Building capacity to help Africa trade better


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

Fossil Fables: Reading Between the Lines of the COP28 Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter

07 Dec 2023 ~ Emily Pender
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) is underway in Dubai until the 12 December 2023. According to t...read more

Why Value Chain Development of the Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Sector Could Benefit Female MSME Entrepreneurs in Africa

30 Nov 2023 ~ John Stuart
DOWNLOAD BLOG The cosmetics and personal care products value chain in Africa is an emerging and rapidly growing sector, reflecting the increasing demand from a burgeoning middle class and...read more

What is the DNA of the AfCFTA?

30 Nov 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
DOWNLOAD BLOG It has been said that “… the significance of the AfCFTA cannot be overstated. It is the world’s largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Orga...read more

The AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth as part of a new trade and integration discourse

30 Nov 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
DOWNLOAD BLOG When the negotiations to conclude the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) started in 2015, the initial focus was on boosting intra-Africa...read more

UNCTAD LDC Report shines light on climate funding shortfall ahead of COP28

28 Nov 2023 ~ Emily Pender
The 2023 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) finds that LDCs have not received enough financial assistance t...read more

Supporting women cross-border traders

18 Oct 2023 ~ Edna Oduwo
DOWNLOAD BLOG Over the past few years, matters on gender equality, gender biases and gender mainstreaming in trade policy have become more prominent in public debates with increased focus...read more

Will investment flows increase under the AfCFTA Investment Protocol?

18 Oct 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
DOWNLOAD BLOG Africa needs investments to develop and industrialize. The bulk of it comes in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2021 FDI into African countries amounted to $8...read more

How is the AfCFTA’s industrial development agenda shaping up?

18 Oct 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
DOWNLOAD BLOG Industrialisation is vital for Africa’s long-term development. To achieve its objectives and boost intra-African trade (which stands at very low levels and involves m...read more

Themes of the Africa Climate (Finance) Summit: Loans, Taxes, Credits

20 Sep 2023 ~ Gita Briel
DOWNLOAD BLOG The inaugural Africa Climate Summit, hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, concluded on the 6th September. The summit was, by design, centred around climate finance. Its resounding key ...read more

Kenya’s GMO Ban: The Court of Appeal upholds the ban on GM Crops

29 Aug 2023 ~ Maleehah Khandwalla
DOWNLOAD BLOG On 3rd October 2022, amidst the worst drought Kenya has faced in over 40 years, the Cabinet of the Republic of Kenya lifted a 10-year ban on the cultivation within Kenya as ...read more

What the AfCFTA Agreement establishes and what the State Parties should do

13 Aug 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
A recent communication from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to the African Union (AU) Member States says that in order to facilitate the Guided Trade Initiativ...read more

Wars in Africa are bad for the AfCFTA

13 Aug 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) of boosting intra-African trade in goods and services and eventually “to create a single market for goods, services, fa...read more

What is the Mandate of the AfCFTA? Is it changing?

13 Aug 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
There is a provision in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement which provides that: [the] Council of Ministers shall within its mandate take decisions in accordance wi...read more

tralac’s Message on Mandela Day: Good Governance and the State

17 Jul 2023 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
Mandela Day serves to remind and inspire us to strive for social justice. This is the complex and multi-faceted challenge to adopt policies and strategies for addressing poverty and inequa...read more


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