tralac Daily News
Anti-dumping duties against Chinese exporters of car, bus and lorry tyres to South Africa have expired, leaving local producers potentially exposed to far cheaper products that can be dumped on the market. The Chinese manufacturers are also entitled to claim a refund from the South African Revenue Service (Sars) for the 38.3% provisional duties imposed on them since September last year.
The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) imposed these duties for six months pending the finalisation of its investigation into the allegations of dumping. However, the provisional duties lapsed before the investigation was completed.
In terms of World Trade Organisation rules, investigations should be completed within one year, and in no case more than 18 months after initiation. Itac says it has until 29 July to complete its investigation.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says partnership between the government and private sector is critical in curbing unemployment amongst the youth. Gina was speaking at a graduation ceremony for beneficiaries of the Itukise Programme held in Pretoria.
“In view of the current economic realities in South Africa, it is now clear that the government alone will not be able to combat the continuous increase in the rate of unemployment among the youth. A partnership between the government and the private sector is critical. It is, therefore, necessary for more stakeholders, especially the private sector to collaborate with the South African government to create more job opportunities and by extension, reduce the unemployment rate among the South African youths,” said Gina.
Milk ban: Kadaga writes to Kenyan authorities (New Vision)
Efforts are being made to ensure that the country’s milk exports are not interrupted following the recent notice from Kenya that it plans to cut back on imports from Uganda, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs Rebecca Kadaga has said.
Kadaga says she contacted Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the East African Community Rebecca Miano and has informed her that if effected, the ban would be damaging to Uganda’s dairy industry and the EAC spirit. She was addressing journalists on Friday (March 10, 2023) during an engagement with the media at the EAC affairs ministry in Kampala.
Dairy Development Authority (DDA) executive director Samson Akankiza also said they have engaged their Kenyan counterparts on the matter.
In a notice dated March 6, 2023, to all milk importers in Kenya, the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) said it was moving to protect local farmers from external products, as output is expected to increase soon.
“In anticipation of the long rains, the Government has stopped the importation of milk powders to cushion the industry from surplus production and low prices,” a statement signed by KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy says. She adds that the board will no longer issue new import permits until further notice. Though the letter does not state it, analysts believe the notice targets imports from Uganda, which until recently, were being blocked from the Kenyan market.
The 169 per cent year-on-year increase in trade surplus recorded by the federal government for 2022 has almost put Nigeria’s annual trade volume at the positive threshold of the pre-COVID years, data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has indicated.
According to the NBS data, Nigeria recorded a N1.2 trillion goods trade surplus in 2022, as export bills (N26.8 trillion) outweighed import earnings (N25.6 trillion) for the first time since the preceding year (N2.23 trillion in 2019).
Nonetheless, the 2022 surplus represents a 162 per cent improvement over the N1.94 trillion goods trade deficit in 2021.
The report also showed that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade in 2022 increased to N52.4 trillion from N39.75 trillion in 2021, while total export value grew by 42 per cent to N26.8 trillion from N18.91 trillion in 2021.
In a report contained in the Cowry Weekly Financial Markets Review & Outlook (CWR), which was released on Friday, analysts noted that the increase in total exports was greater than the increase in total import value, which stood at N25.59 trillion (23 per cent higher than N20.84 trillion in 2021).
According to the report, total trade fell by 4.52 per cent in the fourth quarter to N11.72 trillion, compared to N12.27 trillion in the third quarter of 2022, as total exports exceeded total imports.
MAN Calls For Improved Operating Environment (Leadership News)
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has emphasised the need for government to critically focus on improving business operating environment and other challenges that have continued to limit the sector’s performance.
The director-general, MAN, Dr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said manufacturing is a deliberate effort of governments while emphasising the need for government to incentivise and remove the binding constraints that limit the day-to- day survival of the sector.
“They unfairly compete with the domestic goods. Now we are seeing economies around us perfecting their deals. With the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the ETLS, Nigeria borders cannot be closed.
“We cannot have unproductive and uncompetitive manufacturing sector and expect that there will be no inflow of those goods we produce, from outside the country. They unfairly compete with the domestic goods,” he pointed out.
One of the narratives surrounding Intra-African trade has been that neighboring countries barely trade with one another. Yet we know that commerce between Sub-Saharan African countries predates the colonial period, when traders, often belonging to the same ethnic or family group, crossed what are now borders to exchange goods and services.
This legacy persists, even though – for reasons that vary from trade barriers and regulatory compliance costs to infrastructure and behavioral constraints – most trade between neighboring African countries is conducted by vulnerable, small, unregistered traders who choose this physically demanding work largely because they lack alternatives.
According to the African Development Bank, this informal cross-border trade provides income for about 43 percent of Africa’s population. So, to discuss Intra-African trade, one must consider its informality, the small size of the traders, and the important role of women.
Let’s take the example of Mozambique and Malawi. An observation of bilateral trade data for the period of 2017-2020 shows that there was little or no trade between the two neighbors for agriculture produce such as sweet potatoes, cassava, groundnuts, cotton seed, tropical fruits, and beans. But during our visits to border posts and markets across the Nacala and Beira corridors – the two main trade routes linking the countries -- after the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a considerable flow of such agricultural goods, suggesting either that officials weren’t recording the transactions, or that products cross the border in such small parcels that they need not be recorded. These unrecorded transactions are mainly conducted by informal small-scale cross-border traders (SSCBTs) -- up to 80 percent of them women.
Corridor group introduces cargo levy (The Namibian)
THE Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) has imposed a levy of US$0,90 per tonne on cargo originating from the port of Walvis Bay to sustain operations of a permanent secretariat to be established by January 2024.
This was one of the resolutions made at the 13th WBNLDC tripartite meeting held in Livingstone, Zambia, last week and attended by senior government officials and technical experts as well as the private sector from Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
A council of ministers, which consisted of Namibian minister of works and transport John Mutorwa, his Zambian counterpart Frank Tayali, and DRC minister of transport Roger Te-Biasu, signed the agreement on resolutions to address various challenges impacting trade on the corridor.
Other major resolutions agreed were that Zambia ratifies the corridor tripartite agreement by the end of this year, and that Zambia and DRC increase clearance of trucks from 600 to 800 in each direction at Kasumbalesa border, as well as open 24 hours a day.
International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said it is vital that Namibia and Tanzania prioritise the speed of pending agreements in various fields which have been identified, as this will strengthen and deepen cooperation between the two states.
Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Tanzania’s minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said her country noted the slow implementation on some of the issues which were agreed upon during the second session. She added that for these sessions to be meaningful to the countries’ relations, there is a need to take the decisions made seriously and tackle the implementation of all agreed issues, as well as to remove the bureaucracy that hinders reaching the targeted milestones.
She added that it is important to make use of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in January 2021, to increase trade between the two countries.
“It is an instrument we can use to intensify trade and investment collaboration between our two countries. In pursuance of the common objective, I would like to see Namibian entrepreneurs investing in Tanzania, and those from Tanzania invest in Namibia,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
With Africa’s share of the global workforce projected to become the largest in the world by 2100, it is critical for African countries to increase the uptake of digital technologies* to drive employment growth for the more than 22 million Africans joining the workforce each year, emphasizes a new report released today.
The “Digital Africa: Technological Transformation for Jobs” report provides a comprehensive analysis of how digital technologies can enable economic transformation and boost jobs in the region. It also sheds light on how policy and regulatory reforms can widen the availability and increase usage of digital technologies.
Of all the regions in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) displays the largest gap between the availability of digital infrastructure and people’s actual usage. On average across countries in SSA, 84% of a given country’s population had at least some level of 3G mobile internet availability and 63% had some level of 4G mobile internet services, but only 22% were using mobile internet services at the end of 2021, according to numbers collected by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association using a methodology focused on unique subscribers. Usage rates range from a low of 6% in South Sudan to 53% in South Africa, underscoring the heterogeneity of average use and the need for differentiated policy reforms across countries.
A single digital market across Africa will lower barriers to trade and communication. It will make the internet faster and more accessible. Content and services, hosted on local data centers, will be cheaper to download because they won’t go through expensive international connections. And better access to online communication, banking, or health care can make continent-wide connections with family and friends, businesses and lenders, doctors and patients easier.
Connections to neighboring countries, to regions, and to the entire continent are key to sparking economic growth, creating jobs, and moving Africa into the digital age. Long term, the goals are ambitious: to create a single and secure digital market across Africa alongside free trade areas on the ground. To build regional links that eliminate roaming charges. To improve cross-border trade across the continent by creating the largest free-trade area in the world. This kind of connectivity, both digital and at national borders, was one of the major themes at the 2023 Dakar Financing Summit held in February given that an objective of the African Union is to build a secured single digital market in Africa by 2030, an effort supported by the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) initiative.
These goals require large investments in broadband connectivity, secure data infrastructure, and the governmental and legal reforms that can spark competition. Building digital and physical connections by eliminating barriers like broadband coverage gaps, digital illiteracy, and even red tape and paperwork at ports and land borders will allow people and businesses across Africa to reach bigger markets, build businesses, and create jobs.
Africa has realized that the attainment of the shared vision through the continental and flagship programmes such as Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require an inclusive growth and sustainable development of Africa through implementation of structural transformation reforms and optimal utilization of its natural resource endowments.
According to the Report of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa, the value of total aggregated illicit outflows surged from approximately USD 4 billion in 1990 to USD 50 billion in 2015. UNCTAD (2020) estimates trade mis invoicing at between USD 30 and USD 52 billion per annum, while capital flight is valued at USD 88,6 billion per annum.
It is also estimated that IFF’s are concentrated in sectors with high value added such as oil, gas and precious minerals. It is therefore a fact, that export-oriented countries are more exposed to the IFFs outflows.
Preliminary findings indicate that curbing IFFs will require strong international cooperation and concerted and articulated actions by developed and African countries in partnership with the private sector and civil society.
A strong and effective domestic resource mobilization, through the fight against IFF, is therefore key for Africa to finance the realization of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the attainment of the 2030 SDGs. Under these two comprehensive agendas, Africa has set many strategic objectives and goals that cannot be achieved without investing adequate resources. A wide-mobilizing resources strategy would be able to address efficiently the funding gaps owing to the fact that Africa is one of the resource-richest continents.
However, the continent continues to be ranked as the poorest due to, mainly, poor political and economic governance, political instability and conflicts that constitute the key driving factors behind this failure. As a result, much needed resources have continuously been flowing from the continent in favor of developed countries through well-structured multinational company’s modus-operandi.
The AfCFTA Secretariat and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on 10 March 2023 in Kigali, signed the Host Country Agreement for the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund with the Republic of Rwanda. The Agreement paves the way for the operationalisation of the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund.
The US$10 billion Fund, headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda, is a critical instrument in the realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. It will help countries to implement agreed protocols and support African companies to retool for effective participation in the new trading regime. The AfCFTA Adjustment Fund will support AfCFTA State Parties to adjust smoothly to the new liberalised and integrated trading environment established under the AfCFTA Agreement by mitigating the potential adverse impacts of AfCFTA-induced tariff revenue losses. Also, the Fund will help to address the infrastructure deficits and supply chain bottlenecks to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
On March 6, 2023, the sub regional Office for Central Africa of the UNECA (ECA/SRO-CA) held a webinar on Women and gender equality in the operationalization phase of the AfCFTA.
The webinar which gathered more than 90 stakeholders from the private sector, the public sector, civil society organizations, international organizations, and academia, aimed at providing a platform for discussion around the challenges women entrepreneurs and women engaged in intra African trade face, the opportunities of the AfCFTA, and expectations regarding UNECA’s support to ECCAS and its Member States in this regard.
Among the main recommendations: the need for capacity building and awareness raising on the objectives, opportunities, and challenges of the AfCFTA for women; the need to collect disaggregated data capturing intersecting inequalities as women are not a homogeneous group; and the relevance of working closely with existing platforms in the sub-region that support women in their efforts.
“We all know that most African coffee producers live below the minimum subsistence income,” said Enselme Gouthon, president of the African and Malagasy Robusta Coffee Agency, “so it’s crucial to find an innovative model to capture more value from the first processing stage.”
He was speaking to the World Coffee Producers’ Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, where no one needed the reminder. Most in attendance are actively seeking to change that reality, by finding ways to add value to coffee in the countries where it’s grown.
A few days later, 955 people from around the world gathered to explore solutions, products and trends at Africa’s largest coffee trade platform, the African Fine Coffees Conference & Exhibition (AFCA).
African producers at AFCA tend to export green coffee. This year, ITC and its partners went against the grain by bringing five Ethiopian fine coffee producers. Four of them process and sell their own roasted coffee – a rarity on the continent.
The Republic of Botswana has signed the Charter establishing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) on 9th March 2023.
Botswana has become the 11th signatory of the Charter, meaning the Region has reached the required two-thirds threshold for the Charter to enter into force in order for the MCSCC to be established to assist the Region in prioritising the protection of fisheries to underpin greater benefits and blue economy growth. Angola, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia have already signed the Charter..
The MCSCC will coordinate regional fisheries data and information sharing services, a regional fishing vessel register, provide fisheries surveillance services, coordinate fisheries observers and support the implementation of port state measures, provide fisheries enforcement and legal support services, and support improvements in the capacity of national Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) systems.
If you consider the fact that Africa receives a mere 4.8 percent of the over one billion tourist arrivals in the world and 3.3 percent of the receipts, it means that the continent is not at the heart of the global tourist market, despite being taunted as the last tourism frontier of the world today.
The worst is that intra-African travels have not performed well until recently, when some concerned African countries, corporations and tourism thought-leaders started making concerted efforts at growing tourism on the continent, starting from within. However, the efforts at growing tourism within are yielding results with improvements on intra-African travels as captured in the 2022 Africa Visa Openness Index report.
EAC states in stalemate over hosting of key institutions (The East African)
The East African Community Council of Ministers have again failed to agree on the host of the proposed monetary union headquarters and other key organs.During the last meeting held in Bujumbura, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi, who have bid to host crucial institutions failed to agree on the way forward as each country sought more time for consultations.
Uganda protested the decision by the EAC verification committee to rank Tanzania as the most suitable to host the East African Monetary Institute last year and called for a review.
The DR Congo and South Sudan are also keen on hosting EAC institutions, triggering the debate on how to evenly distribute the bloc’s institutions and organs, including the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) which are temporarily housed in Arusha, Tanzania.
Tanzania and Uganda are the only two partner states to host more than one EAC institution. Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi host one each.
Why East Africa refugees remain financially underserved (The East African)
Properly integrating displaced populations within a host country’s financial system invites often thorny political issues and private sector players are erring on the side of caution.
There has been progress in providing financial solutions to displaced populations, particularly in stable contexts where business and personal financial interests are protected by governments and civic institutions and personal identities are more entrenched. But in the contexts where refugees struggle with instability, little documentation, a tenuous status or few financial links, those strides can vanish.
As politics sometimes place insurmountable complications for even well-designed solutions, expanding financial inclusion to displaced individuals in difficult locales requires a shift in approach that integrates both refugee and solution within a wider market.
Ghana and EU commit to deepening cooperation (BusinessGhana)
Ghana and the European Union (EU) have committed to deepening cooperation at the 2023 Session of the Ghana-EU Political Dialogue held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Wednesday 8th March, 2023. This year’s session is an opportunity for Ghana and the EU to assess the progress made on the implementation of the outcome of the previous year’s Dialogue.
It also highlights the joint visions of the two sides and explores opportunities for cooperation in the thematic areas outlined in the agenda for the Dialogue.
Services are increasingly important for international trade, accounting for about half of global trade flows. Trade in services is growing more rapidly than trade in goods. Trade in services is critical for improving the competitiveness of African economies, increasing their participation in regional and global value chains, and promoting inclusive growth. Improved trade in services with African countries could help the EU diversify its supply chains, strengthening resilience and reducing dependencies on China and other Asian countries.
The cooperation on domestic regulatory frameworks required for trade in services can promote a shared understanding of regulatory goals and standards between the EU and Africa across many sectors.
None of the trade agreements between the EU and African countries currently covers services, and only one African country is part of the WTO Joint Initiative on Domestic Services Regulation. There is therefore no dedicated platform for cooperation on services regulations.
EU Announces New Rules For Air Import Shipments (Leadership)
The European Union has kicked off the second phase of its Import Control System 2 (ICS2). The new advance cargo information and risk management platform was set up to protect against security and safety threats from goods entering the EU. From 1 March 2023, all air carriers, freight forwarders, express couriers, and postal operators involved in the transportation of goods by air to or through the EU must provide a complete set of Entry Summary Declaration data on the goods, prior to their arrival at the EU external border.
Climate change adaptation should be Africa’s priority (The East African)
The annual UN climate talks in Egypt last month were a breakthrough for the developing world. For the first time, participants agreed to create a “loss and damage fund” to compensate poor countries for the harm caused by global warming.
The idea that rich countries should compensate poorer ones for a problem created by the industrialised world is not new. The tiny island state of Vanuatu first mooted such a scheme in 1991. But the clamour for climate reparations has grown louder as devastation has swept around the world.
The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) concluded with adoption of the ‘Doha Political Declaration’ by the world leaders. The declaration made by the head of the states is a key outcome of the second part of LDC5 conference held under the theme “From Potential to Prosperity” at Qatar from March 5-9, 2023.
DPoA (2022-2031) consisted of six key focus areas including eradicating poverty, leveraging the potential of science and technology to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the SDGs, addressing climate change, environmental degradation, recovering from COVID-19 pandemic and building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development.
“Around 25 developing economies are spending over 20 per cent of government revenues solely on servicing debt,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his statement at the conference.
The political declaration made at Qatar is significant since it comes amid simultaneous global risks of rising cost of living and inflation as well as climate change impacts.
Inclusive access to digital technologies and education is crucial to reducing gender inequalities and empowering rural women and girls – that was the message from three United Nations’ food and agriculture agencies as they marked International Women’s Day 2023.
Participants at the event recognized that while digitalization on its own cannot solve all the gender-related disadvantages women face, if provided with equal access to digital technology and education, women can have a more active and effective role in our agrifood systems.
“Without increased access to digital technology and innovation, rural women and girls will continue to face barriers and socio-economic disadvantages, making it harder for them to fully participate in rural economies,” said IFAD Associate Vice-President Jyotsna Puri.