Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News


Eskom crisis: ANC NEC hears calls for state of emergency, moving power utility to energy dept (Engineering News)

"There were a lot of calls made by ANC leaders on how the government should respond to the crisis, and some people felt that there must be a state of emergency on the energy crisis, especially when you consider what this means for townships and other areas," a well-placed source who attended the meeting told News24.

However, the ANC NEC did not make concrete resolutions on the way forward in the energy crisis gripping South Africa.

South Africa's Eskom, trade unions yet to solve outstanding issues as severe load shedding extends (China.org.cn)

Trade unions have settled some of their demands with Eskom, South Africa's national power utility, but they haven't reached an agreement on two outstanding issues, a union spokesperson said on Monday, as a severe load shedding was extended to Monday.

Eskom and trade unions are set to meet on Tuesday to discuss the wage offer and give feedback from their member workers on the company's latest wage proposals, Luphert Chilwane, media officer of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

South African business activity expands at faster pace in June – PMI (Engineering News)

The S&P Global South Africa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 52.5 in June from 50.7 in May, posting its highest reading in just over a year. Anything above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

South African companies surveyed attributed higher sales to a recovery in economic conditions, particularly in regions affected by recent floods.

ICRC to Gazette $22bn PPP Projects in 2022, Says Acting DG (THISDAY Newspapers)

NIGERIA: The acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Michael Ohiani, yesterday said the commission intended to gazette a pipeline of 53 eligible and bankable Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects valued at about $22 billion this year.

He said creating a friendly investment climate could only be achieved by reducing risks and costs of doing business and by securing private property rights, improving governance, fighting corruption, simplifying regulations, and promoting competition.

Among several other achievements, Ohiani said following the inauguration of the ICRC governing board, between 2010 and 2021, the federal government had approved PPP projects valued at over $9 billion, pointing out that the commission had issued 128 Outline Business Case Compliance Certificates which included certified bankable projects to date, to enable them to proceed to procurement phase.

Government targets $39bn from private-public partnerships in two years (Guardian Nigeria)

The Federal Government is hoping to generate about $39 billion from privatisation of public institutions between 2021 and 2022, the Acting Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Michael Ohiani has said.

The ICRC boss, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, at the opening of a two-day summit of the Africa Public Private-Partnership Network (AP3N), hinted that in 2021, the ICRC published a pipeline of 51 eligible and bankable PPP projects, worth over $17 billion.

We've put in place adequate policies to reduce money laundering, others (Myjoyonline)

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, says, there are adequate policies and protections in place to strengthen Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) activities.

Additionally, banks and non-bank financial institutions are encouraged to increase investments in digitisation platforms as well as cyber-security systems to facilitate safe and secure trade transactions through AfCFTA.

Russia/Ukraine war contributing to Nigeria's food insecurity (Daily Trust)

The war in Ukraine is shaking the commodity market and threatening global food security. The Western economic sanctions on Russia are supposed to force the hands of Russia to withdraw from the invasion, but the responses from the old Baltic power shows resilience. The war is a heavy blow to the global economy, mainly low-income African countries, and no one knows when it will end.

The impact on food items is a worry for African households because they spend a high share of their expenditures on food. Precisely, Nigeria spends 57 per cent on food items based on 2019 data. These shortages will likely impact Nigeria’s demand as global prices of these commodities will likely increase, and some food items will be scarce. And let’s not forget how world oil prices affect the Nigerian economy – they say whenever the oil market sneezes, Nigeria catches a cold.

Kenya's Q1 global trade value hits Sh802bn, deficit widens (The Star, Kenya)

Latest government data shows the country's imports value totalled Sh593.2  billion in the first quarter of 2022, a 16.6 per cent increase from Sh508.7 billion the previous year. 

Kenya's import bill continues to swell even as export earnings grow slowly, widening the trade deficit between it and its partners.

Sanctions on Zim: A form of economic invasion (The Herald)

The impact of sanctions by the United States (ZIDERA) and European Union on Zimbabwe has been felt by ordinary people across urban, rural and diaspora communities of Zimbabwe.

These illegal and unwarranted sanctions were carefully crafted with the aim of making Zimbabwe a dysfunctional state.

The US and Europe in general have a propensity of investing heavily in institutionally-packaged programmes of economic terror towards African and other countries that are rich in minerals, that are not complying to their demands, to loot their raw materials and other natural resources.

These targeted countries such as Zimbabwe have clearly rejected this structured economic superiority by the US and its allies to continue siphoning natural resources and raw materials laterally for free at the expense of localised beneficiation investment where only finished products are exported.

S'pore, Morocco to cooperate on carbon markets, providing tech aid to Africa (The Straits Times)

Singapore and Morocco have agreed to collaborate on carbon markets and work together to provide technical assistance to governments in Africa.

At the end of a three-day official visit to mark 25 years of bilateral diplomatic ties, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Monday (July 4) that a memorandum of understanding, which he and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita signed, sets the two countries to cooperate in achieving emission targets.

Zimbabwe to introduce gold coins as local currency tumbles (Engineering News)

The central bank governor John Mangudya said in a statement on Monday that the coins will be available for sale from July 25 in local currency, US dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production. The "Mosi-oa-tunya" coin, named after Victoria falls, can be converted into cash and be traded locally and internationally, the central bank said.

DR Congo declares end to latest Ebola outbreak (UN News)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared the end of its 14th Ebola outbreak after less than three months, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

“Thanks to the robust response by the national authorities, this outbreak has been brought to an end swiftly with limited transmission of the virus,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

ECOWAS lifts economic sanctions on Mali -- after six months (TheCable)

In the communique, ECOWAS said while the economic and financial sanctions have been lifted, Mali remains suspended from decision-making within the organisation.

India, Mozambique review ties, exchange views on global developments (Business Standard)

India and Mozambique on Monday reviewed the multi-faceted bilateral relationship including political exchanges, development partnership projects, defence and security cooperation during the second round of Foreign Office Consultations held here.

An External Affairs Ministry release said the two sides also exchanged views on global developments and issues of common interest including cooperation in the United Nations, South African Development Cooperation (SADC)and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

"During the FOC, both delegations reviewed the multi-faceted bilateral relationship, covering political exchanges, development partnership projects, defence and security cooperation, trade and economic matters, consular issues, and cooperation in areas such as agriculture, sports, health," it said.


Advancing Investments into Africa: USD$100 million is just one deal in a broader agenda  (Social News XYZ)

Canada announced key projects while at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, including Process Research Ortech's (PRO) mining project in Botswana with investment partners – valued at CAD $129 million (USD $100 million), as announced (https://bit.ly/3Ajg2Oe) by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"This project shows Canada is the partner of choice for local beneficiation, skills development, and job creation across Africa and in Canada, within the context of deeper intra-Africa trade to which Canada has been committed," says Jacques NdoutouMvé, VP of Business Development at Process Research Ortech.

Establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation: An innovative approach to transforming Africa's health system (Businessday)

For decades, Africa has relied on other countries to provide for the healthcare needs of its population. Over 70 percent of all the medicine needs on the continent are imported, accounting for about $14 billion per year. With the growing burden of diseases on the continent, particularly non-communicable diseases and pandemics, such as COVID-19, the health systems in Africa have come under an immense strain due to its very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines.

This critical situation has in the last few years, drawn significant attention and emphasised the need for collaboration among world-leading organisations like the World Health Organisation, the African Union Commission, the World Trade Organization, the African Development Bank, among others, to provide sustainable interventions for Africa’s healthcare industry.

African pharmaceutical companies lack the negotiation capacity to engage with global pharmaceutical companies and are often marginalized and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations. A major contributor to this challenge is the absence of an institution in Africa that supports the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) on licensing of proprietary technologies, know-how, and processes. It is to fill this important gap that the African Development Bank has approved the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, an innovative institution that will strengthen Africa’s access to the technologies that support the manufacture of medicines, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products.

AfDB to set up pharmaceutical foundation in Rwanda (The East African)

Rwanda will host the new African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, a venture by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that is expected to boost the continent’s access to technology in manufacturing medicines and vaccines.

AfDB said the foundation is crucial to help African pharmaceutical companies better scout for technologies and negotiate with global pharma to facilitate local production of the fundamental health products that take up to $14 billion of Africa’s income annually.

The continent is currently home to about 375 pharmaceutical firms, which produce less than 25 percent of the needed products annually, forcing the countries to import vastly to meet demand.

Afreximbank approves $1 billion facility to boost AfCFTA operations (TODAY)

“The renewal of the US$1 billion facility and the US$10 million grant funding represents resounding entrustment by our Board of Directors of these efforts. These facilities will again be contributing to making a great idea a reality. We thank the AfCFTA Secretariat for the solid partnership that is bringing the aspirations of the AfCFTA within reach.

Pan-African Parliament Appoints Fortune Charumbira New President (Black Star News)

Charumbira was overwhelmingly elected at the just concluded Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament held in Midrand, South Africa.

In his acceptance speech, Charumbira committed to ensure the full participation of African citizens in the economic development and integration of the continent. The decision also charged the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Union to prepare modalities and conduct the elections of the new Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament.

Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Lead Talks with Visiting COP 27 Presidency Team to Promote the Continent’s Climate Change Agenda (African Union)

The visiting delegation met with H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, to discuss the ongoing preparations for the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The meeting underlined the significance of the African COP 27 as an opportune moment for Africa to voice its priorities and bring forward its demand with regard to climate change. The meeting commended that Africa will be a cross-cutting theme in all the 11 thematic days planned on the margins of COP 27.

The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission announced the intention to convene a series of meetings and mechanisms to enhance interdepartmental and intergovernmental coordination ahead of COP27 to ensure the most active participation in the upcoming conference, including the preparatory meetings, promoting even further common African interests in climate change, an issue that assumes a special importance for the continent.


Asia and digital neo-mercantilism (East Asia Forum)

Is there an Asian digital regime? There was, though it was closer to a global regime based on neoliberal principles of free trade and globally distributed supply chains in which Asia played a special part. But that order is disintegrating, as nations inside and outside Asia revert to a new form of neo-mercantilism focused on digital technologies. In this new model, national security seeks to displace trade and growth on the agenda.

Neo-mercantilism calls attention to the way trade and investment in technology and national industrial policies are related to national security and the relative power of the state. In contemporary policy dialogues, trade policy, tech policy, foreign policy, military strategy, cybersecurity and industrial policy are distinct areas of expertise. But looking at the US–China conflict as the two nations competing for a dominant role in the global order analytically slots those pieces together. It is a digital neo-mercantilism because technologies such as 5G telecommunications, semiconductors, social media platforms and artificial intelligence capabilities are at the centre of the competition.

The globalised regime that East Asian countries benefited from so greatly is fragmenting into several large geopolitical blocs — the United States, Europe, China and India — resulting in a more bordered space governed by tensions and power plays.

Regional leaders begin two days of summit talks (Jamaica Gleaner)

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders begin their annual summit in earnest on Monday, coinciding with CARICOM Day marking the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas that gave birth to the regional integration movement, hoping for fresh perspectives on deepening the 15-member grouping.

CARICOM is going to place much emphasis during this summit on the issue of implementation, a situation that has dogged the regional integration movement since its inception, and as Santohki asked, “Have we as a region advanced functional cooperation, and increased coordination of policies to benefit our people?

CARICOM Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett said the summit was taking place at a time of severe global crisis in three vital areas, namely, food, energy and finance.

How carbon markets use digital technology to track emissions (World Economic Forum)

For decades, carbon markets have been seen as part of the solution to climate change. They have mostly been dominated by the private sector, but this will soon change. More than two thirds of countries are planning to use carbon markets to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCS) to the Paris Agreement. 

Carbon markets help mobilize resources and reduce costs to give countries and companies the space to smooth the low-carbon transition. It is estimated that trading in carbon credits could reduce the cost of implementing NDCs by more than half – by as much as $250 billion by 2030. Over time, carbon markets are expected to become redundant as every country gets to net zero emissions and the need to trade emissions diminishes.

BRICS summit to benefit South Africa with 8 practical outcomes: Chinese envoy (China.org.cn)

Eight practical outcomes, among many highlights, of the recent 14th BRICS Summit will particularly benefit South Africa and the African continent at large, said Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong.

According to the ambassador, the BRICS countries reached a digital economy partnership framework and proposed a cooperation initiative on the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, as many African countries including South Africa attach great importance to digital economy.

Can BRICS become the anti-G7 that Russia and China want it to be? (The Strategist)

While China and Russia would both like the BRICS to become the anti-G7 that rallies the emerging world in opposition to the ‘hegemonic’ West, both India’s Narendra Modi and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa flitted from their screen-based BRICS summit to the Bavarian Alps to participate as observers at the G7 summit, to which they had been invited, along with the leaders of Indonesia and Senegal (which holds the presidency of the Organisation of African Unity).

The trade and investment links between the nations are weak. There has been no real growth in trade between the five members since 2011, and the trade that does take place is mainly the sale of primary products by Brazil, Russia and South Africa to China, and China’s sale of manufactured goods in return. Excluding China, internal BRIC trade is less than 3% of the total exports of Brazil, Russia and India, and 6% for South Africa.

The second-coming of the BRICS (East Asia Forum)

Within the BRICS bloc, Russia has already developed financial architecture to achieve de-dollarisation in collaboration with China and India. After Russia was cut off from the dollar-based global financial system and half its foreign exchange reserves were frozen by the West, Russia called on its BRICS partners to extend the use of national currencies and integrate BRICS payment systems in April 2022.

Like it or not, the BRICS as a global governance architecture representing the Global South is here to stay with an expanded policy agenda. The BRICS may even try to entrench their unique role by developing an alternative global financial system that is not based on the US dollar.

Rising freight rates push up food import costs (The Kathmandu Post)

Between February and May 2022, the Baltic Dry Index—a global benchmark for dry bulk freight rates—increased by 59 percent, according to The War in Ukraine and Its Effects on Maritime Trade Logistics, a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently.

The report said that among four economies—high income, upper middle income, lower middle income and low income—lower middle income countries may suffer an additional 4.2 percent increase in consumer food prices.

UNCTAD has made six recommendations regarding maritime transport challenges which include supporting developing countries, especially the most vulnerable economies such as small islands, developing and least developing countries and net food importers.

The importance of financing a sustainable future (Nairametrics)

While climate change may have taken a back seat in a news cycle dominated by COVID 19, war and the cost-of-living crisis, the risks and threats associated with our warming planet remain the biggest long-term threat to our combined economic future.

Banks and financial institutions will be critical to managing that risk and this includes financing of sustainable infrastructure, supporting transition and investing in green innovation. In fact, the banking industry has a responsibility to bridge top-down and bottom-up approaches to net-zero and help the public and private sectors realise the vast opportunities the energy transition and the move to sustainable infrastructure promises.

To achieve net zero across the whole economy, legacy carbon intensive assets and companies will require financing to help them transition to a cleaner future.

Collaboration of G20 countries in handling global food crisis (ANTARA English)

According to the World Food Program, 323 million people in 2022 are at risk of acute food insecurity. The G7 and G20 have a big responsibility to overcome this food crisis

In the last week of June 2022, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visited several countries in Europe and the United Arab Emirates to meet leaders of G7 and G20 members, including conflict-stricken nations, Russia and Ukraine.

The president urged countries to act quickly to find concrete solutions to increase food production and to normalize global food and fertilizer supply chains.

The G20 countries must immediately channel funding for increasing food production by providing fertilizer subsidies, assisting farmers, and maintaining stable harvest prices, as well as increasing loan distribution to the agricultural sector, especially farmers with land areas under two hectares.

Up to 90% of governmental websites include cookies of third-party trackers (EurekAlert)

The results reveal that in some countries up to 90% of these websites add third-party tracker cookies without users' consent. This occurs even in countries with strict user privacy laws.

The researchers considered studying the behavior of government websites and their compliance or non-compliance with data protection laws during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when citizen information was provided through official websites of international organizations and governments. "Our results indicate that official governmental, international organizations' websites and other sites that serve public health information related to COVID-19 are not held to higher standards regarding respecting user privacy than the rest of the web, which is an oxymoron given the push of many of those governments for enforcing GDPR," comments Nikolaos Laoutaris, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks.

A total of 5,500 websites of international organizations, official COVID-19 information and governments of G20 countries were analyzed: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA.


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