Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: UNICEF | Tremeau

COMESA Summit update: The 38th Inter-governmental Committee began on Monday in Lusaka. The committee will review reports on the implementation of regional integration programmes and make recommendations to the Council of Ministers that will meet on 14-15 July.

Outcomes of the EAC’s Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (25-29 June, Arusha): The meeting agreed on the proposal to develop Phase II of the One Stop Border Posts, as well as the need to fast track the implementation of Vehicle Load Control and One Stop Border Posts Acts. The meeting also approved the EAC Railway Enhancement Study report and the EAC Postal Strategy.

Communiqué of the Second AU-UN Annual Conference: The conference also reviewed challenges to peace, security and development on the continent, including in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Lake Chad Basin, the Comoros, the DRC, Madagascar, Mali and the Sahel, Somalia, and South Sudan and agreed to jointly increase their support, in close cooperation with Regional Economic Communities, for the peace, security, development and stabilization initiatives in these countries, while cooperating more closely, particularly with respect to political processes.

Joint communiqué of the bilateral trade meeting to address issues affecting trade between Tanzania and Kenya (pdf)

Joint declaration of peace and friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia

Nairobi meeting on guidelines for issuance of the African Passport: Dr Khabele Matlosa, Director of Political Affairs Department, said the African Passport would be meaningless without the full and effective implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The three day technical meeting which has immigration experts on passports from Member States, which is also being attended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, will be followed by a two-day meeting of African immigration chiefs.

Nigeria and AfCFTA

Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe: Nigeria now ready to sign Africa free trade deal (Premium Times)

Osakwe: The final thing is that studies have established a baseline on the impact of the AfCFTA on the Nigerian economy different from the multilateral and regional. Current studies have been done in a sense, but by Nigerian researchers largely. These were the feedback we got in terms of the findings. But again I need to be clear about the starting point the significant feedback was this, the agreement establishing the AfCFTA is laudable, commendable, Nigeria should join it, sign it and at the same time scale up the pace activities.

PT: You sound as if Nigeria is now ready to sign the agreement? Osakwe: Almost. But that’s a decision to be made by Mr. President.

PT: Other interest groups, like the Chambers of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria expressed some concerns about the AfCFTA. Are they now convinced about the benefits and no threats to their joining the AfCFTA? Osakwe: Both NACCIMA and MAN support the objectives and ideals of the agreement establishing the AfCFTA. We need to be clear about that. Their concerns are legitimate and need to be addressed. The Nigerian economy is based on goods and services. The goods sector in the Nigerian economy accounts for approximately 9.5% and a little less of the GDP of Nigeria. The services component of the Nigerian economy is approximately 55% plus. So, both the goods and services sector will have to be taken on board with regards how we establish and work out a zone of compromise moving forward.

Chijioke Odo: Is no AfCFTA deal the right deal for Nigeria? (Deloitte Nigeria)

Nigeria must therefore think long term and define a trade strategy. That is, identifying and leveraging where she has comparative advantages; what the industry value chains are; what she should import and in what form; what she should export and in what form; what industries she must protect; what industries she must develop etc. These are some of the considerations that must drive Nigeria’s approach to trade.

Mauritius-India: Fifth meeting pursues negotiations on CECPA (GoM)

The fifth round of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between Mauritius and India opened yesterday. Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo outlined the Africa Strategy, which aims at expanding the economic horizons of the country and bringing it to a higher level of cooperation with targeted African States. He recalled that Mauritius is involved in initiatives which include the creation of special economic zones in Madagascar, Kenya, Senegal, Ghana. As regards the CECPA, he underscored that it forms part of a network that is being put in place to develop partnership with Africa at regional, bilateral and continental levels as well as with other emerging countries such as India and China, in line to further enhancing South-South cooperation. The Comprehensive Agreement is to be finalised by December 2018, he underlined.

The Head of the Indian delegation, Joint Secretary for Africa Division of the Department of Commerce, Mr Manoj Kuwar Dwivedi, highlighted that both Mauritius and India are exploring bilateral opportunities which will be beneficial for both countries in terms of trade in goods and services. He pointed out that the two countries have their strengths and they will open avenues of opportunities for liberal trade relations. On one side, Mauritius will learn from a big and consumerist country like India and on the other hand, India will use Mauritius as a platform to reach out to French Speaking African countries for investment.

State of Food and Nutrition Insecurity and Vulnerability in Southern Africa (SADC)

Extract from the pdf Synthesis Report (1.85 MB) : Available data from 10 member states (Table 2) indicates that the dry spells that characterized the 2017/18 rainfall season have resulted in reduced cereal harvests compared to the 2017 bumper crop. The most significant contractions from the previous harvest and the 5-year average were recorded in Lesotho (-68% and -35%), Zambia (-33% and -20%) and Botswana (-30% and -38%). About 29.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure. The number represents about 14.2% of the total rural population in the 11 countries. This is 13% higher compared to the previous year and about 3% higher than the five-year average for the 11 Member States who provided data.

State of Fisheries and Aquaculture (FAO)

On trade: Fish and fish products will continue to be highly traded [to 2030]. It is projected that about 31% of total fishery production will be exported in 2030 (38% if trade within the EU is included), in the form of different products for human consumption or non-edible purposes, traded at various stages of processing. In quantity terms, world trade of fish for human consumption is expected to grow by 24% in the projection period and to reach more than 48 million tonnes in live weight equivalent in 2030 (60.6 million tonnes if trade within the European Union is included). China will continue to be the major exporter of fish for human consumption (followed by Viet Nam and Norway), with its share in total fish exports for human consumption remaining at 20%. [FAO’s State of the World’s Forests 2018: Executive summary (pdf), Full report (pdf)]

Related: 2nd Oceans Forum on Trade-related Aspects of SDG 14 (16-17 July, Geneva). Extract from the background note (pdf): Furthermore, fish and seafood is one of the most traded food commodities. Some 35 to 38% of the world production enters international trade generating $152bn in 2017. Over 50% of this trade originates in developing countries whose net trade income (export – import), valued at $37bn in 2013, is greater than the net income of most other agricultural commodities combined. In Pacific Small Island Development States, fishing can provide between 30 and 80% of exports– an advantage of the large Exclusive Economic Zones and the economic values they are able to capture from fish species such as tuna. Likewise, the share of fish trade flows for some West African countries can represent between 5 to 12% of GDP.

OPIC launches Connect Africa Initiative (OPIC)

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution, last week launched its Connect Africa initiative which will invest more than $1 billion to projects that support transportation, communications, and value chains in Africa over the next three years. The announcement comes as OPIC’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne embarks on his first official travel to the continent where he will visit Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya.

Ayodele Odusola: Addressing the Foreign Direct Investment paradox in Africa (Africa Renewal)

Africa’s experience on inward FDI presents a paradox. Conventionally, capital is expected to flow from countries with low to high returns. During 2006-2011, the region experienced the highest rate of return on FDI (11.4%) compared to 9.1% in Asia, 8.9% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The world’s average was 7.1%. Yet Africa’s share of the global net FDI has been very low over the past decade (Figure 1). For instance, sub-Saharan Africa’s share of global net FDI between 2010 and 2016 stood at 1.87%, compared to 30.34% for Europe, 26.45% for East Asia and Pacific, 17.334% for North Africa and 13.25% for Latin America and the Caribbean. Why is Africa experiencing an FDI paradox? [The author is Chief Economist and Head of Strategy and Analysis Team, UNDP Africa]

Public investment efficiency in Sub-Saharan African countries (IMF)

There is significant room to improve public investment efficiency in sub-Saharan Africa. Investment in sub-Saharan African countries is lagging vis-à-vis peers such as emerging and developing Asia as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, and the region’s infrastructure is perceived as being of relatively low quality. Comparing efficiency scores across country groups suggests that investment efficiency in sub-Saharan African oil exporters tends to be lower than in sub-Saharan African non-resource-intensive countries. Additionally, countries in the EAC perform better than those in CEMAC and WAEMU. Stronger institutions could foster more efficient public investment. The regression results in this paper show a positive correlation between public investment efficiency and the quality of institutions, suggesting that developing stronger institutions in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to a significant improvement in investment efficiency.

The WEB of transport corridors in South Asia (ADB/JICA/WBG/UKAID)

The book is aimed at politicians, technocrats, civil society organizations, and businesses. It presents case studies of past and recent corridor initiatives, provides rigorous analysis of the literature on the spatial impact of corridors, and offers assessments of corridor investment projects supported by international development organizations. A series of spotlights examines such issues as private sector co-investment; the impacts of corridors on small enterprises and women; and issues with implementing cross-border corridors. The ‘WEB’ in the title stands for both the wider economic benefits (WEB) that transport corridors are expected to generate and the complex web of transport corridors that has been proposed. [Overview (pdf)]

Tuesday’s Quick Links:

The World Bank has appointed Hafez Ghanem as the new Vice President for Africa, effective 1 July.

Tunisia’s trade deficit rises to $3.13bn in Jan-June

Uganda workshop: Making social protection systems in Africa more responsive to crisis

Strengthening strengthen implementation of Uganda’s second National Development Plan: update

IMF-Africa updates: Central African Republic, Senegal, Tunisia

German firms promised ‘Marshall Plan’ tax breaks for African projects

ICTSD: How can the Argentinian G20 Presidency support trade’s contribution to a sustainable food future

UNCTAD: Downloads from the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy


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