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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 287]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 287]
Send date: 2011-08-26 14:51:07
Issue #: 103
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: Major drivers for rural transformation in Africa
  2. Our Video guest: Dr. Liesbet Steer
  3. Italy started a humanitarian operation in Horn of Africa
  4. Europe’s sugar reform program leads to sugar shakeup
  5. Mitchell: 400,000 children risk death through starvation in Somalia
  6. Preparing the EU Market for Caribbean Exports
  7. UK aid matches public donations
  8. University of the South Pacific farewells EU Head
  9. Food Sovereignty, a European answer to the crisis!
  10. Pacific EPA deadline extended to mid 2012
  11. Zimbabwe: EU Invited to Tour Chiadzwa diamond fields
  12. Industrial fisheries destroy livelihood of northern and southern fishermen
  13. East Africa: Producers ease path to EU market with new standards
  14. EU agriculture reform: Direct payments lack rationale, says expert
  15. Sweden gives a further 50 million to save lives in Ethiopia
  16. Trade in cultural services and cultural exchanges after the Cariforum-EU EPA, where do we stand?
  17. Africa will not suffer much from the crisis
  18. Top European corporate R&D investors set to increase innovation efforts by 5% a year


  1. Brussels Briefing: Major drivers for rural transformation in Africa
    2011-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Archive, Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Food Policy

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on the 14 September 2011 and will be organised in partnership with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency. We will discuss the main challenges involved in rural transformation processes by sharing different perspectives on rural transformation processes across continents. We will then focus on rural employment and rural labour markets needed to create growth and economic development. Among confirmed speakers are CEO of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Prof. Peter Hazell from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Paul Dorosh from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Dr Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of NASFAM (Malawi), Paul Barera from the Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN). We will also have experiences from Asia and Latin America presented.

    To learn more about the Briefing, please visit http://brusselsbriefings.net or sign up for automatic Brussels Briefings email alerts.


    Link Read more
    Link Programme of the Briefing
    Link Subscribe to Briefing email alerts


  2. Our Video guest: Dr. Liesbet Steer
    2011-08-26

    Dr. Liesbet Steer is the head of the research project “Mapping progress: evidence for a new development outlook” at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). In our interview, she presents the findings of the project and speaks about the project’s outreach campaign.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Mapping progress
    Link ODI


  3. Italy started a humanitarian operation in Horn of Africa
    2011-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The Italian foreign ministry initiated a new operation, sending urgent humanitarian relief items to the warehouse of the United Nations in Brindisi. The flight to Nairobi carries essential goods such as tents, containers for drinking water, electric generators, blankets, and kitchen sets for families, making up a total of 30 tons. UNHCR staff will receive the goods in the Kenyan capital and handle the transfer and distribution to the refugee camp Dadaab. The deal, worth a total of 300,000 euros, follows previous flight of the Italian Development Cooperation at the beginning of August which carried 40 tons of food, given to the Red Cross in Kenya. The new operation raises the aid of Italian Development Cooperation to the Horn of Africa to a total value of 11.5 million.

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link UNHCR
    Link Italian Development Cooperation


  4. Europe’s sugar reform program leads to sugar shakeup
    2011-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union’s sugar reform has caused such supply shortages and price volatility that the United States should be leery of any proposal that would reduce domestic production and make the country dependent on sugar from developing countries that may not be reliable suppliers, European sugar analysts and executives say. The European Union sugar reform since 2006 has been “a recipe of disaster,” Stefan Uhlenbrock, a commodity analyst with German firm F.O. Licht, said at the American Sugar Alliance International Sweetener Symposium, a U.S. growers’ group meeting in Stowe, Vermont. The EU reform, Ulhenbrock said, reduced production and made the EU dependent on imports while maintaining a “prohibitive” tariff on sugar from some countries and allowing duty-free access from former colonies and least developed countries “that cannot deliver the quantities needed or chose not to do so.” One positive development is that the reform has made the remaining EU sugar industry more efficient, Langguth noted, saying that “The EU sugar industry is doing fine, as prices are quite high.”The EU is expected to review the sugar regime in 2015. The sugar executives who attended the meeting were unwilling to speculate on what action the EU might take at that time.Analysts have speculated that the European Commission and Parliament, which would decide the policy for the coming years, will not be willing to encourage more production in Europe because that would be an admission that the reform was unwise, but may be willing to reduce tariffs on sugar imported from Brazil and other major producers.


    Source: AGWEEK


    Link Read more
    Link EU agricultural policy
    Link DG Agriculture and Rural Development


  5. Mitchell: 400,000 children risk death through starvation in Somalia
    2011-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Up to 400,000 children are at risk of death through starvation if urgent action is not taken now, Andrew Mitchell said today on a visit to Mogadishu. The International Development Secretary announced Britain will supply vital aid, including extra food and medical supplies, to more than 800,000 women and children in Somalia, as figures show that half of those who have died during the famine in Somalia are children. Mr Mitchell – the first British Minister to visit Mogadishu in over 18 years - warned that without an urgent response, the crisis could become as bad as the famine in 1991-2. This saw over 200,000 people lose their lives. Aid workers are now seeing some of the same severe malnutrition rates in certain areas, and over 50% of the population is affected. Lack of health care, inadequate immunisation, poor access to clean water and sanitation are all contributing to a rise in disease outbreaks, including cholera and measles. Urgent action in all these sectors, not just food assistance, is vital to prevent more unnecessary deaths. The UK’s new package of support to the UN organisation for children, UNICEF, will allow them to double the number of children they are reaching in their supplementary feeding programme. The £25m children’s package will provide:
    •    up to 192,000 people with two months of supplementary rations
    •    supplies to vaccinate at least 800,000 children against measles, plus 300,000 with polio vaccines, vitamin A and deworming
    •    support to malaria preparedness, including provision of over 100,000 treated bednets, 50,000 malaria testing kits, and treatment capacity for 4,000 cases of malaria.

    Source:DFID


    Link Read more
    Link DFID
    Link Country Cooperation with Somalia


  6. Preparing the EU Market for Caribbean Exports
    2011-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A study has been done on the agri-food distribution sector in Europe as part of an initiative to prepare more European market access for exporters from Barbados and the Caribbean.  Lincoln Price of the Office of Trade Negotiations made the announcement during a presentation at a recent seminar looking at opportunities for regional business people in Europe. Price also told the mainly Barbadian audience of business persons that their strategic intervention must be timed for when both the Regional and National Indicative programmes under which Europe gives financial support to projects the region.  Dealing with the agri-food business sector, Price said that a large value-added area is in supermarket, service restaurants as one way of distributing food.

    Source: The Barbados Small Business Association


    Link Read more
    Link CARIFORUM-EC-EPA
    Link DG Development and Cooperation


  7. UK aid matches public donations
    2011-08-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Public support for charity appeals will be matched pound for pound under a new scheme recently launched by the Government. The first appeal to receive support from the scheme is Save the Children’s TV fundraiser “Born to Shine”.

    The UK Aid Match scheme will see the Government double money donated by the public to appeals for charity projects in developing countries, thereby giving the British public a say in how part of the aid budget is spent.

    Public donations throughout the final episode of “Born to Shine” will be matched by the Government. This support will mean Save the Children can help more mothers and children get vital health and nutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.

    International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “Every day, the British public demonstrates its generosity and commitment to reducing poverty in the developing world by donating their money to appeals and charities. By matching pound for pound the money that people give, the Government and the British taxpayer will be supporting their choice and contributing to poverty reduction in developing countries.”

     

    Source: DFID. Department for International Studies




  8. University of the South Pacific farewells EU Head
    2011-08-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    A farewell was hosted by the University of the South Pacific for the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation, His Excellency Ambassador Wiepke van der Goot at the Laucala Campus in Suva on 15 August, 2011.

    The occasion was marked with a luncheon gathering which was attended by senior government officials from the Kiribati Government including the Minister for Education, Honourable Mr Toakai Koririntetaake and the senior staff of the University.

    In her remarks, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr Esther Williams conveyed the University’s appreciation for the Ambassador’s personal support and the support of the EU.

    “Throughout his term here in Fiji, Ambassador van der Goot has encouraged and assisted USP. He has appreciated that USP is an ideal mechanism for capacity building in the region,” she added.

    Source: The University of the South Pacific




  9. Food Sovereignty, a European answer to the crisis!
    2011-08-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Food Security

    After 5 days of intense, inspired and constructive exchange, Nyeleni Europe 2011, the European Forum for Food Sovereignty, closed yesterday. The Forum adopted the first European Declaration on Food Sovereignty. Over 400 delegates from European countries committed to strengthening their collective capacity to reclaiming community control over food system, to resisting the agro-industrial system and to expanding and consolidating a strong European movement for Food Sovereignty.

    Over 120 organisations and individuals, representing civil society and social movements, discussed the impact of current European and global policies. Together they developed a comprehensive platform and a set of principles to achieve food sovereignty in Europe. The Forum emphasized the contribution of voices of young people, woman and food producers, whose concerns are often overlooked. This diversity and richness of experience enabled the Nyeleni Europe 2011 Forum to identify a common framework, and to define a joint action plan based on a democratic and participatory process.

    The Declaration proclaims, “we are convinced that a change to our food system is a first step towards a broader change in our societies”. The Forum delegates strongly committed to taking the food system into their own hands by:

    - Working towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just model of food production and consumption based on non-industrial smallholder farming, processing and alternative distribution.

    - Decentralizing the food distribution system and shortening the chain between producers and consumers.

    - Improving working and social conditions, particularly in field of food and agriculture?

    - Democratizing decision-making on the use of the Commons and heritage (land, water, air, traditional knowledge, seeds and livestock).

    - Ensuring that public policies at all levels guarantee the vitality of rural areas, fair prices for food producers and safe, GMO-free food for all.

    At this time of political volatility, social and economic crisis, the delegates of the Nyeleni Forum for Food Sovereignty reaffirmed their vision of unity that emphasized the right of all peoples to define their own food and agriculture policies and systems, without harming either people or precious natural resources, as Food Sovereignty implies.

    That’s why we demand food sovereignty in Europe now.

     

    Source: Nyeleni 2011. European food  sovereignty forum


    Link Read more


  10. Pacific EPA deadline extended to mid 2012
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The deadline for completing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations have been extended to mid 2012. This was one of the key decisions taken by Pacific ACP Trade Officials meeting in Port Moresby last week.

    A report from Maureen Penjueli on www.islandsbusiness.com said the shift in the deadline from the overly ambitious target of December 2011 was a clear recognition of the enormous task ahead of the region to complete comprehensive EPA negotiations.

    Issues regarding rules of origin, development cooperation and the phasing and extent of liberalization remain contentious and unresolved, with the European Union failing to provide flexibilities on these issues despite PACPs views that an agreement without concessions in these areas fails on the fundamental goal of the EPAs.

    Penjueli, who is also co-ordinator of Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), said PACPs have always argued that the contentious issues have unacceptable economic and political consequences for their development.

    "One of the clear dangers of having an ambitious deadline is that the PACPs in their drive to progress and conclude negotiation by mid next year compromise in areas that will hamper the region's growth and development. Whilst most of the contentious issues are important to all PACPs and could have serious implication, PACPs are being advised by the PIFs to consider an "accommodating approach" in a number of areas - including export taxes, infant industry provisions.

    Source: www.fijitimes.com


    Link Comprehensive EPA negotiations fraying at the edges


  11. Zimbabwe: EU Invited to Tour Chiadzwa diamond fields
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, has given the European Union (EU) an open invitation to tour the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields, a week after the EU said it was considering lifting a ban on Zimbabwe’s exports.

    Last week the EU was reported to be mulling lifting the ban, in place since 2009 over human rights abuses at Chiadzwa, saying conditions at two mines there had improved. The reports coincided with a shock documentary by the BBC's Panorama investigative series, which exposed the ongoing use of torture camps in the Marange region, said to be used by the military controlling the diamond fields. Judith Sargentini, Dutch Member of the European Parliament, also appeared in the BBC’s documentary.

    The Panorama investigation gathered hard evidence and testimonies of brutalities by the military at the diamond fields, including mass murder, rape, torture and forced labour. The BBC team also took this evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which said the situation at Chiadzwa could be classed as crimes against humanity.

    Mpofu has dismissed the documentary as nothing more than British propaganda meant to stop Zimbabwe from selling its diamonds on the international market. This weekend he told the state run Herald that the EU was welcome to tour the diamond fields, insisting that there was "nothing to hide." He also warned that Zimbabwe could be forced to stop any exports of diamonds to the EU by international partners as "a reciprocal measure" if the bloc does not support Zimbabwe's return to trade.

    The EU is now facing growing criticism for appearing to disregard ongoing human rights concerns at the diamond mines. Political analyst and former Zimbabwean diplomat, Clifford Mashiri, told SW Radio Africa that the EU is "trivialising" human rights abuses if they consider lifting the diamond ban.

    "Zimbabwe's diamond civil society will be justified to feel betrayed by the EU and its partners if the ban is lifted without a serious commitment by Zimbabwe to demilitarise the diamond fields and probe the massacres of 2008 and the torture camps," Mashiri said.

    Source: www.allafrica.com


    Link BBC: Zimbabwe torture camp discovered


  12. Industrial fisheries destroy livelihood of northern and southern fishermen
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    At the fisheries conference of northern German states in Kiel last week, the development associations Protestant Development Service (EED) and Fair Oceans demanded from German ministers to press the EU to ensure sustainable fishing of European fishermen outside of European waters. “It is not acceptable that the recent proposals for a European fisheries reform lack solutions for the improvement of the situation for local fishermen,” says Andrea Müller-Frank from EED.

    “More and more foreign trawlers are active in Senegalese waters. Licenses are attributed without consideration for environmental and social consequences. Many industrial trawlers illegally enter the zones reserved for small fisheries. This is how we small fishermen are deprived of our livelihood,” says Gaoussou Gueyse, secretary general of the West African Fisheries Federation. “Future EU fisheries agreements have to promote the development of our fisheries sector and not only deplete our fish stocks,” adds Gueye.

    Since nowadays more than half of all European fisheries imports come from developing countries, Germany’s responsibility for the fisheries sector in target countries is growing. “The ministries assembled in Kiel have to push for an EU fisheries reform that reduces European dependency on imports and reestablishes fish stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea in an environmentally sustainable way,” says Fair Oceans’ Kai Kaschinski.

    Source:www.eed.de


    Link Who owns the right to catch fish? Manchester United?


  13. East Africa: Producers ease path to EU market with new standards
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    Horticultural exports are set to grow significantly as local fresh producers benefit from adopting global standards in their production and marketing processes, giving their products easier access to international markets.

    Under a Sh5 billion ($65 million) project grant signed with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in Nairobi last week, Kenya will lead other horticultural producers in East Africa to develop and implement a regional version of the Global Good Agricultural Practice standards.

    The regional quality benchmark called the East Africa Good Agricultural Practice standards (EAGAP) will come up with uniform quality management, production techniques, and regulatory services for the region. […]

    In spite of the economic turbulence that hit its key markets in the Europe - ranging from slow recovery from global financial crisis and the Icelandic volcanic eruption that cut off links with markets - horticulture still emerged as the second highest source of foreign exchange in 2010.

    Fresh produce exporters brought in Sh76 billion, beating tourism, which recorded annual earning of Sh78 billion but lagged behind tea which topped the season's export earnings with Sh97 billion. […]

    European buyers - market for 80 per cent of Kenya's fresh produce - demand audit systems that trace the origins of agricultural produce from planting to the time the harvest gets to the market.Industry statistics indicate that about 40 per cent of fresh produce harvested annually is lost due to post harvest spoilage.

    Source: www.allafrica.com


    Link Read full article


  14. EU agriculture reform: Direct payments lack rationale, says expert
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy, Food Security

    There is no sense in continuing direct payments to farmers as a part of the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU, says Professor Ulrich Koester from Kiel University. Instead of falling market prices for EU goods, Koester holds that European farmers have seen rising market prices since 1993, when direct payments were introduced. According to an OECD-FAO study from 2011, market prices in 2020 will be even higher than in 2011. Hence, in Koester’s view, the original idea reason for direct payments, namely to compensate farmers for falling market prices, is no longer given.

    If direct payments are maintained, Koester argues in favour of different rates for different countries. Not only have the new member states seen politically-dictated price increases, but farm payments should also be seen in comparison to other sectors in the same country, not to the farm sector in other European countries. “No one suggests that, for competitiveness reasons, government officials in all EU countries should receive the same salaries,” says Koster. “Why, then, should it be necessary to equalise the income to land?”

    Source:ww.capreform.eu


    Link Read full article


  15. Sweden gives a further 50 million to save lives in Ethiopia
    2011-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has decided to give another 50 million kronor (5.4 million EUR) to efforts to save lives and alleviate suffering in Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa. 40 million kronor (4.3 million EUR) are provided to a fund that can quickly step in with resources when and where needed. 10 million kronor (1.1 million EUR) will be given to UNICEF to save 200,000 malnourished children and examine 600 000 pregnant and lactating women, said Elizabeth Narrowe, administrator of Sida's humanitarian aid for Horn of Africa. The new aid is part of a 200 million kronor (21.6 million EUR) contribution that the government decided to redistribute from its long-term development efforts to the Horn of Africa. With this aid, Sida so far this year contributed 363 million kronor (39.2 million EUR) in humanitarian aid for Horn of Africa. Soon, another 55 million kronor will be paid. 45 million kronor will be saved in order to have room for more installments in the fall. Sida and the MFA together have committed around 770 million kronor (83.2 million EUR) to the people of the region affected by drought. This makes Sweden the fifth largest donor in the area.

    source:www.sida.se

    Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency


    Link Famine and hope in the Horn of Africa
    Link Capital City Still in Need of Thousands of Tonnes of Aid


  16. Trade in cultural services and cultural exchanges after the Cariforum-EU EPA, where do we stand?
    2011-08-22

    In the framework of the Cariforum-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU is improving market access conditions for entertainment services suppliers from Cariforum countries. According to a study conducted by KEA for the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the European provisions allow artists and entertainers from Cariforum countries to work in an EU member state if their company has a commercial presence in this country. Caribbean nationals are still faced with discriminatory limitations when entering the European Union, however, among others an assessment of qualifications or an Economic Needs Test. In addition, visa difficulties may arise; while some countries such as Antigua and Barbuda or the Bahamas have a visa waiver agreement with the EU, the situation is different for Trinidad & Tobago or Grenade who are still in the application process.

     

    On the Caribbean side, the KEA report finds that some Caribbean countries are still waiting to ratify the cultural provisions of the EPA until the entire ratification process has concluded. For the moment, the EPA concluded in 2008 is applied on a provisional basis.


    Link Read the full article


  17. Africa will not suffer much from the crisis
    2011-08-22

    Africa will not suffer much from the consequences of the financial crisis that shakes the United States and Europe, said Yolande Duhem, director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for West and Central Africa Tuesday in Dakar.

    “With its growth rates and its strategic positioning in terms of diversification, Africa will suffer less from the financial crisis,” said Duhem during a conference about the IFC’s activities in Africa in 2011.

    “For both the US and Europe, Africa is a very important continent and will suffer less than other regions,” she added.

    “In Africa, growth has diminished but not very strongly. The reason is that there is more investment from emerging countries and regions. Investment in South Africa and North Africa has been the highest,” Duhem explained.




  18. Top European corporate R&D investors set to increase innovation efforts by 5% a year
    2011-08-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Top R&D investing companies based in the EU expect their global research and development (R&D) investments to grow by 5% annually from 2011 to 2013. This is more than double last year's expectations, and represents a significant upturn from the 2.6% R&D cuts in investment implemented by these companies in 2009. The companies surveyed also revealed that an average of 27% of their annual sales comes from innovative products introduced in the past three years, demonstrating again that innovation is the key to commercial success and to job creation.

    These figures were published by the European Commission in its sixth EU Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends, a survey of the R&D investment expectations of the 1000 European companies which invest most in R&D. […]

    Companies surveyed expect their R&D investment inside the EU to grow 3% a year over the next three years. Although this rate is lower than the growth expected for their R&D investment in other world regions, the companies still expect to locate 75% of their investments in the EU. They expect to make the largest percentage increases in R&D investment in China (25%), Japan (17%), other European countries (8%), India (8%) and the US and Canada (5%). […]

    In October 2011 the European Commission will publish its next EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which ranks the biggest 1000 EU and 1000 non-EU companies investing in R&D on the basis of actual investments in 2010.


    Link Read the report



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Editor: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

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