tralac Daily News
President Cyril Ramaphosa says expanding local production and manufacturing is pivotal to creating more opportunities for entrants and making the economy more inclusive. On Friday, the President attended the launch of the Sandvik Khomanani Manufacturing Site in Kempton Park on Friday. The Swedish company is a manufacturer of mining and mineral processing equipment. Sandvik’s new facility is a manifestation of the R350 million investment commitment it made at the South African Investment Conference held earlier this year – a conference which raised some R332 billion in investment pledges into the country.
“The expansion of local production will make our economy more inclusive and create more opportunities for new entrants into the industrial sector,” the President said. He explained that manufacturing, particularly localised manufacturing, means greater exports and a boost for the South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
“Increasing local production will contribute significantly to the revival of South Africa’s manufacturing industry,” he said.
On Friday, government gazetted new anti-dumping duties of 38.8% on imported tyres from China. Currently, the duties – on eight sizes of tyres, for cars as well as large vehicles like buses and lorries - are imposed until March next year. Almost half of the tyres in South Africa are imported, mostly from China. Earlier the year, the SA Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) – which represents Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear and Sumitomo – applied to the International Trade Administration Co
They contended that Chinese tyres are imported unfairly into South Africa at “predatory”, unsustainable rates. This caused “material injury to the domestic manufacturing industry”, which employs more than 6 000 people. On Friday, the Road Freight Association (RFA) warned that the new duties could push up the price of transporting goods by at least 8%.
“By adding the anti-dumping levy, tyre prices will now increase by a whopping 44.7% in a single year. This is untenable for any transport operation – whether moving freight or passengers – and will see increases inevitably being passed on to consumers,” said Gavin Kelly, CEO of the RFA.
Namibia imports N$24m South African tomatoes (Namibian)
DESPITE continued complaints from South African farmers over the closure of borders for importation of horticultural produce, Namibia imported tomatoes valued at N$24,6 million from South Africa. This contributed to a total of N$18,9 billion merchandise trade for July, a decrease of 3,9% from N$19,6 billion recorded in June, and an increase of 73,4% from N$10,9 billion recorded in July 2021.However, according to the Namibia Trade Statistics Bulletin issued by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), the country’s trade balance remained in a deficit, worsening to N$4,3 billion from N$2,5 billion recorded in June, and N$3,6 billion observed in July 2021.
NSA chief executive officer Alex Shimuafeni says Namibia’s trade composition by partner showed that Botswana emerged as Namibia’s largest market for exports, whereas South Africa was the main source of imports.
A recent parliamentary report has painted a gloomy picture of Uganda’s debt portfolio as the country struggles to keep up payments to its creditors. The Committee on the National Economy has revealed that Uganda’s public debt stock increased by 22 percent from Shs50.9 trillion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year to Shs69.5 trillion by end of the 2020/2021 fiscal year. Preliminary statistics from the Finance ministry captured by the committee indicate that Uganda’s public debt stood at Shs78.8 trillion at the backend of June. This represents a 13 percent monthly year-on-year increment.
The committee’s report also reveals that Shs48.1 trillion of the debt stock is classified as external debt, with domestic debt totalling Shs30.7 trillion. The telltale signs of public debt weighing heavy on the government has become more pronounced in recent months.
Uganda’s economic predicament has been a long time coming given the fact that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has stagnated at an average of 13 percent for the last decade. “Customs revenue contribution to total tax collections stood at 35.6 percent in 2019/2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic and trade liberalisation prospects by [the African Continental Free Trade Area] AfCTA, this estimate will even go lower,” the paper states, adding that a Finance ministry report of the Financial Year 2019/2020 showed that a total revenue foregone due to tax expenditures amounted to more than Shs5 billion. This figure translates to 30 percent of the total net revenue collections collected that same financial year.
The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said a review of the Weights and Measures Act will help Nigeria compete with other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA. Director, Weights and Measures Department in the ministry, Mrs. Comfort Emenbu, disclosed this at the North-West stakeholders’ engagement in Bauchi, adding that the country is prepared to be under AfCFTA. According to her, the commitment of the government had informed the decision to meet with stakeholders and seek their input for the review of the Weight and Measure Act.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Fred Kafeero, has said the organisation remained committed to ensuring the supply of safe, quality, and nutritious foods, adding that this is as important as ensuring the availability of foods and their standardisation. Kafeero insisted that poor-quality foods posed a real threat to national food security.
Speaking at the one-day sensitisation workshop for high-level policy and decision-makers and the public presentation of the National Codex Committee Procedural Manual in Abuja, the FAO country representative said it has been providing Nigeria with requisite support towards ensuring food safety and availability.
Indeed, the world is a global village. Travel and cross border commerce and investment levels have never been greater in the history of our planet. However, moments of crises and threats to the sovereignty of nations have a way of recalibrating national, business and human relations. Governments (national and subnational), businesses and individuals in Nigeria must therefore decipher the challenges of this moment in history and take proactive steps to weather the current economic storms by exploring prospects outside our borders. In the process, there is an opportunity to turn the current trials into a springboard for recovery and sustainable prosperity.
Nigeria’s recent partnership with Morocco to set up a $1.3 billion fertilizer plant is a step in the right direction to address the needs of our agroeconomy. Such actions will reflect a prioritization of the structural transformation that will ensure that Nigeria is not left behind and is better prepared for future crises. Furthermore, the deal models how countries can harness their economic strengths or natural endowments to build long lasting and mutually beneficial trade relations. Morocco needs ammonia for converting its phosphate reserves into fertilizer, but in order to produce ammonia, it needs access to natural gas, which Nigeria has in abundance. Indeed, Nigeria should invest resources in building and scaling similar arrangements with countries that can derive offer mutual benefits from increasing trade and investment.
One such country is Indonesia, south-east Asia’s largest economy and most populated country. Since President Joko Widodo took office in 2014, Indonesia’s Africa policy has prioritised economic engagement and cooperation with the continent. This has led to a steady rise in trade between
Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has described the ban on the exportation of selected grains in the country as counterproductive. The government had announced an extension of the ban on produce such as maize, rice, soybeans, and other grains. The ban, which took effect in September 2021, was due to expire at the end of March. It will now run until September 2022.
Speaking to Citi News, Head of Programmes and Advocacy at Peasant Farmers Association, Charles Nyaaba, stated that the directive has negatively affected customers as the local market has not been able to absorb their produce. “The ban ends in September, and we do not expect the government to renew it. What government can do as a country hosting the secretariat of AfCFTA in that area is rather to open it, so we are able to trade with our neighbouring countries and subsidize grains for the industry.”
“There are grains in parts of the country, but no one is buying them from farmers because the road networks are bad. Government should rather invest in the road sector. When we do that, we will be good to go,” he advised.
Food security in Ghana has become a pertinent issue for several months now, with stakeholders warning of food shortage if the problem is not solved. While the government has consistently touted the progress made in the agriculture sector due to its interventions, issues such as a lack of access to poultry feed, fertilizer, and rising food prices, which are reflected in Ghana’s high food inflation, have got stakeholders in the sector concerned.
In order to address these issues, government has restricted the exportation of two of the country’s essential commodities: soya bean and maize. Already, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate has stopped issuing phytosanitary certificates for the export of both commodities.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Saturday that the volume of Egypt’s foreign trade increased by the end of March 2022 to about $98.476bn, compared to about $71.721bn at the end of March 2021 — an increase of about $26.755bn. According to the monthly report issued by the CBE, the volume of Egypt’s imports rose to about $66.007bn, compared to $51.148bn, and that the value of its exports rose to $32.469bn, compared to $20.573bn. It added that 14 countries — representing Egypt’s most important trading partners — accounted for about 63.4% of the total volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the outside world with a value of about $62.389bn, noting that exports amounted to $21.236bn.
It also pointed out that China ranked first in terms of the most important trading partners with Egypt, with a trade exchange volume of about $8.633bn, $7.661bn of which were imports and $972m were exports. Next up was the US in second place with a trade exchange volume of $7.088bn, $3.686bn of which were imports and $3.402bn were exports.
Senegambia trade flow increasing – PS Dampha (The Point)
He said looking at the trade statistics, Ivory Coast and other countries were dominating the country’s trade. He added that recently they have seen the trade flow between the Gambia and Senegal increasing significantly. “Senegal is our neighbour and they are increasing their capacity and are able to export a lot to The Gambia. The current political climate between the two countries is also helping in increasing and boosting trade,” Dampha added.
Speaking on high tariff, PS Dampha explained that tariff is paid when importing and is the duty one pays at the border. He said it doesn’t affect individuals when exporting but is only subject to the market condition of their final destination.
“It affects export indirectly, for example, if you are exporting manufacturing products where you’re facing a high tariff to process raw material, it increases your cost and affects your price. It leads to an effect on one’s competitiveness.”
AU records success in first decade of Agenda 2063 (Daily News)
THE African Union has recorded significant achievements in the first decade of implementation of Agenda 2063 (2013-2022) including advanced operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat revealed that through his message on celebration of African Union Day marked on September 9. According to him other achievements are transformation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) into an African Development Agency and the effective functioning of the Pan African University. In the list of achievements there is also the integration of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) into the structures of the AU, the granting of the status of Specialised Agencies of the AU to the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and many others.
He, however, said that the second implementation decade of Agenda 2063, which starts next year, will revolve around three main objectives which are to ensure greater physical connectivity of the continent through the construction of roads and other communication infrastructures. Others are to establish the conditions for sufficient domestic agricultural production to reduce imports of foodstuffs and build the technical capacities to make the energy transition a success.
African bloc outlines 10-year plan (Anadolu Agency)
Africa’s second 10-year plan will focus on expansion of infrastructure development across the continent, increase agriculture outputs and clean energy transition, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said Friday.
“It will revolve around three main objectives: to ensure greater physical connectivity of the continent through the construction of roads and other communication infrastructures, to establish the conditions for sufficient domestic agricultural production to reduce imports of foodstuffs and build the technical capacities to make the energy transition a success,” Mahamat said in a statement.
“Mobilizing all intellectual, financial and material resources, to attain this triple objective, is a collective challenge that calls upon everyone to be creative, inventive and above all bold,” he added.
DR Congo pledges to pay EAC dues and cement role in bloc (The East African)
The Democratic Republic of Congo says it will settle dues to the East African Community on time, reflecting the country’s commitment to its new membership in the bloc. On Thursday, DRC Deputy Prime Minister Christophe Lutundula said Kinshasa is ready to send representatives to EAC organs to cement role in the bloc it formally joined in May. The country, like other member states, is required to pay at least $8 million a year. Most countries owe the bloc membership fees, however, with South Sudan leading with more than $20 million due.
DR Congo needs to pass amendments to its laws to allow free movement of people, localise trade protocols of the EAC and send members to the East African Legislative Assembly, East African Court of Justice and the Secretariat.
COMESA in partnership with several stakeholders, among them the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) have launched the digital Regional Food Balance Sheet (RFBS). The RFBS aims to accelerate the application of digital, remote sensing and advanced analytical technologies to provide forecasts for major food commodities in the East and Southern African region. This initiative will help the region to inform policy and business decisions on food security, agricultural trade and investment.
SG Kapwepwe said that data gaps are worsened by a lack of collaboration and coordination among food system actors adding that several stakeholders collect data which stays unvalidated, shared, or consolidated into one central database to inform decision-making. The platform covers a few commodities, but will be expanded to other food commodities and countries as it continues to be developed, based on the users’ feedback, needs and requirements.
The Eastern Africa-Southern-Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region is focusing on developing a regional model policy and regulatory frameworks for e-Commerce which will in turn facilitate several economic activities and contribute to economic development.
The benefits identified with having a well-functioning e-commerce sector includes reduced transaction costs, enhanced logistics, distribution and retail services and micro-small-and-medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). These will be assisted to reach out to new markets and customers.
According to the project document, the penetration of mobile telephones in the EA-SA-IO region has increased because of both private and public sector investments in infrastructure. Further, internet penetration is also rapidly growing and the socio-economic benefits of accessing and using ICTs, in particular the internet, are also rising as essential information and services, both in the public and private sectors, continue to move online.
Despite these positive developments, according to the project document, many people in the region are still not connected to e-commerce services, especially the internet, and the cost of internet access is prohibitive in most cases.
Stakeholders seek ways to boost intra-regional fertiliser trade (The Guardian Nigeria)
Stakeholder from about 35 key fertiliser industries across Nigeria and Niger have sought deeper collaboration to enhance trade in the product within the region. They harped on the need to improve regional fertiliser availability and use by smallholder farmers for increased yields and general well-being. They made the call at a workshop organised by United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded ‘Feed the Future’ programme, under the Enhancing Growth through Regional Agricultural Input Systems (EnGRAIS) Project for West Africa.
In a statement, the governments of Nigeria and Niger, as well as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders and fertiliser facilitators were urged to facilitate collaborations among central banks for seamless fertiliser transactions in the local currencies.
Nigeria leading in Africa as global Bitcoin trade hit $3 trillion (The Guardian Nigeria)
Despite economic losses from cryptocurrency trade and caution by financial experts, global trade in the Bitcoin industry has hit $3 trillion. Coming at a time that Nigeria has been ranked as the leading country in Bitcoin adoption in Africa followed by Togo, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa, the Convener of Bitcoin Africa conference, Farida Nabourema, said in the past five years, the industry has been the fastest on the planet and has surpassed card transactions.
She mentioned that the African continent has the fastest adoption rates in the world and at this rate, the continent may surpass America, Europe, or even Asia.
The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has been carrying out the Master Trainer Programme (MTP) on Rules of Origin (RoO) for Africa the major aim of which is to cooperate with African WCO Members to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Based on the remarkable success of MTP and taking into account the needs from Members and the importance of improving the Customs capability in the region for the implementation of AfCFTA, the WCO and the JICA agreed to expand the MTP on RoO to Cameroun, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Senegal and South Africa.
The workshop in Brussels got new WG members together and provided them with the occasion to understand and apply the fundamentals of competency-based training. In addition, experts from the WCO and Japan Customs shared their expertise on technical aspects of RoO via their presentations and case studies.
In this era of unprecedented challenge and upheaval, “solutions lie in solidarity,” the UN chief said in his message commemorating United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, on Monday. South-South cooperation is unity among people and countries of the developing world, known as the global South, which contributes to national well-being, collective self-reliance and achieving the global goals.
“South-South and triangular cooperation are critical for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate disruption, address the global health crisis, including COVID-19 recovery, and achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” underscored Secretary-General António Guterres.
Annually, world leaders gather in what is considered the biggest climate change summit known as conference of the parties (COP). This year, the 27th edition of the conference, otherwise known as COP27, is set to happen in Egypt in November. Africans see this as a great opportunity to advance Africa’s climate challenges and secure actionable solutions for the continent. One of such solutions is to ensure a just energy transition for the continent by attracting climate finance for technology and energy infrastructure. These would help Africa reduce its emissions while building its economy in a sustainable way. However, there have been inconsistencies in what stakeholders in the continent consider a just transition. While leaders in government are saying their desire is for the continent to use gas as a transition fuel, civil society organisations (CSOs) and experts are kicking against this.
A key intergovernmental forum on fisheries and aquaculture has endorsed new voluntary guidelines governing the transfer of fish between ships, in a move aimed at curbing the Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing that threatens the sustainability of global stocks. The Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment, developed by Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and presented at the 35th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI35), which closes today, “aim to regulate, monitor and control transshipment to support sustainable fisheries and further close loopholes that enable fish derived from IUU fishing to enter the market,” said Manuel Barange, Director of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Division.
The objective of the Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment is to assist States, regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), and other intergovernmental organizations by providing standards for developing their policies and regulations that govern transshipment, with a view to integrating these in regulatory frameworks for sustainable fisheries management.
The Guidelines can support fishers, fish processors and others in the sector who act responsibly and in accordance with their fishing authorizations, while helping authorities to monitor and rebuild stocks, conserve marine biodiversity and build sustainability in the long-term.
OECD labour markets bounced back strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the global employment outlook is now highly uncertain according to a new OECD report.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has caused lower global growth and higher inflation, with negative impacts on business investment and private consumption.
The OECD Employment Outlook 2022 says that while labour markets remain tight in most OECD countries, lower global growth means employment growth is also likely to slow, while major hikes in energy and commodity prices are generating a cost of living crisis.