Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 21 October 2017

The ability of sugar industry in the region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on 30 September, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official. The end of EU's quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. In an address on 23 March to the opening of a regional policy workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat programme manager, agriculture and industry, Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry's survival.

Monday, 03 April 2017

Between 26 March and 11 April 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Flavia Schlegel, is visiting Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji. High on her agenda will be a ministerial meeting on 29 and 30 March in Apia, Samoa, with representatives of 13 developing Pacific island nations

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Western multinationals used cheaper labour in underdeveloped countries to manufacture products that relied on inputs from all over the world and technologies developed in their more expensive labour markets. Studies now suggest these advantages are being lost. Labour is no longer as cheap in many places.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

“Significant amounts of lost revenue and foreign exchange earnings to the state due to trade misinvoicing (underinvoicing and overinvoicing) have devastating implications for African countries – most of which are commodity dependent,” says Prof Charles Adjasi, head of the Development Finance programmes of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). A study published by UNCTAD last year revealed huge discrepancies in trade accounting in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. Adjasi says the report shows that records of trade data (both exports and imports) over a period of 14 to 20 years by the respective developing countries did not match those of their reported trading partners (destination) for selected commodities.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tanzania wants a study conducted on the impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union on the East African Community, ahead of the Summit of Heads of State scheduled for next month. The demand reiterates Tanzania's position that Kenya and Rwanda should not have signed the EPA last year and, given the inadequate time before the summit, there won't be much progress on the matter before April 1, when the EU expects the EAC to sign up to the accord.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat says the 15-member regional integration movement has reached an agreement with Cuba on the expansion of preferential access to each other’s markets. In a brief statement, the secretariat said that the agreement was reached during the 10th meeting of the Joint Commission established under the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba held in Guyana late last month.

Madam Lulu Xingwana, the South Africa High Commissioner, has called on African business leaders to consider rural areas in their investment options. She said the business community should look at projects, which could be operated in the rural areas to create the needed development to their various countries. Madam Xingwana was speaking during a business panel discussion on how the Gauteng Province, from South Africa could do business with their Ghanaian counterparts in Accra. She commended Ghana for being one of the best countries on the African continent for its stable good governance and peaceful transition.

Preparatory to the 2017 establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa, Nigeria has commenced negotiations to facilitate the adoption of the trade deal after several months of lagging behind among other trade blocs. Indeed, three Regional Economic Communities (RECs)—the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC)—had reached an agreement in 2015 to expedite the process towards the operationalization of the tripartite Free Trade Area by finalising outstanding issues.

Kenya’s bid to build a shared customs with its neighbours in East Africa remains in limbo as Tanzania continues to show reluctance to sign a crucial pact with the European Union as deadline nears, a new report says. The report by financial advisory firm Citi says Kenya’s quest to rally the bloc to ratify the economic partnership agreement (EPA) will likely hit a brick wall as Dar es Salaam sticks to its guns in shunning the pact. “Tanzania’s relationship with the EAC (East African Community) often seems to have parallels with that of the UK to the EU: a somewhat reluctant member who is far from fully committed to greater integration which creates periodic tensions,” says the report.

Thursday, 09 February 2017

Kenya is mulling a credit guarantee scheme to encourage farmers to raise production as 26 countries move to eliminate cross border barriers on goods.Vision 2030 director-general Julius Muia said the loan guarantee framework being worked out will target export producers, especially those eyeing the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). “The loan guarantee scheme framework is aimed at upscaling production since it would form a good base for industrialisation through agro-processing and product diversification,’’ said Dr Muia. Due to agriculture’s dependence on unpredictable weather and volatile markets, traditional risk-averse financial institutions have over the years scaled down their lending to the sector. The state-guaranteed loans are expected to finance production and cross-border integration of value chains.