Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: DAA

Underway, in Berlin: inaugural ITC/ATI Tax and Development conference, hosted by Germany as part of its G20 Presidency

Related, recent African conference outcomes on illicit financial flows: (i) Promoting international cooperation in combating IFF and enhancing asset recovery: keynote presentations from PACAC conference (5-7 June, Abuja), (ii) African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees: conference declaration (24-26 May, Yaoundé)

Diarise: 1st East African Economic Conference on Continental Free Trade Area and Regional Integration (7 July, Nairobi)

The Vision Document for the Asian Africa Growth Corridor: Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development (RIS, EIRA, IDE-JETRO)

India and Japan bring a shared repertoire of development cooperation strengths for Africa. The strengths of India and Japan development programmes need to be fine tuned with development needs of Africa, and also its development priorities. The Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan adds further value to this vision. In view of the above-mentioned background, the AAGC will deliberate on the following aspects: (i) The existing mechanisms for cooperation between Asia and Africa; (ii) The broad based agenda for synchronised growth of Asia-Africa for sustainable and innovative development; (iii) Establishment of optimum linkages and cooperation among the sub-regions of Asia and Africa; (iv) Establishment of industrial corridor and industrial network. The AAGC is focused on expanding the manufacturing base and expand trade of Africa and Asia. The objective will be to create manufacturing centres backed by appropriate human resource development with a view to increasing value addition within the relevant African countries, partly for domestic consumption and partly for export. Next steps: Organisation of the AAGC Vision Study. The initial step is to comprehensively survey the existing cooperation and partnership mechanisms between Asia and Africa, including those between their sub-regions. The study will list out the current demands, and challenges of economic, socio-cultural and political partnership and overall growth. The vision study will bring out the existing challenges and barriers to AAGC. The vision study will spell out the cooperation aspects of sustainable growth and development, and the mechanisms for exchange of best practices. Based on all these aspects, the AAGC Vision Study will make recommendations to the governments of India and Japan, and to governments in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania on the way forward for deepening Asia Africa Partnership. [Ruchita Beri: AAGC commentary]

Abuja RECs Roadmap: update (ECOWAS)

A strategic planning and capacity development retreat on the role of African Regional Economic Communities in the implementation of the First Ten Year Action Plan of the African Union Agenda 2063 has ended in Abuja, Nigeria. The retreat (8-9 June) was organized by the ECOWAS Liaison Office to the AU, with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the ACBF. When finalized, the Abuja RECs Roadmap will also enhance inter-RECs cooperation through joint planning, programming and execution to better equip the RECs to individually and collectively implement their specific agenda and that of the AU 2063. The Roadmap covers the identification of joint Strategic priorities of RECs, IDEA and ACBF, areas for programmatic, technical and substantive assistance, common institutional, organizational, human resource, knowledge learning and management programmes. It also has a Work plan and Statement of Declaration of Commitment to implement joint activities around the identified priorities including the Joint Resource Mobilization Plan.

Posted:  SADC Statistical Yearbook 2015 (pdf)

The SADC Statistical Yearbook provides time-series and summaries of statistical information and data to stakeholders and other users pertaining to various aspects SADC and its Member States including population, society, government, economy, and cross cutting issues such as poverty, environment and gender. The socio-economic information from the SADC Statistical Yearbook can be used to discern the baseline situation and profiles of the SADC region and its Member States. To facilitate comparability of indicators across countries and the region and over time, the annual data from Member States, complemented by international data sources, were used. Given the diversity of SADC countries, the SADC Statistical Yearbook placed emphasis on indicators expressed as ratios, percentages, rates, or in per capita terms, with absolute numbers presented only to a limited extent.

ECOWAS Investment Climate Scorecard Roundtable: update (World Bank)

The purpose of the event (13-14 June, Abuja) is to launch the ECOWAS Investment Climate Scorecard, an innovative instrument that enables both the ECOWAS Commission and national policymakers of the Member States to identify investment barriers both nationally and regionally; track the progress of national investment-climate and investment-policy reforms; share good practices and proposed investment reforms both nationally and regionally; and encourage the creation of a transparent and attractive investment climate to enhance private sector-led development in West Africa. The objective is to incentivize the Member States to adhere to the good-practice standard benchmark criteria/indicators by integrating the same into their investment-reform agendas in line with the regional ECOWAS Investment Policy (IP) Framework. The Scorecard tool supports and monitors the implementation of the ECOWAS investment reforms in Member States by aligning national reform initiatives to the regional ECOWAS IP Framework.

Zambia: World Bank reports on employment, value chains policy issues

The analysis, released yesterday, contains three reports: the Zambia Jobs Diagnostic, a policy Action Plan, and the Zambia Jobs in Value Chains. The reports stress the need for Zambia to take comprehensive action at a macro level, through institutions and labor markets, and through targeted interventions to create more demand for good jobs. The studies explicitly highlight the potential of growth in agribusiness and agro-processing to connect more Zambians, especially those that are young, rural and poor, to jobs through value chains. The Zambia Jobs Diagnostic report contains two volumes on analytics and a policy framework for jobs. “Volume 1: Analytics” outlines the main challenges to Zambia’s jobs agenda at the macroeconomic, household, and firm levels. “Volume 2: A Policy Framework for Jobs” presents a set of policies that may be prioritized by policymakers under a jobs strategy. [Related: African agrifood youth employment and engagement study: blog update by Julie Howard, Conference on Land Policy in Africa 2017 (14-17 November, Addis)]

National Committees on Trade Facilitation: current practices and challenges (WTO)

The purpose of this publication is to disseminate information on national experiences, best practices and recommendations with respect to the establishment and functioning of NCTFs. It is based on the experiences shared by more than 35 speakers during a workshop that took place on 8 June 2016 at the WTO and on the results of an electronic survey by the WTO Secretariat, which collected information on the practices of and challenges faced by more than 100 WTO Members.

Kenya grants SA visitors 90-day visa free stay (Business Daily)

Nairobi has granted South Africans additional time to visit Kenya without visas, pointing to a thawing of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Interior secretary Joseph Nkaissery says in a legal notice published last Friday that South Africans can now visit and stay in Kenya without a visa for up to three months, up from the previous 30 days. The notice says South African “civil servants, holders of diplomatic, official or ordinary passports” can visit Kenya without visas “for a period exceeding (sic) ninety (90) days”. The Ministry of Interior later clarified that there was an error in the notice, and that it ought to have read a period “not exceeding ninety (90) days”.

Kenya, Indonesia plan to sign trade deal inches closer (Business Daily)

Indonesian Trade ministry officials will travel to Nairobi next month to begin the PTA negotiations with their Kenyan counterparts. The PTA aims to enhance market access, reducing tariff and facilitate trade between the two countries. Indonesian Foreign Affairs vice minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir said the deal would transform the current political cooperation into economic ties and exchanges.

Tanzania: No respite for officials behind mineral looting (IPPMedia)

State security organs have been instructed to keep close tabs on past and present public officials implicated in the latest damning report on mineral concentrate exports and ensure they do not cross the country’s borders without special permission. The report by a second presidential probe committee into the mineral concentrates matter, which was formally delivered to President Magufuli yesterday, openly implicated a number of past and present government officials in alleged collusion with multinational mining companies to facilitate massive tax evasion causing the nation to lose trillions of shillings in unpaid royalties. Among prominent names mentioned were those of three former ministers responsible for minerals - Nazir Karamagi, Daniel Yona and William Ngeleja – plus two former attorney generals - Andrew Chenge (1995-2005) and Johnson Mwanyika (2006-2009).

Today’s Quick Links:

Rwanda: Minister Nsengimana appointed chair of global forum on SDGs

World Bank: Does Namibia’s fiscal policy benefit the poor and reduce inequality?

African Union’s July 2017 Summit: what to expect?

Pinto Consulting: Final evaluation of the SADC Regional Economic Integration Support Programme

Enterprise Mauritius partners with Durban Chamber to reach out to SA apparel stakeholders

Zimbabwe and the 2017 Enabling the Business of Agriculture Report

UNSC briefing: ‘Security vacuum’ in Central Africa may be exploited by armed groups

Open borders will bolster aviation in the region, says IATA president

IATA AGM: Airlines commit to air cargo modernization

PIIE’s Caroline Freund: Streamlining Rules of Origin in NAFTA

ICTSD’s Wallace S. Cheng: To open up global trade we need to understand ‘protectionism’

International IDEA: Southern Africa Policy Dialogue on Money in Electoral Processes


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