Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

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Digitalisation to make manufacturing supply chains more resilient (Engineering News)

The digitalisation of supply chains will make them more transparent and challenges more visible, better informing production planning and, thereby, making production value chains more resilient to disruption, says professional services and advisory firm PwC South Africa digital supply chain division head Pieter Theron. Supply chains have globalised to such an extent over the past two decades that it is almost impossible to manufacture without importing some elements, whether this be components or raw materials, he adds.

Cape Town terminal exceeding weekly volumes as deciduous fruit season starts (Engineering News)

State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) says the Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) has been exceeding weekly volumes by 32% for two consecutive weeks as South Africa’s deciduous fruit season kicks off. The first few vessels have been carrying exports destined for Europe and the UK. The season’s fruit include table grapes, pomegranates, stone fruits and berries, besides others. Further, in cases of deviations or when the terminal anticipates increased volumes, there are additional operational resources during the night shift for recovery.

“The initiatives in place and efforts made will enable maximum deployment of our equipment, which will boost productivity and enhance our service to our customers. As the CTCT, we continue to work hard in optimising our logistics for the success of the deciduous fruit season,” said TPT Western Cape Terminals managing executive Andiswa Dlanga.

SA keen to attract investment (SAnews)

While the South African economy has experienced various challenges, including electricity shortages, work is underway to ensure that the country attracts investment. “While there are many attractions and huge potential for investors in South Africa, there are a number of constraints on economic growth and social development. For more than a decade, South Africa has been confronted with a shortage of electricity,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa. The President made these remarks at the SA-UK Business Roundtable in London on the second day of his two-day State Visit to the United Kingdom, on Wednesday.

Exports from South Africa to the UK are estimated to support 134,000 South African jobs. “Bilateral trade is at its highest yet, with goods and services worth £10.7 billion being traded between the United Kingdom and South Africa in the 12 months ending in June this year,” he said. Meanwhile, a number of UK companies have attended the annual South Africa Investment Conference that the country has held since 2018 - during which significant new investment commitments were made. President Ramaphosa added that South Africa which has free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union, has over the past four years, been putting in place an African Continental Free Trade Area that will connect 55 national economies and more than 1.3 billion people. “The legal instruments have been completed and countries and customs unions are now finalising their tariff offers, with the intention that trade would commence next year.”

With the UK being the largest foreign investor in South Africa, “it is our intention and our ambition to substantially increase the value and diversify the composition of both trade and investment,” said President Ramaphosa.

Namibia: Major opportunities from free trade…business sector urged to capitalise (New Era)

Namibia believes and anticipates significant opportunities will emanate from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which in turn will lead to the positive transformation of many economies on the continent. Some of these opportunities include, larger market access, improved competitiveness and enhanced investment in the country, improved production capacities, improved living standards and increased employment creation. This is according to trade and industry minister, Lucia Iipumbu, who yesterday launched Namibia’s national strategy for the implementation of AfCFTA.

“To fast-track the implementation of the AfCFTA, the development of an implementation strategy is critical as it leverages deeper integration within the framework of AfCFTA to facilitate an expansion of Namibia’s trade and investment in Africa. In this regard, the ministry of industrialisation has developed its national AfCFTA implementation strategies and action plans. The national strategy has identified key value addition and trade opportunities and constraints, measures and capacities required for it to take full advantage of national, regional and global markets within the context of the AfCFTA,” said Iipumbu at yesterday’s launch.

The minister explained the strategy is informed by Namibia’s broader national development policy frameworks and builds on progress achieved through participation in regional integration initiatives, mainly the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Ship carrying 10000 tonnes of maize came from Mozambique (The Standard)

A ship carrying 10,000 tons of maize that docked at the Mombasa Port Tuesday came in from the Port of Beira in Mozambique, The Standard has established. Kenya Port Authority (KPA) confirmed Tuesday that the vessels docked at berth seven at Mombasa but that by last evening, it had not started to offload the maize. KPA Principal Communication Officer Haji Masemo said the Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) will determine the quality of the maize before it is released.

According to data from government agencies, the country has an annual maize deficit of about 700,000 tonnes it fills through imports from Uganda, Tanzania, other Comesa countries and Mozambique at 50 per cent tariff. The former National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani extended the free-maize import that was scheduled to expire on May 9, to September 30. Last week, President William Ruto said in Kwale that the government will import 10,000 tons of maize to cushion Kenyans against hunger. He did not however expressly indicate whether the said import will be GMO or non-GMO maize.

Nigeria set to adopt Phase II Protocols of AfCFTA (Nairametrics)

The federal government has said it is set to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) later this week. This was disclosed in a press statement by a media aide to the president, Garba Shehu on Wednesday evening as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niamey. Phase II Protocols of the AfCFTA range on agreements from intellectual property rights, to investment and competition protection.

Shehu noted that President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official trip to Niamey, the Republic of Niger to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He said the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well as launch additional operation tools.

Nigeria discovers, launches first crude oil field in north in 62 years (The East African)

Nigeria, with crude oil reserves of more than 37 billion barrels and the 6th largest world producer, has discovered and launched the first oil drilling project in the north after decades of exploration. The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) unveiled the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the north eastern part of the country.

The discovery of oil in commercial quantity in the north came 62 years after the oil and gas discovery and drilling took place in Oloibiri in South-South Bayelsa states. The South-South region, also called Niger Delta, had since dominated oil production with highest oil and gas reserves in Nigeria.

At the launch on November 22, 2022 in Bauchi in north east Nigeria, President Buhari declared that the government has already attracted over $3 billion investment in the oil and gas sector at a time of near-zero appetite for investment in fossil energy.

He said that the successful discovery of oil and gas in the Kolmani River field, and the huge investment it had attracted “will surely be a reference subject for discussion in the industry as we pursue the just energy transition programme that will culminate in our country achieving net- zero position by the year 2060”.

The country currently produces 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Nigeria, Canada Push Gas As Transition Fuel (Leadership)

With a focus on improving trade, deepening ongoing educational collaboration, continuing dialogue on the global energy transition issues and climate change, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, have agreed on the need for deepening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Canada. This was the highlight of the meeting between both leaders in Ottawa, the capital of the North American country yesterday.

On the global net zero emissions targets, and energy transition, Vice President Osinbajo reaffirmed the view that gas ought to be adopted as a transition fuel, a notion he said garnered traction at the recent COP27 conference in Egypt, even though still widely unacknowledged in the West.

“We believe we must use our gas as transition fuel; we have huge gas reserves. We would like to continue to use our gas during the transition,” the Vice President said while explaining that the Federal Government’s Energy Transition Plan is focused on renewable energy, including the ongoing Solar Power Naija Programme, which was launched under the Economic Sustainability Plan.

Responding, the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, who wondered whether countries such as Nigeria are already struggling to get financing for gas projects said, “we will be happy to keep talking with you on that, “ adding that the use of Natural Gas makes sense, and noting that the dialogue should continue.

Trade exchange between Egypt, Nile basin countries grows in 2021 - CAPMAS (ZAWYA)

Trade exchange between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries increased by 32.60% on an annual basis in 2021, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

The value of Egypt’s exports to the Nile Basin countries reached $1.55 billion in 2021, compared to $1.19 billion in 2020, a rise of 29.50%.The highest values ​​were concentrated in five African countries, accounting for 95.10% of the total of this bloc.

Sudan came in first place with exports valued at $827 million, representing 53.40% of the total Egyptian exports to the bloc, followed by Kenya and Ethiopia with exports of $382 million at 24.60% and $111 million at 7.20%, respectively. Exports to Uganda and Tanzania totalled $102 million and $52 million, respectively, representing 6.60% and 3.40%, respectively of the total exports to the bloc.

The value of imports from Nile Basin countries amounted to $783 million in 2021, compared to $562 million in 2020, up 39.40%.The highest values ​​were concentrated in five African countries with a percentage of 99.10% of the total of this bloc. Sudan came in first place with exports to Egypt amounting to $386 million or 49.30% of Egypt’s imports from the basin countries, followed by Kenya with exports to Egypt amounting to $255 million or 32.60% of the total bloc.

African trade and integration 

Africa should accelerate industrialization while pursuing low carbon transition (UNECA)

African countries should articulate effective policies, strategies and programmes and take action to promote trade and exports in order to realize the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Economic Commission for Africa, Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Antonio Pedro, said. Mr. Pedro told participants at the opening session on “Harnessing the AfCFTA for Africa’s industrialization: Fostering competitiveness and sustainability in the digital era”, at the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, being held in Niger, that intra-regional trade has potential to facilitate increased economies of scale, diversification and value addition.

Ms. Treasure Maphanga, Chief Operating Officer, the AeTrade Group and former trade and industrialization director at the African Union Commission, noted that digitisation has a catalytic effect through the growth of services, especially in the logistics, finance and insurance.

“Leveraging the technology and other aspects of the digital economy to create jobs is the way forward...and informal business does not have to be disadvantaged,” said Ms. Maphanga.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Hanan Morsy, ECA Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist said developed countries should embrace Africa’s industrialisation potential and support its low carbon transition to ensure the continent is able to develop while acting on climate change.

Ms. Morsy, noted that African countries were in a dilemma in advancing economic development and industrializing while responding to required climate change action. A win-win approach was needed.

“It is essential for African countries to find a realistic and pragmatic balance between following their industrialisation and development paths and their climate goals, with support from high-income countries,” Ms. Morsy said, adding that: “Green industrialisation aims to decouple economic growth from negative environmental externalities by maximizing the application of clean energy, sustainable inputs and green-production technologies.”

Private Sector Challenged to Focus on Entrepreneurship (East African Business Week)

The private sector has been challenged to move beyond policy and advocacy towards increased levels of entrepreneurship. Various participants at the “Industrializing the SADC Region: Sharing Strides, Drawbacks and Impact” event convened by the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-SARO) as part of the activities of the Africa Industrialization Week 2022 commemorative held in Niamey, Niger, underscored the need to promote industrialization on the continent by showcasing the successes, challenges, opportunities and further actions needed from the process to accelerate industrialization in the Southern African region.

H.E Ambassador David Claude Pierre, Head of Mission of the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office, called on all stakeholders within the region to acknowledge and agree that Industrialization was an important vehicle for promoting economic growth, creating jobs, production of higher value goods, increasing exports and export earnings, improving resource allocation efficiency and creating linkages with other sectors and of sustainable employment opportunities. He noted “the launch of the AfCFTA comes as an opportunity that if successfully implemented, will speed up industrialization and foster economic development”.

ECA in West Africa and its partners advocate for development and stability in the Sahel through industrialization (UNECA)

As part of the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification being held November 20-25 in Niamey, Niger, a side event on inclusive and sustainable industrialization as a driver of resilience and stability for the Sahel was organized on November 22.

In his intervention, ECA Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Antonio Pedro said that eight of the fifteen countries making up the West African sub-region are Sahelian and given the challenges the Sahel is facing, it is extremely important to invest in industrialization in order to change the narrative in this part of the continent, which today is synonymous with conflicts and humanitarian needs.

“At the level of intra-African sectoral trade, it is estimated that full implementation of the AfCFTA will increase exports in agribusiness by 41%, industry and services by about 40%, and energy/mining by 16% by 2045. In West Africa, including the Sahel region, exports are expected to increase by 24.0% in industry, 23.0% in agribusiness, and 11.0% in energy and mining. As a result, in absolute terms, nearly three-quarters of the gains in exports from West Africa to Africa would come from industry,” said Antonio Pedro.

DRC’s entry into EA bloc in the spotlight (The Citizen)

The entry of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the East African Community (EAC) will be on radar at a lawyers meeting here. The resource-rich and vast country is already embroiled in surging violence on its eastern border it blames on some partner states. The simmering violence has apparently slowed down the pace of the country’s integration in the seven nation bloc. The implications of the vast country’s entry into the EAC will feature in the annual meeting of the East African Law Society (EALS) starting today.

Also to feature in the meeting is how the EAC can be a building block to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Besides building a unified EAC, members of the legal fraternity will also have a session on the role of financial institutions in fostering economic growth in the bloc. Natural resource extraction and their economic potential will also dominate the talks of the regional lawyers.

Kenya, Rwanda among 15 states in new single air transport market (The East African)

After minimal progress since its launch in January 2018, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) appeared to reach a decision this week with 15 of the 35 signatory states launching a cluster to pilot the scheme in real life. The announcement is a major boost to the proposed joint airline by Kenya Airways and South African Airways, which will have immediate and unlimited access to key markets on the continent as both countries will be participating in the trial runs. It is also a signature achievement for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has been working behind the scenes to get SAATM off the ground in 2023.

Dubbed the SAATM Pilot Implementation Project, the landmark decision – which bands together some of Africa’s more significant air transport markets – was announced on November 14 by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

The 15 states are expected to cement their decision further by aligning their respective air service agreements to the SAATM regime when they again meet during this year’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation in Abuja on December 5.

According to a recent study by the African Union on the potential benefits of SAATM implementation, the continent would gain an additional $4.2 billion in GDP, 596,000 new jobs and a 27 percent reduction in air fares.

Ministers Undertake to Promote Initiatives on Food Security and Environmental Management (COMESA)

Ministers responsible for agriculture, natural resources and environment from COMESA Member States have undertaken to support the development and implementation of the COMESA digital Regional Food Balance Sheet (RFBS) initiative. This undertaking covers similar efforts that aim to strengthen agri-food data and information system in the region which will enable informed policy, investment, and trade decisions, and for emergency food and livelihood response in a rapidly changing environment. COMESA is implementing the Regional Food Balance Sheet initiative which is designed to provide data, messaging and information that governments, the private sector and development organizations need to make informed investments, create and implement policies.

EAC should modernise agriculture sector (Daily News)

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says agricultural and industrialisation are the key areas for the East African Community (EAC) development. Yes! The development lender backs its predication on the fact that the region’s between 75 percent and 90 percent of its population depends on agricultural activities. The argument based on the fact that if agriculture sector is well developed and linked with industrialisation drive, then, it will free the majority of the population from leaving below one dollar a day.

One fact, according to AfDB, is that the value of Africa’s food market is expected to be more than triple in value by 2030 to 1.0 trillion US dollars annually. The bank says that efficient agricultural production means lower costs of food which, in some households, can be as high as 70 percent of the budgets. Increasing productivity and lowering the cost of food, therefore, means households will spend less of their incomes on food, which releases funds for other essentials such as health and education. Similarly, high productivity of cheap raw agricultural materials can also support the agro-processing industry.

COP27: Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa secures $64 million in new funding from Norway and GEAPP (AfDB)

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa has secured a fresh injection of $64 million in grant funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).

Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet Executive Director for Africa Joseph Nganga said: “We are leapfrogging polluting energy sources and supporting decarbonisation across the energy sector. Together we will focus our efforts on sustainable energy projects with a high potential to be transformative, scalable, and replicable, and we look forward to supporting SEFA to catalyse and leverage additional financing for these pivotal projects.”

Biden Invites Forty-Nine African Heads Of State To U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit – Say Top U.S. Diplomats (Front Page Africa)

The United States Government has announced that 49 African Heads of State, along with the Chairman of the African Union, have been invited by President Joe Biden to the landmark U.S.- Africa leadership summit in Washington D.C. in mid-December.

In a digital press briefing with journalists from across the continent on Tuesday, Ms. Banks, also a Special Assistant to U.S. President Biden said the three-day summit in Washington will highlight how the U.S. and African nations are strengthening their partnerships to advance their shared priorities. The summit, she said, reflects the U.S. strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa, which really emphasizes the critical importance of the region in meeting this era’s defining challenges.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for Dec. 13-15, is one of President Biden’s top foreign-policy priorities this year. It is the first opportunity for his administration to showcase how it views the future of U.S.-Africa relations on its home turf amid increasing geopolitical tension with Russia and China and efforts to reset U.S.-Africa relations after the Trump’s presidency, according to observers.

She added: “With one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, largest free trade area, most diverse ecosystems, and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations, African contributions, partnerships, and leadership are essential to meeting this era’s defining challenges. The continent’s dynamic economies and populations really do provide the foundation for a bright future for the continent and the United States.”

Global economy

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues to create serious headwinds for global economy, OECD says (OECD)

The global economy is expected to slow further in the coming year as the massive and historic energy shock triggered by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues to spur inflationary pressures, sapping confidence and household purchasing power and increasing risks worldwide, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. The Outlook highlights the unusually imbalanced and fragile prospects for the global economy over the next two years. The global economy is projected to grow well below the outcomes expected before the war – at a modest 3.1% this year, before slowing to 2.2% in 2023 and recovering moderately to a still sub-par 2.7% pace in 2024.

“The global economy is facing serious headwinds. We are dealing with a major energy crisis and risks continue to be titled to the downside with lower global growth, high inflation, weak confidence and high levels of uncertainty making successful navigation of the economy out of this crisis and back toward a sustainable recovery very challenging,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said during a presentation of the Outlook. “An end to the war and a just peace for Ukraine would be the most impactful way to improve the global economic outlook right now. Until this happens, it is important that governments deploy both short- and medium-term policy measures to confront the crisis, to cushion its impact in the short term while building the foundations for a stronger and sustainable recovery.”

As WTO Considers Patent Waiver On COVID Treatments, Some Say It Is Too Late (Health Policy Watch)

Little agreement emerged from an informal World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting on Tuesday about whether an intellectual property (IP) waiver should be extended to COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics. But low and middle-income countries (LMIC) that qualify for free COVID-19 anti-virals Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir) and Molnupiravir have shown so little interest in accepting donations that some question whether debating the waiver extension is a waste of time.

Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, the European Union and the United Kingdom wanted to see proof of IP barriers hampering access to therapeutics and diagnostics before they supported any waiver extension, according to a Geneva-based trade official at the WTO meeting.

International trade statistics: trends in third quarter 2022 (OECD)

G20 merchandise trade fell for the first time in two years in value terms in Q3 2022, retreating from the recent high levels in Q2 2022 (Figure 1 and 2). As measured in current US dollars, exports and imports contracted by 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively, as global demand began to slow and most commodity prices receded from their peaks.

“It is too early to draw any concrete conclusions, however this latest development in G20 merchandise trade deserves further monitoring as the global economy confronts multiple headwinds, including monetary tightening, receding commodity prices, and cooling demand,” said OECD Chief Statistician Paul Schreyer.

G20 services trade slowed further in Q3 2022, as measured in current US dollars (Figure 1 and 2). Export growth is estimated to have flattened to 0.3% and imports to have grown by 1.7%. This compares to the higher rates recorded in Q2 2022 (1.3% and 2.3%, respectively), as falling shipping costs weighed on the value of transport services across many G20 economies.

G20 Leaders Aim to Recover Together, Stronger Amid Multidimensional Crises | News | SDG Knowledge Hub (IISD)

Group of 20 (G20) leaders issued a declaration in which they reaffirm their commitment to cooperate in addressing serious global economic challenges, including those related to food and energy security, climate change, biodiversity loss, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the digital transformation. The G20 Summit convened under the theme, ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger,’ in Bali, Indonesia, from 15-16 November 2022.

Noting that the Summit was taking place at “the most pivotal, precarious moment in generations,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on G20 leaders to respond to “an SOS” from the SDGs and to support governments of the Global South in tackling the climate crisis, prevent famine and hunger, bolster the energy transition, and promote the digital transformation.

The 52-paragraph pdf G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration (980 KB)  highlights the “unparalleled multidimensional crises” such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, which have hindered the achievement of the SDGs. Most members “strongly condemn” the war in Ukraine and its impacts on the global economy, “constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.” The document also notes “other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”

UN Updates on Progress Toward 2025 Global Broadband Goals (ISPreview)

The ITU and United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has recently issued their annual progress update on getting the world connected to affordable broadband ISP connectivity, which among other things finds that 2.7 billion people have yet to even access the internet.

The commission has long set a series of targets to assist in connecting the large chunk of the world currently operating without broadband internet access by 2025. As ever, these are soft political targets because the commission itself is limited in its ability to both help fund and deliver on such objectives, but some progress is clearly being made.

The main focus of this report is on the impact for both Developing Countries (DCs) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).


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