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tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News
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Country focus

State ponders issuing SI over AfCFTA trading (Daily Mail Zambia)

Government will soon issue a statutory instrument (SI) under the Customs and Excise Act to pave way for trading following Zambia’s ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry director – foreign trade Bessie Chelemu said the SI under the Customs and Excise Act is necessary for the agreement to have the force of law in Zambia and subsequently for the country to begin trading.

Cross Border Trade Made Easy Courtesy Of Rwanda Trade Portal (Taarifa Rwanda)

Cross border traders can now engage in export and import trade with ease particularly during the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the Rwanda trade portal. Traders say the portal has significantly reduced time taken to accessing export and import trade information.

The Rwanda Trade Portal (https://rwandatrade.rw/) is an online platform that was launched in March 2018, and is implemented by Rwanda Revenue Authority under the supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee.

Rwanda, Dubai discuss business opportunities (The New Times)

Rwanda and the Emirate of Dubai have discussed possibilities of how to bolster business ties, trade and investment ties between the two countries. During their meeting on Thursday, March 11, Amb. Emmanuel Hategeka, Rwanda’s envoy to the United Arab Emirates and Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry reiterated their keenness to strengthen cooperation.

African Development Bank finances electronic payments modernization of Ethiopia (New Business Ethiopia)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a grant of $2.33 million to EthSwitch Share Company, an initiative led by National Bank of Ethiopia, for the modernization of its payments infrastructure. The grant is resourced from the special fund of the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), a pan African initiative that aims to facilitate digital financial inclusion for an estimated 332M unbanked population across the African continent, 60% of whom are women.

Tough terms as Kenya lifts Tanzania, Uganda maize imports ban (The East African)

Kenya has lifted the ban on imports of Ugandan and Tanzanian maize with strict conditions on exporters as the country seeks to curb shipping in of the cancer-causing aflatoxin on the imported crop. Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday that all stakeholders dealing in maize imports would be required to be registered, the consignments coming in must be accompanied with a certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels and that traders have to issue details of their warehouses.

Why maize is causing trade tensions between Kenya and its neighbours (The Conversation Africa)

There was confusion in the East African grain market this week after Kenya banned maize imports from Tanzania and Uganda. The Agriculture and Food Authority said the reason for the ban was that levels of mycotoxins in the maize from the two countries were above safety limits.

But in less than a week the Kenyan government appeared to backtrack and announced that it had asked its East African Community trading partners to pass sanitary and phytosanitary standards on farm produce before it reached Kenya. We asked Timothy Njagi Njeru, a development economist and research fellow with a special focus on agricultural development and innovation in sub-Saharan Africa, to shed light on events.

Ghana petitions ECOWAS over illegal Benin tariffs (Graphic Online)

Ghana has petitioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the imposition of a duty regime by the Government of Benin (GoB) targeted at goods from Anglophone West Africa. The country is of the view that the duty regime, which took effect seven months ago, had presented an unfair advantage to companies operating from Francophone West Africa that still benefited from duty and quota-free on exports in Benin.

Nigeria to Rank Among First 100 Countries in Ease of Doing Business By 2023 - Adebayo (AllAfrica)

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has assured that by 2023, Nigeria would be ranked among the first 100 countries of the world in the area of ease of doing business. Delivering a keynote address at the virtual Nigeria-Britain Trade and Investment Expo with the theme: "Unlocking the Future of Anglo-Nigerian Trade" on Thursday, the minister noted that there is a correlation between ease of doing business and economic prosperity of the country.

 


News from Africa and Africa’s international trade relations 

36 out of 55 countries in Africa ready for AfCFTA — Wamkele Mene (Modern Ghana)

The Secretary-General for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), H.E. Wamkele Mene has said 36 out of the 55 countries in Africa are ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He indicated that the 36 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification to adhere to the sets of trade laws agreed to by the AfCFTA.

Facilitating the transformational AfCFTA: Tools for eliminating bottlenecks (Brookings Institution)

Africa was on the cusp of a revolutionary economic transformation before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and the ensuing crisis just underlined the urgency of that process. Right now, countries across Africa are overcoming years of colonial division through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA is, in many ways, a treaty that will transform Africa from a fractured, commodity-dependent group of economies into a vibrant, integrated market of over 1.2 billion people. Trading under the agreement, delayed by the pandemic, commenced on January 1, 2021.

Comesa begins €6,8m cross-border project (Chronicle)

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) says work has begun to implement a €6,8 million project funded by the European Union to upgrade priority cross-border infrastructure at selected entry points linking Zambia and three other bordering countries.

The other three countries are Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania and the project is part of efforts to promote regional integration.

COMESA, Afreximbank Sign deal to implement continental transit scheme (Capital FM, Kenya)

COMESA and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have signed an Agreement to implement the COMESA Regional  Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme, commonly known as RCTG-CARNET. This marks the beginning of the implementation of the Bank’s US$1billion AfCTFA Adjustment Facility to support countries from significant tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the AfCTFA Agreement,  of which about US$200 million is earmarked for the COMESA region.

Eastern Rail Corridor to Link 14 States, Says FG (Thisday Newspapers)

The federal government yesterday shed more light on the benefits of the Eastern Rail Corridor which groundbreaking President Muhammadu Buhari performed virtually on Tuesday, saying it will stimulate economic activities in 14 states it covers. Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, said the $1.96 billion Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Railway Corridor, would link 14 states, including the five South-east states of Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu as well as nine others.

Study Shows Severe Droughts Hit SADC Every 2-3 Years (Pindula)

A recent study by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) has indicated that the SADC region is hit by droughts every two (2) to three (3) years. The rate is five times higher than the droughts that were experienced in the region around 1980.

 


Global economy 

WTO cautious after sharp services trade rebound (Successful Farming)

Trade in services grew an accelerated pace at the end of last year, but momentum appears set to slow as spikes of COVID-19 cases bring a return of lockdowns, the World Trade Organization said on Thursday.The WTO's services trade barometer rose to a record high of 104.7 in March after 95.6 in September and a low of 91.2 in March 2020, the Geneva-based trade body said.

BRICS contact group holds first meeting on economic and trade issues (ANI News)

The BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) leads held their first meeting under India's chairship from March 9 to 11, according to an official statement released on Friday. The theme of BRICS this year is '[email protected]: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.'

EU sets out a more sustainable and assertive approach to trade (Economia)

Following a broad consultation process, the new EU new trade strategy outlines a series of headline actions centred around the concept of ‘open strategic autonomy.’ According to the Commission, open and rules-based trade can help underpin the post-pandemic recovery but must also enable the EU’s green and digital transition.