Laboratories in Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states are now better equipped to diagnose issues related to human, animal and plant health, and food safety, thus increasing their levels of efficacy and efficiency. On Wednesday March 15, 2017, the OECS Commission, through its Agriculture Unit, handed a total of EC$309,416.94 worth of laboratory equipment to agriculture health and food safety (AHFS) testing laboratories and pest risk analysis units of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The dockets for the equipment were handed to lab managers and supervisors, and ministry of agriculture officials of the beneficiary countries at a ceremony in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. The new laboratory equipment was purchased under the 10th EDF Regional Integration and Trade of the OECS Region Project.
The ACP Parliamentary Assembly held its 45th session and first plenary meeting of the year on Wednesday 22 March at the ACP House in Brussels. Hon. Netty Baldeh of the Gambia presided over deliberations, which brought together lawmakers from more than 70 countries to discuss relevant political and development issues, and prepare for the intersessional meetings with members of the European Parliament later this week. The ACP Parliamentary Assembly highlighted the importance of preparations for negotiating future relations with the EU after the current partnership with ACP countries (known as the Cotonou Agreement) comes to an end in 2020, especially engaging the ACP regions in political dialogue.
Mr Louis Michel, former European Union (EU) Development Commissioner and Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister, will arrive in Accra on March 27 for an official visit to Ghana. A statement signed by Mrs Rejoice Esi Asante, the Press, Information and Communication Officer of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra has indicated. The statement said he is part of a pool of three high level personalities made up of former members of the European Commission designated by the EU to support the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Neven Mimica, by carrying out targeted outreach activities with key EU partners in view of the preparation for the future of EU-ACP relationship. Mr Michel, who is on a West African Regional tour, will arrive from Abidjan on March 27 and depart Accra on March 28 to visit Dakar and Lomé.
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the European Union (EU) have signed the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement worth EUR 24 Million to support regional private sector development. At the 11th EDF launch and signing ceremony, held yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Barbados, Head of Delegation of the EU to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Amb. Daniela Tramacere highlighted that the EU remained the largest grant aid donor in the world and have set aside a total of 364 million euros for regional development; a substantial increase to the amount of aid provided under the previous regional development fund.
Mr Thomas Silberhorn, the Deputy Minister in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to support measures to ensure transparency in Ghana payroll system and other development activities. He said Germany financed the country’s biometric payment mechanism with the introduction of E-Zwich under the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited to detect and correct the anomalies in the data of employees. “Digitalisation brings about great chances for African countries. Such an innovative payment mechanism does not only give many people access to the banking system but relevant tool to fight fraud and corruption,” he explained.