Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Trade Statistics released for December 2022 | South African Revenue Service

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for December 2022 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R5.43 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN). The year-to-date (01 January to 31 December 2022) preliminary trade balance surplus of R193.28 billion is a deterioration from the R431.74 billion trade balance surplus for the comparable period in 2021. Exports increased by 4.6% year-on-year whilst imports increased by 25.1% over the same period.

South Africa well on way to unlocking incredible base metals potential – Orion (Engineering News)

Emerging production hubs in the Northern Cape are opening the way for South Africa to be a producer of future-facing ‘green’ metals to support the global energy transformation and to help mitigate against climate change. The two emerging production hubs are the Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine and the Okiep Copper Project.

Both are the outcome of the vision of the Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed Orion Minerals, which is now well on its way to achieving its goal of unlocking what it describes as incredible base metals potential in the Northern Cape.

Following the securing of a funding package to progress pre-development at Prieska Copper-Zinc and the completion of permitting and early stage funding for Okiep Copper, stakeholders are on standby for the imminent transition to mine development and production.

Boosting Agric Exports for Increased Revenue Generation (This Day)

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria exported agricultural goods worth over N84.21 billion in the third quarter of 2022 representing a 40.6 per cent decline as against N141.77 billion generated in Q2 2022, but marks a 6 per cent increase compared to N79.41 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.

Also in 2022, Nigeria imported agricultural goods worth N512.91 billion in the third quarter of 2022, marking a 10.4 per cent increase compared to N464.4 billion recorded in the previous quarter and a 6.4 per cent increase compared to N482.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2021.

Nigeria’s capacity to export agro produce is also being hindered by the inability to produce enough to meet its food needs before considering export. Experts in the non-oil sector have blamed the problems encountered by operators in the sector ranging from inadequate and decaying infrastructures, financing constraints, inefficient implementation of export incentives and support programmes, over regulation of the non-oil export sector, underdeveloped regional and sub-regional markets, policy instability, capital flight marketing and pricing problems. They argued that the small-scale farmer has poor market arrangement for his farm produce due to largely poor infrastructure, poor communication network and low access to logistic and inputs support. These surmountable challenges continue to question the federal government’s seriousness about diversifying its economic revenue base away from hydrocarbon resources.

Govt unveils plans to accede the establishment of a green growth institute (Capital Business)

The Government of Kenya has unveiled plans to accede to the establishment of a Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) that will support green investments in the country. The GGGI, established in 2012, is a treaty-based international, intergovernmental organization whose vision is a low-carbon, resilient world of inclusive and sustainable growth by supporting members in the transformation of their economies to a green growth economic model.

The Treasury in its rationale report for Kenya’s accession to the GGGI notes that key areas the country can tap into in terms of green investments are waste, solar energy, sustainable transport, green buildings and industry, forest (sustainable) landscapes, and gender and inclusive development.

Pathways to Maintain Egypt’s Attractiveness to Foreign Direct Investment (EgyptToday)

Egypt has been working towards the localization of many industries and turning into a manufacturing hub that would supply to Africa and the region, leveraging its unique location. That is why it has been eager for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), which may not just bring in money but also new technology. That is in addition to its most important functions, which are creating employment opportunities and contributing to the economic growth of the country. However, global crises are disrupting the progress achieved so far so solutions have to be devised.

EAC Enterprises Pushes for Aligned SMES Policies (KT Press)

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have called for a coherence in regional policies to enable a desired growth and contribution in creating jobs and incomes in East Africa Community(EAC). The call was made this Monday January 30, 2023 by EAC youth and women entrepreneurs who are holding a two-day workshop in Kigali to discuss daunting challenges faced in the SMES sector in the region despite having an East Africa Youth Charter, and the East Africa SME Portal.

John Bosco Kalisa the Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC) said that since the establishment of the EAC youth charter and portal, nothing has been done to establish a unifying policy on SMEs. “There is a need for national SMEs policies to be aligned and Governments to offer special incentives to accelerate SME development and empowerment to do business and trade effectively,” Kalisa said.

Despite SMES making up to 90% of businesses, employing 60% with a GDP of $300billion in EAC, Kalisa said that the current status of grading SMEs in the region is not uniform in each member state and each has its own standards of measuring what qualifies as an SMES.

$1 million: Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa grant to drive electric mobility shift in seven African countries (AfDB)

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the African Development Bank Group will provide a $1 million technical assistance grant to the Green Mobility Facility for Africa (GMFA). GMFA provides technical assistance and investment capital to accelerate and expand private sector investments in sustainable transport solutions in seven countries: Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.

African unions demand strong labour provisions in AfCFTA (IndustriALL)

This conference focused on African continental free trade area, industrialisation and the decent work agenda. This event was part of IndustriALL’s continuous campaign for Africa industrialization.

Phase I of negotiations, which focuses on trade in goods and services and dispute settlement were completed. While Phase II negotiations on investment, competition and protecting intellectual property are expected to be ratified in February. Phase III negotiations will look at e-commerce, including digital trade, women and youth.

n response to union’s concerns, Willie Shumba, a senior expert, and advisor for customs, said one of the objectives of the AfCFTA is to:”achieve a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the Member States of the African Union.” He urged trade unions to engage the governments on the labour provisions.

Africa and the global LNG crunch: Balancing energy security, development, and decarbonization (Atlantic Council)

The December 2022 US-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Biden in Washington highlighted the emerging role of Africa in global affairs, including in the competition with China and Russia. In his address to the Summit, President Biden endorsed the proposal for the African Union to join the G20 and pledged $55 billion in financing and investment over three years. This ascendant role was also evident at the November COP27 meeting in Egypt, where African countries enjoyed a much more active and forceful presence. Even though they are marginal contributors to global emissions (3.8 percent of carbon emissions) and world trade (3 percent of exports), Africa has experienced severe drought conditions as well as negative economic and social impacts from high energy, food, and commodity prices over the past year. An IMF report concludes that Sub-Saharan Africa is “the region of the world most vulnerable to climate change.” And Ghana’s representatives were leaders of calls by the G77 for loss and damage support, a facility for which was agreed to in principle at the last moment in the final COP27 statement.

Energy development and investment was one of the many important topics addressed in the Africa Leaders Summit, which took place in the context of the continuing war in Ukraine, high energy and commodity prices, and a serious debt problem in many countries of the region. As was the case in the first Africa Summit eight years ago, the US government emphasized renewable energy development and improved energy access, noting the over $1 billion provided thus far under the Biden Administration by the US Development Finance Corporation, US Agency for International Development, and other US government agencies for African projects in these areas.

Although African leaders are embracing the clean energy transition and the region has enormous, diverse renewable energy resources, they are also arguing that they must be able to develop their fossil energy resources to meet their economic development needs and provide access to modern energy for their populations.

Top U.S., Chinese and Russian officials tour Africa as global charm offensive gathers pace (CNBC)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have all embarked on African tours within the past month. Yellen met with South African officials including President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, just days after the country’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor stood alongside Lavrov and vowed to strengthen bilateral relations between Pretoria and Moscow. Yellen’s three-country African tour, which also included stops in Senegal and Zambia, was presented as an effort to build trade and investment ties with the continent, accompanied by discussions about sustainable energy and food security initiatives and debt relief.

Yellen noted last week that Africa would “shape the future of the global economy,” signaling the U.S. motivation to re-engage with the continent of 1.4 billion people, but she also said Friday that she had discussed adherence to Russian sanctions in each of the three countries visited.

In the backdrop of Yellen’s trip is Washington’s concern about its waning influence on a continent that has increasingly pivoted toward bilateral relations with global powers that do not exert pressure to adopt certain geopolitical positions. As such, China has massively expanded its economic presence on the continent in recent years, while Russia has been able to build military and diplomatic influence in certain regions, particularly those beset by civil conflict or insurgency.

Russia, South Africa Studying Alternatives For Trade In National Currencies - Diplomat (UrduPoint)

Russia and South Africa are working on creating alternative mechanisms in order to trade in national currencies, and plan to fully restart bilateral trade by the end of 2023, Oleg Ozerov, Russian ambassador-at-large and the head of the Russia-Africa partnership forum, said on Wednesday.

“We already know for sure that our cooperation (with Africa) will be carried out without the US dollar. However, other prospects are opening up - this is primarily cooperation in national currencies,” Ozerov said at the Valdai Discussion Club.

“The creation of a common currency for the BRICS countries is a long-term process and apparently not a fast one. We need quick solutions that would allow us to restart trade with South Africa right away, create joint projects and lend money,” Ozerov said.

Least-developed countries discuss trade priorities ahead of UN Conference on LDCs (WTO)

Over 100 capital-based officials from more than 40 least-developed countries (LDCs) took part in two stocktaking consultations on the trade aspects of the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs at meetings held in January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang said in his opening remarks: “Trade has been one of the forces for achieving the ambitions set out in the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs. It is our collective responsibility to make sure the Programme can offer lasting benefits to people in LDCs.”

“Coordinated and concerted measures are needed to enable LDCs to better access international trade and global value chains. LDCs can derive significant benefit from a multilateral trading system under the WTO,” said Rabab Fatima, UN Under-Secretary General and High Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least- Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).


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