Tag Archives: Africa

Europol tracks wildlife crime

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Europol Director Rob Wainwright met with Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague today to discuss further cooperation in fighting environmental crime, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in 2016.

The scope of the MoU is to facilitate the exchange of information and support, as well as to improve coordination between the two organisations to fight environmental crime, particularly the illegal trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

“Europol is pleased to extend its partnerships in this area as a means by which to help protect the environment and our economies. Countering environmental crime also supports broader efforts to combat other crimes such as corruption, money laundering, counterfeiting, fraud, forgery, and sometimes even terrorism or drugs trafficking,” – Europol Director Rob Wainwright highlighted.

“Wildlife trafficking is a global issue that must be addressed through international collaborations: TRAFFIC looks forward to supporting Europol to fulfil its challenging role in addressing wildlife crime through providing strategic assessments and operational support to EU Member States”,- said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.

Environmental crimes represent a highly lucrative business, especially for organised crime groups, as these offences are harder to detect and sanctions are lower in comparison with other crime areas. The transnational nature of environmental crimes has led to the need for enhanced cooperation between law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations, making strategic agreements crucial in the fight against the trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

In addition, the EU is a key transit point for illegal trade in wildlife, notably between Africa and Asia. Given TRAFFIC’s presence on five continents, the MoU enables Europol to reinforce its position in dealing with this emerging threat.

This initiative is also in line with the EU Action Plan aimed at combating wildefaire trafficing  in which Europol plays an important part.

The Republic of Senegal will be 55 years independent #Senegal #Africa #international #economy

Senegal-flagOn the most western point of the African continent we find The Republic of Senegal. With its capital in Dakar, it is a country of about 197,000 square kilometers that consists of 11 regions characterized by a tropical climate where the official language is French.

The territory, which its form of government is a multiparty semi-presidential Republic, borders with Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, the Atlantic Ocean and it surrounds The Gambia.

The Republic of Senegal, member of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa is the third economy of the west area behind Nigeria and The Ivory Coast with many niche markets for foreign investment. To achieve it, the government has implemented measures to support investment and incentives as it has a good infraestructure and telecommunication system in growing season. At the same time, it has a stable regional currency, (the CFA franc), thanks to its fixed exchange rate against the euro.

The economy, driven mainly by the tertiary sector is followed by  industry, agriculture, livestock, construction and renewable energies. Furthermore, with respect to foreign trade, the trade balance of the country is characterized by a large importation of products where nearly 50% of the purchases are oil and food.
hotel-casamance-vue-mer-635Apart from that, The Republic of Senegal has attracted international tourism thanks to its extensive coastline and beaches as well as beautiful rural landscapes. It had also become really famous due to the celebration of the most famous rally race over the world, the Rally Dakar, which had been being celebrated in the African country until January 2009.

Next week, on June 20, it is 55 years since it became independent from France.

 

Patricia Fernández Ruiz.

 

 

 

Europe worried about the big lakes #africa #EU

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by Noelle Paré

NoelleParé

international consultant osmoteam.net

Under the presidence of Louis Michel, Minister of State, MEP and Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly ACP-EU, a dialogue meeting was held at the European Parliament as part of the 2015-2024 International Decade for people of African descent and the search for peace and sustainable development in the world, especially in the Great Lakes Region.
This dialogue involving members of civil society and the diaspora in the countries concerned is an initiative that not only has to be encouraged but also welcomed.

For this ambitious program, the European Commission clearly appears as a privileged partner of the people involved for their economic and cultural salvation in an essential regional integration development system. The strong mobilization of stakeholders for this meeting, as the fact that critical account was held of the worrying situation in Burundi and in the short and medium term risks of spreading unrest throughout the Great Lakes region, demonstrated that all the stakeholders of the civil society  want to work together for a cross-border equitable development.

e have to ad that the audience was struck by  the absence of representatives of various embassies of the concerned countries  and political representatives or leader.

Today, all the actors of the Great Lakes Region welcome Europe for its commitment to structural reforms, maintaining the safety of persons, fair exploitation of natural resources and helping to organize   democratic elections including applications of all stakeholders in line with the peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa 2013. However, they warn us about the risks of actions performed in defiance of common sense and without effective control of the results.
Participants noted with enthusiasm through the presentation of the situation by Mr. Douglas Carpenter, Representative of the European External Action Service and Deputy Head of the Central Africa and Great Lakes Division, the awareness that the European Commission’s economic potential the region and the negative impact of the decision of current President of Burundi to represent against the constitutional law of the country. Mr. Douglas emphasized the material injury Aura decision on national reconciliation and development.
By cons, those present could only grieve the doublespeak of Deputy Head of the Central Africa and Great Lakes Division has one hand urged the various political parties and leaders to consider the best interests of countries and also announced the dispatch of observers at great expense for electoral votes despite the illegitimacy of the known constitution lists.

Indeed, the words of Mr. Douglas, Deputy Director have left no hope that the European observers denounce or prevent pre-election maneuvers of the ruling power using unacceptable means (imprisonment , expatriation, violence, banning political rallies) of opposition leaders and their supporters.
When Europe will take the measure of his responsibility in the establishment of perennial as legitimate democracies in Africa? How can European leaders accept conditions that can only lead to frustration and anger come and advertise their pious wishes to be “observers” of inclusive and peaceful elections?

When we understand the importance of position ourselves for democracy unconditionally refusing a situation which makes the exclusion of legitimate and representative applications of a population to despair and acceptance by our European political leaders to an unconstitutional candidacy by to the laws of the country concerned?

According to our sources the cost of our scandalous European participation in this “theatrical performance” does not conform to the most basic human rights to the Europeans will cost $ 8 million. Impossible to evaluate what the cost to European countries and to international and domestic investors in these regions which will then help necessary for the repression of a population that European leaders now fear the revolt after the announcement of the election.
Let us all be responsible! Groupon us before and not after the drama!

The second edition of the economic forum "Africarise" held its promises #africarise #genval #africa #africa #belgium #business #brabantwallon

AFRICA RISE – AFRICA BELGIUM BUSINESS WEEK closed its doors on the 30th of April 2015 on a high note. In fact, its success was hailed by many personalities who took part in the latter, including HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium.

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The large attendance of the event and the participation of nearly 500 African companies is mainly due to the ability of the organizers to appeal to significant African delegations from many highlighted countries (Benin, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Niger and DRC), and their companies, members of governments and service, chambers of commerce and or investment promoters.

This second edition, in which Ivory Coast was in mainly under the spotlights, has allowed the meeting between Mr Charles Michel, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium and HE Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, accompanied by HE Jean-Vincent Zinsou, Ambassador of Ivory Coast in Belgium, HE Jean-Claude Brou, Minister of Industry and Mines, HE Bruno Nabagné KONE, Minister of Post and ICT, EKPENI Gilbert, Director of Cabinet Head of the the Economic Infrastructure Minister and Mr. Emmanuel Essis, CEO of CEPICI.

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Among the many personalities who took part in the forum, were gladly seen and received :

Mr Charles Michel, Prime Minister, Mayor of Wavre, Willy Borsus, Federal Minister for the Middle Classes, Independents and SMEs, Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of the Brussels Capital Region, Mr Dominique Godin, Head of the Walloon Union of Enterprises (UWE), Pascale Delcominette, Head Deputy of the Walloon Export Agency and Foreign Investments – AWEX, René Branders, President of the CCI-Brabant, Mr Mathieu Michel, Chairman of the provincial college and permanent deputy of the Province of Walloon Brabant, Marie-José Laloy, Honorary Governor of the Province of Walloon Brabant, Prof. Dr. Marc Francaux, Pro-Rector for Regional Affairs of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).

 

Noëlle PARE

Launch of the panafican chamber of commerce #brussels #acp #europe #business #africa

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Numerous figures and representatives of international organizations for funding and support were present Wednesday in the ACP-building in Brussels  to participate in the joint launch of the Pan African Chamber and its network specifically devoted to multicultural gender approach.

Under the patronage of the Embassy of Benin, the event also hosted important delegations and representatives of embassies including the DRC, Central Africa, but also from Ghana, Algeria, Gambia, Ivory Coast , Burkina Faso, Gabon, and many MEPs, members of the ACP and representatives of major international donors.

The way the Chamber organized its launch operation shouwed his pro activity and its effective intervention strategy in all priority areas.

The emphasis was placed on male / female equality through the creation of a network of women who will have a key role in building partnerships and exchanges with respect, transparency and equal opportunities and support to women entrepreneurs for  business creation and expansion of their activities in Africa.

The Chamber gave us proof of its ability to provide financial and technical resources for the development projects of companies or associations that it intends to support in Africa in all areas related to health, access water, education, employment and empowerment and food for all.

The presentations revealed how the room will be supported in its private sector development strategy, by the ACP, but also on its ability to make successful projects FAGACE (African Fund for Guarantee and Economic Cooperation in 14 countries Africa), the European Investment Bank active by significant funding in Africa and make access of SMEs to the European Development Fund (EDF)

For the deployment of its actions, the Chamber will rely on its preferred partners such as COLEAP that promotes sustainable agriculture; IPDD acting in defense of democracy;ENIDA accompanying project developers; the health platform Gupta and also the companies run by its members as Osmoteam Consulting,  specialist in intercultural coaching and territorial development and partnership building; Meridia partners supporting African organizations and evaluating the impact of EU policies of Erika Kaneza that coaches entrepreneurs of the African Diaspora; Aminata  Samake freight manager at the port of Antwerp and importer of food products from Mali; Annick Niyonzima, a  specialist financial instruments.

Our newspaper wishes  long life and success to the Panafrican Chamber and invites its members to provide all relevant information to  our readers.

RESPONSIBLE TRADING STRATEGIES FOR MINERALS FROM CONFLICT ZONES

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High Representative (HR) of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today proposed an integrated EU approach to stop profits from trading minerals being used to fund armed conflicts. The package of measures will make it more difficult for armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to finance their activities through the mining of and trade in minerals. The focus of the approach is to make it easier for companies to source tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold responsibly and to encourage legitimate trading channels.

“We are committed to preventing international trade in minerals from intensifying or perpetuating conflict,” said HR/VP Catherine Ashton and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. “Today’s initiative on ‘conflict minerals’ will help trade to work for peace, for communities and for prosperity in areas around the globe affected by armed conflict. It is a first and timely contribution from the EU to support a consensus reached by business, civil society and governments in OECD countries to help communities benefit from their natural resources.”

The Commission proposes a draft Regulation setting up an EU system of self-certification for importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold who choose to import responsibly into the Union. Self-certification requires EU importers of these metals and their ores to exercise ‘due diligence’ – i.e. to avoid causing harm on the ground – by monitoring and administering their purchases and sales in line with the five steps of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance. The aim is to act at the most effective level of the EU supply chain for these minerals and to facilitate the flow of due diligence information down to end users. The Regulation gives EU importers an opportunity to deepen ongoing efforts to ensure clean supply chains when trading legitimately with operators in conflict-affected countries.

To increase public accountability of smelters and refiners, enhance supply chain transparency and facilitate responsible mineral sourcing, the EU aims to publish an annual list of EU and global ‘responsible smelters and refiners’. With more than 400 importers of such ores and metals, the EU is among the largest markets for tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.

The proposed Regulation is accompanied by a “Communication” (a proposal), a paper that presents the overall comprehensive foreign policy approach on how to tackle the link between conflict and the trade of minerals extracted in affected areas. It sets out the EU’s further engagement in support of the OECD due diligence guidance and the EU’s foreign policy outreach and support in this regard. With the Communication, the Commission and the HR/VP confirm that ‘conflict minerals’ are part of the EU’s foreign policy agenda and that the EU will take concrete action at country and international level – ranging from support to policy dialogues and diplomatic outreach to smelter countries. The Communication supports the commitment by the Commission and the High Representative to promote a strong and coherent EU raw materials diplomacy, addressing the security-development nexus in a joined-up and strategic manner.

Today’s initiative also proposes a number of incentives supporting the Regulation to encourage supply chain due diligence by EU companies, such as:

  • Public procurement incentives for companies selling products such as mobile phones, printers and computers containing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold;
  • Financial support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to carry out due diligence and for the OECD for capacity building and outreach activities;
  • Visible recognition for the efforts of EU companies who source responsibly from conflict-affected countries or areas;
  • Policy dialogues and diplomatic outreach with governments in extraction, processing and consuming countries to encourage a broader use of due diligence;
  • Raw materials diplomacy including in the context of multi-stakeholder due diligence initiatives;
  • Development cooperation with the countries concerned;
  • Support by EU Member States through their own policies and instruments.

Background

The proposal for a Regulation is based on a public consultation, an impact assessment and extensive consultations with the OECD, business, civil society, as well as with institutions in producer countries.

It responds to the European Parliament’s call in 2010 for the EU to legislate along the same lines as the US which requires its companies using ‘conflict minerals’ to declare their origin and exercise due diligence.

The public consultation and impact assessment highlighted the difficult market situation in the Great Lakes Region which has prompted the Commission to develop an alternative but targeted and complementary model. The Commission also announced in the specialised publication Commodity markets and raw materialsand its Trade, growth and development Communication its intention to look at ways of making the supply chain more transparent.

EU-AFRICA SPECIALIST EDWIGE NESHAMA SOSSAH AT THE EP WITH MEP LOUIS MICHEL

Edwige Neshama Sossah, Eu-African relations specialist

Edwige Neshama Sossah, Eu-African relations specialist

Edwige Neshama Sossah , from Woluwe Saint -Pierre , was invited last Thursday by MEP Louis Michel to present his book “Winning Strategies for Africa- Europe relations”  in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

After a presentation of the book by Louis Michel , Edwige Neshama Sossah has endeavored to present the different themes of the book focusing on win-win cooperation between Africa and Europe.

She mentioned that Victor Hugo had a prospective vision of a Europe at peace and urged African

The European parliament in Strasbourg

The European parliament in Strasbourg

countries to follow this vision. The Economic Partnership Agreements were discussed as a catalyst for development. She remembered  revenue taxex,  excise duties, sales tax or even income tax would make development possible. regarding China, Edwige Sossah said this  country is a threatfor  recolonization and also desindustrialization. Edwige Neshama Sossah spoke of corruption in African countries because it undermines development . Europe has to be easing  procedures for the disbursement of EU funds. These ones have to be  used for real development and not be diverted . Many questions were asked by MEPs who attended the meeting. Some of them where about the links between China and Africa, the rationalization of aid, democracy in Africa , the merits of EPA and agriculture.

Edwige Neshama Sossah closed the presentation by urging Europe to help Africa fight against corruption. She insisted that Africa and Europe have a common destiny. She recalled that even if the unified Europe represents 16 % of global GDP, it is aging while there was a plethora of youth in Africa , this paving the way for Europe a significant market for global  consumption. The more Africa will be rich, the  more Europe will be saved! Interdependence is required .

INVESTING IN AFRICA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES

On Friday 26th May 2013, the headquarters of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) hosted the event “Kuona Afrika”, a Business forum aiming to promote investment in Africa and to foster Market linkages between actors in tourism, travel and trade Industry.

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The event was attended by numerous diplomats and business women and men. During the ceremony the incoming Secretary General of the ACP group, His Excellency Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni has officially launched the «Kuona Afrika Magazine”. This magazine aims to spread a positive image of Africa and to present it as an ideal tourist, trade and investment destination to make a difference from the message conveyed by mass media. The magazine presents African discovery, Business world, Energy, Cultural creations, Treasures and Flavours. As highlighted by the attendees, Africa has to be proud of its potentials in terms of natural and human resources. The speakers emphasised the need of diversifying trade and investment to boost African development and identified areas of business opportunities on the continent. The ceremony has been followed by the “African alliance business dinner” accompanied by a live Soul performance by Ebby Drenthe, the nominated “Miss Autumn Leaves”.

MChantal UWITONZE