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EDITO
Thursday, 19 January 2017

On 6 December 2016, the Council decided to sign a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba. The Council also decided to provisionally apply parts of the agreement. The agreement will be transmitted to the European Parliament for its consent, in view of its conclusion. It will be signed on 12 December 2016 at 9.30 by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU foreign ministers, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said: "We are truly at a turning point in the relations between the EU and Cuba. Together, we are moving towards a closer and more constructive partnership, one that reflects strong historic, economic and cultural ties that unite Europe and Cuba

So far, over 7,000 farmers have been trained and linked to different markets through a 4-year project designed to help farmers market their produce, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has said. The Rwf4bn Link Farmers to Market Project (LIFAM), to be concluded this year, is financed by the Netherlands government and implemented by PSF, according to Regina Kayitesi, the national project coordinator. She was speaking to The New Times, on Monday, at the closure of a four-day farmers exhibition at Gikondo Expo grounds. The expo, attended by over 200 farmers, was organised by the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock at PSF. The expo was themed "unlocking the potential of Rwandan farmers to markets."

The European Union (EU) on Monday pledged its support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild some parts of the North East and Niger Delta regions by earmarking 20 million Euros for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta States. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her office, said the funds would be offered to the two States in the form of budget support. “Sometime ago, we talked about budget support but we will be able to do that only at the State level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war, and we can look at States in the North East and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” he said.

The second High Level Political Dialogue between the European Union and Fiji under article 8 of the ACP-EU partnership (Cotonou) Agreement was held in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday. The meeting which was a continuation of last year’s dialogue in Suva was opened by Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama. Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Action Service, Gunnar Wiegand, outlined priorities for international and regional cooperation with Fiji arising from global challenges such as climate change, oceans and migration.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Jamaica’s newly appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom George Ramocan is expected to leave for London mid-month to take up his new assignment. This follows an announcement on November 16 by Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, which was really a mere formality as it was obvious to some that he would have been assigned to London from immediately after the new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Administration took office in March. So, why did he have to wait another eight months before he was officially announced as the new high commissioner to London? Ramocan blames the delay on procedural matters.

Monday, 05 December 2016

PIPSO launched their 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, and revamped website in Suva today. Speaking from the event this morning, PIPSO’s Chair Howard Politini complimented the organisation for this milestone, “PIPSO has great plans and has much expectations from their members and stakeholders around the region, who convened and actively participated in July this year for a 4-day interactive workshop to deliberate and finalise the organisation’s strategic focus in the next 4 years.”

Development agencies must use the momentum from COP22 to prioritise water infrastructure projects and help mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events in Africa, write Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle and Waltina Scheumann. Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle is an economist and Waltina Scheumann is a political scientist. This editorial was first published by the German Development Institute (DIE). Last Friday (18 November) marked the end of COP22 in Marrakesh, which addressed the implementation of the climate agreement signed in Paris one year ago. The accord at long last recognised that climate change adaptation is equally as important as greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

The Joint Communication Towards a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries buildson the longstanding relationship with the ACP countries, which provides a good starting point to build a strong and modern alliance that is apt for the challenges of a more interdependent, complex and contested world. It should help building peaceful, stable, well-governed, prosperous and resilient states and societies at our borders and beyond and deliver on our objective of a multilateral rules-based order addressing global challenges.

The consequence of the possible refusal by Tanzania to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is so great that it might undermine trade within the East African Community (EAC) and beyond, experts have warned. If Tanzania digs in to block the EPA deal with the European Union, some analysts worry, there is a high possibility that the Customs Union, which aims to ensure partner states trade freely among themselves, will suffer the biggest blow. "The Customs Union will be greatly shaken in the event that some EAC countries accept EPA while others reject it.

Thursday, 01 December 2016

Tanzania Horticulture Association's (TAHA) efforts to boost horticultural production in the country have attracted a five million US dollar (over 10bn/-) funding from Sweden. Speaking shortly after signing the five-year deal, the Deputy Head of Mission responsible for Development Corporation Division (DCD) at the Swedish Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Mr Ulf Källsting said the funding will straight go to improve production by small holder farmers struggling to meet international market standards.