Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

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.

Russia has announced its desire to strengthen its agricultural trading relationship with Nigeria. Mr Nikolay Udovichenko, the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria said that the Russian government would export finished agricultral products and machinery to help boost the sector in Nigeria. According to him, the production of agricultural machinery is even higher than that of arms. “The Russian government is delighted and ready to export Nigerian agricultural products, especially, mangoes, pineapples, banana, pawpaw and cocoa beans."

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.

Mr Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, today signed a new package of financial support worth EUR 184 million in the presence of the President of Benin, Mr Patrice Talon. The package consists of direct support to the national budget and support for the decentralisation process. Through their signature, the authorities of the European Union and Benin have given the green light for the implementation of two flagship governance programmes in Benin. The aim is to support the government's efforts to reduce poverty and promote reforms.