Video guest: Stephane Durand
October 2016
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to loan $100m to the Dominican Republic to help improve the country’s electricity supply and distribution, as part of a wider cooperation agreement on renewables between the EU and the Caribbean region. The European Commission will also grant €9.3m through the Caribbean Investment Facility to the Dominican project, which aims to improve the availability of power supply for over 680,000 households in the country. The project will support the reduction of several illegal power lines that are a danger to public health as well as a waste of electricity. In addition, it will also contribute to improving the business efficiency of electricity distribution companies.

Yesterday’s start of the inaugural European Union-CARIFORUM Sustainable Energy Conference set the backdrop for a deepening of cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean region.Speaking at the commencement of the two-day conference taking place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the EU Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OCES and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Daniela Tramacere said the conference also represents a unique opportunity to push forward the agenda for the Caribbean’s full transition to a renewable, efficient and modern energy service, with a structure that has an enduring capability.

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will deliver the feature address at the European Union-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference that begins here on Monday. An EU statement noted that immediately after the opening ceremony that will also be addressed by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque and the newly appointed EU Ambassador to Barbados, Daniela Tramacere, a number of agreements will be signed with CARICOM and Caribbean Forum (CARIFORM) countries. It said these include a three million Euro (One Euro = US$1.29 cents) allocation to Barbados for renewable energy under the European Development Fund (EDF) and a Euro9.2 million grant for the implementation of the Caribbean energy policies.

The EU has provided 13 millions euros for the upgrade of cane accss roads around the country. This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan, following his meeting with EU officials, the Ministry of Sugar and the Pacific Community in Lautoka on Friday. Mr. Karan chaired the meeting which included talks on road and water projects for the cane farming areas. Mr. Karan said all cane access roads could not be completed this year under the EU aid but this should be done by next year. He said the roads being done would be done properly with professional companies being recruited to carry out this work. "We don't want to have roads that have to be repaired after every heavy rainfall".

The European Union Ambassador to the Pacific says the ratification of the Paris Agremeent on climate change owes a lot to the efforts and cooperation between the EU and Pacific nations. Andrew Jacobs is attending the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change Leaders Summit with other government heads in Tuvalu this week. Mr Jacobs said together the Pacific and EU were at the heart of the High Ambition Coalition which ensured that the Paris Agreement was robust and ambitious. With ratifications this week the Agreement enters into force in November.

On behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner for International cooperation and Development Neven Mimica has announced new support for the people of Mali. At the core of the Commissioner's official visit to Mali today is the EU's assistance for the stabilisation and development of the country. Commissioner Mimica will meet with the President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and attend high-level meetings on development and migration. Furthermore, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali and National Authorizing Officer, Abdoulaye Diop, he will sign several projects of cooperation, worth a total amount of €67 million.. , These projects are mainly financed by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and will directly contribute to long-term peace and development in Mali.

Development-oriented agreement with five southern African countries ensures immediate duty- and quota-free access for their exports to the EU market. Five southern African countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - and the EU today start a new chapter in their bilateral relations with the entry into effect of their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). As of today, the agreement will apply to trade between the EU and the five countries. Mozambique is in the process of ratifying the agreement and will join in as soon as the ratification procedure is completed. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "When I visited Botswana in June for the signing ceremony, I saw first-hand how important it is to build a stable trade partnership between Europe and Africa.

A new economic agreement between SADC and the European Union will soon come into effect, giving agricultural products from the region improved access to the EU. The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) on Thursday said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) group has submitted the necessary instruments required to bring the agreement into effect. The SADC group is made up of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

South Africa is that continent's second largest economy (and until recently the largest) and a top-ranked trade partner in Africa for both exports to and imports from the EU. This infographic, produced in close cooperation between EPRS and GlobalStat, provides key information on South African trade and economic indicators, as well as on its commercial links with the European Union.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The European Commission announced in Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘State of the Union’ speech a new initiative on Africa – the EU External Investment Plan (EIP), which looks at helping the private sector in Africa and the European Neighbourhood. The plan hopes to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 and boost the decline since the financial crisis of 2008 of foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing states. In 2012, only 6% (€ 34.6 billion) of total global FDI to developing countries went to what the OECD call ‘fragile states.’ Among those on the fragile states list, the majority of FDI is attracted by resources-rich countries, with 72% concentrated in ten countries in 2012.