Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2018
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Monday, 23 July 2018
Everyone knows that aid is not working as intended, and that something must change. The big question is how to change the status quo. The current international aid debate is characterized by dichotomies and over-simplified generalizations. In order to push the debate forward and identify solutions we must first reframe the aid debate. The most important factors undermining aid’s effectiveness need to retake center stage in the debate. These include: what is economic development and the role of aid in achieving it; the politics of aid relationships in aid dependent countries and have they generate perverse incentives; and the everyday practices and bureaucratic routines of aid agencies and how they diminish the impact of aid. Based on a reassessment of why aid is working, and on assessment that reforms inspired by the Paris Declaration have largely failed, the paper concludes with a different approach to changing the way donor countries think about aid and the way bilateral and multilateral agencies give aid.
The Government of Barbados and officials of the Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean undertook a Mid-Term Review of the 10th European Development Fund Country Strategy agreed in December 2008. The Review was conducted within the context of the present downturn in the global economy, which has left small open economies such as Barbados even more vulnerable to severe economic challenges. The objectives of the Mid-Term Review were to reflect on developments in the country brought on by internal, regional or international events and therefore present the possibility, if necessary, for a realignment of priorities. Under the 10th EDF, Barbados has been allocated 8.33M euro for Human Resource&Skills Development, to enhance competitive sectors and ensure a better correlation between training and the labour market, whilst encompassing ways of including youth at risk. The financing mechanism envisaged is sector budget support, providing Barbados satisfies the eligibility requirements. If these requirements are not met, project-based support will be utilised.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Andris Piebalgs, the Latvian Commissioner-designate for Development, fielded Development Committee questions on the key aim of development policy-fighting poverty-as well as aid effectiveness, the impact of climate change on developing countries and co-ordination among EU policy makers.
As the economy gradually recovers from the past year's big slump, changes are expected in consumer behavior: according to a recent survey, in 2010 UK and American shoppers are to pay much more attention to transparency and ethical responsibility in their food and beverage purchases. A survey by market research organization Mintel reveals that, despite a widespread growing confidence and adaptation to overcome the previous restraints, consumers will be adapting to the new economy, moving away from excessive spending toward moderation and higher attention to ethical sourcing and sustainability. According to Mintel, over half of Brits buy more on promotions and 28% have cut back on luxuries.
Romanian Dacian Ciolos is the new EU Commissioner for Agriculture, appointed by José Manuel Barroso at the beginning of December. However, the choice raises some doubts in the organic industry, as the new Commissioner has long campaigned for the reintroduction of transgenic soybeans in the Romanian countryside. Moreover, British observers complain that Ciolos has a too "French-oriented" educational background, besides being married with a French woman. The British press is thus up in arms at his appointment, condemning it as a "stitch-up". His marriage to a Frenchwoman and his studies in Rennes and Montpellier prove instead that he is "a true European", according to Romanian press. Bucharest daily Gândul adds that "his task will be exceedingly difficult" because "he will have to find common ground between the conflicting interests of France and England".
The 2988th Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on 22 December 2009 adopted a decision with a view to put an end to the provisional application of the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) with the Republic of Guinea (16976/09). By means of this decision, the Council notifies the Republic of Guinea the EU's intention to terminate the provisional application of the FPA, in accordance with article 25(2) of the Vienna convention on the law of treaties, following the violent crackdown on political demonstrators in Conakry on 28 September 2009 and the subsequent human rights violations. A fisheries protocol to the EU/Republic of Guinea agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2009, pending the final conclusion of the agreement.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
The Committee on Development of the European Development review the Cotonou Agreement which should be an occasion to adjust it in the light of recent and current crises including climate change, soaring food and oil prices, financial crisis and abject poverty in Africa; believes that the need to address the root causes of these crises is not an option, but a necessity. It deplored the fact that the European Parliament, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the national parliaments of the ACP States as well as civil society organisations and non-state actors were - once again - not involved in the decision-making process that led to the identification of areas and articles of the Cotonou Agreement for revision and to the establishment of the negotiating mandates adopted by the Council of the EU and the ACP Council of Ministers.
The European Action plan for organic food and farming foresees the setting-up of a group of experts for technical advice. The expert group will ensure an easy access to highly qualified technical expertise in a wide range of fields related to organic production. With a view to select the relevant experts, a call for applications has been published in the Official Journal C 308, page 22. Applications must be submitted not later than Friday 12 February 2010.
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
On 10 and 11 December 2009 the 3rd ACP Civil Society Forum was held at the ACP House in Brussels. Representatives from ACP Civil Society came together to discuss how to move forward after many years of silence and inactivity. In 1997 the Forum was established by ACP Civil Society organizations from the ACP regions in Entebbe, Uganda with the aim to provide a platform for civil society actors in the ACP countries, where they could articulate views and concerns, share information and facilitate dialogue with official ACP-EU institutions in order to support and strengthen the participation of ACP Civil Society in the ACP-EU development cooperation. The follow up was an impressive and unique Conference on the Participation of Civil Society in the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement, organised in July 2001 by the Belgian EU Presidency and the ACP Secretariat in Brussels.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Dr Hans Herren is our guest this week. Dr. Hans Herren, an internationally recognized scientist, is the President of the Millennium Institute since May 2005. On the occasion of his participation in the Brussels Development Briefing on food crisis in ACP countries, Mr. Herren is explaining to us the role played by the Institute concerning the Millenium Development Goals. M. Herren presents also the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology (IAASTD), which is an assessment of agriculture by reviewing the last 50 years in science, technology and knowledge as to better define what we should do in the next 50 years to resolve issues food security, nutrition security and also environmental issues.