2012 Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report, United States Trade Representative, April 2012
The President’s Trade Policy Agenda for 2012 outlines an ambitious scope of work to meet these goals. Across the global stage, we will advance market-opening negotiations with our trading partners and bolster existing ties. We will continue to actively enforce U.S. rights under our trade agreements. We will conduct these efforts based on high standards that reflect American values on labor and on the environment, and on public engagement and transparency.
World Bank: An exercise of influence, Financial Times, April 3
While the US has continued to provide its president, the institution plays a diminishing role in extending American influence. Last year, Congress even planned to cut its contribution to the bank before relenting. The bank has increased its technical capacity and sought to assist in policy making – for example flinging open its vast collection of economic, health and other data to free public use.
Bill Gates Foundation gives $12m for IITA project to boost yam production in Ghana, Nigeria, Ghana Business News, April 3
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and some partners have announced a $12 million initiative to improve yam production in Ghana and Nigeria. The funding is provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project is expected to double the incomes of three million yam farmers in West Africa.
Seven steps to prevent the collapse of west Africa's fishing grounds, Guardian, April 2
Why do African countries sign these agreements if they are so damaging? The simple answer is that, while they understand fully that environmental damage and the depletion of native fish stocks far outweigh the short-term financial gains they can make, they have no choice. Most desperately need hard foreign currency to pay external debts – often to EU countries – and stimulate economic growth.
Simple, cheap practices help African farmers adapt to climate shifts, Alert Net, April 2
With a small loan from a microfinance institution, Chebet has put up two greenhouses fitted with a drip irrigation system, where she plants high-value horticultural crops including tomatoes, carrots and cabbages. According to David Miano Mwangi, country director of the Kenya Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Programme, run by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, greenhouse farming is just one method being used to overcome the impacts of climate change on crops.