Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Amethis Finance, a Paris-based company focused on investing in debt and equity in Africa, is seeking to raise Sh36 billion for investment in 11 countries including Kenya. Amethis Fund II is a 10-year closed-end generalist private equity fund targeting mid-market companies in financial institutions, fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare, agribusiness, education, IT and telecommunications. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private lending arm, is proposing to inject Sh1.8 billion in equity investment into the fund, its disclosures indicate. Amethis has in the past years invested in Chase Bank, Ramco Group and Kenafric Industries.

The Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between the Government of Barbados and the Italian Republic has entered into force in accordance with Article 30 of the Agreement. The instruments of ratification for the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion were exchanged by the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, and Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Caribbean of the Italian Republic, Paulo Serpi. The entry into force of the Barbados/Italian Republic DTA represents not only Barbados’ firm strides to expand its treaty network, but it also signals the country’s willingness to foster closer ties with Italy and the European Union in particular.

Developing import substitution on exports of fruit and vegetables and addressing market opportunities was on the agenda of a workshop organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) in Nadi yesterday. The two-day discussions were part of the Improving Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) project implemented by SPC and funded by the European Union. According to SPC, participants would discuss factors generating the selection of produce and ingredients, particularly in terms of menu design at Fiji's resorts, trading of local produce and the ability to meet the demands of resorts as well as production models used to grow produce for timely and reliable local supply.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Maltese based AquaBioTech is to hold an aquaculture workshop in Cameroon later this month as part of its African development strategy. The event will take place during the Cameroon International SME Trade Fair (PMEXCHANGE), in Douala on November 22. The trade fair attracts more than 150 exhibitors and brings together SMEs and multinational companies, as well as thousands of visitors from across Cameroon. It is organised by Enterprises of Cameroon (ECAM) every two years. The three-hour workshop – titled Aquaculture Opportunities in Cameroon – will cover various topics, from production and operational issues to profitability, opportunities, sharing good practices and the success factors for the aquaculture business.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said in spite of some challenges, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to help local and regional companies penetrate European markets. “It (the EPA) has the potential to expand market opportunities for the regional private sector within the European Union (EU) ” she said. Gopee-Scoon spoke yesterday at the Third Meeting of the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders opened on Tuesday 24th October, in the presence of HRH Princess Astrid, a seminar on human rights in the private sector. The topic of the seminar was more specifically the prevention and abolition of child labor in the cocoa supply chain. Cocoa is the main export product of Côte d’Ivoire. Minister Reynders’ speech was followed by other interventions, testimonies and a debate where all parties involved in this topic were brought together.

Ministers and senior officials responsible for trade from 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries reaffirmed their strong and resounding commitment to the multilateral trading system, at the conclusion of the 20th ACP Ministerial Trade Committee meeting held in Brussels on 18-19 October. The meeting, chaired by the vice president and minister of foreign affairs of Guyana, Carl Greenidge, focussed on enhancing intra-ACP trade, including through a joint approach to commodities and agricultural value chains, as well as examining trade issues between the ACP and EU countries.

Monday, 30 October 2017

An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change. Investing in food species such as drought-tolerant Ethiopian durum wheat or the frost-resistant Andean grain canahua can make food supply chains more resistant to climate shocks, according to research published on Tuesday by Bioversity International.

Friday, 27 October 2017

One year after enacting the EU-South African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), officials from the EU and South Africa gathered in Johannesburg to review its progress and consider next steps. The EU-SADC EPA entered into force in October 2016, and is designed to be an asymmetrical, development-oriented agreement. The accord has been signed by six of the 15 SADC members, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The EPA grants all of those countries, with the exception of South Africa, duty-free, quota-free access to the European market, while improving market access for Johannesburg. The 28-nation EU ranks as the largest trading partner for these countries, with European Commission statistics placing imports at over €30 billion in minerals, metals, and other products in 2015.

The EU is set to import a record volume of bananas this year as consumption continues to rise across the continent. The 28 countries of the EU imported some 6.1 million tonnes of bananas in 2016, up from 5.9mt in 2015 and 5.4mt in 2014. That represents an average four per cent growth rate since 2012, and a 21 per cent increase since 2006. That trend is set to continue with five per cent growth in imports recorded for the first quarter of 2017 versus the same period the year before, according to figures presented at the International Banana Congress by Carolina Dawson of French research centre Cirad.

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