Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 22 October 2017

A number of cocoa farms devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston will benefit from assistance provided by the European Union and Pacific Community in an effort to to boost the productivity of the agricultural sector after the cyclone struck early this year. The assistance is being made possible through the Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (IACT) project TC Winston Recovery Action; a FJD4.3 million initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The first recipient, Tomohito Zukoshi, co-founder of Fijiana Cocoa and Adi Chocolate brands, has recently received equipment needed to clear cocoa plantations and improve cocoa productivity.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

At the time of decolonisation in the 1960's and 1970's, the then EEC brought together a strange collection of former European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands (called the ACP group). It was just at the time that the UK was joining the EEC, and so the group included all the former British, French, Dutch, Belgian and eventually Portuguese ex-colonies. Oddly, it did not include any of the former Spanish colonies. The ACP group was formed in 1975, and since then, the EU has paid substantial amounts of aid through the European development fund, which is replenished by its members every seven years.

International donors yesterday (17 November) pledged $2.2 billion (€2 billion) in aid for strife-torn Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, officials said. “The positive response you have given … will galvanise our efforts and make sure our recovery plans bear fruit,” Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera said after a donors’ conference in Brussels. The pledges topped the $1.6 billion Touadera had wanted over three years to kick-start the devastated economy but were short of the $3.0 billion targeted for the five-year programme.

Major NGOs gave a guarded welcome today (22 November) to a major once-in-a-decade, overhaul of the EU’s thinking on development. The Commission – fronted in a Strasbourg press conference, in a sign of the weight it gives the issue, by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica – unveiled a trilogy of papers setting out the future of development and aid spending between now and 2030.

The Cotonou Agreement which governs relations between the European Union and 78 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) will expire in February 2020. How could the relationship evolve? In the following interview, Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of DEVCO (the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) discusses the shared interests which will guide cooperation and outlines a new basis for partnership founded on regional pillars. Capacity4dev (C4D): The current partnership agreement with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific expires in February 2020.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Today, the European Commission is setting out a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. A first Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future explains how the Commission's 10 political priorities contribute to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how the EU will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future. A second Communication on a new European Consensus on Development proposes a shared vision and framework for development cooperation for the EU and its Member States, aligned with the 2030 Agenda.

Boost Africa Initiative, a unique partnership in support of innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa has been launched today in Abidjan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with the European Commission. The launch ceremony took place at the Headquarters of the AfDB in Abidjan in presence of EIB President Werner Hoyer, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The government of Rwanda and the European Union signed a $21 million financing agreement to support accountable economic governance. The grant signed by Rwanda's Minister of Finance, Claver Gatete and Head of EU Delegation to Rwanda, Michael Ryan is expected to help improve the governance of public funds.

The European Union will support Mozambique with funding of US$740 million to the state budget over the next five years for investment in water supply, renewable energy, agriculture and job creation programmes in rural areas, said the EU ambassador to Mozambique. Sven von Burgsdorff, on a visit to Quelimane, said the resumption of European financial support, however, depends on the progress of the actions carried out by the government of Mozambique, under the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in relation public debt.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The European Commission has pledged to provide 78 million Euro in emergency aid to help those affected by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Over a million refugees from South Sudan, aid agencies say, have fled the country to neighbouring countries, with the number expected to grow. EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides announced the funding during a visit to Uganda. "The EU stands by the people of South Sudan who had to escape conflict and violence.