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Monday, 16 July 2018

Long term lender, the European Investment Bank has extended Shs 45bn (EUR13million) credit line to Uganda's indigenous bank, Housing Finance Bank for the latter to lend out to local firms especially small and medium enterprises. This is the second time the two institutions are partnering for the same cause. The new credit line signed at the end of last month by representatives of the two institutions is expected to target players in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism among other sectors. Housing Finance Managing Director, Mathias Katamba said at the signing ceremony: "We are delighted to deepen our partnership with the EIB in supporting the development of SMEs in various sectors of the economy."

A recently published JRC study identified the following geographic regions as prone to desertification: north-eastern Brazil, south-western Argentina, the southern Sahel, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Sub-Himalayan India, and north-eastern China. These areas were identified by analysing spatial changes in climate indicators over the last 60 years.The analysis highlighted significant shifts in climate zones at global and continental scales between the periods 1951-1980 and 1981-2010. Over the past decades, a continuous rise in global air temperatures has resulted in changes in the global hydrological cycle, classifying climate zones as hotter and more arid.

Industrialization can be an important tool for poverty and hunger reduction but should not come at the expense of agricultural development, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today. “Industrial development and agriculture should complement each other,” he told participants at the Second Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development Forum (ISID Forum II) in Vienna (3-4 November).

Graziano da Silva stressed the need to strengthen links between agriculture and other sectors of the economy to build sustainable food systems. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also speaking at the event organized by the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO), underscored this point, saying that promoting food security should be a priority for industrial development. Supporting farmers to add value to the food chain goes beyond the monetary dimension of increasing their incomes, Graziano da Silva argued, saying: “It means more nutritious and healthy foods, produced sustainably.” There is no one-size-fits-all formula to creating sustainable and inclusive industrialized economies, he added, underscoring the role of FAO and UNIDO in assisting developing countries in finding their own way forward by building on and adapting the successful experiences of other countries.

The East African Community and the European Union will have the sovereign right of imposing sanitary and phytosanitary measures on certain products exported into their markets. According to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed between the EU and the EAC this month, the measures can also be imposed by an individual country belonging to either bloc for safety reasons. The majority of the products targeted are animal and plant products. However, the agreement requires the party imposing the measures to consult the other prior to the introduction of the new sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), through the notification mechanisms provided for in the agreement.

The European Union will provide an additional €650,000 to assist the work of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the body in charge of the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the Pacific. The funds, to be made available over the period 2014-2020, are being channelled through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) - the maritime and policy making arm of the EU. Every year, the European Union earmarks funds to finance specific fisheries projects implemented by regional fisheries management organisations all over the world.