Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Agri SA reiterates warning of food shortages, price spikes as loadshedding continues (Engineering News)

Industry body Agri SA has implored President Cyril Ramaphosa to address food security in his State of the Nation Address on February 9, given that the agricultural sector has lost more than R23-billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2021, as a result of loadshedding.

Agri SA has also submitted a letter to the National Disaster Management Centre that details the far-reaching implications of loadshedding for grains, livestock, poultry, fruit, vegetables, sugar and edible oils. These industries are central to the ability of South Africa to feed its people, the organisation emphasises.

Executive director Christo van der Rheede believes the only way to guarantee food security in South Africa is for government to announce immediate action to relieve the crippling burden of loadshedding on farmers, failing which South Africans can expect crop failures, higher food prices, shortages of certain food products and job losses in the near future.

SA addressing challenges increase mining investment: President Ramaphosa (SAnews)

Uganda, South Africa Business Summit 2023 (East African Business Week)

The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Cooperatives, Privatisation and Investment etc. is organizing the Uganda – South Africa Trade, Tourism, and Investment Summit to take place on February 27th – 1st March 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The summit will provide a platform for the Private sector, companies and businesses to create new markets and ways of how to facilitate doing business and identify existing and emerging business or investment opportunities in Uganda and South Africa.

According to the PSFU Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, South Africa is one of the fastest growing sources of Foreign Direct Investment for Uganda as the South Africa’s exports to Uganda. In 2010 alone, Uganda attracted FDI of up to US$ 848 million. We also intend to link up with the Ugandan diaspora in South Africa to create partnerships with them on the many opportunities they are engaged in.

Explain gaps in reports of China-Kenya trade (Business Daily)

There is an urgent need to address the large gap in the reports of the value of trade between Kenya and China, which has major implications on transparency, taxes and economic relations. Nairobi reported that it imported Sh377.5 billion from the Asian nation in the 10 months ended October 2022.Beijing on the other hand reported its exports to Kenya over the same period at Sh809.4 billion, leaving a Sh377.5 billion difference that has not been explained by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

This is arguably the largest discrepancy in Kenya’s international trade to come to light.

Names of duty-free maize importers remain unknown as window opens (Business Daily)

The Ministry of Agriculture has failed to gazette names of millers and traders who will be allowed to ship in maize as the window for duty-free imports opened on Tuesday. Agriculture Principal Secretary Harsama Kellow said they have scrutinised applicants and that the process of issuing the letters is currently going on. “We have scrutinised the names of those who have applied and we are still approving others and we shall be issuing the letters to those who have been approved soon,” said Mr Kellow.

Millers are now worried that the imports will be delayed because of the logistics involved in making imports, with the shipment taking at least 45 days to arrive in the country from the day when the order is placed.

IATA and Somalia sign aviation cooperation agreement (Engineering News)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is the representative body of the global airline industry, and the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia signed a cooperation agreement on Monday. This would serve to formalise and deepen their cooperation, in order to strengthen aviation’s socioeconomic benefits to the country.

“Aviation is essential to the success of Somalia’s development plans,” affirmed Somali Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Fardowsa Osman Egal. “The Government of Somalia is committed to developing its air transport sector to help promote long-term social and economic growth in the country. And we will ensure that global best practices are at the core of development. This agreement will pave the way for closer cooperation on the priorities for aviation in the country.”

The agreement would also allow IATA to expand its activities in Somalia, in line with the association’s African aviation mission. That was to create an air transport sector that was safe, economical, efficient and sustainable, that would stimulate growth and so create jobs, as well as facilitating international trade and tourism.

EAC political confederation unattainable in 2024 — Kadaga (New Vision)

The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, has stated that achieving a loose East African Community (EAC) political confederation by next year will be impossible. Partner states had set their aim at achieving a confederation by 2024 as they continued with rigorous internal processes to harmonize on a political federation in the future.

While addressing board members of the East African Business Council (EABC) at the Speke Resort Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala on Friday, Kadaga said a confederation will not be possible by next year due to some skeptical approaches among some partner states towards the integration agenda.

“We are at a stage of integration, which is critical, and I want to reiterate that integration is inevitable; it’s the future for this region.” “We can no longer continue small as we are each of us going to take on the rest of the world single-handedly,” she observed.

Summit calls for accelerated implementation of infrastructure projects in Africa (UNECA)

A two-day meeting to discuss financing for Africa’s infrastructure projects has ended in Dakar, Senegal, with calls for increased collaboration and resource mobilization, as well as accelerated implementation of regional infrastructure projects across the continent.

The event, titled “the Second Dakar Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure,” sought to increase and secure the necessary funding to prepare projects of the Second Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP 2), and to match project financing needs with existing sources of finance.

The main outcome of the summit was the “Dakar Declaration on Synergies of Action for Infrastructure Financing in Africa” in which AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, ECA, and RECs are commended for their joint efforts to improve the implementation of regional infrastructure projects in Africa. It urges AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, regional development banks, ECA, RECs, AFREXIMBANK and AfCFTA Secretariat to strengthen mutual cooperation in order to promote infrastructure for intra-African trade.

A highlight of the summit was the signing of an MoU between Afreximbank and AUDA-NEPAD on the creation of a facility to fund the preparation of PIDA projects. This is an important development given that many PIDA projects have stalled at the preparatory stage. The need for Africa Africa to take control of the implementation of its infrastructure projects was also highlighted.

Mining and the circular economy support each other (Engineering News)

Mining was essential if the world was to create a circular economic system, Finnish Geological Survey director-general Kimmo Tiilikainen has pointed out. He was addressing a Sustainable Mining Breakfast, jointly hosted in Cape Town by the Embassies of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, on Tuesday.

“The mining industry is necessary for the sustainable economy,” he affirmed. However, mining would have to take environmental and social issues into account in a way that industry had not done before. As the volume of mining increased, the bar for environmental and social standards would have to be raised.

“There is a huge need for critical minerals, and shortages may occur,” he highlighted. “We need to speed up exploration.” The development of new mines also needed to be accelerated. “There will be a hurry [sic] for new investments.” These will be necessary to meet decarbonisation targets.

“Investments in the circular economy can support sustainable mining in a remarkable way,” he assured. However, currently, the mining and processing of metals and minerals produced huge amounts of waste material. Future mine and processing plant designs had to be optimised to minimise the waste produced.

Report Says Nigeria Could Become Africa’s Topmost Oil Refiner In 2025 (Heritage Times)

As Nigeria, Africa’s largest population continues to grapple with shortage of petroleum products amidst import, a Pan-African investment research firm, Hawilti has predicted that the West African nation could become biggest oil refiner in the region by 2025.

In its recent report titled “Refineries watch Q4 2022” released on Monday, Hawilti’s report says Africa will witness significant transformations in its fuel supply security in 2023, adding that West Africa houses the largest refining capacity on the sub-continent, but only 23 per cent of it is currently operational.

It says the prospect of a new private refinery becoming operational in Nigeria could help redefine the nation’s local refining capacity.

Egypt’s Trade Minister, heads of exports councils discuss boosting exports (ZAWYA)

Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir met with export council’s heads of ready-made garments, spinning and weaving, furniture, medical industries, printing and packaging, and furniture sectors to discuss the councils’ work plans to develop Egyptian exports. The meeting also discussed the most prominent challenges facing exporters and ways to overcome them.

The minister said that this meeting comes within the series of meetings that the ministry started in January to identify the growth opportunities available to exporters during the current year compared to 2022.The series also aims to reach an agreement on the most important needs of the export sector to maintain and increase the achieved growth rates, especially in light of the great interest that the state attaches to the matter.

Moreover, the ministry will improve services provided by the ministry to enhance the competitiveness of Egyptian products and exports.

MAN: Manufacturers Facing Critical Time (This Day)

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), yesterday, declared that its members were passing through a critical time due to the prevailing petrol scarcity, cash crunch, shortage of foreign exchange and power supply in the country. The MAN also warned that the government should be deliberate in promoting Nigeria’s manufacturing sector because the operation of the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) has the capacity to either expand the Nigeria economy for good or limit and jeopardise it.

“We are expecting that by the time the new government comes in on May 29, it will be necessary among other things to look into the manufacturing sector especially on issues around forex supply that set the tone on how we (manufacturers) really determine the prices of our products because currently we cannot even budget effectively.

“It also hinders the possibility of any investor to bring in foreign money to invest in Nigeria. And actually it frightens the existing manufacturers to engage and do the business effectively. So these costs from abstract infrastructure need to be addressed so that we can really be able to work ahead.

“Continentally, it is important to determine the rule of origin properly to avoid dumping, which will be very bad for manufacturers.

Manufacturing excellence key to doing business in modern times – PwC (Engineering News)

Professional services firm PwC reports that South Africa’s manufacturing industry has to keep evolving to remain competitive in the face of global competition through implementing what it calls ‘manufacturing excellence programmes’.

The firm notes that while there has been a longstanding battle between effectively producing products against demand and maintaining a sustainable cost base, the modern day challenge of agile manufacturing becoming more cumbersome to implement, remains.

However, the majority of the common challenges currently faced by manufacturing organisations can be addressed through the use of technology.

While digital concepts have a valuable role to play in manufacturing processes, PwC also states that manufacturing excellence programmes remain imperative.

Energy transition offers great opportunities to Africa, but constraints are significant (Engineering News)

The global transition to low- and zero-carbon energy sources was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Africa, just as the original Industrial Revolution had been for the West, highlighted Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojepalo at the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2023 conference in Cape Town. He was participating in a panel discussion.

It had been estimated, he said, that it would be necessary to develop 400 new mines, worldwide, to supply the metals that would be needed for the energy transition and the production of electric vehicles. The metals required included cobalt, lithium and the platinum group metals. Africa led the world rankings in six or seven of the metals essential for the energy transition.

The question was: how was this to be unlocked? The junior mining sector had to be encouraged, he affirmed. Good clear regulation was needed, as was big data.

Moreover, the opportunity for Africa was not just limited to the supply of metals. When downstream development, or beneficiation, took place, the economic effect was massive. But how was the value chain for Africa to be maximised?

Partnerships are key to unlocking Africa’s vast potential: DP World Chairman (Emirates News Agency)

DP World’s Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, called for unlocking private sector infrastructure investments in Africa, to address the challenges faced by the continent’s development.

Speaking at the 2nd Dakar African Infrastructure Financing Summit in Senegal, he said that the cost of moving goods domestically around Africa is five times higher than in the US and urged for more partnerships to address the gap. “Investing in the continent’s trading infrastructure, as we have in Dakar, is central to transforming African economies.”

Bin Sulayem explained that improving trade across Africa can boost local exports, create employment and reduce pollution.

Competition Experts Meet To Review Draft Operational Docu-Ments For Ecowas Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) (ECOWAS)

The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) has convened a technical working-group meeting to review the draft Manuals of Procedure, Forms and Templates to create operational documents for the agency. The meeting which took place in Banjul from January 30 to February 3, 2023, brought together four (4) technical experts from the ERCA Consultative Competition Committee (CCC) and ERCA staff to review ERCA’s draft manual of procedures, forms, and templates before submission for regional validation by the CCC. The meeting of the working group provided an opportunity for the experts to review and edit the draft documents and make the necessary recommendations to improve the document and ensure it is in line with ERCA’s regulations and best practices.

The Chairperson of the Competition Consultative Committee, Ms. Boladale ADEYINKA of Com-petition Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria noted the importance of having com-prehensive Manuals of procedure that provides a framework and guide to ERCA in addressing competition issues in the ECOWAS Region. She expressed optimism on the technical expertise of the CCC members and other experts at the meeting and thanked them for their dedication and commitment to the work of ERCA.

Key African countries gain ground in 50-country emerging markets rankings (The Africa Logistics)

Several key African economies improved their performance in an annual ranking that compares the domestic and international logistics, business conditions, and digital readiness of the world’s 50 leading emerging markets. Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania improved their position from 2022 in the 14th annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, which ranks emerging markets countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, air and ocean carriers, distributors and investors.

Among countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria had the best domestic logistics, 11th among the 50 countries. South Africa’s international logistics network performed best on the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa’s best business fundamentals were in Ghana. Kenya, which has taken steps to nurture digital startups, was Africa’s most digitally ready economy.

18th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology underway in Bujumbura, Burundi (EAC)

The 18th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport Communications and Meteorology (TCM) is currently underway at the Royal Palace Hotel in Bujumbura, Burundi. The sectors and sub-sectors that are involved in the TCM matters are roads, railways, maritime transport, telecommunications, ICT, postal services, civil aviation, airports and meteorology.

The Sectoral Council meeting is expected give directions on the convening of the 5th EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Development and Financing, the premier event that brings together political and policy decision makers, technocrats, development partners and the private sector to discuss ways of unlocking the estimated 50 billion dollars annual funding gap for the region’s infrastructure development.

Climate change turning herders into traders (The Standard)

Small traders and micro businesses have in recent years drawn interest from authorities and even financial institutions. However, their counterparts in far-flung areas remain neglected and their growth is stunted. This is even as communities living in marginalised areas and borderlands continue to feel the impact of climate change which has made it difficult for traditional economic activities such as agro-pastoralism which needs to be boosted by trade. While a number of pastoralists consider themselves as traders, deepening their trade activities especially as their other sources of livelihood suffer because of weather patterns, they are limited by factors such as lack of financial inclusion and physical infrastructure that would enable them to thrive in this kind of trade.

More African Countries Are Taking Data Privacy and Protection Seriously (The Culture Custodian)

With nearly 600 million people across Africa using the internet today, African countries are increasingly recognising the need to legislate and invest in, data and privacy protection.

Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Togo and Ghana have been front-runners in legislating pro-data and privacy protection policies. Beyond efforts at the individual country’s levels, regional economic blocs have policies that safeguard data and privacy protection.

Despite the developments in legislation, Brandon Muller, Kaspersky tech expert and consultant African region, highlights the many areas African countries can improve on, especially in averting industrial cybersecurity.

Global B2B Cross-Border Payments Market Set to Reach $40 Trillion by 2024 (Fintech Singapore)

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global spend on B2B cross-border payments is set to exceed US$40 trillion by the end of 2024, an increase from the current estimated figure of $37 trillion in 2022.

This represents a significant growth in cross-border payments being made between businesses worldwide. The study highlights the critical role that cross-border payments play in supporting the development of international trade and commerce and the need for efficient and secure payment methods in this sector.

One of the key drivers in the growth of cross-border payments is the increasing globalisation of businesses. As businesses expand their operations into new markets and regions, they need to be able to make and receive payments from other businesses in different countries.


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