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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rwanda’s latest agricultural results have earned Rwf 32.2 billion from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank. In the last 12 months, the Government of Rwanda delivered some impressive results in agriculture. Over 40,000 hectares (ha) of land have been protected against soil erosion, over 8,000 ha put under irrigation, and average crop yield for cassava, milk and coffee increased. The use of new agricultural innovation technologies was enhanced and lending to the agricultural sector and the design of an Agricultural Management Information System (MIS) increased. These results will help improve the lives of farmers in Rwanda, increase farm productivity and household food security as well as support economic growth.

Fiji’s preparation to host the next global conference on climate change has received a major boost. This comes after the European Union exclusively told FBC News that it will offer more technical assistance to the Fijian government to host this meeting. EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs says negotiations are currently underway between the European Union and the Fijian government on what type of assistance Fiji will need towards hosting the COP 23 meeting.

East African states have been asked to invest more resources in the development of renewable power projects like solar energy where the region has a better comparative advantage as compared to Hydropower which is more expensive to finance. Development partners say the climate conditions in some countries within the community such as Uganda supports the development of solar power but the country has not yet exploited such opportunities which have kept Uganda depending too much on Hydropower and biomass as sources of Energy. Speaking during the commissioning of the US$ 19 million solar photovoltaic project in Soroti, Eastern Uganda, the Head of European Union delegation in Uganda Ambassador Kristain Schmidt said Uganda is conducive for solar power development because of the climatic conditions and the regulatory framework.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Speaking to media in Nairobi earlier today senior representatives of the European Investment Bank, confirmed lending to support investment by companies across East Africa totalling EUR 92 million (KES 10 billion) in 2016. The European Investment Bank is Europe’s long-term lending institution, owned directly by the 28 European Union member states and the world’s largest international public bank. Catherine Collin, Regional Representative of the European Investment Bank in East Africa and Robert Schofield, responsible for European Investment Bank lending for small and medium sized companies throughout East Africa and elsewhere on the continent, highlighted the crucial role of entrepreneurs to create jobs, improve lives and ensure sustainable long-term economic growth.

This weekend President Hollande attends his last Africa-France summit. On taking office, he pledged to break with 'Francafrique' but almost five years later the French footprint in Africa appears undiminished. Some 10,000 security personnel have been seconded to the Malian capital Bamako for the 27th Africa-France summit and they are backed up by the Malian army and French troops. Mali is a tense country. "Clearly, with such a large number of high-ranking guests, security is paramount," Cheickna Hamala Diarra from the Bamako-based summit organizing committee told DW. This weekend Bamako plays host to French President Francois Hollande, 53 African heads of state and their respective delegations.

The global governance of food security and nutrition (FSN) has been evolving rapidly over the last 10 years. While the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2008-2009 has been celebrated for its “exemplarity” with respect to inclusiveness and accountability, recent trends have led to a growing complexity and fragmentation of the governance regime for FSN. In such a context, this policy brief traces back the main changes that have occurred over the last years to draw their political implications for FSN-related EU policies. The paper recalls the main aspects of the reform of the CFS. It then shows that despite it has been said to be “the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform dealing with FSN”, the current governance regime is still highly fragmented.

The European Union (EU) has announced that it will provide €35 million in support of agricultural development and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) in Liberia. Speaking in Monrovia today, European Union Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann said the EU props both the private and the public sector in Liberia. The EU supports the Government's efforts to boost the economy through agricultural development, because agriculture is the road to progress and development."

Plans for a dramatic increase in the amount of aid that can be channeled through the CDC Group, the government’s controversial private equity arm, have moved closer to fruition after crucial legislation passed through the Commons on Tuesday. The commonwealth development corporation bill, which will allow the government to lift the cap on aid funds spent through the CDC from £1.5bn to £6bn, was approved by MPs despite criticism of the organisation. The bill allows for increases of up to £12bn without new primary legislation. The vote followed a parliamentary debate that exposed the stark political divisions about the future direction of aid spending. Development minister Rory Stewart said Britain had a “moral obligation” to invest in the CDC, which he described as a proven development model. “CDC investment combines the rigour of the private sector, the focus on markets, the values of the public sector [that] reflect the values of the British public, reflect the British public that cares about poverty,” said Stewart.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Luxembourg will increase its aid to Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) from 49 million euros to 52 million euros over the next five years, in addition to 10 million euros for the Budget Support Group, according to radio and TV company Radiotelevisão Caboverdiana (RTC). RTC said that those figures were announced Tuesday by the Luxembourg business attache in Cabo Verde, Angèle da Cruz, during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance of Cabo Verde, Olavo Correia. Angèle da Cruz also announced that the Grand Duchy will unlock the second installment of budget support for 2016, amounting to 1 million euros.

Secretary general of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of countries, Dr Patrick I Gomes, is urging member states to move towards ratifying the World Trade Organization (WTO) 2013 Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Guyanese-born diplomat said that there must be “more concerted actions by ACP member states” to ratify the accord for which the ACP Group, as a critical global force, had exerted its influence in the G90 (Group of Developing Countries) to secure a treaty that reduces cross-border customs regulations and transaction costs.

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