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EDITO
Thursday, 14 December 2017

On 02nd December 2014, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the new INFORM – Index for Risk Management New tool for shared risk analysis – platform. Ms. Denisa-Elena Ionete, Head of Unit of DevCo (07) Fragility and Crisis Management opened the conference highlighting the importance of INFORM, as the first global tool for managing and identifying risk. Ms. Julia Stewart-David Deputy Head of Unit of ECHO (A3) Policy and Implementation Frameworks and Ms. Hana Kolic Policy officer, ECHO (A3) co-presented the INFORM system.

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Tuesday, 02 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.”

Ghanaian President John Mahama’s recent visit to Rome on Tuesday provided an opportunity for a reaffirmation of the resolute involvement of his country in the world “Zero Hunger” campaign. Along with the President of the Italian National Assembly, Mrs Laura Boldrini, John Dramani Mahama was a guest of the World Food Programme (WFP), at the Rome headquarters of this United Nations institution. It was an occasion for Italy and Ghana, two economic partners with a very close relationship, to once again declare their full commitment to the battle to eradicate hunger from the world.

Marine aquaculture is a new cooperative initiative between Senegal and Morocco designed to offset declining catches, but it is also hoped that it will help boost world production, explained Muguette Bâ, CEO of the National Aquaculture Agency (Agence nationale de l'aquaculture – ANA) in Dakar on Wednesday. “Cooperation in this field is important, because we share the Atlantic fringe and there is potential to be developed, if we pool all our skills to face the challenges and upgrade fish-farming in Africa,” Mr Bâ stated.

The Cameroon government has just launched a call for expressions of interest to select a private investor “to establish and run an agricultural-industrial sugar complex” in the east in the “inter Bertoua-Batoria zone”. The invitation, signed on November 17 by Minister for Mines, Industry and Technological Development (Minimidt) Emmanuel Bonde, was published in the press this Thursday, the Minister stating that “the main goal of this project is to supplement the current shortfall in the national sugar market on a yearly basis and to look to the future growth of the markets in the sub-Region and beyond”.

Three NGOs, the Youth Without Borders Association (Association Jeunesse Sans Frontières – A.J.S.F), S.O.S Consumers and Time, backed by the Counsel Bhongo-Mavoungou, are seeking to expedite the cancellation of the agreement reached in 2007 between the State of Gabon and the French Logistique Bolloré Group which is responsible for the high cost of living in Gabon. These NGOs claim that this partnership has been more profitable for the Bolloré Group than for Gabon. Just two weeks ago, Minister for the Economy, Investment Promotion and Future Prospects Régis Immongault paid a visit to the markets in the Gabon capital to check on the implementation of the agreement signed in 2012 between the State of Gabon and the key figures in the trade sector.

Monday, 01 December 2014

“The core of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is to improve the lives of people.” These were the words of Renwick Rose, chair of the CARIFORUM delegation at the inaugural meeting of the EU CARIFORUM Consultative Committee. This Consultative Committee, which is made up of civil society organisations, is tasked with fostering dialogue between the two regions and monitoring implementation of the EU-Cariforum EPA in a way that not only improves trade but also has a positive impact on the Caribbean region socially, economically and environmentally. The CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee held its first meeting on 13 and 14 November 2014. These two days of discussions culminated in the adoption of a declaration that was presented to the EPA Trade and Development Committee.

The Mozambican and Spanish governments signed in Maputo on Friday a new Partnership Framework Programme under which Spain will provide 46.55 million euros (about 57.8 million US dollars) in aid during the period 2014-2016. The funds are intended for the health sector, food security, rural development and decentralization, gender issues and culture in Cabo Delgado, Inhambane and Maputo provinces. The agreement was signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Henrique Banze and by Albert Virella, the General Director of Cooperation for Africa in the Spanish international Cooperation and Development Agency (AECID).