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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Maize farmers are staring at a crisis, owing to the East African trade protocol that is increasingly allowing import of cheaper maize from Uganda and Tanzania. Uganda, whose harvesting season started in August, has already imported to Kenya huge quantities of cheaper maize, creating panic among farmers in the North Rift, Kenya's food basket. The farmers are set to start harvesting in a month, just like those in Tanzania. The EAC Protocol allows free movement of goods between East African countries -- with the exception of sugar, which Kenya has restricted to protect its industries and farmers.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has completed safety assessment and design of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved Performance Based Navigation (PBN) regional routes to enhance regional connectivity within the African and Indian Ocean (AFI) region. He said the gains of the new regional routes included enhanced airspace capacity utilization and reduced flight times. It is also expected to boost regional integration, co-operation and trade within the sub-region.

While, West Africa is weakly integrated and highly deficient in translating political commitments into policy and regulatory reforms, there are currently many opportunities. Nigeria and Ghana both account for 61% of West-Africa’s population and 68% of ECOWAS GDP. As the two largest economies in West Africa, the relationship between Nigeria and Ghana is a crucial one for the region if it is to be able to play any role in global markets. The companies in these countries need the opportunities that regional markets provide in terms of operations expansions, increase production and growth. There are currently outstanding market access issues due to unfavorable product registration process, trouble in transporting their goods across the borders of Benin and Togo and also corruption in the customs. These complaints run contrary to the existing ECOWAS treaties and protocols.

The regional summit on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development took place to deliberate on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development Review. Botswana remains committed to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development's spirit and will continue to implement its provisions for gender equality and women's empowerment, according to the director of gender affairs department, Ms Thapelo Phuthego. The workshop themed: "SADC Protocol on Gender and Development Review themed: The Trade Union's Respective", brought together Trade Unions, as major stakeholders, into the dialogue to share with them information about the Protocol, with the intent to play a critical role in its review.

Upon conclusion of the ‘Making CSME Work for Artisans and Domestics’ project, the main recommendation from Civil Society is: a comprehensive, multi- faceted long-term public education campaign targeted at artisans, domestic workers and other vulnerable users of the Regime, taking into account language and use of appropriate channels of dissemination, including popular programmes in the mass media in each CARICOM country. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Free Movement Regimes were designed.