Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 18 November 2017

Two new online information systems launched recently is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in Fiji and the Pacific. According to the Pacific Community (SPC) the Agricultural Policy Bank and the Pacific Agricultural Information System (PAIS), are set to make a major contribution towards the collection and use of data in the agriculture sector. European Union Delegation for the Pacific's Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner launched the two new online portals with APB representatives from 15 Pacific ACP countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu).

Africa is receiving a declining share of the global official development assistance, advocacy and campaign organisation ONE says. It called on the G20 to double official development finance by 2020, from approximately $60bn in 2015 to $120bn. Despite a 7.4% increase in global ODA in the last year, African countries’ share has fallen by 4% since 2012, according to a ONE report published on 11 September. Over half of the world’s poorest people live in Africa and the share of global aid going to the region dropped to 32% in 2016, compared to 36% in 2012. At the same time, Africa’s population has increased by 14%. ONE also called on donors to recommit to ODA targets and work towards spending 0.7% of their national income on development aid overseas, prioritising “the poorest and most vulnerable countries”.

Monday, 25 September 2017

The European Union, through its increasing agricultural commodities trade (IACT) project, has assisted Bula Coffee with the acquisition of a mobile coffee processing machine, nursery structures and irrigation equipment worth $72,000. EU political, trade, press and information section's press and information officer Mohammed Nazeem Kasim said the EU was proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji and confirmed that the new nurseries would provide coffee seedlings for farmers on both Vili Levu and Vanua Levu. In response to questions on the potential for the local coffee industry, Mr Kasim said the mobile wet coffee processor would provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu.

The European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have signed a Financing Agreement to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and violence against women and girls in the Pacific. The more than US$15 million agreement was signed in Apia by European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor. The program will support activities at the regional level as well as in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The fund will be implemented over six years by UN Women, the PIF Secretariat and the Pacific Community.

The Addis Ababa public abattoirs are currently situated in the heart of the city and face important environmental, social and economic challenges. This project aims at relocating and modernizing the infrastructure to comply with environmental and social requirements and meet the increasing demand on both local and international markets. Ethiopia has an urban population growth of 4% a year. The country is facing a significant challenge: by 2020, 30% of Ethiopians are expected to live in cities, against 18% in 2013. The capital Addis Ababa should see its population double by 2022.

The serious post-electoral crisis following the 2016 presidential elections in Gabon is fueling instability, say MEPs. They condemn the pressure and intimidation of the opposition in the country as its role is fundamental in a democratic society. MEPs urge the Gabonese authorities to immediately overturn their decision 'denying the right to leave the country to several leaders of the Gabon opposition, including the candidate in the 2016 presidential election Jean Ping. An 'independent and objective investigation into the election-related violence and the allegations of serious violations for human rights and fundamental freedoms should be held.

A three-member team of auditors from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union (EU) is in Ghana to assess the quality of Ghana’s vegetables. The audit will enable the EU office on food safety to reconsider a three-year-old embargo on vegetables export from Ghana to the EU Market. The auditors who are expected to end their duty tour by Saturday, September 21, 2017, will among other things thoroughly assess the sanitary and phytosanitary systems in Ghana required for ensuring the safety of food items and fresh produce.

Friday, 22 September 2017

One of the main priorities of the current Estonian EU presidency is the promotion of digital solutions and technologies in development cooperation. “Digital for Development” was therefore high on the agenda of the 11 September meeting of EU ministers and Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, who specifically mentioned the Digital4Development initiative that is supported by the head of EU foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini. Mr. Ansip said that the development agenda had been covered by €32 billion from the EU budget for development over the last decade, and by another €82 billion coming directly from the member states. However, the part specifically earmarked for digital had been very small – about 500 million in total.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A major gathering of ministers and senior government officials from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands will take place in the Bahamas on 18-21 September. With up to USD 5.3 billion worth of fish exports entering the international market each year from these regions, the meeting seeks to reinforce shared commitments to improve governance and boost development of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Dr. The Hon. Hubert A. Minnis is scheduled to open the two-day 5th Meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture on 20 September, preceded by the Meeting of Senior Fisheries Officials on 18-19 September. The event is especially important for the ACP Group of States, whose 79 member states include more than 60 that export fisheries products, both from maritime and inland fisheries and from aquaculture.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo makes ten million euro available over the next four years for innovative agricultural research conducted by the ‘Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’, a worldwide network of research centers contributing to enhanced productivity, food security and sustainability in the agriculture. The funding will support, among others, the further development of the banana genebank of the KU Leuven.