tralac Daily News
ECA Support to Equatorial Guinea for the Development of a National AfCFTA Strategy (UNECA)
Malabo, 13 February 2023 (ECA) - the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa (SRO-CA), in collaboration with the ECA African Trade Policy Center (ATPC), is currently providing support to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in the development of a national strategy for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in cooperation with the African Union Commission and with the financial support of the European Union (EU). In this context, an ECA SRO-CA delegation comprised of Ms. Caitlyn Carrico, Economic Affairs Officer, and Mr. Thiago Silveira Gasser, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, will carry out a mission in Malabo from 13 to 17 February 2023 to officially launch consultations on the national AfCFTA strategy for Equatorial Guinea as well as to raise awareness on the AfCFTA and the process of AfCFTA strategy development and implementation.
The delegation will hold bilateral consultations with Ministries and government institutions to promote the potential of the AfCFTA for the economy of Equatorial Guinea as well as to gain critical inputs on strategy development. Planned meetings include a high-level meeting with the Ministry of Trade and promotion of small and medium enterprises as well as technical meetings with teams from the Ministries of Trade and promotion of small and medium enterprises, Planning, Industry, Regional integration, Hydrocarbons, Agriculture, livestock and forestry, the National Statistics Office, and Customs. The Team will also meet with civil society actors including the Chamber of Commerce and Universities. A national consultant has been recruited and will accompany the delegation during these meetings.
FG pledges improved trade relations with ECOWAS states (Vanguard)
The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment towards enhancing trade and economic integration with member countries of ECOWAS and the promotion of efficient operations at Seme-Krake border.
This is contained in a statement by Henshaw Ogubike, Director, Press and Public Relations Ministry of Transportation of on Monday in Abuja.
Ogubike said the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, stated the commitment at the inauguration of 300 multi million naira projects executed by the ministry at Seme-Krake Joint Border Post in Lagos.
According to him, the projects include roofing of three walkways for arriving and departing passengers, construction of 20 toilet facilities and provision of two solar-powered boreholes/water treatment plants.
GIRAV quality standards on maize value chain inaugurated (The Point)
The Gambia Standards Bureau in collaboration with the Gambia Inclusiveness and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain (GIRAV) Project, on Friday, inaugurated the GIRAV quality component for the development of standards for maize and its value chain.
Speaking during the event held at the Baobab Holiday Resort, Hassan Saidou Gaye, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, explained that the importance of national and international standards has increased with the globalisation of the world economy.
“Gambia is not an island anymore; we are part of a global village and the wider AfCFTA community. Not two million people as before but part of 1.3 billion people of the African continent. In order to effectively trade and export what we produce, we need standards and universally accepted standards,” he said.
Coffee, tiles top the list in AfCFTA export drive (IPP Media)
Dr Ashatu Kijaji, the Investments, Industry and Trade minister, made this observation when addressing a gathering of members of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), with Finance and Planning minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba in attendance.
She said that Tanzania is among seven initial countries according priority to the scheme, thus exporting their products to the Africa-wide market to kindred member states who have ratified the free trade area protocol.
Urging manufacturers and traders to seek out those opportunities, she said her meeting with CTI members on the subject is the third in a series, seeking to raise awareness of industrial sector stakeholders on what is required to make use of the facility.
Coffee is the pioneer product under that arrangement, not to be exported raw but processed while locally manufactured tiles are also being lined up for regional markets, she said
Africa: One Year Later - The Impact of the Russian Conflict With Ukraine On Africa (All Africa)
In today's interconnected world, shots fired in one corner of the globe create ripple effects in other, seemingly far, places. One year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, African countries, although physically miles away, have not been spared its aftershocks.
Against a backdrop of soaring food and energy prices and the shrinking basket of global economic cooperation financing, African countries are also contending with how to position themselves within the significant shifts in international energy policies, even as they are approached by various partners who are also grappling with the energy access implications for their own citizens.
In 2020, 15 African countries imported over 50 per cent of their wheat products from the Russian Federation or Ukraine. Six of these countries (Eritrea, Egypt, Benin, Sudan, Djibouti, and Tanzania) imported over 70 per cent of their wheat from the region.
African Businesswomen Press for AU Border Harassment Dialogue (VOA News)
African women and girls are discussing the harassment and discrimination challenges they face trying to conduct cross-border business under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The meeting in Addis Ababa, called "Gender is My Agenda," is taking place ahead of the African Union heads of state summit, which is set to begin Saturday and is expected to address progress of the African trade agreement.
Elizabeth Ajok, a South Sudanese national, said women often face problems at border crossings that men don't have to experience.
"They are facing a lot of challenges like violence at the border, they are being intimidated, and sometimes some of their items are being confiscated or their goods are taken because of clearance," Ajok said. "And they will also overcharge you because you are a woman. You will be taxed. Sometimes they just look at us. They see that you are just a woman, so you don't deserve to do business."
Ruto adopts Uhuru’s draft trade deal with America (Business Insider Africa)
The Ruto administration has adopted the key areas of cooperation agreed upon by the previous regime in the proposed trade deal with the US, setting the stage for the negotiations to progress ahead of 2025 deadline.
President William Ruto’s negotiating team went through the 11 pillars of the proposed trade deal with their US counterparts in Washington last week and agreed to forge ahead with the talks “in the coming months”.
The Kenyan delegation, led by Trade PS Alfred K’Ombudo, and the US delegation “exchanged views” on the key concepts agreed on last July without introducing new clauses, according to the statement after the week-long meeting.
The US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership, launched by the Biden administration, will replace the two-decade-old Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
DCTS: Nigeria Targets £14bn Non-oil Exports To UK By 2030 – Yakusak (Leadership News)
Nigeria is targeting to grow its exports to the United Kingdom (UK) from 0.3 per cent to five per cent share of the market valued at £14 billion by 2030.
Executive director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr. Ezra Yakusak, who made this known said would achieved through the recently launched Developing Countries Trade Scheme (DCTS) by the UK.
Under the new scheme, DCTS is to replace the UK’s current Generalized System of Preference (GSP), while Nigeria will now be benefiting from 9500 tariff lines instead of the previous eight. Besides, Nigeria no longer has to ratify the 36 conventions with the UK before trading. This is significantly more generous than both the EU’s GSP scheme and the US’ AGOA scheme and based on current trade volumes, would mean that 99 per cent of goods exports to the UK are duty-free.
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT - Trade and Development Board - Seventy-third executive session - Agenda Item 3 - EU statement (EEAS)
“I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
“We take note of the 2022 LDC report that has been presented for this agenda item. The report legitimately highlights the particularly vulnerable situation in which LDCs find themselves in the face of climate change. Limited fiscal space of LDCs, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, inflationary pressures and debt burdens, restricts their capacity to offset the consequences of extreme weather events.
“Representing 40% of global Aid for Trade programmes, we support regional, as well as global, economic integration, not least by being AU’s main partner for its African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Russia’s growing trade in arms, oil and African politics (Financial Times)
At the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2019, Russian president Vladimir Putin promised to double trade with African states within five years as he sought to win new friends with offers of nuclear power plants and fighter jets.
Three years on, few of those promises have materialised and yet Russian influence on the continent is growing faster than at any point since the end of the cold war.
Russian trade with Africa in 2021, the most recent full-year figure available, was worth $15.6bn — a tenth of the continent’s trade with China and a quarter up on 2018, according to IMF data. However, Moscow remains the biggest exporter of arms to Africa and — through investments and trading relationships in goods from diamonds to citrus fruit — has become a useful partner for African states.
Euro zone is seen dodging recession as energy crunch eases (The Business Standard)
The euro-zone economy will fare better this year than previously feared as a mild winter and high levels of gas storage help to ease the energy crisis, and the labor market holds up, according to the European Commission.
European Union officials in Brussels raised their forecast for growth this year, predicting a 0.9% expansion in the currency bloc, and said it would narrowly avoid a recession. They also cut their projection for consumer price growth, though it remains high at 5.6%.
Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni cautioned that "better than expected doesn't mean good," however, telling reporters that Europeans still face a difficult period with growth slowing and inflation only easing gradually.
US stocks trade higher a day ahead of a key inflation reading (Business Insider Africa)
Economists expect January's headline consumer price index reading to cool further to an annual rate of 6.2% from 6.5% the prior month, according to Bloomberg. But even fresh signs of disinflation won't mean the fight to rein in prices is over.
"There has been an expectation that [inflation] will go away quickly and painlessly, I don't think it's guaranteed that's the base case," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a speech last week at the Economic Club of Washington DC. "It will take some time."
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is coming off its worst week of the year so far, closing Friday down 1.1% over the five-day stretch.