tralac Daily News
Iconic South African Mines Are Ravaged Economy’s Unlikely Savior (Bloomberg)
The world’s deepest precious-metals mines, together with giant iron-ore and coal pits are providing an unexpected boon to a South African economy slowly recovering from its biggest contraction in a century. Surging demand and prices for commodities including platinum-group metals, iron ore, manganese and coal are generating record mining-company profits and bolstering government revenue. That’s even as decades of dwindling output and investor reluctance to build new mines blights prospects for the industry. “The recovery in commodities demand and their prices is providing very strong support to the economy.” President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday flagged the “significant role” the sector will play in accelerating South Africa’s recovery from last year’s coronavirus-induced slump.
South Africa’s terms of trade increased 12% over the past year and more than 20% since the end of 2018, as the global economic recovery from the pandemic pushed up demand for commodities, according to HSBC Bank Plc economist David Faulkner. The trade windfall is “one of the strongest gains on record, with past experience highlighting how South Africa’s macro fortunes can tilt on favorable commodity prices and a benign external backdrop,” Faulkner said in a note. “The result has been a period of respite, relief and rally.”
Indian exporters to explore opportunities for increased trade with South Africa (BusinessLine)
Opportunities to increase and diversify Indian exports to South Africa, an export market which has grown four times in the last one and a half decades, will be discussed in detail by senior officials from the Indian Consulate in Johannesburg this week in an online interaction with Indian businesses wanting to explore fresh possibilities in the post-Covid scenario. “Exports from India to South Africa, especially automobiles and pharmaceuticals, got a big push during the Pandemic. Similar opportunities exist for other items too. The Consul General of India to Johannesburg will interact with Indian companies this week on such opportunities at a virtual meet organised by exporters’ body FIEO,” a source told BusinessLine. This is part of the Ministry of External Affairs’ initiative started last year to facilitate and promote Indian exports through its Missions and Posts in various countries.
Indian exports to South Africa, which was at $984 million in 2004-05, touched $4 billion in 2019-20, although it dipped marginally to $3.93 billion in 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of the fiscal. Imports, on the other hand, increased 8.6 per cent to $7.5 billion during the fiscal. Despite the slight decline in Indian exports to South Africa in 2020-21, items such as motor vehicles posted a sharp 10.97 per cent growth to $557 million. Pharmaceuticals is another area where there are opportunities for accelerated growth in the post-Covid period. India’s exports of pharmaceutical products to South Africa grew 33 per cent to $745 million in 2020-21 and with a focus on demand is likely to rise further, the official added. Apart from pharmaceuticals and vehicles & components, exports from India to South Africa include transport equipment, engineering goods, footwear, dyes and intermediates, chemicals, textiles, rice and gems and jewellery.
IFC, Proparco, DEG and DFC Support South African COVID-19 Vaccine Maker, Aspen (IFC)
To support the development of vaccines for African countries, IFC, the French Development institution Proparco, DEG – the German development finance institution, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced a joint financing package for Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company in South Africa that is playing a major role producing COVID-19 treatment therapies and vaccines on the African continent. The €600 million long-term financing package will include €200 million from IFC’s own account, €156 million from Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD Group), €144 million to be arranged by DEG, and €100 million from DFC. It’s the largest healthcare investment and mobilization IFC has led globally to date. The announcement about the financing package for Aspen also comes as governments across Africa have called on the international community to bolster the continent’s vaccine supply chain to respond to COVID-19 and promote longer-term health sector resilience.
“COVID-19 has again highlighted Africa’s reliance on global vaccine supply chains, leaving the continent vulnerable to disruptions and delays,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “By partnering with Aspen, a leading vaccine manufacturer in Africa, and collaborating with partners in the development finance community, the World Bank Group can contribute to the continent’s continued vaccine manufacturing development and support knowledge sharing and technology exchanges. Together, we hope this will save lives now and help ensure that Africa is prepared ahead of any future health crises.”
Current account records widest deficit since 2016 (Namibia Economist)
The current account deteriorated to a deficit of N$268 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a surplus of N$10.6 million during the same period last year, according the Bank of Namibia’s latest Quarterly Bulletin. This is the widest current account deficit since the fourth quarter of 2016, mainly due to a larger goods trade deficit as well as increased net outflows of non goods transactions. The good trade deficit widened to N$553 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a deficit of N$357 million during the same period last year. Export earnings were knocked by lower manufacturing (-17%), diamond (-34%) and ‘other commodity’ (-34%) export receipts. On the other side of the goods trade ledger, the import bill increased mainly due to higher imports of consumer goods (+7%), chemical products (+21) and ‘other imports’ (+20).
Power imports increase as Ruacana production plummets (New Era)
Namibia recorded an annual decline in May 2021 in the Electricity Sources Composite Index (ESCI), attributed to a reduction in own generation of electricity, resulting in electricity imports recording a massive increase. According to Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) electricity sectoral report for May 2021 the ESCI, composed of domestic generation (production) and imported electricity recorded a yearly reduction of 15.8%. The ESCI did, however, recorded a marginal increase of 0.2% in May 2021 on a monthly basis, whereas in April 2021, it registered an increase of 8.5%. Meanwhile, own generation of electricity fell by 0.3% monthly and 59.5% yearly. The reduction over the year is due to the reduced generation from the Ruacana Power Station plummeted by 68.9%. The report added that annually, electricity imports grew by 42.3%. The annual increase in imports came from Eskom and Zambia that increased Namibia’s electricity imports.
First mine joins Walvis Bay Corridor Group (The Namibian)
Tsodilo Resources Limited, which has diamond and iron mining projects in north-western Botswana, this week became the first mine from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to join Namibia’s corridor manager, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG). WBCG is a public-private partnership established in 2000 to promote the utilisation of the Walvis Bay corridors to the port of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz in Namibia. “Facilitating trade and business connections is a crucial activity to ensure we see the growth of cargo volumes on our corridors,” WBCG chief executive officer (CEO) Mbahupu Tjivikua says. The WBCG is making sure these new prospective members know about its corridor systems and cutting-edge port and container-handling facilities. “This corridor is perfectly positioned to service the two-way trade between the SADC region and Europe, North and South America, and emerging markets in the East,” Tsodilo Resources CEO James Bruchs says.
VP promises new revenue mode to push more exports (IPPMedia)
VICE President Dr Phillip Mpango said yesterday that the government plans to review its income and expenditure systems to come up with a new one which will stimulate exports of locally manufactured products. “The new revenue system should stimulate trade and business as well as boosting sales in the international market. The respective agencies should work collaboratively to ensure that traders benefit from fair market opportunities,” he stated. “If we want to access and grab national and international opportunities, we should first adhere to standards and certification, apply discipline and make sure that we invest in quality packaging and branding of our products,” he pointed out.
Tourism: Light at the end of the tunnel after tough year (The Citizen)
The lifting of travel restrictions across the world is giving a bullish outlook for Tanzania’s tourism industry which has seen its earnings from tourism at an 11-year low, official data shows. Tanzania’s tourism earnings took a hit in the past two years as the world imposed travel restrictions to avoid spread of the viral Covid-19 pandemic. Bank of Tanzania (BoT) reports show that tourism earnings dropped to the 11-year low of $795.8 million in the year to May 31, 2021, down from $2.095 billion in the year to May 31, 2020. The last when tourism earnings registered at below $800 million was in the year to May 31, 2010 when they reached $790 million. This, BoT says, is attributed to a 56 percent year-on-year drop in the number of international tourists who visited the country in the year to May 31, 2021.
Mthuli Says Zim’s Economy Doing ‘Very Well’ As Half The Population Wallow In Poverty (New Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe’s economy is on a strong rebound and could emerge stronger than other countries in the SADC region and the rest of the African continent, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has claimed. In an interview with the cable news network, CNN, Treasury said: “We have a strong economic recovery where Zimbabwe will grow faster than its peers in the region and its peers in Africa. We have set aside a decent amount of resources to acquire vaccines and in fact in the next three weeks, we are going on a blitz to basically vaccinate to the tune of two and a half million people.” Ncube’s averments are, however, in sharp contrast to a study by Afrobarometer, which found out that most Zimbabweans are unhappy with the direction the country is taking, and they were suffering without cash, water, and other basics.
Kwara begins digital census of farmers, agric value chain (Sundiata Post)
Kwara State Government on Monday identified farmers’ census through digitisation of agricultural value chain as a key parameter to ensure the success of the Kwara State Agricultural Transformation Plan launched earlier in the year for effective planning and support to the sector in the state. “Digitisation of agricultural value chain is the bedrock of the success of the Agricultural Transformation Plan. In that plan, we have six major players in 27 implementable programmes which we believe will transform the face of agriculture in the state if well executed,” Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture AbdulQuawiy Olododo said at the opening of stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on digitisation of agricultural value chain.
Brainstorming session to devise a more effective Africa Strategy (Government of Mauritius)
At the opening of the second brainstorming session on the Africa Strategy of Mauritius this morning in Port Louis, the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, underlined that the process of devising an effective Africa Strategy is complex and multidimensional, thus the imperative to have as many insights as possible before deciding the way forward as well as to have a coordinated approach to prevent duplication of action and enable the optimal use of resources. The Minister is of the view that the Africa Strategy could capture the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Mauritius-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement, and the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement. He added that the tasks were to determine and seek the opportunities in trade and investment; make an honest appraisal of the endeavours and established platforms such as the joint commissions and the special economic zones to see if they have yielded the awaited results; and focus on certain priority countries and reinforce bilateral relationships with them.
Egypt accepts an agreement to release the Ever Given (Quartz)
The Ever Given spent six days stuck in the Suez Canal. Then it spent more than three months stuck in the Suez Canal’s bureaucracy. Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) had refused to release the container ship and its cargo and crew without being paid salvage fees and damages worth nearly $1 billion. On July 5, after rounds of legal proceedings and negotiations, the Ever Given’s owners and insurers reached a compensation agreement with the SCA, which will set the 220,000-ton megaship free once more. The SCA claimed to lose up to $15 million for each day of the Ever Given’s obstruction of the Suez. It had initially demanded $272 million in expenses, a bonus of $300 million for helping dislodge the ship, and another $344 million in damages. Subsequently, the SCA reduced its claim to around $550 million.
Ghana’s auto market projected to hit US$11bn in 2026 (Business24 Ghana)
Ghana’s automobile market has been projected to reach a value of US$11bn by 2026, strongly underpinned by the emergence of global vehicle manufacturing giants setting up plants in the country. The projection, by a Stanbic Bank research report, implies a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent over the next six years, after the market was valued at US$4bn in 2020. Following the government’s implementation of an automotive development policy to attract investment into the sector, carmakers such as Volkswagen, Toyota and Suzuki have all set up local assembly plants, with plans to export locally-assembled vehicles to the West Africa market. According to the report, with these major vehicle manufacturers expressing interest and making significant investments in opening and operating vehicle assembly plants in the country, Ghana has the potential to become a regional vehicle supplier.
iEPA: Government rejects suggestions of probable collapse of local industries (MyJoyOnline)
Government has strongly rejected suggestions of probable collapse of local industries as a result of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement. The pact formally kicked off from July 1, 2021 and will now allow EU countries to export to Ghana on duty free and quota free basis. There are however concerns that Ghana may end up being the dumping ground for goods from the EU, a development that will not be good for local industries. But Deputy Minister of Trade Herbet Krapa tell Joy Business Ghana stands to even benefit more from the deal than the EU. “Apart from it being the Economic Partnership Agreement in terms of trade, it offers Ghana the opportunity to take advantage of development assistance which is being provided by the EU. The projection in terms of revenue is being estimated at 1.0% in terms of revenue losses over the period… But if you juxtapose that with the benefit that we are going to acquire from this agreement – in terms of how much we are enjoying exporting into the UK – the statistics show that between 2016 and now, the export into the EU has increased significantly because of the tariff reduction,” he added. The Deputy Trade Minister said the country’s strategy going forward is to attract more foreign direct investments.
Addressing youth unemployment in Ghana by supporting the agro-processing and tourism sectors (Brookings)
As elsewhere in Africa, the issue of jobless growth in Ghana has become a major concern, particularly due to rising unemployment among the youth. Services have emerged as the driver of growth in Ghana, contrary to the experiences in East Asia and other newly industrialized countries where manufacturing exports led growth and added capacity to absorb low- to medium-skilled workers. In fact, in Ghana, manufacturing has performed abysmally, with an average growth rate of 3.2 percent between 2008 to 2017. Despite the generally strong performance of the Ghanaian economy over the last two decades, (albeit with a slowdown in recent times), there is a disconnect between GDP growth and employment – a trend that has persisted for many years, as the country has averaged an employment-to-growth elasticity of 0.5 over the last two decades. However, recent evidence points to the role of emerging high-productivity sectors, such as agro-processing, tourism, and horticulture, among others, that share characteristics with manufacturing (particularly in the employment of low- to medium-skilled workforce), in solving the youth unemployment challenge through the generation of decent jobs in Ghana.
CBN: Our Interventions will Boost Nigeria’s Participation in AfCFTA (THISDAY)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that its interventions in the real sector of the Nigerian economy were targeted at boosting Nigeria’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) agreement. Deputy Governor of the CBN for Economic Policy, Dr. Kingsley Obiora said: “The CBN has been implementing various development finance programmes aimed at stimulating the real sector activities and diversifying the economy particularly in the agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and other non-oil sectors… We believe that the financial sector has the potential to accrue substantial benefits from the AfCFTA in view of the intermediary role of finance in facilitating growth and engendering sustainable growth. “The critical advantage of the AfCFTA to the Nigerian financial sector would be the removal of barriers for the expansion of financial institutions and services. This advancement will foster the provision of financial service in the continental market at a reduced cost.”
CBN to increase development finance interventions to support start-ups and SMEs (Nairametrics)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will increase its development finance interventions to further support start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. This was disclosed by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele. He said that increased access to finance for start-ups and SMEs was highly essential for the nation’s economy to grow. “The potential of SMEs in enhancing economic growth is hampered by limited access to finance, inadequate infrastructure and poor digital penetration. I urge the government and the private sector to provide more support in addressing the challenges of SMEs in the country. Specifically, as users of new technology, I advise that policies that would incentivise the adoption of innovations that will improve SMEs competitiveness and productivity should be made,” the CBN governor said.
State Budget For 2022: Orientation Debate In Parliament Tomorrow (Cameroon Tribune)
The 2022-2024 Medium-Term Economic and Budgetary Programme Paper was tabled during a plenary sitting of the National Assembly on July 4, 2021. The 2022 State budget is being prepared within the international economic context marked by a fragile recovery in the global economy, in conjunction with the optimism over the progress of vaccination campaigns against coronavirus. In the CEMAC zone, the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) expects a growth rate of 2.8 per cent in 2021 after -2.1 per cent recorded in 2020 under the effect of a decline in activity in both the oil sector (-4.2 per cent) than non-oil (-1.6 per cent). Concerning Cameroon, government in the paper indicates that in 2021, growth is expected to revive by 3.4 per cent as global demand for exports pick up, due to
Ministry of Trade closely monitoring case of Tunisian salt deemed “non-compliant” by Libya (TAP)
The Ministry of Trade and Export Development said Friday it is closely monitoring in coordination with the Ministry of Health data published on the non-compliance of Tunisian salt with health standards. The Ministry, which was reacting to the call by the Libyan Food and Drug Control Centre to stop all imports of Tunisian salt to Libya, over non-compliance with health standards, said in a statement received by TAP the table salt manufactured in Tunisia for both the local market or export is subject to regulations setting its specificities and quality of its packaging.
Power, politics and inclusion in food systems: The case of Sudan (ECDPM)
Economic recovery, youth employment and climate resilience are high on Sudan’s political agenda. Food systems are central to all these different developmental outcomes, but they are not the first thing on the prime minister’s mind. Political survival, attracting foreign investment, aid and increasing fiscal space claim most of his agenda and attention. The Sudanese government hopes that support by international partners will take off, now that it is implementing major economic reforms and the international community has slowly lifted sanctions. Sudan’s significant debt burden weighs heavily on its economic recovery. There are calls for debt reform to be linked to a green and inclusive recovery. This means that governments that will receive debt relief need to align their policies and budget reforms with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
Durban Announced as the New Host of Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) – Dates rescheduled to 15-21 November 2021 (Afreximbank)
The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) has been rescheduled to take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from 15 to 21 November 2021. The Trade Fair was previously due to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 8 to 14 December 2021. The decision to move the Trade Fair to Durban was made by the Advisory Council of IATF2021 at its 10th meeting held virtually on 25 May 2021. This decision was arrived at after formal consultations with the Government of Rwanda, who indicated that logistical constraints related to the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected the progress of construction of a new facility to host the event.
AfCFTA becomes reality with new trading standard (ANGOP)
The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, said Monday in Luanda that the creation of the organisation he represents is a reality and soon Africa will have a new trade standard. Mene was speaking to the press at the end of an audience with the President of the Republic, JoÃ£o LourenÃ§o, with whom he discussed issues related to the challenges and development of AfCFTA, whose main objective is to achieve continental economic integration. He said that during the meeting, the Angolan Head of State also stressed the importance of reducing trade barriers in Africa, having highlighted the need for increased trade between African countries in the various types of local products that can help strengthen their economies.
Adoption of e-commerce by businesses critical for AfCFTA progress – Ababio Dankwa (GhanaWeb)
Ghanaian businesses have been inspired to go into electronic commerce to take advantage of the numerous opportunities brought by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to be ahead of their competitors. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seedway Services Limited, Romaric Ababio Dankwa said: “The future of Africa depends on technology supremacy and our ability to understand it, so you cannot ignore technology and do well; so the sooner you evolve, the better it is. Every innovation is a risk and Ghanaian businesses need to take the risk, accept the change; and if they refuse to change, over time they become obsolete. “There are a lot of opportunities hidden within e-commerce, and if we look even further with the AfCFTA, it offers a lot of opportunities for Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of this huge market that is now being created for them.”
African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): webinars and documents (European Commission)
DG Trade, with the help of consultants, organised four webinars under an EU project on trade and investment relations with Africa that aims to develop a strategic reflection on EU-Africa trade and investment policy and to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between the European Commission, technical experts and trade practitioners in Africa and in the EU. The webinars addressed the following topics:
Driving Africa’s energy future with the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (Africanews)
One of the industries that can benefit from AfCFTA is the energy sector, both the traditional oil and gas operators as well as the growing number of renewable enterprises. Like the rest of the world Africa is embarking on an energy transition but with oil and gas and mineral resources accounting for more than 75 per cent of the continent’s exports and with the potential for growth in oil and gas high, it will still have a role to play in the short and mid-term. Estimations vary but recent figures put Africa’s proven gas reserves at 487.7 tcf with proven oil reserves in the region of 125 billion bbl. However, trade barriers such as high import tariffs have left many African countries vulnerable to the international market, which resells its resources at higher prices.
For African countries, the green energy transition presents both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, the huge energy deficits in production and access, combined with abundant renewable energy resources, can underpin a relatively rapid and encompassing shift to green energy. On the other hand, challenges related to access to finance, investment risk and the absence of needed technical and human capacities may impede this transition.
Stakeholders seek options for African oil, gas projects amid energy transition (The Guardian Nigeria)
Finance and energy experts have said there are options that might enable Africa to finance oil and gas projects despite campaign against fossil fuels. The experts also emphasized the need to focus on cleaner, harmonised fuel specifications as well as environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations to reduce the looming public health and environmental impacts on Africa’s citizens while boosting cross-border trade of petroleum products under the implementation of the African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The African Refiner and Distributor Association (ARDA), which brought the stakeholders together at a virtual sustainable financing workshop, noted that moving Africa away from cooking with firewood and charcoal to modern fuels would cost the continent about $7.5 billion. From now till 2030, the group noted that the $7.5 billion investment, inclusive of debt, equity and grants, would be required to build clean cooking stoves and downstream infrastructure that would support the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SADC adopts numerous programmes to advance regional integration and generate wealth since its inception (SADC)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has adopted numerous programmes to advance regional integration and generate wealth and prosperity for the people of Southern Africa since its inception in 1992, SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has said. Industrialisation, Trade and Market Integration, Infrastructure Development, Food Security, Social and Human Development, Peace and Security have driven the SADC Programme of Action. Following the signing of the SADC Declaration and Treaty in 1992, the Region has shown commitment to deeper integration through strategic plans such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2010- 2020; Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation 2010-2020; SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063; SADC Regional Agricultural Policy 2015; and SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan 2012.
“The Treaty establishing SADC, and these Protocols, Policies and Strategies have laid a strong legal and institutional foundation for promoting regional cooperation. SADC’s Common Agenda is driven by well-established institutions that are provided for in the SADC Treaty, comprising of the Summit, the Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation, Council of Ministers, Sectoral and Cluster Ministerial Committees, Standing Committee of Officials, and the SADC Secretariat,” said H.E Dr Tax.
Southern African Leaders Discuss Regional Economic Integration (Big News Network)
Regional integration, security, macroeconomic stability and others formed the major issues discussed when Southern African leaders gathered late June in Maputo, Mozambique. They were in the country for the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The first SADC Business Forum featured prominently as part of the comprehensive agenda, and other significant issues discussed included regional integration, cooperation and development. The topic that got special attention was regional security and its possible impact on business and investment climate, with a particular focus on Mozambique and from broader perspectives, as a whole in southern Africa. While multiple barriers including high tariffs, customs rules and pitfalls on border-crossing with stocks still remain and hamper regional economic integration, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, during the Public-Private Dialogue and Business Forum, urged speeding up the ratification of protocols essential to economic integration.
The establishment of a customs union that evolves into a single market and monetary union is still a huge challenge. It delays the process of ratifying protocols on regional trade. The imbalances that characterize each of the states, such as great differences in macroeconomic stability, uneven levels of industrialization, lack of complementarity in the structure and production base and inefficiencies in the value chain. The SADC Business Forum also debated the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery strategies, infrastructure and regional corridor development.
EAC Northern Corridor Cargo Traffic Drops By 4% (Taarifa Rwanda)
The volume of cargo transiting along the Northern Corridor in the East African community bloc has reportedly dropped owing to effects of Covid-19 Pandemic. According to the northern corridor transit and transport coordination authority 16th edition report for June 2021, logistics firms involved in the movement, storage, and flow of goods, have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistics companies connect firms to markets by providing various services, including multimodal transportation, freight forwarding, warehousing, and inventory management. This means that supply chain disruptions to the sector caused by the pandemic could impact transport and trade costs.
EAC set to enhance participation of Private Sector as key player in integration agenda (EAC)
EAC Partner States have begun the 2021/2022 Financial year with a focus on economic recovery through industrialization and inclusive growth, taking into account the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region. Kenya’s Principal Secretary for EAC, Dr. Kevit Desai, said that the region was putting in place strategies to ensure economic recovery in all Partner States from the destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a region, we have witnessed the devastation created within the economies of the Partner States, including the fall in intra-regional trade, job losses, limited mobility within the region and loss of lives,” said the PS. On the priorities set forth to spur the region’s economic recovery from COVID-19, the PS disclosed that efforts will be put in place to increase the region’s manufacturing capacity from an average of 6%, as well as promotion of greater intra-regional trade. “The private sector can be involved in co-creation of wealth and in the achieving the goals set in the 6th EAC Development Strategy. We are therefore looking into ways and means in which the private sector is able to play its profound role as far as the development of the economy is concerned,” said Dr. Desai.
Inside EAC’s US$91.7milion budget (Independent)
The East African Community has tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly a US$91.7 milion proposed budget for the Financial Year 2021/22 compared with US$97.6 million in the Financial Year 2020/21, with a huge chunk planned to be spent at the secretariat, legislative assembly and courts. Themed ‘Economic Recovery through Industrialization and Inclusive Growth,’ the budget will focus on 10 priority areas, namely; Private Sector Development; Peace and Security; Health/COVID-19 Response; Trade Development; and Infrastructure Development. Others are; EAC Digitalization Agenda; Agriculture, Nutrition, Biodiversity, Environment and Circular Economy; Expansion of membership to EAC and strengthening relationships with the African Union and other regional organisations (RECS); Institutional transformation including Skills Development, and; Promotion of awareness creation and dissemination of information on the Community. The EAC secretariat is expected to take the lion’s share of the budget with US$43.8 million; East African Legislative Assembly – US$15.4 million; East African Court of Justice – US$3.7 million and Lake Victoria Basin Commission – US$8.1 million.
African women propose 10-year gender plan (The Southern Times)
The proposed Kinshasa Declaration, launched July 2 at the Generation Equality Forum, outlines concrete actions for African Union member countries to advance gender equality in Africa by 2030. The Kinshasa Declaration calls for doubling the number of women’s organizations that can access funds from national economic stimulus programs and external funding. A delegation of African women led by Ms Gisèle Ndaya – Minister of Gender, Family and Children of the DRC – and Ms Julienne Lusenge, gender expert on the Panel of Experts in charge of accompanying President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo during his presidency of the African Union for 2021/2022, shared the proposed Kinshasa Declaration on the side lines of the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris from June 30 to July 2. Ms Lusenge added: “This proposed declaration makes a crucial contribution to the AU Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment by proposing concrete actions and tools for measuring success towards gender equality in Africa by 2030.
UNDP Gives Women In Trade Voice (Mmegi Online)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Botswana has engaged with female entrepreneurs, intending to provide a platform to voice their needs and interests with regards to trade in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The national consultations play a critical role in making the development of the Women in Trade Protocol participatory, inclusive and responsive to the needs and priorities of women. Through dialogue with women and key stakeholders, consultations aim to identify existing and potential challenges and opportunities that women face as they engage in intra trade. The ideas and challenges raised will then be compiled into a report, which will be presented at the validation workshop that will follow in the coming weeks and finally be sent to the secretariat in Accra, Ghana. The secretariat will then compile all these ideas across the continent, which will then go towards developing the Women in Trade African Protocol.
Maximizing Tourism’s Contribution to Africa’s COVID-19 Recovery (UNDP)
Turning the disruption in tourism into new opportunities for improved competitiveness is essential for Africa’s recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the key overarching message conveyed by Japan, the United Nations, the African Union and representatives of African states at today’s “Boosting Africa’s Transformative Power of Tourism” United Nations online high-level meeting. “Tourism is a pillar of prosperity, poverty reduction, sustainable development and stability in Africa,” explained H.E. Tarek Ladeb, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations and host of TICAD 8. “It contributes to Africa’s recovery and economic integration, boosts its transformative and inclusive growth… As the world reopens, now is the time to deploy innovation and green-led tourism models and policies that unlock competitiveness, identify niche sectors and maximize potential, including for the “One Africa market” in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” emphasized Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa.
What new strategic imperatives in the oil and gas sector mean for the energy transition (WEF)
Businesses, industries and countries increasingly find themselves in recovery mode after the multifaceted disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the health crisis is not over, and uncertainty looms large over the recovery prospects. Against this backdrop, various forces are reshaping the future of many industries – and the oil and gas sector is no exception. There are growing demands to increase productivity, to build a more resilient industry ecosystem, and to continue contributing to socioeconomic development and wellbeing, while at the same time there is increasing pressure to deliver on long-term commitments to fulfil stakeholder expectations through low-carbon economy transition pathways. Some of these trends gained significant momentum in the past year, particularly in relation to the energy transition.
Turning crisis into opportunity: World leaders meet at UN to help drive pandemic recovery (UN News)
The hybrid (online and in-person) conference, which takes place between 6 and 15 July, will focus on the lessons, successes, shortcomings and plans to emerge from the unprecedented health crisis, and advocate for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the best way to build more inclusive, resilient and healthier societies. “Countries will share and reflect the actions they have been taking to overcome the pandemic, to address its impacts and to build back better”, said Munir Akram, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which convenes the Forum. “A core issue would be whether and how they are using the SDGs as the blueprint for their response to COVID-19.”
The future of investment treaties – possible directions (OECD)
As our societies face new challenges and make new demands from policies addressing international investment, there is a new urgency to profoundly reconsider treaties addressing investment. This paper was prepared originally as background for initial inter-governmental and public discussions at the OECD about future investment treaties as well as possible alternatives. The paper surveys potential roles for treaties addressing investment in (i) contributing to sustainable development and responsible business conduct; (ii) preserving and improving investment market access and liberalisation of investment, and facilitating FDI; (iii) regulating subsidised state-owned enterprises, competition in subsidies for investment, and digitalisation; and (iv) addressing the interests of treaty-covered and other investors in reasonable legal predictability and a level playing field, together with the need for policy space and public support for treaty policy. It considers potential use of more flexible and varied remedies and implementation mechanisms.
Multilateral Development Bank Climate Finance for Developing Countries Rose to US$ 38 Billion, Joint Report Shows (World Bank)
The 2020 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance, published on June 30, showed that climate finance to low- and middle-income economies committed by major multilateral development banks (MDBs) rose to US$ 38 billion. In addition to this, $28 billion was committed to high income countries by MDBs focused on developed countries. The total climate co-finance committed during 2020 alongside MDB resources was US$ 85 billion. Together, MDB climate finance and climate co-finance totalled more than US$ 151 billion. The amount of private direct mobilization stood at US$ 5.9 billion. “The MDBs will continue to improve their tracking and reporting of climate finance in the context of their commitments to ensure consistent financial flows to the countries’ long-term, low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways, as established in … the Paris Agreement,” says the 2020 report, which is the 10th in the series.
Vulnerable consumers of public utilities need more protection (UNCTAD)
Vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers are struggling to pay for basic utilities in the wake of job losses and reduced incomes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such consumers include poorer people, the sick, the elderly, people with disabilities, rural dwellers, and those with limited access to essential services such as energy and the internet. UNCTAD’s intergovernmental meeting on consumer protection held on 5 and 6 July brought together experts and governments to examine how to better protect these consumers, who are in a more precarious situation due to the economic and health crisis triggered by COVID-19. “The dire economic consequences of the pandemic compel us to address consumer protection needs, especially where people are more exposed and more at risk,” said UNCTAD Acting Secretary General Isabelle Durant during the meeting. “Governments have a major responsibility to help vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers,” said Helena Leurent, director general of Consumers International. “But civil society and business must also do their share in building an inclusive and coherent environment that integrates support for these consumers across multiple sectors.”