Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: Aaron Ufumeli | EPA

SADC Summit updates:

  1. Key speeches from South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa (Keynote address as outgoing Chair); Namibia’s Dr. Hage G. Geingob (Acceptance speech as incoming Chair); Botswana’s Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi maiden address

  2. The Chairperson of the AUC, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will exchange views on issues relating to continental integration, with particular focus on the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport, as well as on peace and security and the ongoing African Union institutional reform process.

  3. SADC People’s Summit: briefing by Southern African People’s Solidarity Network

90% of global malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa: E8 chair. Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing SADC summit for the Elimination 8 regional initiative, former Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi said: “About 90% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly found in children under the age of 5 and expecting mothers; these are the most vulnerable.” A 2018 study (pdf) by Malaria Futures for Africa said the disease costs the African economy more than $12bn annually and slows the economic growth of countries with high malaria rates by 1.3%. Kamwi said eliminating malaria could help reduce poverty and strengthen economic growth. “An estimated 75% of businesses in sub-Saharan Africa are negatively affected by malaria. Thus eliminating malaria will reduce healthcare costs, improve the health of the workforce, raise productivity and cut absenteeism. No doubt it will strengthen tourism and free up resources previously allocated to countering malaria as a health priority.”

Zimbabwe: ‘SADC Trade Protocol favours South Africa’ (The Independent)

Business reporter Melody Chikono this week caught up with Imperial Refrigeration CE Calisto Jokonya, who is also a former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, to talk about these and other issues. Excerpt: Q - Do you think Zimbabwe offers a level playing field for your kind of business? A - At this point it does not support. Our greatest enemy is the SADC Protocol, which is really affecting us and is 100% in favour of South Africa. All imports come through South Africa and our costs from Durban are not incurred by South Africans. We have a very small market compared to South Africa (50 million vs 14 million population). That is already working against us. It has bigger capacity than us. Zimbabwe needs bout 40 000 fridges per annum, but now has come down because of the economy. Capri and us already have excess capacity. If we were to open our borders to, say, ‘South Africa, come and dump your fridges’, we will close down. [Beitbridge: Losing Zanu PF candidates blame SI64 for poll defeat]

ECOWAS: National experts examine ECOWAS model Mining and Minerals Development Act

A three-day workshop began in Abuja on the 14th of August. The ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Mr Sediko Douka, noted that the Workshop “initiates the formal statutory process for the adoption of a Community Act on mining and mineral development”. In the desire to have a harmonised regulatory environment in the medium term, the Commissioner spelt out the tasks on hand to include the development of a geo-extractive database and statistical information framework to guide the reporting of progress along the value chain of the sector as well as the establishment of a regional geo-extractive observatory and cadastre system as a one-stop repository of information on activities in the sector. Similarly, he said the efforts of the experts should be on how to sustain the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum. The outcome of the workshop will be forwarded, with recommendations, to the sector ministers for their consideration. [Note: The ECOMOF 2018 Forum will take place in Abidjan, 9–11 October]

Morocco’s trade deficit widens 8% year/year in January-July (Reuters)

Imports increased 9.8% to 278.3 billion dirhams in January through July, outstripping an 11.2% rise in exports which reached 160.0 billion dirhams. Equipment imports rose 12.1% to 68.7 billion dirhams; finished consumer goods increased 7.2% to 62.3 billion and semi-finished goods rose 4.4% to 58.8 billion. The automotive sector continued to top Morocco’s exports with a rise of 16.9% to 38.5 billion dirhams, followed by agriculture and agri-food exports with an increase of 5% to 34.5 billion. Exports of phosphates and derivatives were up 15.1% to 29.2 billion dirhams.

Mauritius: Revenue Authority’s 2017/2018 revenue collection rises by 15% (GoM)

Revenue collection by the Mauritius Revenue Authority for the financial year 2017-2018 amounted to approximately Rs 87.5 billion as compared to Rs 76 billion for the year 2016-2017, representing an increase of 15 % over the preceding year. The Director-General of the MRA, Mr Sudhamo Lal, expressed satisfaction regarding the MRA’s performance which has been attributed to the various tax policy measures, economic situation and efficiency gains in tax administration.

Uganda-China Investment and Trade Cooperation Forum: updates

More Chinese companies moving to Africa. “Uganda is now among the top four investment destinations for China in Sub Saharan Africa. The FDI from China to Uganda was $290m in 2017,” China’s ambassador, Zheng Zhuqiang, said. “The industrial parks Uganda is establishing are good because they will enable Uganda achieve import substitution and promote exports.” Investments from China contributed over 40% of the total foreign direct investments in Uganda in 2017. Several Chinese companies are executing a series of infrastructure development projects in Uganda, including roads and power dams. At the conference, Uganda signed MoUs with Chinese companies for new FDI projects valued at $260m. The projects, according to Chinese companies, will generate over 8500 jobs for Ugandans. They will be established in the industrial parks the Government has established in various parts of the country.

Museveni woos Chinese investors; Uganda-China trade deficit stands at $740m

Museveni cautions Chinese against bribing govt officials

China to invest $620m in Uganda’s largest mining project

East Africa to develop policy on aflatoxin to boost food security (New Times)

The EAC states plan to develop a policy framework to address the human and animal health threat of aflatoxin contamination and boost food security, the economic bloc said on Wednesday. Christophe Bazivamo, Deputy Secretary General of the EAC, told a regional forum in Nairobi that aflatoxins from fungi are widespread in the region and cause contamination of staple foods such as maize milk and groundnuts in the field and during storage. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, said aflatoxins contaminate about 25% of agricultural products in Kenya. Kiunjuri said the country has experienced multiple aflatoxicosis outbreaks in recent years, often resulting in fatalities.

Tanzania initiative for preventing aflatoxin contamination: appraisal report (AfDB)

Needs assessment (pdf): As indicated in section 2.2, between 25% and 45% of maize produced in the country is contaminated by aflatoxin. High aflatoxin level exceeding the set limits (5 and 10 ppb for B1 and total aflatoxin has also been observed in groundnuts. A country situational assessment on the aflatoxin problem conducted with the support from Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) confirmed low level of awareness on aflatoxin issues, limited access to guidelines for good agricultural practices and poor storage were behind the prevalence of aflatoxin in maize and groundnuts grown and consumed in Tanzania. Also policies and strategies are absent to combat this problem which creates health and nutritional problems. [Resources: Aflatoxin’s economic impacts on East African trade (pdf); African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development: special issue on aflatoxins in East Africa]

South Africa: Baseline 2018 Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 (BFAP)

The 2018 edition of the BFAP South African Baseline presents an outlook of agricultural production, consumption, prices and trade in South Africa for the period 2018 to 2027, within the context of the current uncertainty regarding land reform policies. The information presented is based on assumptions about a range of economic, technological, environmental, political, institutional, and social factors. Some of the boxes in the publication present results of a number of specific or commissioned analyses through the past 18 months. Farm-level implications are included in the commodity specific sections and the scenarios and risk analyses illustrate the volatile outcome of future projections.

Tanzania: Good governance and private sector development programme appraisal report (AfDB)

Private sector review (pdf): Currently, the private sector’s role as a key driver of inclusive and green economic growth is yet to be harnessed. The sector is dominated by many small enterprises (estimated at a ratio of 1 enterprise for every four people), mostly in smallholder agriculture and small informal non-farm businesses. Over 90% of the private enterprises are sole proprietorships, and only 0.6% employ more than 10 workers. The private sector employs an estimated 95% of the workforce, and accounts for about 75% of gross fixed capital formation. The 2014 Integrated Labour Force Survey indicates that 65.6% of the workforce is employed in the agriculture sector, and over 86% in MSMEs – including activities in agriculture. Untapped private sector investment opportunities exist in agribusiness, tourism, natural gas and mineral sectors, and associated industries; as well as in real estate, construction, housing and the financial sector.

Namibia: Economic governance and competitiveness support programme – Phase II appraisal report (AfDB)

Programme goal and objective (pdf): Remaining consistent with the original program approved by the Board of Directors on 10th May 2017, the goal of EGCSP II is to support the implementation of the Namibian government’s medium term development agenda, aimed at accelerating inclusive growth and sustainable development, by preserving macroeconomic stability, and addressing the challenges of lack of diversification, high unemployment and income inequality. The three components are: (i) Advancing fiscal consolidation which supports measures to improve revenue collection, enhance efficiency in public spending, and improve debt management; (ii) Strengthen public financial management and public sector efficiency by improving the public procurement, internal and external audit functions and the governance framework for SOEs; and (iii) Improve the business environment for industrialization through enhancement of the investment facilitation framework, and improving the framework for industrial and MSME development. [Related, IMF analysis: Assessing and managing fiscal risks from Namibia’s state-entities and public-private partnerships]

Friday’s Quick Links:

Zimbabwe targets $200m in flower exports

Zimbabwe: Fertiliser producers reel as forex crisis worsens

Uganda seeks LPG imports from Tanzania

Nigeria’s new cultural export: music

Nigeria: FG to create 4.2m jobs through raw materials development

PIIE trade commentaries:

Robert Z. Lawrence: Trump’s trade war with China has everyone confused. Here’s what America’s president really wants.

Chad P. Bown, Zhiyao Lu, Jeffrey J. Schott: China’s $60bn tariff announcement


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