Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 23 September 2017

The further you travel from Brussels, the likelier people are to see Brexit as an opportunity. I’m in Kampala, discussing post-EU commercial prospects with business and political leaders from across East Africa. While not everyone here started as a Leaver, there is now a widespread hope that Brexit will lead to more open trade arrangements, above all in farming, which employs two thirds of Africa’s workforce. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy treats Africa as an economic colony. Brussels applies tariffs to tomato sauce, but not to tomatoes; to chocolate, but not to cocoa beans; to roasted coffee, but not to green coffee.

G20 leaders in Hamburg will on Saturday hail their “Africa Compact” as a bold new initiative to boost investment and end poverty on the continent. Germany has billed the “trade, not aid” deal it developed during its G20 presidency as a quantum leap, supplementing traditional development aid with a new public-private partnerships to create jobs and improve infrastructure. For Europe it comes at a crucial time, Berlin says: throttling the flow of migrants to Europe. “We in Germany have a fundamental interest of good economic development in Africa and that’s why we are discussing a Marshall plan for Africa,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a nod to the American plan that rebuilt postwar Europe.

Standard Chartered Bank and the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has signed a $300m Term loan facility, backed by a guarantee from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. Agriculture, Karoo The deal secures long-term USD funding for Land Bank at very competitive terms achieving reduced overall cost of borrowing and diversification of financing sources. The facility has a door-to-door tenure of 10 years and will help increase long-term liquidity for the benefit of the agricultural sector in South Africa.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Nigerian Government Monday, deliberated with the European Union (EU) delegation on ways to facilitate trade and investment in Nigeria.The agreement was reached at the meeting between the Ambassador and Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michell Arion, and the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. Also at the meeting, which held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were other ministry officials as well as 20 representatives of EU member states.The Minister noted that the meeting was subsequent upon the communiqué signed last year between Nigeria and EU, which focused on security, corruption, prosperity, migration and human development.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Tuesday it will finance the construction of a 32-MW solar power plant in the Chadian capital of N'Djamena. The financing for the facility was discussed during a visit last week by AfDB's vice president for power, energy, climate change and green growth Amadou Hott to the Chadian president Idriss Deby Itno. AfDB said it plans to back other projects in the country such as its electrical interconnection with Cameroon and the rehabilitation of the current National Electricity Company (SNE) plant.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen partnership at country level. Both parties have agreed to jointly pull together the sum of US $2 billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture and food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises, and human development (health and education). To realize the shared objective of the agreement, the IsDB and the Bank agreed to each contribute US $1 billion over three years for joint activities focusing on these priority areas and sectors.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Government of Mozambique, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have announced a new project that will strengthen sustainable forest management and contribute to Mozambique achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 on forests. The $6 million project is part of the World Bank-funded $47 million Mozambique Forest Investment Project. The project aims to stem the rapid pace of deforestation and support investment in the forest sector while creating new income and livelihood opportunities from sustainable forest management for rural communities.

Globalisation and technological change have contributed significantly to driving economic growth and raising living standards across the globe. However, globalisation has created challenges and its benefits have not been shared widely enough. By bringing together developed and emerging market economies, the G20 is determined to shape globalisation to benefit all people. Most importantly, we need to better enable our people to seize its opportunities. We are resolved to tackle common challenges to the global community, including terrorism, displacement, poverty, hunger and health threats, job creation, climate change, energy security, and inequality including gender inequality, as a basis for sustainable development and stability.

The initiative is the first international support for financial services in the country in many years. The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank, owned directly by the 28 European Union member states. “New investment is essential to enable small business across Ethiopia to expand, create jobs and harness new business opportunities,”said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President. “Over the last 40 years the European Investment Bank has supported crucial energy, water, communications and private enterprise across Ethiopia and our engagement in the country has been transformed since opening a permanent presence in Addis two years ago.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

In the midst of rising trade protectionism among advanced western economies, African countries must work to sustain ongoing efforts to achieve structural transformation of African economies and enhance their integration into the global economy. African and global trade experts said this at the just concluded meeting of the African-Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Kigali. They highlighted that the increasing adoption of policies restricting trade among countries poses a threat to African economies. Dr Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said that the continent, however, has all the ingredients required to accelerate African trade.