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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 266]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 266]
Send date: 2011-04-01 15:42:16
Issue #: 82
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 “The water we eat” 13 April 2011-Berlaymont Building
  2. Main events for the week from 4/04 to 8/04/2011
  3. Some News from CTA
  4. Poor Nations Call for Help with Using WTO Trade Remedies
  5. CONCORD calls for more coherent CAP for the ACP countries
  6. EU grants Mauritania 12.4 million euros
  7. Climate Change Meeting Draws Ministry Officials
  8. Call for Stronger Support for Youth Involvement in Agriculture and ICT
  9. Germany withholds budget support for Malawi
  10. African NGOs Oppose Human Rights Clause in EPAs
  11. EU calls on local fishing industry to lift its standards
  12. ACP, UNIDO sign MOU for industrial development of ACP countries
  13. Budgetary Control Committee approves Commission spending
  14. Commissioners Piebalgs and Barnier advocate economic integration in Africa
  15. EU allocates €65.9 million to support peacekeeping in Somalia
  16. Manufacturing in Africa can be profitable and developmental
  17. Netherlands to end development relationship with seven African countries
  18. Commission :how to reduce pressure on Europe's coastal and marine areas
  19. The EU/ACP Microfinance II Programme officially launched


  1. Brussels Briefing on “The water we eat” 13 April 2011-Berlaymont Building
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Food Security

    We cordially invite you to our next briefing on the “Water we eat: Challenges and opportunities for ACP in times of scarcity”, to be held on Wednesday, April 13th from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Brussels. The world is on the brink of an unprecedented water crisis. Water is likely to be the most important strategic resource by the end of the next decade and the key to achieving global economic development. Some countries are already under water stress as a result of population increase, industrialization and urbanization, competition of resources, and insufficient public spending for rural infrastructure and services. In our Brussels Briefing, we will raise these issues and talk about the challenges and opportunities for ACP countries in times of water scarcity. Confirmed speakers include Dr Elijah Phiri, CAADP/NEPAD, Dr David Molden (IWMI), Tony Allan, School of Oriental and African Studies / King’s College London Water Issues Group, Ruth Mathews, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network. If you are interested in participating, kindly register online or contact boto@cta.


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings


  2. Main events for the week from 4/04 to 8/04/2011
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -4 to 7 of April:  European Parliament Plenary Session in Strasbourg
    -4 to 7 of April:  Committee Meetings in the European Parliament
    Council of Ministers
    -6 April: Coreper II, Coreper I
    -8 April: Informal ECOFIN
    ACP Secretariat
    -4 April  : Sub Committee Sustainable Development
    -5  April: Committee of Ambassadors
    -6  April: 4th Meeting of the ACP-EU Political Dialogue on Migration
    -7  April: Steering Committee of All ACP Agricultural Programme

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.


    Link European Parliament
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link ACP Secretary


  3. Some News from CTA
    2011-04-01

    On  the 28th  March CTA attended the ECDPM- SAIIA conference on 'Emerging players in Africa: What's in it for Africa-Europe relations? “This meeting, organized with the support of the German Marshall Fund discussed  about the  new opportunities for African countries in their relations with external partners with a focus on  the new growth poles in the developing world – China, India and Brazil (CIB); the key elements impacting on Europe-Africa relations arising out of the engagement of emerging powers in Africa and identify priorities for further analysis, capacity building, and dialogue aimed at better aligning the European's and other partners’ initiatives to African owned objectives and strategies.


    On the 29th March, the CTA attended the Infopoint meeting organised by EuropeAid, on “Development  Knowledge Sharing in Practice”. The conference focus on the EC web-platform for  technical cooperation  capacity4dev.eu. A platform opens to all development professionals which enables interaction in public groups and allows access to closed collaboration spaces.


    Link EuropeAid Infopoint
    Link ECDPM


  4. Poor Nations Call for Help with Using WTO Trade Remedies
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Helping small, poor countries make use of WTO trade remedy rules was the subject of discussion in the rules negotiations this week, as the group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) called for the creation of a ‘facility’ to assist developing countries in developing the institutions and expertise they need to protect domestic industries from dumped or subsidised imports. […] One reason a number of developing countries felt disenchanted with the negotiations that gave rise to the WTO was that they found that they had agreed to take on well- defined, often expensive-to-implement obligations on tariff reduction and a wide range of other policies, but were ill-equipped to take advantage of some of the rights conferred by the global trade body. These rights included the ability to levy extra duties on imports that were subsidised or ‘dumped’ at a price below what they commanded in their home markets. The Doha Round negotiations were supposed to redress these and other perceived imbalances.


    Link Read more
    Link DG Trade
    Link WTO Doha agenda


  5. CONCORD calls for more coherent CAP for the ACP countries
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    In the context of current discussions on the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Concord’s proposals for the reforms were presented during a debate with the ALDEPAC (group of ALDE MEPs and associated ACP MPs) in the European Parliament. The proposals for a “CAP that is more coherent  with the development of agriculture in ACP States” were presented by Romain Philippe (Concord secretariat) and Pascal Erard (CFSI). Concord stresses that “the debate on the CAP reform 2014-2020 does not sufficiently take account of the international dimension and of the impact that this policy has on the development of Southern countries and on their food security in particular”. Civil society organisations have repeatedly pointed out that the Lisbon Treaty changes have established a legal obligation for the EU to put development policy objectives, in particular the eradication of poverty, at the centre of its cooperation with developing countries. As a consequence there is a requirement to ensure that any policy that affects developing countries must be assessed for its impact on the countries development strategies.Concord points to the repeated concerns expressed about the impact of CAP subsidies on ACP countries’ agriculture development and calls on ensuring that there are effective mechanisms in place for ACP states to define, promote and protect their agricultural policies when domestic production in these countries is directly affected by subsidised imports resulting from the CAP. An ACP-EU Food Security Observatory would enable the evaluations necessary on the impact of European policies that could provide the basis for the implementation of this kind of protection.

     


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture and Rural Development
    Link CAP reform


  6. EU grants Mauritania 12.4 million euros
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Mauritania's minister of economic affairs and development, Sidi Ould Tah and the head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Mauritania, Hans-Georg Gestenlauer, on Monday signed a financing agreement for 12.4 million euros earmarked for projects in support  of trade and governance, an EU communiqué said. The funding will be allocated through a new cooperation programme between the Mauritanian government and the EU within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2010-2011. The EU financial support is expected to largely contribute to the capacities and performances of the Mauritanian government and trade.


    Link Read more
    Link DG DEVCO
    Link Budget support


  7. Climate Change Meeting Draws Ministry Officials
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Deputy Town & Country Planner Frederick Southwell and the Ministry of Tourism's Adele Blair will represent AntiGua & Barbuda this week at the Caribbean Regional Conference of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) in Belize. This meeting, on March 28 and 29, was hosted by the government of Belize and organised by the European Commission, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. It is based on two pillars which seek to enhance talks about climate change issues between the EU and the target countries and region, as well as increase financial support to assist target countries to cope with climate change, and to integrate climate change in wider development of poverty reduction strategies. The GCCA is an EU initiative launched in 2007 to support in particular Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to integrate climate change into their development strategies. According to Southwell, “The DCA would be particularly interested in matters pertaining to Global Climate Change since resulting phenomena such as sea-level rises and more violent and frequent storm (hurricane) events can have devastating consequences on tourism, fishing and residential built developments along the coast, and on the natural coastal environments and ecosystems."

     Source: CARIBARENA Antigua


    Link Read more
    Link DG Climate Change
    Link Global climate change alliance


  8. Call for Stronger Support for Youth Involvement in Agriculture and ICT
    2011-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

     At the end of the Youth Exchange and training workshop on Web 2.0 for agricultural and rural development, organized from 7th to 11th March 2011 in Ghana by the CTA (Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU) and other partners, an important Call for Stronger Support for Youth Involvement in Agriculture and ICT was launched. The participants came from 18 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and were brought together within the framework of the "Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society" (ARDYIS) initiative led by the CTA. The Call was developed particularly to the attention of policy-makers and institutions from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and other international institutions. It contains youth perspectives and 6 key recommendations on strengthening youth involvement in agriculture and rural development.
    Please check this link to read the six policy recommendations.

    Source: Ardys-CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Ardys
    Link DG Research & Innovation


  9. Germany withholds budget support for Malawi
    2011-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The BMZ took a decision in early February to withhold half of its envisaged budget support payments to Malawi. In a letter to Malawi's Minister of Finance, German Development Minister Dirk Niebel cited concerns regarding the observance of press freedom and compliance with international human rights agreements. In November 2010, Malawi's parliament had adopted a decision to make amendments to the country's Penal Code making homosexuality between women a crime punishable by law and extending potential state control of the media to an unacceptable degree. This was also the reason for Parliamentary State Secretary Gudrun Kopp cancelling a planned visit to Malawi. Up to the point of her envisaged departure, no confirmation had been received of important meetings on development and human rights issues. Gudrun Kopp expects the Malawian side to resume, without any reservations, the requisite open dialogue on human rights and governance within the framework of development cooperation. Good governance and respect for human rights are fundamental prerequisites for the provision of the budget support agreed on with the Malawian government.


    Link Read more
    Link Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
    Link European External Action Service


  10. African NGOs Oppose Human Rights Clause in EPAs
    2011-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Part of the delay in the finalisation of the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) is due to the so-called non-execution clause that gives the EU the power to take steps against its African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) trading partners if they violate human rights, democracy and good governance principles. "African governments and civil society resist this clause because EPAs are commercial agreements where the two parties give and take," explains Cheikh Tidiane Dieye, the civil society representative of the West African EPA negotiating team. "Furthermore, the clause is not reciprocal since West Africa would not be able to take steps against the EU if Senegalese immigrants in France are put in jail in violation of basic human rights principles, for example," he adds. The EPAs are the implementation of the trade chapter of the Cotonou agreement between the EU and the ACP, which already contains a strong non- execution clause that has been used several times. The Caribbean EPA – the only complete one to date – does contain a non-execution clause. "Negotiations need a clear strategy," adds Jacob Kotchao, the civil society representative of the Central African EPA negotiating team. "Our countries have a long way to go with respect to human rights but we don’t want these values to be used to the detriment of our development.

     


    Link Read more
    Link Green revolutions for Sub-Saharan Africa?
    Link Should Africa be worried about EU Raw Materials Initiative?


  11. EU calls on local fishing industry to lift its standards
    2011-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Continue upgrading your exporting facilities and increase the number of fishing vessels in the country. That was the message stressed to partners in the local fishing industry by the European Union Ambassador to the Pacific, Wiepke Van Der Goot when officially celebrating the re-listing of Fiji in the EU list of countries able to export fish to the Union. Van Der Goot said that at the moment only 2 companies meet EU standards and added that in order to enhance the economic development in the country, more needs to be done. According to Van Der Goot, the reason why Fiji was delisted in 2004 was due to the fact that there were due to lack serious deficiencies to EU standards and also to the fact that people fell sick after eating Fish from Fiji. However he said that with Fiji being able to get back on the list this year, it is a good sign and should now encourage Fiji to take full advantage of the possibilities of global sourcing under the Market Access Regulation. According to Van Der Goot, Europeans are big consumers of fish and fishery products with a per capita consumption of 25 Kg per year on average, the EU the biggest importer of fish in the world with a total market of around 500 million consumers. In fact, no less than 60% of EU's required fishing products come from third countries.


    Link Read more
    Link European Commission DG Fisheries
    Link ACP Fish II Programme


  12. ACP, UNIDO sign MOU for industrial development of ACP countries
    2011-03-31

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group Secretary-General, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with the goal to accelerate the sustainable industrial development of ACP countries and regions with the overall objective of poverty alleviation.
    Dr Chambas singed the MOU with Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, in Brussels on 24 March 2011. Speaking at the signing ceremony, which was witnessed by the members of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, Dr. Chambas said that to achieve the goal of accelerating the sustainable industrial development of ACP countries and regions the two organizations will build on their comparative advantages. “Our respective institutions will build on each other’s comparative advantage in order to make specific contributions to this sustainable industrial development, building on ACP countries’ and regions’ national and regional development strategies,” he said.

    Source: ACP Secretary


    Link Read more
    Link UNIDO
    Link The Secretariat of the ACP Group


  13. Budgetary Control Committee approves Commission spending
    2011-03-31

    The European Commission's 2009 budget spending was approved by Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee on the 28 of March , under the "budget discharge" procedure, after the Commission had given undertakings to press EU Member States to take more responsibility for, and improve their supervision of, their authorities' spending of EU funds. Parliament is to vote on the discharge at its May plenary session. The committee also recommended granting a discharge to the Economic and Social Committee.  The choice as to whether to postpone or grant the discharge was a difficult one, said Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (ALDE, DE), the MEP steering it through Parliament. "I still have a problem with the lack of transparency when it comes to spending by Member States under what we call 'shared management'.  It is hard to explain to our citizens that we can't say exactly what 80% of the EU's budget is spent on and how. But this is a problem that cannot be addressed by the Commission alone, even though they are responsible in the end", he said. The discharge recommendation was approved with 21 votes in favour, two against and no abstentions. In previous meetings, Budgetary Control Committee MEPs had stressed that they wanted to see better management and control systems put in place. They had also underlined the need for national politicians to take political responsibility for the way the EU money is spent in their countries, by signing "national management declarations". Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta (Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit), agreed to work on a policy template to this end and to recommend that Member States give it their political endorsement.

     Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Commission Budgetary Control
    Link European Parliament


  14. Commissioners Piebalgs and Barnier advocate economic integration in Africa
    2011-03-31

    In the context of the joint EU-Africa Strategic partnership, Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, and Michel Barnier Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, attended the annual joint meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Economy of the African Union and of the UN Economic Commission for Africa on 28th and 29th March in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The core topic of the meeting was  about "Governing Development in Africa", including discussions on the role of the State, long term prospects for sustainable development through economic integration and green growth. The Commissioners confirm ed EU readiness to support Africa's endeavours towards good governance of the economy at national and regional level, a fairly redistributed and environmentally-friendly growth, and a common agenda in the global economic governance. Commissioners  met also with Jean Ping, President of the African Union, to discuss notably recent developments in North Africa and in Ivory Coast, as well as to prepare the future of EU-African relations.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG DEVCO
    Link DG Internal market


  15. EU allocates €65.9 million to support peacekeeping in Somalia
    2011-03-31

    During the annual joint meeting of the Ministers of Finance and economy of the African Union, Commissioner Piebalgs confirmed European Commission's support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by announcing an additional EUR 65.9 million to help keep the peacekeeping force in place and provide them with the means to do their job more easily, including medical care, transport and allowances.EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "There is no development without security. AMISOM does a vital job in Somalia, ensuring that human rights are respected, citizens are protected and internally displaced persons and refugees can return home in safety and dignity. This additional funding will enable the African mission to carry out its role in helping to protect the people of Somalia". Today's increase in funding brings the EU allocation to AMISOM to a total of EUR 208 million funded under the African Peace Facility (APF) since 2007. AMISOM has had an uninterrupted peacekeeping presence in Mogadishu since March 2007. The renewed EU support will mean that it can continue to provide protection to the Transitional Federal Institution, assist in the implementation of the National Security and Stabilisation plan (NSSP), facilitate humanitarian operations and provide support to disarmament and stabilisation efforts.

    Source: Euopean Union

     

     

     


    Link Read more
    Link AMISOM
    Link The Africa-EU Partnership


  16. Manufacturing in Africa can be profitable and developmental
    2011-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    Investing in beneficiation of raw materials is crucial for the development of the African continent. Some foreign entrepreneurs have created food-processing businesses in Africa and are making good money, despite an occasionally difficult business environment. "A vibrant SME (small and medium enterprise) sector is key for employment, increased income, economic diversification, exports and foreign direct investment," asserts Mohamed-Lamine Dhaoui of UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. "But, in Africa, manufacturing contributes only to 10 percent of gross domestic product," adds Dhaoui, who is director of business, investment and technology services at UNIDO. Raw commodities, like fuel, metals and unprocessed foods, form the most important part of African exports. In contrast, manufacturing export is limited to 29 percent of exports - low compared to other regions. But the development of the private sector in Africa faces major challenges: a difficult business environment, inadequate technical support services, poor infrastructure and weak technological development, with high costs for processing and electrification. Advantages of the African business environment include low labour costs, even though the labour force sometimes needs professional training. "And agriculture is one of the key sectors for manufacturing, with its agro- industry, cash crops and food industries," Dhaoui notes. Some foreign investors have taken up the challenge of manufacturing agricultural products directly in Africa. They are adding value locally, thereby contributing to local development while making good money.


    Link Read more
    Link European Commission DG Trade
    Link UNIDO


  17. Netherlands to end development relationship with seven African countries
    2011-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The Netherlands is ending its development relationship with seven African countries. The partnership with the DR Congo, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa will be terminated, Dutch newspaper Trouw is reporting. The new list of partner countries contains 15 countries, ten of which are African. But uncertainty about the final composition of the new partner list remains, since the list is only a draft that has yet to be agreed upon by the cabinet. And after this agreement, the list will be sent to Parliament for consideration. Sjoera Dikkers is a Member of Parliament for the Labour party, and she is not happy with the new selection. “First of all, why don’t we want to support the Egyptian people in their transition to a democratic state? I really hope that this government is not proposing something like that.” 


    Link Read more
    Link Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Link Radio Netherlands Worldwide


  18. Commission :how to reduce pressure on Europe's coastal and marine areas
    2011-03-29

    Coastal and marine areas offer significant opportunities for economic development, leisure and living. They host rich but fragile biodiversity. Transparent planning and management of European waters are needed to balance the interests at play against sustaining the long-term benefit of coastal and marine resources to society. With these objectives in mind, the European Commission has launched a public consultation to explore options for future EU action on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The Commission is seeking the views of all interested individuals and organisations. The consultation runs for eight weeks.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG Environment
    Link Maritime Affairs


  19. The EU/ACP Microfinance II Programme officially launched
    2011-03-29

    The EU/ACP Microfinance II Programme, financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and initiated by the ACP Secetariat and EuropeAid, was officially launched at the ACP House in Brussels, on Tuesday March 22nd, 2011. The first phase of the Programme, EU/ACP Microfinance I, that lasted from 2005 till 2010, has fully reached its objectives of building capacity of microfinance actors in theAfrican, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was therefore decided to engage in a follow-up programme for five more years. On the occasion of the official launch of the EU/ACP Microfinance II Programme, which runs until the end of 2014, Achille Bassilekin, Assistant Secretary-­‐General at the ACP Secretariat, and Jesper Pedersen, Head of Sector at EuropeAid, reasserted the strategic role of the programme in building sustainable development for the ACP countries.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Group of States
    Link ACP-EU Microfinance Programme



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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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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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