Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 19 November 2017

With the EU set to lift caps on sugar production, African producers could be squeezed out of a market that has propped up places like Swaziland for years. When the European Union deregulates its sugar market at the end of September, some of the biggest losers will be in the lush hills of this tiny, landlocked nation. More than 8,000 miles from Brussels, Swaziland’s sugar farmers for over a decade have benefited from the EU’s tight grip on domestic production of the sweetener. Caps on annual production in European countries helped keep prices artificially high and created a market for imports, especially from poor countries that are freed from tariffs. Currently, more than half of the EU’s raw sugar comes from Africa.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kenya is set to host the second edition of Africa-France Summit next month that is expected to bring over 200 French companies in the country for investment opportunities. The business meet set for October 5 and 6 is projected to bring together over 2500 investors from Kenya, France and other African countries. Dubbed ‘The Encounters Africa 2017’, the event is already attracting strong interest from French companies, as well as from Francophone countries. Event Coordinator Annemijn Perrin says they expect to connect businesses with the aim of closing deals at the summit.

Julian Wilson has been named the incoming Head of the European Union Delegation to the Pacific Region. He is currently serving as the head of division for Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific within the European External Action Service (EEAS). The outgoing EU Ambassador to Fiji, Andrew Jacobs confirmed Mr Wilson will arrive in Fiji next week. Mr Jacobs will fill the role until September 15. During a farewell cocktail held at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Mr Jacobs said he will carry Fiji at heart. He was accompanied by his wife, Hilary. Mr Jacobs said it had been a fascinating and exciting experience whilst in Fiji for the last four-and-half years. He arrived in February, 2013 and said he had since seen many developments in Fiji.

Selling beer is now very competitive in Ivory Coast. Since the arrival of Dutch group Heineken in April 2016, the monopoly enjoyed by Solibara owned by French Group Castel has pushed both companies to engage in a series of advertising campaigns. The advertising campaigns in the form of posters is going on at a time when retailers in the beer business complain of a decline in profits. “A crate of beer in Ivory Coast is now sold for 5000FCFA. How much will one gain after selling the crate. This is because today I sell Solibra products. When you say that beer is made in Ivory Coast then dealers in the product need to benefit from it. I gain about 1000 FCFA from a crate of beer. Who then pays all the other costs. I have just spoken the truth,” a dealer in beer products, Josue Gnahoua said. Solibra holds two thirds of the market and achieved a turnover of 305 million euros in 2016. On the other side is its competitor Brassivoire, which has seized a third of the market in a year.

Hans-Dieter Stell, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cameroon, and Louis Paul Motaze, Cameroonian Minister of Economy, signed on 31 August 2017 in Yaoundé, the capital of the country, a technical and financial cooperation agreement for a total of FCfa 89 billion. Part of this global funding, i.e. FCfa 66 billion, will be used, we officially learned, to finance projects related to the sustainable management of natural resources, governance and decentralisation, rural development, health and public civil engineering works.