Category Archives: Development

Ethiopia returns to sea ports in Eritrea

Former foes Ethiopia and Eritrea declared intention to cooperate on developing ports on Eritrean Red Sea coast, Ethiopia’s state broadcaster said, the day after the leaders met and agreed to normalize relations after a 20-year military confrontation.

“In their meeting, the leaders agreed to restore ties and resume flights by the carriers of both countries. In addition, they agreed to participate in the development of ports,” the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Ahmed Shide said that the re-opening of two critical roads leading to the ports of Assab in Eritrea’s south and Massawa in the north would benefit the whole region.

The unfolding developments will not only benefit our peoples, but the entire Horn of Africa region will be a part of these developments,” Shide was quoted as saying in an interview published on the Eritrean information ministry website.

At present Massawa port at Red Sea has been receiving a substantial Chinese investment to enlarge and develop infrastructure. A contract of $400 million covering  a construction period of 40 months since 2014 the Phase I Massawa New Port Project  included design and erection of 70,000t bulk cargo terminals and a 50,000t multi-purpose terminal; construction of the corresponding port area and incoming road.

Ethiopian rapprochement with Eritrea opening an access to Red Sea ports is becoming a part of larger strategy of African governments assisted by China planning future trans-African transportation corridors, and opening a competition between Djibouti as an paramount African trading gateway, and two Eritrean ports Massawa and Assab.

 

Cassava disease threatens West Africa

Researchers from half a dozen states in West Africa have united in a battle against what one expert dabbed a root crop ‘Ebola’- a viral disease that could wreck the region’s staple food and condemn millions to hunger.

The cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), a virus that strikes cassava (manioc), which in some of the region’s countries is consumed by as many as 80% of the population.

The West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) project, a multi-million-dollar scheme funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to shield the region from the advancing peril.

Headquartered at Bingerville, on the edges of the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan, it gathers six countries from West Africa — Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Togo — as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo to give an answer to a common threat.

Much is already known about CBSD — the virus is generally believed to be propagated by an insect called the silver leaf white fly, and also through cuttings taken from infected plants. But there remain gaps in knowledge about West Africa’s specific vulnerabilities to the disease.

The research includes the understanding of the susceptibility of local strains of cassava to the virus, and identification of points in the cassava trade which can help to localise outbreak of CBSD swell into an epidemic.

Outbreak of cholera in Nigeria

A cholera outbreak has killed 12 people and may have infected at least 134 others in the northeast Nigerian state of Adamawa, an official said on Wednesday (23/05/2018).

So far 12 people have died from the disease and there are many more cases”, said Ezra Sakawa, medical director of the general hospital for Mubi, the town where the disease has struck.

We have little manpower to deal with an outbreak of such magnitude,” Sakawa said, adding that nurses were on strike.

EU increases development fund

The European Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1,135 billion in commitments(expressed in 2018 prices) over the period from 2021 to 2027, equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI).

This level of commitments translates into €1,105 billion (or 1.08% of GNI) in payments (in 2018 prices).

This includes the integration into the EU budget of the European Development Fund – the EU’s main tool for financing development cooperation with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific and which to date is an intergovernmental agreement. Taking into account inflation, this is comparable to the size of the current 2014-2020 budget (including the European Development Fund).

Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). The total financial resources of the 11th EDF amount to €30.5 billion for the period 2014-2020.

Liberia’s Johnson Sirleaf won African leadership award

Liberian politician the former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has won a USD5 million Mo Ibrahim award, designed to improve the quality of African political leadership.

Ms.Johnson Sirleaf is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa’s first elected female head of state.

Recently the prize founded by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim has not been awarded on several occasions because there was not deemed to be a suitable candidate.

EU discusses future of Cotonou Agreement

Brussels. The EU Foreign ministers  will discuss the future of the EU partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific states. The current partnership agreement, known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in 2020.

The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention.

It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries, including 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Cotonou Agreement is a close partnership based on a series of fundamental principles.

  • The partners to the agreement are equal.
  • The ACP countries determine their own development policies.
  • Cooperation is not only among governments: parliaments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, economic and social partners play a role as well.
  • Cooperation arrangements and priorities vary according to aspects such as countries’ levels of development.

The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. It is based on three pillars: development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation, political dimension.

 

South Africa chairs BRICS

South Africa stepping in to chair the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – from  January 1, 2018.  The decision has been taken at recent summit of members of BRICS association in Xiamen, China, in September 2017.

Vice President of BRICS New Development Bank, Leslie Maasdorp, said to Russian TASS news agency, that the South African government has not submitted the objectives and agenda of its chairmanship.

However one can presume the priorities of South Africa’s policy following its record of co-operation with the BRICS partners, formally shaping their agenda at the joint events in 2018, guided by the President Jacob Zuma’s speech at a special session of the BRICS Business Council held in September 2017 during the 9th summit in Xiamen.

Efforts to promote economic development and growth, increase trade volumes and attract investment to the industrial sector of South Africa’s economy are identified as the key objectives for the country’s participation in this format at that time. There are also expectations of investment in industry, following government’s plans support the creation of new jobs, poverty reduction.

 

 

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