Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Saturday, 21 October 2017
The European Commission is increasingly inclined to ban Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing, thus supporting Monaco's proposal to list the species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) next March. Highly appreciated by sushi lovers and overfished for years, in Asia, especially in Japan, bluefin tuna prices can fetch up to $100,000 for a single fish. But the EU will not fully commit until its 27 member countries have been consulted on September 21 or before new scientific data emerges in November.
André Dellevoet, Executive Manager of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), is our special guest this week. He explains the main objectives, funding and eligibility of the Fund which aim is to catalyse private sector entrepreneurs in Africa to innovate and find profitable ways of improving market access and functioning for the poor – especially in rural areas. The donors who have already agreed to contribute to the AECF are the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the UK Department for International Development (DfID), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (NMFA). Until now, the Fund disposes of a start-up capital of 36 million USD. It is hoped that this will grow to 100 million USD in 3 years.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Africa's largest trading bloc the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has urged the European Union to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal that will be accepted and covering all key areas that were important to the development of countries in east and southern Africa. Recently, the EU signed an interim EPA with some countries from The Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. Those that signed were Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar while Zambia and Comoros indicated that they would sign at a later stage.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
The Economic Partnership Agreements between ACP countries and the European Commission must comply with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which governs regional trade agreements concluded by WTO members. Article XXIV stipulates that ‘free trade areas’ must eliminate duties on “substantially all the trade” within a “reasonable length of time,” yet these terms remain loosely defined in the WTO. West Africa and the European Commission hold divergent views on the definition of these two terms. This article highlights the legal arguments in support of West Africa’s position.

On 30 September 2009, the Sugar Protocol will officially expire. Following a six year transition period, the Protocol - which provides a group of ACP countries with guaranteed access to the EU market for fixed quantities of sugar at preferential prices - will be replaced by a non-reciprocal duty and quota-free preferential trade system on 1 October 2015. This article examines these changes to the EU-ACP sugar trade regime. Provisions have been made to allow for a gradual adaptation to the new reality from October 2009 to October 2015. During this period, three major changes will be introduced: guaranteed prices will decrease and finally disappear, quotas will be increased, and the number of ACP countries which can benefit from preferential relations with the EU for sugar will tripple.

Monday, 21 September 2009
The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held in Brussels on 23rd September 2009 from 8h30 to 13h00 on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” (Venue: European Commission, Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Room 1D). This Briefing will discuss the effects of the financial and food crisis on enterprises in developing countries and also the opportunities this can provide to link local SMEs to global economies. Experts will also discuss investment programmes needed to support SMEs in order to promote growth and investments, upgrade and upscale SMEs to reach regional and exports markets. This session will also share concrete examples of SMEs being successful by boosting innovation and technology, processing, value-addition, infrastructure upgrading.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
A little-known European Union regulation coming into force January next year could have a major impact on the health of fishing industries in developing countries, according to a new study. The EU is the single largest consumer of fish in the world, accounting for around 40 per cent of global imports. Such is the continent's appetite for aquatic life, the cumulative net fish exports from developing countries now exceed earnings from coffee, bananas and rubber. But near-unfettered access to the European market for developing countries is set to end with the adoption of new legislation to help eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and ensure the sustainability of worldwide fish stocks. The IUU Regulation - to be implemented from January 2010 - puts in place strict conditions on countries that want to maintain access to the lucrative European market.
A new International Fairtrade Towns website has been launched on July 14 by the Fairtrade Foundation with partners across Europe. The new website is aimed at connecting nearly 700 Fairtrade towns in 18 countries, by combining information about the history of Fairtrade Towns internationally, a Google map, the latest news and events, as well as downloadable resources and tools. An interactive social networking section is to be present, where campaigners can share ideas through forums and discussion groups. It's currently available in eight languages and is part of a three-year European Union funded Fairtrade Towns in Europe project launched in 2007.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has voiced concerns over the European Union’s ‘inflexibility’ in the ongoing negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Speaking in Abuja at the weekend after a two day sensitisation meeting of stakeholders, NANTS President Ken Ukaoha said that over the past eight years of negotiations, the EU have refused to take into consideration the peculiar situation of African nations as the least developed countries of the world.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
The European Union has pressurised Ghana to sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) despite civil society concerns being raised about the detrimental effects further trade liberalisation will have on development in the West African country. IPS’s Francis Kokutse fired some questions at Dick Naezer, head of the macro-economic trade section of the European Union delegation in Ghana, to understand why he directed this call at Ghana’s government.