Elkhabar reported today that Algeria has decided to pardon São Tomé and Príncipe debt of US$3million. São Tomé and Príncipe, a former Portuguese colony, has signed its independence agreement in Algiers in November 1974. And Algeria had helped it by building the only re-transmission centre of the archipelago, and also by training its students in Algerian universities. São Tomé is a poor country with an economy based on the declining commerce of cocoa and with debts exceeding US$280million, but its situation should improve in the next years as many oil discoveries have been made in its territorial waters.
I decided to share this information because I feel Algeria doesn’t publicise its aid activities. For example, the figures of the Algerian donations to the Palestinians (PA, PLO and the people) through and outside the Arab League are only made public (for the bad reasons) during crises such as the one which opposed us to Egypt. Likewise, we heard little of the Algerian aid to Haiti after last January’s earthquake.
This observation is actually true for most Arab and Muslim countries. Always on Haiti, mainstream media made it look like only the West had helped whereas many Muslim countries made important donations as can be seen here and here. These states should probably do something and improve their communication.
BTW, Haiti does still need help. Like with everything, modest but continuous help is better than a peak followed by a memory loss.