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EDITO
Wednesday, 17 January 2018

'Peste des petits ruminants' (PPR) or goat plague Goat plagueis a fast spreading virus, which impoverishes millions of small farmers across Africa and Asia. It attacks sheep and goats - crucial to the livelihood of more than 300 million herders in the developing world, costing some $2 billion a year, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Despite an effective vaccine which can protect animals, PPR has spread rapidly in the past 15 years into more than 60 countries due to lack of political will to help the majority poor farmers that come face to face with the disease. A plan to eliminate the virus by 2030 through vaccinations and other means is expected to cost between $4 billion and $7 billion.

The Government of The Gambia, and Zoeve Seed Company, an agricultural investment firm based in Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province, are signing a deal on agricultural investment. The firm is expected to begin its investment with an initial target of 1000 hectares of rice. Zoeve's investment in The Gambia is expected to provide technology of high yield cultivation, post-harvesting, value chain and value-added processing crops, including rice, maize, fox tail millet and vegetables. The deal is in keeping with the Gambian President Jammeh's Vision 2016 initiative for agricultural development. The aim of the government is not only to produce for local consumption but also with a surplus for export.

African and Asian leaders met at the 60th anniversary of the Summit of African and Asian leaders in Jakarta,  Indonesia. Leaders of Asian and African countries pledged to gain leverage in setting the rules of global trade and diplomacy, and highlighted China’s role as a global financier. They also discussed efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime, support an independent Palestinian state and expand trade, investment, educational and other ties. “We support a trade system that is more fair, pro-development and inclusive,” said Indonesian President Joko Widodo. “The summit has given the message to the world that living conditions in the world are far from being fair and peaceful.”

Friday, 15 May 2015

Sushma Swaraj, the foreign minister of India, will cement the relationship between her country and Guyana and Suriname when she visits the region in March, a precursor to the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi shall become the first Indian head of state to visit Guyana since Indira’s Gandhi’s visit to Guyana in 1968. Indians make up about 40 to 50 percent of the population in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. They began arriving as indentured workers in Guyana in 1838 and in Suriname in 1873, mainly from the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, about 80 percent Hindus and 20 percent Muslims.

South Africa is looking to China for help to move up the value chain and quicken its industrialization, said South African minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies. Speaking at the South Africa-China Business Forum in Beijing, he explained, “South Africa's exports to China are dominated by primary mineral commodities, and those are very much dependent on the vagaries of world prices. Those commodities are also low on the value chain. Our ambition in South Africa and the African continent is to move up the value chain and to focus on industrialization, and that ambition is understood and shared by China."