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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

China is “available to support sustainable development” in São Tomé and Príncipe through cooperation in the areas of “infrastructure, tourism and agriculture,” said the new Chinese ambassador, Wang Wei, who on Thursday began his diplomatic mission in the São Tomé capital. At the end of the accreditation ceremony chaired by the President of the Republic, Wang Wei stressed that “the Chinese government is willing to contribute to the transformation of São Tomé and Príncipe. The representative of Beijing, referring to financial support of US$146 million that China will grant to the African country, said that “this will certainly be in two parts, one part in technical assistance, the other part in investment.”

Monday, 19 June 2017

EURACTIV invited Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope, Jacqueline Mugo, Secretary General of Business Africa, Pierre Gattaz, President of Medef, the largest employer federation of France, and Klaus Rudischhauser, EU Commission Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, to discuss the role of public-private partnerships in development. Emma Marcegaglia: “In this moment, when part of the world will go back to protectionism, Europe must stay open and play a leadership role in open trade and access to markets. A stronger link between Europe and Africa could be a good solution. Africa is a vibrant continent.

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.

EHPEA, the Ethiopian association for growers and exporters, has 140 members who produce and export fruit, vegetables and flowers. Yemishrach Berhanu, responsible for the promotion of the association, indicates they are present at various fresh produce fairs to promote their members’ products. They also participated in the Macfrut in Rimini. “We promote strawberries, avocados, mangoes, pineapple, herbs, beans and various other fruits and vegetables.”She continues: “Besides, we want to emphasise that Ethiopia is an attractive country for investors. There are various interesting projects, and the government supports those financially as well. Interest rates are low, so there are plenty of reasons to ask for some information. An area of 1,000 hectares has been set apart for investors.”

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.

South Africa's strategy of pursuing a “developmental trade” policy, in which trade agreements with other countries and regions specifically promote growth, employment and the industrial upgrade of the country, are undermined by unequal global trade rules, markets and power which favours industrial countries. However, South Africa's “developmental trade” policy is often torpedoed by self-destructive compromises to trading partners, wrong strategies and corrupt behaviour by leaders. South Africa's export growth for the past two decades has been at least 11% slower than its peers, India, Brazil and China. Most of South Africa's exports remain raw materials.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When it fully takes off, the newly-approved Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) is to advise the federal government on how best to go about resolving the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has said. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the establishment of NOTN to act as the pivot for the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries and agencies. The EPA, which is a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the European Union (EU) are incompatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rules, is a scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), but has been mired in controversy.

Last week, Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement. This follows previous announcements on reducing US support to development. These decisions are deeply worrying – but must not distract us from the immense task ahead, writes Neven Mimica. Neven Mimica is European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. When global challenges rise, we need to rise to the challenge. At a milestone moment for multilateralism, the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals to respond to these challenges – applying for the first time to all countries.

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.

The massive need for investment in projects of public interest in developing countries cannot be met by the public sector alone, this is why the involvement of the private sector in reaching the SDGs is key, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview. Neven Mimica is Croatia’s first European Commissioner since the country’s EU accession in 2013. He has served as Minister of European integration and as Deputy Prime Minister. He is affiliated to the Social Democratic Party of Croatia.