Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 16 December 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.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Shoprite, Africa's largest food retailer, wants to expand to new continents and is eyeing Poland as its gateway to Europe, the Puls Biznesu daily has said, adding its scepticism. Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht, who visited Poland last week and is in talks with two developers, said entering Eastern Europe would be easy because the African retail giant already has partners in the region, the Puls Biznesu daily said. South African-based Steinhoff International, owner of the Abra furniture retailer which has 100 locations in Poland, is looking at a controlling stake in Shoprite, which has a market value of some PLN 35 billion (EUR 8 billion), the paper said.

The Hass variety may have been at the forefront of the recent global avocado craze, but one South African exporter has noted there was far higher demand for green-skinned cultivars in the European market this season than previous years. A representative from Limpopo-based ZZ2 said EU retailers had been asking for greater volumes than normal of varieties like Fuerte, Ryan and Pinkerton, which are the more sought-after varieties in the South African market. “This year we were blown away by the demand for green-skinned [avocados] in Europe,” marketing manager Clive Garrett told Fresh Fruit Portal.

Cargolux Airlines is set to introduce two new destinations in Africa, Douala in Cameroon and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Services to Lubumbashi will begin on 15 September while Douala is served as of 3 October. Flights to Lubumbashi leave Luxembourg every Friday evening, arriving in the DRC on Saturday mornings at 05:25. The return flight is routed via Johannesburg, Nairobi and also serves Stansted in the UK. It arrives in Luxembourg on Sundays at 13:25 (all time local times). Douala services depart from Luxembourg every Wednesday at 16:15 and are routed via Bamako. They arrive in Cameroon on Thursdays at 01:55. The return flight arrives back in Luxembourg on Thursdays at 10.55. Lubumbashi is the DRC’s second largest city after the capital Kinshasa and acts as a hub for the country’s mining industry.

A Rwandan Chili pepper farmer is silently harvesting money season after season as he gradually captures foreign markets. Dieudonné Twahirwa the founder of Gashora Farm Ltd grows chili pepper on 150 hectares of land in Bugesera district and other parts of the country. He harvests 10 metric tones of dry chili every season. An Indian company- Akay Flavours and Aromatics pvt ltd was the first to purchase chili from Gashora Farm and directly exports to the United Kingdom. Since 2016 Twahirwa has been supplying the Indian company. Twahirwa broke the ice during an encounter with agro experts at International Trade Center (ITC) through its project Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA). “This meeting facilitated me to reach international markets. They facilitated me to attend the international spice conference in India, I have met different international buyers, now I have buyers from Belgium, France, India, Netherlands of the dry African bird eye chili,” Twahirwa said.