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tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: Reuters | Charles Placide Tossou

29 May 2017

Think 20 Summit: Global Solutions (29-30 May, Berlin). Input by PwC’s Bob Moritz: The forces of globalisation, technology, and financial growth need to be reset for the future

Africa and the SDGs - forthcoming UNECA workshops: Implementing Africa’s development agenda: experts to review baseline report (30 May — 1 June, Victoria, Seychelles), Mainstreaming SDGs in national development plans (28-30 June, Abuja)

On Sunday, 4 June: 51th Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government

Action Plan for SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (SADC)

The fundamental issue is not whether or not SADC countries are integrated into global value chains; rather, it is where the SADC countries are integrated in GVC’s. The key objective of the Action Plan is to facilitate the movement of SADC participation up the value chains where the highest value is derived. This will be accomplished by working with and supporting industry players and investors to diversify into higher value-addition activities. This needs to be supported by the application of well-harmonised industrial policies at both a member state level that is supported by a strong regional integration agenda. In light of the above, the Action Plan proposes an approach that calls for very decisive actions by SADC Member States to promote investment, trade, and industrial regionalisation. This requires national policies that, as a collective, are coherent and support the growth of productive capacities of the regional economy and achieve regional industrial integration for a more effective participation at higher levels within RVC’s and GVC’s. This will depend on a functional free trade area which facilitates export diversification, enhanced competitiveness, inclusive growth (with greater participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities), movements of goods and services and macroeconomic convergence within the regional integration arrangements and promote economies of scale.

Experience suggests that the best development outcome for SADC countries will be achieved by a combination of increased value chain participation with simultaneous upgrading. Participation in value chains may start at regional level and graduate to the global level. Within this context, the key challenge for corporate and government policy makers is to identify and prioritize entry points into value chains, as well as tasks that can be undertaken competitively and how they might be shared within value chains in the region. Deeper regional integration is an essential pre-requisite for the development of regional value chains and integration in global value chains. Close public-private collaboration is pivotal. The industry ‘discovery’ process in value chain policy making is heavily reliant on close collaboration between the two main actors to remove the infrastructural, institutional and financial constraints to value chain development, and to encourage investment by private sector players.

Central to attracting more targeted investment is the access which a regional market will provide, supporting – as it must – a far greater advantage in its economies of scale. SADC Member States have committed themselves to investment-led trade and regional economic and industrial integration. This also requires addressing the many physical and soft barriers to investment-led trade. From an implementation perspective, the emphasis therefore needs to shift to some of the microeconomic elements underpinning future growth, with a particular emphasis on moving up regional and global value chains supported by regionally coordinated procurement; targeted domestic and foreign investment; technology transfer; skills development; and the development of a friendly investment and regulatory environment.

East African Manufacturing Business Summit: 12 resolutions (EAC)

(iv) EAC should develop supply capacity to be able to participate in supply of materials for infrastructural projects and other mega projects among others taking note that this is a long-term course. EAC should develop a regional local content policy and strategy for better coordination of local content initiatives. To guide this development, the EAC is to undertake baseline studies on local content in all lead economic sectors to guide review of policies, legal and regulatory frameworks for a regional local content policy development. (v) Noting that the current EAC CET structure does not work effectively for manufacturing in the region, EAC in partnership with EABC; to detail in a comprehensive, evidence-based, and consolidated way priority for the CET review proposing four to five bands as appropriate. (vii) Regional national policies/regulations are pursued, as opposed to having single/common policies segmenting and fragmenting the market which limits the scope for economies of scale and escalates the cost of doing business. The region to develop and adopt common sectoral policy and visions to ensure stability and create uniform business environment for manufacturing-.

Promoting West African Trade Integration: ECOWAS partners private sector on regional customs code

Opening a three-day consultation workshop with the private sector on the Draft ECOWAS Customs Code, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Custom and Free Movement, Mr Laouali Chaibou, noted that it is very important for the sector to be heard as the region seeks a harmonised legal infrastructure which addresses all the issues affecting customs legislation. The President of Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Germain Essouhouna Meba, stressed that the Workshop on common Custom code is coming at the right time for according to him, without free movement of people and goods, integration is jeopardised.

ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project: launch update (GoG)

The ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project is a one-year project which will target the Greater Accra, Western, Ashanti and Northern Regions to promote free movement and migrant rights in West Africa. The project’s activities include the organization of training workshops on investigative journalism on free movement and migration, establishment of a network of journalists for migrant rights and the implementation of a public radio campaign on free movement.

Intelligence chiefs rally behind Africa’s visa-free movement (New Times)

The heads of intelligence and security services met in Kigali over the weekend to mull interventions toward the ambitions of having unrestricted movement of Africans across the continent. Meeting under the umbrella body, Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), they underscored that involvement of intelligence and security services is largely due to concerns and fears of security challenges once the move is operationalised.

EAC tables $110m budget to EALA

The 2017/2018 Budget themed ‘Áccelerating Implementation of the EAC Integration Agenda’is a step-up from $101,374,589 presented to the House in the previous financial yYear. The Budget speech prioritizes on the consolidation of the Single Customs Territory to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods, infrastructure development in the region and further liberalization of free movement of skilled labour across the Partner States. Other key areas Hon Maganda said, include enhancement of regional industrial development through investment in key priority sectors and improvement of agricultural productivity with an aim to enhancing food security. Also of essence is the promotion of regional peace, security and good governance, on the one side and institutional transformation to spearhead the Community’s agenda on the other. The Budget is allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows:

ECOWAS Administration and Finance Committee: update

ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel de Souza, alluded to the issues relatin,g to the Commission organogram, which had been a major discussion point during last December 2016’s AFC meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, and ECOWAS’ precarious cash flow situation, which requires that measures are taken to ensure payment of the Community Levy. “The Community Levy is the backbone of financing ECOWAS programmes and activities”, Marcel de Souza emphasised. Obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, promotion of the right of entry, residence and establishment of Community citizens, corruption, youth unemployment, and low trade volume in the region, also constitute key challenges that need to be addressed.

North-South Rail Corridor study: an example of what Africans can achieve when working together (NBF)

The North-South Rail Corridor project showcases the cooperative efforts of five rail operators in SADC, working together to increase intra-African trade in the region. The North-South Rail Corridor study being developed will be used as a blueprint to grow the freight and passenger volumes transported on the corridor and to reduce the cost of rail transportation through better pricing and service strategies. A memorandum of understating has been signed between the rail operators on the North-South Rail Corridor which includes Zambia Railways Limited, Grindrod/Beitbridge - Bulawayo Railways, Société Nationale des Chemins de fer du Congo, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Swaziland Railway, Transnet SOC and Botswana Railways. [EALA: Report of the Committee on CTI on the Oversight of Railway Infrastructure Development]

South Africa: Cabinet approves the Road Freight Strategy, Draft Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy 2017 (pdf)

Uganda: Trade sector gets meagre funds in budget allocations (Daily Monitor)

The 2017/18 National Budget will see the ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperative (MTIC) docket relegated to the periphery yet again. This is evidenced by the shoestring budget allocated to the sector the government expects to play a critical role in delivering the much-talked about middle income status. In an interview last week, technocrats at the ministry said if the sector is not properly funded, it will be difficult for the country’s transformational agenda to be implemented to the fullest. Furthermore, the 2017/18 ministry’s budget has been slashed by Shs2.6 billion, further distressing the implementers of the sector programme.

Robert Kappel: New horizons for Germany’s Africa policy (GIGA)

Africa is becoming increasingly differentiated, and developing a joint strategy with individual countries or groups of countries that reflects the varying speeds at which changes are occurring would be a decisive step. The plan does not cover sufficient ground on this issue. In order to develop a coherent Africa concept for the German federal government, the participation of the most important ministries needs to be improved, and the chancellor needs to be in charge of the overall management. The paper (pdf) concludes that Germanyʹs Africa policy needs to be redesigned. The Marshall Plan has generated a shift, but it does not provide sufficient guidance to new horizons and away from the well‐beaten track of traditional development cooperation. The departure to a new age that is defined by increased cooperation with democratic African countries which are capable of reform, and by a courageous and consistent stance in relation to non‐democratic countries, has not yet taken place.

G20 and Africa: Sectoral policies and delivering on African citizens’ demands

Based on evidence from Afrobarometer public-attitude surveys across 36 African countries, this policy brief shows that (a) Africans prioritize paid employment, social services, infrastructure, and food security; (b) poverty reduction is associated with access to reliable development infrastructure; and (c) beyond specific sector investments, sustainable development requires public trust in institutions built on good governance and political accountability. [The analysts: E. Gyimah-Boadi, Michael Bratton, Julia Leininger], [G20 Summit in Hamburg: IASS and partners publish policy recommendations]

Today’s Quick Links

Kenya: PS Njoroge rallies African countries to harmonise energy standards

G7: Leaders’ communiqué

President Kenyatta: input to G7 Africa Outreach meeting

Paul Collier: How to make Lagos a 21st century city

ODI Briefing Paper: Aid, exports and employment in the UK

India Development Update: unlocking women’s potential

India not keen to put e-commerce under FTA with Russia-led group

Henry Sherrell: The India-Australia FTA’s impossible road ahead

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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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