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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 384
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 384
Send date: 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Issue #: 200
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 : 31/01/2014
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main events for the Week 17/02/2014 – 23/02/2014
  2. Video Guest: Neils Röling, Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Communication Studies, University of Wageningen
  3. Next Brussels Briefing: Revolutionising finance for agri-value chains
  4. Assessment of the opportunity for a partnership agreement on fisheries between the EU and Senegal
  5. EU confirms new support to Mauritania during high level visit
  6. EU seals free trade deal with West Africa
  7. Commissioner Piebalgs visits three West-African countries
  8. High level meeting on the Sahel held in Brussels
  9. A major step forward in protecting EU trade interests
  10. World Bank report: raising more fish to meet rising demand
  11. A new horizon for African-European research links
  12. EU supports mediation efforts in South Sudan
  13. Africa and EU cooperate to deal with children affected by armed conflict
  14. European Seed Legislation: Who will profit, who will lose?
  15. Mauritanian President elected new President of the AU
  16. Last chance to register for farming by satellite prize
  17. Africa-EU: Frank dialogue on governance and Human Rights
  18. Rwandan small businesses to benefit from EUR 8m from European Investment Bank
  19. Top African researchers awarded through EU support
  20. Sahel crisis: EU gives €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014
  21. EU and UNICEF boost their partnership


  1. Main events for the Week 17/02/2014 – 23/02/2014
    2014-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Agriculture

    European Parliament:
    -17-20 February : European Parliament Committee Meetings
    -18 February:  Parliamentary Forum on "EU Parliaments in global Governance"
    -19 February : Committee on Development
    Council of the EU:
    - 17 February: Meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI)
    - 18 February: Meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
    European Commission
    - 17 February: Atlantic strategy: workshop on directly managed funds and operational programmes
    ACP Group:
    - 17 February: Working Group on Cotton
    - 18 February: Joint ACP-EC Technical Committee on Sugar
    - 20 February : Committee of Ambassadors
    - 21 February: Working Group W/G on Bananas

    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: Neils Röling, Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Communication Studies, University of Wageningen
    2014-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Prof. Neils Röling, Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Communication Studies, University of Wageningen, tells us a bit more about the “Action Research programme Convergence of Sciences – Strengthening Innovation Systems (CoS-SIS)”. He explains the objectives, summarizes the main findings and describes the ongoing activities of this programme. Then Röling gives details about the management of agricultural research for small-scale farmers as he participated in several projects aiming at “linking science and farmers' innovative capacity” in Benin, Ghana and Mali. Finally Röling examines whether convergence of sciences can support innovation by resource-poor farmers and reduce rural poverty. He draws several conclusions from the cases studies he carried in West Africa
    On the 14th of November 2013, Röling held a presentation on “promoting participatory innovation systems for smallholder development” as part of the Brussels Briefing on the “farmer-driven research to improve food and nutrition security” organized by CTA Brussels at the Jacques Delors Building (in Brussels).
    To find out more and watch his presentation: http://brusselsbriefings.net/past-briefings/farmer-driven-research/




  3. Next Brussels Briefing: Revolutionising finance for agri-value chains
    2014-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Archive

    ‘Revolutionising finance for agri-value chains‘– this is the theme of the next Brussels Development Briefing – organized by the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), together with the DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (EC/DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development, Concord. The event will take place on Wednesday 5 March 2014 at the ACP Secretariat, in Brussels. 
    The first session will look at finance as a key driver for value chain development and will discuss the concept of agricultural value chain finance, new opportunities for financiers, and the new context of value chain finance in Africa – including the development of ICTs that support innovative applications.
    The second panel will examine the innovations in financial instruments and services and will present concrete examples of more current applications on the ground which demonstrate the potential of value chain finance for shaping African agriculture. 
    Confirmed speakers include: Calvin Miller from FAO Agribusiness and Finance Group, Lamon Rutten from CTA, Saleh Usman Gashua from Afraca, Hans Bogaard from Rabobank, Hans Balyamujura from ZED Group Limited, Adam Gross from Nepad Business Foundation.
    Register online at http://brusselsbriefings.net/, use the form attached or send an email to boto@cta.int. You can download the detailed program of the event, as well as a brief research note on the topic here. The briefing will be broadcasted live online via webstreaming. The link will be announced on the day of the event.
    The Brussels Development Briefings are regular events organized in Brussels by the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA) – in collaboration with the European Commission, the ACP Group, and other partners – on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation.


    Link Read more
    Link Registration form
    Link Detailed program of the event


  4. Assessment of the opportunity for a partnership agreement on fisheries between the EU and Senegal
    2014-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    This report is a prospective evaluation of the potential fisheries agreement between the EU and Senegal. The evaluation was conducted in July-September 2013. It also includes a review of tuna fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean ("Regional Report"). You can download the report here.

    Source: European Commission



    Link Read more
    Link EU partnership agreements with Senegal
    Link Renewal of the Mauritania-Senegal fisheries agreement


  5. EU confirms new support to Mauritania during high level visit
    2014-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy, Regional Fisheries

    EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has today announced €195 million for Mauritania in the areas of food security, rule of law and healthcare for the years 2014-2020. The Commissioner will meet President Abdel Aziz and Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdhaf during his visit, and discussions are expected to focus in particular on ongoing cooperation between the EU and Mauritania in the areas of security, development and fishing. The Commissioner is also expected to underline the EU’s ongoing commitment to supporting the country on its path to growth and in the key role it has to play in security in the Sahel.
    Speaking during the visit, Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The country will have a particularly important part to play in the forthcoming EU-AU summit and it can continue to count on the EU as a committed partner in this"."Mauritania also has a vital role in helping to keep the Sahel region stable due to its location. There can be no development without security, and I would like to congratulate the country on all the work it is doing to make the country, and the wider region, more stable".
    During this visit, the Commissioner will also take the opportunity to see for himself how key EU projects are making a difference on the ground. For instance, a school for girls in the village of Toujounine, and a police training school; a concrete example of the link between security and development in the country (which is at the heart of the EU’s strategy in the Sahel).
    The new funding announced today comes from the European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020. Between 2007 and 2013, the EU committed €209 million to Mauritania. This included an additional €25 million for the Sahel strategy (European Union strategy to promote security and development in the Sahel), €11 million on the Millennium Development Initiative and €8 million as part of the Vulnerability Flex (or V-FLEX), set up to help countries to respond to the effects of the economic crisis.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs visits three West-African countries to discuss future development cooperation
    Link EU-Mauritania agreement for sustainable fishing


  6. EU seals free trade deal with West Africa
    2014-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Negotiators from the European Union and West Africa have come to a €42 billion-a-year free trade agreement after 10 years of haggling, but negotiations are still ongoing with East African states.
    The agreement, which covers trade and development cooperation, will guarantee West African nations full long-term duty and quota-free access to the EU market. When it will be enforced, it will eclipse bilateral interim agreements with Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
    All the Ecowas countries, except Nigeria, are classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and thus can already export anything excluding weapons to Europe, without facing costly tariffs or quotas. But this status quo will now be ring-fenced and extended, with a door opening to free market access. 
    The East Africa Community (EAC) countries have been more hesitant to ink a trade agreement guaranteeing Europe preferential market access  t since other powers such as China are increasingly focused on the region.

    Source : EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link West Africa to resume EPA negotiations with EU
    Link EPAs: East Africa considers diplomatic engagement with EU


  7. Commissioner Piebalgs visits three West-African countries
    2014-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will begin on Monday a high level visit to Mauritania, Senegal and the Cape Verde, where he will underline the EU’s ongoing commitment to supporting the region and confirm future funding for the three countries.
    The visit will be the Commissioner’s first ever to Senegal and Cape Verde, and first high level visit since 2008 to Mauritania. He will meet Heads of states, ministers and representatives of civil society of the three countries, and discuss future priorities and ongoing areas of cooperation, notably to implement EU's development blueprint known as the "Agenda for Change", as well as regional issues of common interest and the post-2015 agenda (when the current Millennium Development Goals are due to expire).
    Speaking ahead of the visit, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said: "I am happy to see how the Agenda for Change is contributing to the support of inclusive and sustainable growth in the region, notably through sustainable agriculture and energy".
    The Commission’s high level visit will be a key opportunity for the Commissioner to meet African leaders ahead of the 4th Africa-EU Summit, which will take place in Brussels on 2-3 April 2014. Mauritania has the presidency of the AU in 2014 and will co-preside over the events of the EU-Africa Summit. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is also one of the ten members of the High Level Committee on the post 2015 process.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG
    Link European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs


  8. High level meeting on the Sahel held in Brussels
    2014-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    The European External Action Service hosted a High level meeting on the Sahel yesterday 6 February 2014 in Brussels. Mali being chair of the international coordination platform for the Sahel, the Prime Minister of Mali HE. Tatam Ly opened the meeting while Minister for National Reconciliation and Development of the Northern Regions HE. Diarrah chaired it.
    Substantial achievements have been made in the stabilization process in Mali. But lasting peace in Mali and the region will not be achieved if the root causes of the crisis in the wider Sahel Sahara region remain unaddressed either at local (north of Mali, south of Libya etc.) or regional level. A long term coordinated international engagement is needed. The goal of the High level meeting on the Sahel hosted by the EEAS was to help operationalize the international coordination platform for the Sahel and reflect on ideas and principles guiding its work.
    More than 25 Ministers from the region and high level representatives of international institutions including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and others attended the meeting.
    Mali is the chair of the international coordination platform for the Sahel established in Bamako on 5 November 2013 during the joint United Nations – Wold Bank – African Union – European Union – African Development Bank high level mission to the Sahel. The international coordination platform for the Sahel was established in order to review periodically peace and security developments in the region and ensure the effectiveness of the international support to national and regional efforts.

    Source: RTT News


    Link Read more
    Link Sahel crisis: EU gives €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014
    Link EC commited to tackle instability in Sahel


  9. A major step forward in protecting EU trade interests
    2014-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) appealed the European Union to adopt tougher measures against unfair imports from third countries, in a plenary session on 5 February.
    The MEPs passed amendments requesting tougher tariffs against environmental or social dumping, and against dumping assisted by third country export subsidies. The MEPs insisted that the EU should be able to impose stiffer duties on dumped or subsidized imported goods if the exporting third country “does not have a sufficient level of social and environmental standards”, assessed on the basis of environmental and labour rights conventions. However, the EU should enforce more moderate duties when the subsidized imports come from a least-developed country wishing to pursue its “legitimate development goals.”
    The EU should also do much more to assist small firms to benefit from EU measures on unfair imports from third countries. The MEPs suggested creating an SME help desk to aid SMEs to file complaints and to provide guidance in investigation proceedings. The proposed help desk could even assist business sectors consisting largely of SMEs to put together the initial evidence of economic injury required to justify launching an anti-dumping investigation.
    Rapporteur Christofer Fjellner (EPP, SV) declared, “we've been reviewing the most controversial part of the EU trade policy - trade defence instruments - which normally take the form of anti-dumping tariffs. High-profile cases such as the 47 per cent anti-dumping duty on imported Chinese solar panels are pushing this review ever higher up the political agenda. We have struck good compromises in most cases, from transparency to more scrutiny rights for  Parliament, and have also substantially improved help for small firms.”
    Now the MEPs will start the legislative negotiations with the Council to update the EU trade defence law, in order to reach a first reading agreement. The goal is to agree on the new regulation addressing unfair imports from third countries before the end of the current legislative term.

    Source: neurope.eu


    Link Read more
    Link A major step forward in protecting EU trade interests
    Link Cases of trade defence against EU


  10. World Bank report: raising more fish to meet rising demand
    2014-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A new World Bank report on “Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture”- estimates that nearly two-thirds of the seafood we eat will be farm-raised in 2030. The report concludes that as sources from wild capture fisheries approach their maximum take, aquaculture—or fish farming—will help satisfy the growing global appetite for fish and seafood.
    The new World Bank report projects that in 2030, aquaculture will produce half of the world’s supply of fish, including fish for food and other products such as fishmeal. Meanwhile, 62% of the seafood that will end up on people’s plates will come from fish farms, which will grow production to meet rising demand—especially from Asia, where roughly 70% of fish will be consumed. In 2030, an emerging middle class in China will become a particularly large market for fish. With increased investment in aquaculture, China will produce 37% of the world’s fish and consume 38% of the fish the world eats, the report estimates.
    As the global population inches towards nine billion by 2050, there will be a need for more food and jobs—which a growing aquaculture industry can help meet. By producing more seafood that is affordable and rich in nutrition, aquaculture can help improve food security and livelihoods for the world’s poorest. However aquaculture needs to be practiced responsibly. The rise in seafood demand gives countries the opportunity to expand and improve responsible fish and shellfish farming practices. Keen to benefit from the economic and environmental advantages of sustainable aquaculture, many countries are helping their communities improve the way they produce fish.
    The Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), together with the DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (EC/DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development, Concordorganized a policy Briefing on the topic of “Fish-farming: The new driver of the blue economy”, on 3rd of July, at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels. More than 70 participants discussed successes and shared lessons from the field of fish-farming, by emphasizing its role for the growth of the blue-economies of the ACP countries. The event consisted of two parts: the first provided an overview of the key concepts, existing systems, challenges and opportunities in aquaculture, especially for ACP countries, by addressing the main issues involved in the aquaculture sector, in terms of: food and nutrition security, health management, and sustainability; the second panel presented proven actions in fish-farming corresponding to the regions of Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific.Click here to read more about it.

    FAOSTAT

    Source: World Bank


    Link Read more
    Link Download the report
    Link More on the Briefing on Fish-farming


  11. A new horizon for African-European research links
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Last month marked the official start of a fresh wave of funding opportunities from the European Union (EU) for For scientists across Europe. On 11 December, the European Commission finally released the detailed topics and budgets available for the first two years of Horizon 2020, the EU’s eighth research and innovation funding package, worth nearly €80 billion (around US$110 billion) in total from 2014 to 2020.
    And European researchers are not the only ones who can get a slice from this funding pie: scientists around the world, including those in developing countries, can compete to take part in EU-funded research projects.
    The previous edition of the programme, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) that ended on 31 December 2013 (though some awarded projects are still ongoing), was also open to such international collaboration, and many African scientists seized the opportunity. At the last count in September 2013, the European Commission said that 1,315 participants from organisations in 45 African countries had taken part in 565 EU-funded projects since FP7 began in 2007.
    Although areas such as energy, space research and information and communications technology (ICT) are gaining importance, the bulk of these projects remained focused on  health, food and agriculture, and water and environmental sciences.
    African participants have received a combined €178 million from FP7, a substantial rise compared with the previous edition. Under FP6, which ran from 2002 to 2006, only 882 participants took part in 322 research projects and received a combined €95 million from the EU.
    Out of the €178 million under FP7, almost €9 million went to fellowships for African researchers, while the rest went to large, collaborative projects where African participants were part of a consortium along with other scientists in Europe (and possibly beyond).

    Source: Scidev


    Link Read more
    Link The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
    Link The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)


  12. EU supports mediation efforts in South Sudan
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union (EU) using its African Peace Facility Early Response Mechanism (ERM) has agreed to provide financial support to the mediation process in South Sudan facilitated by IGAD. The € 1.1 Million (US$ 1.44 Million) earmarked on January 16th by the European Union will help IGAD and the African Union Commission to facilitate the mediation process in South Sudan to reach an agreement for resolving differences between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the opposition.
    Together with African Union, IGAD and the international community, the EU is working to prevent the crisis in South Sudan descending into a civil war. In a recent statement, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton welcomed the opening of the South Sudan Peace talks and she appealed for rapid agreement on ceasefire, monitoring and humanitarian access.
    In addition to the latest ERM support, EU continues to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to those in need. The EU has announced € 50 Million for humanitarian action in South Sudan to cover basic needs with regard to food, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, shelter, protection etc. As part of the EU’s commitment to the people of South Sudan, the EU and its member states have so far provided around € 170 million in humanitarian assistance in 2013/14.
    One of the main objectives of ERM is to provide funds in urgent situations for the first stages of mediation activities. The European Union while commending IGAD and AUC efforts expressed its readiness to continue to support the peace process in substantive and financial terms.

    Source: Delegation of the European Union to the African Union


    Link Read more
    Link South Sudan on the brink of civil war
    Link  Link Statement by Catherine Ashton on South Sudan


  13. Africa and EU cooperate to deal with children affected by armed conflict
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    The African Union (AU) hosted a three-day seminar to discuss on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (CAAC) and the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The meeting, bringing together some 100 senior officials and experts from various AU Member States and international institutions including Regional Economics Communities, the European Union and United Nations agencies monitored the implementation status of national strategies addressing CAAC-related issues in Africa and agree on the way forward.
    Children, Women and Peace-related issues are key for African nations and more broadly the African Union. Most conflicts taking place in Africa are disproportionately affecting women and children. This violence harms families, impoverishes communities and reinforces other forms of inequality.
    Though Africa has made significant progress in ensuring that the legal framework and related rights protecting vulnerable civilians is developed, a lot remains to be done. With this kick-off event, engagements will now move from engagements to concrete actions: “We sincerely hope that the workshop will trigger a longer-term process of collaboration and exchange of experience, based on the needs and common interests identified in the course of the meeting”, stated Mr. Nicola Bellomo, 1st Counsellor to the European Union (EU) Delegation to the AU.
    Keeping the momentum, the seminar came at an important moment as the AU develops the normative framework to initiate field practice. This is part of the overall integration and mainstreaming of child protection within the African Peace and Security Agenda.
    Participants reviewed Member states efforts in the development and adoption of national action plans on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 . They strongly emphasised the need to reinforce women’s participation in peace negotiations and mediation. In this respect, partnering up with civil society was strongly recommended to further their cooperation to achieving the goal for an increased role of women in that crucial area.
    In the framework of the Africa-EU partnership, there is a strong commitment to support the agenda for protection of children and women on the African continent. “Children and gender-related issues need to be properly mainstreamed within the on-going support to AU Peace and Security activities. If specific activities are developed in conjunction of the existing framework, concrete results will be sustainable in the field” as mentioned by Mr. Jorge Gallego-Lizon from the EU Delegation to the AU.

    Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link  EU: €4m for education of children affected by conflict
    Link More on the 'EU Children for Peace' initiative


  14. European Seed Legislation: Who will profit, who will lose?
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, ACP-EU Policy

    A conference on the European seed legislation and policy took place in Brussels on 22 January 2014 under the patronage of IFOAM EU and was supported by Demeter International and 16 stakeholder NGOs. The theme of event was: “Challenges for producers, consumers and citizens: Who will own the seeds?”. Representatives of the European Institutions, Member State Authorities, farmers’ associations, breeders, seed savers, universities, churches, journalists and many relevant NGOs attended the conference with more than 120 participants.
    Main conference aims were to discuss the European seed legislation proposal and its consequences, the situation of SME breeders (especially in organic farming), the question of agro-biodiversity (i.e. the use of landraces instead of genetically uniform varieties), food sovereignty, research needs, but also new models like the Commons and citizens’ participation concerning seeds.    
    Whereas Päivi Mannerkorpi from the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers) suggested that the legislative proposal on plant reproductive material offers sufficient new possibilities for more diversified production, relevant policy decision makers and stakeholders had their reservations. MEP Martin Häusling (The Greens/EFA) stated that seeds are a public good and therefore of public interest. Their regulation must be further discussed in public, not only in the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.
    Observers concluded that the broader picture of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shows still a too dominant priority setting on competition in agriculture and in the seed market. Therefore it is very difficult to achieve seed conservation and enhance agro-biodiversity within the current system. However there is hope for a beginning paradigm shift, if civil society and more and more consumers will express their demand for a European agricultural system and practice, in which seed and cultivated plant diversity is one important basic element.

    Source: IFOAM EU


    Link Read more
    Link European Conference on ensuring seed availability
    Link GMOs – implications for trade and developing countries


  15. Mauritanian President elected new President of the AU
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The 22nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) took place from 21 to 31 January 2014 at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme at the center of discussions will be “transforming Africa’s Agriculture: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development” At the opening of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the African Union ceremony, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania was elected new President of the Union. It replaces the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn . The presidency of the African Union is subject to an annual rotation.
    In his acceptance speech , President Abdel Aziz thanked the Ethiopian government for the warm welcome and excellent hospitality towards him as well as to the other dignitaries. This welcome and hospitality falls within the true spirit of cooperation and African development. He stressed the need for Africa to continue to remain united in the pursuit of development and insisted specifically on the use of natural resources in cooperation as a source of power on the continent.
    Andris Piebalgs, Member of the European Commission in charge of Development, travelled to Addis-Abeba to participate in the Summit.

    Source: European Commission, African Union


    Link Read more
    Link African Union Summit: reaffirmed ties with EU


  16. Last chance to register for farming by satellite prize
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Agriculture

    To encourage more people to participate, organisers have extended the deadline to register for the €13,000 Farming by Satellite Prize to 28 February 2014. Student and young farmer in Europe and Africa who have an idea for using satellite technology in agriculture to improve production and efficiency and reduce environmental impact, are invited to register your idea for the €13,000 Farming by Satellite Prize. The prize is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and is aimed at promoting the use of satellite navigation in agriculture and its benefits to end users. Registrations must be received by 28 February 2014.
    “We are looking for imaginative solutions that employ free satellite technology that can help all the world’s farmers,” says Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development, GSA. “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get great exposure for their ideas with leading companies and academics.”
    Entrants may participate as either individuals or as a team. Entries must include case studies of trials or new ideas and innovations, with a particular interest in those that rely on European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and the forthcoming Galileo system. Although the deadline for submitting entries and supporting references is 14 April 2014, all those who plan to participate must register their intent by 28 February 2014. Registration and details on entry requirements can be found at www.farmingbysatellite.eu.

    Source: European GNSS Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Africa and the EU: implementing satellite navigation technologies


  17. Africa-EU: Frank dialogue on governance and Human Rights
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The fourth lunch-time seminar on the future of Africa-EU relations organized on 20 January 2014 by the European Commission through the JAES Support Mechanism re-emphasised the importance of promoting democratic governance and fighting against corruption to support sustainable development. The truthful and open views shared during the meeting showed that the partnership has come a long way in creating better conditions for dialogue between Africa and the EU on sensitive issues such as corruption and human rights.
    The seminar brought together more than 100 participants from African Embassies, EU Member States, international organisations, research institutes, civil society and the private sector.
    Several key messages that emerged from the intensive discussions. African and EU have common goals regarding good-governance, human rights, the fight against corruption as well as the promotion of greater transparency and accountability.Although good governance, justice, rule of law, the management of natural resources and fight against corruption are exercised at country level, there is an added-value in addressing it at continental level to promote shared values and harmonise. Good governance, including the institutionalisation of rule of law, of strong judiciary systems and fight against corruption is a permanent process; Africa and EU should work together on those issues without pointing fingers at each other.

    Source: Africa EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link AGI takes a critical look at the Africa-EU partnership
    Link Key facts on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy


  18. Rwandan small businesses to benefit from EUR 8m from European Investment Bank
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide EUR 8 million to support investment by small and medium sized private sector companies in Rwanda. This is the second new small business lending programme between the EIB and I&M Bank Rwanda in seven years.
    The partnership with I&M Bank Rwanda was formally agreed in Kigali on Wednesday 29 January 2014 by Sanjeev Anand, Managing Director of I&M Bank Rwanda and Kurt Simonsen, Head of the European Investment Bank’s regional representation for East and Central Africa.
    “Growth of the private sector is essential for economic development and reducing poverty in Rwanda.” said Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Sanjeev Anand, I&M Bank MD added “We believe that the long-term financing lines provided by EIB will go a long way in facilitating our efforts to provide investment support to SMEs.”
    The EIB is working with leading banks across East Africa to support private sector investment. The new engagement is part of the European Investment Bank’s East and Central Africa Private Enterprise Finance Facility that will provide EUR 160 million to enhance access to finance for SMEs across seven countries in the region, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Djibouti.
    More than 10 locally based banks are expected to participate and it is expected that 3,000 companies will benefit as final beneficiaries from the facility. Technical assistance will be provided alongside the scheme for both local banks and the final beneficiary companies. I&M Bank Rwanda Ltd. is the fourth bank to participate in the regional programme,s. Lending under the initiative will focus on sectors currently underserved by commercial banks, including agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, construction, transport, tourism, education and healthcare. The scheme will reinforce crucial long-term investment by Rwandan companies, most of which are small businesses, to support growth and job creation.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link EIB supports EUR 30 million agriculture sector investment initiative in Malawi
    Link EU turns to development banks to boost private investments


  19. Top African researchers awarded through EU support
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development

    This year's African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards, which are sponsored by the European Union (EU ) through the African Union (AU) Support Programme were presented during the opening session of the 22nd AU Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards recognizes top African researchers who engage in pioneering research aimed at contributing to the wellbeing and improved quality of life for Africa's citizens.
    There are different categories, including for female African researchers at sub-regional level and the continental level. This year's continental awards have been presented to:

    • Prof. Andre Bationo from Burkina Faso, a soil scientist working on soil fertility, winner in the field of Earth and Life Sciences and
    • Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale from Nigeria, a chemist working on industrial, food, analytical and environmental chemistry, winner in the field of Basic Science, Technology and Innovation.

    The EU wishes to express its congratulations to Professor Bationo and Professor Adebowale on the award of this prestigious prize. The European Union support to the Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards forms part of the EU-Africa Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space.
    Since the launch of the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Scientific awards in September 2008 by the AU, the EU has contributed over 2 million Euros in Prizes and reaffirms its commitment to support African Human Resources, Science and Technology initiates in the future.

    Source: Delegation of the European Union to the African Union


    Link Read more
    Link EU launches 'pioneering' science projects
    Link African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards


  20. Sahel crisis: EU gives €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    The European Commission has announced on Monday 3 February 2014 that it will give €142 million in humanitarian funds to the Sahel region of Africa in 2014, which is once again suffering because of a severe food and nutrition crisis this year. In addition, many people in Mali are in need of humanitarian aid as a result of the situation in the North.
    In 2014, severe acute malnutrition rates continue to surpass emergency thresholds in many regions of Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Nigeria. The lean season, the difficult months between two harvests when food and resources become scarce, has started early for many in the Sahel. One and a half million children are at high risk of severe malnutrition this year.
    The EU funding will provide €57 million in emergency relief for people affected by the overall Sahel food and nutrition crisis, €28 million to assist victims of the Mali crisis, €7.5 million for the food crisis situation in Nigeria, where the North is experiencing the most challenging situation; €29.5 million for Chad, which is in a complex crisis with an increasing number of refugees; and €2 million for North Cameroon. An additional €18 million is planned in EU development funding to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to build resilience in northern Mali.
    This funding will prioritise life-saving nutrition care for children and mothers and provide food assistance, access to basic health services and clean water for the most vulnerable people. It will also ensure that hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people in West African countries continue to receive vital aid.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EC commited to tackle instability in Sahel
    Link Africa’s Great Green Wall reaches out to new partners


  21. EU and UNICEF boost their partnership
    2014-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    The European Union (EU) and UNICEF met in New York on 04 February 2014 and took the opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved so far and to discuss future cooperation. The EU announced yesterday that it has allocated €320 million ($431 million) through UNICEF to improve the health and nutrition of children and women in 15 developing countries and to help speed progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
    Funding will focus on tackling under-nutrition and infectious diseases, which are among the root causes of child mortality.  Multi-year programmes will focus on improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as quality medical services, health care and adequate nutrition. The amount represents a 350 per cent increase in development funding from the European Union to UNICEF since 2008.
    In total, the European Commission has contributed €845 million to UNICEF in the last seven years across all areas, of which €203.5 million has been spent on education and €52million on child protection projects.  €320 million of this funding have been committed through country-based contracts from the European Development Fund (EDF) to accelerate progress on the specific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of health, education and nutrition.
    The European Union (EU) and UNICEF have worked as strategic partners in the last seven years in a joint mission to help partner countries in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) to reach the MDGs; specifically those related to child protection, maternal and child health, polio, education and nutrition. They cooperate to improve child and maternal health in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries and to combat Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage
    Between 2008-2012, EuropeAid provided €3.9 million support to UNICEF for the Contributing to the Abandonment of Social Norms Harmful to Girls and Women: A Matter of Gender Equality" Project. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage affect the lives of millions of girls every year. Estimates show that up to 125 million girls and women have

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU: €5.5m for access to health care in Guinea-Bissau
    Link  €30m for access to water and basic sanitation in Malawi





  1. Main Events for the Week 03/02/2014 – 09/02/2014
  2. Video Guest: Dyborn Chibonga (Chief Executive Officer, NASFAM, Malawi)
  3. Caribbean agriculture talks started in Trinidad and Tobago
  4. EU funds 6.5 billion euro to help end over-fishing
  5. Uruguay: Decreasing fish exports to Europe and Africa
  6. Trade relations upgrade between EU and Cuba hinges on human rights
  7. EU to announce new support for security and elections in CAR
  8. 2030 climate and energy goals for the EU economy
  9. A sustainable fishing future in the EU and abroad
  10. MEPs approved fisheries agreement with Kiribati
  11. EU and Eastern and South Africa region meet in Brussels
  12. EU gives 67 M. Euros to Mauritania under fish agreement
  13. West Africa to resume EPA negotiations with EU
  14. EU and South Africa to step up cooperation in science and innovation
  15. European Commission welcomes EMFF agreement
  16. EU in joint launch of WTO negotiations for green goods agreement
  17. €140 million released to support development in Guinea
  18. Eat, buy and sell sustainable fish says Fisheries Commissioner
  19. Zambia: EU to Give Zambia K3 Billion
  20. EU set to extend Somalian anti-piracy force until 2016


  1. Main Events for the Week 03/02/2014 – 09/02/2014
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Rural development

    European Parliament:

    - 3-6 February: European Parliament Plenary Session
    - 3-6 February: European Parliament Committee Meetings
    - 3 February: Joint meeting of the Committees on Development and on Foreign Affairs on the “Post-2015 Global Development Agenda” with the President of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.

    Council of the EU:

    - 04-05: February: Meeting of the Political and Security Committee (PSC)

    ACP Group:

    - 5 February: W/G on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group

    UNESCO and Mission of Norway to the European Union:

    - 5 February: High-level Discussion on "Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda"

    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: Dyborn Chibonga (Chief Executive Officer, NASFAM, Malawi)
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Dyborn Chibonga, Chief Executive Officer of the National Smallholder Farmers' Association (NASFAM) in Malawi tells us more about the about the main achievements of the association and the projects for the future. Chibonga also explains how smallholder farmers can drive agricultural research initiatives responding to their needs. NASFAM is a farmer-directed business system based on the individual participation of over 100,000 Malawian smallholders. Finally Chibonga shares the lessons learnt from his participation to the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements negotiations by pointing out the main challenges and opportunities of such trade agreement for Malawi.
    On the 14th of November 2013,  Chibonga held a presentation on “the knowledge transfer as a two-way street” as part of the Brussels Briefing on the “Farmer-driven research to improve food and nutrition security” organized by CTA Brussels at the Jacques Delors Building (in Brussels).
    To find out more and watch his presentation: http://brusselsbriefings.net/past-briefings/farmer-driven-research/




  3. Caribbean agriculture talks started in Trinidad and Tobago
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Food Security, Archive

    The first in a series of eight consultations across the Caribbean has been held in Trinidad and Tobago last week to identify agricultural and fisheries priorities for the development of country action plans. The national consultation on the project funded by the European Union, Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP States in the Implementation of Commitments, undertaken under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, is also aimed at increasing production and trade in agriculture and fisheries.
    Trinidad & Tobago Guardian reports that both public and private sector stakeholders attended the consultations at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain . The Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) is implementing the 11.7 million Euro project on behalf of Cariforum over the next 42 months. The Caricom Secretariat, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the SPS Committee of the Dominican Republic, are partners in the project.
    Underlining the importance of the SPS project, Gregg Rawlins, IICA representative, Trinidad and Tobago, declared that it is essential to integrate Cariforum countries into the global economy. “It is one that can play a major role in terms of trade and not just regional markets but access to international markets,” he said at a brief opening session.
    Monica Paul-McLean, representing the Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, said IICA was chosen to implement the project since it had both the technical capacity to deal with SPS issues and had a presence in almost all Cariforum countries. Paul-McLean said the EU, firmly believes regional co-operation can help address the challenges of globalisation and mitigate limitations of small and insular states.
    Paul-McLean concluded by saying that the EU expects to see tangible results, including solving the problem of a lack of regional and national administrative capacity in connection with the EPA provisions aimed at assisting Cariforum to gain and improve market access, complying with Europe’s SPS measures and to help Cariforum states to better develop their own regionally harmonised SPS measures.

    Source: Trinidad & Tobago Guardian


    Link Read More


  4. EU funds 6.5 billion euro to help end over-fishing
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    European diplomats backed a 6.5 billion euro ($8.9 billion) deal to help fishermen adapt to new rules, ending years of debate over reforms of the European Union's fishing policy dealing with over-fishing. The funding agreement covers the years 2014 to 2020 and intend to fund equipment, such as new nets that allow smaller fish to escape, that could help replenish stocks.
    Representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and member states agreed the deal in outline late on Tuesday 28 January as the final outcome of a set of fisheries reforms that member states have been debating since 2009.
    Diplomats approved the deal at a closed door meeting on Wednesday 29 January 2014, EU sources said. Member states are expected to give their final endorsement following a European Parliamentary vote before the end of April.
    Environmental campaigners told Reuters that the outcome has positive elements but is hampered by measures such as subsidising temporary halts to fishing would mean just a pause rather than an end to over-fishing.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Source


  5. Uruguay: Decreasing fish exports to Europe and Africa
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Uruguayan fisheries are facing a dark future after the poor performance in the last two years of the country returns. The fishing industry is struggling to recover markets, and during 2014, it will have to cope with the duty benefit limitations to enter the European market.
    Until about 24 months ago, the fishery resources of the country were mainly going to Europe, which used to buy most of the hake caught, and Africa, where whitemouth croaker and stripped weakfish were sent. However, in 2012, there was a fall in shipments to the European market, and in recent months, seafood exports to African territory also decreased.
    Until October 2013, Nigeria was the main buyer of whitemouth croaker and imported 70 per cent of the production of this species. Nevertheless, from that date, the Nigerian government decided to close the import market for fish.
    According to the head of the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (Dinara), Daniel Gilardoni, Nigeria bought fish for USD 1,200 million annually in different parts of the world, newspaper El Pais reported.

    Source: Fish Info & Services


    Link Read More


  6. Trade relations upgrade between EU and Cuba hinges on human rights
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union (EU) may consider upgrading the bloc's trade relations with Cuba, but only if Cuba respects human rights, said Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, Foreign Minister of Spain. He told reporters in Brussels that EU countries have asked the European Commission (EC) to explore the opportunity of reaching an association agreement with Cuba. These agreements usually pave the way for trade liberalization with countries outside the 28 EU member states.
    But Garcia Margallo warned that any association agreement "would have, as a determining factor, respect for human rights." Garcia Margallo informed that EU foreign ministers will discuss Cuba at a meeting on Monday 10 February. Any changes to EU policy would require the approval of all EU nations.Statistics and EU figures show the bloc is already Cuba's second-largest trading partner, after Venezuela. A formal association agreement would grant Cuba privileged status and closer relations.
    Cuba has endorsed a series of reforms since Raul Castro became president in 2006. The changes have included opening up Internet access and allowing Cubans to run their own businesses and travel abroad without asking permission from the government. But Cuban authorities still consider as subversive dissidents anyone who take foreign money to try to undermine the Communist system. Cuba also refutes holding any political prisoners.
    EU-Cuba relations are governed by a constructive engagement policy adopted in 2006 with the Caribbean island's government as opposed to coercive measures such as the economic sanctions enforced by the United States.

    Source: FOX news


    Link Source
    Link Read More


  7. EU to announce new support for security and elections in CAR
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, has announced on Friday 31 January 2014 that the European Commission stands ready to give new support in the range of €25 million to the African Union-led operation in the Central African Republic, (Mission Internationale de Soutien à la Centrafrique sous Conduite Africaine, MISCA), based on a request to be done by the African Union. The announcement was done ahead of a donors’ conference in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to mobilise resources for MISCA.
    Subject to an on-going evaluation of the current needs, the EU also stands ready to support the electoral process in the CAR with around €20 million. This new support will go towards putting in place voter registration, electoral operations (such as printing ballot papers, providing training, equipment and staff, as well as voter education) and involving civil society groups as domestic observers.
    In addition, given the immediate humanitarian needs, Commissioner Piebalgs recently announced the mobilisation of an additional €10 million from the European Development Fund for humanitarian assistance to the CAR. The EU is the largest provider of relief assistance to the country, providing €76 million in 2013.
    The security situation in the CAR, particularly in Bangui, has been temporarily stabilised thanks to the French military operation Sangaris and the deployment since 19 December of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic, MISCA. Nonetheless, the situation remains extremely concerning, volatile and fragile.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  8. 2030 climate and energy goals for the EU economy
    2014-02-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Climate change , Energy

    A reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below the 1990 level, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%, renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies, a new governance system and a set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system. These are the pillars of the new EU framework on climate and energy for 2030 presented today by the European Commission.
    Supported by a detailed analysis on energy prices and costs, the 2030 framework will ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States, leading to the development of new technologies. The framework aims to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy and a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers, increases the security of the EU’s energy supplies, reduces our dependence on energy imports and creates new opportunities for growth and jobs, by taking into account potential price impacts on the longer term.
    The Communication setting out the 2030 framework will be debated at the highest level, in particular in the European Council and European Parliament. It is accompanied by a legislative proposal for a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) starting in 2021, to improve its robustness. A report on energy prices and costs in Europe, published alongside the Communication, suggests that the rising energy prices can be partly mitigated by ensuring cost effective energy and climate policies, competitive energy markets and improved energy efficiency.
    The framework builds on the existing ‘climate and energy package’ of targets for 2020 as well as the Commission’s 2050 roadmaps for energy and for a competitive low-carbon economy. The Communication on the 2030 policy framework follows the Commission’s March 2013 Green Paper, which launched a broad public consultation on the most appropriate range and structure of climate and energy targets for 2030. These documents reflect the EU's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 as part of the effort needed from developed countries.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  9. A sustainable fishing future in the EU and abroad
    2014-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A new generation of Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) come into force from 2013-2017, and with a new policy comes a new name. For the EU the same principles and standards that apply to fleets in European waters should also apply abroad. And when fishing in third-country waters, adequate support must be provided to the local fisheries sector for its sustainable development. The new agreements are therefore science-based, fair and sustainable, governed by enforceable regulations, strengthened in their monitoring and control framework and fully transparent.
    The new SFPAs also separate the EU’s payment for access rights from its financial contributions to the partner country’s fisheries. EU support to local fishing sectors will help to build the scientific, administrative and technical capacity of local partners for the sustainable development of their fisheries. There has been a strengthening in the governance of the agreements, in particular when it comes to human rights. The human rights clause in the new SFPAs is indicative of the EU’s commitment to protect the same principles at home and abroad.
    The EU signed a new six-year Protocol to their FPA with the Seychelles on 10 May 2013 that guarantees the long-term continuity of the most significant tuna agreement for the EU in the Indian Ocean, both in terms of the fishing opportunities it provides the EU fleet, and, in turn, the financial benefits derived by the Seychelles as a result of the EU’s fleet activity in the region. The new Protocol to the EU-Seychelles FPA, the largest tuna agreement currently in place, allows forty EU purse seiners and longline vessels to fish for tuna and other highly migratory species in the Seychelles EEZ. In return, the EU is paying over EUR 5 million annually for two years, half of which will support the Seychelles fisheries policy. The EU will then pay EUR 5 million annually for the remaining four years, half of which will again be allocated to the local fisheries sector.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  10. MEPs approved fisheries agreement with Kiribati
    2014-01-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Parliament (EP) has given its consent to the new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Kiribati, during its last plenary session held in Strasbourg. The European Commission underlined that the Protocol will contribute to develop Kiribati's local economy and promote the sustainable long term development of its fisheries sector, in accordance with EU's policy to promote sustainability, good governance and the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in its new Fisheries Partnership Agreements,
    European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki welcomed the vote by saying: "The agreement with Kiribati reconfirms our commitment to sustainability in our international agreements and is fully consistent with the principles of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. The agreement ensures the EU fleet's presence in the Pacific Ocean and enhances the EU's position in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, while helping to foster co-operation in the Pacific region."
    This new Protocol will cover a period of three years (until September 2015) and offers fishing opportunities for tuna vessels. Out of the EU annual financial contribution EUR 1,325,000, EUR 350,000 has entirely been allocated for sectoral policy support to help the Republic of Kiribati to promote responsible and sustainable fishing in their waters. The protocol will ensure that the local fisheries resources are exploited at a responsible and sustainable level in particular by calculating fishing opportunities for the EU fleet on the basis of the scientific recommendations.
    Fishing opportunities under this Protocol will be of the use for the shipowners coming from Spain, France and Portugal.

    Source: Fish Information & Services




    Link Read More


  11. EU and Eastern and South Africa region meet in Brussels
    2014-01-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The third meeting of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Committee under the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) between the EU and the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region was held in Brussels on Tuesday 28 January 2014. Meeting back-to-back with the EPA Committee, the two Sub-Committees – the Customs Cooperation Committee and the Joint Development Committee –discussed trade, customs and cooperation issues related to iEPA implementation. The ESA countries of Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe all participated in the meetings.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  12. EU gives 67 M. Euros to Mauritania under fish agreement
    2014-01-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Regional Fisheries

    The European Union (EU) has granted the Mauritanian government 67 million euros under a fisheries accord signed between the two parties in August 2012, the EU announced on Thursday 9 January in Nouakchott.
    The amount correspond to the EU's annual contribution under the fisheries protocol that will expire on 15 December 2014. Around 130 million euros (against 80 million euros under previous accords) are dedicated to Mauritania  under the current partnership agreement with EU
    The EU said it would carry on the partnership in the context of negotiations for a future fisheries protocol this year. There is also better protection of some over-exploited species whose stocks are feared to be running out. The European fleet is currently authorised to catch 300,000 tons of fish in Mauritanian waters per annum.

    Source: Panapress.com


    Link Source


  13. West Africa to resume EPA negotiations with EU
    2014-01-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    West Africa and the European Union (EU) will resume their suspended Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations before the end of January as disclosed in a statement issued by ECOWAS Assistant Director of Communication, Mr Sunny Ugoh, in Abuja on Thursday 23 January 2014.
    The statement says that the resumption of the negotiations followed the directive calling for flexibility in the process  taken by the ECOWAS  during the extraordinary summit in Dakar in October 2013. “The summit also directed West Africa’s chief negotiators to expeditiously resume negotiations with their European partners with a view to concluding a regional agreement as soon as possible,’’ it says.
    The document recalls that negotiations were suspended in 2012 following divergences mainly over market access conditions and the EPA Development Programme (EPADP). It described EPADP as a dedicated funding programme to enable West Africa cope with the cost of adjustment to the impending trade regime.
    The statement also indicates that West Africa, comprising the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania, also asked for 15billion Euros of additional funding for the EPADP. However it reminds that the EU insisted that the programme should be funded from existing bilateral and multilateral contributions.
    The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a scheme to create a free trade area between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

    Source: BusinessDayOnline.com


    Link Source


  14. EU and South Africa to step up cooperation in science and innovation
    2014-01-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    The EU and South Africa will step up collaboration in the fields of global health research, earth observation and research infrastructures, senior officials agreed at a meeting in Brussels on Jan. 13. The 12th Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee meeting took place to review and plan new priorities of collaboration under the new EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and similar South African research programmes.
    Scientific collaboration between South Africa and the EU was established under the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement concluded in 1996 and which entered into force in November 1997. South Africa is also very committed in playing a role to strengthen EU scientific cooperation with the rest of Africa. It takes part in the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (2007).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU and Africa to forge research and innovation partnership on food security
    Link First European Innovation Partnership meeting


  15. European Commission welcomes EMFF agreement
    2014-01-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Commission (EC) has welcomed yesterday (28/01/2014)  the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the 2014-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The agreement is a crucial step towards the EMFF coming into force later this year to support the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
    European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, welcomed the agreement: "I am pleased to note agreement has now been reached on the EMFF. Compromises are always necessary in such discussions but I am happy that the fund will focus on promoting a sustainable future for the fishing industry and coastal communities. I now look forward to finalising the adoption process and start funding projects on the ground as soon as possible".
    The EMFF will support the implementation of the recently adopted reform of the CFP, in particular the rebuilding of fish stocks, reducing the impact of fisheries on the marine environment, and the progressive elimination of wasteful discarding practices. It will support the improvement of fisheries data collection to allow decisions to be based on robust evidence, and fisheries control programmes to ensure that the rules on responsible and sustainable fishing are respected and complied with.
    The EMFF will co-finance projects alongside national funding streams with each Member State receiving a share of the total budget. Member States will draw up an operational programme, specifying how they intend to spend the money thus allocated and, once approved by the Commission, the national authorities will decide which projects they wish to support. A legal and technical review of the text agreed today will now be undertaken before a vote in EP plenary and conclusion by the Council finalise the adoption process.


    Source: European Commission




    Link Read More


  16. EU in joint launch of WTO negotiations for green goods agreement
    2014-01-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    In the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos the EU, together with 13 other WTO members, today pledged to launch negotiations in the WTO on liberalising trade in so-called 'green goods'. The initiative builds on the ground-breaking success of the 9th WTO Ministerial in Bali last month.
    The aim of this initiative is to eliminate tariffs on a broad list of green goods. Developing countries, in particular, which, in addition to environmental issues, often face challenges posed by rapid urbanisation, are expected to gain from easier and cheaper access to environmental goods, services and technologies. 'Green goods' are seen as a vital component in sustainable development and cover areas as diverse as tackling air pollution, managing waste, or generating renewable energy like wind or solar.
    This initiative will contribute to meeting the EU new ambitious green-house gas emissions reduction and renewable energy targets announced in the Commission's 2030 climate and energy framework this week."I'm delighted to launch this 'green goods' initiative," declared EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "The EU is firmly committed to promoting and liberalising trade in 'green goods and services'. All WTO members need better access to the goods and technologies that protect our environment and combat climate change. Today's commitment is an important trade contribution towards addressing key environmental challenges as part of our broader, ambitious sustainable growth agenda"
    The EU Trade Commissioner also called upon other WTO Members to join the effort to create a global green goods agreement that would cover most of world trade and generate benefits for all WTO Members.

    Source: Europan Commission


    Link Read More


  17. €140 million released to support development in Guinea
    2014-01-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Commission has released almost €140 million to finance five development projects for the Republic of Guinea. Following inclusive and peaceful elections held on 28 September 2013, the European Union was able to resume full cooperation with the country and release the funds from the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) (2008 2013).
    The funds will be used to support the Government's efforts in promoting good governance, protecting human rights and improving mobility and road infrastructure. 'The European Union is committed to supporting the Guinean Government's efforts in finding its way back to sustainable and fair growth. The success of the projects planned for the benefit of the population is guaranteed by the strengthening of national capabilities and a participatory approach' stated Andris Piebalgs, Member of the European Commission in charge of Development.
    Cooperation with Guinea had been suspended following the coup in December 2008 (except for humanitarian and emergency aid, direct assistance to the population and measures to accompany the democratic transition). The balance of the 10th EDF National Indicative Programme (€139.9 million), which had been frozen for several years, was released following the inclusive and peaceful legislative elections held on 28 September 2013. Resuming these projects has meant that it has been possible to put the whole of the 10th EDF allocated to Guinea to use: €174.3 million in programmable aid and €61.5 million in emergency aid.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  18. Eat, buy and sell sustainable fish says Fisheries Commissioner
    2014-01-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On Monday 27 January, Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, launched the European Commission's 'Inseparable' campaign to promote sustainable fishing across Europe at an event in Hamburg's International Maritime Museum, co-hosted by the city's mayor, Olaf Scholz.  The event builds on the momentum of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy which came into force in January 2014. Damanaki urged informed citizens, members of the industry, retailers, restaurant owners and consumers to sell, buy, cook and eat only sustainable fish.
    Damanaki insisted that in the fisheries sector, the environment is the economy. There is no separating the two. Fisheries Ministers of Europe understand this and just one month ago they unanimously agreed fish quotas at sustainable level. The decision means European Union (EU) have tripled the number of fish stocks fished at sustainable level in 2014 to 27 and for 2015 the EU can reach 30 fish stocks fished sustainably. Considering that EU started with 9 fish stocks only a few years ago this is a massive achievement.
    The overall objective of the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to make fishing sustainable. The policy aims at stopping overfishing, putting an end to discarding, stopping top down decisions, making room for regionalization and giving the stakeholders a role in decision making. This message is taken up as the core principle of the Inseparable campaign which provides practical information to European consumers and other market actors on how they can eat, buy, and sell sustainable fish.
    Observers say that the previous common fisheries policy was cumbersome and outdated. It prescribed everything top down and that often let vested interests prevail over environmental considerations and jobs. “In the past we assumed that whatever we did, the oceans would find a way to regenerate. But we went too far. We became entangled in the vicious circle of overfishing: less fish in the sea, more fishing, even less fish in the sea” Damanaki recalls.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read More


  19. Zambia: EU to Give Zambia K3 Billion
    2014-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Energy, Agriculture, Archive

    The European Union (EU) will give Zambia 484 million Euros (about K3.63 billion) support for the period between 2014 and 2020 for development projects and governance issues.
    This follows talks held between the Zambian Government and the EU on future Strategic Partnership at which the 11th European Development Fund Programme was subsequently negotiated.
    The discussions and negotiations were held on the sidelines of the East, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region - European Development Fund (EDF) Programming Seminar held recently in Brussels Belgium.
    Outgoing Deputy Minister of Finance Keith Mukata headed the Zambian delegation while the EU was represented by Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs and EU Ambassador to Zambia Gilles Hervio.
    According to a statement released in Lusaka yesterday by Ministry of Finance public relations officer, Chileshe Kandeta, the cooperation will focus on energy, agriculture and governance.
    In the energy sector the proposed support is expected to compliment the resource requirements for rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam, and the promotion of technology transfer through solar power projects, as an alternative household energy source aimed to replacing charcoal and firewood.

    Source: AllAfrica.com


    Link Read more


  20. EU set to extend Somalian anti-piracy force until 2016
    2014-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The EU is poised to prolong the life of Operation Atalanta, a multi-million euro counter-piracy naval force off the coast of Somalia, as part of the bloc’s comprehensive approach to state-building and peace-making in the Horn of Africa.
    The mandate for the force was due to run out in December 2014, but an EU official speaking on condition of anonymity cited “good indications” that it would be extended.
    “There is now no reason to believe that member states would not extend it,” the source said. “It is even likely to be extended for two more years.”
    The programme, which is thought to cost over €100 million a year, protects international shipping and takes active steps to counter piracy, as well as monitoring fishing activities.
    It is viewed by Brussels as one of a raft of tools - including financial aid and the training of security forces - necessary for the EU's 'comprehensive approach' to state-building and peace-making in the Horn of Africa, meshing humanitarian and political tracks.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link  EU leads international counter piracy efforts



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Editor: Etienne GOFFIN (goffin@cta.int)

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