Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union will support the coconut industry in Samoa and Vanuatu as part of a new regional initiative to improve small producer’s business competitiveness. The €3.5 million Coconut Industry Development Project (CIDP) aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Samoa and Vanuatu, and to share lessons learned to support the development of the regional coconut industries. SPC Project Team Leader, Karen Mapusua, says the call for Expressions of Interest is now open for all involved in the coconut industry including the private sector, farmers’ organisations, and NGOs working with farmers.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Zambian government said Tuesday that the plan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to set up an office in the country was a clear endorsement by Europe that Zambia was one of the best investment destinations in Africa. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, who has just returned from a tour of some European countries to strengthen economic cooperation, said the European bank promised to set up an office in Zambia by the third quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

This budget support report covers an important year for development. The debates in 2015 around the third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Agenda 2030 and the related sustainable development goals have highlighted the global challenges around inclusive growth, inequality and poverty. A key message that emerged from the Addis Ababa conference is that domestic public finance — revenue mobilisation and effective use of resources — provides by far the largest and most stable source available for financing sustainable development.

Jamaica and the European Union have committed to strengthen the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. According to a joint release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union delegation, the committment was made during the third 'Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue' held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday. In her opening remarks at the dialogue, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said the partnership between EU and Jamaica remains strong and that the EU has made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s development and the wider Caribbean region.

DGs ECFIN and DEVCO jointly hosted an all-day workshop on Thursday 2 February, on private sector participation in development finance. The objective was to showcase a variety of innovative cases which might inspire instruments under the new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). There was strong interest in the event, with around 140 people taking part from a variety of organizations including international finance institutions (EIB, EBRD, World Bank), other development finance institutions, private investors and representatives from the EP (notably the BUDG committee secretariat). Following the announcement of the Commission's new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), this workshop aimed to showcase a number of innovative blending instruments to demonstrate how these tools could be further developed with support from the Fund.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The UK’s National Audit Office says the number of fraud investigations has increased in tandem with more public money being delivered to “fragile” countries where bribery can be seen as “cultural norm”. Euractiv’s media partner The Guardian reports. Fraud investigations involving foreign aid have quadrupled over five years as more public money is given to “fragile” countries, a UK government spending watchdog has found. Reforms introduced by David Cameron to increase funding and assign it to unstable nations have increased the risk of wrongdoing, according to the National Audit Office.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is in The Gambia today meeting the newly elected President Adama Barrow and his new Government. Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: "The peaceful democratic change in The Gambia is the result of the determination of the Gambian people, as well as the regional and international coordinated efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. Gambians have shown commendable resolve, patience and courage during a period of high tension. The EU is fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his Government. We want to be a privileged partner of The New Gambia.

Trade and investment will occupy a strengthened, pivotal place in the UK’s development policy, indicates UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in its “first ever economic development strategy”. The document, released last week, details how DFID intends to work across government departments through an approach that integrates trade, investment, and aid policies to foster economic development and drive poverty reduction.

Thursday, 09 February 2017

An EU Public Consultation on the External Financing Instruments (EFI) of the European Union has opened from 7 February 2017 until 3 May 2017. The consultation is open to all stakeholders in beneficiary and EU countries: public national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, academics, development agencies and bodies, think tanks, consultancies, private sector organisations, development banks and citizens. The 11th European Development Fund is also an EFI although not funded by the EU budget. It is as such not part of the MFF but it covers the same period and is included in the consultation.

“The humanity of the world can be measured against the fate of Africa,” declared Horst Köhler, the former German president, more than 10 years ago. Germany is now making the African continent a focus of its G20 presidency. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development published a draft report called, “Cornerstones of a Marshall Plan with Africa,” advocating for a new partnership between Africa and Europe. Ten starting points have been put forward for discussion, mainly focusing on youth, employment, private sector engagement, African ownership and solutions. The Ministry is encouraging an open discussion and is seeking feedback on its Marshall Plan draft until 26 February 2017.