tralac Daily News
Hard times for SGR as port operations return to Coast (Business Daily)
President William Ruto has returned all port operations transferred to Nairobi and Naivasha Inland Container Depots (ICDS) to Mombasa, reversing one of the most controversial policies of the Jubilee administration. To ensure that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has minimum guaranteed business to repay the Sh450 billion debt taken to build it, the Uhuru Kenyatta administration forced traders to use the modern railway line, a policy that saw the government transfer clearance to enforce compliance. Speaking on Tuesday during his inauguration, Dr Ruto said the move is aimed at restoring thousands of jobs that had been lost in Mombasa.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2019 launched the extended SGR freight services from Mombasa to the Naivasha ICD, promising faster transportation of cargo to western Kenya and on to neighbouring countries. He also put in place various policies to protect the SGR but ended up hurting transporters who lost thousands of jobs at the Kenyan coast.
What Kenya seeks to unlock in UAE pact (Business Daily)
A new trade deal being negotiated with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to open the giant market to Kenya’s coconuts and potatoes among other agricultural products to boost non-oil trade between the two countries. The two countries in July launched talks on United Arab Emirates-Kenya Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UAEK-CEPA) to increase the volume of trade in goods and services and investment. The trade pact was an initiative of former President Uhuru Kenya and the private sector is hoping the new government will stay on it.
“This is the latest agreement we have and we hope will continue with it under President William Ruto. It is ready for negotiation and have paused it for the transition and Emiratis are eagerly waiting for us to go back to the table,” said Johnson Weru, the Trade and Enterprise principal secretary, in a briefing with the private sector.
He said this will be a big test for Nairobi because this is the first time the country will be negotiating directly with the Middle East.
No doubt, Nigeria’s foreign trade may appear huge in terms of volume, and size but it is not often favourable to the country, especially in terms of the balance of payment in recent times. This is partly a result of the underlying challenges in the country’s economic structure, especially its over-reliance on crude oil revenues over time and the inability to properly diversify the economic base. Nigeria’s foreign trade is perpetually in deficit as the value of its imports appear to outweigh exports – but the real issue remains in the continuous export of raw materials without value addition.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its second quarter 2022 foreign trade report, indicated that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade dropped slightly by 1.23 per cent to N12.84 trillion in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2022) compared to N13 trillion in the preceding quarter.
Double-digit growth in Nigeria e-payment trade (Caj News Africa)
THE growing penetration of mobile telephony, particularly the rapid growth of 4G broadband networks, is inspiring the significant growth of electronic payments in Nigeria. Recent data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) indicates the total value of electronic transactions recorded under the NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) increased by 13 percent month-on-month and 50 percent year-on-year N33,2 trillion (US$79,1 billion) in August this year. On a cumulative basis, the value of transactions processed through NIP between January and August increased by 42 percent yearly to N238,7 trillion.
The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) offers new opportunities for trade, investments, and services activities between Mauritius and India and can accelerate our economic growth, said Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth on Tuesday. “The CECPA will act as a support to Mauritius in the wake of ongoing global challenges, Jugnauth said, adding that, “India has been a partner and a friend like no other to Mauritius.” as he launched the CECPA forum in Pointe aux Piments, Le Matinal reported.
“The CECPA forms part of a broader strategy between the Governments to broaden our economic horizons and plays an integral part in facilitating cross-border trade and investment,” he stated.
Samia: Non-tariff barriers bad for trade across Africa (The Citizen)
African leaders yesterday came up with recommendations on how to enhance the role of women and youth in Africa’s economic integration agenda. The recommendations -- highlighted during the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) Conference on Women and Youth in Trade in Dar es Salaam yesterday – include removing all non-tariff barriers (NTBs), investing massively in human resources and enhancing easy access to loans.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who graced the event, said achieving the stated goal of the AfCFTA ‘to create one African market’, will require eliminating unnecessary trade barriers.
“We need to remove NTBs, including in infrastructure development, if we are to boost intra-Africa trade,” argued President Hassan. “We have been talking about regional infrastructure for so long, but without walking the talk. If we do, we will make a very big step.”
Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda called for political will among African countries when it comes to creating an enabling business environment for youth and women.
Uganda Vice President Jessica Alupo called for good laws and policies that will create a conducive business environment for youth and women in the continent. African countries, she recommended, should create an environment that will enable youth and women to sell finished goods. “We need to cultivate a culture of exporting what we produce and importing what we cannot produce,” suggested Dr Banda.
AfCFTA to supervise first trading activity (The Business & Financial Times)
Without any unexpected hitches, the Ghana National Coordinating Office (NCO) of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will from October this year pilot a guided trading activity with six countries within the bloc, under supervision of the AfCFTA secretariat, Coordinator of the NCO, Dr. Fareed Arthur, has confirmed.
This pilot trade, according to Dr. Arthur, is expected to test documentation and processes of the AfCFTA and open the gate for other countries to start trading in earnest.
“Ghana will pilot a commercially meaningful trade from next month with Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon and Egypt for the first time, using the AfCFTA documentation. This will help answer the question that has been on the minds of many people: when are we going to start trading?” he stated.
Tea, coffee, dairy bag long cushion in EAC-AfCFTA trade plan (The East African)
Most of the products traded across African borders will not be attracting any taxes by 2029 or will be slapped with as little as a one percent tax. But products including meat, cut flowers, tea, coffee, and dairy will continue to attract 3.5 percent in tax up to 2029. Food products including tomatoes, onions, cabbages, potatoes, beans, vegetables, and wheat will also enjoy protection with their taxes projected to remain at 3.5 percent by 2029, the EAC tariff concessions plan shows.
If global temperatures continue to rise, and governments fail to meet their policy pledges, natural disasters will accelerate in Africa, hampering most countries’ economic growth, says Understanding Africa’s Climate Risks, a recent study by Oxford Economics Africa. Under the report’s “No Further Action scenario” in which no climate adaptation or mitigation policies are implemented countries with annual temperatures above 15°C will experience an exponential deterioration in productivity growth.
“As the academic research on climate change is constantly evolving, our estimates may be underestimating the real economic impact of rising temperatures on those countries’ economies,” says Felicity Hannon, associate director at Oxford Economics Africa.
Africa is losing 5% to 15% of its per capita economic growth due the effects of climate change and is facing a gaping climate finance shortfall, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).Africa has been hit disproportionately hard by the fallout from climate change, which has aggravated droughts, flooding and cyclones across the continent in recent years. African nations received around $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019, Kevin Urama, the AfDB’s acting chief economist, said in a statement released on Tuesday. But they are staring down a nearly $1.3 trillion climate finance gap for the 2020 to 2030 period.
The African Development Bank and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) featured two innovative mechanisms for scaling up adaptation action and finance during a joint event held on 1 September 2022 on the side lines of the Africa Climate Week in Libreville, Gabon.
The moderator, Gareth Phillips, African Development Bank Manager for Climate and Environment Finance, noted that the current adaptation finance levels are insufficient to meet the needs of developing countries. However, the private sector and local governments can play a crucial role in filling this gap, he said. He said the African Development Bank and UNCDF could also help to: address the lack of credible adaptation metrics and indicators by developing and using methodological tools; create incentives to attract a broad range of actors to engage in adaptation; and unlock new financial streams.
Trade with Africa exceeds $520m in 4 Months (Tehran Times)
Iran traded 890,287 tons of non-oil commodities worth $526.35 million with African countries during the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-July 22), data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) showed. As Mehr News Agency reported, South Africa with 255,471 tons worth $152.94 million, Nigeria with 129,437 tons worth $80.63 million, and Mozambique with 82,462 tons worth $57.195 million were Iran’s main African trade partners during the said period. Iran exported 864,027 tons of goods worth $495.51 million to the African continent during the mentioned four months.
Iran’s main export destinations in Africa were South Africa with 255,101 tons worth $149.57 million, Nigeria with 129,437 tons worth $80.63 million, and Mozambique with 82,462 tons worth $57.2 million. Iran has been seeking to expand trade ties with Africa over the past few years.
G20 concludes with stronger recovery roadmap (The Jakarta Post)
Held in Belitung from Sept. 7-9, the G20 Development Ministerial Meeting concluded with two deliverables, namely the G20 Roadmap for Stronger Recovery and Resilience in Developing Countries, including LDCs (Least Developed Countries) and SIDS (Small Island Developing States) and the G20 Principles to Scale-up Blended Finance in Developing Countries, including LDCs and SIDS.
“Our meeting reflects the commitments of all members to deliver the shared objectives, that is to narrow the development gap and reduce poverty”, said Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency head/ National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa in Belitung.
The meeting successfully concluded the work of the G20 Development Working Group over the past year. The roadmap first locates collective actions to accelerate the economic recovery of developing countries, through improving the productivity and competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), optimizing adaptive social protection, the implementation of green economy and blue economy through low-carbon development and climate-resilient development.