Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 23 September 2017

The European Union (EU) will finance the second phase of the Wadi El Kou Basin project in North Darfur with €10 million. The second phase of the project will start in October this year and will last for five years. The North Darfur Minister of Agriculture, Anwar Ishag, announced the grant in the state capital of El Fasher in a press conference yesterday, together with visiting EU adviser Magda Nassif. The Minister called for further cooperation with the EU concerning the implementation the second phase of the project. EU adviser Nassif said that she will sit with the project's advisory and technical committees, and will discuss the project as well with other stakeholders and leaders of the local communities to select the project areas.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

European Commission VP for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said the EU’s success in deploying the cross-market vision stands as a blueprint for the world’s digital economy. Addressing the Digital Assembly 2017 in Malta hours after the EU abolished roaming fees, Ansip praised the progress made in Europe’s digital policies and highlighted the potential beyond its borders. “The Digital Single Market is Europe’s main asset in the international digital economy and society,” he said, adding: “It spans different sectors as they embrace digital technology to innovate, become more efficient and stay globally competitive. “It reflects the growing importance of the digital economy for growth and jobs, for society, for business and consumers. That not only applies to the Digital Single Market that we are building in Europe.

Lack of education and mismatched skills remain major obstacles to Africa's development agenda and with an estimated 364 million Africans between the age of 15 and 35 years, Africa has the world's youngest population.The African Union Commission cautions that the future of Africa’s economic growth and the future of millions of Africans, is in jeopardy, if the underlying issues that hinder development are not adequately addressed. With Africa expected to double its population over the next 25 years and the working-age population expected to grow by approximately 450 million between 2015 and 2035, the African Union Commission deputy chairperson, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, says it is critical to urgently address the lack of education and mismatched skills, as major causes of rising numbers of unemployment.

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) is in a good position to attract investments by business people from China and Portuguese-speaking countries, through the meeting of Economic and Trade Cooperation that begins today in Praia, said the president of national investment agency Cabo Verde TradInvest, Ana Bárber. The event, called the Entrepreneurs’ Meeting for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), will take place until Sunday at the Cabo Verde International Fair (FIC) in Praia, and is expected to be attended by 400 business people, 160 of them from China and Macau. Bárber also noted that TradInvest will present some private projects looking for synergies and “concrete partnerships” between Chinese and Cape Verdean companies.

China is “available to support sustainable development” in São Tomé and Príncipe through cooperation in the areas of “infrastructure, tourism and agriculture,” said the new Chinese ambassador, Wang Wei, who on Thursday began his diplomatic mission in the São Tomé capital. At the end of the accreditation ceremony chaired by the President of the Republic, Wang Wei stressed that “the Chinese government is willing to contribute to the transformation of São Tomé and Príncipe. The representative of Beijing, referring to financial support of US$146 million that China will grant to the African country, said that “this will certainly be in two parts, one part in technical assistance, the other part in investment.”

Monday, 19 June 2017

EURACTIV invited Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope, Jacqueline Mugo, Secretary General of Business Africa, Pierre Gattaz, President of Medef, the largest employer federation of France, and Klaus Rudischhauser, EU Commission Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, to discuss the role of public-private partnerships in development. Emma Marcegaglia: “In this moment, when part of the world will go back to protectionism, Europe must stay open and play a leadership role in open trade and access to markets. A stronger link between Europe and Africa could be a good solution. Africa is a vibrant continent.

SADC has approved to give R20 million each to Madagascar and Seychelles to help the two island nations improve their participation in regional and international trade. The grants were approved by the SADC trade related facility (TRF) programme steering committee, during its seventh meeting held in Gaborone last month. The facility is a mechanism for financial and technical support given to SADC member states to help them implement commitments made under the regional Protocol on Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the SADC EPA group.

EHPEA, the Ethiopian association for growers and exporters, has 140 members who produce and export fruit, vegetables and flowers. Yemishrach Berhanu, responsible for the promotion of the association, indicates they are present at various fresh produce fairs to promote their members’ products. They also participated in the Macfrut in Rimini. “We promote strawberries, avocados, mangoes, pineapple, herbs, beans and various other fruits and vegetables.”She continues: “Besides, we want to emphasise that Ethiopia is an attractive country for investors. There are various interesting projects, and the government supports those financially as well. Interest rates are low, so there are plenty of reasons to ask for some information. An area of 1,000 hectares has been set apart for investors.”

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underscored the importance of combating poverty in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe. Merkel has made ties with Africa the focus of Germany's G20 presidency. Reducing poverty and conflict in Africa were the main topics raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as she met with African leaders ahead of next month's Group of 20 (G20) summit.The leaders of the African Union from Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Rwanda and other nations met in Berlin to discuss a so-called "compact with Africa." The initiative seeks to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

South Africa's strategy of pursuing a “developmental trade” policy, in which trade agreements with other countries and regions specifically promote growth, employment and the industrial upgrade of the country, are undermined by unequal global trade rules, markets and power which favours industrial countries. However, South Africa's “developmental trade” policy is often torpedoed by self-destructive compromises to trading partners, wrong strategies and corrupt behaviour by leaders. South Africa's export growth for the past two decades has been at least 11% slower than its peers, India, Brazil and China. Most of South Africa's exports remain raw materials.