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Monday, 23 October 2017

ACP Secretariat

24 September:         36th Session of ACP Parliamentary Assembly

EU Council

24 September:        COREPER I

                                   COREPER II

28 September:        Informal Meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers

European Parliament

22-25 September:   European Parliament Committee Meetings

25 September:         Bureau of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly

25-26 September:   Committee on Political Affairs

                                    Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade

                                    Committee on Social Affairs and Environment

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EUR 120 million of the EUR 225 million pledged by the European Union to Mali at the Brussels conference have already been paid out between June and December 2013. However, before issuing the remainder, the EU wants reassurances regarding the proper utilisation of its aid.Pierre AMILHAT, Director West and Central Africa at the European Commission of the European Union, has written to the Malian authorities informing them that the European budget aid has been frozen until the audit which the Commission wants to carry out in order to check the regularity of certain questionable operations financed out of the State’s budget.

Two year ago, for health reasons, honey imports were halted. Since then, however, the beekeeping sector has thrived. In five years, the number of hives has almost doubled and production is now as high as a hundred tonnes a year. Beekeeping in French Polynesia turned an important corner two years ago when the Polynesian borders were closed to honey imports. The idea was to leave the market available to local producers.

Down with Eurocentrism and selfishness! While there is strong opposition to the trade agreement imposed by the “evil Yanks”, it is also important to recognise that the latter do not have a monopoly when it comes to injustice and pressure. Or how the European Union is acting tough in West Africa. On10 July, 16 Western African Heads of State (i.e. the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Mauritania) signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). The signature of this agreement follows years of secret negotiations, which is nothing new…

Cameroon is Diageo’s fourth largest market worldwide and ranks a close second to Nigeria as the brewery’s biggest African market. This was revealed by Andy Fennell, Diageo President for the Africa Region, during a visit to Cameroon earlier this week.

Cameroon’s position as a strategic market for the British brewing group can be explained by rising disposable income, a growing middle class, a strong beer presence in the country and the iconic status of some spirits.

In order to strengthen this position, Guinness Cameroon, – the local subsidiary of Diageo – last December signed an agreement with government which will see local producers grow and supply about 50 percent (up from 20) of some of the raw materials used by the brewery. The 50 million CFA francs agreement is backed by the World Bank and falls within the framework of an Agricultural Development and Investment Project implemented by the local government.

Cameroon is today part of the five major countries in Diageo’s African Regional Market which constitute two thirds of the beer and premium spirits volume.

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