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October 2017
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Monday, 23 October 2017

Speaking to the press after the first round of talks at the EU summit on Thursday (19 October), Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that EU action was “reaching its limits” due to insufficient financing. “We are reaching our limits when it comes to this Emergency Trust Fund for Africa,” Juncker said. “We started by saying that we would take €1.8bn in our hands in order to be helpful to Africa, then we increased this to €2.5, then to €2.9, then to €3.1bn, money the Commission was providing by restructuring the existing budget. Member states have so far committed €175m, this is clearly not enough,” he stated.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Moving ahead with the EIP's rapid implementation, the first Strategic Board of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) met in Brussels on 28 September, on the same day that the entry into force of the regulation establishing the European Fund for Sustainable Development. The European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) is the heart piece of the EU's new External Investment Plan (EIP). Its role is to help boosting private and public investment in our partner countries to address some of the obstacles to growth and some root reasons for irregular migration.

The agents responsible for the management and implementation of European Development Fund (EDF) resources in Central Africa are meeting to discuss this subject in Douala. The overall objective of the meeting, which began in Douala on Wednesday 4 October 2017 and runs until Thursday, is to inform stakeholders on the important changes in relations with the European Union (EU). At the same time, this consultation, which brings together the heads of the support unit for EDF National and Regional Authorising Officers from CEMAC and ECCAS countries, aims to formulate actions to make the most of the partnership with the EU, and to find ways of substantially improving the absorption of available resources.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Department for International Development has defended its aid budget for Nigeria, which is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis caused by attacks led by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Priti Patel, the development secretary, jointly announced £200m in aid over the next four years, during a visit to the country on Wednesday. The projected average annual funding of £50m in that time period falls short of the £100m pledged to Nigeria for 2017. But DfID played down the suggestion that the new pledge amounted to a halving of the annual budget, claiming the additional funding was part of a £300m five-year package.

Friday, 06 October 2017

In his first annual address to France’s ambassadors on Tuesday 29 August, Emmanuel Macron announced that France would commit official development assistance of 0.55% of gross national income by 2022. The AFD welcomed the announcement, however it is still below the UN’s targets. Oxfam also points out that this announcement contradicts the budget cuts announced in this sector in the short-term. ‘Africa is not only a continent of crises. It is a continent of the future. We cannot leave it alone,’ President Macron told ambassadors on Tuesday at the Elysée Palace. The French President does not intend to go back on French commitments in this area. France currently spends between 0.37% and 0.38% of its gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance.

Friday, 08 September 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.

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