Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News


S. Sudan traders now plan to ditch Mombasa port for Djibouti route (Business Daily)

The Port of Mombasa is staring at a new threat from South Sudan, with fresh clamour to transfer business to the Djibouti route, in what will deny Kenya revenue on 1.1 million tonnes of cargo that the facility handles annually. Mombasa has been the main route for all consignments destined to the landlocked country and South Sudan now says Port of Djibouti is shorter. “We are in talks with Djibouti authorities so that we can connect Djibouti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to use Djibouti port through Ethiopia,” deputy chairperson for Chamber of Commerce in South Sudan Lado Lukak Legge was quoted saying by the media in Sudan. “Djibouti is near to South Sudan compared to Mombasa port in Kenya and the government of Djibouti is willing to strengthen trade ties with South Sudan and Ethiopia,” he said.

Used car prices jump up to 30pc in three months (Business Daily)

Used car prices in Kenya have jumped by up to 30 percent over the past three months on weak shilling, scarcity of vehicles and rising shipping costs, pushing low-range types such as Vitz above the Sh1.2 million mark.

Buyers are cutting orders and shunning popular Toyota car models in favour of Nissan and Mazda brands due to cost pain. Dealers are facing increased competition from buyers in source markets such as Japan and the UK as automakers have scaled down production owing to shortages of semiconductors used in electronic devices.

Lagos plans new industrial estate to boost investment in MSMEs (Businessday)

A new industrial estate is springing up at Gberigbe, Ikorodu, Lagos, aimed at encouraging more investment in micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the state, Lola Akande, commissioner for commerce, industry and cooperatives, disclosed on Sunday. The small-scale industrial estate, according to Akande, is coming to complement existing small industrial estates like Isolo, Mushin, and Sabo in Ikorodu, and is a further demonstration of the state government’s resolve to continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Kenya launches int’l financial center to boost inflow of foreign capital (China.org.cn)

Kenya on Monday launched the Nairobi International Financial Center (NIFC) to help spur the inflow of foreign capital to fund the country’s development agenda. President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech read on his behalf by Joseph Kinyua, Head of Public Service that the center seeks to enhance the business environment to enable companies to raise funds for projects, support innovation, and tap into new investments coming into Africa. “The Nairobi International Financial Center has been designed as an efficient and predictable business environment to give more confidence to the large pools of global capital that have been watching our progress but have not yet taken the decision to invest,” Kinyua said.

Kenya, TZ trade crosses Sh100bn as Suluhu marks a year in office (Business Daily)

Annual trade between Kenya and Tanzania crossed the Sh100 billion mark for the first time in President Samia Suluhu’s tenure in office, signaling improved ties between the two neighbouring countries. Fresh official statistics show the value of goods traded between the two countries amounted to Sh107.63 billion in 12 months through March 2022, a 66.86 percent growth over Sh64.51 billion the year before. Kenyan traders spent Sh56.78 billion to truck in goods from Tanzania in the year ended March 2022, according to data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)That is a 77.92 percent jump of over Sh31.91 billion a year earlier. Exports to Tanzania, on the other hand, bumped 56.03 percent to Sh50.85 billion, the KNBS data shows. Trade balance was in favour of Kenya in prior years.

Central African Republic (CAR) Launches Native Crypto “Sango Coin”, Eyes Blockchain-Driven Economy (Coinspeaker)

The CAR is taking its crypto aspirations up a notch by launching a native digital currency that will be backed by Bitcoin. Central African Republic (CAR) has launched its national crypto “Sango Coin” as part of a push toward the metaverse. According to CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the country’s national crypto will exist alongside Bitcoin (BTC) as recognized digital currency. Touadéra also stated that Sango Coin would play an integral role in modernizing the infrastructure of the landlocked Central African country, including a planned metaverse project.

EU pledges $1.4bn in climate funding to Nigeria (Engineering News)

The European Union (EU) and development finance institutions will provide $1.4-billion in funding aimed at cutting its reliance on oil. The funds for agriculture, climate and digital projects will help Africa’s largest oil producer, “achieve low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient development, creating jobs for youth and economic growth,” Samuela Isopi, EU ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, said at a conference in Lagos.

Kenya signs treaty to establish African medicines agency (The Star, Kenya)

Kenya has become the latest member state of the continental body-Africa Union-to ratify a Treaty that will pave way for the establishment of an African Medicines Agency (AMA).The specialized agency that will help state parties and regional economic communities enhance its capacity to regulate medical products is born out of the Union’s Accord which came into force in November last year. “It will help the parties improve access to quality, safe and efficacious medical in the continent,” the memorandum from the ministry of foreign affairs reads in part.

Trade facilitation: $1.5bn Lekki Deep Seaport’ll be fully automated at take-off –Bello-Koko (Daily Sun)

As the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), received the first-ever vessel Zhen Hua 28 to berth at the $1.5bn Lekki Deep Seaport, the Managing Director of the Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko,has said that the port would be the first to be fully automated in Nigeria when fully operational. Speaking while receiving the vessel, which brought three Ship To Shore (STS) cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes, Bello-Koko disclosed that the successful delivery of the three STS and the 10 RTG cranes was critical to the commencement of operations of the deep seaport.

Lekki Deep Seaport: Changing Nigeria’s Maritime Story (This Day)

Last Friday, the vessel ZHEN HUA 28, a heavy lift carrier, berthed at the Lekki Deep Seaport, Lagos, delivering three Ship to Shore (STS) Cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTG) that will help in the swift evacuation of cargoes from vessels to the shore. It was a first. These cranes, touted as the most sophisticated port equipment, will be used for the first time in Nigeria at the Lekki Port, putting Nigeria at the forefront of container operations in West Africa.

The Lekki Deep Seaport with almost 17-meter draught constructed by China Habour Engineering firm is a $2 billion investment in the Lagos Free Trade Zone initiated by the Tolaram Group and conceived to be a key game-changer in Nigeria’s dawdling maritime economy. An upbeat President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and all stakeholders in the maritime sector over the successful berthing of the first ship at the Deep Seaport. He recalled that his approval of four new seaports in the country, including the Lekki Deep Sea port, was hinged on growing the economy.

Nigerian Shippers’ Council urges FG to promote exportation of non-oil products (Tribune)

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has called on the Federal Government to provide a suitable environment for the exportation of non-oil products to boost foreign earnings through the African Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA). This was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day sensitisation programme organised by NSC South West Zone, held at Abeokuta, last week, towards the promotion of AfCFTA. The communique emphasised the need for the government at the centre to convey on developing the infrastructural capacity to address the challenge of smuggling across the borders. It noted that smuggling activities into the country had continued to affect economic growth.

EU Provides €28M to Improve Liberia Maritime Security (Liberian Daily Observer)

Under the largest EU-funded Support for West African Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) component, implemented by the Camoes I.P., the capacities of the Liberian Coast Guard and related entities to carry out patrolling and evidence collection at sea will be strengthened with the supply of rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBS) and relevant training of its personnel.


Use trade to cushion yourselves, AfCFTA tells African nations (The Citizen)

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) yesterday called on African countries to increase the level of trade among themselves in order to avoid challenges they face during crises. The AU body asked member countries to stop reliance on exporting primary commodities largely to the North, accelerate self-sufficiency and establish regional continental value chains. AfCFTA said fragmentation, smallness of the countries’ economies and lack of industrial capacity contributed to the 18 percent inter Africa trade. AfCFTA secretary general, Mr Wamkele Mene made the statement yesterday when gracing the official opening of the 46th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).Speaking during the event, Mr Mene said when Covid pandemic hit the world, Africa lacked the capacity to manufacture germ killing products, masks and other required tools to fight the pandemic.

Afreximbank Board of Directors renews US$1 billion Facility and approves a US$10 million Grant to operationalise the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds (Afreximbank)

At their 134th Meeting held on June 13, 2022, the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has renewed their approval of a US$1 billion facility to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Adjustment Funds. It also approved a Grant Funding in an amount of US$10 million to seed the Base Fund of the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds. Afreximbank and the AfCFTA Secretariat were mandated by the AfCFTA Council of Trade Ministers and the African Union Heads of State and Government to establish and operationalise the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds, which consists of the Base Fund, the General Fund, and the Credit Fund. The Base Fund will be used to mobilise grants to address tariff revenue losses and to support AfCFTA State Parties to implement the various protocols under the AfCFTA. Afreximbank Board also approved a grant funding in an amount of $10 million as seed funding to kick-start the establishment of the Base Fund. The General Fund will be used to mobilise concessional funding, while the Credit Fund will be used to mobilise commercial funding that will be used to support the public and private sector including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), youth and women to adjust to the new trading environment arising from the AfCFTA.

The First AU SME Annual Forum to realize Africa’s Industrialization in the context of the integrated market (AU)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the African economy, representing more than 90% of businesses and employing about 60% of workers, many of whom are women and youth. Despite the significant role which SMEs play in the development of African economies, they have yet to be fully integrated into the regional value chains system and in turn the continental trading system. It is against this backdrop, as Commemoration of the International Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Day, the First Edition of African Union Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Annual Forum kicked off on 27 June 2022 in Cairo, Egypt under the theme “Economic Empowerment of SMEs, Women and Youth Entrepreneurs to Realize Africa’s Industrialization in the Context of the Integrated Market”.

It is in this context that the African Union Commission’s novice Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion (WYFEI) 2030 Initiative proposes a set of multi-level innovative, resilient and inclusive recovery solutions in the form of a10-point agenda that will assist women and young entrepreneurs to climb the ladder of change towards financial and economic inclusion. The 10- point agenda includes interventions at the personal level, systems level and environmental level which call for personal income enhancement, financial sector innovation and macroeconomic policy reform, respectively,” said Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa.

How Poorly Negotiated Trade Agreements Fuel Illicit Financial Flows, Tax Evasion (The Whistler Newspaper)

In a 2020 Economic Development in Africa Report released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Africa lost about $88.6bn or 3.7 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product, to illicit financial flows. Illicit financial flows are multi-dimensional, comprising several different kinds of activities, including flows originating from illicit activities, illicit transactions to transfer funds that have a legal origin, and flows stemming from legal activity being used in an illegal way. The $88.6bn lost in Africa to IFFs is huge when considered from the standpoint that the continent is home to some of the poorest countries in the world. While governance is supposed to be at the heart of addressing development challenges on the continent, the story is different in some countries in Africa because of lack of transparency and accountability which had undermined social, economic and political progress at many levels.

The Former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki had identified the three principal challenges to confront in addressing IFFs. They are building capacity to combat illicit financial flows at national and continental levels; establishing a global coherence on agreed actions between African countries with a common position on the Mbeki Report; and developing global mechanisms to ensure adherence to implementation of whatever is agreed as solution.

Launch of the Africa SDGs Progress Dashboard (UNECA)

The African Centre for Statistics of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is pleased to announce the launch of the Africa SDGs Progress Dashboard. The tool is developed to assist evidence-based policy making in Africa on the Global Sustainable Development Goals and the continental Agenda 2063, “The Africa We Want”. It provides evidence on how much progress has been made on each of the Sustainable Development Goals, Targets, and Indicators and how likely they are to be achieved by 2030 based on the current pace of progress. The results are provided at continental, subregional and country level.

African Heads of State to Convene to Champion a Strong Start to IDA20 Implementation for a Robust Recovery (World Bank)

The Republic of Senegal and the World Bank Group will host a high-level meeting on July 7, 2022, with African leaders to leverage the powerful voice of African countries in implementing the IDA20 program whose financing and policy package was successfully endorsed by the Heads of State a year earlier at a similar summit in Abidjan. The cycle for the twentieth replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA20) will run from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.The meeting, hosted by H.E President Macky Sall of Senegal, will call on leaders and implementers to fully tap into IDA20, underpinned by World Bank global expertise and country presence, to deliver lasting results to African citizens.

Africa has the most number of countries (39 of 74) benefiting from IDA20 whose theme is Building Back Better from the Crisis: Towards a Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Future. African countries have been hit hard by multiple global crises including climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, growing levels of insecurity, and more recently the crisis in Ukraine. The World Bank Group stands ready to partner with Governments as they implement policies for building back better and for accelerating the development and economic transformation of the continent.

Africa Energy Forum 2022: African Development Bank, Private Infrastructure Development Group, deepen cooperation on Desert to Power (AfDB)

A financing facility associated with the African Development Bank’s Desert to Power Initiative was featured at a side event held on the margins of the just-ended Africa Energy Forum in Brussels, Belgium. The event, dubbed “Accelerating private sector investments in the G5 Sahel - leveraging the Desert to Power Financing Facility,” was held on 23 June, to engage the private sector on the financial resources needed for the innovative Desert to Power G5 Sahel Financing Facility, which forms part of the broader energy Initiative.

The ending cotton season has been a lot of things, but stable and consistent are not really among them, ICAC says in its latest update. However, production and consumption in the final month of the 2021/22 season are virtually unchanged from the numbers in June, it notes.

ICAC says the drastic increase in fuel and energy costs has had a direct impact on fertiliser prices and availability on the cotton season.

Worse, there are growing concerns that the world will experience multiple famines as a result of the conflict in Eastern Europe, which spells trouble for everyone but especially African nations.

There is, however, some good news, ICAC says. Arica has made gains in developing The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which went into effect on 30 May 2019, and the agreement has the potential to facilitate the movement of commodities across borders with the elimination of tariffs on most goods and services. The ICAC has been actively engaged in education and training efforts in several African countries, including the concept of regenerative agriculture. Those projects are longer-term but add significantly to the African cotton industry’s outlook in the coming years, it notes.

East African Crude Oil Pipeline praised (Independent)

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) represents a critical solution to making energy poverty history in Africa by 2030, say experts led by says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC). In addition to transporting much-needed oil across the region and improving energy security by connecting hydrocarbon-rich basins in Uganda with both its regional and international destinations, the pipeline will be instrumental for job creation, local community empowerment and wider socioeconomic growth. However, despite its significance, western environmentalist groups are demanding the abandonment of the project, citing environmental concerns. But at what point does Africa’s energy needs and the wellbeing of the people take precedence over sensationalist eco-socialism?

“Stop disrupting Africa’s development and let’s use the EACOP and every other oil and gas project on the continent to drive Africa into a new era of energy and economic success,” says Ayuk.

Afreximbank Welcomes Algeria as its 52nd Member State (Afreximbank)

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced that The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (Algeria) has joined the Bank as a Member State. That brings the membership of Afreximbank to 52 out of the 55 African Union member States. Algeria’s accession to the agreement establishing Afreximbank was formalised on 8 June 2022 by Presidential Decree No. 22-212. The subscription of the country to the shares of Afreximbank as part of its membership in the institution was also authorised by Presidential Decree n°22-222 of 14 June 2022. Algeria becomes a Class A shareholder in the Bank and will be represented by the Algerian Ministry of Finance. Algeria has the 9th largest population and the 4th largest economy in Africa. It is also a member of the African Union, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Greater Arab Trade Area.

Vibrant Validation Session for the Women & Youth Financial & Economic Inclusion (WYFEI) 2030 (AU)

The Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate (WGYD) held a validation session with partners and stakeholders in Cairo, Egypt on 28th June 2022. The session sought to validate the draft strategy document of the WYFEI 2030 initiative as part of a series of consultations ahead of its finalization and launch on 22 July 2022. The validation session was delivered in a hybrid format and was attended by over 50 participants across a broad spectrum of economic inclusion sectors, including; development finance institutions, international non-governmental organizations, women’s economic empowerment movements, civil society organizations, and the private banking sector.

Expected key outcome, beside the validation of the WYFEI 2030 Draft Strategy Document; will be WYFEI 2030 Cluster Member recruitment drive.

Global economy

Members mark 5th anniversary of Trade Facilitation Agreement, share experiences on impact (WTO)

In her welcoming remarks to the event, Deputy Director-General Anabel González highlighted that the TFA had “added an entirely novel dimension to multilateral trade cooperation: the need to work together to alleviate frictions caused by trade procedures and processes.” With the entry into force of the TFA, trade facilitation had joined trade opening as an essential element of national, regional and global trade policy reform.

Maritime Trade Disrupted: The war in Ukraine and its effects on maritime trade logistics (UNCTAD)

The war in the Ukraine is stifling trade and logistics of Ukraine and the Black Sea region. The search for alternate trade routes for Ukrainian goods has rapidly increased the demands on land and maritime transport infrastructure and services. For Ukraine’s trading partners, many commodities now have to be sourced from further away. This has increased global vessel demand and the cost of shipping around the world. Grains are of particular concern given the leading role of the Russian Federation and Ukraine in agrifood markets, and its nexus to food security and poverty reduction.

Rare period of stability in an up-and-down cotton season (just-style.com)

As the 2021/22 cotton season comes to a close, the industry is seeing a rare period of stability but the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) warns things are not expected to remain stable for long, with issues from the pandemic and conflict in Eastern Europe still impacting the market.


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