July 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza




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EDITO
Friday, 29 July 2016

The European Investment Bank has agreed to support a new lending initiative by Bank of Kigali to back private sector investment across Rwanda. The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 28 million (RWF 24 billion) alongside EUR 28 million being provided by Bank of Kigali for the nationwide programme. This represents the first Rwandan operation under the European Investment Bank’s second East and Central Africa Private Finance Facility, a EUR 230 million regional lending scheme that supports private sector investment in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda has no issues signing the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as the country seeks to expand its exports, tap into the EU development funds and boost foreign investments. Rwanda's exports have been falling over years, and to cushion the economy from further stress on foreign reserves, the country has embarked on an export diversification plan targeting Europe as one of the markets.

Members of the European Parliament are rooting for the extension the October deadline to sign the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between East African Community (EAC) and the EU. The MPs said the move is meant to salvage Kenya after Tanzania and Burundi stood in the way to the realisation of the deal set to give relief from heavy taxes for the country's exports to the EU.Tanzania has refused to sign the agreement while Burundi is at the verge of being sanctioned by the European Union following political instability in the country.

A Fiji village that was battered by a landslide in 2012, slammed by that year's Cyclone Evan and then again by Cyclone Winston, is being relocated. A ground breaking ceremony is being held today at the relocated site of Tuturaki village which was destroyed by the triple disasters. Tuturaki was inland from Lautoka on Viti Levu and is being moved further into the island's interior. The initiative of Fiji's National Disaster Management Office will cost $US289,000 dollars and is being implemented by the Pacific Community. The European Union has also backed the project.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

More British companies will be encouraged to do business with their Nigerian counterparts, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright has assured. The envoy, who gave the assurance during his visit to Rack Centre, West Africa’s premium Data Centre in Ikeja, Lagos, expressed satisfaction with the level of development that the organisation has achieved in less than foru years of operation. Accompanied by a team from the Trade and Development section of the High Commission, Arkwright said it was interesting to hear that that the facility had not had a single downtime since its inception even as it upgrades frequently with seamlessly integration to the BladeRoom Technology.

The Government of Ireland has made an announcement through which it seeks to promote different vital sectors of Uganda’s economy. Sectors to be supported include agro processing, tourism, aviation and ICT. This was announced by Ireland’s Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh, at the Uganda Investment Authority offices in Kampala on Monday. McHugh was on the last day of his three-day inaugural visit to the African continent. During the visit, Ireland’s new 5-year strategic plan for Uganda was launched and it also includes engagement in the area of trade and investment promotion.

Tanzania has refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that is set to guide trade between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union and this has not gone down well with some regional members for some obvious reasons. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Aziz Mlima said his country would not sign the EAC-EU EPA citing 'turmoil' in the EU occasioned by the impending exit of the United Kingdom. "Our experts have analysed the pact and established that it will not be to our local industry's benefit.

A little more than two weeks after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, the economic and development impacts of the referendum are beginning to take shape. The instability caused by the referendum sent the British pound plummeting in the greatest one-day loss since the beginning of the Bretton Woods system. The currency now hovers at a 12 percent loss against the dollar, with knock-on effects for the U.K. aid budget. Currently valued at about $19 billion, British aid has lost $1.9 billion in value since the pound dropped.

The Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Madam Nanette Thomas together with the Deputy Director of the Office of Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Sorie Tholley attends the ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development, Seminar on Remittances in Brussels, Belgium. The seminar on remittances which was organised by the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) was attended by Stefano Manservisi, the Director-General of DG DEVCO, Ambassador Leonard-Emile Ognimba, Assistant Secretary General – Political Affairs and Human Development (...)

Today, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources with support from the European Union and Germany launched a 3.8 million euro project to support responsible agricultural investment in Ethiopia. According to a statement from the European Union office in Addis Abeba, the project will contribute to establish an accountable, conducive and transparent framework for socially and environmentally responsible and productive agricultural investments benefiting local communities and economies.