Namibia takes over SADC chair

August 19, 2010

The Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba has taken over the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the next 12 months as the 15-member bloc looks back on 30 years of existence while political hot spots like Zimbabwe Read the rest of this entry »


Not just anyone should join SADC club

August 16, 2010

Business Day Those who live in southern Africa often hear news of progress made in building the European Union (EU), and how it has gradually enlarged over time to encompass 27 countries and 500-million citizens, as well as of the financial crisis threatening the euro. Read the rest of this entry »


Statement of the EU-Africa Business Forum

December 9, 2007

The EU-Africa Business Forum was held on 7 December and brought together business federations, chambers of commerce and major companies from the EU and Africa. The final statment includes recommendations on how to promote trade, interconnectivity and entrepreneurship in the EU-Africa partnership.

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Europe-Africa Trade Union Summit

November 13, 2007

A Trade Union Summit was held on 26-27 October in Lisbon, Portugal, addressing the relationships between Europe and Africa, bringing together more than 60 trade union leaders from Africa and Europe ahead of a European Union – African Union Summit.

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Contribution by Oxfam International

June 4, 2007

Oxfam International has submitted a contribution highlighting the principles of real partnership, transparency and mutual accountabilty as fundamental for EU-Africa relations. They call for a strategy built on Africa’s needs, political priorities and expectations. Different issues are brought up divided into three areas:

Trade, investment and regional integration

  • The EU’s current proposals on the EPAs “are in danger of undermining the very policies that African countries require to promote regional integration and transformation of their economies.”
  • How FDI and remittances can support equitable and pro-poor growth needs to be explored further

Peace and security
“The EU and AU should:

  • Agree on establishing mechanisms to monitor violations of humanitarian law, signs of state failure, and emerging conflict, in order to take timely action to prevent and stop such crimes.
  • Prioritise support for the successful negotiation of a robust International Arms Trade Treaty – with the high-level diplomacy required; […]
  • Acknowledge their commitment under the Responsibility to Protect to use civil and military mechanisms for preventive crisis response”.

Development

  • All EU member states should live up to their promise to increase their aid, without artificially inflating their figures.
  • Aid predictability should be increased.
  • Policy coherence should be ensured in EU policy.

Download the contribution in full – doc

See contributions by other organisations here.

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The trade relevance of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy

May 21, 2007

Robert Wilson, tralac’s Capacity Building Manager, discusses the trade relevance of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy in a note on their website. He provides a background of the process focusing on trade issues, and calls for consultations on a regional and national level.

On the content of the draft outline of the strategy, as presented at the civil society conferenece in Bad Honnef, he says:

    “…the proposed content and value of the trade and integration cluster is unclear and appears not to have been widely considered. This might be partly the result of the current emphasis on the EPAs. This is not to suggest however that the joint strategy and the EPAs are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, questions now need to be asked (and answered) regarding their concurrent operation and interaction with one another.”

As a basis for further consultation he suggests:

    “Stakeholders might be guided by the EU’s initial strategy for working with Africa, most notably the section on trade […]. For example, what could the joint strategy say about future EU and Africa relations under multilateral and regional trade regimes, the provision and maintenance of public goods, and the role of aid for trade?”

Read the full discussion note here.

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Contribution by FEMNET

April 15, 2007

Roselynn Musa from African Women’s Development and Communications Network, FEMNET, Nairobi, Kenya has submitted a paper focusing on gender and trade.

    “It has often been propositioned that ‘trade’ and not ‘aid’ is the catalyst that will plunge African countries from unending poverty to economic prosperity. There is no denying the fact that trade has brought benefits for African women particularly in generating a rise in employment opportunities, yet research into the impacts of trade policy on gender relations and equality paints a disturbing picture of many perspectives. […]
    The paper therefore challenges some of the myth claiming that trade liberalisation brings many benefits at very little cost […]. It discusses issues of gender and trade in Africa centering on employment, labour, privatization, salary gaps, and the impact of trade on productive and reproductive spheres. It analyses the effects of policy measures put in place by African governments to regulate trade and how they relate to gender roles and relationships.
    It also focuses on the relationship of trade, on the one hand, with gender and poverty, on the other, within the context of the human development paradigm.”

Download the contribution in full – doc

See contributions by other organisations here.

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