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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Sunday, 29 May 2016

The [South Africa] Cabinet has approved the economic partnership agreement between the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the European Union (EU), which will now be submitted to Parliament for ratification, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing, Radebe said the agreement would establish a single trade regime with the EU and would enhance the preferential access of some products to the EU such as sugar, ethanol, wine, fish and fruit. He noted that the agreement provided additional policy space for SA in a number of areas. SA had also negotiated a bilateral protocol on geographic indicators with the EU, where 102 wine names and three agricultural products — rooibos, honeybush and Karoo lamb — would be protected.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

AgriCord is an initiative of farmers’ organisations and their cooperative businesses to support their colleagues in developing countries by mobilising funds and expertise from organised farmers. Representatives of farmers’ organisations explained the evolution of their position in specific agro - food chains and the impact on incomes of their members (dairy value chain in Uganda by UCCCU, cashew nut value chain in Benin by URCPA).

Public procurement - the use of government funds to acquire goods and services - represents as much as one-third of the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries within the CARIFORUM region (...) During the first session of a Level One Training Workshop in Public Procurement held at the Barbados Community College, Chin (International Procurement Institute) explained that the contribution of public procurement to GDP seen within CARIFORUM is due to a comparatively weak private sector and governments in the region acting as the primary drivers of economic growth and development. (...) Chin explained that yesterday’s workshop forms part of the support the European Union is offering to CARIFORUM Member States.

Not only did the state company EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company) borrow hundreds of millions of dollars on the European bond market to purchase a brand new fleet of fishing boats, but it now turns out that the boats are not fit for purpose. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, told deputies of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, last week that ten of the 24 EMATUM fishing boats are being refitted in South Africa so that they meet the technical specifications demanded by the European Union for boats that catch fisheries produce intended for the European market.

A UK departure from the European Union could help African countries to speed up agricultural innovation that is currently held back by stringent health and safety regulations. Next to raw minerals, agriculture is the most promising driver of economic growth on the continent of 54 countries. With commodity prices flat many countries are struggling with low growth, leaving them scrambling for alternative revenue sources. However, trade deals – particularly with powerful trading blocs such as the EU – have not generally gone well for individual African states trying to secure access to one of the world’s wealthiest markets.