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Arabs in African Eastern Coasts

From October 15, 2012 until November 13, 2012

On November 13th Madrid hosted the launching of a piece aimed to show how do those Arabs who have traditionally traded in the Indian Ocean and the Eastern African coasts live.

The event took place at 19.30 at Casa Árabe’s Auditorium (c/ Alcalá, 62) and Joan Alemany, Economic policy professor at the University of Barcelona; Luis Álvarez, president of the Ibo Foundation; and Eduardo López Busquets, Director General de Casa Árabe, intervened. After the speeches, the documentary film Ibo by Alba Martín Luque will be screened. Free entrance subjected to space availability.

This session and screening is aimed to spread the current situation of the Ibo Island, placed on the North of Mozambique and its relation with the Arab history and its traditional trade with the Eastern coasts of Africa and the Indian Ocean. These sea routes were covered by Arabs since the Low Middle Ages and they can still be seen in historical harbours in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman or Emirates, and their traditional shipping vessels known as dhows.
During the session the documentary film Ibo, by Alba Martín Luque, was shown. It tales the recent story of that island placed on the Quirimbas National Park, North of Mozambique, with 40 square kilometres and 4.000 inhabitants, and its subsistence economy depends nowadays on agriculture and fishing. Ibo was an important trade ad communication centre, with quite a historical and cultural heritage, and its past is closely linked to Arab sea routes in the Indian Ocean and the African coasts.

The aim of the Ibo Foundation is to achieve an integral and sustainable development of the Ibo Island through economic actions which are setting up a small business network and stable work. Its task is carried out by a very small group of people (two professionals in Spain and two expatriates in Mozambique) who have been able to launch economic activities and welfare centres, which provide jobs for 50 islanders. The projects developed in Ibo have served in several occasions as pilot experiences to practices to be applied in other parts of Africa.

Luis Álvarez as president, as the rest of the board of the Ibo Foundation, is part of the group of professionals and entrepreneurs from different sectors interested in promoting Africa’s economic development.

Joan Alemany is an Economic Policy professor at the University of Barcelona. He drafted Ibo’s Strategic Plan and currently he is promoting the application of that plan for the period 2010-2015.
Arabs in African Eastern Coasts