Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2018
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EDITO
Thursday, 22 February 2018

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.

The European Union (EU) and ECOWAS Commission have urged the managers of the Nigerian economy to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to fast-track its quest for economic diversification and regional integration. ‎The Head of Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Filippo Amato, gave the charge during ‎the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Stakeholders forum on EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement in Lagos recently. According to him, signing the EPA would accelerate Nigeria's industrial development, discard EU tariffs on Nigerian exports; protect domestic industries, agricultural and consumer products.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

When Trinidad and Tobago received a yellow card from the European Union last year for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the country's government was motivated to take steps to remedy one of the problems plaguing the twin island nation’s fishing industry for decades. However, the yellow card served to highlight systemic problems with the management of Trinidad and Tobago's fisheries that has led to important fish stocks being overexploited or fully exploited. The overexploitation or full exploitation of important fisheries has meant that local fishermen “have to go farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer fish,” said Terrence Beddoe, president of the NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea of Trinidad and Tobago (FFOS).

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has urged Sweden to use its position in two major international organizations to highlight the unfair labelling of some of the Community’s Member States as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”. Speaking at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters during the accreditation ceremony of Sweden’s news Ambassador to the Community, the Secretary-General pointed out that as regional countries try to diversify their economies and build their services sector, some engaged in financial services have been labelled as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”.