Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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Monday, 29 May 2017

Caribbean Community (Caricom) foreign ministers met with their Indian counterpart at the 70th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. A joint release issued after the meeting said discussions focused on the strengthening of India-Caricom relations; promotion of trade and business; enhancement of people-to-people contact, with particular emphasis on the training of young Caricom diplomats; and training in project management, information technology, and other related areas of strategic development. Views were also exchanged on regional and multilateral issues, including climate change, sustainable development, and financing for such developments.

Deodat Maharaj, the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General recently stated that Tonga’s future is not on land but in its marine area on the continental shelf, and “we want to help Tonga tap into the Blue Economy.” Tonga shall start working on a long term plan on how to develop its Blue Economy, “is a priority area for us in the Commonwealth and for Tonga as well.” He said that the Republic of Mauritius had made a definite move by establishing a Ministry of Ocean, and the Republic of the Seychelles had also established a Ministry of Blue Economy.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart met with the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. PM Stuart identified Costa Rica as a like-minded country with which CARICOM should deepen relations in areas such as trade, education and cultural exchanges. At a previous meeting of CARICOM-Costa Rica Council, held in Trinidad and Tobago in June, both parties committed to forging ahead to create opportunities for cooperation and enhancing trade. Both countries are also working towards a common objective on climate change ahead of COP21.

Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) recently that the development model of China best suited Nigeria's agricultural transformation agenda to commercial agriculture. Echono outlined that Nigeria is working to improve milling capacity in rice and cassava to reduce the current demand and supply. Nigeria also intends to establish Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs) and is holding discussions with some Research Institutions in China in the area of Technology. Other opportunities for investment include Aqua-culture, fishery production and wheat production.

Suriname’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Henry MacDonald, advisor to AfricaConnectOnline, called for the elimination of poverty and the restoration of dignity for all Africans as basic prerequisites for the continent’s development. The goal of AfricaConnectOnline is to facilitate the developmental processes at the United Nations Headquarters and its many agencies, programs and agendas with a focus on Africa and the African diaspora all over the world.

A report by the international accounting firm KPMG has said agricultural growth in Africa has failed to reach its potential and there was need for a concerted effort at improving techniques, markets and access to credit for small farmers. The report notes that the "Potential for growth in the agricultural sector on the continent is huge," and also underlines the need for government policies to attract foreign investment to spur commercial agriculture and increase value added. KPMG said the Indian government was determined to achieve a target of $70 billion in trade with Africa and one way this could be achieved is through India's investments in agriculture.

Relations between India and the East African Community are set to be revitalized especially in the areas of trade, cultural exchange and development cooperation.  India’s High Commissioner to Tanzania and Representative to the EAC, Mr. Sandeep Arya, said India already had bilateral projects in most of the EAC Partner States particularly health and agriculture, adding that they wanted to partner with the EAC to boost trade volumes and promoting industrial growth in East Africa. EAC Secretary General, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera said there would be common rules of origin for goods within the EAC-COMESA-SADC Free Trade Area, which is expected to become operational soon.

India and the 54 countries of Africa are expected to join forces at a mega summit later this month to form a united front to counter perceived Western bullying, notably by the US, over global trade negotiations ahead of an upcoming WTO ministerial meet to be held in Nairobi in December. Trade officials from India and Africa are already into negotiations ahead of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) being held here October 26-30, to firm up a joint front that will seek to protect the interests of developing countries in the face of Western pressure to succumb to laws seen as tailored to suit their interests.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The next Brussels Briefing on the subject of “Emerging donors and rising powers in agriculture in ACP countries” will take place on Tuesday 27 October 2015 from 9:00h to 13:00h at the ACP Secretariat (451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels, Room C ). The will discuss the key challenges and new opportunities to enhance South-South and Triangular cooperation. Follow live tweeting @ctabrussels and via webstream.

The Briefing will: i) review successes and the lessons learned from research and practice; ii) promote the exchange of information on best practices and drivers of success; iii) feed into the debate various perspectives on policy options. It will review the key challenges and opportunities in South-South cooperation in agriculture and the lessons learned from research and practice. It will also look at examples of successes in South-South and triangular partnerships across the ACP.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The CTA Brussels News Service is providing EU-ACP policy news since 2004, on various key thematic areas. In addition to this news service, we also provide news on ACP intra-regional trade, and south-south cooperation (investments of emerging countries' in agriculture in the ACP regions). The main stories for the week are featured in our newsletter and all stories can be found in our Regional Trade and the South-South cooperation sections.

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