ECDPM has collected substantial evidence that the EU had the upper hand in deciding on sector choices for allocating development funding. The Centre notes that this top-down approach to programming has important implications for development effectiveness commitments. For example, an African government official told them that “After long talks, the EU delegation and the government reached an agreement, but it was not an equitable agreement, because the EU pulled out of transport against our will.”
The European Union and five Southern African Development Community states will meet in Botswana in May 2016 to sign the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The trade deal that has taken at least 10 years to complete. Botswana’s Trade and Industry Ministry confirmed the future date of signature in a statement this week. The legal processes around the deal were completed on October 23. Currently, Botswana chairs the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement group, which also includes other Southern African states: Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. While negotiations between EU and SADC states on the EPA started in 2004, an interim agreement was signed by some regional states in June 2009. A full EPA was reached in July 2014.
According to renown Caribbean consultant, David Jessop, the European Commission (EC) has recent communications are evidence that future EU cooperation with the Caribbean will take place within a broader Latin America and Caribbean framework. Jessop makes looming expiry of the EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement and the recently published EU Trade strategy, ‘Trade for All’.
On Thursday 5th November, the European External Cooperation Infopoint held a lunch time conferecen on ‘Services to face climate change: Making climate information available and pertinent for everyday decisions.’ Mr. Denis Salord, Head of Unit, DG Development Cooperation on Thematic intra-ACP prgorammes introduced the conference, alongside Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou , Assistant Secretary General of the ACP and Head of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade at the ACP Secretariat. Presentatioins were made by Mr. Jolly Wasambo, MESA Project Coordinator at the African Union Commission.
On Wednesday 4th November, the EU’s External Action Infopoint held a conference on Post 2015, Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) and Private Sector. ’With support from the EU, UNIDO has been very active in working with and for the private sector towards sustainable development and climate change. This lunchtime conference presented the study on private sector involvement post-2015 and concrete examples of projects that foster sustainable transfer of environmentally sound technologies . It also showcased a presentation of 10years of experience in chemical leasing, a green business model for shifting the traditional sales of chemicals towards a value-added approach.
On Tuesday 3rd November, the EU’s External Action Infopoint held a conference to discuss climate finance in the context of international climate change negotiations. The conference entitled ‘Climate Finance at COP21 and beyond’ highlighted the importance of achieving an ambitious outcome on climate finance in order to support sustainable and climate resilient development across the developing world. Presentations were made by Maeve McLynn, Policy Coordinator Climate Change and Development, CAN Europe – climate change finance at the UNFCC; Mette Quinn, Deputy head of Unit, DG Climate (Climate change and deforestation) and Mathieu Vervynckt, Eurodad. Here is the presentation.
The ACP Secretariat hosted a breakfast briefing of the ACP Eminent Persons Group (EPG), chaired by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria focusing on the progress of the EPG’s work on the future of the ACP group, its role in the global arena, and its relations with the EU and the world. Chief Obasanjo’s main message was that the ACP group should remain united as an entity. He underscored that the reformed ACP Secretariat would be more people-centered, with greater involvement of private sector, as well as youth and women. Chief Obasanjo also highlighted the ACP’s unique status as a group of developing countries, which had accrued unique expertise in multilateral trade negotiations, South-South and triangular cooperation.
The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria & ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), Ambassador Michel Arrion said that the EU has no offensive economic agenda against Nigeria on the implementation of the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Speaking at the EU-Nigeria Business Forum (EUNBF) - Unlocking Opportunities for Diversification – Ambassador Arrion said “The forum will aim to increase domestic and foreign investments particularly in agribusiness, in line with Nigeria government’s diversification efforts.”
The trade ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries adopted a declaration outlining their positions ahead of the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference, to be held in Nairobi this December. ACP Secretary General Patrick Gomes said, “The ACP Group must work vigorously for the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi to be a success. Part of the ACP strategy for the Ministerial is to safeguard continuation of the Doha Development Agenda [DDA] post-Nairobi.” However, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, told ministers that “despite these very intensive efforts on all of the core DDA issues, I must report that – apart from in a few specific areas – little progress has been made.” He added, “We will not successfully conclude the DDA in Nairobi.”
The European Union remains the world’s biggest donor of official development assistance having provided 58.2 billion euros ($64.2 billion) in 2014. Speakers at a conference on EU and global development in Lisbon discussed whether this was enough to secure the EU’s position as an eminent player in development assistant. According to James Mackie, senior adviser on EU development policy at the European Center for Development Policy Management, “The discussion keeps on coming back to ODA— actually, it is only a tiny part of the financing of development.”