Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

More work on regulation codes certification and standards needed for hydrogen economy (Engineering News)

If South Africa wants to develop a hydrogen economy, it cannot have ad hoc regulations, codes and standards (RCS) and certification systems. More work was required to develop RCS that addressed regulatory gaps and facilitated the development of a hydrogen economy, transaction advisory company RebelGroup South Africa senior consultant Laurens Cloete said last week.

“If we want a green hydrogen economy, we require a comprehensive approach to RCS. Green hydrogen certification is also critical for exporting green hydrogen to countries that do not have sufficient renewable resources but require clean energy sources.”

Further, the South Africa Hydrogen Society Roadmap and the Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) highlight the criticality of RCS across the chain value.

TZ calls for strong measures to combat illegal diamond trade (Daily News)

Tanzania has called for an increased accountability, transparency and implementable measures to combat illegal diamond trade in the world. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Mr Kheri Mahimbali, who is the outgoing African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) Chairman has also urged the association to continue bolstering relationships with international partners as well as improving the lives of miners and their families.

He said African Diamond Producers face numerous challenges, including fluctuating diamond prices, competition from synthetic diamonds, the continued threat of illegal mining and smuggling.

He further noted that through a lot of efforts and cooperation by all member states, the reform process led successfully to the amendments of the Statute, the Internal Regulation of the Executive Secretariat of ADPA.

“We can achieve the goal of the Africa Mining Vision towards a transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources for sustainable growth and socio-economic development through such initiatives as the ADPA,” President of Zimbabwe, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa added.

Kabwe Port lifts cross-border trade (Daily News)

THE construction of Kabwe Port on Lake Tanganyika has lifted cross-border trade between Tanzania and land-linked countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

Farmers and local entrepreneurs told the ‘Daily News’ on Sunday that since the construction of the port, there has been an increase in money circulation and lifted the livelihood among Nkasi dwellers due to improved trade.

“More traders from within and outside Tanzania are now buying food crops and ferry them to DRC, Burundi and Kigoma, our economies have improved,” Julius Kagosha, a maize and cassava grower, said.

Dar to benefit from import cargo redirected from Mombasa (The East African)

Tanzania is waiting in the wings of Kenya’s political uncertainty to raise its position as an import and logistics hub, especially with regional importers of fuel who are increasingly opting for the Dar es salaam route because of safety. Last week, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga was under pressure from several quarters – both local and international – to call off protests and instead opt for talks.

Odinga had rallied supporters to the streets to protest the increasing cost of living and electoral injustice, demanding an audit of electoral commission servers, but those in government dismiss the riots as a ploy to coerce President William Ruto into a power-sharing agreement – like the one he had with former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The epicentres of the protests lie on the Northern Corridor – the artery linking Kenya’s port of Mombasa to landlocked neighbours Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – threatening transport and logistics on the key route.

Dar es salaam is angling for a share of Mombasa’s total cargo throughput, which has increased steadily over the past five years, from 30.35 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2017 to 34.55 million MT in 2021, according to the Northern Corridor Observatory Report 2022.

“The Dar es Salaam port handles around 50 percent of what the port of Mombasa does,” said Omae Nyarandi, executive secretary of the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA). “In terms of cargo traffic, Uganda’s cargo from Mombasa is at 98 percent, while her goods from Dar es Salaam are at two percent; Burundi - Mombasa three percent, Dar es Salaam 97 percent; DRC - Mombasa 30 percent, Dar 70 percent; Rwanda - Mombasa 25 percent, Dar 65 percent), and South Sudan - Mombasa 100 percent,” he added.

Ghana urged to enforce existing policies to guard operations of SOEs (BusinessGhana)

Dr. Willard Mugadza, the International Consultant on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) has lauded the country for the legal frameworks and policies to guard the operations of State-Owned Enterprises.

He said, “what we have so far identified is that, since our engagement in Accra with state owned enterprises, is in terms of the legal frameworks and policies, the legal framework is there, the policies are there, but there is more work that needs to be done in terms of implementation of the existing legal framework.”

He said there was also the need for capacity building for SOEs since without robust and good corporate governance, especially through your SOEs, which were the implementing agencies of AFCFTA it would be difficult for the private sector, informal sector, small to medium enterprises to quickly engage for full participation of the opportunities AFCFTA presented to growing individual economy under the African programme.

The International Consultant added that issues of Rules of Origin in Trade Area were also a critical subject for access to the market, which behooved on Ghana to promote total compliance…for Ghanaian companies to comply with the requirements of Rules of Origin, it will require ethical good transparency, competent and effective leadership, some of the core principles of corporate governance.

Namibia, Nigeria Boosting Trade, Investment Through Bilateral Ties (Leadership News)

The bilateral ties between Namibia and Nigeria raise hope of increased trade and investment and the potential to boost tourism as both countries work to strengthen the long-standing friendships that started in the days of the struggle for independence.

High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria, Humphrey Geiseb, said the ties between both countries will further be boosted this year, when Namibia will host the 5th Session of the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation. This meeting, according to the Namibian envoy, will allow the two countries to review and build on the outcomes of the 4th Session which was held in 2010. Furthermore, there will also be a review of the number of Agreements signed during the past decade.

In the past four years, Nigeria has invested in Namibia and created value with the blossoming of two Charcoal factories owned by Nigerian investors in Namibia. These two companies, Premier Charcoal based in Outjo and King Charcoal in Walvis Bay, are an excellent demonstration of utilising African expertise to develop African raw materials, Ambassador Geiseb said.

He said further that “This is indeed a great stepping stone to robust intra-African trade that all African countries will enjoy under the African Continental Free Trade Area, adding that the two countries have worked on more than 10 Agreements that are ready for signature during the 5th Session of the Joint Commission.

Boost for LAPSSET as S.Sudan picks 16 priority areas (The Star)

Kenya’s quest to increase commercial activities at the Lamu Port has received a major boost with the completion of a strategic plan for related projects by South Sudan.The neighbouring country which is part of the Sh2.5 trillion Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor has identified 16 projects that include road networks, the design and construction of the Lapsset Corridor Road and power projects, whose implementation is awaiting funding.

It is also keen on a fiber-optic national broadband backbone, agriculture and irrigation programmes, national petroleum and minerals survey, manufacturing and value addition, transport and logistics programmes, oil and gas, and mining of minerals and strategic environmental safeguard studies, all leaning towards the Lapsset corridor.

According to senior advisor of the Africa Trade Center to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Adeyinka Adeyemi, they have agreed on roads, power and agriculture as the first three priority projects to be implemented for South Sudan. This is a milestone as Kenya continues to develop its infrastructure from the Lamu Port to borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan. They include Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo and Lokichar roads.

SADC makes great strides in improving Region’s economic and social development since inception of SIPS (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has made great strides in improving the Region’s economic and social development since the inception of the Support to Industrialisation and Productive Sectors (SIPS) programme in 2019, assisting the Region in the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap which was adopted in 2015.

Speaking exclusively with The Citizen, a newspaper from the United Republic of Tanzania, SADC’s Acting Director for Industrial Development and Trade, Mr Calicious Tutalife, said these strides include enhancing the regulatory and policy environment within the Member States as well as more capacity building to the Member States on understanding their participation.

“To enhance participation in value chains, we have to look at capacitating Member States to understand where opportunities are so that not all Member States end up focusing in one area. You have to understand where advantages and opportunities are within a specific value chain. We have also looked at issues of intellectual property rights,” he said.

Central bank chiefs commit to EAC 2031 currency deadline (Business Daily)

The Governors of Central Banks in East Africa have agreed to fast-track the implementation of a common currency by 2031 after a set deadline of 2024 proved to be unviable. The 26th ordinary meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Affairs Committee, which brings together CBK governors from member States, said progress is being made to ensure that the 2031 timeline for achieving a common currency is achieved within the set time frame.

The meeting, held in Burundi last week, noted that Partner States’ central banks have made significant strides towards the establishment of key institutions of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU).

“Notwithstanding the progress, the Committee noted the revised timelines set out in the EAMU roadmap, with the new date of achieving the monetary union by 2031. Therefore, the Committee reaffirmed their commitment to work together and with the EAC Secretariat to fast-track implementation of activities in the revised EAMU roadmap,” reads a communique from the EAC.

Cereals board targets EAC, Sadc countries with new milling plant (The Citizen)

The Cereals and Other Produces Board (CPB) is set to install a milling and packaging plant in Iringa Region as part of efforts to meet the growing demand for maize flour in the southern regions and the neighbouring countries. In effect, the state-run agency targets countries in both the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the East African Community (EAC).

The board has a plant in operation that was commissioned in 1976 to process between 50 and 55 tonnes of maize a day, but its current capacity is about 45 tonnes of maize flour.

“This production capacity does not at all serve CPB and the nation well; hence, the solution is to add a new production line. We are reliably sure that the new plant will facilitate national efforts to see Tanzania become a net exporter of foodstuffs,” said CPB zonal manager for the southern highlands, Dr Jaspa Samuel.

Consultation and sensitisation of Mozambican key stakeholders on AfCFTA progress (UNECA)

Jorge Jairoce, Permanent Secretary, Mozambique Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) says, “our country is strongly committed to pushing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agenda by signing and ratifying the AfCFTA Agreement, negotiating critical trade protocols and preparing the implementation of the National AfCFTA Strategy, including support to private sector”.

He said this in Maputo at a two-day National Consultative Meeting and Awareness Workshop on the National AfCFTA Strategy of the Republic of Mozambique.

In her opening remarks, Isatou Gaye, Chief Sub-Regional initiatives, speaking on behalf of Ms. Eunice Kamwendo, Director of the SRO-SA said that since 2021 ECA and the Mozambique Ministry of Industry and Commerce have been collaborating to implement a technical assistance project aimed at strengthening the production of external trade statistics in the country. Mozambique, she said, is currently Chair of the Bureau of the Inter-Governmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts for Southern Africa (ICSOE), which provides guidance on ECA’s work in the region.

Mr. Prakash Prehland, Vice-President, Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique represented the private sector. He stressed the importance of the AfCFTA in connecting businesses and opening continental trade for Mozambique and called on his country to align with the necessary AfCFTA instruments. “There is high demand for Mozambican products, AfCTA protocols will help private sector capitalise on its benefits. Currently, only 28% is continental trade and most of it is with South Africa”.

Zim still unprepared for AfCFTA: CZI (The Standard)

ZIMBABWE’s leading industrial lobby group, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says there are several issues still to be addressed before local businesses can join the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

“Developments from the AfCFTA reveals that there is a private sector mapping initiative, which helps the private sector to identify opportunities for collective action, key challenges, or success factors for industry engagement,” CZI said in its latest business oversight article.

“This also underlines that there are a number of issues still needed for Zimbabwe businesses to be ready to exploit the opportunities that will arise from continental integration.”

Ghana takes advantage of AfCFTA to boost trade relations with Kenya (Business Insider Africa)

The West African state will establish an Export Trade House (ETH) in Kenya as part of the measures to promote trade relations between the two countries. Ghana will organize a three-day business expedition before the trade fair to highlight the goods it plans to import into Kenya.

Trade barriers between the nations of East and West Africa have historically been low because of regulatory restrictions. Nonetheless, many African nations are now trading more independently thanks to the AfCFTA, the largest free trade area in the world. The first two nations to sign their AfCFTA ratification agreements on the same day were Kenya and Ghana.

“The overarching purpose of this Trade House is to serve as a one-stop wholesale outlet in the Eastern bloc of the continent for all Made in Ghana Products,” said Ghana’s High Commissioner to Kenya Damptey Bediako.

Businesses optimism significantly less than 6 mths ago: Standard Bank

Optimism among Ghanaian businesses has reached a significantly low level than it was six months ago, the Africa Trade Barometer (ATB) report by Standard Bank Africa has revealed.

The report states that the main contributing factor to this decline in confidence is the high prices on products and the perception of a poor-performing economy linked to the poor-performing Ghanaian cedi, which had lost half of its value in the past year. In addition, the perception of the government’s support of trade is also significantly lower.

Ghana ranks 2nd on the ATB and QTB, but last on STB. The ATB report provides reliable data and insights on African markets gathered from 2554 firms representing small, big and corporate businesses across all 10 economies during August and September 2022.

One Country One Priority Product advances in Africa (APO)

The One Country One Priority Product (OCOP) initiative, launched by FAO in 2021, aims to promote agricultural development by identifying and prioritizing one essential agricultural product per country that has the potential to increase farmers' incomes and improve food security. Since the launch of OCOP, over 80 Members from all five FAO regions have expressed their strong interest in promoting the green development of over 50 Special Agricultural Products. With 27 African countries expressing their interest in joining the initiative, Africa is leading the implementation at the global level.

The OCOP initiative in Africa so far focuses on developing 18 Special Agricultural Products (SAPs), including avocado, cashew, meat and teff, which have unique qualities and special characteristics associated with geographical locations, farming practices, and cultural heritages.

Why Africa needs knowledge transfer more than grants, by Aboyeji, Ghaim (The Guardian Nigeria)

With the rise of many startups in the technology and creative industries in Nigeria and the continent, Africans have been urged to work more on providing solutions to problems, rather than rely solely on remittances and grants from the diaspora.

Speaking over the weekend at the African Diaspora Investment Summit (ADIS), organised by the African Diaspora Network (ADN) in Silicon Valley, California, United States, CEO and General Partner of Fund for Africa’s Future (Future Africa), Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, said over-reliance on remittances from diaspora without adequate scale-up in human capital would limit Africa’s progress into development.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said: “Africa is on a journey, but we are not going to get there by copying models from other places or throwing money at the problem. It is going to require intellectual investment. There should be a mindset shift that you don’t need diaspora money as much as you need the knowledge transfer.”

Manufacturing vaccines in Africa (The Independent Uganda)

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has hosted lead partners of Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) for review of vaccine manufacturing ecosystem in Africa The meeting, which took place from 9-10 March, was dedicated to identifying a clear set of annual objectives and deliverables in2023 for the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM).

The lead partners reviewed the eight bold programs outlined in the PAVM Framework for Action, prioritised a set of practical actions and defined a collaboration framework that enables implementation, effectiveness and quick results in support of African vaccine manufacturing.

“Safeguarding Africa’s health can only be achieved through our ability to manufacture the health products we need on the continent. The new public health order outlines it well in its Pillar 2: Expanded Manufacturing of Vaccines, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics to democratize access to life-saving medicines and equipment,” said Dr. Ahmed Ogwell, Acting Director of Africa CDC.

Aviation Industry Efforts Continue To Promote Intra-Africa Travel (Simple Flying)

The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) is continuing its efforts to implement the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which could hold the key to a golden age of aviation development in Africa.

AFCAC Secretary General (SG) Adefunke Adeyemi said in the interview; “We are operating in various domains and engaging not just our member states but also the entire universe ecosystem of aviation to really bring that about. We have clear targets that we’re trying to achieve and reach. So in the first few months of assuming office, it was really important for us to say that, first of all, AFCAC is here for our member states, but also to engage with our partners because we cannot do it alone.”

China’s Africa Belt and Road investment drops as West spends more (Nikkei Asia)

China’s Belt and Road investment in sub-Saharan Africa fell to a new low last year, showing that increased U.S. and European spending could reduce the region’s need to rely on Beijing for funding. China’s investment in the region related to Beijing’s global infrastructure development strategy dropped 55% to $7.5 billion last year, according to a recent report from the Green Finance and Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai.

VP Harris on pushback mission to Africa as China’s trade far outpaces US (ICIR)

AS part of a pushback strategy to China’s trade influence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) which far outpaced that of the United States (US) over the last decade, US Vice President, Kamala Harris, will start an official visit to the region next week.

The US annual trade value with the region has slowed over the last decade, relative to before 2010, as China’s trade had surpassed the country since 2011 and has maintained that lead in the region.

“The Biden administration has been accelerating its campaign to rebuild American influence in Africa, where it lost ground to soft influence via Chinese investment,” Bloomberg reported on Friday, March 24.

Business Programme for SA BRICS Chairship to be Outlined at Economic Indaba (the dtic)

A business programme for South Africa’s Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) chairship will be outlined at an economic indaba that will take place this week. The indaba will take place in the form of a webinar on Thursday, 30 March 2023

The aim of the indaba is to outline the business roadmap of the SA Chairship, whose climax will be the 15th BRICS Summit that will take place in August 2023. Key stakeholders such as the apex business associations, government, and civil society, will participate in the indaba.

The BRICS Economic Indaba seeks to galvanise the support of South African businesses behind the programme of the SA BRICS business Council, as well as to provide business with a broad understanding of the multitude of platforms and projects that they may be able to participate in during this Chairship.

The focal areas of discussion will include trade and investment opportunities with BRICS markets; key interventions being tabled at sector-based working groups; and activities lined up as a build-up to the BRICS Summit in August.

Latest IPCC report highlights the critical need to transform agrifood systems as a way to mitigate and adapt to climate change (FAO)

Transforming agrifood systems is essential to adapt to human-caused climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said today in the face of the latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Synthesis Report, the last of the Sixth Assessment report cycle, done in a collaborative effort between governments and scientists from all over the world, confirms that human activities, mainly through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming. These include unsustainable energy use, land use and land-use change, as well as consumption and production patterns.

The report underlines that 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions right now come from agriculture, forestry, and land use.


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