tralac Daily News
Improving government’s performance as a contributor to the construction sector is key to unlocking the country’s economic and social development, says the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. “Government is a key player in the construction sector accounting for about 40% of the country’s total infrastructure budget,” the department said in a statement. At least R117.5 billion in budget was allocated to infrastructure in the 2022/23 financial year and it is estimated that government expenditure will total R903billion over the next three years.
South African businesspeople who participated in the Gulfood Exhibition that took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates last week, have said they are pleased with the trade leads that they generated. They recorded over 4 000 promising trade leads that they hope will soon translate into substantially tangible deals.
The 16 agro-processing companies, including the South African Fruit and Vegetables Canners Export Council (SAFVEC), showcased their products in a National Pavilion that was set up by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). The main objective of the support provided by the dtic
Government is determined to address the concerns raised by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as quickly as possible with the fundamentals in place to get off the “grey list”. In his weekly newsletter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said government has gone through a rigorous process of addressing the issues that FATF has raised.
This comes after South Africa was put on a “grey list” last week by the FATF for falling short of certain international standards for the combating of money laundering and other serious financial crimes.
Uganda-South Africa Business summit kicks off today (New Vision)
The first Uganda-South Africa, Trade, Tourism and Investment Summit gets underway Monday (today) in Pretoria, South Africa. The summit that ends on Wednesday is expected to attract 300 delegates, both private and public, who include the business community, heads of government agencies, and policymakers among others, according to Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
UIA says that the summit will provide a platform for the private sector, government and business regulatory agencies to exchange views, ideas, and information on how to facilitate investment and also identify existing business and investment opportunities for Uganda. Areas of discussion at the summit include Tourism, Trade and Investment, Finance, Insurance, Professional Service, Manufacturing, Mining, Energy Resources, Agro-processing, ICT, Power Generation, education, and Infrastructure development among others.
NamRA ensures Namibia pockets billions (New Era)
Preliminary outturns in many respects point to improving fiscal fundamentals aligned to positive domestic economic growth prospects and buoyancy arising from tax administration reforms, Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shiimi has said.
Tabling his 2023/24 national budget last week in the National Assembly, he noted that by the end of January 2023, preliminary revenue outturn stood at N$56.2 billion, reflecting a collection rate of 87.8% over 10 months.
Total collections of N$74.7 billion are estimated for FY2023/24. The significant boost to revenues stems from an upward revision in receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) pool to N$24.3 billion.
Kenya proposes lavish spending amid missed revenue targets (The East African)
Kenya’s National Treasury plans to raise government expenditure by 15.9 percent to Ksh3.66 trillion (about $29.2 billion) in the next financial year, anchored on a projected increase in tax revenue. But latest figures show that Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has failed to meet current targets.
The draft medium-term national Budget Policy Statement released this past week shows that the government plans to increase the budget size to $40.5 billion by 2026, supported by an expected sustained increase in tax revenue.
The Treasury expects revenue to increase to $23 billion next year, a 15 percent rise, and to at least $33.4 billion by 2026, mostly driven by anticipated growth in tax revenue and a slight improvement in appropriations in aid.
Kenya and Uganda opt for border post to stop bandits (The East African)
Kenya and Uganda have initiated talks for the opening of a one-stop border post in Lokiriama in northwest Kenya, that will seek to open up trade and fight livestock raids. Kenya’s Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said the border post would enhance movement and trade between the two nations and investments in the cross-border road network and improved security and surveillance.
The two countries revived their September 2019 memorandum of understanding that sought to enhance cross-border trade between the Turkana and Karamoja, by establishing immigration and customs border points at Lokiriama, Nawountos and Nakitong’o.
“The two governments should mobilise resources for peace dividend projects and to facilitate peace-building initiatives in the region for sustainable peace and security,” the joint statement concluded.
Africa’s most populous country Nigeria has withdrawn 200-, 500- and 1000-naira notes from circulation following the redesign of the Nigerian currency. After the unveiling of the notes people have been struggling to access them from banks and Automated teller machine (ATM) cash points. Since the full implementation of the policy on February 1, and the deadline for validity of the old notes passed, getting the new naira notes has been a challenge.
While people continue to grapple with the scarcity of cash challenge, the industrial sector is also lamenting the policy, Francis Meshioye the president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said the scarcity of the Naira is having an impact on production output.
Speaking on the impact of the scarcity, Meshioye said ‘it is affecting all economy and manufacturing sector in particular, because inability of people to access cash particularly for products that cannot be easily procured by electronic transfer will imply, they will be backlog in the stock of those goods.’
Govt scouts for more value chain development aid (The Zimbabwe Independent)
Government says it hopes to increase financial resources towards value chain development following the recently announced US$22,5 million revolving fund to support the endeavour. Speaking at the validation workshop for the fertiliser, pharmaceutical and packaging subsector in Harare on Friday, Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza said they had placed innovation hubs to nurture and develop local ideas and solutions to industrial challenges.
“The government is also making efforts to avail financial resources to support value chain development. A total of US$ 22,5 million was availed under the Retooling for New Equipment and Replacement for the Value Chains Revolving Fund,” she said.
“The government has also put in place innovation hubs to nurture and develop local ideas and solutions to industrial challenges. In this regard, we exhort the private sector to partner with institutes of higher learning and provide them with the challenges they are facing, so that we may develop local solutions to these challenges.”
AfCFTA won’t be used for dumping, Kgafela assures (Mmegi Online)
Last Sunday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi officially submitted the country’s instruments of ratification to the African Union (AU) Commission, ending a four-year journey of negotiations over the pan-African trade deal. Botswana was the 46th country to ratify the deal out of 54 African countries that signed the original African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2018.
Kgafela said the AfCFTA provides protections such as anti-dumping provisions, countervailing and anti-countervailing as well as protection of infant industry that will cover local businesses from dumping, especially in key manufacturing sectors.
The fundamental role of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in overcoming the peculiar challenges faced by Africa’s Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was highlighted today in Harare at a high-level event jointly organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).
Investing in research and development by African countries will deliver sustainable industrialization and economic diversification on the continent, says Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). This will enable the continent harness technology for a green, inclusive and resilient Africa.
Mr Pedro was speaking at the opening of the Fifth African Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum 2023, a side event ahead of upcoming 9th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Niemey, Niger. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Accelerating development and diffusion of emerging technologies”.
“To build on the innovative spirit, we need to strengthen the enabling environment through informed policies, increase investment in the research and development, and harness the support of the private sector more effectively,” noted the ECA executive secretary, adding that Africa should be at the forefront of a green transformation to accelerate growth, diversify economies and deliver on the SDGs and Agenda 2063. “One key opportunity for us lies in the renewable energy market. The value in this market in 2020 was estimated at $881.7 billion and is projected to reach $1,977.6 billion by 2030”
The East African Community (EAC) has secured over Sh1.5 billion ($1.4 million) for a feasibility study on a key section of the Northern Transport Corridor linking Kenya and Uganda. EAC Planning and Infrastructure Deputy Secretary General Steven Mlote told The Standard that the funding – from the African Development Bank – is for conducting a feasibility study on the 256km multinational Kisumu-Kisian-Busia/Kakira – Malaba-Busitema-Busia expressway project.
Mlote said that part of the funding would also be for the feasibility studies for upgrading the Malaba, Busia and Lwakhakha border posts along the Kenya-Uganda border.
To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063, the world must decarbonize its growth models and shift to renewable energy sources, says Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro. Speaking during a panel discussion on ‘Building a regional battery mineral value chain in Africa,’ Mr Pedro said the shift to renewable energy sources was a resource-intensive path that required greater production of a variety of minerals that are central to decarbonization.
“We have clear opportunities not only from the global green mineral boom but also from our domestic achievements, such as the African Continental Free-Trade Area to facilitate the development of regional value chains for these green economy products,” Mr. Pedro said, noting several innovative financing mechanisms that have been developed to support initiatives such as the battery and electric vehicles value chains.
The Institute for Development and Economic Planning (IDEP) held on Saturday 25 February a webinar on “How Africa can go green through a clean energy strategy” in preparation for the 9th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development scheduled to take place in Niamey (Niger) from 28 February to March 2nd, 2023.
Urbanization and population growth are putting intense pressure on Africa’s energy infrastructure. Demand is significantly outstripping supply leading to power cuts and limiting economic development.
Rising demand and oil prices, the looming depletion of global oil stocks and climate change mean that Africa’s traditional reliance on conventional energy sources is no longer a viable option. However, the continent’s clean energy transition is not without challenges either.
Africa is the continent with the highest renewable energy potential in the world and is the one with the least access to it, said Andrea Renzulli, Senior Expert at RES4AFRICA Foundation. Against global trends, the continent’s renewable energy investments have reached a historical low, accounting for only six percent of total investments in renewable energy.
The President of the Republic of Seychelles, His Excellency Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, has called for concerted efforts among members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to harness the potential of tourism, blue economy and wildlife as drivers of economic growth, regional integration and development.
The President stressed the importance of putting issues of environment, climate change, maritime security, and blue economy among the key priorities of the SADC regional development agenda, as the people of Seychelles, like other Island nations, depend on the ocean resources for their sustenance and livelihood. On this note, the President called for regional preparedness against disasters emanating from climate change which, in the case of Seychelles, affect the tourism and fisheries sectors, two of the key pillars and contributors to Seychelles Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and foreign exchange.
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the Wangari Mathai Institute have concluded a three-day regional forum on the future of resilient food systems in Africa.
The Forum, called the Future of Resilient Food Systems in Africa – AAAP Digital Solutions for a Changing Climate provided training aimed at strengthening the capacity of stakeholders from across Eastern Africa to design and implement solutions to improve food security and climate resilience and to facilitate knowledge sharing among farmers on approaches to scale up the use of Digital climate-informed advisory services, or DCAS.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) celebrates the adoption and enactment of a factoring law in the Republic of Mali. Afreximbank’s Factoring Model Law was used as a guide for the development of La Banque des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO’s) factoring law, which the Republic of Mali has adopted. This conforms to the Bank’s Factoring Strategy, which aims to provide legal and regulatory support to African countries in their pursuit of factoring as an alternative financing option.
The enactment of the law in Mali creates a facilitative legal and regulatory environment for factoring to thrive in the country, thereby supporting SMEs with access to another form of financing. The move, which follows similar legislative developments in Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso, constitutes a crucial milestone in the broader African effort to increase its share of global factoring transactions from its current level of around 1%. Moreover, Mali’s decision may well encourage other BCEAO’s Member States to adopt and domesticate the law.
Factoring offers an alternative trade finance instrument to African businesses, and therefore having a robust legal regime that promotes factoring will provide a major boost to the emergence and growth of SMEs and factoring companies in the Republic of Mali and beyond. By creating a legal infrastructure which diversifies SME financing, and provides credibility and assurance to investors, the law will significantly improve access to finance for previously excluded small and medium sized businesses in Mali.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said the UK was “underutilising” its trade links with many African countries in light of fruit & veg shortages. Museveni – who has been in power for over four decades – said the UK could have “absolutely” avoided the current fruit & veg shortages if it had set up more robust trade deals with Uganda and other African nations post-Brexit.
The president told The Grocer the UK was “missing opportunities” for trade with its Commonwealth partners like Uganda, and that farmers in the East African nation were ready to ramp up exports of fresh produce and coffee.
Economists will be studying the pandemic for generations to learn from the dramatic global downturn and the ensuing credit crunch, but one important lesson about the scope of action needed to contain the next global crisis is already coming into focus.
During the pandemic, countries often used all-out responses that combined large fiscal, monetary, and prudential policies like grants, credit facilities, and relaxed capital requirements. As we demonstrate in a new working paper, this kind of expansive response may be needed to support corporate borrowing and credit growth in major future crises that combine global supply and demand shocks.
Our findings are based on an analysis using a dataset we made available last year tracking national announcements of economic and financial policy responses to the pandemic. Over the course of 2020, countries most frequently used packages of more than one fiscal, monetary, or prudential policy, while standalone policy announcements were rare.
With global growth set to slow in 2023 and remain below its historical average, too many people in too many countries are struggling to make ends meet—a point that I highlighted in my recent blog on policy priorities for the G20. The international community, therefore, has a responsibility to come together to find solutions for the most vulnerable members of our global family. This calls for urgent action to strengthen the international financial architecture, especially in the area of debt resolution and strengthening the global financial safety net.