Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2018
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

The Council adopted a decision approving the conclusion of the revised international cocoa agreement, which was negotiated by the UN cocoa conference in 2010, and replaced the 2001 version. One has to remember that the agreement was signed by the EU in June 2011 and provisionally applied since then. In January,  International Trade Committee (INTA) MEPs  recommended the Parliament to give its consent to a new International Cocoa Agreement.

During the course of the last Council meeting on General Affairs, ministers discussed, in public session, the first elements of the negotiating box outlining the most central issues and options for certain parts of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2014-2020 period. The negotiating box discussed by ministers covers budget  5 headings , as well as some horizontal issues, in particular the question of whether some instruments should be placed inside or outside the MFF. Related issues to the European Development Fund (EDF), which is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the ACP countries, and which is funded by the Member States according to a specific contribution key, were part of the discussions.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

As Kenyan flowers could be subjected to 16 per cent duty if Kenya did not ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)  by June, concerns about the EPA's potential in boosting trade on the continent emerge. According to one article by The Standard, Kenya has much to lose if a new EPA is sealed, as differing from the rest of the EAC members, the country does not  benefit from LDC conditions, which provides free access for goods to the European market. Musikari Kombo, President of the ACP Joint Parliamentary Group, says this can be detrimental to regional integration.

Around one billion people suffer from hunger in the world. More particularly, in Sub-Saharan Africa, some 30 % of the total population faces food insecurity. According to the European Commission (EC) Press service, the EU funded a total of over €3,1 Billion for food security interventions in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2002 – 2010.  This amount has been allocated through the European Development Fund (EDF), as well as three thematic instruments financed through the general budget of the European Union, namely the Food Security Budget Line (FSBL), the Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) and the Food Facility. Now, the European Court of Auditors asses whether EU development aid for food security in the region is effective. The audit focuses on EU direct development support for the three dimensions of food security, namely, food availability, access to food and food utilisation (nutrition).The Court concludes that EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly effective and makes an important contribution to achieving food security. However, it stresses several areas to be further improved.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Standard Bank (SB) has named the BRICS, Asian and Middle Eastern countries as Africa's most prominent commercial partners. Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens, economists from the SB, which is the African largest retail bank, classify Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa (BRICS), together with Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey as the new emerging 10 (EM10) economies whose ties with Africa are shaping the continent’s development trajectory. They stress the significant role the EM10 is playing in shaping the international economic arena.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Following the coup d'etat in Mali, Andris Piebalgs, EU Development Commissioner, announces that EC development operations will be suspended until “the situation clarifies”. Mr Piebalgs also says this decision won’t affect Humanitarian aid and recalls , as EU High Representative Catherine Asthon, for a “speedy resolution of the crisis, restoration of constitutional order and the holding of democratic elections as soon as possible”.

“The structural transformation of our Mineral resources potential into competitive and sustainable industries is an essential component of any long-term strategy to ensure the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for poverty reduction”. These were among the statements made by Mr Achille Bassilekin III, Assistant Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat and Head of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade,  during the 2nd European Raw Material Conference, held in Brussels last week.

Monday, 26 March 2012

European Parliament
-28-29 March: Mini plenary session (Strasbourg)
-27 March: Committee on Foreign Affairs
-27 March: Committee on Development
-26-27: Commission on International Trade
Council of Ministers
-28/30 March: COREPER I
-28-29  March: COREPER II
-26 March: General Affairs Council (International Trade)
ACP Group
-26  March: S/C on Political, Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Affairs
-27 March: Enlarged Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
-27 March: W/G on the Future perspectives of the ACP Group
-29 March: Committee of Ambassadors
-30 March: 4th meeting on ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration

You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.

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The next Brussels Development Briefing will focus on  “Small island economies: from vulnerabilities to opportunities” and take place on April 4th, 2012. It will be organised by the CTA, with the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various media partners.
The Briefing will discuss policy options to reduce the vulnerability of small islands economies. We will also discuss some best practices to enhance sustainable development, especially in the context of Rio+20.
You can follow the updates and register online at brusselsbriefings.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Discussions on the ongoing Doha negotiations have once again taken place.  According to Sylvester Bagooro, from Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa), who has recently published an article on myjoyonline, the Ministerial Conference, held last December 2011,  ended “with no clear direction as to the future of the Doha negotiations”.