tralac’s Daily News Selection
Starting on Monday: 2nd SADC Industrialisation Week: Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value chains. Southern Africa Trust briefing
37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government (10-20 August): DIRCO briefing
Migration Policy Framework for Africa: meeting to validate evaluation report, revised migration policy framework (24-25 August, Victoria Falls). Key documents (pdfs): Report of the Evaluation of the Migration Policy Framework for Africa; Revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Ten-year Plan of Action of the Revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa (2018-2027)
Diarise: South Africa’s June 2017 merchandise trade statistics will be released on Monday afternoon.
The AGOA and MCA Modernization Act (US House Of Representatives)
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), joined by Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-CA), introduced today the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act (H.R. 3445). The bipartisan legislation strengthens both the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Millennium Challenge Act. On the introduction of H.R. 3445, Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, Rep. Smith and Rep. Bass said: “Moving developing countries away from aid and toward trade helps African companies, especially women. But it also benefits U.S. farmers, manufacturers and small businesses by providing new markets for their goods. So today we are introducing a bill to modernize AGOA and MCA – key laws in the effort to encourage African economic independence and promote US-Africa trade. With Africa’s consumer spending expected to reach one trillion dollars, now is the time to accelerate this important trade relationship.” [Section-by-section summary (pdf)]
President Trump’s nominee for AfDB Director: J. Steven Dowd of Florida to be US Director of the African Development Bank for a term of five years. Mr Dowd has decades of executive experience in trade, logistics, and finance, with a significant focus on Africa. Mr Dowd co-founded Ag Source, LLC, a global agriculture logistics, transportation, and finance company. His prior experience includes overseeing food aid operations and leading port infrastructure projects in Africa.
Future Fragmentation Processes: effectively engaging with the ascendancy of global value chains (The Commonwealth)
Leveraging the power of trade to expand formal employment opportunities, generate greater value addition, assist diversification processes and develop productive capabilities is an aspiration of all Commonwealth governments. These objectives were conveyed clearly at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting convened in March 2017. In this publication, as well as taking stock of past performance, we reflect on potential dynamics and future fragmentation processes. The chapters collated in this publication provide for a more careful examination of GVCs within which our members specialise at the sectoral level: manufacturing, services and commodity trade, including within the realm of the oceans economy. [The editors: Jodie Keane, Roland Baimbill-Johnson. Publication date: 7 August] [Free to read: Section 1: Global Developments, Section 2: Thematic Issues]
E-commerce and digital trade: a policy guide for Least Developed Countries, small states and Sub-Saharan Africa (The Commonwealth)
This policy guide reviews the current regulatory frameworks, legal issues, empirical data, WTO member states proposals, and existing literature on e-commerce and digital trade. It is designed to help policy-makers in capacity-constrained Commonwealth small states, least developed countries, and sub-Saharan African countries to participate effectively in global work on the subject area, including in the context of the WTO work programme on e-commerce. [The author: Paul R. Baker]
Tanzania: Revive idle privatised firms within 19 days, investors told (The Citizen)
A 19-day ultimatum was issued yesterday to investors running non-performing privatised firms to kick-start production or risk losing the factories. Other measures announced by Industry, Trade and Investment minister Charles Mwijage include controlling sub-standard and counterfeit products and curbing under-valuation and under–declaration of goods. The two measures are expected to enhance fair competition in the market. Mr Mwijage said the government would repossess all idle privatised factories after next month’s deadline expires. “We will have to repossess former state-owned industries sold to private investors who have failed to run them after 15 August this year,” he told reporters. “The government sold these factories to private investors on the understanding that they develop them. We won’t tolerate those who would not have abided by what we agreed.”
Tanzania: All bets are off as Magufuli’s resource nationalism moves up a gear (The Conversation)
There are any number of reasons for the Tanzanian government’s decision to submit the tax demand – even if it doesn’t think that Acacia will ever pay. It could be a further bargaining ploy, a plea for attention, a failure of coordination or a strategic miscalculation. But the most likely explanation is that this is part of a mounting campaign to drive the miners out of Tanzania altogether. Last week, Magufuli announced that if the mining companies continued to delay negotiations: “I will close all mines and give them to Tanzanians”. With every new development, this threat seems less and less an idle boast.
Kenyan officials yet to make contact with Dar on trade row (Business Daily)
Nairobi officials have yet to make contact with Tanzania amid a trade spat that has seen the neighbouring country block the entry of some Kenyan-made goods to its market despite having inked a fresh pact on Sunday. Trade PS Chris Kiptoo on Thursday said he was unsuccessful in efforts to reach Dar es Salam authorities for explanations on Tanzania’s introduction of fresh hurdles for Kenyan goods to access its market. The traders who were locked in an all-day meeting with the KAM policy team over the issue confirmed the restrictions were still on. “The status quo remains,” a source from the meeting told the Business Daily. [Editorial comment: Kenya, Tanzania trade spat hurting integration]
The findings of the study will enable ERERA to update, more appropriately, its evaluation report on the countries’ implementation of the Directive on the Organization of the Regional Electricity Market and determine the degree of the impact of the power sector market reforms. According to members of the joint ERERA Consultative Committees of Regulators and Operator who ended their two-day meeting yesterday in Accra, the findings of the study would encourage other Member States to accelerate the electricity reform processes in their countries for the benefits of their citizens, as envisaged by ECOWAS. The Directive provides for the gradual establishment of the ECOWAS regional power market through the harmonization of national electricity markets. It also provides for a regional market design at different market phases, open access to the regional transmission network and access by eligible customers.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, has been elected as the first President of the General Assembly of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines. His election took place at the 2nd General Assembly meeting held in Abuja. He called for effective collaboration among the member chambers and their respective countries to harness the mineral potential in West Africa. Mr Addo-Kufuor will continue to hold his position as the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Chief Finance Officer of Newmont Africa. Nigeria’s Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, speaking in an address read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, stressed the need for West African countries to collaborate on data sharing as a means to developing the regions mining and minerals sector.
A clinical pharmacologist and pharmacist, with extensive experience in drug safety, vaccine safety, harmonisation initiatives, Professor Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo is the new head of the Ghana Standards Authority. He is a member of WHO’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicinal Products as well as the immediate Chairperson of its Global Vaccine Safety Initiative. He is a member of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependency Disorders and has been supporting regional efforts in harmonisation. He works closely with the AU and the African Medicines Harmonisation Initiative and currently heads a NEPAD/AU designated Regional Centre for Regulatory Excellence.
Africa urgently requires policies and regulatory frameworks to be able to resolve threats posed by environmental degradation to fasten a switch to green economy, a UN official said on Thursday. Dirk Wagener, the UN Environment Coordinator for Resource Efficiency Program said the governments have to collaborate with the private sector to help address the challenges to be able to be at par with other continents. “Policies and regulatory frameworks are necessary to create the incentives to develop green businesses and to mainstream Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices,” Wegener said at the launch of Kenya Switch Africa Green (SAG) Networking Forum in Nairobi.
The Chairman of Association of African Maritime Administration, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has charged African stakeholders in the maritime sector to work together to ensure Africa takes its rightful place in the global maritime community. Dr Peterside, who is also the DG of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, briefed AMAAG members of the modest progress recorded by Heads of African Maritime Administrations working together and plans going forward to implement most of the instruments signed by African Heads of State and Government in other to reposition the continent’s maritime community. The Alternative Permanent Representative of Ghana to IMO, Azara Prempeh who is the chairperson of AMAG, urged Heads of African Maritime Administrations to domesticate and enforce laws to deter illegal migration through the seas. Azara informed the AAMA delegation that Africa’s representation within the IMO Council and the Secretariat staffing does not reflect the numerical strength of African states membership in IMO, urging them to work as a block to influence a change of policy in favour of the African continent.
Western Cape Tourism mid-term report: key indicators (GCIS)
The briefing comes after South African Tourism released its official annual figures for the country’s 2016 tourism performance. “I am pleased to announce that we’ve added 26 000 jobs to the tourism sector, taking us closer to our goal of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the sector by 2019. In line with our objective to position the province as a business destination, we have increased the value of conference bids secured from R280m in 2014, to R425m in the 2016/17 financial year. This year alone, we’ve added over 400 000 new two way international airline seats to make it easier for visitors to reach us, bringing our new seat total to 2.6 m. Improved air access played a role in our increased tourism numbers. In 2016, international tourists spent R18bn here, up from R14bn in 2014.”
WTO deadline: India to tweak textile export sops (BusinessLine)
The Centre is preparing to wean off textile and clothing exporters from direct subsidy schemes and replace them with indirect benefits as it may not be possible for the country to push the WTO deadline for abolishing export sops beyond next year. ”The Commerce and Textile Ministries are already examining alternative schemes that are allowed by the WTO such as ones for quality upgradation and subsidising capital expenditure. However, the changes would happen gradually and there will be no immediate withdrawal of popular schemes like interest subvention or Merchandise Export from India Scheme,” a government official told BusinessLine. Delays in implementing WTO deadlines do not usually have an immediate negative repercussion on the erring country as disputes filed by other members take a couple of years to get resolved. The US has been continuously asking India to re-haul its textile export policy. According to US calculations, the country should have done away with all forms of export subsidies for the sector by 2015. [As current rounds of talks draw to a close: questions about RCEP loom large over India]
Today’s Quick Links:
Africa’s integrated high speed rail network: an interview with Adama Deen
Nigeria Export Trade Hub: update