September 2016
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Monday, 26 September 2016

The European Commission has adopted the proposal to the Council on the signing of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) with Cuba.The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement opens new avenues to support Cuba's process of economic and social modernisation, to foster sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as to seek common solutions to global challenges. At the same time, the High Representative Federica Mogherini transmitted a proposal to the Council to formally repeal the EU's 1996 Common Position on Cuba.

Europe is at last fully converted to the merits of boosting investment in order to achieve sustainable growth. The EU is doing so with an internal investment plan (commonly referred to as the Juncker Plan or as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), writes San Bilal. San Bilal is the Head of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) Economic Transformation and Trade Programme. In his State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the doubling of its duration and its amount, to at least €500 billion.

President Museveni has asked ambassadors, in France, to market Africa to Europe. "Africa's purchasing power is now at $8 trillion with a population of 1.2 billion. Remind Europeans that Africa is a growing market and they should, therefore, take interest in it," Mr Museveni said. The president made these remarks at the start of a two-day visit to France, on which he has been accompanied by Education minister, Janet Museveni, also his wife. The two were received by French ambassador to Uganda, Ms Sophie Makame, Uganda's Minister of State for International Affairs, Mr Okello Oryem and Uganda's Ambassador to France, Ms. Nimisha Madhvani.

Barbados is beginning to feel the impact of the vote by Britons to leave the European Union (EU), with tourism’s private sector reporting a fall in financial returns. While not providing figures, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer yesterday revealed that British visitors to Barbados were spending less since the vote, due to the sliding value of the pound sterling. Addressing the association’s quarterly general meeting at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Springer explained that while arrivals from the island’s primary source market have not declined, there was evidence of cut backs in spend.

The European Union (EU) and the Republic of Kiribati today signed a 5 Million Euro energy project. The project is framed in the European Union –New Zealand energy partnership that was established at the Pacific Energy Summit in 2013, which has delivered renewable energy projects in Tuvalu, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Kiribati. At the Pacific Energy Conference held in Auckland, New Zealand in June, 2016, this partnership expanded to include Niue, Tonga, and the Northern Pacific.

The head of the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources says they remain committed to a sustainably-managed purse seine fishery. This came after a parliamentary committee's assessment of purse seining plans by the European Union was tabled this week. The secretary Ben Ponia, who had been centrally involved in promoting the scheme, said the ministry maintains its view that the ban sought on fish aggregating devices, or FADs, would have no conservation value and deny the country economic benefits.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Soothing concerns of a trade collapse when Britain exits the European Union, a high-ranking British diplomat said yesterday that annual trade between South Africa and the United Kingdom valued at about £10-billion (R180-billion) was not only expected to be maintained, but that Britain hoped it would increase. At an information session on the implications of the Brexit referendum and the UK’s business and trade posture going forward, High Commissioner to South Africa Dame Judith Macgregor assured a gathering at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber that the referendum would have no immediate effect on trade between the two countries.

Parliament unanimously endorsed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), sending yet another strong signal of Kenya’s resolve to conclude the decade-old negotiations with Europe. A copy of the EPA that MPs ratified Tuesday will be submitted to the European Union as proof of Kenya’s commitment to boost free trade with the 27-member bloc. “The minister will have 10 days to notify the EU council of the ratified agreement to save our exports from duties once we hit the October deadline,” National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said.

In the second of a three-part series, Fasil Amdetsion looks at the evolution of Italy’s relationship with its former colonies in the Horn of Africa. Read part 1 here. Italy’s postcolonial relations with the Horn of Africa can be summed up as undulant: occasionally on the rise, propelled toward a crest by sporadic government officials’ visits or business deals but, just as often, on the low. Government policies that belied pride in Italy’s colonial legacy, rather than regret, certainly damaged relations.

The East African Community (EAC) member countries' decision to extend the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union may have consequences in the due course, the EU has said. The EU head of delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, in a statement issued to this newspaper last week, said: "There are no immediate effects but there may be consequences in due course that only the EPA can prevent." EAC heads of State during their 17th Summit that sat in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania recently agreed to push the signing of the EPAs with the EU for another three-months (January 2017) until a harmonised regional position has been arrived at.

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