Building capacity to help Africa trade better


The AfCFTA Digital Trade Protocol – clarification of key issues

25 Feb 2024 ~ John Stuart
The Digital Trade Protocol (‘the Protocol’) of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a document intended to define the environment for digital trade between members of th...read more

The AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade and Trade-Driven Development in Africa

24 Feb 2024 ~ John Stuart
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade (the ‘Protocol’) aims to enhance the involvement of women and youth within the AfCFTA. It outlines...read more

SA’s New Energy Vehicle future hangs in the balance

24 Feb 2024 ~ David Christianson
As promised, South Africa’s finance minister, Enoch Godongwana, did announce incentives for New Energy Vehicle (NEV) manufacturing in his 2024 budget speech. But the package is decidedly...read more

Africa’s Visa Openness in 2023: Analysis of the Africa Visa Openness Report

20 Feb 2024 ~ Emily Pender
Cross-border movement of persons is essential for Africa’s regional integration; for the facilitation of trade in goods, growth of trade in services and related service sector developmen...read more

Indaba Insights: The Mining Outlook in 2024

20 Feb 2024 ~ Emily Pender
The theme of 2024’s Mining Indaba was “Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining”. The three key, “positive disruptors” discussed were envi...read more

Mining Indaba 2024 – South Africa cold-shouldered at its own party

19 Feb 2024 ~ David Christianson
Although the Mining Indaba was held at its usual venue in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2024, participants showed very little interest in the host country. Delegates and speakers were far mo...read more

The Digital Trade Protocol of the AfCFTA and Digitally-Driven Development in Africa

15 Feb 2024 ~ John Stuart
One of the important protocols forming part of the set of agreements within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the Digital Trade Protocol (‘the Protocol’). This protoc...read more

SARS Investigation (and Ports Crisis) Scare Off Cargo Carriers Despite opportunities resulting from the Red Sea Crisis Reroute

15 Feb 2024 ~ Emily Pender
The Situation At the State of the Nation (SONA) address on 8 February 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke of the role that South Africa could play in global trade given the Red Sea cris...read more

Infrastructural development under the AfCFTA

14 Feb 2024 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Apart from Annexes dealing with customs administration and border governance issues, the AfCFTA Agreement does not mention infrastructural development explicitly as one of its objectives. ...read more

Too Much Gloom at Davos

14 Feb 2024 ~ David Christianson
The organizers of the World Economic Forum (WEF) do not always get the selected theme quite right. Some years, the great and the good who attend the annual uber-capitalist event in Switzer...read more

Three’s a Crisis: Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali announce that they will leave ECOWAS

13 Feb 2024 ~ Emily Pender
On 8 February, the foreign ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convened to address the potential loss of three member states. At the end of January Niger, M...read more

A messy withdrawal from ECOWAS

12 Feb 2024 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 29 January 2024, the military juntas of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Their explanation was that ...read more

The WTO Dispute Settlement Impasse: What is happening?

12 Feb 2024 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The WTO’s Understanding on Dispute Settlement (DSU) provides World Trade Organisation (WTO) members with a legal framework for resolving trade disputes that arise between them when imple...read more

Africa out of the spotlight at the World Economic Forum?

24 Jan 2024 ~ Emily Pender
Last week, the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Davos, Switzerland. In recent years, Africa was at the forefront of discussions, but this year lacked hig...read more

South Africa’s Draft Integrated Resource Plan Undermines its Climate Ambitions

16 Jan 2024 ~ Gita Briel
South Africa’s renewable energy transition has been a bumpy and unpredictable one where policies and actions often appear misaligned. The government has recognised the need to decarbonis...read more

How will the AfCFTA contribute to better trade governance?

16 Jan 2024 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to bring about major changes (and benefits) to how trade in goods and services will be conducted on the continent. Africa...read more

What does the AfCFTA Agreement provide for in respect of climate change?

10 Jan 2024 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Effective policies are urgently needed in Africa to deal with climate-induced disasters. This will require high levels of political commitment, regional and domestic strategies, collective...read more

‘Total’ Transformation or ‘Total’ Chaos? Mozambique’s LNG Saga Continues

10 Jan 2024 ~ Emily Pender
At the recently concluded COP28, states, multinationals, lobbyists and civil society committed to the transfer away from fossil fuels. A month later, TotalEnergies (Total) is set to resume...read more

Cultivating Change at COP28: The Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action

20 Dec 2023 ~ Emily Pender
The global agricultural industry, the second-largest contributing sector to greenhouse gas emissions, must change for the world to meet the Paris Agreement commitments. This was acknowledg...read more

Sustainable Trade: Insights from Trade Day at COP28

20 Dec 2023 ~ Emily Pender
The COP28 Trade Day was the first of its kind for the annual conference. Major trade-related organisations, including the United Nations Conference on Development and Trade (UNCTAD), the W...read more

COP28 Outcomes: the beginning of the end for fossil fuels or a COP-out?

19 Dec 2023 ~ David Christianson
COP climate summits almost inevitably leave some observers and participants disappointed. COP28, held in Dubai in early December, was no exception. Many commentators have expressed disappo...read more

Should farmers in western Kenya still be growing sugarcane?

18 Dec 2023 ~ Deborah Munyekenye
Sugarcane farming and processing has been the primary economic activity in western Kenya, since the 1970s when government started promoting the expansion and commercialisation of the indus...read more

Promoting the Implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement: The Role of Regional Business Councils

17 Dec 2023 ~ Lilian Wairimu
Business communities stand to gain significantly from increased market access, investment opportunities, supply chain optimisation and improved competitiveness from the African Continental...read more

Regional Electricity Market under the AfCFTA: Prospects and Challenges for Ethiopia

16 Dec 2023 ~ Bethelhem Abraham
The African Union (AU) launched the Africa single electricity market (AfSEM) initiative in 2021 to boost the African electricity sector sustainably and promote an integrated continental ma...read more

How ready is Ghana for the AfCFTA?

16 Dec 2023 ~ Daisy Codjoe
More than four years after the operational launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghana is participating in the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), a pilot trading programm...read more

Embracing DigitALL Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality to support achieving the SDGs: the case of Zambia

16 Dec 2023 ~ Zilinde Monjeza
The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day (8 March) was “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.” It has generally been observed that women and girls still re...read more

First steps taken to address SA’s logistics crisis

14 Dec 2023 ~ David Christianson
In early December 2023, the South African cabinet approved the Freight Logistics Roadmap, jointly drafted by the Presidency and representatives of the private sector. While it is common ca...read more

South Africa’s need to revive mining exploration

14 Dec 2023 ~ David Christianson
According to Minerals Council South Africa CEO, Mzila Mthenjane, in an op-ed published in October, the country’s mining exploration spend in 2023 was 0.8 percent of global spend, down fr...read more

Women Cross-Border Traders and Food Security in Southern Africa: Role of Simplified Trade Regimes – case of Malawi and Zambia

12 Dec 2023 ~ Mary Frances Malunga
A growing food security crisis is looming globally. Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food wh...read more

Climate and Health at COP28: Treating the Symptoms or Causes?

11 Dec 2023 ~ Emily Pender
Air pollution causes over 8 million deaths per year. By 2050 extreme heat, diarrhea, dengue, malaria, and malnutrition (stunting) will together cause 21 million more deaths than there woul...read more


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