Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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Saturday, 18 November 2017

A delegate on a fisheries exchange to Iceland says Pacific nations should follow Iceland's example and maximise the value of their catch rather than rushing to catch more. Iceland has developed from being one of the world's poorest countries to one of its richest on the back of it's fishing industry. Pacific representatives travelled there this month to learn more about it's success. Secretariat of the Pacific Community Fisheries Director Moses Amos said Iceland had introduced a quota system and ensured it received the full value out of the fish it did catch.

The European Union will sign in the coming weeks a EUR-18-million (USD 21m) financing agreement to support renewable energy in Cuba, state news agency Prensa Latina reported. Details on the use of the funds are not available. The agreement, to be approved by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, is part of the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Bilateral Cooperation, which entered into force earlier this month, the EU ambassador in Cuba, Alberto Navarro told the news agency.

Communities of Luro in Lautem municipality, Timor-Leste, gathered on October 28th 2017 for the handover ceremonies of five rainwater harvesting tanks. The tanks, made of ferro-cement can hold 10,000 liters of rain and spring water and provides water to 15-20 household members for group-managed horticulture activities. Seven more tanks are due for handover soon to seven other aldeias (sub-villages). The installation of the tanks comes as part of the Integrated Actions for Resilience and Adaptation (IA4RA) to climate change project that works in the nine villages in the area of the Raumoco Watershed. Financial assistance to construct the tanks was provided by the European Union as part of the EU-GIZ Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (EU-GIZ ACSE) Programme.

The German government has committed to providing funding to support Ghana’s renewable energy development. The pledge comes after President Nana Akufo – Addo disclosed plans to explore renewable energy sources as an alternative remedy to ending the nation’s impending power issues. The German government made this known during the 2017 West Africa Clean Energy and Environment (WACEE) Exhibition and Conference in Accra on Tuesday– noting that the funding will be provided through its technical cooperation agency, GIZ, and development bank, KfW

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has called for more partnerships to accelerate development of the African continent. “Africa is now the place to be,” he told businessmen and representatives of the Portuguese private sector, during a roundtable co-chaired with Teresa Ribeiro, Portugal’s State Secretary in charge of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Vice-Governor of Portugal to the AfDB and the African Development Fund.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The first symposium dedicated to the cooperation between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP), took place on 24th October at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels. The Secretary General of the ACP, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes and UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, took part in the event, which focused on “Boosting ACP Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization through job creation, value chains, and productive investment.”

Around 264 million children worldwide don’t go to school. The Education Coalition in France denounces the country’s lack of education focus on development aid programs. EURACTIV France reports. The Education Coalition, uniting 16 civil society organisations, met with Brigitte Macron on Monday (6 November) to discuss the country’s commitment to boosting education abroad. The French president wants to spend 0.7% of the nation’s GDP on development aid by 2030 (and 0.55% by 2022). This means an increase of at least €3 billion.

The European Commission has announced a €106 million support package - €46 million in humanitarian assistance and €60 million for development - to directly assist people in Sudan affected by forced displacement, undernutrition, disease outbreaks and recurrent extreme climatic conditions. Some 4.8 million people in Sudan currently need urgent assistance.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders opened on Tuesday 24th October, in the presence of HRH Princess Astrid, a seminar on human rights in the private sector. The topic of the seminar was more specifically the prevention and abolition of child labor in the cocoa supply chain. Cocoa is the main export product of Côte d’Ivoire. Minister Reynders’ speech was followed by other interventions, testimonies and a debate where all parties involved in this topic were brought together.

The European Parliament backed by a large majority the EU budget for 2018 on Wednesday (25 October), earning praise from NGOs for increasing funds for humanitarian and development aid. But the EU Council said it cannot accept all the MEPS’ amendments. MEPs set the overall EU budget for 2018 at €162.6 billion (+1.2% on the Commission’s draft budget) for commitments and €146.7 billion (+0.9%) for payments. In comparison, the Commission proposed setting the total level of commitments at €160.6 billion and payments at €145.4 billion. But member states on 12 July decided to cut the Commission’s proposals by €1.2 billion.

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