Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

SA: Private renewable energy procurement landscape is changing (ESI-Africa.com)

While investment opportunities into renewable energy used to concentrate on the large-scale project side through the REIPPP programme, the tables have turned as private procurement of new generation capacity is growing exponentially.

The potential size of the private procurement market was approximated by the IRP2019 as around 500MW a year by 2030. However, this has already been exceeded in 2022. The mining sector alone has reported a pipeline of renewable energy projects estimated at more than 2GW to be brought on stream in 2022 to 2023, with an estimated cost between R30 billion and R40bn.

The 2023 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Market Intelligence Report (MIR) points out: “Public procurement of new generation capacity is mainly guided by the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019. It has the greatest growth potential and relatively low entry barriers due to the IPPO’s established REIPPPP procurement framework. However, no new bid rounds have been announced following BW6.”

Tanzania plans largest bridge in Africa to boost trade (Supply Management)

Tanzania has unveiled ambitious plans to construct what would be by far the largest bridge in Africa, a 50km structure connecting the mainland to the Zanzibar islands to boost trade. The country has been looking to diversify the economy of the Zanzibar islands, home to 1.6m people, which depends mainly on tourism.

Deputy works and transport minister Godfrey Kasekenya said the government was talking to prospective Chinese investors about plans to finance a 50km bridge between the coastal city of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Currently Egypt boasts Africa’s longest bridge, the 6th October Bridge in Cairo, which spans 20.5km, but the new project would be more than double that length.

South Africa’s agriculture sector is growing jobs (ESI-Africa.com)

South Africa’s agriculture sector continues to show growth with opportunities for further expansion through, among others, renewable energy applications.

GreenCape’s 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Market Intelligence Report said the agriculture sector has continued to be “one of the few sectors of the South African economy that has experienced continued expansion over the past two years (14.9% y/y in 2020 and 8.8% in 2021).

The MIR on agriculture said the number of jobs in the sector has also grown, up by 1% y/y with a total of 874,000 people working in primary agriculture by the end of 2021. “This is significant, especially when juxtaposed against other sectors, which have experienced significant job losses in the last two years. The indicators for confidence in the agriculture sector are also positive, aided by weather forecasts predicting good rains for the next planting season.

“This has led to strong machinery sales figures, indicating that farmers are confident enough in the sector to make long-term investments in movable assets,” reads the MIR.

Nigeria-Uganda discuss investment opportunities (New Vision)

Nigeria and Uganda have held the first-ever business forum to discuss investment opportunities on the optimization of existing investment and trade opportunities in the two naturally endowed African countries.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industries and Cooperatives, Francis Mwebesa, the forum will find a harmonious ground in tackling the bottlenecks and the cost of doing business that hinder exports of the two countries’ competitiveness.

“Trade between Uganda and Nigeria is still very low and there is a need to promote intra-Africa agenda. We were both very active during the negotiations of the African Continental Free Tarde Area (AfCFTA) and I am quite sure that both countries will remain steadfast during the implementation of the AfCFTA protocols,” he explained.

Mwebesa noted that Uganda is committed to improving the business environment and has taken a strategic direction to embrace the liberal trade policy and continue to drive the economy in different spheres like a computerized land registry, quick access to licenses and registration, introduction of electronic single window system under the cross borders trade initiatives establishment of a one-stop border point.

There is also automation of customs procedures, an improvement in transit flow through the elimination of existing non-tariff barriers, and expansion of market access opportunities through the East African Community (EAC), COMESA, and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among others which Mwebesa said are a positive move for private sector players to do business in Uganda to expand regional markets.

Ruto urges swift removal of EAC trade restrictions (The Citizen)

President William Ruto of Kenya is appealing for the swift removal of barriers hampering trade in East Africa. He said in Nairobi on Tuesday that barriers at border lines were impeding the movement of people, goods, and services.

“Removal of such barriers is necessary for sustainable growth and development in the East and Horn of Africa regions,” he said. The Kenyan leader criticised political boundaries as “old-fashioned and divisive” and urged the region to work together to build bridges of friendship. “We must not give credibility to the artificial boundaries that exist in our region,” he said when he launched a flagship report on migration in the EA and Horn of Africa blocs.

Related: EAC ponders harmony gross vehicle weight (IPPMedia)

Used clothing imports to Africa strain local ecosystems, waste management (National Catholic Reporter)

There is an increasing need for inexpensive clothing in the African region. Yet at the same time, secondhand clothing imports are contributing significantly to problems of plastic waste and waste management across the continent.

A new report published in February — “Trashion: The Stealth Export of Waste plastic clothes to Kenya” — has provided insight into the impact of secondhand clothing imports to Africa. From Kenya to Madagascar, Uganda to Nigeria and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, secondhand clothing imports are causing strain on natural ecosystems because the supply far outpaces the demand.

Problems are worsened by poor capacity to process waste and decongest landfills that have themselves become health and environmental hazards.

While trade in secondhand clothing imports from the United States, Europe and other western markets is legal in some African countries, it has gone underground in other countries such as Zimbabwe, where the trade is banned.

The value chain for imported secondhand clothing, most of which is synthetic plastic, is brisk business in many African countries where new clothing is beyond the reach of many. Inflation and other economic difficulties have been driving up costs, stretching disposable incomes and leaving many households unable to afford new clothing and shoes.

Africa is establishing its own oil bank to reduce dependence on foreign financiers (Business Insider Africa)

African nations that are members of the Petroleum Producers’ Organisation will collaborate with the African Export-Import Bank to launch an energy bank by the year’s end, according to Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, the APPO general secretary.

The secretary-general stated in a goodwill message delivered at the sixth edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) held recently in Abuja, Nigeria, that the process of creating the bank, and cooperation between APPO and Afreximbank, had reached an advanced level. He also stated that a decision on the site of its headquarters and a launch date will be made soon.

Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, “This is going to focus essentially on funding oil and gas projects on the African continent because the funds have dried.” He also noted that the World Bank, and other international financing institutions that typically finance oil and gas projects in Africa are shutting down their financing channels in addition to having”stringent conditions, which doesn’t make a lot of sense” compared to 20 or 30 years ago.

Africa projected to outpace Asia as world’s fastest-growing region - Mo Ibrahim report (Business Insider Africa)

Africa’s ready market of more than 1.4 billion people under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has surpassed the European Union (EU) single market, US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) combined, the report states. The report, based on the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), highlights that Africa is the world’s youngest continent, and is projected to be the only region whose population will grow significantly from 2060.

The report also notes that there is no green global economy without Africa’s natural resources, which account for 30 per cent of the world’s mineral reserves, many of which are critical to renewable and low-carbon technologies. The Congo Basin is listed as the world’s first carbon sink, absorbing more carbon than the Amazon. It absorbs 4 per cent of global carbon emissions annually, offsetting more than the whole continent’s emissions.

While Africa’s trading has shifted mainly towards the Middle East and Asia, the raw materials export model has remained the same. Since 2000, the EU’s share of Africa’s export market has dropped by a quarter, while China’s share has increased five-fold. Asia now represents almost 42 per cent of Africa’s exports and over 45 per cent of its imports, above Europe in both cases.

The report highlights that the future looks bright for Africa; however, the current global financial system does not meet Africa’s needs. More than a third or 40.4 per cent of Africa’s public external debt is owed to the private sector, with multilateral lenders (38per cent) such as the World Bank (16.4per cent), International Monetary Fund (8.2 per cent) and the African Development Bank (6.1 per cent) being owed the next most.

The Role Of Blockchain In Promoting Cross-border Trade In Africa (Blockbuild.africa)

Cross-border trade and commerce in Africa is an important part of the region’s economy, with room for expansion. However, addressing the barriers to cross-border trade in Africa, such as inadequate infrastructure and high transportation costs, is critical to realizing the region’s full potential and driving economic growth and development.

In Africa, cross-border trade and commerce face a number of challenges, including inadequate infrastructure, high transportation costs, limited access to finance, and trade barriers. These obstacles have stifled Africa’s cross-border trade growth, making it difficult for businesses to expand their markets and reach new customers and blockchain is the best for this job.

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize commerce in Africa by providing a transaction platform that is efficient, secure, and transparent. Here are some ways that blockchain can help Africa’s cross-border trade and commerce:

Members review latest safeguard actions, address WTO reform discussions (WTO)

At the biannual meeting of the Committee on Safeguards on 1 May, WTO members reviewed safeguard actions taken by fellow members and discussed the way forward in improving the functioning of the committee.

Japan, Australia and China reiterated their general concern regarding issues such as misuse of the safeguard instrument, insufficient information provided, and the numerous extensions to existing safeguard measures.

The committee reviewed notifications of new or amended SG legislation or regulations from El Salvador, the United States and Liberia. It also continued its review of the legislative notifications of the United Kingdom, Cameroon, Ghana and Zimbabwe.


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