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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Wednesday, 04 May 2016

Caribbean countries have a living bank of marine resources from which they collectively cash out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support emerging national economies by providing good jobs, food and foreign exchange, among other benefits. However, in order to remain active and competitive in the global marketplace, countries have had to find ways to surmount the challenges posed by stringent international standards called sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, for food safety and for protection against diseases carried animals and plants. Under an EU-funded SPS Measures Project, the ability of Caribbean countries to effectively address those challenges is being strengthened (...)

The first-ever EU fisheries agreement with Liberia and its associated implementation protocol were signed and entered into provisional application in December 2015. Their conclusion is now subject to approval by the European Parliament in a plenary vote. Atlantic tropical tunas are highly migratory species and, consequently, fishing vessels targeting them endeavour to follow their migration across the waters of different coastal countries and on the high seas. Liberia's waters are located on the migration path of three key tropical tuna species: yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack.

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol. The first fisheries agreement with Mauritania was concluded in 1987, as a continuation of the pre-accession arrangements of Spain and Portugal with Mauritania. It was reshaped into a cooperation agreement in 1996.

Tuesday, 03 May 2016

European shipowners strongly believe that maritime services are enablers of trade and development, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the core message European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) sent earlier this week in a letter to EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, inviting her to include maritime transport services in the EU Africa agenda.

Foreign ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the British foreign secretary ended two sessions of “frank and cordial” talks in Freeport, The Bahamas at the Ninth Caribbean-UK Forum. Co-chairs Fred Mitchell, foreign minister of The Bahamas, and Phillip Hammond, UK foreign secretary, both expressed their satisfaction at the discussions during a press conference on Saturday at the end of the biennial Forum.

Monday, 02 May 2016

Ghana’s ban on some vegetables to the European market would be lifted by December, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, has assured. According to him, drastic measures were being put in place to secure Ghanaian vegetables on the European Union (EU) market. He made this known when he inaugurated the refurbished inspection facilities of the Aviance Cargo Village at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra last Monday. The refurbished inspection facilities cost GH¢200,000. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) placed a temporary ban on exports of some vegetables to the EU market in September, 2015.

Netherlands-based off-grid electricity provider, Nova-Lumos, has been awarded a US$218,745 grant to develop off-grid electricity projects in Nigeria Michael Mazengarb flickr solar panelNova-Lumos provides residential solar systems under a pay-as-you-go model. The grant has been provided by the SolarNigeria Programme (SNP), an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The partnership between Nova-Lumos and SNP is expected to provide an estimated 90 mn off-grid homes and small businesses in northern Nigeria access clean and affordable electricity.

EU trade tariffs mean Germany makes more from African coffee than Africa does.African farmers are being condemned into prolonged poverty by EU trade rules, a pro-Brexit Tory MP claimed today. James Cleverly branded European Union policy against Africa as “morally repugnant” as he set out why the UK should be able to secure its own trade deals with the continent. The Braintree MP cited research showing that Germany makes more money from selling coffee than the whole of Africa as an example of the EU’s “protectionism”.

The Head, Trade and Economics Section of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Filippo Amato, said the EU has provided 19million pounds (about N5.6billion) grants to Nigeria through the National Planning Commission (NPC) to drive the diversification of the economy from oil to non-oil. Speaking during the final national training on standards on code of practices for Nigerian agricultural products for exportation in Abuja, he said the grant was implemented through the Nigerian Private Sector Competitiveness Support Programme and aims to improve the business and investment climate through the improvement and implementation of regulatory reforms, especially in the areas of competition policy, land titling and business licensing with pilots in Kano State.

The Namibian Standards Institution has announced that it is collaborating with the ACP European Union's Technical Barriers to Trade Programme to assist them to achieve their strategic objectives in a number of areas. The Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) is Namibia's National Standards Body (NSB) responsible for coordinating all standardisation and quality assurance activities in the country, and represents Namibia at regional and international standardisation activities. In a statement issued on Tuesday, NSI corporate communications officer Joanette Eises said the project aims to make recommendations for incorporating a new national quality policy into comprehensive national quality infrastructure that includes the developing of national standards and the provision of testing, inspection and certification activities for Namibian products and services.

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