tralac’s Daily News Selection
A selection of updates on the G20 Africa Partnership: Investing in a Common Future
Merkel calls for greater investment in Africa ahead of G20 summit. Underscoring the pressure African countries face, Merkel contrasted Germany’s average age of 43 with the average age in Niger and Mali of 15. “If we don’t give young people any prospects, if we don’t invest in education and qualifications, if we don’t strengthen the role of girls and young women, the development agenda won’t succeed,” she said. Merkel pledged German support for a French plan to authorize a West African force to battle terrorism in the Sahel region in Mali and other neighbouring countries.
B20: 10 High-Level Recommendations for an Upgraded G20-Partnership with Africa. In a B20 Survey on the CWA Initiative, conducted late 2016/early 2017, a large majority of survey participants indicated they were expecting increasing and strong business activities on the African continent.9 At the same time, respondents pointed out the many impediments to investment, primarily corruption, followed by regulatory and political barriers, lack of infrastructure, legal uncertainties, and a lack of skilled labor. Being asked to identify the most promising measures to address these barriers, respondents pointed at good regulation, improvement of administration through one-stop shops for investors, capacity building, financial sector development and regulation as well as better PPP processes. Recommendation 5: Fostering Open and Inclusive Trade – The G20 should, in cooperation with the Compact countries, foster open and inclusive trade by reducing trade barriers, implementing trade facilitation measures, and scaling up capacity building. Recommendation 6: Improving Good Governance and Responsible Supply Chains – The G20 should, in cooperation with the Compact countries, foster responsible global and regional supply chains and anti-corruption measures by supporting the comprehensive set of existing international initiatives and by encouraging the African partners to develop strong national institutions. [Video: Interview with the Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Okechukwu Enelamah]
Paul Kagame: ”We are at the limit of what government-to-government action alone can achieve. I take this, in fact, as a welcome indicator of progress. A strong private sector is absolutely central to prosperity. The time is right to put commercial and investment relations at the centre of our joint agenda. A broader relationship is therefore necessary between Africa and higher-income countries, together with the international financial institutions that serve us all.”
Akinwumi Adesina: ”The Compact with Africa is very important because of the changing lens through which we are looking at Africa. We are no longer looking at Africa through the perspective of just development. We are looking at Africa as an investment destination, and unlocking its huge potential. This is a great shift in mindset. Africa is a growth frontier.”
Christine Lagarde: ”We are committed to increasing our engagement with countries participating in the Compact, building on our long-term relations with each country. Let me give you three examples:”
Nigeria: Trade Policy Review (WTO)
Extract from report by WTO Secretariat: During the review period, the United States ceased to be the primary destination of Nigerian exports due to its production of fracking shell oil. With the United States reducing its energy imports, Nigeria has lost a major export destination for its crude oil. For instance, during the first three quarters of 2015, only 3.2% of Nigeria’s crude reached the United States. However, this drop in oil exports to the United States was partially offset by increased exports to India, the Netherlands and Spain, which collectively imported 37.8% of crude in the same period. In 2010, 34.4% of Nigerian exports were destined for the United States, compared to 12.1% in 2016.
Europe, in particular the European Union, has become the largest market for Nigeria’s exports since 2011. In 2016, 36.6% of Nigerian exports went to Europe, up from 23.5% in 2010. More than 90% of Nigerian exports to Europe were destined for the EU. The share of exports to India also increased from 10.5% in 2010 to 18% in 2016, making India the second-largest export market for Nigeria (Chart 1.2). ECOWAS is Nigeria’s second-largest non-oil export market, generating earnings of $2.3bn in 2016. Just as exports to the United States have fallen since 2010, imports from the United States have also dropped during the same period, from 17.9% of total imports in 2010 to 8% in 2016. Since 2010, imports have increasingly originated from the EU and China. The share of imports from the EU significantly increased in the five years from 21.8% in 2010 to 43.4% in 2016, whereas China raised its share of products imported to Nigeria from 16.6% to 19.7% over the same period (Chart 1.2).
Kenya hires lobby firm to prevent ejection from AGOA (Business Daily)
More than 66,000 jobs in Kenya are in “imminent danger and threat of being lost” due to a move by a US trade association to have all the East African Community member-states barred from continued participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the embassy warned. The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles association (Smart), which represents US-based used-clothing companies, urged a US government trade agency in May to review the EAC states’ eligibility for AGOA. Smart took that action in response to the EAC’s decision in February to phase out imports of second-hand clothing by 2019.
Carlos Lopes: Africa’s Stake in Brexit (Project Syndicate)
It is up to African businesses and governments to refocus Britain’s attention. With the right incentives, Africa could come to play a more central role in UK economic planning. For that to happen, though, African leaders must help their British counterparts see that with change comes opportunity. As the UK readies to turn away from the EU, Africa must be ready to pick up the slack.
The WCO successfully conducted a five day workshop (22-26 May, Nairobi) to review and develop a new regional risk management strategy pack for the EAC Customs Region. The workshop was conducted under the WCO EAC CREATe Project, financed by the Government of Sweden. The Regional Risk Management Strategy pack which outlines a strategy for the region, risk management criteria and templates for regional risk register draws from the objectives of the EAC Customs union and the EAC Customs Union Strategy. The implementation of the 5 year Strategy will see the EAC adopt a harmonized approach to Risk Management which will include common definitions of risks, harmonized risk criteria, and the sharing of intelligence information among Partner States Customs administrations.
High tax rates fuel corruption in customs (Independent)
Recently, Uganda hosted members of the World Customs Organisation hailing from 24 countries of East and Southern Africa for a two-day 22nd governance council to discuss matters tax administration. The Independent’s Julius Businge jointly interviewed the organisers – WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Doris Akol about the relevance of the meeting and other global tax issues.
Cotton value chain in West Africa: update (Afreximbank)
The African Export-Import Bank will explore ways to support the development of the cotton value chain across the West Africa region to connect cotton processing activities and proposed fabric production in Burkina with garment manufacturing plants the Bank is assisting to set up in the West Africa region, Bank President Dr Benedict Oramah has announced in Cairo. The Bank would also support increased trade exchanges between Burkina Faso and Egypt in line with discussions held between the Burkinabe delegation led by President Kaboré and the Egyptian public and private sectors during President Kabore’s visit to Cairo, continued Dr Oramah.
Exploring the trade and gender nexus: the case of manufacturing in COMESA countries (Bridges Africa)
This article first presents the employment patterns in the export processing zones operating in the manufacturing sector of some COMESA countries from a gender perspective, and goes on to illustrate the broader impacts of trade integration in the manufacturing sector within the COMESA region. [Related Bridges Africa resources: Looking at trade from a gender perspective]
Partnership Investment Policy and Promotion: SA, Lesotho, Zimbabwe workshop (dti)
The four-day seminar (12-15 June, Sandton) is intended to enable representatives of governments from South Africa, Lesotho and Zimbabwe to learn and become familiar with global best practices in investment policy formulation in order to support ongoing efforts to generate and harness FDI. “There will also be roundtable discussions and brainstorming on specific challenges in generating new investment or retaining current investments in the country. The said sessions will also be used to determine the scope of any further assistance on investment policy and promotion strategies that the country will require from the World Bank Group” said the Acting Head of Invest SA, Mr Yunus Hoosen.
Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation: update (dti)
SA’s Department of Trade and Industry and the UNDP have signed a MoU aimed at establishing a strategic collaboration in the implementation of programmes of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation. ”Our collaboration will also enable the Centre to develop tools, methodologies and knowledge for strengthening the implementation and monitoring of regional integration, promote intellectual exchange among multiple stakeholders and across disciplines. We will also promote the dissemination of policies and best practices in the sub-region to support the development of policies at national level,” said UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa, Mr Gana Fofang.
Ministerial level workshops raising awareness against wildlife trafficking amongst Chinese nationals living and working in Namibia and Zimbabwe were jointly hosted by China’s State Forest Administration, China’s CITES Management Authority, TRAFFIC and WWF last weekend, supported by the respective Chinese Embassies. More than 160 local Chinese nationals from State-owned enterprises, private businesses and residential communities attended the workshops held in Windhoek and Harare respectively. Local NGOs and both local and international media were also present.
Today’s Quick Links:
Julia Lipowiecka: The gender dimension of services
Improved Namibia-India economic cooperation in pipeline: govt awaits draft MoU
Elected yesterday: Africa’s representatives on ILO’s Governing Body, 2017–20 (pdf)