Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News


Third-quarter Real Economy Bulletin shows auto, iron, platinum export weaknesses (Engineering News)

While the sharp downturn in the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data is largely the result of the civil unrest in July, the third-quarter GDP data points to additional weaknesses in the economy, above all the sharp decline in automotive exports and plummeting prices of iron-ore and platinum, the third-quarter Real Economy Bulletin (REB) by thinktank Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) shows.

TIPS says there was a particularly sharp decline in automotive exports in the third quarter, adding that the automotive “industry faced a perfect storm”.

South Africa’s ‘decimated’ electronics sector could benefit from the AfCFTA – Patel (The Africa Report)

Cars, chocolate, customs harmonisation... South African trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel tells The Africa Report that the country can help use its pools of capital to help stitch together the continent, give substance to the African Continental Free Trade Area, and help local

In a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair, Patel gives The Africa Report insights about his thinking on how South African development finance institutions (DFIs) can fit into the continental trade agreement. The minister also speaks about where opportunities lay in the agreement for his country and about his ministry’s partners in government with regards to making the AfCFTA effective.

African bilateral relations a strong step towards Pan-Africanism (SAnews)

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor says cooperation between African countries has become even more important as countries face the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges. She was addressing an end of year media briefing on the department’s implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy throughout the year. “South Africa is a strong proponent of African unity and solidarity. We believe that continental unity, peace and prosperity are best started at bilateral levels… when individual states reach out to other states and seek to forge closer bilateral ties. Stronger bilateral ties provide the foundation for greater Pan-African unity,” she said on Tuesday. The Minister said the country had embarked on forging those stronger bilateral ties over the past year with President Cyril Ramaphosa hosting a State Visit by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the President embarking on visits to four West African countries.

Kenya’s economy is showing resilience as output rises above pre-pandemic levels driven by a rebound in the services sector (World Bank)

Kenya’s economy has demonstrated resilience to the COVID-19 shock, with output in the first half of the year rising above pre-pandemic levels. In 2021 as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 5%, one of the faster recoveries among Sub-Saharan African countries.

Overall economic performance is expected to be robust at 4.9% per year in 2022-23, similar to the pre-pandemic pace (5% average annual growth from 2010 to 2019). According to the 24th edition of the Kenya Economic Update, “From Recovery to Better Jobs,” growth has been supported by rebounds in industry and, especially, services. Agricultural output, however, fell by 0.5% year on year in the first half of 2021 following a particularly strong performance in 2020, partly due to below-average rains. Demand-side recovery has been supported by a revival in private consumption, against a backdrop of improving employment conditions and household incomes.

Trade dispute: Uganda considers ban on Kenyan produce (The East African)

Uganda is considering restricting some of Kenya’s raw and processed agricultural products from its market, saying it will be merely reciprocating Nairobi’s continued ban on Kampala’s produce. On Monday, the Ugandan Cabinet agreed to this nearly two-year proposal, which has often been opposed by President Yoweri Museveni.

According to Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the country’s `minister for East African Affairs, Cabinet directed the Agriculture ministry to identify and list Kenyan products that will be banned by the Ugandan government within “a short time.”

“We have been too patient. In the past, we have not reciprocated, but now we are going to. This has gone on for too long and within a short time they too will understand what we are going through,” Kadaga told the media on Tuesday morning. Kenya and Uganda have for a long time been embroiled in a trade dispute. The latest hostilities between the two EAC partner states began brewing in December 2019, when Kenya stopped importing Ugandan milk, particularly the Lato brand.

TZ, Kenya settle trade barriers (Dailynews)

TANZANIA and Kenya on Friday signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and one contract aiming at strengthening further the existing bilateral ties and improving the economies. Sectors that were covered in the MoUs include immigration, prisons, health, housing, human settlement development and investments. Also, the control on livestock diseases in the border areas as well as the agreements on exchange of prisoners between the two countries featured in the pacts that the two nations inked.

Speaking shortly after having official talks and witnessing signings of the MoUs, President Samia called for continued cooperation for mutual understanding and improving trade and investment. She said that since the two countries are enjoying stability and diplomatic mutual understandings, then it was a high time to strengthen the ties on business and investments.

Botswana remains committed to SADC principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations (SADC)

The Republic of Botswana remains committed to the principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations of Forefathers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as outlined in the SADC Treaty, Honourable Ms. Peggy Serame, Minister of Finance and Economic Development has said. She was speaking during a courtesy call paid to her by SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, on the 10th December, 2021, in Gaborone, Botswana. Hon. Min. Serame congratulated the Executive Secretary for his recent appointment at the 41st SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in August 2021 in the Republic of Malawi. She reiterated Botswana’s commitment in playing her part to ensure that SADC remains relevant and stays on course to achieve principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations as envisioned by the Forefathers during its formative years.

Exporter community urged to utilise ‘Impact hub’ (Graphic Online)

The exporter community in Ghana have been urged to make maximum use of the ‘Impact hub,’ a technology-driven export trade information centre set up to serve as a one-stop-shop for up-to-date export related information for stakeholders in the export sector. The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr Afua Asabea Asare, who gave the advice said the hub was established to ensure that GEPA stayed on top of its responsibilities as a trade promotion organisation to facilitate easy access to up-to-date trade information and data. “This is what we have created for our exporters to come and feel free and be themselves to access all the information and learn everything they want to learn about exports.

Govt keen on providing enabling environment for private sector - Alan Kyerematen (Ghanaian Times)

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyeremateng has reiterated the government’s commitment to providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and enhance economic growth in Ghana. In a speech read on his behalf at the opening of H&M Manufacturing and Hardware Limited’s new showroom at Spintex in Accra last Wednesday, he said, supporting the private sector would go a long way to ensure young people enter into entrepreneurship and create more jobs. “We would continue to ensure that we give the needed support to the sector to develop especially with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which would provide a larger market for local industries,” he stated. H&M’s ambition of boosting the furniture and construction industry in Ghana he said, was in line with government’s industrialisation drive and efforts to create jobs for the future.

Ghana secures €82.5m EU concessional loan (Graphic Online)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided Ghana with an €82.5-million concessional loan to strengthen health care, provide specialist medical equipment and medicines across Ghana under the National COVID-19 Health Response Plan. Under the concessional package, the funding comprises €75 million from the EIB and a €7.5 million grant from the European Union (EU) Commission.

India wants to expand areas of cooperation with Angola (Angop)

The Indian ambassador to Angola, Pratibha Parkar, Friday in Luanda said her country intended to expand areas of cooperation in Angola, as she considered the African country to have several investment opportunities. The Indian diplomat, who was speaking during a briefing with journalists on the occasion of the celebration of Christmas and 75 years of independence of her country, said they planned to expand cooperation in the areas of agriculture, using new technologies, diamonds, telecommunications, traditional medicine and pharmaceutical products, amongst others. The Indian diplomat noted that this factor was due to the fact that bilateral relations between the two countries were satisfactory, so they have been working to diversify relations in other areas of mutual interest, taking into account the huge opportunity for cooperation between the two countries.

Tunisia’s ‘ambitious’ plans for trade relations with UK outlined by ambassador (The National)

Tunisia’s Ambassador to the UK hailed the “positive and encouraging” developments in bilateral trade relations at an investment forum held in London. Speaking at the fourth Tunisia-UK Trade and Investment Forum, Nabil ben Khedher said Tunisia was an “attractive” business partner for post-Brexit Britain. “We are looking to boost trade in the agro-food, textiles and IT sectors” said Mr Khedher at the event hosted by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. “Tunisia is an attractive and efficient place to manufacture goods for the UK … because of our past relationship with the EU, we can produce at a low cost and in a short time and can be a major partner for the UK textile and clothing industry.” Covid-19’s disruption of supply routes has drawn attention to the need to look to neighbouring countries, he said.


Rules of origin of goods subjected to tariffs, duties key for trade under AfCFTA: Tralac (SABC News)

The Trade Law Centre (Tralac) says trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) cannot start until tariff books reflect the outcome of the negotiations on tariff concessions, and the rules of origin for products are finalised. African countries were meant to have started trading under the AfCFTA from the 1st of January this year, however, negotiations among all 54 member states are still under way. Executive Director at the Trade Law Centre, Trudy Hartzenberg, says the rules of origin that stipulate which goods will be subjected to tariffs and duties must be finalised in order for trade to commence. The AfCFTA aims to phase out 90% of tariff lines over the next 10 years. “So there was a deadline set for the 30th of June this year to have all the tariff offers set on the table, and this has not happened and that hasn’t happened either. Some tariff offers have been made by the AfCTA secretariat but we’re still at a point where all member states have not submitted tariff offers that meet the modalities as agreed upon,” explains Hartzenberg. Hatzenberg says so far the rules of origin for 87% of tariff lines have been agreed upon.

Imperial: Examining AfCFTA to strengthen economic growth (African Review)

Imperial has launched a feature that delves into the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and its goal of seamless trade, travel and transport and a single African passport for all African Union member nations

The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollouts have highlighted the importance of the logistics industry in Africa, as well as the opportunities this industry presents in terms of connectivity, distribution and supply chain efficiencies in key industries. The growing consumer base and increased access to the consumer in Africa are appealing to both multinational and local organisations.

However, logistics presents a major challenge, including the cost of moving products into and out of Africa being exorbitant in comparison to other continents, and getting those products to consumers in Africa remains complex. As one of the largest logistics players on the continent, and with logistics being integral to facilitating trade, Imperial believes that the AfCFTA will play an important role from a logistics and transport perspective as countries start embedding trade links.

Africa Free Trade Area, likely spur for growth and development (Modern Diplomacy)

With productivity-boosting measures, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement could reduce poverty and inequality while spurring sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a report launched on Wednesday by the UN trade and development body, UNCTAD. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2021, underscores the importance of infrastructure financing that helps link up urban and rural areas, and equal access to opportunities and resources.

New opportunities for accelerating pan-African trade (UNCTAD)

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has opened a new chapter for the continent and rekindled hopes for recovery through trade in a post COVID-19 world. As nations continue to battle a pandemic that does not respect national borders, the $3.4 trillion borderless market created by the AfCFTA presents an opportunity to reduce COVID-19 induced growth contraction, poverty and inequality trends, and spur sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent. Intra-African trade is currently low at 14.4% of total African exports. UNCTAD estimates that the AfCFTA could boost intra-African trade by about 33% and cut the continent’s trade deficit by 51%.

OBG: Africa experiences fragile growth across 2021 (African Review)

Oxford Business Group (OBG) have released a review of 2021 for Africa noting that while the continent saw growth across the year, its recovery remains fragile

OBG’s report stated that structural reforms were carried our in various countries in response to the pandemic with the World Bank praising the unification of exchange rates in Sudan, fuel subsidy reform in Nigeria and the opening to the private sector of the Ethiopian telecommunications sector. Another significant shift has been a growing emphasis on the importance of renewable energy. Most notably, Egypt aims to generate 42% of its power from renewable sources by 2035. One of the major milestones of 2021, the OBG report continued, was the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which came into effect on 1 January. It is widely hoped that this will give rise to an increase in the coverage and quality of infrastructure across the continent with many sectors expected to benefit (such as the textile industry).

Tanzania stalls Central Corridor modernisation (The East African)

The Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Co-ordination Authority (NCTTCA) says Tanzania is dragging its feet on geofencing a section of Singida-Kobero highway that would allow Kenya to use the new Voi-Taveta-Singida-Kobero link road. A road is considered geofenced when it has inspection points and cargo passing through it can be tracked electronically for taxation and avoidance of dumping of goods in a country. Geofencing guards against theft and loss of cargo while on transit. The NCTTCA said the delay is working against importers of cargo through the port of Mombasa destined to south Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda who now opt to use a much longer route to import through the port of Dar es Salaam.

Speaking in Mombasa at the launch of training of heavy truck drivers, NCTTCA chief executive Omae Nyarandi said the delay is frustrating s section of importers using the Central Corridor. “Since the opening of the one-stop border post (OSBP) at Holili and completion of the Voi-Taveta road, the highway has opened up an alternative route to southern Tanzania and Bujumbura from the Mombasa port. But traders cannot use it since Tanzanian side has not been geo-fenced,” said Mr Nyarandi.

Africa needs policies to make youth technologically productive – Panelists (Ghana Business News)

African entrepreneurs say the continent needs deliberate policy to draw its skilful youth into key productive sectors to create wealth and economic value towards Africa’s quick recovery from the pandemic. They said such policies must attract the youth into areas like agribusiness and tourism with technological and innovative ideas. This was said during a panel discussion at the 3rd edition of the Kusi ldeas Festival in Accra. The panelist, all entrepreneurs, said that was the only way to solve the unemployment challenges that threatened the security of the continent. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, around 60 per cent of Africa’s population is younger than 25 years.

Nigeria Calls for Strict Implementation of ECOWAS Competition Policy (This Day)

Nigeria has called for strict implementation of the competition policy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Competition Authority (ERCA). The country also demanded strong protection against anti-competitive practices and other exploitative tendencies against consumers across the region. Trade experts in the country yesterday converge in Abuja to discuss ECOWAS competition policy. The sensitisation and advocacy programme was jointly organised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA). The sensitisation and advocacy discussion was organised to bring Nigerians abreast of the necessary policies guiding trade, competition and consumer protection within the West African region.

Industry Perspectives: Lighting up Africa with renewable power projects (Global Trade Review)

Africa is rich in renewable energy sources and has an opportunity to leap ahead in the shift to clean energy with its vast solar, wind and hydropower assets. Supporting and investing in renewable projects will be crucial to enhancing power generation – a core objective for many African countries.

The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), a pan-African institution that offers political risk and trade credit insurance to companies, investors and lenders doing business in Africa, is providing extensive support to the power sector to enable economies to unleash their potential in renewables.

In this Industry Perspective, Obbie Banda, underwriter at ATI, discusses ATI’s resilience amid the pandemic, why it is crucial for players in trade to invest in clean energy in African markets, and how the energy landscape is changing across the continent.

Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021 (ReliefWeb)

Africa is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 targets to end hunger and ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round, and to end all forms of malnutrition. The most recent estimates show that 281.6 million people on the continent, over one-fifth of the population, faced hunger in 2020, which is 46.3 million more than in 2019. This deterioration continues a trend that started in 2014, after a prolonged period of improving food security. In addition to hunger, millions of Africans suffer from widespread micronutrient deficiencies, while overweight and obesity are already significant public health concerns in many countries. Progress towards achieving the global nutrition targets by 2030 remains unacceptably slow.

The time is ripe for Africa’s food policy to change (Mail & Guardian)

Global food prices have hit a 10-year high, and people in poorer countries, where food takes a bigger chunk of household spending, are especially vulnerable. Nations are scrambling to address the crisis, putting in place a host of policies that affect everything from tariffs to social safety nets in the hope of temporarily easing the pain. Adjustments in food policy are crucial not only for the short-term stabilisation of prices, but more fundamentally for the long-term transformation of food systems. The rapidly increasing cost of food is symptomatic of a wider dysfunction: food systems that lack resilience in the face of crisis and that feed crises of their own making, driving climate change and fuelling epidemics of hunger, malnutrition, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases.

Global food prices have hit a 10-year high, and people in poorer countries, where food takes a bigger chunk of household spending, are especially vulnerable. Nations are scrambling to address the crisis, putting in place a host of policies that affect everything from tariffs to social safety nets in the hope of temporarily easing the pain. Adjustments in food policy are crucial not only for the short-term stabilisation of prices, but more fundamentally for the long-term transformation of food systems. The rapidly increasing cost of food is symptomatic of a wider dysfunction: food systems that lack resilience in the face of crisis and that feed crises of their own making, driving climate change and fuelling epidemics of hunger, malnutrition, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases.

But this year of food crisis has also become a year of action on food. Dozens of countries and thousands of people came together earlier this year for the first United Nations Food Systems Summit. Participants coalesced around a broad goal: to transform food systems that are unhealthy, unsustainable and inequitable into systems that are resilient, nourishing, equitable and regenerative of the Earth. The Nutrition for Growth Summit this month provides another opportunity for a reset.

Ghana’s role is at the heart of the Africa and Europe partnership (EURACTIV)

The next EU-AU Summit will take place in Brussels in February. It should mark a turning point in relations between the two continents. In this context and while Africa-Europe relations will be one of the priorities of the French presidency of the European Union, the President of Ghana’s address to the MEPs during the last plenary session of 2021 is a real opportunity to strengthen relations between the two continents in which Ghana must play a key role. The country has a role to play in order to facilitate dialogue and enable partnerships that can transform Africa-Europe relations into action.

Ghana is scheduled to be removed from the EU list of countries with weak anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regimes. The country was placed on the list in 2019 but has since made significant efforts, including the transition to the new Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. This changes everything in the bilateral relations. Ghana has once again emerged as one of the leading African countries in which European partners and stakeholders can have confidence. Ghana’s exit from the list will facilitate financial flows to and from European countries, as it is no longer subject to automatically increased control. Indeed, these important reforms have significantly further strengthened the bilateral relationships across the EU and will allow Ghana to continue playing its key role and also lead the strategic and renewed partnership between Africa and Europe.


How aid for trade can best support Least Developed Countries in the next decade (Trade for Development News)

The median recovery time of least developed countries (LDCs) from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is three years, according to the International Monetary Fund. More worryingly, more than a dozen of them are likely to take at least five years to recover. As the recently released Least Developed Countries Report 2021 shows, trade can be a powerful tool to help LDCs accelerate their recovery by taking advantage of the rapid rebound seen in other parts of the global economy. However, for this to happen, LDCs need aid for trade to build their institutional and productive capacity. This has been very well recognised by LDCs; on 19 October 2021, trade ministers from almost 30 LDCs adopted a declaration outlining their priorities for aid for trade.

For the past ten years, the global share of LDC trade has hovered at around 1%, despite the target to double their share of global exports by 2020 as set out in the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs and SDG 17.11. The fifth United Nations Conference on LDC (UNLDC 5) in Doha in January 2022, where a programme of action for the coming decade is expected to be adopted, is an important opportunity for LDCs to bolster the share of international trade. Using this platform, how can the international community make sure that LDCs’ priorities are addressed? How can LDCs be supported to improve their trade performance and sustainably raise their share of trade in the global economy? How can aid for trade contribute to this endeavour? And what can be done differently?

Q&A: How IDA20 is an opportunity for health system strengthening (Devex)

COVID-19 vaccination rates in low-income countries — especially in Africa, where only five of 54 nations reached the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of their populations — are a “failure of the international community,” according to Axel van Trotsenburg, the World Bank’s managing director of operations.

In an interview with Devex ahead of the final round of pledging for IDA20 — the 20th replenishment of the bank's International Development Association — taking place this week in Tokyo, he said that the World Bank will step up support for vaccination efforts, including purchasing and deployment, but that the anti-poverty lender wants the increased spending on health to be an opportunity “to prepare against future crises, and that means systematic health system strengthening.”

Metals demand from energy transition may top current global supply (IMFBlog)

The clean energy transition needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change could unleash unprecedented metals demand in coming decades, requiring as much as 3 billion tons. Metal prices have already seen large increases as economies re-opened, highlighting a critical need to analyze what could constrain production and delay supply responses. Specifically, we assess whether there are enough mineral and metal deposits to satisfy needs for low-carbon technologies and how to best address factors that could restrain mining investment and metals supplies.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010