Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

AfreximBank earmarks $100 million to tackle Nigeria’s export challenges (The Guardian Nigeria)

The African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), yesterday, announced plans to invest up to $100 million for the establishment of quality assurance centres in Nigeria.

Already, the bank has deployed $11 million for the completion of the first African Quality Assurance Centre in Ogun State. President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who spoke at the unveiling of the facility, yesterday, said the state-of-the-art facility would offer testing, certification, inspection and training services covering agricultural products.

According to Oramah, the project will also support the transformation of the structure of Nigeria and African businesses, accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting the nation’ s competitiveness and economic expansion in global market.

Burundi takes the lead in subsidising farmers (Food For Mzansi)

The Burundian government has thrown its support behind farmers by subsiding as much as 70% of farmers’ day-to-day operating costs. Burundi’s President Évariste Ndayishimiye has now called on Africa’s leaders to do the same, including South Africa.

Agriculture is the landlocked country’s main industry, and during the United States-Africa Leaders Summit, Ndayishimiye proudly shared how his administration is looking after the country’s food producers.

“With the stance that the government has taken, we have seen that 90% of [their] food production that the people of Burundi are consuming, is produced in Burundi. It is therefore important that government works together with farmers,” he said.

World Bank Says 80 Million Nigerians Risk Job Loss In 2030 (Economic Confidential)

The World Bank has disclosed that 80 million working-age Nigerians will not have a full-time job by 2030 if the nation doesn’t improve its employment rate.

According to the bank, most poverty in Nigeria is in-work poverty, and having any job does not guarantee a way out of poverty. It stated that employment in agriculture is far more prevalent among those that are poor.

The global bank stated that while Nigeria was one of the best growth performers globally in the 2000s, it failed to build institutions that could foster structural transformation and job creation. It said because of this the nation is struggling to keep pace with growth rates and transformation of its peers since the early 2010s with GDP per capita dropping from US$2,280 in 2010 to US$2,097 in 2020, and the number of Nigerians living below the poverty line rising from 68 million to about 80 million.

Report warns of negative impact on trade due to increase in immigration barriers (Monitor UG)

The African Development Bank has said increased immigration barriers are likely to derail Uganda’s trade ambitions within East Africa and Africa at large. 

In data prepared by AfDB and African Union Commission it was noted that between 2021 and 2022, Uganda put more immigration restrictions, which do not correspond with its trade ambitions. 

For instance, data collected between July and August indicated that Uganda’s immigration grade fell from 0.853 to 0.377 with only citizens from 20 African countries allowed to enter visa-free  while 33 other African nationals were not permitted entry without a visa.

IFC to help Egypt's garment-textile chamber attract $50 mn FDI by 2026 (Fiber 2 Fashion)

The Readymade Garment and Textile Chamber of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) recently signed a cooperation protocol with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop value chains in the technical and specialised textile industry in Egypt. IFC will help the chamber attract foreign direct investment to Egypt worth $50 million by 2026.

It will assist the chamber rehabilitate factories and provide them with the technology, technical expertise and training to master the sector.

Vocational training will be offered to raise skills of workers in these specialised fields, head of the chamber Mohamed Abdel-Salam said.

Egypt has joined BRICS’ de-dollarisation campaign (TFIGlobal)

It is widely known that how the United States uses its economic clout to achieve foreign policy goals. The world has seen the US often imposing sanctions on countries that don’t align with its interests. The dominant role of the petrodollar in the global economy also provides the opportunity to exert significant influence over other economies.

However, now more and more countries in the world are joining the “de-dollarisation” campaign. Major economies like India, China and the EU bloc are important players in this already. Now it looks like Africa too doesn’t want to be left behind. In a significant development Egypt has now joined the New Development Bank of BRICS.

Egypt has recently ratified its participation in the New Development Bank which was created by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in 2014. Thus, Egypt becomes the second African country to join the BRICS New Development Bank. With this BRICS’ de-dollarisation campaign gaining momentum. Some BRICS states have already switched to local currencies in order to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar and Euro. BRICS is working to develop its own financial infrastructure, including a joint payment network. In this backdrop, Egypt joining the BRICS bloc only further boosts the campaign.

African trade and integration

African businesses set for boom with AfCFTA — Prof. Oramah (Vanguard Nigeria)

The President and Chairman, the Board of Trustees, African Export–Import Bank, Afrixembank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, has said that African businesses are set for a major step-change as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) opens up new markets across the continent and the globe.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the  Africa Quality Assurance Centre (AQAC) in Sagamu, Ogun State, yesterday, he said to make their mark in countries around the world, African products must meet international standards and that informed why they are working with a lot of organisations to create a framework for harmonisation of standards across the continent.

“The AQAC in Ogun State will help deliver the highest quality African goods, strengthening their competitiveness and providing confidence to buyers. 

MSC Group completes acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics (Yahoo Finance)

GENEVA, Dec. 21, 2022 /CNW/ -- MSC Group is pleased to confirm that its wholly owned subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services has completed the acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics. The transaction was approved by all applicable regulatory authorities.

MSC's acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics SAS and its affiliates ("Bolloré Africa Logistics Group") highlights the long-term commitment of MSC to invest in African supply chains and infrastructure, supporting the needs of clients of both businesses.

MSC reiterates that it will operate Bolloré Africa Logistics Group as an autonomous entity with its portfolio of diversified partners, under a new brand to be unveiled in 2023. Philippe Labonne will continue his longstanding role at the helm of the business as President of Bolloré Africa Logistics.

TDB agrees US$100mn trade finance facility with Export Trading Group (Global Trade Review)

The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has provided a US$100mn trade finance facility to commodity trader Agri Commodities and Finance in a bid to support smallholder farmers.

The borrower is a wholly owned United Arab Emirates-based subsidiary of agricultural supply chain manager Export Trading Group (ETG).

According to TDB, the facility aims to combat supply chain disruption and rising inflation while helping to bridge the trade finance gap. It will target smallholder farmers in Africa by funding the import of fertilisers and seeds as well as the purchase of commodities like coffee, cocoa and cashew nuts from farmers in TDB member states.

The loan “will facilitate intra and extra-regional trade flows, and boost forex revenues, to the benefit of member states’ balance of payments”, TDB says.

IMF sees Central Africa's economic growth at 3.4% this year (Reuters)

DAKAR, Dec 22 - Economic growth in the Central African CEMAC zone is expected to reach 3.4% in 2022 and rise gradually to above 3.5% in the medium-term, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday.

The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) includes Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Most are oil-producing nations that rely on oil and gas exports for revenue.

"The outlook for 2023 is broadly positive, driven by high oil prices, the lifting of COVID-19 containment measures, and assumed continued prudent management of the oil windfall," the IMF said in a statement following annual discussions with the member states.

Global economy

Services trade activity likely to weaken with slowing growth in major economies (World Trade Organization)

World services trade activity appears to have weakened in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is likely to remain soft in the opening months of 2023, with slowing growth in major economies weighing on the post-pandemic recovery, according to the latest WTO Services Trade Barometer released on 22 December.

The Barometer index reading for the month of October fell to 98.3, slightly below its baseline value of 100 and well below the previous reading of 105.5 from the last release in June. The findings are line with the Goods Trade Barometer issued in late November which indicated slowing merchandise trade volume growth in the closing months of 2022 and into 2023.

World services trade volume finally surpassed its pre-pandemic peak in the second quarter of 2022 and was expected to remain strong in the third quarter, buoyed by spending on travel, information and communication technology (ICT) services, and financial services. However, the Barometer rather indicates that year-on-year growth in real commercial services began moderating in the third quarter and may slow further in the fourth — as well as into the new year — due to declining growth prospects in major service industry economies.

Russia Lays Out Terms For Future Bilateral Trade & Investment (Russia Briefing)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has laid out the criteria for foreign countries and businesses who wish to develop trade and investment with the country, saying that Russia will emphasize mutual investments in the development of foreign economic ties.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, Putin said that “For all the importance of the energy and food sectors, we will be emphasizing non-resource goods and mutual investments in the development of foreign ties.”

Russia sees the development of convenient and independent payment infrastructure in national currencies as a firm basis for strengthening international cooperation, essentially meaning that non-Euro and US Dollar payment mechanisms would be required to facilitate trade.

India's unpredictable farm export policy likely to affect farm income (Xinhua)

MUMBAI, Dec. 23 -- India's unpredictable farm export policy is likely to affect farm income with a recent report by the World Trade Center (WTC) Mumbai pointing out that it may affect the export performance of over 100 districts in the country.

"The government of India's restriction on export of primary and processed agriculture commodities such as rice, wheat, semolina, refined wheat flour and sugar in recent months may affect exports and farm income in 112 districts which are dealing in shipment of these commodities," said the WTC Mumbai in the report.

"In order to prevent shortage of essential primary and processed food commodities in the domestic market, the government of India prohibited or imposed export duty on shipment of these commodities in recent months."

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports increase by 4.4% in October to $6.62bn: GASTAT (Arab News)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports, including re-exports, increased by 4.4 percent to SR24.9 billion ($6.62 billion) in October 2022, compared to SR23.9 billion recorded in October 2021, according to the latest report released by the General Authority for Statistics. 

In its report, GASTAT noted that the Kingdom’s non-oil exports were driven by chemical and allied industries, accounting for 40.9 percent of non-oil merchandise exports in October.  

The report further pointed out that overall merchandise exports increased by 13.9 percent in October to SR120.7 billion, up from SR106 billion in October 2021. 

India, Bangladesh discuss trade settlement in rupee, free trade agreement (Business Standard)

Union minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tipu Munshi discussed the settlement of trade in Indian rupees in New Delhi on Thursday. The two countries will also likely develop a free trade agreement (FTA) soon.

"A joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been carried out after the two countries agreed to explore a bilateral FTA," said the commerce ministry.

India and Bangladesh agreed to start discussions on CEPA "at an early date" as it "would provide a sound basis for substantial enhancement of trade and commercial partnership".


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