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tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

21 Feb 2017

African Corridor Alliance established to stimulate development (New Era)

The ACMA secretariat will assist in unbundling, prioritising and sequencing corridor-orientated initiatives into the pipeline of bankable sub-projects, facilitating private sector engagement and addressing issues of enabling environments in collaboration with CMIs in addition to aiding resource mobilisation in collaboration with financing institutions. The support and collaboration of the regional economic communities and the corridor states are vital to not only lead to the success of the undertakings by the alliance, but also to ensure that the ownership of ACMA initiatives is consistent with those of the RECs and the corridor states that are ultimately the beneficiaries.

GE announces partnership with Transnet to digitise African transport (Pulse)

GE Transport and Transnet, South African-based freight logistics chain have entered a digital partnership to seamlessly connect shippers and transport operators in streamlining pricing and capacity on the network, shipment planning, fuel costs savings and delivering goods to the market more effectively. GE Transport will assist Transnet to deliver goods and services with greater speed and efficiency through the provision of essential data required through Predix – GE’s cloud-based operating system for the Industrial Internet of Things.

Western Power Corridor pact can be revived, says Reuel Khoza (Business Day)

The Western Power Corridor could still be revived with committed political leadership, Reuel Khoza said on Monday. The corridor was a cooperative agreement among five Southern African countries established in 2003 to develop the Inga 3 hydropower project and associated infrastructure. Khoza, a former Eskom chairman, is now involved in renewable power projects. One of the speakers on a ministerial panel on increasing regional energy trade and co-operation at the Africa Energy Indaba starting on Tuesday, he is chairman of Aka Capital and independent power producer Globeleq as well as the author of several books on governance and leadership. "Regional integration is possible with the necessary political vision and will," Khoza said. "In Southern Africa the energy entities are state utilities, not private-sector generation and distribution companies, so everything revolves around co-operation among governments."

South Africa: Durban’s dig-out port a ‘no go’ until 2030 (South Coast Sun)

The proposed dig-out port is a definite ‘no go’ until at least 2030, as Transnet opts to implement short-term solutions. Existing berths closer to the sugar terminals are being widened and deepened to accommodate larger ships, at an envisaged cost of R14.4-billion by 2022/3, as opposed to the inception of the dig-out port off the Prospecton coast. Although Durban Harbour retains the number one position as the busiest harbour in sub Saharan Africa and fourth in the Southern Hemisphere, it relinquished second position in Africa, resulting in a third position behind Port Said in Egypt. That, in turn, relinquished first for second busiest to a new role player in the market, the four-year-old cargo port Tanger Med off the coast of Morocco. These, and other constantly changing factors that include an increased number of road corridors into Central Africa (total of 10 into the DRC), have necessitated adaptive planning.

Mozambique: Access channel to the port of Maputo, Mozambique, dredged to 14.2 metres (Hellenic Shipping News)

This dredging, which was intended to allow access to the port by ships of up to 80,000 tonnes, making the port of Maputo more competitive in regional and international markets, “is a strategic decision that will help to achieve the set target of processing 40 million tonnes of cargo by the end of the year 2020.” Osório Lucas, Executive Director of the MPDC, said during the ceremony that marked the completion of the channel dredging that the idea behind the investments was to transform the port of Maputo “not into an alternative port but into a port of choice.”

Kenya: New regulations to let local firms share in Sh304b shipping profits (The Standard)

The Kenya Maritime Authority said local importers spend Sh304 billion in freight and destination costs annually and that the Government was keen to facilitate local investors to venture into the business. "We are in discussions on how to spur local investment in merchant shipping," said John Omingo, KMA’s commercial shipping manager. Under regulations that govern the right to operate sea transport services, only domestically owned or registered ships are allowed to ply local cargo routes. But KMA is proposing more continental rights. "This will mean that foreign container carriers will drop cargo at one big port, say Mombasa, and African-registered ships will transport the goods within African ports," said Mr Omingo. He said similar arrangements exist in Europe, India and the US.

Why Kenya may lose out on shipping billions (The Standard)

Landlocked countries in the region are watching with interest the mega infrastructure projects that are taking place in countries along the Eastern Africa coastline. Countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Eastern Congo and South Sudan are currently heavily depended on the port of Mombasa for their imports. Limited alternatives have always seen them put up with high costs, delays and congestion at the port of Mombasa but this could soon change, as Tanzania spends big on upgrading its ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga and building corridors connecting the ports to the hinterland and neighbouring countries. Djibouti, while not a traditional competitor to Mombasa, is also spending large sums in infrastructure upgrade, with the help of China in its ports and setting up a free trade zone that it expects could be the ‘Dubai’ of the Great Lakes region. While there has always been talk of importers and shippers ditching Mombasa for Dar es Salaam, experts say the new developments when complete will keep Kenyan port operators on their toes. Already, there is a sense that power is shifting in the region, with Kenya’s tradition partners keen on playing a bigger role in the region.

Tanzania authorities to build $4m inland port (Coastweek)

A Tanzanian cabinet minister said on Tuesday the government will next month start construction of a $4m inland container depot in Coast region to decongest the Dar es Salaam port and improve efficiency. The Dar es Salaam port is busy and faces congestion as it serves landlocked countries of Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Makame Mbarawa, the east African nation’s Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, said the ICD will be constructed in 500 hectares of land and will be completed in nine weeks.

Nigeria: MD says 25-year ports Master Plan will unfold soon (Pulse)

The Nigerian Ports Authority is committed to concluding the 25-year Port Master Plan. The Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, said this at a two-day retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbour and Waterways, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies. According to her, the Port Master Plan is expected to provide a clear overview of the entire port system, which is vital for guided port development. On passage of pending relevant bills (Ports and Harbours Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, etc), the managing director expressed delight that members of the House Committee agreed that there was an urgent need to pass the bills. She said that the bills would replace the existing obsolete laws, which were not supportive of the current developmental goals. [Railway and Nigeria’s economic development]

Nigeria: FG to concession Nigerian Railway Corporation (Channels)

The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to concession the Nigerian Railway Corporation to any reputable foreign company. “A number of foreign companies responded to the advertisement while the corporation has begun to study the bids submitted by the companies with a view to settling down for one that meets the laid down requirements and standards,” chairman of the NRC, Usman Abubakar, said. [FG’s planned revival of Eastern, Western rail lines will reduce downtime]

South Africa: New Draft White Paper suggests standard gauge network for freight rail (Mining Weekly)

A new national rail strategy, proposed to become legislation in 2018/2019, will give policy direction to the rail sector for the first time in 150 years, says Department of Transport deputy director-general rail Jan-David de Villiers. The policy – currently a Draft White Paper – comes as South Africa’s railways are no longer able to compete effectively against other transport modes in capturing their proper share of the national freight and passenger markets, he explains.

Zimbabwe: Govt moves to revive NRZ (The Chronicle)

The Government has acquired 31 rail wagons worth $2.9 million as it moves to recapitalise the National Railways of Zimbabwe, a Cabinet minister has said. Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the recapitalisation of the NRZ also included track, signalling and telecommunications infrastructure rehabilitation, re-electrification and acquisition of rolling stock. “The estimated cost of the recapitalisation of NRZ is estimated to be $635m over a period of three years,” Dr Gumbo said. He said this while addressing officers at the Joint Command and Staff on strategic issues affecting the preservation, maintenance and renewal of transportation infrastructure at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare on Thursday last week.

Imperial half-year profit falls (Moneyweb)

South African logistics group Imperial Holdings posted a 15% fall in half-year profit on Tuesday and said dividends in future would be based on headline earnings per share. In Africa, the group said: “Falling commodity demand, low oil prices and the consequent impact on currencies and private consumption has negatively impacted the growth rate in the African region where R5.7bn or 9% of group revenue and R461 million or 16% of group operating profit was generated during the period.”

South Africa: Gauteng SOPA 2017 speech (pdf, Gauteng Province)

We have intensified our work regarding economic diplomacy as part of the Gauteng City Region as a preferred destination for investment and tourism. We are focusing on increasing trade and investment flows with major economies in Africa, BRIC, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. We are also working in partnership with transnational and domestic business chambers that are based in our province. We have a more targeted and purposeful approach to international visits and trade missions. I have decided to appoint the Premier’s Economic Advisory Panel made up of the following economic experts, entrepreneurs and labour representatives: Mr Jabu Moleketi (Chairperson), Dr Sizeka Rensburg, Ms Chichi Maponya, Mr Lumkile Mondi, Mr Dumisani Dakile, Ms Trudy Makhanya, Dr Thandi Ndlovu, Ms Pamela Mondliwa, Mr Ravi Naidoo, Professor Fiona Tregenna, Dr Paul Jourdan, Mr Pepi Silinga, Mr Davis Cook and Ms Tebogo Nkosi. The panel will advise the Premier and the Gauteng Provincial Government on implementing strategies to realise our objectives of increasing employment, empowerment, exports and inclusive growth in line with the vision set out in the National Development Plan and our Provincial Economic Plan.

Under China’s belt (Cranes Today)

In the second of a two-part series, Stuart Anderson, president of Chortsey Barr Associates, looks in more detail at the countries where Chinese crane exporters have had the most notable export successes, and breaks down some of the factors driving this demand. African challenges and opportunities: It’s a market that consumed almost 400 truck cranes in 2015, with XCMG taking a share close to 60%, followed by Zoomlion with over 30%. XCMG’s strength is thanks not only to its political connections but also, in large part, to its continent wide presence as well as the considerable successes of Chinese import/export traders.

Kenya sends 36 students to China to study railway engineering (Capital FM)

Kenya Railways will hold a farewell ceremony tomorrow for the second batch of students leaving for China under the CRBC/SGR Capacity building scholarship program. The scholarship program was launched by the President in March 2016 to train new railway engineers for the future sustainability of the Standard Gauge Railway system. The students will undertake a Bachelor’s degree course in Railway engineering for four years at Beijing Jiatong University.

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This post has been sourced on behalf of tralac and disseminated to enhance trade policy knowledge and debate. It is distributed to recipients across Africa and internationally, serving in the AU, RECs, national government trade departments and research and development agencies.

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