Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

Egypt to participate in launching AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative in Ghana (Ahram Online)

Egypt will participate with the largest shipment of products to Ghana within the framework of the initiative, according to a press statement.

The 10th African Trade Ministerial Meeting of the AFCFTA will be hosted for two days in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

The initiative will symbolise the beginning of commercially meaningful trade on a pilot basis between Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Tunisia. These countries were selected to represent the five African Union regions, namely: Western, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa, respectively.

Kenya exports tea to Ghana in first AfCFTA trading deal (TheCable)

Kenya has commenced tea exportation to Ghana under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Kenyan President William Ruto, on Wednesday, flagged off the inaugural consignment of tea to Ghana.

AfCFTA is a free-trade area agreement signed by most African countries.

Zambia remains important bilateral Namibian partner (Namibia Economist)

Zambia remains one of Namibia’s important bilateral partners, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation said Wednesday.

“Of all the dry Ports at the port of Walvis Bay, the Zambian dry port, is the most active in terms of volumes. Containerized imports continue to account for over 60 percent of all transit cargo via the dry port at Walvis Bay, she added. “As a consequence of our joint commission mechanism, we have jointly recorded common achievements such as the completion of the Trans-Caprivi Highway, Katima Mulilo-Sesheke Bridge on the Zambezi River, and the Livingstone-Sesheke Road, all of which have facilitated the export of goods through the port of Walvis Bay at a faster speed,” she added.

Liberia: APM Terminals Liberia Posts Significant Results with Cargo Deliveries (Front Page Africa)

MONROVIA – A month after launching the Port Automation and Digitization system (PAD), APM Terminals Liberia is already recording milestones in the efficiency of the system.

For the first time ever, 210 import containers were delivered in a day to customers, a feat that occurred on September 22, 2022. The direct result of this for the economy is that essential goods such as food, medicine, construction materials, and other products will be available faster on the market.

Commenting on this achievement and its importance for trade in Liberia, Minister of Commerce, Minister Mawine Diggs said that continuous improvement in container deliveries at the Port has a ripple effect for a vibrant Liberia market and trade industry.

Nigeria: African Development Bank approves $25 million Trade Finance Facility for FSDH Merchant Bank for local SMEs (AfDB)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $15 million trade finance line of credit and $10 million transaction guarantee for FSDH Merchant Bank in Nigeria. FSDH will use the line of credit to provide loans to local enterprises in Nigeria.

The $25 million package will help to reduce the trade finance gap in Nigeria by making financial resources available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial sector.

The Bank will also guarantee up to 100% of non-payment risks arising from letters of credit and similar trade finance instruments issued by FSDH under the guarantee portion. This will allow confirmation of trade transactions originated by FSDH, benefiting local import and export businesses.

How Terminal Africa is transforming logistics solutions for African businesses (Businessday)

Nigeria – A leading software startup, Terminal Africa has deployed scalable technology-based solutions to help African businesses grappling with logistical challenges, in a bid to facilitate continental and global commerce.

In Africa, logistical solutions are essential to the survival of businesses due to the dearth of critical physical infrastructure and low connectivity on both the inter and intra-country levels.

Terminal Africa has positioned itself to address the pain points for African businesses. The company has served over 3,500 businesses, shipping goods worth over ₦350m monthly, since 2021 when it was officially established.

African trade and integration

Eastern Africa Market and Trade Update, October 2022 - Burundi (ReliefWeb)

Although global food and fuel prices have decreased since the price spike that started February through June 2022, this has not been reflected in domestic commodity prices as they are still elevated and continue to rise. Most domestic currencies in the region have been a free fall against the US$ and weakening trend is expected to continue through the end of the year.

Despite the start of seasonal harvests in unimodal areas, the prices of staple cereals remained significantly higher in the third quarter, much elevated than previous year and the recent five year average in most markets. Staple commodity prices increased m-o-m in most markets in Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan, due to a reduction in stocks and localized factors (drought, macro-economic challenges, conflict etc). Maize prices however decreased in Uganda and parts of Tanzania due to supply from the below-average June-to-July harvest.

The high cost of food and fuel will keep upward pressure on inflation across the region. The continued increase in cost of living is expected to constrain disposable income and purchasing power of low-income households.

African countries delay cross-border trading of securities to December (Independent)

Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | African countries have delayed the cross-border trading in listed securities from October to December, Geoffrey Odundo, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), said on Tuesday.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide support to link ten African stock exchanges through a digital platform, he said.

“The digital platform will enable investors to place orders seamlessly with their local stockbrokers for listed equities and debt instruments in other African countries,” Odundo said.

Africa - Poor Transport Infrastructure Hindering Trade Growth (Top Africa News)

According to a World Bank report titled 'How does infrastructure support international trade?' global trade has contributed to economic growth and poverty reduction in the past three decades ' so transport infrastructure stimulates trade which brings about economic growth and reduces poverty.

To better share the gains of trade, more road infrastructures are needed to connect better regions of a country and countries in a given area as well that is the basis to improving intra-African trade. However, high transport costs continue to hinder regional integration since large-scale transport infrastructure investments require huge investments. However, once set up, road infrastructure can 'reduce transport costs both within countries and to other countries, increasing internal as well as external trade integration,' reads the report in part.

Osinbajo urges African nations to collaborate to boost blue economy (Peoples Gazette)

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on African states, non-governmental and private organisations and other stakeholders to synergise efforts at harnessing seabed resources to boost the continent’s blue economy.

Mr Osinbajo said the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) allowed nations to explore and exploit mineral resources on the seabed beyond national jurisdiction for the benefit of mankind.

According to him, there is a need for Nigeria and African industrial stakeholders, private organisations, entities and NGOs to synergise efforts towards strengthening the engagement of African states in activities in the international seabed area.

Free movement across ECOWAS sub-region must be embraced - Afenyo-Markin (Myjoyonline)

Ghana – The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says while free movement within the ECOWAS sub-region is being embraced, this must be done within a framework that ensures the safety of member states’ borders and their stability.

According to him, with conflicts and jihadist insurrections taking place across the sub-region, member states have increasingly become wary of people that troop into their country, Ghana not being an exception. This he says have led to the extra checks and scrutiny that occur at various borders across the sub-region.

First AfCFTA trading - Ghana tiles, Rwanda goods take lead (Graphic Online)

Ghana has issued its first certificate of full commercial trading to a ceramic tiles production company to export its products under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Guided Trade initiative.

The Assistant Commissioner of Customs in charge of the AfCFTA Secretariat, F.Y. Akoto, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said on September 30, this year, the Customs Division issued the certificate of trading to a tiles manufacturing company, Keda Ghana Ceramics Company Limited, located at Shama in the Western Region, to export a consignment of its products to Cameroun.

“It is expected that when the products reach Cameroun, their customs officials will give the necessary preferential treatment to Keda Ceramics for it to enjoy reduced tariffs and quota-free facility,” he said.

Global economy

Trade thoughts, from Geneva, by DDG Anabel González (World Trade Organization)

A few days ago, representatives from government, business, academia, and civil society from across all regions descended on Geneva to participate in the largest outreach event of the World Trade Organization (WTO), its annual Public Forum.  Buzzling with lively conversations under the broad umbrella topic of "Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery: Ambition to Action", the house was packed with 3200 participants and 671 speakers engaged in person in over 140 sessions on all things trade. Like in a grand bazaar, there was something for everyone. In my case, I heard five key messages from many stakeholders, loud and clear. The common thread among them is that it is time for action at the WTO.

First, the WTO matters. In a world of overlapping and reinforcing crises, from geopolitical rifts and war, threats to food and energy security, high inflation, supply chain disruptions, climate change, and the lingering impacts of the pandemic, the strengths and weaknesses of the global trading system have come into sharp focus. The WTO system has been vital to create and maintain stability and predictability in trade relations, both in normal and in more challenging times. But it has been slow to negotiate new rules, some of its working procedures could be more effective, and its dispute settlement system is no longer functioning as intended.

There were no calls in the Public Forum to ditch the WTO, however. On the contrary, evidence continues to mount that a well-functioning global trade system is not really a choice. It is a necessity. A necessity to manage the risks arising from a vastly more complex trade policy landscape. A necessity to fill the gaps in global governance that are weighing on the ability of countries to respond to pressing collective challenges. And a necessity to help make international trade more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable.

WTO anticipates sharp slowdown in world trade growth in 2023 (UN News)

Trade growth is expected to lose momentum in the second half of this year and remain subdued in 2023, as the global economy sustains multiple shocks, such as ripple effects from the war in Ukraine, the latest forecast from the World Trade Organization (WTO) has revealed. 

The UN partner agency has cautioned against imposing trade restrictions which would ultimately result in slower growth and lower living standards. 

Global merchandise trade volume is estimated to grow 3.5 per cent in 2022, or slightly better than the 3.0 per cent anticipated in April.   

However, volume will slow to 1 per cent next year, a sharp decline from the 3.4 per cent previously estimated.

UK exports to EU moving in 'right direction' despite traders reporting negative Brexit impact (The Institute of Export & International Trade)

British exports to the EU are starting to recover from the dual shocks of Brexit and Covid, but not as quickly as hoped.

This was the latest view from the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) director of exports Paul McComb on an Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) webinar today (6 October) titled ‘How to reboot your exports to the EU’.

McComb pointed to an 11% increase in exports to the continent in the four quarters leading up to Q1 2022 as evidence.

Despite this, UK-EU trade is still not where it was pre-Brexit, with 45% of delegates on the webinar saying their exports to the EU had been ‘negatively impacted’. A quarter said they were exporting at the same levels, while only 3% said they were exporting more.

The Latest Menace on Supply Chains Is Mother Nature (Bloomberg)

Climate change and the extreme weather it spawns are making it harder for tangled supply chains to sync up with a slowing global economy.

In the US Midwest, the problem is low river levels at just the wrong time — in the early weeks of the corn and soybean harvest. A logjam of more than 100 vessels in the falling Mississippi River is threatening to grind trade of grains, fertilizer, metals and petroleum to a halt. The largest US barge operator warned customers it won’t be able to make good on deliveries.

Over the longer term, though, supply-chain disruptions from weather events could become common, meaning businesses will “increasingly need to invest in expensive climate-change adaptation strategies,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a speech last month. Also, households will probably have to devote resources to climate-related expenses like flood insurance, she said.

Air Cargo Demand Shows Resilience in August (IATA)

Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released August 2022 data for global air cargo markets which demonstrated the industry’s resilience amid economic uncertainties.

“Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience. Cargo volumes, while tracking below the exceptional performance of 2021, have been relatively stable in the face of economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts. Market signals remain mixed. August presented several indicators with upside potential: oil prices stabilized, inflation slowed and there was a slight expansion in goods traded globally. But the decrease in new export orders in all markets except the US tells us that developments in the months ahead will need to be watched carefully,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

African airlines saw cargo volumes increase by 1.0% in August 2022 compared to August 2021. This was a significant improvement on growth recorded the previous month (-3.5%). Capacity was 1.4% below August 2021 levels.

Around the world in 9 months: DP World adds new trade routes to open global markets (Khaleej Times)

DP World added more than 23,000 nautical miles of new trade routes across the globe in the first three quarters of 2022, equivalent to a complete circumnavigation of the earth. The new routes -- connecting the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East -- are already opening new trading opportunities for cargo owners, better access to goods and services for underserved populations, and providing alternatives to globally congested routes and ports across the globe.

"Our purpose is to make trade flow. By bringing together our world-leading capabilities in road, rail, sea and ports, we’re able to provide new trading opportunities that connect cargo owners with their customers, whatever their products and wherever they are in the world," Tiemen Meester, chief operating officer of Ports and Terminals at DP World, said.

Tanzania, Qatar ink deal to boost trade, investments (Anadolu Agency)

Tanzania and its semi-autonomous Zanzibar island signed an agreement with Qatar on Thursday to strengthen trade and investment relations and revitalize their long-standing bilateral ties.

The agreement, witnessed by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is on an official visit to Qatar, is aimed at enhancing trade and investment cooperation and partnership between business communities from the two countries in tourism and hospitality, infrastructure, and energy, the statement said.

It added that the agreement was signed by Mohamed bin Ahmed Twar Al Kuwari, first vice chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, and Paul Koyi, chairman of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture, as well as Ali Suleiman Amour, chairman of Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce.

United Nations & Shanghai Cooperation Organisation To Facilitate Agricultural Trade (Silk Road Briefing)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) intend to facilitate trade in agri-food products between SCO member states. The aim is to look at new ways of facilitating cross-border trade, including the organization of green corridors, as well as the creation of cross-border wholesale distribution centres. SCO full members include China, Russia, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan and comprise the bulk of global grain production.

The cooperation comes after supply chains problems emerging from sanctions placed on Russia due to the Ukraine conflict and the closing of borders with Russia, which is also the world’s largest grain producer. Moscow has also criticized the EU for taking grain for itself that was subject to Russia and Turkish monitoring from Ukraine that under the shipping agreement was supposed to be sent to emerging countries in Africa. Apparently, Russia was told that these shipments would be sent to developing nations and especially countries in Africa, such as Egypt, which is reliant on grain for its stable component foods for much of its 100 million population. Other African nations are in a similar position. However, it turns out that according to Putin, of the 87 ships containing Ukrainian grain sent so far, only two have been sent to developing countries (Ethiopia and Yemen) – the rest went to the EU. The EU has replied by stating that Russia does not have the right to determine where Ukraine exports its products. The Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine agreement on Ukraine’s exports of grain ends at the end of October.

Europe's largest economy Germany expects to slide into recession next year (The Daily Star)

The German government expects Europe's largest economy to slide into recession next year, contracting 0.4% as an energy crisis, rising prices and supply bottlenecks take their toll, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, citing provisional figures.

The government has cut its growth forecast for 2022 to 1.4% from an April projection of 2.2%, the sources added. It had previously forecast growth of 2.5% for 2023.

The government also expects inflation to remain in the high single digits, at a level of 7.9% this year and 8% in 2023, the sources said, though these figures could change slightly depending on the effect of a gas price brake.

Publication: Annual Update on SDR Trading Operations (International Monetary Fund)

This paper provides an update on the status of the SDR trading market and operations one year after the historic fourth general allocation of SDRs. In the reporting period, SDR trading has been dominated by SDR sales due to the 2021 SDR allocation. The VTAs continue to have ample capacities to meet the demand for exchange of SDRs into currencies. Staff has made significant progress in further strengthening the SDR trading market. Since the SDR allocation, eight new VTA members have been welcomed to the SDR trading market and many existing VTA members provided additional operational flexibilities. Discussions with a number of potential new entrants continue in the broader context of SDR channeling, which encourages contributors to have VTAs.

Download the paper for free


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