Building capacity to help Africa trade better


COVID-19 Control Measures in SADC – Striking a balance between control and Trade Facilitation

12 Oct 2020 ~ Innocent Muranganwa
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not spared the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and like in all other parts of the world, economies of the member states have ...read more

Why is Brexit still so difficult?

05 Oct 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 1 January 1973, the United Kingdom (UK) joined the European Economic Community, as it then was. Forty-four years later, on 29 March 2017, the UK Government notified the European Council...read more

Africa’s Trade with the EU and the UK post Brexit

05 Oct 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Until the United Kingdom (UK) finally exits from the European Union (EU) single market at the end of this year, most African exports to the UK enjoy preferential access in terms of the Gen...read more

The UK-SACUM Economic Partnership Agreement

05 Oct 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Until 31 December 2020, goods exported from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states and from Mozambique to the United Kingdom (UK) will be covered by the SADC-EU Economic P...read more

Industrial development – the importance of services, regulation and good governance

06 Sep 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede, Trudi Hartzenberg
Services, appropriate regulation and good governance are critical in industrial, and broader economic development. Services play a very significant role in Africa’s economic development;...read more

South Africa’s July 2020 trade data – exports recover while imports remain below 2019 levels

05 Sep 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
Between June and July of this year, South Africa’s total trade (exports + imports) increased by 12 percent.[1] Since May, South Africa has a trade surplus (global exports exceed imports)...read more

How Trade Arrangements such as AGOA can drive Industrialisation in Less Developed Africa

03 Sep 2020 ~ John Stuart
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is an act of the United States Congress, passed in 2000 and with the purpose of granting qualifying sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries prefer...read more

January-June 2020 trade data: intermediates destined for African countries in transit through South Africa

03 Sep 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
Although numerous African countries are yet to release trade data for 2020, South Africa’s trade data for the first six months of 2020[1] not only include South Africa’s official trade...read more

COVID-19: Lessons for industrial development and policy for Africa

03 Sep 2020 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg, Talkmore Chidede
Impact of COVID-19 The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has severely affected industries and economic fundamentals (e.g. demand, supply and production) in Africa and globally. It has resul...read more

Regional industrial development in Africa – how can COVID-19 responses contribute?

03 Sep 2020 ~ Talkmore Chidede, Trudi Hartzenberg
Industrial development has always been featured in Africa’s integration agenda. In recent years this focus has been sharpened and industrial strategies at continental and regional econom...read more

COVID-19 – implications for SEZ in Africa: lessons from Rwanda

03 Sep 2020 ~ Aleksa Burmazovic
COVID-19’s dire short-term economic consequences have the potential to act as a catalyst for much needed change for SEZs across Africa. Many marginal Special Economic Zones (SEZ) progra...read more

The Secretariat is pivotal to the success of the AfCFTA

17 Aug 2020 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg
A recent World Bank study emphasises the importance of implementation and the reduction of ‘red tape and simplification of customs procedures’ as key to the success of the AfCFTA. Lack...read more

40th SADC Summit and the anticipated key trade issues on the agenda

14 Aug 2020 ~ Rwatida Mafurutu
The 2020 Southern African Development Community (SADC) 40th Summit of Heads of State and Government kicked off in earnest on the 10th of August 2020. The Summit is being coordinated virtua...read more

Brexit – Some Implications for Financial Services

30 Jul 2020 ~ Dirk de Vos, Trudi Hartzenberg
Most discussions surrounding trade tend to focus on the trade of goods. Physical items, whether primary or manufactured products, are inherently tradeable. Services, restricted as they are...read more

COVID-19 and the gender-related economic consequences for Africa

30 Jul 2020 ~ Gavin van der Nest
The world is struggling to cope with the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its impact on women, and in particular the economic impact on women in sectors ...read more

Testing Covid-19 regulations – the threshold looks low

28 Jul 2020 ~ Dawid van Wyk
The South African Government’s first response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a hard lockdown, as it was called. The public response to the accompanying curtailment of rights and freedoms w...read more

Does the AfCFTA have a formula to tackle Africa’s Non-Tariff Barriers?

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Whereas tariffs are the taxes or duties imposed on imported goods, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) refer to restrictions resulting from prohibitions, conditions, or requirements that make the i...read more

What Disputes could be heard by the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Mechanism?

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Will the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) be a rules-based dispensation? What is required in order to become one? The Preamble to the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA promises...read more

The AfCFTA creates an additional African Free Trade Area

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
As a legal construct, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presently consists of a founding Agreement and three Protocols. The first Protocol establishes a new Free Trade Area ...read more

The AfCFTA Agreement is in force – why can it not be implemented?

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The AfCFTA Agreement formally entered into force on 30 May 2019, thirty days after twenty-two instruments ratifications had been deposited.[1] However, implementation is still not possible...read more

The AfCFTA’s Institutions are vital for effective Implementation

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
When all the outstanding negotiations are complete, implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) obligations will be the responsibility of individual State Parti...read more

May AfCFTA State Parties conclude new Trade Agreements?

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
In order to answer the question posed above one has to study the legal instruments adopted for the purpose of establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). An important fe...read more

Do the Regional Economic Communities protect basic Human Rights?

28 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have been receiving more than the usual amount of attention lately because eight of them have been identified as the building blocks of the ...read more

The costs of driving smoking underground

24 Jul 2020 ~ David Christianson
It is not surprising that the total ban on cigarette sales in South Africa, under COVID-19 lockdown regulations, has generated a thriving black market. This impact of banning sale of goods...read more

Do African RECs Increase Intra-African Trade? Some Evidence from Uganda

24 Jul 2020 ~ John Stuart
Regional economic communities (RECs) come in various shapes and sizes. From the highly integrated European Union (EU) to the long-lived Southern African Customs Union (SACU), to the pre-FT...read more

The Looming Brexit Cliff – What it means for South Africa and for SACU

21 Jul 2020 ~ Dirk de Vos, Trudi Hartzenberg
On 30 June 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) passed a final threshold. Although the UK formally left the EU on 31 January in terms of the Withdrawal Agreement betwe...read more

Strict lockdown regulations – medical and electronic equipment flown in and cross-border road traffic reduced by two-thirds

14 Jul 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
South Africa’s main trading partners are China (imports of electronic components, machinery and parts and motor vehicle components; exports of ores and concentrates), Germany (imports of...read more

South Africa’s trade data update – the May 2020 data reveals the effect of eased lockdown restrictions

14 Jul 2020 ~ Willemien Viljoen
Since the beginning of May 2020 South Africa gradually started to ease lockdown restrictions with a consequent increase in trade reflected in South Africa’s trade data for May which was ...read more

Climate Change in times of COVID-19

13 Jul 2020 ~ Gavin van der Nest
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may appear that climate change related issues have been temporarily confined on the backburner. The COP26 climate summit scheduled to take place i...read more

Why is it so difficult to start trading under AfCFTA Rules?

06 Jul 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The simple answer to this question is that the task at hand is a daunting one. It should not be underestimated. The modus operandi employed for completing the African Continental Free Trad...read more


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