CTA Brussels News

Information on key ACP-EU programmes and events relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries
September 2019 - No. 619


Papua New Guinea takes over presidency of the ACP Group

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Papua New Guinea Hon. Soroi Eoe will assume the presidency of the ACP Council of Ministers. 
In a handover ceremony on 26 July 2019, Ambassador Kalinoe noted that this was a crucial moment when several important events and major documents of relevance to the group are under preparation. He outlined these to be the areas he intends to address, namely  the negotiation of a new partnership agreement with the European Union; the finalization of the review of the Georgetown Agreement; the renewal of the ACP Secretariat’s Senior Management and the preparation of the 9th ACP Summit of  Heads of States and Government that will take place in December in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition, he stated that his tenure would also focus on partnership diversification that reinforces South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) and enhancing Intra-ACP Trade.
In addition to the Chair, the incoming Bureau is comprised of the Ambassadors of Rwanda, H.E. Mr. Amandin Rugira (East Africa); Republic of Guinea, H.E. Dr. Ousmane Sylla (West Africa); Republic of Congo, H.E. Mr. Léon Raphaël Mokoko (Central Africa); Republic of Botswana, H.E. Samuel Otsile Outlule (Southern Africa); The Bahamas, H.E. Ms. Maria O’Brien (Caribbean) and Vanuatu, H.E. Mr. John Licht (Pacific).
Members of the outgoing Bureau are Ambassadors of Namibia - H.E. Dr. Kaire M. Mbuende (Chair); Suriname, H.E. Ms. Sieglien Burleson (Caribbean); The Gambia (West Africa), H.E. Mrs. Jaiteh Teneng Mba; The Republic of Congo, H.E. Mr. Léon Raphael Mokoko (Central Africa); Mauritius, H.E. Mr. Haymandoyal Dillum (East Africa); Tuvalu, H.E. Mr. Aunese Makoi Simati (Pacific) and Botswana, H.E. Mr.Samuel Otsile Outlule (Southern Africa).
Summarizing his term at the helm of the CoA, the outgoing Chair, Ambassador Kaire Mbuende of Namibia thanked his colleague Bureau members for their useful contributions to the work of the ACP Group. He expressed satisfaction with the work they had accomplished and acknowledged the support of the Secretariat throughout their successful tenure.
Secretary General of the ACP Group, H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes thanked the outgoing Bureau for steering the Group over the previous six months from 1 February to 31 July 2019. He welcomed the new Bureau and pledged the continued assistance of the Secretariat.
The CoA is an important decision-making body of the ACP Group of States. It is comprised of one representative from each of the Group’s 79 member countries. It meets at least one a month in Brussels to monitor the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, and carry out any mandate tasked to it by the ACP Council of Ministers. Much of its work is carried out through six technical sub-committees (on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs; Trade and Commodities; Investment and the Private Sector; Sustainable Development; Financing and Development; and Establishment and Finance), as well as ad-hoc working groups and task forces. 

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Strategic Events

Federica Mogherini witnesses the signature of final peace deal in Mozambique

"In a world that is full of conflicts, where everything seems to go in the wrong direction, you are giving us hope today”, the EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said in her address at the signature ceremony. “Mozambique is giving us hope, Africa is giving us hope. You have to be proud of that as we are proud of you tonight. Your leadership shows today that peace is always possible - difficult, but possible."
The European Union has backed the peace process during the difficult years and will continue to support its implementation with €60 million. High Representative Mogherini emphasized the long-term commitment of the European Union to assisting Mozambique with reconciliation and democratic consolidation of the country.
"Today, you can count on the European Union to continue to be at your side as you build peace. Because peace is not just a signature on paper; it is not just the absence of war and conflict; it is a living project that needs to be built every single day. It is a commitment that we have taken today, that we have witnessed today, that has to translate into real positive change in the lives of every single woman and man in Mozambique."
During her meeting with President Nyusi, the High Representative also discussed the forthcoming presidential and general elections in Mozambique, underlining that the European Union will deploy an Election Observation Mission. A successful electoral process - across the entire territory of Mozambique - is essential to support reconciliation and social integration, and to build on the signed peace agreement as well as the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
Moreover, the High Representative received an update on recovery activities following the devastating impact of the cyclones Idai and Kenneth: she reiterated EU's strong solidarity with Mozambique, and the ambition to implement as quickly and effectively as possible the additional €200 million mobilized recently by the EU to support the national reconstruction programme.

Source: EEAS, 7 August 2019


ACP/EU Post Cotonou Negotiations: Slowed Pace

The European Union (EU) Parliament approved Ursula von der Leyen, former German Defence Minister, as the new Commission President. Attention is now on nominating and approving the Commissioners. The 27 nominees have to be approved by the EU Parliament in October. On July 22, Boris Johnson became leader of the Conservative Party and later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK/Britain).
While the EU and Britain have been engrossed in selecting new political leadership, in Brussels, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and EU senior officials were continuing the post Cotonou negotiations as expected. Reports indicated that steady progress was being made on the ACP/EU foundation agreement. There are, however, only about three settled areas.  Inclusive sustainable economic growth and development and migration and mobility are sensitive areas now being negotiated. Negotiations have still not commenced in several areas including the important one of development support. The EU wants to change the donor/recipient relationship to one of partners. The Union’s new long-term budget for 2021-2027, not yet approved, is critical to these discussions. They are still expecting the budget to be approved by the European Council in October or December 2019.
At the political level, for the Caribbean ACP Forum (CARIFORUM), Guyana and Jamaica, you may recall, are the lead negotiators. With the unsettled political situation in Guyana, Carl Greenidge, who now holds the title Foreign Secretary, will continue to be engaged in the post Cotonou negotiations. General elections are due in Guyana. CARIFORUM has established a Regional Technical Advisory Group to support its negotiators.

Source: CARICOM Today, 2 August 2019

Senegal: Proparco, IFC and EIB finance the construction of two new solar power plants as part of the Scaling Solar program

Through the financing of the construction of two solar power plants in Senegal, Proparco, IFC and EIB are reaffirming their commitment to sustainable development on the African continent. These two new large-scale power plants, the 7th and 8th built in Senegal in less than 3 years, illustrate the strong momentum underway in the country towards a low-carbon energy transition.
Proparco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have granted loans totaling EUR 38 million for the construction and operation of two solar power plants in Senegal. Proparco, building on the experience acquired through the financing provided in 2016 for the construction of the Senergy and Ten Merina solar power plants in Senegal, coordinated IFC’s and EIB’s interventions in this operation. Part of IFC’s contribution is financed by the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate program.
These two plants, with a total installed capacity of 80MWp, will be built in the rural regions of Kahone and Touba in central Senegal.
Funding is provided to the sponsors Meridiam and Engie and the Senegalese sovereign fund Fonsis. These projects are the first two achievements in Senegal of the World Bank's Scaling Solar programme, which aims to promote investments in renewable energy in emerging markets.

Source: EIB, 31 July 2019
Caribbean States prepare to battle illegal fishing

Eighteen border control officers from seven Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are currently undergoing a four-week training course in Fisheries Prosecution and Interdiction, organized by the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) in collaboration with the CRFM Secretariat, the Government of Barbados, and the British Royal Navy’s Fisheries Protection Squadron.
The training, being held at the Paragon Base of the Barbados Defense Force, brings together officers of the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force Coast Guard; Antigua and Barbuda Fisheries Division; Barbados Coast Guard; Royal Barbados Police Force Marine Unit; Barbados Fisheries Division; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force; Royal Grenada Police Force Marine Unit; the St. Kitts-Nevis Defense Force Coast Guard; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Marine Unit; and the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Coast Guard.
The course is expected to improve the skills and competencies of authorised officers responsible for enforcing the Fisheries Acts and Fisheries Regulations, and supporting administrative policies.

Read full article

Source: CARICOM, 23 July 2019
Humanitarian Aid: additional €50 million to tackle drought in the Horn of Africa

The European Commission is mobilising a further €50 million in emergency humanitarian funding to help the people hit by drought in the Horn of Africa. With many in the region relying on livestock herding and subsistence farming, the prolonged drought is having devastating consequences on food availability and livelihoods. Today's additional funding brings total EU humanitarian aid to the region to €366.5 million since 2018.
“The EU is stepping up its support for the people affected by a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa. During my several visits to countries in the region, I have seen first hand how much climate extremes are affecting this part of Africa. Our funding will help extend humanitarian assistance in the affected areas, helping communities ward off the risk of famine,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
Funding from this aid package will support drought-affected communities in Somalia (€25 million), Ethiopia (€20 million), Kenya (€3 million) and Uganda (€2 million).  It will go towards:
emergency food assistance and assistance to address immediate food needs;
the provision of basic health services and the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children under five years of age, and in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers;
improving water access for both human and livestock consumption; and
protecting households' livelihoods.
Read full article

Source: European Commission, 7 August 2019
SADC and European Union (EU) Jointly Launch Support to Improving the Investment and Business Environment (SIBE) Programme in the SADC region

The Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union Delegation to Botswana and SADC jointly launched the Support to Improving the Investment and Business Environment (SIBE) in the SADC region Programme, funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to the tune of 14 Million Euros.
The SIBE is a five-year Programme, implemented by the SADC Secretariat in the 16 Member States with the overall objective of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth and support job creation through the transformation of the region into a SADC investment zone and promoting intra-regional investment and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the SADC region, in particular for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
This programme is part of the comprehensive EU support, amounting to more than 70 million euro, to promote and facilitate regional integration in SADC and in the whole Africa. SIBE continues the actions already initiated with previous EU programmes, such as the Regional Economic Integration Support (REIS).
The SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax hailed the invaluable collaboration between SADC and the European Union and underscored the need for creating a favourable investment climate to expand and diversify the region’s economies, create new labour skills, develop infrastructure and enhance SADC countries participation in regional and global value chains.

Source: EEAS, 6 August 2019

Key resources

CABI in Review 18

Inspired by the commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this annual review tells the stories of CABI’s projects and the impact they have on farmers, extension workers, scientists, policy makers and professional practitioners.


2019 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) constitutes a key pillar of European Union (EU) efforts to enhance the positive impact and increase effectiveness of development cooperation. This concept of policy coherence in support of development objectives was introduced in EU fundamental law in 1992 with the Treaty of Maastricht and was further reinforced in the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.
 Through this report, the Commission is taking stock of what has been done at EU and at its Member States’ level concerning PCD over the period 2015-2018. As was the case for previous PCD reports, this report is a collaborative effort, on the basis of contributions from the EU Member States, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Source: Europeaid, 2019


Brussels Development Briefing n. 57: “Smallholder agriculture: key to food security/nutrition and sustainable food systems”
The briefing will be held in Brussels on Wednesday 11th September 2019 (9h00-13h00) at the ACP Secretariat, 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels, Room C.
Online registration is required and is linked to the website where all documents are regularly posted.
The Briefing will also be web-streamed:
2019 African Diaspora Agro Food Forum
13-14 September 2019
Meise Botanical Gardens, Belgium
European Research and Innovation Days
24-26 September 2019
Brussels, Belgium
CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Trade Expo
26 Sep - 28 Sep 2019
Union Halle Frankfurt, Germany
Click here for more info
European Week of Regions and Cities
More than six thousand people from all over Europe are expected to join the European Regions and Cities, this year under the headline "Regions and Cities: Pillars of the EU's Future".
7-10 October 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Registration Info
Food 2030: Nourishing people and nurturing the planet through sustainable health diets for all
Event organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
16 October 2019
From 13:00
Brussels, Belgium

This CTA Brussels newsletter is produced weekly by the CTA Brussels Office

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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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