Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
The European Union is providing seed and fertiliser worth 15.4 million euros to small-scale Zimbabwean farmers to boost grain production, an EU diplomat said on Thursday.The EU, which maintains sanctions against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle over charges of human rights abuses and electoral fraud, remains one of the country's largest donors, giving more than 510 million euros since 2002. The head of the European Commission in Zimbabwe, Xavier Marchal, told a meeting of agricultural experts and donors assessing the preparations for the farming season that the EU facility was aimed at improving household food security.
By enshrining two fundamental principles to govern relations between the member states of the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states, the 2000 Cotonou Agreement raised the expectations of EU and ACP citizens alike. It made equal partnership, appropriation of development strategies and civil society involvement into the cornerstones of EU-ACP relations. Consequently the European Development Fund (EDF), the EU’s principal tool for development cooperation with the ACP countries which is managed by the European Commission, ought to be programmed and implemented in accordance with these principles.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
In the context of the European Development Days to be held in Stockholm under the Swedish presidency on 22-24th October 2009, CTA in partnership with the EC, FAO, IFAD, IIED, AGRA, Regional African Farmers Organisations will organise on 22 October (17h00-19h00) a round table on trends and challenges of the Global Land Acquisition. Recent global trends are prompting a massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural resources. In many countries this is creating unprecedented pressures on land resources and placing new tensions on land tenure systems. We will discuss the facts, scope and main affected countries as well as the drivers behind. We will also look at the minimum set of principles and measures to coordinate the large-scale transnational land acquisitions and leases at international level in order to ensure that such investments work for the benefit of the population including the most vulnerable groups. To know more and register: boto@cta.int.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
The video recordings of the 13th Briefing session (“Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?”) are now available.
The European Commission has announced phase two of the ACP-EU Water Facility, setting aside €200 million to help to tackle water and sanitation problems in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It will launch a call for proposals at the beginning of 2010. Between 2004 and 2006, the Water Facility financed 175 proposals, contributing €414.5 million out of the total project costs of €788 million. European institutions have doubled their support to the water and sanitation sector since 2002 . They are also spending more on basic water supply and sanitation for the poor - up from 22% of the aid in 2007 to 37% in 2009, and relatively less on large water supply and sanitation systems. EU donors give on average €1 billion every year to the water and sanitation sector, according to EUWI, the EU Water Initiative.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretary-General, Sir John Kaputin has re-iterated that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have continued to pose a great challenge to the ACP Group of States at the national, regional and all-ACP levels. He told ACP chief negotiators attending the Meeting of the Technical Follow-up Group on negotiation and implementation of EPAs that the challenge is due to the fact that the EPA process has created a differentiation within the ACP as a Group and in some of the regions. Sir John agreed that ACP regions and some ACP countries within their designated regions are progressing at variable speeds. Overall, only 25 ACP countries have signed a full or interim EPA, 11 have initialled but not signed while 42 have neither initialled nor signed any agreement.
Africa is asking its team of trade negotiators working on the Economic Partnership Agreement to focus on economic development before deciding on opening up markets to the European Union. Mr Erastus Mwencha, the deputy head of African Union Commission, says the continent should not be tied to timelines on the deal that envisages full access to African markets by 2025. Mr Mwencha on Monday told the EU-Africa Business forum in Nairobi that the proposed date was unrealistic. Africa will wait for national incomes and the efficiency of its industries improve to compete with the EU, the official said.
The Fiji Sugar Corporation's shipment last week of 30,385 tonnes will be the last enjoyed under the Sugar Protocol. Prime Minister's Office sugar economist Viliame Gucake said that FSC would be paid the new price -- 36 per cent less from the current price - from its fourth shipment until 2015. The preferential price under the ACP/EU Sugar Protocol expires today. Mr Gucake said the State had hoped that the preferential price that Fiji and other ACP sugar producing countries have enjoyed would be extended. He said since Fiji was the furthest sugar-producing country from the market - as brokered by UK firm Tate and Lyle -- the shipment would take about three to four weeks to reach there. Mr Gucake explained that under the new price, a net of $858 would be paid per tonne. "From the net of $1192 per tonne to $858 from October 1," he said. He said the FSC had exported a total of 80,043 tonnes of raw sugar in its first three shipments. Mr Gucake said the company would be receiving $95.4million from the three shipments. Fiji Cane Growers Association general secretary Bala Dass said there was nothing farmers could do about the new price, in which they would definitely lose out on. He believed there should be a plan to cushion the loss that would be incurred by the farmers.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) may be dolling out billions of euros in loans to small businesses, but it has no intention of behaving like a commercial bank, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB vice-president, told EurActiv France in an interview. He said that although all independent European firms with fewer than 250 employees are eligible for an EIB loan, the bank is still relatively unknown in EU countries.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its estimate of global banking losses in the last six months but forecast an increase in writedowns in the next year. "Actual and potential writedowns from bad assets such as loans and securities have fallen by some $600 billion over the past six months, from about $4 trillion to $3.4 trillion, as a lessening in financial stress has narrowed spreads", reads the biannual Global Financial Stability Report published on 30 September by the IMF. The encouraging review, based on the IMF's worst-case estimates in April, has been welcomed by financial operators, although the new data provided by the fund are not only positive.