Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday February 22, 2017, officially opened the 13th Regional meeting (West Africa) of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) at the Radisson Blu Conference Centre, Aberdeen in Freetown. Speaking during the opening session, the president called on the meeting to do more in promoting democratic processes through dialogue and consultations and in facilitating greater understanding between the peoples of the EU and the ACP states. “We must continue to raise public awareness of development issues, and adopt resolutions and recommendations to the Council of Ministers with a view to achieving the objectives of the Agreement,” he urged.

British officials sparked an outcry Monday morning after reportedly describing a post-Brexit Africa-focused trade policy as “Empire 2.0.” A report in The Times newspaper said that some civil servants coined the description to describe moves to prioritize a post-Brexit free trade deal with African nations and other countries in the Commonwealth.But the epithet, which refers to Britain’s long and often destructive past relationship with poorer nations as an imperial power, has caused controversy. The Commonwealth is formed of 52 states with its roots in the British Empire. The Scottish National Party politician Alyn Smith, who like most of the rest of his party is anti-Brexit, said on Twitter that the concept was “delusional nonsense.”

The European Commission‘s electrification financing initiative, ElectriFI, has made its first investment of US$2.5 million in clean energy micro-utility Sigora Haiti, supplying households, schools and small firms with electricity. ElectriFI received 290 proposals in response to its first call for investment in April 2016 before passing management of the €75 million fund on to the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) and its new EDFI Management Company (EDFIMC). “Our goal is to grow ElectriFI this year. Next year, we hope to launch AgriFI. With that experience, we can think about health, education and water funds. Some people say it is impossible to find these projects but once you get out of the capital cities you will find there is lots of private and commercial activity going on already,” Frederik van den Bosch, managing director of the EDFI Management Company (EDFIMC), told Development Finance.

The sugarcane industry remains an important sector of the Fijian economy. The industry supports the livelihoods of almost 200,000 Fijians. The European Union (EU) is a key development partner for Fiji’s sugarcane industry and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. As part of its Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol programme (AMSP 2013), the EU is implementing 11 projects, with a total investment of around FJ$100 million, in partnership with a number of national and international agencies and relevant Fiji Government ministries. One such collaboration is with the Australian Government in the context of the Training Support to the Fiji Sugarcane Industry (FSI) project.The project focuses on training sugarcane industry workers across the sugar belt regions of Fiji to improve their productivity and efficiency by upgrading their technical and management skills.

Tuesday, 07 March 2017

Air France has disclosed of its commitment to facilitate the swift export of fresh agricultural produce from Ghana to Europe in the short to medium term. It follows the commencement of the airline’s operations along the Accra-Paris route. The assurance also follows the impressive cargo patronage recorded by the airline in its inaugural flight from Accra to Paris on Wednesday. “Cargo will be as well a key success factor for the economies and the development of the route. On Tuesday night the flight left with cargo full of pineapple from Ghana to France and to Europe,” the Chairman and CEO of AirFrance, Jean Marc Janaillac told Citi Business News. According to him, the cargo capacity for the Airline’s A330 and Boeing 2007 are 10 and 16 tonnes respectively. Mr. Marc Janaillac who was speaking at the official launch of Air France’s operations also highlighted plans to capitalize on Accra’s position as one of the top long haul routes to facilitate business transactions between Ghana and France.

The French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Francois Pujolas, has congratulated the government and people of Ghana on the occasion of the celebration of the country’s 60th independence anniversary which falls today and said the day also marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.He said France and Ghana had cooperated along various areas and would further deepen the friendship in such areas as economic/trade which must be sustainable, security/terrorism, climate change, culture/language, tourism, educational and health, among others. The Embassy of France and its partners will continue to strengthen their partnership with Ghana on many points, as part of Ghana’s regional integration, he stated.

In Conakry, Guinea, EU International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica announced on March 4 the preparation of 19 new renewable energy projects, with a total potential investment of €4.8 billion. This was done during the second Board of Directors meeting of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the African Union. AREI was launched at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and is receiving strong international support from development partners.

Monday, 06 March 2017

This publication presents a variety of comparable statistics that illustrate the developing relations between the European Union and Africa and provides important information to those interested in both continents, including political and business leadership, journalists and researchers, as well as the general public. Data about other regions/countries are also included to give a fuller picture of the relations between the European Union and Africa on the one hand, and the world as a whole on the other.

Thursday, 02 March 2017

The Minister of Finance, Trade and Blue Economy, Américo Ramos, of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, has officially announced the Power Sector Recovery Project, which aims to reform the energy sector in the country. The project includes the rehabilitation and expansion of the Contador Hydroelectric project and strengthening of the national utility Empresa de Agua e Electricidade de São Tomé e Príncipe (EMAE). The Minister indicated that “this occasion marks the partnership of the World Bank and the European Investment Bank with the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, to assist in the recovery of the energy sector, to increase the generation of electricity with renewable resources, and to improve the reliability of the electricity supply, with a shared vision of sustainable energy supply for all, respectful of the environment.”

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

During a European Commission official visit to Burkina Faso a financing agreement of €117 million was signed to support the food security, agriculture and resilience sector. This «support programme for food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and resilience in Burkina Faso» forms part of the €800 million announced by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, on 7 December 2016 at the International Conference organised by Burkina Faso in Paris.