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EDITO
Saturday, 22 July 2017

The EU has provided 13 millions euros for the upgrade of cane accss roads around the country. This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan, following his meeting with EU officials, the Ministry of Sugar and the Pacific Community in Lautoka on Friday. Mr. Karan chaired the meeting which included talks on road and water projects for the cane farming areas. Mr. Karan said all cane access roads could not be completed this year under the EU aid but this should be done by next year. He said the roads being done would be done properly with professional companies being recruited to carry out this work. "We don't want to have roads that have to be repaired after every heavy rainfall".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday (10 October) announced a €27 million aid package for Niger, her second stop in a three-nation Africa tour aimed at fighting terrorism and stemming the migrant influx to Europe. The German leader said the army of the arid west African country, one of the world’s poorest, would receive €10 million worth of equipment next year. Germany will also build a military base to back up the UN mission in neighbouring Mali, the first country she had visited on the whirlwind African tour. Merkel also promised €17 million as development aid for Niger’s arid and desperately impoverished Agadez region in the north in a bid to fight migration to Europe.

On behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner for International cooperation and Development Neven Mimica has announced new support for the people of Mali. At the core of the Commissioner's official visit to Mali today is the EU's assistance for the stabilisation and development of the country. Commissioner Mimica will meet with the President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and attend high-level meetings on development and migration. Furthermore, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali and National Authorizing Officer, Abdoulaye Diop, he will sign several projects of cooperation, worth a total amount of €67 million.. , These projects are mainly financed by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and will directly contribute to long-term peace and development in Mali.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a trip to Ethiopia, said she would make Africa a priority for Germany's G20 presidency next year and outlined plans for a conference in Berlin. The German leader is on the last leg of a three day trip which has also included stops in Mali and Niger. She is seeking investment opportunities which she hopes will help drive economic growth and curb future migration to Europe. Earlier Merkel told Ethiopia to open up its politics and ensure police do not use heavy-handed tactics against protesters, after more than a year of unrest that rights groups say has led to about 500 deaths. Then, in a speech to the African Union, Merkel said Berlin would host a high-profile conference on Africa in mid 2017.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has managed, in a short term, to avoid cutting rations destined for refugees in Tanzania, thanks to a £1 million (more than 2.6bn/-) contribution from Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), WFP was about to cut rations in October for nearly a quarter of a million refugees, given its lack of funds for its refugee operations in Tanzania. But now for the time being these operations can continue as normal.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The European Commission announced in Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘State of the Union’ speech a new initiative on Africa – the EU External Investment Plan (EIP), which looks at helping the private sector in Africa and the European Neighbourhood. The plan hopes to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 and boost the decline since the financial crisis of 2008 of foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing states. In 2012, only 6% (€ 34.6 billion) of total global FDI to developing countries went to what the OECD call ‘fragile states.’ Among those on the fragile states list, the majority of FDI is attracted by resources-rich countries, with 72% concentrated in ten countries in 2012.

The revision of the European Consensus on Development has once again thrown the spotlight on the failure of EU countries to allocate 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) to international solidarity. EurActiv France reports. European lawmakers have expressed their frustration at member states’ continued failure to reach their development assistance targets. For Luxembourgish MEP Charles Goerens (ALDE group) this undermines the very credibility of the EU’s aid policy.

From January 2016, thousands of pastoralists arrived in Djibouti from the Somali region of Ethiopia and from the Somaliland Region of Somalia, fleeing one of the most severe droughts of the last decade. Many pregnant women and children under five among the displaced showed signs of acute malnutrition and anemia. Half of the adult men and women were underweight and many were suffering chronic coughs, tuberculosis and diarrheal diseases. In April 2016, the number of displaced pastoralists totalled 9,650 in different settlement sites in Ali-Sabieh, Dickhil and Obock regions of Djibouti.

The British Department for International Development (DfID) is set to disburse £23.5 million (about Rwf24 billion) through a new programme, dubbed “Improving Market Systems for Agriculture in Rwanda” (IMSAR). IMSAR, which was launched in Kigali, yesterday, will see the money paid out over a period of six years to support agribusiness, help farmers, develop the private sector, create jobs and promote economic growth and exports in a bid to support the commercialisation of agriculture. DFID director for East and Central Africa Donal Brown said agriculture must be at the centre of economic development because it has real potential, especially in Africa.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016

The National Assembly Members Tuesday adopted the report on the 42nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 31st Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia, from 8 to 15 June 2016. Tabling the report before lawmakers, the National Assembly Member for Banjul North, Hon. Alhagie Sillah, the head of the delegation, said the ACP-EU JPA brings together MEPs and MPs from 78 European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU cooperation and development work.