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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 227]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 227]
Send date: 2010-06-11 13:07:52
Issue #: 43
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
1

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. 19th Brussels Briefing on Youth and rural development in ACP countries
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 14th to 18th June 2010
  3. Mixed reactions trail EU- ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement
  4. Namibia Stands Up to EU 'Bullying'
  5. Structured Dialogue - For an efficient partnership in development
  6. Africa-EU relations get boost at Addis Ababa meeting
  7. CTA's new Director meets with the ACP Group and EU Council’s ACP Working Party in Brussels
  8. Small-scale growers receive EU-boost
  9. MEPs call for EU money for Member States willing to host refugees
  10. Elmar Brok on the European External Action Service
  11. Launch of supercomputing infrastructure for European researchers
  12. For a World Agriculture Organization
  13. One in four European farmers gone in ten years
  14. What is the AEEP?
  15. Sixth World Water Forum launch
  16. Scientix: The new web-based community for Science Education
  17. Meeting between the Commissions of the EU and the African Union
  18. Belgium promises 'rupture' during EU presidency
  19. Agriculture sector down by 25% between 2000 and 2009 in the EU
  20. Sahel region: Additional €24 million for humanitarian aid purposes
  21. Launching of the African Financing Partnership
  22. Joint communiqué from the 10th EU-South Africa Dialogue
  23. COMESA and Finland exchange notes on areas of co-operation
  24. USD 850m Caribbean Joint Action Plan signed
  25. EU, ECA to deepen partnership on African development matters
  26. CARIFORUM calls on EU to live up to agreements
  27. France sets up $120 million Africa agriculture fund
  28. Commissioner Georgieva visits Niger
  29. Creating an international equity fund for African microfinance


  1. 19th Brussels Briefing on Youth and rural development in ACP countries
    2010-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The 19th Brussels Development Briefing will be on Youth and rural development in ACP countries and will take place on 16th June 2010 (8h30-13h00) at the Borschette Center. This Briefing will discuss the challenges and opportunities for future ACP young farmers and the potential of rural youth in terms of employment, income generation, access to financial services, investment and ICTs as well as provision of formal and non-formal agricultural education and social services. The Briefing will also look at the policy options favourable in support of young farmers and their contribution to development thinking. Speakers include the World Bank, IFAP, FAO, CEJA, MIJARC, YPARD and experiences from the field.

    Kindly register with: boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int


    Link Read more
    Link Video material of last Briefing
    Link Previous Briefings


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 14th to 18th June 2010
    2010-06-11

    European Parliament (Strasbourg):
    - 14th - 17th June: Plenary Session
    - 15th June: Meeting of the Committee on agriculture and rural development
    EU Presidency:
    - 14th June (Luxembourg): Council of General Affairs and Council of Foreign Affairs
    - 17th - 18th June (Brussels): June European Council
    ACP Secretariat (Ougadougou):
    - 17th - 20th June: 91st Session of the ACP Council of Ministers


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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Spanish EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. Mixed reactions trail EU- ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement
    2010-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The ongoing Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union(EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is still marred by suspicions and fears nursed especially by ECOWAS countries. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a free trade contract for the reciprocal opening of markets between countries in the European Union (EU) and those in the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region, has covered another major milestone with the recent political commitment by the EU to provide support funds for West Africa’s aid for trade programme and economic integration (PAPED).
    This makes available 6.5 billion Euros over the next five years. This development has however drawn both praise and ire from various quarters. Remarkably, euro-zone leaders announced this conclusion during a seminar organized on the margins of the EU Council of Development Ministers forum in Brussels in the early part of May; at a particularly dicey period in the region’s economic history, with the Union jostling to curtail rising financial panic, prevent its debt crisis from undermining the Euro and perhaps creating another global melt down. PAPED, or the EPA Development Programme (EPADP) a submission by leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is a donor plan expected to help improve the capacity of the region, provide immensely needed trade link infrastructure and mitigate challenges the changes the EPA will bring to the sub-region.

    Source: Businessdayonline.com


    Link Read more
    Link EPA with ECOWAS
    Link EPA Negotiations: Where do we stand?


  4. Namibia Stands Up to EU 'Bullying'
    2010-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Tensions between the European Union and Africa have once again erupted, with Namibia accusing the Brussels elite of resorting to bullying tactics in trade negotiations. In official statements, the European Commission -- the EU's executive -- has consistently argued that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) it has been hoping to conclude with 47 African countries will bring tangible benefits to the continent. African governments have proven far less enthusiastic about these trade liberalisation accords, with some arguing that they are fomenting divisions among neighbours. In a strongly worded address to Namibia's national assembly May 19, the country's trade minister Hage Geingob warned that the EPAs will probably cause the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to disintegrate. Marking its 100th anniversary this year, SACU is the oldest trading bloc of its kind in the world. Whereas analysts say that an essential component of any customs union is that it applies common taxes or tariffs on goods traded with the rest of the world, maintaining that approach may no longer be feasible because SACU's five member states have entered into two different arrangements with the EU. During 2009, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland all signed an EPA covering trade in goods with Europe. South Africa and Namibia, on the other hand, have refused to sign the same accord, viewing it as inimical to their interests.

    Source: Inter Press News Agency


    Link Read more
    Link EPA SADC
    Link EU Delegation Namibia


  5. Structured Dialogue - For an efficient partnership in development
    2010-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Structured Dialogue aims at increasing the effectiveness of all stakeholders involved in EC development cooperation, by building on the momentum gained by international and European debates. The official launch of the initiative took place on the 23rd of March in Brussels.

    The Structured Dialogue is an initiative with which the European Commission (EC) wishes to respond to the conclusion of several reports ( evaluations through the civil society organizations, Court of Auditors report), to the request of civil society organizations, local authorities and the European Parliament, in the frame of the Accra agenda for action  , by:
    • Reaching a mutual understanding and building consensus on the main challenges related to civil society organizations and local authorities involved in cooperation.
    • Finding ways to improve the effectiveness of civil society organizations and local authorities involved in cooperation, to advance and strengthen partnerships and exploring ways to adapt EC modalities accordingly.
    The Structured Dialogue aims at increasing the effectiveness of all stakeholders involved in EC development cooperation, by building on the momentum gained by international and European debates. The official launch of the initiative took place on the 23rd of March in Brussels.
    novembre.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Accra agenda for action
    Link Court of Auditors report


  6. Africa-EU relations get boost at Addis Ababa meeting
    2010-06-11

    Commission president José Manuel Barroso is accompanied by 8 of his colleagues as he sits down to talks with the African Union (AU) Commission on 8 June in Addis Ababa.The College-to-College meetings are an annual event, but this is the first time that those European Commissioners who took office this year will meet their African counterparts.The commissioners are reviewing progress in the wide range of areas covered by the Joint Africa-EU strategy, launched in 2007. The first action plan has already produced concrete results, including:
    •         EU money and expertise for African-led peace operations
    •         Cooperation on electoral observation
    •         Training for food inspectors across Africa to strengthen control systems and increase opportunities for Africa-Europe trade
    •         EU support for agricultural and health research in Africa
    •         Progress towards the integration of energy markets
    •         Collaboration on fighting climate change
    •         A new centre for migration management and information in Mali, partially funded by the EU
    By the time the next Africa-EU summit takes place in Libya, in November, both sides are hoping for even more substantial progress, principally in the areas selected for close partnership: peace and security; democratic governance and human rights; trade, regional integration and infrastructure; the Millennium Development Goals; energy; climate change; migration, mobility and employment; science, information society and space. Preparations for the summit are already underway, and are continuing in Addis Ababa.
    The creation of an EU delegation to the AU in Addis Ababa in 2008 set the stage for even closer dialogue between the two Unions. The delegation is something of a trailblazer in EU diplomacy, representing both the Commission and the Council to the AU. It is also staffed by officials from the Commission and the EU Member States, making it a precursor for the future EU delegations foreseen under the European External Action Service (EEAS).

    Source: EUropean Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Africa and the EU in partnership
    Link African Union


  7. CTA's new Director meets with the ACP Group and EU Council’s ACP Working Party in Brussels
    2010-06-10

    Michael Hailu - director of CTAMichael Hailu, the new Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) met with the EC and ACP Groups in Brussels early in the week.  

    Mr. Hailu attended the extraordinary session of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors held on June 3rd  at which Andris Pielbags, the new EU Commissioner for Development spoke about the progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, aid effectiveness and governance. 

    At the invitation of the Secretary-General of the ACP Group, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Mr. Hailu also attended the 35th anniversary of the ACP Group held on 7 June where CTA had a display of its most popular products. During the event,   Mr. Hailu met several key players in the development sector in Brussels including Mr. Louis Michel, co-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly former EC Development Commissioner.
      
    Mr. Hailu made a presentation to the ACP Working Party at the Council of the European Union on June 8 at the request of the EU Presidency.  He exchanges views with EC Member State representatives on key challenges facing agriculture and rural development in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Mr. Hailu underlined some of his priorities as the incoming Director of the CTA to strengthen the organization and boost the support for knowledge sharing and innovation in ACP agriculture.. 


    Finally, Mr. Hailu  was formally introduced to the ACP Group of Ambassadors on June 8, who congratulated him on his appointment and reiterated their support to the CTA.  Mr. Hailu called for a stronger support and higher visibility for agriculture as a key vehicle for poverty alleviation and economic growth in ACP countries. 

    H.E. Mr. Makongo, Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and Gabon’s Ambassador to the EU, emphasized the key role CTA has played in strengthening agricultural institutions in ACP countries and reiterated the ACP Group’s commitment to support Mr. Hailu as CTA’s new Director .

    Link Introducing Michael Hailu


  8. Small-scale growers receive EU-boost
    2010-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Union (EU) has launched a 3 million euro (about K18 billion) grant to a Zambian small-scale sugar out-grower scheme to contribute to Zambia Sugar Plc’s total output. The injection for the sugar industry comes at a time that Zambia Sugar Plc expressed fears that its targeted 180 000 tonnes sugar export to the EU market may slow down due to weak weather conditions and cane being delivered directly to the mill by out-grower schemes.  Commerce minister Felix Mutati called on Zambia Sugar to ensure that it paid the out-grower farmers to make them viable and ensure they continued to remain motivated enough not to abandon cane growing. The EU grant is to go towards the Magobbo Sugar out-grower project and would be implemented by Mazabuka Sugar Cane Grower Trust. The project aims to develop 438 hectares of sugar cane fields for 78 households totaling some 900 people. The head of the EU delegation to Zambia, Dr Derek Fee, said during the launch of the project that the government needed to simplify and facilitate land acquisition for smallholders to create impact on future developments. “Besides, it seems to me that improving technical information and extending services for the out-growers would undoubtedly help to build their capacity and enhance their efficiency and productivity,” he said. Mutati said the over K1 trillion Zambia Sugar expansion programme which this year projects to lift sugar production to 440 000 tonnes from the current 315 000 tonnes, would mean nothing if it did not benefit the local out-grower schemes and business community. Zambia Sugar managing director Steve Langton said the company might fall 10 000 tonnes short of the projected sugar exports to the EU for this financial year.

    Source: think-zambia.com


    Link Read more
    Link ACP EU Sugar
    Link EU Delegation Zambia


  9. MEPs call for EU money for Member States willing to host refugees
    2010-06-10

    Member States volunteering to receive refugees sheltered by third countries should receive up to €6000 from the EU refugee fund per person resettled, suggested Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. EU countries contribute to resettlement far less than other developed countries like the US, Australia and Canada, stressed MEPs. They also repeated their call for internal EU solidarity with Member States facing special pressures. EU countries should receive a fixed amount of €4000 for each person resettled, according to a number of EU priorities: children and women at risk of violence or exploitation, unaccompanied minors, person with serious medical needs, survivors of violence and torture and people threatened with forced return or victims of natural disasters, said the committee.The EU contributed to only 6.7% of the global resettlement of refugees in 2008, with 4378 individuals. The UNHCR estimates that 747,000 are in need of resettlement. As of today, only 10 Member States have taken part in any resettlement schemes.

    Souce: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
    Link UNHCR


  10. Elmar Brok on the European External Action Service
    2010-06-10

    The shape of the European Union's new diplomatic corps was discussed last week by MEPs. The proposed new European External Action Service will be responsible for coordinating the EU's foreign relations and security cooperation. It may even play a role in development policy and humanitarian aid. Veteran Christian Democrat MEP Elmar Brok and former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt are coordinating Parliament's response to the new service. In initial discussions Messrs Brok and Verhofstadt wanted a broader scope for the Service - including development policy and humanitarian aid, enlargement and neighbourhood policy. MEPs will ultimately vote on the budget for the new service, so they are concerned about its accountability. 

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS
    Link Treaty of Lisbon


  11. Launch of supercomputing infrastructure for European researchers
    2010-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Commission today welcomed the launch of a €500 million initiative which boosts European supercomputer capacities and opens them up to scientists across Europe. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) unites the European Commission and 20 countries across Europe in a unique initiative which will enable researchers to use super fast computers located in other countries to make up to 1000 trillion calculations per second for their research projects. This could be used for example to speed up the development of more efficient solar cells or help us understand how drugs interact with the human body. Europe's fastest computer, JUGENE in Germany, will be the first machine available to European scientists under the PRACE initiative. By 2015 more supercomputers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain will be available across the EU. The initiative remains open to other countries that can host such supercomputers. The Commission is contributing more than €70 million to PRACE, which strengthens European research and competitiveness, in line with the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, a flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 strategy .

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link PRACE Project
    Link Research&Development EU


  12. For a World Agriculture Organization
    2010-06-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    At the close of a large demonstration in Paris by cereal farmers (27 April), Mr Sarkozy outlined his vision, goals and programme for French and European agriculture during an interview with La France agricole and Agrapresse.The interview merits special attention because it marks a significant step forward compared with earlier statements. Although the president had previously stressed the need to regulate agricultural markets, he had never gone into the specifics. This time, however, he began his remarks by saying, “what counts is action. Farmers don’t need to hear that they are the salt of the earth, the identity of France, and that they are entitled to all the love and affection of the people. It’s time to take decisions.”By insisting on the strategic dimension of agriculture, both in economic and geopolitical terms, President Sarkozy repeated his recent intention to formally oppose any attempts to dismantle regulatory instruments in Europe, currently enshrined in CAP.

    Source: Mouvement pour une Organisation Mondiale de l'Agriculture


    Link Read more
    Link WTO Agriculture
    Link IFAD


  13. One in four European farmers gone in ten years
    2010-06-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    According to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU statistics institute, the European Union lost the equivalent of 3.7 million full-time jobs in the agricultural sector (25%) between 2000 and 2009. The reduction in employment hit new Member States (NMS) particularly hard, for example in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland or Romania, which saw decreases of more than 30% as a result of consolidation and modernization of their systems of production. On the hand, this has also led to an increase in real agricultural income per worker of over 60% in these countries. The situation is much worse, however, in the older EU Member States (EU15), where the reduction in agricultural employment has been less than in the NMS, but has been accompanied with an average fall in real agricultural income of -10% over the last ten years. In 2009 alone, Eurostat noted a decrease of 12% per worker in the EU15 as a whole, with certain countries posting particularly dramatic falls: France (-19%), Luxembourg (-25%) or Ireland (-24%). European production continues to grow (+4% in the period under review) as a result of significant gains in productivity in the NMS that joined the EU between 2004 and 2007. However, these gains in the East will not last forever and we should be prepared for the downswing of the pendulum, in other words, what will happen when these gains in productivity in the East fade away, and there are no more farmers in the West? The only solution is a common regulatory policy that is capable of limiting price fluctuations for agricultural products, thereby stabilizing incomes. Such a policy would ensure agricultural production in the long term, throughout the EU.

    Source: Mouvement pour une Organisation Mondiale de l'Agriculture


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture
    Link Eurostat


  14. What is the AEEP?
    2010-06-09

    • The Africa-Europe Energy Partnership (AEEP) is a long-term framework for structured political dialogue and co-operation between Africa and the EU on energy issues of strategic importance
    • It creates a much-needed dedicated forum for energy dialogue between the EU and Africa and offers new opportunities for promoting joint action
    • It aims to mobilise increased financial, technical and human resources in support of Africa's energy development
    • Its objective is to increase European and African investments in energy infrastructure and in energy interconnections within Africa and between Africa and Europe through instruments such as the Energy Facility, the EUEI Partnership Dialogue Facility, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund as well as numerous bilateral instruments
    • It seeks to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as to improve the management of energy resources
    • AEEP issues will have effects at the local, national, regional, continental and global levels.
    Future challenges:
    •  Launch the Renewable Energy Co-operation Programme (RECP) in second half of 2010, which will cover the period up to 2020. So far, only a fraction of Africa’s vast renewable energy potential is being used: 7% of hydro and only 1% of the geothermal potential
    •  Agree on a 2nd Action Plan by September 2010 to cover the period 2011-2013

    Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link Renewable Energy Co-operation
    Link Energy Facility


  15. Sixth World Water Forum launch
    2010-06-08

    At the 6th World Water Forum Kick-Off Meeting, an unprecedented number of participants met to discuss a variety of preparatory processes. Following the dissatisfaction of the previous forum in Istanbul, Europe’s ability to influence the Forum in 2012 is critical. On 2 June, Nicolas Sarkozy launched preparations for the Forum, which will be held in Marseilles in 2012. He called on participants to envision “an entirely new consultative process on water, open to all stakeholders, based on the example of the French Environment Round Table, which brought together NGOs, local authorities, employers, unions and the State”.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Water Facility
    Link World Water Forum


  16. Scientix: The new web-based community for Science Education
    2010-06-08

    The European Commission has launched Scientix, a new web-portal targeted towards teachers, researchers, policy makers, local actors, parents and anyone interested in science education. Scientix will give access to teaching materials, research results and policy documents from European science education projects financed by the European Union and by various national initiatives. The new platform will facilitate regular dissemination and sharing of news, know-how, and best practices in science education across the European Union.

    Source: European commission


    Link Read more
    Link Scientix
    Link ACP Science & Technology


  17. Meeting between the Commissions of the EU and the African Union
    2010-06-08

    On 8 June the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso will lead a delegation of 10 Commissioners for a meeting in Addis Ababa with the Commission of the African Union. It will be an opportunity to enhance institutional cooperation between the two organizations and to give fresh impetus to the implementation of the Africa-EU Strategy and its 2008-2010 Action Plan. The two sides will also work on a forward looking agenda for the relations between the two continents in the run-up to the third Africa-EU Summit, which will adopt the next Action Plan for 2011-2013.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Africa-EU Partnership
    Link Europafrica


  18. Belgium promises 'rupture' during EU presidency
    2010-06-08

    In an exclusive interview with EurActiv, Belgian Secretary of State for European Affairs, Olivier Chastel, says Belgium will give the new EU bosses – Herman van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton – plenty of room for manoeuvre when his divided country assumes the rotating EU presidency next month. With crucial national elections due on 13 June, just two weeks before beginning its EU presidency, Belgium has reached a turning point in its brief 180-year history.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Belgium EU presidency


  19. Agriculture sector down by 25% between 2000 and 2009 in the EU
    2010-06-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Between 2000 and 2009, employment in the agricultural sector in the EU27 decreased by 25%, the equivalent of 3.7 million full-time jobs1. It fell by 17% in the EU152 and by 31% in the 12 Member States (NMS122) that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. In 2009, employment in the agricultural sector was equivalent to 11.2 million full-time jobs in the EU27, of which 5.4 million were in the EU15 and 5.8 million in the NMS12. Between 2000 and 2009, real agricultural income3 per worker increased by 5% on average in the EU27, although the change differed significantly between the NMS12 (+61%) and the EU15 (-10%).
    The figures in this News Release are drawn from a report4 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agri


  20. Sahel region: Additional €24 million for humanitarian aid purposes
    2010-06-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The Commission has decided today to allocate an additional €24 million to be used in assisting over seven million vulnerable people affected by the food crisis in Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and northern Nigeria. The new funds will permit the financing of more operations in the nutrition and health sectors. This includes blanket supplementary feeding programmes, screening and treatment of acute malnutrition of children, free access to health services for emergency cases and mobile health services for pastoralist population.
    The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said, "The permanent presence of ECHO humanitarian aid experts in the region have helped to provide early warning of the risks and possible scale of the food crisis. It is now clear that the situation in the Sahel region is worsening. With this additional €24 million funding, the Commission continues to show its commitment to act early to alleviate the impact of food scarcities and to try to prevent a reoccurrence of the major crises that have severely affected the Sahel region over the past decades. I will soon visit some of the projects that we are funding to evaluate the effectiveness of our humanitarian response and to ensure that our assistance is being used in the most efficient way to help those in need." The additional assistance approved today will fund the provision of emergency food assistance during the "hungry period" between harvests and the provision of seeds in preparation of the 2010 main agricultural season. The emergency food assistance will be in the context of the recommendations of the Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance that the Commission adopted last March.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link ECHO
    Link EuropeAid


  21. Launching of the African Financing Partnership
    2010-06-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

     8 development finance institutions, who last year invested over USD 8.8 billion in projects across the continent, formally launched the African Financing Partnership (AFP). This collaboration will enable greater cooperation and co-financing, and work towards improving joint assessment and evaluation of private sector projects across the continent. This marks a significant development for effective use of donor resources in Africa and aim to attract greater private sector investment for private sector projects on the continent with strong development outcomes. The eight participating institutions with strong experience of operating in Africa are the African Development Bank; Development Bank of Southern Africa; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG); European Investment Bank; Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO; Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa; IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; and Proparco.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link DEG
    Link IDC


  22. Joint communiqué from the 10th EU-South Africa Dialogue
    2010-06-07

    South Africa and the EU stressed their continued commitment to the EU-SA Strategic Partnership and to the joint promotion of peace, security and stability in the world, and in Africa in particular. The Parties also noted ongoing exchanges under the dialogues on migration, health, environment, space, ICT, energy and science and technology. In support of the full implementation of the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan, they welcomed ongoing work to further develop structured dialogues and cooperation on education and training, crime and justice, tax and customs, as well as on employment and social affairs. The Parties took note of the forthcoming UN Review Conference on the Millennium Development Goals to be held in September 2010 and reiterated their commitments to their attainment. In this context the Parties recalled that gender equality and women empowerment are essential for economic development, poverty reduction and for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Both sides engaged in an open discussion on the EC-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement and on the implications that these negotiations could have on current processes of regional integration in Southern Africa. In this regard the parties took note of the recent communication from the SACU Council of Ministers to Commissioner De Gucht and his reply. Both sides agreed to urgently pursue the negotiation and resolution of all outstanding issues with a view to a prompt and mutually satisfactory conclusion that supports regional integration and development in Southern Africa.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link TDCA
    Link Millennium Development Goals


  23. COMESA and Finland exchange notes on areas of co-operation
    2010-06-07

    A delegation from the Finnish Government which was led by Mr Jorma Suvanto Director in the Department for Africa and Middle East/Unit for Southern Africa met the COMESA Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Nagla El Hussainy on 19th May 2010 to consult with COMESA on areas of mutual interest, where the two sides could collaborate. Mr Suvanto noted that COMESA was an increasingly important partner for Finland and hence the request for the meeting. Of particular interest to the Finnish delegation was infrastructure development, especially the North-South Corridor, Climate Change and the regional Aid for Trade Initiative.

    Source: COMESA


    Link Read more
    Link COMESA
    Link Finnish Government


  24. USD 850m Caribbean Joint Action Plan signed
    2010-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Caribbean Development Bank, European Investment Bank, FMO, IFC and PROPARCO to increase coordination and support of sustainable solutions for the region’s financial, tourism and infrastructure sectors.  Five leading international financial institutions active in the Caribbean reinforced their commitment to ensuring long-term economic growth across the region, resilience to the global financial crisis and effective deployment of assistance for reconstruction efforts in Haiti with agreement of the Caribbean Joint Action Plan. Institutions participating in the landmark agreement were the Caribbean Development Bank (USD 300m), the European Investment Bank (USD100m), the Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO (USD 100m), the International Finance Corporation - part of the World Bank Group (USD 150m), and PROPARCO - the private sector arm of the Agence Française de Développement Group (USD 200m). The signature ceremony took place on the sidelines of the Caribbean Development Bank’s annual meeting currently underway in Nassau, Bahamas. The Caribbean Joint Action Plan will enable more effective use of financial and technical assistance by encouraging a stronger focus on each participating institution’s experience and capabilities. Joint investment under the plan will concentrate on crucial economic sectors most impacted by the economic slowdown: finance, tourism and infrastructure. It is expected that this approach will further support economic growth in the region by mobilizing IFI investment to act as a catalyst for private sector engagement and facilitating national and sub-regional support and policy dialogue amongst both private and public stakeholders. The Caribbean Joint Action Plan demonstrates the collective support of the five signatory institutions to supporting Haiti following the recent devastating earthquake. This includes technical assistance and reinforced coordinated financial engagement that focuses on rebuilding the private sector and strengthening its role in Haiti’s economic development.

    Source : European Union


    Link Read more
    Link the Caribbean Development Bank
    Link the European investment bank


  25. EU, ECA to deepen partnership on African development matters
    2010-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    EU and Economic Commission for Africa are deepening their relationships in development areas that include climate change and land ownership.The Commissioner for Development, Mr. Andris Piebalgs stated this recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia , when he led a delegation of on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of ECA, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh. Piebalgs said the issue of land ownership in Africa was critical to the EU because, "it will continue to be sheer misery for Africans and development will be seriously hampered until we resolve the land ownership problem." He said the EU was supporting a small project on land ownership in Cape Verde and urged the ECA to initiate similar pilot projects and give technical support to that of Cape Verde. Responding, Janneh said the issues outlined by the EU Commissioner were already being addressed at the ECA and stressed that the EU continued to be one of the largest supporters of development in Africa, especially in terms of the resources invested on the continent. He said ECA had collaborated with the African Union and the African Development Bank in developing the Pan-African Land Policy Framework and Guidelines after intense stakeholder consultations at the sub-regional level and called for EU support in operationalising the findings in the report across Africa. The ECA scribe also acknowledged EU's support of African integration agenda, which, he said, constitutes a major pillar of ECA's work programme, which is being implemented in collaboration with the African Union Commission. The Executive Secretary said while ECA would be interested in deepening its partnership with the EU on climate change and land ownership, the Commission would also be interested in forging new partnerships on governance, women's rights, regional integration, trade and other areas of shared values, including the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), statistics and statistical development.

    Source:africa-investor.com


    Link Read more
    Link The Economic Commission for Africa
    Link African Union


  26. CARIFORUM calls on EU to live up to agreements
    2010-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The  European Union (EU) ought to live up to  their commitment to the consultation provisions of the Cotonou and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), according to the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States. During their meeting  which preceded the Sixth EU-LAC Summit at the IFEMA Centre in Madrid, Spain, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who spoke on behalf of CARIFORUM, said that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy was making strides despite the many challenges it faced, according to a release from the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen. CARIFORUM continued its efforts at deepening and expanding, with the membership of the Dominican Republic in CARICOM under consideration and the release said that significant in-roads had been made in respect of ALBA and the newly-created CALC. In spite of those gains, Prime Minister Gonsalves told EU representatives, the Caribbean’s best efforts would come to ‘nought’ if the EU did not honour the consultation provisions of the Cotonou and EPA Agreements. Dr Gonsalves also pointed out to the EU the importance of ensuring that their other bilateral trade agreements were not pursued at the expense of the Caribbean region.

    Source: stabroeknews.com


    Link Read more
    Link CARICOM Secretariat
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  27. France sets up $120 million Africa agriculture fund
    2010-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    France will set up a $120 million fund to help Africa’s farming and food distribution sectors, a communique from the 25th Africa-France Summit said on Tuesday, as the continent looks to ensure security of food supplies. African agriculture faces multiple constraints, ranging from poor rural infrastructure, to lack of access, sufficient water, fertilisers, and machinery.To ensure sustainable food production and achieve food security, the agricultural sector needs to attain significant growth rates over the next four decades.“France has announced the establishment of an investor fund ... destined to support the development of farming projects in Africa and the distribution of food stuffs,” the communique said. In 2008, Africa produced 152.3 million tonnes of cereals, 12 percent more than the previous year, while projections for 2009 indicate that the continent’s cereal production could have reached 160 million tonnes, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. Sub-Saharan Africa has around 395 million hectares of unused farmland. The fund will start at $120 million and could increase to as much as $300 million. The communique did not specify where or how the fund would operate. President Nicolas Sarkozy and African leaders, including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, also agreed to work together towards creating a framework to fight volatility of commodity prices and to reinforce food security, when France takes the helm of the G8/G20 group of large economies in 2011. In sub-Saharan Africa, since 2009, over 265 million people are malnourished and 30 percent of the population suffers from hunger, FAO’s Director-General, Jacques Diouf, has said. The Africa-France Summit, which closed on Tuesday, has been held since 1975. France is looking to claw back some of its historical economic influence in the continent, given the emergence of new rivals such as China, which has become Africa’s biggest trade partner.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Read more
    Link French Development Agency
    Link XXVème Sommet Afrique-France


  28. Commissioner Georgieva visits Niger
    2010-06-04

    The European Commissioner for humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva, is going to Niger on 3 and 4 June to assess the humanitarian situation in the country and the efforts being deployed to respond to the food crisis. Ms Georgieva will arrive in Niamey on Thursday, 3 June. Following talks with top government officials, she will meet all the Commission’s humanitarian partners and will attend a working dinner with the representatives of the EU Member States with a presence in the country and the major humanitarian agencies. On 4 June she will leave by plane for Maradi to visit humanitarian projects in the region funded by DG ECHO, the Commission’s humanitarian office. There will be a press conference in Maradi at 11.45. On her return to Niamey at the end of the day, Ms Georgieva will have a last meeting with the Member States’ representatives to report on her visit. A press conference will be held at 19.30 at the Grand Hotel in Niamey before Ms Georgieva returns to Europe.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG ECHO
    Link EU Delegation to Niger


  29. Creating an international equity fund for African microfinance
    2010-06-04

    A regional investment fund for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa (REGMIFA) was launched on 5 May 2010 in Berlin. Symbiotics Investment Manager SA, a Geneva-based company specialized in microfinance, was selected to manage this new fund. Created by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the development bank KFW, REGMIFA will have an initial budget of $150M. The fund was established to meet the medium- and long-term needs of African financial intermediaries that provide loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.

    REGMIFA: a support fund for African microfinance institutions
    Following a G8 initiative to improve access to finance in Africa, and drawn up by leading financial institutions, REGMIFA aims to develop a loan portfolio of $200M by 2014. For the first time, a fund will provide African microfinance institutions with a wide range of financial instruments. These include equity, direct loans and technical assistance to microfinance institutions, local banks and other financial institutions that provide funding for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Source: Afriqueavenir.org

     


    Link Read more
    Link KfW
    Link Symbiotics Investment Manager SA



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