It would be "rather unwise" for Africa to grant preferential market access to Europe, and, instead of continuing to threaten with deadlines over the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs), the EU should rethink its strategy, Economist Paul Collier, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies said.
Lithuania, the small Baltic country that will take over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July, will have to deal with extremely heavy dossiers, such as the adoption of several items of legislation needed to implement the EU budget for the next seven years.
UK Direct aid to South Africa will be stopped as of 2015, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced at a conference of African ministers and business leaders in London on April 30th.
There is growing optimism that the countries of Southern Africa are within months of concluding negotiations with the European Union on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) deal, after years of hesitant progress, the EU ambassador in Pretoria (South Africa), Roeland van de Geer, told IPS. “This could be the breakthrough year,” van de Geer added.
The EU fully supports Ethiopia's efforts to join the WTO, and both the EU and Ethiopia have a common interest in stability and economic development of the Horn of Africa – these were among the key remarks by President of the Council of the EU, Herman Van Rompuy, after his meeting on 17 April with Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, in Brussels.
The amount of the envelope for the 11th European Development Fund - EDF (corresponding to the period 2014-2020) to the ACP countries will be 30,5 billion euros, the European Commissioner for Development of the European Commission, Andris Piebalgs confirmed during the 10th meeting of Ministers of national and regional officers for the European Union (EU) - African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) cooperation, held in Brussels between 17th and 18th April.
The EU and the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) signed on 12 April a project funding agreement in value of EUR 20 million for supporting West Africa’s efforts in capacity building and harmonisation of practices in good economic governance, and improving the development and implementation of UEMOA and Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) programmes in macroeconomics and public financial management.
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) signed on 18th of April in Brussels a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster greater cooperation between the two organizations.
The group of ACP Sugar Suppliers from least developed countries (LDCs) to the EU is disappointed with the EU Agriculture Council’s agreement to extend the quotas for sugar by only two years to 2017 instead of 2020 as agreed by the European Parliament, and sees the Council’s mandate as a tantamount to treating the ACP/LDC as ‘residual players to be considered solely as collateral damage in a political compromise’.