tralac Daily News
The African continent remained South Africa’s largest agricultural exports market in the first quarter of this year, accounting for 35% in value terms . In the second quarter of this year, citrus was still the top exportable agricultural product by value in South Africa, although down by 22% from the second quarter of 2021 .
As the war in Ukraine rages and global inflationary pressure mounts, South Africa is unlikely to see reductions in key input costs – fuel and fertiliser – and, therefore, food prices will remain above pre-2020 levels, reports asset management company Futuregrowth. South Africa’s overall rate of inflation in June was 7.4%, compared with June 2021, with the rate of increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages averaging even higher at 8.6% over the same period, the effects of which are felt directly by consumers. On the positive side, agricultural producers should respond to higher agricultural commodity prices, hopefully leading to increased production.
Futuregrowth says production conditions for South African farmers will be critical, but higher supply should lead to somewhat normalised prices in the medium term.
“If anything is certain, it is that we are living in very uncertain times. Agricultural producers face an array of challenges, including an ongoing war and the ripple effect that various governments’ policies will have on the global and local economy,” Futuregrowth says.
The Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (Tiasa) has commenced legal steps to reverse the decision taken by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on tyres imported from China.
Tiasa chair Charl de Villiers said that Tiasa will be lodging a high court application to reverse the decision taken by Itac to impose these provisional anti-dumping duties on the basis that the legislation Itac relied on to impose these provisional duties has not been promulgated. The provisional anti-dumping duty will remain in place until 8 March next year and will lapse if Itac has not issued a final determination by then.
South African Clothing Retailers Reducing Reliance on Chinese Imports (Voice of America)
The South African flag is increasingly decorating labels on garments at major retail chains across the country. It’s an effort to bolster the country’s clothing and textile sector. More than half of the textiles sold by South African retailers are imported from abroad, according to the government, and nearly 60% of those imports come from China. Retailers signing on to a master plan by the government to support local businesses say there are more benefits than just job creation.
Hazel Pillay, general manager of retailer Pick n Pay Clothing, said, “Being able to have the product made locally means that you can actually respond to what the customer needs more efficiently, which is really what every retailer wants — to move towards more fast response.”
Kenya exports to Uganda drop as rest of EAC soar (The East African)
Kenya’s exports to Tanzania grew the sharpest among all East Africa Community (EAC) markets in the six months to June, new data shows, outshining the country’s slumped performance in its top trading destination, Uganda. Statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya shows Kenya’s exports to Uganda dipped 8.5 per cent to Ksh46.77 billion ($386.3 million) during the half year compared to a similar period in 2021—breaking a growth trend in all EAC markets including Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
Although Uganda remains Kenya’s main export market, frequent trade tiffs over items such as sugar, eggs and milk have often soured trade.
Kenya had in the last two years restricted exports of poultry and dairy products from Uganda, straining the relationship between the duo. The issue on poultry was resolved after Uganda threatened to ban Nairobi from exporting its goods to the landlocked neighbour. In 2020, Kenya barred sugar from Uganda and sugarcane, costing traders who were exporting the raw material to sugar mills billions of shillings as the crop was left to rot on trucks at the border.
Share of Kenya’s exports to EAC falls despite trade deal (Business Daily)
Exports from Kenya to East African countries have shrunk over the past decade despite expectations that Kenyan entrepreneurs would experience a boom under the regional trading bloc that took effect in 2010.Official data show the share of Kenyan exports to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda shrank to 19.9 percent in the six months to June. The share stood at 22.5 percent in similar period a decade ago as Kenyan exports to other countries rose faster than what it sold to the neighbouring countries. This emerged in a period when a common market protocol was in place and touted to boost commerce among the East African Community (EAC) countries.
Experts say Tanzania and Uganda have in recent years boosted their industrial base, cutting their appetite for Kenya-made goods.
Kenya’s export value increased by 17 per cent in 2021 to hit KSh 666.7 billion (US$ 5.5 billion) compared to KSh 567.4 billion (US$ 4.7 billion) in 2020. This is according to the latest data from the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Business Intelligence Tool that shows that the increase was influenced by earnings from top agricultural products (tea and horticultural products). As per the report, tea and horticulture registered about KSh 296 billion (US 2.4 billion), a 44.4 per cent of the total domestic exports.
“Through the trade facilitation platform, Kenya Exported approximately 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural products especially tea and horticulture that still stand as our main export,” the report states.
Kenya, Egypt target increased bilateral trade during October forum (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)
Kenya and Egypt are targeting to increase bilateral trade between the two nations during the upcoming Egypt Kenya Business Bridge Forum slated for next month. “The forum seeks to develop links between more than 34 leading Egyptian manufacturers with trade opportunities and to build valuable contacts with their Kenyan counterparts, as well as connecting Kenyan business communities eyeing the Egyptian market with the right trade partners,” said Khalid El Abyad, Egypt Ambassador to Kenya.
According to Abyad, “Egypt seeks to expand its cooperation and investment in Africa and create investment partnerships in all economic fields and sectors in implementation of the political leadership’s directives to open up to Africa, increase trade exchange, open new markets for Egyptian exports in Africa and vice versa, and activate the implementation of the COMESA agreement.”
Tanzanians urged to engage on carbon trade (Daily News)
TANZANIANS have been urged to engage in the newly introduced carbon trade, killing two birds by one stone — conserving the environment and earning extra income from carbon credits. Carbon trade is the process of buying and selling of credits that permit a company or other entity to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The carbon credits and the carbon trade are authorized by governments with the goal of gradually reducing overall carbon emissions and mitigating their contribution to climate change.
“Carbon trade is a new business and Tanzanians are well placed to do it if they are willing to. It has a lot of advantages, two of which are to safeguard the environment that is our agenda and second to earn some money. Billions have been paid already to some communities on this but some people are not aware of this, we should let them know,” said Dr Manyika.
Mr Mahama said the continent is still facing challenges of the common currency, Intra African trade amongst others. In his view, this is due to the unwillingness of African countries to unite. “It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, which can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.”
African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa have been prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol
The FMP and the MPFA have been established by the AU as the primary policy frameworks to address, manage, and promote migration and mobility on the continent.
Officially opening the forum, through a key note address, Mozambique’s Ambassador to the AU, H.E Alfredo Nuvunga, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, H.E Veronica Dlhovo, said despite a number of challenges characterized by the dynamics the world was currently experiencing, free movement of people was a fundamental element for the development and well-being of nations. “These challenges should not intimidate us in opening our borders, on the contrary, they should encourage us in the coordinated search for collective measures both at regional and continental levels for the establishment of an increasingly integrated and prosperous continent,” he said.
Amb. David Claude Pierre, Permanent Representative to AU Southern African Regional Office said the FMP is a tool which could be used to realize other developmental goals as well as facilitate the fulfilment of the objectives of the African Continental free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “Success of the Free movement of persons equals success of the AfCFTA. The success of the AfCFTA will create many jobs for young Africans. The success of the AfCFTA would also lead to significant increase in trade and investment among African countries.” He encouraged AU member states to not only sign, but also to ratify and domesticate it.
Egypt’s Suez Canal hike is set to also affect trade in Sub-Saharan Africa (Business Insider Africa)
The Suez Canal authority released a statement noting that transit fees for tankers passing through the canal will rise by 15%. A 10% increase would be implemented for dry bulk carriers and tourist ships. This hike will take effect from the 1st of January 2023. While this initially felt like a sub-regional issue, its impact may spread across the entire continent, particularly in East Africa.
“East Africa depends on most of its imports from Asia, which uses an alternative channel, whereas goods being exported from the region have to pass through the Suez Canal. This will complicate export, and some ships might opt to change their destinations considering the economies of scale,” chief executive officer of the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA), Gilbert Lagat said.
East African exports to Europe majorly include agricultural produce. Crops like coffee, tea, tobacco, cut flowers, fruits, vegetables, and fish. Others are textile and clothing, and handicrafts, are the region’s chief exports overseas.
The World Bank on Monday urged five West African countries to diversify their economies to adapt to climate change, warning they are extremely vulnerable to extreme weather patterns. A report said Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger -- all in the arid Sahel region -- are among the world’s least developed countries and therefore the most vulnerable to extreme droughts, floods and heatwaves. According to its Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for the G5 Sahel region, annual GDP could fall by as much as 11.9% in Niger and by 6.8% in Burkina Faso by 2050 under pessimistic climate scenarios.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and the additional estimates in the CCDR show that over $30 billion are needed across the G5 Sahel countries for climate actions.
With barely two months to go before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, Africa and other developing parts of the world that bear the severest brunt of climate change are warning against turning it into a mere talking shop of promises.
African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina told the meeting: “Africa is suffering, choking, and is in serious financial distress for what it didn’t cause. There must be a greater sense of urgency not in talking, but in doing and delivering resources that the continent needs very desperately.” He charged the world to deliver at COP 27 -the Africa COP, “we must deliver the goods there. If there are good to be delivered, it’s really about adaptation. We do desperately need to have the financing for adaptation.”
On the sidelines of the 2022 edition of Africa Climate Week, a session titled Limiting Loss and Damage through Enhanced Adaptation Action in Africa featured vibrant and timely discussion of an aspect of climate change that typically receives little attention: capturing and assessing the costs and damages associated with climate change.
Moderator Olufunso Somorin, a Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank, opened the discussion. He pointed out that it is important for African countries to measure climate-change related loss and damage to enable appropriate quantification and well-designed responses best suited to country context. It was also important to capture those losses occurred even in instances where preventive climate adaptation actions had been taken, he added.
Many economies in sub-Saharan Africa grew at a record pace before the pandemic. However, it is less clear whether the gains in economic growth have been shared equally across regions within countries because income data at the subnational level are not always available.
To assess the extent to which sub-Saharan Africa ’s strong growth performance spread across subnational regions, IMF researchers used satellite-recorded images of the Earth’s nighttime lights as a proxy for economic activity. The data show that at least until 2010, African countries made tremendous progress in reducing regional income inequality (differences in output per capita across regions of a country). This is in marked contrast with other parts of the world, where inequality either increased or convergence was slower.
Taking a closer look at the factors that affect regional inequality, we found that progress was largely due to improvements in basic infrastructure, which helped lagging regions converge faster to national levels. Night lights per capita increased several-fold in the poorest regions, with the biggest gains in oil exporters and frontier markets such as Ghana and Kenya.
DDG Ellard highlighted the benefits of multilateralism and the work of the WTO in establishing rules, monitoring the rules and providing binding dispute settlement. She stressed that some issues can be managed only on a multilateral basis. These issues include the profound challenges of the global commons, such as the health and sustainability of the ocean, climate change and global pandemics. “To tackle them effectively, we need the participation of as many countries as possible — big and small, developed and developing,” she said.
“Trade is a tool for adaptation,” the Director-General said. “If we don’t have trade in the short-term, you can’t get goods from where they are to where they are needed. In the long-term, you can’t get goods and technologies needed for adaptation purposes,” she said.
“With the shock of the pandemic, the shock of the war in Ukraine, the continuing climate shocks, and all the consequences of inflationary pressures, we’ve seen that the way we produce and consume in the world is not organized optimally,” the Director-General said, pointing to recent supply chain disruptions such as export restrictions on health-related products, rising shipping costs due to drought and food shortages.
Trade can generate more and better jobs in Southern Mediterranean countries (International Labour Organization)
Even though current crises have disrupted supply chains and severely impacted the volume of international trade and investment, they also have generated new nearshoring opportunities, which might benefit countries in the Southern Mediterranean by boosting export opportunities across different sectors says a recent ILO report. According to The Impact of Trade and Investment Policies on Productive and Decent Work countries in the region grew by about 4 per cent in 2019 and experienced a significant economic slump due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The region is weakly integrated into the global economy. In 2019 the Southern Mediterranean countries accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of the global exports and for about 1 per cent of the global import of goods.
India has discussed ways to step up cooperation among IBSA countries in various multilateral fora, including the UN, WTO and G20, on major issues of in the international agenda. The IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) has emerged as a key tripartite grouping for the promotion of cooperation in a range of areas.
‘‘The Ministers expressed satisfaction on the coordination and cooperation among IBSA countries in various multilateral fora, including the UN, WTO, WIPO and G20, on major issues of international agenda. They reiterated their intention to further deepen IBSA cooperation on international issues at various International Organisations and groupings,’’ according to a joint statement issued after the 10th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting.
‘‘They also agreed to make all efforts to reform and strengthen the multilateral trading system and make the WTO more effective and responsive to the needs of its developing country members,’’ the statement said.
The members also underscored the need to continue to make positive efforts to ensure that developing country members, including the least-developed country members, secure a share in the growth of world trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development, it said.
Multilateral development banks can also play a pivotal role in stimulating the private sector to participate in climate finance by expanding risk reduction tools and hybrid financing mechanisms, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Her remarks came during her participation in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) panel discussion on the “Geo-Economics of Climate Change”, as part of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Al-Mashat said that the climate agenda had become a priority for the international community, in light of the challenges posed by climate change and its impact on development efforts, coupled with the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The Minister emphasized that everyone is required to play an active role in addressing climate change, whether international finance institutions, governments, civil society, non-profit organizations and the private sector.
The Secretary-General’s landmark report Our Common Agenda has only grown in value since it was launched one year ago. But he cautioned that the perception that the international system is no longer up to the task has only deepened.
Despite shortcomings, he flagged that global health was an example that demonstrated how international cooperation can successfully address “the issues that matter to all of us.” In his address to the annual high-level debate in the UN General Assembly, Mr. Kagame paid tribute to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria for saving countless lives in Africa and beyond, while also strengthening health systems.; To increase African’ resilience against future pandemics, he flagged that “external funding must go hand in hand with increased domestic financing for health.” He cited the efforts under way to work with partners to bring vaccine manufacturing to the continent.