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October 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

At the request of France, Emmanuel Macron and Alassane Ouattara met for the second time in less than three months, on 31 August at the Élysée Palace. The two heads of state met face-to-face (as did their wives) for a quarter of an hour in the Palace gardens, before joining their teams for a lunch that also included French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, French ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Georges Serre, and Gilles Huberson, who will succeed him in mid-September. This graduate of the French military academy of Saint Cyr got along very well with Patrick Achi, the Secretary General of the Ivorian Presidency. Among the topics discussed were the implementation of projects financed by France, including the Abidjan metro, to which France is contributing €1.4 billion, and which is due to be launched in November.

Côte d’Ivoire ranked sixth in Africa in 2016 in terms of new projects financed by foreign capital, with a total of 33 projects. This figure, up by 27%, makes Côte d’Ivoire the third best performer behind Algeria (+42%) and Tunisia (+60%). Côte d’Ivoire benefited from $747 million in new capital for projects, resulting in the creation of 3,787 new jobs. In 2016, Morocco and France provided the most foreign direct investment for new projects in Côte d’Ivoire, with France first in terms of the number of new projects supported (nine in total), and second in terms of capital injected ($108 million). The United States contributed $22 million to three projects.

GreenWish Partners (‘GreenWish’), an independent renewable energy producer in Africa, has announced the signature of a partnership with Orange to implement the energy transition of its telecommunications towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This partnership will see GreenWish and its operating partner Sagemcom deploy hybrid solar power generation solutions that combine solar energy, battery and diesel in support of greater energy efficiency. This first tranche of 250 telecom towers across the whole of the DR Congo marks the launch of a new electricity supply model for Orange in the country. This model, known as ESCO (Energy Services Company), has already been launched in India and the United States.

The Bolloré Consortium has been designated for the partial take-over of Necotrans’ activities in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. This was the decision handed down by the Commercial Court of Paris on 25 August 2017, in the context of its judgement on insolvency proceedings of the Necotrans group, Bolloré’s main rival in Africa, mainly in the management of port terminals, the oil and gas sector, and mining logistics.

Friday, 08 September 2017

There’s no such thing as too much chocolate—and now, a fourth type could get people eating even more. Swiss cocoa giant Barry Callebaut announced its latest offering, the Ruby chocolate, which comes in a shade of trendy millennial pink. The chocolate’s color, like its flavor, is completely natural and is extracted from the Ruby cocoa bean itself. Unlike dark, milk, and white chocolate, the Ruby chocolate stands out with a berry-fruit flavor and is neither “bitter, milky, or sweet”. Its texture is reported to be of “luscious smoothness.” Scientists invented the chocolate in the company’s research and development centers in France and Belgium. The Ruby bean hails from various regions worldwide, including Ivory Coast, Brazil and Ecuador, reports Today.

The flowery legalese of any Fishing Partnership Agreement always appears to secure the sustainability of the domestic fisheries involved but really this economic document is Brussels’ strategy for plundering the abundant undersea resources of Africa’s maritime states. From Sao Tomé to Sierra Leone, evidence abounds that the EU merely pays lip service to its pledges for global development. George Francis, 63, is a rugged fisherman and harbour master of Lumley Wharf in Freetown, the hilly capital of Sierra Leone. He’s been in the fishing business since the mid-60s shortly after his country gained independence from the United Kingdom. He has seen better days in the distant past. Nowadays, life is very hard and two of his daughters now live in Nigeria from where they send him money, regularly. He says his misery began some twenty years ago when big industrial trawlers started prowling the shores of his seaside community. Outgunned by bigger boats, George is unable to catch enough fish for himself. He generally goes for small fishes like herring, but on the day these reporters spoke to him, he had caught just three little ones. His fellow fishermen were not so lucky. Several admitted to catching one or even none!It was 10 past 6 in the evening. “These trawlers are supposed to fish about 200 miles away from the shore,” Francis laments. “But they come into the coast at night and the government is aware of these incursions.”

Supporting CARIFORUM firms to leverage the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is at the forefront of the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s work programme as they implement the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union. Over 70 business and Business Support Organisations participated in the specially held workshop at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association’s (TTMA) Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) on Friday 7th July and a further 90 persons were able to participate via the live streaming.

Benin’s farmers can again export pineapples to the European Union, their most lucrative market, following the set-up of a food safety surveillance system with the help of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The exports are expected to resume later this month. Pineapple farmers suffered under a voluntary export ban in place since last year due to chemical residues found in Benin’s pineapple exports. This led to a loss of income and also a reduction in farm employment in a sector that has been identified as one of three key growth areas in the country’s development plan. “Instead of tripling exports in line with the plan, our European sales ground to a halt,” said Xavier Satola, a pineapple farmer and president of the Benin Pineapple Exporters Association. “Without exports there is no sustainable production: it is like a locomotive that pulls the entire train.”

A total of more than 10 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade, two Belgian firms have confirmed. “About 10 to 20 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade,” said Thomas De Beule, chief executive officer of C&M, a corporate and management firm in Belgium. Delegates from these companies are due in The Gambia from 4 to 8 November, this year, to have direct discussions with the relevant government ministries and with the businesses they may want to enter into joint ventures and corporation with.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Iddris Sulieman discussed, Wednesday, at his office with the Ambassador of Poland to Sudan, resident in Cairo, Mr. Michael Morko, the ways for the development of the economic relations between the two countries, and the necessity for promoting them in all fields. The minister has called during the meeting for benefiting from the two countries capabilities in the various economic domains, especially the agriculture, and animal resources, pointing to the Sudan keenness to establish good relations with all countries for boosting international cooperation.