Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: World Bank

The ATPC’s David Luke: The ECA has received requests from a dozen countries and/or RECs for support in developing an AfCFTA country strategy

Potential of manufacturing and industrialization in Africa: trends, opportunities, and strategies (Brookings)

By 2030, business-to-business spending in manufacturing in Africa is projected to reach $666.3bn, $201.28bn more than in 2015. This report discussed the evolution and prospects of manufacturing and industrialization in Africa. It ultimately offers business leaders an overview of Africa’s biggest opportunities in the manufacturing sector, discussing trends, drivers, perspectives, and strategies for effective investment by 2030. It provides policymakers with some options likely to attract private investors, accelerate manufacturing and industrial development, and contribute to growth and poverty alleviation, facilitating the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. While policy solutions are likely to differ across countries, manufacturing and industrial development will be central to Africa’s ability to meet its development goals. Extract (pdf):

In order to compare and highlight some specific manufacturing investment opportunities, we first provide an overview of the 10 largest manufacturing markets in Africa — in terms of the current value of manufacturing output — across key indicators of market competitiveness. Figure 8 compares countries’ scores for the pay versus productivity of the labor force, quality of electricity supply, and quality of transport infrastructure, which is an average of the individual scores for the quality of roads, railroads, ports, and air transport infrastructure. Not surprisingly, those countries that score best across all three variables are also those with the largest and most well developed manufacturing sectors to date, namelySouth Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Kenya. At the same time, though, several frontier markets exhibit strong foundations for manufacturing investment, especially in terms of the value of the workforce. Using these data, we classify country cases in terms of the relative size of the manufacturing market and its competitiveness. The threshold for the size of the manufacturing market is drawn at about $10bn in annual output, while countries are considered to have highly competitive markets for investment if the average score across the three indicators summarized in Figure 8 is greater than or equal to three. The two-by-two categorization of these 10 countries is provided in Table 2. In the subsequent discussion, we select one country from each box - specifically, Morocco, Kenya, Zambia, and Nigeria - in order to discuss specific opportunities for investment in light of the unique structural and policy-related dynamics of each case. [The authors: Landry Signé, Chelsea Johnson]

IAPH’s Abuja conference sets pan-African ports agenda: download the 20 presentations. Extracts from the IAPH communique:

Connectivity for economic growth, expansion and integration should be viewed from the perspective of domestic, sub-regional, continental and international trade domain; To overcome the cumbersome and difficult experiences on intra-Africa trade route, occasioned by heavy infrastructural deficit and unfriendly border post procedures, there is need for Ministerial/ inter-Government collaborations across sub and regional levels; African countries need to leverage on the support platforms provided by international bodies such as the IMO, WTO, UNCTAD, ACMA and others to build technical, financial and operational competence and capacity to raise standards and efficiency levels.

There is the need for sustained promotion of the ideals/ objectives of Corridor Management Institutions as promoted by ACMA; Need to consider measures aimed at sustainable environmental protection as the ports and transportation network develop in response to increasing demands of logistics, connectivity and regional integration; Countries need to look into the possibilities of partnering to develop regional deep-sea ports; The need for cooperation and synergy between littoral ports and dry ports in the African region to improve hinterland connectivity;

African medicines regulatory harmonization: Implementation Completion Report Review (World Bank)

The project was a regional operation that included six National Medicines Regulatory Authorities in the EAC region: Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. The ICR concluded that harmonization of medicines registration is a long and complex undertaking that can be achieved only when all six countries adopt and utilize commonly agreed standards and processes. The Borrower’s comments stated that the EAC Region has not yet harmonized its regulatory fee structures and guidelines, and that applicants are required to pay application fees according to the requirements of each of the individual EAC Partner States. [Download: Implementation completion and results report, June 2018]

Country updates:

Lesotho: AfDB posts an EOI for a feasibility study for a Special Economic Zone

The consulting firm will be expected to conduct a detailed literature review of previous studies on SEZs. They will also assess the status of industrial infrastructure development in Lesotho and the current infrastructure supply gap as well as conducting a review of the other eight industrial estates/parks in Lesotho, and the legal, regulatory and policy gaps for the development of SEZ in Lesotho based on lessons learned with SEZ-like programs within Lesotho and experience from Africa and Asia. Based on the assessment, the team will recommend a suitable park or SEZ to support diversification into agro industry and non-apparel manufacturing. [FinMark Trust: Mapping financial access points in Lesotho]

Kenya Revenue Authority: Imported plastic rice is raising concern (The Star)

Plastic rice from China is slowly finding its way into the country, an agency set up to fight counterfeits told a Senate committee yesterday. The senate committee for trade is set to place a ban on importation of food items following a report of re-emergence of plastic rice in Nairobi’s hotels. Senate Trade and Industrialisation committee chairman Charles Kibiru said the committee will recommend for restriction on all imported food items including fish, rice and sugar. “The ban will block all food entering the country and only have importation when there is an emergency on food security or a deficit. This will also have to go through the Parliament,” Kibiru said. [Ghana: Revenue Authority warns against importation of rice through inland borders]

Nigeria: FG to establish export trading company, says NEPC (The Guardian)

The Federal Government has unveiled plans to create an export trading company to replace the defunct commodity boards, to aggregate main agricultural produce such as palm oil, cocoa, cashew, groundnut, as well as semi-finished and finished products. Executive director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo, disclosed this while delivering a lecture on ‘Nigeria export trade: focusing on the chains and regulations’ organised by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture in Lagos, yesterday. The council said the proposed corporation, to be co-funded with private operators, would serve as a clearing house for commodity off-taking, quality control, price stabilisation and supply network for international and local industries. The Structural Adjustment Programme of the IMF, introduced by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military regime in 1986, suspended all commodity boards, leading to unorganised commodity aggregation and fluctuating prices and supplies. [Standards Organisation of Nigeria reviews standards to revive ailing paper industry]

Nigeria: State of States 2018 (pdf, BudgIT)

Lagos dropped from 2nd to 4th place on the Fiscal Sustainability Index notwithstanding the state’s fiscal advantage. Lagos’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), when compared with other states, is relatively high. Her IGR as at the end of 2016 was N287bn; higher than its 2015 level of N268.2bn. In 2017, the state planned a recurrent expenditure spending of N305bn or N25bn monthly. With its IGR not expected to grow significantly above N300bn, and its share of FAAC revenue in the first six months of 2017 at N6.6bn, Lagos is expected to meet its recurrent expenditure obligations. However, Lagos’ unusually high overhead costs and debts continue to weigh its revenue down. While the fiscal structure of states has improved on the back of increasing oil revenue, state governments need to tremendously embrace a high level of transparency and accountability, develop workable economic plans, take haircuts—especially on overheads—expand their IGR base and cut down on debt accumulation. [Nigeria: IMF harps on structural reforms, non-oil revenue mobilization]

Nigeria’s gas pipeline: NNPC negotiating with Chinese lenders (Punch)

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says it is concluding negotiations on terms of funding and payback structure for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project with Chinese lenders. The 40-inch x 614km AKK gas pipeline is expected to cost about $2.8bn. While 85% of the money is expected to be provided by the financiers, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, the remaining 15% will be provided by the contractors, which include Oilserve/Oando consortium and Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau consortium. The AKK pipeline is designed to enable gas connectivity between the East, West and North, which is currently inadequate.

Rwanda: Agricultural exports grow by 44% to over Rwf447b (New Times)

Rwanda’s agricultural exports generated over $515.9m in a period of one year from July 2017 to June 2018, representing an increase of 44.73% compared to $356.5m generated in the same period in 2016-2017. According to statistics by the National Agriculture Exports Development Board, non- traditional exports generated over $354.7m from July 2017 to June 2018, representing 59.97% increase compared to $221.7m that was generated from July 2016 to June 2017. [Related: Rwanda’s economy expands by 6.7% in second quarter; NISR release on GDP National Accounts (Second Quarter 2018)]

Measuring India’s economy using PPPs shows it surpassed France 25 years ago (World Bank)

Earlier this summer, new data published by the World Bank showed that the GDP of India had recently surpassed that of France, and that it was on track to overtake the UK economy too. Many news outlets jumped upon this new ranking of India’s economy, now sixth from top. But most media articles did not mention that the World Bank’s other measure, which compares GDP across countries using purchasing power parities , has placed India ahead of both France and the UK for the last 25 years. [WBG Board endorses new India Country Partnership Framework]

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

The new figures in the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index show that in 104 primarily low- and middle-income countries, 662 million children are considered poor according to multiple different indicators. In 35 of these countries. Children account for at least 50% of the total. The 2018 MPI, produced by UNDP and the University of Oxford’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative, provides the most comprehensive view of the many ways in which 1.3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily lives.

Friday’s Quick Links:

ICAEW Economic Insight: Africa (with a focus on Ghana, Uganda)

Bright Simons: The danger of the innovation narrative becoming a distraction in Africa

Blockchain in Africa: a Q & A with John Kamara

South Africa: Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on economic stimulus and recovery plan

South Africa: PIC makes $100m equity investment in Afreximbank (pdf)

Zambia assumes Chairpersonship of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation

ECOWAS calls for increased coordination to address security and developmental challenges in Sahel region

Does premature deindustrialization matter? The role of manufacturing versus services in development


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