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tralac’s Daily News Selection

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

07 Aug 2018

A reminder of tomorrow’s UNCTAD forum in Johannesburg: Netrepreneurs: The rise of Africa’s Digital Lions

Diarise: (i) EAC-COMESA-SADC Consultative workshop on Trade in Goods (13-17 August, Addis Ababa); (ii) 4th AU Customs expert trade facilitation forum (15-17 August, Cairo)

Explore tralac’s new series of country trade data updates and infographics: they provide an overview of a country’s intra-African trade relationships; the top import and export products traded; and applicable tariffs.

Responses to Dani Rodrik’s FT commentary on the future of the WTO: Joel Trachtman, Simon Lester

A Devex interview with Jean-Philippe Stijns: Supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs

COMESA Research Forum: Policy barriers bad for trade – George Lipimile (The Star)

COMESA is losing at least Sh3.2 trillion annually in trade due to trade barriers arising from protectionism policy. Road blocks, lengthy customs procedures and administrative requirements are some of barriers hindering free flow of trade in the region that has the potential to make at least Sh4.2 trillion per year. Last year, intra-COMESA trade dropped by 1.76% to Sh2.1 trillion compared to the previous year. This was revealed yesterday at the start of the Fifth COMESA Annual Research Forum in Nairobi. “There is need for country member states to look into these issues, because sometimes we deal with one, then there arises other three non-tariff barriers,” COMESA Competition Commission chief executive Goerge Lipimile said. [COMESA watchdog to tighten surveillance to enhance consumer protection]

COMESA region can reap US$17.5b by implementing e-trade measures (COMESA)

The COMESA region would annually gain US$17.5 billion in intra-COMESA exports if all the member States fully implemented the digital trade facilitation reforms that involves the use of paperless trade facilitation measures. According to research findings presented to the 5th COMESA Annual Research Forum underway in Nairobi, five countries have the greatest intra-COMESA export trade potential for the region. These are Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Ethiopia.

Zimbabwe: Bilateral free trade agreement with South Africa to terminate (pdf, ZimTrade)

The Government of South Africa has given notice of its intention to terminate the Zimbabwe-South Africa Bilateral Trade Agreement. The trade agreement will be terminated with effect from 20 November 2018. South Africa has indicated that the Agreement is being terminated in favour of the SADC Trade Protocol on Trade, which is more comprehensive and gives better preferences than the Bilateral Trade Agreement.

South Africa: If the Western Cape were a country, it would be the world’s fifth largest exporter of citrus fruits (GCIS)

South Africa is currently the second biggest exporter of citrus in the world after Spain, accounting for 10% of the global market. The Western Cape currently exports the majority share of this, at 62%, making it the largest exporter of citrus fruit in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 6% of the global market share of citrus was exported from the Western Cape in 2017. To put this in perspective, China and the USA, which hold the spots as the world’s third and fourth biggest exporters, hold global market share of 8% and 7% respectively.

Most of the province’s exports are oranges (54% of all exports in 2017). However, soft citrus (19%) has shown excellent growth in the past ten years, and lemons and limes, which showed good growth between 2012 and 2015, have since tapered considerably. Europe is the biggest market for Western Cape exports, however, the market size has declined from 55% of all Western Cape citrus exports in 2008, to 47% in 2017. The Asian and Oceania markets however have made up the decline, growing from 34% in 2008 to 42% last year.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina calls for technology transfer to farmers (AfDB)

Adesina, who was the 2017 World Food Prize winner, is advocating for the creation of staple crops processing zones (SCPZs) across Africa: vast areas within rural areas set aside and managed for agribusiness and food manufacturing industries and other agro-allied industries, enabled with right policies and infrastructure. “I am convinced that just like industrial parks helped China, so will the SCPZs help to create new economic zones in rural areas that will help lift hundreds of millions out of poverty through the transformation of agriculture- the main source of their livelihoods- from a way of life into a viable profitable business that will unleash new sources of wealth,” he said. The African Development Bank has already begun investing in the development of processing zones in a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Togo, DRC, and Mozambique, with a plan to reach 15 countries in a few years. Adesisana was speaaking at the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association annual meeting in Washington. [Nigeria: NIRSAL targets N1.6tn revenue for smallholder farmers]

Rwanda targets $92m from tea exports in 2018 (New Times)

National Agriculture Export Board has projected tea export revenues to increase from $88M last year to $92m this year. Rwanda’s tea exports for 2017 increased by 15% compared to 2016 and is further expected to do better owing to increased brand promotional activities. NAEB Tea Divison Manager Issa Nkurunziza said that Rwandan tea has been competitive on international markets. Tea is currently grown on 26,897ha by 42,840 farmers across 12 districts. Rwanda’s tea production has increased significantly over the years from 14,500 tonnes in 2000 to 25,128 tons in 2017. [Kenya’s tea sales rise Sh2bn on improved output]

Nigerian trade and related updates

2018 Making Business Work report (Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council)

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council said on Monday that it would continue to accelerate its efforts to ensure better public service delivery and improved business environment for micro, small and medium enterprises. Bisi Daniels, Strategy and Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said: “Nigeria must improve its ranking by 45 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index over the next two years to achieve its goal of attaining the top 100 by 2020. Such an ambitious goal requires accelerated and focused execution of Government Executive Order and National Action Plans. It is clear that Nigeria must now intensify its reforms; and the PEBEC will continue to work closely with the public and private sectors to institutionalise its reforms, cascade them to state level, refine and improve the business environment.” [Download the PEBEC report, pdf]

Nigeria, Niger, and Benin to meet over smuggling (NAN)

Having identified smuggling of rice and other products as threat to their relationship, Nigeria, Niger and Benin are to meet on how to address the problem. The Benin Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Paulette Yekpe said the proposed tripartite meeting would establish a framework to address rice smuggling. Yekpe said the smuggling of rice and other products posed a threat to the relationship between both countries. The ambassador said that although ECOWAS protocol paved way for the free movement of citizens within the sub-region, more needed to be done through regional integration to tackle rice smuggling.

Ghana: Nigerian traders not affected by Ghana’s new retail law – envoy (The Eagle)

The Ghanaian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey, says Nigerian traders are not affected by the recent notice to foreigners to quit the country’s retail markets. Botchwey said: “This has nothing to do with our ECOWAS brothers and sisters. It was more to do with other nationals. Yes there is a problem that Nigerians and other ECOWAS citizens have been caught up in this issue of traders being given quit notice to exit our markets with their retail trade which is, by the law of Ghana, reserved for Ghanaians. Our government is doing what it can; sitting with the Ghana Traders Association to ensure that there is that understanding that it has nothing to do with Nigerian and other ECOWAS traders. Even at the governmental level, we are dealing with it and the president himself is handling the matter to ensure that it does not escalate.”

AfDB’s Industrial and Trade Development Department: EOI to support industrial policy design and implementation in Africa

The services to be provided under the assignment include (pdf): (i) Review industrial policies experience in Africa and other emerging markets to take stock of best practices; (ii) Review the Bank’s past support to support industrial policies for lessons learnt; (iii) Undertake diagnostics/analytical work on industrial policy challenges and bottlenecks in Africa covering the range of more advanced emerging economies as well as countries in transitions with less developed industrial sectors; (iv) Assist in the finalization of the strategic approach and delivery model to support the implementation of the flagship 1 of the Industrial Africa High 5 strategy:

Ghana: New fiscal regime for mining sector soon – Bawumia (GhanaWeb)

Government will soon introduce a new fiscal regime for the mining sector to ensure Ghana derives maximum benefit from the extraction of her mineral resources, the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed. Such thinking has already began to reflect in the Nana Akufo-Addo government’s approach to development with the recent passage by Parliament of a Master Project Facility Agreement that seeks to leverage a fraction of our bauxite deposits in a barter arrangement for infrastructure development worth $2bn after the Vice President’s business visit to the People’s Republic of China in June last year. This new thinking, the Vice President emphasised, was the guiding principle behind the decision to leverage a fraction of Ghana’s vast bauxite deposits to build an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry. “We have decided that we are not going to allow what has happened to gold and manganese to happen with bauxite. Parliament just passed the Ghana Integrated Bauxite Authority Bill. We are forming this corporation, and will be forming partnerships with anybody who comes, a joint venture, to build an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry. We don’t want the raw bauxite being taken out of Ghana anymore.”

Road to industrialized Africa: role of efficient factor market in firm growth (IMF)

After a decade of rapid growth, industrialization has lost ground with shrinking manufacturing sector and high informality in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper explores how land market and labor regulations affect factor allocative efficiency and firm performance in SSA. Using pooled data on firm balance sheets for 40 countries in SSA, the results identify significant land and labor misallocations due to limited market allocation of land and inappropriate regulatory policies.

Dynamics of off-farm employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: a gender perspective (World Bank)

Off-farm income constitutes a significant share of the household livelihood portfolios across Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, the determinants and dynamics of individuals’ participation in off-farm employment activities have not received adequate attention due to the weaknesses in individual-level data collection and the lack of longitudinal studies. This paper uses national panel household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda; provides empirical evidence on individual-level off-farm (wage and self) employment participation rates; analyzes the extent and drivers of entry into off-farm employment and continued employment; and conducts the analysis by gender and rural/urban location. A significant share of the rural and urban working-age individual population is found to participate in off-farm employment, ranging at the national level from 34% in Ethiopia to 58% in Malawi.

Tuesday’s Quick Links:

Kenyatta to meet Trump for trade talks later this month as ties improve

East Africa hit by new round of trade disputes

Nigeria: Importers abandon over N10b vehicles at Lagos ports

Ghana: ‘Outrageous tax incentives harming local businesses’ – Marwan Ansah

Togo adopts a new national development plan (PND 2018-2022)

CBE: Egypt’s foreign debt reached $88.2bn by end of March

Global Network of Export-Import Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID): update

KZN to boost trade opportunities with Nevada

He Wenping: The Belt and Road Initiative boosts Africa’s leapfrog development

Atlantic Council on non-tariff barriers: Can the EU and the US make progress on trade?

CII: New export opportunities for India in trade with US and China

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This post has been sourced on behalf of tralac and disseminated to enhance trade policy knowledge and debate. It is distributed to recipients across Africa and internationally, serving in the AU, RECs, national government trade departments and research and development agencies.

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