Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

The second High Level Political Dialogue between the European Union and Fiji under article 8 of the ACP-EU partnership (Cotonou) Agreement was held in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday. The meeting which was a continuation of last year’s dialogue in Suva was opened by Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama. Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Action Service, Gunnar Wiegand, outlined priorities for international and regional cooperation with Fiji arising from global challenges such as climate change, oceans and migration.

An official of European Union, John Clarke, has projected Nigeria to be an agricultural powerhouse in 10 years time with the entrepreneurial spirit of the people and its abundant land. Clarke, who is the Director, International and Bilateral Relations of the EU, made the projection at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Investment Conference in Lagos. The conference was part of the activities marking the 30th Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the chamber slated for November 4 to 13. Clarke said: “Positive policies geared toward attracting investment into the agricultural sector will make the projection a reality.”

Finnish manufacturing firms have expressed interest to invest in Rwanda’s agriculture sector. The investors explored investment opportunities and strategies to forge business ties with local investors last week. While receiving the investors at her office in Kigali, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, pledged government support, adding that there are investment opportunities in agro-processing, packaging, fruit canning, floriculture and coffee processing, among others. The minister said government is seeking more investors in agriculture to help accelerate the sector’s growth, stimulate Rwanda’s economic transformation, and enhance and diversify agro-exports.

For the Council to authorise the European Commission to make a deal on behalf of the EU for a new agreement with Guinea-Bissau, before the expiry of the current protocol, which has been in force since 2014, an independent ex-post assessment (covering the first two years of application of the agreement) and ex-ante assessment has been carried out. According to the final report, outlining the results of this assessment, the protocol in force since 2015 has allowed for catches of 16,042 tonnes of demersal fish and 2,194 tonnes of tuna, 1,407 tonnes of which from the joint management zone (64 per cent of catches of tuna vessels). The contribution of this protocol to the EU market for tuna has been 1 per cent. Meanwhile, in terms of work, the Protocol has helped to create an estimated 497 direct and 240 indirect jobs over the period, divided between the EU and ACP countries.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Last Tuesday, the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture (COMAGRI) approved a resolution, submitted by Socialist MEP Clara Aguilera, rejecting the amendments that the European Commission intends to make to the current EU Plant Protection Law, which would entail changes in the controls on citrus fruit imports from third countries.