Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 25 September 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo makes ten million euro available over the next four years for innovative agricultural research conducted by the ‘Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’, a worldwide network of research centers contributing to enhanced productivity, food security and sustainability in the agriculture. The funding will support, among others, the further development of the banana genebank of the KU Leuven.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has appointed Vanessa Moungar, director for gender, women and civil society of the African Development Bank (AfDB), to his presidential council for Africa. The announcement was made on 29 August 2017, at the annual Conference of Ambassadors to France held at the Elysée Palace in Paris. Moungar and 10 other members of the elite group including entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators have been appointed to advise Macron on his African policy. The Council will have direct access to Macron and will also be suggesting technical advice ahead of any presidential missions to Africa, said AfDB reporting to the press. According to the French government, the presidential council is “a tool for consultation and decision-making directly attached to the President.”

The G20 presidency, Compact with Africa, the Marshall plan – never before has Africa had such a platform in German politics. But could elections change things? DW took a look at the German parties' manifestos. Africa has, of course, not made it on to any German campaign posters. The most important topics for German voters are, after all, the national issues like social justice, security and fair wages. The African continent has, however, become something that German parties can no longer ignore. "If you look at the manifestos, each party has one or the other passage about Africa," said Bernd Bornhorst from the developmental umbrella organization VENRO. That's no surprise.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kenya is set to host the second edition of Africa-France Summit next month that is expected to bring over 200 French companies in the country for investment opportunities. The business meet set for October 5 and 6 is projected to bring together over 2500 investors from Kenya, France and other African countries. Dubbed ‘The Encounters Africa 2017’, the event is already attracting strong interest from French companies, as well as from Francophone countries. Event Coordinator Annemijn Perrin says they expect to connect businesses with the aim of closing deals at the summit.

Julian Wilson has been named the incoming Head of the European Union Delegation to the Pacific Region. He is currently serving as the head of division for Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific within the European External Action Service (EEAS). The outgoing EU Ambassador to Fiji, Andrew Jacobs confirmed Mr Wilson will arrive in Fiji next week. Mr Jacobs will fill the role until September 15. During a farewell cocktail held at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Mr Jacobs said he will carry Fiji at heart. He was accompanied by his wife, Hilary. Mr Jacobs said it had been a fascinating and exciting experience whilst in Fiji for the last four-and-half years. He arrived in February, 2013 and said he had since seen many developments in Fiji.

Hans-Dieter Stell, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cameroon, and Louis Paul Motaze, Cameroonian Minister of Economy, signed on 31 August 2017 in Yaoundé, the capital of the country, a technical and financial cooperation agreement for a total of FCfa 89 billion. Part of this global funding, i.e. FCfa 66 billion, will be used, we officially learned, to finance projects related to the sustainable management of natural resources, governance and decentralisation, rural development, health and public civil engineering works.

The U.K. government issued a document on Tuesday detailing plans to maintain U.K. aid cooperation with the EU after it exits the bloc in 2019. The paper, released by the Department for Exiting the European Union, is scant on figures and makes no explicit commitments regarding the almost 1 billion euros in development and humanitarian aid spent annually through the EU; nor does it commit to specific joint funds or other instruments. However, it describes a strong desire for continued collaboration on aid — particularly on migration — and outlines the U.K.’s hope for a relationship that uses current engagement “as a starting point.”

The EU mobilised all its emergency response tools last week before Hurricane Irma approached the Caribbean. As a first step last week, the EU's Copernicus satellite mapping system was activated to deliver high quality maps for Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélémy and Saint Martin at the request of France, and of Sint Maarten at the request of the Netherlands, as well as for the British Virgin Islands. The Commission has also activated Copernicus for areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Commission is also supporting a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund operation by the International Federation of the Red Cross, providing basic relief kits to the affected populations in Antigua and Barbuda.

To say the EU’s ability to promote values through external action is declining may be an understatement. This time the observation is made in a report aimed at improving and making more coherent Union diplomacy and the way the bloc’s taxpayer money is spent. The limitations of EU outreach became visible in recent years particularly in the context of the Eastern Partnership, an initiative which sought to closely associate six countries in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood. Another perhaps more tragic example is the failure of the EU’s engagement with neighbours in the south, following the Arab Spring. But a report points out the same deficiencies vis-à-vis the ACP countries, 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, with the exception of Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, which binds them to the European Union.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, British Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, visited Samoa last week for the Pacific Islands Forum. While in Apia, he visited Women in Business Development Inc (W.I.B.D.) and met with W.I.B.D President Peseta Afoa and Executive Director Adi Tafunai. Lord Ahmad heard about W.I.B.D’s long and successful partnership with BodyShop and about W.I.B.D.I’s decision to become a social enterprise. Lord Ahmad also announced the next two stages of UK support for the development of Social Enterprise in Samoa and across the region.