Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

A Daily Nation primer for today’s AU Heads of State Summit: The schedule and what to expect in Addis Ababa

Assembly of Heads of State: remarks by Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Kagame presents reforms proposal to African leaders (New Times)

Kagame presented the report titled, “The Imperative to Strengthen Our Union,” on the sidelines of the ongoing 28th African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital. Following the presentation, African leaders present welcomed the proposed reforms, which seek to realign and re-energise the Union to improve performance and connect better with citizens by delivering on the institution’s agenda. The retreat’s final outcomes are set to be presented for adoption at the summit during a formal session later today, during which the proposal on reforms will be tabled to the General Assembly.

ACBF releases three reports on capacity development imperatives for Agenda 2063:

Capacity requirements for the new African vision Agenda 2063 (pdf): This study provides a conceptual and operational framing of imperatives and capacity issues required for delivering Agenda 2063. The nature of the assignment required a flexible system to be used for consultation, information and data gathering, and analysis. The findings in this report are derived from high-level interviews and discussions with key organizations, initial consultations with other key stakeholders and knowledgeable individuals, and analytical work.

Capacity development plan framework buttressing implementation of the First 10-Year Plan (pdf): The AUC decided to assess the capacities required for implementing Agenda 2063 at the continental and regional levels (and subsequently at the national level) and worked closely with the ACBF, which led the exercise conducted by the Capacity Team in 2015. This capacity development plan (CDP) document proposes multilevel and multi-stakeholder CDPs that identify an initial set of foundational capacity-strengthening activities for the First 10-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

African critical technical skills - key capacity dimensions needed for the First 10 Years of Agenda 2063 (pdf): This study produced by the ACBF in conjunction with the AUC observes that the single biggest challenge to ownership of Africa’s development agenda and management of its key development programs is grounded in the issue of critical technical skill (CTS) in Africa. Considering the huge importance of capacity dimensions for Agenda 2063, it might be helpful to incorporate within AU system the continued partnership support of the ACBF on issues of capacity imperatives and robust African skills development for Agenda 2063.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki: ‘Nepad could become African UNDP’ (Jeune Afrique)

ECA and African Peer Review Mechanism sign MoU for improved cooperation

AU set to harmonize electricity regulation on the continent (New Times)

The AU’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Elham Ibrahim, said on Friday that the continental body has developed a strategy and action plans that will be undertaken at the national, regional and continental level in ensuring the development of the regional electricity markets. "The AUC intend to have the framework become effective in the next three years once it is approved by the African Energy Ministers in March 2017," she noted at a press conference in Addis Ababa. She said that the framework will help create a robust economic regulation, create enabling renewable energy framework, and establish standards for energy efficiency.

Nigeria signs AU Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Premium Times)

Nigeria on Sunday signed the African Union Convention on Cross Border Corporation as part of the side line events at the ongoing 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. The Niamey Convention (pdf), which was adopted in 2014, is to promote Cross Border Corporation at local, sub-regional and regional levels with the aim of ensuring peaceful resolution of border disputes. It is also to ensure efficient and effective border management. [Reposting: Addis Ababa Declaration on the African Union Border Programme and measures for its consolidation]

Benin hit by neighbouring Nigeria’s car import ban (AFP, Arab News)

There has not been a single customer since December, when neighboring Nigeria banned car imports by land as part of a wave of protectionist policies that are strangling Benin’s economy. This afternoon, Hijazi — who, like the vast majority of car dealers in Benin, is Lebanese — called in his Beninese accountant to help close up shop. Debts are accumulating and the stress is becoming too much. “I lost in one year what I have earned in 16,” Ali Assi, another car dealer, said. Of the 2,500 Lebanese dealers in Cotonou, 1,600 have packed up and left in the last six months, shutting down businesses that employed dozens of drivers, cleaners and security staff.

Egypt’s thawing relations with the Nile Basin Initiative (Ahram)

The Nile Basin Initiative is currently preparing a delegation to visit Cairo to discuss Egypt’s possible return to the regional grouping after seven years of inactivity, the initiative’s head said. “Hopefully by March, the NBI can send the delegation if formed, and successful talks would depend on the Egyptian authorities,” Innocent Ntabana, the executive director of the initiative, told Ahram Online by phone earlier this month from Entebbe. Egypt froze its participation in the bloc in 2010, but last July, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati attended the 24th annual meeting of the NBI’s Nile Council of Ministers in Uganda, a move viewed as partial return of the northern African nation to active participation in the group. From the perspective of many Egyptians, neither the minister’s move nor the NBI’s anticipated visit to Cairo have been that significant, due to their lack of information about the Nile states’ relations.

Christine Lagarde: ‘Uganda’s development challenge’ (IMF)

In addition, there is another “community” emerging in Africa: the community of cross-border banks. Some are Pan-African Banks. Others are regional institutions, as in East Africa. These African banks have moved into the space vacated by other international banks that withdrew from the region after the global financial crisis. This offers new opportunities for countries such as Uganda. But it also presents new challenges for bank regulation and supervision that require unprecedented cooperation. So far, I have focused on infrastructure, institutions and regional integration. What does that leave?

Aubrey Hruby: ‘The developmental difference of African private equity’ (Beyond Brics, FT)

In a study of 200 African companies backed by PE between 2009 and 2015, the African Venture Capital Association (AVCA) found that companies generated a net increase of 10,990 jobs. FMO, the Dutch development finance institution (DFI), backed PE funds and companies across development countries that created 858,000 direct jobs in 2015. Its UK counterpart, CDC, reported creating over a million new direct and indirect jobs in Africa and Asia. More jobs, especially for women, increase health and educational attainment and contribute to the overall sustainable development goals. [Recent AVCA reports]

Is Kenya ready to tax the digital economies? (Business Daily)

Kenya has plans in motion to be the Silicon Valley of Africa, dubbed the Silicon Savannah. The plans are commendable and would contribute significantly to the economy of the country. The tax revenues potential, which are a significant part of such contributions, cannot be realised without tax laws that are up to date. Kenya will be sending the KRA to a guns and machines war, only armed with bows and arrows. We all know how that will end. The KRA will lose badly as it did in a recent case against one of the international taxi-hailing app company. Let’s not spend billions of shillings to build tech cities like Konza but fail to reap the fair benefits because we failed to pay attention to a critical component — modernisation of our tax laws. [Atlas Mara, Visa sign deal to improve access to e-payment facilities]

Download the presentations from last week’s TMEA/ICTSD workshop: ‘Leveraging services and digital potential for inclusive economic growth’

Accelerating the IFF agenda for African countries (GFI)

Below is a list of fourteen measures governments can take in the immediate term to catalyze their efforts to combat IFFs. Brief explanations of each measure are included in the pages that follow.

A recipient perspective on TOSSD: the case of Senegal (pdf, OECD)

The international community then took note of TOSSD [Total official support for sustainable development] in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July 2015, calling for “open, inclusive and transparent discussions” on this proposed measurement framework. As part of the overall roadmap to develop this framework, a first recipient country pilot was carried out in Senegal in April/May 2016. Its main objective was to contribute to the elaboration of TOSSD as a statistical framework that is useful and relevant to developing countries. The country pilot study garnered feedback from key actors on the ground relating to the relevance of TOSSD for the specific Senegalese country context. Consequently, possible adjustments to the main building blocks of TOSSD have been identified, which will prove crucial to further take into account the perspective of developing countries into the framework.

Nigeria, Chad need $50bn to refill Lake Chad (News Agency of Nigeria)

Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said it was going to cost about $15m or more to do a comprehensive feasibility study on recharging of Lake Chad. “The cost of recharging is in the neighbourhood of $15bn to $20bn. I pointed out that we are looking at the possibility of organising international donor conference to look for fund to addressing this issue." The lake had shrunk to about 10% and has had catastrophic effect on the people living in that area. Nigeria is looking at in that context of the possibility of recharging the lake from a river from Central Africa, the Rangin River, he said.

Nigeria-India trade volume drops to $12bn in 2016 (Daily Trust)

The Acting Indian High Commissioner, Mr. Kaiser Alam, has said that the trade volume between Nigeria and India dropped from $16bn in 015 to $12bn in 2016. Speaking at a reception in Abuja to mark the 68th Republic Day of India, the envoy said the fall was because of declining oil price in the international market. “We were importing the same amount but the oil prices came down. Above all, our trade was the same and the trade surplus was in favour of Nigeria.”

South Africa, Thailand to sign investment MoU (EIN News)

According to the Acting Head of ISA, Mr Yunus Hoosen, officials from the KwaZulu-Natal-based Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone will be part of the delegation. They will be on a mission to attract Thailand automotive component manufacturers to invest in the RBIDZ. “We are optimistic that the implementation of the MoU will see Thai investors setting up manufacturing plants in South Africa resulting in job creation,” adds Hoosen. The latest statistics show that total trade between South Africa and Thailand in the first three quarters of 2016 reached R29.9bn, a 24.3 % increase from R24bn achieved in the same period of 2015.

Zimbabwe: State to review 5% export incentive (The Herald)

Government will undertake a review of the 5% export incentive in favour of value addition with a proposal to increase the incentive up to 10% for exporting manufacturers. This is contained in the ZimTrade’s Export Capacity Feedback Report Mid-Term Review under the Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe presented last week by thematic group leader Salie Khan. Draft proposals for the review of the export incentive are being considered by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer

Available data for Africa points to an 8% rebound in international arrivals in 2016 after two troubled years, adding 4 million arrivals to reach 58 million. Sub-Saharan Africa (+11%) led growth, while a gradual recovery started in North Africa (+3%). Based on current trends, the outlook of the UNWTO Panel of Experts and economic prospects, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals worldwide to grow at a rate of 3% to 4% in 2017. Europe is expected to grow at 2% to 3%, Asia and the Pacific and Africa both at 5% to 6%, the Americas at 4% to 5% and the Middle East at 2% to 5%, given the higher volatility in the region. [Various downloads]

Today’s Quick Links:

EALA enacts two key Bills as it adjourns

Sun sets on Angolan dream for Portuguese expats

Revival beckons for Sudan as US lifts economic sanctions

Africa the new frontier for AB InBev

Tazara gets 165000 tonnes of new freight orders this year

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