Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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Saturday, 20 January 2018
A group of six parliamentarians from European Union member states and ACP developing countries will visit Jamaica next week on a mission to explore sugar and bananas, and crime.
The group will tour sugar and banana states, visit crime-plagued Spanish Town, and meet with the Jamaica's political and business leaders.
The African Caribbean and Pacific States/European Union (ACP/EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly Mission to Jamaica will arrive Monday for the five-day visit. Its members will include:
. co-president Glenys Kinnock from the United Kingdom, a member of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament;
. Michael Gahler from Germany;
. Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh of Djibouti;
. Joeli Nabika;
. Michael Wood; and
. Neville Bissemeber.
They will be joined by Member of Parliament for South Central St Catherine, Sharon Hay Webster, who is also co-president of the assembly.
The group will meet with prime minister PJ Patterson, opposition leader Bruce Golding, and president of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Michael De la Bastide, who will also be here on a visit.
The mission will view first hand of some of the island's most perplexing problems from visits to the Duckenfield Sugar Estate in St Thomas, the Eastern Banana Estates in St Mary, and the old capital of Spanish Town, where meetings with the non-governmental organisation Children First and selected community leaders from the parish of St Catherine will be held.
The MP said opportunities for funding of specific projects could likely arise from the various visits and meetings.
The visits to the sugar and banana estates will give the mission a first hand view of these industries which are facing crises due to the slashing of subsidised prices to the EU market and increased competition, especially from Latin American producers.
Sunday, 16 October 2005
Questions and Answers: The “European Union Strategy for Africa”
1. What is the EU Strategy for Africa?
With this communication, the European Commission proposes the framework for a strategic partnership between the European Union and Africa. It sets out the way on how to support Africa’s efforts to get the continent back on track towards sustainable development and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It focuses on key requirements for sustainable development such as peace and security, good and effective governance, trade, interconnectivity, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. In addition, it reaffirms the commitment to increase EU aid to Africa and to improve aid effectiveness.

2. Why is the Commission preparing a new EU Strategy for Africa?
Despite much progress, Africa’s road towards sustainable development remains long:
- Every 30 seconds, an African child dies of malaria,
- Malnutrition and unsafe drinking water are widespread throughout the continent,
40% of all Africans are still living on less then one EURO a day,
- three out of every four persons who die from AIDS are Africans,
- one African out of five lives in a country affected by war or violent conflict,
- eighteen out of the twenty poorest countries in the world are African (in terms of per-capita income),
- Africa is the only part of the developing world where life expectancy has been falling over the last 30 years.
Without substantial additional political will and financial resources Africa will only be able to reach most of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), not by the target year of 2015, but by 2050. As the biggest donor of development aid and the biggest trading partner of Africa, the European Union has assumed its responsibility. It has acted quickly and decisively to support Africa’s development: The European Council decided in June 2005 to make more resources available for development and to make Africa a particular focus of European development policy: The new EU Strategy for Africa sets out the framework of this policy based on the principles of equality, partnership and ownership.

3. What are the main themes of the EU Strategy for Africa?
The Strategy focuses on the key requirements without which sustainable development in Africa will not be possible: peace, security and good governance. It subsequently looks into action on key areas that create the necessary economic environment for development such as economic growth, trade and infrastructure. Finally, the strategy pushes for investing into areas with an important and direct impact on the fulfilment of the MDGs such as health and education, sanitation, and environment.
To address the key conditions for sustainable development, the EU strategy for Africa proposes inter alia a Governance Initiative and a Partnership for Infrastructure.

4. What does the EU’s commitment for “more, better and faster” mean for Africa?
The EU Strategy for Africa reaffirms the EU’s development aid commitment to do more, better and faster, made at the June 2005 European Council, to Africa:
Finance: At least 50% of the additional annual budget made available for development aid by 2010 will go to Africa. EU Aid to Africa will increase by two-thirds from 17 billion EUR in 2003 to a total of 25 billion EUR / year in 2010 (approx. figures);
Budgetary support will increasingly be used to implement development projects faster and strengthen African ownership;
Coordination among EU donors should be strengthened through concrete initiatives proposed in the Strategy; in this sense, it proposes to elaborate an Action Plan in 2006 enabling progress on issues such as Joint Programming.
Coherence with other policy areas such as trade, agriculture, fisheries and migration will be strengthened.

5. Which other concrete projects does the EU propose in its strategy?
To deepen the partnership between Europe and Africa, the EU Strategy proposes the following additional initiatives:
Twinning partnerships between universities, schools, municipalities, businesses, parliaments and civil society;
Creation of a pan-European voluntary service for young people with skills to share who are interested in Africa’s development;
Building on the experience and success of the Erasmus programme, a similar programme for student exchange between Africa and Europe will be examined.
6. How have relations between the EU and Africa changed?

The relations between the European Union and Africa are not new. They have evolved over the decades into a strong partnership based on common interests and mutual recognition. Yet, the relations between the EU and Africa have for too long been too fragmented between different policy areas and different approaches. The impact of EU policies is greater if all 25 Member States and the European Commission pull in the same direction and speak with one voice. Neither Europe nor Africa can ignore the three main opportunities for change that allow for building a single, comprehensive and long-term strategic EU-Africa framework:

One Africa: Many African countries have shown an impressive economic and social development in recent years. The African Union (AU) and NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development) have rallied the continent around a process of political and economic integration.
One Europe: The European Union’s potential has increased with 25 Member States, but so have the challenges. The EU must improve coherence and coordination and make its aid more effective.
Common Objectives: Sustainable development in Africa is in Europe’s interest: economically, politically and strategically. A cross-cutting objective in the “EU strategy for Africa” is the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the African continent.
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Friday, 14 October 2005
Non-state actors participation is an integral part of EC Development policy
Through this consultation (from 19 September 2005 to 11 November 2005), the Commission is seeking the opinion of local authorities, economic and social partners, academic institutions, NGOs and of every citizen with an interest in the main characteristics which should govern a new thematic programme in support of Non State Actors in the area of development cooperation.
In the framework of the Financial Perspectives 2007–2013, the Commission has proposed to replace the existing range of geographic and thematic instruments by six instruments, with a view to simplifying the legislation regarding EU external action. As a result of the new legislative framework, a number of regulations, some of which are directly linked to supporting non state actors in development cooperation, will no longer be in force after 2006. However, Community actions in the different areas concerned will continue in the form of "thematic programmes" which have yet to be defined.
In this context, the Commission "intends to propose a thematic programme aimed at providing support to civil society organisations and other non state actors, active in development and originating from the EU and partner countries. Support to local authorities (municipalities, regions, …) could also be considered in this framework. More specifically, this programme would have the threefold objective of seeking to support: (i) non state actors contribution to the development process at partner country and regional level, including by means of confidence building measures, fostering advocacy, networking and dialogue capabilities, facilitation of greater grassroots participation and promotion of development synergies between state and non state actors, (ii) better understanding, partnership and solidarity between European citizens and civil societies in developing countries by promoting awareness raising and education for development issues amongst the citizens of the EU, acceding and candidate countries, (iii) cooperation and coordination between civil society networks, and between these networks and EU institutions".
The Commission has prepared an issues paper to discuss the rationale and the main features of a specific thematic programme to support non state actors’ initiatives in EC cooperation with partner countries, as a successor to both the current NGO co-financing and decentralised cooperation programmes. Geographic programmes will remain the main tool for EC cooperation and non state actors shall continue to be eligible to participate in geographic and other "sectoral" thematic programmes that the Commission may propose (*) . Therefore, a thematic programme aimed at providing support to non state actors must demonstrate a clear added value and be complementary to geographic programmes. It shall build on the lessons learned and experiences from the NGO co-financing and decentralised cooperation latter programmes. It shall be "actor-oriented" and have a global character with strategic priorities defined in a single document for a multiannual period.

(*) Such as Democracy and human rights, human and social development in developing countries, environment and sustainable management of natural resources, food security in transition form emergency to development, migration and asylum, cooperation with actors in OECD countries.
UNDP has released its new Human Development Report - International cooperation at a crossroads: Aid, trade and security in an unequal world. This year's report takes stock of human development, including progress towards the MDGs. Looking beyond statistics, it highlights the human costs of missed targets and broken promises. Extreme inequality between countries and within countries is identified as one of the main barriers to human development — and as a powerful brake on accelerated progress towards the MDGs.
This year’s Human Development Report takes stock of human development, including progress towards the MDGs. Looking beyond statistics, it highlights the human costs of missed targets and broken promises. Extreme inequality between countries and within countries is identified as one of the main barriers to human development—and as a powerful brake on accelerated progress towards the MDGs.
Advance Social Watch Report 2005 has been released. Topic: Unkept Promises. What the numbers say about poverty and gender.