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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 222]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 222]
Send date: 2010-04-30 10:00:08
Issue #: 38
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
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This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. World Malaria Day-Our Video guest this week: Aude Galli
  2. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 3rd to 7th May 2010
  4. 14th Africa-EU Ministerial Troika Meeting
  5. EU Commissioner Piebalgs at G8 Development in Halifax
  6. Slovenia and Estonia trained on development assistance
  7. 200% Capital Increase Recommended for African Development Bank
  8. Rapid malaria diagnostic tests for people in rural areas
  9. Outcome of re-launched EU-US Development Dialogue
  10. Development groups say EEAS plans breach EU law
  11. Labour standards and trade policy
  12. New broadband network for Africa approved
  13. Silk Invest launching Africa food fund
  14. EU states drifting from development aid goals
  15. Farmers on Fringe of Intl Agriculture Policy?
  16. Report on social protection & EU Development Cooperation Strategy
  17. Italy joins French calls for EU carbon tariff
  18. Aid transparency: the practitioner’s perspective
  19. Ashton puts French 'spider' at centre of EEAS web
  20. EU urged to increase health aid
  21. Denmark continues support to Tanzania’s governance agenda
  22. African farmers growing organic foods for European market


  1. World Malaria Day-Our Video guest this week: Aude Galli
    2010-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    Our video guest this week is Aude Galli, she is EU Advocay and Policy Advisor at the Red Cross EU Office in Brussels. After presenting the intervention areas of the Red Cross EU Office, Ms. Galli speaks about the events organized two days ago by the Red Cross at the European Parliament on the occassion of the World Malaria Day 2010. She underlines the tremendous progress that have been made in the fight against Malaria in countries such as Ruanda and Tanzania. According to her, those progress are an evidence that malaria can be eradicated if there is enough political wil and sustainable funds. Ms. Galli also explains the link between rural development and malaria.

     


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Red EU Office
    Link World Malaria Day


  2. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
    2010-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 18th Brussels Development Briefing will be on natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and rural development and will take place on 12th May 2010 (8h30-13h00) at the Borschette Center, Room 1A. This Briefing will discuss Humanitarian needs and responses looking first at recent trends and challenges and innovative and responsive approaches to future challenges.  The earthquake in Haiti as many other recent natural disasters have highlighted the fragility of some States and the need for strong institutions able to strengthen risk reduction mechanisms and disaster preparedness and increase the effectiveness of response to disasters. The need for coordination and effectiveness in interventions by donors and actors is also key issue. We would like to share lessons learnt from recent experiences as to minimize the scale of future negative impact and long-term recovery. We would like to look at the impact on rural development and also the role of agriculture and rural development in rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts. Panellists will come from various organizations such as the World Food Programme, the FAO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We will also receive insights from DG ECHO and DG Development officials.

    For more information contact boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int and read material online at http://brusselsbriefings.net


    Link Read more
    Link Video material
    Link  Past Briefings


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 3rd to 7th May 2010
    2010-04-29

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 4th May: Hearing on fair revenues for farmers
    - 5th to 6th May: Plenary session
    - 6th May: Speech by Joe Biden, US Vice-President
    EU Presidency:
    - 4th to 5th May (Spain): Informal fishery ministers meeting
    - 4th May (Brussels): Extraordinary meeting of the Council of transport ministers
    ACP Secretariat:
    - 10th May: Deadline for the scholarships to ACP policymakers regarding EU/ACP Microfinance Programme

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link European Parliament
    Link Spanish EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  4. 14th Africa-EU Ministerial Troika Meeting
    2010-04-29

    Within the framework of the Africa-EU Dialogue, the 14th Africa-EU Ministerial Meeting took place in Luxembourg on 26 April 2010. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and H.E. The Honorable Professor Eta E. Banda, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Republic of Malawi. The discussion mainly focused on the implementation of the Joint Strategy and preparation of the 3rd EU-Africa Summit, Peace and Security issues (Sudan, Somalia, democracy and unconstitutional changes of Government in Africa, and African Peace and Security Architecture), Development challenges (MDGs, energy and infrastructure, climate change, agriculture and food security, and economic and financial crisis) as well as various options for improving the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy .

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Africa and Europe in Partnership
    Link Europafrica


  5. EU Commissioner Piebalgs at G8 Development in Halifax
    2010-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will represent the European Commission at the G8 Development Ministerial meeting in Halifax from 26 to 28 April 2010. He will promote the EU action plan proposed by the European Commission in support of the Millennium Development Goals ahead of the UN MDG Summit in September. This G8 Development meeting takes place before the G8 of June when Heads of States will discuss the way ahead to foster achievement of Millenium Development Goals. These high level political meetings pave the way towards the UN Meeting on MDGs in September 2010.
    European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "I’m happy to attend the G8 development meeting for the first time, in such a crucial year for development. I will call EU partners to commit to ambitious targets: we will all need to join forces to fighting poverty in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Ahead of the UN MDG Summit in September, we have to confirm the global political will in support of the most disadvantaged. "
    Ahead of the G8 Head of States meeting in Muskoka (Canada) on June 25-26, the G8 Development Ministerial is taking place in Halifax from the 26th to the 28th of April. Development ministers will notably held debates on:
    • Millennium Development Goals
    • Maternal and child health
    • Food security
    • Accountability and effectiveness of aid

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link G8 in Halifax
    Link Andris Piebalgs


  6. Slovenia and Estonia trained on development assistance
    2010-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The EU 12 capacity building exercise in the field of development aid continues across Europe. The most recent training sessions were held in the Ministries of Foreign Affaires in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on 8-9 April 2010 and in Tallinn (Estonia) on 12-13 April 2010.These recent EU development donors are able to play a significant role in the EU’s development strategy, thanks to their valuable practical experience in transitional economy and democratisation processes. Benefiting from the EU's past experience, the new countries can already start using the most innovative development instruments, such as division of labour between donors. And the EU is providing them with practical assistance to help them become more effective in development work. The European Commission supports Capacity Building Schemes of the latest EU12 Member States and is currently sending its floater expert, providing specific trainings for identified needs.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link New EU donors
    Link Aid Effectiveness


  7. 200% Capital Increase Recommended for African Development Bank
    2010-04-28

    Meeting on 23 April 2010 in Washington D.C., a committee of Governors representing the African Development Bank (AfDB)'s shareholders endorsed a tripling of the Bank’s capital resources to nearly USD 100 billion and recommended acceptance by the full membership. This substantial increase will allow the AfDB to sustain a higher level of lending, including to the private sector, in response to overwhelming demand in all countries. In response to the financial crisis, the Bank had front loaded its commitments, put in place new instruments to facilitate trade, and restructured its portfolio. As a result the Bank had used its available resources more quickly than previously expected. Governors said that the conclusions represented a vote of confidence in the Bank and recognition of the exceptional efforts undertaken in response to the financial and economic crisis. They commended the ongoing reform efforts which will ensure that the Bank is able to deliver effectively results on the ground. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, welcomed the Governors’ conclusions, saying: “I am delighted by this decision. This is an historic moment for us, and a signal of strong confidence in the Bank.”

    Source: African Development Bank


    Link Read more
    Link Multilateral Development Banks


  8. Rapid malaria diagnostic tests for people in rural areas
    2010-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    A new evaluation of malaria rapid diagnostic tests will help health workers quickly identify which patients have the disease and need immediate treatment, putting into action recent World Health Organization recommendations to confirm diagnosis of malaria before treatment. Malaria kills 860 000 people a year worldwide, mostly children in Africa. In addition, there are cases in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Europe.The Malaria Product Testing Evaluation Programme just completed a new assessment of the performance of 29 rapid diagnostic tests and found that 15 of them met minimum performance criteria set by WHO."These rapid tests have been a major breakthrough in malaria control," said Dr Robert Newman, Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme. "They allow us to test people who cannot access diagnosis based on microscopy in remote, rural areas where the majority of malaria occurs."

     

    Source: World Health Organization


    Link Read more
    Link Roll Back Malaria
    Link The Global Fund


  9. Outcome of re-launched EU-US Development Dialogue
    2010-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The EU-US dialogue on development was relaunched today (25th April) in Washington. It provides a framework for cooperation between the two largest donors in the world in their efforts to tackle poverty worldwide. This initiative has been a priority for EU development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and USAID Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah in the first few months since they both took up office. With five years remaining to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the relaunch is a sign of new political will to work together in the fight against poverty. European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "Today’s commitment of the two biggest donors, the EU and US, to join forces in the fight against poverty is good news for poorest countries. I’m confident that the three roadmaps agreed for joint action on Millennium Development Goals, Food security, and Climate change will ensure concrete progress on the ground."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Action Plan for MDGs
    Link EU monitors MDGs


  10. Development groups say EEAS plans breach EU law
    2010-04-28

    A coalition of development groups has said that a proposal for setting up the European External Action Service (EEAS) being considered by EU member states violates the provisions of the Lisbon treaty. Legal advice published by a group of development campaigners, on April 26th, suggests that the inclusion of development policy-making in the EEAS's remit runs counter to treaty provisions. According to the group, the Lisbon treaty gives the EEAS competence only for conducting the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. A memorandum prepared by White & Case LLP, a law firm, says that the proposal drafted by Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, and recently backed by EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg “cannot alter areas of competence as defined under the treaties, such as the ‘exclusive competence' of the Commission in development co-operation activities”. The coalition of development organisations consists of CIDSE, Oxfam International, APRODEV, CONCORD, EUROSTEP and One International.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Concord Media Statement
    Link European External Action Service


  11. Labour standards and trade policy
    2010-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and European Trade Union Confederation’s General Secretary John Monks met to discuss how the EU’s trade policy can contribute to the promotion of decent work. They addressed the sustainable development aspects of the multilateral trade negotiations and ongoing bilateral trade negotiations including with Korea, India and Colombia

     Source  European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU's trade policy and labour standards
    Link ETUC


  12. New broadband network for Africa approved
    2010-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Funding for the first phase of an initiative to connect African research centres and link them to an existing European network has been approved by the European Commission.The approval follows a report that identified sufficient IT infrastructure in Africa to support the AfricaConnect Initiative, which aims to improve research collaborations and access to information.The report, released last month (March 22), is based on a one-year Feasibility Study for African-European Research and Education Network Interconnection (FEAST), funded by the European Commission and carried out by the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Most national research and education networks (NRENs) in Africa are now near, or will soon be near, one of several recently-landed undersea fibre optic cables, the report said. This may enable them to join GÉANT, an existing pan-European research and education network.Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a technology research company in South Africa, said that the new undersea cables bring unprecedented opportunity as well as challenges to the continent's research community.


    Source Africagoodnews

     


    Link  Read more
    Link SciDevNet
    Link Africa-UE Partnership


  13. Silk Invest launching Africa food fund
    2010-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Growth rates that outstrip the developed world are drawing emerging markets asset manager Silk Invest to open a 100 million euro fund to invest in African food processing and sales, the company said. The London-based firm, which takes its name from the 'Silk Route' historical trade paths linking Europe and Asia, plans to launch the Africa Food Fund in June, it said at the weekend. Unlike many investments in Africa, it is not a bet on raw commodities, but instead on their local processing and distribution to African consumers.

    Source: Africa The Good News


    Link Read more
    Link Silk Invest
    Link Trade Invest in Africa


  14. EU states drifting from development aid goals
    2010-04-27

    The latest figures on development aid from European Union member states from the OECD suggest that the bloc is drifting away from commitments to deliver 0.7 percent of its gross national income in development assistance by 2015. In 2009, largely as a result of the financial crisis, some of the biggest EU economies, Germany, Italy and Spain let their aid flows drop. In total, European aid is off-track to hit its 2010 target of providing 0.56 percent of GNI in development aid, offering 0.44% of aid in 2009, up one percent on the 0.43 percent it provided in 2008. The EU is not alone in its aid truancy. Japan's funding slid by 10.2 percent; Canada's by 9.5 percent; and Australia's by 1.2 percent. The US however chalked up a small increase from 0.19 percent to 0.2. A commitment on the part of developed countries to provide assistance amounting to 0.7 percent of GNI to developing countries was first made as long ago as 1970 by the UN General Assembly.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link The OECD Report
    Link Financing for Development


  15. Farmers on Fringe of Intl Agriculture Policy?
    2010-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    How's this for short-sighted: A billion people go hungry every day, food prices have climbed 30 to 40 percent, climate change is reducing agricultural production - and for the past two decades, the world has slashed investments in publicly-funded agriculture until it is a pittance in most countries."Moral outrage is needed. We must abolish this... It can be done. It must be done," Ismail Serageldin, director of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt and a former World Bank economist, told nearly 700 World Food Prize laureates, ministers, scientists and a few representatives from development and farmer organisations at the first Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) last month here in southern France. "This is the launching pad to transform hunger in our time," Serageldin concluded. The "rocket" on the launching pad is a major transformation of the 500 million dollars of public funds for international agricultural research carried out by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an alliance comprising some 8,000 researchers in 100 countries.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link International agricultural research
    Link World Food Prize


  16. Report on social protection & EU Development Cooperation Strategy
    2010-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    There is increasing recognition among international agencies, donors, governments and civil society organi¬sations that social protection can play a pivotal role in preventing and reducing poverty, and promoting social and economic development. Nevertheless, only 20 % of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage, and more than half lack any coverage at all. Furthermore the EU does not have a coherent policy or strategy to promote social protection through its development cooperation. It is now time to address this policy incoherence. This briefing from the European Working Group on Social Protection and Decent Work and the Grow Up Free from Poverty Coalition explains what social protection is, and why it should be an essential component of the EU’s development cooperation. It outlines key social pro¬tection mechanisms that can help to reduce poverty and vulnerability and promote social and economic development (social transfers, access to healthcare and legislative measures) as well as the role of microfinance and decent work to promote access to social insurance. Case studies illustrate the difference that social protec¬tion can make to people’s lives. The briefing concludes with recommendations that would enable the EU to deliver a strategy to support sustainable social protec¬tion systems in developing countries.

    Source: European Working Group on Social Protection and Decent Work and the Grow Up Free from Poverty Coalition


    Link Read more
    Link Social protection
    Link Social cohesion and employment


  17. Italy joins French calls for EU carbon tariff
    2010-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    France and Italy urged the European Union on Thursday (15 April) to impose carbon tariffs on countries that are not part of a global agreement to curb greenhouse gases, an idea opposed by the European Commission and other EU members. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a letter to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso that the Commission should include the measures in a report due in June on carbon-emitting sectors. Some EU members are worried that their industries, which pay for permits to emit carbon dioxide, will lose out to cheaper imports from countries that impose no such charges.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Climate Change
    Link Action Carbone


  18. Aid transparency: the practitioner’s perspective
    2010-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Christiansen is the Director of Publish What You Fund, a global campaign for aid transparency. Whether aid works is a topic of controversy with debate ranging from aid advocates like Jeffrey Sachs and Bono to aid skeptics like Bill Easterly and Dambisa Moyo. Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency and this article will present our “practitioners’”perspective on who needs aid transparency, why and how, along with what types of information need to be disclosed. Despite the space between policy positions, aid transparency is emerging as an area of common ground between sceptics and advocates. For sceptics it has the potential to reduce distortions. For advocates it is a way of improving both the quality and impact of aid. There are groups who will not gain from greater aid transparency; people and institutions for whom changes in the status quo would be costly. However, there are a number of overlapping sets of players in aid relationships for whom greater levels of access to information would be of significant value.

    Source: Yale Journal of International Affairs


    Link Read more
    Link Aid transparency initiative
    Link Publish What You Fund


  19. Ashton puts French 'spider' at centre of EEAS web
    2010-04-26

    Despite opposition from the European Parliament, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton unveiled on 25 March a proposal that puts a French-style secretary-general and two deputies at the centre of the EU's future diplomatic service. Ashton's 12-page proposal for establishing the European External Action Service (EEAS) ignored the Parliament, which had rejected the 'French-style' set up in which a secretary-general would hold enormous power. If approved, the secretary-general will run the European External Action Service web "like a spider," MEPs warned."The EEAS shall be managed by a secretary-general who will operate under the authority of the High Representative [Catherine Ashton]," reads the proposal. "The secretary-general shall take all measures necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the EEAS, including its administrative and budgetary management," it goes on.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Proposal for establishing the EEAS
    Link European External Action Service


  20. EU urged to increase health aid
    2010-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    In the run up to September's millennium development goals review summit, EU leaders have been urged to commit more money to healthcare. Action for Global Health, a pan-European network of health and development NGOs, are calling for policymakers to make good on years of failure by dedicating a 0.1 per cent stake of gross national income (GNI) to ensure universal access to healthcare in developing countries. This, supplemented by a 15 per cent share of national spending by countries receiving aid, would help developed nations meet the costs of the basic healthcare package needed by developing countries, according to a report published. On world health day, Action for Global Health is calling for concrete action from EU leaders to finally live up to the promises made 10 years ago, when they pledged support for a set of eight universal development goals (MDGs). Of the eight MDGs, there are three which relate specifically to health: reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; and combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases. But with just five years until the deadline, progress towards their implementation has fallen short.

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link The EU Role in Global Health
    Link Responding to the challenges of globalisation


  21. Denmark continues support to Tanzania’s governance agenda
    2010-04-26

    Denmark is in the process of preparing its next phase of assistance to improve Tanzania’s governance agenda. In this context, the Tanzania Governance Support Programme 2011-2015, with an overall budget of DKK 250 million, will comprise 3 components:  Democratisation and Domestic Accountability; Access to Justice and Legal Sector Reform and Public Financial Management. A recent appraisal of the Danish program undertaken by the Technical Advisory Services (TAS) found the proposed support highly relevant and well-balanced in terms of demand and supply drivers of good governance. 
    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Tanzania
    Link EU delegation to Tanzania


  22. African farmers growing organic foods for European market
    2010-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    African farmers are making more money producing organically grown crops for European markets, where demand for healthier food is growing. Nearly 5,000 farmers in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone are exporting organically-grown produce to Europe, after gaining organic and fair-trade certification with help from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The program focuses on all stages of production from planting and harvesting to packaging and promotion, increasing the profitability of farmers who previously struggled to afford costly chemical fertilizers.

    Source: Voice of America


    Link Read more
    Link FAO Organic Agriculture Programme
    Link EU Imported organic food



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CTA
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The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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