Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Government of Mozambique, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have announced a new project that will strengthen sustainable forest management and contribute to Mozambique achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 on forests. The $6 million project is part of the World Bank-funded $47 million Mozambique Forest Investment Project. The project aims to stem the rapid pace of deforestation and support investment in the forest sector while creating new income and livelihood opportunities from sustainable forest management for rural communities.

Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director. Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, says the Federal Government has developed "Conduits of Excellence (CoE)" to ensure consistent and stringent quality management for all exportable products. Mr. Awolowo told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday that the Federal Government had also set up a committee for the realisation of the objective. According to him, the committee will work under the technical guidance of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO. He also said the committee would also develop the code of practice and Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, for production and processing of selected products.

Globalisation and technological change have contributed significantly to driving economic growth and raising living standards across the globe. However, globalisation has created challenges and its benefits have not been shared widely enough. By bringing together developed and emerging market economies, the G20 is determined to shape globalisation to benefit all people. Most importantly, we need to better enable our people to seize its opportunities. We are resolved to tackle common challenges to the global community, including terrorism, displacement, poverty, hunger and health threats, job creation, climate change, energy security, and inequality including gender inequality, as a basis for sustainable development and stability.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and chief executive officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Rodinald Soomer have signed a grant agreement aimed at enhancing export capacity and value-added in the island’s spices sector. The immediate beneficiary company, West India Spices, has been awarded a grant of US$244,000. The grant, according to Soomer, will help to increase drying and grinding capacity based on the use of renewable power sources that will facilitate all weather production of value-added nutmeg-based products for export. “It is expected that the project will have the impact of increasing West India Spices’ purchases of raw inputs for producing essential oils on average by 10 percent per year until 2025,” Sommer said at the signing ceremony.

The costs of ingredients of poultry feed highly depend on the country’s production. As a result these costs highly determine the competitive power of the national poultry chains in East Africa. This is concluded in a study conducted by WLR in collaboration with the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC). The study shows how poultry chains in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania increasingly depend on developments in their neighbouring countries. The results of the project ‘Poultry Development in Africa, a regional perspective’ have been presented in the Africa Event of the Dutch Poultry Centre. Feed prices are lowest in the countries that are able to locally produce the main feed ingredients (mainly maize).

Sahel Capital, fund manager for the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (“FAFIN”), is pleased to announce the successful $65.9 million final close of its debut fund. As part of this close, the African Development Bank, CDC Group, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund have jointly committed $31 million to FAFIN, joining existing co‐sponsors of the fund to drive agricultural transformation in Nigeria. As part of this round, KfW Development Bank has also offered to increase its commitments to FAFIN by an additional $10 million, subject to final approvals, which if provided would increase the fund size to $76 million by December 2017.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Intraregional seed trade is set for a boost following the introduction of seed labels and certificates to be utilized by seed companies for large consignment crossing the borders. The move is intended to spur regional trade through improved seed varieties across the region. The COMESA Seed Labels and Certificates will be used by member States to identity seeds in the market that meets the COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations of 2014. This development is line with the COMESA Seed Harmonization and Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) that provides a framework for the 19 COMESA Member States to trade, facilitate seed industry and support local seed companies.

Thursday, 06 July 2017

A paltry eight African have so far ratified the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) more than two years after it was launched in Egypt, raising fears of a failed continental effort to create an expanded trade barrier free market. On 10 June 2015 African leaders launched and signed the TFTA during a summit in the resort town of Sharma El Sheikh. Countries that signed the TFTA included Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Swaziland while Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a week later. The TFTA is espoused to enhance the harmonisation of infrastructure programmes and the development of common programmes for industrial and economic development among the 26 countries in Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC).

Youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva told a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome. In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market. But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas. "Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to absorb these millions of youth looking for a job," Graziano da Silva said.

Zambia signed trade contracts worth US $100 million with grain traders from eastern Africa on Thursday for the export of 382,640 metric tonnes white maize, soyabeans and other grains. The deals were sealed in Lusaka during a regional Trade Facilitation Forum organised by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in collaboration with Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE), with support of USAID’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The forum brought together over 195 sellers and buyers of maize, soya beans, common beans, millet and other grain commodities from, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.