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Newsletter 522

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2019
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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The National Economic and Social Development Plan lays the foundations for implementing the objectives of the new government by 2020. The European Commission intends to provide substantial support, worth € 800 million, for the plan. Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: ‘We have come together today to discuss the National Economic and Social Development Plan presented by the Burkina Faso Government to the international community. This is an ambitious plan, which should lead to the consolidation of democracy and sustainable development in the country. The European Union will provide support worth € 800 million for the efforts undertaken, to ensure that the population of Burkina Faso will rapidly see the effects of renewed stability and benefit from peace dividends’.

Jamaica’s Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith has called for greater cohesion among the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), in order to meet the challenges of a changing global environment. Speaking at the 104th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels, Belgium, last week, Minister Johnson Smith noted that the world and context within which the 40-year-old ACP was created has changed considerably, “requiring that the ACP itself undergo its own metamorphosis”.

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 mid-term review/revision of the MFF 2014-2020 to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe.

The Horn of Africa countries are plagued by violence and insecurity. A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration route, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the European Union. The EU has adopted an integrated framework to align various external policy programmes and instruments aimed at securing the region. However, strong antagonisms between the states concerned add to the difficulty of achieving a coordinated approach. A region hit by natural and man-made crises In its broadest sense, the 'Horn of Africa', the easternmost part of Africa, refers to the eight member states of IGAD, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development; Somaliland, a self-governing region of Somalia, is not recognised as an independent state by IGAD, nor by the EU.

A group of ethical fashion producers and retailers, including German e-commerce giant Otto Group and shoemaking enterprise Soul of Africa, has called on the UK government to maintain duty-free access for imports from sub-Saharan Africa when negotiating new trade agreements with the region following the UK's eventual departure from the European Union.  "The rapid growth in many African economies offers opportunities for greater sustainability in our value chains, and there is a creative industries sector that adds value to African natural resources rather than exporting them raw," Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, OBE, trustee of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), told a panel discussion in London last week.