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Development Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2019
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EDITO
Monday, 20 May 2019

The African Union Commission (AUC) yesterday signed a Joint Programming Arrangement (JPA) to support the AUC Trade and Industry Program led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under Pillar III "Integration, Cooperation and Partnerships" with Development Partners in Addis Ababa. Four African Union partners: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK) and Sweden signed this arrangement in order to enhance coordination among partners supporting the AUC in the areas of trade, industry and customs.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Barbados is getting some help in developing its Black Belly sheep industry and putting its herbs, spices and condiments business on a better commercial scale. The assistance is coming through an Agriculture Policy Programme (APP) financed under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), which is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries. During the launch of the Barbados part of the region-wide programme, project spokeswoman Ena Harvey of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture said Barbados would be helped to significantly increase its Black Belly sheep population. She also said emphasis would be placed on the genetic side, on registration and management of the stock. Under the EDF, about $21.3 million will be available for projects in 15 regional countries over four years.

The EU has strongly supported the accession of the Seychelles and is very pleased to welcome our partner in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific group as a new member of the WTO family,' said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. 'This accession and the queue of 22 countries that want to join continue to highlight the indispensable value of multilateralism.' After 19 years of multilateral negotiations, the accession process was given a boost when on 23 October 2013 the EU and the Seychelles concluded their bilateral market access negotiations on the island state's WTO accession. Remaining bilateral negotiations with other trading partners and the multilateral work in a WTO working party subsequently speeded up.

An EU spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that €13 million of aid has been blocked due to lack of progress in several areas of human rights, including the recent introduction of a tough law against homosexuality. This was the last slice of a €75 million aid package that was set to run for six years from 2007 in one of Africa's smallest and poorest nations. The decision comes as relations between Gambia and the EU become increasingly strained with the 28-member bloc debating whether to release €150 million of development aid to Gambia - a major sticking point between southern and northern European nations. Gambia and President Yahya Jammeh face global condemnation for a poor human rights record with criticism mounting as the new law in October introduced "aggravated homosexuality" as a crime punishable in some cases with life in prison.

The European Parliament's main political factions have agreed on the intergroups that they will establish for the current mandate (2014-2019). The list of 28 groups is due to be validated on 11 December by the Conference of the Presidents of the European Parliament's political factions. This is an increase on the 27 groups of the previous mandate.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The European Union is launching the “European Year for Development 2015” with some details emerging during a public event held in Brussels yesterday (9 November). The European Year for Development 2015 is the first year designated to such a global theme, since European years have been designated from 1983 up to now. The initiative originated in Latvia. The European Year for Development 2015 will take place in Riga on 8 January, as part of the events marking the beginning of the first Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The second half of the European Year for Development will be during the Luxembourg presidency.

On Tuesday 09th December, the European Commission DG DevCo InfoPoint hosted the launch of the book, ‘Public Procurement Reforms in Africa’. Mr. Jose Correia Nunes, Head of Unit DG DevCo 03, Budget Support and Public Finance Management introduced the authors Prof. Claude Menard (Economics Department, Sorbonne), Ms Christine Léon de Mariz (consultant, former Senior Economist at World Bank) and Bernard Abeillé (consultant, formerly World Bank). Prof. Menard and Ms. Léon de Mariz presented their book focusing on the institutional reforms and changes that are taken at the government level.

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Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Hon. Sato Kilman signed the National Indicative Programme for his country with European Development Commissioner Mr. Neven Mimica today, in the margins of the ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance. According to the agreement, EUR 31.3 million from the 11th European Development Fund will be made available for the period 2014-2020, an increase of 35% from the previous cycle.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

In contrast with their counterparts in the global north and Asia, many farmers in sub-Saharan Africa rely on manure rather than chemical fertilisers. But the organic alternative cannot meet the demand. In Europe, organic farming makes up only 5.4% of all agricultural land, according to Eurostat. Food and Agriculture Organisation data shows that, globally, less than 1% of agricultural land is farmed using organic methods. Organic fertiliser can help freshen up Africa’s ailing, rusty-red soils, but there is not enough land available to produce manure in sufficient quantities, says Professor Ken Giller, a soil scientist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Foreign aid advocates in the United Kingdom breathed a sigh of relief as an overwhelming majority of lawmakers under the House of Commons agreed Friday to enshrine into law the U.K. government’s foreign aid spending commitment. With 146 votes in favor and only 6 against, members of the parliament supported a proposal that aims to keep U.K. aid spending at a minimum of 0.7 percent of gross national income no matter the economic tide or changes in leadership in years to come, unless a future government decides to take on the long and arduous process of repealing the proposed law.