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The Managing Director/CEO, Analyst Data Service Ltd, Dr Afolabi Olowo-okere, has stated that Nigeria, in terms of Logistics Performance Index, ranks behind Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Egypt, Republic of Benin and Cameroon with a score of 1.97 percent.
He pointed out that Nigeria’s medium-term plan for the maritime sector recognises the country’s seaports as heavily congested due to the absence of dry ports and multi-modal transport infrastructure, stressing that the inland waterways are grossly under-utilised with only 3000 miles of about 10,000 miles currently navigable.
He said for Nigeria’s port to become the preferred destination in West Africa and Central Africa, and that there is a need to improve security and safety in the sector, leverage technology to improve efficiency and ease of business, and make inland waterways serve as an alternative cheap mode of transportation to decongest the seaports and deliver cargo closer to the hinterland.
The movement of commercial cargo between Zimbabwe and South Africa has gradually improved after some customs officials from the neighbouring country who have been on strike over a pay increase returned to work at the weekend.
However, the larger number is still on strike.
“We would like to assure traders and travellers that we have put various contingency measures in place at land border posts to ensure minimal disruption during the current industrial action at SARS,” said the revenue collector.
A newly licensed Nigerian commodities exchange started trading in gold ahead of its official launch this week, the first time the metal will be offered on a bourse in the West African nation.
The Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to trade gold with the specification of the London Bullion Market Association’s 99.99% purity, targeting globally acceptable pricing and quality, according to Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale, managing director of the Lagos bourse.
The exchange is scheduled for a formal launch on July 28 and will in addition to gold trade other commodities including cashew, shea butter, paddy rice, maize, soy beans and sorghum, Akeredolu-Ale said in an interview. “The aim is to diversify the asset base of the capital market and improve government revenue sources,” he said.
A new report for the first time reveals that Lesotho’s capital city Maseru, which accounts for only 17 per cent of the country’s population, generates about half of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) – a vital economic well-being indicator.
The report, developed by the Lesotho Bureau of Statistics with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), was validated by Lesotho’s national and local government officials, data specialists, national account experts, development experts and urbanisation practitioners at a workshop in Maseru on 25 July 2022.
The report offers accurate evidence on the economic weight and performance of Maseru and identifies measures that could help unlock its full potential. Findings can support the government in prioritising policy interventions to attract investors, improve competitiveness and strengthen productive economic sectors.
Botswana is one of the few economies in Sub-Saharan Africa whose output has recovered to its level before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the International Monetary fund said on Wednesday.
The lender attributed the positive trend in part to the strong demand for diamonds globally. The IMF also cited Botswana’s strong vaccination efforts against COVID-19 and the country’s “prudent macroeconomic management”.
“The recovery is expected to continue through the medium term, but there is significant uncertainty,” the IMF said in its report on Botswana. “Growth will be supported by higher prices and demand for diamonds, increased copper production, prospects for a good harvest, less COVID-19 mobility restrictions, and more international tourist arrivals.”
A new cryptocurrency market report titled, “What Does the Future Hold for Crypto Exchanges,” has revealed that in terms of the cryptocurrency market size in Africa, Nigeria has the second largest market, behind South Africa. The report mentions that South Africans primarily use crypto as an alternative investment, while Nigerians use it mainly for savings.
The report explains that the African continent’s cryptocurrency centralized exchange trading accounts for less than 1% of the spot and derivative trading seen around the world. It went further to rank South Africa as #1 on the continent as a result of the country’s “more advanced financial infrastructure and fiat-to-crypto payment rail.”
In terms of Africa’s future potential in the cryptocurrency space, the report reads, “We expect strong growth in crypto adoption in Africa. However, derivatives may lag given their limited use in traditional markets.”
Tanzania: The African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a $60 million financial package comprising $50 million subordinated debt to support CRDB’s regional expansion efforts and a senior loan of $10 million to support CRDB’s efforts in accelerating access to finance for women SMEs in Tanzania.
The facility is also coupled with $175,000 technical assistance grant through AfDB’s AFAWA Initiative supported by the Women Entrepreneurship Initiative (WeFI) to strengthen CRDB’s capacity to support women entrepreneurs in Tanzania to become more bankable.
Similarly, the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) has renewed its guarantee line to CRDB Bank with $ 50 million.
DFIs pledge support for African Infrastructure Investment Fund (Engineering News)
British International Investment (BII) and FMO on July 27 made a joint commitment to the African Infrastructure Investment Fund 4 (AIIF4), managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), aimed at supporting AIIF4 in reaching its $500-million target fund size.
Anchor investor BII – the UK’s development finance institution, has committed $76-million, while FMO – the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, has committed $40-million to AIIM’s fourth pan-African fund.
As such, the AIIF4 will assist AIIM in building on the successful performance of its predecessor funds by investing across three priority infrastructure subsectors – renewable energy, such as rooftop solar; digital infrastructure, including mobile telecoms towers, data centres and fibre-optic networks; and mobility and logistics, such as ports, roads and other supporting infrastructure.
AfDB woos American businesses to investment opportunities in Africa (BusinessAMLive)
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has called on American businesses to invest in the opportunities created by the bank’s $1.5bn African Emergency Food Production Facility, established to curb the impact of the current global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, while speaking in the US-Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco, urged American investors to see Africa as a logical investment destination where they can engage in win-win partnerships.
Adesina, who confirmed that U.S. investments were critical for accelerating infrastructure development on the world’s second largest continent by population and size, also gave a strong assurance to the investors that Africa is a secure, competitive and profitable market for investment.
WTO members show restraint in trade-restrictive measures despite economic uncertainty (World Trade Organization)
The Director-General’s mid-year report on trade-related developments covering mid-October 2021 to mid-May 2022 shows WTO members continued to exercise restraint in imposing trade restrictions. The report, presented to members on 27 July at a Trade Policy Review Body meeting, looks at the use of trade measures at a time when the world faces severe challenges and economic uncertainty. Speaking at the launch of the report, DG Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said it is important not to underestimate the risks generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
During the review period covered by the report, the estimated trade coverage of the regular (non-COVID-19-related) import-facilitating measures introduced by WTO members (USD 603.2 billion) far exceeded the trade coverage of import-restrictive measures (USD 23.5 billion).
The report highlights that the global economic outlook has deteriorated since February as a result of the war in Ukraine, prompting the WTO to downgrade its forecasts for world trade over the next two years. The WTO, in its latest forecast of 12 April 2022, expects merchandise trade volume growth of 3.0% in 2022, down from 4.7% in the previous forecast from last October.
Heads of multilateral agencies outline central role in addressing multiple crises (World Trade Organization)
The WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) outlined on 27 July the role they play in supporting sustainable development and helping developing economies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate and energy-related crises. The session held at the Aid for Trade Global Review looked at where Aid for Trade financing is being directed, what it is achieving and how future priorities should balance short-term pressures with longer-term needs.
Heads of the five agencies examined how the multiple crises facing the world are impinging on the trade and development prospects of developing economies, with countries everywhere facing inflationary pressures and high food and energy prices, hitting the poorest people the hardest. These issues are converging at a time when the need to take action on greenhouse gas emissions and to support a just transition to a low-carbon model of growth has never been more pressing, they said.
In her opening remarks, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: "These institutions, which have a growing role in supporting sustainable development and supplying local public goods, are also at the forefront of addressing trade-related capacity and infrastructure issues, which continue to roll back the economic integration of many developing and least developed countries (LDCs)."
The surge in the dollar is adding to the stresses afflicting the global economy, the International Monetary Fund has said, by slowing world trade and piling pressure on indebted developing countries.
The dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of its peers, has risen around 16% this year as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates faster than other major central banks, drawing investor money back towards the US.
Worries about the global economy have also powered the surge, as the dollar is seen as a safe haven at times of stress.
Britain’s exporters have seen their overseas trade stagnate over the past year despite strong growth in domestic demand for their products and booming export markets, according to a survey.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that a survey of 2,600 exporters found a quarter had suffered a fall in exports and another 46% reported no change.
Firms said Brexit was one of the main barriers to exports, after the introduction of customs checks and delays at the border.
Minister of State for South and Central Asia, North Africa, UN and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon visited Morocco from 25th to 27th July, following the 300th anniversary of the first bilateral trade treaty with Morocco.
During his visit he met with government Ministers including the Minister for Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, Minister for Industry and Commerce Ryad Mezzour, Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation Abdellatif Miraoui and Minister for Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, as well as the Speaker of Morocco’s House of Representatives, Mr Rachid Talbi Alami. Discussions focused on deepening collaboration between the UK and Morocco on trade, education, climate, clean energy and green growth, as well as on regional and international issues of common interest, including the situation in Libya, and the global implications of the Russia-Ukraine war on food and energy security.
Turkey offers duty relief on 261 tariff lines (The Express Tribune)
Turkey has offered concessions on 261 tariff lines to Pakistan under the Trade in Goods Agreement with the objective of achieving annual bilateral trade value of $5 billion.
The development came in the wake of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey about two months ago. Pakistan and Turkey had been in talks for the past several years to ink a trade agreement, but Turkish businessmen were not in favour of the move.
Now, Ankara has offered concessions to Islamabad on 261 tariff lines, which include key items of Pakistan’s export interest from both the agriculture and industrial sectors.
The new report by Expert Market Research titled, ‘Middle East and Africa Dairy Market Report and Forecast 2021-2026’, gives an in-depth analysis of the Middle East and Africa dairy market size, share assessing the market based on its segments like Product, and Regional markets among others. The report tracks the latest trends in the industry and studies their impact on the overall market. It also assesses the market dynamics, covering the key demand and price indicators, along with analysing the market based on the SWOT and Porter’s Five Forces models.
The increase in milk exports from important markets in Africa, Central America, Europe, and North America boosted the trade. With the exception of Iran, yoghurt and sour milk are gaining popularity across the region. In the region, whey and whey proteins are also in high demand. The leading regional dairy markets are Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Iran.
Iran Backs Azerbaijan's Accession To D-8 (Eurasia Review)
The foreign minister of Iran voiced support for the Republic of Azerbaijan’s bid to join the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, saying enlargement of the D-8 and accession of new members would serve as a tool for the realization of its goals.
Hossein Amirabdollahian delivered an address via videoconference to the 20th session of the Council of Ministers of D-8, held in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Wednesday.
“The Organization should move quickly to accept new members,” he stated, describing economic diplomacy and deepening ties with the neighboring and Muslim countries as two of the priorities in Iran’s foreign policy agenda.
China, Vietnam, Uganda, Indonesia, and India are projected to be among the fastest-growing economies to 2030. That is the conclusion of researchers at the Growth Lab at Harvard University who presented new growth projections in The Atlas of Economic Complexity. The release provides the first detailed look at 2020 trade data, including major disruptions to tourism and transport vehicle exports from the global pandemic. As the effects of the pandemic dissipate, long-term growth is projected to take off between Asia, Eastern Europe, and East Africa. China is expected to be the fastest growing economy per capita, even if the projection finds growth to be slowing from what the country achieved over the past decade. The research finds that countries that have diversified their production into more complex sectors, like Vietnam and China, are those who will experience the fastest growth in the coming decade.
The Growth Lab researchers released new country rankings of the Economic Complexity Index (ECI), which captures the diversity and sophistication of the productive capabilities embedded in the exports of each country. Despite the trade disruption of the pandemic, countries' economic complexity rankings remain remarkably stable. The ECI ranking finds the most complex countries in the world held steady with, in order, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, and Singapore at the top. Other notable countries include the United Kingdom at 10th, the United States at 12th, China at 16th, and Italy at 17th. The measure of economic complexity is able to closely explain differences in country income levels. Among the most complex countries, the greatest improvements in the rankings for the decade ending in 2020 have been made by the Philippines (ECI: 30th), China (16th), and South Korea (4th). Those developing economies that have made the greatest strides in improving their complexity include Vietnam (51st), Cambodia (72nd), Laos (89th), and Ethiopia (97th).
Preparations for the upcoming 5th China International Import Expo are proceeding well, with 85 percent of the planned exhibition area already booked. To date, more than 270 Fortune Global 500 enterprises and industry leaders have signed up for the November 5-10 expo. It is noteworthy that of all the Fortune Global 500 enterprises and industry leaders who participated in previous editions of the expo, nearly 90 percent will be in attendance this year, too.
US Trade Rep. to host AGOA ministerial meeting (addisstandard.com)
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced she will host a meeting of sub-Saharan African trade ministers and senior officials on 13 December 2022. The ministerial meeting will occur during the week of the United States-Africa Leaders’ Summit that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced last week. “The meeting will discuss expanding trade and investment relations and implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),” according to a statement from State department.
“The 2022 Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Ministerial Meeting will be a valuable opportunity to re-affirm the United States’ engagement with the continent,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “I look forward to welcoming my fellow trade ministers to Washington, D.C. this December for productive and thoughtful discussions on the future of this important relationship.”
The meeting will be the first since since President Biden announced the termination of three sub-Saharan African countries, including Ethiopia from AGOA privileges effective January 1, 2022.
Q1 Trade With Africa Tops $480m (Financial Tribune)
Trade between Iran and African countries stood at 807,180 tons worth $483.56 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 21-June 21). South Africa with 229,834 tons worth $140.81 million, Nigeria with 129,003 tons worth $80.33 million and Mozambique with 82,462 tons worth $57.2 million were the main trade partners during the period. Data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran exported 788,028 tons of goods worth $460.29 million to the African continent during the period. Iran’s main export destinations in Africa were South Africa with 229,511 tons worth $137.77 million, Nigeria with 129,003 tons worth $80.33 million and Mozambique with 82,462 tons worth $57.2 million.
Barbados to host first-ever ACTIF2022 (Loop News Barbados)
The Government of Barbados and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have announced the first-ever Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022), scheduled to take place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from August 31 to September 3, 2022.
ACTIF2022 will be held under the theme “One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”. The Forum aims to foster the development of strategic partnerships between the business communities in Africa and the Caribbean, to bolster bilateral cooperation and increase engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture, and other sectors.
Additionally, ACTIF2022 is expected to contribute to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Caribbean trade development agenda, further reflecting the deep-rooted ties between Africa and the Caribbean based on their shared history, culture, common