tralac Daily News
Rising demand and limited access to forex to facilitate imports are some of the factors driving the rise in local tile manufacturing. This is according to market research conducted by Nairametrics.
Some industry experts who spoke to Nairametrics opined that the country is no longer wholly dependent on imports to meet local demand for tiles. That’s because the product is currently being manufactured locally at a scale and quality good enough to meet local demands.
The South African and Namibian fruit export sectors have for many years argued that the development of port infrastructure in Namibia and regular shipping opportunities from those ports would go a long way to resolving export logistics challenges in Southern Africa.
Relations between the governing South African party and that of Namibia go back to the so-called independence war in Namibia in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, South Africa has become Namibia’s most important trading partner. As for exports, Namibia’s meat and fish products are sought after internationally, and since 2000 it has developed a growing and thriving table grape export business.
These industries require good export infrastructure – which includes good export facilities for fresh produce, deep-frozen products and a decent road system to the main port of Walvis Bay.
President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the EU Tuesday for restrictions on citrus exports from South Africa to prevent the importation of non-indigenous moths which stranded tonnes of fruit at sea when introduced last year.
Ramaphosa said he was “disappointed at the (EU’s) acts of... protectionism against” the country’s agricultural products, “most recently against our citrus”. The rules, which seek to combat the spread of a pest called the false codling moth, require South African farmers to apply extreme cold treatment to all Europe-bound oranges.
“We are now the world’s second largest exporter of citrus and believe recent decisions by the EU are unfair,” Ramaphosa said while co-hosting a business roundtable with visiting President of Finland Sauli Niinisto in Pretoria.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says he and his Finnish counterpart President Sauli Niinistö are looking forward to engaging with businesses from both Finland and South Africa on how to improve trade and investment flows between the two countries.
“A great deal of work is already happening in this regard… It is our collective wish to see the bilateral relationship thrive and improve, especially with regards to reciprocal trade and investment,” President Ramaphosa said.
Tanzania prepares new list of tax-free goods (Daily News)
The government is currently listing and verifying products and equipment eligible for tax exemptions. The lawmakers have been informed in Dodoma on Tuesday that the aim of the exercise is to ensure that citizens are benefiting from the exemptions.
Export agency targets blue economy sector to upscale Kenya’s export earnings (Capital Business)
The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) has embarked on developing a common strategy for sustainable exploitation and maximization of the Blue Economy sector that is poised to be the new frontier for Kenya’s economic growth for the export market.
On Friday, KEPROBA held a consultative meeting with Blue Economy stakeholders from Mombasa and Kwale counties with the agency’s Director of Research and Innovation Peter Ochieng noting that through single-point failure analysis, the agency was slowly sealing the weaknesses for a more robust export of marine and aquatic resources.
Kenya’s total fish exports in 2021 were valued at USD 32.4 million; representing 0.005 per cent of the total export to the world, ranking Kenya as the 108th lead exporter.
Kenya’s volume of exported fish was estimated at 10,875.3 tons in 2021. The percentage contribution of aquaculture to GDP in the year was 0.7 per cent.
Africa must use all its comparative advantages to mobilize the resources it needs to finance its sustainable development ambitions. Since 2010, official development assistance has declined, falling to its lowest level of $34 billion in 2022, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates. Access to international capital markets remains constrained and costly due to investors’ perceptions of high risk.
The president of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for a significant increase in Japanese investment in Africa, saying the continent is the world’s best investment destination now and in the future.
Delivering a lecture at the Japan-Africa Investment Ecosystem Co-Creation Forum in the capital, Tokyo, Adesina said Africa offers enormous investment opportunities and gave examples of Japanese companies that have been running profitable businesses on the continent for many years.
Adesina pointed out that Japan’s foreign direct investment in Africa declined from $10 billion in 2016 to just $4.7 billion in 2020 during Covid-19 but recovered to $6 billion in 2021. Africa accounts for only 0.003% of Japan’s $2 trillion global foreign direct investments.
In terms of trade, the volume of exports and imports between Africa and Japan remains lower than 2%.
Africa, the continent that pollutes the planet the least, is today one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate risks. While nations across the continent grapple with financing constraints, resources from the international private sector, including multilateral development financiers such as the African Development Bank, are helping to catalyze climate action and green growth.
For the African Development Bank, greater involvement of the private sector is crucial to closing the gap in climate finance flows into Africa, which until recently, was dominated by non-private actors.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia says Africa is open for business and committed to creating a more integrated, dynamic and prosperous continent through trade partnerships and investments. He, therefore, urged African governments and businesses to work together to promote this unique potential to attract foreign investment and create sustainable partnerships that would benefit the continent and its international partners.
“Ghana is proud of being at the forefront in this network and we look forward to working amongst partners worldwide to create a more equitable and sustainable future,” he said. Vice President Bawumia said this in a keynote address at the opening of the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centres Association (WTCA) in Accra on Monday. “Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence” is the theme for the five-day conference.
A BRICS Currency Could Shake the Dollar’s Dominance (Foreign Policy)
Talk of de-dollarization is in the air. Last month, in New Delhi, Alexander Babakov, deputy chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that Russia is now spearheading the development of a new currency. It is to be used for cross-border trade by the BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Weeks later, in Beijing, Brazil’s president, Luiz Inàcio Lula da Silva, chimed in. “Every night,” he said, he asks himself “why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar.”
South Africa, Egypt, Benin Republic, Botswana, Namibia, Djibouti and Rwanda are better rated than Nigeria in the latest global Logistics Performance Index (LPI) released by the World Bank.
The LPI report, titled “Connecting to Compete 2023: Trade Logistics in an Uncertain Global Economy,” provides a measure of countries’ ability to move goods across borders with speed and reliability, the report is coming after three years of unprecedented supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, with soaring delivery times.
The report which is based on a maximum score of 5.0, adjudged South Africa as the best in Africa and 19th in the world with a score of 3.4 per cent, followed by Botswana and Egypt which scored 3.1 per cent each to place a joint 57th position globally.
The damage to the environment caused by human activity in recent decades is an issue that involves people and entities across borders, and addressing this challenge requires the commitment and buy-in of all. Green transition represents a massive effort to adopt more environmentally sustainable practices in Europe at a scale that can make a difference for current and future generations.
A human-centered approach will be essential to achieving a just transition to the more sustainable environment envisioned under the European Green Deal (EGD). This report discusses how human development policies will play a key role in achieving this goal.
A digital euro: widely available and easy to use (European Central Bank)
We are now entering the final stage of the investigation phase of the project. The ECB’s Governing Council recently endorsed a third set of design options for the digital euro – design options that we have also discussed in previous hearings. Today we are thus publishing a report setting out the Eurosystem’s views on how people could access, hold and start to use the digital euro. The report also examines how the digital euro could be distributed by intermediaries as well as the services and features it could offer.
Joint Statement on the Third U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (US Department of State)
The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Kenya held the third iteration of the U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2023. The U.S.-Kenya Strategic Partnership is grounded in mutual cooperation, respect, and a common vision for sustainable development. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Dr. Alfred Mutua discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship across all five pillars of the Strategic Partnership and advancing peace and prosperity in Kenya, Africa, and beyond through the following actions:
Pillar One – Economic Prosperity, Trade, and Investment
The United States and Kenya commit to further increase two-way trade and investment cooperation through the Kenya-U.S. Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership and by prioritizing economic and commercial programs. Through these joint efforts, the United States and Kenya seek to work to create at least one million new jobs per year in Kenya and greatly reduce food insecurity over the next five years.
Today’s dialogue builds on key milestones, including a successful second round of U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership talks, President William Ruto’s announcement of critical economic reforms at the March 29 to 30 American Chamber of Commerce Summit in Nairobi, and several new U.S.-linked investments in Kenya’s health, agriculture, and energy sectors. Kenya requests continued technical support and assistance in ICT, agro-processing, apparel, and pharmaceutical sectors.
New World Bank data finds that infrastructure investments in low- and middle-income countries continued to rebound in 2022. Private participation in infrastructure (PPI) commitments reached $91.7 billion across 263 projects, marking a 23% increase from 2021. The total number of projects, however, was still below pre-pandemic levels.
“As the world is staggering out of multiple crises, we are pleased to see that early signs of investment recovery continue to hold,” said Imad Fakhoury, the World Bank’s Global Director for Infrastructure Finance, PPPs & Guarantees. “At a time of tightening public budgets, the world has no choice but to mobilize the private sector to invest in green, resilient, inclusive and climate-smart quality infrastructure. Doing so is crucial to support the transition to net-zero carbon economies and fulfillment of SDGs as well as protect societies from mounting climate-related risks, and achieve universal access to basic services for millions of households who remain excluded.”
Noting that international trade has been remarkably robust despite continuous shocks, not least the war in Ukraine, stubborn inflation and supply chain disruptions, DDG González said that “trade has played a key role in supporting economic recovery and averting shortages by bringing food and other critical supplies to where they are needed.”
“Globalization is not going away, but it is changing,” she said, adding that “businesses will need to adapt to a world of geopolitical tensions, heightened trade policy uncertainty and possibly an increasingly fragmented global economy.”
“The gap in economic opportunities continues to broaden and this hampers the potential for economic growth in our countries,” said Ms Hayem Brevé to members of the Informal Working Group. She called on all stakeholders involved in gender equality issues to work together, stressing that “government officials, bilateral donors and multilateral banks need to work in a coordinated manner”.
Here’s How Supply Chains Are Being Reshaped for a New Era of Global Trade (The Wall Street Journal)
When a measure of strains on global supply chains fell earlier this year to levels last seen before the Covid-19 pandemic, it signaled to some that the product shortages, port bottlenecks and shipping disruptions of the past three years were over and that a new era of stability was on the horizon.
But industry experts say a “return to normal,” as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York described its Global Supply Chain Pressure Index in February, hardly means that companies are going back to conventional, some would say complacent, supply chains.
The changes on the surface include less reliance on Asia, particularly China, and the use of more automation technology to keep assembly lines and warehouse operations running.
But there are more enduring changes, experts say, that will more broadly affect how companies get their raw materials and parts, where they produce goods and how they ship finished products to consumers.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted three priorities to enable the air cargo industry to maintain momentum against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment.
“Air cargo is a different industry than the one that entered the pandemic. Revenues are greater than they were pre-pandemic. Yields are higher. The world learned how critical supply chains are. And the contribution of air cargo to the bottom line of airlines is more evident than ever. Yet, we are still linked to the business cycle and global events. So, the war in Ukraine, uncertainty over where critical economic factors like interest rates, exchange rates and jobs growth are concerns that are real to the industry today. As we navigate the current situation, air cargo’s priorities have not changed, we need to continue to focus on sustainability, digitalization, and safety,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.
SIDS have long argued that their unique condition, including their small populations and geographic location, makes them especially vulnerable to multiple climate impacts that they have had a negligible role in generating. Yet this vulnerability is barely accounted for in the allocation of development or climate finance, and only partially embedded in international organisations (IOs), including across the UN system, World Bank, and World Trade Organisation. This vulnerability will only increase, with climate change and disaster impacts driving higher and higher debt levels, which in turn undermine SIDS’ resilience and adaptation potential. Yet investments can and do increase SIDS’ ability to cope with external shocks, and to adapt and build resilience to future climate change impacts.
This paper analyses finance flows for 38 SIDS between 2013-20 to quantify the gap between vulnerability and allocation of finance.
With most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) still far from being achieved at this mid-point of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, over 2,000 data experts from 140 countries are gathering in Hangzhou, China in person — almost 20,000 people will participate virtually — at the 2023 UN World Data Forum from 24 to 27 April to find solutions for equitable and open access to data. Better data is central to accelerating progress towards the SDGs and addressing the multiple crises that are threatening poverty eradication, food security, the environment and peace and security.
“We can’t carve out effective solutions to the problems we’re facing if we don’t fully understand the who, what, when, where, and why of the sources and the impacts. We need robust data that can give us the insights we need,” said Li Junhua, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and head of the Forum secretariat. “By convening such a diverse range of practitioners across the global data and statistics landscape, this Forum can help generate the solutions, partnerships and pathways that we need to better leverage data for decision-making and bring the world closer to achieving the SDGs.”
WMO annual report highlights continuous advance of climate change (World Meteorological Organization)
From mountain peaks to ocean depths, climate change continued its advance in 2022, according to the annual report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Droughts, floods and heatwaves affected communities on every continent and cost many billions of dollars. Antarctic sea ice fell to its lowest extent on record and the melting of some European glaciers was, literally, off the charts.
The State of the Global Climate 2022 shows the planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. For global temperature, the years 2015-2022 were the eight warmest on record despite the cooling impact of a La Niña event for the past three years. Melting of glaciers and sea level rise - which again reached record levels in 2022 - will continue to up to thousands of years.
“While greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and the climate continues to change, populations worldwide continue to be gravely impacted by extreme weather and climate events. For example, in 2022, continuous drought in East Africa, record breaking rainfall in Pakistan and record-breaking heatwaves in China and Europe affected tens of millions, drove food insecurity, boosted mass migration, and cost billions of dollars in loss and damage,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.