, we tell that nation: do not worry, we will sell you weapons too. Then you can have a go at each other.

I will try to meet with you later, because I enjoyed reading your submission, even if I did appear somewhat distracted.


The Deputy Chairman: Is that a comment?


Senator Prud'homme: No, there were simply musings on my part. If someone is suggesting —


The Deputy Chairman: Would you like to ask a question, or shall I ask Mr. Olukoshi to comment on your comment?


Senator Prud'homme: I have nothing further. I think my question was clear: do you have something to suggest to me?

Mr. Olukoshi: I will try to answer you in French, even though I am not very proficient in that language.

Senator Prud'homme: Do not worry. Come to Ottawa and you will discover that your French is really quite excellent.

Mr. Olukoshi: I totally agree with your contention that it is impossible to disregard that when corruption occurs, there are always two parties involved: the target of the corruption, and the corrupter. To date, there has always been a little too much emphasis placed on the former.

We must try and strike some kind of balance. Internal organizations should be called upon in world and regional reports, which play a very important role in defining policies, to help mobilize populations against groups that set out to corrupt others in African nations. It is very easy to corrupt someone in Africa.

Senator Prud'homme: Or anywhere, for that matter.

Mr. Olukoshi: In light of the declining standard of living, corruption has become a serious problem. In most countries, people can be bribed for very little into awarding a contract or some other thing to someone who is not really deserving. Years ago, someone suggested that a code of conduct be adopted. I believe it was in 1977 or 1978. The code would apply to all large corporations, organizations and companies, which would in turn be evaluated by governments of northern countries to ensure strict adherence to the code.

This suggestion was, however, rejected. Perhaps the time has come to revisit the situation to see if a code could be enforced at this time. The majority of the funds transferred to Africa are the fruit of corruption or corrupt acts. For instance, Mobuto's money is held in banks in Switzerland and elsewhere. The money is loaned to countries which then take on a new debt load. These countries also have a role to play in making these types of fund transfers illegal and unacceptable. These are just a few of my suggestions to you at this time.

Senator Prud'homme: Thank you.

Senator Robichaud: Your presentation was most interesting. I note that you made four recommendations. Can you tell us if at this time, initiatives are being taken in Africa, either by Africans or by foreign workers, to achieve what you are suggesting? At some point, I would like to draw a parallel between your recommendations and the actions now being taken in Africa.


Mr. Olukoshi: I would argue that many interventions are taking place at the international level. The first two elements that we have identified as important to policy intervention have received little attention. They are elements in which there have also been local-level experiments in different parts of the continent.

The third recommendation: the strengthening of public institutions of accountability and non-governmental institutions of governance reform, have had more attention than the other recommendations.

In places as far apart as South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal, attempts are being made to strengthen the presence of public institutions as part of building a sense of belonging. The Casamance Province of Senegal has known conflict for almost 27 years. More recently, that government has taken the deliberate step with the support of local NGOs and domestic business groups to strengthen the presence of public institutions through schools and health facilities, but also in the location of industry. That province is one of the most fertile and resource-rich areas of Senegal. The people there could never understand why all of the employment was in Dakar and all the raw materials for generating the employment came from their region.

We must ensure that the state is present in ways that are productive and useful as opposed to coercive and alienating for the majority of the people.

With regard to state/society relationships, the best examples come from South Africa, where employees of small shops and owners of taxis have formed into groups. These groups, especially the taxi owners are often the focus of violent actions in that country. The groups sign a pact that spells out expectations, entitlements, and civic responsibilities. If supported on a national and continental scale, this model could address such issues as disenfranchisement and the lack of the sense of a political community.

The Deputy Chairman: The time is up, unfortunately. Your presentation was informative and instructive. We were listening to your wisdom and it will be useful as we continue to learn and prepare to learn even more about this complex problem.

We thank you for coming. I hope that if you find yourself again in this part of the world that you give us a call, we would love to hear from you.

We will hear first from Ms. Campbell, a professor of Political Science at Université du Québec á Montréal.


Ms. Campbell is an expert on the United Nations and Africa. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the North-South Institute as well as the Chair of a Research Group on Mining in Africa at the Centre for International Studies and Globalization at the Université du Québec à Montréal.


We will then hear from Mr. Harker, who is the President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University. Dr. Harker is a world-renowned leader in economic and social development, who has extensive experience in education, social policy issues and international relations.

In 1990, at the request of Nelson Mandela, he chaired a Commonwealth review of South Africa's post-apartheid university needs. He has also worked at the United Nations and lectured extensively at universities throughout the world.

We extend a warm welcome. We have until about 6:30, at which time the issue of how much time the presentation takes will take away from the time available for questions. We invite our witnesses to be as straightforward and as long as you want within a reasonable time period.

Please proceed.

Ms. Bonnie Campbell, Professor, Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal, as an individual: Honourable senators, thank you for this opportunity to address the Senate committee on the critical issue of development and security challenges for Africa.

There exists a widely held assumption that foreign investment in poor countries will bring growth, development and reduce poverty. Not only is this equation very much more complex than it appears, but in certain cases investment in mineral-rich countries may fuel violent conflict and impede development.

This is of particular relevance to Canada for five reasons. First, the African continent has enormous potential strategic mineral wealth and Canada benefits from this wealth. Second, the extractive sector is gaining importance in the export receipts of many African countries and occupies an increasingly important place in aid, trade, and investment relationships between Canada and Africa. Nine of the last focus countries of Canadian aid were all mineral producers. Of the 14 African countries named today, the vast majority, including Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Senegal and Ethiopia, are all rich mineral producers.

Canada represents a leading international player and Canadian companies are at the forefront of exploration and mining activities in Africa. At the end of 2003, Canadian companies held interest in almost 515 mineral properties in 36 African countries, a figure up from the year before. There are more Canadian mineral exploration companies exploring in Africa than any other country in the world.

While Canadian mining companies are at the forefront of exploration and mining activities, junior companies represent by far the vast majority of Canadian companies operating in Africa. This presents certain challenges because junior companies are less subject to controls, less prone to apply best practices, and operate in high-risk areas, and at times in conflict zones.

Issues concerning security and mining activities are critically important and are destined to become increasingly important. This is recognized by the report of the Extractive Industries Review commissioned by the World Bank Group, as well as the recently released Report of the Commission for Africa, the Blair report.

At present, rather than Canada taking the lead, as one would expect, we seem to be lagging behind other countries and making a rather poor showing of our attitude towards the responsibility of Canadian mining companies in Africa.

The assumption appears to be that it is sufficient to promote the OECD guidelines on multinational enterprises. These remain voluntary and as the Blair commission for has said it is not sufficient. By comparison, Finland, Sweden and Norway are taking much more energetic actions through their national contact points.

In view of the well-recognized links between natural resources and violent conflicts in Africa, it is important and urgent to examine the situation and determine our response to the development and security challenges facing Africa today.

I would like to propose five recommendations. The first concerns policy balance and coherence. Our Common Interest, Report of the Commission for Africa states:

However, development and growth that do not address inequality and exclusion will not reduce violent conflict. Inequality and exclusion are central causes of violent conflict.

Our research team suggests that the current emphasis on creating an environment favourable to attracting foreign investment in the extractive sector, through measures of liberalization and privatization, may well present impediments to development. Research shows that there is a risk of contributing to social exclusion and inequality in the countries concerned with the consequences of increased instability and the potential for conflict.

Canada must be more attentive to the coherence and balance of its policies in the extractive sector and sensitive to the fact that the design of current mining legislation in Africa may not be necessarily compatible with the achievement of social and economic development. Africa's present mining legislation seeks to encourage foreign investment.

Canada must recognize the long-term benefit of reinforcing the legitimacy and capacity of African countries to apply existing regulations, and to monitor and enforce those regulations. Canada must determine to work with local governments and other actors concerned, whether multilateral institutions, private enterprises or non-governmental organizations, to mobilize the financial and technical resources necessary to ensure that states can effectively be responsible for ensuring the security and development of their people. That is our second recommendation.

Concerning corporate activity in areas of conflict, the Blair Commission states:

Guidelines alone, of course, will not be enough. A body will be needed to monitor their effectiveness, with clear disincentives for non-compliance.

At present, the role assumed by Canada's National Contact Point appears largely to be that of a facilitator of dialogue between those who lodge complaints and the companies concerned. This is clearly not sufficient.

When a Swedish company in Ghana received a complaint concerning its activities, the Swedish NCP mandated its ambassador in Ghana to make an inquiry about the company's operations. Canada does not do this.

Canada appears to be reticent to adopt a similar, more proactive role, perhaps in part because our embassies have a priority mandate to represent Canada's economic and commercial interests. We believe this mandate is to the detriment of our moral obligation and our political responsibility to follow up complaints concerning the activities of Canadian companies abroad.

This issue was particularly well illustrated in the follow-up of our NCP concerning the findings of the panel of experts set up by the Security Council of the UN on the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Congo.

We recommend that the rules and the mandate of Canada's NCP be clarified, formalised and strengthened to ensure that the NCP it will be able to act more effectively concerning the monitoring, evaluation and, if necessary, remedial measures to be taken concerning complaints in general and conflict zones in particular. We further recommend that in view of the considerable impact of these issues on Canada's international reputation that Canada's NCP present an annual report to Parliament concerning the complaints lodged with regard to the activities of Canadian companies abroad.

Our fourth recommendation concerns Canadian public responsibility for Canadian companies and particularly junior companies. Any company considering investing in a country designated as a conflict zone should be required to include in its risk assessment an analysis of the potential human rights and humanitarian implications of its presence. This is already an idea promoted in Norway's Guidelines Concerning Human Rights and Environment for Norwegian Companies Abroad.

Our fifth and final recommendation concerns the management of resources in conflict zones. In order to weaken the link that actually exists between natural resources and violent conflict in Africa, Canada should support the recommendations of Our Common Interest, Report of the Commission for Africa.

Canada should work toward a common definition of ``conflict resources'' for global endorsement and take the lead in the creation of a permanent expert panel within the UN to monitor the links between natural resources extraction and violent conflict, and the implementations of sanctions. The panel should be empowered to recommend enforcement measures to the UN Security Council.

As noted in Our Common Interest, Report of the Commission for Africa:

Responsibility for resolving conflict in Africa should primarily lie with Africans, but there is much more that the developed world can do to strengthen conflict prevention.

Canada's position as a leading player notably in the extractive sector in Africa suggests that it is only fitting that we show much greater leadership than is presently the case.

Mr. John Harker, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University, as an individual: Honourable senators, I must make a confession: It is a couple of years since I have been in Africa. I was very much focused on that continent prior to becoming a university president. One of my major involvements was working on the question of extractive industries and violent conflict, namely during the Sudanese civil war.

Mention was made by the guest from CODESRIA of the Naivasha peace process. Prior to the Naivasha process, I think I counted some 36 consecutive Sudanese peace processes. None of them held for very long. Looking at plans for Africa's recovery as a whole, I think I counted about 10 since 1960. None of them have really stood the test of time.

Four years ago, African leaders approved a new African initiative called the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD. Its pledge is to eradicate poverty and place Africa on a path of sustainable growth. It would be a mistake to assume that NEPAD has been implemented over these past years. The acronym itself gets to the heart of the matter, A New Partnership for African Development is precisely what is required, but any collaborating to implement it must take into account great obstacles. Among these obstacles stand issues of conflict of governance or corruption and matters of communicable disease. I have some limited insight on these subjects.

The first point I wish to make is that sharing our insights and our information is imperative but not as commonplace as you might think. I came to that conclusion over many years of working in and on Africa, including in the Office of the Deputy Executive President of South Africa.

I think that all too often, those with information keep it to themselves and all too often, they and others fall short of telling leaders what they need to know and need to be told. Until recently, some of them needed to be told about HIV/ AIDS.

I want to make a comment about HIV/AIDS and the weakening state in Africa. I understand that in today's announcement, Canada has committed to doubling its aid to Africa by 2008. Clearly, in setting out the goals, HIV/ AIDS is included. I fear that too often we focus on this as a health issue. For me, it is imperative to bear in mind that the AIDS pandemic is thinning out the vital ranks of those who personify the state in Africa: the civil workers, health care workers, soldiers and police. Already food and security are declining. They are not only underfunded they are clearly understaffed.

It is clear that many states in Africa aspire to democracy and good governance and to the fullest provision of human security for their people. However, intentions are not capacities, and capacities are being hollowed out from the inside. This also relates to conflict in the absence of peace and security in Africa.

As the first witness told you, conflict in Africa knows many causes, and sometimes these causes overlap. That is particularly true, for example, in the case of the civil war in Sudan. Many states are now painfully recovering from conflict, whether interstate or intrastate. Clearly, the need for the legitimate provision of security and even policing is growing while the capacity of the state to meet the need is eroding.

HIV/AIDS contributes to interstate conflict. At the height of its military involvement in the DRC, Ugandan army officers were using illicit diamonds to buy anti-retroviral drugs in South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS.

African leaders understand that the end of conflict and the achievement of security are conditions for sustainable development. Much emphasis has been placed on the role of extractive industries in this development. You have heard much mention of natural resources.

Canada has mechanisms such as its support for research chairs here in Canada and its marked program to fund such chair. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, in conjunction with the African Association of Universities developed a similar program. By supporting such programs, Canada could improve the global understanding of the interaction between natural resources and conflict or human security. It is a complicated business. It is not just, as you were told by your first witness, a matter of oil or diamonds or lumber. He also mentioned water. When I was looking at the impact of oil on Sudan and its people, I could not help but conclude that water was just as much a driver of conflict in that area. We are doing too little to really understand and too little to help people deal with those problems.

The people of Africa are very much in need of respect for their human security. The United Nations Human Development Report 1999 defines human security as ``safety from constant threats of hunger, disease, crime, and repression.'' I believe that is an achievable goal in Africa but it is a long-term proposition. Any perspective we have must take a hard look and avoid any quick-fix mentality. To move toward peace and democratization requires taking into account many dimensions and factors, and it needs creativity, time, and steadfastness. It also needs a long-term engagement. It needs to build on local accomplishments and it must ensure that local capacities are enhanced by outside intervention and that intervention must not blunt those local capacities which altogether too often happens.

Africa has actually witnessed an intervention by mercenaries, whatever the name, whatever the label. It is disappointing to me that the United Nations convention on mercenaries still languishes far short of the number of ratifying states needed to give it teeth and effect. I would like to think that Canada could encourage the United Nations to get this convention moving toward, perhaps through discussions between important actors and stakeholders and through funding of research.

As Ms. Campbell has pointed out, Canada is a big force in the extractive industry and Canada ought to take a lead in ensuring that industry does not do its business through the utilization of mercenaries that have done so much to harm African development.

Any objective research might shed light on the ways in which the private security phenomenon reinforces corruption in the countries where it is deployed.

Corruption at the top of government in Africa depends on weak public institutions. Without strong public institutions, full economic and social recovery remains a chimera in Africa. Those institutions are made up of people, and people who suffer from or fear HIV/AIDS, conflict and the demands and temptations of corruption. They must be better equipped to withstand these assaults.

I will conclude by saying that the NEPAD developed by their leaders offers some hope for a real focus on ways of helping them withstand those assaults.

In July 2005, the G8 will gather in summit formation. NEPAD or at least African recovery will be on the agenda. Canada has an obligation to try to make this event an enduring success. I do not think rhetoric will suffice. In fact, it will be at best a nuisance.

At risk of being a nuisance myself, I will end by referring to a word also with some currency in this country, ``sovereignty.'' A number of years ago a number of African academics developed the notion of sovereignty as responsibility. That has not really been taken up by many of the governments and government leaders in that continent. Canada ought to look hard at what that means and do its best to promote the idea of sovereignty as responsibility.

The Deputy Chairman: You made a comment about long-term engagement, Mr. Harker. The world has been in Africa for a long time. The engagement with Africa is decades old. We have obviously not been doing the right things. How long will it take to put things right, and what are we doing wrong?

Let me throw another question out and then I will keep quiet and let my colleagues take over. The involvement and engagement in Africa has been primarily through some UN program.

Is the UN still able to lead, or has it become so dysfunctional that we have to find other measures to help the countries of Africa?

Mr. Harker: At the time Canada was preparing to participate in the Kananaskis summit, it staged a number of round table meetings across the country. I had the privilege of taking part in one meeting in New Brunswick. At that time, an African observed that NEPAD was the talk of Canada, but as far as he was aware very little discussion was going on between governments in Africa and their peoples as to what the plan really required. I felt that was a true statement.

We heard from the South African High Commission that South Africa was very much working with civil society to fashion how it would advance on this NEPAD recovery. That was, if we can be somewhat non-diplomatic, absolutely bogus. Much effort towards African development has taken the form of almost paternalistic involvement and there is too little attempt to enable African peoples to articulate their own needs and press for the satisfaction of their own grievances.

There was a time when people hoped that the rate of change would be faster than it has been, but I am not pessimistic. I think it will take a long-term commitment to get a state like Sierra Leone out from under a horrific war, and I have to regret that Sierra Leone is not figuring in the list of countries Canada now intends to assist; however, I do not think we are looking at 20 or 30 years. If people act together as real partners, the process will be faster than we have seen in the past.

Finally, I would not look to the United Nations for leadership in any of this. It needs real vigorous member states that drive it to do what it can do, but to regard it as the lead is really asking for failure.

Ms. Campbell: Three ambiguities in our policy suggest that perhaps we need to look more closely at what we are doing. We have not been listening to what the people of African have been saying. Although we are looking at local participation and local appropriation if one looks closely, we have imposed bilateral and multilateral institutions on Africa policies.

The second point is that the current design of macro-economic policies to which we subordinate and add on environmental, gender, and property reduction projects has not changed. I am convinced that we must look at this very closely. Through the structural adjustment days people looked at the model and made these same comments but we do not question that we are imposing the model of liberalization and opening up Africa for our economies. This is an extremely short-sighted economic strategy. What it is doing is having a systematic impact of making states less able to redistribute, reducing their capacity to have internal social cohesion and legitimacy. Our strategies are part of that problem.

Third, ambiguities were pointed out in the 1987 Winegard report, entitled For whose Benefit. It is rather ambiguous to continue suggesting that by promoting our interests in Africa we will be promoting the interests of African people. This is something we must look at much more closely. Until we do, and until we are able to unravel this ambiguity, we will continue making mistakes.

Senator Corbin: Ms. Campbell, for the sake of saving time, has not read her presentation. However, she has put a tremendous amount of work into this. It is an extremely useful document. This is the first time this topic has been broached and I would like to see it printed in today's proceedings, if I may so move, unless there is a major handicap.

The Deputy Chairman: I would like to second the comments of my colleague. I was reading it while were you were making your comments. It is a useful document that we will put to good use.

Senator Andreychuk: I would make the point that if we do that for one witness, it is our obligation to do it for all witnesses. I wonder if we should have some uniformity and some respect.

The Deputy Chairman: That is why I said that it will be put to good use. I am not sure that we can do what our esteemed colleague suggests. We will accomplish the same objective I will assure you.

Senator Corbin: There is an additional reason why this submission should be entered. There is a significant amount of technical information and hard facts that are essential if we are to do a study. They are not just comments. There is factual documentation followed by a recommendation, something we have not received much of up to this point in time.

Senator Andreychuk: They could become annexes to our report.

The Deputy Chairman: We will make sure that this submission and other fine reports will find an appropriate place in our records and report.

Senator Corbin: There was a lot of work put into this. I do not want to see it lost.

The Deputy Chairman: I agree with you.

Senator Andreychuk: I wish to play the devil's advocate. While I think there is some very good information, Ms. Campbell, in your material, you go back to reports and particularly the new commission and talk about them. Throughout your recommendations, you use words like ``clear,'' ``effective,'' ``clarifying'' and ``strengthening''. Those are all words that politicians have used with reference to Africa. I would have hoped that there would have been something more `nuts and bolts' as to what government should do.

Is it a problem that we have not given our leaders the correct resolutions or is it a lack of political will?

I think the Blair report has the right philosophy, but it does not give a plan for implementation.

How do we generate the political will? How do we get accountability, and measurability?

Ms. Campbell: You asked if it is one or the other; it is both. For reasons of ambiguity that I mentioned before, we have not wanted to look at the consequences of not having the political will.

As someone who spends a lot of time in Africa, I can tell you as a researcher that even though Canadian mining companies in Africa are operating in conflict zones there is nothing that our government is doing to stop them.

Canada should follow the actions of the Swedish government and exercise a follow through concerning our mining companies. We have a NCP, but there is no follow through. Why?

Senator Andreychuk: That is my question. Do you think your recommendations here would lead to a follow-up?

Ms. Campbell: I am here to give your committee my recommendations and to try to give you a glimpse of whatI have seen in Africa and what I have researched for thelast 30 years.

I hope this chance to meet with you raises your focus on Canada's African political policy.

Senator Andreychuk: Do you believe Canada is putting its own economic future ahead of Africa's future?

Ms. Campbell: That is a large question.

The Deputy Chairman: You are being diplomatic now.

Ms. Campbell: I referred to the 1995 policy statement where we put forward the idea that through the promotion of our economic interest, we promote social and income development and we must do that more carefully. Until we are ready to do that, I think we are maintaining an ambiguity that serves Canadian interests and not African interests.

Senator Andreychuk: Mr. Harker, in my opinion, NEPAD will be a constructive document if the peer evaluation process works. The countries that have come forward have done some credible work in offering their countries for evaluation, but I see a great resistance to real peer evaluation.

Nowhere in the NEPAD document is parliament really addressed in any meaningful way. I see very good hopes of democracies emerging throughout Africa.

What is your comment on a strengthened parliamentary accountability within the countries in Africa so that the leaders would not be accountable to international institutions, but to their own governing processes?

I see inklings of that in a pan-African situation. I see that in several legislative environments where parliamentarians are beginning to assert their roles as the check on the executive.

Mr. Harker: Interestingly, the business communities in the U.K. and Africa recently got together to discuss their reaction to the Blair commission report. A number of major business leaders then wrote a letter to the Financial Times. They said:

Western nations need to give Africa a realistic chance to compete. G8 countries have to commit to facilitate access to markets and to the elimination of agricultural subsidies and other trade barriers.

They went on to say,

Aid flows should be directed to improving governance under the provisions of the new African Peer Review Mechanism.

There is an emerging view that international or domestic interests in Africa will not survive unless we all work together to solve the problems in that continent.

There is some hope that maybe the business interest led very strongly by emerging Black business in South Africa will help fashion a new approach by our Western governments.

Senator Mahovlich: I see that there are many mining companies in Africa. I am from a mining community. All the mines in my area left something to the community, like the McIntyre Mine. That mining company built a hockey arena; they built an auditorium; they contributed to the schools; and they contributed to the hospitals. They left something in the community for the people.

Have any of these mining companies left a university or something for the Africans?

Ms. Campbell: That is an interesting question. We are in a very different situation where mining investment goes in for short periods with the object of a fast return. It is a different situation. It is not part of a community or regional strategy.

What I have seen is that they have not left anything positive in Ghana. A Canadian mining operation closed up and left. It left the people with debts. The mine and the surrounding area are dirty, and there is no indication that they will return to clean up the mess.

What I am stressing is that are two things going on. The information about what is going on in Africa is not coming back to Canadians. Certain Canadian companies have contributed to the communities. I have visited the schools that they have funded; they do exist.

The issue is that the day the company pulls the whole thing collapses. We have to have longer perspectives to see how the investments we make fit into longer-term strategies that bring in the communities and local governments.

Senator Mahovlich: Twenty-five or 30 years ago, my nephew was one of many students that went over to the Congo to teach before continuing to study here in Canada. His experience was not very positive.

Were we doing the right thing at the time?

Ms. Campbell: In general, your question is enormous.

The aid business has been about doing for others. We have gone and done things. By definition, we should not be doing things for others. We have to look at the mentality that we take with us when we go to Africa. We have to rethink just what it is that we are bringing to them. Perhaps it is time to look at that again.

Senator Mahovlich: We have to teach them and then they can teach themselves.

Ms. Campbell: I am one who believes that Africa has most of its solutions and is in position to define its own problems. We keep ``doing'' for other people.

I am in a university where people are using CIDA money to train people to formulate requests for funding that we administer. We are training people how to use the technical language that we expect them to use. We are still bringing these people to my university.

Is this reinforcing educational capacity with the values and objectives and the dreams of the countries?

No, it is not.

It is about us thinking that we have the technology, the knowledge, and the skills. We have been thinking this way for 40 or 50 years. It is a business. We are ``doing'' in the place of others and we have to question our actions.

Mr. Harker: I do not know what happens at Ms. Campbell's university, but it is somewhat hasty to conclude that any kind of transfer of technical skills and know-how is just a matter of our interests and not in the interest of the people of Africa.

In my university, we are engaged in providing training to Angolans in operations of oil and gas. They would not get this training anywhere else. We pay tribute to the multinational corporation that wants to indigenize oil and gas operations in Angola. It is a tribute to the Government of Angola to insist that this be the case.

Enabling a group of Angolans to take charge of their own destiny, or a small part of it, is not a bad thing. I think it is a good thing. If we can do more of it we will. That does not mean that we always have to assume that we have the answer. I hope that we can learn as much from Africa as we can impart to Africans themselves.

Senator Corbin: I am glad that Ms. Campbell has mentioned the attitudes of Scandinavian countries with respect to the deeds of their nationals in Africa.

I have been trying to sell the idea to my colleagues that we need to talk, we need to meet with the Scandinavians, the Dutch and others, who have a stake in helping Africa pull itself up by its bootstraps. Their policy approach is in many instances quite different from Canada's approach. In some instances, I would qualify their policy approach as being a little more strict and severe in terms of what they seek to achieve in helping Africans.

We have a tendency to be the ``good guys'' and we are all over the globe. We do little things here and little things there, we have conferences, and Canadians pat themselves on the back and think they are good at doing what they do.

I suspect that we could learn a hell of a lot more from talking to other people about their experiences.

Do you have any comments?

Mr. Harker: I believe that we should be talking to everyone whenever we come across an instance, or an example, or a path that we have not explored. I do not think it is a matter of viewing the Scandinavian countries as having the right approach in every instance. They often pursue state interests with even more determination than we sometimes do.

We should make a point of talking to African partners. We should talk to any government that has an interest in issues worth exploring. I do not think there are great models out there. There are things that Canadians have done that would be of value to other countries. It is not clear to me that one group of states rather than another is a model of rectitude and correct behaviour.

There is an allegation that Sweden requested the United States to take someone off its hands, an allegation that is similar to Canada's situation with Mr. Arar. An assumption of great morality on the part of any state never comes lightly to me whether it is my own or someone else's.

Senator Corbin: It is not morality I am talking about, it is policy.

Ms. Campbell: Finland has a NCP that is much more energetic. Finland has just created an advisory committee made up of representatives from companies, unions and NGOs that have the mandate to do the follow-up work.

Why do we not inspire ourselves from this or another model?

Holland's method is more transparent. It asks their World Bank and IMF representatives to come to Parliament, take a mandate and once it is completed, report back to Parliament.

We have to make note of the coherence between what we see in our aid policy and what we put forward in the multilateral institutional arena.

We have heard some interesting ideas concerning the monitoring of aid. We have always thought that we should do the monitoring and we are asking governments of Africa to do something we ask of no one else. The peer review system that Jeffrey Sachs mentioned goes way beyond the amount of governance we are asking for other countries where we make our aid conditional.

The question of the monitoring of our own policies is a very important and overlooked issue. It would be interesting to work with the governments of the countries, now that we have had a review. We have 25 countries.

Should we establish a system where the countries and civil society organizations of those countries monitor the Canadian policies?

The Deputy Chairman: I thank both of our witnesses.

The committee adjourned.

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