Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News


National news

Nairobi informal area businesses feel Covid pinch (Business Daily)

More than 80 percent of retailers in Nairobi's informal settlements reported demand and supply challenges last month amid supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19, a study shows.Latest Impact Initiatives, a Geneva-based think tank, says a majority of retailers attribute the disruption to an increase in prices of items (53 percent) and decrease in demand for commodities (46 percent).

"The proportion of retailers reporting that community members were facing challenges in accessing markets decreased from 75 percent in June to 50 percent in July, which might have been due to the ease of Covid-19 induced movement restrictions.”

Egypt signs African anti-corruption pledge (Arab News)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has approved Egypt’s accession to the African Union Convention for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption. The 2003 agreement, signed in Maputo, Mozambique, aims to encourage and strengthen measures by African states to prevent, punish and eradicate corruption and related crimes in the public and private sectors. It also seeks to strengthen, facilitate and regulate cooperation among states to ensure the effectiveness of measures for preventing corruption and related crimes in Africa, as well as and harmonizing and streamlining policy aimed at corruption on the continent.

Algeria chafes against EU trade deal as deadline looms - France 24

Days ahead of a final deadline, activation of a long-planned Algeria-EU trade deal risks unravelling as political and business leaders in the North African country warn it will undermine economic sovereignty.The deal is meant to come into effect on September 1, a decade and a half after the two sides initially agreed their Free Trade Agreement as part of a wider pact setting out economic, social, cultural and judicial cooperation.

But as the clock ticks, concern has grown in Algiers about the coronavirus-hobbled economy's ability to cope without tariffs on steel, textiles, electronics and vehicles -- protective measures originally meant to end three years ago.

Naira crashes 108% against CFA (The Guardian Nigeria)

The naira has fallen by 108 per cent against the West African CFA (popularly known as CFA) in the past five years as the latter rallies to wipe out the hitherto wide trading gap between the two currencies.

According to data sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it gained 36 kobo from August 19, 2015 to close at 0.6888 CFA/N1 on the CBN rate last week. This translates to a 108-per cent loss for the struggling naira.

CFA’s current resurgence is coming on the heels of the continued closure of the country’s border against neighbouring West African countries, especially the Republic of Benin, where Nigerians engage in unrestrained trade.

Regional and continental news

As world wavers on free trade, Africa is embracing it (TechCentral)

Amid trade tensions between the US, China and Europe, and the UK’s fraught departure from the European Union, African leaders are moving in the opposite direction to establish the world’s largest free-trade zone. Talks on driving forward the African Continental Free Trade Area that stalled with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic are being revived by the African Union, but there is some way to go. A fully implemented deal could cover a market of more than 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of US$2.5-trillion.

COMESA-EAC-SADC Develop Electronic Corridor Trip Monitoring System (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa)

A regional electronic Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS) which will allow cross border road transport operators, drivers, regulators and law enforcement agencies to record and monitor driver wellness data such as COVID-19 test results has been approved by the Tripartite group. The CTMS will also enable operators to track the driver, crew and truck movements against pre-approved route plans.

Director of Infrastructure at COMESA Secretariat Mr Baptiste Mutabazi revealed in Lusaka that the CTMS will enable operator, vehicle and driver information to be readily available along regional transport corridors at the roadside and at border posts to all regulatory and law enforcement agencies. The CTMS is an immediate remedial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its use will in future be further enhanced through the Tripartite Transport Registers and Information Platform System (TRIPS) which is now under development, as a corridor performance management tool for smart corridors,” Mr Mutabazi noted.

Why women entrepreneurs should not be left behind in building back our economies | United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Women in business have a big role to play in a post-COVID 19 Africa and could significantly reduce the continent’s high dependence on imports of essential food, medical and pharmaceutical items, said UN Economic Commission for Africa's Mama Keita in a virtual meeting organized by the Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes.

“As we are building back our economies after COVID and are seeking to turn vulnerabilities into opportunities, let us recall that intra-Africa trade is still very low at less than 20 per cent and that Women entrepreneurs have a big role to play in boosting this, said Ms Keita.

Saving lives, economies and livelihoods campaign launches in Africa (Africa CDC)

“Last two weeks, Africa passed one million cases of COVID-19. Noting that we do not have a vaccine yet, and recognizing the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic on Member States, we must continue to be proactive so that we do not lose the precious gains made with the preventive measures. I am therefore proud to announce the official launch of the African Union Africa Against COVID-19: Saving Lives, Economies, and Livelihoods as an effort to use innovative tools, methods and partnerships to prevent further transmission, deaths and socioeconomic harm on the continent as economies, borders and schools re-open,” said H.E. Amira Mohammed.

Global news

‘Extreme’ Bitcoin Growth In Africa Is Sending Crypto ‘Mainstream,’ Binance-Backed Exchange CEO Reveals Alongside Fresh Funding (Forbes)

Bitcoin has been catapulted back into the limelight following its recent price rally and interest from some big-name investors.

"There’s no better place for bitcoin to thrive than Africa," Nigeria-based bitcoin-buying service Yellow Card co-founder and CEO Chris Maurice said, pointing to the "practical" use of bitcoin for "payments and savings" as "why crypto will go mainstream in Africa long before the West or any other part of the world."

Earlier this year, a report by Arcane Research found that "Africa is one of, if not the most, promising regions for the adoption of cryptocurrencies," with bitcoin and crypto ownership rates in South Africa and Nigeria at 13% and 7%, respectively—far higher than the worldwide average of 7%.

Stronger China-Africa ties key to post-COVID-19 economic recovery: scholar (CGTN Africa)

Stronger China-Africa ties are key to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of the African continent, a Kenyan scholar said on Sunday. Peter Kagwanja CEO, Africa Policy Institute, a regional think tank, said in a commentary published in the Sunday Nation that as the global COVID-19 crisis continues, promoting manufacturing and technological innovation is emerging as key to Africa’s COVID-19 response and recovery.


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