Rwanda gets Rwf 32.2b in Agriculture

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Rwanda’s latest agricultural results have earned Rwf 32.2 billion from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank. In the last 12 months, the Government of Rwanda delivered some impressive results in agriculture. Over 40,000 hectares (ha) of land have been protected against soil erosion, over 8,000 ha put under irrigation, and average crop yield for cassava, milk and coffee increased. The use of new agricultural innovation technologies was enhanced and lending to the agricultural sector and the design of an Agricultural Management Information System (MIS) increased. These results will help improve the lives of farmers in Rwanda, increase farm productivity and household food security as well as support economic growth.

EU trade: Defining talks for East Africa presidents for late January

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The East African Community Heads of State Summit, which was to be held in the first week of this month, has been pushed to next month, after the regional ministers of trade and East African affairs failed to agree on some of the issues to be ratified, top among them being the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.This has caused anxiety in Kenya, which is now banking on the EAC Council of Ministers who will convene in a fortnight to persuade its regional partners to finalise discussions on the ratification of the EPA by the February 2 deadline.

EU trade: Defining talks for East Africa presidents for late January

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The East African Community Heads of State Summit, which was to be held in the first week of this month, has been pushed to next month, after the regional ministers of trade and East African affairs failed to agree on some of the issues to be ratified, top among them being the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.This has caused anxiety in Kenya, which is now banking on the EAC Council of Ministers who will convene in a fortnight to persuade its regional partners to finalise discussions on the ratification of the EPA by the February 2 deadline.

AB InBev may struggle to thrive in Africa, Deutsche Bank suggests

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European banking giant Deutsche Bank is lukewarm on brewing behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), following the release of the reference base for the ongoing business. The Belgian brewing firm has now either got shot of all the assets it agreed to sell in order to get the authorities to agree to its takeover of rival SABMiller, or it has agreed the sales. “The remaining SABMiller stub has higher margins than ABInBev, putting into question some of the synergy targets released before ABInBev even received the keys,” according to the Deutsche team. AB InBev is targeting US$1.9bn of cost synergies following the takeover.

Nigeria: Ambode meets British, German envoys

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday said the vision of his administration to create a more prosperous and safer Lagos and transform the State into the hub of commerce and tourism in Africa remained on course and all efforts would be geared towards achieving the desired result. Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received on courtesy visit the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, said he remained committed to transforming Lagos from being the commercial hub of Nigeria to that of Africa just like London is the hub of commerce and tourism in Europe. He recalled the historical ties between Nigeria and Britain and vowed not only to continue to uphold the relationship and scale it up for the benefit of the people, but also ensure the protection of British nationals and their investments in the state.

EU to provide technical assistance to Fiji for COP 23

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Fiji’s preparation to host the next global conference on climate change has received a major boost. This comes after the European Union exclusively told FBC News that it will offer more technical assistance to the Fijian government to host this meeting. EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs says negotiations are currently underway between the European Union and the Fijian government on what type of assistance Fiji will need towards hosting the COP 23 meeting.

EU wants EAC to invest more in solar

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East African states have been asked to invest more resources in the development of renewable power projects like solar energy where the region has a better comparative advantage as compared to Hydropower which is more expensive to finance. Development partners say the climate conditions in some countries within the community such as Uganda supports the development of solar power but the country has not yet exploited such opportunities which have kept Uganda depending too much on Hydropower and biomass as sources of Energy. Speaking during the commissioning of the US$ 19 million solar photovoltaic project in Soroti, Eastern Uganda, the Head of European Union delegation in Uganda Ambassador Kristain Schmidt said Uganda is conducive for solar power development because of the climatic conditions and the regulatory framework.

CzechTrade targets massive Nigerian economy

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The Czech agency for boosting exports and two-way trade, CzechTrade, has opened an office in the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria. Nigeria is estimated to have overtaken South Africa to first place as Africa’s biggest economic power in 2014. The Czech office in the largest city Lagos will be looking to get a greater stake in the US 500 billion dollars a year economy with a population of 188.5 million. At the moment Czech exports to Nigeria are fairly meagre and stood at around US 80 million in 2015. CzechTrade already has offices in Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. Nigeria is perceived as a promising target country with the government keen to help investors and foreign business and tackle corruption, one of the biggest blights on the local economy. CzechTrade’s director Radomil Doležal says the Czech Republic is regarded as a friendly country and Czech exporters can build on a solid reputation of sales to in the past.

Main events for the week: 16 January - 22 January 2017

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European Parliament

16 - 19 January: European Parliament Plenary Session

European Commission

18 January: European Development Days 2017 First Community Meeting

Other Events:

19 January: InfoPoint Lunchtime Conference "Renforcer les services en gestion de la santé animale et en sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation"

Brussels Development Briefing n.47 “Regional Trade in Africa"

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The next Brussels Development Briefing n.47 on the subject of “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities” will take place on 3rd February 2017 in Brussels at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels) from 09:00 to 13:00.  This Briefing will be organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, CONCORD, IFPRI and the ACP Secretariat. The Briefing will promote exchange of views and experiences around: (1) the latest developments and status of regional trade in Africa, specifically in the agricultural sector (2) the key trends driving regional integration in Africa, from the regional institutions, as well as the private sector; (3) the role of partnerships, particularly PPPs, and between the African regions and international bodies, to address bottlenecks and the major barriers to enhancing regional agricultural trade.

ACP Regional Trade & South-South Cooperation news

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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.

EIB: €92 million support for East African entrepreneurs in 2016

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Speaking to media in Nairobi earlier today senior representatives of the European Investment Bank, confirmed lending to support investment by companies across East Africa totalling EUR 92 million (KES 10 billion) in 2016. The European Investment Bank is Europe’s long-term lending institution, owned directly by the 28 European Union member states and the world’s largest international public bank. Catherine Collin, Regional Representative of the European Investment Bank in East Africa and Robert Schofield, responsible for European Investment Bank lending for small and medium sized companies throughout East Africa and elsewhere on the continent, highlighted the crucial role of entrepreneurs to create jobs, improve lives and ensure sustainable long-term economic growth.

Low poultry duty on EU 'will decimate jobs in SA'

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Major chicken producer RCL Foods, which owns the Rainbow and Farmer Brown chicken brands, says the government's new 13.9% safeguard duty on imported bone-in chicken portions from the EU is "hopelessly inadequate." Low poultry duty on EU 'will decimate jobs in SA' ©magone via 123RF South African chicken producers, the South African Poultry Association, and labour mainly blame "dumping" of dark chicken meat products, such as legs, for the industry's woes as producers struggle to sustain operations. Scott Pitman, MD of the consumer division at RCL, says 1,355 workers, staff and management will lose jobs at the end of January. This is because exports of dumped chicken leg quarters are in great oversupply globally.

West Africa: Hollande's Franco-African Farewell

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This weekend President Hollande attends his last Africa-France summit. On taking office, he pledged to break with 'Francafrique' but almost five years later the French footprint in Africa appears undiminished. Some 10,000 security personnel have been seconded to the Malian capital Bamako for the 27th Africa-France summit and they are backed up by the Malian army and French troops. Mali is a tense country. "Clearly, with such a large number of high-ranking guests, security is paramount," Cheickna Hamala Diarra from the Bamako-based summit organizing committee told DW. This weekend Bamako plays host to French President Francois Hollande, 53 African heads of state and their respective delegations.

Food and nutrition security: policy implications for the EU

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The global governance of food security and nutrition (FSN) has been evolving rapidly over the last 10 years. While the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2008-2009 has been celebrated for its “exemplarity” with respect to inclusiveness and accountability, recent trends have led to a growing complexity and fragmentation of the governance regime for FSN. In such a context, this policy brief traces back the main changes that have occurred over the last years to draw their political implications for FSN-related EU policies. The paper recalls the main aspects of the reform of the CFS. It then shows that despite it has been said to be “the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform dealing with FSN”, the current governance regime is still highly fragmented.

European Commission sets sights on multilateral investment court

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The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future of international dispute settlement. The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2017. Following the release of the “Trade for All” communication on a trade and investment strategy, and its stated ambition to establish an international investment court, the European Commission has begun setting the foundation towards such a multilateral institution.

EU Provides €35M For Agriculture and Accountability in Liberia

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The European Union (EU) has announced that it will provide €35 million in support of agricultural development and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) in Liberia. Speaking in Monrovia today, European Union Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann said the EU props both the private and the public sector in Liberia. The EU supports the Government's efforts to boost the economy through agricultural development, because agriculture is the road to progress and development."

UK a step closer to dramatic rise in aid funding to private sector

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Plans for a dramatic increase in the amount of aid that can be channeled through the CDC Group, the government’s controversial private equity arm, have moved closer to fruition after crucial legislation passed through the Commons on Tuesday. The commonwealth development corporation bill, which will allow the government to lift the cap on aid funds spent through the CDC from £1.5bn to £6bn, was approved by MPs despite criticism of the organisation. The bill allows for increases of up to £12bn without new primary legislation. The vote followed a parliamentary debate that exposed the stark political divisions about the future direction of aid spending. Development minister Rory Stewart said Britain had a “moral obligation” to invest in the CDC, which he described as a proven development model. “CDC investment combines the rigour of the private sector, the focus on markets, the values of the public sector [that] reflect the values of the British public, reflect the British public that cares about poverty,” said Stewart.