Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development negotiates a settlement to clear citrus blocked in the EU ports (South African Government)

The new measures include amended additional phytosanitary declarations for grapefruit and soft citrus and revised cold treatment regime for oranges. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) confirms that it has managed to negotiate a settlement that will see clearing of citrus containers stuck in ports of entry in the European Union (EU).

Relief! Govt convinces EU to save SA citrus (Food For Mzansi)

Auto manufacturing is changing: how South Africa can adjust to protect workers and jobs (The Conversation)

Technological changes in industry have given rise to contending schools of thought about their impact on work and workers. Automation is rapidly deepening and widening, reaching new areas of work. What’s being produced is also changing. In the automotive manufacturing industry, for example, there is a global shift to vehicles that don’t produce emissions. The ongoing industrial revolution is defined by new work methods, ways of organising production, and advances in technology.

Video: Agoa expiry clause hurting Kenya (Business Daily)

Kenya has struggled to attract long-term, capital-intensive investments under the more than two decades-Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) deal with the US largely because of the pact’s expiry clause, the Trade minister has said. The capital investments by the firms grew 20.7 percent year-over-year to nearly Sh23.1 billion, according to data collated by 5he Kenya National Bureau of Statistics from the Export Processing zones.

Tanzania, Zambia cross-border railway unlocks trade ties (Anadolu Ajansı)

The decision to revive the Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) was reached last week in the port city of Dar es Salaam where the two leaders held talks. “We strongly support our leaders who have shown political will to upgrade this railway,” he said.

Museveni’s relation with Biden’s America (The Independent)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent visit to Africa appears to have cemented the growing perception of a diminished geo-political stature for President Yoweri Museveni. On his second visit to Africa, Blinken from August 7 to 12 visited three countries: South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda. In November 2021, Blinken had visited Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. The two visits are important signals of the U.S’s leadership’s power play on the African continent and those the superpower regards as the captains of the continent.

Prof. Christopher Isike who is the Director, African Centre for the Study of the United States, University of Pretoria, and his colleague, Associate Professor Tinashe Nyamunda, say Blinken’s recent visit to the three African countries is another sign of the Joe Biden administration’s US-Africa policy of reengaging with the continent. Prof. Isike and Nyamunda point out that in Pretoria, Blinken focused on four priorities that he believed the US and Africa could tackle together.

Ethiopian PM inaugurates first free trade zone (Capital Business)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday inaugurated the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone, the country’s first free trade zone. Ahmed said free trade zones would enable Ethiopia to better integrate into a rapidly changing world. The Ethiopian government said the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone would augment the country’s economy by improving its import and export trade. “The Free Trade Zone we are building is one of our ways to integrate into a rapidly changing world. I have no doubt that the zone will not only facilitate trade and investment but also enhance our technological capabilities,” state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted Ahmed as saying.

Morocco’s road to development highlighted by US think-tank (The North Africa Post)

“Morocco actively encourages and facilitates foreign investment, particularly in export sectors like manufacturing, through positive macro-economic policies, trade liberalization, investment incentives, and structural reforms,” the author of the paper and president of the think tank Paolo von Schirach points out. Morocco also encourages and facilitates foreign investment, particularly in export sectors such as manufacturing, through positive macroeconomic policies, trade liberalization, investment incentives, and structural reforms.

Zambia can meet growing food demand (Moneyweb)

African countries face great challenges in adapting to climate change to meet growing demand for food. The current drought in East Africa is the latest manifestation of changing weather patterns. But countries such as Zambia, where there is good land and water, have major opportunities to meet food demand by growing agriculture exports and processing their produce. Zambian farmers can earn substantial returns from increased production. Their production can also alleviate the pressures in countries such as Kenya.

To realise these opportunities, Zambian products have to reach export markets at good prices. For this, Zambia needs competitive cross-border markets and efficient transport and logistics services. However, regional grain and oilseeds trade is not working for producers in Zambia or for buyers in East Africa, with huge variances in agricultural commodity prices in Kenya and in Zambia.

AfCFTA: FG told to emulate Rwanda, move into Africa, woo investors (Businessday)

The Federal Government has been advised to make haste and emulate Rwanda and other smart African countries to woo African investors and consolidate production structures as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) fast approaches. Investors in Port Harcourt, Rives State and Niger Delta zone, who played host to a Rwandan delegation led by the High Commissioner in Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi, warned that whereas Rwanda and some other African countries are creating investment hubs and manufacturing zones to attack Africa, Nigeria seemed to be sleeping. Rwanda had told the Nigerian investors how they make foreign exchange available to investors, how they make power supply and other facilities available, how they register a new business in just six hours, and how they give seven years tax holiday to foreign investors.

National competitiveness body would end manufacturing woes – Oteng Gyasi (The Business & Financial Times)

The country could significantly boost efforts to become a manufacturing hub, attract foreign investments, and create decent jobs by establishing a national competitiveness body, says renowned industrialist, Anthony Oteng Gyasi.

With the country in race against time to position itself as a major player within the continent-wide free trade market, he said a national competitiveness council could help to address some of the issues that make local manufacturers uncompetitive.

“We need a body which will ensure that the things which make industry uncompetitive are reduced, and help us to be competitive as a country,” Mr. Oteng Gyasi, who is the Executive Chairman of Tropical Cable and Conductor, told the B&FT in Accra.

African trade and integration

GITFiC to launch handbook to promote AfCFTA (Ghana Business News)

The Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) is set to launch a comprehensive handbook that will enhance the level of sensitization on the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The launch is slated for September 20, 2022, in Accra, the commercial capital of Africa.

Mr Selasi Koffi Ackom, the Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC, made this known at a press briefing in Accra to discuss a survey report by the GITFiC titled; “Assessing the AfCFTA Among the Business Community in Ghana.” He said: “We are glad to state that this handbook contains detailed and simplified information on the framework of the AfCFTA, and particularly delves into key topics such as the Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies, among others, as pertains in the field of international trade.”

How Far Is Eastern, Southern Africa On AfCFTA Implementation (KT Press)

The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Business Councils on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement have agreed to move from rhetoric to action in implementing the trade deal. Though six African countries, including Rwanda have been chosen to pilot regional trade in selected goods, one of the major challenges is that a number of trade instruments had not been finalized.

To move from paperwork to action, the regional tripartite which met in Kigali from 10th – 11th August, 2022 recognized the role of private sectors in implementing the deal and came up with strong recommendations on how to move forward.

Trade Facilitation Programme Records Notable Progress (COMESA)

COMESA Member States, through the European Union-backed Trade Facilitation Programme have revised and adopted regulations for the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), a move which is expected to enhance intra-regional trade. The programme has equally supported Member States to implement selected measures under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, development of the Regional Trade Information Portal and adoption of its standardized guidelines.

SACU – Safeguard Measure Imposed on Frozen Bone In Chicken Cuts from the European Union: Final Report of the Arbitration Panel (3 August 2022)

This Final Report is issued in the context of a dispute between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). This dispute was lodged under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and six states from the Southern African Development Community (the SADC EPA States), and relates to a bilateral safeguard measure adopted in 2018 by SACU in relation to the importation of frozen bone-in chicken cuts from the EU.

Safeguard measures may be taken if, as a result of the obligations incurred by a Party under this Agreement, including tariff concessions, a product originating in one Party is being imported into the territory of the other Party or SACU, as the case may be, in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause: (a) serious injury to the domestic industry producing like or directly competitive products in the territory of the importing Party or SACU, as the case may be; or (b) disturbances in a sector of the economy producing like or directly competitive products, particularly where these disturbances produce major social problems, or difficulties which could bring about serious deterioration in the economic situation of the importing Party or SACU, as the case may be; or disturbances in the markets of like or directly competitive agricultural products in the territory of the importing Party or SACU, as the case may be.

Improving the CAADP BR process through critical analysis (IPPmedia)

The African heads of state and governments adopted in 2014 the Malabo Declaration that reasserts a strong commitment to reach CAADP’s goals and targets to be achieved within a ten years period (2015-2025). Dr Bahigwa Godfrey Director of Agriculture and rural development at the department of agriculture and rural development, of the African Union Commission stated that the critical analysis of the BR process aims at improve the quality of indicators that capture national information but also consider and align the new indicators that emerged from the African Common Position to the UN Food Systems Summit, but also ensure the relevance of indicators given the current economic trends. “We know that our countries committed to the comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), during the Malabo, however, many of us have not domesticated the commitments, the recommendations from recent biennial review report indicate that we need to do more as a continent to get African agriculture where we want it to be.

China aims to surpass EU’s trade with Africa in a decade – report (The Star)

The Africa-China relationship is moving into a new phase with the latest policy initiatives, development strategies and financial pledges as tools for enhancing deeper and broader engagement by 2035. The latest report by Economist Intelligence shows China aims to push the trade from medium to long term over the next decade trying to outdo major international powers such as the US and EU. The Asian economic powerhouse is targetting sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and services, agricultural ventures, consumer goods and electronics, light manufacturing and finance. To consolidate its position as the largest single country trader with the continent, it has previously pledged to buy a total of $300 billion(Sh35.9 trillion) worth of products from Africa between 2022 and 2024.

Global economy

The 3rd G20 Development Working Group Meeting Concludes, Urging The Importance Of Multilateralism And Development Funding Mechanisms (G20 Presidency of Indonesia)

The 3rd G20 Development Working Group (DWG) Meeting in Bali, held between 10 August and 12 August, concluded on Friday (12/8) with the discussion and finalization of key G20 agreements. These include the G20 Roadmap for Stronger Recovery and Resilience in Developing Countries, Least Developed Countries, and Small Island Developing States, the G20 Principles to Scale Up Blended Finance in Developing Countries, the G20 Ministerial Vision Statement: Multilateralism for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Decade of Action, and the 2022 G20 Bali Update.

“The Development Working Group is a place for G20 member countries to come together, prioritize multilateralism, share solutions that promote growth, remap development plans, and achieve the SDGs targets. The G20 possesses the knowledge, expertise, and financial resources required to reverse trajectories that have gone off track. Thus, let’s make every effort to change direction ad build solid progress,” said the Minister of National Development Planning/Head of Bappenas Suharso Monoarfa.

Review of 2020 Investor-State Arbitration Decisions: IIA reform issues at a glance | IIA Issues Note, No. 2, 2022 (UNCTAD)

This note reviews investor–State dispute settlement (ISDS) decisions rendered by arbitral tribunals in 2020. Thirty-one ISDS decisions on jurisdiction and merits were publicly available at the time of writing. Most claims were based on old-generation international investment agreements (IIAs) signed in the 1990s or earlier. The review of recent ISDS decisions highlights the need to speed up the reform of the old stock of IIAs currently in force. UNCTAD’s IIA Reform Accelerator, launched in November 2020, was developed to facilitate such efforts. ISDS decisions from 2020 touched upon important issues on the reform agenda for the IIA regime,

For policymakers and IIA negotiators, arbitral decisions are a useful source of knowledge on IIAs: How do IIA provisions work in practice, and which areas are most in need of reform? Together with UNCTAD’s IIA policy tools, this analysis can also help countries and regions make strategic choices concerning old-generation IIAs with ISDS. One way of addressing the challenges is to clarify key provisions through the interpretation, amendment or replacement of the old IIA. Countries may choose to pursue other available policy options (e.g. terminating an old IIA by consent or unilaterally).

Falling global food and fuel costs offer poor countries little relief (Washington Post)

Many of the global prices for food, fuel and fertilizer that spiked when Russia invaded Ukraine have returned to their prewar levels, defying the most dire forecasts even as policymakers warn of the continued risk of famine and financial crisis in the developing world. Russia’s Feb. 24 attack on Ukraine sent a shock wave through commodity markets. Since then, however, fears that the war would cut off all exports through the Black Sea have proved unfounded.


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