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EDITO
Wednesday, 22 November 2017

"Catastrophic" levels of illegal fishing in west Africa are costing the region millions in lost revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, a development think tank said Wednesday. Countries such as Senegal, Sierra Leone and Mauritania are missing out on vital income because of the masses of fish taken from their waters by trawlers from as far afield as South Korea, according to research by Britain's Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Senegal lost $300 million, or 2.0 percent of its GDP, to the practice in 2012, while Sierra Leone - one of the region's poorest nations - missed out on $29 million, said the report, entitled "Western Africa's Missing Fish". A lack of government transparency in the region, limited capacity to patrol the seas and legal loopholes once west Africa's fish arrive in Europe, its biggest market, were all contributing to the situation, report author Alfonso Daniels told AFP.

SADC countries still show the least level of biotechnology development owing largely to the precautionary approach of governments in guiding the use of biotechnology in agriculture and the negative perceptions emanating from the European Union’s stand on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), researchers say. According to the latest Assuring Agricultural and Food Safety of GMOs in Southern Africa (GMASSURE) bulletin, Dr Jane Morris, a South African-based biotechnology consultant says the EU’s negative perceptions on GMOs has stalled the adoption of the technology among SADC countries.

The East African Business Council (EABC) has underscored the importance for the East African Community (EAC) partner states to fast track the signing of a new trade regime with the European Union (EU). Though EAC partner states have proposed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signing ceremony to be in the first week of the August, this year, the EABC recommends18th July, 2016 to take advantage of the EU Commissioner for Trade who will be in Nairobi attending UNCTAD XIV Conference. The EABC expectations are that ministers for trade from all EAC member states will also attend the UNCTAD Conference and therefore could be able to sign the EAC-EU-EPA on the same date in order to project the region as a functional Customs Union.

Nigerian agricultural and allied products now have a major boost in regional and international markets following a recent harmonization of standards exercise carried out by the Africa Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).(...)Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Idinakide Eva, an expert on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the ACP TBT programme of the European Union, said the programme was not for only women development but for overall development and facilitation of trade, noting that the programme had three different dimensions which include supporting quality infrastructure, supporting the private sector and disseminating information to support the development of relevant data uploading on the website of ARSO.

Jamaica joined the Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries in analysing the decision of Britain to leave the European Union saying it could also affect the island’s overall relationship with Europe. In a statement, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said Jamaica applauded the United Kingdom “for the fact that the referendum (popularly known as “Brexit”) was conducted freely and fairly, with due regard for the strong democratic tradition, which has been the hallmark of the UK political process”.