Senior experts and policymakers presented important lessons and opportunities for African countries to strengthen linkages between rural and urban areas at a Brussels Briefing which took place on Monday 20th March 2017. The event, held under the title of “Strengthening rural livelihoods in the face of rapid urbanisation in Africa”, attracted a wide audience of over 130 participants representing the ACP and EU diplomatic and development communities present at the ACP Secretariat, and an online audience of over 100 following via Webstream. It was organised by CTA, in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Development Agency (GIZ), the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (EC/DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and Concord (the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development).
The CTA Brussels News Service is providing EU-ACP policy news since 2004, on various key thematic areas. In addition to this news service, we also provide news on ACP intra-regional trade, and south-south cooperation (investments of emerging countries' in agriculture in the ACP regions). The main stories for the week are featured in our newsletter and all stories can be found in our Regional Trade and the South-South cooperation sections.
Ethiopia and Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) launched Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DRSLP) in Semera, Afar State with 12 million Euro fund secured from the latter. The Programme, supported by the technical of the Agency and Italian soft loan, is in line with IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) assisted by the African Development Bank, GiZ, the World Bank and the European Union in the lowlands of the country. The Federal Coordination Unit within the State, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and State's Coordination Unit within the Bureau of Agricultural and Pastoral Development are in charge of coordinating the activities.
Africa needs more than token action towards building green economies. Without adequate climate action, African farmers may lose 40 % to 80 % of their croplands for growing grains. Preventing the loss of biodiversity (SDG 9) and ecosystem degradation will safeguard urban people’s food supply too. The big question is: how will private sector resources be mobilised? No doubt, African financial institutions have significant capacities to support investors. However, they have a history of risk aversion and lack sufficient market instruments to facilitate risk-sharing. Therefore investments in agribusiness has stayed below what is needed. A further drag is the macroeconomic situation. Interest rates are rising and are increasingly beyond what smallholder farmers and small and mid-sized enterprises can afford.
Celorrio is to build a large complex in Ethiopia. It would be the largest investment ever made by the La Rioja-based group and will employ more than 3,000 people, intending to increase substantially its capacity to manufacture vegetable preserves (asparagus, Piquillo pepper and artichoke). After several years of research across several countries, it seems that the town of Mek’ele has the microclimate suitable for theses crops and a great water capacity. The factory, which will be ready in September 2018, will have a constructed area of 65,000 m2, over a total acreage of 5,000 hectares of land, with the aim of reaching a production capacity of 80,000 tons. The aggregated sales of Grupo Celorrio amounted to €190 million in 2016, 9% more than the previous year. Of that turnover, 20% comes from exports.