Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

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South Africa: Integrating Development and Climate Goals Requires a Transition that is Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient, and Just (World Bank)

South Africa can build a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economy while simultaneously responding to climate change, says the World Bank’s Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) launched today with South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission. The report highlights key policies and investments needed to achieve South Africa’s climate goals through a “triple transition” that is low-carbon, climate-resilient and just.

By implementing a low-carbon transition that aims to significantly lower emissions of greenhouse gases, South Africa can harness investments in new technologies to help resolve the protracted energy crisis. Low-carbon growth trajectory will also help strengthen country’s competitiveness, and reduce local air, water, and soil pollution that negatively impacts people, the environment, labor productivity, and food and water security.

By implementing a low-carbon transition that aims to significantly lower emissions of greenhouse gases, South Africa can harness investments in new technologies to help resolve the protracted energy crisis.

Developing country carbon emissions clemency not applicable to South Africa – Nicholls (Engineering News)

South Africa cannot be allowed to breach its climate change mitigation measures and Paris Agreement declarations despite it being an emerging country that is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, South African Presidential Climate Commission mitigation head Steve Nicholls told delegates at last week’s ESG Africa Conference. Many African countries have, of late, requested lenience in meeting climate change mitigation commitments, requesting also a delay in their abandonment of cheap and easy-to-obtain fossil fuels as a result of their delayed and inhibited industrial and social development. Many argue that developed nations built their economy, industrial base and power generation network using vast volumes of fossil fuels and that Africa should also be allowed to burn the carbon intensive fuels for a while longer, while it develops.

However, Nicholls said South Africa, in particular, is a carbon-intensive emitter, sharing an emissions contributing position among the highest, globally. For this reason, Nicholls said South Africa has to reduce its emissions immediately.

South Africa looking forward to much improved stone fruit export season (Hortgro)

After a very disappointing 2021/22 season, which despite a good crop turned out to be a disaster on farm level given trade and logistical issues, stone fruit growers and exporters are looking forward to a much-improved offering of South African stone fruit for 2022/23. From a logistical point of view, supply is expected to be much more stable, reliable and on time given that logistical bottlenecks have been addressed. This will directly lead to SA stone fruit arriving in great condition, as it should.

This is a make-or-break season for many stone fruit growers who are already under huge financial stress.

The recent strike in the SA ports is over and the immediate focus is on recovery and removing the backlog from the system as quickly as possible. It has been agreed that perishables will be prioritized in this process and will receive dedicated focus from the range of service providers, including port operations, to ensure a return to timeous delivery of products to the trade. The stone fruit season is already underway. Globally, economies are taking great strain and consumer spending is under pressure, but growers are under even more pressure to remain profitable. Essentially, growers are asking for a fair return to ensure that the livelihoods of those dependent on the industry value chain, can be assured.

Bulk wheat orders offer 3-month price reprieve (Business Daily)

Kenyan consumers should brace for a fresh rise in wheat products should the Russia blockade of grains from Ukraine through the Black Sea persist beyond January. The exports of the grain from Ukraine were halted after Russia moved back on an agreement that had allowed the shipments of the commodities through the Black Sea, blamed on attacks on its ships in Crimea region. But millers in Kenya say the country is covered till January given that processors had received wheat orders expected to last next three months at the current cost.

“There is a lot of wheat coming in and there is still more in the high seas. I am not foreseeing a situation where the price of wheat products will rise beyond the current cost in the next three months,” said Bimal Shah, chief executive officer Broadway Group of Companies.

However, should Russia fail to revert to the agreement, Kenya will feel the pinch of the expected high prices that would have been occasioned by the blockade of grain from February next year.

Nairobi moves to lift barriers on Ugandan milk, poultry products (Monitor)

Last week, while at a function at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), President Ruto gave the strongest hint that he would open up the Kenyan market to Ugandan products and do away with the protectionism exhibited by his predecessor’s regime. “Uganda should bring cheaper milk here because they can produce it more cheaply. We should (also endeavour) to add value to our milk,” he said. The idea, the Kenyan leader argues is to allow in goods from neighbours in exchange for their opening up to ensure Nairobi benefits from the provisions of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which it can exploit instead of quarrelling.

“We should be adding value (to our milk), producing butter, powder for sale in the DRC, Central Africa and West Africa and we import cheaper milk from Uganda for our consumption,” said Ruto.

But the immediate task of lifting the ban will bank on the bureaucracy involved. As is the tradition, presidential declarations do not amount to policy until the local technocrats turn around the way of doing things, in writing.

NPA: Export Processing Terminal Will Boost Nigeria’s $2.5bn Non-oil Export (This Day)

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Belo-Koko yesterday in Lagos, stated that the Export Processing Terminal at Lilypond in Ijora, would further enhance Nigeria’s non-oil exports currently in the region of $2.5 billion. In a bid to ensure prompt and seamless processing of export cargoes accessing Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos, the NPA yesterday inaugurated Nigeria’s first Export Processing Terminal at Lilypond in Ijora, Lagos.

Bello-Koko said the export terminal would help Nigeria optimise the benefits inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, saying greater efficiency would be infused into the logistics surrounding the entry of export boxes into the ports for onward loading on vessels.

According to him, there have been several cases of rejection of export originating from Nigeria, which could be attributed to time wastages and spending longer time at the port, but the terminal will ensure speedy processing of exports.

Ghana Can Turn Climate Challenges into Opportunities for Resilient and Sustainable Growth, says new World Bank Group Report (World Bank)

The World Bank Group’s new Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for Ghana estimates that at least one million more people could fall into poverty due to climate shocks, if urgent climate actions are not taken. Income could reduce by up to 40% for poor households by 2050. The analysis calls for pursuing a development pathway that builds resilience to climate change and fosters a transition to low-carbon growth through a combination of policies and public and private investments.

The West African country has achieved major development gains over the past three decades, but progress has slowed down. The report highlights that the country has not fully managed to convert its natural wealth into sufficient infrastructure, human, and institutional capital for sustained growth.

“The report demonstrates that Ghana can simultaneously pursue its long-term development and climate goals,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. “Ghana’s contribution to global greenhouse gases emissions is small, with emissions on a per capita basis at 24% of the global average. The country can take a more resilient development pathway, avoiding costly lock-ins, leapfrogging to cutting-edge technologies, and starting to mobilize climate finance.”

Ghana’s National Competitive African Rice Platform launched (Graphic Online)

Ghana’s Competitive African Rice Platform (CARP) has been launched officially in Accra to boost the country’s rice sector. The platform seeks to offer a voice and space for national rice stakeholders in Ghana to scale their local impact on sustainability and competitiveness. Overall, the CARP seeks to reduce the overdependence on imported rice and strengthen public-private dialogue.

Under the initiative, small farmers across West Africa are being supported in boosting their rice harvests, improving product quality, and raising their incomes.

Following the launch in Accra on Tuesday, a secretariat to run the CARP will be set up to drive its operationalisation. A statement issued by Rebecca Weaver of AGRA explained that at a previous stakeholders meeting, the CARP’s governance structure was formalized, board members and executives appointed, and technical committees set up.

“Rice is a very important product for Ghana, accounting for nearly 15% of the country’s GDP. The CARP’s launch is, therefore, very timely as it will help different stakeholders to coordinate their investments in driving the transformation needed to boost the growth of the sub-sector for the benefit of local producers and the country at large,” said the Executive Secretary of ERO, Dr. Boladale Adebowale Abiola.

Fisheries Department To Transform The Value Chain (Voice Gambia)

The Department of Fisheries is galvanizing efforts to ensure that the fishing and the fisheries value chain in The Gambia is in line with an acceptable mordent standard. Against this backdrop, the department of fisheries convened three day training for stakeholders from 28-30 October 2022, at NaNA on proper fish handling, processing, preservation, and distribution techniques along the fisheries value chain. According to fisheries officials, the objectives are to raise awareness and increase understanding on post-harvest losses, Improve technical knowledge and skills of fish business operators in fish handling and preservation for improved fresh fish marketing among other things.

In her closing remark at the training, the director of the Department of Fisheries Anna-Mbenga-Cham said the government of The Gambia attaches a great important to the development of the sector because of its actual and potential contribution to national socio-economic development and growth. She pointed out that the sector provide food, creates employment, generate revenue and foreign exchange earning among other things.

According to the director of fisheries, The Gambia and the European Union (EU) signed a six year sustainable fisheries partnership agreement to strengthen cooperation in the development of sustainable fisheries, fight against illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. And promote the blue economy including value chain, aquaculture, and support the development of the artisanal or small scale fisheries sector in The Gambia.

African trade and integration

AfCFTA needs well regulated financial infrastructure – Governor, BoG (BusinessGhana)

The successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), will need a well-regulated African financial infrastructure, efficient and resilient payment systems, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison has said. That, he said, would eliminate the use of third currency for settlement, improve liquidity and cost of transaction.

Dr Addison stated this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a regional course on economic issues in regional integration of AfCFTA in Accra yesterday and stressed that African nations, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region, in particular, had a significant role to play in the success of AfCFTA.

The course is meant to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the general and specific issues relating to the Regional Economic Integration process in the WAIFEM member countries, particularly in the context of AfCFTA implementation.

 ”There is a great deal of work to be done in deepening capital market integration, harmonising the legal and regulatory frameworks of the banking and financial sector, harmonising legislations, and cross-border payment system integration,” he said.

The New Age of Manufacturing is on Africa’s Horizon (Pumps Africa Online Journal)

A thriving manufacturing sector is a positive indicator for emerging market countries on the African continent. Industrialisation creates jobs and drives social, political and economic developments, helping to transform and improve the lives of ordinary people. With its young workforce and a keen desire for a seat at the global trade table, resource-rich Africa is abundant in opportunities. Whilst the projected trajectory for growth in the manufacturing sector has been challenged by the recent pandemic, experts foresee $666.4 billion in earnings by 2030.

The effort made by the continent’s leaders to band together and position themselves as allied trade partners capable of competing with other global players is an exciting and positive step. The African Continental Free Trade Area, launched in 2018, encompasses most of Africa and seeks to eliminate tariffs on goods and services (subject to certain conditions) to liberate the market and remove barriers to capital, investment and labour. Manufacturing lights the way to a united Africa that enables business and infrastructural development whilst reducing poverty and uplifting the lives of citizens.

With its significant exposure to the effects of climate change, Africa cannot afford to put itself at risk by following the traditional pathway to industrialisation. Whilst this is a challenge, it presents unique opportunities. By developing a manufacturing sector that integrates sustainability best practices to meet targets for the reduction of Co2 emissions, Africa could take advantage of the international market’s demand for green goods and services while simultaneously building a resilient economy that is not solely reliant on volatile commodities.

Businesses that take advantage of green initiatives could leverage niche markets in the production of goods that displace existing carbon-intensive products.

At a time when the global supply chain is swiftly becoming digitised, and both the private and public sectors attempt to minimise their carbon footprint, Africa finds itself in an exciting and potentially lucrative position where manufacturing is concerned. The continent could soon become an exemplary world leader by challenging conventions and embracing responsible, tech-based industrial initiatives.

Africa Investment Forum: Building out Africa’s ICT infrastructure can pave the way for a digital leap forward (AfDB)

One major lesson for Africa from the Covid-19 pandemic is that it had an outsize negative impact on workers in jobs that cannot be performed remotely. Such jobs are typically in the informal sectors that dominate Africa’s economies. Services and other sectors more amenable to remote work were far less affected, which reduced the need for government social safety net interventions.

The pandemic also accelerated the digital transformation known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which was already underway across the globe. As 4IR advances, Africa cannot afford to be left behind. ICT technologies can overcome gaps in a number of key sectors including agribusiness, communications and financial growth, unlocking better jobs, more effective tracking logistics for supply chains and even improved healthcare outcomes. 

Fortunately, the continent presents an immense opportunity across a range of areas including mobile services, broadband infrastructure, and data storage. The continent’s young and fast-growing population, which has come of age in the digital era, is hungry for tools and technologies to meet their strong creative and entrepreneurial needs. And the absence of legacy infrastructure in many countries offers an opening to adopt the latest standards and innovations.

Strong coordination between business, governments and other actors such as civil society and regional agencies will be needed.

Managing Africa’s debt burden to spur development (UNECA)

Africa needs to mobilize innovative financing for development programmes and effectively manage its debt burden, which left untackled, threatens economic growth. A workshop on Debt Management, organized for policy makers from different African countries and research institutions to share challenges and best practices in debt management, heard that rising debt was constraining economic growth in Africa, worsened by the combined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.

EAC: Paul Kagame urges adoption of sustainable funding (RegionWeek)

The President Paul Kagame on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 called for the establishment of a sustainable funding mechanism for the East African Community (EAC) to address the funding gap that could hamper the regional integration agenda, at the Parliament building in Kimihurura, during the first meeting of the fifth session of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) meeting in Kigali.

Kagame said that since its re-establishment 20 years ago, the East African Community has made significant progress towards the creation of the single market, indicating that the East African Legislative Assembly ( EALA) is an integral part of this success.

However the EAC, he explained, is underfunded, which delays the implementation of its projects and programs. As partners, we need to work together to adopt a sustainable funding mechanism and take full ownership of our development with less dependence on external aid.

“As partners, we must work together to adopt a sustainable financing mechanism and take full ownership of our development with less reliance on external support, which we are appreciative of. Connected to that, we must ensure that resources are spent soundly, and make financial accountability a top priority,” President Paul Kagame stated during the meeting.

Kagame also noted that the other challenge facing the regional bloc is that it is making slow progress on its goals, including the creation of the EAC monetary union (EAMU). “Second, we are far behind the timeline we set for ourselves to achieve some of the major goals for the Community. For example, the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute is years behind schedule. Yet, this institution is necessary for achieving a monetary union,” he said.

Afreximbank co-hosts Webinar on Intra-African Trade and Investment with the East African Business Council (Afreximbank)

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) hosted a webinar on intra-African trade and investment on 20 October 2022, alongside the East African Business Council (EABC).

The conversation addressed key challenges confronting African businesses when approaching intra-African trade, recognizing that 80% of Africa’s small businesses have no access to trade finance and over US$5 billion is lost due to currency conversion during transactions. Afreximbank described the innovative products offered by the Bank to boost access to finance and cross-border payments under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe, Head, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, called on this model of co-operation to be replicated across the continent. He suggested that a combination of industrialization and the development of regional value chains – as well as a reduced dependence on commodities – would create quality jobs and accelerate economic interaction between African businesses.

Comesa pushes for united air transport market (Chronicle)

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has come up with an initiative aimed at strengthening air travel and ICT connectivity in the region by implementing two projects that will stimulate economic growth.

The projects — Support to the Air Transport Sector Development (SATSD) and the Enhancement of Governance and Enabling Environment in the ICT Sector (EGEE-ICT) — are both funded by the European Union through Grant Contribution Agreements each amounting €8 million. Acting Director General, Regional Affairs Department in Seychelles Mr Christian Faure told a regional media training and familiarisation workshop in Seychelles last week that a united air transport market will aid the continent’s economic growth. “Having a single unified air transport market gives an added impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda in the Single African air transport market. “At the same time, we are looking at strengthening the inter-regional connectivity of our respective capitals,” he said.

Africa must prioritise support for female, youth farmers (BusinessGhana)

The President of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu, has prevailed on governments to consciously roll out policies that can directly benefit women and youth in agriculture. The policies, he said, when implemented would close the gap to create more sustainable and inclusive participation of women, especially those in agriculture. “As a continent, stakeholders will have to prioritise support for female and youth farmers through affirmative policies,” he said.

He was speaking at the Women in Agribusiness Forum organised by Guzakuza on the theme: “Revitalising partnership for Sustainable Agribusiness Development.”

Nana Osei Bonsu said agriculture was considered an important engine of growth and poverty reduction across Africa adding that “in developing countries such as Ghana, women make approximately 40 per cent of the agricultural labour force and up to 50 per cent in different countries.

GRA boss addresses ATAF regional outlook tax seminar in Nigeria (The Point)

“In 2020, the global economy was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which almost crippled the entire global economy, and whose economic ramifications are still affecting economies around the world. For countries like The Gambia that rely heavily on revenue from the tourism industry, the travels restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic significantly affected revenue receipt from the tourism industry. Before the pandemic, the tourism industry contributed 5% of our domestic revenue receipt in 2019 and this declined to1% in 2021,” Mr. Darboe said.

“As economies around the globe were trying to recover from the pandemic, a host of factors conspired to further dampen any hopes of recovery. The global supply chain crisis, the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war and the slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have all worsened the economic outlook for 2023.”

“Among these, however, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has been more impactful on the economies of developing countries than the impact of the pandemic. The war has sent gas prices to the roof resulting in governments across the world, especially in Africa, paying huge subsidies to stabilise gas prices and curb inflation.

“The factors just mentioned should send Africa into a deep reflection to bring us to the realisation that our economies are extremely fragile and events outside our continent can have such a huge impact on the lives of our people.”

Climate Change and Select Financial Instruments An Overview of Opportunities and Challenges (IMF)

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region in the world most vulnerable to climate change despite its cumulatively emitting the least amount of greenhouse gases. Substantial financing is urgently needed across the economy—for governments, businesses, and households—to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, which are critical for advancing resilient and green economic development as well as meeting commitments under the Paris Agreement. Given the immensity of SSA’s other development needs, this financing must be in addition to existing commitments on development finance. There are many potential ways to raise financing to meet adaptation and mitigation needs, spanning from domestic revenue mobilization to various forms of international private financing. Against this backdrop, SSA policymakers and stakeholders are exploring sources of financing for climate action that countries may not have used substantially in the past.

Weed for export: Raising African economies high on medical marijuana (The Exchange)

Medical marijuana may very well be the agri-business that Africa needs to get its economies high in the global multi-billion agro-industry. Already, Africa’s marijuana production is on the rise.

African marijuana production can help the continent address the various health remedies the plant has been found to help. Medical marijuana is used in pain management, appetite enhancement, and even reducing eye pressure. Generally speaking, medical marijuana is highly effective in the treatment of chronic diseases. According to data from the WHO, the global chronic disease burden reached 57% as of the year 2020. In recognition of the rising prevalence of chronic diseases worldwide, the global demand for medical marijuana is only expected to get higher.

How China is bypassing cargo chokepoints to speed up Africa trade (South China Morning Post)

China is using hybrid logistics links or multimodal rail-sea lines to bypass cargo chokepoints in an effort to speed up trade with Africa, where it is the largest trading partner.

Morocco is a strategic location because of its proximity to Europe and the Middle East. In January, Morocco became the first North African country to sign an agreement with China for the joint implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

A research note by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) said Morocco was well placed for Chinese export manufacturers to reach African markets, and that they also could gain access to ports on the western Mediterranean and Atlantic.

“Firms can benefit from Morocco’s relationships with the European Union and countries in the Middle East,” the council said when Morocco signed the belt and road deal.

In 2020, trade between Morocco and China reached US$4.76 billion. Morocco mainly exports calcium phosphate, raw copper and zinc ore to China, while primary Chinese exports to Morocco are tea, pile fabric and broadcasting equipment, HKTDC Research said.

Global economy

Russia gives up obstructing grain exports (EURACTIV)

Russia said on 2 November it would resume its participation in a deal to free up vital grain exports from war-torn Ukraine after suspending it over the weekend in a move that had threatened to exacerbate hunger across the world.

Russia said on 2 November it would resume its participation in a deal to free up vital grain exports from war-torn Ukraine after suspending it over the weekend in a move that had threatened to exacerbate hunger across the world.

In Washington, the Commonwealth Secretary-General calls for more action to help small and vulnerable states (The Commonwealth)

The Commonwealth Secretary-General has welcomed the recently-launched Resilience and Sustainable Facility (RSF) - the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) financing facility aimed at helping low-income and vulnerable middle-income countries build resilience to economic shocks – but said that more work must be done to improve eligibility, requirements, and conditions in accessing this facility for small and vulnerable states.

The Secretary-General was speaking at the 2022 Small States Forum on 15 October, which was held on the margins of the World Bank – IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC.T he Commonwealth Secretary-General recognised that the world is at a critical moment due to overlapping and interlinked crises, including the impact of climate change, post-COVID-19 recovery, inflation, debt, food insecurity, and the cost-of-living crisis, all of which affect small states the most.

WTO Secretariat launches Trade Remedies Data Portal (WTO)

The new Portal provides a gateway to comprehensive data on all anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions notified by WTO members, displaying information in the form of searchable tables and customizable graphs. The Portal allows users to filter information based on various parameters. The Portal has been developed in the context of the Open Trade Data Initiative (OTDI), a WTO Secretariat initiative to improve data collection and dissemination, with the aim of updating the databases used to store information on members’ trade remedy actions.


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