tralac Daily News

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tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News
Photo credit: Chris Kirchhoff | MediaClub South Africa

National

SA GDP grew by 13.5% y/y in third quarter of 2020 (Eyewitness News)

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday released the results of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2020, revealing that the South African economy grew by an annualised rate of 66.1% in the third quarter – or 13.5% year on year. Manufacturing, trade and mining were the biggest drivers of growth in the third quarter. The manufacturing industry rose at an annualised rate of 210.2%, mostly driven by increases in the production of basic metal products, petroleum, vehicles, and food and beverages.

SA production of hand sanitisers earns export revenues of R1.6bn (Business Report)

Local production of hand sanitisers had contributed to saving lives in South Africa and had so far earned export revenues of R1.6 billion for the country, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said yesterday. He said at the release of data on South African exports of hand sanitiser products that between June and November this year, permits for the export of hand sanitisers to 30 other African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Botswana, amounted to R1.66bn billion.

Sugar Master Plan hits the sweet spot (SAnews)

Small and large scale farmers in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, have welcomed the recently signed Sugar Industry Master Plan. The farmers are looking forward to seeing their sugar cane farming businesses growing after having been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cabinet recently welcomed the plan which seeks to take urgent action to protect thousands of jobs, rural livelihoods and businesses, and at the same time create a bold new ambition for the future, which seeks to create diversified revenue streams for sugar producers, and create significant new job opportunities.

the dtic, International Partners Launch Project to Drive Green Industrial Parks Revitalization in South Africa

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has launched the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP) on Monday, 7 December 2020. According to Deputy Director General of the dtic, Mr Sipho Zikode, the launch marked a very important chapter in building capacity of state-led industrial parks in the country towards the articulation of green economy.

Zim, SA to deepen trade ties (The Herald)

South Africa wants to scale up trade and economic cooperation with Zimbabwe. “Engaging South African companies involved in work in Zimbabwe, engaging economic organisations in Zimbabwe to try and understand the key priorities that should be there between the two countries. I think there has been a lot of progress on that and there have been a few investors that came from South Africa during my period here.” However, there have been concerns that trade is one way with most of the products coming into Zimbabwe and not the other way round.

Government destroys cars – for being illegally imported into SA (HeraldLIVE)

Motorists are warned to make sure they are buying legal vehicles – otherwise it can be confiscated by the state. This comes as a joint government task force will on Tuesday crush a number of illegally imported second-hand vehicles. The proliferation of second-hand motor vehicles into the country from Europe, Asia and the rest of Africa has become a serious risk to the survival of the legitimate motor vehicle industry in the country, the SA Revenue Service said in a statement.

Zimbabwe: Losing millions from illicit gold mining trade (The Africa Report)

In Zimbabwe, the majority of the working population can be found in the informal sector. And in mineral-rich areas of the country, people are continuously risking their lives digging underground in search of gold, hoping to make enough money to take them out of poverty. The recent case of Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya demonstrates the government’s dealings in promoting illicit financial flows and smuggling of gold outside the country.

Relief for cross border traders (The Herald)

Cross border traders have received a huge relief following an agreement between the Cross Border Traders Association and Kei Laboratories. While other local laboratories charge up to US$60 for such a test, Kei Laboratories will charge US$15 for cross border traders, making it much easier for them to afford the service. Cross border traders have been stranded since the major borders opened last week, as they could not afford the Covid-19 tests that will enable them to show border officials a positive result before they are allowed out.

‘ICTs to anchor growth’ (The Herald)

Zimbabwe will continue adopting information communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate economic development and transformation, President Mnangagwa told the 9th Smart Africa virtual board meeting yesterday. “To fully exploit the immense potential of ICTs, inclusive guidelines continue to be developed, deployed and managed for national development and transformation. Key among these is Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan, which permeates through integrated sector specific pillars. This will see Smart Solutions being deployed to achieve Smart Government, Smart Agriculture, Smart Cities, Smart Education, Smart Transport and Smart Health,” said President Mnangagwa.

Trade Grew in Q3 2020 Due to Faster Increase in Imports But Slower Recovery in Exports (Proshare)

The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8,374.4billion in Q3 2020. This represents an increase of 34.15% in Q3, 2020 compared to Q2, 2020 but a decline of 8.85% compared to Q3, 2019. Total trade year to date amounted to N23,203.9billion. Nigeria’s imports, by country of origin, shows goods were imported mainly from China (N1,641.87billion or 30.51%), United States (N482.3billion or 8.96%), The Netherlands (N443.5billion or 8.24%) and India (N354.1billion or 6.58%) respectively.

Namibia concerned over AfCFTA trading (New Era)

While Namibia is appreciative of the three initial draft tariff offers that are ready for implementation, government said it is concerned about the commencement of trading guided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. The government says the three offers are not per the objectives of the AfCFTA, which aims to increase intra-Africa trade from the estimates of 18%. Mbumba said Namibia applauds the seven member states of SACU and CEMAC that have already submitted their initial draft tariff offers. Equally, Namibia commended the 11 African member states that have submitted their schedules of Specific Commitment on Trade in Services with the AU.

EPZA calls on Tanzanians to buy local products (Dailynews)

The Export and Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has urged Tanzanians to buy goods made from local industries because they have high quality than the imported goods. “When we continue buying imported goods with low quality is sabotaging the government efforts to put enabling environment and attracting more investments in the industrial sector,” EPZA Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation James Maziku said. He emphasized that the 20 per cent of goods sold in the local market have the same quality as those meant for exports.

Minister Nshuti explains $35 fee on Tz cargo trucks (The New Times)

The $35 fee paid by each truck entering Rwanda, from Tanzania, is for drivers accommodation in Covid-19 pandemic isolation centres so as to prevent the spread of the pandemic and “is not a tax per se”, Manasseh Nshuti, Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of EAC affairs, has told The New Times.


Africa

The Governing Council of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System Holds Inaugural Meeting (Afreximbank)

The interim Governing Council of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) held its inaugural meeting in Cairo on 3 December 2020. Developed by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), under the auspices of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the African Union (AU), PAPSS will enable intra-African trade and commerce payments to be made in African currencies in furtherance of the goals of the AfCFTA. The meeting was the start of the implementation of a system that would minimize the financial cost of cross border trade and improve financial integration as well as Africa’s trade and investment competitiveness, Afreximbank President, Professor Benedict Oramah said.

African Union: Long-awaited Africa-wide free trade zone opens on January 1st (Daily Maverick)

The AU summit had made a push for those countries not yet ready to trade on January 1 ‘to get on the bus’. The summit had decided these countries should ratify the AfCFTA and submit their tariff offers by June 30 2021. Many of Africa’s most important economies – including South Africa – will start duty-free trading of goods among themselves on January 1 when the eagerly awaited Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) goes into operation. 

‘$140bn yearly loss to corruption can address Africa’s power challenge’ (The Guardian Nigeria)

If Nigeria and other African countries checkmate the yearly loss of $140 billion to corruption, the continent might be able to reduce rising production costs and improve citizens’ access to the regular power supply, members of the organised private sector have said. Citing data from the African Union (AU), the Executive Director, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Andrew Wilson, stated that the lost income is enough to provide power 24 hours every day to every citizen in the continent for the next three years.

Africa must forge strong partnerships, effectively manage its abundant natural resources, to rebuild faster post-COVID-19 – International Forum on African Leadership (AfDB)

African countries must strengthen governance and international partnerships, while also making better use of abundant natural resources to accelerate economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 period, the International Forum on African Leadership heard. African leaders must be at their creative best to secure critical global partnerships and to drive the continent’s economic resurgence, said Lazarus Chakweras, President of the Republic of Malawi. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that poor governance damages public trust in government interventions. We cannot attract the world to our nations if our nations are in disarray,” he said..

UN offers bleak outlook for East Africa due to Covid-19 (The East African)

Only four East African countries are still on course to record positive economic growth in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Mama Keita, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) sub-regional office for Eastern Africa. South Sudan leads with an estimated 4.1 percent GDP growth, followed by Ethiopia and Tanzania on 1.9 percent each and Kenya on 1 percent. The region will see a sharp GDP growth slowdown from 6.6 percent in 2019 to 0.6 percent in 2020.

Morocco Seeks to Reduce Energy Consumption by 20% by 2030 (Morocco World News)

Morocco’s plan for the development of renewable energies plans to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2030. Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah participated in a virtual meeting of the Energy Transition Council on Friday. The UK organized the virtual meeting as part of its presidency of COP26.

Smart Africa Meeting: Museveni Pushes for Implementation of One Network Area (ChimpReports)

President Museveni has urged the Smart Africa Initiative to look into the possibility of One Network Area (ONA) to promote regional integration by bringing down the high cost of mobile roaming. “We believe if our people are able to call Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania freely – without any hinderance or high costs, it would facilitate regional integration,” said Gender Minister Frank Tumwebaze. Smart Africa is a commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

AfCFTA: We need African Union protocol on women – AU Chairman (Nairametrics)

The African Union Chairman and President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has called for an African Union protocol on women to enable female inclusion in Africa’s economy, as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) goes into implementation next year. The AU leaders called on a treaty to boost female inclusion and small-scale enterprises to trade across borders, as the agreement goes into place.

Eswatini launches a SADC and EU-funded COVID-19 mitigation project, as Mozambique lays the foundation stones (SADC)

An 18-month project on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on food and nutrition security using Climate Smart Technologies (CSA) funded to the tune of US$180,000 by the European Union (EU) was launched at a colourful event in Eswatini on 23rd November 2020, while Mozambique was still doing preparatory work. The EU has contributed Euro 8 million to the GCCA+ project to increase the capabilities of SADC Member States to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, and to have their voices better heard in the international climate change negotiations.


International

Brexit: Final bid to prevent huge new tariffs ruining African farmers amid allegations of UK ‘bullying’ (Independent)

A last-gasp bid will be made to prevent Brexit ruining African farmers – and hitting British exports – amid allegations of government “bullying” of developing countries. Farmers in Ghana will be hit with huge new tariffs on key exports including bananas and tuna, unless the country agrees to “roll over” its existing trade deal, from the UK’s EU membership, by the end of the month. But its government has protested it would be forced to break a legal agreement with other West African countries – and has condemned the “take it or leave it” approach pursued by London.

New Africa-Europe Foundation and five Strategy Groups launched to enhance a common vision for strengthened partnership (European Commission)

The Africa-Europe Foundation was established by Friends of Europe and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with ONE and the Africa Climate Foundation. High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, stressed: “Our political ambition to strengthen the partnership between Europe and Africa has been made, loud and clear. And to make this a reality, we need to go beyond narratives and we need to think outside the box. We need to work with partners from backgrounds as diverse as possible, so that innovative ideas and proposals for action can emerge. The Foundation which is being launched today will help us reaching this objective.”

Africa and Europe join forces to fight Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in Africa (European Commission)

The African Union is today launching a €7 million Multi Donor Action with the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation. The joint action will enhance efforts to combat the scourge of IFFs on the African Continent. HE Birgitte Markussen, EU Ambassador to the African Union said: “This project is of strategic importance both for Africa and Europe and aligns with the commitment made to fight IFFs in Africa during the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan. Fighting illicit financial flows is part of efforts to collect more and spend better to support countries’ development.”

European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies (European Commission)

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched a new partnership initiative to strengthen the capacity of Africa CDC to prepare for and respond to public health threats in Africa. The four-year project ‘EU for health security in Africa: ECDC for Africa CDC’, funded by the EU, will also facilitate harmonised surveillance and disease intelligence, and support the implementation of the public health workforce strategy of Africa CDC.

Electronics and automotive products lift merchandise trade in Q3, services lag behind (WTO)

The third quarter of 2020 saw a partial recovery of world trade in manufactured goods, led by electronics, textiles and automotive products, as production resumed and lockdown measures were eased in major economies, new WTO statistics show. However, despite substantial improvement in recent months, merchandise trade is still well below 2019 levels, and preliminary estimates suggest services trade remains severely depressed.

Leveraging trade to end hunger (FAO)

FAO’s Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) today organized a special event to discuss the importance of food and agricultural trade for ending global hunger, seeking to identify critical trade-offs associated with different policy measures and possible priorities for action. “Trade is a powerful tool,” FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, emphasized, pointing to three cardinal ways to put that power to use: avoid raising trade barriers, especially in periods of crisis; formulate coherent and aligned policies to address trade-offs; and harness the power of digital solutions and innovation.

Guterres spotlights ‘critical role’ of aviation in pandemic recovery, marking International Day (UN News)

“Aviation is an important engine of our world, and will play a critical role in lifting the world to recovery from COVID-19. Let us ensure it receives the support it needs to keep the world’s nations connected and united,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message commemorating Monday’s International Civil Aviation Day. The sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus, which has disrupted travel, the transportation industry overall, and operations of airlines and airports globally.

Brief Explores Role of Finance and Technology in Achieving SDGs (IISD)

The IISD has published a policy brief on the role of finance and technology in achieving sustainable development. The brief argues that “technology, finance, and capacity building, together with inclusive and equitable globalization and trade, regional integration, and enabling environments” can help address climate change, biodiversity loss, growing inequalities, poverty, and hunger, among other challenges.

Experts advocate for ‘basic set of metrics’ to define women’s economic empowerment (Devex)

The growing number of tools to measure women’s economic empowerment makes it nearly impossible for programs to compare work across contexts, according to several gender data experts. Many gender data experts see the need to harmonize indicators, but debate continues over how realistic it is to unify metrics on such a complex issue across different contexts.