Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Thursday, 14 December 2017

Changing context and challenges, DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories.[ii] Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade.

The European Commission's Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi, visited the Pacific region to strengthen coordination and cooperation on development policy. From 28 March to 3 April 2017, Director-General Manservisi visited Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The visit began in Australia and New Zealand to strengthen an already close partnership with the two countries and to further coordination on development policy. He then travelled to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to continue discussions with authorities and stakeholders and assess the impact of EU development assistance.

The European Union (EU) will provide 200 million euros for projects in the sectors of trade, energy and water supply in Angola over the next five years, said in Luanda the EU ambassador, Tomáš Uličný. At the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, on Monday, the ambassador told Angolan news agency Angop that in addition to financial support in the mentioned sectors, over the next six months the EU will fund the training of technicians of the National Bank of Angola. “More than twenty Angolans will travel to Europe to receive training in banking and some European experts will come to Angola to pass on their knowledge so that the country can reach the European banking standard,” said the diplomat.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said that his nation is committed to lay strong foundation to bolster its overall bilateral and multilateral relations with Ethiopia. He made the remark during a recent exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald. Spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev said Ethiopia and Azerbaijan have similar culture and civilization. "Ethiopia is one of the oldest birthplace of human civilization, art and development which made it akin with Azerbaijan." In-terms of strengthening bilateral ties, he noted that Azerbaijan has a strong will to have an increased experience sharing. For instance, Azerbaijan is keen on drawing best practices of Ethiopia in the areas of tourism, agriculture, mining industry and the like, he added.

Germany wants to establish fair trade with Africa as the latter has been victimized by the existing trade ties. The lately proposed 'Marshall Plan with Africa' is aimed at achieving trade balance between Africa and Europe, said a visiting Germany Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller. Addressing AU representatives and diplomatic corps yesterday, Müller said the 25-year plan also helps to re-position the EU's cooperation with Africa, and is intended to serve as a basis of discussion to restructure ties. With the new proposal, Germany needs to add a new and strategic dimension to the partnership with Africa.

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan indirectly criticised the European Union's farming subsidies, in a conversation with journalists in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March). After his tenure as head of the UN (1997-2006), Annan set up a foundation that carries his name, which has sustainable development and reducing hunger and poverty as some of its main goals. He came to Brussels to hold a keynote speech at an event about agriculture and environment. A farmer in Kenya. Annan: 'I come from a continent where these poor farmers with limited resources are trying to compete' (Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT).) Asked about whether he had suggestions for the upcoming reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, he called it “an awkward question”.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

The European Union will support Timor-Leste (East Timor) with a budget of 57 million euros over the next five years, under a cooperation agreement signed at the end of last week in Dili by the head of the EU delegation in Timor-Leste and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste

Tuesday, 04 April 2017

European Commission Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi and Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum (PIFS), Dame Meg Taylor, has signed the European Union (EU) “Investment Facility for the Pacific” to support and promote sustainable development in the Pacific.The agreement, signed in Suva is worth €20 million (FJD$44 million) and is aimed at supporting Pacific regional investment projects through the Investment Facility for the Pacific, a mechanism that supports inclusive and sustainable growth in the Pacific by combining EU grants with other public and private sector resources such as loans and equity in order to leverage additional financing and achieve investments in infrastructure as well as support to private sector.

At the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises 2017, Daniel Gustafson, the Deputy Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that 108 million people are in “food crisis” around the world. Daniel Gustavson joined the FAO in 1994, serving in Africa and South Asia. Before assuming his present role, he was the director of the organisation’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada. Gustavson spoke with EURACTIV.com Development Correspondent Matthew Tempest. The message of today’s report seemed to be summed up in the words that ‘famine is back’, especially looking at South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria.

Brexit encompasses not only a dramatic shift in economic and political ties in Europe but also in Africa where the UK, through its membership of the European Union was able to strengthen rrelationships with several nations on the continent. Following the UK’s Leave vote on June 23rd, African currencies dipped. Stocks and bonds also plunged. Due to their positions as the UK’s largest African markets, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are among the prominent African States to be impacted by the UK’s move out of Europe. A lot of negotiations may have to take place as most of the trade agreements the UK has with African countries were negotiated through the EU. Inevitably, an end will come to some agreements.