Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2018
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EDITO
Thursday, 26 April 2018

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a $25 million financing plan for the installation of off-grid solar systems, to strengthen energy access in Africa. EIB vice president, Ambroise Fayolle, announced the project at the 6th African CEO Forum in Abijan, Cote ‘Ivoire and stated the focus countries are; Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. The project will boost power delivery to both rural and suburban populations. The bank will be working with d.light Design to supply energy through solar kits rather than through grid connection.

The EU will put migration and security at the heart of its agenda in talks on a successor to the Cotonou Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific nations (ACP), a leading EU official said on Monday (26 March). “The EU’s new partnership with Africa must do more with migration [policy]. We must partner with Africa to fight trafficking and migrant smuggling,” said Koen Vervaeke, managing director for Africa at the European External Action Service (EEAS) at the Chatham House think-tank in London.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A new expert group is to be created by the European Commission to provide expertise, advice and possible recommendations on enhancing the role of the EU agri-food and agro-industrial sector in the sustainable economic development of Africa. The first step in the creation of the Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA) is the call for applications for the selection of members, which will run until 23 March 2018. The group will consist of 11 members, all of whom should be experts with high level expertise and experience in agriculture, agri-business or agroindustry, trade, development policy or migration-related issues and with first-hand knowledge of the agri-food sector in Africa.

A senior Bahamian private sector official says he hopes local companies will together with their counterparts from Jamaica and Belize, be more aware of the opportunities offered by the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The accord, which was signed in 2008, replaces the trade component of Lomé IV and its successor, Cotonou Agreement in 2000.

Monday, 19 March 2018

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended US$29.6million (€24million) loan to two local banks for financing small and medium sized firms in Rwanda. The bank signed the US$19million loan with the Development Bank of Rwanda and another one with I&M Bank of Rwanda at US$10milllion. In addition, the bank also signed a US$55.4million (€45million) long term loan with the Rwandan government to finance sewage and waste water projects in the capital Kigali.

The European Union’s external investment plan has mobilized €44 billion of sustainable funds for Africa and EU Neighbourhood countries. The European Commission has singled 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 sustainable development in countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries.

Thursday, 15 March 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.