Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

COP27 outcomes and reactions

Call for collaboration to achieve COP27 outcomes (SAnews)

South Africa has called on all Parties to work constructively and in a spirit of compromise to achieve the draft outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Sharm el-Sheikh Conference of Parties (COP27), which frames the climate crisis. “It reflects the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to keep the 1.5-degree temperature target alive during what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls the “Critical Decade”, including by providing a clear programme to advance the mitigation agenda from now to 2030,” said the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment on Saturday. The department said the draft correctly frames the climate crisis and its solutions in terms of the sustainable development goals and Just Transitions, leaving no one left behind, and the need for broader financial sector reform to achieve these.

“The proposal to seek multilateral consensus on making financial flows consistent with pathways towards low emissions and climate resilient development will open new investment opportunities in Africa for clean energy investments that will equally address the continent’s energy poverty crisis.

“COP27 is providing critical momentum to reform the Multilateral Development Banks and International Financial Institutions and we expect the shareholders of these institutions to take decisive action to scale-up climate finance in 2023 and make their institutional arrangements fit for purpose,” the department said.

Sharing best practices at COP27: African countries seek to understudy Planting for Food and Jobs (Graphic Online)

The story of the agriculture flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), has triggered interest in some African countries seeking to understudy and learn best practices in replicating the policy in their respective countries. At the African Development Bank high-level event on adaptation and agriculture at the just-ended COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the theme, “Mobilising innovative financing for building resilient and sustainable food systems on the African continent”, Ghana’s model was acclaimed as one of the panaceas for food security in Africa.

“Research stepped up production of climate-resilient breeder and foundation seeds and similarly, private sector increased their production of certified seeds. “A strong local seed sector now exists that continues to be strengthened with leadership from the private sector,”

Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the interventions contributed to the adoption of improved seeds and fertilisers with the seed use increasing from 11 per cent of farmers in 2016 to 53 per cent in 2021 and fertiliser application increased from eight kilogramme (kg) per hectare to 25 kg over the same period.

ECA pushes for youth innovation and entrepreneurship to be at the heart of Africa’s low-carbon transition (UNECA)

Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Hanan Morsy, highlights that harnessing the potential of Africa’s growing youth population will be vital to shaping the continent’s future whilst speaking at a COP27 event on Putting youth innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of Africa’s low-carbon transition, In her opening remarks, the Deputy Executive Secretary noted, “ 70% of Africans are below 30, and by 2040 Africa is predicted to have the largest workforce in the world – surpassing China and India. We are here to ensure that we are utilizing this invaluable asset and how we can integrate them into solutions for climate action for a better tomorrow.”

Statement by UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner on the outcome of the COP27 climate negotiations | United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

It is illogical to fund the irreversible consequences of climate change without significant investment in the adaptation and mitigation measures that developing countries need to address the underlying causes. 54 developing economies – 40 percent of all low- and middle-income countries – currently suffer severe debt problems, strongly limiting their ability to take decisive climate action and to invest in the global green economy.

ActionAid hails loss and damage fund outcome at COP27 as victory for people living on the front lines of climate disasters (ActionAid International)

Loss and damage fund at COP27 a monumental win, if properly funded: Oxfam (Oxfam International)

Statement by President von der Leyen on the outcome of COP27 (European Commission)

Commonwealth Secretary-General welcomes historic outcome on loss and damage at COP27 (The Commonwealth)

Youth and women must be involved in climate action (Mail & Guardian)

Local news

President Cyril Ramaphosa concludes participation at G20 Leaders Summit in Bali (South African Government)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Wednesday 16 November 2022, concluded South Africa’s participation at the G20 Leaders Summit held in the Republic of Indonesia on 15 and 16 November 2022. The G20 Leaders Summit in Bali was hosted by His Excellency President Joko Widodo, under the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”. The Summit gathered world leaders whose economies account for 85% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population where discussions centred on food and energy security, health, digital transformation and global infrastructure and investment. President Ramaphosa addressed the working session on food and energy security where he expressed South Africa’s position that developed countries in the G20 need to demonstrate more ambitious climate action and must honour their financial commitments to developing economies.

The President further said South Africa will continue to contribute its fair share to the global climate change effort through a just transition that supports sustainable development.

President Ramaphosa called for continued G20 support for the African Renewable Energy Initiative as a means of bringing clean power to the continent on African terms.

AfCFTA to boost agric exports (The Herald)

Dairy farmers have been urged to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to access export markets and boost their incomes. Speaking at a Dairy Value Chain policy dialogue in Harare last week, Department of Veterinary Services director Dr Josphat Nyika said AfCFTA presented the country with a unique opportunity to unleash its economic potential for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Dr Nyika said the implementation of the Livestock Growth Plan was bearing fruit in the dairy sector as the nation was making headway in the attainment of the status of an upper middle income economy by the year 2030.

“Government is focusing on vertical and horizontal growth of the sector,” he said. “Vertical growth will be achieved from increasing productivity per cow per day and horizontal growth from herd increase. Clearly, vertical growth will enhance viability and profitability.

Angola Drives Regional Development via Transnational Energy Networks (African Business)

Angola’s oil and gas resources are set to bring about significant opportunities for the entire Southern African region as the hydrocarbon-rich country leverages transnational energy networks to trade, collaborate and grow both energy markets and the wider African economy.

As the country’s regional emergence takes off, the third edition of Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) taking place under the auspices of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas from November 29 to December 1 in Luanda will host a Regional Emergence panel session, unpacking the impact Angola’s hydrocarbon expansion is set to have on the regional market.

Led by industry experts to the likes of Pedestal Africa, SNC Law Group, SOAPRO and McKinsey & Company, the panel promises a comprehensive discussion on how Angola’s oil and gas developments will trigger positive impacts on the Southern African community and vice versa. At a time when demand for oil and gas is growing significantly, industrialization requires reliable energy supply and large-scale discoveries are being made across the entire regional energy landscape, the panel aims to kickstart a discussion on the role regional collaboration will play in ensuring upstream finds translate into successful developments.

Kenya marks five years since single use plastic bag ban (CGTN Africa)

A ban on single-use plastic carrier bags has been in place in Kenya for slightly over five years now. It has led to a cleaner environment, as plastic bags were clogging drains, filling dumpsites, and endangering the lives of livestock that consumed them. However, one Kenyan man who played an active role in getting plastics banned in the East African nation says more still needs to be done to protect the environment.

Kenya to benefit from Sh366.5bn facility from Afreximbank (Capital FM Kenya)

Kenya is set to benefit from a USD3billion (Sh366.5billion) Country Programme from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as part of its efforts to support the country as it navigates the current unprecedented global economic challenges. This was announced during a meeting between Kenya’s President His Excellency William Ruto and Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank.

A technical team drawn from the Kenyan government and Afeximbank is expected to begin working on the structure of the support. A significant part of the support will involve the establishment of a Kenya Climate Change Adaptation Facility. Underpinning this, Afreximbank will put in place USD800 million(Sh97.7billion) financing towards building 100 dams towards doubling irrigated area in Kenya, while paying particular attention to regions experiencing water shortages as a result of the impact of climate change.

Kenya injects first dispatch of Ethiopia power into national grid (The East African)

Kenya injected the first dispatch of cheaper hydropower imported from Ethiopia into the national grid last week, rolling out the plan that is expected to aid a reduction in power bills for businesses and households. The 25-year deal power import deal with Ethiopia will see Kenya Power take up a maximum capacity of 200 megawatts in the first three years, rising to 400MW for the remaining period.

Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) director general Daniel Kiptoo said Kenya Power took up 75 megawatts on Thursday, with additional capacity to be injected following the official commissioning of the import plan. Kenya is buying the Ethiopian power at 6.50 US cents per kilowatt hour, which is significantly lower than the tariffs charged by Independent Power Producers.

The lower tariff is expected to improve ability of Kenya Power to offer lower retail prices to consumers.

Mobile money agents handle Sh5.9trn in nine months (Business Daily)

Cash mobile money agents handled in the nine months to September went up by 17.6 percent, indicating the growing mobile money penetration in Kenya. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data show the transactions were recorded at Sh5.91 trillion, up from Sh5.03 trillion in similar period in 2021, doubling in four years. This underpins the growing relevance of mobile money and the high penetration rate in the country whereby money is transferred through mobile money channels while others deposit hard cash at the agents to make payments such as school fees, rent, water bills and government services.

The latest findings of the Financial Access (FinAccess) Household survey also show higher usage of mobile money accounts than banks, deepening financial access. The report shows Nairobi has the highest usage of mobile money services at more than 93.9 percent of the population, followed by Kiambu (91 percent), Murang’a (90.4 percent) Nyeri (89.8 percent) and Mombasa (88.6 percent).

Ruto unveils building of road linking Kenya and Tanzania (The East African)

Kenya’s President William Ruto has launched the building of the Mtwapa-Kwa Kadzengo-Kilifi (A7) road which will link Kenya and Tanzania. The road is part of the Sh7.5 billion ($61.4 million) multinational Malindi-Lunga Lunga/Horohoro-Tanga-Bagamoyo East African coastal road corridor. Ruto promised to put more emphasis on infrastructural developments to boost connectivity, trade and tourism sectors within the East African Community. “This is an important road linking Kenya and Tanzania. It will boost trade and economies between the two countries. It will connect the East African Community in terms of integration, jobs, businesses and eradicate poverty,” the Kenyan head of state said.

Business between Kenya and Tanzania is set to rise after the commissioning of the project. The road will be completed within 36 months. The corridor is being built through a grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with African Development Fund, EU-African Infrastructure Trust Fund Grant and the Kenyan government.

Industrialists report growth as Rwanda seeks more manufacturers (The New Times)

Fifteen years ago, Master Steel was only making iron sheets. But, currently, it is producing over 10 items of construction materials, and almost quadrupled its initial production as Rwanda’s housing needs have been growing, according to the Company Sales and Marketing Manager.

Constantin Rugaba made the disclosure while speaking to The New Times as Rwanda held the celebrations to mark Africa Industrialisation Day last week in Kigali.

Rugaba said that factories making construction materials have registered progress, especially in line with the development of the country where there are many infrastructures [projects] that should be executed.

IFC Supports DTRT Apparel Group’s Expansion, Job Creation Strategy in Ghana (IFC)

Backing Ghana’s ambition to become a regional textile and apparel manufacturing hub, IFC today announced a partnership with DTRT Apparel Group that will support the expansion of the company’s garment production capacity and create thousands of jobs.

Under the partnership, IFC will lend DTRT up to $8 million, including $4 million from IFC’s own account and $4 million from IFC in its capacity as the implementing entity of the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window. DTRT will use the funds to expand its garment manufacturing capacity in Ghana’s Greater Accra region, supporting the creation of more than 6,000 jobs over the next six years.

IFC will also provide DTRT, West Africa’s largest apparel manufacturer, with advisory services to help the company further strengthen its support for women in its workplace.

Ghana: Economy’s structure must change after IMF bailout – experts (The Business & Financial Times)

Experts on the economy have advised that government must put in the necessary efforts to ensure that the structure of the economy does not remain same after the conclusion of the proposed programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking on the topic ‘Managing IMF’s Expectation and Ghana’s Economy: the Way Forward’ at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana’s breakfast meeting, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey, said that the economy must move from being import-driven to production-driven in order to avert the structural challenges that always push it to the IMF for a bailout.

“IMF will come and give you short-term economic respite, but we have to change the structure of the economy. We have to produce and export in a value-added form. I have seen some young ones putting efforts in adding value to some products, but the boost is not enough for me. The IMF will come but we need to put things in order. We should stop profiteering, it will not help us as Ghanaians,” he noted.

To Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Nigeria Needs to Fix its Public Finances (World Bank)

Macroeconomic and fiscal reforms are urgently needed to lift Nigeria’s development outcomes, which are severely constrained by inefficient use of resources, argues the new Nigeria Public Finance Review report released today. For years, a large share of Nigeria’s resources have financed inefficient and regressive subsidies for petrol, electricity, and foreign exchange. Not all these subsidies are accounted for in the budget, which makes them difficult to track and scrutinize.

“Nigeria’s government urgently needs to strengthen fiscal management, create a unified, stable market-based exchange rate, phase out its costly, regressive fuel subsidy and rationalize preferential trade restrictions and tax exemptions. These would lay the groundwork for the increases in public revenues and spending needed to improve development outcomes,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “Decisive moves would significantly improve the business enabling environment in Nigeria, attract foreign direct investment, and reduce inflation. The World Bank is ready to increase support to Nigeria as it designs and implements these critical reforms.”

Nigeria: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission (IMF)

Economic recovery continues on the back of agriculture and services sectors . Output growth at 3.4 percent (y/y) in 2022Q2 marked the seventh consecutive quarter of growth driven by various services sectors, especially information technology, trade, and finance. Oil production has been on the decline since mid-2020, reflecting low investment and significant leakages associated with poor maintenance and theft. Output growth is expected to moderate in 2022 to 3 percent and improve slightly next year. The slowdown in growth reflects year-to-date weaknesses in oil production and the adverse effects of recent flooding.

Strengthening the performance of the agricultural sector is key to job creation, food security, and social cohesion. Over the next decade, an estimated 25 million additional jobs will be needed to employ the new labor market entrants. For agriculture to continue playing a strong role in employment and ensure food security, boosting production and yields through improved input usage, especially through affordable fertilizers and higher quality seeds, better storage facilities and a more coordinated policy support across government agencies are recommended.

Trade-enabling reforms are essential to promote economic diversification. The reopening of land borders earlier this year is a welcome move to facilitate trade. To speed-up compliance with rules on non-tariff barriers agreed under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the mission recommended making operational the already deployed scanners, which would limit tedious physical ports inspection processes and contain customs delays.

IMF Staff Completes 2022 Article IV Mission to Algeria (IMF)

The rally in hydrocarbon prices is contributing to the recovery of the Algerian economy from the pandemic shock. Large windfall hydrocarbon revenue has alleviated pressures on external and public finances. In 2022, the current account balance is forecast to record its first surplus since 2013, and international reserves rose to USD 53.5 billion in September from USD 46.7 billion in 2021. The significant rise in non-hydrocarbon exports has also contributed to this improvement. A fiscal surplus is expected in 2022 on higher revenue and lower-than-expected spending execution. The recovery from the pandemic shock is continuing, with non-hydrocarbon GDP growth projected to accelerate to 3.2 percent in 2022 from 2.1 percent in 2021. This will mark a recovery of most of the output loss from the pandemic shock, although durable scars on labor markets and medium-term growth are still risks. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.9 percent.

The near-term outlook is favorable, but highly contingent on hydrocarbon prices. The current account is projected in surplus in 2023 with high hydrocarbon revenue offsetting a recovery in imports. Growth is projected to accelerate and inflation to slowdown but remain above 8 percent on average amid easing in fiscal policy in 2023.

Mozambique makes first export of Liquefied Natural Gas (The Exchange)

Mozambique is significantly being exposed to the EU’s planned Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), mainly due to its large aluminium export to the EU. Aluminium is the country’s largest export good, making up 25 per cent of export earnings, worth US$1.4 billion. According to an article by Enabel published on November 3, 2022, under the proposed CBAM, Mozambique’s aluminium exports could result in an annual taxation of between EUR 50 – 350 million per annum, depending on the approach used for estimating the carbon intensity. On the other hand, Mozambique also has unrivalled natural energy resources that could significantly contribute to a green energy transition, not only domestically but also in the Southern African region.

Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana demand higher prices for their cocoa growers (The East African)

The world’s chocolate industry could be in for a turbulent ride as the two biggest cocoa producers set down demands for manufacturers to pay higher prices for their growers. The quarrel focuses on the Living Income Differential (LID) — a policy that Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana introduced in 2019 to fight poverty among cocoa farmers in the global $130-billion chocolate market. Under it, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana vowed to charge a premium of $400 per tonne on all cocoa sales, starting with the 2020/21 harvest.

But trade boards in the countries — the Ivorian Coffee-Cocoa Council (CCC) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) — say the scheme is being undermined as cocoa traders depress the price of another premium that operates in parallel.

MRU countries sign MOU on trade, revenue and security relation (Concord Times)

Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea or the Mano River Union (MRU) have signed an agreement to improve custom relation on trade, revenue and border security among them.

The Customs Chiefs emphasized the need for mutual administrative assistance among them as the appropriate way to address revenue frauds, facilitate cross-border trades, and the engendering regional security. “The only way we can succeed in fighting cross border crime and illicit trade is to collaborate,” Sierra Leone’s Customs Chief, Abu Martin Kanneh said, hailing the MOU as the beginning of a new era in the MRU region for customs administrations.

African trade and integration

Statement of ECA’s Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, on Africa Industrialization Day 2022 (UNECA)

The adoption of the Agreement Establishing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2018 and its speedy entry into force in 2019 demonstrates that Africa is finally ready for takeoff. A product made in Africa will immediately benefit from the preferential, effectively duty- and quota-free, terms of access to a market of 1.3 billion people.

That is the most powerful incentive industrialists can have to invest in a manufacturing plant based in Africa. The good news is that we are seeing African industrialists being the champions of endogeneous growth and structural transformation. To achieve transformational change though we will need more of this and at larger scale.

powerful an incentive as it is, the AfCFTA Agreement alone cannot guarantee African industrialization. It needs to be implemented. And it needs to be implemented by each of its individual State Parties in such a way as to promote industrialization and sustainable development across the Continent.

There is yet another reason why industrialization is critical for Africa. Today, primary products – whether extractive or agricultural – account for the bulk of our exports to the rest of the world, while processed products dominate our imports. In far too many cases, we export the raw product and reimport the same thing in processed form – thereby exporting African jobs to others and effectively paying for the wages of foreign workers.

Between 2016 and 2021 fuels accounted for the largest share of African’s total exports, ranging from 29% to 43% in any given year, and averaging 37% over the period. At a more granular level, petroleum and petroleum-related products comprise the largest percentage.

On the other hand, Africa’s internal trade, is much more balanced. Trade in mineral fuels averages only around 20% of intra-African exports. In its place manufactured goods and food items make up a significantly larger share of intra-African trade reducing Africa’s reliance on exports of raw materials. On average, between 2016 and 2021 manufactured goods represented a 44% share of total intra-African exports. Food items likewise averaged 20% of exports over the period and showing that internally Africa is significantly less reliant on raw and extractive materials.

Industrialization is not an option for Africa; it is an imperative. Simply put, by adding value to our raw materials here on the Continent, we can convert our resources to the real blessings they are rather than allow them to continue to be a curse imposed on us. And the AfCFTA provides the best possible launch pad for African industrialization.

Joint statement by AUC, AUDA-NEPAD, UNIDO, and ECA on Africa Industrialization Day (UNECA)

Industrialization from the ground up: transforming rural spaces through agro-industry (The Patriotic Vanguard)

We have three years left in Africa’s Third Industrial decade (2016-2025) that reaffirms the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. Evidence shows that the world’s wealthiest countries are also among the most industrialized. Yet, Africa remains the world’s least industrialized region, with only one country on the entire continent, South Africa, currently categorized as industrialized. The continent has low shares in global trade and industrial output with the bulk of its exports made up of raw products and imports comprising of large amounts of higher-value finished goods.

Africa is home to 60 percent of the world’s arable land and many countries within the continent boast suitable agro-climatic conditions. This means that Africa has the potential to meet not only its own food needs, but also those of the rest of the world. However, despite huge agro-industry and agri-business potential in Africa, agricultural productivity is low and inefficient. Coupled with huge post-harvest losses whose levels are higher than the global average and growing demand mainly met by imports, it’s no wonder that food security remains a challenge on the continent.

By advancing actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 9, African countries can adopt sustainable industrialization, innovation and infrastructure to generate employment and income, promote new technologies, facilitate international trade and enable efficient use of resources. Specifically, agro-based industrialization can support the continent’s poverty reduction efforts by helping African countries grow jobs along the food value chain, raise incomes and close rural-urban inequality gaps

Digitalisation – enable access to cutting edge and appropriate technology through partnership and South-to-South collaboration. By using digital technologies in manufacturing, African countries can create more productive jobs, boost manufacturing and leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with its approximately 1.2 billion consumers.

More banks join PAPSS migration race (The Nation Newspaper)

More commercial banks across Africa are currently undergoing certification integration of their processes to enable them migrate to the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) which has taken off. Stanbic IBTC Bank, FirstBank, United Bank for Africa, Ghana Commercial Bank, among others are some of the key entrants to the PAPSS migration race.

The PAPSS, a centralised Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) supports payment arrangements with the objective of expanding pan-African trade and driving African Central Bank’s economic and financial integration agenda. It was deployed for use in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) in Nigeria, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Guinea.

Stanbic IBTC Bank’s Chief Executive Wole Adeniyi described its first transaction on the PAPSS network as the organisation’s way of supporting intra-African trade while also supporting low-cost and risk-controlled payment, settlement, and clearing systems.

“This is a great opportunity for new and existing clients to take advantage of. The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System will enable interested individuals and businesses make cross border payments, thereby reducing, dependencies on foreign exchange and correspondent banks. Consequently, this will reduce requisite correspondent banking fees and mitigate central delays,” he added.

H.E Thabo Mbeki: Africa: Call For Action! (AllAfrica)

“It is now seven years since the world adopted the first ever target to reduce illicit financial flows, including corporate tax abuse, following the report of the AU/ECA High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows out of Africa. This remains of critical importance with regard to the task to strengthen global efforts in support of the Sustainable Development Goals target 16.4.

A key area identified by the High Level Panel on IFFs from Africa was the lack of an inclusive architecture for international tax cooperation. Reflecting on the continuing urgency of addressing this gap, as well as the continuing leadership of African countries, I was delighted to welcome in May of this year the ECA declaration of African Finance Ministers, which called for the immediate start of negotiations on a UN tax convention.

Such an instrument has the obligation to set ambitious global standards; to create the mechanisms for transparency and accountability to deliver on the illicit financial flows target; and to establish a globally inclusive intergovernmental tax body under UN auspices, which the G77+China has long called for.

This September, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged his Office’s support of such negotiations. In that report he highlighted the lack of inclusivity of every single current instrument and forum that exists in relation to international tax and transparency.

I was delighted to see the African Ministers’ Declaration calling for negotiations on a UN tax convention, and the pledge of support from the UN Secretary-General. This is the obvious and necessary next step to address the global threat of illicit financial flows, including corporate tax abuse.

AfDB and AUC sign $9.73m grant agreement to drive digital market development in Africa (TechCity)

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a grant agreement to implement Phase 1 of the Upstream Project for Digital Market Development in Africa. The signing ceremony took place on November 17 at AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The AUC Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert M. Muchanga, and the African Development Bank’s Deputy Director General for the East Africa Region, Abul B. Kamara, signed the agreement on behalf of their institutions. The AfDB’s board of directors approved the grant of 7 million Units of Account ($ 9.73 million) in September this year. The project supports the AUC’s implementation of digital economy projects to enhance a continental single digital market. It also supports the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa.

On Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, Lionesses of Africa’s Business Confidence Report celebrates African women entrepreneurs’ optimism about business (AfDB)

Women entrepreneurs in Africa are expressing widespread optimism and continuing resilience despite the prevailing economic climate, according to the 2022 Lionesses Business Confidence Report and Index launched on Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. The report, prepared by Lionesses of Africa Public Benefit Corporation and New York University finds that ninety three percent of women entrepreneurs anticipate their companies will be better off a year from now, with only 2% anticipating that their companies will be worse off. The report is funded by the African Development Bank Group, through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Initiative.

The second edition of the 2022 Lionesses Business Confidence Report and Index, comes at a critical moment, benchmarking last year’s data and evaluating African women-owned business performance, access to finance, and digital transformation. Furthermore, it allows stakeholders to learn how 100 of Africa’s top women business leaders surveyed, assess the state of their businesses and their opportunities for the upcoming year.

Knowledge-intensive services show resilience and promise in Africa (UNCTAD)

Like elsewhere, Africa’s services exports took a nosedive during the COVID-19 pandemic. International travel and related services, such as hotels and tour operators, have traditionally driven the continent’s services exports. So as the pandemic restricted travel and tourism, Africa’s total services exports fell by one third in 2020, dropping to levels last seen in 2009. Despite improvements in 2021, overall services exports from African countries remained 20% lower than in 2019. But the overall figure hides the resilience shown during and after the pandemic by particular activities within the sector: knowledge-intensive services.

These include for instance insurance and pension services, financial services, telecommunications, computer and information services, research and development, management consulting and other business services, as well as personal, cultural and recreational services. Africa’s exports of such services continued to grow during the pandemic, overtaking first transport and then travel. Globally, Africa was the region where these exports grew strongest in 2021, increasing by 17.3% compared with 16.5% in Asia, 14.2% in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Europe, and 11.2% in Northern America.

Yet Africa remains a small player globally, with a share of just 0.9% of world exports of knowledge-intensive services. Europe accounts for over half of these global exports, followed by Asia (25%) and Northern America (18%).

African exchanges facilitate cross-border investments (CAJ News Africa)

THE African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP), which has gone live, is a milestone in facilitating cross-border trading and free movement of investments on the continent. The go-live commenced when the platform was officially launched this past Friday. The inter-connectivity platform enables the trading of exchange-listed securities across seven participating securities exchanges, for the first phase.

AELP is a flagship project of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Dr Edoh Kossi Amenounve, ASEA President, said the go-live was a great milestone towards achieving ASEA’s mission to engage African capital market ecosystems. This is in order to foster capital mobilisation, promote sustainability and enhance financial inclusion for the benefit of Africa’s economic development. Trading infrastructure harmonisation through the link is expected to ease existing trading processes and potentially reduce the cost of trading across African capital markets.

Challenges embodied in SDGs need transdisciplinary approach (University World News)

The importance of the co-creation of knowledge involving African policymakers, scientists and agricultural experts to transform African agricultural and food systems in the context of climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa Agenda 2063 was emphasised during a round-table discussion on 14 November at COP27. The side event was convened under the theme, ‘Towards Resilient, Sustainable, Transformed Agriculture and Food Systems’ and was attended by regional representatives from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, and the African Union Commission. The event explored interlinked and inter-dependencies between climate resilient agricultural practices, livelihoods and food security and highlighted a number of initiatives geared towards enhancing the adaptive capacity of the agricultural and food sector in different areas across the region.

Transforming Irrigation in Southern Africa (TISA), a project presented during the discussion by agriculture and food systems expert at the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network or FANRPAN, Dr Njongenhle Nyoni, aimed to optimise dysfunctional irrigation schemes into functional systems by deploying agricultural technological innovations platforms and soil monitoring tools across Southern Africa.

Winnie Odinga: EAC needs policies to govern GMO importation (The Standard)

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) representative for Kenya Winnie Odinga is now rallying the East African Community to unite against the introduction of GMO foods in the region. In an interview with Spice FM this morning, Winnie has called upon the community to conduct its own study on GMO saying, they are not healthy for human consumption. She also suggests the formulation of a policy that will be used as a guiding principal in the introduction of the genetically modified foods.

“GMO is not something that is good for us right now and even if it is being used as an intervention, what are we doing to further not need this intervention? it is time we start to discuss on what each country can do. This revolves around vertical farming, we cannot keep talking about irrigation, we can look at intelligence - robotics in farming,” Winnie suggested during an interview on Spice FM Monday, November 12.

According to Winnie, the East African Community (EAC) will have a voice if the member states come up with a policy from a well-researched study that will guide the way forward on how to deal with the GMO foods.

Global Gateway: First section of modernised 560km highway along the strategic Northern Corridor, inaugurated in Kenya, will boost trade in East Africa (European Commission)

Today, in Mombasa, Kenya and the European Union in the presence of Kenyan President William Ruto inaugurated the first section of an upgraded 560km highway along the Northern corridor, East Africa’s busiest trade and transport route. This is part of the EU’s wider support for the creation of eleven strategic transport corridors across Africa under the €150 billion Global Gateway EU-Africa Investment Package to boost sustainable and trusted connections, value chains, services and jobs that can benefit both Africa and Europe. This launch takes place few days before a meeting of the European and African Commissions in Brussels to jointly review progress in the implementation of transformative projects under this investment package.

The EU is supporting four wider transport projects currently ongoing to expand the northern corridor in Kenya and neighbouring countries, providing maritime access to landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Mombasa-Kilifi highway opened today is also part of the coastal corridor, a transport route linking port cities from Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania, through Kenya and then moving inland to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

12 Fastest Growing Economies in Africa (Yahoo Finance)

Africa’s economy started recovering in 2021 following the disastrous consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its gross domestic output increased significantly in 2021 by an estimated 6.9%. The anticipated real GDP growth for Africa in 2021 was higher than both the global average and other regions’ growth rates. Four of Africa’s top six countries had an increase in their Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) readings, indicating an improvement in economic activity. Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa’s PMI values in 2021 (which collectively accounted for 52% of Africa’s GDP in 2021) were usually over the 50-point threshold and closer to pre-pandemic levels. This comes after the continent saw a 1.6% shrinkage brought on by the pandemic in 2020. North Africa (11.7%) and East Africa (4.8%) had the fastest growth. The increase was ascribed to the recovery in oil prices and global demand as well as the uptick in household spending and investment in the majority of nations following the easing of restrictions.

IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie thinks that the effects of the Ukraine war — primarily an increase in gasoline and food prices — would be felt by everyone. According to the World Bank, the combined consequences of the Ukraine war, massive debts, and climate change have hampered Africa’s economic progress.

African countries have tremendous economic potential with rewarding opportunities for investors. Therefore, despite so many obstacles, a number of African countries have been able to expand their economies, which was primarily made possible by advances in underlying infrastructure that accelerated the convergence of underdeveloped regions with national levels. Other countries have profited from rising oil prices.

Global economy

WTO members resume discussions on e-commerce following MC12 outcome (WTO)

WTO members kicked off discussions on 18 November on identifying specific cross-cutting issues to be addressed under the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce as a follow-up to the decision taken at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June. WTO members agreed at MC12 to reinvigorate the Work Programme, particularly regarding its development dimension. They also agreed to maintain their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions and to intensify discussions on this moratorium.

Women entrepreneurs share their climb to success (UNCTAD)

Celebrating female entrepreneurship, UNCTAD on 21 November launched a publication entitled “Women in Business, building purpose-driven enterprises amid crises”. It tells the stories of 21 women from developing countries who’ve defied myriad challenges to build successful businesses and have been trained through UNCTAD’s flagship capacity-building programme, Empretec. “It is my hope that the stories of these 21 ‘Empretec champions’ and the ingenuity and resilience they display amid crises is a source of inspiration for other women and girls looking for role models and hope in these turbulent times,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said.

Despite some progress, women’s power in business remains limited. UNCTAD’s previous estimates showed that between 2010 and 2019, 68% of firms worldwide didn’t have any women ownership, while only 16% were owned by women. The estimates show that such underrepresentation could undercut economic growth and decent employment and that income lost due to women’s inactivity in business can reach up to 30% of GDP in countries with wide gender gaps.

Boeing forecasts major growth in air cargo demand over next 20 years (Engineering News)

Major aerospace group Boeing has predicted that global air cargo traffic will increase by 100% between now and 2041. The company has released its ‘World Air Cargo Forecast 2022’, and also predicts that, over the same period, the number of freighter aircraft in the world will increase by 60%. To meet growing demand, the global fleet of jet freighter aircraft will have to grow by more than 1 300 aircraft, to reach a total of more than 3 600 by 2041. To achieve this, plus to replace existing, older and less fuel efficient, freighters, will require the production of 2 800 freighter aircraft over the next two decades. Of these, 33% will be new-built freighter aircraft and 66% will be converted from existing airliners.

Trade Profiles 2022 (WTO)

Trade Profiles 2022 provides key data on merchandise trade and trade in commercial services for 197 economies. Each profile displays a sectoral breakdown of the economy’s exports and imports, its main trading partners and its most traded products and services.

World Tariff Profiles 2022 (WTO)

World Tariff Profiles 2022 provides comprehensive information on the tariffs and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and customs territories. It is a joint publication of the WTO, the International Trade Centre and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


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