tralac Daily News
Anti-dumping duties lapse on French fry imports (Engineering News)
The anti-dumping tariffs on French fries placed on three European countries by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) have lapsed, which will bring relief to consumers, says frozen food importer Hume International.
Itac placed anti-dumping tariffs as high as 181.05% on Germany, 104.52% on the Netherlands, and 23.06% on Belgium in July for a period of sixth months.
“The news comes as a small, but much needed, reprieve for the food industry during a period marred by continued global supply chain disruptions, rising animal feed costs, record high fuel prices impacting on transportation costs and increased loadshedding, which may lead to shortages of certain local food products,” the importer says.
Farmers seek new deal as loadshedding threatens industry and food security (Engineering News)
The impact of loadshedding on the agriculture sector is evident at all levels of operation, including logistics and cold-chain management, which necessitates urgent responses from farmers and government, lest food security and export sales are put at risk.
A report by Nova Economics estimates that agriculture lost about 4.38% of its contribution to gross domestic product in 2018/19 and that the cost of loadshedding for agriculture amounts to R4.01 per kWh in terms of 2020 values.
In the nine months ended September 30, 2022, the agriculture sector reportedly lost R23-billion, owing to crop failure and a decrease in productivity because of loadshedding.
Loadshedding’s impact is ubiquitous, from irrigation, the conveyer belt movement of produce or livestock products, and alarm systems for security to keep livestock contained to cold storage facilities at farms and at ports, as well as railway lines, industry body Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly.
Sugar millers locked out of duty free imports window (Business Daily)
Sugar millers have been locked out of the multi-billion-shilling duty-free sugar imports window. The move by the Sugar Directorate is based on the 2017 occurrence where millers abandoned buying and processing sugarcane from farmers after they were allowed to bring in the commodity outside of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) without paying duty.
The move subjected farmers to huge losses as sugarcane that was ready for harvesting was left on farms for long as millers concentrated on repackaging and selling imported sugar, which the regulator says is way cheaper when compared with milling.
“We have received a number of applications from millers who want to import sugar but we have made a deliberate decision to stop them because they will focus more on repackaging and selling what they have imported other than milling cane from the local farmers,” said Willis Audi, head of the directorate.
“In 2017, the repercussions of having allowed millers to import sugar were heavy on farmers and we don’t want to repeat that,” he said.
Kenya: Ruto reverses ban on Ugandan agricultural produce (The Africa Report)
The meeting between Kuria and Museveni was held to discuss ways on improving trade relations between the two neighbours. Former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration slapped the ban on the products in 2021.
“As we move towards the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the merger of EAC, COMESA and SADC, Kenya and Uganda will walk that journey together and ultimately into AfCFTA,” Kuria said after meeting Museveni, referring to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Museveni thanked his counterpart Ruto for reversing the ban, which had led to a trade dispute and reduced the volume of transactions between the two countries, even though historically Uganda has been Kenya’s biggest trade partner in the region.
According to statistics published by Kenya’s Central Bank in September, Kenya’s exports to Uganda dropped by 8.5% to KSh46.77bn ($386.3m) during the first half of 2022 compared to a similar period in 2021.
The World Bank issued the Ninth Economic Update for the Republic of Congo: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Opportunities.
As a commodity exporter, the Republic of Congo is currently benefiting from higher oil prices, induced largely by the war in Ukraine. Export receipts have increased significantly, bolstering government revenues. However, households and businesses are being negatively impacted by rising food prices, supply chain disruptions and fuel shortages. In addition, Congo’s subsidy bill surged in 2022, especially oil and electricity subsidies, as the Government maintains administrative controls on the prices of a wide array of consumer necessities (e.g., gasoline, electricity tariffs, and several food staples). These effects of the war in Ukraine add to existing socio-economic challenges and to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congo’s economy returned to growth in 2022, following a contraction of 2.2% in 2021. Growth in 2022 is estimated at 1.9% driven by the non-oil sector, which expanded thanks to the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and partial clearance of government arrears to domestic firms. The non-oil sector is set to continue to expand in 2023-24, and the resumption of investments by oil companies will spur growth in the oil sector. Overall growth is projected to firm up to 3.7% in 2023 and 4.5% in 2024. However, there are several downside risks to the outlook, including uncertainties related to oil production, a protracted war in Ukraine and sustained high food prices, as well as adverse weather conditions which could impact agricultural production.
Angola, DRC and Zambia move towards jointly managing key trade corridor (The North Africa Post)
Angola, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to establish a new agency that will oversee the development and joint management of a trade corridor to and from the Atlantic Ocean port of Lobito, which could mean lost business for South African ports.
The Lobito Corridor Management Institution will facilitate trade from Zambia and DRC over Angola’s 1,344km Benguela Railway, the three countries said at a recent ceremony in the Angolan port city. If the project succeeds, it may transform how the region’s resources are shipped, as it would serve as a key route to move metals used to make electric vehicles and wind turbines from inland mines to port, and cut transport times from weeks to days. DRC and Zambia are key suppliers of copper and cobalt, which are currently shipped via road to ports in South Africa and eastern Africa.
The agency will “ensure the availability of the Lobito Corridor to importers and exporters from the inland states of the DRC and Zambia as an efficient and economical supplement to other trade routes,” Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu, Angola’s transport minister, said in a speech.
The World Bank Group today presented a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2023-2027 with Côte d’Ivoire that focuses on improving human capital, reducing disparities and building resilience, and creating private sector jobs. This engagement, which involved consultations with the private sector, the authorities, civil society, and the other development partners, aims to support a more inclusive and sustainable economic and social transformation, as articulated in Vision 2030 and the 2021–2025 National Development Plan.
“Over the past decade, significant investments and reforms have enabled Côte d’Ivoire to make major strides in improving infrastructure—particularly with respect to access to energy, driving strong growth, and combating poverty,” said Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Guinea, and Togo.
This new Country Partnership Framework is also consistent with the World Bank Group’s regional strategy for Western and Central Africa, namely with regard to rebuilding trust between citizens and the State in order to create a new social contract, removing bottlenecks that prevent businesses from creating more and better jobs, strengthening human capital and empowering women so that all boys and girls can reach their full potential, and building climate resilience to help countries adapt to and mitigate climate shocks by strengthening the resilience of cities and rural areas.
Ghana, EU Launch Online Agribusiness Platform To Increase Trade (Heritage Times)
An online platform that will directly link Ghanaian Agribusinesses to counterparts in the European Union, (EU) market has been launched in Accra. The Ghana-EU Agribusiness Platform is a partnership of the European Chamber of Commerce in Ghana (EuroCham Ghana) and the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG) with funding from the EU. It forms part of the EU’s broader vision of establishing the AU-EU Agri-Food Platform that will catalyse sustainable and inclusive investments in African agriculture.
Speaking in an interview at the launch, Treasurer of EuroCham Ghana, Mr. Andrea Ghai, said businesses that would subscribe to the platform would benefit from different information about market opportunities.
Can African trade integration be a game changer? (World Bank Blog)
Worldwide, trade and investment have been primary drivers of growth for developing economies, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But Africa’s fractured internal market has prevented it from benefiting fully from this trend. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) aims to be a game changer. For the first time, it would create a single, continent-wide market that unites 54 countries with a combined population of 1.3 billion and GDP of $3.4 trillion. It would reduce barriers to trade and investment and boost competition, raising the attractiveness of Africa for regional value chains and to investors.
World Bank research suggests that the agreement has the potential to bring significant economic and social benefits in the form of faster economic growth, higher incomes, and less poverty. It would help Africa diversify and industrialize its economy and reduce its reliance on exports of a small number of commodities – such as copper, oil, and coffee. Women and skilled workers would be among the biggest beneficiaries, albeit with variations across countries.
But much depends on whether the agreement’s most ambitious goals are successfully negotiated and then carried out in full. Effectively implementing the commitments of the AfCFTA on the ground should become a priority for members. This will require political commitment and leadership.
Tanzania lawmakers outline way forward for EAC (The Citizen)
Lawmakers from Tanzania took the regional Assembly sitting by storm here yesterday, outlining their preferred priorities for the East African Community (EAC). While some defended the country’s commitment to the union, others spoke of what should be done to empower the youth. James Ole Millya said contrary to some perceptions, Tanzania was doing all its best to promote regional integration.
“EAC is for all people. We feel we are part and parcel of its programmes because at the end of the day we will all benefit,” he said.
The 2nd Dakar Financing summit For Africa’s Infrastructure Development has opened in the Senegalese capital with sixty-nine infrastructure projects worth $160 billion on showcase. African heads of government, the African Development Bank, development finance institutions, and institutional investors will gather to draw the modalities for pushing the projects to completion by 2030. The African Union Development Agency and the Government of Senegal are co-hosting the summit.
The 69 projects fall under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), a blueprint for infrastructure development to increase Africa’s competitiveness and economic integration. PIDA’s Priority Action Plan 2, was adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2021.
On Thursday, February 2, African Development Bank Group Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Service Delivery Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, will participate in a roundtable discussion involving President Macky Sall of Senegal, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. The discussion, titled Financing Africa’s Infrastructure Priorities under PIDA PAP 2, will include Afreximbank President and Chairman, Prof. Benedict Oramah.
WTO members participating in the negotiations on investment facilitation for development (IFD) agreed on an intensive schedule of meetings over the coming months, with the objective of finalizing the negotiating text by mid-2023. Talks are based on the Draft IFD Agreement reached in December 2022. At a meeting on 1 February, delegations stressed the need for a swift process to conclude the text and its review, following guidelines proposed by the co-coordinators, Ambassador Sofía Boza of Chile and Ambassador Jung Sung Park of the Republic of Korea.
WTO members on 31 January held a second knowledge building workshop to inform the second wave of negotiations on fisheries subsidies, focusing on data concerning the state of marine resources and on fisheries subsidies. The workshop was intended to enhance members’ ability to reach an agreed outcome by the 13th Ministerial Conference, said Deputy Director-General Angela Ellard, who also called on more members to submit their formal acceptances of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
World exports of intermediate goods (IGs) grew 4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022 to US$ 2.5 trillion, driven by the increase in shipments of intermediate food products. The overall growth, while slower than the increase recorded in the same period a year ago, continues to indicate stable activity in global supply chains.
On World Wetlands Day, observed this Thursday, the United Nations is calling for urgent action to revive and restore these ecosystems, which are disappearing three times faster than forests. Wetlands cover roughly six per cent of the Earth’s land surface and are vital for human health, food supply, tourism and jobs.
More than a billion people worldwide depend on them for their livelihoods, while their shallow waters and abundant plant life support everything from insects to ducks to moose. Wetlands also play a crucial role in both achieving sustainable development and in the fight against climate change.
Leticia Carvalho, head of the agency’s Marine and Freshwater Branch, urged governments to end policies and subsidies that incentivize deforestation and wetlands degradation, and urgently focus on restoration. “At the same time, we must guide and drive investments to protect priority ecosystems, such as peatlands, and encourage the private sector to commit to deforestation and peatland-drainage-free supply chains,” she added.
A lack of access to healthcare and medicines has been fuelling a host of opportunists aimed at filling the gaps, the report Trafficking in Medical Products in the Sahel shows. But, this supply and an imbalance in demand, has triggered deadly results.
In sub-Saharan Africa, as many as 267,000 deaths per year are linked to falsified and substandard antimalarial medicines, the transnational organized crime threat assessment found.
The African Union established the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization initiative in 2009 to improve access to safe, affordable medicine. The effort is part of its Framework on Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa. In addition, all Sahel countries but Mauritania have ratified a treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency.
Recognizing these achievements, the UNODC report offered recommendations. Among them was to introduce or revise legislation to prevent all related offences, such as smuggling, money-laundering and corruption.