Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Thursday, 19 October 2017

A multi-million-dollar European Union (EU) irrigation infrastructure support to smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe has started to pay dividends, with farmers in Mutema Irrigation Scheme, Chipinge district, harvesting their first banana crop with a ready market. The EU is disbursing the six million euro fund through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and so far, $200 000 has been invested in the Mutema scheme, which is now helping over 100 farmers who have a quarter-hectare plot each. Themba Mundidini is excited about the prospect of his first harvest from the scheme after four failed attempts, as they did not have efficient irrigation infrastructure.

Monday, 02 October 2017

The Westmoreland Municipal Corporation Local Government Adaptation to Climate Change Project, valued at some $48.3 million, was officially launched at the Maud McLeod High School in Darliston, Westmoreland on Saturday. The project has received a $39.6 million sponsor from the European Union (EU), while the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation pumped in the balance of $8.7 million. The official launch was attended by European Union Delegation Project Manager for Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands, Vanna Lawrence; Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, Westmoreland Eastern MP Luther Buchanan, custos of Westmoreland Rev Hardley Perrin, mayor of Savanna-la-Mar Bertel Moore, among other local representatives.

Italy has turned to its homegrown African entrepreneurs for help in easing the economic pressures driving hundreds of thousands of migrants onto the country's southern shores. In a small initiative billed as symbolically significant, Rome's foreign ministry this week unveiled a programme under which business people with African roots are offered financing to pursue job-creating projects in their countries of origin. Struggling with the financial, logistical and political pressures generated by the influx of more than half a million migrants in the last four years, Italy's centre-left government says Europe must do more to create the kind of opportunities that will keep ambitious young Africans at home.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders informs that Belgium sends B-FAST with relief supplies and a water purification unit to Dominica. This island in the Caribbean was heavily damaged by hurricane Maria. Belgium’s intervention comes in answer to a request for assistance from Dominica. A team of 15 persons will bring the goods to the island. They will remain there about a week. They will install the water purification unit and hand it over to a local manager. The team will also deliver medical kits from the World Health Organisation. This action takes place within the international aid structures, those of the United Nations as well as those of the European Union.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

The State Minister at the Ministry of International Cooperation, Dr. Somia A'akad, met Tuesday, at her office the head of the European Union Mission in the Sudan, Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond and discussed with him aspects of the joint cooperation between the Sudan and the EU, especially in the economic and developmental fields and means for enhancing them further. The state minister has provided the EU head of mission with a comprehensive review to the state's efforts, represented by the Ministry of International Cooperation in tightening cooperation with the donors for the preparation of the pivotal document to coordinate the aid being negotiated.

Two new online information systems launched recently is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in Fiji and the Pacific. According to the Pacific Community (SPC) the Agricultural Policy Bank and the Pacific Agricultural Information System (PAIS), are set to make a major contribution towards the collection and use of data in the agriculture sector. European Union Delegation for the Pacific's Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner launched the two new online portals with APB representatives from 15 Pacific ACP countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu).

Africa is receiving a declining share of the global official development assistance, advocacy and campaign organisation ONE says. It called on the G20 to double official development finance by 2020, from approximately $60bn in 2015 to $120bn. Despite a 7.4% increase in global ODA in the last year, African countries’ share has fallen by 4% since 2012, according to a ONE report published on 11 September. Over half of the world’s poorest people live in Africa and the share of global aid going to the region dropped to 32% in 2016, compared to 36% in 2012. At the same time, Africa’s population has increased by 14%. ONE also called on donors to recommit to ODA targets and work towards spending 0.7% of their national income on development aid overseas, prioritising “the poorest and most vulnerable countries”.

Monday, 25 September 2017

The European Union, through its increasing agricultural commodities trade (IACT) project, has assisted Bula Coffee with the acquisition of a mobile coffee processing machine, nursery structures and irrigation equipment worth $72,000. EU political, trade, press and information section's press and information officer Mohammed Nazeem Kasim said the EU was proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji and confirmed that the new nurseries would provide coffee seedlings for farmers on both Vili Levu and Vanua Levu. In response to questions on the potential for the local coffee industry, Mr Kasim said the mobile wet coffee processor would provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu.

The European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have signed a Financing Agreement to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and violence against women and girls in the Pacific. The more than US$15 million agreement was signed in Apia by European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor. The program will support activities at the regional level as well as in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The fund will be implemented over six years by UN Women, the PIF Secretariat and the Pacific Community.

The Addis Ababa public abattoirs are currently situated in the heart of the city and face important environmental, social and economic challenges. This project aims at relocating and modernizing the infrastructure to comply with environmental and social requirements and meet the increasing demand on both local and international markets. Ethiopia has an urban population growth of 4% a year. The country is facing a significant challenge: by 2020, 30% of Ethiopians are expected to live in cities, against 18% in 2013. The capital Addis Ababa should see its population double by 2022.