tralac Daily News
Low-key budget for Lesotho (MENAFM.COM)
FINANCE Minister Thabo Sophonea presented a low-key budget of M23.8 billion that painted a gloomy economic picture in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sophonea said the economy is expected to shrink by 5.8 percent in the 2020/21 financial year before rebounding by an average 4.7 percent in the short-term. He said that growth will be spurred by recovery in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction. Increase in crop production and livestock will anchor agriculture's recovery.
Namibia becomes the fifth African Union (AU) member to ratify the treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the AU Commission disclosed on Tuesday. The Southern Africa country deposited the instrument of accession to the AU Commission, making the country the first AU member from the Southern Africa region to ratify the continental treaty.
Kenya’s tea earnings surge to 1.09 bln USD in 2020 (CGTN Africa)
Kenya earned 120 billion shillings (1.09 billion dollars) from tea exports in 2020, up from 1.06 billion dollars in 2019, a new report from the Tea Directorate released on Tuesday shows. The surge in earnings defied the challenges brought to international trade by the COVID-19 pandemic, which curtailed movement of goods and people. The higher earnings were supported by a rise in export volumes, which stood at 518.9 million kilos in 2020, up from 496.8 million kilos in 2019.
The UK market accounts for 43 per cent of total exports of vegetables from Kenya as well as at least nine per cent of cut flowers. According to the latest Kenya National Bureau of Statistics–Leading Economic Indicators, the value of exports from Kenya to the UK totaled Sh49.5 billion, meaning the trade is currently in favour of Kenya. China however remains the biggest trading partner with an annual import bill of over Sh371.5 billion last year.
How Kenya’s major transport corridor lost shine to Tanzania (The Standard)
The time taken by truckers to move cargo from Mombasa to the border towns of Busia and Malaba for re-export to Uganda and other neighbouring countries more than doubled following the outbreak of Covid-19. The situation appears to have gotten worse in the second half of last year despite the gradual reopening of the economy, which has seen many economic sectors exhibit signs of recovery.
Egypt's exports to Africa expected to double due to AfCFTA (Ahram Online)
Egypt’s exports to African countries, estimated to be worth $4.7 billion, are projected to double over the coming four years in the event that all the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’s (AfCFTA) stages are fully rolled out, according to the Minister Plenipotentiary and Alternate Chief Negotiator to AFCFTA, Fadel Yacoub.
Strengthening Egypt-UK economic ties (Ahram Online)
On 5 December last year, British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams signed an association agreement with Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Europe Badr Abdel-Ati to strengthen political and trade ties between the two countries. The agreement will help British and Egyptian businesses and consumers to benefit from continued preferential access to their respective markets in the wake of the UK’s exit from the European Union. It was ratified by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi on 15 December and is now being fully applied by both countries.
About 90 per cent of cross-border traders in Nigeria are informal traders who neither speak English nor have formalised their export-import trading businesses. This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja by the leader of a delegation from the West Africa Association for Cross Border Trade in Agro-Forestry Pastoral and Fisheries Products (WACTAF), Salami Alasoadua.
EAC calls for green recovery to avoid worst risks of climate crisis (Environmental Journal)
In their new report which was published today, the cross-party committee has warned that if the economic recovery from Covid-19 is not used as an opportunity to grow back better’ then climate change and biodiversity collapse may deliver an even greater crisis.
EAC set to get new Secretary-General (The New Times)
Expectations are high ahead of the East African Community Heads of State Summit scheduled for February 27, when leaders will make a decision on the new Secretary-General of the regional body.
AfCFTA negotiations on rules of origin to conclude in June: Trade Ministry (Daily News Egypt)
Negotiations are currently underway between member states of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to complete rules of origin for the agreement by the June 2021 deadline. The remarks were made by Ehab Fathy, Head of Rules of Origin Department for African Countries at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, during a virtual seminar on Tuesday.
The African Union (AU) wants to tap into member countries’ sovereign wealth funds to finance much-needed transport and power infrastructure to boost growth and offset rising national debts.