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April 2018
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Monday, 23 April 2018

On their knees: with last year’s wheat harvest, France had hoped to regain lost ground in Africa, but is struggling to pick itself back up in the face of competition from Russian wheat, which is cheaper and has characteristics more in line with the demands of African millers. “After the poor French wheat harvest in 2016, Russian wheat had an opportunity to enter our market. We tried it, and we found it met our requirements. Since then, we have been working 100% with Russian wheat,” said Imad Talil, from the Senegalese Olam, during a recent meeting organised by France Export Cereals in Paris.

Spain is exploring investment opportunities in Zimbabwe's energy sector as relations between the two countries grow stronger. Zimbabwe-Spain relations are being reinforced following the coming into power of a new dispensation and a subsequent visit by a special envoy sent by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Madrid in March. Speaking after paying a courtesy call on Energy and Power Development Minister Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, Spanish ambassador to Zimbabwe Alicia Moral said she has been meeting with various cabinet ministers in a bid to deepen economic collaboration between the two countries in different areas.

The European Union and UNCTAD launched today in Luanda a four-year, €5.5 million ($6.9m) project aimed at helping Angola diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil, which accounts for a whopping 93% of total merchandise exports. After decades of civil war ended in 2002, Angola’s economy took off thanks to abundant oil reserves, which fueled a decade of double-digit growth. The steady flow of petrodollars financed new roads and fancy skyscrapers in Luanda, the nation’s capital and now one of the world’s most expensive cities.

Allianz has announced that it is funding infrastructure projects in Africa by investing in the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) managed by Investec Asset Management, the asset management branch of South African Investec Bank. To do this, Allianz will contribute €75 million and US$25 million (€20 million) over the next 12 years. This EAIF investment will create value for customers of Allianz and is completely aligned with the international investment strategy of the German group.

Last Thursday, the ministers of Planning, Social Affairs and Employment, Women’s Rights and the National Authorising Officer of the European Development Fund launched, in partnership with the European Union, the Programme to Strengthen the Organisations of Haitian Civil Society (PROSCH). Financed by the European Union with €5 million over the next four years, this programme aims to promote the establishment of democracy in Haiti though an increasing, fair and effective involvement of civil society in political, economic and social decision-making processes.

Last Friday in Dakar, the Senegalese government and the EU signed three financial agreements worth over 15 billion CFA Francs for domestic security, transport and the Programme for Competitiveness in West Africa (PCAO). The agreements were signed by Finance Minister Amadou Bâ and the EU ambassador to Senegal, Joaquin Gonzalez-Ducay. “The first injection, of 6.5 billion CFA Francs, is earmarked for cooperation on internal security between Senegal and the European Union,” said Amadou Bâ.

At the docks in Abidjan, Bolloré Transport & Logistics has installed new equipment which will allow the group to stock and package loose cocoa beans, a technique that has made a significant comeback in the cocoa business. On 20th February, the French group Bolloré Transport & Logistics (BTL) opened a new 10,000 square metre storage facility and a packing facility for the export of cocoa beans.

Monday, 23 April 2018

The Caribbean Export Development Agency in cooperation with the European Union is working with the Saint Lucia Trade Promotions Agency (TEPA) to sensitize the local business community on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS). As a part of its sensitization drive, the agencies hosted a one-day proposal writing workshop for Businesses and Business Support Organizations to increase the awareness and understanding of accessing the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme.

The Dominican Republic avocado exports currently exceed US $ 30 million per year, i.e. an increase of 150% on 2006, when they only amounted to US $11 million, according to official data. The main market destinations for this product are the United States, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Italy. This data was provided during a meeting in which the National Confederation of Agricultural Producers (Confenagro) began the creation of the National Avocado Cluster, to promote the cultivation of this important export item.

Friday, 20 April 2018

EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel says Europe is dedicated to helping Africa build a single digital market, so that e-commerce can pave the way to better jobs and greater equality on the continent. Mindful of its own experience in building a single digital market, the European Union is dedicated to helping Africa do likewise and help unleash the transformative power of e-commerce on the continent, the EU’s digital economy and society commissioner, Mariya Gabriel, has said on the opening day of UNCTAD’s E-Commerce Week in Geneva.

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