Tag Archives: AlternativeEnergy

Economic Cooperation

11/12/2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Stakeholder’s Meeting on the Sub-regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa, which is being hosted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), this morning opened at the Djibouti-based IGAD Institute of Diplomatic during a brief inauguration ceremony presided over by IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, with the Deputy Secreatry General of the East African Community (EAC), Eng Steven Mlote as Guest of Honour, and the Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa.

24-09-2017, Khartoum (Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI) this morning launched the 2017 HESPI Conference on IGAD Economies with focus on “Youth Unemployment and Creating Opportunities through Trade & Investment” at the Mamoun Beheiry Centre (BMC) in Khartoum during an inaugural ceremony presided over by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sudan, H.E Mr. Magdi Hassan.

IGAD Executive Secretary was represented at the high table by the Director of Economic Integration Division-Mr Elsadig Abdalla, with the HESPI Board Chairperson-Amb. Peter Robreh, the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa-Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, and the Executive Director of MBC-Prof. Munzoul Assal, sitting for their respective organisations.

H.E Magdi Hassan pointed out that the conference was a demonstration of commitment to the issue of youth employment and that investment and trade were key for job creation and economic growth. He added that youth unemployment was not specific to the IGAD region only but that there was need for better education in order to prepare them to the employment market.

Director Elsadig emphasized that youth represents more than half of IGAD population and that they could be an asset of productivity or a source of instability depending on the ways their potential is harnessed. “As a central theme, regional trade and investment require a carefully elaborated analysis to meet the challenge of youth unemployment and of other economic challenges”, he said.

Dr Abdalla Hamdok noted that IGAD was home to Djibouti and Ethiopia which were among “the ten fastest and best performing economies in the world”. “IGAD countries should seek to enhance intra-regional trade by both strengthening regional cluster integration and lowering the cost of trade for harnessing the potential of a large and growing international market in the sub region”, he said.

The African Capacity Building Foundation is sponsoring this event.
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21-08-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched the IGAD Tourism Statistics Workshop for Strengthening of Tourism Statistical Systems & Development of Tourism Satellite Accounts for IGAD and Member States in Djibouti under the leadership of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism of Djibouti, Mr. Ali Daoud, The Director of Economic Integration-IGAD, Mr Elsadig Abdalla, and the Head Cluster on Sub-regional Initiatives for East Africa at the UNECA, Ms Daya Bragante.

This meeting is bringing together key IGAD tourism stakeholders, and serves as the 2nd Regional Tourism Meeting since the launch of the IGAD Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (STMP) 2013-2023.

The aim of this meeting is to advance IGAD STMP agenda, in particular, reviewing the implementation status with a view to identifying key milestones, key challenges and to recommending way forward to ensure that targets are met.

Mr Ali Dini declared that the meeting will allow harmonization of IGAD Member States procedures in regards to statistics, which will contribute to measuring progress made in the implementation of the IGAD STMP. “Our region is capable of engaging into the necessary reforms and investments in order to be more competitive as a premier global tourism destination”, he said.

Mr Elsadig highlighted that through collaboration between IGAD Secretariat, Member States, UNECA, and partners, the foundation land mark was laid with the IGAD Sustainable Tourism master plan 2013-2023. “The essence of this meeting is to see how far had we gone since we adopted our Master Plan, and to see how we can keep moving”, he said.

Ms Bragante noted the importance of tourism for the development of the region so rich in culture, history, and natural beauty.

The meeting provides a platform through which Member States and key tourism stakeholders exchange ideas and share lessons of best practice. In addition, given that there have been a number of developments including the African Union Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, the meeting also serves as an opportunity to link the IGAD STMP to these emerging global and continental development agendas.

It is financially supported by the African Capacity Building Foundation, based in Harare the capital of Zimbabwe, and technical assistance is brought by the UNECA.
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02-08-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Director of Agriculture and Environment Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mr. Mohamed Moussa on behalf of IGAD Executive Secretary, this morning opened a consultative workshop with Member States on establishing a systematic and regular Data Sharing Agreement (DSA).

This two-day workshop, held in Addis Ababa, is gathering officials in charge of statics bureaus in line ministries at respective Member States of IGAD.

The specific objectives of the workshop are to establish or consolidate formal institutional linkages and mechanisms for data/information sharing between IGAD Secretariat and national statistics offices, and also to improve coordination and collaboration between national statistics offices, regional, and continental organizations on harmonisation of statistics.

Mr Moussa, in his inauguration remarks, highlighted that “IGAD developed a road-map to establish a functional harmonized monitoring system to support the implementation of not only the IGAD Regional Strategy 2016-2020, but also the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals frameworks”.

He then explained that “the successful monitoring of these development agendas heavily” relied “on data and requires reliable and harmonized statistics from the National Statistical data systems”.

Thus, the need to develop “a comparatively structured regional statistics framework” that “requires the adoption of harmonized and standardised definitions and concepts, adaptation of international norms to regions realities and specificities, and the use of a common methodology for the production of statistics and their dissemination”.

Mr Moussa declared the meeting open after wishing the participants fruitful deliberations.
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11-07-2017, Mombasa (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development this morning opened the 4th IGAD Business Forum (IBF) Bi-annual General Meeting in Mombasa, Kenya, under the co-chairmanship of the outgoing IBF Chair and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti, Mr. Youssouf Dawaleh, and the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Mombasa, Mr. James Mereu, and in the presence of the Programme Manager Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Joseph Rwanshote, representing IGAD Executive Secretary.

The 4th IBF Bi-annual General Meeting is aimed at assessing progress made since the 3rd General Meeting held two years ago in Djibouti in particular, and more also an opportunity to gauge progress made since the revival of the IBF since May 2010.

High level representatives from Chamber of Commerce from IGAD member States and high profile business leaders are taking part in this meeting that saw the handing over of the chairmanship of the IBF from Djibouti to Kenya during the opening session.

Mr Rwanshote noted that the region was witnessing a GDP growth of over 4% since 1998 and that the private sector was expanding. He also highlighted that one of the key pre-requisites for a smooth flow of cross-border trade was “modern and durable infrastructure”. “IGAD Secretariat is involved in the coordination of various important infrastructure investments” such as regional transport and interconnectivity, energy, Information and Communication Technology, and water development projects, according to Mr. Rwanshote. “The private sector is a key partner in this push to develop the requisite modern infrastructure that will facilitate greater trade in IGAD member States”, he said.

Mr Youssouf Dawaleh stressed that the private the private sector in the region “has been meeting regularly to express its willingness and commitment to work with governments to help lift the obstacles that hamper the development of intraregional trade and the creation of an enabling environment for investment”. He also announced the adoption during the 3rd IBF of the establishment of an International Arbitration Center to be based in Djibouti.

Mr Mereu, as Guest of Honour and speaking for the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, officially opened the meeting.

This meeting is organized with financial support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

Latest daily news

Conseil Européen, 14-15 Décembre 2017

Aujourd’hui et demain, les Chefs d’état et de gouvernement de l’Union européenne se réuniront à Bruxelles pour des discussions qui constitueront une étape importante dans la feuille de route pour une Union plus unie, plus forte et plus démocratique. Le Conseil Européen débutera aujourd’hui avec le lancement historique de la coopération structurée permanente en matière de défense. Ensuite, les chefs d’état de gouvernement tourneront leur attention vers l’éducation et la culture suivant le succès du sommet social de Göteborg en novembre. Ce soir, la politique européenne en matière de migration figurera en tête de l’ordre du jour. Aujourd’hui à 14:40 CET, le Président Juncker signera la nouvelle déclaration conjointe sur les priorités législatives de l’UE pour 2018-2019, aux côtés du président du Parlement européen, Antonio Tajani, et du Premier ministre estonien, Jüri Ratas. La déclaration énonce 31 nouvelles propositions législatives présentées par la Commission qui seront traitées en priorité par le Parlement et le Conseil pour adoption ou progrès substantiels au moment des élections du Parlement européen en 2019. La cérémonie de signature sera transmise par EbS. Vendredi, les 27 chefs d’État ou de gouvernement de l’Union Européenne se réuniront pour le sommet de la zone euro dans la matinée, un autre jalon important sur laroute vers Sibiuque le Président Juncker a exposé dans son discours sur l’État de l’Union 2017. Les dirigeants devraient également tenir une première discussion sur nos propositions visant à approfondir l’Union économique et monétaire européenne. Lors d’une session de travail dédiée, les 27 dirigeants discuteront les derniers développements dans les négociations au titre de l’article 50 avec le Royaume-Uni suite à la recommandation de la Commission européenne du 8 décembre de conclure que des progrès suffisants avaient été accomplis au cours de la première phase des négociations. Une conférence de presse est prévue pour demain, vendredi 15 décembre, vers 13:00 CET avec le Président Juncker, le Président Tusk et le Premier ministre estonien Ratas et sera transmise en direct sur Ebs. (Pour plus d’informations : Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

President Juncker meets with the Visegrád 4 leaders and Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni

Only two months after the first meeting in October, President Juncker, together with Prime Minister Gentiloni, met again with the leaders of the four Visegrád countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – ahead of today’s European Council. Together they reaffirmed their joint determination to address common challenges together.  Migration featured prominently on the agenda of the meeting, particularly the EU Trust Fund for Africa. At the October European Council, all EU Member States agreed to contribute more to fill gaps in the Fund and today the Visegrád 4 made good on that commitment, announcing a further €35 million contribution to the North Africa window of the Fund. This constitutes a clear expression of solidarity and commitment towards the EU’s external action to manage and address the root causes of migration. In his statement today, President Juncker said: “I want cooperation to be as close as possible between the Visegrád Four countries and the Commission. Today I am happy that there are results. The V4 countries did deliver on this point, which is important. This is the proof that the Visegrád Four countries are fully aligned when it comes to solidarity with Italy and with others.” The North Africa window of the Fund has already helped more than 14,000 vulnerable migrants return voluntarily from Libya to their countries of origin and this figure should reach 18,000 by the end of 2017. The Fund has also provided medical help and direct support to more than 20,000 migrants inside and outside detention centres. The Africa Trust Fund – and the Visegrád contribution to it, is one part of the collective European solution to irregular migration on our shores. Last week the Commission proposed a political roadmap to reach a comprehensive agreement by June 2018 on how to pursue a sustainable migration policy, contributing to the European Council where this evening Member States will discuss the topic. Watch President Juncker’s statement here. More information on the roadmap here.  (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

Commerce électronique: accord pour une livraison de colis plus abordable

Les négociateurs européens sont parvenus hier soir à un accord provisoire pour améliorer la livraison transfrontière de colis. Le nouveau règlement est une étape essentielle pour stimuler le commerce électronique en Europe, en permettant aux consommateurs et aux entreprises, en particulier les PME, d’acheter et de vendre des produits et des services en ligne plus facilement et en toute confiance dans un marché en évolution. Le vice-président Andrus Ansip, en charge du marché unique numérique, a déclaré: «Les prix élevés des livraisons sont un problème majeur pour les consommateurs et les entreprises, en particulier les PME. Une transparence accrue et un rôle plus important accordé aux autorités réglementaires permettront de faire face à ce problème. Cette bonne nouvelle s’inscrit dans la série d’accords visant à améliorer la protection des consommateurs, à simplifier les règles de la TVA et à lutter contre le blocage géographique injustifié.» La commissaire Elżbieta Bieńkowska, chargée du marché intérieur, de l’industrie, de l’entrepreneuriat et des PME, a ajouté: «Des millions d’Européens font le choix d’acheter leurs cadeaux en ligne, mais ils se heurtent toujours à de nombreux obstacles, notamment des prix de livraison élevés et des possibilités de renvoi peu claires. Grâce à l’accord conclu aujourd’hui, nous nous rapprochons d’une solution qui aidera les consommateurs et les entreprises à tirer pleinement parti du marché unique de l’UE et du commerce électronique transfrontière.» Dorénavant, les entreprises prestataires devront communiquer les tarifs des services fréquemment utilisés par les consommateurs et les petites entreprises, que la Commission publiera sur un site web dédié. Un communiqué de presse et des questions et réponses précisent ces nouvelles dispositions. (Pour plus d’informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Maud Noyon – Tél.: +32 229-80379; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tél.: +32 229 55040)

 

WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires: A missed opportunity

The 11th biannual ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ended last night in Buenos Aires. In a statement made at the final meeting of Heads of Delegations, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “All WTO Members have to face a simple fact: we failed to achieve any of our objectives, and did not achieve any multilateral outcome. The sad reality is that we did not even agree to stop subsidising illegal fishing. Now, I hope that several WTO members, whose actions here in Buenos Aires prevented an outcome, will use the time following this Ministerial meeting for valuable self-reflection.” Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, also attending the conference, said: “From the agriculture perspective, it is very disappointing that a work programme could not be agreed post Buenos Aires. That means that important issues such as food security will not now be prioritised in the work of the WTO. This is not in the interest of farmers and rural people in the developing world, nor in the developed world for that matter. This is a lose-lose outcome for all involved – a negative-sum outcome. The WTO is not a zero sum game, it is a positive-sum game when everyone plays their part.” Many WTO members recognised the central role of the organisation to global trade and development. In this respect Commissioner Malmström said: “Luckily, we still have the WTO’s current agreements, its structures of cooperation, and its invaluable dispute settlement system. It is a global public good, and the EU attaches enormous value to it. In the coming months, we will do what is necessary to support it if it comes under further pressure. We also need to intensify efforts to find solutions to important issues in the international trading system, such as on e-commerce, working with all willing WTO members in an open, inclusive and transparent manner.” The full statement by Commissioner Malmström, as well as more comments on the outcome of the ministerial conference, are available online. In the run-up to the conference, the EU challenged its WTO partners to plan for substantive outcomes in Buenos Aires, with text proposals in six areas of work(For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Commission welcomes agreement by European Parliament and Council on its proposal to make people’s skills and qualifications more visible

The European Commission welcomes the political agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the revision of the Europass Decision achieved in Strasbourg yesterday. Europass is a suite of tools and services which support the transparency of skills and qualifications across the European Union. The main aim of the revision is to make people’s skills and qualifications more visible, to not only help people into jobs, but also to better understand and anticipate labour market trends and skills needs. Following the agreement, Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: We neededto upgrade our Europass system to make it relevant for the digital age. The new Europass will be an even more effective tool to deliver for people on the ground so that they can better showcase their skills and manage their careers. With this agreement, the rollout of our European Skills Agenda is delivering and I want to thank the Estonian Presidency and the European Parliament for the excellent cooperation in achieving this result.” The political agreement has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council. More information on the initial Commission proposal can be found here. (For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: +32 229 67094)

 

Commission welcomes agreement on key legislation to tackle climate change 

The European Parliament and Council today reached a provisional agreement on a key legislative proposal for implementing the EU’s 2030 climate objectives – on accounting of emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). They form part of the EU’s policy to drive Europe’s transition to a modern and clean economy. A robust climate policy framework is a key element of the EU’s Energy Union and a successful transition to a modern and clean economy. This is a necessary shift that will require a contribution from all sectors of the economy. Incentives for climate-friendly land use and forestry ensure the continued growth and sustainable productivity of our rural communities, which provide important services and economic benefit. A sustainably managed land use sector can supply renewable energy and materials, ensuring that the EU remains a world leader in these markets. Welcoming the political agreements, Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “Today is yet another milestone for the European Union in its job to deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments. Today’s agreement recognising the role of land and forests in mitigating climate change puts the European Union firmly on track. Climate action must outpace climate change and we are once again setting a positive precedent that others beyond Europe can follow.” Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete added: “After long and complex negotiations, we have found an agreement to include emissions and removals from land use, land use-change and forests in our collective efforts towards the 2030 objectives and in line with our commitment under the Paris Agreement. This is yet another example of Europe’s determination to turn the Paris Agreement into a reality, through concrete policies and measures.” Read full statement here. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

European Union takes over chairmanship of Kimberley Process on conflict diamonds

Today the European Union has formally taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process from Australia and will head the international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. On the occasion of assuming the lead role, HR/VP Federica Mogherini said “For the European Union, the Kimberley process is part of our work for sustainable development. It is part of our work for sustainable peace – to prevent new conflicts and cut the revenues of criminal and terrorist groups. It is part of our work for human rights – to make sure that diamonds produce wealth, not modern slavery. It has spread the idea that natural resources belong to communities, not militias. The main strength of the Kimberley process has always been that it looks beyond governments, to civil society and to private sector. This is our main asset as we chart the way ahead. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in this coming year.” More information is available here.(For more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229-69140)

Appel à candidature: l’UE offre un soutien sur mesure aux régions en transition industrielle

La Commission invite aujourd’hui les régions en transition industrielle à manifester leur intérêt pour bénéficier d’un soutien sur mesure de l’Europe afin de bâtir des économies robustes et moderniser leurs industries. Mardi, dans le cadre du Plan d’Action dévoilé au sommet “One Planet” à Paris, la Commission a déjà annoncé que les régions Hauts-de-France (FR), Norra Mellansverige (SE), Piémont (IT), Saxe (DE) et Wallonie (BE) étaient sélectionnées pour bénéficier de cet accompagnement de l’UE, suite à un appel à candidature lancé par la Commission en septembre 2017. Face au nombre de candidatures reçues, la Commission a décidé de renouveler l’appel, avec un budget similaire de 2,5 millions d’euros. Cela permettra de fournir expertise et soutien à cinq autres régions, afin qu’elles élaborent et mettent en œuvre leurs propres stratégies de transformation économique, sur la base de leurs atouts de “spécialisation intelligente“. “Certaines régions paient le prix de la mondialisation sans avoir bénéficié jusqu’ici de ses avantages,” a commenté la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu,”L’UE, à travers la politique de Cohésion, s’engage pour que toutes les régions puissent tirer leur épingle du jeu dans une économie mondialisée. Cela implique qu’elles identifient leurs atouts compétitifs et apprennent à capitaliser dessus et c’est précisément en cela que nous pouvons aider.” L’appel vise tout particulièrement les régions “en transition” et les régions “plus développées”, les régions dites “moins développées” pouvant bénéficier d’autres formes de soutien de l’UE. Les régions peuvent envoyer leurs candidatures ici jusqu’au 19 janvier 2018. Les résultats seront connus courant février. (Pour plus d’informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel .: +32 229 58615, Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel .: +32 229 56169)

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of Banco Popular’s real estate business by Blackstone 

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of control over the real estate business of Banco Popular Español S.A. of Spain by The Blackstone Group L.P. of the US. Banco Popular is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander. Its real estate business mostly comprises the Spanish portfolio of repossessed properties, non-performing loans relating to the real estate sector, and certain assets, as well as the operations of Banco Popular’s real estate management company, Aliseda. Blackstone is a global asset manager. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited overlap between the companies’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8679. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control over Getec Energie companies by EQT Fund Management

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of sole control over the Getec Energie companies of Germany by EQT Fund Management S.à.r.l. of Luxembourg. The Getec Energie companies consist of (i) Getec Heat & Power AG; (ii) Getec Wärme & Effizienz AG; (iii) Getec Media AG; (iv) Getec shared services GmbH; and (v) Getec Contracting GmbH. They are specialised in energy contracting in Germany and the Netherlands. EQT is an investment fund that seeks to make investments in infrastructure as well as related assets and businesses in Northern Europe, Continental Europe and North America. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given that EQT already held joint control over the Getec Energie companies prior to the transaction. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competitionwebsite, in the public case registerunder the case number M.8729. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Eurostat: Une entreprise de l’UE sur six a vendu sur le web en 2016

L’année passée, 16% des entreprises situées dans l’Union européenne (UE) et employant au moins dix personnes ont reçu des commandes via un site web ou via des applications. Ces ventes web comprennent tant les ventes aux consommateurs individuels qu’aux autres entreprises. La part des entreprises de l’UE ayant réalisé des ventes web a progressé entre 2010 et 2014, passant de 12% à environ 16%, mais est depuis restée relativement stable. Parmi ces entreprises, en 2016, la quasi-totalité (97%) a vendu au sein même de son pays, tandis que moins de la moitié (44%) a effectué des ventes à des clients situés dans d’autres États membres de l’UE et plus d’un quart (28%) à des clients extra-communautaires. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici.

 

Eurostat: La consommation par habitant a varié entre 53% et 132% de la moyenne de l’UE

La consommation individuelle effective (CIE) est une mesure du bien-être matériel des ménages. En 2016, la CIE par habitant exprimée en standards de pouvoir d’achat (SPA) s’est située, parmi les États membres, entre 53% de la moyenne de l’Union européenne (UE) en Bulgarie et 132% au Luxembourg.Ces données, publiées par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne, sont basées sur des parités de pouvoir d’achat révisées, ainsi que sur les dernières données du PIB et de la population. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici.

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

Daily News 14 / 12 / 2017

Conseil Européen, 14-15 Décembre 2017

Aujourd’hui et demain, les Chefs d’état et de gouvernement de l’Union européenne se réuniront à Bruxelles pour des discussions qui constitueront une étape importante dans la feuille de route pour une Union plus unie, plus forte et plus démocratique. Le Conseil Européen débutera aujourd’hui avec le lancement historique de la coopération structurée permanente en matière de défense. Ensuite, les chefs d’état de gouvernement tourneront leur attention vers l’éducation et la culture suivant le succès du sommet social de Göteborg en novembre. Ce soir, la politique européenne en matière de migration figurera en tête de l’ordre du jour. Aujourd’hui à 14:40 CET, le Président Juncker signera la nouvelle déclaration conjointe sur les priorités législatives de l’UE pour 2018-2019, aux côtés du président du Parlement européen, Antonio Tajani, et du Premier ministre estonien, Jüri Ratas. La déclaration énonce 31 nouvelles propositions législatives présentées par la Commission qui seront traitées en priorité par le Parlement et le Conseil pour adoption ou progrès substantiels au moment des élections du Parlement européen en 2019. La cérémonie de signature sera transmise par EbS. Vendredi, les 27 chefs d’État ou de gouvernement de l’Union Européenne se réuniront pour le sommet de la zone euro dans la matinée, un autre jalon important sur laroute vers Sibiuque le Président Juncker a exposé dans son discours sur l’État de l’Union 2017. Les dirigeants devraient également tenir une première discussion sur nos propositions visant à approfondir l’Union économique et monétaire européenne. Lors d’une session de travail dédiée, les 27 dirigeants discuteront les derniers développements dans les négociations au titre de l’article 50 avec le Royaume-Uni suite à la recommandation de la Commission européenne du 8 décembre de conclure que des progrès suffisants avaient été accomplis au cours de la première phase des négociations. Une conférence de presse est prévue pour demain, vendredi 15 décembre, vers 13:00 CET avec le Président Juncker, le Président Tusk et le Premier ministre estonien Ratas et sera transmise en direct sur Ebs. (Pour plus d’informations : Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

President Juncker meets with the Visegrád 4 leaders and Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni

Only two months after the first meeting in October, President Juncker, together with Prime Minister Gentiloni, met again with the leaders of the four Visegrád countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – ahead of today’s European Council. Together they reaffirmed their joint determination to address common challenges together.  Migration featured prominently on the agenda of the meeting, particularly the EU Trust Fund for Africa. At the October European Council, all EU Member States agreed to contribute more to fill gaps in the Fund and today the Visegrád 4 made good on that commitment, announcing a further €35 million contribution to the North Africa window of the Fund. This constitutes a clear expression of solidarity and commitment towards the EU’s external action to manage and address the root causes of migration. In his statement today, President Juncker said: “I want cooperation to be as close as possible between the Visegrád Four countries and the Commission. Today I am happy that there are results. The V4 countries did deliver on this point, which is important. This is the proof that the Visegrád Four countries are fully aligned when it comes to solidarity with Italy and with others.” The North Africa window of the Fund has already helped more than 14,000 vulnerable migrants return voluntarily from Libya to their countries of origin and this figure should reach 18,000 by the end of 2017. The Fund has also provided medical help and direct support to more than 20,000 migrants inside and outside detention centres. The Africa Trust Fund – and the Visegrád contribution to it, is one part of the collective European solution to irregular migration on our shores. Last week the Commission proposed a political roadmap to reach a comprehensive agreement by June 2018 on how to pursue a sustainable migration policy, contributing to the European Council where this evening Member States will discuss the topic. Watch President Juncker’s statement here. More information on the roadmap here.  (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

Commerce électronique: accord pour une livraison de colis plus abordable

Les négociateurs européens sont parvenus hier soir à un accord provisoire pour améliorer la livraison transfrontière de colis. Le nouveau règlement est une étape essentielle pour stimuler le commerce électronique en Europe, en permettant aux consommateurs et aux entreprises, en particulier les PME, d’acheter et de vendre des produits et des services en ligne plus facilement et en toute confiance dans un marché en évolution. Le vice-président Andrus Ansip, en charge du marché unique numérique, a déclaré: «Les prix élevés des livraisons sont un problème majeur pour les consommateurs et les entreprises, en particulier les PME. Une transparence accrue et un rôle plus important accordé aux autorités réglementaires permettront de faire face à ce problème. Cette bonne nouvelle s’inscrit dans la série d’accords visant à améliorer la protection des consommateurs, à simplifier les règles de la TVA et à lutter contre le blocage géographique injustifié.» La commissaire Elżbieta Bieńkowska, chargée du marché intérieur, de l’industrie, de l’entrepreneuriat et des PME, a ajouté: «Des millions d’Européens font le choix d’acheter leurs cadeaux en ligne, mais ils se heurtent toujours à de nombreux obstacles, notamment des prix de livraison élevés et des possibilités de renvoi peu claires. Grâce à l’accord conclu aujourd’hui, nous nous rapprochons d’une solution qui aidera les consommateurs et les entreprises à tirer pleinement parti du marché unique de l’UE et du commerce électronique transfrontière.» Dorénavant, les entreprises prestataires devront communiquer les tarifs des services fréquemment utilisés par les consommateurs et les petites entreprises, que la Commission publiera sur un site web dédié. Un communiqué de presse et des questions et réponses précisent ces nouvelles dispositions. (Pour plus d’informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Maud Noyon – Tél.: +32 229-80379; Victoria von Hammerstein – Tél.: +32 229 55040)

 

WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires: A missed opportunity

The 11th biannual ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ended last night in Buenos Aires. In a statement made at the final meeting of Heads of Delegations, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “All WTO Members have to face a simple fact: we failed to achieve any of our objectives, and did not achieve any multilateral outcome. The sad reality is that we did not even agree to stop subsidising illegal fishing. Now, I hope that several WTO members, whose actions here in Buenos Aires prevented an outcome, will use the time following this Ministerial meeting for valuable self-reflection.” Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, also attending the conference, said: “From the agriculture perspective, it is very disappointing that a work programme could not be agreed post Buenos Aires. That means that important issues such as food security will not now be prioritised in the work of the WTO. This is not in the interest of farmers and rural people in the developing world, nor in the developed world for that matter. This is a lose-lose outcome for all involved – a negative-sum outcome. The WTO is not a zero sum game, it is a positive-sum game when everyone plays their part.” Many WTO members recognised the central role of the organisation to global trade and development. In this respect Commissioner Malmström said: “Luckily, we still have the WTO’s current agreements, its structures of cooperation, and its invaluable dispute settlement system. It is a global public good, and the EU attaches enormous value to it. In the coming months, we will do what is necessary to support it if it comes under further pressure. We also need to intensify efforts to find solutions to important issues in the international trading system, such as on e-commerce, working with all willing WTO members in an open, inclusive and transparent manner.” The full statement by Commissioner Malmström, as well as more comments on the outcome of the ministerial conference, are available online. In the run-up to the conference, the EU challenged its WTO partners to plan for substantive outcomes in Buenos Aires, with text proposals in six areas of work(For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

 

Commission welcomes agreement by European Parliament and Council on its proposal to make people’s skills and qualifications more visible

The European Commission welcomes the political agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the revision of the Europass Decision achieved in Strasbourg yesterday. Europass is a suite of tools and services which support the transparency of skills and qualifications across the European Union. The main aim of the revision is to make people’s skills and qualifications more visible, to not only help people into jobs, but also to better understand and anticipate labour market trends and skills needs. Following the agreement, Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: We neededto upgrade our Europass system to make it relevant for the digital age. The new Europass will be an even more effective tool to deliver for people on the ground so that they can better showcase their skills and manage their careers. With this agreement, the rollout of our European Skills Agenda is delivering and I want to thank the Estonian Presidency and the European Parliament for the excellent cooperation in achieving this result.” The political agreement has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council. More information on the initial Commission proposal can be found here. (For more information:Christian Wigand– Tel.: +32 229 62253; Sara Soumillion – Tel.: +32 229 67094)

 

Commission welcomes agreement on key legislation to tackle climate change 

The European Parliament and Council today reached a provisional agreement on a key legislative proposal for implementing the EU’s 2030 climate objectives – on accounting of emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). They form part of the EU’s policy to drive Europe’s transition to a modern and clean economy. A robust climate policy framework is a key element of the EU’s Energy Union and a successful transition to a modern and clean economy. This is a necessary shift that will require a contribution from all sectors of the economy. Incentives for climate-friendly land use and forestry ensure the continued growth and sustainable productivity of our rural communities, which provide important services and economic benefit. A sustainably managed land use sector can supply renewable energy and materials, ensuring that the EU remains a world leader in these markets. Welcoming the political agreements, Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “Today is yet another milestone for the European Union in its job to deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments. Today’s agreement recognising the role of land and forests in mitigating climate change puts the European Union firmly on track. Climate action must outpace climate change and we are once again setting a positive precedent that others beyond Europe can follow.” Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete added: “After long and complex negotiations, we have found an agreement to include emissions and removals from land use, land use-change and forests in our collective efforts towards the 2030 objectives and in line with our commitment under the Paris Agreement. This is yet another example of Europe’s determination to turn the Paris Agreement into a reality, through concrete policies and measures.” Read full statement here. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

 

European Union takes over chairmanship of Kimberley Process on conflict diamonds

Today the European Union has formally taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process from Australia and will head the international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. On the occasion of assuming the lead role, HR/VP Federica Mogherini said “For the European Union, the Kimberley process is part of our work for sustainable development. It is part of our work for sustainable peace – to prevent new conflicts and cut the revenues of criminal and terrorist groups. It is part of our work for human rights – to make sure that diamonds produce wealth, not modern slavery. It has spread the idea that natural resources belong to communities, not militias. The main strength of the Kimberley process has always been that it looks beyond governments, to civil society and to private sector. This is our main asset as we chart the way ahead. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in this coming year.” More information is available here.(For more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229-69140)

Appel à candidature: l’UE offre un soutien sur mesure aux régions en transition industrielle

La Commission invite aujourd’hui les régions en transition industrielle à manifester leur intérêt pour bénéficier d’un soutien sur mesure de l’Europe afin de bâtir des économies robustes et moderniser leurs industries. Mardi, dans le cadre du Plan d’Action dévoilé au sommet “One Planet” à Paris, la Commission a déjà annoncé que les régions Hauts-de-France (FR), Norra Mellansverige (SE), Piémont (IT), Saxe (DE) et Wallonie (BE) étaient sélectionnées pour bénéficier de cet accompagnement de l’UE, suite à un appel à candidature lancé par la Commission en septembre 2017. Face au nombre de candidatures reçues, la Commission a décidé de renouveler l’appel, avec un budget similaire de 2,5 millions d’euros. Cela permettra de fournir expertise et soutien à cinq autres régions, afin qu’elles élaborent et mettent en œuvre leurs propres stratégies de transformation économique, sur la base de leurs atouts de “spécialisation intelligente“. “Certaines régions paient le prix de la mondialisation sans avoir bénéficié jusqu’ici de ses avantages,” a commenté la Commissaire à la politique régionale Corina Creţu,”L’UE, à travers la politique de Cohésion, s’engage pour que toutes les régions puissent tirer leur épingle du jeu dans une économie mondialisée. Cela implique qu’elles identifient leurs atouts compétitifs et apprennent à capitaliser dessus et c’est précisément en cela que nous pouvons aider.” L’appel vise tout particulièrement les régions “en transition” et les régions “plus développées”, les régions dites “moins développées” pouvant bénéficier d’autres formes de soutien de l’UE. Les régions peuvent envoyer leurs candidatures ici jusqu’au 19 janvier 2018. Les résultats seront connus courant février. (Pour plus d’informations: Johannes Bahrke – Tel .: +32 229 58615, Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel .: +32 229 56169)

Mergers: Commission clears the acquisition of Banco Popular’s real estate business by Blackstone 

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of control over the real estate business of Banco Popular Español S.A. of Spain by The Blackstone Group L.P. of the US. Banco Popular is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander. Its real estate business mostly comprises the Spanish portfolio of repossessed properties, non-performing loans relating to the real estate sector, and certain assets, as well as the operations of Banco Popular’s real estate management company, Aliseda. Blackstone is a global asset manager. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited overlap between the companies’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8679. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control over Getec Energie companies by EQT Fund Management

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of sole control over the Getec Energie companies of Germany by EQT Fund Management S.à.r.l. of Luxembourg. The Getec Energie companies consist of (i) Getec Heat & Power AG; (ii) Getec Wärme & Effizienz AG; (iii) Getec Media AG; (iv) Getec shared services GmbH; and (v) Getec Contracting GmbH. They are specialised in energy contracting in Germany and the Netherlands. EQT is an investment fund that seeks to make investments in infrastructure as well as related assets and businesses in Northern Europe, Continental Europe and North America. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given that EQT already held joint control over the Getec Energie companies prior to the transaction. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competitionwebsite, in the public case registerunder the case number M.8729. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

 

Eurostat: Une entreprise de l’UE sur six a vendu sur le web en 2016

L’année passée, 16% des entreprises situées dans l’Union européenne (UE) et employant au moins dix personnes ont reçu des commandes via un site web ou via des applications. Ces ventes web comprennent tant les ventes aux consommateurs individuels qu’aux autres entreprises. La part des entreprises de l’UE ayant réalisé des ventes web a progressé entre 2010 et 2014, passant de 12% à environ 16%, mais est depuis restée relativement stable. Parmi ces entreprises, en 2016, la quasi-totalité (97%) a vendu au sein même de son pays, tandis que moins de la moitié (44%) a effectué des ventes à des clients situés dans d’autres États membres de l’UE et plus d’un quart (28%) à des clients extra-communautaires. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici.

 

Eurostat: La consommation par habitant a varié entre 53% et 132% de la moyenne de l’UE

La consommation individuelle effective (CIE) est une mesure du bien-être matériel des ménages. En 2016, la CIE par habitant exprimée en standards de pouvoir d’achat (SPA) s’est située, parmi les États membres, entre 53% de la moyenne de l’Union européenne (UE) en Bulgarie et 132% au Luxembourg.Ces données, publiées par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne, sont basées sur des parités de pouvoir d’achat révisées, ainsi que sur les dernières données du PIB et de la population. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici.

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

Speakers Call for Greater Focus on Post‑Reconstruction, as Fifth Committee Considers Revised Budget Proposal for Peacekeeping Operation in Darfur

With the second stage of the drawdown of the African Union‑United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) set to begin in February 2018, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the revised budget proposal for that Operation, stressing the importance of prioritizing post‑conflict reconstruction.

Following a strategic review conducted earlier this year, the Security Council decided in its resolution 2363 (2017) that the hostilities in Darfur had ceased and the Operation should pursue a drawdown of activities.  Given those developments, the General Assembly did not approve resources for UNAMID for the full 2017/2018 period in its seventy‑first session, with the expectation that the Secretary‑General would provide a revised budget during the current Assembly session, reflecting decisions taken by the Security Council.

The revised budget proposal of $948.8 million, covering the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, represents a decrease of 8.7 per cent compared with the approved resources for 2016/2017.

Mustafa Abuali Ahmed Mohammed (Sudan) emphasized the need for a stronger focus on post‑conflict reconstruction in Darfur, adding that given the United Nations reform process under way under the Secretary‑General’s auspices, the region should also concentrate on peacebuilding and seek to address the root causes of conflict.

He welcomed the Security Council’s resolution as confirmation of his Government’s success in implementing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, recalling that the Government had also called for armed groups to surrender their weapons.  Further, the Government had made efforts to help displaced people and had engaged in positive communications with the Government of South Sudan to allow refugees and internally displaced persons to return to provinces in that country.  He said most of the displaced would be repatriated, according to figures published by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

He went on to note that there had not been any further clashes in Sudan in the past year, except for incidents on 20 May, when armed groups had infiltrated the country through Libya and South Sudan.  However, those groups had been neutralized, and a unilateral ceasefire had been maintained since then.

Marcio Sandro Aleixo Pereira Burity (Angola), speaking on behalf of the African Group, noted that the security situation in Darfur had continued to show progress, and no confrontation between the Government and the Darfur rebel group had been reported in recent months.  The reduction in intercommunal violence was due to effective measures taken by the Government of Sudan, which helped stabilize the overall humanitarian situation in the country.

The Group believed that the implementation of the Doha Declaration, including the disarmament of the civilian population and the militia, would help address the root causes of the conflict and facilitate sustainable peace and security in Darfur, he said.  Allocation of appropriate resources for UNAMID would be instrumental for helping the law enforcement and justice institutions, as well as the Government, make the arms collection campaign successful.

The Group hoped that the second phase of the drawdown would also be successful and resources required for the Mission would soon be reduced to a minimal level, he said.  Furthermore, it was important to increase the amount of resources allocated for environmental concerns, and the Secretariat must bolster emphasis on post‑conflict reconstruction efforts.

Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary‑General and Controller of the United Nations, introduced the Secretary‑General’s report on the revised budget for UNAMID (document A/72/563), highlighting that the reduction contained in the revised budget proposal reflected the planned repatriation of military and police personnel, in accordance with the reconfiguration of the Operation.

The Operation would focus on military protection, clearance of explosive remnants of war and emergency relief in the Jebel Marra area, she said.  In other parts of Darfur, where there had not been fighting recently, the Operation would focus on stabilizing the situation, supporting the police and helping the rule of law institutions, while continuing to protect civilians, mediating intercommunal conflict and following up on issues related to reforming the security sector.

Considering the amount of $486 million previously assessed on Member States for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2017, an additional amount of $462.8 million would have to be assessed for 2017/2018, she said.

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, introduced its corresponding report (document A/72/636), and noted that in accordance with the Security Council resolution, the Operation would downsize its military, police and civilian personnel over a one‑year period in two phases; the first concluding on 31 December 2017, and the second concluding on 30 June 2018.

The Advisory Committee recommended an overall reduction of approximately $9.8 million for the Operation’s proposed budget, he said.  Reductions relating to civilian staffing pertained mainly to one‑termination indemnity costs, he said, noting that there was some uncertainty in terms of the number of civilian members on board at the end of the budget period.

Therefore, he said the Advisory Committee recommended a resource reduction for those costs for both international and national staff.  Moreover, the calculation of the one‑time termination indemnity costs should be more transparent.  As such, the Advisory Committee requested that the Secretary‑General provide related details to the General Assembly when the report was considered.

The Advisory Committee further recommended the following operational reductions:  10 per cent under official travel; $2 million under facilities and infrastructure; and $2 million under communications.  The Advisory Committee had also urged the Operation to strengthen its environmental efforts and pursue alternative renewable energy sources to minimize the need for fossil fuel‑powered equipment.

The Fifth Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced in the Journal.

Print article < GHANA GERMANY SIGNS 100 MILLION DOLLARS INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY >

German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is in Ghana on a three-day official visit.

The German president, as part of activities marking the visit, yesterday, called on Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

The German President, on arrival at the Presidency, inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Ghana Armed Forces and took the national salutes of both countries including a 21-gun salute fired in his honour.

Earlier, the two countries signed a 100 million Euros bilateral Investment and Reform Partnership agreement to promote private investment in renewable energy and vocational training in Ghana.

Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and Germany’s Deputy Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, Friedrich Kitschelt, signed the agreement for both countries in the presence of President Akufo-Addo and the visiting German President.

The agreement is part of Germany’s G-20 Compact with Africa for sustainable economic development.

The Partnership with Ghana is aimed towards improving conditions for sustainable private sector investment― investment in infrastructure, economic participation and employment in the country.

Following the signing of the agreement, the two Presidents addressed a joint press conference where President Akufo-Addo described  relations between the two countries as excellent, adding that “Ghana is the third biggest trading partner of Germany in sub-Saharan Africa.”

President Akufo-Addo said Germany had always been distinguished by some key elements that were worthy of emulation by Ghana, citing the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) sector.

He said SMEs were the overwhelming numbers of enterprises in Ghana’s economy and how to scale them up and strengthen them was the major challenge of policy, adding that it was an area where Ghana could profit very strongly from the German experience and the German model.

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo said, another area where Germany had taken the lead in the world was the training of its workforce, alluding to the so-called dual system that allowed people to work and study.

This, he said, had shown in the continuous performance and resilience of the German economy and made the German workforce one of the most efficient not just in Europe but also in the world at large.

President Akufo-Addo said education was the main priority of his government and that a considerable part of state funds had been invested in education with the vision of scaling up the capacity and competence of the nation’s workforce.

Apart from education, President Akufo-Addo said, renewable energy was an extremely important area of priority to Ghana.

“We have significant hydro resources as we all know and we believe that going down the road, a mixture of hydro and renewable energies represents the best mix for the energy generation of the future and we are hoping again that this is an area where we can have a meaningful intercourse with Germany,” he said.

He noted that the German President had come to Ghana with a very impressive business delegation and that he was hopeful that the delegation would have a very serious and meaningful intercourse with the Ghanaian business community so that the very strong relations that existed between the two countries would continue to deepen.

“The Ghana beyond aid is one of the finest and greatest resonance of the leadership of Germany and it provides another important basis for this continuing and fruitful dialogue between our two countries,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

On his part, President Steinmeier noted that relations between Germany and Ghana had a long standing tradition which, in the last years, had been given additional impetus and had grown immensely.

That, he said, was evidenced by the visible proof he and his delegation had when they interacted with the business representatives from Ghana saying the interest in each other was incredibly great and a matter of curiosity for various reasons.

“As far as German businesses and industry is concerned, I can say compared to other African countries, the infrastructure and the investment condition and climate is much better here and German businesses and industry is happy to go invest where there is democracy like Ghana where you have a tradition of stability,” President Steinmeier said.

He said Ghana had shown the world in the last twelve months that it was possible to move away from divisive tendencies through determined actions and that the data available to Germany on Ghana had improved, stressing that “we are more optimistic more than we were a year or two ago.”

President Steinmeier said interest on the part of Ghana in Germany’s investment was just as great because it was not only about investing in companies and plants but also about German companies bringing Germany’s educational model and technical experience to Ghana.

The German President was full of praise for the government’s focus on education in spearheading efforts to build a Ghana beyond aid and pledged the commitment of Germany to supporting and co-operatimg with Ghana to make that vision possible and attainable.

“This is very important and as important as it is, we are more than happy to be of assistance and we will support you in that endeavor and co-operate with you in that regard and the joint declaration of intent on the design of a partnership to promote private investment and sustainable economic development is a sign of us respecting fully, what Ghana has been doing in the recent past,” he added.

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)