CTA Brussels News

Information on key ACP-EU programmes and events relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries
November 2019 - No. 628


European show continued support for international Development

This year’s Eurobarometer survey on EU development cooperation shows a widespread consensus amongst European citizens on the importance of international cooperation and development. Almost 9 in 10 EU citizens say that development cooperation is important to support people in developing countries, confirming the trend observed over the last years. It makes development cooperation one of the most positively perceived EU policies.

Three in four Europeans agree that the EU should strengthen its partnership with Africa and increase financial investments to create jobs and ensure sustainable development on both continents. In addition, European citizens back the EU’s efforts to boost private investment in development cooperation: three in four Europeans view the private sector as having a greater role to play in international development.
European citizens support the work to achieve the common global development agenda under the Sustainable Development Goals.  When asked about the major challenges for development, citizens prioritised key Sustainable Development Goals in the following order: education, peace and security, water and sanitation, health, food security and agriculture, economic growth and employment and human rights.

More than 7 in 10 EU citizens say that financial assistance is an effective way to address irregular migration, and an equally large proportion agree that providing financial assistance to developing countries helps reduce inequalities in those countries. The same numbers of Europeans believe that providing financial assistance to developing countries is an effective way to strengthen EU influence worldwide.

Source: European Commission, 23 October 2019

Featured CTA partner

This year, the European Development Days (EDD)  focused on “Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind”. For its thirteenth edition, the EDD aimed to bring together the EU’s commitment to promote equality and shared prosperity with the Agenda 2030. Strong evidence indicates that high levels of inequality negatively affect all dimensions of sustainable development, including economic growth and prospects for poverty reduction. Addressing inequalities is therefore crucial both for sustainable development and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This edition was framed around three major themes emerging as key aspects in the current context: 
 - Why inequalities matter for sustainable development,
 - Understanding the structural causes of inequalities,
 - Working better together through more effective policies to address inequalities.
Under each theme, a number of topics were identified and linked with the five Ps of the preamble of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. 

CTA organised a high-level panel and two Lab debates- Find here all resources online
  • Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Trade for Inclusive Growth
  • Unlocking digital opportunities: promoting e-commerce for inclusive trade growth
  • Are value chains a driver for equality? Measure and understand to inform and enable action.

Strategic Events

Caribbean Export signs three MOUs with strategic partners to support the Caribbean’s export growth

On 26-28 September 2019, Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the European Union and GIZ hosted the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum. Over 200 participants witnessed the signing of the MOUs which were put in place to ensure continued success of the strategic sectors and collaboration between the two regions.
The Business Forum’s main objectives are to create awareness about the EPA, to promote business opportunities and to identify key sectors that will become the economic drivers assisting both regions – but particularly the Caribbean – to reap the benefits of the EPA.
The CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum drew record numbers of senior level European and Caribbean policy makers, European buyers and Caribbean exhibitors, to the 4th hosting of the event and the first ever to be held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Three MOUs were signed between the Caribbean Export Development Agency and key stakeholders in Europe, namely, the BVMW (Der Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft), the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and the Caribbean Council.

Source: CEDA, 14 October 2019


New agreement improves access to funding for Caribbean projects supported by the EIB and the Caribbean Development Bank

The EIB and CDB sign a new procurement agreement to deliver better support for  projects across the region.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have signed a new agreement to deliver better support for climate resilient projects across the region. The new Procurement Procedural Framework, will help the EIB and CDB to improve project implementation and monitoring, leading to more efficient financing for a range of climate focused investments in the Caribbean.
The initiative aligns with the continuous efforts of both banks to promote harmonization and aid effectiveness, as well as their commitment to supporting mutual reliance, streamlining procurement activities for promoters and recipients and increasing the resource efficiency of multilateral development banks’ (MDBs) procurement monitoring.

The EIB has supported development and economic activity in the Caribbean with loans and equity investment worth EUR 1.8 billion. Since 2011, it has provided EUR 170 million of concessional funding to CDB to support climate action projects in the region. Investments financed include energy efficiency, solar power, security of water supply, flood prevention and post-hurricane reconstruction projects.

Source: EIB, 18 October 2019

The EIB adopts the 2X Challenge Criteria to increase its impact on gender equality

The EIB has signed up to endorsing the 2X Challenge, a commitment from the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 to mobilise $3 billion by 2020 in investments that contribute to women’s economic empowerment in developing countries.
The 2X Challenge calls on Development Financial Institutions to unlock resources from their own funds as well as private capital that will help advance women as entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees. It also aims at bringing products and services that enhance women’s economic participation and success. Supported investments should provide women in developing countries with access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance and enterprise support, improve their quality of life, and ultimately contribute to gender equality.
In May 2019, four DFIs from non-G7 countries – FMO (Netherlands), FinnFund (Finland), Swedfund (Sweden) and IFU (Denmark) – officially joined, expanding the initiative beyond the G7. They are also joined today by the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM).
As the first Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) to support the initiative, the EIB will use the 2X Challenge criteria ( in its operations financing gender equality and supporting women economic empowerment in developing countries. Its results will be counted separately than those counting towards the achievement of the $3 billion target.
About the 2X Challenge
The “2X Challenge” calls for the G7 and other DFIs to collectively mobilise $3 billion to support women’s economic empowerment in developing countries. Fulfilling one of the four criteria of the 2X challenge makes an investment eligible.
More information:

Source: EIB, 18 October 2019
Germany backs development projects in Benin with $87 mln

The Republic of Benin is benefiting from $87.4 million provided by Germany to finance development projects, the beneficiary country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement last week.
The money will go for clean water and sanitation, agriculture, and good governance programs. On the good governance aspect, projects will focus on better public finance management and increased support for digitization areas at the national and local levels. According to the government, all projects are part of the Government Program of Action, Agenda 2030 and align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Authorities said the construction of a digital transformation center in Benin, in collaboration with Germany, is also under negotiation. With $1.19 billion in financing granted to the West African country since the beginning of their bilateral cooperation, Germany is the second most active technical and financial partner in Benin.

Source: Ecofin, 14 October  2019

On the eve of World Food Day, the EU provides €34 million towards agricultural practices, food crises and insurance.

The European Union has signed a €9 million financial agreement with the FAO to support its work in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). The aid focuses on strengthening the efforts of countries in these regions towards sustainable change in their agricultural policies and practices, in order to conserve and ensure sustainable use of biodiversity, and more broadly, natural resources.
The Commissioner also announced a €20 million contribution to support the Global Network against Food Crisis, which was created in 2016. Last year, during the United Nations General Assembly, the EU had already allocated €77 million. This year’s €20 million contribution will specifically help to finance technical assistance in countries which are most at risk of food crisis.
In addition, a third €5 million European contribution will go to African Risk Capacity, and focus on innovative insurance products for countries with weak governance and economies, and which are more likely to endure extreme weather events.
The FAO reiterated that each year 12 million hectares of land lose their productive capacity due to drought and desertification.
50% of fruits & vegetables are lost on African farms
This is a crucial environmental issue that is also having an impact on the global food situation, which is greatly deteriorating in Africa. According to the 2019 FAO report on the State of Food and Agriculture, 14% of global food production is lost after harvest and before it reaches the retail market. The same food loss rate (14%) was reported in sub-Saharan Africa.
With regards to fruit and vegetables in particular, in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2017, 50% of production was lost in farms after harvest; 35% in storage; 28% in transport; 20.5% between processing and packaging, and 35.5% at wholesale or retail stages.

Source: Commodafrica, 15 October 2019
Mozambican products to continue to enter UK free of quota and customs duties

Mozambican products exported to the United Kingdom will continue to receive preferential treatment, even with the country’s departure from the European Union, under a recently signed agreement between the two countries in London.

The agreement, also signed by members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), namely South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), establishes a free trade area that allows products from this group of countries access to the British market free of quotas and with exemption from customs duties.
Mozambique, along with other SACU members, in 2016 signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, an organisation of which the United Kingdom is still part.
The agreement signed with the United Kingdom a few days ago is a replica of the EPA that the SACU and Mozambique countries established with the European Union in 2016 and aims to ensure preferential trade between the parties following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. (Macauhub)

Source: Macauhub, 14 October 2019

Key resources

Financing the end of extreme poverty: 2019 update

430 million people will be living in extreme poverty by 2030, despite economic growth reducing poverty by a third. This is 30 million more people than last year’s assessment, and means the world is significantly off track to achieve the first Sustainable Development Goal. 
  • Extreme poverty could be ended by investing in human development: education, health, nutrition and social protection.
  • Most countries can afford this investment if they maximised their taxation and allocated 50% of public spending to human development. But 46 countries still cannot afford to end extreme poverty on their own, facing a funding gap of $222 billion per year.
  • Nearly half the gap in these 46 countries could be filled by governments maximising taxation and better targeting spending. The other half could be filled by more and better-targeted aid.
  • To close this gap, governments should increase taxation and allocate 50% of public spending to human development. Donors should fulfil their 0.7% ODA/gross national income commitment and allocate half their aid to the poorest countries. This could close the gap to meet SDG 1 and end extreme poverty by 2030.
  • Global inequality does not have to increase. Some governments and donors are leading the way in prioritising human development in the poorest countries. But overall aid trends are going in the wrong direction. Leaders gathering in September 2019 for the UN High Level Meeting on Financing for Development and SDG Summit must act now to reverse the trend and end extreme poverty by 2030
Source: ODI, September 2019


The EU is committed to increasing gender equality and the empowerment of women, and addressing food and nutrition security. This guide provides the reader through the necessary steps to conduct an evidence-based gender analysis as a basis for designing interventions to increase food and nutrition security, and promote the equal rights of women and girls.

This publication supports the EU's 2015 framework for addressing gender equality in EU External Relations, the Gender Action Plan 2016–2020 (GAP II). GAP II responds to SDG 5, which is dedicated to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. The framework calls for a transformative approach, which seeks not only to improve women’s access to resources, but also to guarantee their equal rights. At the same time, this guide is reflective of the EU's priority of increasing food and nutrition security to achieve SDG 2 (zero hunger).

Empowering rural women is crucial for the EU's aim of acheiving SDG 2. The multiple and complex roles and responsibilities that rural women undertake make them key actors in the production, processing, and marketing of food, and in preparing food for household consumption and maintaining household nutrition security. Therefore, women have great potential to increase productivity, raise incomes, and diversify their livelihoods in times of stress. However, rural women face many challenges in meeting their agricultural productivity potential thus, lowering their ability to obtain food and nutrition security for their families. These barriers are rooted in discriminatory social norms, found in attitudes, behaviours, policies and laws, that hinder the empowerment of women.
The guide provides a brief overview of the key opportunities and challenges that rural women face and the steps needed to integrate gender dimensions into the design of an investment.

Source: Global Donor Platform for Rural Dev, 2019

2019 Global Hunger Index: The Challenge of Hunger and Climate Change

The progress made in the global fight against hunger is severely endangered, and the situation has even worsened in some regions. This is the conclusion to be drawn from the Global Hunger Index, which calculates the nutrition situation in 117 countries. 822 million people are suffering from hunger around the world; this number has been rising for three years, and it represents a bitter setback. In four countries (Yemen, Lebanon, Central African Republic, and Venezuela) the GHI scores are now higher than in 2000.

The report shows that climate change is worsening the nutrition situation in countries that are already affected by hunger and poverty. Since the early 1990s, the number of extreme weather events has doubled, leading to harvest loss for the most important crops and rising food prices.
Overall, figures for hunger around the world have dropped by 31 percent since 2000. However, progress is too slow. If the reduction in undernutrition continues at the same pace, 45 countries will not be able to defeat hunger until the year 2030. 

Source:, 2019


COREPER II- Council of the EU
6 November 2019
Europa building, Brussels, Belgium
PANAP: The Pan-African Network for economic Analysis of Policies
6-8 November 2019
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Gender-transformative Approaches in Agricultural Skills Development
Infopoint:- Wed, 06/11/2019 12:30 to 14:00
Rue de la Loi 43-45
Ground floor, Brussels
Good Projects in “Bad” Environments? The Global Race to Build Africa´s Infrastructure
Infopoint:- Fri, 08/11/2019 12:30 to 14:00
Rue de la Loi 43-45
Ground floor, Brussels
The 38th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
17-21 November 2019
Kigali, Rwanda
This CTA Brussels newsletter is produced weekly by the CTA Brussels Office

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