The CTA Brussels News Service is providing EU-ACP policy news since 2004, on various key thematic areas. In addition to this news service, we also provide news on ACP intra-regional trade, and south-south cooperation (investments of emerging countries' in agriculture in the ACP regions). The main stories for the week are featured in our newsletter and all stories can be found in our Regional Trade and the South-South cooperation sections.
Africa’s bid to combat the potentially devastating consequences of climate change has received a major boost with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and European Union announcing plans to spend €3.42 million to bolster low-carbon, climate-resilient development on the continent. Climate change threatens to push millions of people in Africa into extreme poverty by 2030 as crop yields decline, water grows scarce, droughts intensify and food prices increase. Roughly 18 million people on the continent could be affected by floods every year as global warming rises.
On June 13, just days before the U.K. referendum, the African Union announced that it would launch a single African passport — a move that came as a refreshing shift from looking at borders to keep out risks to viewing borders as gateways to achieve higher economic development. The e-Passport, which officially launched on July 17, is an electronic document that permits all AU passport holders to enter any of the 54 AU member states without visa requirements. Much like the efforts that shaped the EU, the AU passport is a big step toward deeper integration among African nations by mobilizing the vast, wide-ranging resources to strengthen self-reliance and economic solidarity.
The United Kingdom backs the East African Community (EAC) signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, its envoy to Rwanda has said, warning that failure do so would be "regretful". "The reason we support the EPA strongly is because we think it is a very good deal, particularly for the EAC. For any country that expects to become a middle income economy in the next few years, this offers, by the far, the best opportunity to ensure market access in the EU," British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ambassador William Gelling, said.
A united Europe can have a beneficial impact on African development, writes Giles Merritt of the think tank Friends of Europe, but if things go wrong, it will suffer the impacts of African disasters. His message is: “For Europe, Africa spells trouble and opportunity.” Merritt is a former Brussels correspondent for the Financial Times and considers himself a “sceptical Europhile”. His think tank is based in Brussels. In his recent book, which has the title “Slippery slope – Europe's troubled future”, he takes stock of various major trends hat affect the EU, elaborating many issues that I do not want to tackle here.