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Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2019
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Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Chief negotiators from the six African, Caribbean and Pacific regions are calling for tariff liberalisation to have a phase-in period for sensitive products. This was one of the key highlights coming out of their talks in London over the weekend to review the ongoing negotiations on the economic partnership agreements with the European Union.
Commenting on the outcome, Ambassador Richard Bernal says they've also agreed to the need for more dialogue among themselves. He says during the frank and open discussions, the chief negotiators reaffirmed that the Economi Partnership Agreements (EPAs) should increase market access for current and potential exports of ACP countries.
Ambassador Bernal also described the talks as an opportunity to co-ordinate approaches to upcoming negotiations with the European Union.
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Tuesday, 11 October 2005
The visit of Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, to the ACP Group of Ambassadors, was the occasion to alert the ACP policy-makers and the European community on the importance of the agriculture for the ACP countries and the little attention paid to its funding. Agriculture and rural economic activities are essential for growth, poverty reduction and food security especially for the poorer countries in the region. However trends in public resource mobilisation for agriculture and rural development (in terms of both domestic spending and Official Development Assistance) do not reflect that important role. Estimates are provided for incremental public resource needs for the ACP countries to meet the WFS goal of halving hunger by 2015.

CTA is organising for next February 2006 together with FAO, the ACP Secretariat, the European Commission, the Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires and the ROPPA a workshop to raise awareness on the future of the agriculture farming and the role of the farmers organisations in the agricultural sector in the ACP countries.
Monday, 10 October 2005
Chief Negotiators from the six Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions that are fashioning the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union met in London last week to compare notes and review strategies, and emerged saying that they had a better understanding of the way forward.
"(It was) an important opportunity for counterpart lead negotiators to exchange experiences and information, but also to coordinate approaches to upcoming negotiations with the EC (European Commission) on a range of issues," said Dr Richard Bernal, head of the Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM), the vehicle used by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for its trade negotiations with other countries. According to Bernal, the negotiators had an opportunity to engage "in frank and open discussions on the state of their respective region's negotiations". The chief negotiators agreed on the need for interchange amongst themselves on a regular basis and decided on mechanisms to strengthen the dialogue and technical specialists.

At present the EU has a single trade and economic assistance treaty with the more than 70 members of the ACP. Europe, however, decided in the 1990s that it would develop specific partnership agreements with regional groups that fall within the ACP.

ACP member states, however, said they would not dismantle their organisation.
Negotiations for EPAs with the EU involves the following regions:
. West Africa (Economic Community of West Africa ECOWAS + Mauritania);
. Central Africa (Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l'Afrique Centrale or CEMAC + São Tomé and Príncipe);
. Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA members); the Southern African Development Community (SADC: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Tanzania + South Africa as an observer);
. Caribbean or CARIFORUM (these include the 14 ACP members of the Caribbean Community and the Dominican Republic); and
. the Pacific.

Last week's meeting focused on i) EPA and ACP regional integration processes ii) market access issues and iii) the development dimension of an EPA. On regional integration, the negotiators compared progress made in their respective regions in strengthening these processes. In this context, the meeting discussed the content, structure, scope and strategy of an EPA for each region. On market access issues, the meeting reaffirmed that EPAs should increase market access for current and potential exports of ACP countries. There was a call for tariff liberalisation to focus on phasing periods, and for allowance to be made for sensitive products. The chief negotiators also agreed that rules of origin must be development oriented and stressed that neither trade nor market access by themselves are sufficient to promote development.
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Sunday, 09 October 2005
The EU is the world’s largest donor. EU overseas development funding has been increasing since 2000 and in May 2005 the EU made a commitment to double its aid budget by 2010. An increasing proportion of aid goes to developing country governments directly to support their own development plans and budgets. They choose how much to allocate to ICT. Priorities are set locally and EU donors respond to these priorities.

How ICT contributes to development
ICT (new and old technologies – telephones and broadcasting as well as the internet) are an important element of development in many areas such as education, health, economic growth and governance. Most countries seek support for ICT as an integral part of development plans in these areas, while fewer seek support specifically for ICT. Most EU members support this approach, and ICT forms a significant part of many EU funded projects. ICT needs infrastructure, and the EU supports this as part of the new Infrastructure Partnership with Africa due to start this autumn. But hardware alone does not make an effective information system, and many other factors also receive increasing support – such as training, policy and planning, development of applications and content, and improvement of environmental conditions such as energy and education.

The private sector
ICT infrastructure has largely been funded by the private sector, since the 1990s. The private sector has proved itself more efficient than governments in telecommunications service provision: private providers are more flexible and able to keep up with technological change, and competition keeps costs and prices lower. One role of governments, with donor support, is therefore to attract private investment. This sometimes requires financial support such as low-interest loans or risk guarantees; and always requires creation of the right conditions of regulation, competition, and start-up costs.

Creating an enabling environment for investment
It is not enough for governments and aid donors simply to say “Leave it to the private sector”. Areas in which government action is still needed, often with donor support, include: creating an enabling legal and regulatory environment to attract investors; ensuring that the communication needs of the poorest and most marginalised people are met, often through innovative public-private partnerships; and introducing ICT into government functions and services. Donors also play a role in encouraging private operators to enter risky or less profitable areas, by supplying financial assistance and risk mitigation; and in international collaborations, for instance to build ‘backbone’ infrastructure linking countries and regions across Africa.
EADI launches Insecurityforum.org
A new way to debate issues of insecurity and development
We believe that there is an urgent need for a renewed sense regarding insecurities caused by natural disasters, climate change, epidemics and poverty, as well as the violation of human rights. Insecurityforum is dedicated to create an open forum on the internet for substantive and interdisciplinary discussion.
A new online platform on issues of insecurity and development. Insecurityforum with the help of a weblog will create a space for substantive discussion on the internet by attracting new ideas, views, research findings and information on international development issues and trends.