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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 370
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 370
Send date: 2013-08-30 15:39:54
Issue #: 187
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 : 30/08/2013
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 02/09/2013 –08/09/2013
  2. Video Guest: Stefano Padulosi (Bioversity International)
  3. Developing nations urged to follow EU in banning toxic pesticide
  4. Nigeria: EU experts advise on preparation for floods
  5. EU: €4m for education of children affected by conflict
  6. EU support to improve security in Africa
  7. Somalia to adopt 'The New Deal’
  8. Herring loss sparks EU-Faroe Island trade spat
  9. Commission adopts trade measures against Faroe
  10. EU still world’s biggest aid donor but misses own targets
  11. Swaziland: EU regional body pumps €1.8m for SMEs
  12. UK: Inefficient EU water projects in sub-Saharan Africa?
  13. Zimbabwe: EU to review restrictive measures
  14. Fight to persuade EU to accept SA citrus science
  15. US fears competition with EU for Sub-Saharan Africa trade
  16. EU urges east African nations to offer fair trade terms
  17. New Lesotho Ambassador calls for stronger intra-ACP links
  18. ACP Bank, potential to close “immense” financing gaps
  19. Namibia: Resistance to EPA, admirable but unsustainable?
  20. Biofuels from algae - A first attempt
  21. Roadmap on Organic Farming in EU


  1. Main Events for the Week 02/09/2013 –08/09/2013
    2013-08-30

    European Parliament:

    2 September: - Committee on Foreign Affairs
    - Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

    5 September: - Committee on International Trade
    - Committee on Fisheries

    Council of the EU:

    - 8 September: Informal meeting of Ministers for Agriculture (AGRI)

    European Commission:

    - 5-6 September: The EU at the G20 summit

    ACP:

    - 2-6 September : ACP-EC-UN-Habitat International Tripartite Conference
    - 6 September: ACP Ad-hoc Working Group on Post-2015

    You can also follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Video Guest: Stefano Padulosi (Bioversity International)
    2013-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    There are many traditional crops which in the past years have become almost absent from the markets, and have been increasingly marginalized by research and development; named neglected and underutilized species (NUS) in the scientific jargon, these have however in many cases nutritional profiles which are far superior to the nutritional profile of major crops (as potatoes, rise, maize). They also present a resilient advantage, needing less water, and showing resistance to drought.

    In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Dr. Stefano Padulosi - senior scientist at "Bioversity International" - talks about the advantages the NUS can have for developing countries. He presents a project that aims at promoting traditional crops, by working with all the actors across the value chain, including the demand side. The project wants to raise the awareness of the user community on the nutritional values of these species, and finally raise the demand - seen as a key factor for the commercialization of the final product.

    On 15th May 2013, Stefano Padulosi held a presentation on “Promoting agrobiodiversity: leveraging GI potentials in the use of underutilized species” as part of the Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’ organized by CTA Brussels at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels.
    To find out more and watch his presentation: http://bit.ly/YM9Q94

     


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Brussels Briefing on Geography of food


  3. Developing nations urged to follow EU in banning toxic pesticide
    2013-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Policy

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has urged governments in developing countries to ban a toxic pesticide – already outlawed in the European Union – linked to the deaths of more than 20 children in India in the month of July alone.
    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, said in a statement on Tuesday (30 July) that the monocrotophos insecticide detected in food at an Indian school “very often poses a serious risk to human health and the environment.”
    At least 23 children died on 17 July after eating school lunches cooked with oil with traces of the pesticide, investigators said.
    The World Health Organization has urged India to ban the sale of monocrotophos insecticide, citing risks to human health and wildlife and their use by impoverished farmers as a poison to commit suicide.
    In less developed countries, poor application of fertilisers and pesticides are seen as a culprit in damaging soil quality and groundwater supplies, as well as causing sickness in farmers who do not wear protective gear.
    The monocrotophos organophosphorus pesticide linked to the school childrens’ deaths in Bihar, India, is banned in the EU, United States and other nations. But they are still widely available in India.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Illegal and counterfeit pesticides in the EU


  4. Nigeria: EU experts advise on preparation for floods
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    On 13 August, a team of European experts in civil protection is leaving for Nigeria today to advise on measures to prepare for and mitigate the impact of floods. In 2012 the country suffered enormous flooding and the risk of a similar large-scale disaster is high.
    Nigeria has previously requested assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. In response, the team of experts from the European Commission and four Member States (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic) have conducted a 10-day mission to Abuja and the flood-prone areas. They will advise the Nigerian authorities on ways to improve flood preparedness of the population and the national disaster management system.
    Last year Nigeria suffered its worst floods in 40 years, the European Commission informs. More than 2 million people were displaced, homes and farmlands were destroyed. According the Nigerian Metrological Agency, 2013 is feared to bring similar devastating floods to the country.

    As the EU's disaster management tool, the Civil Protection Mechanism is involved in both supporting response to natural and man-made disasters, and prevention against them.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Emergency Response Centre
    Link Nigeria: Cell Phones for two million farmers in 2013


  5. EU: €4m for education of children affected by conflict
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    On 14 August, the European Commission decided that it will direct a new €4 million fund towards developing countries for supporting children affected by conflict through education in emergencies and crisis situations.
    This decision was taken in the context of the 'EU Children of Peace' Initiative. As the laureate of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, the EU agreed to dedicate the prize money (almost €1 Million) to humanitarian projects assisting children affected by conflict, in the field of education. The award was supplemented by funds from the EU's humanitarian aid budget to provide EUR 2 million in specific support for children affected by conflict and crisis situations (EU Children of Peace initiative). 

    The new decision shall continue and expand this initiative. All humanitarian partner organisations of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department are invited to submit proposals in response to the decision for humanitarian actions in support of conflict-affected children by 13 September 2013.
    There were over 1 billion children living in countries affected by conflict in 2009, the European Commission estimates. The EU supports children affected by conflict, namely through child protection activities, psycho-social support, mine risk education, and actions against the recruitment of child soldiers.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the 'EU Children for Peace' initiative
    Link Read the Commission's implementing decission


  6. EU support to improve security in Africa
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    On 23 August the European Union (EU) announced that it will provide €5.2 million to the African Union Commission (AUC) for a testing exercise of a continent military force, which is to operate under the direction of the African Union.
    The exercise cycle - called “AMANI AFRICA II” – is presented as a key factor in testing the continent’s progress towards operationalising the blueprint for the Africa Stand-by Force. The African Stand-by Force is to be a military body with civilian and police representatives to act as a permanent peace-enforcement and -keeping capability across Africa, under the direction of the African Union.
    The EU support for the planning and the organisation of the exercise will cover expenses relating to programme’s human resources, travel and transportation, logistics and supplies of the final exercise headquarters in Lesotho, as well as organising workshops.

    The AMANI AFRICA I Exercise was conducted in October 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the aim to “evaluate the effectiveness of the AUC to employ the African Standby Force for an AU mandated Peace Support Operations.

    Source: European Commission


    Link En savoir plus [EN]
    Link More on the excericise


  7. Somalia to adopt 'The New Deal’
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Development Policy

    The Federal Government of Somalia and the EU are to co-host "The New Deal for Somalia Conference" in Brussels on 16 September 2013. The international conference will endorse the "New Deal Compact" that is to commit the Somali people and their international partners to a set of key priorities and new support for the reconstruction of Somalia over the next 3 years.
    “The new deal compact is designed for fragile states. It’s a document enabling the [Somali] government to set out priorities to re-establish government in the country and the international community to commit itself to support those priorities,” Nick Westcott from the EU’s External Action Service said.
    High Representative Vice President Catherine Ashton commented that the situation in Somalia has changed over the past year especially, with emerging governance at the local level. She sees the “New Deal Compact” as the framework for action of both the international community and Somalia over the next three years.
    On the occasion, the key political, security and developmental priorities for Somalia will be presented to the international community. These are guided by the New Deal principles for fragile states (a framework for approaching fragile situations) agreed in Busan (South Korea) in 2011, where it was endorsed by the EU along with 36 countries, including 18 fragile countries, and 6 international institutions.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More details and registration for the conference
    Link Somalia, now part of the Cotonou Agreement


  8. Herring loss sparks EU-Faroe Island trade spat
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The Faroe Islands government is to have reacted furiously to the EU decision to ban its fish exports to the Union, due to unsustainable fishing of herring. The small archipelago, which has Danish sovereignty, is threatening to jeopardise multilateral negotiations on herring quota allocations.
    Besides the ban the import of herring and mackerel caught by Faroese vessels, as well as all fishery products containing or made of such fish,the EU measures - adopted on 20 August - also include restrictions on the use of EU ports by Faroe Island vessels fishing for herring and mackerel. This means that some Faroese vessels will not be allowed to dock in EU ports, except in cases of emergency.
    The EU argues that the Faroe Islands allowed themselves a 229% increase in their herring quota in the North-East Atlantic, breaching a quota agreement reached in a North-East Atlantic Coastal States forum. The  forum's members - Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU, - have jointly managed the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock until this year.

    The Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, slammed the decision as an “unacceptable abuse of power by the EU”, describing it as a “contravention” of the EU’s international obligation to cooperate on the management of shared fish stocks. “These measures will seriously undermine efforts to reach a joint management arrangement for the herring, which is necessary,” Johannesen said, adding that his government was now considering international dispute settlement mechanisms.
    “It is short-sighted and ill-considered of the EU to take such an unjustifiable step against one of its nearest European neighbours and partners. The Faroe Islands may be small, but we are strategically placed as an important stakeholder in shared pelagic fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. It is difficult to see what purpose these measures serve other than to protect fishing industry interests within the EU, “he stated.
    Johannesen also indicated that as part of the retaliation, multilateral negotiations on fishing quotas between coastal states - scheduled for early September - would be compromised.

    Source: EurActiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link Commission adopts trade measures against Faroe
    Link Reaction of Prime Ministers’ Office, Faroe Islands


  9. Commission adopts trade measures against Faroe
    2013-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    On 20 August, the European Commission adopted a package of measures to address the unsustainable fishing of herring by the Faroe Islands. The measures include the ban of imports of herring and mackerel from the Atlanto-Scandian stocks that has been caught under the control of the Faroe Islands as well as fishery products containing or made of such fish. The measures also include restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels fishing for the herring and mackerel stocks under the control of the Faroe Islands. This means that some Faroese vessels will not be allowed to dock in EU ports, except in cases of emergency. This announcement comes twenty days after the European Commission had received the approval for the move from the Member States.
    European Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, Maria Damanaki said: "The imposition of such measures is always done as a very last resort. The Faroese could have put a stop to their unsustainable fishing but decided not to do so. It is now clear to all that the EU is determined to use all the tools at its disposal to protect the long-term sustainability of stocks."
    The measures are to come in force 7 days after publication in the Official Journal.

    The Atlanto-Scandian herring stock was until 2013 managed jointly by Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU through an agreed long-term management plan and pre-established shares of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC). However, in 2013 the Faroe Islands unilaterally decided to break out of this agreement and established an autonomous quota which more than trebled their previously agreed share, the European Commission informs.

    The Council and the European Parliament adopted in October 2012 the Trade Instrument empowering the Commission to adopt measures against countries that allow unsustainable fishing.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Faroe Islands risks sanctions over overfishing


  10. EU still world’s biggest aid donor but misses own targets
    2013-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The European Union maintained its position as the worls’s biggest aid donor last year (2012), stumping up €55.2 billion of overseas assistance (over 50% of the global overseas development aid), but the bloc has made no progress towards its target of providing 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) in aid by 2015, according to the European Commission’s 2013 annual development aid report, published on 21 August.
    “The EU still has some way to go to reach its 0.7% GNI collective target by 2015,” the report admits. The latest figures show that, at the current figure of 0.43% of GNI, aid commitments by the EU and its member states have not increased since 2010, when they also fell well short of the 2010-interim 0.56% target. The 0.7% quota was established in 2005, as a minimum contribution from the world’s developed countries to helping achieving UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
    Among the achievements in its development assistance, the report highlights the “swift and decisive support” Europe has offered to victims of drought in the Sahel and conflict in Syria and Mali, in the form of overseas development aid (ODA).
    Much of the annual report focuses on European initiatives such as the Agenda for Change, a communication on increasing resilience among the 870 million food vulnerable people, presented a the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, and the support provided for work reviewing progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, EurActiv reports.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Commission's annual report
    Link More on the 0.7% target


  11. Swaziland: EU regional body pumps €1.8m for SMEs
    2013-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    On 31 July, the newspaper Times of Swaziland reported that The Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) has pumped 1.8 million Euros for developing the Swaziland’s private sector, directed mainly through capacity building.
    CDE is an African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) joint institution created in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement. Its objective is to ensure the development of professional ACP enterprises operating in the private sector.

    According to CDE Head of Regional Office for Southern Africa Sid Boubekeur, the above mentioned amount will be spent on implementing the Opportunity Identification Study findings which the centre carried out in 2011. The study focused on the existences of sizeable population of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and sectors which could benefit from the CDE interventions. Sectors looked at include agriculture, manufacturing and services.
    Boubekeur said the overall CDE intervention to the country’s private sector will include improving the competitiveness of enterprises, improving access to financing for SMEs, support for capacity building of intermediary organisations in the private sector, improving the business climate by fostering dialogue between private and public partners and promoting investments.
    He further said improving the private sector which was mainly made of SMEs and other private enterprises will constitute addressing competitiveness needs which affect the country’s private sector’s competitiveness in international markets.

    The country has over 50 000 SMEs, the newspaper states.

    Source: Times of Swaziland (http://www.times.co.sz)


    Link Read more
    Link More on the CDE
    Link More on the EU-Swaziland relations


  12. UK: Inefficient EU water projects in sub-Saharan Africa?
    2013-08-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    At the end of July, the United Kingdom House of Lords sent a letter to the European Commission to express its members’ concern over the lack of political interest for solving the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in sub-Saharan Africa, the British newspaper The Guardian informs.
    This comes after a report released in October last year by the European court of auditors (ECA) found considerable flaws in the delivery of EU aid to the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. Among others, it showed that fewer than half of the funded projects met the needs of beneficiaries, and that the majority were not sustainable in the medium or long term.
    Directly referring to the report’s results, the letter of the House of Lords concludes that “cumulative EU funding to this sector globally exceeded €1bn from 2007-13, but in sub-Saharan Africa it has not demonstrated value for money."
    In the letter, the European Commission is also urged to engage with local communities, through partnerships with NGOs, rather that continuing to favor large organizations.
    In response to the House of Lords’ appeal, the European Commission admitted that there is room for improvement, and informed that it will revise its internal and external monitoring system to better track the efficiency of its work in the field.

    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Report on EU Development assistance for Drinking Water Supply and Basic Sanitation


  13. Zimbabwe: EU to review restrictive measures
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union is to review its restrictive measures imposed on Zimbabwe, after the elections held on 31 July 2013 were considered ‘peaceful’, by taking into account the final reports of African Union, and Sadc observers.
    "Our goal is to support the Zimbabwean people in achieving a more prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe, as a sure foundation for the future full normalisation of relations between Zimbabwe and the EU," the bloc's High Presentative, Catherine Ashton, said on August 22.
    The EU representatives also underlined the importance and need to continue strengthening reforms to ensure that future elections are fully transparent and credible as well as peaceful.

    After the escalation of political violence related to the elections in 2002, the EU decided to introduce measures against Zimbabwe as a means to put pressure on those considered responsible. These measures have been renewed each year since 2002. The introduction of the measures in 2002 has not resulted in a reduction of EU development assistance; rather, the provision of assistance was directed solely through non-government channels.

    Source: All Africa, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Key issues in EU-Zimbabwe relations
    Link Zimbabwe: lift of embargo and slump of trade with EU


  14. Fight to persuade EU to accept SA citrus science
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security

    South Africa is trying to convince the European Union (EU) to accept "scientific fact" that black spot carries no risk to their orchards or consumers.
    This is seen as the only "the only long-term solution" to the dispute that threatens South Africa citrus fruits exports, after the European Union has threaten with an import ban in case it intercepts over five incidences of black spot a year, Bloomberg informed on July 26.

    Citrus black spot is a disease that affects the rind of fruit, though it has no risk to consumers
    The department said South Africa had instituted a revised citrus black spot risk-management system that it has shared with the EU Directorate-General for Health and Consumers’ commission.
    The system stipulates that all citrus fruit consigned to the EU "must have originated in a field of production subjected to appropriate treatments against citrus black spot, and none of the fruit harvested in the field of production has shown, during an appropriate official examination, symptoms of this organism".
    In addition to this, the EU has agreed to allow South Africa to declare if, at any stage, the pest status of a farm changes while the consignment is on its way to the EU.
    This would mean that the consignment would be barred from the EU and the farmer who sent it would be "deregistered" as a citrus exporter. However, the consignment would not count towards South Africa’s permitted threshold of less than five interceptions of affected citrus fruit, which might result in all citrus exports being barred from the EU.

    Trade talks between the EU and the Department of Agriculture in Pretoria last month failed to ease the stringent phytosanitary requirements for exported South African citrus. "South Africa is pursuing all available avenues to engage with the EU on its regulations on citrus black spot, including providing comments on the European Food Safety Authority’s black spot pest risk assessment," the department said.

    If the requirements are not be eased, South Africa announced that it is looking into "expanding" its citrus markets, particularly to other countries in Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) such as China and India.

    Source: Business Day (bdlive.co.za)


    Link Read more
    Link South Africa looks for New Markets for Citrus, as EU threats with Imports Ban


  15. US fears competition with EU for Sub-Saharan Africa trade
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The United States fear that the potential European trade deals with Sub-Saharan African nations (the Economic Partnership Agreements or EPAs currently under negotiations) might affect the benefits to its own companies, as reviews its own preferential trade initiative with the continent, Voice of America informs.
    On August 12, at a forum in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Sub-Saharan African ministers and U.S. officials met to discuss the details of a new extension to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA is an American law that allows sub-Saharan African countries to export certain products to the United States duty free. To qualify for AGOA benefits, eligible countries are supposed to demonstrate they are working to improve rule of law, human rights, and to set labor standards. Currently, 39 countries are eligible. First signed into law in 2000, the act has already been renewed once, and is set to expire in 2015.
    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has been reported to have said that one of the big questions in these new negotiations is about their impact of African trade talks with the European Union.
    Skepticism exists over the benefits of this law to the US companies: “I imagine there will be significant skepticism in the United States that we should allow one-way access to our market if our firms are being put at a disadvantage,” Froman is to have said.

    In 2012, trade between AGOA countries and the United States was evaluated at about $67 billion (50,7 billion Euros), most of it in the form of oil and natural gas exports to the U.S.

    Source: Voice of America (voanews.com)


    Link En savoir plus [EN]
    Link More on the African Growth and Opportunity Act
    Link EU urges east African nations to offer fair trade terms


  16. EU urges east African nations to offer fair trade terms
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Development Policy

    On 17 August, during a Kenya-Belgium business forum in Nairobi (Kenya), Belgium Deputy Prime Minster Didier Reynders told journalists that the East African Community (EAC) should offer the European Union the same trade terms as it is offering other emerging nations, such as Brazil, India and China.
    He said that it is useful for all countries to protect their local markets but it should be done in accordance with World Trade Organization rules.

    Reynders, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Belgium, said that negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) between the EU and the EAC are almost complete."We are therefore optimistic that both parties will beat the 2014 deadline, so that trade is not disrupted," he said.

    Belgium is the sixth largest EU exporter to Kenya. In 2012, total bilateral trade reached 160 million euros. According to the envoy, Belgium exported goods worth 100 million Euros while it imported goods worth 60 million euros from the east African nation.
    Kenya's traded in agricultural products such as beans flowers while Belgium goods constituted of chemicals and machinery, Reynders said. On the other hand, Belgium's development assistance is concentrated in education, healthcare and agricultural sectors

    Source: Global Times (http://www.globaltimes.cn)


    Link Read more
    Link East Africa: EAC Fallout Over EU Deals
    Link EPAs: EU wants Kenya to lead


  17. New Lesotho Ambassador calls for stronger intra-ACP links
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Development Policy

    On July 25, in her first address to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels, the new ambassador of Lesotho to the European Union, H.E Mrs Mpeo Mahase-Moila, urged African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to intensify ties with each other, highlighting the private sector as the main engine for cooperation.
    “The diversity of our Group as well as the geographical inclinations should not deter us at this point since we have been able to maintain our solidarity for the past years...[however] it is imperative that the barriers to inter and intra ACP trade relations are eliminated so that our countries can realise their own development opportunities... It is also my hope that the ACP would remain united in ensuring that the developmental objectives of the EPAs [ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements] are realised,” she told the gathering.
    Lesotho welcomes initiatives such as the creation of an international trade and investment facility, as well as enhanced South-South cooperation with emerging countries, Ambassador Mahase-Moila told the meeting. At the moment, the ACP Secretariat is inviting feedback from stakeholders and the public on a recent feasibility study on the set up of an ACP bank for international trade and investment.
    Ambassador Mahase-Moila is Lesotho’s former Minister for Justice, Human Rights, Correctional Service and Constitutional Affairs.
    Lesotho is a country in Southern Africa, completely surrounded by South Africa.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Bank, potential to close “immense” financing gaps


  18. ACP Bank, potential to close “immense” financing gaps
    2013-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Financing gaps worth more than USD 400 billion in ACP countries can be improved by setting up a major trade and investment bank to serve the Group’s 79 members, an EU-funded market study on the viability of such a venture shows.
    The research brought evidence that such a financial entity could also spur sustainable growth by helping local ACP firms secure financing in four key areas: infrastructure, trade, SMMEs (small, medium and micro- enterprises), and large industrial projects.
    The ACP Secretariat is currently seeking feedback from stakeholders on the findings, including two other “financing vehicle” options, namely an ACP Invest Company or capacity-building scheme for existing bodies in the regions.
    The feasibility report found that despite generous funding by international, regional and local financing bodies such as the World Bank or national development banks, “the variations on the key drivers of success ... have not enabled them to originate, develop and finance programs and projects that resulted decisively in meaningful industry development, firm start-up and growth, and export performance targets across the ACP region.”
    “The ACP Bank, or any similar institution set up, would have distinctive capacities and expertise suited for the economic and financial situations in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. These can be quite specific, according to levels of development, the local business culture, and local needs and expectations,” added Dr Obadiah Mailafia, coordinator of the ACP Bank Project.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link New 7 year mandate for investment facility in the ACP
    Link EIB’s ACP Investment Facility: €3.4 bn in ten years


  19. Namibia: Resistance to EPA, admirable but unsustainable?
    2013-08-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Nambia's decission to stand up against the European Union (EU) and its refusal to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) unless it brings net advantages was ‘admirable but unsustainable, given its comparatively vulnerable situation’, Dr Henning Melber in his recently released report "Namibia and the Economic Partnership Agreement (South African Foreign Policy Initiative, SAFPI, Brief No. 39) argues.
    Faced with the threat of loss of preferential market access into the EU market at the end of December 2007, many ACP countries signed the interim EPAs. However, Namibia opted not to sign an interim EPA given that the country’s negotiators identified outstanding issues that would have eroded policy space.
    However, analyzing this situation, AllAfrica disagrees with these views, arguing that Namibia and her fellow ACP partners should not ‘continue toeing the line of the colonial legacy of continuing to render themselves as provider of raw materials, and at exploitative prices for that matter, as has been the case since the independence of these countries’.

    AllAfrica asks for a partnership with shared goals of poverty alleviation and economic development, between partners who have equal sovereignty, and raises the question whether the EPAs should be signed at all.

    Source: AllAfrica

    Nambia's decission to stand up against the European Union (EU) and its refusal to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) unless it brings net advantages was ‘admirable but unsustainable, given its comparatively vulnerable situation’, Dr Henning Melber in his recently released report "Namibia and the Economic Partnership Agreement (South African Foreign Policy Initiative, SAFPI, Brief No. 39) argues.

    Faced with the threat of loss of preferential market access into the EU market at the end of December 2007, many ACP countries signed the interim EPAs. However, Namibia opted not to sign an interim EPA given that the country’s negotiators identified outstanding issues that would have eroded policy space.

    However, analyzing this situation, AllAfrica disagrees with these views, arguing that Namibia and her fellow ACP partners should not ‘continue toeing the line of the colonial legacy of continuing to render themselves as provider of raw materials, and at exploitative prices for that matter, as has been the case since the independence of these countries’.

    AllAfrica asks for a partnership with shared goals of poverty alleviation and economic development, between partners who have equal sovereignty, and raises the question whether the EPAs should be signed at all.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Namibia: Hopes for EPA negotiations in September


  20. Biofuels from algae - A first attempt
    2013-08-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    With the financial support of the EU, a Spanish water company has recently produced the first micro-algae for biofuels use with wastewaters.
    Despite being at a very preliminary stage, the ‘All gas’ project showed great potential in terms of methane produced per biomass of algae, between 200-300 litres of gas per kg of biomass. The fact is particularly important when considering the debate over the production of food crops for energy purposes, the increasing pressure over land and the recent global food prices crisis.
    Experts underlined the need to improve scale and efficiency of production. To this respect, if the project continues giving satisfying results, an algae transformation plant will be constructed in the South of Spain.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link MEPs to vote on biofuels as study points to hunger, deforestation


  21. Roadmap on Organic Farming in EU
    2013-08-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    In September, the European Commission is due to present a roadmap on organic agriculture. The document will focus on strengthening the monitoring system of organic certification and label and the issue of the impact of GMOs.
    Christopher Stopes - president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Europe group - expressed good hopes for the initiative, stressing the need to revise the EU legislation on organic agriculture to promote the demand and the production of organic products. Despite state support in some European countries, organic farming occupies only the 2,2 % of the total European  farmland and it is administered by an EU regulation  dating back to 2007.

     

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link GMOs – implications for trade and developing countries
    Link [VIDEO] Nathalie Moll, Europabio. GM crops in Europe




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Ms Isolina BOTO
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Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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