Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: ICIJ

The African Statistical Yearbook 2017 is launched (UNECA)

The Yearbook series is a result of joint efforts by major African regional organizations to set up a joint data collection mechanism of socioeconomic data on African countries as well as the development of a common harmonized database. The Joint African Statistical Yearbook is meant to break with the practices of the past where each regional/subregional organization was publishing statistical data on African countries of the continent in an inefficient way, leading to duplication of efforts, inefficient use of scarce resources, increased burden on countries and sending different signals to users involved in tracking development efforts on the continent. [Profiled Table from the yearbook (pdf): Intra-African trade by Regional Economic Communities in 2015 (Chapter 4 External Sector, p 65)]

Brexit Dashboards: Africa-UK regional factsheets (Commonwealth)

The economic fallout from Brexit – the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – may have wide-ranging implications for many Sub-Saharan African countries. The main transmission channels through which countries’ growth and development prospects could be affected include trade, investment, remittances, aid and development finance. Prepared ahead of the Commonwealth African Regional Consultation on Multilateral, Regional and Emerging Trade Issues in Mauritius (held on 25-26 May 2017), these factsheets provide a snapshot of indicators for each region’s macroeconomic, trade and investment exposure to the UK. Southern Africa and East Africa are extremely exposed to Brexit-related shocks, while Central Africa is the least exposed. [Downloads (pdf): East Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa]

Africa and illicit financial flows: (i) IFF Working Group convenes second meeting in Kenya, (ii) EU Parliament public hearing: Impact of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers on developing countries (pdf)

Profiled EALA Committee oversight reports: (i) Report of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment on the Single Customs Territory (with 14 recommendations) (pdf); (ii) Report of EALA on the sensitisation activities in EAC partner states, April 2017 (with 10 recommendations) (pdf)

Kenyan assemblers seek EALA’s nod for higher taxes on used cars (Business Daily)

Kenya’s vehicle assemblers have turned to the regional parliament, seeking steeper taxes for second-hand cars. The assemblers have appealed to the EALA to have all second-hand vehicles subjected to higher tariffs than the 25 per cent currently levied on both old and new vehicles. Through the regional umbrella body for businesses, the East African Business Council, the firms also want the bloc to adopt a uniform age limit rule for second hand vehicles. At the moment, Kenya applies an eight-year age rule on second hand vehicles while Tanzania has a 10-year limit. The rest of the East Africa Community members do not have age restrictions on second hand car imports.

EALA: Bid for an EA regional mining umbrella afoot (Daily News)

The EAC Mining Bill that was moved by Mr Chris Opoka-Okumu (Uganda) hopes to provide a legal framework for the regulation of mining operations in the EAC. It seeks to implement the EAC Vision 2050 and specifically to operationalise Article 114(2) (c ) (iv) of the EAC Treaty that calls for harmonisation of mining regulations to ensure environmentally friendly and sound mining practices. The Bill further provides for a transparent and accountable mechanism for reporting mining and mineral related activities in the region. It is aimed at ultimately reducing differences in the operating environment for the sector. It sailed through after the first reading and sent to a committee for necessary actions. [Tanzania: Mining dust still to settle]

Indonesia, Nigeria agree to increase economic cooperation (Jakarta Globe)

During her visit to Nigeria on June 3-6, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi pushed for a preferential trade agreement to increase bilateral trade and asked support from Onyeama to form a preferential trade agreement between Indonesia and countries within ECOWAS. Nigeria is Indonesia’s largest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and is a potential market for exports of more Indonesian products in non-traditional markets. Trade value between the two countries was valued at around $1.5bn in 2016. The Southeast Asian nation mainly exports palm oil to Nigeria and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. There are currently 14 Indonesian companies investing in Nigeria, but bilateral trade between the two countries has seen a decline over the past five years.

Inaugural Belarus-Africa Forum: Belarus interested in boosting trade with African countries (BelTA)

Belarus is interested in promoting mutual trade with African countries, Belarusian Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo said ahead of the first Belarusian-African forum “Belarus and Africa – New Frontiers” on 6 June, BelTA has learned. The number of participants from the African countries exceeded 70 representatives, including the agriculture ministers of Angola, Namibia and Uganda, the industry minister of Angola, the finance minister of Togo, the leadership of the African Export–Import Bank, other banking structures of Africa, the president of the National African Farmers Union, and representatives of Africa’s biggest companies.

Tanzania: Hectic week as Minister Mpango unveils budget (Daily News)

Budget speech for 2017/18 fiscal year and report on the country’s state of the economy is scheduled for tabling in the National Assembly this Thursday. The timetable for the House’s activities shows that the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, will read the budget after the presentation of the economic status report. Key economic areas to be covered by the budget include infrastructure development, energy and minerals projects and industrial projects.

Kenya: 7th Presidential Roundtable Meeting (GoK)

In its report, KEPSA said President Kenyatta’s Administration has achieved all the goals that were set out in the National Business Agenda 2, which was adopted in the beginning of 2014. The achievements by the government were classed into thematic areas which included improving governance and business regulatory environment; upgrading security; infrastructure development; enhancing trade and investment; and promoting human capital and entrepreneurship development. The business organisations said the Jubilee Administration has scored high in the objective to reduce business and property registration and licensing costs. The government was also praised for reducing the cost of enforcing contracts and speeding up dispute settlements. It was also praised for strengthening the rule of law and promoting anti-corruption measures.

Philda Maiga: Transforming Kenya’s economy through its first ever national trade policy (The Commonwealth)

Equatorial Guinea graduates from the category of Least Developed Countries (UN-OHRLLS)

Equatorial Guinea, 34 years after its inclusion, graduated from the category the LDC category on 4 June 2017, following a transition period of three and a half years after the adoption by the UNGA of resolution A/RES/68/18 of 4 December 2013, which took note of the decision of the Economic and Social Council E/RES/2012/32 to endorse the recommendation of the Committee for Development Policy on this matter. Equatorial Guinea is the fifth country graduating since the creation of the category in 1971. With the graduation of Equatorial Guinea, there are still 33 LDCs in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Pacific and 1 in Latin America and the Caribbean, totaling 47 LDCs.

South Africa: The South African economy moved into recession with a decrease of 0,7% in GDP during the first quarter of 2017, following a 0,3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016.

How to boost private sector investment in Africa’s transmission sector (World Bank)

The Linking up: Public-Private Partnerships in power transmission in Africa report examines private sector-led investments in transmission globally and how this approach is applicable in sub-Saharan Africa. The private sector has participated successfully in transmission networks in many countries in Latin America and Asia, and this approach could be replicated. The study provides a set of recommendations for countries to adapt to specific local conditions and lists 10 steps to get there, including the right legal and regulatory framework, new models for concessional lending, competitive tender processes, adequate revenue flow and credit enhancement for projects, or tailored IPT projects to attract international investors, to name a few.

The potential of the Blue Economy: Increasing long-term benefits of the sustainable use of marine resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries (World Bank)

This report was drafted by a working group of UN entities, the World Bank, and other stakeholders to suggest a common understanding of the blue economy; to highlight the importance of such an approach, particularly for small island developing states and coastal least developed countries; to identify some of the key challenges its adoption poses; and to suggest some broad next steps that are called for in order to ensure its implementation. [UN Ocean Conference: UNCTAD, partners work towards eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies]

Work in a changing climate: The Green Initiative (ILO)

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO, says nothing will more clearly distinguish the first hundred years of the ILO’s history from the second “than the necessary greening of the world of work”. “Today, the Paris Agreement and the national commitments made under its terms, together with the 2030 Agenda, provide a unique opportunity to translate the tripartite consensus we have constructed into large scale practical ILO work with member States,” Ryder said in opening remarks to the 106th Session of the International Labour Conference. Introducing his report entitled, Work in a changing climate: the Green Initiative, Ryder said it “highlights the potential for greening of production to be a powerful engine for decent work creation and strong and balanced growth and development.”

Today’s Quick Links:

Mozambique: Quarterly Report (January – March 2017) by Supporting the Policy Environment for Economic Development project (SPEED+). Component 2 in the report, on Trade and Investment issues, covers TFA ratification and implementation, AGOA utilization strategy, Reducing import/export costs on the Nacala Corridor, SPS framework issues.

Mozambique seeks $4bn for infrastructure development

Kenya to export Turkana crude three times in a year

ICC Banking Commission launches working group on digitalisation of trade finance

Sierra Leone: IMF Executive Board approves $224.2m under the ECF arrangement


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