Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
M T W T F S S
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31



SELECT_TAGS :
















Twitter

Follow the CTA Brussels Daily

 

twitter logo

 

facebook logo cta

EDITO
Friday, 15 December 2017
Two visiting European parliamentarians have thrown their weight behind African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in light of the European Unions (EU)'s proposed reform of its sugar policy.
This includes slowing down the pace of implementation of a 39 per cent cut for ACP sugar prices over the next three years.British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Glenys Kinnock and German MEP Michael Gahler are in Jamaica as visiting representatives of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and were speaking at a dinner held in their honour by executive chairman of the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), Derick Heaven.Mrs. Kinnock is co-president of the assembly together with Member of Parliament for South Central St. Catherine, Sharon Hay-Webster, who is hosting their visit.

Brutal approach
She said the change in support for ACP sugar was "... an extremely brutal approach by the European Union and not in line with Europe's commitment to building peace and security in the world." She added that the ACP countries concerned should instead be supported by the EU for their democracies, human rights records and support for trade unions. Mrs. Kinnock said compensation of 40 million euros for the ACP countries was of "... no substance and neither does it have at this time any budgetary position." She said the sum was 'ludicrous', noting that Mauritius alone had applied for 65 million euros. She acknowledged that there was a blocking majority in the European Parliament against increased compensation, and her own proposal of 80 million euros was refused.
Mrs. Kinnock charged that ACP countries were being further disadvantaged against the European sugar beet farmers who are to be compensated by 1.542 billion Euros per year, and the European overseas territories Martinique and Guadeloupe are being compensated along European lines. She said these two countries would have an unfair advantage within the Caribbean.
Mr. Gahler told The Gleaner he endorsed what Mrs. Kinnock said about compensation as, "The cuts, if implemented with the current level of compensation, will have an extremely negative impact." He said, however, that the trip would strengthen the ACP sugar lobby within the European Parliament.
"I am going to write to all of the agriculture ministers ahead of their November 5 meeting," Mr. Gahler said. "Should they go ahead as planned then nobody can pretend they were not told."
Sugar reform is to be debated in the European Parliament in January.
Friday, 21 October 2005
Small loans known as "micro-credits" are an effective tool for fighting poverty and empowering women. This was the key message of a hearing organised by four European Parliament committees on 11 October to mark International Year of Micro-Credit 2005.
The term micro-credit is used to describe a small amount of money lent to a low-income client by a bank or other institution. And micro-credits can be particularly important for women: in a world where most poor people are women, studies have shown that access to such loans can improve the status of women within the family and the community. Women become more assertive and confident, they come to own assets, including land and housing, play a stronger role in decision-making and take on leadership roles in their communities.
Most contributors in the afternoon session were women who spoke about the role of micro-credits in various parts of the world such as Latin America, Africa, Afghanistan and Asia.
Brigit HELMS, of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, described the development of micro-finance over the last thirty years. "From being a marginal phenomenon, next to or parallel to the traditional banking system, finance for the poor is now becoming the chief form of finance in many poor countries". Indeed, the problem of exchange rates was mentioned several times. When institutions and lenders provide loans in foreign currency, local firms are exposed to the risk of exchange rate fluctuations. Felippo VETTORATO (ETIMOS Consortium, Italy) believed that the European Commission had a key role to play in risk cover.
Andreas SCHWARZ, representing the Commission, confirmed that this was one of the priorities of the "new approach" advocated by Development Commissioner Louis MICHEL: "to become more professional in this area, especially after a report by the CGAP which claimed that the EC lacked staff specialised in banking".
Ana GOMES (PES, PT) wound up the meeting by saying there was clearly an opportunity for the EU to make its development aid more effective by improving the current state of affairs.

The CTA has published an extensive work on micro-credit in ACP countries. Check website below and the list of publications.
2684th Council Meeting on Environment
Luxembourg, 17 October 2005
The Council adopted a decision renewing financial aid granted to Haiti that was partially suspended in 2001. Through this decision the EU resumes full cooperation with Haiti and repeals the decision 2001/131/EC concluding the consultation procedure with this country under the ACP-EU partnership agreement (article 96).
Monday, 17 October 2005
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.
  • Bookmark and Share
  • Email
  • Print