The other group, who believe that the priority of the European Union should turn now to the economic recovery of Eastern European countries and Russia, so as to favor their integration into the European Union, are led by the Germans, who are concerned with the recovery of their brethren in the former East Germany. Both positions are rational for Europe.

     Japan deliberately chose to promote the fastest accelerated development of ASEAN countries possible because it considered their development as the linchpin to the growth of its own economic institutions. Therefore, Japan assisted the ASEAN countries in achieving food self-sufficiency, promoting export industrialization and heavy infrastructure, and initiating the second phase of their industrialization program that was centered on the most advanced technology. The national structural adjustment programs imposed on African countries by the international financial institutions and Europe are the exact opposite of the policy prescriptions that the European Union promotes in Europe for Europeans.

     African countries are encouraged to turn their development "backs" to each other and to look outward. Structural adjustment programs do not call for the harmonization of Africa’s national macro-economic policies, implying that each country should redress its economic imbalances alone. The European Union, contrariwise, promotes common adjustment programs in its member countries, leading to common economic policies in the various sectors. The EU takes protective measures against, for example, Eastern Europe’s cheap intermediate products -- cement, steel products and fertilizers -- while advocating low customs tariffs for African intermediate products, even if such measures make these products non-competitive in African markets.

     Africa, at this time, must have good leadership, good governance and economic integration. Poor leadership undermines stability. The democratic process should be enabled to nurture high caliber leaders who can live up to the aspirations of the African people and promote relationships based on mutual interests. The democratic process must promote economic development.

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August 1999