Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 22 January 2018

This budget support report covers an important year for development. The debates in 2015 around the third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Agenda 2030 and the related sustainable development goals have highlighted the global challenges around inclusive growth, inequality and poverty. A key message that emerged from the Addis Ababa conference is that domestic public finance — revenue mobilisation and effective use of resources — provides by far the largest and most stable source available for financing sustainable development.

Jamaica and the European Union have committed to strengthen the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. According to a joint release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union delegation, the committment was made during the third 'Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue' held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday. In her opening remarks at the dialogue, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said the partnership between EU and Jamaica remains strong and that the EU has made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s development and the wider Caribbean region.

DGs ECFIN and DEVCO jointly hosted an all-day workshop on Thursday 2 February, on private sector participation in development finance. The objective was to showcase a variety of innovative cases which might inspire instruments under the new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). There was strong interest in the event, with around 140 people taking part from a variety of organizations including international finance institutions (EIB, EBRD, World Bank), other development finance institutions, private investors and representatives from the EP (notably the BUDG committee secretariat). Following the announcement of the Commission's new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), this workshop aimed to showcase a number of innovative blending instruments to demonstrate how these tools could be further developed with support from the Fund.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The UK’s National Audit Office says the number of fraud investigations has increased in tandem with more public money being delivered to “fragile” countries where bribery can be seen as “cultural norm”. Euractiv’s media partner The Guardian reports. Fraud investigations involving foreign aid have quadrupled over five years as more public money is given to “fragile” countries, a UK government spending watchdog has found. Reforms introduced by David Cameron to increase funding and assign it to unstable nations have increased the risk of wrongdoing, according to the National Audit Office.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is in The Gambia today meeting the newly elected President Adama Barrow and his new Government. Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: "The peaceful democratic change in The Gambia is the result of the determination of the Gambian people, as well as the regional and international coordinated efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. Gambians have shown commendable resolve, patience and courage during a period of high tension. The EU is fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his Government. We want to be a privileged partner of The New Gambia.

Trade and investment will occupy a strengthened, pivotal place in the UK’s development policy, indicates UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in its “first ever economic development strategy”. The document, released last week, details how DFID intends to work across government departments through an approach that integrates trade, investment, and aid policies to foster economic development and drive poverty reduction.

Thursday, 09 February 2017

An EU Public Consultation on the External Financing Instruments (EFI) of the European Union has opened from 7 February 2017 until 3 May 2017. The consultation is open to all stakeholders in beneficiary and EU countries: public national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, academics, development agencies and bodies, think tanks, consultancies, private sector organisations, development banks and citizens. The 11th European Development Fund is also an EFI although not funded by the EU budget. It is as such not part of the MFF but it covers the same period and is included in the consultation.

“The humanity of the world can be measured against the fate of Africa,” declared Horst Köhler, the former German president, more than 10 years ago. Germany is now making the African continent a focus of its G20 presidency. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development published a draft report called, “Cornerstones of a Marshall Plan with Africa,” advocating for a new partnership between Africa and Europe. Ten starting points have been put forward for discussion, mainly focusing on youth, employment, private sector engagement, African ownership and solutions. The Ministry is encouraging an open discussion and is seeking feedback on its Marshall Plan draft until 26 February 2017.

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

Plans for a dramatic increase in the amount of aid that can be channeled through the CDC Group, the government’s controversial private equity arm, have moved closer to fruition after crucial legislation passed through the Commons on Tuesday. The commonwealth development corporation bill, which will allow the government to lift the cap on aid funds spent through the CDC from £1.5bn to £6bn, was approved by MPs despite criticism of the organisation. The bill allows for increases of up to £12bn without new primary legislation. The vote followed a parliamentary debate that exposed the stark political divisions about the future direction of aid spending. Development minister Rory Stewart said Britain had a “moral obligation” to invest in the CDC, which he described as a proven development model. “CDC investment combines the rigour of the private sector, the focus on markets, the values of the public sector [that] reflect the values of the British public, reflect the British public that cares about poverty,” said Stewart.

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 mid-term review/revision of the MFF 2014-2020 to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe.