tralac Daily News
South Africa has written to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States announcing that it plans to quit the 79-member body. An OACPS spokesperson told Devex by email Thursday that the organization had received a letter from the South African government expressing its intent to leave the OACPS, based in Brussels, which is linked to the European Union by the 2000 Cotonou Agreement.
Though South Africa hasn’t commented on its reason for leaving, the OACPS spokesperson said “We understand that South Africa has a separate comprehensive agreement with the European Union, and its link with the OACPS led to the considering of issues that had already been dealt with in the other agreement.”
South Africa’s EV dream threatens $8.5 billion in climate aid (Mining.com | Bloomberg)
The US, UK, Germany, France and the EU, which are providing the funds, want them almost entirely invested in replacing the country’s coal-fired power plants with renewable energy. South Africa wants a big chunk of the money to go into developing electric-vehicle manufacturing.
It has included a 70 billion-rand ($3.9-billion), five-year subsidy program in an updated draft of an investment plan presented to funding partners this month, two people who’ve seen the proposal said. They asked not to be identified because the investment plan hasn’t been made public.
The plan does also encompass the envisaged transition away from the use of coal and the $8.5 billion is only a fraction of the total that will be needed. The private sector and other rich nations and lenders are expected to provide more finance once the current deal is sealed.
DHL expands EV logistics centres to manage EV battery logistics (Engineering News)
Kenya has projected exports for 2022 to jump 15 percent as compared to the 738 billion shillings (6.08 billion U.S. dollars) recorded in 2021.Wilfred Marube, chief executive officer of state-owned Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA), said Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital that the increase will be driven by sales into new African countries due to the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as well as emerging markets such as South Korea.
“Our marketing efforts are paying off because Kenyan products are penetrating new markets,” Marube said during the launch of Kenya Association of Manufacturers Vision 20 by 30.
Kenya buys half of August sugar from Uganda (Business Daily)
Kenya bought half of its imported sugar from Uganda in August, making Nairobi a leading destination for Kampala’s exports during the month. Data from the Sugar Directorate shows that Uganda exported 9,739 tonnes of sugar worth Sh1.3 billion, accounting for 56 percent of the 17,590 tonnes of the commodity that Kenya imported during that month. In July, Kenya did not import any sugar from Uganda, as the imports mainly came from Zambia, Mauritius and Zimbabwe as the sole suppliers of the sweetener.
Kenya relies on sugar imports from the regional countries and Uganda was the favourite market source for the commodity. “Comesa Free Trade Area (FTA) countries supplied 8,030 tonnes to Kenya while Comesa non-FTA countries supplied 2,000 tonnes. EAC, specifically Uganda, supplied 9,739 tonnes. 17,590 tonnes was imported from non-Comesa countries,” said the directorate.
High imports bill drives up current account deficit (Tanzania Daily News)
Current account recorded a deficit of 4.35 billion US dollars in the year ending August, up from 1.8 billion US dollars registered in the corresponding period last year, contributed largely by high imports bill. According to the Bank of Tanzania monthly economic review for September, the imports of goods and services amounted to 15 billion US dollars in the year under review from 10.3 billion US dollars in the same period last year. The BoT Report attributes the increase in import bill to importation rise of refined white petroleum products, iron and steel as well as plastic items.
The exports of goods and services amounted to 11.3 billion US dollars during the year ending August up from 9 billion US dollars in the corresponding period last year driven by goods and services receipts.
Exports increased by 8.3 per cent to 7.12 billion US dollars with non-traditional exports rising by 6.5 percent. Much of the increase in non-traditional exports came from iron and steel, textiles, fish and fish products and maize grain. The exports of traditional goods were 754.8 million US dollars up from 639.2 million US dollars supported by a rise in the exports of all traditional crops, largely associated with higher prices in the world markets.
Zimbabwe submits tariff offers to AfCFTA (Chronicle)
ZIMBABWE has submitted its tariff offers under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and now awaits technical verification by the secretariat, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Frederick Shava, said yesterday. Once verified, the country will then prepare the necessary legislation to start trading under the historic agreement.
Addressing delegates to the hybrid 2022 ZimTrade Annual Exporters Conference he said while trade negotiations under the AfCFTA are being finalised, local producers should start positioning themselves for this wider regional market. “In this regard, exporters should now focus on diversifying their exports into non-traditional African markets,” said Dr Shava who could not give much detail about the submitted tariff offers.
Speaking during the ZimTrade 2022 Exporters’ Conference in Harare yesterday, Industry minister Sekai Nzenza said government had put in place various measures to stabilise the economy and create a conducive environment to enable businesses to thrive.
This, she said, had resulted in the improvement of capacity utilisation of the manufacturing sector from 47% in 2020 to 66% in 2021. “Cognisant of the prevailing macroeconomic environment, I am advised that the manufacturing sector is projected to grow at an average of 3,7% during 2023, on the back of value addition and beneficiation activities in the industrial, mining and agricultural sectors.
As Europe continues to mount pressure on Nigeria to provide alternative gas supply to the continent, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) yesterday signed four additional Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on the execution of the 5,600-kilometre Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP). The proposed $25 billion gas pipeline is expected to link Nigeria and Morocco, opening a possibility for a new energy supply path for West Africa and Europe.
In his remarks at the event, Kyari said the integration of West African economies through the NMGP was critical for the region’s economic growth, adding that NNPC was committed to converting the project into functional value for all transit nations.
“The Nigeria trans-Morocco pipeline is one of the critical decisions we need to take to foster that integration and economic value and it will pass through several countries and I can confirm that ECOWAS has endorsed this project.
Angola dares to look beyond oil (Africanews)
For years, oil has been the engine powering Angola’s economy. The southern African country sells pretty much nothing else. Crude accounts for 95% of Angola’s exports. Higher oil prices in 2022 have helped the country reduce public debt to 56.5% of gross domestic product this year, down from 79.7% in 2021 and 123.8% in 2020. The country made $2.1 billion from crude sales in May alone. But Luanda has been here before and knows that good times never last. In 2021, Angola exited a long recession brought about by nearly five years of low crude prices.
The authorities have been trying to direct investment in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing in a bid to cut Angola’s over reliance on oil.
Angola is also undertaking a comprehensive privatization process to offload inefficient and loss making parastatals. Africa’s top oil producer since June after toppling Nigeria, Angola knows that sustainable growth will come not from oil, but rather cutting the resource’s oversized influence on the economy.
IMF Negotiations Will Enhance Investor Confidence – GIPC Boss (Peace FM Online)
The Enhanced Domestic Programme (EDP) being forged through discussions by government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will reinforce initiatives under the COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) and strengthen investor confidence in the Ghanaian economy, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has said.
“Various flagship initiatives, also largely covered under the CARES programme, have been implemented by government to boost private-public partnership, ensure ease of doing business for investors and indigenes, and ensure a conducive, resilient and vibrant economy,” he stated. Mr. Grant was speaking at the 19th edition of the ‘Ghana Club 100 Awards’ in Accra, and also noted that a 10-point priority projects Agenda is being implemented through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) to fundamentally change the structure of the country’s economy.
This seeks to strengthen the business climate, attract investments and create jobs. These, among others, include the provision of a stimulus package to economically viable but financially distressed companies; export Development Programmes; and the rollout of industrial parks.
The African Union (AU) has called on African countries to mutually reinforce the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement with the continent’s industrialization so as to effectively realize Africa’s critical development aspirations. “Advancing the AfCFTA and Africa’s industrialization side-by-side with deliberate efforts to realize the mutually reinforcing interdependences between the two will provide Africa’s critical success pillar and condition for Agenda 2063,” the AU said in a statement.
The statement came ahead of the AU’s high-level industrialization-themed continental gathering -- African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, slated for Nov. 20-25 in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
“To achieve the aspirations of the AfCFTA, Africa’s industrialization and transformation agenda needs to be supported at the highest national, regional, continental and global levels,” the AU said. The AU said such a focus will be key to accelerating efforts in a selected number of key policy areas, such as energy and road infrastructure, trade facilitation, financial sector development, education development, agro-industrial transformation, green industrialization, and technological innovation.
Dr. Mugwadi made these remarks on Wednesday at Sir Dawda KairabaJawara International Conference Center during a press conference on the sidelines of the 5th National Human Right Institutions forum of the 73rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The theme for the forum was: “Trade and human rights in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement: inclusive implementation of the AfCFTA with participation of vulnerable populations.” He said free movement of people across the continent remains on paper where legal frameworks have been put in place. He noted that the current regimes of national protectionist policies will substantively and negatively impede trade under this pact.
“We can only trade in an integrated Africa where every country is home for everyone. We cannot trade with each other when our laws consider us foreigners to one another,” he stated. He added that while the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and other national and international instruments can be applied, there is no specific continental binding instrument to secure human rights under the framework of AfCFTA.
This report examines emerging trends in FDI in Africa that may further shift under AfCFTA, including assessing the sources and destinations of private investment in the region. European investors remain the most important source of FDI stock in Africa, but the relative share of Africa’s FDI stock originating from Europe declined over the past decade, while Asia’s share increased.
The study also covers U.S. FDI in Africa. The destinations of FDI in Africa also shifted, with Northern and Southern Africa—which made up the majority of FDI stock in the mid-2000s—losing FDI share to Eastern Africa. Additionally, this report studies sectoral investment patterns to better understand where private investors identify new opportunities.
A particular focus is on the food and beverage sector because it directly connects to the economic development strategies of many AfCFTA signatory states and has implications for deepening agricultural value chains and food security.
Malawi, Eswatini and Zambia have launched the pilot phase of a southern African e-certificate of origin designed to boost intra-regional trade, according to Nyasa Times, a Malawian newspaper. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) e-certificate, unveiled in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, on September 7, is also expected to support regional industrialisation as well as economic development. SADC expects to have rolled out the certificate across its 16 members by 2024.
SADC secretariat’s director of finance, investment and customs, Sadwick Mtonakutha, said if the pilot phase succeeds, that would contribute to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was launched in January 2021. “SADC being a bloc contributes immensely to the continental picture, and in this case the e-certificate of origin is just part of consolidating the SADC free trade area, which is a building bloc to a continental free trade area,” Mtonakutha said.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) on 14th October, 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhancing regional integration, economic and social development through mutual cooperative relationship in the Southern African region.
Through the MoU, SADC and SACUs will work together to promote close cooperation and consultation on matters of mutual interest and coordinate their efforts to strengthen collaboration to promote industrialisation; regional and international trade; and ultimately contribute to the economic and social development of their Member States.
In Trade Facilitation, the two institutions will collaborate on customs issues; border coordination, transit measures, trade-related information management and collaboration amongst stakeholders mandated to facilitate trade; transport and logistics activities; and any cross-cutting policy imperatives for trade facilitation.
Preparations for the 22nd Edition of the East African Community (EAC) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Trade Fair, popularly known as the Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition, are in high gear. The 22nd edition of the annual EAC Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition, which will be held under the theme “Buy East African to Build East Africa for Resilience and Sustainable Development,” is expected to attract more than 1,000 artisans from all the seven (7) EAC Partner States.
The exhibition will run from 8th – 18th December, 2022 at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda. The main objective of the Trade Fair is to contribute towards the realisation of the region’s development goals and aspirations by lending support to this budding sector of the economy, which needs public patronage and Government support in order to be sustainable.
Africa needs $25 billion per year for universal access to clean energy: IEA (Down To Earth Magazine)
Achieving full access to modern energy in Africa by 2030 will require investing $25 billion per year, according to a new report. The required amount is around a quarter of the current total energy investment in the continent, according to the International Energy Association (IEA) report presented at a conference in Kampala, Uganda October 7, 2022.
Energy consumption in the Greater Horn of Africa — defined in the report as Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda has grown by 3 per cent per year over the last decade. These eight countries constitute the members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, one of Africa’s regional economic communities.
Energy infrastructure in the Greater Horn of Africa has struggled to keep pace with a fast-growing population, according to the report titled Clean energy transitions in the Greater Horn of Africa. The report stated: Inefficient bureaucracy, a lack of clear energy sector planning and limited technical expertise all contribute to significant cross-cutting risks for investors, although the severity of these risks varies drastically across regions.
Uganda to host EAC Petroleum Conference (East African Business Week)
Uganda has been selected to host the 10th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2023 (EAPCE’23). The 2023 Conference is expected to Commence from 9th to 11th May, 2023 in Kampala, Uganda. The 2023 edition of the biennial conference will run under the theme ”East Africa as a hub for Investment in Exploration and Exploitation of Petroleum Resources for Sustainable Energy and Socioeconomic Development”.
“The region will emphasize access, capacity, efficiency and sustainability of energy in the region, by 2050, the EAC has the target of transforming the energy landscape to be characterized by, among other things, efficient distribution of petroleum products with sufficient strategic reserves,” said Dr. Mathuki in the Statement from the EAC Secretariat.
The objective of the energy sector development under the EAC Vision 2050 is to ensure sustainable, adequate, affordable, competitive, secure and reliable supply of energy to meet regional needs at the least cost.
“We are heavily dependent on coal generation. Renewables now supply only about 10% of energy in South Africa. But the first problem we have is the polarized energy debate, which doesn’t achieve solutions. We must transition, but we must be very practical in our transition,” began Hon. Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, on the current state of the energy mix.
“We believe that the new energy mix will have everything – coal, oil, gas, renewables. All types of energy creation will continue,” added Eng. Fuad Mosa, General Supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy. “The world has been blessed with resources and our ultimate goal is securing the right volumes of energy at the right price. In Saudi Arabia, we will continue accelerating oil and its role in the global energy mix, while natural gas and renewable energies also need to be expanded.”
To date, African oil producers have largely exported crude oil to China, with a few exceptions of North African producers who export to Europe. However, current sanctions against Russian gas and the ongoing war in Ukraine has reignited interest in African hydrocarbon and renewable energy projects alike, which could result in billions of new investments into emerging energy markets like Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The African Energy Chamber and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa launched a pilot for the Africa Energy Market Dashboard during the second day of the 2022 African Energy Week conference at the One and Only Hotel in Cape Town. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) – the voice of the African energy sector – in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), as Team Energy Africa, launched the Africa Energy Market Dashboard pilot on October 19 at the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition.
Central China’s Hunan province will build a number of trade and logistics support platforms to further enrich China-Africa business cooperation over the next five years, said a government official on Thursday. As the host venue for the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, Hunan will build six functional centers and hubs, including a trade center for non-resource products, a China-Africa cross-border renminbi settlement center and a logistics hub to broaden channels for African products to enter China in the coming years
After completing 12 small-scale barter deals with four African countries since 2021, Hunan — backed by favorable policies of the China (Hunan) Pilot Free Trade Zone — has proposed a pilot plan for local currency settlement for trade with African countries in an effort to build the China-Africa cross-border renminbi settlement center in Central China.
The East African Community (EAC) is establishing a Diaspora Desk aimed at facilitating citizens of the seven-member bloc living abroad to invest and trade in the region. EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki said the Secretariat is also developing a Diaspora Engagement Strategy, providing a framework for interacting with that community. He revealed the plans while in the US earlier in October, at an annual trade and investment conference, organized by the East Africa Chamber of Commerce in Irving, Texas.
Together, remittances equal 35% of EAC’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which stood at $8.2bn and helped the region withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war, he explained. “The EAC recognizes the role of diaspora remittance, which continue to outpace Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) to become the largest source of external financing,” Mathuki said.
An UNCTAD report published on 20 October shows how the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in July 2022 to resume exports of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea amid the ongoing war has offered hope and shown the power of trade in times of crisis. The report underlines why it’s critical to renew the initiative next month.
Thanks to the initiative, port activity in Ukraine is picking up and large shipments of grain are reaching world markets. As of 19 October, the total tonnage of grain and other foodstuffs exported through the initiative had reached almost 8 million metric tons. “The UN-led Initiative has helped to stabilize and subsequently lower global food prices and move precious grain from one of the world’s breadbaskets to the tables of those in need,” the report says. But with the initiative ending in November and its renewal uncertain, the prices of some commodities, such as wheat and maize, are rising again, the report warns.
Tackling the current cascade of crises facing the world and getting the global economy back on track requires political will and action, leaders said during the high-level segment of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board on 20 October.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said: “The institutions are there. The resources are there. The vehicles to channel the resources are also there. What is needed is the leadership to recognize that much more must be done with what we already have at hand.”
Despite the challenges facing multilateralism, Ms. Grynspan said there was reason for hope, as shown by the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in July with Turkiye, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Read her full statement. The UN-backed initiative has opened a grain corridor through which almost 8 million metric tons of food have flowed back into world markets. “These initiatives show that diplomacy is still possible, even in the most challenging circumstances, even in the middle of a war zone,” Ms. Grynspan said.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed underlined the need to address the debt crisis in developing countries, urging the establishment of a new debt service suspension mechanism, and the inclusion of middle-income countries. She also called for more investment towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the face of interconnected crises, the multilateral system needs to be strengthened and supported to address these challenges, said Sigrid Kaag, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Netherlands.
The global financial architecture must be reconfigured completely to reflect the needs and participation of countries in the Global South, many of which were under the yoke of colonialism at the time the current order was fashioned, Her Excellency Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados has argued during the Sixth Annual Babacar Ndiaye Lecture, held on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC, USA.
The lecture, an initiative of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), was held on 14 October under the heading “The Developing World in a Turbulent Global Financial Architecture”.
President Oramah praised Prime Minister Mottley for her global leadership in the pursuit of fairness and equality. He referred to their shared belief that “African and Caribbean nations can turn the iniquities of history into platforms for economic prosperity today and in the future. Realizing that vision can only begin with the reconnection of the Caribbean people to their genealogical ties in Africa through trade and investment.”
Recalling the genesis of the Bretton Woods institutions, she said they were designed at a time when “we were not seen, we were not heard, and we were not felt.” These structures must be reoriented as a matter of fairness and to reflect the growing role that countries in the Global South play in the world economy.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Director General Jean-Marie Paugam noted that the Symposium — entitled “Easing Regulatory Bottlenecks” — is being held at a time where the world needs more than ever well-functioning supply chains to support trade and the global economy. He noted that the work of the TBT Committee supports WTO members in promoting coherent approaches to issues such as digitalisation and decarbonisation and serves as an incubator for WTO reform.
Speaking at the opening session, Ambassador José Luis Cancela of Uruguay stressed how the TBT Committee contributes to the transparency of governments’ trade measures and acts as a forum for the discussion of members’ specific trade concerns (STCs). He noted that the 9th Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement underlined the need to work with small businesses to ensure they have access to the information needed to comply with standards and regulations for traded goods. This will enhance their participation in international trade in line with work undertaken by the Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), he said.
Differences persist between rich and poorer countries at the WTO overextending intellectual property (IP) waiver for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics by the stipulated year-end deadline. India, South Africa, the Least Development Countries group and the African Caribbean and Pacific nations are insisting on extension of the decision on vaccines to the other two categories without any changes. But members such as the EU, UK, and Japan have sought more evidence to prove that IP constituted a barrier.
At a recent meeting of the WTO TRIPS Council, a representative of the World Health Organisation, who was present as an observer, highlighted that the test and treating strategy was vital for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and noted that many developing, and least developed countries were facing challenges to access affordable diagnostics, a Geneva-based trade official told businessline.
A large number of LDCs and developing countries, including India, have expressed a view that the IP waiver for vaccines should be extended, without any changes in language or scope, to diagnostics and therapeutics as well as these were equally important for fighting the pandemic.
COP27 Change Anything for Countries Battling Climate Change (Inter Press Service)
The countdown to the UN Climate Summit COP27, which will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to November 18, has begun. This summit has drawn the attention of world leaders, high-ranking United Nations officials, and thousands of environmental activists worldwide. The COP27 summit is an annual gathering of 197 countries to discuss climate change and what each country is doing to limit the impact of human activity on the climate.
The primary objective of COP27 is to achieve positive results in terms of emissions reduction; on the agenda is also a discussion of financing losses and damage. “We also intend to advance the agenda to double climate adaptation financing by 2025 and reach an agreement on the unfulfilled $100 billion financial pledge from developed countries,” Amr Abdel-Aziz, Director of Mitigation at Egypt’s Ministry of Environment told IPS.
The summit’s top priorities are to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals and progress in the fight against climate change. According to scientific research, limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2030 requires cutting emissions in half.
Statement on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
Malado Kaba, African Development Bank Director for Gender, Women, and Civil Society, announced the signatories during a networking event for women executives organized by the Finance in Common Summit Coalition on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development Banks.
“What of course is important is that this coalition fully aligns with what we do at the African Development Bank,” she said, adding that the bank had achieved 100% mainstreaming of gender in all its public operations. “Africa needs scale in action. There needs to be coordination, leveraging on our comparative advantages.” Kaba said.
Pierrette Kouakou, CEO of Fin’Elle Côte d’Ivoire shared her professional journey to provide financing for Ivorian women entrepreneurs. She deplored the obstacles standing in the way of 70% of women entrepreneurs in the informal market who she said were “not bankable, not visible, and not trackable.” She told her audience though, that with support from the African Development Bank Group’s Affirmative Action for Women (AFAWA) initiative, her company had financed 300 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises this year. “Our vision is to create a pan-African model for financial inclusion… We have to change the way to do it for women,” Kouakou said.