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tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: Reuters | Siphiwe Sibeko

25 Sep 2018

Profiled African trade and regional integration events now underway:

In Windhoek: preparatory meetings for the joint meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for ICT, Information, Transport and Meteorology

In Mauritius: 9th African Accreditation Cooperation General Assembly and Meetings

In Nairobi: Validation workshop for the draft EAC Regional Policy for Intellectual Property

In Lusaka: AU Trade and Industry workshop Strengthening regional trade policy dialogue platforms – exchanges of REC experiences. The keynote address was delivered by ATPC’s David Luke.

SACU and the AU both hosted two important discussions last week:

  1. The 36th SACU Council of Ministers took place on Friday in Windhoek, Namibia. The meeting was chaired by Dr Moeketsi Majoro, Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It was preceded by the SACU Ministerial Task Team on Finance.

  2. The 10th AU Sub-Committee of Directors General of Customs meeting took place last week in Moroni, Comoros. The meeting ended with the pdf Moroni Declaration on Combating Corruption in Customs (104 KB)  and the adoption of the AU Draft Trade Facilitation Strategy.

Profiled commentary, by Olusegun Obasanjo: West Africa’s failed war on drugs. “Earlier this month, the West Africa Commission on Drugs, which I chair, published the pdf Model Drug Law for West Africa (1.56 MB) , an online tool designed to help regional policymakers rewrite their drug-enforcement playbooks and deliver policies to protect the health and welfare of every citizen.”

African Union:  pdf Post-harvest loss management strategy, August 2018 (1.67 MB)

Through a regional workshop held in Nairobi, in July 2018, experiences and knowledge were shared in the sphere of post-harvest loss activities by Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is intended that the experiences of the country studies be scaled up, and that as more countries are studied, that additional knowledge and information will further bolster this strategy. Extract:

The document is structured into six parts. Part 1 has provided the background to the development of this strategy, and the concept of post-harvest loss management. Part 2 discusses the rationale for developing a continental level post-harvest strategy and its importance to the continent. Part 3 summarises the key strategic issues in post-harvest loss management at the national level in the five countries studied, namely, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each of these country reports are presented in Annex 5 for detailed reading. Part 4 is the suggested post-harvest loss management strategic framework outlining the vision, goal and objectives of post-harvest loss management. Part 5 outlines indicative strategic interventions that the strategy proposes to implement. Part 6 outlines the strategy implementation framework. Part 7 outlines the monitoring and evaluation framework for the post-harvest loss management strategy.

Third AU-EU-UN Trilateral Meeting: joint communiqué

Extract: They agreed that it is imperative to put youth at the heart of their joint action, in order to respond to the challenges of tomorrow and to address the needs and hopes of the younger generations. The AU, EU, and UN, in collaboration with Member States, intend to enhance their cooperation to foster the employability of young people by investing in quality education and training and in matching skills with labour market needs; promoting the creation of sustainable and decent jobs through strategically targeted investments by the public and the private sectors with a focus on those with the highest potential for job creation; strengthening equal access to economic opportunities; and the inclusion of young people into political and economic decision-making and democratic institutions. [Related: Africa’s youth: access the presentations to the parallel session at the recent WIDER Development Conference; Akufo-Addo to EU: Let’s talk trade, not migration]

Bitcoin breakthrough? Japanese giant opens corridor to Africa (Forbes)

The Japanese money transfer giant SBI Remit is now letting nearly half a million customers send money to Africa using the bitcoin blockchain. Designed to be a faster, more reliable way to send money to Africa’s often overlooked markets, the new treasury management services are being provided by venture-backed firm BitPesa, which has raised $10m from Greycroft Partners and others to turn the bitcoin blockchain into an enterprise payment rail. Specifically, the partnership follows a path laid out by BitPesa in targeting cosmetics companies, electronics companies, and the lucrative used-car market between Japan and Africa. Further, the partnership enables direct currency pairs between Japanese yen and the fiat currencies of Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

COMESA: Trade experts propose sanctions on member states introducing new NTBs

The next summit of the COMESA Heads of State and Governments is likely to take a firmer stand on countries that introduce non-tariff barriers without notice. But this will depend on whether the leaders will adopt a raft of recommendations made by COMESA trade experts. In a recent meeting of the COMESA Trade and Customs Committee, the experts noted that elimination of NTBs has been a moving target. Yet Member States, upon signing the COMESA Treaty, committed themselves to the elimination of the NTBs. In their final report, the TCM stated: “COMESA needs to adopt a preventive approach in dealing with NTBs by imposing sanctions as may be appropriate against a Member State that do not provide notifications before introduction of NTBs.” The recommendation of the TCM will be presented for adoption to the Council of Ministers meeting scheduled to take place in the next two months. If adopted, Member States will be required to adhere to the NTB resolution time frames set out in the COMESA Regulations on Elimination of NTBs. This will ensure timely resolution of NTBs and enhance intra-regional trade. [Note: TCM report available here].

Nigerian traders protest closure of Nigerians’ businesses in Ghana (ThisDay)

The National Association of Nigerian Traders yesterday petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, and ECOWAS, over the alleged closure of over 400 businesses owned by Nigerians in Ghana. It further gave a one-week ultimatum to the Commission to intervene in the matter, warning that the association would occupy the ECOWAS premises if the situation in Ghana was not addressed. President of NANT, Mr. Ken Ukaoha, said the development had reached a point where the Ghanaian parliament had passed legislation to make the business environment hostile to foreign investors. He argued that Ghana is currently a signatory to the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and services, and needed to be called to order. He said ECOWAS President Jean-Claude Brou had also been petitioned over the development.

Ghana-Morocco Poultry Summit: Morocco to explore investment opportunities in Ghana’s poultry sector (GhanaWeb)

Ghana’s collapsing poultry industry is to see a revamp as the country welcomed some poultry operators and investors from Morocco. This assurance comes from the Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who witnessed the maiden Ghana-Morocco Poultry Summit in Accra. Currently, Ghana imports about 135 million tonnes of poultry on an annual basis. This trend could change as the Moroccan investors have been engaging with poultry operators in Ghana on best ways of injecting capital in the sector. The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers says local poultry farmers still incur losses as consumers choose cheap frozen chicken dumped on the market over the broilers produced in Ghana. The Association has estimated that over 135,000 metric tonnes of frozen chicken were imported from the European Zone to Ghana in 2017, a figure that represented 76% increase over 2016 imports. The government will not disclose by how much the frozen chicken importation, which was announced in March has been reduced. However, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Food and Agriculture, Dr Nurah Gyeile, recently disclosed on Accra-based 3FM that the importation has been reduced “to the barest minimum.”

Tanzania-Zambia currency agreement: BoT explains cross-border currency use reciprocity (IPPMedia)

The Bank of Tanzania and the Bank of Zambia have signed a contract to allow the use of their currencies in both countries specifically for towns around the border (Tunduma and Nakonde) to address challenges facing traders at the border points. BoT Governor Professor Florens Luoga said the agreement aims to remove currency challenges facing business people at the area. The procedure is not new to Tanzanians because it is also used in Namanga and in other border points, he pointed out, noting that the agreement was likely to help both countries obtain accurate financial data of economic significance. Songwe Regional Commissioner, Brig.Gen. Nicodemus Mwangela (rtd) said the two governments’ decision on reciprocal use of currencies will help to stimulate economic activities in the border zone.

Mozambique-China trade grew 45.13%, from January to July (Club of Mozambique)

Trade between China and Mozambique stood at $1.492bn (+45.13%) from January to July, with China selling goods worth $1.092bn (+51.93%) and buying goods worth $400m (+29.32%). Sino-Angolan trade amounted to $15.825bn (+18.28%), with Angola buying 0.6% less, or $1.241bn, and selling products worth $14.582bn (+20.23%).

Towards a leasing platform for African airlines: AfDB posts an EOI for preparation of a feasibility study

In 2018, the Bank adopted a framework and guidelines document for its support to the aviation sector in Africa. The African Development Bank is therefore seeking the services of a specialized firm with qualified professionals for the preparation of a feasibility study on the creation of a leasing platform for African airlines. The study will explore means and options for creating an efficient company that would strengthen and sustain the development of a viable airline industry in Africa. It should be detailed enough to address the feasibility and viability of such an initiative, the resulting benefits of an African aircraft leasing company for African carriers, the adequate legal and financial arrangements for such a company as well as the type of intervention/instrument that could be provided by the Bank in setting up this leasing company.

Tuesday’s Quick Links:

UNCTAD’s flagship Trade and Development Report 2018: power, platforms and the free trade delusion, will be launched tomorrow

Tanzania eyes 10% growth in tourist arrivals from India

South Africa to relax visa rules to boost investment, tourism

Namibia needs improved investment climate

Nigeria: WCO workshop enhances AEO validation techniques

Revisiting the Turkey, COMESA pact

Zambia to host a regional office for the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa

High-Level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Christine Lagarde’s keynote address; António Guterres: ‘Surge in financing’ needed to transform the world

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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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