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Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2018
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Thursday, 16 August 2018
The European Commission today announced its decision to launch a consultation process on a future maritime policy for the Union. In a communication presented jointly by President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Joe Borg, the Commission sets out the reasons behind this initiative. The communication says that the contribution that the sea makes to our livelihood and well-being is considerable as is the potential for economic growth. The challenge is to ensure that we make the most of this potential in a sustainable manner. An integrated approach would help avoid conflicts and optimise synergies between the various sea-based activities so as to boost their economic potential and safeguard the environment. It would also encourage greater stakeholders’ participation and enable all the parties concerned to consider the sea as a whole as well as understand the implications of each set of activities thereon. A Task Force, made up of Commissioners responsible for sea-related policies and chaired by Commissioner Borg, will prepare a consultation paper on a future maritime policy for the Union. The publication of this document, scheduled for the first half of next year, will launch an extensive consultation exercise as to possible options for a maritime policy for the Union. The Commission will then examine all the contributions and decide what shape and form the new policy should take before preparing proposals in this direction.
Wednesday, 02 March 2005
European Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson and EU Commissioner for Agriculture Mariann Fischer Boel will today travel to Kenya for the start of a three day meeting of Trade Ministers of WTO member countries. The ‘mini-Ministerial’ meeting will focus on moving forward the Doha Development Round of international trade talks.

The Doha Development Round of trade talks was launched in 2001 and collapsed in Cancun in 2003. It was relaunched in 2004, in part thanks to an ambitious EU offer to end EU agricultural export subsidies as part of a final agreement. The EU has subsequently called for an equally ambitious outcome in trade in services and other non-agricultural market access. The EU has called for leadership from key players in the round. It has urged the US to move further on reducing farm subsidies. It has pressed advanced developing countries like China and India to send a positive signal to other developing countries by seeking an far-reaching agreement, particularly on non agricultural market access. It calls on all WTO members to meet the deadline of May 2005 for submitting ambitious offers for opening up trade in services. If the Doha Round is to succeed in 2006, WTO members will have to have advanced significantly towards an agreement by the time of the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong in December 2005. The Kenyan meeting is the first of a number of key staging posts on the way to this meeting.

According to the World Bank Press Review, there were fierce north-south disagreements over world trade. Rich nations are insisting that the talks should cover all five areas envisaged when the round was launched in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, while poor countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) are equally insistent that the main focus be the farm subsidies provided by the United States and European Union. World Trade Organisation (WTO) officials are hopeful that countries will start to produce concrete plans in Kenya, to comply with an end-May deadline to improve their initial concessions on trade in services.
Ousmane Sy, born in Mali in 1949, is the key figure in decentralisation and reform of governance in his country. He also plays an important role in the sub-region of West Africa, where he strives to allow reforms implemented at local and national level to go hand in hand with reforms at regional level. He holds a diploma in agricultural economics and agricultural development, and a doctorate in social and economic development. He was in charge of the programmes developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mali from 1987 to 1993. From 1993 to 2000, he ran the ‘Mission for decentralisation and institutional reforms’ which was to conduct this process at the request of the new democratic administration. In the year 2000, he joined the government as Minister of Territorial Administration and Local Communities, which allowed him to convert technical work into political actions. He also organized the presidential elections of 2002.
Together with other Africans, Ousmane Sy created the ‘Governance in Africa’ network, currently covering 14 nations in western and central Africa. He has chaired the West Africa Rural Foundation (FRAO) since 1992. He also established his own expertise and advice centre, the CEPIA (Centre for Political and Institutional Expertise in Africa).
The « Governance in Africa » network shares experiences gathered at the local level in different West African countries, some of which are older than the decentralisation achieved in Mali. Its protagonists very quickly realised that the issue of governance not only concerned states, but should also be regarded in terms of regional integration: our states are too distant from the people to allow them to act in relation to change, and decentralisation is therefore imposed on them, but they are also too small to take on the international stakes of change by themselves. Ousmane Sy’s message is clear, and his conviction profound: Change is possible in Africa, in spite of negative images and headlines which all too often induce Afro-pessimism. All my writings and my work are designed to demonstrate that changes can be made, under certain conditions, among which decentralisation, regional integration and better governance inspired by the experiences of Africans are at the top of the list.
Sir John Kaputin is the new Secretary General of the ACP Group from 1st of March 2005.
In September 1995, Sir John as the Member for Rabaul was elected president of the ACP Group of States and co-president of the ACP-EU Joint Assembly based in Brussels, Belgium. His work then-including leading delegations to ethnic-cleansing ravaged Burundi and Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, and Togo-resulted in the awarding of a Togolese Medal of Freedom and Liberty by the government of the Republic of Togo as well as his appointment as honorary president of the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 1997. Sir John urges Pacific Island countries to work on their economic partnership agreements with the European Commission, saying that the overarching emphasis of the Contonou Agreement is poverty alleviation intertwined with national responsibilities on good governance, structural adjustments and human rights. For his services to the PNG government, Sir John received Queen's awards as Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1983 and as Knight Bachelor of the British Empire in 1997.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is an organisation created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. It is composed of African, Caribbean and Pacific States signatories to the Georgetown Agreement or the Partnership Agreement between the ACP and the European Union, officially called the "ACP-EC Partnership Agreement" or the "Cotonou Agreement".

Tuesday, 01 March 2005
Hamed SOW, a 52-year-old Malian, has been appointed Director of the CDE for a 5-year term from 1st March 2005. He is a graduate of the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires at Saclay in France and holds a Doctorate in Production Economics from the Université de Paris IX/Dauphine and a Masters in Economic and Social Administration from the Université de Paris VIII. After 5 years at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance in Mali, he joined the SEMA-METRA Group in France as a economic adviser, was seconded as an expert to the European Commission (DG DEV) and subsequently managed an energy project financed by the World Bank. In 1992 he joined the CDE, where he has held various posts, most recently that of Head of the Regional Operations Unit, in which capacity he has been involved in planning and carrying out the recent and ongoing reforms to strengthen the Centre.
The Centre for the Development of Entreprise (CDE) is a joint ACP-EU organization similar to CTA in its structure, which mission under the Cotonou Agreement is to contribute to poverty reduction by fostering wealth creation by lending support to the various types of operator that make up the private sector in the ACP countries; in this role it draws extensively on the capabilities of enterprises in EU countries. The Centre makes its facilities available to operators in the ACP private sector on the basis of multiannual sectoral and regional programmes; integrated assistance to individual enterprises outside those programmes, applying rigorous selection criteria, helping to set up contacts between entrepreneurs in ACP and EU countries in the same sectors, trades or businesses. It lends support, in a variety of forms, to the creation and development of ACP enterprises; intermediary institutions such as trade and/or sector organizations, combining its operations with those of PRO€INVEST and other EU and bilateral programmes and firms of consultants.