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Development Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 15 October 2018

Ethiopia is planning to increase its revenue from the export of horticulture products to $371 million during the 2014-15 fiscal year, compared to $245 million in the previous year, an Ethiopian official said Sunday. “Efforts are underway to export high-quality products during the reported period as part of the overall activities to increase the [country's] revenue,” Mekonnen Hailu, Senior Communication Expert with the Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency, told Anadolu Agency. “Utilization of modern technology, in particular chemical-free pest control mechanism, is being applied to make the products free of chemicals because chemical-free products have great market demand," Hailu said.

 

Baobab was licensed for the European food market just six years ago, and the white, floury pulp contained in its yellow-green pods is quickly gaining ‘superfood’ status in this market. The tree’s pulp has more protein than breast milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more magnesium than spinach, more iron than red meat and more potassium than a banana. It has become a popular additive in reinforced foods. Further, baobab seeds contain a stable oil that the cosmetic industry is adopting in body lotions and creams. The tree’s leaves have medicinal value and are used to fight infectious diseases. The trunk stores water, which can be harvested by thirsty travellers. Though sweetened baobab seeds are found in kiosks and along street corners across the country, the potential the whole tree holds for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutrition industries has largely been overlooked.

Food security situation in member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, (Comesa) is steadily improving with a number of countries registering significant growth, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said. The conclusion is contained in a statistical report by the UN food agency presented to the 6th Joint Comesa Technical Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources in Kinshasa, DR Congo this week. The three-day meeting, which started on Tuesday, addressed issues related to food security within the Comesa region. A statement released by the regional body on Thursday said FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report commended the growing food security within the region and noted a significant increase in food production, particularly in cereal output.

The European Union is finalising a $110 million funding deal with the Government under the 2014-2020 National Indicative Programme for Livestock Policy Development. Addressing the national stakeholder consultative workshop on the National Livestock Development Policy, EU representative Mr Monsieur Jorge Pereiro Pion said agriculture-based development is a key area targeted to be funded under the facility. "Today marks a very important step for Zimbabwe in looking for concrete ways in which to boost the livestock sector," he said. "This includes support for policy development as we are confident about the potential of the sector and willingness and capacity of all the relevant stakeholders, to make the necessary effort towards turning the agricultural sector into a main driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation in Zimbabwe." He said developing a stronger livestock industry through better market linkages had many benefits which included improving incomes for smallholder farmers and creating employment opportunities.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

After more than a decade of tensions and sanctions, ties between Zimbabwe and the European Union —  the country’s second-largest donor — are now in a final sprint toward normalized relations. While Western donors continue to channel funds to multilateral institutions and nongovernmental organizations on the ground, the EU is on course to become the first donor to resume direct aid to the Zimbabwean government. This follows the recent expiration, at the start of the month, of the aid restrictions it had imposed against its African partner more than 12 years ago.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The UK's public institution responsible for financing projects in developing countries has been channelling millions of pounds through companies that use tax havens. A new report, 'Going Offshore', has found that as of the end of 2013, a massive 118 out of 157 fund investments made by the CDC Group Plc - the UK's DFI - went through jurisdictions that feature in the top 20 of Tax Justice Network's Financial Secrecy Index (FSI). Between 2000 and 2013, these funds received a total of $3.8 billion (£2.4 billion), while 26 funds were registered in the Cayman Islands ($909 million) (£564 million).

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner, Günter Nooke issued harsh criticism of the EU’s joint free trade deal with multiple African countries, claiming the EPA counteracts Europe’s development policy efforts. “Economic negotiations should not destroy what has been built up on the other side in the Development Ministry”, the German government’s Africa Commissioner Günter Nooke commented in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday (4 November). Germany and Europe contribute large sums of tax money toward various development programmes in Africa, Nooke explained, but the economic agreement with African states cancels out these efforts. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and several African states encourages African countries to open up to 83% of their markets to European imports. Meanwhile tariffs and fees are planned to be gradually eliminated.

The European Union will donate €11 million in aid to support development projects in South Darfur, following a visit of EU ambassadors to Nyala’s Kalma camp on Thursday. They met with camp leaders, youths, women, and the  Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association. The meetings discussed the health and security situations in the camp, located east of Nyala city. The spokesman for the association, Hussein Abu Sharati, told Radio Dabanga that the leaders of the displaced population explained to the ambassadors how they suffer from the pro-government militias’ continuous attacks, rapes, and stealing. “The camp leaders also stressed the lack of medicines, water, and the educational problems: there are not enough teachers, books, and class rooms,” Sharati said. The spokesman concluded that the members of the delegation, headed by EU ambassador to Sudan Tomas Ulicny, committed themselves to answer all the needs of the displaced people.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Despite one year of experience in Brussels, the EU’s new Development Commissioner Neven Mimica is still a rookie and low in the hierarchy of the Juncker Commission, leaving him with much to prove on development policy, according to aid groups interviewed by EurActiv Germany. "We must show that development policy is working,” the EU’s new Development Commissioner Neven Mimica said at his hearing the European Parliament at the end of September.

Friday, 31 October 2014

The scientific board set up in 2012 to advise on the development policy of the European Union (EU) has provided a much-needed link between science and development, but its future is now uncertain, insiders say. Board members say the Scientific Advisory Board on EU Development Policy has forged crucial links between European researchers and policymakers and should not only continue, but also have its mandate strengthened. However, the board will instead be officially dissolved once the new development commissioner, Neven Mimica, takes office November 1.­­­­­ He would not comment on the fate of the board until then.