tralac’s Daily News Selection

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tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

The selection: Friday, 26 August 2016

TICADVI Summit 27-28 August: conference website

Twitter updates: @TICAD6Nairobi, #TICADVI, #TICAD6, #TICAD6NAIROBI,

Today’s featured side event – Role of the private sector in Africa's economic transformation – will be live streamed.

The Japan Times is posting special updates: access here

Kenyan perspectives on TICAD: Trade, financing top Japan-Africa forum’s agenda (Business Daily): The Japan before Ticad is quite obscure. Just like other African states, Kenyan firms have struggled to gain a foothold of the market which would be an alternative outlet for cut flowers, tea, coffee, nuts, fish fillets, tobacco and sisal fibres. “There are substantial exports of cut flowers to Japan and the market has been growing over time but we can’t compare to the EU,” Dr Margate Muchui, chief executive at Fresh Produce Exporters and Association Kenya told the Business Daily. “Exports of fruits and vegetables has however not taken off due to stringent access requirements for the Japanese market, especially the requirement to fumigate produce which makes doing business costly.” [Kenya takes lion’s share of Japanese funding in region, Ambassador Solomon Karanja Maina: Toward a more dynamic Japan-Africa partnership]

Japanese perspectives on TICAD: Summit seeks expanded investment and development (Japan Times): Their wish lists are expected to be highlighted in the Nairobi Declaration, which is expected to be adopted on 28 August, the last day of the two-day conference. The document would include pandemic prevention measures and call for high-quality infrastructure, a necessary engine for African development, to differentiate its commitment from China. But at the same time, the declaration is expected to emphasize the industrialization of the African economies and counterterrorism measures, a major shift from the framework focused on official development assistance. [Unique chance for open dialogue on African issues, Japan’s smaller businesses the key to long-term support of Africa]

IFAD’s Kanayo F. Nwanze: Massive food importation harming Africa’s economies: The $35bn a year that Africa spends on importing food should be used to create local jobs in agriculture, according to the President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze. Addressing the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi today, Nwanze is expected to tell African leaders that the potential for prosperity on the continent is enormous, but investments need to be redirected to developing the agricultural sector. Although it has a quarter of the world’s arable land, Africa generates only 10% of global agricultural output. “If even a portion of the money used for food imports was spent on creating jobs in rural areas, not only would the world’s largest youth population see a viable future on the continent, but Africa would be able to feed itself,” he said.

Estifanos Afeworki, Ambassador of Eritrea: Transfer to heavy industry is critical to future expansion (Japan Times): Most of the existing industrial enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa are mostly small scale. The need to shift to heavy industrial scale is critical now. Therefore, meeting the demands for efficient infrastructure facilities is a key factor for the successful achievements of the African Development Agenda 2063. The clarion call of Japan and African cooperation in the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) being the flow of foreign direct investment, know-how and technology to the industrialization, health and social stability of our countries, it is imperative to express and underline the fundamental mutual interest of collaboration in these key areas with Japan in this important summit being held in Africa for the first time.

Africa-Singapore Business Forum: Africa is on the ascent and Singapore must ride this wave, says Tharman

At the opening of the Africa-Singapore Business Forum on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam cautioned Asia and Africa – the world’s biggest sources of consumption growth over the next few decades – against echoing the type of anti-trade and anti-globalisation sentiment that’s being felt elsewhere. More than 60 Singapore companies, including water-solutions provider Hyflux and shipping firm Pacific International Lines, are operating across more than 50 African countries, and counting. The latest available figures show that bilateral trade between Singapore and Africa has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.2% since 2005, reaching $11.5bn last year; as of end 2014, Singapore’s cumulative direct investments into Africa stood at $22.1 billion.

SABF update: Govt must improve private sector engagement - FSE&CC (Swazi Observer)

Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Bonisiwe Ntando, says although government involves the private sector when adopting policies, for now the engagement remains superficial. Ntando was responding to the issues raised during the ongoing second annual Southern African Business Forum Conference. She said for Swaziland specifically, the consultations were not that effective. “We have just set up a trade facilitation committee, whereby private sector participates in, but, it is a new committee and you can imagine how old SADC is, why was the private sector not involved all along? However, we hope that now as we have started on this new path, the consultations will be sustained.”

COMESA policy processes: updates

@mdbrauch: @comesa_lusaka experts have adopted a revised COMESA Common Investment Area agreement on 3rd day of the meeting (and) Revised CCIA agreement adopted today will strengthen investment law and policy in and for Africa

@tembo_dorothy: COMESA gender ministers adopt regional gender framework & guideline for CAADP

@comesa_lusaka: Malawi and Mauritius are the only two COMESA countries that have so far signed the COMESA Social Charter

SACU: The capabilities driving participation in global value chains (World Bank)

The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. First, using the framework outlined above, we investigate which capabilities matters most for participation in GVCs – overall and within the 14 sectors identified (the 10 main final assembly sectors plus 4 intermediate sectors). Then, we use the example of countries within the Southern African Customs Union to illustrate how capabilities of these countries compare to other regions more involved in GVCs. This analysis gives a sense of the sectors SACU countries might target to advance their participation in GVCs, and which capabilities they might need to build in order to do that. Additional analysis not undertaken in this paper could further establish sector targets and specific policies required. [The analysts: Vilas Pathikonda, Thomas Farole]

Africa’s 2015 remittances (AU)

In 2015, $66bn in official remittances were sent from overseas and through intra-African remittance corridors. The top sending countries in 2015 were the USA ($8,87bn), Saudi Arabia (8,36bn), France (6,72bn), UK (5,51bn), and Italy (3,36bn). Intra-Africa remittances constituted 20%, at $12,8bn, sent from Cameroon (2,15bn), Cote d’Ivoire (1,66bn), SA (1,06bn), Ghana (1bn), Nigeria (0.9bn). The top 10 receiving countries: Nigeria ($20,66bn), Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, South Africa ($0,87bn). [African Institute for Remittances to work with key market players to lower the cost of sending money to and within Africa]

NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility: update (AfDB)

The two-day seminar, held in Abidjan, was also attended by other AfDB Infrastructure Specialists in energy from field offices covering Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Angola, and was aimed at defining modalities for improved delivery aligned to the new NEPAD-IPPF Strategic Business Plan covering the five-year period 2016-2020. Discussions at the retreat also focused on strengthening internal capacity of NEPAD-IPPF with new working clusters based on defined roles and value addition through enhanced collaboration and synergies to improve operational effectiveness, efficient delivery and enhanced interface with clients. The four clusters are Project Delivery; Financing and Partnerships; Portfolio Management; and Communications and Outreach. [Q&A with NEPAD-IPPF's Shem Simuyemba]

Logistics Africa 2016: Sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging logistics property sector (Knight Frank)

“As Sub-Saharan Africa undergoes a wave of modern commercial property development, the logistics sector is emerging as a focus for activity. Already some leading Middle Eastern developers have targeted the sector; Kuwaiti based Agility has ambitious plans to create a network of logistics hubs across Africa, while Dubai’s DP World has been granted a concession to develop and operate a new logistics centre in Kigali, Rwanda,” says Andrew Marshall, Senior Surveyor in Logistics, at Knight Frank Middle East. According to Knight Frank’s Logistics Africa 2016 report, there is rising demand for high quality logistics space from retailers and consumer goods manufacturers seeking to expand their African operations and improve distribution networks and supply chains. Highlights from the report include:

Zimbabwe: Stop the rot at border posts (The Herald)

For instance, on a recent trip to Musina by bus, I realised Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 and other restrictions may leave the State counting the losses while officials at the border will be smiling all the way to the bank. Based on what I witnessed, SI64 seems to be failing to restrict all the identified goods but has successfully benefited Zimra officials and other departments at the border. When we left Roadport bus terminus, the conductor made an announcement in the bus that passengers were not allowed to bring blankets, furniture, sofas and other banned goods but then invited those who wanted to bring the same to see him. And on our return, the whole bus trailer was full of the same goods the conductor said were banned. Apparently while the goods were being loaded into the bus, an official inside was demanding R200 from each passenger claiming the money was meant for officials at the border on the Zimbabwean side to facilitate easy passage where they would not be meticulous in searching goods on the bus and to allow banned goods to go through.

Rwanda, DR Congo farmers agree deal to ease trade (New Times)

Rwandan agri-business traders can now penetrate the DR Congo market following the signing of bilateral trading agreement between Private Sector Federation (chamber of farmers) and Congolese Farmers-Concessioners Association for Development. The deal, which is aimed at formalising cross-border trade between two countries, was signed, yesterday, in Goma city in eastern DR Congo, on the second day of a three-day agri-business trade mission organised by PSF. According to the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in promoting cross-border trade by identifying and sharing market opportunities for agricultural products. It was also agreed that the two parties share expertise among the trade leadership as well as enable joint investment to enhance trade.

South Africa's agricultural exports decline in 2015 (pdf, Agbiz)

In 2015, South Africa's agricultural exports declined for the first time in 10 years, after a drier season. Africa remained South Africa's largest market, accounting for 45% of agricultural exports - which is 1% below the 5-year average share. The EU accounted for 27% of South Africa's agricultural exports in 2015, with Asia taking up 12%, and the Middle East 7%. The Americas and the rest of the world (ROW) accounted for 5%, of South Africa's agricultural exports, respectively.

SADC and EU Economic Partnership Agreement: presentation by Ms Niki Kruger (Chief Director: Trade Negotiations) to SA's Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry (pdf, DTI)

Power Africa updates: USTDA accepting proposals for clean energy projects through 26 September (USTDA), New partnership arrangement with Japan (USAID)


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