CTA Brussels News

Information on key ACP-EU programmes and events relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries
November 2019 - No. 629


EIB supporting private sector investment across Africa

African business and political leaders welcomed new EIB support to strengthen private sector investment across Africa at the Africa Investment Forum in South Africa. At the start of the three-day investment conference, the EIB confirmed its new cooperation with African partners to enhance access to finance, improve energy efficiency, develop more reliable communications and accelerate financing for strategic infrastructure. The EIB also launched a new EUR 1 billion gender focused investment initiative to ensure that African women can fully contribute to the continent’s future and unveiled a new analysis confirming the importance of resilient investment in Africa. Two new operations in Malawi and Guinea demonstrate the added value of EIB support for high impact investment in fragile, climate-stressed and post-conflict states.

The EIB announced a new partnership to support small businesses in Malawi, and, in cooperation with the European Commission, a pioneering scheme to ensure agricultural smallholders in Malawi can access finance and overcome existing barriers to investment.
The EU Bank also detailed a new telecom investment in Guinea to expand access to reliable communications and cut emissions by using renewable energy to power telecom towers.
Through support for expansion of the African Trade Insurance Agency, the EIB is ensuring that investment in three countries in Western and Central Africa - Cameroon, Niger and Togo - can benefit from trade and investment insurance that makes projects bankable.
Last year, the EIB provided a record EUR 3.3 billion for new investment in 20 countries across Africa, while in sub-Saharan Africa, private sector financing represented 57% of overall EIB engagement.

Source: EIB, 12 November 2019

Featured CTA partner

EUROPE IN THE WORLD: The future of the European financial architecture for development 

The European Union (and its Members States have historically been the largest development donors in the world contributing to improvements in poverty reduction, decreasing child mortality and higher life expectancy around the globe. But the fight against poverty and inequalities is not yet won and getting closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires further attention and financial resources.
The European development financial architecture plays an important global role but is also complex composed of a multiplicity of actors at EU and national levels. There are overlaps, gaps and inefficiencies, sectoral and geographical especially in terms of presence and experience in Africa, of the main European multilateral finance institutions, the European Investment Bank (and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development).

Strong and effective coordination is necessary to turn this situation into a strength rather than a liability.
The present fragmentation of the system, especially between the EIB and the EBRD, is detrimental to the fulfilment of the EU's priority goals and the achievement of the desired development impact. This argues for the consolidation and streamlining of development finance and climate activities outside the EU into a single entity, a European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank, in order to avoid overlaps, and strengthen the EU's presence, role and long term capacity to deliver on EU development priorities.
This report considers three options for such consolidation They all imply important institutional changes and require significant financial resources.

Source: Council of the European Union – October 2019 Executive summary
Download here a free copy of the final report

Strategic Events

79-Nation ACP Joins with the Private Sector to promote SDGs

 The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is committed to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 79 countries in its fold. In doing so, it subscribes to the view that to realise the 17 Goals as outlined in Agenda 2030 will require actors across public and private sectors to work together.
With this in view, the ACP Secretariat launched a series of regional meetings with the main purpose of ACP Private Sector Information, Development Knowledge Sharing and Networking. As an integral activity of the Joint ACP-EU Private Sector Development Framework, these events are being organised with technical support from Business ACP, the ACP Private Sector Development Platform, in close concertation with the European Commission.
The latest event for ACP Private sector for West and Central Africa took place from November 6 to 8, 2019, in Dakar, Senegal. According to the ACP Secretariat, this is particularly useful at this point in time, as several new intra-ACP projects and substantial private sector financing facilities are being launched or expanded, under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the European External Investment Plan.
Among 11th EDF/ INTRA-ACP Private Sector Development Facilities and Programmes is the support to business friendly and inclusive national and regional policies and strengthening productive capabilities and value chains. Implementing partners are: International Trade Center (ITC); United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO); and the World Bank Group.
The overall objective is to promote business-friendly and inclusive national and regional policies and strengthening productive capabilities and value chains. The five-year programme (2018-2023) will help adopt and implement business-friendly, inclusive and responsible national policies and legal frameworks, and strengthen productive, processing and commercial alliances and capabilities of agriculture value chains and MSMES.
The priority value chains, especially for the micro level intervention, would be: coconuts and associated crops such as cocoa for the Caribbean and kava for the Pacific, cotton and fashion for Sub-Saharan Africa, and coffee and associated crops for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The programme will intervene at three levels:
Macro-level programme pillar: enhancing investment climates through improved policies, strategies, regulations, and administrative environments informed by strengthened diagnostics on growth, investment and competitive markets.
Meso-level programme pillar: leveraging intermediary organizations and business membership networks, including investment promotion institutions to strengthen investment promotion capacities and capabilities, business support programmes, marketing, monitoring, and partnerships.
Micro-level programme pillar: facilitating productive and commercial VC alliances and providing firm-level support to formal and informal businesses through capacity building and training in order to strengthen and diversify productive and value addition capabilities.

Source: ACP Secretariat, November 2019


EU provides €40 million to boost sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in ACP

The EU, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a €40 million, five-year programme to boost the development of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
FISH4ACP is an innovative EU-funded programme, devised with the ACP, to be implemented by FAO. It will invest in value chains to stimulate inclusive growth, bolster food security and minimise impacts on the marine environment.

Source: European Commission. 23 October 2019

The value of the EU’s agri-food exports in August 2019 reached €12.07 billion, marking a rise of 5.6% compared to August 2018. As the value of imports decreased by 0.2% to €9.14 billion, the agri-food trade surplus for August stood at €2.93 billion, a 29% increase in the positive trade balance compared to last year’s figures. These are some of the main findings of the monthly trade report for August 2019, published by the European Commission.

Source: European Commission. 24 October 2019

At the Our Ocean conference in Oslo, the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the Blue Sustainable Ocean Strategy (Blue SOS) to improve the health of oceans, build stronger and more resilient coastal environments and enhance the sustainability of ocean-related activities. 
The EIB, as the EU Bank, commits to more than double its lending to sustainable ocean projects to EUR 2.5 billion over the next five years. This funding is expected to mobilise at least EUR 5 billion of investment for the sustainable blue economy.

Underpinning this new strategy is the new EIB Clean and Sustainable Ocean Programme, which is stepping up EIB’s lending, technical assistance and advisory services to clean and sustainable ocean projects. The EIB will increase its technical assistance and advisory services to make clean and sustainable ocean projects more attractive for investors and scalable for economic development. The EU Bank will work with businesses, cities, governments and other partners to support key sectors, such as coastal protection, research, development and innovation for blue biotechnology, seafood supply chains and green shipping.

Source: EIB, 24 October 2019

A new team at the European Commission, headed by incoming president Ursula von der Leyen, may seek to further harmonise food-labelling rules, in particular demanding more transparency on nutrition, a response to a European Parliament questionnaire indicated.
The pledge comes from the nominee for the new EU health commissioner role, Stella Kyriakides, a Cypriot parliamentarian, whose EU function includes responsibility for food safety and standards.
In her response to MEPs' questions, Kyriakides said she would push to harmonise food-labelling rules and impose common EU regulations on the mandatory notification of origin of food content, and animal welfare standards for meat and dairy products, as well as nutrition labelling.

Source: Just-Food, 15 October 2019

The new package of €53 million will support the primary care health system capacity to address the most urgent health needs. It will also strengthen national health systems and promote equal access to health services, notably from a gender perspective. The funds will be channelled through the UNICEF-managed Health Development Fund.
The new package will also support households and communities that are facing recurrent environmental and economic stresses by building their capacities to respond to food and nutrition security shocks. The measures will be implemented under the leadership of UNDP through various partners, predominantly NGOs.
Zimbabwe is currently facing an unfolding humanitarian and economic crisis, with almost three quarters of population living below the income poverty line. The country was also hit by disasters such as the drought and the Cyclone Idai which have worsened structural weaknesses and fragilities while the country continues struggling to overcome past legacy.
The EU already mobilised €14.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe this year.

Source: European Commission, 28 October 2019

Key resources

Global Report on Food Crises mid-year update 

The first-ever mid-year update to the Global Report on Food Crises provides a revised look at the severity of current global food crises in terms of numbers of acutely food-insecure people and whether situations are improving, deteriorating, or stable. Findings include that Yemen continues to be the world’s largest food insecurity crisis, the situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated, and situations in northern Nigeria and South Sudan have slightly improved.

Source: FSIN, 2019

Download a free copy of the report

Joint Programming in Fragile States

The present study aims to present lessons learnt by the EU and EU Member States in recent year when implementing Joint Programming in fragile contexts. The objective is to improve the effectiveness and impact of EU and EU Member States ́ joint external action in these particular settings.

Source: European Commission, 2019

Download a copy of the report

FAOs Resources, Partnerships, Impact 2019

The present study aims to present lessons learnt by the EU and EU Member States in recent year when implementing Joint Programming in fragile contexts. The objective is to improve the effectiveness and impact of EU and EU Member States ́ joint external action in these particular settings.
The resource partner contribution trends, results and achievements of 2018 contained in this report demonstrate both how FAO works to defeat hunger at international, national and local levels, as well as how the organization is adapting to changes in the development aid landscape, creatively leveraging different kinds of funds.
Persistent global challenges that exacerbate hunger— among them, malnutrition, threats to biodiversity, socioeconomic inequalities, technological disruption, geopolitical tensions, unprecedented urban growth and protracted crises—are explored in depth. At the same time, you will also read a number of human-centred stories from the field, laid out within the framework of FAO’s Strategic Programmes.

Source: FAO, 2019

Download a free copy of the report


Africa’s Great Green Wall - Delivering a transformative land restoration for sustainable rural development
Wed, 13/11/2019
12:30 to 16:00
Rue de la Loi 43-45,
Ground floor, Brussels
38th Session of ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA)
17-21 November 2019
Kigali, Rwanda
9th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government
6-10 December 2019
Nairobi, Kenya
The 2019 EU Agricultural Outlook Conference
Tuesday 10 December 2019, 8.00 - Wednesday 11 December 2019, 16.30
Room De Gasperi,
Charlemagne building
Rue de la Loi 170
1040 Brussels
This CTA Brussels newsletter is produced weekly by the CTA Brussels Office

Publisher: Ms Isolina Boto, Manager CTA Brussels Office (
Editor: Felix Ajong (
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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