tralac Daily News
Kenya plans to remove all trade barriers with Tanzania by the beginning of 202
(Business Insider Africa)
The decision was made to bolster trade between the two nations and increase the volume of locally made goods exchanged between them. According to Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr. Isaac Njenga, both governments have already set plans in motion to remove all outstanding trade tariffs between them before the end of January. He stated during the Jamhuri Day celebrations in Dar es Salaam, that the visit from the President of Kenya, already propelled the removal of over 50 non-tariff obstacles, thereby enhancing the bilateral trade between Kenya and Tanzania.
Our commitment to resolving Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) has significantly contributed to the growth in trade between our two countries,” the high commissioner said.
Breaking down fiscal figures Mr. Njenga disclosed that Kenya’s exports to Tanzania increased to Ksh45.6 billion in 2021 from Ksh 31.4 billion in 2020. He also added that imports from Tanzania have practically doubled from Ksh27.2 billion in 2020 to Ksh50.1 billion in 2021, while total trade was boosted from Ksh58.6 billion in 2020 to 95.7 billion in 2021.
According to the high commissioner, one of the key reasons for removing the trade barriers is to encourage citizens from both economies to participate in free trade and look within Africa for solutions they might otherwise have had to import from an overseas market.
Kenyan High Commissioner urges promotion of intra-African trade to boost job creation …as Kenyan tea
The Kenyan High Commissioner in Accra, Mr Eliphas Mugendi Barine, has urged Africans to promote intra-Africa trade activities to boost job creation within the region. He said to collectively contribute to the prosperity of the continent, Ghanaians like all people of Africa, must buy made in Africa goods to create jobs, incomes and retain wealth in Africa. Mr Barine made the appeal at the launch of the Kenya Value Added Tea dubbed “Ketepa’’ into the Ghana market in Accra yesterday.
The Ketepa tea which was imported into Ghana from Kenya, the biggest exporter of tea, by a tea merchant, Mr Michael Nartey. Ketepa has 15 varieties of flavours including lemon, ginger, caramel, mint, and mango.
Ghana to deepen economic ties with Kenya
Ghana will continue to strengthen its economic corporation with Kenya by harnessing the potential of intra-African trade, the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey has said.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA headquartered in Accra, provides yet another incentive to strengthen economic corporation, explore trade and investments opportunities, and contribute to Africa’s accelerated socio-economic growth”, he added.
He further said that, he was hopeful the establishment of the Ghana-Kenya Business Council and the Bi-National Commission would enhance the trade and economic dimensions of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Mr Barine in his remarks said African governments had worked hard to provide the needed enabling environment in transacting business which included the establishment of AfCFTA. He therefore urged the industries in the private sector to take advantage and leverage on AfCFTA to improve their businesses with a much more focus on value addition.
80 per cent poultry ventures fold up — Association
The increasing importation of cheap frozen chicken for the local market, coupled with the lack of adequate support to the industry in the country, has led to about 80 per cent of poultry farmers’ businesses folding up, with the rest struggling to cope. According to an EU data on chicken exports, Ghana has been the leading importer of chicken in Africa for the past five years, with 227,903 tonnes imported in 2021.
In line with that, the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) has made a passionate appeal to the government and other stakeholders to intervene to save the sector from total collapse. The Chairman of the association, Victor Oppong Adjei, who made the appeal, said apart from the high cost of inputs, unfair competition from importers of chicken had deprived the country of over one million jobs along the value chain.
Higher productivity can shape the future of Côte d’Ivoire’s growth
Productivity is the ultimate driver of economic growth. Almost half of the difference in per capita income across countries is explained by differences in total factor productivity (TFP). The creation of higher productivity jobs is central to achieve sustained inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as countries face the challenge of progressing along the income per capita ladder and reaping demographic dividends, with millions of youths entering the labor force.
How can countries achieve this? A recent World Bank Country Economic Memorandum (CEM), Sustaining the Growth Acceleration, asks this question for Côte d’Ivoire. As the country envisions to double its GDP per capita by 2030, how can the recent growth acceleration - dubbed “the second Ivorian miracle”- be sustained?
African trade and integration
New report shows need for greater action if Africa is to hit SDG, Agenda 2063 targets
The coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change have all hampered Africa’s progress toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With 2030 less than 8 years away, most African countries are struggling to meet the SDG targets. Without renewed efforts, nearly 492 million Africans will be left in extreme poverty with at least 350 million still in that condition in 2050.
The African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly released a status report on the SDGs during the African Economic Conference 2022 taking place currently in Mauritius.
Building Back Better from the Coronavirus Disease, While Advancing the Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development evaluates Africa’s progress towards the SDGs and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in the context of the triple crises of COVID-19, climate change, and the war in Ukraine. All three have hampered the continent’s performance toward both sets of targets.
“Africa can no longer wait on the margins, and the time is now for the continent to rechart its development path and own its development agenda”, said Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, UNDP.
Transform challenges into opportunities, says ECA Executive Secretary
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA) Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, has called for the forging of strong partnerships and innovative strategies to tap new opportunities in the wake of economic and environmental crises affecting African countries. Opening the three-day ECA Expo at the United Nations Conference Center in Addis Ababa today, Mr. Pedro said with technological advancement and digitalization of the economy, it was clear during the pandemic that the crisis ‘was a low hanging fruit for regional integration and for harnessing the demographic dividend on the continent’.
Conceding that Africa was that the world, in general and the African continent in particular, was facing new and complex challenges and opportunities as reflected in the impacts of climate change geopolitical tensions with ramifications in food and energy crises, Mr. Pedro said innovation was needed to manage the challenges.
He said COP27 presented new investment opportunities on the continent to create carbon credit markets, deploy renewable energy and find solutions to the energy transition for the rest of the world. At the same time Covid 19 demonstrated opportunities in Africa to participate in the development of the pharmaceutical value chain, for instance.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which he described as Africa’s Marshall Plan, will ensure seamless operation of new vehicles to make trade and investments within the continent and the global market.
Food security is national security
Despite containing 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land, Africa has been a net food importer for decades. According to the most recent estimates, food imports are the biggest budget item for many countries across the continent. Amid surging food prices and an appreciating U.S. dollar, Africa’s food bill has soared as well, undermining African countries’ economic growth, debt sustainability, and political stability.
According to the Brookings Institution, Africa spent around $43 billion on food imports in 2019. Due to the current inflationary environment, most recent estimates are probably higher, especially in a region where high import dependence exacerbates the pass-through from global to local food prices.
At the same time, the supply-chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by the war in Ukraine have highlighted the potential costs of Africa’s reliance on food imports. Food security is, after all, national security. African countries have learned this the hard way over the past two and a half years, as supply-chain bottlenecks and protectionist policies have reduced access to key agricultural commodities and led to dramatic price increases.
Africa’s green economy necessary to develop infrastructure
Africa is full of potential infrastructure project opportunities, many of them investment-ready to support the continent’s burgeoning green economy.
So says Hendrik Malan, CEO and partner at Frost & Sullivan, one of the expert speakers who will address the upcoming Africa’s Green Economy Summit which takes place from 22 to 14 February, 2023.
“There is a great need and availability of funding to be spent on the continent. We just need to fix the missing link and carry through projects to a financial close to finally close the infrastructure gap,” continued Malan.
Frost & Sullivan recently presented a report at COP27 entitled Showcasing AFRICA’S Investable Infrastructure Opportunities in which they point out that African governments’ progress on achieving both SDGs and African Union Agenda 2063 has been to slow and inconsistent at both regional and industry levels.
New African Development Bank, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) study calls for urgent attention and increased investment in Africa’s biodiversity
(Farmers Review Africa)
The African Development Bank and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), have launched a regional report on the performance of African countries under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 . The report highlights the important role that multilateral development banks can play in meeting biodiversity targets by providing advisory services, capacity building, market research, and linkages with other relevant partners. The assessment, launched on the sidelines of the UN Biodiversity summit (COP15) in Montreal, Canada, is based on the 6th National Reports on biodiversity submitted by African countries in 2018 -2020.
Prof. Kalemani Jo Mulongoy, President and co-founder of the Institute for Enhanced Livelihoods and former Head of the Scientific, Technical and Technological Matters Division of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, presented the findings of the report.
She said, “For Africa, it is critical to adopt a framework with targets that will not only curb the loss of biodiversity but will enhance opportunities to improve the lives of many Africans, especially those depending on biodiversity for their survival, bearing in mind Africa’s biodiversity priorities.”
Africa has lowest travel restrictions since 2016
Travel is easing throughout Africa, with visa restrictions at their lowest level since 2016, according to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual Africa Visa Openness Index (AVOI). The index, produced in collaboration with the African Union Commission, confirmed that two-thirds of African nations introduced less restrictive visa requirements compared to six years prior.
The AVOI, published every year since 2016, measures the level of restrictions for citizens from other African nations to visit each country in the continent. The report considers the number of visa requirements each nation holds, including which nationalities need a visa to enter, which do not, and which may gain a visa upon entry.
This year marked a return to pre-pandemic norms, with the report noting Africa’s AVOI aggregate score had exceeded its pre-pandemic level as the continent opened and economies welcomed the influx of fresh business, tourism and investment opportunities.
Significant barriers have been lowered in the years since 2016, with 27% of all Africans conducting intra-Africa travel able to travel without a visa, rising from 20% in 2016. Meanwhile, an additional 27% of travel situations allow for a visa to be secured upon arrival, a rise from 25% in 2016. Across intra-Africa travel, 47% of scenarios required a visa before travel, compared to 55% in 2016.
AAFA calls for prioritising AGOA Renewal at US-Africa Leaders Summit
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and more than 20 organisations have appealed for long-term renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The apparel industry of US, in a letter to President Joe Biden, urged the government to prioritise this request at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders Summit that will end on December 15, 2022.
The organisations emphasised on the timely renewal of AGOA for a 10-year period, so that it would be impactful for companies hoping to grow commitments towards a vertical, responsible, and competitive industry in Africa over the next dozen years, according to AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar.
Steve Lamar said: “AGOA’s expiration date is less than three years away. September 2025 may sound like a distant date, it is actually no time at all for the continuity, certainty, and commitment needed for our industry’s supply chains to grow and thrive in the region.”We are also at a pivotal juncture to significantly enhance the work opportunities for a traditionally underserved population – African women.”
Prosper Africa Plans to Invest $170M to Boost African Exports
(East African Business Week)
At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum’s Deal Room, the White House’s Prosper Africa initiative announced today an ambitious set of multimillion-dollar investments to boost African exports and infrastructure and mobilize private investment to accelerate African innovation.Prosper Africa is the U.S. Government initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.The announcement was made in the Business Forum’s Deal Room – held on the second day of the U.S.
Africa Leaders’ Summit – which brought together African heads of state, and U.S. and African investors, business leaders, and government officials to advance trade and investment partnerships that create jobs and drive inclusive and sustainable growth on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the Deal Room, hosted by Prosper Africa, U.S. and African businesses and investors announced new and expanded commitments for the first time in a live, five-hour broadcast.
FACT SHEET: New Initiative on Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA)
(The White House)
At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum on December 14 in Washington, DC, as part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, President Biden announced the launch of a new Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative. A signature initiative of the Biden-Harris Administration, DTA will expand digital access and literacy and strengthen digital enabling environments across the continent. Working with Congress, this initiative intends to invest over $350 million and facilitate over $450 million in financing for Africa in line with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy and the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa’s digital ecosystem offers massive potential to spur economic recovery, promote opportunity, advance social equality and gender equality, and create jobs. Africa’s digital transformation has opened new markets for U.S. exports and services; deepened partnership among African governments, the U.S. private sector, educational institutions, and the African diaspora; and increased productivity, competitiveness, and e-government service delivery.
With new technologies transforming the way Africans live and work, DTA will foster an inclusive and resilient African digital ecosystem, led by African communities and built on an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet.
This initiative will also seek to empower women and other marginalized people through and within the digital ecosystem. DTA aims to help countries rebuild economies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and advance U.S. national security, diplomatic, commercial, and development priorities. It will also advance commitments to invest in global infrastructure, including digital connectivity, under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.
Egypt is a pillar of stability in Middle East, Mediterranean, Africa: US lawmakers to Sisi - Foreign Affairs - Egypt
The US lawmakers stressed that Egypt is a main ally for the US in the Middle East region, praising Egypt’s balanced and wise endeavours to reach settlements for different regional crises, Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement. They also hailed the successful Egyptian efforts in countering terrorism and extremist thought and promoting religious tolerance.
El-Sisi has been in Washington since Tuesday night to participate in the three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit, during which President Joe Biden is set to announce his administration’s support for the African Union (AU) to become a permanent member at the Group of 20 (G20).
The summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden, aims to enhance cooperation between the two sides, including in economic engagement and commitment to democracy and human rights.
During the summit, El-Sisi will be focusing on a host of issues of concern to African countries amid the current global challenges to strengthen African-American partnership in confronting the food security crisis, Rady said on Tuesday. El-Sisi will also stress on means to facilitate the integration of African countries into the global economy to benefit from the available opportunities to achieve economic growth, transfer technology, and drive foreign investment.
Cooperation with China brings better infrastructure, more jobs, sustainable development to Africa
Having seen African people benefit from the decades-long cooperation with China, which ushered in newer infrastructure, more job chances and greater momentum for the continent’s sustainable development, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told Xinhua he deems the partnership “a friendly cooperation between brothers.”Indeed, a slew of cooperation projects and productive mechanisms for equal dialogue have all become clear proof of China-Africa cooperation that is carried out in line with the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and with commitment to the greater good and shared interests.
“Today, the outcomes of China-Africa cooperation are all over the African continent. The roads, railways, airports, ports, high-rise buildings, stadiums and other structures that China helped build can be seen everywhere,” said Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Ren Yisheng in a recent article published in Liberian media.
Since the existing infrastructure gap acts as a drag on Africa’s economic growth, cooperation in upgrading infrastructure is of particular relevance for the continent. The African Development Bank reckoned that improved infrastructure will facilitate Africa’s domestic and international trade, reduce business costs and enhance competitiveness both as an exporter and an investment destination.
Global trade set to hit record $32 trillion in 2022, but outlook increasingly gloomy for 2023
Global trade should hit a record $32 trillion for 2022, but a slowdown that began in the second half of the year is expected to worsen in 2023 as geopolitical tensions and tight financial conditions persist, according to the latest Global Trade Update, published by UNCTAD on 13 December. Despite the war in Ukraine and the lingering impact of the pandemic, trade in both goods and services have seen strong growth this year. Trade in goods grew 10% from last year to an estimated $25 trillion, due in part to higher energy prices. Services were up 15% to a record $7 trillion.
“Economic growth forecasts for 2023 are being revised downwards due to high energy prices, rising interest rates, sustained inflation in many economies, and negative global economic spillovers from the war in Ukraine,” the report says. “The ongoing tightening of financial conditions is expected to further heighten pressure on highly indebted governments, amplifying vulnerabilities and negatively affecting investments and international trade flows.”
U.S. Chamber, African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat Sign MOU, Launch Working Group to Strengthen Collaboration
(US Chamber of Commerce)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Africa Business Center (USAfBC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat (AfCFTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to launch a working group to help advance trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa and reaffirm commitment to elevating a strong private sector voice in AfCFTA implementation.
Scott Eisner, President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center, said, “Coordination between the private sector and the AfCFTA is key to unlocking Africa’s full economic potential. As the world’s leading business organization, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a strong voice for private sector business, which is a major stakeholder and beneficiary of the AfCFTA. The creation of today’s working group will provide a key platform for members of the U.S.-Africa Business Center to engage with policy experts and senior government officials on issues critical to the U.S.-Africa trade and investment space, with a particular focus on the digital economy, trade facilitation and customs modernization, and value chains development.”