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July 2019
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Friday, 19 July 2019
The European Investment Bank has acquired a EUR 3.5 million equity participation in La Fayette Investissements s.i.c.a.r., a wholesale fund for microfinance institutions. Incorporated in Luxembourg, La Fayette Investissements will provide equity and debt financing to microfinance institutions in Africa and Asia, together with technical and management assistance from Horus, the French based microfinance technical assistance and service company.

With a EUR 15.3 million capitalisation, La Fayette will provide start-up capital for microfinance institutions, whereas Horus will provide management support for La Fayette as well as its investee microfinance institutions. The capital of La Fayette is provided jointly by Horus (EUR 1.3 million), International Finance Corporation[1] (EUR 3 million) Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau of Germany (EUR 3 million), Agence française de Développement (EUR 3 million), Financiering Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden of the Netherlands (EUR 2 million and the EIB.

The objective of La Fayette Investissements is to provide socially responsible senior and junior capital contributions to micro finance institutions in low-income countries in Africa. Therefore the equity participation in La Fayette answers to the key objective of the European Investment Bank’s contribution to micro finance institutions in securing economic, social and environmental returns in projects it finances.

The EIB, established in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome, finances capital investment projects that further the European Union (EU) policy objectives. It also participates in the implementation of the EU's co-operation policy towards third countries that have co-operation or association agreements with the Union.
Financing in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) is carried out under the provisions of the Investment Facility, set up by the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou in June 2000. Under the Cotonou agreement the total financial aid available amounts to EUR 15.2 billion for 2002-2006, of which EUR 11.3 billion is grant aid from the EU member states, EUR 2.2 billion is managed by the EIB under the Investment Facility and up to EUR 1.7 billion is in the form of loans from the EIB's own resources. The Investment Facility is a revolving facility (loan amortizations will be invested in new operations), aiming at supporting technically, environmentally, financially and economically sound projects in the private or the commercially run public sector.
Saturday, 08 October 2005
The third phase of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM countries and the European Union was launched on September 30.th, 2005 in Saint Lucia.

CARIFORUM Trade Ministers and European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson met on the occasion of the Second CARIFORUM-EC Ministerial EPA Meeting. They adopted the Joint Report on negotiations that took place in Phase II, reviewed progress in EPA negotiations so far, and provided political instructions on the future orientation of those negotiations. In addition to discussing the EPA process, this frank and constructive encounter provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round, and commodities of key importance to the Region. The EPA negotiations are poised to undergo a qualitative shift in focus and specificity. Phase III will define the structure and scope of an EPA, and determine the approach to trade liberalization, with the view to promoting sustainable development in CARIFORUM.
Both sides noted the importance of deepened regional integration to promote the international competitiveness of private sector operators, improve the business environment and boost trade and investment. They agreed that development would be at the centre of an EPA. The pursuit of development is a multi-dimensional undertaking that seeks to capture the benefits accruing from trade and integration, but also requires accompanying adjustment measures and institutional capacity building.
Technical and financial assistance is important to facilitate the Region’s effective participation in the EPA negotiations, and to support CARIFORUM regional integration. CARIFORUM underscored that timely access to EU resources is essential to maintaining the momentum of EPA negotiations, and strengthening the regional integration process. This was, therefore, the subject of considerable debate at the Ministerial meeting, which called for expeditious treatment of the relevant support measures.
There was an exchange of views on the status of the WTO Doha Development Round. These negotiations are of the utmost importance, as they seek to place development at the centre of the multilateral trade agenda. Both sides sought an acceleration of the preparations for the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, in December 2005.
Commodities of export interest to the Caribbean, such as bananas and sugar, are facing acute difficulties in preparing for radical changes in the EU market. CARIFORUM Trade Ministers made a strong statement that preferential access to European markets currently safeguards the livelihood and welfare of tens of thousands of families in the Caribbean. Given the vital importance of the banana arbitration process in Geneva, the EU expressed a keen interest in working with CARIFORUM banana supplying countries to obtain a fair and lasting solution. On sugar, the EU acknowledged the painful adjustment that will take place both in the Caribbean and in Europe, as a result of proposed EU sugar reform.
The EU pledged to work closely with CARIFORUM sugar producing countries, to assist them in coping with adjustment. The two sides also discussed vital trade and aid issues relating to the CARIFORUM rum industry. They acknowledged the challenges faced by the Region in this regard, and identified practical ways to advance the industry’s interests. Both sides reaffirmed their decision to convene the Third CARIFORUM-EC EPA Ministerial Meeting before the end of 2006.
Immigrants contribute to the prosperity of Member States, they have a beneficial effect on the EU labour market and they should be granted similar rights to EU citizens, the Civil Liberties Committee said on Wednesday in a hotly contested report aimed at defining for the first time an EU strategy on economic migration. The committee heavily amended the original text by Ewa Klamt (EPP-ED, DE) in an effort to place more emphasis on the integration of legal immigrants.
Should the EU adopt a Green Card system to regulate the flow of immigrants from outside Europe? Would this help to solve the economic problems caused by Europe's ageing population? Answering these and other questions was the purpose of Ms Klamt's own-initiative report, which was drafted in response to a Commission green paper on economic migration. In its report as adopted, the committee highlighted "the need to adopt a common immigration policy in order to end the exploitation of (illegal) workers" and said that "economic migration is a positive human phenomenon". Yet MEPs emphasised that this was only "part of the solution" to Europe's demographic problems and economic difficulties. Problems within the EU labour market should also be tackled by stimulating innovation and encouraging the employment of older workers.

Integration of migrants
MEPs called on Member States to promote the integration of economic migrants residing legally in Europe by granting them the same rights as EU citizens, including the right to vote in local and European Parliament elections for those who have been resident in the EU for at least five years.
In a controversial amendment supported by Socialist, Liberal and Green members, the Civil Liberties Committee voted for a European Green Card system as being a good solution to manage legal economic migration. This would create a single administrative procedure for issuing an employment and residence permit for an economic migrant. However, the admission of a third country national for economic reasons should in principle be linked to the existence of a specific job, MEPs added.
Unable to reach a consensus, MEPs finally decided not to comment on the Commission's suggestion that priority be given to citizens from all Member States before looking for non-EU nationals to fill any job vacancy (the principle of "Community preference"). Rapporteur Ewa Klamt had backed this idea in her draft report. The paragraph in her report stipulating that economic migration measures should not be used until EU citizens from new Member States are guaranteed the right to freedom of movement was deleted from the final text.

Migration and development
ECDP attached paper examines the role of migration in economic, social and political development in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP). Following the inclusion of a migration clause (article 13) in the political dimensions chapter of the Cotonou Agreement, migration issues have come onto the EU's development agenda. However, there has been debate as to whether migration is a "development issue" and if it should be addressed through development cooperation.
Friday, 07 October 2005
The past two years emphasis to tackling world poverty has been welcome. Stimulated by key international events in 2005, particularly the World Summit to review the implementation of the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as by actions of citizens across the world in the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, this focus has given prominence to Europe’s co-operation with developing countries and their people. However, while much has been done to stimulate development in poor countries, there is general recognition that these efforts fall far short of what is needed if the modest goals established by the Millennium Summit are to be achieved. The European Union, which seeks to give leadership in promoting global sustainable development, must not only ensure that its commitments are honoured, but that they are also built upon. This is all the more important after 2005’s high profile poverty focused events have ended and attention turns to other things. With the repeated warnings that development targets will not be met, that globalisation is widening inequalities, and that global warming could increase climatic instability more action is required to address these issues, not less. The following pages set out what is needed over the coming months if a Responsible Europe is to be realised.
Wednesday, 05 October 2005
SFP Info is the new newsletter of the SFP programme (Strengthening Fishery Products Health Conditions in the ACP/OCT countries). With this bilingual quarterly publication, the SFP plans to keep you regularly updated on the projects and activities launched to improve the sanitary conditions of fishery and aquaculture products in the ACP States and Overseas Countries and Territories.
SFP Info is for everyone concerned by the programme: Competent Authorities in charge of health controls for aquatic products, laboratories, fishermen, fish farmers and the fish industry, framework companies, as well as European and ACP institutions. Each issue of SFP Info will address a topical issue "On the Front Page", with interviews and reports. The "In the Field" section will present one or more projects under way in a beneficiary region or country. The "Profile" will spotlight a public- or private-sector actor. And each issue will also include "News Briefs".