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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has urged members of the European Union not to punish Namibia for doing business with other countries such as China. Schlettwein said this when he answered a question by a European parliamentarian as to whether Namibia ever considers bringing in experts to train youth to address the skills' shortage which is also a cause of the country's high unemployment rate, during the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Windhoek yesterday.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi participated in the 8th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Port Moresby, from 30 May to 1 June 2016 and hosted by the Government of Papua New Guinea). The ACP Summit has been held every 5 years since the creation of the group in 1975. The 8th session was attended by all 75 Member States of the ACP Group at the level of Heads or Deputy Heads of State or Government, Foreign Affairs Ministers, Ambassadors, international and regional organizations, and special guests.

While the preferential treatment extended to European Union (EU) goods would witness an increase in imports from that economic bloc, given its larger production and productivity base, it may strain the competitiveness of domestic industries. Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein feels the 'cumulation provisions' in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) nevertheless create interesting opportunities to develop regional value chains to support Namibia's industrialisation strategy and expand its export basket. Cumulation is a concept used in preferential trade agreements, which essentially widens the definition of originating products and helps manufactured goods meet the relevant rule of origin.

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at its 31th session that closed on Wednesday, June 15, in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, agreed on several resolutions including urgent initiatives to improve the deplorable situation of migrants and refugees within the EU or immigrants en-route to Europe. The assembly also expressed he urgent need to see an end to rape and violence against women and children in armed conflicts.

There is a need to devise extensive strategies on how to deal with the adverse effects of climate change, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano has said. Chissano made the remarks last Wednesday during the 31st session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of nations and European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). He said climate change continues to pose major threats to the development of countries globally, and have far-reaching consequences on weather patterns in some countries.

South Africa's renowned Rooibos Tea has secured geographic indicator status in a pact with the European Union (EU), Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Friday. "Geographical Indications (GIs) are recognition that the use of a particular name, which is usually derived from some place name, that this is exclusively for producers who come from that area," the minister told a media briefing at Parliament in Cape Town.

The African Caribbean Pacific Group of Countries (ACP) has hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta for transforming Kenya, and specifically for putting in place a strong economic agenda that will ensure the country's sustained growth for years to come. The ACP Committee of Ambassadors Friday said they have been keenly following the progress the country is making in transforming its economy and the role it is playing in fostering regional integration.

Support for resilience and to promote state and peace building in Somalia expected to be one of the key announcements during the European Development Days (...) During the event, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, is expected to announce new support to Somalia worth €73 million during a meeting with Mohamed Omer Arteh, Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia. This funding will go towards building resilience (€25 million) and enhancing youth employment for rural communities and urban households in Somalia. It will focus on the most vulnerable population of Somalia, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Ethiopian government and the European Commission today concluded an agreement that will enable them enhance the partnership on bilateral issues to a more strategic level. The Joint Declaration on the EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement, signed yesterday, will become a comprehensive process of dialogue and cooperation, in different areas and on different levels, based on common interest.

Local governance, stepping up intra-ACP trade and common management of ACP-EU migration were among the topics discussed by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) at its 31st session, which closed on Wednesday 15 June, in Windhoek, Namibia. In a debate on Wednesday, Members called for a renewed post-Cotonou architecture to adapt the ACP-EU partnership to new global challenges. Co-President ad interim Michèle Rivasi (Greens/EFA, FR) stressed the need to strengthen the parliamentary dimension and include civil society in the new form of cooperation.