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Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 24 September 2018
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.

Monday, 28 February 2005
The European public expects the European Union to play a central role in development cooperation, especially in Africa. However, according to Eurobarometer, public awareness of with Commission activities in this field as well as of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is limited. It is the first time that this two-yearly opinion poll on development policy has covered the 25 EU Member States. It is also the first time that Eurobarometer has included questions on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which include halving extreme poverty (a billion people who live on less than one dollar a day) and universal access to primary education in 2015. The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has undertaken to “increase EU public awareness of our activities as well as of our Millennium Development Goals. European taxpayers have the right to know how their money is being spent, how we help the developing countries, how we are fighting against poverty and infectious diseases and what we are doing to promote good governance, democracy and fundamental rights”.

Main findings:

The public of the European Union have very real expectations regarding European development policy. Most notably, 51% of those interviewed feel that Europe is the actor best placed to help Africa. The fields in which EU development aid is considered most effective is the fight against AIDS and other diseases (36%), education (35%), poverty (25%), human rights (24%) and legal and illegal immigration (18%). By contrast, 88% of people have never heard of the Millennium Goals, four years after they were adopted.
As regards the first objective, reducing extreme poverty by 2015, 68% of those interviewed did not think it would be reached as against 29% who did. As regards the objective of universal access to primary education, 42% of people considered that it was achievable but 54% were, if anything, pessimistic. Awareness of action by Europe is very limited despite the fact that Europe is the world’s leading aid donor. The percentage of people who think that the European Commission helps the poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America has fallen from 67% in 1996 to 59% in December 2004. 54% of people in the EU believe that EU development aid contributes to the democratisation of the beneficiary countries. 74% consider that the level of aid should be linked to these countries’ efforts to encourage and support democracy. 78% think that development aid can take any form except arms supplies.
Louis Michel renewed his call for a “genuine European development strategy. While respecting the sharing of competence with the Member States, I advocate better coordination and shared objectives for our cooperation. That is my aim: greater coherence, greater coordination and greater visibility. And, in the light of this survey, this is what our fellow-citizens expect”.

This survey was devised in cooperation with the OECD and conducted between 22 November and 19 December 2004. A total of 24 999 people of over 15 years of age were interviewed in the 25 Member States of the EU.

Commission welcomes Parliament’s approval of new law.
Markos Kyprianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, has welcomed today’s vote by the European Parliament approving a new EU law to ban pressure selling and misleading marketing. The new legislation to harmonise Member States’ rules on unfair commercial practices was proposed by the Commission in June 2003. It will clarify consumers' rights and facilitate cross-border trade by establishing common, EU-wide rules against aggressive or misleading business-to-consumer marketing. This will give consumers the same protection against sharp business practices and rogue traders whether they buy from the shop around the corner or from a website in another Member State. Companies who comply with the rules will be able to do business in all EU countries. Independent economic studies predict the new law will increase consumer choice, stimulate competition and enlarge the horizons of small and medium sized businesses in Europe. The law is expected to be formally endorsed by the Council of Ministers in the coming weeks and should be implemented EU-wide by 2007.