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tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Country focus

Angola: IMF Hails Angola's Economic Reforms Amid Covid-19 (All Africa)

Despite the effects of Covid-19 on all economies in the world, the Angolan government had already started to carry out certain and comprehensive economic reforms, even before the pandemic, said the director of the African Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Abebe Aemro Selassie.

Regional pharmaceutical deficit offers export opportunities (Sunday Mail)

AS local companies get ready to increase production following the relaxation of lockdown measures announced by President Mnangagwa, there is a need to focus on niche products that have a competitive edge in regional markets.  The pharmaceutical sector is already one area that has been identified as having potential to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic growth. 

Fears of trade wars as Kenya bans maize from Tanzania, UG (The Standard)

Kenya has set the stage for a war with its main trading partners after it banned importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania. The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) said on Friday that surveillance and tests they had done on maize from the two countries had shown that most of it was infected with aflatoxin.

Kenya-UK trade deal in limbo as deadline nears (The Standard)

The fate of the multi-billion shilling economic partnership agreement (EPA) between Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) hangs in the balance, with just a day to its ratification deadline. The deal, signed between Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade Betty Maina and her UK counterpart Ranil Jayawardena on December 8, 2020, was welcomed with optimism by the business communities in both countries. However, last week, Parliament refused to ratify it.

Kenya's EAC leadership breathes new life into EPA talks (The Star, Kenya)

The summit concluded that partner states who wish to do so should be able to commence engagements with the EU with a view to starting the EU-EAC EPA implementation under the principle of variable geometry,” the communiqué said in part. Kenya and Rwanda have already signed the deal but it could not be operationalised without all the EAC members' signatures.

UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Afr : Kenya ends AfCFTA implementation strategy review meeting with incorporation of useful issues (Marketscreener)

 Kenyan stakeholders on 5 March ended a national review meeting of its African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation strategy in Naivasha after incorporating new components with wide ramifications for the economy. They incorporated topics such as e-commerce, climate change and COVID-19, which had from last year disrupted production and trade flows across the world, to enable the East African country derive maximum benefits from the agreement.

AfDB in Sh88.6m pact to strengthen agriculture (The Standard)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Cooperative University of Kenya (CUK) have signed a grant agreement to finance the development of a digital platform to support agricultural cooperatives in the country. The agreement stipulates a three-year grant, amounting to Sh88.6 million.

Egypt gets $440m World Bank loan to support rail network (Engineering News)

The World Bank has approved a $440-million loan to modernise signalling and upgrade track on 763 km of Egypt's 5 000 km rail network, the bank said in a statement. Egyptian National Railways (ENR) will put $241-million into the project on the Cairo-Giza-Beni Suef section of the network, bringing the total cost to $681-million, the World Bank said.

'Brexit buster' direct shipping route announced between UK and Morocco (Produce Business UK)

Logistics company United Seaways plans to launch a new 'Brexit buster' direct shipping route that will connect the UK and Morocco. The route, which will link Poole in Dorset to Tangier, has been in planning for more than two years and will help bypass post-Brexit traffic congestion and additional import procedures on goods arriving via Europe, United Seaways said.

 


News from Africa and Africa’s international trade relations 

SADC records progress in flagship interconnector power projects (The Chronicle)

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) says notable progress has been achieved towards  implementation of priority energy interconnector projects in the region. The projects seek  to connect Angola, Malawi and Tanzania to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) grid. 

AfDB allocates $2 mln grant to boost financial inclusion in Africa (Ahram Online)

The board of directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced allocating a $2 million grant to establish the African Cybersecurity Resource Centre (ACRC) for Financial Inclusion, for the sake of tackling cybercrime across Africa and to strengthen the resilience of digital financial ecosystems

Afreximbank to pilot Pan-African Payments and Settlements System in April (News Ghana)

As the Champion of the African Union Financial Institutions, the meeting was to brief President Nana Akufo-Addo on progress on the deployment of the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS), which is on track and scheduled to commence piloting in April and to be fully launched in June 2021. An update on transactions funded by Afreximbank in Ghana was also provided.

Number of Africans in extreme poverty could rise to 514m in 2021 (UNECA)

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has warned the COVID-19 pandemic could further exacerbate Africa’s extreme poverty as a total of 514 million Africans are projected to fall below the extreme poverty line in 2021, unless the impact of pandemic is contained.

African heads of state to address the impact of the climate crisis on peace and security (Daily Maverick)

On Tuesday, 9 March, the African Union Peace and Security Council will debate how the climate crisis is affecting peace and security and what to do about it. While climate change increasingly undermines human security and influences the dynamics of violent conflict on the continent, there are no hard peace and security solutions to the security impacts of climate change. The African Union and African societies can, however, improve how they prevent and manage climate-related security risks by investing in preparedness, analysis and early warning.

 


Global economy 

WTO members adopt roadmap to review implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (World Trade Organisation)

The WTO Committee on Trade Facilitation on 3 March adopted a roadmap for the first ever review of progress made in implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Under the Agreement, members committed to review the operation and implementation of the TFA four years from its entry into force, which was on 22 February 2017, and periodically thereafter.

US criticizes India at WTO over increasing restrictions on trade (Mint)

In the first instance of US President Joe Biden’s administration expressing its views on India’s trade policy, Washington criticized New Delhi at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over its growing protectionist measures including tariff hikes, domestic testing requirements on imports, restrictive rules in e-commerce and cross-border data flows.

Explainer: How the EU will respond to Britain's Northern Ireland move (Reuters)

The European Union has promised legal action after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move that Brussels said breached the terms of London’s EU divorce deal.