Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 25 September 2017

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.

Changing context and challenges, DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories.[ii] Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade.

Monday, 10 April 2017

On 20 March, the Government of Ireland announced a contribution of €3 million to the UN Humanitarian Pooled Fund in Sudan. The funding ($3.3 million) to the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will be used to provide life-saving assistance through UN and NGO partners, based on the needs of vulnerable people facing conflict, forced to leave their homes, and with insufficient food to feed their families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

At the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises 2017, Daniel Gustafson, the Deputy Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that 108 million people are in “food crisis” around the world. Daniel Gustavson joined the FAO in 1994, serving in Africa and South Asia. Before assuming his present role, he was the director of the organisation’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada. Gustavson spoke with EURACTIV.com Development Correspondent Matthew Tempest. The message of today’s report seemed to be summed up in the words that ‘famine is back’, especially looking at South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria.

Monday, 03 April 2017

During an official visit to Kenya, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged new support for projects in the power and transport sectors.Also, at a press conference In Nairobi with Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury Henry K. Rotich, the signature of a connectivity project was announced. The EIB’s three-day programme will include a site visit to the Lake Turkana Wind Park, the largest windfarm in sub-Saharan Africa developed by the private sector, which the EIB helped finance in 2014.At the Treasury the EIB signed the “Last Mile Connectivity” project, which will connect nearly 300.000 Kenyan households (equalling up to 1.5 million Kenyans) to the national electricity grid.

Friday, 31 March 2017

The signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (EEC) 60 years ago in March 1957, came at a tumultuous time in relations between Europe and Africa. Just weeks earlier Kwame Nkrumah had declared Ghana a republic, an event which was a turning point in the decolonisation of sub-Saharan Africa. Nkrumah remarked that the treaty's inclusion of colonial territories was to neocolonialism what the Berlin Treaty of 1885 had been to colonialism.

In East Africa, the Kenyan government has approved 6.7 billion ($65 million) towards the country's last mile connectivity project. The loan signed with European Investment Bank (EIB) concerns a multiple scheme electrification project, targeting universal access to electricity for the Kenyan population by 2020, the Standard reported.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

President Donald Trump's proposed deep cuts to humanitarian aid go against the global development goals the United States committed to in 2015, the European Union's international development chief warned Friday. "Any withdrawal or cut in the development assistance would actually go contrary to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda," the EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, Neven Mimica, told The Associated Press. The ambitious set of global goals take aim at eradicating poverty, reducing disease burden and ensuring clean water around the world, among other issues, by 2030. They were adopted by the international community at a United Nations summit.