Video guest: Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi
February 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 26 February 2017

The European Union has announced a launch of a $47.46 billion Africa Economic Development Fund aimed at helping Nigeria and other African countries drive economic growth and development. With the new development Nigeria and some other African countries hope of attracting foreign investments have been renewed by the European Union. According to the vice president of EU Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, the EU is already developing a strategic framework for the implementation and disbursement of the fund. He maintained that the EU is also designing security measures to ensure the fund is effectively and efficiently disbursed.

Sudanese government and the European Union (EU) on Monday have agreed to continue strategic cooperation and coordination at all levels during the coming period, said Sudan’s foreign ministry. In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said Sudan’s foreign ministry under-secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m on Monday has met with the EU envoy to Khartoum Jean-Michel Dumond. Khidir pointed that the meeting discussed political relations between Sudan and the EU besides issues of combating illegal migration and human trafficking and development.

A first of a kind Trade Data Peer Learning for the Solomon Islands delegates has been facilitated by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism yesterday. In opening the learning, permanent secretary for the ministry, Shaheen Ali said the workshop would provide a platform to exchange information and knowledge in the area of trade data. "This peer learning is extra special for Fiji, as we are welcoming our Melanesian colleagues, which is further strengthening the relationship between the MSG countries," Mr Ali said....The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat are facilitating the two-week peer learning. The delegation includes representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Ministry of Finance and Treasury — who are experts in Customs and statistics.

The Government is examining ways to more effectively utilise the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to strengthen Jamaica’s trade relations with the 27-member EU. This is against the background of significant developments, notably the pending departure of the United Kingdom (UK), Jamaica’s largest trading partner in that bloc, said Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith. She was speaking during the Third Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue held recently at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices. The EPA, between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which is the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, took effect in 2009.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Zambian government said Tuesday that the plan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to set up an office in the country was a clear endorsement by Europe that Zambia was one of the best investment destinations in Africa. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, who has just returned from a tour of some European countries to strengthen economic cooperation, said the European bank promised to set up an office in Zambia by the third quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Food security in South Africa remains a challenge, with just 30 000 commercial farmers being responsible for most of the country’s food production. Over 200 000 smallholder farmers and an estimated 2 million subsistence farmers have an important role to play in food security and poverty reduction, yet their access to markets, information and finance is limited or non-existent. There is also a lack of available data on smallholder farmers and their supply chains, which is a barrier to informed decision-making by agribusinesses and policy makers. Mobile ICT solutions such as Vodacom’s Connected Farmer platform will help to address this by providing farmers with the services they need.

This budget support report covers an important year for development. The debates in 2015 around the third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Agenda 2030 and the related sustainable development goals have highlighted the global challenges around inclusive growth, inequality and poverty. A key message that emerged from the Addis Ababa conference is that domestic public finance — revenue mobilisation and effective use of resources — provides by far the largest and most stable source available for financing sustainable development.

Jamaica and the European Union have committed to strengthen the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. According to a joint release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union delegation, the committment was made during the third 'Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue' held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday. In her opening remarks at the dialogue, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said the partnership between EU and Jamaica remains strong and that the EU has made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s development and the wider Caribbean region.

Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer. The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export. Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering. "We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."

The framework agreement between Fedict and the Belgian Development Agency should encourage the transfer of knowledge and the development of partnerships The Federal Public Service Information and Communication Technology (Fedict) and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) will assist the fourteen partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation in designing their systems of e-governance. To achieve this, Fedict has concluded a cooperation agreement with the Belgian Development Agency, who will lead the process. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo is particularly pleased with this collaboration. "A digital administration is a more effective administration, also in developing countries".