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Development Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2018
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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Wealthy countries are still subsidising their farmers at the expense of developing nations, undermining market access for some of the world's poorest producers, two farm ministers told a Food and Agriculture Organization meeting on Monday. "Our cotton producers are constantly targeted by unfair subsidies from the North," Burkina Faso Agriculture Minister Mahama Zoungrana told delegates at a meeting of the U.N. agency in Rome.

Nespresso, the subsidiary of Nestlé the agro-food giant, is expected to invest 15 million Swiss francs, i.e. 12.4 million euros, on the African continent, with the aim in particular of supporting the development of countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan via fair trade. The group also wants to invest in sustainable development, which makes this investment a pioneering operation in this area.

Friday, 10 October 2014

While rich countries are often singled out for missing their development aid funding targets, a new report by the anti-poverty group ONE found that developing countries also fail to hold up their end of the deal. EurActiv Germany and EurActiv France report. The ONE data report for 2014, "Fighting poverty and financing Africa's future", investigates Official Development Aid (ODA) contributed by G8 states and the European Union. The report, published on Monday (6 October), measures where rich countries stand in their pledge to contribute 0.7% of Gross National Income to development aid.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014

Natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, and earthquakes are becoming more regular and intense, increasing impact on people and communities. Low-income households have more difficulty buffering losses, meaning that disaster losses translate into a series of impacts, including more poverty, declining health and worsening nutrition. Poor planning, poverty and a range of other underlying factors create conditions of vulnerability that result in insufficient capacity to cope with natural hazards and disasters. Action to reduce risk has grown in importance on the international agenda and is seen as essential for sustainable development.

The French development aid budget has been reduced by almost 20% since 2012. France hopes to cover this reduction with a tax on financial transactions, but the yields are uncertain, EurActiv France reports. There is a sense of déjà-vu about the latest announcement about France's aid funding: it has shrunk for the fourth year in a row.

Monday, 06 October 2014

The city of Moroni in the Comoros is currently hosting the Indian Ocean Summit, which is discussing strategies to promote the region and its members. The project aimed at making Madagascar the “Rice Bowl” of the Indian Ocean is still relevant and is on the agenda of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Indian Ocean. This project has raised concerns in many quarters, since its details are unclear. This project will in all likelihood become reality given the scope of the projects which will be submitted to the extraordinary Councils of Ministers of the IOC. 

Friday, 03 October 2014

European governments must help combat hunger and malnutrition on a global level, as failure to do so will only boost migration flows and stoke conflicts, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. "Food insecurity and conflict go hand in hand" he said, noting that extreme climatic events, troubles in Africa and the Near East and now the Ebola outbreak in West Africa tend to spill over national borders and into other regions in a globalized world, often through forced migration.

A revamp of the European Commission's set-up could hamper cooperation between its development and research arms, say observers, as European Parliament hearings start this week to approve the commissioners who will oversee each portfolio.The new commission - unveiled earlier this month by President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker - will be organised into six, vice-president-led 'clusters' designed to promote coherent policies on key issues within the European Union (EU).

Thursday, 02 October 2014

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide EUR 23 million (15 billion CFA) to support investment in one of the largest photovoltaic power stations in sub-Saharan Africa. The EUR 70.5 million (46 billion CFA) scheme will be constructed at Zagtouli on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso and operated by national electricity utility, SONABEL. The new plant is expected to act as a reference for future solar investment across the continent.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A delegation from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) took part in a series of meetings in Brussels last week. The delegation met with Ambassadors from Pacific countries to provide an update on SPC’s efforts for closer engagement with the European Union and perspectives for Pacific development under the future EDF 11.The delegation also met with the European Commission’s Director-General for Development and International Cooperation. The conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and SPC as a means of recognising the EU’s role and engagement with the Pacific Community was warmly welcomed in Brussels, as was the suggestion that SPC could constitute a regional development community as a platform for greater coordination of EU-Pacific cooperation.