Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Thursday, 19 October 2017

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

There will always be the haves and the have nots of this world, the rich and poor, the upper, middle and lower classes. And in the global economy, there are the countries that are referred to as the super powers and then there are countries that are not even a part of the equation because they have no power at all. Let’s be realistic here. The Caribbean and the small islands around the world have a dependency on at least one or more of the super powers when it comes to their economy. It is like a big brother/big sister relationship. If something should happen to the larger country that takes on that role, then the smaller country has to brace themselves for the repercussions. Let me bring that into perspective for you as it relates to Britain and the Caribbean

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.

The European Commission's Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi, visited the Pacific region to strengthen coordination and cooperation on development policy. From 28 March to 3 April 2017, Director-General Manservisi visited Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The visit began in Australia and New Zealand to strengthen an already close partnership with the two countries and to further coordination on development policy. He then travelled to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to continue discussions with authorities and stakeholders and assess the impact of EU development assistance.

The European Union (EU) will provide 200 million euros for projects in the sectors of trade, energy and water supply in Angola over the next five years, said in Luanda the EU ambassador, Tomáš Uličný. At the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, on Monday, the ambassador told Angolan news agency Angop that in addition to financial support in the mentioned sectors, over the next six months the EU will fund the training of technicians of the National Bank of Angola. “More than twenty Angolans will travel to Europe to receive training in banking and some European experts will come to Angola to pass on their knowledge so that the country can reach the European banking standard,” said the diplomat.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Trade between Tanzania and France is still low at around 200 million Euros in favour of Paris, as authorities in both sides figure ways of increasing the volume. Trade figures, according to French Embassy in Dar es Salaam, shows Tanzania imported goods worth 135 million euros while exported 70 million euros in 2016. France Embassy's Economic and Trade Advisor, Beatrice Alperte said trade volume from either side was low as most are pharmaceutical from Paris and raw agricultural goods from Dar.

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said that his nation is committed to lay strong foundation to bolster its overall bilateral and multilateral relations with Ethiopia. He made the remark during a recent exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald. Spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev said Ethiopia and Azerbaijan have similar culture and civilization. "Ethiopia is one of the oldest birthplace of human civilization, art and development which made it akin with Azerbaijan." In-terms of strengthening bilateral ties, he noted that Azerbaijan has a strong will to have an increased experience sharing. For instance, Azerbaijan is keen on drawing best practices of Ethiopia in the areas of tourism, agriculture, mining industry and the like, he added.

Germany wants to establish fair trade with Africa as the latter has been victimized by the existing trade ties. The lately proposed 'Marshall Plan with Africa' is aimed at achieving trade balance between Africa and Europe, said a visiting Germany Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller. Addressing AU representatives and diplomatic corps yesterday, Müller said the 25-year plan also helps to re-position the EU's cooperation with Africa, and is intended to serve as a basis of discussion to restructure ties. With the new proposal, Germany needs to add a new and strategic dimension to the partnership with Africa.

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan indirectly criticised the European Union's farming subsidies, in a conversation with journalists in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March). After his tenure as head of the UN (1997-2006), Annan set up a foundation that carries his name, which has sustainable development and reducing hunger and poverty as some of its main goals. He came to Brussels to hold a keynote speech at an event about agriculture and environment. A farmer in Kenya. Annan: 'I come from a continent where these poor farmers with limited resources are trying to compete' (Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT).) Asked about whether he had suggestions for the upcoming reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, he called it “an awkward question”.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

The European Union will support Timor-Leste (East Timor) with a budget of 57 million euros over the next five years, under a cooperation agreement signed at the end of last week in Dili by the head of the EU delegation in Timor-Leste and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste