Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: FAO | Carl de Souza

Starting today, in Dar es Salaam: Tanzania oil and gas congress. A DW commentary: Gas and oil key in East African integration

UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board began its 64th session this morning: opening remarks by Dr Mukhisa Kituyi (pdf)

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector: the CSEA-NOIPolls survey report will be launched tomorrow

7th African Green Revolution Forum: Abidjan Communiqué

Following the presentations and discussions at AGRF 2017, key actions were identified for immediate execution, to lead the path to Africa’s prosperity through agriculture. Heads of State and regional institutions led by the African Union Commission and NEPAD Agency reaffirmed their commitment to driving the CAADP biennial review process and implementing the scorecard on agricultural transformation for tracking progress in realising the aims of the Malabo Declaration. The Heads of State and Government present further committed to honor all financial, policy and political commitments made during this forum and in other past meetings. The actions taken over the next four months until the January 2018 AU Summit will be critical to delivering on this agenda and contributing to the achievement of the goals laid out in the Malabo Declaration. The AGRF partners intend to build on the momentum established at AGRF 2017 by developing a work plan that will tie together the most important moments and forums of the African agriculture community to secure further support for the biennial review process.

COMESA Industrialization Strategy adopted

COMESA ministers responsible for industry have adopted the regional industrialization strategy which defines key interventions at both regional and national levels to speed up industrial development in the region. The strategy is for a ten-year period from 2017 to 2026. COMESA institutions have been given specific tasks to do in supporting the implementation of the strategy. The diaspora is part of the strategy because of their contribution in providing not only financial resources but also skills and technology capabilities. [COMESA Competition Commission: Non-domestication of COMESA treaty challenging commission]

North Africa’s trade arrangements: complementarities and contradictions with the CFTA (FES-MENA)

Which place will North Africa assume in these negotiations? How can social justice and standards be protected? Which role can the civil society play in these negotiations? These were the primary questions asked in a two day workshop (28-29 June, Rabat) on the North African implications of the CFTA.

Developing businesses of scale in Sub-Saharan Africa: insights from Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia (Chatham House)

This paper provides a snapshot of the current business environment in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as seen by the owners and managers of over 60 local businesses, and an analysis of the constraints and opportunities for company growth in those four countries. While there are some common factors, these countries vary widely in cultural, political, geographic and economic terms. The picture that emerges is therefore equally diverse.

Zambia: 2018 budget proposals and 2018-2020 MTEF (Finance Ministry)

Following the implementation of Zambia Plus - The Economic Stabilisation and Growth Program, a number of positive developments have been attained in 2017. These include the reduction in the inflation rate from a high of around 23% in February, 2016 to 6.3% in August this year, the appreciation of the Kwacha against major currencies and higher growth projections for 2017 at 4.3% compared to the initial forecast of 3.4%. Nonetheless, challenges still exist on the fiscal front. These include, but are not limited to, the large stock of arrears, for which the Government has designed a medium-term-time-specific-arrears-dismantling-strategy so as to significantly reduce the stock over the medium term. The 2018-2020 Green Paper focuses on sustaining economic growth and development through the continued implementation of the ESGP. Maintenance of debt sustainability will remain pivotal in the rebalancing of the Zambian economy. Government’s borrowing over the medium term, therefore, will be guided by the Medium Term Debt Strategy, soon to be published, so as to ensure that the country remains within sustainable debt levels. It is envisaged that the fiscal deficit will be reduced to no more than 3% of GDP by 2020. [Download the Green Paper here] [Note: Zambia’s 2018 National Budget will be presented on 29 September]

Botswana: National AGOA Response Strategy (Trade Hub)

This strategy document is divided into seven major sections: Introduction, Background, Situation analysis, Potential sectors for support under AGOA, Proposed strategic activities to address identified challenges, Implementation plan, and Monitoring and evaluation framework. The overarching challenges that Botswana needs to address to improve its utilization of the AGOA preferential program are inadequate awareness, insufficient investment from the US, high cost of production and transport, poor competitiveness, and compliance with US regulations.

Kenya, Tanzania resolve to verify goods to end trade issues (Xinhua)

Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to conduct joint verification exercise on all imports and exports to help solve trade issues between the two neighbouring countries. The exercise, once established, will see goods such as lubricants, edible oils, cement and textiles produced outside Export Processing Zone trade un-prohibited between the two countries, according to a joint communique between Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Trade Chris Kiptoo and his Tanzanian counterpart Adolf Mugenda issued in Nairobi on Sunday. In the communique issued following three days of intensive talks, the duo underscored the significance of having regular bilateral meetings to discuss concerns and opportunities with a view of promoting trade for the mutual benefit of the two countries and its people.

Anzetse Were: China taking over manufacturing in Africa? (Business Daily)

Chinese firms make it clear that there is a lucrative domestic market that indigenous firms have failed to fully tap and thus African firms have a lot to learn from Chinese firms. If trends continue, a situation may emerge where African industrialisation is owned and dominated by Chinese firms. While this is welcome in terms of contributions to Africa’s development, can it then be termed ‘African’ industrialisation?

World manufacturing Q2 2017: update (UNIDO)

Global manufacturing growth is expected to accelerate in 2017 thanks to a steady recovery in industrialized economies and the reversal of negative trends observed in Latin American economies in 2016. Worldwide the scope of domestic demand for manufactured products has widened in 2017. The current world manufacturing output growth trends, based on the data for second quarter of 2017, are explored in a report published by UNIDO (pdf). Africa in general is expected to improve its growth performance in 2017. However, manufacturing in South Africa, the largest manufacturer of the continent, is likely to contract in the wake of a new recession with considerable negative impact on the Southern African region. Manufacturing in the LDCs of Africa is expected to grow by around 4.0%. However, this is lower than the required growth rate to achieve Sustainable Development Goal target 9.2 by 2030. The UNIDO report also presents the growth estimates by manufacturing sectors.

Mauritius: PM announces a series of relief measures for export-oriented enterprises (GoM)

The meeting (with representatives of Business Mauritius, the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture and the Mauritius Export Association) was held following representations from these institutions concerning the serious challenges facing the export sector. The Prime Minister had set up a technical committee comprising representatives from the public and private sectors as well as the Bank of Mauritius to assess the situation and to propose appropriate remedial measures. One of the measures is to provide assistance to the sugar industry for crop year 2017 by suspending the CESS. In addiction the SIFB is also giving a financial support of Rs 1 250 per metric ton of sugar to the planters and millers. As regards the export-oriented enterprises, Government will introduce an Exchange Rate Support Scheme with the following features:

Growth breaks and growth spells in Sub-Saharan Africa (IMF)

This paper examines the growth performance of sub-Saharan African countries since 1960 through the lens of growth turning points (accelerations and decelerations) and periods of sustained growth (growth spells). Overall, determinants of growth spells in sub-Saharan Africa are different from those in the rest of the emerging and developing countries.

2017 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa: update (IOM)

Senior officials meeting at the recently concluded 2017 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa conference also recommended the formulation of a comprehensive Regional Migration Policy Framework. The conference focused on the theme Addressing mixed and irregular migration in Southern Africa: linking protection, immigration, border management and labour migration. The 2017 MIDSA also provided SADC member states with a platform to share regional perspectives on the draft Outcome document towards an African Common Position as Africa’s inputs and contribute to the Global Compact on Migration.

Shinzo Abe’s India visit may see launch Of Asia Africa Growth Corridor project (Livemint)

“Japan is ready to commit $30bn for the AAGC while India is expected to commit about $10bn in the proposed corridor. An announcement on this is expected in next few days. These investments will be supplemented by other institutions. The actual investment may go much higher as $40bn is the initial commitment for launching AAGR,” said Sachin Chaturvedi, director general of Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a New Delhi-based think tank. The investment commitment by Japan is for a period of three years while India’s time frame for $10bn is for five years, he added. [India, Israel and the possibilities of collaboration in Africa], [Hong Kong hosts 2nd forum on Belt and Road Initiative]

Peter Drysdale: Why Asia needs to show the way on trade strategy (East Asia Forum)

RCEP trade ministers and officials are now meeting in Manila to meet their deadline to deliver East Asian trade reform this year or wimp it. It might seem strange in this time of global crisis to turn to ASEAN, dogged as it is by perceptions of weakness and vulnerability and distracted by the political and security problems in the South China Sea. But ASEAN, with Indonesia at its core, is a regional enterprise with a distinctly global outlook and objectives, an experiment in open regionalism that has succeeded.

Today’s Quick Links:

Recent Congressional Research Service reports: Sub-Saharan Africa: key issues, challenges, and US responses; Tanzania: Current issues and US policy (pdf)

ECA strengthens capacity in Eastern Africa region to better plan for energy expansion

Launch of InvestSA One Stop Shop, Western Cape: speech by President Zuma

Western Cape: Atlantis Special Economic Zone update

Parmley in Zambia to promote bilateral trade links

Momentum building up for a global coal alliance, says WCA CEO Benjamin Sporton


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