Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

Diarise: The private sector and regional integration in Southern Africa – accelerating opportunities for investment and growth (11-13 June, Lilongwe)

Selected commentaries:

Pierre Guislain: Is the Korean experience relevant to today? The experience of Korea shows that there is no quick-fix, magic formula for industrializing. But it also shows that it is possible for any economy to turn its fortunes around with a dedicated and disciplined government, good industrial policy, effective public-private dialogue and real commitment to infrastructure investment. This being said, the real value and relevance of the Korean development experience for Africa should be sought in the methodology of policy formulation and the development of supportive ecosystems, rather than in specific policy measures.

Babatunde Fagbayibo: Why the Pan-African Parliament must clean up its act if it wants to survive

Liesl Louw-Vaudran: Keeping the AU relevant to Africa’s citizens

Key statistics and trends in economic integration: ACP region (UNCTAD)

The report is structured into two parts. The first part briefly summarizes the history of the ACP group and presents an overview of ACP economies in the world economy and some challenges that member States face. The second part provides illustrative statistics on ACP countries’ trade in goods and services during the last decade. The section includes various indicators of trade structure, services trade and investment flows, trade facilitation, tariffs and non-tariff measures as well as international competitiveness. While the section presents some of the most commonly used trade indicators for the ACP group as a whole, some other figures compare the structure and performance of three geographical regions of the ACP: Africa, Caribbean and Pacific. Extract (pdf):

Intra-ACP trade accounts for 17.9% of the total trade (exports plus imports) in 2016, relatively low compared to established regional trade blocks. For example, intraregional trade accounts for 61.7% and 40.3% in the European Union and North American Free Trade Area. Nevertheless, aggregate figure hides the heterogeneity of trade flows and trade concentrations within subregions of the ACP. As it is originally conceived as a block to negotiate trade agreements with the European Union, intra-ACP trade appears to have a fractured geography in three regional trade zones: Africa, Caribbean and Pacific. While ACP accounts for 19.4% and 10.6% of the ACP Africa’s and Caribbean’s trade respectively, it only captures 2.8% of ACP Pacific’s trade flows (Chart 4). For the latter group of countries, geographical dispersion and weak domestic productive capacity inhibit trade expansion.

Integrate Africa: selected pointers from Chapter 4 in the Annual Development Effectiveness Review 2018

Figure 15: pdf High-resolution impact mapping of a West Africa regional corridor (5.64 MB) . The Bank is using high-resolution impact mapping to assess the impact of a 1900 km regional road corridor it supported linking Bamako, Ouagadougou and Accra. Focusing on an unprecedented geographic scale, the map provides details on the road’s economic footprint, improvements in human development and increases in cross-border traffic. By comparing data from household surveys and applying geotagged datasets and satellite imagery, the methodology assesses with a high degree of reliability the changes in people’s living conditions – for example, additional people with access to energy. Changes in living conditions are drawn from household surveys undertaken in 2003 and 2014, before and after the road was made available and focusing on an area 20 km wide on both sides of the road. It should be noted that not all of these changes are directly attributable to the project, but they reflect broader improvements in living conditions. [See also: Figure 14: Mapping intra-Africa trade flows; Table 4: Integrate Africa indicators (Level 1 & Level 2)]

Implementing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area: selected highlights from yesterday’s Wilson Center Africa Day 2018 debate. (i) Donald Kaberuka: The AfCFTA is not simply about goods but about services. There is trade finance, insurance, logisitics, data – a lot of services associated with one product. Half of the benefits from AfCFTA is not from physical goods but services. (ii) What challenges do you predict for African island countries? Our islands are about services, Mauritius is a big recipient of services and a major center for financial services and other services. Island countries will benefit from the logistics of the AfCFTA. (iii) See @AfricaUpClose for a lengthy set of tweeted opinions.

Tripartite Free Trade Area: COMESA-EAC-SADC immigration chiefs discuss free movement of business people (COMESA)

Chiefs of immigration departments from the COMESA, EAC and SADC regions held a two-day meeting in Nairobi this week to discuss ways of introducing free movement of business persons within the context of the Tripartite Free Trade Area. The business community has long complained about the restrictive immigration processes that make it impossible and expensive for them to travel across the region. Some of these include extensive visa procedures, lack of uniformity of procedures and multiple physical checks. Visa fees and other taxes on business persons are varied between member States with some charging as high as $250. The meeting, 22-23 May, was necessitated by failure of immigration technical officers to find consensus, after several rounds of negotiations, on a number of important issues that are critical to the free movement of business persons, goods, services and investment across the Tripartite region.

Nigeria and the AfCFTA: updates on the on-going domestic consultations

South-East business owners ratify AfCFTA, insist on zonal gas masterplan. The request was one of the several demands they presented at the Stakeholders Sensitisation and Consultations Forum held in Owerri, Imo State on Nigeria’s participation in the Africa CFTA agreement. They endorsed the AfCFTA pact seeking reduction in tariffs on 90% of trade lines for all trade among African countries as a necessary step for trade facilitation. They also contended that AfCFTA would support Nigeria’s economic policy and its leadership in the African Union, through improving competitiveness in trade in goods and services. The Forum underlined the necessity for accelerated implementation action in the areas including, reducing the cost of money, improving access to credit, countervailing measures against transhipment, dumping and other injurious trade practices against Nigerian manufacturers and service providers and provision of predictable, cost effective power supply and parity in tariff charges in the South-east. The zone also called for the modernisation of Nigerian logistics in the supply chains and railway transport systems. The Traders Associations in the zone emphasised the importance of open markets and underscored their right to import and export goods including, textiles and clothing, pharmaceuticals, automobile spare parts, and agricultural products.

Ambassador Osakwe: “It’s about roles and leadership of the number 1 economy in Africa. We shouldn’t shut our corridors that have been open for hundred years.”

Non-Oil Export: Safeguards embedded in the AfCFTA are contained in Articles 10, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23 and 25.

“AfCFTA implementation will push consumer spending to $1.4 trn by 2020”. The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiation says the AfCFTA will assist to address the issue of unemployment, market access and economic growth for Nigeria and Africa. Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, Director-General of NOTN, noted that about one million Nigerians and an estimated 18 to 20 million Africans enter the job market yearly, adding that AfCFTA would not only address unemployment issues but deepen intra-Africa trade and regional integration for economic development. The ambassador noted that AfCFTA was much more than a trade agreement but a deal that strategically reorganises the geo-economic landscape of Africa, Nigeria’s leadership position, competitiveness and modernisation. He noted that certain provisions were placen the Articles of agreement to safeguard local economies, especially manufacturers and SMEs.

Algeria’s intra-Africa trade exchange far below potential (Xinhua)

Trade exchange between Algeria and other African countries is still far below potential, with the value worth around $3bn annually, Director General of the Algerian Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Trade Chafiq Chetti said on Thursday. Algeria’s exports to other African countries amounted to $1.6bn annually, while its imports from the continent reached around $1.4bn, Chetti was quoted as saying by the Algerian state radio channel. Chetti said 96% of Algeria’s intra-Africa trade transactions are concluded with only five African countries, which means that the North African nation has almost no business relations with the rest of the African countries. The official pointed out that Algeria, unlike neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Morocco, is lagging behind in terms of entering African markets, especially those of Western Africa. In this regard, Chetti indicated that Algeria has opened three commercial liaison offices in all of Côte D’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon, but the absence of Algerian bank subsidiaries there makes it difficult to attract assets to achieve the desired objectives.

TMEA’s Frank Matsaert: How Africa can make its big trade deal work for it (Business Daily)

Q: You seem to take more of an outside East Africa approach in your next plan of action? A: Strategy 2 is about scale-up. What we will be focusing on to reduce trade costs is thinking about efficiency of the transport and trade network. Here we will be looking at East Africa’s external borders. We will be looking at the borders of DR Congo and the Great Lakes as well as borders to the south. We are also about to begin operations in Zambia and Mozambique and are working on how to bring in Ethiopia to the East African Network. Our target is to lift more than 1.8 million people out of poverty.

Vietnamese exports to Africa face price challenges (VietnamPlus)

Vietnamese exports to Africa have faced price-related challenges as they have to compete with other African nations in terms of import tax, given the fact there is no free trade agreement or preferential trade agreement between Vietnam and regional countries. Pointing out price challenges for Vietnamese exports to Africa, the office suggested Vietnamese businesses make use of benefits brought about by the pact, which will turn Africa into a busier and more promising area for commercial activities. Hoang Oanh, head of the Department of Asia-Africa Markets under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vietnamese firms should pay more attention to markets like Algeria, Egypt, South Africa and Angola, and products like rice, coffee, pepper, seafood, household electric products, garments-textiles and machines for agriculture and garment-textile.

Acceleration and domestication of African Union Treaties: new $15m regional initiative launched (UNDP)

The AUC, Sweden, and the UNDP have joined efforts to boost the number of African countries signing up to and adopting into national law continental agreements to help accelerate development. Since its establishment as the Organisation of African Unity, the African Union has adopted 49 treaties, protocols and conventions. However, as of 2015 only 28 of these treaties have been ratified and enshrined by the 54 Member States. In its first phase, the AUC-UNDP programme will focus on providing assistance on the ratification and domestication of six key treaties to boost progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, related to human and people’s rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, and youth, as well as on democracy, elections and governance, and preventing and combating corruption. In this phase efforts will focus on Senegal, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Rwanda.

UNCTAD TRAINS: The Global Database on Non-Tariff Measures

The purpose of this manual is to provide information for users of the TRAINS database about the NTMs data structure and data collection process. It explains the classification and to what extent and how the consistency among different countries and comprehensiveness of regulations have been achieved. It also indicates how to read the data and its different variables presented through all dissemination tools mentioned above.

Non-Tariff Measures: data and quantitative tools of analysis (FERDI)

This paper provides a tour d’horizon on where we stand with the information, and analysis of Non-Tariff Measures. The analysis of NTMs has been fragmentary, not keeping pace with their increasing prevalence and their increasing complexity. Capturing and classifying these NTMs is still a daunting task because of the data limitations identified in this paper: comprehensiveness, diversification, lack of precision, dimensionality, time dimension (NTMs are rarely available for several years which makes it difficult to control for confounding factors). Most NTM data inventories are registered on a binary basis restricting the use of descriptive statistics to a few indices. Disentangling precautionary from protectionist motives of NTMs is difficult as the presence and/or intensity of NTMs is likely to depend on import volumes. [The authors: Alessandro Nicita, Jaime de Melo]

Today’s Quick Links:

Convergence et divergence budgétaire en Afrique: le rôle des Communautés économiques régionales et des Unions économiques et monétaires

Senegal’s economy almost a third bigger after data overhaul

Nigeria Shippers Council: “90% of cargo are under-declared at Nigerian ports”

ECOWAS launches energy governance programme for West Africa

TCN, ECOWAS set to launch regional electricity market expansion

Tanzania: Stiegler’s Gorge power project to eat up huge chunk of energy budget

Kenya Organic Agriculture Network: Genetically modified Bt cotton not worth the hype

UBA paving the way for Chinese investments into Africa

Viva Tech Summit: Rwandan tech firms pitch to global markets in France

India drags US to WTO over levy of additional duties on steel, aluminium


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010