Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
The European Union has for the first time indicated that the failure by the East African Community to sign a new trade agreement will lead to introduction of taxes on Kenyan exports to Europe. Kenya exports about 450,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to the EU annually and is the number one cut flower exporter to the region. Currently, these products enter the EU duty-free. Horticulture is Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner, registering an impressive performance of over Sh73 billion from exports during the period ending December 31, 2008. A report by professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, says that Kenya has become a major supplier of horticultural products, experiencing rapid growth in the past decade. However, without the duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, the sector would collapse, according to the EU-ACP Sustainability Impact Assessment of Economic Partnership Agreements report. “If Kenya is unable to compete, that does not bode well for sustainability as Kenyan producers act as regional sector leaders”, says the report.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Paul McCartney has called on Europeans to make at least one day a week meat-free in order to save the planet. Speaking in the European Parliament last Thursday, the former Beatle warned that eating meat was doing more damage to the earth's climate than any other activity. "The livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport put together - cars planes trains trucking," he said. "They used to be what we thought were the villains, but it turns out the livestock industry is worse," he continued, noting that agriculture as a whole was responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the world's most famous vegetarians and author of some of the world's most well-known tunes, he said that meat production was incredibly wasteful and contributed to deforestation. He also highlighted the intense water use involved in meat production." "To produce one burger requires the amount of water used in a four-hour shower," he added, speaking alongside Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a vegetarian as well.

As the European Union gets ready to sign an agreement with Latin America to end a 16-year trade war over bananas, Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries are expressing their frustration at the perceived double standards of the Latin American leaders. The new accord slashes import taxes on bananas from Latin America, from 176€ a tonne to 114€ over the next seven years. But the region's top public servant, Edwin Carrington, told IPS that the decision by the Latin American countries to consistently seek to erode the position of Caribbean banana-producing states on the European market "raises for me a peculiar question".

At the end of 2009, the Spanish parliament will vote on reforming the main public mechanisms that generate external debt owed by Southern countries to the Spanish state. The mechanisms that will be affected by the reform are the Development Aid Fund and the Spanish Company of Credit Insurance to Exports, the Spanish Export Credit Agency. If the reform goes ahead, impoverished countries risk falling further into debt and human rights violations will become more prevalent.
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

CTA in partnership with the European Commission-DG Development and EuropeAid, the EU Presidency, the ACP Secretariat, Euforic, IPS Europe and Concord organizes bimonthly Development Briefings in Brussels to raise awareness on key rural development issues with the development community based in Brussels. The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 9th December  and will discuss "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity" in the context of the new EC policy on Food security to be released. The Briefing will be looking at the domino effects of increased speculation in food markets (How has the global food and financial crisis affected food production and distribution and the food security of the poorest? Is global food production at risk in the medium and long term and will national food security and food sovereignty be the priority over global food availability?  Is the small-scale farming more effective and resilient in times of crisis in least-developed countries?) and the on what realistic policy options can secure food supply and availability at global and local levels. The meeting will be held on 9th December at Berlaymont from 8h30 to 13h00. You can view outcomes of previous meetings at http://brusselsbriefings.net. For registration please contact: boto@cta.int This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or pruna@cta.int

Friday, 04 December 2009
The Report prepared for the Briefing on “ACP rural development: why Media matters?”, held on 12th October 2009,  is now available online. The report give a summary of discussions as well as resources and references related to the subject.

Official development aid must continue to grow and not suffer from the current economic and financial crisis, warned ACP-EU Co-President Louis Michel at the inaugural session of the 18th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Monday in Luanda. "Additional" funds should be released to help developing countries combat the food crisis and climate change, argued Louis Michel. "This money ought not to be deducted from current development aid", said Mr Michel, noting that some states are cutting their development aid budgets in response to the crisis, and adding that "nothing justifies such a reduction in official development aid - quite the contrary". Mr Michel advocated seeking new sources of development policy funding, such as a tax on air fares", and backed the idea, tabled by certain Member States, of a "tax on financial transactions". He condemned the coup d'Etat in Niger, observing that "the situation in Niger does not allow us to recognise constitutional bodies deriving from non-constitutional elections", a law that makes homosexuality a crime in Uganda, and difficulties in overcoming the crisis in Madagascar, despite African Union mediation efforts.

Thursday, 03 December 2009

It is probable that at some time in the next two weeks, Europe will announce that a final deal on bananas has been achieved. In so doing, it will bring to a close the trade war that it has been fighting with Latin producers and the United States since 1993. If documents now circulating in Brussels represent the outcome, the final solution will not be much to the Caribbean's liking. On agreeing a deal, Europe will reduce its banana tariff from €176 to €148/t. Then, over a period of seven years, the tariff will fall to €114/t for all non-preferential imports of bananas into Europe. In exchange, Latin American producers will agree to drop their complaints against the EU at the World Trade Organisation. As with most matters of this kind, the final outcome is not yet guaranteed. There are still sensitive exchanges under way on a small number of issues requiring resolution.

Wednesday, 02 December 2009
Experts from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries who met last Wednesday in Luanda to prepare for the 18th session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly are calling on the member states of the European Union and other rich countries to write off poor nations’ foreign debts. This standpoint was expressed in a statement read out to the press by the spokesperson at the meeting, Robert Luke Ironga, stressing that almost 60 countries need debt cancellation to have a chance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Robert Luke Ironga reported that the meeting had saluted measures already taken by some EU states to cancel developing countries’ debts. The document contains a draft motion for a resolution calling on donor countries to take account of the effects of the economic crisis on the ACP states and apply the principles enshrined in the Paris Declaration on aid efficiency, reiterated in the Accra Agenda, and expressed at the Doha Conference and several G20 summits.
The fourth AFD-IFOP poll on the French population’s attitude to development aid has revealed that French people consider their country’s public development aid spending to be justified. Six out of ten believe that France plays an important role in fighting poverty in the international arena and should continue to develop its own aid policy within a European framework (76%). This view applies both to bilateral and multilateral aid (Unitaid, the global fund to fight AIDS and tuberculosis, the European development fund, etc.). Although the majority of French people believe the aid to be effective, they also think efficiency could be further improved through supporting local partners and promoting knowledge transfer. 66% of respondents said France’s aid for developing countries was justified in spite of the crisis and the country’s budgetary problems. A large majority of those questioned (57%) were aware of the importance of aid in tackling the international crisis and believed the development budget should be maintained or increased. 71% said the EU should increase its aid.