Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

With over 1.2m sq km of land, South Africa comprises Mediterranean, subtropical and semi-desert regions, producing everything from deciduous, citrus and subtropical fruit to grain, wool, cut flowers, livestock and game. Its farm holdings range in size from the vast fields of the Eastern Cape to subsistence-based production in deep, rural parts. When things become quiet around the Irish countryside, South Africa's counter-seasonality offers agritech and farm-machinery producers an additional southern hemisphere market to provide a counterbalance to the end of a busy period back at home.

A key matter before the Pacific Islands Forum economic ministers who are meeting in Suva is how to set up a regional finance facility. The ministers have had the idea of such a facility before them for several years as they look to ways to pay for development in the region. Don Wiseman spoke with the Forum's trade commissioner to China, David Morris, who's at the meeting and began by asking if the ministers have in mind an agency like a Pacific version of the Asian Development Bank.

There is considerable scope for joint ventures between the two countries for the production of gold and fabrication and marketing of jewellery in Mali," the embassy said in an email interaction with IANS. The West African country currently produces 60 tonnes of gold per year. Mali offers good opportunities and prospects for Indian entrepreneurs and investors in the gold mining and food processing space, among others, the Indian Embassy in capital Bamako has said. “Mali is Africa’s third-leading gold producer (after South Africa and Ghana) and has an estimated reserve of 600-800 tonnes. There is considerable scope for joint ventures between the two countries for the production of gold and fabrication and marketing of jewellery in Mali,” the embassy said in an email interaction with IANS. The West African country currently produces 60 tonnes of gold per year.

The Chinese government has expressed the urgent need for African governments to be independent of their development, saying Nigeria, as the major African power, is expected to lead a self-sustaining economy. It also pointed out the fact that China is highly interested in maintaining a deeper cooperation with Africa, while stressing that African governments and firms, with preference for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), including Nigeria, should come out with workable plans to enable them benefit from the $60 billion funding support from the Chinese government. This was disclosed at a lecture for a delegation of Nigerian journalists on the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ in Beijing, China.

Delegates from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have decried what they called political interference in the management of water resources. During the recent Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) conference in Kampala, which was funded by the European Union [EU] and SmartFish Programme, the delegates said such interferences have increased cases of illegal activities on the lake that is shared by the three East African countries. "Our lake is not in good shape, yet there has been constant intervention. The problem has been made worse by political interference; we need to build resilience that resists this interference in order to have a sustainable Lake Victoria," Susan Amendi, a delegate from Kenya, said.