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Newsletter 494

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2019
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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has commended the European Union (EU) for the development support it provides Botswana. Speaking during the EU day commemoration, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said the invaluable support goes a long way in complementing government's efforts in addressing the current development challenges, particularly that of human resource development. She said the signing of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) national indicative programme (2014-2020) between the EU and Botswana was a clear indication of Europe's determination to continue its assistance to Botswana's quest towards economic diversification. The programme covers three sectors in education, public sector reforms, measures in favour of civil society, and is in line with Botswana's national priorities.

Source: allafrica.com

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

International pressure is building on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s president to put a plan in place for elections, raising the possibility of sanctions against members of the ruling elite. European Union foreign ministers briefly discussed the situation on Monday, after urging Congo’s government to “revive as soon as possible the electoral process.” Senior officials said there was no discussion of sanctions at the meeting. Congo’s vote is currently scheduled for November, but few expect it to actually take place until 2017 after apparent foot-dragging on the part of the government. The imminent delay of the elections has raised fears among Congo’s international allies that the massive country so key to continental stability could be moving toward a violent collapse. Congo—a resource-rich nation of 80 million people the size of Western Europe—is already home to dozens of militias and barely recovered from a civil war a decade ago that killed millions. “What is happening at the national level with the elections is having an effect on the armed groups, they are increasing recruitment,” said Evie Francq, a Congo researcher with London-based advocacy group Amnesty International.

Source: wsj.com

Almost all of Europe’s maritime trade with Asia passes within a few miles of the coast of the Horn of Africa, in particular the narrow straits of the Bab al Mandab, where the tiny African country of Djibouti is separated from Yemen by less than 30 kilometers of water. The Horn of Africa — which also includes Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan — has never historically defined itself as a region. It is diverse in physical and human geography, with extraordinary linguistic diversity, and with equal numbers of Christians and Muslims. Its peoples are linked to Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean — and more recently to Europe and America. But they rarely convene as the people of the Horn. Rather, the Horn of Africa has been defined by outsiders, particularly the world’s great powers, as a region that spells trouble (...) Out of desperation, the EU has started to overcome its scruples and provide development aid to Eritrea.

Source: opendemocracy.net

Over 50 world leaders and 5 000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders gather on 23-24 May, in Istanbul, to share responsibility to reverse the trend for increasing humanitarian needs and improve the effectiveness of response. The European Union (EU) and its Member States will jointly call for a global partnership for a more efficient and effective humanitarian aid system at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. As a major donor and key policy-setter, the EU and its Member States will play a leading role at the Summit on 23-24 May, where over 50 world leaders and some 5,000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders gather to shift from response to crisis towards effectively managing prevention and early action and supporting resilience and self-reliance. Worldwide, over 125 million men, women and children are in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite record contributions in recent years, donors cannot fully cover the growing humanitarian needs generated by today’s emergencies.

Source: europa.eu

On Sunday 22 May, an Italian ship, the “Santa Francesca” left the port of Lobito, a town in Angola, with a cargo of 17 tons of bananas headed for Portugal. This was the first shipment of Angolan bananas headed to Europe in 42 years, Angolan national radio (RNA) reported. The head of the Fazenda Agro-Industrial Bacilin in Culango, Benguela province, Eduardo Rodrigues told RNA that after inspections and quality certifications in Angola and at the destination, everything was ready for Angola's first banana exports to Europe. Angola, which once produced 160,000 tons of bananas per year, with Benguela the main focus of production, is now exporting bananas from Benguela once again, 42 years after the last shipment.

Source: freshplaza.com