Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

Scrap metal export ban to buy time for SA to build systems to tackle illegal activity (Engineering News)

The proposed policy to ban the export of waste, scrap and semifinished metal products for a period of six months is necessary to immediately reduce the ability of criminal syndicates to monetise stolen metals, while registration systems are put in place to hamper their ability to mask stolen metals within legitimate metal trade, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has said.

“The ban is temporary. In this period, the domestic market will provide some market for product. When the [regulatory and registration] system is fully developed, then such scrap that has been legitimately and properly obtained and can be explained can be exported,” Patel assured committee members. The new policy regime is intended to challenge the criminal syndicates’ ability to operate, sell and export stolen metal, he emphasised.

Wool industry welcomes government cooperation in overcoming export ban (Engineering News)

Agricultural business chamber of commerce Agbiz, federation of agricultural organisations AgriSA and the National Wool Growers’ Association of South Africa (NWGA) have welcomed an agreement between the South African government and the government of China to lift a ban on South African wool exports. Agbiz says the decision is a welcome development within the context of an increasingly volatile environment for international trade.

Private sector urges state to act on high cost of doing business (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)

The government is determined to address the high cost of doing business in the country as a measure to spur regional trade. East African Community Principal Secretary Kevit Desai says the move is intended to make the country more attractive and competitive for local and international investors.

He said there is need to reduce the cost of doing business in the country to facilitate local and foreign investments. The PS says Kenya being the hub for regional and international trade is pushing to tackle barriers to trade by streamlining its import and export processes through implementation of reforms geared to addressing the high trade costs besides cumbersome and time-consuming border procedures.

Kenya: US diaspora remittances drop (Business Daily)

Diaspora remittances from the United States have fallen by a monthly average of three percent this year, reflecting the sharp cost of living in the world’s largest economy which has cut the disposable income available to Kenyans for support of relatives back home. A Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) breakdown of remittances by source country shows that inflows from the US fell to $183.4 million (Sh21.9 billion) from $221.5 million (Sh26.5 billion) in December 2021.

“Furthermore — looking from the recipient perspective — the CBK survey on diaspora remittance had listed real estate investment as a major use of the remittance flow. As such, the wait-and-see attitude in the run-up to the election coupled with runaway construction costs also waded the remittance inflow towards real estate investment.” The US is the biggest source of remittances to Kenya, accounting for 59 percent of the total sum of funds sent into the country this year. As a result, the direction of total inflows largely mirrors the performance of the US source market.

UK protests Kenya ban on second-hand buses, trucks (Business Daily)

The United Kingdom has protested Kenya’s impending ban on second-hand imports of buses and trucks, fearing the embargo will cut the flow of used commercial vehicles from the European country. Betty Maina, the Industrialisation and Trade secretary, says the UK authorities are uncomfortable with the sanction on used vehicles, which was set to take effect from July 1 before it was frozen in court. An escalation of the differences between Kenya and Britain could affect the flow of goods between the two nations.

Kenya and Britain inked a fresh trade deal in December 2020 allowing duty-free access of Kenyan goods to the UK market and avoid a post-Brexit disruption. The protest will be handled by the Kenya-United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Council, Ms Mainda said.

The EPA Council is made up of ministerial representatives from both countries tasked with ensuring smooth implementation of the trade deal, which came into force in March 2021, including ironing out trade disputes.

Nairobi signed the strategic trade deal with London on behalf of the seven-nation East African Community (EAC) on December 8, 2020, before its coming into force on March 23, 2021, after ratification by respective parliaments. The trade pact preserved duty- and quota-free access to the UK for Kenya’s largely agricultural produce such as cut flowers, coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables after Britain left the 27-member European Union trading bloc. The deal, however, provides a window of seven years after ratification by the Kenyan and UK parliaments for non-agricultural goods from the UK to start enjoying preferential import duty.

Sugar imports drop on improved production (Business Daily)

Sugar production between January and July increased by 15 percent when compared with a similar period last year, compelling the sector regulator to cut imports by nearly half last month. Data from the Sugar Directorate shows that the volume of the commodity produced hit 480,849 tonnes in the review period up from 418,799 in the corresponding time last year. The increase saw the directorate limit the imports in July to 9,394 tonnes from a high of 17,200 tonnes a month earlier, representing a 46 percent decline.

“Cumulative sugar production from January to July 2022 was 480,849 tonnes, up from 418,799 tonnes in the same period last year, representing an increase of 15 percent,” said the directorate. Sugar imports have been on a constant decline since March on the back of better production locally boosted by a steady supply of the raw material.

Nigeria exports N1.77trn products in 6months – NEPC (Daily Trust)

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has disclosed that the country exported products worth N1.77 trillion from January to June 2022 to different parts of the world.

“The non-oil sector recorded a significant growth in non-oil export as a total of 4.146 billion metric tons of products worth $2.593 billion were exported between January and June 2022 and the figures were culled from the non-oil export performance reports of various shipment inspection agents who are appointed by the federal government to determine volume, value and destination of Nigeria’s non-oil exports”

The executive director added that Urea and fertiliser as well as cocoa beans were some of the top products exported.

Nigeria moves to partake in USD$175bn carbon trade market (Vanguard)

Nigeria has taken its first major step towards benefiting from the over USD $175 billion per annum carbon trade with the development of Nigeria’s Emission Trading Framework. The Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi, gave this indication while initiating the development of a national emissions framework, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

“At COP 26 in Glasgow, H.E. President Buhari announced Nigeria’s Net Zero target of 2060, making Nigeria the first major developing country and the first in Africa to undertake such a commitment. “His speech marked the beginning of a road map signaling to the international community that while greater responsibility is on the developed world, Nigeria is committed to providing leadership in climate governance both regionally and internationally.”

Ethiopia: Free Trade Zone Will Provide Efficient Services, Attract Investors: Maritime Authority (ENA)

Modern and suitable services will be provided at the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone to improve import-export trade and attract investment, according to Ethiopian Maritime Authority. The recently inaugurated Ethiopia’s first free trade zone is expected to reduce logistics time and cost, improve efficiency and trade competitiveness, attract more FDI, boost industrialization and the economy.

Logistics Transformation Office Deputy Director at the authority, Ewnetu Taye told ENA that the location of the free trade zone will significantly reduce the current time and cost of logistics and improve import-export trade as well as attract many partners and investments.

“We hope the free trade zone under establishment will have many partners because a free trade zone requires huge investment, sophisticated knowledge, huge capital, and foreign currency.” According to him, foreign currency, easy customs and improved logistics services will be provided at the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone. “This will attract foreign investors and stimulate FDI.”

Manufacturers in the existing industrial park, importers and service providers, especially logistics service provider companies are expected to invest, he added.

African trade and integration 

EAC states challenged on trade agreements (New Vision)

The East African Community (EAC) partner states have been challenged to increase their volume of transactions under regional and international trade agreements.

The region’s private sector trade block, East Africa Business Council, said it is imperative for the region to take advantage of opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Economic partnership agreement, to advance trade within the EAC.

According to the EABC chairperson, Angelina Ngalula, the region has not fully exploited the trade agreements to its advantage, due to challenges such as low productive capacity, fragmentation and poor infrastructure. ”With the AfCFTA, there are no boundaries of doing business in Africa, so the EAC bloc should be well-prepared to export competitive professional services and skills to the continent. The regional governments should therefore come in to address some of the roadblocks in the way of achieving this,” she said.

EABC, COMESA, SADC Establish African Tripartite Business Councils (East African Business Week)

The East African Business Council, COMESA and SADC Business Council have officially launched and formed the African Tripartite Business Council to spearhead the inclusion of private sector policy proposals into the negotiations of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and the African Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).This is one of the resolutions from the consultative meeting of regional business councils on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement organized by the East African Business Council (EABC) with support from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).

“The African Tripartite Business Council will put forward joint private sector policy positions to the AfCFTA secretariat in Ghana and tripartite ministerial council meetings in order to accelerate the implementation of the agreements,” said, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO.

Kalisa called upon the member states from COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area to achieve the threshold of 14 ratifications required to enable the agreement to enter into force.

Speaking at the same meeting , Dickson Poloji, the CEO of COMESA business council said, it is vital for the private sector to be knowledgeable of the trade instruments of rules of origin, standards and dispute settlement mechanism under the AfCFTA, if they are to benefit from the economic block.He elaborated that the implementation committees of the AfCFTA should be co-chaired by the private sector.

Presenting paper on the role of ICT in promoting regional trades , Ms. Nadia Uwamahoro, managing director, data systems urged for the finalization of the AfCFTA protocol on digital trade to promote youths and the emergence of African owned e-commerce platforms.

African Development Bank Optimistic about Economic Prospects for Southern Africa Region (African Business)

The Southern Africa region’s investment opportunities and prospects for economic growth are encouraging despite recent headwinds of a global pandemic and food crisis, the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) Senior Vice President Swazi Tshabalala has said. Tshabalala attended the 42nd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which closed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa last week.

Tshabalala said: “The African Development Bank Group is highly optimistic about the future of the SADC region. Although the pandemic and food crisis challenged the region in ways no one expected, regional cooperation in investment, security, infrastructure, health, climate, agriculture, and trade is accelerating at an impressive pace. Those trends are creating new opportunities to strengthen the region’s productive systems and to upgrade urban and regional infrastructure.”

UN to help Africa develop capital markets to spur economic development (Xinhua)

The United Nations said Tuesday that it will help African countries to develop their capital markets to accelerate economic development. Sonia Essobmadje, chief of the Innovative Finance and Capital Markets Section with the Private Sector Development and Finance Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), told Xinhua in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that capital markets in the continent are underdeveloped which limits the funding available for the private sector and public projects.

“Well-developed capital markets will also act as a gateway for foreign capital seeking investment opportunities in Africa,” Essobmadje said on the sidelines of the conference on sustainable capital markets development in Africa.

Expert Group assess Africa’s progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 (UNECA)

The Experts Group Meeting to review and validate the draft 2022 Africa Sustainable Development Report will be held from 30-31 August 2022 in Windhoek, Namibia. The report assesses the progress and ongoing challenges faced by African States in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063. The report is jointly produced by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Development Programme and the African Development Bank.

Ghana to host Pan-African AgriTech Innovation Hub in Accra (Ghanaian Times)

Ghana will host the Pan-African AgriTech Innovation Hub, a public-private partnership initiative dubbed “Timbuktoo”, aimed to mobilise and invest $1 billion of public and private capital for the next 10 years to build startup revolution in Africa.

The initiative championed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which was launched in 2021 seeks to engage a large number of private and public sector partners to establish eight Timbuktoo Hubs in recognised leading startup ecosystems, particularly in Accra, Nairobi, Cape Town, Lagos, Dakar, Kigali, Casablanca, and Cairo, among others. Addressing the gathering during TimXAccra event held in Accra on Friday, the UNDP Resident Representative to Ghana, Dr Angela Lusigi said the initiative would enable the youth in Ghana and across Africa to become world-class entrepreneurs, innovators, and problem solvers.

She said agriculture remained a key driver of Ghana’s economy, which contributed to export earnings, served as major source of inputs for the manufacturing sector and employed over 50 per cent of Ghana’s population.

According to her, despite the sector’s importance, productivity remained low and it was estimated that, only 50 per cent of the country’s 13.5 million hectares of land was currently under cultivation.

African countries eye 2030 start for generating nuclear energy (The East African)

At least seven African countries are at various stages – commissioning, shopping for vendors and mapping appropriate sites – in the roll-out of nuclear power plants, as a majority eye 2030 as a start-date for generating electricity from nuclear energy. These include Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Morocco and Rwanda.

South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear power station - owned and operated by state-run power utility Eskom – is the only nuclear power plant on the continent. It has an installed capacity of 1,940 megawatts. As more countries push on with the switch to low carbon electricity, South Africa has been eyeing an additional 10,000 megawatt in nuclear power capacity. However, there has been widespread opposition by an anti-nuclear lobby.

SADC to develop natural resources to create jobs and fight poverty (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) intends to develop the many natural resources in the Region and encourage local transformation in order to create decent jobs for the youth and fight against poverty, SADC Chairperson, His Excellency Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has said.

The transformation will require the mobilisation of resources from within the Region, in addition to contributions from international cooperating partners and private and foreign investors. In this perspective, H.E President Tshisekedi encouraged SADC to reflect on the need to set up an industrialisation fund in order to finance industrialisation projects and programmes and get out of dependence on external partners. In this way, SADC will be able to achieve a major economic and technological transformation at national and regional levels towards the deepening of regional integration as advocated by the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063.

H.E Tshisekedi called on Member States to work closely together to unlock regional value chains in key sectors such as agribusiness, mining and pharmaceuticals, in which the Region is richly endowed.

SADC has overcome a lot of challenges and its most recent areas of progress include the successful ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by Member States as a platform for advancing economic integration, and cooperation in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the face of anti-SADC COVID related policies in the global north.

H.E Chakwera said SADC’s most recent challenges include the wave of climate change related impacts that now regularly devastate Member States, and the difficult task of securing global support for mitigation and adaptation efforts.

SADC and Alliance for African Partnership convene regional policy dialogue on climate resilient agrifood systems (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, in collaboration with the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) and two of its (AAP) members, the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) and the University of Pretoria (UP), will from 29th to 30th August 2022 convene a regional policy dialogue with key stakeholders to identify interventions that are necessary to build sustainable agri-food systems in the Region.

During this SADC-AAP Dialogue, participants will discuss collective action on the transition towards sustainable and climate-resilient agri-food systems for enhanced food security, ending hunger, and achieving climate objectives in the Region. The dialogue seeks to identify interventions to build agri-food systems’ resilience to shocks and stressors, towards achieving sustainable food security, poverty reduction and economic growth in the Region.

Globally, agri-food systems – basically defined as a series of activities and institutions around the production, processing, distribution, marketing, and consumption of a particular food item – are increasingly under pressure to meet the rising food demand and changing dietary preferences and, all this in the face of climate and economic shocks. This challenge is especially pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) , where food production will need to increase in the range of 60-80% in order to meet the projected three-fold rise in cereal demand and where the population is estimated to reach 2.2 billion by 2050. SADC is not an exception to this challenge as the Region faces a high population growth rate and demographic transition which will fuel growing food demand and rapidly changing dietary preferences, in a region that has limited growth of manufacturing and service sectors.

China’s help on Africa’s supply chain called crucial (China Daily)

China has played an essential role in Africa’s supply chain development by addressing related challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and regional conflicts, and has helped improve socioeconomic development on the continent, African officials said on Tuesday. The remarks were made at a ceremony marking the release of a report published by the China-Africa Business Council on China’s investment in Africa. From a supply chain perspective, the report showcased efforts made by Chinese enterprises to improve Africa’s supply chain and support the independent and sustainable development of Africa.

Rahamtalla M. Osman, permanent representative of the African Union to China, said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative are closely aligned with Africa’s development blueprint and strategies, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area. Deeper BRI and AfCFTA cooperation would play an important role in building a more integrated African continent as well as connecting Africa to global supply chains, Osman added.

He also said that by 2021, China’s trade with Africa had increased twentyfold, and its investment stock in Africa saw a hundredfold increase since 2000. More than 3,800 Chinese enterprises have invested in Africa, he added. “All of this has contributed to China-Africa cooperation in supply chain development.”

Global economy 

Goods Barometer points to stagnating global trade growth (WTO)

The latest WTO Goods Trade Barometer issued on 23 August was steady but below the recent trend line for merchandise trade, suggesting that global goods trade continued to grow in the second quarter of 2022 but that the pace of growth was slower than in Q1 and is likely to remain weak in the second half of the year.

The volume of world merchandise trade plateaued with year‐on‐year growth slowing to 3.2% the first quarter of 2022, down from 5.7% in fourth quarter of 2021. The slowdown in Q1 only partly reflected the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, which broke out in late February. Lockdowns in China also weighed heavily on trade in the first quarter.

G20 International Trade Statistics: Trends second quarter 2022 (OECD)

G20 merchandise trade growth slowed markedly in value terms in Q2 2022, as measured in current US dollars. Exports and imports increased by 2.1% and 2.6%, respectively, as compared to 4.8% and 6.2% in the previous quarter. While high commodity prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, continued to fuel merchandise trade growth in nominal terms, the slowing growth in value terms partly reflects the increasing value of the US dollar against other major currencies

G20 services trade growth slowed in Q2 2022, as measured in current US dollars. Exports and imports are estimated to grow by 1.1% and 2.2%, as compared to the slightly higher rates recorded in Q1 2022 (2.1% and 2.3%, respectively). Strong travel and transport supported growth across many G20 economies, while prolonged COVID-19 containment measures weighed on services trade in East Asia.

Commodity markets: evolution, challenges, and policies (World Bank Blog)

Commodity markets are constantly evolving, reflecting growth in population and income as well as changes in relative prices, technological advances, and government policies

Over the past half-century, prices of agricultural commodities, adjusted for inflation, have been on a long-term downward path, reflecting the increases in productivity and low-income elasticity of demand . In contrast, energy prices have risen since the early 20th century, as demand has increased in line with income, and suppliers have been forced to turn to less accessible sources.

The long-run trends in metal prices have been mixed, as their high-income elasticities of demand have led to a major rise in consumption, while extraction processes have been enhanced by ongoing technological progress, boosting supply.

Large shifts in the demand and supply of commodities, along with price booms and busts and differing long term trends, pose challenges for commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). Commodities are critical sources of revenue for almost two-thirds of EMDEs, and their macroeconomic performance is heavily linked to commodity price changes. Both oil and metal price shocks appear to have asymmetric impacts on economic growth in energy and metal exporters: Price increases have been associated with small, temporary accelerations in output growth while price declines have been associated with more pronounced or longer-lasting growth slowdowns.

Oil and gas companies should drive energy transition – Asharami COO (Daily Trust)

“Oil companies should be the ones driving the energy transition because if they allow others to do it, they will be out of business. So, the energy transition has to be driven by the oil and gas companies,” Henry Menkiti, a Sahara Upstream Company, said over the weekend. He spoke at the first edition of Sahara Group Media Thought Leadership Series, held at the group’s corporate head office in Lagos.

Achieving this will however require the active participation of the private sector, with the government providing the enabling environment through regulation and incentives.

While Africa has oil now, it must begin to prepare for the transition now because the current customers are already in the transition period, Menkiit said.

For Nigeria, the transition will be less disruptive given the country’s rich endowment of gas, which should serve as the transition fuel as Africa’s leading oil producer marches to the desired destination.

“The future of Nigeria’s energy industry will be a lot of individuals and companies; change will not come from the government. It will be from private individuals. The government can only come in via regulation,” said Menkiti.

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the Regional Committee side event on Fighting Substandard and Falsified Medicines in Africa: A Collaborative and Integrative Approach - 23 August 2022 (World Health Organisation)

The threat of substandard and falsified medicines. The magnitude of this problem, and its damage to both lives and to economies, is immense. Low- and middle-income countries are estimated to spend more than 30 billion US dollars annually on substandard and falsified medicines.

There are several reasons for the proliferation of substandard and falsified medicines. First, a lack of access to affordable efficacious and safe medicines forces desperate people to buy medicines from unreliable sources. Second, a lack of good governance allows corruption to penetrate health systems and leaves loopholes for criminal groups to exploit. Third, a lack of technical capacity undermines the integrity of supply chains and limits the ability of countries to safeguard the health of their people.


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