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Development Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2019
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EDITO
Sunday, 24 February 2019

Three years after its launch in 2011, the support program for the private sector in Cameroon, co-funded by the government and implemented by the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), a joint structure of the EU and ACP countries; presents its first shoots in the 5th edition of the company's Salon of SMEs and partnership, dubbed Promote 2014. A total of 15 SMEs and micro-businesses in Cameroon, received technical support , financial and logistical, for their participation in this great business event held in the Cameroonian capital every 3 years. The 15 companies towed by the CDE in this show are active in the food sectors, industrial maintenance and processing of wood or leather.

In July 2014, after months of blackmail and pressure from the European Commission, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) between the EU and West Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa were finally initialed. These agreements, unfortunately unknown, embrace the sacred dogma of the European Commission, "to develop free trade" between the EU and the countries called ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific). The EU previously maintained unilateral trade preferences with these countries - former colonies - benefiting from preferential market access to the European market. Under the EPA agreements, tariffs shall be removed on 80% of European exports. With these EPAs, the free trade dogma is expressed in all its splendor.

Chief negotiators indeed validated a grind proposed by senior officials. This draft takes into account the outstanding issues, we read in a document distributed to participants. They validated the agreement between the parties on priority needs covering areas including trade, industry, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and building the capacity of non-state actors including access infrastructure. Priority needs were assessed at € 6.5 billion for the first five years covering the period 2015-2019. The EU, its member states and the European Investment Bank (EIB) confirmed their commitment to achieve the balance between the expressed needs and funding, and to clarify that their commitment following the necessary consultations are completed.

A delegation of senior officials of the United Nations and the Government of Norway, which included Peter De Clercq, UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti and Trygve Bendiksby, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Norway in Latin America, hosted by the Departmental Delegate, Serge Chery visited Haiti for two days. They visited several projects of the South Coast Initiative including: rehabilitation of road infrastructure and the facilities of the Electric Cooperative in Rock Boat, fish market in Port Hi, the mitigation work at the Millionaire river in South St. Louis and the Interpretation Center of Nature Aquinas. 

In Cyprus, 94% of the Eurobarometer respondents agreed that it is important to help people in developing countries. This was the second highest response, just three percent less than respondents in Sweden in the survey conducted in the run up to the European Year for development 2015. Additionally, 64% of respondents in Cyprus also agreed that it is very important to help people in developing countries, again ranking second behind Sweden where 74% of respondents agreed. Cyprus was only one of 4 of the 28 member states for whom a majority of respondents agreed with this last statement, including Ireland (56%) and Luxembourg (51%).

During a press conference yesterday, Tuesday 30 December, the members of the "No to EPAs" coalition called on the President of the Republic Macky Sall to open a national debate on the question of economic partnership agreements (EPAs). They criticized the negotiation process, particularly for its lack of transparency, demanding that the Head of State freeze the process immediately in Senegal. During a press conference yesterday, 30 December, the "No to EPAs" coalition reaffirmed its opposition to the economic partnership agreements (EPAs), urging President Macky Sall to open a national debate in the matter as soon as possible. "We demand that the President of the Republic open a national debate on the EPAs as soon as possible before parliamentary consultation.

The project in support of agricultural production and food safety in West and South Haiti is financed by the AFD to the tune of 16.2 million euros (4.7 million of which allocated by the European Union). Four maize and haricot bean campaigns have been supported so far and 20 kilometres of irrigation canal have been repaired in the plain of Les Cayes. Production levels and yields now follow an upward gradient, improving food safety while also stabilizing the economic situation of 800 producers.

2015 is the European Year for Development. Created by Toute l'Europe, the official site www.developpement2015.fr, dedicated to the EYD in France, provides information on this year’s objectives and agenda, the organizations involved and the projects launched in 2015, as well as development aid in France and throughout Europe. Check it out now! The objective of the www.developpement2015.fr website is to present the European Year for Development (EYD) and the variety of organizations involved in these themes in France; to allow the public and civil society organizations working in normally separate areas to form synergies and work on joint projects; and, finally, to turn to best account all the initiatives and projects that will be run in connection with this Year.

On Thursday 8 January, the new European Union (EU) Ambassador in the Côte d’Ivoire, S.E M. Jean-François VALETTE, was officially received by the Prime Minister, the Minister for the Economy, Finance and the Budget, Daniel Kablan Duncan. According to the new EU representative, the cooperation between the EU and the Côte d’Ivoire was central to the exchanges in this first meeting with the leader of the Ivorian government.

Backed by 74 million euros thanks to contributions from the European Commission and French, German and Dutch development agencies, it is open to the other Member States, the international backers and foundations. "All the Member States are welcome, but they are not all equally aware of the Central African situation," says Commission Manager Irchad Razaaly. This mechanism allows a departure from an ill-adapted traditional aid scheme. "Normally, in the AFD, a project takes one year to appraise, nine months at best," says Philippe Chedanne. "We need a flexible tool, solutions that can be implemented in three months."