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Newsletter 508

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2019
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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Netherlands has unveiled a Euro 3,5 million ($3,9 million) fund to mitigate the effects of the El Nino induced drought through a number of strategies including providing crop and livestock inputs in the affected areas. A total of seven non-governmental organisations namely; Plan International Zimbabwe, Terres De Homes, World Vision, International Rescue committee, Cordaid and ICCO/Act-Alliance have joined hands under Zimbabwe Joint Drought Response (ZIMJR) Initiative to implement the project.

SIDA, the Swedish aid agency, is paying for Energy 4 Impact to roll out a new off-grid renewable energy support programme in Rwanda. The programme started in July and ends in June 2019. According to a release, it is designed to support government priorities to reduce poverty and increase energy access in rural areas. The Rwanda government targets to increase access to electricity to 70% by 2018 out of which 22% will be through off grid connections. As off now, off grid connections account for less than 2%

The St. Peter's Church Aided High School of England has donated maize worth K2 million to nearly 400 families of Sub-Traditional Authority (STA) Chitanthamapiri in Kasungu. The donation follows media reports on how badly the area had been affected by the dry spell most parts of the country experienced during the 2015/2016 growing season. The area under Chitanthamapiri's jurisdiction received almost no rain the past season resulting into complete loss of every crop the subjects had sown.

The last few months have seen some significant developments for African trade and integration. These advances come at a crucial time for African countries, which have been particularly hard hit by the slump in commodity prices, China’s economic downturn, and higher external borrowing costs. This has resulted in slower GDP growth than expected, currency fluctuations and reduced investment—particularly in resource-rich countries. New dynamics are emerging as a result of two major developments: first, a set of agreements between regional African blocs and the European Union, as well as between African countries themselves.

The monthly value of EU agri-food exports in June 2016 reached $12.3 billion, slightly exceeding the export values in June of previous years. EU agri-food imports went down from $11.1 billion in June 2015 to $10.8 billion in June 2016, increasing the net trade surplus from $984 million in June 2015 to $1.6 billion in June 2016, according to figures released by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical bureau. The highest increases in EU monthly export values—June 2016 compared to June 2015—were recorded for China, the United States, and Libya. Agricultural and food exports to Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Israel, and Turkey increased by $34 million or more.