Video guest: Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi
February 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Caribbean Community Caricom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Wednesday renewed a mechanism for diplomatic cooperation with the accreditation of a new envoy to Caricom, Jules Bijl. In a ceremony at the headquarters of the Caricom Secretariat on January 18, 2017, Caricom Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said the community was keen to learn more of the Dutch experiences in a range of areas; these include environmental protection, water management, disaster management, renewable energy, agriculture, food processing, as well as chemical and port infrastructure.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is in The Gambia today meeting the newly elected President Adama Barrow and his new Government. Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: "The peaceful democratic change in The Gambia is the result of the determination of the Gambian people, as well as the regional and international coordinated efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. Gambians have shown commendable resolve, patience and courage during a period of high tension. The EU is fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his Government. We want to be a privileged partner of The New Gambia.

Trade and investment will occupy a strengthened, pivotal place in the UK’s development policy, indicates UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in its “first ever economic development strategy”. The document, released last week, details how DFID intends to work across government departments through an approach that integrates trade, investment, and aid policies to foster economic development and drive poverty reduction.

Thursday, 09 February 2017

Political leaders from Germany and East Africa are set to attend the second German-African Economic Summit in Nairobi this week. But how friendly or cordial are Berlin's ties with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania?Relations between Germany and East Africa are generally good. West Germany was the first country to recognize Kenya after it gained independence from Britain. German President Joachim Gauck visited Tanzania in 2015. Germany and Tanzania are traditionally close. Before the end of World War I, mainland Tanzania was a German colony.

An EU Public Consultation on the External Financing Instruments (EFI) of the European Union has opened from 7 February 2017 until 3 May 2017. The consultation is open to all stakeholders in beneficiary and EU countries: public national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, academics, development agencies and bodies, think tanks, consultancies, private sector organisations, development banks and citizens. The 11th European Development Fund is also an EFI although not funded by the EU budget. It is as such not part of the MFF but it covers the same period and is included in the consultation.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee- Scoon has urged the business and manufacturing sectors to fully exploit the export opportunities available under the CARIFORUM- EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Her entreaty was made at the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce breakfast seminar on maximising export potential to the European Union through the EPA. Gopee-Scoon noted that for Trinidad and Tobago ‘one of the main objectives of the Agreement is to encourage exports of non-energy goods to the EU market.’

WTO members gave their initial review on 24 January to a new paper from the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDC Group) regarding principles and elements for new multilateral disciplines on fisheries subsidies and further reviewed another three proposals from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, the European Union, and six Latin American countries. All four initiatives seek to achieve the 2020 targets set out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).SGD Goal 14.6 calls for prohibiting certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminating subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and refraining from introducing new such subsidies, by 2020.

“The humanity of the world can be measured against the fate of Africa,” declared Horst Köhler, the former German president, more than 10 years ago. Germany is now making the African continent a focus of its G20 presidency. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development published a draft report called, “Cornerstones of a Marshall Plan with Africa,” advocating for a new partnership between Africa and Europe. Ten starting points have been put forward for discussion, mainly focusing on youth, employment, private sector engagement, African ownership and solutions. The Ministry is encouraging an open discussion and is seeking feedback on its Marshall Plan draft until 26 February 2017.

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

Kenya will have to negotiate new trade deals with both the European Union (EU) and Britain in order to maintain its market share, an official said Tuesday. British Prime Minister Theresa May last week set out her Brexit strategy, including leaving the EU single market, which will prompt renegotiation of trade deals with African countries and other partners. Nelson Ndirangu, Director of Economic Affairs and International Trade at Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, confirmed that Nairobi was in the process of initiating negotiations with Britain and the EU. “We are ready to employ strategies to help us sustain our market share in the EU and Britain,” Ndirangu said. Britain accounts for a 20-percent share out of the total Kenyan exports to the EU market, according to Ndirangu.

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Government of Norway have launched a two-week mission to explore the development of a regional technical assistance project to be funded by Norway. The project would support the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sector by strengthening evidence-based management. Dr. Åge Høines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Dr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, began meeting on Monday, January 16, with CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton at the CRFM Secretariat in Belize City, after which the team embarked in a two-week dialogue with 7 CRFM Members States, beginning with senior government officials in Belize. This regional fact-finding mission is being undertaken within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Governments of the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, signed by the parties on 20 September 2016 in New York, USA.