Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 25 June 2017

Africa needs more than token action towards building green economies. Without adequate climate action, African farmers may lose 40 % to 80 % of their croplands for growing grains. Preventing the loss of biodiversity (SDG 9) and ecosystem degradation will safeguard urban people’s food supply too. The big question is: how will private sector resources be mobilised? No doubt, African financial institutions have significant capacities to support investors. However, they have a history of risk aversion and lack sufficient market instruments to facilitate risk-sharing. Therefore investments in agribusiness has stayed below what is needed. A further drag is the macroeconomic situation. Interest rates are rising and are increasingly beyond what smallholder farmers and small and mid-sized enterprises can afford.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Delegates from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have decried what they called political interference in the management of water resources. During the recent Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) conference in Kampala, which was funded by the European Union [EU] and SmartFish Programme, the delegates said such interferences have increased cases of illegal activities on the lake that is shared by the three East African countries. "Our lake is not in good shape, yet there has been constant intervention. The problem has been made worse by political interference; we need to build resilience that resists this interference in order to have a sustainable Lake Victoria," Susan Amendi, a delegate from Kenya, said.

With competition for the use of forest resources ever increasing, the EU-funded project DIABOLO sets out to track disturbances and degradation more effectively. Seeing the wood for the trees with advanced sensing technology © Traveller Martin, Shutterstock As part of what has been called the ‘green infrastructure’, Europe’s forests are at the forefront of competing drives. They fulfil various functions including: the supply of raw materials for energy production, carbon sequestration to offset greenhouse gas emissions, provision of sanctuary for biodiversity conservation, and water protection, as well as offering recreation opportunities. As demands for each use increase so EU policies, regulatory frameworks and reporting requirements strive to keep up.

The Government of Liberia has signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to boost and strengthen the country's forestry sector. The agreement was signed by Ambassador Tina Intelmann, Head of the European Union delegation and Sister Mary Laurene Browne, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Forestry Development Authority during a press conference at the Monrovia City hall on Friday, April 7, 2017. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement aims to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products from Liberia to the European Union. Speaking at the press conference, Ambassador Intelmann said the European Union has played an enormous role in helping Liberia to build the forestry sector, adding that it is time for the country to take a complete control of its forest and begin to fund it.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

Monday, 10 April 2017

The European Union will support Timor-Leste (East Timor) with a budget of 57 million euros over the next five years, under a cooperation agreement signed at the end of last week in Dili by the head of the EU delegation in Timor-Leste and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste

Tuesday, 04 April 2017

Climate change remains a major collective concern for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, which are particularly vulnerable to its negative effects. A special meeting organised by the ACP Sub-Committee for Sustainable Development laid the groundwork for an enhanced ACP role at the COP23 global climate talks in Bonn, Germany this November.

Experts have highlighted the importance “coherent global actions” to ensure the sustainability of the world’s fish stocks – a valuable export commodity for more than 60 ACP countries. Fisheries is particularly significant to the ACP’s 37 member states that are classified as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as well as coastal economies.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The European Commission needs to take measures to promote the responsible cultivation of palm oil and phase out its use for biofuels, Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná said. The environment committee votes on her report on 9 March. Palm oil is extensively used in food, cosmetics and biofuels, however the unsustainable production of the cheap vegetable oil leads to deforestation, loss of nature habitats and greenhouse gas emissions, the European Parliament said in a press release. The production of palm oil leads to deforestation as jungle is removed to be replaced by palm plantations. In her report Konečná said the European Parliament should be very ambitious. “There should not be any palm oil in biofuels,” she said.