Category Archives: Development

May vows to invest in Africa

Theresa May has announced plans to boost the UK investment in Africa after leaving the European Union. The declaration of intention took place during her first trip to the continent as prime minister.

In a speech in Cape Town, May pledged four billion pounds in support for African economies, especially aiming on fighting unemployment among young people.

May also pledged a “fundamental shift” in aid spending to focus on long-term economic and security challenges rather than short-term poverty reduction.

The prime minister will also visit Nigeria and Kenya during the three-day travel though the continent.

On her way to South Africa, the prime minister dismissed warnings from the chancellor about possible economic damage of no-deal scenario could would cause.

Talking to journalists on board RAF Voyager on Tuesday, 28 August, May reiterated that she believed a no-deal Brexit was still better than a bad deal – adding no-deal “wouldn’t be the end of the world“.

Prime minister’s Common Wealth trip foreseeing meetings the presidents of all three countries – aims to deepen economic and trade ties with growing African economies ahead of Britain leaving the EU end of March 2019.

Outstanding diplomat Kofi Annan passed away

Kofi Annan passed away on August 18 at the age of 80, the UN Migration Agency confirmed. Annan, a former diplomat from Ghana, led the United Nations from 1997 to 2006.
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006.

He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Annan’s tenure coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

EU provides €200 million aid to Somalia

The Forum in Brussels, organised by the European Union together with the Federal Government of Somalia and the Kingdom of Sweden, gathered representative from 58 countries and 6 international organisations. It brought together the Somali President Abdullahi Mohamed, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

he conference aimed at raising awareness and support for Somalia, a country making progress in a number of critical areas despite extraordinary challenges.

“The European Union is leading the international partnership to strengthen Somalia’s political, economic and security reform agenda. Today, I announced that the EU will provide additional €200 million to support Somalia’s overall stabilisation to create a better future for its people. I also signed the EU’s contribution of €114.2 million for the African Union Mission to Somalia until the end of this year. The stability and development of the country is also critical for the stability of the broader region and for Europe” EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said.

Through the three EU security and defence missions based in Somalia: EUTM, EU Operation ATALANTA, and EUCAP Somalia, the EU is contributing to capacity building within the local security sector by providing training, advising, mentoring, as well as deterring and repressing acts of piracy. Also, the EU is an important partner of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has enabled Somalia’s peacebuilding and state-building with the focus on respect of human rights, protection of civilians, with particular attention to the rights of women as well as the protection of children, and prevention and countering of violent extremism.

The EU has consistently supported the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) which has been operating for 10 years now and with €1.73 billion. The EU is currently increasing its security support to the country, reorienting it to more direct support to the Somali institutions.

The EU has also stepped up its humanitarian contribution, with €89 million in new funding announced last week.

“The Federal Government of Somalia is fully committed to implement the Political Roadmap 2020, Transition plan for security, economic reform and reach out to the whole of Somalia for reconciliation and dialogue. The Somalia Partnership Forum is key for strengthened partnerships with our regional and international partners. We want to work according to the theme of the forum – forward together” – President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed stated.

“The Somalia Partnership Forum has made a number of strong commitments for inclusive politics. We encourage Somalia to adopt national laws and policies that protect women’s and girls’ human rights and enable them to have a stronger role in society. Somalia has taken very important steps on the pathway for sustainable peace and development. Sweden remains a committed partner and will double our development support to Somalia to approximately $350 million over the next five years.” – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström underlined.

 

 

 

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.

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