Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

On Monday 27th February 2017, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission is holding a stakeholder meeting in the context of the Commission’s ongoing Impact Assessment on options for a multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution. The purpose of this meeting is to exchange views with stakeholders on the EU’s policy development in this area including on the possible establishment of a multilateral investment court as part of the options for multilateral reform.

Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer. The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export. Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering. "We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."

Kenya will later this month know whether its bid to build a customs union with its neighbours still holds. East African Heads of State will meet in Arusha on February 28, where one of the items on the agenda will be the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Trade Principal secretary Chris Kiptoo told People Daily in a telephone interview that EAC countries are supposed to sign the EPAs as a bloc so that they can enjoy quota and duty-free market access. However, he said, Kenya has no issue to raise during the summit on the EPAs as it has already signed and ratified the trade pact with EU. “As required under the principles of the EPAs Kenya has signed and ratified the trade protocol, only awaiting the other partners to follow suit.

The framework agreement between Fedict and the Belgian Development Agency should encourage the transfer of knowledge and the development of partnerships The Federal Public Service Information and Communication Technology (Fedict) and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) will assist the fourteen partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation in designing their systems of e-governance. To achieve this, Fedict has concluded a cooperation agreement with the Belgian Development Agency, who will lead the process. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo is particularly pleased with this collaboration. "A digital administration is a more effective administration, also in developing countries".

The government of the Gambia, the European Union (EU), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have launched a EUR11 million (US$11.8 million) project aimed at supporting entrepreneurship and job creation in the Gambia over the next four years. The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project aims to address the root causes of the high levels of irregular migration from the Gambia, particularly by young people leaving the country. Taking a market-driven approach, the Project will focus on building skills among the youth in a number of sectors, especially traditional economic driver industries such as agriculture and tourism. It will also help diversify the Gambian economy by supporting the strengthening of “new” sectors, including the creative and digital services industries.