Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Mr Eric Thys, expert at Be-troplive, is our special guest this week. Be-troplive is an informal and multidisciplinary Belgian platform on tropical animal health and production, which is open to institutional or individual members involved in tropical animal health and production activities. Members are Belgian academic institutions and research institutes, Belgian development organisations, NGO's and study bureau's, Belgian government and parastatal services involved in development in general, and tropical animal health and production in particular and Individuals involved in tropical animal health and production activities, having worked for a project or organisation with a clear link to Belgium.
The European Union has informed the East African Community (EAC) that the failure or delay in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement would lead to taxes on the exports of the EAC-member states. In a recent release by the EU Delegation in Nairobi said that failure to finalise the EPA process could lead to putting non-Least Developed Countries such as Kenya on the Generalised System of Preferences list. According to the statement, some of the key export products particularly from Kenya would attract re-introduction or increase in tariffs. The EPA was supposed to be concluded by July 31, 2009-but missed the deadline due to lack of consensus on rules of origin-most favoured a clause on agriculture, trade in services and sustainable development.
Friday, 11 December 2009
The 2985th Council meeting on Foreign Affairs held in Brussels on 8 December 2009 approved a draft letter to be sent to the ACP group of states outlining the implications of non-ratification of the revised ACP-EU (Cotonou) partnership agreement. The grace period for ratifying the revised Cotonou agreement expired on 30 June 2009. Three ACP states (Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Sudan) did not meet this deadline.
The South Africa Agribusiness Report Q110 continues on the themes touched upon in previous issues as the continent's top agricultural producer seeks to diversify the sector in terms of both primary production and value-added processing. The South African agricultural industry possesses typical 'dual economy' characteristics of a local subsistence sector against a relatively well-developed commercial sector. Increasingly, capital intensive production is seen to drive industry dynamics as employment in more labour intensive farming dwindle, likely fuelling tensions, particularly along racial lines. Despite having one of the continent's more developed agricultural sectors, food security is still a concern in some sub-sectors. As the country seeks to improve self-sufficiency, we are increasingly seeing the drive for food production gathering pace via overseas production. South African farmers will be able to access up to 10mn hectares of farmland in the Republic of Congo under a recent deal signed by the two countries.
Governments expressed the will at the seventh ministerial meeting of the WTO to finish the Doha Round of trade negotiations as soon as possible. But the Africa Group still deems development to be a more important priority than a speedy conclusion. Despite the decision of the seventh ministerial meeting to aim for a close to the Doha Round by the end of 2010, Hicham Badr, the ambassador of Egypt and coordinator of the Africa group, stressed that the Africa Group will continue to push for a Doha Round based on a developmental mandate. "If we had to choose between a quickly concluded round and a successful round, we would prefer a successful round where the developmental aspect remains at the core of the package". Most of the outstanding points of contention, such as cotton, still depend on the cooperation of Northern countries. African cotton producers are ready to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism if the talks don’t deliver. The ministerial meeting, which took place last week, marks the growing power of developing countries. "We should not underestimate the power of developing countries", said Badr.
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