Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

Industry calls for renewal of poultry tariffs (Engineering News)

The biggest threat to South Africa’s poultry industry is “unfair trade practices from countries like Brazil, Ireland, Spain and Denmark which dump their product on South African shores”, industry organisation the South African Poultry Association broiler organisation GM Izaak Breitenbach says. While South Africa’s International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) considers the imposition for five years of anti-dumping duties against these countries, provisional anti-dumping duties were in force from December 2021 to June 14. These temporary duties have expired and have not so far been renewed, he notes.

“South Africa is currently open to predatory trade from other countries, and the progress that’s been made to achieve the objectives of the Poultry Sector Master Plan are under threat.

Harness local raw materials to make unique products for export, SMEs urged (NewZimbabwe.com)

MICRO as well as small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been called upon to make use of cheap locally available raw materials to manufacture unique products for export markets. Innovators must also register trademarks and patents to protect their ingenuity, as well as operate businesses legally and pay taxes. This was said by Professor Marian Tukuta, Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) dean of Business Sciences and Entrepreneurship during the inaugural Hurungwe Chamber of SMEs Expo, which ended at the weekend. “There are lots of raw materials at our disposal, especially for those in the arts and crafts sector who can use pods, seeds and other natural elements to make unique jewellery for export,” said Tukuta.

Zimbabwe misses out on G7 stimulus package (Bulawayo24 News)

Zimbabwe missed out on a G7-backed multi-billion-dollar stimulus package designed to help countries of the global South weather economic shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The reason for the country’s exclusion is the failure to pay arrears to international financial institutions (IFIs), Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said. The Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated an unprecedented economic crisis worldwide, with disastrous social consequences. After 25 years of continuous growth, Africa was severely hit and suffered recession in 2020.

“Zimbabwe cannot adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that protects the vulnerable and addresses inequality without arrears clearance, debt relief and restructuring,” said Ncube said in the latest Arrears, Debt Relief and Restructuring Strategy availed to The NewsHawks.

Kenya slashes imports of sugar by half in June 2022 (Business Daily)

Kenya cut sugar imports by nearly half in June when compared with the previous month as sugarcane production jumped 11 per cent in the review period. Data from the Sugar Directorate indicates the imports were slashed by 49 per cent to 17,231 in the review period, down from 33,650 a month earlier. The regulator says sugarcane production jumped 11.3 per cent to 70,376 tonnes, the highest to have been recorded since January. An increase in production has seen the prices of the commodity remain low in the market with a kilogramme going for Sh128 down from Sh129 in May on average. Retailers have since April maintained the price of two kilogramme packet at an average of Sh239.

Kenya exports first miraa batch to Somalia (Capital Business)

Kenya is set to export the first batch of miraa to Somalia on Sunday, the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has said. The authority said the resumption of exports followed efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the agency mandated to promote exports from Kenya, 22 of the traders that have been approved are set to receive their export licenses. The move follows reopening of the Kenya-Somalia border after talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalian counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on July 16.

Former Somali President Mohammed Farmaajo suspended Miraa imports from Kenya two years ago citing COVID-19 restrictions but the suspension was never lifted as diplomatic issues kicked in. The ban led to a loss of more than 50 tonnes of Kenyan khat valued at more than Sh20 million a day. According to the Ministry of Finance, in 2021, the import of Miraa contributed Sh1.3 billion in tax to the country’s revenue.

Tanzania bans day-old chicks imports, again (The East African)

Tanzania has imposed a total ban on the importation of day-old chicks effective next week as it seeks to protect its local hatcheries and limit the inflow of substandard chicks. The ban, which takes effect on July 30, aims to protect the local poultry market, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said in a statement on Monday. Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega said the government would no longer issue import permits on chicken from Saturday. This was after a meeting with poultry business executives in the capital Dodoma. The government, Mr Ulega said, is currently collecting poultry industry data to ascertain the demand for day-old chicks.

Kenya, Tanzania struggle to run shipping lines (The East African)

Plans to revive national shipping lines in East African ports are facing usual delays over lack of capacity to compete internationally. Kenya and Tanzania recently formed shipping lines, but are struggling to establish themselves without own vessels. Tanzania’s bid to sell its disused vessels has been a struggle, with few people coming forth to buy, and leaving it with an unwanted burden of storage.

As a result of increasing operating costs, Zanzibar Shipping Corporation, Tanzania’s shipping line is auctioning three of its vessels, leaving it with none of its own. Zanzibar Shipping Corporation, in May this year, floated a tender to dispose of three public vessels MV Maendeleo, MT Ukombozi and MV Mapinduzi 1. Those vessels are still unsold. According to documents, the assets are being disposed of through the international competitive bidding procedures specified in the public procurement and disposal of public assets.

Dar port strengthens regional market share (Dailynews)

Significant expansion and improvement of efficiency at Tanzania’s principal port of Dar es Salaam has enabled it to offer faster and cost-effective trade and transport solutions compared to other seaports in the region, a new report by GBS Africa has shown. According to the dossier by the advisory services firm, Dar es Salaam Port is becoming a regional transshipment hub for exports and imports for both Tanzania and its land-linked countries in the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). “Land-linked countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe are increasingly opting for Dar es Salaam Port,” reads part of the report. The report mentioned some of the products which are transported through the harbour as metals like copper as well as agricultural produce such as tea, coffee, tobacco, oilseeds, cotton, sisal, and cashew nuts.

SON Secures FG’s Approval To Return To Ports (Leadership)

The minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador. Mariam Katagum, applauded the recent approval secured by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to return to the ports with a view to collaborating with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to tackle the menace of substandard at all entry points in Nigeria. She also reaffirmed his ministry’s commitment to supporting SON in its bid to discharge its mandate. Katagum disclosed this at the 9th African Day of Standardisation 2022 organised by SON and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) themed “Promoting the African pharmaceutical and medical devices industries through Standardisation” in Lagos.

Shippers’ Council launches manual for inland dry ports in Kano (Daily Trust)

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has launched its operational manual for inland dry ports to promote efficient transportation, enhance efficiency at the ports and engender trade facilitation. Speaking at the official launch in Kano Friday, the executive secretary/chief executive officer of the Council, Emmanuel L. Jime, said the manual was produced to articulate the step-by-step procedures for receiving, storing, handling and delivery of cargoes, as well as highlighting the operations, responsibilities of agencies and timelines for discharging such tasks. He said the operational manual would also be launched in Port Harcourt and Lagos at later dates to bring stakeholders in other regions in the country on board the reform, adding that immediately the process is concluded, the operators and regulators would be compelled to abide by the operational processes as contained in the manual.

Vice President Bawumia Cuts Sod for First Inland Marine Port in Northern Ghana as Part of the Trans-Volta Logistics Corridor (African Business)

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has cut the sod for work to begin on the construction of the first Inland marine port in the northern parts of Ghana and an accompanying Industrial Park at Debre in the Savannah Region. The multi modal transport corridor, known as the Trans-Volta Logistics Corridor, is being undertaken by LMI Holdings and involves the development of a system to transport containers and bulk cargo from the Port of Tema to Burkina Faso and other landlocked countries via the Volta Lake

“Easing the congestion of clearing goods from Tema will be one of the main objectives for this port and industrial park. Using the Volta Lake, vessels will transport goods and containers in transit to and from the Tema Port. These containers will be moved by rail to Akwamu-Korankye (Eastern region) and then loaded onto barges to the Debre Inland Port. In Debre, operating at its fullest capacity like Tema with all the attendant facilities, containers will be offloaded and put on trucks to continue their journey further into the sub region. All services such as customs, transits clearances will be provided as pertains to any international port.

Lack of economic diversification hindering Nigeria’s progress – Don (Punch Newspaper)

The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Industrialisation, African Development Bank, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, has said Nigeria is backward because it did not achieve economic diversification. Speaking at the 8th Edition of the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ Annual Distinguished Lecture, Oyeyinka said the country required leaders who were not only committed to ensuring high-performing public sector institutions and organisations but those who seek to transform society through both vision and action. His lecture was titled, ‘Nigeria’s development reversal: Halting descent into industrial Backwardness.’ Oyeyinka explained that Nigeria was poor because the country had experienced not only weak industrial growth but also de-industrialisation.

Mpango pushes for carbon trade (Dailynews)

Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango has directed the State Ministry (Union Affairs and Environment to work on shortfalls in the policy that administers carbon trade in the country so that the nation can benefit from the business. He issued the directives on Saturday in Tanganyika District, Katavi region when handing over a dummy cheque worth 2.3bn/- that has been earned by the district council and eight villages through carbon trade. Dr Mpango also instructed the ministry to embark on public sensitisation programmes that will create awareness on opportunities that are being brightened by carbon business for individual and national development.

He moreover instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in collaboration with the regional authorities to take legal measures against individuals engaging in malpractices of cutting down trees and burning the forests. The ministry should properly enforce laws that protect environment to reduce effects that are brought by environmental degradation, said Dr Mpango, asking the Katavi region authorities to conduct the environmental assessment as well as provide public education to members of the community.

Kenya ranked top in manufacturing vaccine (Business Daily)

Local vaccine production can earn Kenya billions of shillings each year in additional investments, savings and revenue, the Lancet medical journal says. In a newly published study released recently, the journal has ranked Kenya a top candidate for vaccine manufacturing globally ahead of India and South Africa citing its strategic advantages in traditional research capacity as well as distribution logistics.

“New products developed and manufactured in Kenya would benefit all 21 countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa),” said Lancet in the study backed by American private university Duke University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “In Kenya, each dollar invested by the government would return $2·51.”The study by the medical journal assessed the case for investing in clinical trials and manufacturing capacity for three middle-income countries including India, Kenya, and South Africa. “We show that India, Kenya, and South Africa can generate a substantial return on investment while averting millions of deaths,” says the study.

Museveni: Electric vehicles will help counter oil supply shocks (The East African)

Amidst the galloping fuel prices, Uganda President Museveni took to national TV on Wednesday to push for electric cars and railways as a long term solution to crude oil supply shocks. “This is the answer. The correct way is to start moving away from petrol to electric cars and we have already started,” President Museveni said, rejecting fuel subsidies that are suggested in some quarters to lower costs.

Earlier on the same day, Dr Joseph Muvawala, the executive director of the National Planning Authority (NPA), mooted a plan for direct importation of crude oil from the producing countries as a short term measure, a development that would eliminate Kenyan oil marketers that hold contracts to buy petroleum product for refining and supply to the wider Eastern Africa. This, he argued, would result in prices at the pump dropping by 15 to 20 percent.

However, industry players say eliminating companies that control oil imports and obtaining slots to refine crude at the Mombasa refinery is a complex process for landlocked Uganda to navigate in the short term.

Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Growth Among Highest in Region Amid Significant Challenges (IMF)

According to a recently completed annual assessment by IMF staff, growth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sharply rebounded from 1.7 percent in 2020 to an estimated 6.2 percent in 2021, well above the 4.5 percent rate in sub-Saharan Africa. The strong recovery was driven by the country’s mining and services sector performance.
Under a Fund-supported program, the authorities have adopted policies that have helped moderate inflation and stabilize the exchange rate, while commodity prices have supported higher exports, revenues, and international reserves. The war in Ukraine has led to an increase in inflation, raising food insecurity risks, but the outlook remains favorable with support from elevated commodity prices.
Decades of war, poor governance, and underinvestment, however, have left the country with high poverty rates, very low access to basic services and one of the largest infrastructure gaps in the world.

Nigeria, South Africa To Deepen Ties In Manufacturing, Film Industry (Leadership)

The Nigerian government and South Africa are engaging to improve their collaboration in the manufacturing sector under the platform of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and also to enhance the film industry in both countries. The High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Thami Nseleku, made this known in an interview with reporters after a live stage play entitled ‘Philomena’ in Abuja on Sunday night, stressing that the script is dealing with very serious issues in the society.

African trade and integration

AfCFTA Secretariat via Twitter:

The AfCFTA Website, the Rules of Original Manual and the e-Tariff book have officially been launched at the 9th Meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers on 26 July 2022. These tools are key for Member States to begin trading.

See the AfCFTA Operational Instruments launch video

AfCFTA Secretariat gets $11m grant to enhance effective implementation (The New Times)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund has approved an $11.02 million support package to the Permanent Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA Secretariat opened its doors in Accra, Ghana, on August 17, 2020, with initial support of $5 million to set up the Secretariat, the programs, and the tools and to raise stakeholder awareness. Prudence Sebahizi, the chief technical adviser on AfCFTA, told Doing Business that the Bank’s latest support comes along other financial supports from member states and other partners to strengthen AfCFTA implementation.

“The funding is mainly aimed at strengthening AfCFTA institutions through technical assistance and capacity building. However, more support is required to fund private sector projects and member states’ programs,” Sebahizi said. “The private sector with benefit through capacity building programs and technical assistance. In addition, studies will be conducted to identify market opportunities for businesses.”

Africa’s free trade area offers promise for cities – but only if there’s investment (The Conversation Africa)

The African Continental Free Trade Area came into operation on 1 January 2021. This is a considerable achievement. The free trade area is now the world’s single largest market for goods and services, when measured by number of countries, after the World Trade Organisation. It is also the largest in terms of geographic area and population size.

Less well understood, however, is the fact that for the agreement to fulfil its promises, the continent’s cities are key. They are hubs for production and consumption, and will become significantly more so. But their current set-up, lacking the necessary infrastructure and services, means most of Africa’s cities are not yet ready to benefit from and support the free trade area. This will require substantially greater investments in the continent’s cities. This link between urbanisation and trade is analysed in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s recently launched publication, Cities: Gateways for Africa’s Regional Economic Integration.

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. In 2017, the COMESA Council of Ministers decided that Member States should adopt a harmonized and standard data connectivity platform in the form of electronic single windows (eSWS) among government agencies and private stakeholders aimed at improving the intra-regional trade and investment environment at national and regional levels.

On 18 – 21 July 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the 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. The development of eSW system is one of the instruments under the COMESA Digital Free Trade Area Action Plan. It includes developing and implementing the system at national and regional levels. In this regard, the project activities have been incorporated as part of the Result Area 3 of the COMESA Trade Facilitation Programme funded under the 11th European Development Fund.

The meeting agreed that political will and high-level leadership direction and financial support together with cooperation of stakeholders are some of the key factors for the eSW system to succeed.

World Bank Support to the Middle East and North Africa Exceeds US$5 Billion, Helping to Mitigate Impacts of COVID-19 and War in Ukraine (World Bank)

In response to a series of shocks facing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), , which ended June 30. These investments, together with strategic and reform-oriented advisory and analytical support, are helping people across the region as they mitigate the impacts of the war in Ukraine on food and energy prices, continue to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and build resilience to climate and other shocks, notably in the fragile and conflict-affected countries.

“Overlapping crises, including the war in Ukraine and its impacts on food and energy prices, have further burdened the poorest and most vulnerable in the region,” said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. “Food price inflation is a major challenge. As many as 23 million people in the MENA region are at risk of falling into deeper poverty. The World Bank is committed to doing even more to help the people and the countries in MENA as they continue to strengthen food security, respond assertively and equitably to the COVID-19 pandemic, and build resilience against a range of other shocks that threaten to roll back hard-won progress.”

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).

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.

Global economy 

A world in crisis needs both trade and aid (UNCTAD)

We are in the toughest period the world economy has faced since the creation of the multilateral system more than three-quarters of a century ago. A quadruple shock of COVID, climate change, conflict and cost-of-living has undone years of hard-fought development gains. As financial conditions tighten, even countries that had seemed on track to prosperity and stability now stare into the abyss of debt distress, fragility and uncertainty about the future. Coordinated, multilateral action is necessary to tackle the crises we face. Both aid and trade have key roles to play in reversing the impacts of this quadruple shock and putting the world back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Black Sea grain exports deal ‘a beacon of hope’ amid Ukraine war – Guterres (UNCTAD)

An “unprecedented agreement” on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea amid the ongoing war is “a beacon of hope” in a world that desperately needs it, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the signing ceremony in Istanbul, Türkiye, on 22 July. The UN plan, which also paves the way for Russian grain and fertilizer to reach global markets, will help to stabilize spiralling food prices worldwide and stave off famine, affecting millions. Russian and Ukrainian Ministers signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative, facing each other at opposite ends of the table, while the Secretary-General and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat in the centre.

Oxfam reaction to Ukraine and Russia’s historic grain deal | Oxfam International

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission welcomes signing of Russia/Ukraine agreement to resume grain exports under auspices of Turkiye and United Nations | African Union

Russian foreign minister says there is ‘no obstacle’ to grain deal (Anadolu Agency)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday there is “no obstacle” to the implementation of a UN-Türkiye brokered grain export deal between Russia and Ukraine. His remarks came after Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s key Black Sea port of Odessa on Saturday in an attack that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally” condemned.EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said striking a target crucial for grain exports a day after the deal was signed in Istanbul was particularly reprehensible and demonstrated Russia’s total disregard for international law and commitments. But speaking at a press conference in the Republic of Congo after a meeting with President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, Lavrov said the strikes at Odesa “should not affect” grain exports as they targeted “depots of arms and ammunition supplied to Kyiv by the West.”

Europe’s dash for gas means blackouts for the Global South (EURACTIV)

Europe’s increased demand for fossil gas has caused a hike in fossil fuel prices and energy shortages in the Global South. EU leaders must avoid long-term gas deals and invest in renewables to secure a fair and lasting transition away from fossil fuels, writes Khondaker Golam Moazzem.

The pressure on European leaders to curb their demand for Russian gas has reached a fever pitch. This week’s temporary shutdown of the Nord Stream pipeline has forced Europe to consider the ‘nightmare scenario’ of a complete halt to the flow of Russian gas. Europe has side-stepped calls for the mass implementation of energy efficiency measures ahead of winter in the EU and instead embarked on a dash for new gas supplies from the rest of the world. Its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – natural gas cooled for transport – have skyrocketed by 50% compared to a year ago. That upswing in demand made an already-competitive global gas market even tighter, sending energy prices and the cost of living soaring. Due to their complementary nature, the price of other fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal also shot up.

DG Okonjo-Iweala urges members to build on MC12 success to revitalize WTO core functions (WTO)

“Delivering results last month has generated expectations for more in the future,” said the DG, highlighting the many expressions of support she has received in recent weeks in her meetings with leaders from around the world for the unprecedented package of outcomes reached at MC12. “We need to use this support and momentum by continuing our efforts to revitalize or reinvigorate all of the WTO core functions so that we can remain fit-for-purpose in a changing global economy and continue to deliver more for people around the world,” she added.

DG stresses at Chairs Programme Annual Conference importance of implementing MC12 outcomes (WTO)

DG Okonjo-Iweala thanked Chairs for their active participation in the WCP through evidence-based research and tailored advice to governments and other stakeholders. This is key to supporting national and regional trade policy formulation and central to the capacity building objectives of the Programme, she emphasized. The DG said the programme has generated excellent results and the WTO Secretariat will continue to provide all the resources needed to support the Chairs network so the Programme can continue to “deliver results that truly make an impact on those on the ground”.

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

Delegates took the floor to pay tribute to Ambassador Abraham Peralta for her leadership, dedication and hard work over the last two years. They also praised her contributions to the important milestones achieved at MC12 — the adoption of the declaration on the emergency response to food insecurity and the decision on the exemption of UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) food purchases from export prohibitions or restrictions.

UN Synergies Conference presses for integrated solutions to scale up action on climate crisis and sustainable development setbacks (United Nations)

More than 2,000 participants at the UN Climate and SDG Synergies Conference, held in Tokyo and virtually on 20-21 July, generated an impressive range of potential solutions and proposals for how to better integrate efforts to tackle these interlinked global crises and accelerate action to address the climate emergency and recent reversals in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Rethink development climate finance to get to net zero, African Development Bank DG says at OPEC Fund Development Forum (AfDB)

Creating fiscal space for development finance and stepping up regional infrastructure projects will be vital to Africa’s road to achieving net zero, African Development Bank Director General for Southern Africa Leila Mokaddem told participants at the OPEC Fund’s inaugural Development Forum. “We need to rethink the way we finance development. We need to put more resources into institutions like the African Development Bank,” Mokaddem said. Mokaddem spoke during a session entitled Turning Public Ambition into Effective Action, during which panelists discussed actions and examples of how to move commitments made by development institutions, governments and other stakeholders, “from lofty declarations to real-world change.”

The African Development Bank is making a strong case for an allocation of some of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights so that they can be leveraged to meet the $218 billion a year needed for Africa’s infrastructure needs such as roads and ports, participants heard.


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