News Archive May 2015

tralac’s Daily News selection: 29 May 2015

The selection: Friday, 29 May

Fifty years after, Adesina elected 8th AfDB President (ThisDay)

Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Thursday broke the jinx when he got elected the eighth president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the Annual General Meeting of the bank which held in Abidjan, the Cote d’Ivoire capital. Nigeria had made three attempts at occupying the post without success. It will be Nigeria’s seminal occupation of the office in the 50-year-old bank. However, the support for Nigeria, THISDAY learnt, was boosted by Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries after Sakala from Zimbabwe was dropped in the fifth round.

Adesina's Vision Statement: ‘To achieve this vision, I will focus on driving execution in five key interrelated strategic priority areas that are all linked to the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy and advances the implementation of the Africa 2063 Agenda of the African Union, namely:’

Annual Development Effectiveness Review 2015: driving development through innovation (AfDB)

The ADER addresses three broad questions: What development progress is Africa making? How well is AfDB contributing to Africa’s development? And how well is AfDB managing itself to better support Africa’s development? The report shows how the Bank’s work is in many aspects central to innovation, such as expanding markets through regional integration, promoting skills development in science and technology and, above all, supporting creation of the backbone infrastructure on which innovation depends. The ADER provides evidence of the Bank’s contribution to Africa’s development and discusses how well it manages its portfolio and itself as an organisation. The ADER openly discusses its strengths and weaknesses and notes the reforms it is undertaking to become a stronger partner in development. [Download]

Reimagining Africa’s future: 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will be largest yet (WEF)

The World Economic Forum’s 25th meeting in Africa, taking place in Cape Town on 3-5 June, will be the largest ever in the region, convening more than 1,250 leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society and the media under the theme Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future. In addition to hosting over 90 senior government officials, the meeting will also be the best attended ever by the Forum’s Strategic Partner community of, with a total 83 leading international companies represented. [Conference www]

Northern Corridor summit to focus on private sector (New Times)

The tenth summit for the Northern Corridor Integration Project (NCIP) is set to take place in Kampala, Uganda next week with a special focus on how to actively involve the private sector in the integration projects. The summit, expected to be attended by at least four Heads of State on June 6, is aimed at assessing the implementation status of all the projects launched under the NCIP framework. James Mugume, Permanent Secretary in Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “This is a new relationship and we shall seek to learn from them what their contribution will be in these projects that we are carrying out,” he said. The summit will also be preceded by a business forum on June 4.

Corridor group enters agreement with regional body (The Namibian)

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group has signed a membership agreement with the Southern Africa Shippers Transport and Logistics Council (SASTALC), which is based in South Africa. Walvis Bay provides the shortest link to connect the massive Brazilian economy to the Southern African market. Some of the products currently moving on this trade route via Walvis Bay from Brazil to Southern Africa include chicken, meat, furniture, consumables and construction materials.

COMESA 2016-2020 Medium Term Strategic Plan on course (COMESA)

A task force of Secretariat staff, constituted by the Assistant Secretary-General, Amb. Kipyego Cheluget is currently considering the draft medium term strategic plan (MTSP) for COMESA for 2016-2020. While addressing the meeting of the task force held on 20 May 2015, Amb. Cheluget said that Council at its 32nd Meeting held in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014 decided that the 2016-2020 MTSP should be formulated and forwarded to Council before the end of 2015. The task force met from 20 to 22 May 2015 in Lusaka, Zambia, and is expected to finalise the initial draft of the MTSP before the end of June.

Rwanda re-admitted into ECCAS (New Times)

Rwanda has officially rejoined the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), eight years after pulling out of the regional bloc. The membership was confirmed this week during an annual Conference of Heads of State and Government of the organisation in N'djamena, Chad. Acting Director General in charge of Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Olivier Nduhungirehe said that the readmission would further place Rwanda favourably in the integration agenda. “With Rwanda's readmission into ECCAS, our country, already member of EAC, ICGLR & COMESA, consolidates its position at the heart of Africa.”

Where are jobs for African youth? In agri-business! (AfDB)

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister Isidore Kabwe Longo shared his country’s story, calling DRC’s vast and lucrative mineral deposits, “Africa’s mining scandal.” He said his government has started a deliberate shift from mining that the country is most famous for after coming to a realization that, despite having vast natural mineral deposits, these haven’t been able to create jobs for everyone and transform the lives of most Congolese. The Minister said unemployment in his country stands at over 45 percent and the country imports more than 40% of its food supplies costing over US $1.5bn every year. Yet in all this, DR Congo has an estimated 80 million hectares of available arable land, but due to conflict and insecurity, only around 10 percent of this land is currently being used.

UN agriculture agency teams up with global wholesale markets union to boost urban food security (UN News Centre)

FAO estimates that over 40% of root crops, fruits and vegetables are lost wasted, along with 35 per cent of fish, 30 per cent of cereals and 20 per cent of meat and dairy products, and total food waste represents an economic value of some $1 trillion annually.

Together we stand: a policy approach to reducing food loss in West Africa (Mongabay)

Kenya to import farm machinery from Brazil in Sh7.9bn loan deal (Business Daily)

AFDB mulls floating Pula bonds (Mmegi)

The African Development Bank is pondering floating local currency denominated bonds in bid to deepen local capital markets, which are characterised by a lack of suitable long-term investments instruments.

Air China puts direct route to SA on hold (News24)

Air China has cancelled the launch of its much-anticipated direct flights to South Africa. Air China spokesperson Jane Hu told Traveller24, "The flight has been cancelled due to xenophobic attacks last month. China did issue a travel warning to our citizens not to travel to South Africa at that stage. "People are worried about this country,” said Hu. According to Hu, SA's revision of its visa rules also affected the airline's decision.

Other perceptions of China: Views from Africa, Latin America, and Europe (Brookings)

According to the survey by the Pew Research Center, nowhere is public opinion more positive about China than in Africa. This result should not be surprising, as China’s engagement with Africa comes at a time when the continent is developing and pursuing its agenda for economic transformation and is in need of strong economic partnership. Africa is in need of economic partnership and China is engaging the continent on the economic front at an unprecedented scale and scope. As a result, Africa is becoming increasingly globalized through China. These all contribute to the rather positive perception of China on the African continent.

International trade slows sharply in first quarter of 2015 (OECD)

Against a backdrop of an appreciating US dollar and declining oil prices, total merchandise trade, in current US dollars, for G7 and BRIICS economies fell sharply in the first quarter of 2015, with (seasonally adjusted) exports and imports declining by 7.1% and 9.5% respectively compared to the previous quarter. [Download]

G-NEXID and UNCTAD emphasis their commitment to work together (UNCTAD)

UNCTAD and the Global Network of Exim Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID), meeting in Geneva on 19th May 2015, agreed to work together to promote understanding of south-south cooperation the role of banks in financing development. The G-NEXID, with a membership of 24 institutions, was established in March 2006 at the joint initiative of Exim Bank of India and UNCTAD, as a platform to boost South-South trade and investment relations.

Services Trade Restrictiveness Index: logistics services (OECD)

This paper presents results for the Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) for logistics services. The STRI indices are calculated for four subsectors, cargo-handling, storage and warehouse, freight transport agency and customs brokerage services. They cover all 34 OECD countries, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. The logistics services account for a relatively small share of GDP, around 1.5% on average of OECD members for which information is available while they play a crucial role to enhance and facilitate the global value chains of manufactures, retailers and carriers. Trade in logistics services has mainly taken place through commercial presence (Mode 3) and the STRI results highlight the importance of impediments affecting trade via this mode.

SADC gender ministers converge in Zimbabwe for annual meeting (APA)

EAC-USAID health project to improve health services along cross-border sites (EAC)

SADC states discuss climate change adaptation and mitigation (SADC)

Ethiopia, Kenya undertake to coordinate animal health and sanitary measures (IGAD)

Namibia: Cabinet avails N$157 million war chest against FMD (New Era)

Erera strengthens accountability in ECOWAS agencies (Daily Trust)

President Jonathan's speech at the presentation of Handover Notes to Buhari  

Rotich downplays shilling fall as currency hits new low (Business Daily)


This week in the news

Follow the links below to read tralac’s daily news selections for the past week:

The selection: Thursday, 28 May 2015

The selection: Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The selection: Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The selection: Monday, 25 May 2015


This post has been sourced on behalf of tralac and disseminated to enhance trade policy knowledge and debate. It is distributed to over 300 recipients across Africa and internationally, serving in the AU, RECS, national government trade departments and research and development agencies. Your feedback is most welcome. Any suggestions that our recipients might have of items for inclusion are most welcome. Richard Humphries (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Twitter: @richardhumphri1)

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tralac’s Daily News selection: 29 May 2015

29 May 2015
The selection: Friday, 29 May Fifty years after, Adesina elected 8 th AfDB President (ThisDay) Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Thursday broke the jinx when he got elected the eighth...
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Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria elected 8th President of the AfDB

“Today, I have been given a great responsibility,” Akinwumi A. Adesina said Thursday upon his election as the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group.

The President-Elect said he was “humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me” on the part of the Bank’s Board of Governors, who met during the Bank Group’s 50th Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

His name was announced by Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Minister of Planning and Development for Côte d’Ivoire, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank. The election process was concluded by voting among the Bank’s the Bank’s Board of Governors (54 regional member countries, 26 non-regional), whose voting powers are weighted.

Mabri emphasized that the result “was an expression of the willingness of all the member countries,” and he applauded the “good spirit that prevailed during the election process that was not marked by any tension.”

Currently serving as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi A. Adesina succeeds Donald Kaberuka, whose second term as President of the Bank ends on August 31, 2015, and to whom he paid tribute in a press conference, saying, “I salute the excellent work of President Kaberuka. It will be a big challenge for me to step into his shoes. He leaves a solid Bank behind him.”

In his speech at the Annual Meetings opening ceremony on Monday, May 25, outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka had said: “To my incoming successor, my very best wishes. Ten years goes by very quickly. It is a complex and merciless job, but very exciting. It is, in fact, not a job – but a mission.”

Akinwumi A. Adesina, 55, will assume office on 1 September 2015.

A total of eight candidatures received by the closing date of 30 January 2015 were approved by the Steering Committee of the Board of Governors. The list of candidates was officially announced on 20 February 2015.

The other candidates in the election were:

  • Sufian Ahmed (Ethiopia)
  • Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia)
  • Kordjé Bedoumra (Chad)
  • Cristina Duarte (Cabo Verde)
  • Samura M W Kamara (Sierra Leone)
  • Thomas Z Sakala (Zimbabwe)
  • Birama Boubacar Sidibé (Mali)

Akinwumi A. Adesina succeeds:

  • Mamoun Beheiry (Sudan), President, African Development Bank, 1964-1970
  • Abdelwahab Labidi (Tunisia), President, African Development Bank, 1970-1976
  • Kwame Donkor Fordwor (Ghana), African Development Bank, 1976-1980
  • Willa Mung’Omba (Zambia), President, African Development Bank, 1980-1985
  • Babacar N’diaye (Senegal), President, African Development Bank, 1985-1995
  • Omar Kabbaj (Morocco), President, African Development Bank, 1995-2005
  • Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda), President, African Development Bank, 2005-present
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Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria elected 8th President of the AfDB

29 May 2015
“Today, I have been given a great responsibility,” Akinwumi A. Adesina said Thursday upon his election as the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. The President-Elect said he was “humbled by this remarkable vote...
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Reimagining Africa’s Future: 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will be largest yet

The World Economic Forum’s 25th meeting in Africa, taking place in Cape Town on 3-5 June, will be the largest ever in the region, convening more than 1,250 leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society and the media under the theme Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future.

With the Forum’s first meeting on Africa having taken place in October 1990, the year Nelson Mandela was released from prison, the record levels of participation at this year’s gathering can be seen to reflect both an optimism in the economic prospects of the region and an unprecedented commitment across all stakeholder groups to pursue public-private cooperation as a means of tackling the considerable challenges the region still faces.

In addition to hosting over 90 senior government officials, the meeting will also be the best attended ever by the Forum’s Strategic Partner community of, with a total 83 leading international companies represented. As befits Africa’s youthful population, the meeting will also boast a record 200 young leaders, drawn from the Forum’s community of Global Shapers and Forum of Young Global Leaders, as well as the highest proportion of women leaders – at 270 woman leaders 25.8%  – than ever before. In total, over 75 countries will be represented.

“The occasion of our 25th meeting allows us an opportunity to see how far Africa has come economically, socially and politically since 1990. However, what this meeting is really about is looking forward, to see how we can channel the lessons of the past with the creativity, innovation and resourcefulness that comes from all stakeholders working together to solve Africa’s challenges in the present and future,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum.

With a programme built upon the three pillars of Enabling Markets, Marshalling Resources and Inspiring Creativity, this year’s meeting will also feature high-level sessions on critical subjects such as migration, combating terrorism and harnessing Africa’s informal economy. Alongside the meeting, the Grow Africa Investment Forum, which runs from 2 to 4 June, will bring together leaders engaged in the Forum-led Grow Africa food security initiative. Another high-level summit will take place focused on mobilizing financing for cross-border infrastructure.

This year’s meeting also boasts a number of innovations, among them Community Conversations, public debates based on the Forum’s popular Davos Open Forum format, in which young people from the city are invited to interact with meeting participants on the key subjects of entrepreneurism and leadership. The meeting will also, for the first time, webcast press conferences and issue briefings live, enabling the public to submit questions on important issues facing Africa’s future.

The Co-Chairs of the World Economic Forum on Africa are: Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive, Barclays, United Kingdom; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), New York; Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, United Kingdom; and Michael Rake, Chairman, BT Group, United Kingdom.

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AfDB’s development effectiveness review shows 70% of indicators on track

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is consciously contributing to Africa’s development and it is achieving results.

According to the Bank’s Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) 2015, 70 percent of the Bank’s indicators are on track. The publication, part of a series produced by the Bank’s Quality Assurance and Result’s Department, provides an overview of Africa’s development achievements and trends, reviews the AfDB’s contribution to development results on the continent, and looks at how well the Bank manages its operations and own organization.

The fifth edition of the publication was issued at the 50th Anniversary Annual Meetings of the Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

While acknowledging that Africa is making gradual progress, the report notes that the continent’s energy deficit remains very large. The overall electrification rate increased from 38 percent in 2005 to 42 percent in 2013, even as populations grew at a faster rate. Average electricity consumption also edged up, from 666 to 690 KWh/year.

However, Africa is still far behind other developing regions, it states.

The review indicates that the AfDB is contributing to the energy sector in Africa.

“The Bank’s approach to supporting the energy sector has evolved over the years. The 1994 Energy Sector Policy concentrated primarily on institutional reforms and capacity development in the energy sector, with the goal of helping to unlock private investment. We helped to improve pricing policies, management practices and maintenance regimes,” it reads.

The report states that after a few years, however, it became clear that private investment was not forthcoming, and therefore the Bank decided to support its regional member countries by scaling up its investments in major infrastructure development.

“For the past two decades, some 12 percent of AfDB investments have gone into the energy sector. Most went towards building national generation capacity and distribution networks, with an emphasis on rural electrification to promote inclusive growth,” it notes.

Since 2009, the Bank has contributed to financing over 1,900 MW of new generation capacity and over 15,000 km of transmission lines, according to the review.

“Through these efforts, we have provided 567,000 people with new electricity connections and over 14 million people with improved access to electricity,” the review states.

In pursuant of the Bank’s two-prong objectives of inclusive growth and transition to green growth, the review notes that the Bank has provided $32 billion in lending, knowledge and advisory services.

The Bank also plans to set up centres of excellence in biomedical science and engineering to build human capital for the continent.


Annual Development Effectiveness Review 2015: Driving development through innovation

Each year the African Development Bank publishes the Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) to provide an overview of how it contributes to Africa’s development. This fifth edition of the ADER has innovation as its theme. Innovation means not only taking ideas from around the world and adapting them to Africa’s unique conditions, but also using new home-grown ideas from across the continent to improve lives.

The ADER addresses three broad questions: What development progress is Africa making? How well is AfDB contributing to Africa’s development? And how well is AfDB managing itself to better support Africa’s development?

The report shows how the Bank’s work is in many aspects central to innovation, such as expanding markets through regional integration, promoting skills development in science and technology and, above all, supporting creation of the backbone infrastructure on which innovation depends.

The ADER provides evidence of the Bank’s contribution to Africa’s development and discusses how well it manages its portfolio and itself as an organisation. The ADER openly discusses its strengths and weaknesses and notes the reforms it is undertaking to become a stronger partner in development.

Through such initiatives as the Annual Development Effectiveness Review, it demonstrates accountability for the results of its efforts.

Level 1: Development in Africa

Africa today is at a high point in its development fortunes. A combination of high commodity prices, new trading links and widespread improvements in economic governance have made Africa the world’s fastest-growing continent. Robust economic growth is providing African countries with the means to boost public investment, strengthen social services and deliver prosperity to more of their population.


However, despite this remarkable progress, the continent continues to face challenges. African countries have
not yet made the structural change needed for growth to become self-sustaining, generating the jobs and livelihood opportunities that would help lift the majority of Africans out of poverty.


In this section, we report on Africa’s development progress over the past few years, highlighting both areas of good performance and areas in need of further effort. In particular, we indicate where innovation can help accelerate development. This section uses 26 indicators from Level 1 of the One Bank Results Measurement Framework to show 2014 performance, with traffic light symbols to indicate how Africa has progressed compared to other developing countries.

Level 2: How AfDB contributes to Africa’s development

As Africa’s premier finance institution, the AfDB provides investments, technical knowledge and policy advocacy to transform lives and livelihoods across the continent and help African countries achieve their development goals. At the end of 2014 our portfolio of operations was valued at more than $31.7 billion.


Our Bank Strategy (2013-22) sets out five core priorities, which provide the structure for this chapter: infrastructure, regional integration, private sector development, skills and technology, and governance and accountability. We also provide an account of our work on cross-cutting policy objectives: strengthening food security, promoting gender equality and reducing conflict and fragility.


In this section, we report on progress against 39 indicators at Level 2 of the One Bank Results Measurement Framework, showing results in the period 2012-14. We use a traffic light system to indicate whether we reached
or fell short of our targets. We also set out some of our plans and targets for the next three years. Many of our projects have performed well, achieving their objectives and delivering development benefits to people across Africa and we have led and supported a number of important continent-wide initiatives.

Level 3: How well AfDB manages its operations

At the African Development Bank, we continually strive to improve our performance in strategy and project management. In recent years we have introduced many new measures to help us achieve higher-quality results. This section assesses how well we are managing our portfolio of projects, using 22 indicators from Level 3 of our One Bank Results Measurement Framework. We review the design and supervision of our projects, to ensure that we are making the best use of our resources to promote inclusive and green growth. We look at whether our portfolio is optimised to deliver results efficiently and effectively, and at whether we are learning lessons from past projects to improve our performance. We assess progress on our cross-cutting agendas of gender equality and addressing fragility and climate change.


The return to the Bank headquarters, tight budgets and the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has affected many of our operations, postponing supervision missions and delaying consultation on Country Strategy Papers. Nonetheless, we have achieved many of our targets for portfolio management and we have also set ourselves some ambitious goals for the coming years.

Level 4: How efficient AfDB is as an organization

The final level of AfDB’s Results Measurement Framework assesses how well we manage ourselves as an organisation. We use 15 indicators to measure how far we have come in improving our structures and management processes to achieve value for money for our partner countries. This section examines our progress in decentralising our staff and functions to the country level and in strengthening our staff management. It looks at whether business process reforms, including the introduction of new IT systems, have led to greater efficiency. We take stock of the structural changes we introduced to help us deliver the Bank Strategy and respond to the needs of our partner countries. We also reflect on the move back to the Bank’s permanent headquarters in Abidjan, assessing how this major operation has affected the delivery of our operations.

To meet the level of ambition set out in the Bank Strategy, we must keep our own organisation under continuous review, seeking out opportunities to drive up performance and achieve better value for our partner countries. This period has therefore been particularly dynamic for the Bank, as we have realigned our structures and resources to deliver on the Strategy.

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