Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

SA to continue to expand investment opportunities across the globe (SA News)

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that South Africa will continue to expand trade and investment opportunities with global trade partners to attract investment and financing.

According to the President, who was delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA), this will be done through participation in multilateral forums such as the G20, or Group of Twenty, which will be hosted in the country in 2025.

The focus will be on collaboration on sustainable development, the Just Energy Transition, industrialisation and the implementation of the (African Continental Free Trade Area) AfCFTA.

“Once fully operationalised, the Continental Free Trade will provide an unprecedented opportunity to deepen African economic integration, grow national economies, and open up new frontiers and markets for South African companies,” President Ramaphosa said. 

Government commits to funding SMMEs (SA News)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced funding initiatives for small businesses with the intention of creating jobs and growing established small businesses.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, the President said government plans to provide R1.4 billion to finance over 90 000 entrepreneurs.

In addition, government in partnership with the SA SME Fund is working to establish a R10 billion fund to support SMME growth.

Developing Countries Trade Scheme To Boost Nigerian Economy (Voice of Nigeria)

The recently launched Developing Countries Trade Scheme, DCTS by the United Kingdom, UK will further support sustainable economic growth for Nigeria’s non-oil export sector.

The Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak stated this at a workshop organised by the UK-Africa Trade and Investment Service.

Dr. Ezra explained that the recent development by DCTS would boost trade with Least Developing Countries, LDCs through reduced tariffs as well as simplified Rules of Origin for LDCs.

According to him “The opportunity for Nigeria to increase its non-oil exports to the UK in sectors where supply currently exceeds the demand are Cocoa, fertilizers, Sesame, Ginger, and Cashew nuts. Others are Natural Rubber, Cotton, Frozen Prawn, Plantain, and Tomatoes”.

ZimTrade to capacitate smallholder horticulture farmers (The Herald)

ZimTrade is working to capacitate thousands of smallholder horticulture farmers in Masvingo Province to help them unlock the province’s estimated US$386 million export potential.

The initiatives also involve reviving fruit plantations in the province with the capacity to generate hundreds of millions of US dollars from exports.

Zimbabwe is angling for export-led economic growth, which is expected to contribute towards achieving an upper-middle-income economy as espoused in the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

MICT (MICT) to Revolutionize Africa’s Food Industry Through Wholly Owned Subsidiary, Tingo Foods (StreetInsider.com)

MICT, Inc. (NASDAQ: MICT) (“MICT” or the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a corporate transaction giving it ownership of 100% of Tingo Foods PLC (“Tingo Foods”), which has successfully developed a food processing business with a current capacity to process and wholesale more than $1 billion of food produce per annum. Through a joint venture, Tingo Foods has also committed to build and operate a state-of-the-art $1.6 billion food processing facility in the Delta State of Nigeria. With build, fitout and commissioning scheduled for completion by the end of the first half of 2024, the new facility is expected to multiply the size of the Company’s processing capacity and revenues, while also materially expanding its capacity for the offtake of produce from its farmers and increasing its supply into MICT’s commodity trading platform and export business.

Tingo Foods’ goal is to reduce Africa’s reliance on the import of finished food and beverage products and increase its exports of made-in-Africa produce between countries within the continent, as well as to the rest of the world. This is expected to reduce the prices of finished goods for Africa’s consumers, while also creating a substantial environmental benefit by reducing the current need to export raw food materials outside of the continent for processing only to then import the finished and more expensive products back into Africa.

Tingo Foods currently has the ability to produce and wholesale processed foods such as rice, millet, pasta and noodles. The range and volume of products will then increase considerably upon the launch of the new processing facility to also include tea, coffee, chocolate, biscuits, cooking oils, non-dairy milks, carbonated drinks, and mineral water, among others.

More African watchdogs join plans to monitor digital markets (The East African)

The African Heads of Competition Authorities Dialogue (AHCAD), an umbrella body of competition watchdogs on the continent formed a year ago to bolster the regulators’ ability to watch digital markets, has attracted more members from the region.

The competition watchdogs of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the Gambia, Morocco, and Zambia have joined the Pan-African alliance in concerted efforts to build a continent-wide capacity to watch the “complicated” digital markets.

The founding members of the bloc – Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Mauritius – last year said digital markets have transformed how traditional markets work, raising unique competition issues and necessitating the collaboration to regulate.

Morocco bans some vegetable exports to West Africa amid rising prices (Nasdaq)

RABAT, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Morocco has barred fruit and vegetable traders from exporting tomatoes, onions and potatoes to West African countries, its fresh produce association and a government official said on Thursday.

The decision by the agricultural food export authority, Morocco Fodex, was informed to trader by phone and it cited a need to ensure food security at home after tomato prices rose, a senior official in the association said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ban had been imposed from Thursday on any truck carrying the vegetables to West African markets.

Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali juntas plan three-way partnership (Reuters)

OUAGADOUGOU, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, all ruled by military juntas, have proposed a regional partnership to facilitate trade and tackle insecurity in the region, they said in a joint statement late on Thursday.

The ministers met in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou this week to discuss collaboration. All three West African countries have experienced military takeovers since 2020, reversing democratic gains that had seen the region shed its tag as Africa's "coup belt".

Frustrations over governments' inability to protect civilians from a worsening jihadist insurgency spurred some of the putsches, which have led to economic sanctions and soured relations with regional and Western allies.

Foreign ministers Olivia Rouamba for Burkina Faso, Morissansa Kouyate for Guinea and Abdoulaye Diop for Mali noted "the need to set up and institutionalise a permanent coordination framework between the three countries".

Commitment to enhance trade between Jamaica and Africa remains resolute, says Hill (Jamaica Observer)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The commitment to enhance trade between Jamaica and Africa remains resolute, says Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Aubyn Hill.

“We recognise that while we do not yet have a bilateral agreement that speaks specifically to trade between Africa and Jamaica, we believe that there are profitable opportunities for trade and investment in tourism that can be of significant value,” Hill said.

He was speaking at the Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum, held at the Regional Headquarters, University of the West Indies, Mona on Wednesday, February 8.

SA to host Uganda at inaugural trade expo in Pretoria at end of February (News24)

Pretoria is set to host the inaugural Uganda-South Africa Trade, Tourism, and Investment Summit at the end of this month, as both countries work towards exploring their economic relations.

According to the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), President Yoweri Museveni and his South African counterpart President Cyril Ramaphosa, or their chosen representatives, will preside over the summit between 27 February and 1 March.

The summit is organised by the Uganda High Commission in Pretoria in partnership with Uganda's foreign affairs, agriculture and fisheries, health, and tourism ministries, as well as various line authorities.

Sharp, Long-lasting Slowdown to Hit Developing Countries Hard (World Bank)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2023 — Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report.

Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development—such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, or escalating geopolitical tensions—could push the global economy into recession. This would mark the first time in more than 80 years that two global recessions have occurred within the same decade.

Over the next two years, per-capita income growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to average 2.8%—a full percentage point lower than the 2010-2019 average. In Sub-Saharan Africa—which accounts for about 60% of the world’s extreme poor—growth in per capita income over 2023-24 is expected to average just 1.2%, a rate that could cause poverty rates to rise, not fall.

WTO Advanced Trade Policy Course underway in Geneva (World Trade Organization)

Twenty-four government officials from developing countries across the world are attending a two-month Advanced Trade Policy Course from 30 January to 24 March 2023 at the WTO headquarters in Geneva. The course was opened by New Zealand’s Ambassador to the WTO, Clare Kelly, and Jorge Castro from the WTO’s Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC).

Ambassador Kelly encouraged participants to take a proactive role during the two-month course and to absorb everything that might be useful in helping their countries use the multilateral trading system as a tool for development.

The course aims to increase participants' capacity to monitor trade policy developments, to learn about the WTO's dispute settlement system and to actively participate in WTO negotiations. Participants also get the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions with Geneva-based government officials and external trade experts.

Logistics execs see a 2023 Recession as ‘Likely’ or ‘Certain’ (Global Trade Magazine)

Nearly 70% of global logistics executives say they are bracing for recession amid higher costs, slowing demand, and ongoing supply chain disruption arising from China’s battle to contain COVID, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the impact of climate change.

Ninety percent of the 750 industry professionals surveyed for the 2023 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index also say their shipping, storage and other logistics costs remain well above the pre-pandemic levels they were at in early 2020.

“Carriers and shippers are feeling the effects of higher energy prices, tight labor markets and broader inflation even though freight rates have fallen and ports have cleared cargo backlogs,” said Agility Vice Chairman Tarek Sultan. “Three years after the start of the pandemic, there is still a lot of volatility in supply chains. Now there’s fresh uncertainty as consumers and businesses pull back on spending and hiring.”

Iskenderun Port fire to generate $679mn trade disruption: Russell (Logistics Update Africa)

The container fire at the Port of Iskenderun, Turkiye will cause a loss in trade of around $679 million (£562.85 million), according to Russell Group, a data and analytics company.

"The analysis was based on modelling from a time period of February 6 to February 28, 2023, looking at the actions of major shipping companies, which are offering free cancellations, amendments and changes of destination on all shipments heading to Iskenderun, throughout February."

The port suffered a fire on Monday caused by the earthquake that has devastated Turkiye, and the port has been closed with many shipping lines postponing or diverting shipments to Mersin, one of Turkiye’s largest ports.

Air travel set to soar to pre-pandemic levels in 2023: UN aviation agency (UN News)

Air passenger demand in 2023 will rapidly recover to pre-pandemic levels on most routes, the UN aviation agency said on Wednesday.

“Assuring the safe, secure, and sustainable recovery of air services will be key to restoring aviation’s ability to act as a catalyst for sustainable development at the local, national, and global levels, and will consequently be vital to countries’ recovery from the broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council.

Using advanced big data analytics, ICAO forecasts that the surge in demand will be seen by the end of the first quarter. By year’s end, the agency predicts growth of about three per cent on 2019 figures.

UK pays EU £2.3bn to settle China import row (The Guardian)

The UK government has paid £2.3bn to the EU as part of a long-standing dispute over textiles and footwear imported into the UK from China.

“Whilst the UK has now left the European Union and this is a legacy matter from before our departure, the government is keen to resolve this long-running case once and for all and is committed to fulfilling its international obligations,” he told MPs.

The case dates back to 2017 when the EU’s anti-fraud office said British authorities had allowed criminals to evade customs duties by making false claims about clothes and shoes imported from China.


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