Building capacity to help Africa trade better


Some reflections on Africa Day 2020, COVID-19 and the AfCFTA

25 May 2020 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg
We will all remember Africa Day 2020. Africa Day, which we have been celebrating on 25 May each year since the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, and its tra...read more

The Implications of COVID-19 for regional trade

25 May 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
COVID-19 is a global pandemic and will have severe implications for African nations. Inadequate public facilities, wide-spread poverty and crowded living conditions make them particularly ...read more

COVID-19 and its implications for women

25 May 2020 ~ Bineswaree Aruna Bolaky, Darsheenee Ramnauth
In a recent op-ed, Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook drew attention to the “double-double shift” that COVID-19 is imposing on women.[1] Women have multiple roles...read more

EAC Regional response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

25 May 2020 ~ Geoffrey Osoro
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an impact on the East African Community (EAC) economies both directly and indirectly as a result of the measures being taken currently to contain the sprea...read more

The Pandemic and its Aftermath: The Role of Trade Policy

19 May 2020 ~ Patrick Low
Received wisdom from a wide spectrum of commentators is that our post-COVID-19 world is going to be different from the one the virus invaded. Predictions vary considerably as to what is go...read more

South Africa’s trade for March 2020 – significant trade surplus shows the initial impact of COVID-19 on imports

13 May 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
On 30 April 2020, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) released South Africa’s latest official trade data – trade for March 2020. The data shows some of the initial impact of the ...read more

South Africa’s new status as a ‘developed country’ for purposes of United States’ subsidies and countervailing duty investigations

04 May 2020 ~ Eckart Naumann
Earlier this year, on 10 February 2020, the United States announced changes to the way in which it would conduct aspects of its trade remedy investigations, including that South Africa (an...read more

South African tourism and the coronavirus pandemic

28 Apr 2020 ~ David Christianson
SA tourism heads for bleak winter and beyond Worldwide lock-downs in response to the coronavirus pandemic have hit the tourism industry especially hard. There have been no partial exempti...read more

Understanding Africa’s Place in Regionalised Global Trade

23 Apr 2020 ~ John Stuart
Since the era of the internet began, globalisation has gathered pace and the countries of the world have become more economically integrated. The significant improvements in communications...read more

Coronavirus and freight forwarding in SADC

09 Apr 2020 ~ Elisha Tshuma
South Africa is the economic powerhouse in the region. Most countries rely on South Africa, in some way, for their imports. They import goods from South Africa and some import goods from g...read more

COVID-19 impact on investment in Africa

07 Apr 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacts on foreign direct investment (FDI) across the world. In 2019, UNCTAD anticipated global FDI flows to rise marginally in 2020.[1] However, due to...read more

Recovery from the Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: What Role for Trade?

07 Apr 2020 ~ Beatrice Chaytor, Ify Ogo
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on African countries will be known only after the situation is brought under control. There will be immediate shocks to livelihoods, as well a...read more

Temporary suspension of import tariffs on medical products and equipment essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa

07 Apr 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
Most African countries do not produce medical products and equipment needed to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including soaps or surface-active agents, respiratory masks, protective spec...read more

Informal Cross Border Trade in Africa in a Time of Pandemic

07 Apr 2020 ~ John Stuart
Informal cross-border trade (ICBT) forms a significant part of intra Sub-Saharan African (SSA) trade. It contributes income, provides jobs and empowers women in some of the most fragile an...read more

Hitting Where it Hurts – Pandemic Border Closures and SSA’s Most Vulnerable Informal Cross-Border Traders

07 Apr 2020 ~ John Stuart
A related tralac blog, in the same series as this one, discusses the phenomenon of informal cross-border trade (ICBT) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the context of the current Covid-19 pan...read more

Trade restrictions – what is essential cargo?

07 Apr 2020 ~ Terry Gale
The 21-day lockdown period in South Africa is having a major impact on international trade, in particular, as confusion reigns over the operation of the ports throughout this period. Init...read more

Impact of COVID-19 on poultry production – view from a woman entrepreneur

07 Apr 2020 ~ Motlatsi Tolo
Raseto Agricultural Enterprise produces poultry on contract for Supreme Poultry. In order for us to comply with the lockdown regulations in South Africa, Supreme Poultry arranged and sent ...read more

Protecting the vulnerable and excluded in the financial sector

06 Apr 2020 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
As the global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it brings with it a global economic crisis. With economies only now beginning to properly recover from the global finan...read more

Coronavirus, food supply and demand constraints: panic-buying and logistics

31 Mar 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
As South Africa’s President announced various social distancing measures as part of a Covid-19 State of Emergency to curb the spread of the virus, numerous concerns about access to impor...read more

The AfCFTA is due for Implementation – what is to be expected?

26 Mar 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been designed to boost trade on the African continent. How and when will new trade benefits for merchandise trade (lower tariffs and th...read more

Will disputes under the AfCFTA Agreement be less “political”?

26 Mar 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
It has been observed that the dispute settlement system of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is less “political” in design than, for example, the former SADC Dispute Set...read more

How will Phase II of the AfCFTA be negotiated, ratified and implemented?

26 Mar 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to establish a comprehensive new trade regime for Africa. The Preamble to the AfCFTA Agreement refers to “the need to establish clea...read more

Will there be a Phase III for the AfCFTA?

26 Mar 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The logic and the design of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) confirm that this is not an event. It is an ambitious project and a process. That is why its institutions are s...read more

Substantive issues the AfCFTA Investment Protocol should address

26 Mar 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The envisaged Protocol on Investment in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would be about intra-Africa investment. At this stage the bulk of foreign direct investment (FDI) i...read more

The Trade in Automotive Components and Regional Value Chain Development

26 Mar 2020 ~ John Stuart
The development of global value chains (GVCs) has been one of the most striking features of economic globalisation. With the improvements in the efficiency of global travel and communicati...read more

Cooperation on financial services regulation under the AfCFTA

26 Mar 2020 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
As part of the negotiations on services under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, parties will negotiate regulatory cooperation frameworks in priority sectors. What is regu...read more

South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

26 Mar 2020 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg
tralac is monitoring trade-related policy responses to COVID-19 From midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020, South Africa is in lockdown for 21 days. This announcement was made by President ...read more

COVID19-related export control measures – has South Africa adopted the same yet?

20 Mar 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) has increased demand for and raised concerns about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) essential to prevent furthe...read more

How investment disputes in Zimbabwe will be resolved under the ZIDA Act

13 Mar 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The recently enacted Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) Act [CHAPTER 14:37] guarantees local and foreign investors legal protection against discriminatory treatment, exprop...read more

The ZIDA Act: An overhaul of the investment policy regime and impetus for investment in Zimbabwe?

09 Mar 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede
On 6 February 2020, the President of Zimbabwe signed into law the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Act [Chapter 14:37] (ZIDA Act). ZIDA Act deals with the promotion, entry, facilitat...read more


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