Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Günther Nooke, Angela Merkel’s representative to Africa, offered a gloomy prognosis of November’s Africa-EU summit in Abidjan on Tuesday (11 April), saying trade between the continents was “almost irrelevant” and that the African Union required major “institutional reform”. The summit comes against a backdrop of a slew of measures, such as the German Marshall Plan for Africa, the EU’s new Migration Compacts, and Emergency Trust Funds for Africa, the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU’s New Consensus on Development – all seen as kick-starting a fresh dynamic between the world’s poorest continent and Europe.

Wednesday, 12 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.

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

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

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.

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan indirectly criticised the European Union's farming subsidies, in a conversation with journalists in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March). After his tenure as head of the UN (1997-2006), Annan set up a foundation that carries his name, which has sustainable development and reducing hunger and poverty as some of its main goals. He came to Brussels to hold a keynote speech at an event about agriculture and environment. A farmer in Kenya. Annan: 'I come from a continent where these poor farmers with limited resources are trying to compete' (Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT).) Asked about whether he had suggestions for the upcoming reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, he called it “an awkward question”.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

Danone has agreed to acquire all of Brookside Dairy’s Tanzanian dairy business, less than three years after investing in a 40% stake. The buyout will be completed through Brookside Holdings – the wholly owned subsidiary that acted as a vessel for the French company’s acquisition of a minority stake in 2014.At the time, FoodBev reported that Brookside Dairy had annual revenues of €130 million and was East Africa’s leading dairy products group. Tanzania’s competition commission confirmed: “The FCC has received a merger notification to the effect that Brookside Holdings intends to acquire 100% of the issued share capital in Brookside Dairy Tanzania. FCC is currently investigating the intended acquisition in line with the provisions of the FCA and the FCC procedure rules.”

Tuesday, 04 April 2017

The ability of sugar industry in the region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on 30 September, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official. The end of EU's quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. In an address on 23 March to the opening of a regional policy workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat programme manager, agriculture and industry, Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry's survival.

Monday, 03 April 2017

Between 26 March and 11 April 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Flavia Schlegel, is visiting Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji. High on her agenda will be a ministerial meeting on 29 and 30 March in Apia, Samoa, with representatives of 13 developing Pacific island nations