Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

The Adentan Municipal Assembly has launched a 820,000 Euro mushroom project, dubbed the ‘Promush Project’, to create 5,500jobs for the youth and persons with disabilities. The three-year project is funded by the European Union(EU) with an amount of 660,000 Euros while the assembly, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy(CLGA) and Local Government Network (LOGNet), contributed a total of 160,000 Euros. Hajia Mahama said the project would use community sensitisation programmes to orient the crop and animal farmers, youth and the general public to see mushroom farming as a viable business venture.

The Government has allocated $17 million for the completion of a project to facilitate increased production and more diversified exports of agricultural and agro-processed products to the European Union market. The allocation to the European Development Fund (EDF) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Capacity Building Project is included in the 2017-18 Estimates of Expenditure now before the House of Representatives. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the project will complete activities aimed at the accreditation of the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) to issue certification for ISO 22000 & HACCP, as well as training and witness audit overseas and in Jamaica.

The Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union will support the coconut industry in Samoa and Vanuatu as part of a new regional initiative to improve small producer’s business competitiveness. The €3.5 million Coconut Industry Development Project (CIDP) aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Samoa and Vanuatu, and to share lessons learned to support the development of the regional coconut industries. SPC Project Team Leader, Karen Mapusua, says the call for Expressions of Interest is now open for all involved in the coconut industry including the private sector, farmers’ organisations, and NGOs working with farmers.

The European Union Delegation to T&T has awarded 17 local and regional organisations grants totalling $5 million for projects in governance and human rights. In making the announcement yesterday, head of the EU Delegation in Port-of-Spain Aad Biesebroek acknowledged the important role of civil society groups in shaping government policy, fostering peace and empowering citizens. He also used the occasion to call for proposals from civil society groups involved in business and environmental preservation who are seeking grant funding.

The European Union has announced a launch of a $47.46 billion Africa Economic Development Fund aimed at helping Nigeria and other African countries drive economic growth and development. With the new development Nigeria and some other African countries hope of attracting foreign investments have been renewed by the European Union. According to the vice president of EU Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, the EU is already developing a strategic framework for the implementation and disbursement of the fund. He maintained that the EU is also designing security measures to ensure the fund is effectively and efficiently disbursed.

Sudanese government and the European Union (EU) on Monday have agreed to continue strategic cooperation and coordination at all levels during the coming period, said Sudan’s foreign ministry. In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said Sudan’s foreign ministry under-secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m on Monday has met with the EU envoy to Khartoum Jean-Michel Dumond. Khidir pointed that the meeting discussed political relations between Sudan and the EU besides issues of combating illegal migration and human trafficking and development.

A first of a kind Trade Data Peer Learning for the Solomon Islands delegates has been facilitated by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism yesterday. In opening the learning, permanent secretary for the ministry, Shaheen Ali said the workshop would provide a platform to exchange information and knowledge in the area of trade data. "This peer learning is extra special for Fiji, as we are welcoming our Melanesian colleagues, which is further strengthening the relationship between the MSG countries," Mr Ali said....The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat are facilitating the two-week peer learning. The delegation includes representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Ministry of Finance and Treasury — who are experts in Customs and statistics.

The Government is examining ways to more effectively utilise the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to strengthen Jamaica’s trade relations with the 27-member EU. This is against the background of significant developments, notably the pending departure of the United Kingdom (UK), Jamaica’s largest trading partner in that bloc, said Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith. She was speaking during the Third Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue held recently at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices. The EPA, between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which is the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, took effect in 2009.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Zambian government said Tuesday that the plan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to set up an office in the country was a clear endorsement by Europe that Zambia was one of the best investment destinations in Africa. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, who has just returned from a tour of some European countries to strengthen economic cooperation, said the European bank promised to set up an office in Zambia by the third quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Food security in South Africa remains a challenge, with just 30 000 commercial farmers being responsible for most of the country’s food production. Over 200 000 smallholder farmers and an estimated 2 million subsistence farmers have an important role to play in food security and poverty reduction, yet their access to markets, information and finance is limited or non-existent. There is also a lack of available data on smallholder farmers and their supply chains, which is a barrier to informed decision-making by agribusinesses and policy makers. Mobile ICT solutions such as Vodacom’s Connected Farmer platform will help to address this by providing farmers with the services they need.