February 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza




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EDITO
Friday, 12 February 2016

Overall the European Union (EU) has disbursed approximately E480 million for development assistance in Swaziland in 2015. This matched the previous record levels of disbursements attained in 2013. The government of Swaziland and the EU met yesterday at Sibane Hotel in Ezulwini to review the performance of their cooperation in 2015 and agree on the priorities for 2016 and beyond. EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said during 2015, financial agreements were signed for the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) high value crops horticulture project which was worth about E242 million as well as support to social protection project which stood at about E87 million.

Cuban President Raul Castro held a series of meetings with senior French officials on Tuesday, the second day of a state visit to France aimed at boosting business ties between the two countries. Castro has been received with all honors for the first state visit ever of a Cuban president to France. His schedule in Paris on Tuesday included meetings with UNESCO chief Irina Bokova, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Ethiopia and Djibouti are partners in many ways so far and the two neighbouring countries are registering better results in the economic and people-to-people ties. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said that Ethiopia and Djibouti will further strengthen economic and people- to- people ties and partnership to improve trade and competitiveness in the world market. Similar bilateral discussions were also held with Serbia, Netherlands and Luxembourg presidents, delegates and senior officials on the sideline of 26th AU Summit. The Premier in his talks with President of Djibouti Ismaïl Omar Guelleh said that Ethiopia and Djibouti are partners in many ways so far and the two neighboring countries are registering better results in the economic and people-to-people ties.

Poffertjes and poverty are on the table for EU development ministers in Amsterdam tonight, as they get together for the first time this year. Over dinner, they will discuss the European Union’s future relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The existing framework currently governing this partnership, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, is due to expire in 2020. During the coming months, the EU will define its position for a follow-up deal, which will serve as a basis for future development cooperation. For the newly-agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its Sustainable Development Goals to be effective, this new legally-binding agreement is instrumental.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016

The very first informal meeting of EU trade ministers and ministers for development cooperation took place during the Netherlands Presidency. At a joint lunch at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam on 2 February the ministers discussed ways for member states and the Commission to better align their policies on trade and development or 'aid and trade'. The group meeting, the first of its kind, is a Presidency initiative and is hosted by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen.