tralac Daily News
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the Opening Address at the third South Africa Investment Conference today, as part of expanding South Africa’s efforts to grow domestic and international investment. In 2018, President Ramaphosa embarked on a R1.2 trillion, at the time, investment drive to stimulate sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth, as the foundation for socio-economic transformation in the country. The 2020 two-day conference, which kicked off on Tuesday, will showcase new investment opportunities for South African and global businesses and for development financing institutions, multilateral development and other institutional investors.
Plea to limit scrap metal exports (The Herald)
The continued exportation of scrap metal is disadvantaging local businesses who need the raw material and industry leaders are lobbying the Government to limit such trade for the benefit of domestic firms. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland Chapter is lobbying its members for an imminent stakeholder engagement with the Government so as to address the dispute.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority has outlined an integrated list of 17 existing high performing and industrial priority products that could catapult the projected Non-Traditional Export (NTEs) revenue from the current total earnings of US$2.9 billion to US$25.3 billion by 2029. The move forms part of strategic efforts under the ambitious National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) being implemented by the Authority and key stakeholders that also seeks to energize the private sector to take optimum advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Ghana’s transit trade is estimated to generate GHS134 million annually, as revenue for the nation. Ms Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) who made this known, said transit trade had become a significant component of the country’s economy. Ms Bismarck said the government was working to address the challenges to ensure that the country enormously benefited from transit trade. Mr Isaac Tersiah Ackwerh, Ashanti Regional Manager of GSA, said the use of the country’s ports by landlocked neighbours was bringing tremendous benefits to the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an infrastructure company that will be wholly focused on critical infrastructural investments in the country. The Presidency in the tweet post said, “President Buhari has approved the establishment of an Infrastructure Company, wholly focused on critical infrastructural investments in Nigeria. This Infrastructure company will raise funding from Central bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Pension funds, and local and foreign private sector development financiers.”
Over the last two decades, Ethiopia has registered fast economic growth which has led to significant national poverty reduction. However, there were significant differences in the pace and nature of poverty reduction across Ethiopia’s regions, according to a new World Bank Group rural poverty assessment study. According to the Ethiopia Regional Poverty Report – Promoting Equitable Growth for All Regions, poverty declined at a much faster pace in urban areas than in rural areas.
The Lead Advisor for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA’s) Digital Centre of Excellence, Tunde Fafunwa, has explained why African nations must be more intentional about developing digital identity systems especially as they look to rebuild stronger economies in the post-COVID-19 era. Fafunwa made the point in a recent interview he granted to COVID-19 Africa Watch, an initiative of economic think tank Milken Institute. He said for the digital ID dream in Africa to be effectively realized, there is need for political will from governments as well as broad-based consultations and stakeholder collaboration, despite an existing key challenge where about 500 million Africans lack a foundational ID document with which to carry out official transactions.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA), in collaboration with the SADC Business Council, organized a virtual Sensitization Forum for the private sector to stimulate discussions and facilitate dialogue on: Post-COVID Recovery Strategies and Regional Integration in Southern Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. In his official opening statement, the Acting Director of SRO-SA, Mr. Sizo Mhlanga alluded to the need for countries to create conditions for the private sector to be more effective drivers of industrialization, economic diversification, trade and investment in the region which would result in reinvigorated economic growth and decent jobs.
Increased liberalization and intra-regional resilience key to aviation recovery in Africa – ICAO SG (TravelDailyNews International)
Speaking at a special online event organized by the African Union (AU) to commemorate the Yamoussoukro Decision, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu declared that the recovery of African air services should be encouraged through further liberalization and intra-regional resilience. “Prior to the onset of the pandemic, African aviation was poised to become one of the fastest growing air transport markets in the world,” Dr. Liu said. “To help restore these significant and positive benefits to African prosperity, current priorities should focus on the establishment of effective contingency policies and regulations.”
NUPENG calls on Africa to fast-track industrialisation, economic development (The Eagle Online)
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has urged all critical players in the African continent to foster a strong commitment toward supporting Africa’s industrialisation and the implementation of a continental free trade agreement. “The African continent needs to leverage its abundant human and natural resources with creativity and innovation to fast-track industrialisation, economic development and regional integration also with cooperation as well as sincerity of purpose to engender faster collective growth and prosperity,” said NUPENG’s National President, Williams Akporeha and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale.
Responding to AfCFTA, post-pandemic through SAE (THISDAYLIVE)
Nigeria is systematically and fundamentally responding to new economic challenges through a coordinated revival and expansion of special economic zones (SEZ) across the country. A renewed attention is being paid to the reform of SEZ to cope with demands of post-pandemic recovery and requirements of African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA). All stakeholders now accept that Nigeria’s quick gain ahead of the expected AFCTA regime is a revival, reform and expansion of the SEZs.
President-Elect Joe Biden expressed his admiration for what the democratic South Africa has achieved, in a call with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 17 November. The leaders discussed ways to strengthen US-Africa relations and overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. “President Cyril Ramaphosa is hopeful of a strong partnership between the United States and the African continent in promoting peace and stability in international relations and advancing multilateralism,” the Presidency said. “President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris have identified Africa as a major player in international affairs and in the advancement of multilateralism.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of an over-dependence on fragile global supply chains even for basic foods and essential medical products, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday as he called on the international community to support a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries. Addressing the virtual 12th BRICS summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ramaphosa said the pandemic has taught the world the necessity of strengthening health systems and being prepared for future emergencies of this nature and scale.
President of the Russian Federation, chaired the XII BRICS Summit under the theme “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth” via videoconference. The Heads of State and Government of the BRICS countries exchanged opinions on the current state of and prospects for their countries’ cooperation and reviewed the outcomes of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020. Following the Summit, the Leaders adopted the pdf Moscow Declaration (567 KB) that reflected the consolidated approaches of the BRICS nations to the future development of their association, the pdf Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership through to 2025 (337 KB) and the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The UK and Kenya held the second Economic Development Forum where KES 131 million of new British funding was announced to increase trade and investment opportunities. British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, said: “Today’s Forum is helping our countries trade more, invest more and create more jobs. It builds on the initialling of the UK-Kenya trade agreement earlier this month, which will ensure trade continuity between our countries. I am delighted to see so much momentum to strengthen our economic partnership, and today’s announcement of new UK support for entrepreneurs and businesses shows our deep commitment to building our mutual prosperity.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of digital technologies and the benefits of connectivity, it has also exacerbated inequalities, including basic online access, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday in a video message to the closing session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). ”We urgently need to address the growing digital gender gap and put digital technology to work for those who need it most: the vulnerable, the marginalized, those living in poverty, and people suffering from discrimination of all kinds,” the Secretary-General said.
Tax Revenue in African Countries (Tax Foundation)
The Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD) has compiled tax revenue data for countries around the world – including 30 African countries, where tax revenue as a percent of GDP is on average lower than in other regions. On average, this tax-to-GDP ratio for those 30 countries was 16.5 percent, compared to the OECD average of 34.3 percent and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) average of 23.1 percent. Taxes on goods and services were on average the greatest source of tax revenue for African countries, at 51.9 percent of total tax revenues in 2018.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released guidance to ensure that the air cargo industry is ready to support the large-scale handling, transport and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. IATA’s Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution provides recommendations for governments and the logistics supply chain in preparation for what will be the largest and most complex global logistics operation ever undertaken. “While the immediate challenge is the implementation of COVID-19 testing measures to re-open borders without quarantine, we must be prepared for when a vaccine is ready,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
Two proponent groups launched new initiatives to intensify discussions at the WTO on trade and the environment on 17 November, the second day of the WTO’s Trade and Environment Week. The initiatives establish structured discussions on trade and environmental sustainability and an informal dialogue on plastics pollution.
Over the next decade, fast-growing developing nations will contribute to the bulk of the increase in energy consumption. However, the responsibility of adopting sustainable growth does not – and cannot – fall on them alone. A global shift towards more sustainable growth needs innovative and responsive policies that can only be implemented with international cooperation. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered effects ranging from the economic impact on remittances to the financial endangerment of tourism-dependent small island developing states. It should also serve as a wake-up call to the effects of climate change, which, unlike the current pandemic, is being driven explicitly by human activities.