Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

As the European market continues to dictate strict standards for any product entering its territory, many exporters have been caught out. However, rejected products are finding their way onto local markets. EurActiv Germany reports. Kenya, one of the largest exporters of fresh produce to the EU, has been hit hard by officials wedding out produce that the European market has deemed high in residual levels of pesticides and heavy metals unfit for human consumption and environment. Exports to the EU include flowers, vegetables, fruits, peas and fish. The EU has placed Kenya on the radar as one of the countries with 10% increased Maximum Residual Levels (MRLs), which are the set legal levels of concentration of pesticide residues in or on food.

Some major multinational conglomerates of the European Union (EU) are looking to invest in southern Africa as there will be increasing growth and investment opportunities in the foreseeable future, according to Stefan Sakoschek, regional director of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa. Sakoschek was one of the keynote speakers at the Limpopo International Investment Conference in Carousel, Hammanskraal, outside Pretoria. He saud that the EU was the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) largest trading partner, and it sees Africa as an important investment opportunity, being home to seven of the world’s top 10 growing economies in 2015.

Despite the current economic hardships in Europe, the Western donors have continued to provide development aid to Uganda, with Germany and France providing 110 million Euros (Shs417b) for electricity project in western Uganda to foster national development. Muzizi hydropower Project (HPP) is being developed at the lower course of the Muzizi River, south east of Lake Albert located in Kibaale District, western Uganda. However, government officials say the project footprint will extend to districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Ntoroko.

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”.