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 European Union has pledged $30 million to fund development of the livestock value chain in Zimbabwe. The money is part of a $300 million funding programme announced in 2015 to support health, agriculture and governance initiatives through the European Development Fund’s National Indicative Programme. “In pursuit of inclusive and sustainable agriculture based value chains, the European Union in Zimbabwe has launched a new call for proposals to support upgrading and upscaling of livestock based value chains with a proven potential in terms of economic performance and inclusiveness,” the EU said in a statement on Tuesday.

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.

In the early hours of Saturday (18 November), after 16 hours of negotiations, the EU member states and the European Parliament struck a deal on the EU’s budget for 2018, three days before the end of the conciliation period on 20 November at midnight. Total commitments are set at €160.1bn and payments at €144.7bn.Finance Ministers rejected the European Parliament’s proposal to increase external spending and agreed to limit funding at €9.57bn, a decrease of €868m, or 8%, below the final 2017 budget, with €256m left unallocated in the margin. Compared to 2017, long-term development aid was cut by 6%, however health and education funding will increase to €206m and agriculture, food security and nutrition funding will rise to €217m in 2018.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Communities of Luro in Lautem municipality, Timor-Leste, gathered on October 28th 2017 for the handover ceremonies of five rainwater harvesting tanks. The tanks, made of ferro-cement can hold 10,000 liters of rain and spring water and provides water to 15-20 household members for group-managed horticulture activities. Seven more tanks are due for handover soon to seven other aldeias (sub-villages). The installation of the tanks comes as part of the Integrated Actions for Resilience and Adaptation (IA4RA) to climate change project that works in the nine villages in the area of the Raumoco Watershed. Financial assistance to construct the tanks was provided by the European Union as part of the EU-GIZ Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (EU-GIZ ACSE) Programme.

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.

Tuesday, 31 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.

The European Union (EU) has set aside $7 million (R96 million) for proposals for a project that would strengthen the agriculture value chain in Zimbabwe. The funding was included in the 11th European Development Fund and National Indicative Plan, signed by the European Union and Zimbabwe in February 2015. In implementing the plan the European Union had allocated $50 million (€40 million, R640 million) up until 2020, towards developing the country’s agricultural sector.

Friday, 27 October 2017

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.

A total of 25 banks and 66 bidders took part in this year’s cocoa purchases loan arrangement with Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has said. COCOBOD realised $1.3 billion from the syndicated loan facility to buy cocoa beans for the 2017/2018 crop season at an interest of 0.65 percent. The signing ceremony, which took place in Paris, France on Wednesday 20 September, marked the 25th anniversary of Ghana’s engagement in soft commodity financing on the international market. Mr Aidoo, who addressed the media in Accra Wednesday via a telephone interview from Paris shortly after signing of the deal, described it as one of the best interest rates.

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