Building capacity to help Africa trade better

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Report backs Proudly SA’s Buy Local campaign (SAnews)

A report on South Africa’s manufacturing sector has reaffirmed what the national Proudly South African campaign has said for more than two decades – buy local to create jobs and grow the economy. Proudly SA commissioned the Pan-African Investment and Research Services team, led by top economist Dr Iraj Adedian, to produce the Revitalising SA’s Manufacturing Sector report.

The report analyses the South African manufacturing industry and quantifies its valuable contribution to the country’s economy. The report found that a process of de-globalisation is at play, partly driven by ongoing global supply chain disruptions, highlighting the need for increased localisation as a means of expansion, security and survival for specific industries.

The report includes investment scenarios, which show that a mere 10% increase in investment spending in the manufacturing sector could lead, in the medium term

Agri sector calls for tax relief, infrastructure investment ahead of MTBPS (Engineering News)

Industry body Agri SA says it is hopeful that the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), to be delivered by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on Wednesday afternoon, will outline critical measures to support the agricultural sector amid several crises that threaten the sector’s continued growth. “Coming so soon after the crippling Transnet strike, with ongoing loadshedding and high input costs, Minister Godongwana must use the opportunity of the MTBPS to signal interventions that help to bolster the sector, which [accounts for about] 874 000 jobs and contributed more than 2% to gross domestic product (GDP), despite the challenges of the past three years,” the organisation states.

South Africa’s Coal Export to the EU up 582.7% During 2022 (Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide)

As the world scrambles to secure energy supplies, coal trade has started to grow again, with countries like South Africa emerging as leading exporters once again. In fact, South Africa’s coal exports to the EU grew by over five times during the Jan.-Sept. period. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “global coal trade has steadily improved this year, and has now fully recovered to pre-Covid levels.

According to Banchero Costa, “South Africa is the world’s fifth largest seaborne exporter of coal, after Indonesia, Australia, Russia, and the USA. It accounted for 5.4% of global coal exports in the Jan-Sep 2022 period. Export volumes from South Africa had steadily declined in the past decade, as it was penalized by declining coal demand in the Atlantic basin, the country’s distance from the more resilient East Asian markets, as well as limitations on output and railway and port capacity.

Nevertheless, there have been quite remarkable reshuffles in terms of trade patterns, caused by the trade distortions resulting from European sanctions on Russian coal”, the shipbroker said.

South Africa to seek ‘Just Energy Transition Financing Framework’ deal at COP27 (Engineering News)

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy reports that South Africa will push for the establishment of a people-centred ‘Just Energy Transition Financing Framework’ at the upcoming COP27 climate conference, to be held in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, in early November. Such a framework, she told a pre-COP27 stakeholder consultation meeting in Johannesburg, could support coal phase-down programmes in developing countries, as well as ambitious renewable-energy investments, while supporting workers and communities that could be made vulnerable as a result of the transition away from fossil fuels.

Sweet and sour future for sugar power in eSwatini (The Mail & Guardian)

Facing climate change problems and an ever-increasing demand for energy, almost 100% of the electricity generated in eSwatini is from hydropower and sugarcane-based biomass cogeneration. The by-product from the crushing of sugarcane, called bagasse, is recycled and used as boiler fuel in the sugar mills. It is burned at temperatures of 400ºC to 800ºC to produce steam, which is used as heat for milling and to drive turbines that generate electricity. This process is called cogeneration.

Renewable energy consultant Rex Brown said the mounting climate change problems facing the sugarcane industry mean that over-reliance on cogeneration energy production is risky because biomass is a short-term solution. “It has inherent risks from climate change itself,” he said. “If investors are willing to invest millions in such energy plants, it is their risk. My advice would be to avoid such power plants. There is only one future: renewable energy based on solar and wind.”

Kenyan truckers not ‘gravely’ affected by Ebola lockdown in Uganda (Business Daily)

Kenyan truckers have not been affected by the Ebola-imposed lockdown in two districts in Uganda as the outbreak of the deadly disease continues to spread in the neighbouring state. The Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) says it is, however, keenly following the development in Kampala and the next step of action by the authorities in Uganda. Chief executive Mercy Ireri said that apart from increased screening at the border, Uganda is yet to impose far-reaching measures that may impact the flow of goods.

Any blockade on the movement of cargo at the Ugandan border points will hurt the Mombasa port, which will be unable to clear goods meant for the Great Lakes countries, and also lead to the diversion of goods to other regional ports. The restriction, should it be imposed, will see shippers opt for the central corridor, which runs from the Dar es Salaam port to DRC.

Farmers face losses as climate change effects take course (Capital FM Kenya)

As the effects of climate change become more severe, the country’s agriculture sector which acts as the food basket continues to shrink. In the second quarter of 2022, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows that the agriculture sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP contracted for the third consecutive quarter. This was attributed to unfavourable weather conditions that characterized the last quarter of 2021 and the first half of 2022.

“The sector is estimated to have contracted by 2.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2022 compared to a contraction of 0.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2021,” said KNBS. According to a report by the Africa Development Bank(AfDB) on the climate change impacts on Africa’s economic growth, Kenya is expected to be among the most-affected countries with high warming by 2030 resulting in associated median change in GDP per capita.

“The Global climate models project a progressive wetting in the northern countries, including Ethiopia and northern Kenya, with annual precipitation increase of 12 to 18 per cent as compared to present-day levels in the low-warming scenario, and as much as 18 to 30 per cent in the high-warming scenario,” AfDB said.

Tanzania and DRC to boost trade between the two nations (RegionWeek)

President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her counterpart from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, have agreed to work together in a number of areas to boost trade between the two nations. The decision resulted from a discussions between the two leaders at the State House in Dar es Salaam during a two-day visit by DRC President Félix Tshisekedi to Tanzania at the invitation of his Tanzanian counterpart, President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

President Hassan said that through the East African Community (EAC), the two countries plan to construct road infrastructure through the central corridor that will connect the two countries. “There is a plan to construct the Northern Corridor, which will connect Tanzania and the DRC via the East

Reversing the Tide: Reducing Poverty and Boosting Resilience in Zimbabwe (World Bank)

Achieving macroeconomic stability, improving agricultural productivity, promoting equitable access to high-quality jobs, and strengthening the social protection program are some of the most important steps for improving the living standards of Zimbabweans, according to the Zimbabwe Poverty Assessment report launched October 24, 2022.The report titled “Reversing the Tide: Reducing Poverty and Boosting Resilience in Zimbabwe” explores how poverty and inequality have evolved in recent years. It sheds light on the main forces shaping its progression, and builds the evidence base for the formulation of policies to foster inclusive growth.

For Zimbabwe to reverse the tide of rising poverty, the report identifies a few policy priorities. The first is improving agricultural productivity and boosting resilience to climate shocks. About two-thirds of Zimbabweans work in agriculture while many Zimbabweans, directly or indirectly, depend on it. However, incomes from agriculture are the lowest, reflecting low productivity and high exposure to climate risks. There is also a need to increase market orientation of agriculture, diversification to high-value crops, and resilience from climate shocks.

Nigeria’s economic diversification policy aligned with Canada’s export capability – Christoff (Vanguard)

Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E James Christoff has said that Nigeria’s economic diversification policy aligned with Canada’s export capability. He remarked on this at the LGC 2022 Canada-Nigeria Business & Investment Summit in Toronto, where he noted that the nation’s leadership and influence are crucial to achieving and maintaining peace and stability in Africa.

According to Christoff, Nigeria became Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa last year with $2.67 billion in bilateral business trade. He disclosed that Nigeria’s economic diversification policy aligned with Canada’s export capability in agriculture, ICT, education, clean technology and mining among others, which present opportunities for future growth.

Egypt is keen to provide incentives to attract more foreign investments: Trade Minister (ZAWYA)

Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir has held a series of meetings with major international companies investing in the Egyptian market and working in the fields of communications, information technology, cars, and e-marketing. The meetings reviewed the government’s efforts to provide an attractive climate for investment to support the industrial sector, strengthen partnership with the private sector, and discuss ways to attract more industrial investments to the Egyptian market, and increase the local component in industry.

Samir said that Egypt adopted recently several measures and initiatives that aim to support national industries, which include providing utilised lands to companies and facilitating procedures for obtaining industrial licence, in addition to providing more facilities for investors to secure production materials.

African trade and integration

Africa is on the move – President Ramaphosa (SAnews)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed South Africa’s support for Canadian companies wishing to trade, invest and do business on the African continent for mutual growth and development. The President said South Africa is Africa’s most industrialised economy with a well-regulated banking and financial system, developed infrastructure, sound legal and regulatory frameworks, and strong linkages into both the global and continental economies.

President Ramaphosa emphasised that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a critical part of efforts to raise Africa’s growth, and is one of the 15 flagship projects of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. He noted that there has been important progress towards the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System was launched in January and has been successfully piloted in the West African Monetary Zone. The President said work is underway to dismantle intra-African trade tariff barriers as well as non-tariff barriers that hinder market access.

“As continental supply chains become increasingly integrated, Africa’s manufacturing capacity will expand rapidly, presenting opportunities in areas like petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, textiles, fabricated metals and many others,” he said. The President added that this will drive infrastructure investment, not only in the roads, rail lines and ports that will handle the movement of goods and people, but in the energy and telecommunications networks needed to facilitate production and exchange.

Speech: President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Africa Accelerating 2022 Conference (South African Government)

EAC to decide on sanctions against countries blocking trade (Monitor)

The Minister for East African Community Affairs has said EAC regional cooperation ministers will meet next month to agree on sanctions to be preferred against member states blocking intra-regional trade. While installing the new president of Uganda Association of Public Administrators and Managers in Kampala last week, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, also the First Deputy Prime Minister, said in a meeting in July they had discovered that Ugandan goods were trading more outside EAC, prompting an agreement to take special measures on non-tariff barriers that prevent the country’s goods from trading in EAC.

“We discovered that Ugandan goods are trading more outside EAC. In July we agreed to take special measures to identify non-tariff barriers preventing Ugandan goods from trading and make sanction against responsible countries,” she said, noting that Ugandan goods are trading more in Asia, Europe and Comesa yet a lot of goods are coming from within the region to Uganda.

IMF hails EAC for steady progress in regional integration (EAC)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has hailed the East African Community( EAC) for the steady progress it has made towards the establishment of the East African Monetary Union. The statement came on the sidelines of meetings between EAC and IMF held during the Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, United State of America.

Mr. Erceg commended the EAC for the progress made so far in integrating the region, adding that the MCM is committed to continue providing support to the region in, among other things: Development of a harmonized monetary policy communication framework in the run-up to the East African Monetary Union; Capacity development on macroeconomic analysis and forecasting in order to ensure sustainable capacity to operate the FPAS core models and produce medium-term forecasts In addition, the IMF committed to support EAC on Harmonization of monetary policy operations and modernization of financial markets including (i) developing harmonized framework for Standing Facility and Collateral Management; (ii) promoting cross border trading of Government securities; and (iii) developing harmonized framework for Market Makers for Government Securities

East Africa region is ripe for investment: CFA says (Garowe Online)

The East Africa Chartered Investment Analysts Society (CFA) is urging global investors to tap into the East African region investment opportunities which are expected to be on a rebound after a lull experienced in the last three years courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. CFA has organized a high-level Investment Conference scheduled for Nairobi on 17th November, bringing together industry players, global investors, venture capital experts, regulators, and top-level public policy decision-makers to deliberate on the theme of ‘Investing in an Evolving Environment”.

The main goal will be to deepen regional integration and increase the competitiveness of East Africa as a global investment hub. “This is a great opportunity to come together with other sector players to discuss emerging issues such as technology, ESG, and management of investment skills providers (employees) in view of the new global trends and their impact on the regional investment markets” the Society president, Francis Nasyomba said.

“We believe investment opportunities in the region will be bolstered by the East Africa Community heads of state summit deliberations held four months ago whose intent is to pursue a strategic approach of sustainable energy production in a bid to respond to challenges brought about by climate change. The unity of purpose by the heads of state is key to positioning East Africa among the integral players and respondents to the global rallying call for investment opportunities that bring returns and improve the lives of the people”, he added.

Regional court to hear cases filed against EAC members in Kampala (The East African)

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is holding the Judicial Officers Conference in Kampala this week before settling down in November to hear appeals and deliver rulings on various cases filed against East African Community (EAC) member states. Christine Wekesa Mutimurwa, Deputy Registrar at the EACJ, said the conference is expected to hold high-level conversations on emerging legal and judicial issues including emerging jurisprudence and issues affecting courts and court users. It will also “provide a platform for information sharing among judges, judicial officers, legal practitioners and other Court users in the region”.

“The objective of rotating the court’s November sessions is to bring services closer to the people and enhance the visibility of the court as it undertakes its mandate of promoting access to justice by ensuring adherence to law in the interpretation and application and of compliance with the EAC Treaty,” Ms Mutimurwa said.

Companies in the ARVs value chain in the SADC Region learn about Intellectual Property Rights (SADC)

A total of 12 representatives of companies involved in the manufacture of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) participated in a training workshop on Intellectual Property Rights for Companies in the ARV value chain organised by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in partnership with the African Regional Intellectual Property Oganisation (ARIPO) in Harare, Zimbabwe from 13th to 15th October 2022.

Professor Michael Blakeney of the University of Western Australia, the lead consultant for the training in partnership with experts from ARIPO, conducted the training and topics covered included Introduction to Intellectual Property Concepts and Principles; Patenting and Generics; Pharmaceutical Patenting and SMEs; Intellectual Property Rights, Market Competition and Access to Affordable Medicines; Enforcement of IPRs in the ARV Sector; and Protection of Traditional Medicines and Knowledge.

According to ARIPO Intellectual Property is a very wide field of law that affects human kind in all daily activities in the consumption of products and services and it is comprised of three components, namely industrial property; copyright and related rights; as well as emerging issues of Intellectual Property. This can be an invention (patent/utility model), a design (industrial design), a brand name (trademark), or a literary and artistic work (copyright). Intellectual property protection is critical to fostering innovation. Without protection of ideas, businesses and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions and innovations and would focus less on research and development.

Six Megatrends That Are Changing Africa - and How to Navigate Them (TechEconomy)

As digital penetration increases, a growing number will be adept users of technology, and some will be part of a new generation of world-class innovators in Africa. Most of this population will grow up in cities, often in urban areas that doubled in size during their childhood. Regardless of where they live, many may be desperately affected by the consequences of climate change. Moreover, as these young Africans grow up, they will become an enormous consumer market and a large share of the global workforce. As a group, they could become influential in the growth of international business and the evolution of emerging markets. So far, however, none of the stakeholder institutions that will be involved in their lives—businesses, governments, civil society organizations, and development agencies—are fully prepared for the opportunities and challenges created by this new demographic.

Two other factors that will shape Africa’s future are a growing movement toward international cooperation within the continent and the rise of local innovation, including many advances led by women and young entrepreneurs.

PAFOM Ministerial Session addresses the impact of climate induced migration to achieve the “Africa We Want” (AU)

The African Union (AU) in collaboration with the Republic of Rwanda, and support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), held the Ministerial Segment of the 7th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM7) in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme: “Addressing the Impact of Climate Change on Human Mobility in Africa: Building Adaptation Strategies and Resilient Communities”

Ag. Director for Social Development, Culture and Sports Department, Ms. Angela Martins, said: “While migration trends in Africa has been characterized with evidence of increased cases of irregular movements of citizens out of the continent, sometimes through dangerous routes, there is need for us to reflect on the root causes and how we can sustainably address them”. She further said that the forum has been instrumental in bringing together various stakeholders in the continent, including the African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the UN family, Civil society Organizations (CSOs) and other partners within the migration and human mobility governance space to discuss, share best practices and deliberate on topical migration governance issues in the continent, while also further identifying common challenges and opportunities within this area for joint intervention.

AAAP webinar: Innovation essential for climate-smart future, but it’s not enough (AfDB)

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, is dubbed ‘African COP’ as the impact of climate change on African countries will be a key theme of discussions. Agriculture and food systems will also be a critical focus of COP27, with Saturday, 12 November, dedicated to both themes, in addition to adaptation. Also high on the climate agenda is the role of the youth, as 10 November is dedicated to their participation.

Ahead of COP27 and in line with their commitment to this youth agenda, the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation hosted a webinar to examine ways to make agriculture attractive to the youth. The webinar titled, Are Climate-Smart and Digital Agriculture Solutions the Silver Bullet to Attract Youth, highlighted the potential of climate-smart and digital agriculture in attracting young people and thereby rejuvenating an aging global agricultural sector.

Dr. Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power Energy, Climate and Green Growth, pointed out the challenges the agriculture sector faces due to the changing climate change. “Agriculture across most of sub-Saharan Africa is still predominantly rain-fed and therefore extremely vulnerable to both short-term fluctuations and long-term changes in climate conditions. It is the most exposed sector with estimates indicating that climate change will cause a decrease in yields of 8 – 22% for Africa’s rain-fed staple crops over the next 20 years,” Kariuki said.

Strengthen collaboration on climate adaptation across the continent, experts say ahead of COP27 (AfDB)

Ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Egypt in November, the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation participated in a series of events at the Africa Climate Week to build consensus among African countries and stakeholders. COP27 is described as Africa’s COP and will significantly shape the future. To deliver on adaptation, a transformative adaptation agenda is needed now.

Titled ‘Adaptation Dialogue: Implementing the Vision,’ the session called for strengthening collaboration on adaptation across the continent. The speakers highlighted the progress made by the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) so far, notably its contribution to narrowing the adaptation gap and accelerating the implementation of the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI). The AAI represents Africa’s bold and innovative step to galvanize the support needed to significantly scale up adaptation across the continent.

Dorsouma called for accelerated action against climate change while making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid a mounting loss of life, biodiversity, and infrastructure. He noted that progress on adaptation has been uneven so far, with increasing gaps between action taken and what is needed to deal with the increasing risks.

Prof. Anthony Nyong, Senior Director and Africa Regional Director at the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), highlighted the need to improve climate resilience and adaptation in Africa. He estimated the cost of climate change at $579 billion by 2030, with global finance skewed towards mitigation. Only 7.2% of global finance goes to climate adaptation.

Global economy

DG Okonjo-Iweala urges update to WTO rules to address global food market challenges (WTO)

In her opening remarks to the one-day special event held at WTO headquarters, the Director-General noted that despite some positive developments, “too often, markets for food and agriculture still continue to function poorly.” “It’s increasingly clear that WTO rules have not kept pace with the challenges we face today, nor with developments on global markets,” she declared. WTO members “will have to update the WTO rulebook if we’re to respond effectively to the problems on global markets, and ensure WTO disciplines help us tackle the challenges we’re facing both today and tomorrow.”

How are LDCs faring during the global food crisis? (The Daily Star)

According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the number of hungry people across the world was as high as 828 million in 2021, up by 46 million from 2020 and a whopping 150 million from 2019. The majority of these people live in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which are net food-importing countries. As a global food crisis looms over us, LDCs are at a higher risk, which needs to be addressed urgently.

LDCs are predominantly agricultural economies, but are also highly dependent on food imports as they cannot meet demand through domestic production. They import several essential food items, and these imports have increased over time – especially cereal. Due to supply chain disruptions during the pandemic, lockdowns, reduced economic activity and travel restrictions impacted not only the production but also international trade of food. The Russia-Ukraine war made the situation worse, especially since LDCs are more dependent on Russia and Ukraine for food imports.

Since Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of fertiliser, supply chain disruptions are also affecting agricultural production in LDCs. High fertiliser and fuel prices have made it extremely difficult for farmers to cultivate. The other perennial threat is that of climate change, which has been reducing global agriculture productivity over time. Not only extreme weather events, but volatility of the weather has been impacting agricultural production adversely.

In view of high food prices, LDCs put forward food security and agriculture as their topmost agenda at the 12th World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting (MC12). The Ministerial Decision on World Food Programme (WFP) Food Purchase Exemption from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions has been an important outcome on food security at the MC12, which stated that WTO “members shall not impose export prohibitions or restrictions on foodstuffs purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the World Food Programme.” However, the global food crisis has continued to intensify. In this respect, a few measures are critical.

Global South farmers desperate for COP27 adaptation action (SciDev.Net)

Climate leaders from the global South say they desperately need support to implement climate adaptation and mitigation measures. Top of their priority list are new crop varieties and livestock species that are heat- and drought-tolerant, as well as defence strategies and early warning systems for floods, hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s richest countries pledged US$100 billion a year in international climate finance, with at least half of this amount allocated to climate adaptation programs. But these pledges are not turning into action, say global South leaders.

The African Union has released its first Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan for the next decade. The African Union’s 55 member countries represent more than 1.2 billion people, and form the eleventh largest economy in the world. The action plan aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of climate-affected communities and pursue low-emission development.

DP World third-quarter container volumes rise 2.1% on ‘resilient’ global trade (The National)

Global ports giant DP World reported a 2.1 per cent increase in gross container volumes during the third quarter of 2022 as global trade flows remain “resilient” but warned the near-term outlook remains uncertain.

The Dubai-based ports operator handled 20.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) across its global portfolio of terminals in the three month period to the end of September, DP World said on Tuesday. “We report another robust set of throughput figures … which is once again ahead of industry growth of 1.1 per cent,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World. “As expected, growth rates have decelerated due to the more challenging market conditions, but global trade continues to remain resilient, and our portfolio is expected to continue to outperform the market.”

“Looking ahead, the near-term outlook remains uncertain given the geopolitical environment, inflationary pressures and currency fluctuations but we remain positive on the medium to long term outlook for global trade. Overall, given the solid nine-month volume performance, we expect to deliver an improved set of full year results,” Mr Bin Sulayem said.


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