Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 19 August 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underscored the importance of combating poverty in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe. Merkel has made ties with Africa the focus of Germany's G20 presidency. Reducing poverty and conflict in Africa were the main topics raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as she met with African leaders ahead of next month's Group of 20 (G20) summit.The leaders of the African Union from Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Rwanda and other nations met in Berlin to discuss a so-called "compact with Africa." The initiative seeks to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

The Gambia government has launched a US$11.4 million project, funded by the European Union, to improve food security and reduce stunting growth among children in North Bank, Lower River, Central River and Upper River regions. The 30-month project, to be jointly implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was launched at Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday. It would be implemented in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (and its specialised units), the National Nutrition Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Disaster Management Agency, the Gambia Red Cross Society, Farmer Based Organisations, and the Women’s Health, Productivity and the Environment NGO (BAFROW).

South Africa's strategy of pursuing a “developmental trade” policy, in which trade agreements with other countries and regions specifically promote growth, employment and the industrial upgrade of the country, are undermined by unequal global trade rules, markets and power which favours industrial countries. However, South Africa's “developmental trade” policy is often torpedoed by self-destructive compromises to trading partners, wrong strategies and corrupt behaviour by leaders. South Africa's export growth for the past two decades has been at least 11% slower than its peers, India, Brazil and China. Most of South Africa's exports remain raw materials.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When it fully takes off, the newly-approved Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) is to advise the federal government on how best to go about resolving the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has said. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the establishment of NOTN to act as the pivot for the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries and agencies. The EPA, which is a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the European Union (EU) are incompatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rules, is a scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), but has been mired in controversy.

AFRICAN, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) have defended their trade with China dismissing claims that the Asian country wants to exploit the continent of its resources. The ACP was responding to criticisms by representatives of the European Union at the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Inter-sessional meetings of the ACP — EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Brussels in Belgium in March. According to a report on the meetings presented in Parliament last week by Masvingo Central legislator Dr Daniel Shumba, the ACP countries maintained that trade with the Asian economic giant was more sustainable contrary to the EU aid which involves cumbersome drawdown procedures.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is to be applauded for placing a new G20 Partnership with Africa on the agenda of the upcoming G20 Summit. The conference she is hosting this week in Berlin with several African leaders should be its first building block. As Africans and investors, we share her view of the potential of Africa’s many emerging economies. But there is great risk if we do not seize this potential positively. The continent’s population has doubled since 1985 and will double again to 2.5bn by 2050. Twenty-two and a half million new jobs are required each year. By 2050, two in five of the world’s youth will be African, outnumbering the youth of the European Union by 10 to one.

Monday, 12 June 2017

EU farm and food businesses may pay a big price for Brexit if new trade barriers pop up and dim the British appetite for products like Irish cheddar, French wine and Danish bacon, experts and advocates warn. Sounding the alarm is the main European farmers' union, Copa-Cogeca, which released a preliminary 156-page report one month after Britain formally told Brussels in late March it will withdraw from the bloc. "Farmers should not have to pay the price of a political decision," Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson warned, referring to the risk of post-Brexit trade barriers like tariffs. Farmers in the remaining 27 European Union states could find it particularly hard to export to such an important market as Britain, a net importer, if London and Brussels fail to strike a post-Brexit free-trade deal. Prices could increase sharply if Britain leaves the customs union under a "hard" Brexit, something British Prime Minister Theresa May has not ruled out if she does not get the new trade terms she wants. British consumers would then likely buy fewer of the EU agriculture products they have become used to in the last four decades.

Livestock farmers in country's communal areas are set to get a financial boost, with the launch of a European Union grant programme, "Support to the livestock sector in the Northern Communal Areas of Namibia" which will run over a period of six years worth Euro 20 million. The programme will be launched under a slot at the the 8th Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) Ordinary Congress that will take place in Opuwo at the Hotel Le Manoir on Friday 9 June, under the theme: "Non-Title Deed Agriculture Transformation: Key to Wealth Creation & Prosperity".At the event, H.E President Hage G. Geingob will deliver the key note address, while the Head of the European Delegation in Namibia, Jana Hybaskova and Hon. John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, will launch the EU programme

Thursday, 08 June 2017

The Turkish government has reaffirmed its commitment to the African continent through economic and political partnerships. The European country also wants to advance on an economic cooperation model with Africa that is based on a “win-win” scenario rather than a zero sum game that produces winners and losers. Trade between Turkey and Africa is experiencing rapid growth and has reached U$16,8 billion in 2016. This figure shows that commerce with Africa has increased fourfold in comparison to its 2003 trade indicators. Turkey has been struggling to penetrate the African market because it’s not a member of the European Union.

The Board of the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC) last week paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. With members such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Unilever Ghana, Wienco, the Vlisco Group, Vivo Energy, Dutch&Co, PwC Ghana and IOI Loders Croklaan, the GNBCC serves as a bilateral Chamber of Commerce for Ghana and the Netherlands. It represents the business interests of both Ghanaian and Dutch companies and renders business development and support services to its members. The Netherlands is currently Ghana's fifth largest export destination, third largest import partner and among its biggest investment partners.