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Newsletter 510

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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Monday, 24 September 2018

Europe is at last fully converted to the merits of boosting investment in order to achieve sustainable growth. The EU is doing so with an internal investment plan (commonly referred to as the Juncker Plan or as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), writes San Bilal. San Bilal is the Head of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) Economic Transformation and Trade Programme. In his State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the doubling of its duration and its amount, to at least €500 billion.

President Museveni has asked ambassadors, in France, to market Africa to Europe. "Africa's purchasing power is now at $8 trillion with a population of 1.2 billion. Remind Europeans that Africa is a growing market and they should, therefore, take interest in it," Mr Museveni said. The president made these remarks at the start of a two-day visit to France, on which he has been accompanied by Education minister, Janet Museveni, also his wife. The two were received by French ambassador to Uganda, Ms Sophie Makame, Uganda's Minister of State for International Affairs, Mr Okello Oryem and Uganda's Ambassador to France, Ms. Nimisha Madhvani.

64 Dutch firms are planning to showcase their innovations at the upcoming Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair in Kenya, demonstrating Dutch investors growing interest in the country. "This is good for the country as we only had 14 companies participating last year," said Elizabeth Kiamba, the agricultural officer at the embassy of the Netherlands. The companies will be exhibiting products derived from potato farming, aquaculture, dairy farming, horticulture and staples. The agribusiness trade fair, which has been going on for the past 11 years, will be held from September 22 to 27 at the University of Eldoret. The hosts expect to double farmer attendance from 15,000 last year.

Barbados is beginning to feel the impact of the vote by Britons to leave the European Union (EU), with tourism’s private sector reporting a fall in financial returns. While not providing figures, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer yesterday revealed that British visitors to Barbados were spending less since the vote, due to the sliding value of the pound sterling. Addressing the association’s quarterly general meeting at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Springer explained that while arrivals from the island’s primary source market have not declined, there was evidence of cut backs in spend.

Small developing states in the Pacific have traditionally relied on imports of fossil fuels. The cost of the fuel, combined with its price volatility, and the islands’ geographic remoteness, are all significant strains on these small economies. In addition, the use of fossil fuels adds to global climate change effects which pose an existential threat to many Pacific communities. It was for these reasons the European Union, the world’s largest donor of development aid, and New Zealand, a major development actor in the Pacific, decided three years ago to join forces and improve prospects across the region.