May 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Sunday, 29 May 2016

This year, the G7 summit will take place from 26 to 27 May in Ise-Shima (Japan). The European Union will be represented by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. The main topics on the agenda, as set out by this year's Japan presidency, are the global economy, investment, trade, the refugee crisis, climate change and energy, the fight against terrorism, foreign policy and development. Leaders will also discuss several global health policy issues, gender equality and women’s rights (...)

Leaders attending next week's Port Moresby summit of the Africa Caribbean and Pacific group are to consider a review of the organisation's relevance. Vanuatu's Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, said the meeting would feature a briefing on a report by an Eminent Persons Group considering if there were relevant grounds to continue with the ACP as a group.

Friday, 27 May 2016

AgriCord is an initiative of farmers’ organisations and their cooperative businesses to support their colleagues in developing countries by mobilising funds and expertise from organised farmers. Representatives of farmers’ organisations explained the evolution of their position in specific agro - food chains and the impact on incomes of their members (dairy value chain in Uganda by UCCCU, cashew nut value chain in Benin by URCPA).

Public procurement - the use of government funds to acquire goods and services - represents as much as one-third of the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries within the CARIFORUM region (...) During the first session of a Level One Training Workshop in Public Procurement held at the Barbados Community College, Chin (International Procurement Institute) explained that the contribution of public procurement to GDP seen within CARIFORUM is due to a comparatively weak private sector and governments in the region acting as the primary drivers of economic growth and development. (...) Chin explained that yesterday’s workshop forms part of the support the European Union is offering to CARIFORUM Member States.

Not only did the state company EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company) borrow hundreds of millions of dollars on the European bond market to purchase a brand new fleet of fishing boats, but it now turns out that the boats are not fit for purpose. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, told deputies of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, last week that ten of the 24 EMATUM fishing boats are being refitted in South Africa so that they meet the technical specifications demanded by the European Union for boats that catch fisheries produce intended for the European market.

A UK departure from the European Union could help African countries to speed up agricultural innovation that is currently held back by stringent health and safety regulations. Next to raw minerals, agriculture is the most promising driver of economic growth on the continent of 54 countries. With commodity prices flat many countries are struggling with low growth, leaving them scrambling for alternative revenue sources. However, trade deals – particularly with powerful trading blocs such as the EU – have not generally gone well for individual African states trying to secure access to one of the world’s wealthiest markets.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has commended the European Union (EU) for the development support it provides Botswana. Speaking during the EU day commemoration, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said the invaluable support goes a long way in complementing government's efforts in addressing the current development challenges, particularly that of human resource development.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

International pressure is building on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s president to put a plan in place for elections, raising the possibility of sanctions against members of the ruling elite. European Union foreign ministers briefly discussed the situation on Monday, after urging Congo’s government to “revive as soon as possible the electoral process.” Senior officials said there was no discussion of sanctions at the meeting.

Almost all of Europe’s maritime trade with Asia passes within a few miles of the coast of the Horn of Africa, in particular the narrow straits of the Bab al Mandab, where the tiny African country of Djibouti is separated from Yemen by less than 30 kilometers of water. The Horn of Africa (...) has never historically defined itself as a region. Rather, the Horn of Africa has been defined by outsiders, particularly the world’s great powers, as a region that spells trouble (...) Out of desperation, the EU has started to overcome its scruples and provide development aid to Eritrea.

Over 50 world leaders and 5 000 humanitarian, development and political stakeholders gather on 23-24 May, in Istanbul, to share responsibility to reverse the trend for increasing humanitarian needs and improve the effectiveness of response. The European Union (EU) and its Member States will jointly call for a global partnership for a more efficient and effective humanitarian aid system at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. As a major donor and key policy-setter, the EU and its Member States will play a leading role at the Summit on 23-24 May

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