tralac’s Daily News Selection
In a communique issued following the ‘Africa’s Leadership Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access’ conference of the African Union (AU), African health ministers took a crucial step to state their concern that patents and other technology barriers could negatively impact the ability to ensure access of future potential COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.
Access by CARICOM to the Africa Medical Supplies Platform: Statement by the Chairman of CARICOM the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados (SKNVibes.com)
Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been given access to the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), a procurement system for supplies and equipment in the fight against COVID-19. The AMSP unlocks immediate access to an African and global base of vetted manufacturers and procurement strategic partners. It enables African Union Member States to purchase certified medical equipment, such as diagnostic kits, personal protection equipment (PPE) and clinical management devices, with increased cost effectiveness and transparency.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) have approved grants totaling $9.52 million to strengthen responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa and the Horn, and in the Comoros. The grant, approved on 26 June, is part of the $10 billion COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF) approved by the Board of Directors in April 2020 and complements the Bank’s direct support to regional member countries across the continent.
Why Accelerating Implementation of AfCFTA Must Remain a Top Priority (Inter Press Service)
There is an important role for trade policy in ensuring that such mindset shifts take place, and that new stories of jobs for women and youth in trade, gain momentum. For the development professional, the challenge is how to nurture this footprint – to ensure that it was not just a passing phase. The goal must be to support scaling up of what is evidence of a proven concept (which has a ready market in the new-normal COVID 19 economy). This can be done in at least six ways:
Author: Ahunna Eziakonwa is Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa
The end of the West African CFA franc (Business Day)
As of this month, the West African CFA franc is supposed to be replaced by a new currency. In many respects the move looks symbolic – though it has still created waves in the region. At an extraordinary meeting of the Wamz heads of state and government last week, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari criticised Uemoa for jumping the gun, warning that Ecowas’s plan for a regional currency could be in "serious jeopardy" if member states did not comply with already agreed processes.
The East African Legislative Assembly today unanimously stayed a request by the EAC Council of Ministers to approve a Vote on Account of USD 29,402,292, to support the normal operations of the EAC, as it awaits the tabling of proposals of budget estimates by the Council of Ministers. Consequently, the Speaker, Rt Hon Ngoga Martin, upon request by the House agreed to invoke section 12 of the EAC Budget 2008, to extend the period for consideration of the EAC Budget for FY 2020/2021.
Uganda sugar imports most expensive among Comesa markets (Business Daily)
The cost of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) free trade area has been on a steep rise since March when a tonne landed in Mombasa at Sh55,000, Sh59,000 in April and Sh60,000 in May.
South Africa Records First Current Account Surplus in 17 Years. South Africa recorded its first current account surplus in 17 years in the first quarter of 2020 as the trade balance more than doubled, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Morocco's trade deficit narrows 12% year/year in Jan-May. Morocco’s trade deficit shrank by 12% to 73.7 billion dirhams ($7.58 billion) in the first five months of 2020 from a year earlier, the foreign exchange regulator said on Wednesday.
Global Economic Recovery must Prioritise Restructuring of Debt for Developing Countries (Inter Press Service)
Unless there is a restructuring of debt for developing countries, the servicing for this debt will take away valuable resources from these nations that are needed to prevent the further suffering of people during the coronavirus pandemic — particularly with regards to safeguarding the health systems, and protecting the “integrity and resilience of economies”. This is according to Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, former minister of trade of Botswana.
UN Secretary-General issues global wake-up call (ReliefWeb)
From COVID-19 to climate disruption, from racial injustice to rising inequalities, we are a world in turmoil. Our challenge is to channel the spirit behind the UN charter and rise to this moment of trial and test.