Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 19 November 2017

SADC has approved to give R20 million each to Madagascar and Seychelles to help the two island nations improve their participation in regional and international trade. The grants were approved by the SADC trade related facility (TRF) programme steering committee, during its seventh meeting held in Gaborone last month. The facility is a mechanism for financial and technical support given to SADC member states to help them implement commitments made under the regional Protocol on Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the SADC EPA group.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underscored the importance of combating poverty in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe. Merkel has made ties with Africa the focus of Germany's G20 presidency. Reducing poverty and conflict in Africa were the main topics raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as she met with African leaders ahead of next month's Group of 20 (G20) summit.The leaders of the African Union from Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Rwanda and other nations met in Berlin to discuss a so-called "compact with Africa." The initiative seeks to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

The Gambia government has launched a US$11.4 million project, funded by the European Union, to improve food security and reduce stunting growth among children in North Bank, Lower River, Central River and Upper River regions. The 30-month project, to be jointly implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was launched at Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday. It would be implemented in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (and its specialised units), the National Nutrition Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Disaster Management Agency, the Gambia Red Cross Society, Farmer Based Organisations, and the Women’s Health, Productivity and the Environment NGO (BAFROW).

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

AFRICAN, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) have defended their trade with China dismissing claims that the Asian country wants to exploit the continent of its resources. The ACP was responding to criticisms by representatives of the European Union at the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Inter-sessional meetings of the ACP — EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Brussels in Belgium in March. According to a report on the meetings presented in Parliament last week by Masvingo Central legislator Dr Daniel Shumba, the ACP countries maintained that trade with the Asian economic giant was more sustainable contrary to the EU aid which involves cumbersome drawdown procedures.

Monday, 12 June 2017

In his bullish drive for investment, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Monday, signed a partnership agreement with his counterpart in Shaanxi Province in China, Hu Heping, to bolster the injection of capital for business in the state. The agreement will allow Chinese businessmen pump the much desired capital into the Calabar Carnival, Power, and Solid Minerals sectors of the state. Ayade said after the signing of the agreement that "It is the enormous opportunities that this fund avails Africa that Cross River State wants to tap into. We have the assurances of the Governor and the people of Shaanxi that the favourable business climate in Cross River State will be utilised by Shaanxi." The China-Africa Development Fund, CAD Fund, in May 2016, signed a cooperation agreement with the Shaanxi Government in the capital Xi'an, the first of its kind with a provincial-level partner that aims to boost more investment in the African market.

Thursday, 08 June 2017

The European Union has cautioned President Museveni to go slow on his plans to hurriedly implement donor-funded projects, warning that it could end in shoddy work and increased corruption. The World Bank and European Union are some of the biggest funders of agriculture and infrastructure projects. At last week's World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa, Mr Museveni criticised international financial agencies funding infrastructure projects in Africa as "unserious", citing "frivolity" on their part.Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, the head of the European Union Delegation in Uganda, (EU) in a rejoinder said whereas the President's comments were not directed at the EU, they "strictly follow and monitor our projects".

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The government of China granted eight million USD to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to strengthen WFP's life-saving nutrition support for children and women in Ethiopia. Speaking at the event, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan said: "China has been a long-standing partner of WFP in its humanitarian operations globally." He said the fund would help Ethiopia to overcome the impacts of the severe drought. China is also calling on the international community to extend relief supports to Ethiopia. For his part, WFP Representative and Country Director John Aylieff said China is becoming one of the emerging donors for WFP. "Government exerted its strong leadership, allocating hundreds of millions of USD to facilitate emergency response operations," he said

The National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa, together with tralac, an NGO studying trade law, has released a study on African agricultural trade as it plays out on the world stage. The conclusion of ‘WTO: Agricultural issues for Africa’ by Prof Ron Sandrey and his fellow authors, is that there are few agricultural sectors where Africa would benefit from WTO intervention and that the continent couldn’t do better than its current preferential access to the European Union. For South Africa, which is designated a developed nation under WTO rules (apparently a self-selected designation), the situation is more complex.

Tuesday, 02 May 2017

A deeper UK engagement with African trade is sensible and beneficial, however, negotiators will need to wake up to complexities of hashing out any deals on the continent. When The Times reported that some Whitehall officials had been using the term ‘Empire 2.0’ to describe post-Brexit UK’s campaign to cosy up to its former colonies, there was a significant backlash among some members of the 52-state Commonwealth. Yet despite the unofficial branding, the official line is one of reciprocal trade deals and closer foreign policy – both of which will be welcome to the UK and its allies.

The European Union has allocated €53 million (Shs202.9 billion) towards easing trade transaction in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (Comesa) bloc where Uganda is a member. The money is part of the 11th European Development Fund's €85 million (Shs325.5 billion) support for Comesa regional integration programmes. Comesa Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya at a recent regional meeting of member states held in Lusaka Zambia, to validate the identified projects, said: "The overarching goal of the trade facilitation programme is to make trade transactions easier, quicker, more efficient and less costly, thereby enhancing trade flows in the identified transport corridors." The funding expected to increase intra-regional trade flows of goods, persons and services by reducing the costs/delays of imports/exports at specific border posts.