Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: UNDP | AusAid

Featured tweets, @AdanMohamedCS:

Kenya is set to host the 2nd Commonwealth SME Trade Summit in October 2018. [It] will provide a forum to link Kenyan MSMEs to opportunities in the Regional and Global Value Chains.

tralac’s Weekly Newsletter is posted: UK elections and post-Brexit prospects for SACU (and more)

Today is East African Budget Day. Country previews: Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania

Underway, in Purdue: the GTAP 2017 conference. Profiled African trade and development papers: (i) Lesotho: Trade policy options for a prosperous future (Maryla Maliszewska), (ii) Climate change, agricultural production and trade in Africa(Yodit Balcha, Jamie Macleod,) (iii) Impacts of services trade liberalization between the EU and ACP countries: a dynamic approach (Manitra A Rakotoarisoa), (iv) Policy support to African agriculture: new trends or business as usual (Jean Balié, Signe Nelgen)

World Investment Report 2017: Digital radically changes global investment patterns (UNCTAD)

The World Investment Report 2017 (pdf) includes a new list of the top 100 digital MNEs and their global footprint, and shows that some digital multinationals reached a massive scale in only a few years. Digital MNEs make about 70% of their sales abroad, with only 40% of their assets based outside home countries. This results in the creation of fewer jobs directly in host countries. However, investments from digital MNEs can increase competitiveness and contribute to digital development. The report also lists the top 100 global MNEs, and shows that between 2010 and 2015, the number of technology companies more than doubled. FDI into Africa: Foreign direct investment flows to Africa continued to decline in 2016, by 3% to $59bn. However, inflows to the continent remained unevenly distributed, with five countries (Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia) accounting for 57% of the total. Regional variations: East Africa: up by 13%; West Africa: up by 12%; North Africa: up by 11%; Southern Africa: down by 18%; Central Africa: down by 15%.

Multinational enterprises from developed economies remained the largest investors in Africa, although investors from developing economies (such as China, India, and South Africa) are increasingly active. FDI outflows from Africa remained flat, at $18.2bn (up 1% from 2015). The reduced investments from South Africa, the DRC, Ghana and Nigeria, in that order, were more than offset by the rise of outflows from Angola, the region’s largest investor. FDI inflows to Africa are expected to increase in 2017, to about $65bn, in view of modest oil price rises and a potential upturn in non-oil FDI. Growing regional integration should foster Africa’s competitive global integration and encourage stronger FDI flows.

Wolfgang Schäuble: A better investment framework for Africa (Project Syndicate)

Our main job, however, is to bring private investors and African countries together. With the upcoming G20 Africa Partnership Conference in Berlin on 12-13 June, we will provide a platform for these African countries to reach out to investors in order to enhance the continent’s engagement with the private sector. CWA countries will present the key elements of their investment compacts in a roundtable with investors. They will also outline the key industries and infrastructure projects for which they are seeking private funds. After the Berlin meeting, the implementation phase of the CWA initiative will start. The country teams will further specify their compact measures and consider the milestones for their implementation. At this point, dialogue with investors will be particularly significant, because such conversations will help African countries to establish which measures and instruments are crucial for engagement with the private sector.

Helmut Reisen: The G20 ‘Compact with Africa’ is not for Africa’s poor: The Finance Framework (Shifting Wealth Blog)

The CwA makes some important ideological presumptions. First, it is solely driven by the Anglo-Saxon financing model with a focus on direct securities (equity and bond) markets rather than bank-based financial intermediation, which has underpinned (Continental) European and East Asian economic and social development. Second, the CwA Financing Framework is silent on the important role that the public and semi-public sectors may have played in early stages of development via mandatory public pension plans (East Asia) or not-for-profit financial cooperatives (such as agricultural credit unions). Third, it is silent on the “financing gap” (also known as the MacMillan gap), which has come to indicate that a sizeable proportion of economically significant SMEs cannot obtain financing from banks, capital markets or other suppliers of finance.

European Commission: The new European Consensus on Development, Q&A: The new European Consensus on development

AfDB to work with African Central Banks on IFFs, tax collection (AfDB)

The AfDB and the Governors of Central Banks in Africa have resolved to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues to curb illegal financial outflows, bolster measures to improve tax collection and exchange information to improve monitoring of domestic financial markets. The AfDB has also agreed to work with the Governors of the respective Central Banks on incentives to enable them deepen the financial markets using new technologies and innovations. The partnership is also expected to ease access to global markets that would enable more countries to issue long-term sovereign bonds. AfDB’s Senior Vice-President Charles Boamah told a special session of the Central Bank Governors at the 52nd AfDB Annual Meetings in India that measures to curb the illicit outflow of finance from Africa remain weak and should be addressed.

How important are spillovers from major emerging markets? (World Bank)

The seven largest emerging market economies (China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey) constituted more than one-quarter of global output and more than half of global output growth during 2010-15. These emerging markets, called EM7, are also closely integrated with other countries, especially with other emerging and frontier markets. Given their size and integration, growth in EM7 could have significant cross-border spillovers. The authors provide empirical estimates of these spillovers using a Bayesian vector autoregression model. They report three main results.

ARSO Kigali conference: Experts seek harmonisation of construction standards in Africa (New Times)

Experts in the construction sector drawn from 25 countries across Africa met in Kigali Wednesday to develop and harmonise construction standards. The 5th technical harmonisation committee meeting on building and civil engineering was organised by Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO). Gustave Mukelenge Matayabo (DR Congo) said; “African construction market is flooded by foreign products. It would be great if a product is made in Africa and consumed by other African countries”

4th Paset Forum: Partnerships and innovation skills development in Africa (World Bank)

A knowledge exchange initiative by the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, the Forum (5-7 April, Nairobi) convened governments from Sub-Saharan Africa, international policy makers, academia, and the private sector to promote dialogue and an exchange of ideas. The Forum focused on building partnerships between diverse stakeholders and promoting innovation in skills development in Africa. In particular, the objectives of the event were to: (i) mobilize support amongst African countries, private sector, new and traditional donors for PASET objectives and regional initiatives, (ii) share experience from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries and Partner countries in approaches/strategies/plans to developing technical-scientific capability specifically on technical-vocational education, and (iii) share innovations in improving the quality of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET) programs for the technical-vocational level.

Renewables 2017 Global Status Report (UNEP)

Additions in installed renewable power capacity set new records in 2016, with 161 gigawatts installed, increasing total global capacity by almost 9% over 2015, to nearly 2,017 gigawatts. Solar photovoltaic accounted for around 47% of the capacity added, followed by wind power at 34% and hydropower at 15.5%. Renewables are becoming the least costly option. Recent deals in Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru and the United Arab Emirates saw renewable electricity being delivered at $0.05 per kilowatt-hour or less. This is well below equivalent costs for fossil fuel and nuclear generating capacity in each of these countries.

8th East African Petroleum Conference: EAC states urged to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels

In his remarks, Dr Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers and Uganda’s Minister for East African Affairs, said that EAC Partner States had over the years invested huge resources – both human and financial – towards petroleum exploration, efforts which have begun to bear fruit throughout the region. EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said that there had been increased investments in the region’s oil and gas sector in recent times with the recent discoveries. Alluding to the oil curse that has been the bane of many oil-producing countries on the African continent, the Secretary General said East Africa has an obligation to learn from other countries and put petroleum resources to good use.

Goran Hyden: President Magufuli and the Development State model (The Citizen)

There is a quiet realignment going on in the relations between development partners in Europe and Africa. It started with the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness but it has now taken on a momentum of its own. Governments in Africa are increasingly charting their own way forward. Those in Europe realize that their own policy prescriptions aren’t necessarily the most workable in Africa. In short, donors and recipients agree that a new chapter in their relations is needed. This transition has its challenges, not the least in Tanzania, for many years a darling of the donor community and thus a case of especially high level of aid dependence. It has its own trials on the donor side too.

Today’s Quick Links

Frances Okosi: Brexit example should not deter efforts to cement trade in Africa

Angola: Cabinet adopts trade, mercantile service regulation

Madagascar-Zambia bilateral relations: update

Mozambique: Tete Infrastructure Forum update from Zitamar

Southern Africa has an integration plan, but it’s short of sector specifics

OECD: Multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent BEPS

New OECD papers: (i) Regulation, institutions and aggregate investment: new evidence from OECD countries (pdf), (ii) Regulation, institutions and productivity: new macroeconomic evidence from OECD countries (pdf)


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010