Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 26 September 2017

European Commission VP for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said the EU’s success in deploying the cross-market vision stands as a blueprint for the world’s digital economy. Addressing the Digital Assembly 2017 in Malta hours after the EU abolished roaming fees, Ansip praised the progress made in Europe’s digital policies and highlighted the potential beyond its borders. “The Digital Single Market is Europe’s main asset in the international digital economy and society,” he said, adding: “It spans different sectors as they embrace digital technology to innovate, become more efficient and stay globally competitive. “It reflects the growing importance of the digital economy for growth and jobs, for society, for business and consumers. That not only applies to the Digital Single Market that we are building in Europe.

French dairy producer Danone is continuing its push into Africa with a $25m investment, together with private equity firm Abraaj Group, in west Africa-based Fan Milk, the companies said on Tuesday. The investment in Fan Milk’s Ghana business will help the company meet growing demand for yoghurt and other dairy products in west Africa’s second-biggest economy. In June, it will launch FanMaxx, a new vitamin-enriched yoghurt drink with a four-month shelf life. Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker, anticipates demand for dairy in sub-Saharan Africa will increase steadily in the coming decades. It has spent more than €1bn since 2013 building a production and distribution network across the continent through acquisitions in countries from Kenya and Nigeria to Ivory Coast.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The standards introduced by European Union (EU) countries were being achieved successfully by mango farmers and exporters by virtue of government's support that not only increased demand of Pakistani mango but also resulted in enhanced exports earnings. Agriculture Department spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that fruit fly affects the quality of fruit, however, Punjab government had initiated a project to tackle fruit fly problem through non-traditional techniques. He said that huge funds had been allocated for training and advocacy of farmers to apprise them of techniques to kill fruit fly. He said that Punjab government had also initiated mango production contest 2017-18 under which high yielding farmers would get prizes of agriculture machinery at district and provincial level.

Friday, 16 June 2017

A “development assistance” initiative launched five years ago by the G8, an inter-governmental political forum of the world’s most industrialized nations that consider themselves democracies, is holding Tanzania hostage to the benefit of agribusiness and the detriment of small-scale Tanzanian farmers. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), founded by the G8 in 2012 to ostensibly end hunger and poverty for 50 million people, has forced the Tanzanian government to amend its laws to drastically favor agribusiness and seed companies if it wishes to continue receiving developmental assistance aid. Monsanto, one of the NAFSN’s partners in Tanzania, is set to benefit from these changes to Tanzania’s laws.

EURACTIV invited Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope, Jacqueline Mugo, Secretary General of Business Africa, Pierre Gattaz, President of Medef, the largest employer federation of France, and Klaus Rudischhauser, EU Commission Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, to discuss the role of public-private partnerships in development. Emma Marcegaglia: “In this moment, when part of the world will go back to protectionism, Europe must stay open and play a leadership role in open trade and access to markets. A stronger link between Europe and Africa could be a good solution. Africa is a vibrant continent.

The Government's support to avocado producers of the Dominican Republic has generated a substantial increase in exports of fruit to international markets, with a volume of 20,000 metric tons per year, and a foreign exchange contribution that exceeds 30 million dollars. A report from the Department of Fruit of the Ministry of Agriculture indicates that the Dominican Republic has a stable production of avocado with a tendency to increase since, in 2012, 1,000 containers of 35 thousand units each were exported while, this year, more than 800 containers have already been exported. Avocado crops have great social importance: more than 15,000 families depend on this activity directly and more than 40,000 indirectly.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

It is often said the macroeconomic standing of the agricultural sector has diminished, an argument supported by the sector's declining share of GDP, which fell from 4.2 percent in 1996 to 2.3 percent in 2015. However, what is not captured in this narrative is that the value of the agricultural sector has grown 40 percent, from R50.5bn to R71.4bn over that period. This translates to a fairly modest average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent over the past two decades, which explains why agriculture's relative share of the economy has been declining. Agriculture is not becoming insignificant -- it is just that other sectors, particularly the services sector, have grown at a faster rate from a lower base.

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

Last week, Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement. This follows previous announcements on reducing US support to development. These decisions are deeply worrying – but must not distract us from the immense task ahead, writes Neven Mimica. Neven Mimica is European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. When global challenges rise, we need to rise to the challenge. At a milestone moment for multilateralism, the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals to respond to these challenges – applying for the first time to all countries.

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.