Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 23 July 2017

The massive need for investment in projects of public interest in developing countries cannot be met by the public sector alone, this is why the involvement of the private sector in reaching the SDGs is key, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview. Neven Mimica is Croatia’s first European Commissioner since the country’s EU accession in 2013. He has served as Minister of European integration and as Deputy Prime Minister. He is affiliated to the Social Democratic Party of Croatia.

Government should come up with a comprehensive agricultural policy as well as develop a clear irrigation framework spelling out selection processes for beneficiaries to enable the country to attract meaningful investment, legislators have said.The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development said mechanisation facilities should also include solar systems to minimise power costs. This was said by committee chairperson and Muzarabani South Member of the National Assembly Cde Christopher Chitindi (Zanu-PF) on Tuesday, while presenting a report on the utilisation of the Brazilian Mechanisation Facility.

Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns. To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation practices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) director-general on May 30 said in Brussels addressing European lawmakers.José Graziano da Silva stressed that while high-input and resource intensive farming systems have substantially increased food production, this has come at a high cost to the environment.

Livestock farmers in country's communal areas are set to get a financial boost, with the launch of a European Union grant programme, "Support to the livestock sector in the Northern Communal Areas of Namibia" which will run over a period of six years worth Euro 20 million. The programme will be launched under a slot at the the 8th Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) Ordinary Congress that will take place in Opuwo at the Hotel Le Manoir on Friday 9 June, under the theme: "Non-Title Deed Agriculture Transformation: Key to Wealth Creation & Prosperity".At the event, H.E President Hage G. Geingob will deliver the key note address, while the Head of the European Delegation in Namibia, Jana Hybaskova and Hon. John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, will launch the EU programme

Thursday, 08 June 2017

The African Union (AU) has launched a joint business plan that will be used by member states to implement the CAADP-Malabo declarations. The plan that runs from 2017 to 2021 will support operations at a country level that will support agriculture transformation. The plan was launched on Wednesday at the official opening of the 13th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) meeting taking place in Kampala. Launching the plan, the commissioner Rural Economy at the African Union, Josefa Leonal Correia Sacko said using the plan, they will negotiate with development partners to mobilise financial support to member countries.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

A delegation of business executives from the Gauteng Province in South Africa has met with their Ghanaian counterparts to explore investment opportunities in the country. Led by the Premier of the Gauteng Provincial Government, Mr David Makura, the delegation focused on areas of interest, including road infrastructure development, agriculture and agro-processing, energy, rail and ports infrastructure and manufacturing.Subsequently, a business forum was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to give Ghanaian businesses the opportunity to interact with the delegation as part of efforts to drive trade within Africa. The forum was on the theme, “Investment and business partnerships: The vehicle for intra-Africa integration and impactful economic development.”

Victus Global Capital and Altree Capital have partnered to launch a US$50mn fund focusing on investment into women-led agribusinesses in Africa. The fund aims to boost African agriculture through the practise of so-called ‘gender lens investing’, which focuses on funding women-owned businesses, companies with a track-record of hiring women, and those that aim to improve the lives of women through their products and services. It is initiated by Bo Masole and Zee de Gersigny – the founders of Victus Global Capital, an investment firm focused on transforming agriculture and empowering women in Africa – and Jenni Chamberlain, CEO of African asset management specialist Altree Capital.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has passed a $110.1m (Shs396b) budget for the financial year 2017/18, an 8 per cent increase from $101.3m (Shs364b) for the year ending in June. The new budget seeks to prioritise the development and promotion of nine sectors, including regional infrastructure, trade and investment. Presenting the budget to the Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania, last week, Uganda's Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, the chairperson of the Council of Ministers of EAC, said: "The new budget seeks to consolidate the Single Customs Territory (SCT) to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods including agricultural and other widely consumed products."

Monday, 05 June 2017

Weeks after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order #84 for the regulation of Liberia's fishing industry, the European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the order. In a letter to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the EU expressed concern over the implications of Executive Order number 84. It further said it was surprised to learn about the order through the media considering the longstanding cooperation existing between Liberia and the Union which culminated in the signing of the EU- Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in December 2015. Through its Ambassador to LiberiaMadam TiinaIntelmann, the EU said based onexperience in other countries, it believes that some of the measuresintroduced under Section 2 of the EO will not lead to sustainable investments.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) met in Addis Ababa on May 10, 2017 and agreed on a roadmap for the implementation of the partnership agreement signed between the two entities in January 2017. During the meeting, which was held under the theme, "Achieving agricultural transformation in Africa," participants identified and agreed on four key programme areas including, enhancing rural entrepreneurship and employment for youth and women; addressing natural resource degradation and scarcity, conflicts and migration; ending hunger, nutrition and poverty in Africa; and effective response to climate change.