Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local News

Arab-Spring Warning Spurs Ramaphosa to Tout Growth-Plan Progress (Bloomberg)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government is making progress on a plan to boost economic growth, after he was criticized by one of the nation’s former leaders for failing to deliver the plan.

Ramaphosa on Feb. 10 pledged to provide a comprehensive social compact -- in cooperation with business, labor unions and civil society -- within 100 days. Former President Thabo Mbeki last week slammed Ramaphosa for not fulfilling that promise, and warned that growing poverty and lawlessness in the country risks triggering protests that engulfed the Arab world a decade ago.

While the government has held talks with its social partners since February about agreeing to a compact, the process has been “slow and at times it has been quite difficult,” Ramaphosa said in an address to members of the governing African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal province on Sunday. The party earlier elected new leaders in the province who are considered sympathetic to former President Jacob Zuma, whose followers oppose Ramaphosa’s economic reforms.

Russia-Ukraine war: Nigerian economy bleeds over logistics, forex, inflation crises (Daily Trust)

Nigeria, being an import-dependent country, is heavily reliant on the import of commodities priced in dollars. As the value of the dollar rises and these dollar-priced commodities become more expensive for holders of other currencies, such as the naira, high incidents of imported inflation will arise and weigh on the spending power of domestic consumers.

With the Russia-Ukraine war in its fifth month, Nigerians are feeling a harder pinch with the scarcity of energy sources, wheat and fertiliser, over what importers attribute to logistics issues, as well as a worsening foreign exchange (forex) scarcity.

The inflation rate is also rising, as well as a stretch in the over N41.6trillion debt servicing, which has exceeded revenue generation.

South Africa: Government affirms legitimacy of Taxi Relief Fund (SAnews)

The Department of Transport has dismissed claims that the Taxi Relief Fund (TRF) is a scam and has called on those making these assertions to desist from doing so.

The fund was established to assist minibus taxi drivers, cab drivers and e-hailing drivers, who were hard hit during the COVID-19 hard lockdowns.

“Taxi operators have until 31 March 2023 to apply for the relief fund, however, the department encourages operators to apply now and not wait for the last minute,” the Department said.

Tanzania launches cultivation of over 11,000 hectares of block farms for youth (CGTN Africa)

Tanzanian authorities on Sunday launched the cultivation of 11,453 hectares of block farms for the youth in the country’s central region of Dodoma. Hussein Bashe, the Minister for Agriculture, the launch of the cultivation of 11,453 hectares of block farms is part of the implementation of a national agricultural program for the youth.

AfDB Funding Boosts Electrification in Rural Guinea-Bissau (Energy Capital & Power)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has greenlit a $66.4 million support package in aid of accelerated rural electrification programs in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau.

The funding package consists of a $24.13 million grant and $27.72 million loan from the Transition Support Facility along with a $4.17 million grant and $9.37 million loan from the African Development Fund, USAID, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Islamic Development Bank.

Work to develop social compact framework underway (SAnews)

To reduce the impact of the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country needs a number of impactful interventions, including attracting more investment and enhancing the capability of the state. “Our economy has not been growing at the pace that could enable us to make a meaningful dent in unemployment, poverty and inequality. “To turn our economy around and create the millions of jobs needed is something that cannot be achieved by government alone. A comprehensive programme will require the mobilisation of all social actors,” the President said.

Suspensions in Numsa reversed (The Citizen)

With the overturning of the suspensions of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) second deputy president Ruth Ntlokose and several other union members overturned by the weekend Johannesburg Labour Court judgement, the union’s central committee was late on Sunday locked in a meeting on how to respond to the damning order handed down by Judge Graham Moshoana.

The all-important Numsa national elective congress planned for Monday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, has been interdicted from going ahead by the court – in what has been seen as a scathing judgement by Moshoana.

Labour analysts have expressed concern that the unconstitutional suspension of Ntlokose, elected leaders and shopstewards, has heightened concerns about a possible split in the country’s biggest trade union.

Nigeria: FG's $150bn Target Receives Boost As NEPC Certifies 101 SMEs To Export Non-Oil Products (The Whistler Nigeria)

The federal government’s target to generate about $150bn in the next ten years through its Zero Oil Plan has been boosted with the certification of 101 Small and Medium Enterprises to export non-oil products.

This is just as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, said the federal government is leveraging on the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to deepen its international trading through non-oil exports.

The Minister also described NEPC’s initiative in promoting non-oil exports and increasing the market share as pro-active and urged other agencies under the ministry to emulate the action.

African Development Bank arm releases $5.4mln for Somalia food security (ZAWYA)

The African Development Fund, a subsidiary of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a $5.4 million grant to support food security programmes in Somalia.

AfDB’s East Africa Regional Director General Ms Nnenna Nwabufo said the money would help address the impact of the prolonged drought and the added impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict have deepened food insecurity in the Horn of Africa country.

Concerns raised as South Sudan delays creation of peace court (Monitor)

South Sudan’s peace monitoring body has expressed concerns over delays in creating a hybrid court, slowing the country’s bid to look into past atrocities. The Court is part of institutions which were to be set up under Chapter 5 of the Revitalised Agreement on the Cessation of Conflict in South Sudan (R-JMEC), the 2018 peace deal that halted war.

On Friday, the Revitalised Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) says that Court, to be composed of local and foreign judges, is key in checking past accountability.

African trade and integration

African Development Bank approves Risk Participation Agreement with Crédit Agricole CIB to stimulate intra-African trade (AfDB)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a Risk Participation Agreement of $50 million with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.

The deal will enable African banks and their small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients to participate more in regional and international trade. It aims to support a cumulative trade transaction volume of $450 million over the next three years.

“This agreement strengthens confidence among various African actors to encourage a new trade dynamic on the continent,” said Mohamed El Azizi, the African Development Bank’s Director General for North Africa. “And this is crucial for the realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will help to build resilience, generate growth and promote a recovery that creates opportunities and jobs.”

Steps Towards Establishing an Electronic Single Window System (COMESA)

The Electronic Single Window System (eSW) is one of the key trade and transport facilitation instruments prioritized by most of the COMESA Member States to improve the ease of doing business environment and to enhance intra-regional trade in region.

On 18 – 21 July 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the Technical Working Group of Customs (TWG) conducted its first meeting to review various reports that have been prepared towards the development of the eSW system. Among them were Situational Assessment Study Report on Implementation of the eSW, the Draft Legal Framework and the Draft Strategy for Development and Implementation of the eSW.

Customs and Single window experts from Burundi, Djibouti, DR Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tunisia and Zambia attended the meeting.

Africa Speaks with Unified Voice as AU Executive Council Adopts African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Energy Transition (AU)

The 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council adopted the African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition, on the 15th of July 2022, a comprehensive approach that charts Africa’s short, medium, and long-term energy development pathways to accelerate universal energy access and transition without compromising its development imperatives.

Led by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with other pan-African institutions, the Common Position stipulates that Africa will continue to deploy all forms of its abundant energy resources including renewable and non-renewable energy to address energy demand. Natural gas, green and low carbon hydrogen and nuclear energy will therefore be expected to play a crucial role in expanding modern energy access in the short to medium term while enhancing the uptake of renewables in the long term for low carbon and climate-resilient trajectory.

Access to energy currently stands low in Africa compared to other regions, with more than 600 million Africans living without electricity services while 900 million lack access to clean cooking facilities. The African Common Position encourages striking a balance between ensuring access to electricity to catalysing the much-needed socio-economic growth in Africa and smoothly transitioning towards an energy system based on renewable and clean energy sources matching the ambitions of Agenda 2063.

SADC convenes workshop to raise awareness of Member States on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Service Centre for Africa and UN Women, will from 25th to 28th July 2022 hold a regional consultative workshop to educate key stakeholders in Member States about the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda (WPS).  The consultative workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, to be held with the support of the Government of Canada, the European Union and other partners, seeks to promote an in-depth understanding of the WPS agenda within the SADC Region.

The workshop's objectives are to provide SADC Member States with an opportunity to review and validate the SADC WPS Assessment Report, to present the findings of the Assessment on the Progress and Challenges in Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda at Regional and National Levels, to foster understanding of the global, continental, and regional normative instruments on the WPS Agenda, and to emphasise the significance of implementing these normative instruments.

In addition to providing recommendations for the operationalisation of the SADC Network of Women Mediators, the workshop aims to educate SADC Member States on the justification for creating National Action Plans (NAPs), stimulate implementation, and promote reporting on progress. It is anticipated that this will increase the ability of SADC Member States to domesticate UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and implement the WPS Agenda domestically, as well as increase their commitment to advancing and accelerating the WPS agenda's implementation in the Region.

Improved statistics key to unlocking the development potential of migration conclude African experts (UNECA)

The urgency of improving data and statistics to capture the benefits of migration for Africa’s prosperity and resilience was underscored at an Expert Group Meeting on migration statistics, convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Held in Kampala from 21 to 22 July 2022, the meeting brought together government officials from more than 18 African countries, cross-sector representatives from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe, as well as delegates from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The meeting was informed by a background paper by ECA, entitled ‘towards a coordinated mechanism for collecting and utilisation of accurate and disaggregated migration data for evidence-based policies in Africa’. The paper unpacks migration patterns, progress and practices and pathways in Africa for the Global Compact for Safe, orderly and Regular Migration’s implementation, involving all stakeholders.

African Union Commission Chairperson Calls Libyan Warring Parties to Silence Their Guns for the Sake of Peace (African Business)

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, HE. Moussa Faki Mahamat, is following with deep concern, the recent developments of insecurity in Tripoli, and calls on warring parties to silence their guns by refraining from all forms of violence in deference to the yearnings of the Libyan People for peace.

The Chairperson deplores the loss of life resulting from yesterday’s clashes between rival armed groups and emphasizes that the security of civilians is an obligation under International Humanitarian Law.          

The Chairperson reiterates the continued commitment of the African Union to support the peace process in Libya through its roadmap for reconciliation, spearheaded by the AU Ad Hoc High-Level Committee on Libya, chaired by H.E. Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo.

EABC wants logistics charter to boost region's competitiveness (The Africa Logistics)

Transport and logistics costs in East Africa compose of 35%-42% of production, too high compared to 8% in Asian countries, Dr. Merian Sebunya, Chairperson, National Logistics Platform, Uganda has said. This, she says has negatively impacted the competitiveness of the EAC bloc and trade balance. EAC transport costs are high estimated at 1.8USD per km per container against international best practices of 1 USD per km per container. Speaking at the EABC-TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Webinar on Corridor Performance & Impact on EAC Business Competitiveness, Dr. Merian Sebunya appealed to Governments of the EAC Partner States to take deliberate actions to bring down the cost of transport & logistics in the EAC region to ensure EAC exports can compete at AfCFTA and international level.

African leaders call for urgent financing to protect world's biodiversity (Guardian Nigeria)

Ministers and experts from across Africa have called for an urgent increase in financing to protect the world’s biodiversity. They also urged all nations to commit one per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and protect 30 per cent of the planet by 2030.

They made the plea at the Africa Nature Finance Forum, held last week on the sidelines of the inaugural African Protected Areas Congress (APAC) 2022.

To address this crisis, governments, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), environmental organisations and businesses are working to develop a new framework to guide biodiversity conservation for the next decade, known as the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

Kenyan firms troop to DRC in hunt for bigger markets (Business Daily)

Audit and advisory firm BDO East Africa is set to start operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in October, joining a growing number of Kenyan firms that are setting up shop in the East Africa Community’s newest member state.

The largely untapped DRC market has recently attracted more than 20 Kenyan firms which have either set up shop or offered a commitment to make trade investments.

The entry of BDO now signals that firms offering professional business support services are beginning to follow their trading and manufacturing peers to the DRC, expecting to help them navigate the legal, tax, and regulatory environment in the country.

Zimbabwean exporters to strengthen footprint in Zambia (The Herald)

At least 30 companies will showcase their products and services in Lusaka, Zambia, from 27 July-1 August as Zimbabwe seeks to increase the visibility of its products in regional markets.

Participation of local companies at the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show (ZACS), which is facilitated by national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade, will improve linkages with leading buyers in the market.

Sadc Ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management call for acceleration of disaster risk ... (Chronicle)

The Ministers Responsible for Disaster Risk Management from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have expressed concern at the high prevalence of disasters in the Region, which has necessitated a shift in the regional approach on disaster risk reduction and allocation of significant resources to disaster response and recovery in recent years.

The Ministers also expressed concerns at the recurrence of disasters in the Region at accelerated frequency and severity and stressed the need for heightened vigilance, and proactiveness when dealing with natural disasters, instead of only reacting when disasters occurred.

Amid detente, Somalia, Kenya restart lucrative khat trade after 2-year break (Anadolu Agency)

The multimillion-dollar khat trade between Somalia and Kenya resumed on Sunday after a break of over two years, a sign of thawing tensions between the East African neighbors. 

The khat trade, which generates millions of dollars every month, was one of the victims of a growing tiff between Somalia and Kenya.

Africa need $170 billion to finance infrastructure (The Citizen)

Africa needs a whopping $170 billion to finance the infrastructure projects.The money will enable the continent to close the huge infrastructure gap between it and other continents. Currently, the continent’s public expenditure on infrastructure development is estimated at 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That is in contrast with the developed countries which spend between 4.7 and 6.5 percent of their GDPs for the same.

UBA: Bridging Africa's Global Financial Needs (Leadership News)

United Bank for Africa recently broke record as the first Pan African Bank to directly open a branch from Nigeria at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The newly minted branch is expected to drive the UBA Group’s goal of harnessing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprise of 72 countries with an approximate population of three billion and a nominal GDP of $7.7 trillion.

This is expected to reinforce it strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world, as the DIFC branch will service corporate & financial Institutions and customers across the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.

AfCFTA programme to be added to tertiary education curriculum (Myjoyonline)

The AfCFTA Policy Network (APN) is developing a programme to be included in the curriculum of tertiary schools starting from the University of Ghana (UG).

The APN hopes to develop and inculcate a programme based on free trade practice of the AfCFTA into the curriculum of tertiary education to provide the youth an opportunity to own the Agreement in positivity; hence, its partnership with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS).

Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer's Travel to Egypt, the UAE, and Ethiopia (U.S. Embassy in Egypt)

Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOA) Mike Hammer will travel to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia July 24-August 1.  He will provide U.S. support toward forging a diplomatic resolution to issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that would achieve the interests of all parties and contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous region.  In Addis Ababa, Ambassador Hammer will also consult with the African Union, under whose auspices GERD talks occur.

EAC leaders call for fast tracking admission of Somalia into bloc (Garowe Online)

Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) have directed the EAC Council of Ministers to fast-track verification for admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the regional bloc. A communique issued late Friday at the end of the 22nd Ordinary Summit of the EAC heads of state in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha said the leaders noted that the verification for admission of Somalia had not been undertaken. The EAC leaders directed the EAC Council of Ministers to expeditiously fast-track the verification in accordance with the EAC procedure for admission of new members into the EAC and report to the 23rd meeting of the summit, said the communique.

Echoes of collaboration to fast-track Africa's food system transformation keep pulsating (Guardian Nigeria)

The former Ethiopia Prime Minister, and Board Chair of AGRA, Hailemariam Dessalegn has urged Africa’s leaders to collaborate in addressing the triple-threat problem – climate change, COVID-19, and the Russia Ukraine Conflict – that has recently worsened the continent’s food security situation.

Dessalegn who gave the advice during the fourth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, in Lusaka, Zambia, cited the latest Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, which showed that 60 per cent of the world poor now live in Africa, highlighted the need for quick action.

Global economy news

Monkeypox declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (UN News)

Monkeypox is an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission about which we understand ‘too little’, and which meets the criteria of an emergency under International Health Regulations. 

“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern”, the World Health Organization’s Director, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, announced on Saturday during a press conference.

Tedros indicated that the current risk of Monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where the risk is high.

“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment”, he added.

Members urged to find new ways to rejuvenate agriculture negotiations (WTO)

At a committee meeting on 21 July, WTO farm negotiators reflected on the outcomes on food and agriculture achieved at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) and discussed how to build on the momentum to revitalise the agriculture negotiations. The outgoing chair of the negotiations, Gloria Abraham Peralta (Costa Rica), stressed the importance of capitalizing on the work done and called on members to explore new approaches that could reset the negotiations in the coming months.

Many members welcomed the two MC12 outcomes on food security, which they said sent a positive signal about the WTO’s ability to provide a timely response to crises. Singapore shared a message from the WFP’s Executive Director, David Beasley, who said the decision on the agency’s food purchases “will ensure that critical relief reaches the most vulnerable populations when and where needed”.

Some also called for action to be taken to give effect to the declaration on the emergency response to food insecurity, urging others to keep trade open and refrain from applying export restrictions not in compliance with WTO rules.

Coming Soon: World Economic Outlook Update, July 2022 (IMF)

WHEN: JULY 26, 9:00 AM ET

Press Conference with:

  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department
  • Petya Koeva Brooks, Deputy Director in the Research Department
  • Daniel Leigh, Division Chief in the Research Department

Russia-Ukraine updates: US says strike on Odesa 'casts serious doubt' on Moscow's credibility (DW)

Russian missiles hit infrastructure in the port city of Odesa on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said, dealing a blow to a deal signed on Friday to unblock grain exports.

Just hours before the strikes, Moscow and Kyiv signed a landmark United Nations-brokered deal seen as crucial to reining in global food prices that would allow certain exports to be shipped from Black Sea ports, including the hub of Odesa.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell labeled the attacks as "reprehensible" adding they again demonstrate "Russia's total disregard for international law and commitments."

EU Seeks Nigerian Gas As Alternative To Russia (Leadership News)

The European Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS has moved to replace gas from Russia with Nigerian gas following the invasion of UKraine by Russia and the global energy crisis triggered by the raging war as well as the consequences on European countries.

The deputy director-general, department for (Energy), European Commission in Brussels, Mr Matthew Baldwin, made this known at a news conference on Friday, stressing that the EU would meet with Nigerian top government officials and private sector players, including key stakeholders in the country’s energy sector to work out the modalities.

Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, in her remarks, said that the bloc was doing its part in contributing to the energy sector through different collaborations with Nigerian Government.

Africa: U.S.-Africa Business Summit 2022 - a Successful Event (Ministry)  (Top Africa News)

 The 14th US-Africa Business Summit 2022, which took place from July 19 to 22 in Marrakech, was a success, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Participants in this summit, organized under the High Patronage of HM King Mohammed VI, were able to exchange during 3 days around the opportunities to strengthen industrial links, investment and trade between our continent and the United States, said the ministry in a statement.

This summit was an opportunity for Morocco to consolidate its role as a bridge between Africa and the United States and to encourage the construction of a forward-looking African economy, drawing strength from its integration into the global system and international value chains.

Global inflation, trade bans send food ever higher (Arkansas Online)

As inflation surges around the world, politicians are scrambling for ways to keep food affordable as people increasingly protest the soaring cost of living.

One knee-jerk response has been food export bans aimed at protecting domestic prices and supplies as a growing number of governments in developing nations try to show a nervous public that their needs will be met.

For business owners, the rising cost of cooking ingredients -- from oil to chicken -- has prompted them to raise prices. For consumers, it has meant paying more for the same or lesser-quality food or curbing certain habits altogether.

Food prices had been steadily climbing worldwide because of drought, supply chain issues, and high energy and fertilizer costs. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says food commodity prices were up 23% last year.

Serbia’s push into Africa revives old Cold War ties (IntelliNews)

Belgrade is reviving ties forged during Yugoslavia’s leading position in the Cold War era non-aligned movement to expand its influence and trading relations in Africa. 

African countries and other emerging markets are growing in geopolitical importance as a new Cold War looms. While Russia abruptly pivots towards the East and South in response to Western sanctions, Belgrade has been quietly building up its relationship with a number of African countries for several years. 

Serbia lacks China’s economic clout or the long-standing, albeit troubled, relationships between former colonial powers and their former colonies. However, it still benefits from the former Yugoslavia’s role in founding the non-aligned movement alongside some of the major emerging economies.

UAE emerges as bedrock for new developments and breakthroughs (Gulf Today)

For a country known for its high technology absorption, the UAE’s sizable per capita market share in blockchain and associated applications is not surprising. Be it cryptocurrencies, the metaverse, or NFTs, the UAE has emerged as the bedrock for new developments and breakthroughs. However, its eminence found a true meaning recently after Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, announced the Dubai Metaverse Strategy. A first-of-its-kind initiative in the world to be undertaken at the government level, the Dubai Metaverse Strategy has many implications for the nation’s, and the region’s, digital economy.

 The Metaverse strategy is aimed at increasing the number of companies and innovations related to blockchain and metaverse by five times. In doing so, the government intends to support the creation of over 40,000 virtual jobs — all cumulatively expected to contribute Dhs 4 billion to the national economy over the next five years. The feasibility of these ambitious targets stems from the fact that the UAE already boasts a sizable blockchain-NFT-metaverse sector, with around 1,000 companies contributing about $500 million to the national economy.  

Macron embarks on African visit to 'renew relationship' with continent (FRANCE 24)

President Emmanuel Macron on Monday begins a three-nation tour of western African states in the first trip to Africa of his new term as he seeks to reboot France's post-colonial relationship with the continent.

Macron will begin his July 25-28 tour, also the first venture outside Europe of his new mandate, with a visit to Cameroon, before moving on to Benin and then finishing the trip in Guinea-Bissau.

Top of the agenda in the talks will be food supply issues, with African nations fearing shortages especially of grain due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Europe's new trade flows for coal shaping up as import ban on Russia looms (S&P Global)

With the flow of Russian coal to Europe coming to a final end, buyers jostling for alternatives are increasingly in favor of tapping non-traditional markets, a development many believe, for better, will likely lead to the creation of new trade flows for the fuel.

While obvious substitutes like South Africa, Australia and Indonesia are a fallback plan for many European coal buyers, new origins like Tanzania, Kazakhstan and Nigeria are being positively considered as a further backup measure, sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Even though coals from some of these origins have been around for some time, the fine prints of these probable new origins like coal reserves and production capacity are yet to be explicitly determined. But buyers have started exploring them as a full fledged plan of action due to competitive prices and quality in line with the requirement, market sources said.

EU asked to view Africa as a trade partner not a beneficiary of aid (The Star Kenya)

The European Union (EU) has been challenged to shift its perception of the African market amid its scramble with China for trading and investing grounds.

In a survey dubbed 'Clash of Systems' conducted by Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), China is edging out Europe as a major trading partner and investor mainly in areas of large infrastructure projects and exploitation of raw materials.

Speaking during the launch of the report, Friedrich Naumann director Stefan Schott said that Europe’s romantic view of Africa and its superiority belief in values contrasts the practical view of the continent on performance.

How and Why China Is Centralizing Its Billion-Ton Iron Ore Trade (Bloomberg)

China has embarked on one of the biggest shake-ups of the global iron-ore market in more than a decade. A newly minted state-owned group will be a hub for everything from huge mine investments in West Africa to buying the steelmaking material from international suppliers. It comes amid pandemic-related disruptions and rising geopolitical tensions that have highlighted threats to supply chains and made resource security a major focus for President Xi Jinping. Mining giants Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton and Vale SA will be looking to understand exactly what China is now planning for them.

What Does the Black Sea Grain Agreement Mean for Africa? (The Maritime Executive)

If Russia keeps to the deal it has signed with Ukraine allowing for the resumption of grain exports, much needed relief will be provided to importing countries, including many in Africa.

Ukraine is a notable player in global grain and oilseeds export market. And thus, the blockage of exports has contributed to the notable increase in agricultural commodity prices observed since the war started.

From an African perspective, the continent imports about $80 billion worth of agricultural products a year, mainly wheat, palm oil and sunflower seed. The annual food import bill from the sub-Saharan Africa region is roughly $40 billion per year. Therefore, however marginal, a potential decline in the prices of these commodities would be positive for importing countries – and ultimately consumers.

Retail Logistics Market Size to Garner USD 622 Billion Revenue by 2030 Fueled By Increased Worldwide Trade Activity (GlobeNewswire)

The Global Retail Logistics Market size accounted for USD 231 Billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 622 Billion by 2030.

According to our global retail logistics market forecast, the rapid surge in e-commerce sales is propelling the industry's growth. Rising digital literacy among customers and the advent of e-commerce have revolutionized the face of retail logistics. Such factors coupled with constant urbanization and dual-income family units are impacting consumer preferences and perspectives across developed and emerging economies. One of the important retail logistics market trends includes advancements in the retailing sector. Furthermore, the growing penetration of smartphones and increasing internet users are supporting the retail logistics market revenue to expand rapidly.

India & Ghana hold 3rd round of Foreign Office Consultations to review bilateral ties (Republic World)

The third round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between India and Ghana took place on Friday, July 22 to address and discuss approaches to further bolster bilateral relations. The nations talked about “political, economic, defence, cultural and capacity-building matters.” According to a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two sides decided to strengthen their collaboration in the multilateral fora after exchanging opinions on a number of important regional and global challenges. 

It is to mention that Indian investment in Ghana and bilateral trade have both been expanding steadily. In 2021–2022, India had $2.60 billion in bilateral trade. As per the release, Indian firms have made more than US$1.7 billion in investments in Ghana via 730 projects in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, commerce, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing, services, tourism, etc. India is one of the biggest investors in Ghana. 


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