Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

Violence against women and girls is the root cause of discrimination and disempowerment, and this is not only about Africa, speakers insisted on Tuesday (26 September) at a conference on “Political Empowerment of Women in Africa and in Europe”. The conference was part of the “S&D group Africa Week 2017”. This is the second year that the group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament has organised a week-long conference on Africa-EU relations. This year the initiative is dedicated to the “youth and future of Africa”. S&D group leader Gianni Pittella said he was proud his political force was spearheading the initiative to build a more mature partnership between the EU and Africa.

The Department for International Development has defended its aid budget for Nigeria, which is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis caused by attacks led by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Priti Patel, the development secretary, jointly announced £200m in aid over the next four years, during a visit to the country on Wednesday. The projected average annual funding of £50m in that time period falls short of the £100m pledged to Nigeria for 2017. But DfID played down the suggestion that the new pledge amounted to a halving of the annual budget, claiming the additional funding was part of a £300m five-year package.

The European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) agreed upon "renaming" their summit between Europeans and Africans scheduled for 29-30 November in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), the EU-AU summit, Algeria's ambassador Amar Belani said Sunday in Brussels. "The AU and the EU agreed upon renaming their next meeting +EU-AU Summit+," which is expected to take place on 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, named in the previous editions EU-Africa Summit," Belani told APS.

The European Union must make more investment in Africa to ensure Europe's continued prosperity and security, Malta's President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said at the Arraiolos Group meeting on Friday. Thirteen Non-Executive Presidents of the European Union gathered in Malta from Thursday to Friday to debate European inclusiveness with respect to poverty and social injustices of European citizens and refugees. Preca proposed the need to invest in Africa because she believed it will be of benefit to Europe too. "We need to look at Africa as a continent of opportunity. Europeans had colonized Africa and it was, and still is, a continent of opportunity," Preca said.

Friday, 06 October 2017

France has ‘failed to propose a long-term strategy for the economic development of the African continent’. This is what emerges from the report ‘Ready for the Africa of today?’ published by the Institut Montaigne on Wednesday 20 September. The study points to increasingly fierce international competition, and says China, Morocco, India, India and Turkey have adopted much more developed strategies. The French are ‘locked in a circular political discourse’. Each new president announces a renewal of Franco-African relations, promising to do better than the previous government. The institute also complains about the dependence on public authorities, as actions in Africa are more heavily dependent on funding and diplomatic efforts.

The government of Gabon reacted on Friday after the European Parliament resolution on 17 September calling on Gabon to stop all ‘harassment, intimidation and persecution’ of the opposition and ‘immediately release anyone still wrongfully held’. Libreville refuted all these accusations and condemned what it called the EP’s ‘relentlessness’ and failure to respect the sovereignty of Gabon. ‘The Government of the Republic joins the Gabonese Senate in denouncing this relentless and unjustifiable action,’ said the Minister of Communication and Government spokesman, Alain Claude Bilie By Nze.

On Wednesday, the European Union organised a seminar on an interim report on the evaluation of its cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire. Carried out by a team of independent consultants over the period 2007–2015, this evaluation aims to improve the policies and practices of the European Union in order to enable it to increase the impact of its cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire. According to the report, the consolidation of peace, good governance and strengthening of the state have been key objectives for the EU throughout the reporting period.

As the 5th Meeting of ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific) Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Nassau closed, delegates resolved to create a strategic plan to secure the aquaculture and fisheries sectors of the 79 member countries (of almost one billion people) to bring about foreign exchange, improve job security and food security. Bahamas Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources the Hon. Renward Wells chaired the week-long meeting and, delighted that the group arrived at a resolution, gave brief remarks to the media at the session’s closing.

The EU through the EU-GIZ Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Programme (ACSE) will fund the relocation project of seven households affected by climate change at Narikoso on Kadavu. According to the EU-GIZ ACSE, there is a $1.69m funding towards the project from EU, of which half would be directed towards the relocation of Narikoso and the other half for Waciwaci District School on Lakeba, Lau. It was revealed during the Kadavu Provincial meeting three weeks ago that 10 villages on Kadavu have been earmarked for relocation.

A multi-million-dollar European Union (EU) irrigation infrastructure support to smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe has started to pay dividends, with farmers in Mutema Irrigation Scheme, Chipinge district, harvesting their first banana crop with a ready market. The EU is disbursing the six million euro fund through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and so far, $200 000 has been invested in the Mutema scheme, which is now helping over 100 farmers who have a quarter-hectare plot each. Themba Mundidini is excited about the prospect of his first harvest from the scheme after four failed attempts, as they did not have efficient irrigation infrastructure.