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EDITO
Friday, 15 December 2017

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

There will always be the haves and the have nots of this world, the rich and poor, the upper, middle and lower classes. And in the global economy, there are the countries that are referred to as the super powers and then there are countries that are not even a part of the equation because they have no power at all. Let’s be realistic here. The Caribbean and the small islands around the world have a dependency on at least one or more of the super powers when it comes to their economy. It is like a big brother/big sister relationship. If something should happen to the larger country that takes on that role, then the smaller country has to brace themselves for the repercussions. Let me bring that into perspective for you as it relates to Britain and the Caribbean

Climate change is the central focus of the European Union’s continuing relationship with the Pacific, says the international cooperation chief. Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission (DEVCOM), says his organisation is fully behind the Pacific on raising awareness of climate change. European Union’s Stefano Manservisi … “100 percent backing” for the Pacific. Image: Unimedia “Having consulted already with national level authorities on how we can step-up support, notably on climate change, we are 100 percent backing determination to do more,” he told Asia Pacific Report.

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.