Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 20 October 2017

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.

International donors yesterday (17 November) pledged $2.2 billion (€2 billion) in aid for strife-torn Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, officials said. “The positive response you have given … will galvanise our efforts and make sure our recovery plans bear fruit,” Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera said after a donors’ conference in Brussels. The pledges topped the $1.6 billion Touadera had wanted over three years to kick-start the devastated economy but were short of the $3.0 billion targeted for the five-year programme.

Major NGOs gave a guarded welcome today (22 November) to a major once-in-a-decade, overhaul of the EU’s thinking on development. The Commission – fronted in a Strasbourg press conference, in a sign of the weight it gives the issue, by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica – unveiled a trilogy of papers setting out the future of development and aid spending between now and 2030.

Yesterday, the European Commission launched a policy package that maps EU current actions and commitments to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda and lays down the future direction for the EU development cooperation and relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Fair Trade movement welcomes the recognition by the EU of the “strong contribution” of Fair Trade to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and looks forward to work with the EC to upgrade the EU answer to the global goals. Yesterday, the European Commission announced its new strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in the EU and globally.

The Cotonou Agreement which governs relations between the European Union and 78 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) will expire in February 2020. How could the relationship evolve? In the following interview, Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of DEVCO (the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) discusses the shared interests which will guide cooperation and outlines a new basis for partnership founded on regional pillars. Capacity4dev (C4D): The current partnership agreement with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific expires in February 2020.

The Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States on the one hand and, on the other hand, the European Union and its Member States, signed in Cotonou on June 2000 is due to expire in February 2020. Negotiations between the parties in order to examine provisions to govern relations subsequently have to start no later than August 2018.