Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

Zim makes inroads on exports to Malawi (The Herald)

ZIMBABWEAN companies’ prospects to grow exports into the Malawi market look bright after local brands were commended for their quality at the just-ended Malawi outward mission. This was revealed at the just-ended Malawi outward mission, which ran from September 20-022 2022 in Malawi’s capital, Blantyre. The outward mission, which was facilitated by ZimTrade, the national trade development, and promotion body, saw 15 local companies from various sectors attending.

Local companies that took part in the outward mission were drawn from diverse manufacturing backgrounds including agro-processing, electrical and agricultural equipment.

ZimTrade has been conducting multiple activities within the region in an effort to increase exports into Malawi. “Malawi is a net importer and with the good feedback on our products, there is room to increase exports into this market. The biggest opportunities can be found in agriculture inputs and implements, building and construction, fast-moving consumer goods, and more,” said ZimTrade director of operations, Similo Nkala.

Kenya-America trade deal to mirror Taiwan template (Business Daily)

Kenya-US trade deal talks will follow America’s bilateral pact with Taiwan save for caps on State-owned companies, Trade Principal Secretary Johnson Weru said. Mr Weru said Kenya will duplicate the US-Taiwan trade deal announced in August, however omitting a plan to remove distortive practices of state-owned enterprises and government monopolies. Kenya is seeking a trade agreement with the US government that will support countering terrorism, corruption and investment.

It comes at a time when the US has overtaken Uganda to become the largest buyer of Kenyan goods, ending Kampala’s dominance as the top market for Kenya’s exports. Official data shows that exports to the US jumped 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year on the back of increased sales of clothes.

Rwanda Economic Update: Boosting Exports Through Technology, Innovation, and Trade in Services (World Bank)

Released today, the new Rwanda Economic Update finds that, after a strong economic recovery last year, Rwandan GDP growth is expected to be moderate in 2022 due, in part, to the effects of the war in Ukraine and the persistent risk of the COVID-19 pandemic in major economies. According to the 19th edition of the Rwanda Economic Update (REU19) titled Boosting Exports Through Technology, Innovation, and Trade in Services, GDP growth is projected at 6% for 2022, after reaching 11% in 2021. Inflation continues to mount as increases in international commodity prices and the disruption of global supply chains have led to substantial increase in energy, transport, and food prices.

In its special focus on trade, the report gives an insight into Rwanda’s export performance. The REU19 notes that Rwandan firms have increased their participation in international trade (particularly in services) over the last decade, to levels exceeding that of regional and continental peers. Discussing the main drivers of trade performance, the report highlights that securing a certification for an international quality standard, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certificate, is a critical factor in facilitating firms’ participation in international trade. Firms with ISO certification are 36% more likely to be exporters. However, this remains a major challenge for Rwanda as only 3% of Rwandan firms had obtained ISO certification in 2019.

African trade and integration

East Africa exporters brace for impact as Suez Canal tolls rise (The East African)

The increase in transit tolls for ships passing through the Suez Canal by 15 percent is likely to impact exports to Europe from the region, the shippers warned. Egypt has raised the fees for all vessel types, except bulk and cruise ships, whose fees will increase by 10 percent from next year. Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said in a statement that the increment will take effect from January 1, 2023.The authority cited rising energy prices, freight rates, and daily charter rates for ships, which are predicted to continue next year.

“The (tolls) increase is inevitable and is a necessity in light of the current global inflation, which translates into increased operational costs and the costs of the navigational services provided in the canal,” said Mr Rabie.

The Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA) chief executive Gilbert Lagat said exports from East Africa destined to Europe would be the most affected. “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,” said Mr Lagat.

Boeing Predicts Growth in Africa Aviation Demands (KT Press)

Global airline manufacturer, Boeing has estimated that intra-regional and domestic networks across the African continent will grow with a robust 6,1% compound annual growth rate, driving twenty-year demand for 1,010 new airplanes by 2040 valued at $176 billion. Boeing 2022 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) data released this September shows that with Europe remaining the most prominent origin destination for African carriers, overall African air traffic growth is forecast at 5.2%, the third highest among global regions.

The outlook shows that African aviation traffic has recovered at a strong pace in 2022 with pent-up demand and economic growth driven by higher global commodity prices allowing African airlines to recover their flight operations to 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

New deal to help Ethiopia Airlines expand its wings (Business Daily)

Kenyan-based travel technology company AfroAtlas has signed an agreement with Ethiopia Airlines to provide the carrier with a new platform for travel agents to market and distribute its products and flight bookings. The firm—which is known as a travel consolidator— said on Wednesday it will deliver the airline’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) platform, which is a travel industry-supported programme launched by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for airlines to create and distribute relevant offers to customers.

Growing Africa’s aviation market (News Agency of Nigeria)

Post-pandemic resurgence holds opportunities, challenges for different industries (Engineering News)

As the world is moving beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, a resurgence is occurring, with higher levels of consumption and trade in most sectors. This presents opportunities, but also challenges, for various industries. This was noted by domestic and international trade credit insurance firm Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation (CGIC) Africa CEO Charles Nortje, during the company’s ‘Resurgence’ Spring Conference on September 22.

Vodacom South Africa MD Sitho Mdlalose spoke to the future of the mobile industry, noting that this presented both challenges and opportunities for industry players to mitigate and capitalise on. He outlined that there were many players in the industry, across many verticals and geographies. Owing to this complexity, Mdlalose said the future would see an increasingly competitive environment, in several different ways. He elaborated that vertical integration would be a key topic for the industry, with this already starting to happen, both in Africa and globally.

Trade, investment, others should be right-based across Africa ― Olawuyi (Tribune Online)

An independent expert of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights in Africa, Prof. Damilola Olawuyi (SAN) called for rights-based approaches to trade, investment, banking and business practices across Africa.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that a vast volume of literature has been generated on its application in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America amongst others since the adoption of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in 2011.

“Since the adoption of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in 2011, a vast volume of literature has been generated on its application in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America amongst others. “What however remained absent for many years was an in-depth, exhaustive and book-length exposition of the application of the UNGPs in African countries.

US-Africa trade: Lofty goals, lagging investment (The Africa Report)

With a quarter of earth’s population by 2050 and a median age under 20, Africa appears poised to replace China as both a giant consumer market for American goods and services and as the world’s factory. Washington insists the US and Africa are a natural fit and has made trade a centrepiece of its US-Africa Leaders Summit in mid-December.

As global supply chains for everything from critical minerals to food and fertiliser come under threat from intensifying competition with China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US investment in Africa is expected to be a key focus of the three-day summit. On 14 December, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will co-host the Africa Business Forum, the official private sector stakeholder event of the summit.

Africa’s economies threatened by climate crisis, regulatory uncertainties: experts (Daily News Egypt)

Climate crisis and unpredictable political and regulatory uncertainties are posing threats to sustained economic growth in Africa, experts said Tuesday.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the 2022 Edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index report, the experts said the continent should confront emerging threats of sporadic conflicts, climatic shocks, and policy and regulatory uncertainties to sustain economic growth. Patricia Rodrigues, a senior analyst for West Africa at Control Risks, a global risk consultancy firm, noted that Africa’s quest for economic revival is at stake amid pandemic-related disruptions, the Ukraine-Russia conflict and recurrent drought.

“Some of the broad threats to Africa’s economies are the climate crisis, supply chain disruptions linked to the pandemic, soaring food prices, and inconsistency in the regulatory environment,” Rodrigues said.

Global Africa Business Initiative inspires business, political, and cultural leaders to advance equitable growth for the continent (UN Global Compact)

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed closed the inaugural Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) conference this week, calling on partners in government, industry, and philanthropy to contribute toward a vision of sustainable, equitable growth; and to accelerate business opportunities on the African continent. “The solidarity we’re looking for in the world will come home to roost, and it will be in Africa. Right now, the leadership and the solutions are coming from the continent,” said Ms. Mohammed.

Under the headline Unstoppable Africa, the two-day GABI launch event brought together business, non-profit, political, media and cultural leaders to create a new growth roadmap and realize the immense, untapped business and investment opportunities offered by the $2.5 trillion African market.

Campaigners want health funding cuts reversed amid Africa crises (The East African)

Civil society groups and health professionals, speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, said there was an urgent need for targeted investment in programmes and policies to tackle the devastating social and economic impact of crises, including the food crisis in Africa and the conflict in the Democratic of Congo (DRC).

Covid-19 has led to food price hikes and the overall rise in the cost of living in most African countries. Some countries have been limiting access to food and other essentials, even if food is available at increased prices in local markets.

About 5.5 million children in East Africa are facing high levels of malnutrition due to the compounding effects of Covid-19, intense drought, and the Ukraine crisis. About 97 million more people are living on less than $1.90 a day because of the pandemic, increasing the global poverty rate from 7.8 percent to 9.1 percent.

Inclusion, inequality, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa (Brookings Institution)

Adoption of Fourth-Industrial-Revolution (4IR) technologies in sub-Saharan Africa could bring not only substantial economic growth and welfare benefits, but also social and economic disruption, including widening inequality if countervailing policies are not adopted, as discussed in our recent report.

With a high share of the labor force working informally—a trend expected to continue for several decades—Africa’s education and industrial policies need to strike a balance between encouraging private investment needed to create new formal jobs using advanced technology and ensuring that all new labor force entrants have the basic skills and infrastructure to make an adequate living.

Inequality has been on the rise in many sub-Saharan Africa countries. Five of the top ten most unequal countries in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa cannot afford to let technology exacerbate this trend. Policies to contain or reduce inequality involve action across sectors and policy domains, and

Three steps for Africa to combat climate change (AFC)

With hopes for countering global warming pinned on progress at the upcoming COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, a report from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Africa’s leading infrastructure solutions provider, sets out the continent’s stance by balancing the need for emissions reduction with critical development imperatives.

The report, Roadmap to Africa’s COP: A Pragmatic Path to Net Zero, is set within a context where Africa has borne the brunt of the most devastating impacts of climate change, while contributing little to global emissions. This low carbon output reflects Africa’s crippling energy deficit, which has stymied industrialisation and economic development. Africa, therefore, needs a realistic agenda for addressing climate change which allows the region to also continue advancing its industrial base.

“Africa is unlike any other continent when it comes to global net zero – and we need a blueprint for a common negotiating stance that reflects this,” said Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC. “We are advocating for consideration of Africa’s energy deficit and the need for quantum leaps in industrialisation for job creation and reducing poverty, as well as climate-proofing built infrastructure and protecting our powerful carbon sinks.”

Transiting to green growth in fossil export-dependent economies: A pathway for Africa (Global Policy Journal)

Divestment from fossil fuels has been at the heart of global climate discourse. For developing countries that have traditionally been less emitters and at the receiving end of the severest economic impact of climate change, a sweeping divestment could lead to serious socio-economic and political consequences. African countries must collectively adapt energy transition to local context and pursue a pragmatic approach that ensures a gradual transition from fossil fuels to a green economy.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents a unique platform for Africa to achieve net-zero emissions by continued investments in fossil fuels while drastically cutting emissions arising from current externalised supply chains because AfCFTA will promote cleaner regional supply chains. Africa’s fossil fuel-dependent economies must redirect current fossil revenues into creating non-fossil-based industries while making a gradual-but-steady shift from fossil fuel as the source of fiscal revenues.

Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss (NEPAD)

Climate financing will play an important role in unlocking Africa’s potential to combat climate change. It is estimated that Africa requires about 2.5 trillion dollars of climate finance between 2020 and 2030 averaging about 250 billion dollars each year. However, the total annual climate finance flows in Africa for 2020 were only 30 billion dollars, which is just about 12 percent of the amount needed.

On the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD convened a high-level event on Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss.

Dr Andrew Steer, Chief Executive Officer of the Bezos Earth Fund highlighted the positive strides that Africa is taking towards climate resilience, in pointing out that, “Africa is the continent that is showing the most ingenuity and innovativeness in climate change. Africa is the continent with the greatest opportunity for restoration.”

Global economy 

World needs maritime trade to brave rough seas of crises, UNCTAD chief says (UNCTAD)

The world again needs the shipping industry to brave the rough seas of crises, UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said on 22 September as she addressed the Global Maritime Forum’s annual summit. Speaking at a New York navy yard dubbed the “can-do shipyard” at the height of World War Two, Ms. Grynspan said maritime trade is facing a “historic moment of crisis”.

The war in Ukraine is disrupting shipping routes and supply chains. It has also triggered global food, energy and finance crises that have sparked record prices worldwide and could push tens of millions more people across the world into hunger and poverty this year.

Maritime transport has a key role to play in cushioning the blow, since ships carry over 80% of the goods the world trades – including most of the food, energy and fertilizers people desperately need right now.

Ms. Grynspan heralded the work already done to help load and transport food and fertilizers from Ukraine through the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye. But she called on the maritime industry to redouble its efforts.

DG Okonjo-Iweala: Global trade a powerful instrument for improving the lives of women (WTO)

Empowering women economically through decent jobs and trade can lead to increased global development and economic growth, DG Okonjo-Iweala said. Trade creates jobs and market opportunities for women and the businesses they run and serves as a driver of economy-wide growth in the countries that most urgently need it, she added. But “we have left much of this power unharnessed,” she noted. “We can do so much more to leverage trade to create economic opportunities for women.”

The Director-General noted a recent joint study on trade and gender equality by the WTO and World Bank which found that trade generates more and better jobs and job opportunities for women. Companies that export employ more women, and firms integrated into global trade and global value chains have a higher average female labour share than those focused on the domestic market.

Least developed countries impacted by ‘range of interlinked crises’ – Assembly President (UN News)

“Even before the pandemic, many least developed countries were off-track in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and had limited capacity to tackle complex challenges such as climate change or food insecurity,” Csaba Kőrösi said.

“However, this year’s Ministerial Meeting assumes unique significance as it takes place amid a whole range of interlinked crises rippling through our world”.

While noting that those external shocks have “upended people’s lives, reversed decades of development gains, and destabilized governments around the world,” he also pointed to “the good news” that we have the tools at hand to encourage transformation.

The Doha Programme of Action – adopted in March during the first part of the “pivotal” Fifth UN Conference on LDCs – provides an important blueprint for them to overcome the impacts of the global crises, Mr. Kőrösi said. “It charts a path for LDCs to build resilience and realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” he continued, but “to get there – we must work together to ensure the Doha Programme of Action is implemented”.

BRICS Ministers voice concern on global conflicts (SAnews)

The BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations have expressed concern on the increasing and ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world.

The BRICS alliance consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – five major emerging economies with over three billion people that account for over 40% of the world’s population and over a quarter of the global gross domestic product.

The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core. “They reiterated the strong and necessary need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system, including the UN, the WTO, the International Monetary Fund, and other international organisations.” They further reiterated their commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system of the WTO, which is consensus and rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive with special and differential treatment for developing countries. “They urged all States to refrain from promulgating and applying any economic, financial or trade measures not by the rules of the WTO, international law and the UN Charter that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.”

G20: Indonesia explores cooperation opportunities with South Africa (ANTARA)

Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto explored opportunities for cooperation with South Africa while meeting with South Africa’s Trade, Industry, and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel at the G20 Trade, Investment, and Industry Ministerial Meeting (TIIMM). The two ministers discussed various aspects of potential cooperation, including mineral and coal, as well as efforts to cut dependence on fossil fuels according to the global agreement to reduce exhaust emissions and the impact of climate change.

“Technology, such as carbon capture, and utilization and storage (CCUS), including its funding mechanism, must be encouraged to have a significant impact on both countries,” Hartarto noted in a statement received here, Friday.

During the meeting, he remarked that the transition to low-carbon energy is an important aspect to achieve climate resilience that supports the environment and creates more job opportunities.

Leveraging aid for trade to mobilize climate finance in the least developed countries (Global Policy Journal)

The LDCs, which are not only highly vulnerable and least prepared to face climate-related challenges but also resource-strapped, can leverage AFT to mobilize climate finance. This, however, requires better appreciation of the need to enhance coordination, build capacity and achieve synergies between two important sources of development finance.

Since this is an under researched area, this paper has made the attempt to fill the void by exploring, with the help of examples and where possible, various possibilities that exist. While indirect support for feasibility studies and project preparation can contribute to the foundational work in leveraging climate finance, direct support such as co-financing, developing proof of concept or de-risking projects to attract private investment, including through blended financing modality, is important to unlock the financing potential.

At the same time, there is a need to maintain the right balance between mitigation and adaption when it comes to climate finance.

Tax policy is playing a key role in promoting economic recovery and responding to the energy price shock (OECD)

Tax policy is playing a critical role as countries seek to promote economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the impact of rapid increases in energy prices, according to a new OECD report. Tax Policy Reforms 2022 describes recent tax reforms across 71 countries and jurisdictions, including all OECD members and selected members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. The report finds that tax reforms - notably reductions in taxes on labour and more generous corporate tax incentives - have been among the key policy tools that countries have used to stimulate growth and promote economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Recent tax reforms have been targeted at stimulating economic recovery from COVID-19, while countries with the greatest fiscal space have been providing more generous tax benefits for longer periods of time,” said Pascal Saint‑Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. “Countries have also used tax policy as one of their main tools in responding to rapid rises in energy prices.”


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010