June 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza




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EDITO
Saturday, 25 June 2016

SADC-EPA members have ensured the safeguard of the agricultural sector ahead of the implementation of the EPA with the EU, allaying fears that a deluge of products from advanced EU industries could crowd out infant industries in the region. Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) signed the operationalisation of phase one of the two parties’ Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Kasane town in north-eastern Botswana on June 10.

In an interview with a selected group of journalists on the side of a two-day Regional Technical Workshop on Improved and Facilitated Trade in West Africa, Obideyi explained that three countries were yet to sign the agreements, hence the delay in implementation. “The Federal Republic of Nigeria and The Gambia have still not signed. Mauritania, although not a West African country, was also added to the West African bloc during the negotiations and has also not signed to it yet,” the commissioner disclosed. According to him, the three countries cited the lack of clarity in the agreement concerning West Africa’s industrialization, which the sub-region has not addressed, as the reason for their delay in signing it.

This development-oriented agreement between the European Union and Southern African countries is the first of its kind with an African region, pursuing regional economic integration. The European Union and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) last week signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), in Kasane, Botswana. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland – the so-called SADC EPA group – is a development-oriented free trade agreement.

Friday, 17 June 2016

European Development Days 2016

Tour et Taxis (Brussels): 15-16 June, 2016

On 15-16 June, CTA will be collaborating with various international organisations on five events at The European Development Days 2016 in Brussels. Topics to be discussed at the events include: sustainable development goals, agribusiness and food standards in ACP countries. Please follow the links below for further information:

Developments in agricultural trade and the Sustainable Development Goals in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries:

https://www.eudevdays.eu/sessions/developments-agricultural-trade-and-sustainable-development-goals-african-caribbean-and

The Treatment of Food Standards in Mega-Regional Trade Agreements:

https://www.eudevdays.eu/sessions/treatment-food-standards-mega-regional-trade-agreements

Gender and Agricultural Entrepreneurship:

https://www.eudevdays.eu/sessions/gender-and-agricultural-entrepreneurship

Supporting local and sustainable food production in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries:

https://www.eudevdays.eu/sessions/supporting-local-and-sustainable-food-production-african-caribbean-and-pacific-countries

Ending hunger and undernutrition: It can be done faster:

https://www.eudevdays.eu/sessions/ending-hunger-and-undernutrition-it-can-be-done-faster

 

PLEASE REGISTER HERE: https://eudevdays.eu/register-anonymous

Friday, 10 June 2016

MEPs have called on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to radically alter its mission. The Alliance currently pushes African countries to replicate the intensive agricultural practices employed in many developed countries. For a large majority of MEPs, the G7’s decision to base its programme for food security in Africa on intensive agriculture is a mistake. The European Parliament took its first official stance on the subject with the adoption of a report on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) on Tuesday (7 June). “We have already made the mistake of intensive agriculture in Europe, we should not replicate it in Africa because this model destroys family farming and reduces biodiversity,” said Mara Heubuch, a German Green MEP and rapporteur on the New Alliance. Launched in 2012 by the countries of the G7 in partnership with ten African countries, the NAFSN has a worthy objective: to lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2050 by enabling investment in the agricultural sectors of ten African countries, including Benin, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Source: euractiv.com

A draft bill at the EU parliament which urges G8 member states not to support GMO research and cultivation in Africa, has been criticised by Kenyan MPs. Mt Elgon MP John Serut said he reads malice in the proposed draft bill on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. “.. it looks like it is intended to make Africa remain in subsistence farming,” said Serut a member of the agriculture committee. The bill has been drafted and sponsored by the Committee on Development in the EU parliament and it claims that the technology is not good for Africa. The MPs and biotechnology experts noted that the success of this motion will lead to termination of most Africa based research and development for GM crops. He called for support from the Kenya’s legislatures by writing a formal protest letter to the EU Parliament. “Interestingly, there is no single word in the Bill that touches on export of GM products to Africa,” he said.

Source: freshplaza.com

Forty-one years after its formation, questions are being asked about the relevance of the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) whose main task was to achieve sustainable development and integration into the global economy. The ACP, which came into being following the signing of the Georgetown Agreement in Guyana in 1975, was also tasked with making poverty reduction a matter of priority and establishing a new, fairer, and more equitable world order. But while all but one of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country have been graduated to middle income countries – Haiti being the exception – questions about the relevance of the grouping made up of former European colonies are surfacing. During the just concluded 8th ACP Summit here, heads of states and government asked pointed questions about the continued relevance of the organization.

Source: trinidadexpress.com

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda), adopted by the United Nations (UN) in September 2015, represents an ambitious new blueprint to tackle the global trends and challenges that have emerged since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000. The core of the 2030 Agenda is the set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets, which replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2016, and run to 2030. In contrast to the MDGs, the SDGs cover the three dimensions of sustainable development, economic, social and environmental, in a comprehensive and integrated way. They also address issues such as peaceful and inclusive societies and mobilising all relevant means of implementation (...) The 2030 Agenda reflects European values and the leading role the EU had in shaping it. As a result, there are high expectations for the EU to play a driving role also in implementing the Agenda. The EU is committed to playing its full part to implement the SDGs and to continue its longstanding leadership on sustainable development issues at global and domestic level. The fundamental changes in the global framework for sustainable development therefore need to be reflected in EU development policy, the major orientations of which are set out in the 2005 European Consensus on Development and the 2011 Agenda for Change.

Source: ec.europa.eu

On 1 June 2016, the European Council authorised, on behalf of the EU, the signature and provisional application of the economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the EU and the South African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group.The South African Development Community EPA group comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The signing ceremony of the SADC-EU EPA will take place in Kasane, Botswana, this week, on 10 June 2016. The economic partnership agreements are intended to enhance regional integration and economic development in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. They are based on the principle of asymmetrical market opening, meaning that they provide a better access to the EU market for ACP partners.

Source: bizcommunity.com

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has pledged another EUR 55 Million in support of African Union (AU) programmes and joint strategic initiatives after its bilateral negotiations with the African Union (AU) Commission, recently concluded. The focus of this year’s commitment is largely on agricultural development through enhancement of agricultural skills. A new element of the cooperation between the AU and Germany is on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). Germany made an initial pledge of EUR 5 Million in support of the ongoing CFTA preparations and negotiations. This year´s commitment particularly focuses on the support to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which will benefit from additional EUR 29 Million from Germany. The additional contribution mainly supports agricultural technical vocational education and training (TVET) in more than 10 African countries and with a special focus on women.

Source: bizcommunity.com