Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
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Monday, 25 September 2017

For the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (now the AU), African leaders adopted the Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want - a vision for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. One of the defining features of this agenda is the structural transformation of African economies towards achieving shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all. So far, the structural transformation that shifts productive resources from agriculture and mining to manufacturing - which has helped many countries achieve greater prosperity - has bypassed most African countries. According to a recent International Monetary Fund report, the limited structural transformation in Africa has not translated into more jobs because the manufacturing sector itself requires extensive reform.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Two agreements, namely on the establishment of the France Development Agency (AFD) in Angola and another one relating to the financing of water projects, were signed last Friday, in Luanda. The first agreement was signed by the Finance minister, Archer Mangueira, and by the French ambassador, Silvain Itté. This agreement is aimed at enabling the AFD to officially in Angola and work in financing projects linked to the areas of waters, energy and agriculture. The second agreement was signed by minister Archer Mangueira and the resident representative of the World Bank in Angola, Clara de Sousa, as well as the director of the France Development Agency (AFD), Martha Stein- Scochas.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The European Union (EU) says it has so far committed over 700 million euros for the development of sustainable energy in Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries from 2014 to 2020. The Head of Cooperation, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Kurt Cornelis, said this in Abuja on Monday at a workshop on policy and regulation for clean energy mini-grids and renewable energy in ECOWAS region. Cornelis said access to electricity and promotion of sustainable energy solutions were at the core of EU’s cooperation with the region, hence the provision of the grants to ECOWAS countries.

With the world on the brink of an unprecedented four famines, donor countries must urgently step up efforts to tackle the structural causes of hunger and poverty. Food security and sustainable agriculture are among the European Union’s key priorities for development cooperation. The EU is committed to longterm solutions, including empowering smallholders, in particular women, and supporting environmentally sustainable approaches in agriculture. In practice, however, its development aid to the agricultural sector does not live up to its commitments. An Oxfam analysis of more than 7,500 EU-funded projects reveals a significant lack of transparency in reporting, casting doubt on the accountability of the EU’s aid.

At a bare floored restaurant on the edge of the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon, I asked the owner what there was to eat. She gestured to a poster on the wall. It was an illustrated guide of 44 animal species under threat from poaching and over-hunting, but for the restaurant it served as a menu. Each animal she pointed to was available to order. The Dja, and other forests in Central Africa's Congo Basin, are a breadbasket for millions of people living in the region. At nearly 2 million square kilometres, the area of tropical forest in the Congo Basin is the second largest in the world after the Amazon. Besides supplying bushmeat, these forests provide building materials, medicine, wild fruits, vegetables and spices.

Tuesday, 18 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.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The European Union says it will provide $ 17 million to countries in the West African sub-region to enhance fisheries and maritime activities in the region. The programme, covering six years would enable industry operators to organize and cooperate on fisheries management. The European Union Representative, Stephania Marone, disclosed this in Abuja, at a workshop on Regional Policy Dialogue for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture. She said that security in the the region will be maintained as the fishery sector is strategic to regional economic stability. The EU assistance could lead to increased fish production and preservation.

Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries will benefit from the 50 million-euro European Union (EU) fund set up to ensure sustainable fisheries development and marine security, an EU official says. Mrs Stefania Marrone, Head of Regional Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday. Marrone spoke on the sidelines of the meeting on “Regional Policy Process for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Policy and Strategy Frame Work of ECOWAP’’. She said that the programme would be implemented in various West African countries within a six-year period

Sahel Capital, fund manager for the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (“FAFIN”), is pleased to announce the successful $65.9 million final close of its debut fund. As part of this close, the African Development Bank, CDC Group, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund have jointly committed $31 million to FAFIN, joining existing co‐sponsors of the fund to drive agricultural transformation in Nigeria. As part of this round, KfW Development Bank has also offered to increase its commitments to FAFIN by an additional $10 million, subject to final approvals, which if provided would increase the fund size to $76 million by December 2017.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Countries from the Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa have come together to develop strategies to tackle illegal fishing and increase accountability in fisheries practices. For two days, representatives from the fishing industry, civil society, governments and fishing administrations from Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, met on Mahe Island, Seychelles, to discuss the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), a global initiative to tackle illegal fishing. African countries are particularly vulnerable to overfishing and depletion of fish stock due to opaque and unregulated fishing practices by both foreign companies as well as local communities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the fisheries sector in Africa employs more than 12 million people. However, the depletion of fish stock in Africa is a major push factor in the migration of young people to Europe and elsewhere.

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