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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The European Union has signed two Financing Agreements for a total amount of 68 million Euros to finance implementation of two programmes in the COMESA region. These are; Trade Facilitation programme (53 million Euros) and Small Scale Cross-Border Trade programme (15 million Euros). The Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and Representative to COMESA, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, and COMESA Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, signed the two agreements.The funds are part of the COMESA specific envelope of 85 million euros provided by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Indicative Programme for the East African, Southern African and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region signed in June 2015 for the period 2014 – 2020.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the creation of two trading hubs in West and East Africa to increase trade between his country and the continent. They form part of the partnerships he offered at the 51st ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State in Liberia’s capital Monrovia on Sunday. “I believe in strengthening our relations which is one of our top priorities, national and international priorities of the state of Israel … Israel is opening two new trade missions – one in West Africa, one in East Africa – to significantly increase trade between our countries,” he told the West African leaders.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has passed a $110.1m (Shs396b) budget for the financial year 2017/18, an 8 per cent increase from $101.3m (Shs364b) for the year ending in June. The new budget seeks to prioritise the development and promotion of nine sectors, including regional infrastructure, trade and investment. Presenting the budget to the Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania, last week, Uganda's Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, the chairperson of the Council of Ministers of EAC, said: "The new budget seeks to consolidate the Single Customs Territory (SCT) to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods including agricultural and other widely consumed products."

West African neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa producers, are to set up a joint industry body, according to a document to be signed by the heads of their marketing boards on Friday. The Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire Sustainable Cocoa Initiative will, among other things, aim to set farmer prices that will discourage cross-border smuggling and enhance collaboration between the two countries' cocoa marketing departments.Between them the two countries grow around 60 percent the world's cocoa -- about 2.5 million tonnes a year --- but differing policies between the two countries have often led their farmgate cocoa prices to diverge, encouraging smuggling.

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