Finland Ambassador to Ethiopia Helena Airaksinen said that Ethiopia has made good progress in terms of economic development."Finland is also keen on expanding economic cooperation with Ethiopia." In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Amb. Helena Airaksinen said Finland and Ethiopia have been working together in rural economic development particularly in Amhara state focusing on inland administration, agricultural value chain production improvement programs and the like. According to her, the rural economic development programs are aimed at improving rural farmers' productivity and income.
Food security in South Africa remains a challenge, with just 30 000 commercial farmers being responsible for most of the country’s food production. Over 200 000 smallholder farmers and an estimated 2 million subsistence farmers have an important role to play in food security and poverty reduction, yet their access to markets, information and finance is limited or non-existent. There is also a lack of available data on smallholder farmers and their supply chains, which is a barrier to informed decision-making by agribusinesses and policy makers. Mobile ICT solutions such as Vodacom’s Connected Farmer platform will help to address this by providing farmers with the services they need.
Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer. The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export. Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering. "We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."
The framework agreement between Fedict and the Belgian Development Agency should encourage the transfer of knowledge and the development of partnerships The Federal Public Service Information and Communication Technology (Fedict) and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) will assist the fourteen partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation in designing their systems of e-governance. To achieve this, Fedict has concluded a cooperation agreement with the Belgian Development Agency, who will lead the process. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo is particularly pleased with this collaboration. "A digital administration is a more effective administration, also in developing countries".
The government of the Gambia, the European Union (EU), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have launched a EUR11 million (US$11.8 million) project aimed at supporting entrepreneurship and job creation in the Gambia over the next four years. The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project aims to address the root causes of the high levels of irregular migration from the Gambia, particularly by young people leaving the country. Taking a market-driven approach, the Project will focus on building skills among the youth in a number of sectors, especially traditional economic driver industries such as agriculture and tourism. It will also help diversify the Gambian economy by supporting the strengthening of “new” sectors, including the creative and digital services industries.
Unilever Africa President, Mr. Bruno Witvoet, has said that the company is committed to actively contribute to the economy and growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. He said this when the management of the company visited Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, where he told the governor that the company was ready to enhance the growth of the manufacturing sector to help grow the country’s economy. Witvoet commended the development strategy of the Governor of Kaduna State in ensuring the state is inclusive in economic growth and socio-economic transformation which translates into substantial improvements in the quality of lives of Kaduna citizens.
Jamaica has received Euro 6.5 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) from the European Union. Finance Minister Audley Shaw said that the disbursement “aims to assist the Government in reducing poverty and improving the living standards of the rural population in sugar dependent areas affected by the EU sugar reform”. He told the ceremony that EU Hand-Over instrument “is yet another channel of external development assistance through strengthened bilateral relations between Jamaica and the EU”. He said that the European Union Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries, AMS 2013, was signed on March 25, 2014 and that the fixed tranche was disbursed in the sum of approximately Euro7.07 million on October 23, 2014.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is in The Gambia today meeting the newly elected President Adama Barrow and his new Government. Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: "The peaceful democratic change in The Gambia is the result of the determination of the Gambian people, as well as the regional and international coordinated efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. Gambians have shown commendable resolve, patience and courage during a period of high tension. The EU is fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his Government. We want to be a privileged partner of The New Gambia.
On Thursday 8 December 2016 during his working visit to Brussels, Mr Patrice Talon, President of the Republic of Benin, chaired the signing ceremony between the Republic of Benin and the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a financing agreement for the development and modernisation of the drinking water supply system of the city of Cotonou. The EUR 30m finance contract was signed by Mr Romuald Wadagni, Benin’s Minister for the Economy and Finance, and Mr Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President. This loan forms part of the EU's priority action to deploy and modernise basic infrastructure that can help improve the daily lives of the local population. This is the EIB's second financing operation in this sector after the one granted (EUR 13m) in 2007 and completed in 2015.
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya says agriculture is the commercially untapped jewel of Fiji as the sector is brimming with opportunities. Koya says that in Fiji there are acres of arable land that can either be used for commercial agro-farming or organic farming in niche markets. The Minister says the prospects are enormous and the latest sectoral investment data suggests that a number of foreign have realized this and are seizing the opportunity. He adds the government has a vision to harness Fiji’s potential in the area of organic farming given Fiji’s environment, ideal climate and fertile volcanic soil.