Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. This has been made possible through the European Union’s (EU) E60 million 11th EDF regional Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade Facility programme. Speaking during the launch of the consultations on the development of trade in services strategy for the country, EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said the EU recognises the importance of services in the economic growth and development of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partner states. The launch was held yesterday at Mountain Inn Hotel in Mbabane.

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

There will always be the haves and the have nots of this world, the rich and poor, the upper, middle and lower classes. And in the global economy, there are the countries that are referred to as the super powers and then there are countries that are not even a part of the equation because they have no power at all. Let’s be realistic here. The Caribbean and the small islands around the world have a dependency on at least one or more of the super powers when it comes to their economy. It is like a big brother/big sister relationship. If something should happen to the larger country that takes on that role, then the smaller country has to brace themselves for the repercussions. Let me bring that into perspective for you as it relates to Britain and the Caribbean

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.

Changing context and challenges, DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories.[ii] Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade.

The Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for alleged abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgrow Potatoes, a local potato seed grower, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow the potatoes for sale to consumers as table potatoes. HZPC is the developer and breeder of the Mondial seed potato varietal. Its business is the cultivation and marketing of certain seed potato varieties across the world.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Trade between Tanzania and France is still low at around 200 million Euros in favour of Paris, as authorities in both sides figure ways of increasing the volume. Trade figures, according to French Embassy in Dar es Salaam, shows Tanzania imported goods worth 135 million euros while exported 70 million euros in 2016. France Embassy's Economic and Trade Advisor, Beatrice Alperte said trade volume from either side was low as most are pharmaceutical from Paris and raw agricultural goods from Dar.

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said that his nation is committed to lay strong foundation to bolster its overall bilateral and multilateral relations with Ethiopia. He made the remark during a recent exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald. Spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev said Ethiopia and Azerbaijan have similar culture and civilization. "Ethiopia is one of the oldest birthplace of human civilization, art and development which made it akin with Azerbaijan." In-terms of strengthening bilateral ties, he noted that Azerbaijan has a strong will to have an increased experience sharing. For instance, Azerbaijan is keen on drawing best practices of Ethiopia in the areas of tourism, agriculture, mining industry and the like, he added.

Germany wants to establish fair trade with Africa as the latter has been victimized by the existing trade ties. The lately proposed 'Marshall Plan with Africa' is aimed at achieving trade balance between Africa and Europe, said a visiting Germany Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller. Addressing AU representatives and diplomatic corps yesterday, Müller said the 25-year plan also helps to re-position the EU's cooperation with Africa, and is intended to serve as a basis of discussion to restructure ties. With the new proposal, Germany needs to add a new and strategic dimension to the partnership with Africa.