tralac’s Daily News Selection
The 39th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government starts tomorrow in Dar es Salaam. It concludes on Sunday. A selection of updates:
SADC Council of Ministers meeting: Outgoing chairperson of the Council of Ministers of SADC, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, says SADC has made some progress in economic integration, but that more needs to be done on industrial development initiatives. pdf Nandi-Ndaitwah said this (317 KB) during the regional bloc meeting while handing over the SADC Council of Ministers chair to incoming chair, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Palamagamba Kabudi. She said industrialisation remains at the core of the integration agenda of SADC and central to the diversification of regional economic growth. Therefore there is a need to prioritise trade facilitation with regard to infrastructure such as roads, rail, harbours, among others: ‘We also have to find ways of reducing transport costs and transit delays.’ Nandi-Ndaitwah says all that is necessary must be done to prepare the region to benefit from the AfCFTA.
Palamagamba Kabudi, the Chairman of the SADC Council of Ministers and Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said the Council of Ministers adopted the use of Kiswahili during their two-day meeting in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam. By adopting Kiswahili as an official language for SADC, the regional bloc has honored Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere, the doyen of the southern African liberation struggle, pdf Kabudi said (292 KB) .
Five policy documents and strategies launched ahead of the SADC summit. The SADC Energy Monitor, Enabling Industrialisation and Regional Integration in SADC, now in its second edition, documents progress made by Member States on implementation of SADC energy policies and initiatives. The inaugural SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Short Term Plan Assessment 2019 assesses the results achieved in implementation of the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan Short Term Action Plan (2012-2017). The 2018 SADC Gender and Development Monitor, Women Economic Empowerment and Gender Responsive Budgeting, presents an account of progress on the implementation of regional commitments to achieve gender equality and equity in line with the revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. The SADC Regional Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (2018-2022) provides an overarching framework to guide implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on mainstreaming gender into peace and security in the region. In response to the threat of gender violence, SADC also launched the pdf SADC Regional Strategy and Framework of Action for Addressing Gender Violence (2018-2030) (4.68 MB) .
In brief: Private sector should grab opportunities through SADC; SADC should be for stronger economic ties; Kenyan lawyer, Patrick Otieno Lumumba, calls for revival of SADC Tribunal; SADC Summit must challenge rich countries on massive financial outflows from the region; Former president Benjamin Mkapa: Invest in youth to unlock region’s potential; SADC Regional Trafficking In Persons Data Collection system deployed (pdf)
President John Magufuli yesterday held talks with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa and used the opportunity to explain why Tanzania should be the destination of choice for investors from the Rainbow Nation. A statement released by the Directorate of Presidential Communications at the State House said the Head of State said that ongoing improvements in the ease of doing business and the historical, cordial relations between the people of the two countries makes Tanzania the place to go for South African investors. ‘Because South Africa is advanced in industrialization, President Magufuli welcomed investors from that country to come and invest in areas such as pharmaceuticals and mineral processing,’ the statement noted. ‘The government is ready to support them with all kinds of facilitation that might be needed.’
Given South Africa’s performance in tourism - 10 million versus Tanzania’s 1.5 million annually - President Magufuli also invited interested investors from there to move into the hospitality industry, it similarly noted. The president affirmed that South Africa is Tanzania’s leading business partner in SADC, accounting for 70% of Tanzania’s trade within the bloc. Last year, trade between the two countries rose to 2.687trn/- up from 2.528trl/- in 2917. ‘We have decided to import from South Africa instead of farther afield. To start with, motorcycles to be used in motorcades during the 39th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government have been imported from South Africa,’ the president told his visitor. For his part, President Ramaphosa said South Africans see Tanzania as their other home and promised to strengthen bilateral relations in the areas of economy, health, security and tourism, the statement said. The South African leader expressed satisfaction with how investments from his country are fairing in Tanzania, saying that currently there are 228 companies which employ 21,000 people. He extended invitation to Tanzanian investors to grab opportunities available in his country and invest. [Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during State Visit, Tanzania, South Africa on plans to boost tourism via Tazara]
South Africa: dti’s new Doing Business Guides for India and Malaysia can be downloaded here.
Rwanda’s exports up by 7.5%, imports by 18% (New Times)
According to central bank data released yesterday, exports increased by 7.5% outweighed by imports which grew by 18%, leading to a wider trade deficit. ‘Traditional exports - minerals, tea and coffee - are performing negatively, but we see good performance on the non-traditional exports and this is linked to the Made in Rwanda programme,’ John Rwangombwa, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, told the press after their quarterly economic review. Specifically, Rwanda registered an increase in foreign exchange receipts from foodstuffs as well as re-exports, especially petroleum products on account of improved storage capacity. Rwanda is keen on becoming a source of re-exports in the region as it also positions itself as a trade logistics hub, the Governor said. The increase in the import bill for intermediary and capital goods reflects ongoing investments in the economy particularly huge outlays on projects such as the Kigali Arena and the Hakan peat-to-power plant whose construction began last year in Gisagara District.
Kenya’s National Trade Facilitation Committee Stakeholders Forum, led by @Trade_Kenya and @Kiptoock, adopted the TFA Notification Document for Categories B and C Measures. TradeMark East Africa, with funding from DFID, partnered with @Trade_Kenya to enhance trade facilitation.
Mauritius-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation: liquefied natural gas MoU signed. In a statement at the signing ceremony, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha (Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade), highlighted that Mauritius has signed a key agreement which will considerably help in its objective to become a hub in the region. Mozambique, he said, possesses the most important natural gas deposit, and with this MoU, Mozambique will be able in a few years’ time, to put a system into a place to become a gas exporting country. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Mozambique, Mrs Maria Manuela dos Santos Lucas, noted with satisfaction the outcomes of the first session of the JPCC. Mozambique, she pointed out, possesses a significant amount of natural resources but still requires the knowledge and expertise, as well as proper infrastructure, to ensure the effective utilisation of these resources. This MoU, she emphasised, will enable the country to collaborate with Mauritius to gain the necessary expertise. [MauCAS to pave the way for new electronic payment options, says Mauritian PM]
TICAD7: UNDP to promote dynamic partnerships. A key highlight of TICAD7 will be the launch and signing of a tripartite partnership agreement between UNDP, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), to promote sustainable development in Africa through enhanced partnerships with Japanese and African private sectors, and their provision of business-based solutions for the SDGs. The plan is to kick-start the launch with a pitching event of blue-chip startups from Africa and Japan to facilitate partnerships between investors/corporations.
Nigeria accounts for 20% of India’s trade in Africa, says envoy. Mr Abhay Thakur, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria: ‘I must say we are proud to be Nigeria’s largest trading partner. Our trade grew by nearly 18% in 2018 to $14bn and Nigeria alone accounts for 20% of India’s trade in Africa. We have had a whole range of important exchanges with West Africa. We are looking forward to the first joint commission this year and also cooperation in the field of maritime security, as well as greater collaboration and growing trade between the two countries.’ He said the thriving Indian community in Nigeria numbered almost 50,000.
Analysts warn that tension could rise as a UN hearing nears on a Kenyan-Somali territorial argument. Kenya’s parliament recently called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to send troops to the Indian Ocean to protect the country’s territory from what it calls Somalia’s aggression. The threat by Kenya comes less than a month before the UN’s International Court of Justice holds a hearing on the dispute. Somali lawmaker Mohamed Omar Talha told VOA that his country would counter Kenya by sending troops of its own to the 100,000-square-kilometer (38,600-square-mile) area.
WTO’s Goods Trade Barometer suggests further weakening of goods trade into third quarter. The latest reading continues to fall well below the baseline value of 100 for the index of the renamed barometer, which features a design revamp ahead of the launch of a new Services Trade Barometer in September. The loss of momentum in goods trade has already been confirmed in previous quarters where official data are available. The barometer (pdf) suggests that below-trend expansion in merchandise trade will persist in the coming months. Sustained weakness in the barometer index was driven by below trend values in all component indices. The international air freight (91.4) and electronic components (90.7) indices showed the strongest deviations from trend, with readings well below previous releases. Indices for export orders (97.5), automobile production and sales (93.5) and agricultural raw materials (97.1) all remained below trend although they show some signs of having bottomed out. Only the index for container shipping (99.0) was close to the baseline value of 100.
Minding the gender gap in training in Sub-Saharan Africa: Five things to know. Here we draw on the findings of the recent report on The Skills Balancing Act in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investing in Skills for Productivity, Inclusivity, and Adaptability and on data from the World Bank Gender Data Portal to present five facts about young women in technical and vocational education and training in the region.