tralac Daily News
Key South African trade route blocked as fuel costs surge (BusinessTech)
Protesters in a city in South Africa’s north east blocked roads including a key route linking the country to Mozambique with trucks Wednesday as they demonstrated against pump prices rising to a new record.
The road between Mbombela, 350 kilometers (217 miles) east of Johannesburg, and White River has been obstructed by parked trucks, as is the N4 highway connecting the city to the border with Mozambique and the port of Maputo, Callum MacPherson, regional operations manager at Hi-Tech Security Nelspruit, said by phone.
High expectations as NNPC takes off as corporate body (Daily Trust)
By next week, President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil a corporatised Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) which will take off with N200 billion capitalisation, drawing high expectations from petroleum industry watchers.
Speaking at the recently concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference in Abuja, the Group Managing Director and CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said by July 19, President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the corporate NNPCL, which will make decision-making, and financing easier as well as procurement of best assets for the corporatised oil and gas firm.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group today approved a €121 million loan to Senegal for implementation of an emergency agricultural programme that will benefit 850,000 small farmers, 35% of whom are women.
"Senegal's dependence on the outside world for basic commodities and foodstuffs is a real bottleneck and poses a threat to the country's food sovereignty, which has been sharpened by the war in Ukraine," said Mohamed Chérif, the Bank's Country Manager for Senegal. "This operation is intended to mitigate exogenous financial, economic, social and climate shocks and to maintain the upward trend in cereal production seen in recent years, especially by focusing efforts on the availability of key inputs including seeds and fertilizers to producers," he added.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) approved a €121 million loan to Senegal for implementation of an emergency agricultural programme that will benefit 850,000 small farmers, 35% of whom are women.
“Senegal’s dependence on the outside world for basic commodities and foodstuffs is a real bottleneck and poses a threat to the country’s food sovereignty, which has been sharpened by the war in Ukraine,” said Mohamed Chérif, the Bank’s Country Manager for Senegal. “This operation is intended to mitigate exogenous financial, economic, social and climate shocks and to maintain the upward trend in cereal production seen in recent years, especially by focusing efforts on the availability of key inputs including seeds and fertilizers to producers,” he added.
Youth of Ghana who are 36% of population have no jobs – World Bank (Ghana Business News)
“While governments have created multiple policies and programmes to address youth unemployment over the years, the many programmes aimed at helping them have often fallen short of the massive needs,” the report said.
The sixth Ghana Economic Update titled “Preserving the future: rising to the youth employment challenge” suggests that to boost youth employment, Ghana also needs to strengthen its macroeconomic framework through decisive and sustainable fiscal consolidation, notably, by improving domestic revenue mobilization, reining in on energy sector expenses, and ensuring all public expenditures maximize value for money. It observes that such measures will help address Ghana’s debt sustainability concerns which have heightened over the past year.
All eyes on Zambia as Lusaka hosts African Union (Chronicle)
ALL eyes will be on Zambia next week as the country hosts the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) from July 14-15, 2022 in Lusaka at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
The Theme for the gathering “Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerate the Human Capital, Social and Economic Development”.
The MYCM will consider progress made so far since the agreement establishing the tripartite FTA, and identify its contribution to the continental agenda in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) co-organized by Portugal and Kenya from 27 June to 01 July 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal was a landmark ocean event for regrouping decision makers, innovators, private sector actors and stakeholders towards the implementation of the SDG Goal 14 and Aspiration 1.6 of Africa’s Agenda 2063, both related to the management of the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development.
The AUC delegation to the conference showcased steps for promoting Africa’s blue economy and to send a strong signal on Africa’s readiness to protect and sustainably develop its ocean resources as well as its contribution to the global conversation on oceans by focusing on unlocking Africa’s potential for innovative, knowledge-based and high-revenue sectors while fostering sustainability and private sector activity, which further places emphasis on the integration of women, youth and Africa’s scientific community within the blue economy.
Traders highlight challenges to regional trade (Guardian Nigeria)
Traders in the West African corridor have highlighted various challenges affecting trade among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) members.
The traders under the aegis of West African Association for Cross-border Trade in Agro-forestry-pastoral and Fisheries Products (WACTAF), said poor infrastructure, such as poor electricity supply, bad roads, cost of fueling, kidnapping and banditry are seriously affecting trade on the Nigerian corridor.
Kenya and Uganda cry foul as reality of new taxes checks in (The East African)
Just a week after the new East African Community common external tariff (CET) band came into force, businesses are already feeling the pinch and crying foul over the “unintended consequences” of the regime.
Kenya and Uganda have filed complaints to the East African Business Council (EABC), the regional lobby, over the law that raised import taxes on goods from non-EAC countries to 35 percent.
WOFA Advocates Made in Africa Initiative at CHOGM22 (THISDAY Newspapers)
The urgent need for a Made in Africa initiative that would spur infrastructure revolution across the continent was put on the front burner by the World Forum for Africa (WOFA) team at the just concluded Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting, #CHOGHM2022, in Kigali, Rwanda.
During his interactions with these stakeholders, Mr. Haruna shared WOFA’s objectives which borders on convening an innovative annual global private sector led summit that would chart the right course for the achievement of creative, innovative and sustainable financing solutions for Africa’s infrastructure transformation.
Africa gets $13 billion relief from Afreximbank- Oramah (New Telegraph Newspaper)
President of Afreximbank, Cairo, Prof. Benedict Oramah, has described the African Continental Free Trade Zone Agreement, (AfCFTA) as a new normal which will change the face of trade across the African continent.
Speaking at the launch of a festschrift, titled “The New Normal As Option for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.” written in honour of the former Vice President of the African Development Bank, (AfDB), Dr. Olabisi Ogunjobi in Lagos, Oramah said that the components of the trade agreement have the propensity to transform trade on the continent.
EAC differs on African trade pact rules amid calls for one plan (The Star, Kenya)
The region is split on preferential Rules of Origin and tariffs on textile and apparel, sugar and sugar products, goods produced in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and automotive sector, fresh details show, with trade experts calling for a harmonised deal.
For instance in the sugar sub-sector, the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) secretariat has proposed a value-added standard–manufacture in which the value of non-originating materials does not exceed 60 per cent of the ex-works price of the product, subject to a mandatory review after five years.
THE 2022 meeting of the African Consultative Group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the 54 African member states of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ended in Marrakech, Morocco with a call on the two Bretton Woods Institutions to grant “rapid, comprehensive and substantial,” debt relief to Africa.
The opening of the 2022 African Caucus was marked by a message sent by King Mohammed VI of Morocco to participants wherein he called for more international support and cooperation to enable African countries to mitigate the impacts of the soaring inflation affecting the global economy and enhance their resilience in the face of external shocks.
This year’s African Caucus held under the theme, ‘Towards a Resilient Africa’ and called for a rapid implementation of the commitment made at the G7 Summit in June 2022, including the urgent need to improve multilateral debt restructuring frameworks and address the challenges related to debt vulnerabilities.
Greater democratic rule vital to boost security in West Africa and the Sahel (Modern Diplomacy)
Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif was presenting the latest report of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), which he heads, covering developments over the past six months in areas such as politics, security and human rights.
“National dialogues are underway in many countries to consolidate democratic governance at the same time that across large parts of the Sahel, men and women are leaving their land, fleeing to safety, and to ensure that their children can receive an education,” he said.
The positive adoption of 5G technology has tremendous potential to affect African communities and economies in a positive manner. 5G networks – if correctly taken up and rolled out – will offer African businesses and individuals the critical infrastructure to fully participate in the global workforce.
“5G is nowhere near reaching ubiquity in Africa or even most of the world. The regulatory environment governing 5G spectrum will continue to be a hindrance to 5G deployments across the region.”
Africa’s earliest adopters of 5G are facing teething problems that stand to delay their 5G goals. Business news outlet QuartzAfrica comments: "The challenges have revolved around spectrum regulation clarity, commercial viability, deployment deadlines, low citizen purchasing power of 5G enabled smartphones and expensive internet."
Pakistan calls for 'emergency plan' to help crises-hit developing countries address spiraling food, fuel prices (Associated Press of Pakistan)
Pakistan has called for an “emergency plan” to enable the developing countries deal with the adverse impacts of the triple crisis of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, so that they can achieve the global anti-poverty Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In his opening remarks to the workshop, the Pakistani envoy said that the crises have sent the prices of food, energy and other essentials soaring, with poverty having increased and so had inequality – among and within nations.
“If these trends persist, we will fall well short of achieving the SDGs – at the national and global levels,” he warned.
“We now need an emergency plan to prevent the disaster facing so many developing countries, particularly by mobilizing financial and other assistance to enable the affected developing countries to access affordable food, energy and other essential economic inputs.”
The World Logistics Passport (WLP), announced at its second Annual WLP Global Summit it has almost doubled in size in its second year of operation – with its footprint now covering over 40 countries and nearly half (47%) of global trade – while WLP members including India, Vietnam and Kazakhstan, among others, are to adopt a new declaration to accelerate global trade.
The World Logistics Passport (WLP) is a global, private sector-led, initiative designed to smooth the flow of global trade, unlock market access through the creation of new trade routes and provides economic efficiencies to members.
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is contributing €150,000 (CHF148,000) for 2022 to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) to help developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) meet international food safety, animal and plant health standards for trade.
The contribution was confirmed at a signing ceremony attended by Germany’s WTO Ambassador, Bettina Waldmann, and the Director of the WTO’s Administration and General Services Division, Nthisana Phillips, held on 8 July at the WTO.
World population expected to reach 8 billion by November — UN (Manila Bulletin)
“Today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run for a population with low mortality,” the report said.
The global population is projected to reach eight billion on November 15 this year, based on the latest projection by the United Nations (UN).
“Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combatting hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult. Conversely, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to health, education and gender equality, will contribute to reducing fertility levels and slowing global population growth.”
UNCDF: Growth Capital Plan to Assist the World’s Least-Developed Nations (Capital Finance International)
Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of UNCDF, said the IMIF would provide access to impact capital for cities and local governments “at scale for the frontier markets of today and the growth markets of tomorrow”.
UNCDF and Meridiam signed an agreement to collaborate on the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF). The investment vehicle — the non-OECD sleeve of The Urban Resilience Fund — has a focus on developing countries, and was launched by Meridiam and the Rockefeller Foundation. It will help to develop, finance, build and operate sustainable and economically sound infrastructure projects that have a critical role to play in adapting and mitigating urban climate change.
Russia Talks Trade & Economic Development With Iran (Russia Briefing)
Russia is looking to enhance its trade connectivity access to the Middle-east and South Asia, with Iran strategically important in allowing it to do so. Russia has Caspian Sea access via its ports at Astrakhan, which permits maritime shipment south to Iran’s Caspian ports at Anzali amongst others. From there, road, and from early 2023, rail transport can continue south to Bandar Abbas and the Chabahar Ports giving access to the Persian Gulf.
A statement was subsequently issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saying “Russia and Iran assign particular priority to implementing joint investment projects, including in the sphere of port infrastructure development for a fully-fledged launch of the International North-South Transport Corridor.
The conclusion of a permanent agreement on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran will allow for deregulation of 80% of trading volume and goods and further strengthen the viability and competitiveness of Russian goods to the Iranian market as well as vice versa.
As panic over inflation gives way to fears about a global recession, emerging-market investors are making a pivot too -- they’re now favoring countries where interest rates are still low.
That’s a reversal from the first months of the year, when low-yielding bonds were dumped in favor of debt from nations like Brazil and Chile, which led the world’s tightening cycle. But with fears of recession superseding concerns about prices over the past weeks, even as inflation continues to spur pain from Sri Lanka to Argentina, having high interest rates is no longer seen as the benefit it once was. It could even be viewed as a drawback when low inflation and growth are at a premium.