tralac’s Daily News Selection
Today’s trade policy tweets:
(i) Nigeria’s chief trade negotiator, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, @ChieduOsakwe1: Tough negotiations at the CFTA, but the gains when concluded will be innumerable
(ii) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, @SATrade_Invest: AGOA strategy in Botswana set for launch in Sept, Malawi and Zambia strategies on the same track for launch - US Amb Earl Miller
SADC trade protocol: SADC gives Tanzania three years to boost local sugar production (Daily News)
SADC member states have granted Tanzania a three-year grace period to tax sugar imports from SADC states. Mr Mwijage said the country has been seeking the regional bloc’s approval to impose 25% import tax on sugar from SADC states, against the protocol’s provisions. As a SADC member, the country is supposed to allow products from its co-members to enter the domestic market tax-free. “We have been asking SADC members to allow us to tax the imported sugar because in industrialisation agenda if we allow exempted sugar, our local industries will not grow,” he clarified. The current annual demand of sugar stands at between 600,000 and 700,000 against the country’s production capacity of 302,000 tonnes. Tanzania therefore has been importing sugar from SADC countries to bridge the deficit. The minister was optimistic that within the given three years, the country will boost production because there is arable land for cultivation of sugarcane to produce two million tonnes.
Uganda: Support BUBU policy, trade minister tells Central Bank (Daily Monitor)
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde has asked Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile to support some government policies such as ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’. Ms Kyambadde said: “I am a bit disappointed - I think you need to interest yourselves with some of the policies by government. I would like the Governor to revise this issue. BoU is supposed to be the champion of the economy and support us.” Ms Kyambadde was responding to the Governor’s speech (pdf) read for him by deputy director research David Sajjabi, in which he, for the second time, criticised the BUBU policy saying it will jeopardise Uganda’s export trade with her neighbouring states in the EAC. “What you should know is that all other partner states have restrictive public procurement policies that restrict local content globally. Even if you’re the best you will not wake up and compete,” she explained.
Luke Patey: Whatever happened to East Africa’s oil boom? (African Arguments)
Over a decade on from the initial discoveries, East Africa’s oil is still yet to deliver on its promises. There have been many factors behind the delays, but many have been caused by domestic and regional politics, both of which will continue to be central in determining the success of new growth opportunities.
Kenya lifts poultry ban for 3 large Ugandan export firms (Daily Nation)
Kenya has partially lifted the ban on the products from the neighbouring country after an eight-month embargo that saw chicken and eggs locked out of the Sh500m market following the outbreak of avian influenza disease. The move, which will be strictly monitored by authorities for safety purposes, will see three firms approved by the Ministry of Agriculture - having met the required safety conditions - export the products. The three are Hudani Manji Holdings-Rainbow - a wholesale and retail supplier in Uganda, South Sudan, Congo, and Rwanda - SR Afrochick and Kukuchic.
Malawi’s sugar exports to United States increase (Nyasa Times)
US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, has announced that Malawi’s country-specific allocation of the tariff-rate quota for raw cane sugar imports to the US has increased by 45% in fiscal year 2017. Sugar is Malawi’s third largest export to the US, following tobacco and tea. Other significant exports include coffee, macadamia nuts, and apparel. Since 2013, sugar exports from Malawi to the US have more than tripled, accounting for 14% of Malawi’s total exports to the United States. Malawi exported $75.6m worth of goods to the US in 2016, while it imported $46.6m from the US.
Mozambique: Government introduces new border policy (Club of Mozambique)
The government yesterday approved a resolution establishing the basic principles for the integrated management of Mozambique’s terrestrial, marine and aerial borders. The new border policy, the implementation of which instrument will require changes in the coordination scheme between the different institutions currently engaged in border management, was approved by the 29th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers. According to Ana Comoana, spokeswoman for the session, the document is aimed at fine-tuning integrated inter-sectoral border management and strengthening the defence of national sovereignty.
Kenya and Ghana: models of intra-Africa trade (Graphic)
In my opinion, what is required to make intra-Africa trade a reality is a deliberate action by private sector players that seek to ensure these bi-lateral agreements do not remain documents collecting dust in our embassies government offices. The Biennial Kenya Trade Expo, Ghana, has taken the initiative to fast-track the benefits of these agreements by giving businessmen on both sides of the Rift Valley a platform to explore opportunities in each country. The forthcoming Kenya Trade Expo in Ghana, in November 2017 will, therefore, go a long way to enhance bilateral trade ties between both countries, offering participants an opportunity to promote their businesses to the right target audience in Ghana and Kenya. They will be able to better understand business treaties, policies and procedures, while stimulating intra-African conversations around joint ventures and partnerships for economic prosperity. [The author, Leah Nduati Lee, is the co-founder of the Kenya Trade Expo Ghana], [Botswana-Kenya: Businesses urged to utilise trade agreements]
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underscored the need for Ghana and Equatorial Guinea to be at the forefront in the process that will convert the AU into a true continental market. President Akufo-Addo said he was hopeful that his visit to Malabo would restart the formal sessions of the Permanent Joint Commission of Co-operation between the two countries, since the last meeting was held in Accra in 2010. He said he was keen to revive the air services agreement and re-establish direct flights between Accra and Malabo. His government, he added, had also committed itself to expanding the Tema Port into a trans-shipment hub to improve sea trade within Africa.
Nigeria: Capital importation during Q2 2017 (Bureau of Statistics)
The total value of capital imported into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2017 was estimated to be $1,792.3 million. This figure was $884.1m more than the figure recorded in q1 2017, a growth of 95.02%. Year on year, this was an increase of 43.6% from the $1,042.2 million recorded in q2 of 2016. A month-on-month analysis of capital importation in the second quarter shows that the month of May recorded the highest of amount of capital importation ($616.5m), followed by June ($612.6m) and May ($563.3m). The main driver of the quarterly growth in capital importation in the second quarter was Portfolio Investments, which increased by 145.7%, followed by Other Investments, which grew by 95.02%, and then Foreign Direct Investment, which increased by 29.8% over the previous quarter.
Poverty trends in South Africa (StatsSA)
According to new data released by Stats SA, poverty is on the rise in South Africa. The latest Poverty trends in South Africa report (pdf) shows that, despite the general decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011, poverty levels in South Africa rose in 2015. More than half of South Africans were poor in 2015, with the poverty headcount increasing to 55,5% from a series low of 53,2% in 2011. The figures are calculated using the upper-bound poverty line of R992 per person per month in 2015 prices. This translates into over 30,4 million South Africans living in poverty in 2015.
Power Africa Annual Report: Fourth year in review
Since its inception, Power Africa has facilitated the financial close of 80 power transactions valued at more than $14.5 billion, and expected to generate more than 7,200 MW of power in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Power Africa has facilitated more than 10 million electrical connections, bringing electricity to more than 50 million people. The report also highlights the role of women in Africa’s power sector, chronicling the contributions of select members of Power Africa’s Women in African Power network.
Tanzania: Jica support hits Sh75 trillion in five years (The Citizen)
In the last five years, Japan’s assistance to Tanzania through the Japan International Cooperation has reached a total of Sh74.93 trillion. This was revealed as the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, held talks with the agency’s president Shinichi Kitaoka. The cash substantially includes a 76.0% subsidy, concessional loans of 3.8% and 20.1% technical support. Dr Mpango asked the Jica president to increase funding in the projects on electricity, infrastructure, health, agriculture and fisheries so as to help support the pace of the government in pushing for an industry-driven economy.
India agrees to discuss its investment policy in BRICS (Economic Times)
In a move to boost investment in the BRICS bloc, New Delhi has agreed to discuss issues in investment policymaking. This marks an important shift in the country’s stand, say experts. The issues of easing investment guidelines and bringing transparency in investment policy fall in the ambit of investment facilitation, which India has always said to be a matter of domestic policy. The decision was made earlier this month at the seventh meeting of BRICS trade ministers in Shanghai, where the bloc adopted ‘Outlines for BRICS investment facilitation’. India’s move to open up in this area is important because Russia, Brazil and China have already made separate proposals in the WTO for easing investment rules. “The terms of the agreement are on a best endeavour basis. It is nonbinding and voluntary,” the official said.
7th meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers: download the six annexes to the joint statement [Terms of reference of BRICS Model E-Port Network; Outlines for BRICS investment facilitation; BRICS trade in services cooperation roadmap; BRICS e-commerce cooperation initiative; BRICS IPR cooperation guidelines; Framework on strengthening the economic and technical cooperation for BRICS countries]
Today’s Quick Links:
Inaugural Polish-Nigeria Business and Investment Summit (25-26 September, Poznan)