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EDITO
Wednesday, 22 November 2017

In Zambia, the 2016/17 crop year will end with a 6% drop in sugar production. According to the forecasts of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Zambia will produce about 388,405 tonnes of sugar compared to 411,279 tonnes last year. This slight contraction in volume is due to a deterioration in the quality of sugar cane, as well as a reduction in the quantity of sugar cane transported to refineries, due to energy restrictions which have impacted on irrigation, and to the drought which affected the growing season. Zambia’s sugar industry is dominated by Zambia Sugar PLC, a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar, a South African company that produces around 92.5% of the country’s sugar production. The country exports about half of its production, mainly to other countries in Africa and to the European Union.

As part of the modernisation of the French diplomatic network, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has undertaken a study on its overseas representation. France needs to be able to respond to the challenges of a constantly changing world and to anticipate change in order to maintain its effectiveness, influence and global influence. Adapting our diplomatic network is also a way to adapt our human and budgetary resources to our strategic objectives, in a context where the Quai d’Orsay must continue to contribute to the overall effort to control costs and reduce public spending.

The 96th session of the International Cocoa Council coupled with the joint annual meeting of the International Cocoa Organisation-European Union and the ACP, has been taking place since Monday in Abidjan, with the sustainable cocoa economy on the agenda, the APA reported on Tuesday from the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The second day of the meeting was devoted to the world cocoa economy, which has been suffering for several years. Delegates at the meeting will work on the drafting and adoption of an agenda for a sustainable cocoa economy, as well as the development of a global strategic action plan with specific measures.

The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) is providing EC$675,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) in emergency humanitarian aid to Dominica, following the severe destruction caused by Hurricane Maria earlier this week. The relief will address urgent needs and will include basic kits for survival, clean water and food, construction material and fuel, as well as additional logistical support to reach isolated communities. In a statement on Friday, the EU said a humanitarian expert in rapid response is already in Dominica while additional EU humanitarian technical assistance is scheduled to arrive shortly to support the national authorities to deliver relief to the population.

Violence against women and girls is the root cause of discrimination and disempowerment, and this is not only about Africa, speakers insisted on Tuesday (26 September) at a conference on “Political Empowerment of Women in Africa and in Europe”. The conference was part of the “S&D group Africa Week 2017”. This is the second year that the group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament has organised a week-long conference on Africa-EU relations. This year the initiative is dedicated to the “youth and future of Africa”. S&D group leader Gianni Pittella said he was proud his political force was spearheading the initiative to build a more mature partnership between the EU and Africa.