Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Sunday, 21 January 2018

PIPSO launched their 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, and revamped website in Suva today. Speaking from the event this morning, PIPSO’s Chair Howard Politini complimented the organisation for this milestone, “PIPSO has great plans and has much expectations from their members and stakeholders around the region, who convened and actively participated in July this year for a 4-day interactive workshop to deliberate and finalise the organisation’s strategic focus in the next 4 years.”

Thursday, 01 December 2016

Tanzania Horticulture Association's (TAHA) efforts to boost horticultural production in the country have attracted a five million US dollar (over 10bn/-) funding from Sweden. Speaking shortly after signing the five-year deal, the Deputy Head of Mission responsible for Development Corporation Division (DCD) at the Swedish Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Mr Ulf Källsting said the funding will straight go to improve production by small holder farmers struggling to meet international market standards.

From support for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence to supporting forestry programmes, Finnish aid to Tanzania cannot be overstated. It is imperative that we remember how effectively Finland has aligned its assistance funding with Tanzania's development needs vis-à-vis the National Five Year Development Plan 2016/17-2020/21 and Vision 2025. Despite a reduction in development aid from the Finnish government to countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia and Nepal, Finland still maintains a huge assistance programme.

President Professor Peter Mutharika Friday commended the European Union (EU) for the development and humanitarian aid rendered to the country. Speaking when he held an audience with EU delegation in Lilongwe at Kamuzu Palace, Mutharika said EU is one of the biggest partners Malawi has since 1975 and the country has benefited a lot from the partnership. He said EU has engaged herself in assisting the country in the areas of agriculture, education and governance among others. "As of now EU is helping the country in humanitarian aid by assisting the 6.7 million people who have been affected by hunger and drought due to climate change.

The Council recalls its conclusions of 20 July 2015 on EU Energy Diplomacy which underlined the need to ensure coherence between EU foreign and energy policies. The Council further recalls the Energy Union strategy and calls for Europe to become the world leader in renewable energy, including research, innovation and technologies. The Council underlines that the EU's development policy and actions in the energy sector are a fundamental part of a revitalised European energy and climate diplomacy.

The Council welcomes the first Results Report 1 as a significant step forward in strengthening
the focus on performance and results in EU international cooperation and development. The Council also recalls its conclusions of 14 May 2014 and 26 May 2015 which paved the way towards the EU International Cooperation and Results Framework. 2. The Council welcomes with satisfaction the good results achieved in areas such as good governance and democracy, support to situation of fragility, job creation, education, health, sustainable agriculture and natural resources.

EU representatives are attending the Second High Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in Nairobi, Kenya. On this occasion they will emphasize the importance of country ownership, transparency, results and inclusive partnerships in our development policy. "The European Union is improving donor harmonisation through joint EU programming in over 50 countries", said Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation Neven Mimica. "Last week, we published our proposals for a new European Consensus on Development.

A number of cocoa farms devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston will benefit from assistance provided by the European Union and Pacific Community in an effort to to boost the productivity of the agricultural sector after the cyclone struck early this year. The assistance is being made possible through the Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (IACT) project TC Winston Recovery Action; a FJD4.3 million initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The first recipient, Tomohito Zukoshi, co-founder of Fijiana Cocoa and Adi Chocolate brands, has recently received equipment needed to clear cocoa plantations and improve cocoa productivity.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Vanuatu hosted its first ever Agritourism Festival from 9-11th November at the Agriculture Complex- Tagabe, in the capital city of Port Vila. Agriculture and food production are critical to Vanuatu’s prosperity and welfare: for food security and job creation. Given that animal, vegetable and other food products equate to over 82% of the island’s economy, Vanuatu boasts rich agricultural resources. Yet, the country is still heavily reliant on imports, which in 2011 amounted to over 280 million USD (more than four times the amount of exports). Vanuatu, like many other Pacific Island nations, relies on cheap, calorific and low nutritional food imports from the USA and Australasia.

At the time of decolonisation in the 1960's and 1970's, the then EEC brought together a strange collection of former European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands (called the ACP group). It was just at the time that the UK was joining the EEC, and so the group included all the former British, French, Dutch, Belgian and eventually Portuguese ex-colonies. Oddly, it did not include any of the former Spanish colonies. The ACP group was formed in 1975, and since then, the EU has paid substantial amounts of aid through the European development fund, which is replenished by its members every seven years.