Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2018
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Friday, 23 March 2018

Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy broke European Union law by authorizing vessels to fish in the territorial waters off Gambia and Equatorial Guinea, according to the findings of conservation group Oceana published on Tuesday. Fishing vessels from Europe and Asia are drawn to West Africa, particularly for high-value tuna. Many ships operate legally but West African states are vulnerable to illegal fishing because of corruption and a lack of maritime policing capacity. Using data from their onboard tracking devices, Oceana found that 19 vessels illegally spent over 31,000 hours in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea’s exclusive economic zones - waters which extend 200 nautical miles from the coast - from April 2012 to August 2015.

NESTLE Zimbabwe is looking at reviving coffee estates in the Eastern Highlands through contracting small-scale farmers, sources familiar with the development have said. The company, a unit of the world’s largest food and beverage firm, Swiss-based Nestle Global, is looking into the wider scope of the re-development of the coffee industry in Zimbabwe. “Coffee fits well into a wider range of Nestle products and it is an area that Nestle Zimbabwe is looking at; possibly reviving the estates in the eastern highlands,” said one source. “As such, some preliminary studies are being done; obviously to determine the model that could be used to resuscitate the industry. It is a project that has involvement of other stakeholders such as the Agriculture Marketing Authority and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

According to statistics published by the European Commission, cocoa processed into paste and powder is the second most important African product exported to the EU. In its publication of 22 August 2017, the Quotidien de l’Economie states that according to the European Commission’s ‘Agri-Food Trade Statistical Factsheet EU-Sub-Saharan Africa’, agricultural foodstuffs in 2016 accounted for 12.5% of the European Union’s (EU) exports to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including South Africa. The most important export to the EU in terms of value is cocoa beans, which last year accounted for 36% of the total, up 15.1% from 2015.

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.