Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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Saturday, 20 January 2018

The European Union, has pledged more than €4 billion for small business startups for young people. The Union will work closely with many African governments to implement its grant program. The grant program to run annually and will prioritize agriculture, science and technology innovations that promote economic growth and job creation. Most grants will be given under these three categories. Over 200 young people across have so far received average grants of €5,000 Euro that focus on Climate innovation technologies in the last year.

Tuesday, 09 January 2018

Offering credit to East African banks might not be many people’s idea of traditional development aid. Yet promoting private small and medium enterprise, alongside funding for infrastructure projects that will help develop local businesses, lies at the heart of the new strategy for Africa. Dating back to the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000 by the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Benin, the strategic goals are changing with the EU focusing much more on increasing stability and resilience by supporting economic development programmes to defuse migration pressures. The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) lends €700m per year to banks and financial sector firms across sub-Saharan Africa.

Fiji has received 23 million euros ($F56,973,543) from the European Commission out of the promised 44.4 million euros ($F109,983,710) to aid in the reform and long-term sustainability plans for the sugarcane industry. According to the Fiji Sugar Corporation's 2017 Annual Report, the 44.4m euros was to aid in Fiji's reform and restructure programs, allowing Fiji to become more sustainable and competitive in the international market. "The last major reform of the EU sugar sector in 2006, the advent of the Economic Partnership Agreements in 2008 and the denunciation of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol represented some of the major challenges that Fiji, along with other ACP small and vulnerable communities, had to grapple with," the FSC said in its report.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, this morning announced the appointment of Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith as Jamaica's Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative to the European Union and UNESCO. Ambassador Sealy Monteith will also serve as non-resident Ambassador to other European countries, according to a release from the ministry. The career diplomat of 31 years is currently Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the ministry. She previously served as Ambassador to Mexico with concurrent accreditation to Central America and as High Commissioner to Belize from 2005 to 2010. Thereafter, she was appointed High Commissioner to Canada, from 2010 to 2014.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

President Juncker will lead the European Commission delegation at the 5th African Union - European Union Summit (link is external) starting on 29 November in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The President will be joined by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica. The EU is Africa's main partner, and the summit will be an opportunity for both sides to scale up their partnership.

Monday, 27 November 2017

The European Commission has defined concrete areas of investments for its External Investment Plan. The new plan will mobilise €44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries. The European Commission singles out five areas of investment, so-called "investment windows", in which the first actions of the External Investment Plan (EIP) will be implemented. These investment areas are crucial for the sustainable development in countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries.

Friday, 24 November 2017

The European Union has pledged $30 million to fund development of the livestock value chain in Zimbabwe. The money is part of a $300 million funding programme announced in 2015 to support health, agriculture and governance initiatives through the European Development Fund’s National Indicative Programme. “In pursuit of inclusive and sustainable agriculture based value chains, the European Union in Zimbabwe has launched a new call for proposals to support upgrading and upscaling of livestock based value chains with a proven potential in terms of economic performance and inclusiveness,” the EU said in a statement on Tuesday.

During an official visit to Tanzania, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica signed a €50 million programme to support rural electrification in the country. The new financing agreement will support the access of Tanzanian citizens to affordable and sustainable energy through extending energy grids as well as expanding distribution networks. During the signing ceremony, Commissioner Mimica said: "Our important programme worth €50 million will help accelerate the Tanzanian people's access to modern energy. It will provide electricity to over 3600 villages in rural regions of Tanzania, essentially benefitting 1 million people. And this access to energy is vital: it will increase the quality of life in rural areas, improve health and educational services and bring clear benefits, particularly to women and children."

On 20 November, in New York, the Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith, announced the formalisation of an EU grant contribution to the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Programme for the Eastern Caribbean. The Programme will facilitate the development of up to 60MW of geothermal energy capacity in up to five countries – Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, received the Ambassador of the European Union to Samoa, Julian Wilson, yesterday. Mr. Wilson presented his credentials to his Highness Tuimaleali’ifano at his Moto’otua office on November 6th. Mr. Wilson was accompanied by his spouse, Claudine Elysée, and the Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner. Mr. Wilson said the European Union (E.U.) and Samoa have a long standing tradition of co-operation and partnership dating back to the mid-1970's.

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