Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: Gilles Paire | Alamy

Transforming African economies through smart trade and industrial policy (UNECA)

The present report builds on the recommendations of the 2015 Economic Report on Africa through a thorough assessment of what is required of African economies to industrialize smartly through trade. The assessment is informed by an analysis of whether current trade policies and tariff structures positively contribute to Africa’s broader industrialization policy. Among the key findings:

Both manufacturing and services sectors have key roles to play in Africa’s industrialization: Manufacturing is a high value-added sector in which labour can flow into and deliver high productivity. The sector has strong forward and backward linkages with other sectors of the economy, including agriculture and the external sectors. The services sector is gaining significant importance. It is the main contributor to GDP in the majority of African countries and has been the continent’s fastest-growing sector during the past two decades. A thriving service sector is essential for attracting investors into African businesses and driving growth in the manufacturing sector, given that it allows local sourcing of needed support services such as logistics, telecommunications and financial services.

More fresh thinking is needed on how to achieve Africa’s industrialization objectives: Trade has a key role to play. Intraregional trade has the potential to facilitate increased economies of scale, diversification and value addition. In 2014, manufactured goods accounted for 41.9 per cent of intra-African exports, compared with only 14.8 per cent of Africa’s exports outside the continent. Intra-African trade, however, is underexploited owing to high trade costs in the region. IntraAfrican trade, as a share of total African trade, was only 15.3 per cent in 2015. ECA modelling exercises indicate that establishing the CFTA would boost intra-African trade in goods by 52.3 per cent. Estimated increases are highest for industrial products (53.3 per cent).

Status of integration on agenda as EAC ministers meet in Arusha (The New Times)

A report on the status of East African Community integration agenda covering the period July 2016 to June 2017 will be high on agenda as ministers responsible for EAC affairs and planning meet in Arusha, Tanzania today. A statement from the EAC Headquarters, in Arusha, indicates that among the items on the agenda of the meeting are: consideration of report on the implementation of previous decisions of the Sectoral Council of ministers responsible for EAC affairs and planning (SCMEACP); and consideration of progress report on the status of implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol.

Nigeria, Economic Community of West African States, major world economies adopt Abuja Statement (FMITI)

Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD) and participants at the High Level Policy and Private Sector Trade and Investment Facilitation Partnership Forum today adopted a declaration titled “The Abuja Statement” at the close of the two-day event, which saw the participation of over 30 African countries as well as major world economies. The Abuja Statement on “Deepening Africa’s Integration in the Global Economy through Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development” was unanimously adopted after two days of intensive deliberations between policy makers and the business community from around the world.

Nigeria: CBN Targets 80% Financial Inclusion By 2020 (ThisDay LIVE)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) assured Nigerians Wednesday that it would work aggressively towards increasing financial inclusion rate to 80 per cent, by cutting down the number of people excluded from the financial system to 20 per cent in the next three years (2020). According to him, specific areas of focus identified which would be pursued aggressively include “prioritising intervention and creating awareness to ensure patronage, incorporating non-interest financial services into CBN intervention programmes.”

ECOWAS common external tariff not in Nigeria’s best interest — MAN (Vanguard)

Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said the Common External Tariff (CET) for countries in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as negotiated and currently structured is not in the best interest of Nigeria. President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs disclosed this at the one-day business roundtable on critical issues on Raw Materials Sourcing for Manufacturing Industries in Nigeria tagged: ‘Tariff Duty and Related Matters’.

Ghana, Kenya to boost Africa’s trade ties (Ghana web)

“Intra-Africa investments and trade are prerequisites for regional and national economic development and growth…In a couple of years, Africa will have more people than India and China combined,” Mr. Robert Ahomka-Linsdey, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry told participants from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, Namibia, Sudan, Europe and North America attending the Kenya Trade Expo Ghana 2017 event in Accra this week, as experts from government agencies and the business community converged to examine the challenges and looming opportunities for intra and inter-regional cooperation around Africa. [Intra Africa Trade imperative to promote continent (Ghana News Agency)]

Africa needs roads and bridges, cooking oil and cement (The Herald)

Roads and railways, bridges and harbours – that’s what we need to invest in if we are to grow Africa’s economies and provide jobs for the millions of young people who want to become part of the continent’s growth. That – and the need for trade among African countries in goods ranging from cooking oil to cement – is the message coming from a major conference in Addis Ababa. The executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Sogwe, told delegates at the conference that “overcoming infrastructure gaps remains critical if the continent is to unlock its economic potential”. [10th Session of the Committee on Regional Cooperation and Integration ends on high note (UNECA)]

Zimbabwe: Govt raises red flag on export licensing (The Herald)

Mines and Mining Development Permanent Secretary Munesushe Munodawafa, said Government has started looking at setting up a computerised system to improve efficiency and transparency. “We want a computerised export licensing system and the current system is manual. For one to just look at the process at the moment, you can see a lot of gaps that exist. We have had cases where export permits were forged and (also) signatures of Government officials,” said Mr Munodawafa.

Namibia: Mid-term budget concerns analysts (The Namibian)

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein tabled his medium-term budget review in parliament yesterday, and shortly afterwards, PSG Namibia’s head of research, Eloise du Plessis, had preliminary comments for The Namibian. She said the increase in spending came as a surprise since revenue was expected to decline over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF). “The budget deficit targets given in the March budget will not be met, and will be deteriorating,” she said. From the look of things, government will be borrowing a lot more to fund spending, Du Plessis said, adding that this would not sit well with ratings agencies. Namibia could thus possibly face more downgrades.

Zambia: Govt urged to find maize market for farmers (Lusaka Times)

The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has called on government to facilitate a market within the region where local farmers can sale their remaining maize following the Food Reserve Agency’s decision to close its maize marketing season.

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