Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2018
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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

According to Jean Marc Anga, the executive director of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the sale of cocoa beans in the world during the 2013-2014 campaign, generated revenues totaling 13.2 billion US dollars. Africa, a continent which has ensured 73% of world production of the beans could capture approximately $ 6.9 billion. However, said Mr. Anga during an international conference on cocoa processing in Yaounde, when leaving the stage of the production and marketing of beans, Africa lost the ranking of beneficiaries in the cocoa industry, due to its place on the value chain.

According to the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau (IBM), covering the first nine months of 2014, the Gulf of Guinea remains the region most affected by maritime piracy. Although attacks there have declined slightly, from 47 last year to 33, the pirates have established new homes in the area. For example, Ghana, which had not recorded an attack in 2013, has already reached its fourth act of piracy and armed robbery. In addition, since the beginning of October, attacks in Nigerian waters suggest that piracy could be used to fund political activities.

In 2013/14, the industry is limping after three years of exceptional growth in exports (16% on average) that lowered corn seed and oil stocks, 1st and 3rd positions in exports respectively. To rebuild these industries, French operators have appealed to their international partners to meet the French and international demand. It has been noted that geopolitical tensions in the major markets had negatively affected  export volumes, particularly in Eastern Europe, but also in Africa and the Middle East.

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana explained that South Africa is negotiating renewed market access to the EU, after exports stopped in 2011 following the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease. The 28member economic bloc represents a lucrative market for the export of South African game and beef. The embargo that followed the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease cost an approximately R4 billion. South Africa has been declared disease free by the World Organisation for Animal health from February 2014 and has been negotiating renewed market access since then. South African exporters are also interested in new export markets, namely in Asia.  

The initiative comes from three ministerial departments in France (the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-foodstuffs and Forestry MAAF; the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy MEDDE; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development MAEDI). The call for projects is in response to the "mobilization of French overseas countries and territories, key players in the day-to-day of the environment..." The financing is open toFrench overseas countries and territories and those in countries benefitting from Public Development Aid. Priority will be given to subsaharan Africa and to Haiti, and to the Mediterranean basin outside the European Union.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Heineken is betting on Ethiopia's rising incomes to fuel rapid expansion of the beer market in Africa's second most populous country, where the group is the first of the big international brewers to build a new plant.Ethiopia's average annual beer consumption of some 5 litres per capita is about half the average level for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, offering scope for expansion among the population.It's a country, where as a brewer, you believe you should be thereHeineken's African and Middle East regional president Siep Hiemstra said in an interview on Monday that Ethiopians were used to fermented drinks and also grew barley, used in beer making.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

On Thursday 4th December, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the work of the European Union-African Union research programme to increase food production in irrigated farming systems in Africa (EAU4Food).  Mr. Massimo Burino, the Project Officer for the Use of Natural Resources for Crop Production in DG RTD welcomed Mr. Jochen Froebrich, the EAU4Food Project Coordinator, who presented the result of his work with Dr. Philippe Ker Rault, Researcher on water management at Wageningen University. Mr. Efstathios Dalamangas, Team leader for Water, Energy and Infrastructures in DevCO(C5) presented the work of the Commission in this area.

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Friday, 05 December 2014

According to an African Development Bank (ADB) report produced in concert with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Africa is interested in adopting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to meet the food security challenges facing the continent, and with a view to achieving better positioning in world agriculture markets. Presenting a summary of the agricultural situation within the continent, ABD Vice-President Ali Abou-Sabaa stated that: “In order to meet food and nutritional needs, African countries import some 25 billion dollars-worth of foodstuffs every year.”

It is to be easier to gain authorisation for the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) within the European Union. Representatives responsible for environmental matters have adopted a draft text which will permit a Member State which disagrees with GMOs to ban them on its territory even though they have been authorised at European level. Paradoxically, it is this very power to ban at the national level which will stimulate the cultivation of GMOs. The current situation is that Member States have failed to reach an agreement on whether to permit or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on European soil.

In Dakar on Wednesday, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Ramatoulaye Dieng Ndiaye stated that Senegal is banking on developing aquaculture “as a response to the serious challenges arising from youth employment and food security”, stressing the fact that this would call for “a managed dynamic”. “An aquaculture investment plan has been developed to support the sector,” she said, “with a map of aquaculture sites and a draft bill covering the field now on its passage through Parliament.”