The European Business Council for Africa

The Desert Locust crisis which struck the greater Horn of Africa region earlier this year threatening food supplies for millions, could re-escalate as recent strong winds carried mature swarmlets from southern Somalia into eastern and northeastern Kenya, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday.

Although some of the swarmlets that reached Kenya may have already laid eggs before their arrival, there remains a risk of further egg-laying in sandy areas that saw recent rainfalls, according to FAO

“In this case, hatching and hopper band formation can be expected in early December,” said the agency. 

Breeding also continues in central Somalia and eastern Ethiopia where bands of hoppers – non-flying, nymphal stage locust – are present, and a new generation of immature swarms could start forming by the end of November. 

South Africa is set to conclude its one-year tenure as African Union (AU) chair at the next AU summit in February 2021. Like for many, its plans for the AU, which included silencing the guns, women’s financial inclusion and championing infrastructure development, were largely derailed by COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership and inclusive approach to handling COVID-19 on the continent have been widely acknowledged. ‘Everyone is grateful that Ramaphosa was the one chairing the AU during the pandemic,’ a high-ranking AU official told ISS Today.

Ramaphosa appointed several committees and special envoys to deal with the health and economic fallout of the pandemic. There were at least seven virtual meetings of the AU bureau, with each region of Africa represented. At the most recent gathering last week, Ramaphosa launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to ensure African countries have access to a future vaccine, for which around US$13 billion must be raised.

South Africa is set to conclude its one-year tenure as African Union (AU) chair at the next AU summit in February 2021. Like for many, its plans for the AU, which included silencing the guns, women's financial inclusion and championing infrastructure development, were largely derailed by COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's leadership and inclusive approach to handling COVID-19 on the continent have been widely acknowledged. 'Everyone is grateful that Ramaphosa was the one chairing the AU during the pandemic,' a high-ranking AU official told ISS Today.

Ramaphosa appointed several committees and special envoys to deal with the health and economic fallout of the pandemic. There were at least seven virtual meetings of the AU bureau, with each region of Africa represented. At the most recent gathering last week, Ramaphosa launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to ensure African countries have access to a future vaccine, for which around US$13 billion must be raised.

  • Lancé en présence du Ministre Camerounais des PME, ce projet permettra à des centaines de PME de bénéficier de cette facilité pour financer leur développement,
  • Cette ligne de crédit permettra de financer des investissements ou des besoins en fonds de roulement dans des conditions de décaissement plus souples,

Société Générale et la Banque européenne d’investissement (BEI) annoncent aujourd’hui la signature d’un partenariat en faveur du développement de l’économie camerounaise. Ce financement destiné à aider le secteur privé s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’appui de plus grande ampleur apporté par la BEI en vue de favoriser le développement des PME et de renforcer leur résilience en Afrique et dans le monde entier face aux difficultés économiques, sociales et sanitaires, notamment la pandémie COVID 19.   

L’initiative régionale a été officiellement lancée lors d’une cérémonie organisée à Douala en présence d’Achille Bassilekin III, Ministre des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises, de l’Economie Sociale et de l’Artisanat du Cameroun, de Marème Mbaye Ndiaye, Directrice Générale de Société Générale Cameroun, et de Nikolaos Milianitis, Chef de la Représentation de la BEI en Afrique centrale.

Mis en œuvre à partir de 2015 au Bénin, le Projet d’appui à la production vivrière et de renforcement de la résilience dans les départements de l’Alibori, du Borgou et des Collines (PAPVIRE-ABC) a permis d’améliorer de façon significative les rendements des exploitations agricoles.

Le projet, financé à hauteur de 24 millions de dollars américains par le Programme mondial pour l’agriculture et la sécurité alimentaire (« GAFSP » en anglais) via la Banque africaine de développement, s’est fixé l’objectif d’améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et de réduire la pauvreté des populations béninoises. Il a notamment permis d’augmenter la productivité agricole sur plus de 24 000 hectares dans le pays, selon le rapport sur l’état d’exécution et des résultats (EER) publié le 2 novembre par la Banque africaine de développement.

Second in a series of blog posts on the release of the 2020 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) during the virtual 2020 ReSAKSS Annual Conference Nov. 3–5. The theme of the 2020 ATOR is “Sustaining Africa’s Agrifood System Transformation: The Role of Public Policies.” This post is based on Chapter 8. Read the first post here.

Africa’s rural transformation is hampered by the difficulties and missed opportunities farmers face in accessing markets. Many of these problems can be traced to farmers’ individual struggles—i.e., a lack of economies of scale—in consistently procuring inputs and marketing their outputs. Collective action mechanisms such as producer organizations could facilitate smallholders' access to input and output markets. 

Generous grant from the Netherlands will boost Africa-wide ambitions to benefit from e-commerce and provides concrete support to its least developed countries.

Digitalization is a gamechanger for the African continent’s e-commerce entrepreneurs, but not all its nations have an enabling environment to benefit from the digital economy. New funds from the Netherlands aim to change that.

This week the Dutch government announced additional funding of $1.5 million for UNCTAD’s eTrade Readiness Assessments, more than doubling its financial support to the organization’s work on e-commerce and the digital economy for the 2021 to 2022 period.

“The Dutch contribution is particularly welcome in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown the importance of e-commerce and of scaling up efforts to help countries that are trailing behind in the digital economy to catch up,” said Shamika Sirimanne, UNCTAD’s director of technology and logistics.

The support will provide UNCTAD, the UN's trade and development body, with the funds to help selected African countries strengthen their readiness to engage in and benefit from e-commerce.

The government sees honey as a product that could help diversify the country’s oil-dependent economy and is working with UNCTAD and the European Union to improve production and boost exports.

Max Vicente is looking to scale up his Maxmel organic and natural honey business in the Huambo province in the heart of Angola.

He started the venture in 2012 after completing a doctorate in zootechnics and learning the ropes of beekeeping in São Paulo, Brazil.

Maxmel produces two tons of honey each year, which are sold entirely in Angola, but Mr. Vicente would like to explore export opportunities.

He’s not the only one betting on Angola’s honeybees. The government and UNCTAD have identified honey production as a sector that could help diversify the country’s economy. Oil accounted for about 33% of GDP and 93% of exports in 2019.

“The absence of harsh winters makes the climate perfect for commercial bee farming,” says Frederico Maurício, chief of the department for apiculture development at Angola’s Institute for Forestry Development (IDF). “It’s possible to produce honey in every region.”

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has worsened the vulnerabilities caused by the excessive reliance of African economies on world markets. 

Africa’s main trade partners include the European Union, China, United States and the United Kingdom. Together they represent more than 50% of the continent’s trade flows (see figure 1 and 2 below). 

Africa’s dependence on external markets for medicinal and pharmaceutical products is particularly acute – Africa imports more than 95% of these products from outside the continent. 

As the continent’s main trade partners have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has suffered significant business disruptions and output contraction, including in export sectors. 

Africa’s GDP could contract by 1.4% in 2020 while the continent’s total merchandise exports could decline by 17%. McKinsey estimates that Africa’s manufacturing sector output will shrink by 10% in 2020 – equivalent to a loss of more than $50 billion – as result of COVID-19.  […]

The European Union has been at the forefront of support to the democratic transition in The Gambia since 2017 and to the reforms aiming at entrenching democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Over the last months, it has observed with growing concern a marked slowdown in the pace of the reform process and in particular noted the recent important setback with the rejection of the draft new Constitution. It is key for the 2021 Presidential elections to take place on the basis of a new social contract.

The constitutional review process is linked to other pillars of the democratic transition, in particular the transitional justice process with the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), as well as the Security Sector Reform (SSR). It therefore remains important to lay the foundations for the follow-up of these processes. Moreover, taking forward other significant reforms, such as the revision of the Public Order Law, media and access to information laws prior to the 2021 Presidential elections, requires decisive Government action. […]