Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2017
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Monday, 21 August 2017

The European Union (EU) says it has so far committed over 700 million euros for the development of sustainable energy in Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries from 2014 to 2020. The Head of Cooperation, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Kurt Cornelis, said this in Abuja on Monday at a workshop on policy and regulation for clean energy mini-grids and renewable energy in ECOWAS region. Cornelis said access to electricity and promotion of sustainable energy solutions were at the core of EU’s cooperation with the region, hence the provision of the grants to ECOWAS countries.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

For a developing country exporter, for example, of fresh bananas from the Philippines seeking market access to the EU, it is necessary to comply with at least seven categories of sustainability standards, from food safety controls to labelling standards, with each category of compliance carrying with it a range of production guidelines and documentation – a somewhat daunting prospect for a semi-literate farming producer in rural Mindanao. As such, one of the major contemporary challenges facing developing country firms, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) today, is the ever-increasing number of regulations and sustainability standards they are required to conform to if they are to integrate into global value chains (GVCs).

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen partnership at country level. Both parties have agreed to jointly pull together the sum of US $2 billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture and food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises, and human development (health and education). To realize the shared objective of the agreement, the IsDB and the Bank agreed to each contribute US $1 billion over three years for joint activities focusing on these priority areas and sectors.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The initiative is the first international support for financial services in the country in many years. The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank, owned directly by the 28 European Union member states. “New investment is essential to enable small business across Ethiopia to expand, create jobs and harness new business opportunities,”said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President. “Over the last 40 years the European Investment Bank has supported crucial energy, water, communications and private enterprise across Ethiopia and our engagement in the country has been transformed since opening a permanent presence in Addis two years ago.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The European Union says it will provide $ 17 million to countries in the West African sub-region to enhance fisheries and maritime activities in the region. The programme, covering six years would enable industry operators to organize and cooperate on fisheries management. The European Union Representative, Stephania Marone, disclosed this in Abuja, at a workshop on Regional Policy Dialogue for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture. She said that security in the the region will be maintained as the fishery sector is strategic to regional economic stability. The EU assistance could lead to increased fish production and preservation.

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.

Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries will benefit from the 50 million-euro European Union (EU) fund set up to ensure sustainable fisheries development and marine security, an EU official says. Mrs Stefania Marrone, Head of Regional Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday. Marrone spoke on the sidelines of the meeting on “Regional Policy Process for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Policy and Strategy Frame Work of ECOWAP’’. She said that the programme would be implemented in various West African countries within a six-year period

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The African development bank (AfDB) and Export Trading Group (ETG) have signed a seven-year US$100mn non-sovereign guaranteed corporate loan to finance agricultural projects across Africa. ETG is an agricultural supply chain manager specialising in African commodities. Proceeds from the loan will go towards the company’s five-year Agricultural Investment Programme, which consists of a range of projects to support agricultural production, storage, transport, processing and logistics in 14 countries in Africa. Speaking to GTR, the company’s global head of treasury Anish Jain says the aim of the programme is to “build a bridge between smallholder farmers and international supply chains, as well as promoting intra-African trade”.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

The European Union (EU) will finance the second phase of the Wadi El Kou Basin project in North Darfur with €10 million. The second phase of the project will start in October this year and will last for five years. The North Darfur Minister of Agriculture, Anwar Ishag, announced the grant in the state capital of El Fasher in a press conference yesterday, together with visiting EU adviser Magda Nassif. The Minister called for further cooperation with the EU concerning the implementation the second phase of the project. EU adviser Nassif said that she will sit with the project's advisory and technical committees, and will discuss the project as well with other stakeholders and leaders of the local communities to select the project areas.

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused the government of failing to account for food donations from international partners to support efforts to fight hunger. Mr Odinga said the Jubilee administration has refused to declare how much support it has received and how it has used it as requested by the Heads of Missions and the Development Partner Group. "Without this information, donor partners and agencies cannot channel more support to our people. "The President is in business as usual looking for votes and wishing the famine away while mourning just like all other Kenyans," the former Prime Minister said at a press conference in Nairobi.

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