CTA Brussels News

Information on key ACP-EU programmes and events relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries
June 2019 - No. 611


Join us at the next Brussels Briefing n.56 “The Land-Water-Energy Nexus and the Sustainability of the Food System” - 3rd of July 2019, 9h00-13h00

Organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid, the ACP Secretariat and Concord, the Briefing will discuss the Land-Water-Energy nexus and its implications for the food system, with a focus on ACP countries. It will feature an exchange of views and experiences from a research and practice perspective on what we know on the nexus, with a discussion on the factors for success, their replicability, and potential for upscaling of best practices.

Speakers include:

  • Paolo D'Odorico, Professor, Dept Environnemental Science, Berkeley University, USA
  • Sir Gordon Conway, Member of of Malabo Montpellier Panel and Professor of International Development, Imperial College London.
  • Craig Hanson, Vice President for Food, Forests, Water &the Ocean, WRI
  • Veronica Girardi, Policy Officer, Water Sector, European Commission, DEVCO
  • Ruud Grim, Senior Advisor for Applications, Netherlands Space Office
  • Olufunke Cofie, West Africa Regional Representative, IWMI, Ghana
  • Dawit Guta, Center for Environment & Dev Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi, Researcher, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Read more
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Featured CTA partner

What are the technologies that will reshape our world? Independent experts identify 100 of them

Self-healing smartphones, asteroid mining for essential minerals and telepathic brain-to-brain communication enabled by technology. These are some examples of impressive innovations on the horizon presented in the new independent expert report 100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs for the future published today.

The report is a foresight study displaying the progress and outlook for 100 ground breaking social and technological innovations. Some of the innovations, such as plant communication, are a long way off. Others, such as medical exoskeletons, are already being tested and used.

By capturing the most potentially impactful results, the report provides a strategic resource to policymakers and anyone concerned with the future of science, technology and innovation. It can create common references between different policies, may contribute to national and regional strategies, and spark discussion about the ethical and social implications of the coming waves of innovation.

A combination of machine learning algorithms and human evaluation was used to identify the emerging developments. The independent experts who carried out the study scanned technology foresight studies from all over the world and more than 150,000 news items from 200 platforms, to identity 100 potentially impactful innovations. After successive waves of selection and refinement, the resulting list of 100 emerging topics was subjected to several assessment procedures including expert consultation and analysis of related patents and publications.

The emerging developments in the 100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs for the future report are displayed on an interactive poster to quickly find more information on the state of play and outlook for each.

Source: EC, 13 June 2019

Strategic Events

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) annual meeting: progress towards sustainability

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) held its 23rd Annual Meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 17 to 21 June 2019. The EU welcomes the adoption of ambitious measures to improve the management of FADs and offset their possible negative impacts on the ecosystem, and the retention ban on Manta and Mobula rays. However, there is still a lot to be done to reach the sustainable management of stocks covered by the organisation’s mandate, in particular the Yellowfin Tuna (YFT).

One of the meeting’s most positive outcomes is the adoption of ambitious measures on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).   The IOTC established a series of measures to set the highest standards in all Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).  FADs numbers are to be further reduced to 300, with increased monitoring and data collection. The IOTC also made it mandatory to have completely non-entangling designs for FADs to reduce the possibility of catching non-targeted species. As of 2022, all FADs will have to be made of biodegradable material, in line with the EU efforts to reduce marine litter. In addition, the adopted measure contains a set of clear definitions, improved standards for data collection, the establishment of a marking scheme and strengthened control procedures. The result is the outcome of the joint efforts of the EU and many IOTC members, which have resulted in improving the original EU proposal.

The IOTC also endorsed a proposal tabled by the EU on Mobulids, namely the interdiction to retain on board any Manta and Mobula rays for all vessels operating in the IOTC convention area: the ban was recommended by the IOTC Scientific Committee to protect this endangered species. Artisanal fisheries are exempted from this ban but only for accidental catches and until 2022.

However, the EU regrets that the new conservation measures on the Yellowfin Tuna (YFT) were not ambitious enough to reduce current overfishing but welcomes the strengthening of compliance related measure.  The EU will continue to push for better management of YFT.

Source: EC, 24 June 2019


Humanitarian Aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

As many people continue to suffer in the Central African Republic (CAR), the European Union continues to stand in solidarity with the people in need in the country and announces €18.85 million in humanitarian assistance for 2019. This additional support brings EU humanitarian assistance in CAR to more than €135 million since 2014.
EU humanitarian funding in the Central African Republic aims at:

  • helping conflict-affected people whose basic survival depends on humanitarian assistance. Internally displaced people, host communities and returnees are provided with food aid, emergency health and nutrition treatment, water and hygiene, shelter, basic essential items, education, and support to their livelihoods;
  • preventing violence and providing medical, psychosocial and legal support to victims of violence and human rights breaches;
  • tackling the food and nutrition crisis with assistance for families in need and for people at high risk of undernutrition, and support to the health sector to step up malnutrition prevention and treatment;
  • supporting the delivery of aid to areas where poor infrastructure and ongoing fighting make access difficult for humanitarian workers.

The Central African crisis has also an impact on the entire region as 592,000 refugees have sought refuge in neighbouring countries to which the EU is providing support as well.

Source: EC, 24 June 2019

EU signs Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement Protocol with Guinea Bissau

On 15 June, the EU and Guinea Bissau signed a new 5-year protocol to the existing Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA). This new protocol fully reflects the long-standing spirit of the EU partnership and the general principles of the EU Common Fisheries Policy such as sustainable management of resources, legal stability, transparency, science-based access and monitoring, and the sustainable development of the partner country fisheries sector.

Taking fully into account scientific advice, this new protocol allows access of EU vessels to the waters of Guinea Bissau for several fish species, i.e. tuna, demersal fish, cephalopods, shrimps, as well as a new category, the small pelagic species. In exchange for the fishing rights, the EU will offer a financial contribution of  €15.6 million plus an additional contribution from the EU ship-owners. An annual EU contribution of €4 million is earmarked for supporting the sustainable development of fisheries, in particular through measures in favour of monitoring, control and surveillance, reinforcement of export and scientific capacities and the modernisation of small scale fisheries. This protocol will have an important and positive impact on the social and economic development of the country, and will help valorise its natural resources, while contributing to food security.

Source: EC, 19 June 2019

Despite a recent peace deal, humanitarian needs remain high in South Sudan with nearly two million people internally displaced and almost seven million in need of emergency food aid. To help the most vulnerable in the country, the European Commission today announces €48.5 million in humanitarian assistance on top of last week's €1 million to step up Ebola prevention in the country.

The EU-funded humanitarian projects will address in particular the protection of the most vulnerable, the provision of food and nutrition assistance to families in need, the provision of basic health care in hard-to-reach areas, and the setting up and running of accelerated education programmes for children who lost out on years of schooling in conflict-affected areas. The full press release is available online.

Source: EC, 20 June 2019

At the last tender sale, the remaining 162 tonnes of skimmed milk powder out of a total, original amount of 380,000 tonnes in public stocks were sold, fully emptying as a result the total stocks bought and managed by the Commission.

Following the dairy market crisis that hit EU producers with lower prices in 2015-2016, the European Commission bought from 2015 to 2017 a total of 380,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder (SMP) through public intervention. The objective was to stabilise the market and support farmers' income.

Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said:

“Today's sale of the last remaining public stocks of skimmed milk powder closes a chapter. The disposal of the stock, without impacting on the price of skimmed milk powder, is a vindication of the Commission's patience and prudent management of the whole process since 2015. The results of the Commission's actions are higher prices and a stable market. Once again, the European Commission has shown its commitment and support to and solidarity with European farmers in times of crisis. It also illustrates the necessity and the efficiency of the Common Agricultural Policy's instruments. The right tools acted as a vital safety net during a time of significant market disturbance and their appropriate and timely deployment has helped to secure the viability of hundreds of thousands of European dairy farmers.”

Source: EC, 21 June 2019

EU and World Health Organisation team up to boost access to health services in developing countries

The EU will sign a €102 million contribution agreement with the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the European Development Days in Brussels today. The EU will invest in building health care systems to provide quality services in more than 80 African, Caribbean, Pacific, and Asian countries.

The “Health Systems Strengthening for Universal Health Coverage Partnership Programme” launched today will benefit in a longer term from an EU overall contribution of €118 million out of a total budget of €123 million. The EU contribution will strengthen the WHO cooperation with governments and country stakeholders to build health care systems that provide quality health services to everyone.

The EU's today financial contribution will:

  • Help the WHO to strengthen national and regional capacities as regards key health system components, as well as governance, strategic planning and policy dialogue in this area;
  • Facilitate the access to medicines and health products;
  • Improve the health workforce, health financing, information about health and healthy lifestyles, and service delivery.

Source: EC, 18 June 2019

Key resources

Handbook on improving the Investment Climate through EU action

The 'Handbook on improving the Investment Climate through EU action' is part of the integrated approach of the External Investment Plan (EIP) and aims to support the implementation of the so-called "Pillar 3" of the EIP on investment climate improvements.It presents the building blocks of Pillar 3 and the key investment climate drivers and challenges, with view to promote a common narrative and to build a joined-up approach with EU Member States, partner countries, private sector, International Financial Institutions, CSOs, and international organisations.

About the External Investment Plan
A conducive investment climate is essential within a country’s path towards inclusive and sustainable growth. It plays a key role in attracting and retaining domestic and foreign investments. This, in turn, ushers in an economic transformation by boosting the development and competitiveness of the private sector, creating jobs and deepening trade integration, in support of the Addis Ababa Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is the driving force behind the creation of the European Union’s (EU) External Investment Plan (EIP), which has established an integrated approach, based on 3 Pillars. A systematic interplay between those three pillars is the core innovation of the EIP: • investment mobilisation, through the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) (Pillar 1), • technical assistance (Pillar 2), • and investment climate improvements at country level (Pillar 3).
Building a common narrative on investment climate
This document aims to provide an overview of Pillar 3 of the EIP, highlighting key drivers and challenges of a conducive investment climate. It describes how the EU can build on its current efforts and create momentum for implementing the EIP jointly with Member States and other key partners. It will support implementation of the priorities of the Africa-Europe Alliance Communication. The key drivers of investment climate include:
 • those at macro level, including stability and governance,
 • business environment drivers,
• as well as human-centred drivers such as human development and innovation. Addressing environmental, climate change and migration challenges is essential. Investors’ decision to invest, whether international or local, in a country, often depend on their perceptions whether a combination of these factors and the policy-mix to improve investment climate support their confidence.

Source: European Union, May 2019

Lives in Crises: What Do People Tell Us About the Humanitarian Aid They Receive?

In May 2016, the World Humanitarian Summit represented a turning point for humanitarian policies. The Summit gave the impetus to seriously reflect on how to operate in environments where people’s needs don’t coincide anymore with existing mandates and sectors. The OECD believes that an effective humanitarian response is the one that addresses affected people’s needs in a timely and efficient manner. One way to measure effectiveness is to ask aid beneficiaries what they think about the aid they get. With this is mind, the OECD initiated a first round of surveys during the cycle 2016-2017 in six countries affected by different type of crisis : Lebanon, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Somalia and Uganda. Two years after the World humanitarian Summit, the OECD and Ground Truth Solutions took another round of surveys in the same countries, plus Bangladesh. The purpose of this second round of surveys is to assess whether the commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit, including the Grand Bargain, are having a tangible impact on people’s lives in the most difficult contexts in the world. This paper provides some answers to this question



Civil Society Dialogue on Women and Trade
08 July 2019
Conference Center Albert Borschette
Brussels, Belgium
6th meeting of the EU-Africa economic and social stakeholders’ network
3-4 July  2019
Brussels, Belgium
Brussels Briefing n. 56 on The Land-Water-Energy nexus and the Sustainability of the Food System
Organised by the CTA, ACP Secretariat, European Commission/DG DEVCO, Concord.
Wednesday, 03 July 2019
Register Here
This CTA Brussels newsletter is produced weekly by the CTA Brussels Office

Publisher: Ms Isolina Boto, Manager CTA Brussels Office (
Editor: Félix Ajong (
Contributor: Mariana Lemos (
Technical support: Thierry Lewyllie (

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The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.
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