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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 254]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 254]
Send date: 2011-01-07 17:01:25
Issue #: 70
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. Brussels Briefing on ‘Geopolitics of Food’ -2nd February 2011
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 1/1 to 8/1/2011
  3. Estonia becomes 17th eurozone member
  4. Belize to receive over BZ$62 million for rural development and sugar
  5. Antigua & Barbuda gets millions in EU assistance
  6. Caribbean Lagging on EPA Deadlines with Europe
  7. A meeting with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs
  8. The EU saved 140 million people last year, says aid commissioner
  9. AFD Ends 2010 with Massive Development Finance Pledges
  10. EU support to African veterinary services brings an end to Rinderspest
  11. The EC approves 13 programmes supporting Intra-ACP cooperation
  12. The EU helps to strengthen economic integration through trade in the Pacific Region
  13. The EU supports the adaptation of the sugar industries in Belize, Swaziland, Congo
  14. Commission supplies Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine to Zambia
  15. CIRAD is increasingly involved in European scientific programmes
  16. EC and Pacific Islands Forum launch a Joint Initiative on Climate Change
  17. Environment: Commission launches consultations on LIFE+ and Natura 2000
  18. AFD and Astrium :agreement to protect forests in the Congo Basin
  19. EU Budget 2011 adopted
  20. Third EU-Africa summit: MEPs call for an EU law on "blood minerals"
  21. EU issues warning over ICC Kenya process
  22. EPAs bound to stir unhealthy competition
  23. CARICOM strengthen diplomatic relations with Germany
  24. European Microfinance Award – and the winner is… Harbu Microfinance Institution, Ethiopia


  1. Brussels Briefing on ‘Geopolitics of Food’ -2nd February 2011
    2011-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The 21st Brussels Policy Development Briefing will be on 'Geopolitics of Food' and will take place on the 2nd of February 2010 (8h30-13h00).Feeding the world is not anymore just a question of increasing agricultural production and trade but a political question. In a globalised world, the complexity of issues involved in the global food system is increasing, the linkages between sectors influencing and being influenced by agriculture and the relations amongst actors are becoming key. The food, fuel and financial crisis, the effects of climate change and global policies have and will have an impact on the food production and future type of agriculture. In this changing context, what are the consequences for the ACP agriculture and what future for the most vulnerable farmers? What new policies and what global aid architecture would be needed?
    For more information please contact: boto@cta.int or lopes@cta.int 


    Link Brussels Development Briefings
    Link Past Brieifngs
    Link Registration_form.doc

  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 1/1 to 8/1/2011
    2011-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European External Action Service
    -1st January: Starting of the European External Action Service
    Council of the European Union (Brussels):
    -7th January: Coreper I
    EU presidency
    -1st January: Hungary takes over the EU presidency
     European Commission (Brussels):
    - 7th January: European Commission meets Hungarian Presidency
    European Union
    -1st January: Introduction of the Euro in Estonia
    -8th January: Official Launch of the European Year of Volunteering

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


    Link European External Action Service
    Link Council of the European Union
    Link European commission


  3. Estonia becomes 17th eurozone member
    2011-01-07

    Estonia switched smoothly to the euro on 1 January, brushing off worries about a crisis in the currency club which is likely to put off bigger eastern European nations from joining for up to a decade formance of conventional fuel engines, including 'cold startability' capabilities. The Baltic state of 1.3 million became the 17th eurozone country at midnight on the New Year and was the first former Soviet state to adopt the euro, capping 20 years of integration with the West.Estonia sees the change as marking the end of its struggles since a 2009 recession lopped 14 percent off its output. It hopes to entice investors by removing fears of devaluation and make borrowing more secure for its people, many of whose mortgages are already in euros from top Nordic banks.


    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link DG Economic and Financial Affairs
    Link The European Central Bank


  4. Belize to receive over BZ$62 million for rural development and sugar
    2011-01-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The government of Belize will benefit from grants valued at close to 24.9 million euros or BZ$62.3 million to assist with projects geared towards rural development, poverty reduction and the sugar sector. Three financing agreements were signed by Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands, Ambassador-Marco Mazzocchi Elemanni. The agreements include the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for 11.8 million euros or BZ$29.5 million for the period 2010-2015, which has been earmarked for the Belize Rural Development Programme Phase II (BRDP II). The EU will contribute BZ$25 million, the government of Belize BZ$2.5 million and the final beneficiaries BZ$1.8 million. The overall objective of the BRDP II is to promote broad-based rural economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in the rural communities of Belize. BRDP II will be implemented countrywide using grant contracts through which NGOs, ministries departments or agents can qualify through a competitive process.

    Source: Caribbean News Now


    Link Read more
    Link Belize Rural Development Programme
    Link EU-Caribbean partnership


  5. Antigua & Barbuda gets millions in EU assistance
    2011-01-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Antigua & Barbuda is to receive funds to deal with the effects of the world economic crisis. The European Union has disbursed a 9 million euros grant (EC $33.6M; BBD $25M) which was approved last month under the EU’s vulnerability assistance scheme to help African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. “This grant is proof that the EU is delivering on its promises and is supporting its partners in times of need,” said Minister of Finance Lovell during the 2011 Budget Statement. Antigua & Barbuda is the third Eastern Caribbean country to benefit from financial assistance under the mechanism – the other two being Grenada and Dominica. Antigua & Barbuda is the third Eastern Caribbean country to benefit from financial assistance under the mechanism – the other two being Grenada and Dominica.The vulnerability assistance package will enable the government to reduce its fiscal financing gap by 52 per cent in 2010, in order to maintain priority expenditures, especially social spending. The objective of the budget support is to contribute to macroeconomic stability and to support the implementation of the homegrown National Economic and Social Transformation (NEST) strategy and government’s macroeconomic policies. Approval of the vulnerability assistance package to Antigua & Barbuda is in addition to other EU assistance such as the Public Finance Management Reform Programme (EUR 3.0 million) and Support to Non-State Actors under the 10th European Development Fund.


    Link Read more
    Link NEST Plan
    Link European Development Fund (EDF)


  6. Caribbean Lagging on EPA Deadlines with Europe
    2011-01-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Two years after Europe signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Caribbean Forum countries, concerns are being raised in the region about the timeline for future negotiations in a number of areas. "In the cases of both CARIFORUM and the EU, completing the built-in agenda will be a challenging process fraught with many institutional, administrative and logistical hurdles," said a statement released Monday by the Guyana-based Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN). The OTN replaced the Barbados-based Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery that led the talks for the EPA. It noted that CARIFORUM, which groups the 15-member Caribbean Community bloc and the Dominican Republic, "itself faces many capacity constraints that add a different dimension to their challenges".

     Source:IPSNEWS


    Link Read more
    Link WTO
    Link CARIFORUM


  7. A meeting with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs
    2011-01-06

    On 20 December 2010, BUSINESSEUROPE Director General Philippe de Buck met Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. They discussed the recent Green Paper on EU development policy, which rightly states that aid must be a catalyst for developing countries' capacity to generate growth. Philippe de Buck also stressed the importance of economic partnership agreements and the need to foster cooperation with developing countries on raw materials issues.

    Source: BusinessEurope

     


    Link Read more
    Link Green paper development policy
    Link EuropeAid


  8. The EU saved 140 million people last year, says aid commissioner
    2011-01-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Despite the financial crisis most Europeans support humanitarian spending overseas, according to EU aid and crisis response commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. In an exclusive interview with WAZ.EUobserver<http://waz.euobserver.com/887/31564>, she explains how the EU helped 140 million people survive natural disasters and conflicts in 2010.Crises including the Haiti earthquake killed 280,000 people across the world in 2010, compared to an average annual death toll of 70,000, and economic losses soared to €180 billion, compared to €80 billion in previous years.

    Source: Euobserver


    Link Read more
    Link DG Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection
    Link Commissioner Georgieva's Blog


  9. AFD Ends 2010 with Massive Development Finance Pledges
    2011-01-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The board of directors of the French Development Agency, or AFD, concluded their final meeting for 2010 with the approval of some euro1.7 billion (USD2.2 billion) worth of development projects.Among the biggest initiatives approved are a euro300 million loan to help finance Mexico’s efforts to combat climate change, a euro150 million loan for the expansion of Tunisia’s natural gas network and a euro200 million credit to a Latin American multilateral institution. This loan will be used to refinance loans supporting green and inclusive growth in the region.Other financing approved by the AFD directors on their Dec. 16 meeting in Paris include:-euro70 million loan and euro700,000 grant for the construction of a new international airport in Senegal.-euro53.14 million loan for the rehabilitation of the Zambian section of the Nacala road corridor.-euro20 million loan to support power sector reforms in Mauritania.-euro15 million for agricultural development in the Office du Niger area in Mali. For more information:http://www.afd.fr/jahia/Jahia/lang/en/home/Presse/Communique/CA-Etats-Etrangers-16-12-2010;jsessionid=A50DCFF09F6DB5BEDE615DBC176A754C

    Source: DEVEX


    Link Read more
    Link French Development Agency


  10. EU support to African veterinary services brings an end to Rinderspest
    2011-01-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development

    Almost 50 years of continued collaboration between the EU and the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) to eradicate Rinderpest is about to achieve its ultimate goal, with the official declaration of global freedom from Rinderpest foreseen for 2011. Building on such successful work, the Commission today granted EUR 30 million to further strengthen African Veterinary Services. The programme, adoptedin the framework of the Intra-ACP cooperation Annual Action Programme, aims at further reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa. It will improve institutional environment at national and regional levels to provide better animal health services.The eradication of Rinderpest, one of the major transboundary animal diseases affecting Africa, was achieved thanks to a campaign which began in the 1960s. The European Union has been a major contributor to the worldwide eradication of Rinderpest with more than EUR 203 million for Africa since then. The EU continues its support for veterinary services in the continent through the adopted programme, as further improvements in animal health in Africa are still needed to boost livestock development, and in turn increase food security and new trade opportunities, lifting livestock keepers in Africa out of poverty.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources


  11. The EC approves 13 programmes supporting Intra-ACP cooperation
    2011-01-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment

    The European Commission has today formally approved a package of 13 programmes in the fields of health, climate change (environment and disaster risk reduction), education and culture, trade and private sector development, agriculture and rural development and sanitary services. The EU is making available a total amount of €445.3 million from the 10th European Development Fund for these programmes benefiting all African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The package include notably, in the field of health, a € 150 million contribution to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and € 20 million for increasing access to new and under-used vaccines in least developed ACP countries. In the education sector, the ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Higher Education will be provided € 20 million and the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Schemes € 40 million. In the field of climate change, the EU contributes with € 60 million to the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme; with € 20 million to Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) and with € 10 million for climate-smart land and water managemen. The EU-ACP support programme for the cultural sector is also included in today's adopted package (€ 30 million), as well as the programme "Reinforcing Veterinary governance in Africa" (€ 30 million).

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Secretariat
    Link EuropeAid


  12. The EU helps to strengthen economic integration through trade in the Pacific Region
    2011-01-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission has approved aid assistance totalling €30 million in favour of Pacific-ACP (PACP) countries in order to strengthen their benefits from the global economy by enhancing their trade capacity. This programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund. It will help increase Pacific Countries' trade capacity through improved technical capabilities facilitating trade negotiations, greater integration of trade policy into national development frameworks, better customs management and enhanced productive export capacity in key economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and tourism. Four regional agencies, namely the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) and the South Pacific Travel Organisation (SPTO) will implement the different components of the programme.The EU has earmarked € 95 million in favour of the Pacific region under the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) over the period 2008-2013. It is broken down as follows: Regional economic integration - €45 million (including the programme adopted today), Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment - €40 million, Non state actors, technical cooperation, etc. - €10 million.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund (EDF)
    Link Website of Commissioner Piebalgs


  13. The EU supports the adaptation of the sugar industries in Belize, Swaziland, Congo
    2011-01-05

    On the 22 of December 2010, the European Commission has approved three financing decisions in favour of Belize (EUR 18 791 000), Swaziland (EUR 12 057 000) and Congo (EUR 1 059 000) to support their sugar sector in the framework of the Accompanying Measures to the changes in the EU trade regime with Sugar Protocol Countries. The reform of the EU sugar regime has required sugar dependent countries, such as Belize, Swaziland and Congo to embark on major adjustments and transformation in order to enhance the competitiveness of the industry and development complementary economic diversification initiatives. The EU provides support to these adjustments with projects funded from the EU budget, with a particular attention to the rural population dependent on the sugar sector.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture and Rural Development


  14. Commission supplies Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine to Zambia
    2011-01-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Commission has sent a consignment of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine to Zambia in order to help the African nation's efforts in fighting an outbreak of the disease in the northern part of the country. The consignment consists of 80,000 doses of FMD vaccine, formulated from the stocks stored in the premises of the European Union antigen bank by Merial S.A.S. The vaccines are due to arrive in Zambia by the end of the month.FMD is a disease of ruminants and other cloven-hoofed animals. The disease caused by certain serotypes is endemic in parts of Zambia, and vaccination against the endemic serotypes is the control measure to protect animals against infection from those serotypes of the FMD virus.In late 2010, an epidemic wave in the north of the country has been caused by a newly introduced serotype O of the FMD virus.The Commission's decision comes in response to a Zambian request, which was submitted through the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), to provide support for an emergency vaccination campaign against the new FMD virus. The vaccination campaign will be monitored by the FAO Regional Animal Heal Centres. The Commission will continue to assist Zambia in its efforts to eradicate this disease as it may also pose a threat to the European Union and its trade partners in southern Africa.For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/controlmeasures/fmd_en.htm

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link FAO
    Link  DG Health and Consumers


  15. CIRAD is increasingly involved in European scientific programmes
    2011-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    CIRAD has just audited its participation in European Commission programmes between 2006 and 2009. In addition to backing up the organization's strategy, the audit recognized how it fosters the involvement of partners from the South and ultra-peripheral regions in European projects. CIRAD's European strategy has just been backed up by a very positive audit. Overall, the organization's participation in European Commission programmes increased between 2006 and 2009. As a research operator, CIRAD is well represented in the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and other new European programmes, for which it facilitates contributions from partners in the South. he primary aim of CIRAD's European strategy is communication and lobbying in Brussels, to ensure that agricultural research for and in the South is taken into account in European Union programmes. As such, CIRAD is heavily involved in the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD), the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD), the European Consortium for Agricultural Research in the Tropics, the NATURA network and, of course, Agreenium.

    Source: CIRAD


    Link Read more
    Link CIRAD


  16. EC and Pacific Islands Forum launch a Joint Initiative on Climate Change
    2011-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Following the Cancún Climate Change Conference, Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development and Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, launched today a 'Joint Pacific-EU Initiative on Climate Change'. The objective is to mobilise EU Member States and international partners to join efforts to reinforce Pacific Countries' capacity to address the impacts climate change more efficiently. These countries are possibly the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. The initiative aims to ensure that a fair share of international climate change funding goes to Pacific countries. The Commission is leading the EU's efforts to support the Pacific Islands to tackle climate change effects, with a overall dedicated envelope of €90 million over 2008-2013.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Cancún Climate Change Conference
    Link The Pacific Islands Forum


  17. Environment: Commission launches consultations on LIFE+ and Natura 2000
    2011-01-04

    The European Commission has launched two online consultations in the field of environment. The first consultation is on the next financial instrument for the environment, which will succeed the LIFE+ instrument after its expiry at the end of 2013. The second is on the financing of Natura 2000, the EU's network of protected areas. Both consultations run until mid-February 2011.For LIFE+, opinions are being solicited on objectives, priorities and modes of support. This online consultation is one part of a wider public consultation, and the Commission will use the results when formulating a proposal for a new instrument. Contributions are especially welcome from national, regional and local administrations, environmental stakeholders, the private sector, and the general public. The consultation consists of 19 questions, available in six EU languages. The consultation is open until February 15 and available in six languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Polish). LIFE has contributed more than €2 billion to environment protection since 1992. You can access the consultation at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/life.htm#_en.htm. The second consultation, on financing Natura 2000, will feed into a communication expected in the summer of 2011, assessing the current approach to financing the network. The consultation asks if the approach taken so far has been adequate for the effective implementation of the network, and looks for ways to enhance the successes to date. The views of public authorities, the private sector, environmental stakeholders and interested citizens are sought. The consultation consists of 10 questions, although open answers and comments are also welcome. Natura 2000, the cornerstone of EU biodiversity policy, is the biggest interconnected network of protected areas in the world. It now covers nearly 18% of the EU's terrestrial area. The consultation, which is available in six languages, closes on 17 February 2011. See http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/natura2000_en.htm

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link  LIFE+Program
    Link DG Environment


  18. AFD and Astrium :agreement to protect forests in the Congo Basin
    2011-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    France honors its commitment made last year in Copenhagen to provide high resolution satellite imagery to favor sustainable forest management in the Congo Basin countries. Through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France will finance the provision of SPOT satellite imagery to central African countries to help them prepare the future REDD mechanism.The contract between the AFD and the GEO-Information division of Astrium Services marks the beginning of a broad initiative to map the entire Congo Basin, the second largest forest in the world. Financed by the AFD, this project is implemented by a consortium of institutional partners including the French Space Agency – Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the Institut Géographique National (IGN) and the Institut de Recherché pour le Développement (IRD). This initiative will make SPOT images available to administrations, public institutions, and NGOs working on sustainable forest governance in the Congo Basin countries. SPOT archive imagery dating from 1990 will be used to establish baseline reference maps over the zone. Additional programming campaigns to acquire fresh datasets over the years will track the evolution of forest cover to monitor REDD+ future commitments.

    Source: Groupe Agence Française de Développement


    Link Read more
    Link Agence Française de Développement


  19. EU Budget 2011 adopted
    2011-01-04

    The European Parliament voted the EU budget 2011 – the first EU budget under the Lisbon Treaty.EUR 126.5 billion in payments have been adopted – an increase by 2.91% in comparison to the 2010 EU budget.With issues such as energy, the environment, climate, trade, growth and financial stability best tackled at European than national levels, this budget is essential to start the year with the required tools. It will allow to continue to invest in the EU's future through growth and employment enhancing measures.

    The EU budget in detail
    http://ec.europa.eu/budget/budget_detail/next_year_en.htm

    Source: The European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link The Treaty of Lisbon
    Link Directorate-General for Budget


  20. Third EU-Africa summit: MEPs call for an EU law on "blood minerals"
    2011-01-04

    The European Parliament backed plans to create an EU law ensuring traceability of imported minerals, as a tool to combat illegal exploitation of conflict minerals in African countries, in a resolution passed on Wednesday. This resolution assesses the outcome of the third EU-Africa summit of African and European heads of state in Tripoli on 30 November. MEPs also regretted the participation of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe in the summit and the absence of several European Heads of State.Among the key positive developments from the Tripoli summit, Parliament cited the new US "conflict Minerals'" law as a huge step forward in combating illegal exploitation of minerals in Africa and called for a similar EU proposal to ensure the traceability of imported minerals on the EU market. It also urged the EU and African Union (AU) to cooperate on sustainable exploitation of raw materials and the transparency of mining contracts. The same call for an EU law to fight illegal exploitation of minerals had been made by the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Joint Parliamentary Assembly during its 20th session in Kinshasa (Congo) on 2 December.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link 3rd Africa-EU Summit


  21. EU issues warning over ICC Kenya process
    2011-01-03

    The European Union has warned Kenya leaders against politicising the International Criminal Court process.The 13 EU envoys, at the same time, revealed that investors in their countries were keenly watching how the country will respond to ICC Prosecutor Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo’s move to name the suspected masterminds of the post election violence.Mr Moreno-Ocampo, who was in the country last week,  has promised to reveal the names of six individuals bearing the greatest responsibility for the chaos.At a news conference, British envoy to Kenya Mr Rob Macaire said if Kenyans responded to the ICC move ‘in the right way’ then it will open door for more investments in the country.“Investors are always wary of the political risk in the country...if the country responds in the right way then it will be good for investment,” he said.The envoys, led by the head of the EU delegation in Kenya Mr Eric Van Der Linden, said it was important that Kenyans avoid violence at this stage and maintain peace.
    “Mr Moreno-Ocampo has categorically stated that he is not targeting communities...he is only going for individuals,” said Mr Van Der Linden in Nairobi moments after chairing a meeting of the envoys.“It is important that Kenyans avoid violence... they on the other hand must resist attempts by leaders to politicise or ethnicise the process.” His sentiments comes on the wake of allegations at the weekend that the ICC process was being used to lock out certain politicians from ascending to the Presidency in 2012.

    Source: Daily Nation

     


    Link Read more
    Link The International Criminal Court (ICC)


  22. EPAs bound to stir unhealthy competition
    2011-01-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Kenya Human Rights Commission has called on the government to discontinue Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations with the European Union arguing that if signed would deepen dependency on Europe.The commission further argues that a shift to reciprocity, places the bulk of the negotiation and implementation burden on African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, Kenya among them.Kenya together with other East African countries is negotiating with the European Union for Economic partnership agreement. The agreement seeks to promote sustained growth, increase production and supply capacity, support regional integration and diversify developing countries’ economies.KHRC says that Kenya and other East Africa Community - EAC members should focus on deepening Africa’s Regional Integration with Countries that are more agreeable to the continent’s development aspirations.Speaking after releasing a summary report on EPAs, KHRC Executive Director Muthoni Wanyeki urged EAC partner states should conduct a thorough human rights impact assessment of EPAs before making commitments.Wanyeki said the agreement could pose serious challenges in the processed and semi -processed goods in which the country has comparative advantage in the region.The commission says the agreement will increase competition that will work against Kenyan farmers leading to food security problems. However in a swift rejoinder the ministry of trade has defended the government move to engage in the negotiations saying agricultural and manufactured goods, are excluded from liberalization.The government says it is in the process of negotiating subsidies for farmers to increase Kenya’s competitiveness.

    Source: bilaterals.org


    Link Red more
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link The East African Community (EAC)


  23. CARICOM strengthen diplomatic relations with Germany
    2011-01-03

    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Tuesday 7 December solidified diplomatic relations with Germany through the accreditation of a new Ambassador, His Excellency Stefan Schlüter, at the Georgetown, Guyana Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat. In his remarks, His Excellency Sir Edwin Carrington, CARICOM Secretary-General said Ambassador Schlüter’s accreditation bode well, coming as it did against the backdrop of the Forum on Donor Coordination and Aid Effectiveness that was held at the CARICOM Secretariat, 6-7 December. Describing Germany as a “steadfast and trusted development partner of CARICOM,” Sir Edwin said that the country had supported the Community’s efforts in a number of areas ranging from combating the scourge of the HIV/AIDS virus to its environmental sustainability efforts. He referred to the recent agreement between the CARICOM Secretariat and the agency for German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) on a concept of a new CARICOM-GTZ Project titled: “Improving the management of coastal resources and the conservation of the marine biodiversity in the Caribbean Region” that will address some of the main threats posed by climate change to coastal and marine environments, as well as to coastal communities. The Community was looking forward to the finalisation of the project, the Secretary-General said.

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link CARICOM


  24. European Microfinance Award – and the winner is… Harbu Microfinance Institution, Ethiopia
    2011-01-03

    Harbu, an Ethiopian Microfinance Institution is the winner of the 3rd European Microfinance Award held on the 30th November at  the European Investment Bank. The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, known for her staunch support to microfinance presented the award and the 100,000 euro prize to the laureate.  Harbu’s initiative involves financing the soybean value chain as a response to market demand generated by a shortage of cow milk in Jimma city, zone of Oromia regional state. The initiative started with 240 farmers and it was built on the basis of strengthening linkages between farmer marketing organisations as well as linkages with retailers and women’s associations in charge of processing and producing soya milk.Through their project, Harbu have created market opportunities for producer farmers and employment opportunities for urban women and youth. Simultaneously, it contributed to the improvement in the nutritional constituents of families, especially children and women.

    Source: The European Investment Bank


    Link Read more



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