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Newsletter 297

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2019
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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Namibia will not sign a 'bad' Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that limits its ability to solve domestic developmental agenda problems, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein has said. Schlettwein said it will not serve any purpose to sign a bad EPA, since current provisions do not build developmental elements into the fabric of the agreement, but rather endeavor to do it in an add-on manner which is not helpful.

Last month the European Commission unveiled its ‘Agenda for Change’, a new policy framework outlining priorities for the European Union’s development aid and detailing the Commission’s renewed focus on economic growth as a means of poverty reduction, particularly in the world’s poorest countries.

Combating excessive commodity price volatility and enhancing G20 commitments to development – these are two of the priority areas that the heads of state of the main emerging and developed economies, the Group of 20 or G20, will discuss during the meeting in Cannes this 3 and 4 November. Next to the need to foster economic growth and to impose better rules on the international financial system, the French G20 presidency has laid a decisive focus on assuring that G20 nations do not widen the gap that separates them from developing and least developed countries.

Participants in recent regional meetings paving the way for the Rio+20 Conference next June have struggled to find agreement on the concept of a ‘green economy.’ While some see a redefinition of the economy in green terms as a path towards sustainable development, others fear the concept is synonymous with green trade protectionism and conditionalities - to the point where participants at one regional meeting chose not to mention the green economy in their meeting conclusions.

Thursday, 03 November 2011

The European Union and UNICEF launched a new $430 million fund to give pregnant women and children free access to hospitals in Zimbabwe, after Zimbabwe’s national health care system collapsed under the impact of economic crisis. The new fund not only aims at providing safe childbirth and maternal health but also to foster capacity-building in the area of maternal care and in other areas. Several European countries like the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Norway participate in the fund.