Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Fourth Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 November 2017. The Meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade and by Mr. Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and representing the EU Council. The CARIFORUM delegation included Ministers of CARIFORUM States and was led by Senator the Honourable Ms. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica. EU Member States were also present.

Offering credit to East African banks might not be many people’s idea of traditional development aid. Yet promoting private small and medium enterprise, alongside funding for infrastructure projects that will help develop local businesses, lies at the heart of the new strategy for Africa. Dating back to the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000 by the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Benin, the strategic goals are changing with the EU focusing much more on increasing stability and resilience by supporting economic development programmes to defuse migration pressures. The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) lends €700m per year to banks and financial sector firms across sub-Saharan Africa.

Fiji has received 23 million euros ($F56,973,543) from the European Commission out of the promised 44.4 million euros ($F109,983,710) to aid in the reform and long-term sustainability plans for the sugarcane industry. According to the Fiji Sugar Corporation's 2017 Annual Report, the 44.4m euros was to aid in Fiji's reform and restructure programs, allowing Fiji to become more sustainable and competitive in the international market. "The last major reform of the EU sugar sector in 2006, the advent of the Economic Partnership Agreements in 2008 and the denunciation of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol represented some of the major challenges that Fiji, along with other ACP small and vulnerable communities, had to grapple with," the FSC said in its report.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, this morning announced the appointment of Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith as Jamaica's Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative to the European Union and UNESCO. Ambassador Sealy Monteith will also serve as non-resident Ambassador to other European countries, according to a release from the ministry. The career diplomat of 31 years is currently Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the ministry. She previously served as Ambassador to Mexico with concurrent accreditation to Central America and as High Commissioner to Belize from 2005 to 2010. Thereafter, she was appointed High Commissioner to Canada, from 2010 to 2014.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

President Juncker will lead the European Commission delegation at the 5th African Union - European Union Summit (link is external) starting on 29 November in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The President will be joined by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica. The EU is Africa's main partner, and the summit will be an opportunity for both sides to scale up their partnership.