The European Business Council for Africa

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. […] 

UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2020 says stopping illicit capital flight could almost cut in half the annual financing gap of $200 billion that the continent faces to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Every year, an estimated $88.6 billion, equivalent to 3.7% of Africa’s GDP, leaves the continent as illicit capital flight, according to UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2020.

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are movements of money and assets across borders which are illegal in source, transfer or use, according to the report entitled “Tackling illicit financial flows for sustainable development in Africa.” 

It shows that these outflows are nearly as much as the combined total annual inflows of official development assistance, valued at $48 billion, and yearly foreign direct investment, pegged at $54 billion, received by African countries – the average for 2013 to 2015. […]

Le Conseil d’administration de la Banque africaine de développement a approuvé, le 29 septembre à Abidjan, un prêt de 27 millions de dollars américains à Madagascar pour lui permettre de développer les chaînes de valeur agricoles dans sa partie sud-ouest.

Ce financement est destiné à la mise en œuvre du Projet de développement de la zone de transformation agro-industrielle dans la région du sud-ouest de Madagascar (PTASO), une initiative qui pourrait être dupliquée au niveau national pour assurer une meilleure transformation des produits agricoles. Le projet vise non seulement à inverser la tendance des faibles performances répétées sur les plans agricole et économique mais il doit également apporter une réponse aux conséquences de la pandémie de Covid‑19. […]

On Thursday, September 24, 2020 Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the second session of its series of country-focused events on the sidelines of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings. The series, themed Partnering for Economic Recovery, highlighted key economic recovery strategies and investment opportunities in Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Thursday’s session focused on Nigeria. General William E. Kip Ward delivered welcoming remarks, noting the growth, challenges and opportunities in the Nigerian economy and the importance of increasing U.S.-Africa business partnerships for economic resiliency. 

On Friday, September 25, 2020, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the final session of its series of country-focused events on the sidelines of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings. The series themed Partnering for Economic Recovery, highlighted key economic recovery strategies and investment opportunities in Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal

Friday’s session on Senegal featured remarks by both public and private actors from across the U.S. and Africa. Welcome remarks were delivered by Viviane Bakayoko, Côte d’Ivoire Bank Head and West & Central Africa Global Subsidiaries Group Head, Citi. […]

Flag UNCTAD proposes measures to create sustainable and inclusive long-term growth and address the most pressing development issues facing Ivorians.

Côte d'Ivoire is on an economic reform drive to make the country a more attractive place to do business.

The west African country is pushing ahead with reforms to boost foreign direct investment (FDI), which has been on the rise since 2012 but remains low in relative and absolute terms compared to other countries in the region.

Also, FDI is highly concentrated in Abidjan and significant economic and social inequalities exist both between urban and rural areas and between the economic capital and the rest of the country.

“The reforms undertaken by the government so far as part of the country’s national development plans are commendable, but more needs to be done,” said Chantal Dupasquier, chief of UNCTAD’s investment policy reviews section.


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Following the 2013 French military intervention in Mali, significant attention has been paid to issues of security and development in the Sahel. The stability of Sahelian countries and the capacity of their governments to manage social change and resulting tensions have major security implications for migration flows, economic development, and health concerns both for local people and for the broader international community. The rise of violent religious extremism in the region and the varied efforts to curtail its spread have raised international alarm and prompted important resources to be invested by both domestic governments and foreign partners. This paper offers a broad overview of the current situation in the Sahel paying attention to the intersecting and overlapping issues of security and development. The paper then interrogates three central themes—poverty, migration, and conflict—adopting a historical perspective to examine long-term trends in the region. In doing so, it aims to contribute to contemporary policy discussions by offering evidence of how these dynamics have either changed or persisted across this centrally important region during the last several decades.


Click here to read the full paper

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini is travelling tomorrow on a landmark visit to countries in the Horn of Africa region from 9 to 13 February.

Federica Mogherini will begin her visit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the African Union Summit is taking place and she will meet several Heads of State or Government in the margins. In Ethiopia she is due to meet President Shale Work Zwede and Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, among other members of the Government, to discuss further strengthening the EU-Ethiopia partnership. The High Representative/Vice-President will also visit EU funded projects supporting the International Organisation for Migration together with Director General Antonio Vitorino.

Continuing her visit in the Horn of Africa, Federica Mogherini will visit Kenya, where she is due to meet President Kenyatta and members of the Kenyan government. In Kenya, she will also launch a cross border programme, meet with representatives from the UN Habitat and UNEP, youth and civil society groups as well as inaugurating the new EU Delegation offices in Nairobi.

She will conclude her visit by travelling to Djibouti to meet President Ismail Omar Guelleh and other members of Government, as well as visiting Member States' military bases operating the EU's ATALANTA maritime security mission. Press points during the mission will be made available on EbS.