Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Trade, Industry and Competition on Continental Free Trade Area ushering significant milestone journeying towards Economic Integration in Africa (South African Government)

The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) ushers in a significant milestone in our collective journey towards establishing a unified African market, promoting trade, and propelling sustainable and inclusive growth across the continent. This was said by the Director of Africa Bilateral Economic Relations at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mr Calvin Phume, during the AfCFTA awareness workshop which took place in Johannesburg.

The workshop was part of a series that the dtic is rolling out nationally from May-July 2023. The inaugural workshop took place in KwaZulu-Natal last week and was a rousing success. Businesspeople who attended the session welcomed the progress and benefits that the AfCFTA will afford their respective businesses once implemented.

“The AfCFTA strives to ensure inclusivity, particularly for women, youth, and those residing in rural areas, while focusing on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and overall industrialisation of Africa. As a flagship project of Agenda 2063, the AfCFTA aims to establish a unified African market for goods and services, facilitated by the free movement of individuals, capital, and investments. This integration will further promote sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality, industrialisation, agricultural advancement, food security, and structural transformation,” he stated.

“By fostering awareness and understanding, we aim to empower participants to seize the abundant opportunities and benefits that the AfCFTA offers. The workshop showcased the government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that all regions and communities are well-informed and actively participate in this landmark initiative,” said Phume.

Namibia’s trade deficit down almost 41 pct in April (Xinhua)

Namibia’s trade deficit fell in April to 1.3 billion Namibian dollars (about 87 million U.S. dollars), down 40.9 percent from the 2.2 billion Namibian dollars (about 148 million U.S. dollars) recorded in March, according to the latest figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).

In the year ending in April, Namibia’s monthly trade deficit averaged 2.4 billion Namibian dollars (about 161 million U.S. dollars), according to the NSA.

“For April 2023, Namibia’s export earnings decreased by 26.2 percent on a monthly basis, while the import bill decreased by 28.7 percent,” NSA Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said, adding that the deficit was reflected in copper ores and concentrates and petroleum oils.

“South Africa emerged in the first position as Namibia’s export destination with a percentage share of 21.2 percent, while Botswana came second with a share of 16.2 percent, and China in the third position with a share of 11.4 percent,” Shimuafeni said.

In terms of imports, South Africa occupied the first position with a percentage share of 46.7 percent, followed by China with a share of 14.9 percent, and India in the third position with a share of 4.1 percent, he said.

Trade exchange between Egypt, South African countries up 6.5% YoY in 2022 (ZAWYA)

Trade exchange between Egypt and South African countries rose 6.5% year on year (YoY) in 2022 to $381.9 million, compared to $358.6 million, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on June 7th, citing data by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

The country’s trade with Mozambique reached $30 million last year, up 85.8% from $16.1 million in 2021. Meanwhile, trade exchange between Egypt and Angola surged by 13% YoY in 2022 to $23 million from $20.4 million. Additionally, the Egyptian-Zambian trade reached $328.9 million last year, marking a 2.1% annual increase from $322.1 million in the year prior.

Trade exchange between Egypt, COMESA countries increases to $5.3bln in 2022: CAPMAS (ZAWYA)

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) has revealed that the value of trade exchange between Egypt and the COMESA countries increased to $5.3bn in 2022, compared to $4.4b in 2021, an increase of 20.4%.

The agency indicated that the value of Egyptian exports to the COMESA countries increased to $3.4bn in 2022, compared to $3.1bn in 2021, an increase of 10.9%, while the value of Egyptian imports from the COMESA countries amounted to $1.9bn during 2022 compared to $1.3bn in 2021, with an increase of 42.4%.

Regarding the most important commodity groups that Egypt exported to the COMESA countries in 2022, the agency clarified that chemical products and plastics came in first place with a value of $1.1bn, then animal and plant products with a value of $782.3m, then marble, stones, ceramics and glass with a value of $267.7mi, then fuel and petroleum products with a value of $208.6m, then metal products with a value of $207.6m.

Nigeria, Netherlands modify treaty to strengthen economic cooperation (Daily Nigerian)

The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Netherlands have engaged in an Economic Consultation to modernize the existing bilateral investment treaty between both countries to strengthen economic interest and opportunities.

“This gathering of professionals would foster productive dialogue on Nigeria-Netherlands Economic Cooperation, the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (ADTA), and other legal frameworks.

“During this Economic Consultation, Nigeria is willing to explore further, areas of economic cooperation with the Netherlands in Agricultural value chain, secular economy, renewable energy, waterways management and water scarcity.

“Other areas are Oil and Gas, Special Economic Zones, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Trade facilitation in Western Africa, Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) Education and Health

New guidelines: Firms to bear biggest responsibility for pollution from their industries (The Standard)

The government is developing new guidelines that will see producers of waste bear the biggest responsibility for pollution caused by their activities.

Environment and Climate Change PS Festus Ng’eno said the guidelines will implement the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation that will see manufacturers finance the management of waste from their industries during the entire life cycle of products they introduce to the market.

“They will also be expected to put measures in place to prevent pollution from their products while mitigating their environmental impacts. This will include collection and recycling of waste,” said Ng’eno who spoke in Nairobi at the three-day Africa Waste is Wealth that started on Tuesday.

EAC Partner States resolve 10 Non-Tariff Barriers as new ones emerge (EAC)

East African Community Partner States resolved a total of 10 Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) as four (4) new ones emerged. The 42nd Meeting of the Sectoral Council of Ministers on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) that was held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania was informed that eight (8) NTBs remained outstanding and were at different levels of resolution.

Among the resolved NTBs were a 25% excise duty imposed by Kenya on Ugandan table eggs and 25% Kenyan excise duty on onions, potatoes, potato crisps and chips from Uganda that became effective 1st July, 2022.

Also resolved was an import ban and denial of market access by Kenya through non-issuance of import permits for powdered milk from Uganda as a means of cushioning the surplus production and low producer prices in Kenya.

Another resolved NTB was that of 13 roadblocks between Nimule and Juba with Ugandan traders losing more than 150,000 South Sudanese pounds each. South Sudan reported that she had already complied with a SCTIFI directive to remove all roadblocks, adding that there are now only two roadblocks from Nimule to Juba.

Among the new NTBs is a complaint by Kenya that Uganda was denying market access to EAC Partner States under preferential treatment by charging full Common External Tariff of 35% to juices originating from Kenya.

16th COMESA Business Forum Kicks Off in Zambia (COMESA)

The 16th edition of the COMESA Business Forum kicked off today in Lusaka, Zambia with over 500 regional and international businesses participating the in the one-day event preceding the COMESA Summit.

The forum is a multisectoral platform for the promotion of quality products and services that are currently breaking ground in terms of high value and high demand in regional and international markets, with a focus on the COMESA market. The Forum and exhibition have been organised by the COMESA Business Council.

Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Mr Chipoka Mulenga opened the forum. He described it as most ideal for enabling the private sector to be more effective drivers of industrialization, economic diversification, trade and investment in the region.

“We need to ensure that our policies and strategies are coherent, consistent and complementary to support the overall goal of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own people,” he said.

In her statement, Secretary General of COMESA, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe stressed the need for Public-Private Sector partnership in increase intra-COMESA Trade to spur the economic growth which has declined from 5.9% in 2021 to 4.8% in 2022.

Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Mr. Wamkele Mene said with the global Covid-19 pandemic now practically behind, it is time for African countries to reset, socially and economically.

Egypt president urges COMESA states to enhance regional integration to address current challenges (Ahram Online)

El Sisi’s remarks came at the 22nd COMESA Heads of State and Governments Summit in the Zambian capital Lusaka, held on Thursday. Egypt handed over the two-year presidency of the continental 21-member-state bloc to Zambia.

El-Sisi highlighted Egypt’s priorities during its chairmanship, which focused on advancing economic integration rates to enhance the level of well-being of our people and promote the capabilities of peace and security in our countries.

“However, despite the successes that have been achieved, we still have much to do to enable our regional integration to face the current challenges,” he said.

President El-Sisi stated that intra-COMESA trade rose to $13 billion in 2022, the highest value since establishing the free trade zone within the framework of the COMESA in 2000.

El-Sisi indicated that Egypt, in its capacity as COMESA chair, has focused on activating the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost economic growth, adding that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the COMESA countries reached $ 4.3 billion in 2022 – the highest amount since Egypt joined the bloc.

The country was also keen on achieving harmony between Egypt and the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area through specific measures to urge member states to implement customs exemptions and facilitate the movement of trade exchange among them, he said.

African Trade Accord Hugely Significant For Continent – UN Small Business Group Head (allAfrica.com)

The African Continental Free Trade Area accord is one of the most critical developments in African trade and integration, says the executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UN agency supporting small business.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, who began her career in Jamaica’s foreign ministry and now heads the ITC, recently met journalists at the centre’s base in Geneva, where she spoke about “strategic re-globalization” as a major trend.

Coke-Hamilton described strategic re-globalization as “the new search for global corridors for trade routes” as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war and post-Covid changes.

She said the disruption of supply channels and a recognition that dependence on China is immense has led to the world looking for “near-shoring” and new supply routes.

The task of trade groups was now to assess new trends and address how strategic re-globalization is going to impact how countries engage with one another, Coke-Hamilton added. She said that “the AfCFTA is also a whole new open arena” in which the focus would be on regional value chains within Africa and “how those are going to impact new arenas of trade”.

The ITC has identified several important future regional value chains. “Those are automotive, pharmaceuticals, baby food, textiles and clothing. And there’s already discussion taking place on a regional value chain for electric batteries,” said Coke-Hamilton.

AU emphasizes streamlining border crossing points to accelerate AfCFTA implementation (News Ghana)

The African Union (AU) on Wednesday called on African countries to streamline border crossing points so as to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

The call was made by Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, on the occasion of the celebration of the 13th edition of African Border Day, which is annually commemorated on June 7.

“The rapid, safe and expeditious processing of the flow of people, goods and vehicles at border crossing points is indeed a guarantee of the acceleration of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” Adeoye said in a statement.

Adeoye said significant progress is being made in Africa, notably with the signature of bilateral framework agreements between neighboring African states, agreements between decentralized structures, the creation and establishment of cross-border bodies, and the development and implementation of cross-border cooperation initiatives, among others.

“This encouraging dynamic must be sustained and amplified in all the cross-border areas of the continent. It must support and galvanize the acceleration of the implementation of the AfCFTA,” he said.

‘Allocate 10% of the Budget to Agriculture,’ CAADP Actors Urged Gov’t (Liberian Observer)

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Non State Actors Coalition in Liberia has called for strict adherence to the 10 percent budget for agriculture by the government.

The non-state actors’ coalition, comprising farmers, producer organizations, agribusiness owners, civil society organizations, and the media, said the government’s adherence to the 10 percent budget for agriculture will reduce unemployment and solve the problem of food insecurity.

According to members of the coalition, they will remain resolute or committed to engaging the government to see reason to prioritize the 10 percent public funding for the agricultural sector.

The CAADP Malabo calls for every African government to allot 10 percent of its total national budget annually for agriculture in order to reduce poverty, create jobs, and to improve food security in members’ countries.

Africa needs a unified air transport market to boost tourism & trade: COMESA official (Ahram Online)

COMESA’s Support to Air Transport Sector Development (SATSD) programme Team Leader Adikiny Olwenge’s remarks came during his participation in a recent workshop hosted in Egypt from 29-31 May to advocate for the development of an institutional framework for the environmental operation of communications and air transport under the COMESA and the Indian Ocean Region Programme.

The team leader explained that the SATSD programme aims to develop the air transport sector by activating the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), improving the efficiency of air navigation, and strengthening the regulatory and institutional capacity of civil aviation institutions within the COMESA grouping and Indian Ocean Region Programme.

To achieve these goals, he noted, the SATSD received an eight million euro grant from the European Commission in 2021 to support the efforts of the SATSD programme in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and Indian Ocean Region Programme.

The goal here is achieving more regional and continental integration, he said.

Gender-Smart Investing Key for Women Economic Empowerment and Stronger Growth in North Africa (UNECA)

The ECA Office for North Africa and Oxford Economics Africa held on Wednesday 7 June a joint online workshop on “Gender-Smart Investing for Inclusive Growth in North Africa.” The event was an opportunity for ECA and Oxford Economics Africa to present the preliminary findings of a joint report on this topic to North African policymakers, academics, private sector, and development partners.

“The report underscores that female entrepreneurship and women-led SMEs tend to create more jobs for women. They are thus key for bringing North African women into the labour market and helping reduce the large gender gaps in employment in the region,” said Amal Elbeshbishi, an economist at the ECA Office for North Africa.

“By enhancing the economic opportunities for women, gender-smart investing also supports social, educational, and health outcomes. This in turn buoys sustainable development, job creation, and resilience during times of economic crisis,”said Cobus de Hart, Director of Consulting at Oxford Economics Africa.

AfDB to boost electricity and transport infrastructure, value chain development and trade facilitation to spur regional integration in East Africa in 2023-2027 (AfDB)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to supporting East African countries to accelerate structural transformation, reinforce resilience, and create more decent jobs. This ambition is encapsulated in the Bank’s East Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (EA RISP) 2023-2027.

The strategy paper, approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on 08 May, sets out two priority areas to achieve its main objective, namely: (1) Improve regional infrastructure; and (2) Support regional value chains development and trade facilitation.

Under the first priority area, the Bank will invest in cross-border electricity interconnections to strengthen connectivity and increase cross-border trade in electricity.

The African Development Bank will also commit financial resources to multimodal transport systems for roads, railways, air transport and inland waterways while continuing to strengthen transport management institutions’ capacity and regional corridors. Particular emphasis will be placed on the main corridors and feeder roads that link production centres to major markets and promote intra- and inter-regional connectivity.

Under the second priority area, the Bank will support the development of regional value chains, particularly agro-industry, manufacturing (textiles and clothing) and mining. The Regional Integration Strategy Paper aims to contribute to an increase in manufacturing value added in the region from 9% in 2020 to 11% in 2027 as a result of support to upstream interventions.

Retreat on African Union Institutional Reforms and Agenda 2063 (AU)

The African Union is convening a retreat to discuss the Institutional Reforms and the second decade of Agenda 2063.

The retreat will discuss the Institutional Reforms and the processes underway to reposition the organization to ensure it has the requisite institutional capacity to deliver on the economic, political, and social vision of the continent as encapsulated Agenda 2063. The reform agenda emphasizes on the need to focus on key priorities with a continental scope; realigning AU institutions to deliver on its objectives; operational efficiency, and sustainable self-financing the Union.

The retreat will also discuss the second ten-year plan of Agenda 2063 spans 2024 to 2033. Agenda 2063 was adopted by the 24th Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa in January 2015. The Agenda embodies the aspirations of the African people, framed in a collective ambition thus: “The Africa We Want in 2063”. The Agenda is operationalized through 5 ten-year implementation plans, with the first plan straddling 2014 to 2023. The second decade of Agenda 2063 implementation is one of acceleration, building on the first that focused on convergence.

ECOWAS Vision 2050 at the Heart of the Ecowas 48th Anniversary Celebration in the Republic of Guinea (ECOWAS)

he ECOWAS Permanent Representation in the Republic of Guinea, as part of ECOWAS 48th anniversary celebration and in accordance with its programme of activities, organised a series of activities to mark this historic date, 28 May 1975, when ECOWAS was established in Lagos, Nigeria. The celebration was launched by a message to the nation read out on national television on 29 May 2023 by the honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Guineans Living Abroad, Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté.

On 3 June 2023, a conference on ECOWAS Vision 2050 was held on three (3) themes, namely:

  • “ECOWAS Vision 2050, ECOWAS of the People, Peace and Prosperity for all; a Factor for Regional Integration”.

  • “Challenges of the Free Movement of People and Goods within the ECOWAS region”.

  • “The Role of ECOWAS Permanent Representations in the Promotion of Democracy and Good Governance in Member States”.

From Aid to Enterprise: Rethinking Development Strategies in Africa (The Tony Elumelu Foundation)

Africa, with its immense potential and untapped resources, has long been a focal point of international development efforts. Traditionally, aid has been the primary approach to addressing the continent’s socio-economic challenges. However, in recent years, there has been a growing recognition that aid alone cannot sustainably transform Africa’s fortunes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation advocates for a paradigm shift, from aid dependency to a focus on entrepreneurship and enterprise development, as a more effective strategy for unlocking Africa’s true potential. By empowering African entrepreneurs and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, we can lay the foundation for sustainable, inclusive, and home-grown development across the continent. Based on key findings from our years of research and engagement in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, we have narrowed down the key approaches that the world can adopt to transform its engagement with Africa.  

While aid has played a crucial role in addressing immediate humanitarian crises and providing essential services, it often falls short in creating self-sufficiency and sustained long-term development. Aid flows can be unpredictable and subject to geopolitical shifts, creating dependency and inhibiting local agency. Moreover, aid can inadvertently undermine local industries, discourage innovation, and perpetuate a cycle of dependency. It is time to challenge the status quo and explore alternative approaches that empower Africans to take charge of their own destiny.

Collaboration and regional integration are critical for maximizing the impact of entrepreneurship in Africa. By encouraging intra-African trade, harmonizing policies, and promoting cross-border cooperation, we can unlock the potential of regional markets and create economies of scale. Collaborative initiatives, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), provide a framework for deeper integration and increased trade, enabling entrepreneurs to access larger markets and expand their businesses across borders.

The shift from aid to enterprise represents a bold and necessary step towards a sustainable and prosperous Africa.

Financing Climate-Resilient Infrastructure in Africa (Observer Research Foundation)

Amidst rapidly escalating climate crises, there is an urgent need to enable African countries to remodel existing financial infrastructure with the aim of strengthening climate resilience and developing green infrastructure. As the world scrambles towards decarbonisation, the G20 nations, which represent the largest source of wealth, with 85 percent of global GDP, are well equipped to support vulnerable countries.

This Policy Brief proposes three mechanisms whereby the G20 can support African countries: providing grant funding and technical assistance to the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) to increase the number of high-quality bankable projects and mobilise financiers; strengthening the coordination of climate financing from the G20 countries to the continent; and unlocking financial technology and entrepreneurship to mobilise financing for bankable projects. This Brief further recommends that the G20 should use its technical capacity, financial muscle, and convening power to put African countries on the path towards climate resilience.

Civil Society Engagement At Core Of US-African Relations In Multipolar World (Eurasia Review)

United States has held its 8th annual civil society forum to review progress, examine challenges and renew interest in forging ways to strengthen relations with Africa. United States has the largest African diaspora which has close-knitted business, educational and cultural links with African countries. This helps to support official efforts in promoting relations with Africa.

In December 2022, the African Union Ministers of Trade from the AGOA-eligible countries met in Washington, DC, at the request of Ambassador Katherine Tai, USTR, “to have a full and frank exchange of views on how to work together to improve the utilization rates under AGOA and ensure that the program can be an effective tool for development.”

At those high-level engagements, there was consensus that there is a need to extend AGOA beyond 2025. The recommendation has been tabled before the US Administration.

During the meeting, Ambassador Tai, the African Ministers, and the Africa Group of Ambassadors also underscored the following: • An extension of AGOA for at least ten years with the inclusion of ALL African countries • The importance of Africa speaking with One Voice in all US-Africa trade and investment engagements; and, • Enhanced commercial diplomacy between the US and Africa. There was also agreement that South Africa would host the next AGOA Forum in August/September this year.

Patel again expresses optimism that South Africa will retain Agoa status (Engineering News)

rade, Competition and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has again expressed optimism that South Africa will be able to convince the US Congress to extend South Africa‘s designation as an African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) beneficiary beyond 2025, when the unilateral trade programme is due to expire.

South Africa‘s continued designation as an Agoa beneficiary has come into question in recent months, owing to diplomatic tensions over an alleged sale of arms to Russia by South Africa in December.

South Africa is the continent’s largest non-oil beneficiary of Agoa, exporting a wide range of products, including automobiles, mining and chemical products, as well as agricultural goods such as citrus, wine and macadamia nuts.

“We are working closely with a number of African countries to have it [Agoa] renewed and extended again,” Patel said, noting that South Africa also faced difficult negotiations ahead of the previous expiry date of 2015 when the US objected to protection South Africa had extended to its poultry industry.

First-ever official data on illicit financial flows now available (UNCTAD)

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ecuador, Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal and Peru have produced the first-ever national estimates of illicit financial flows (IFFs) related to drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants with the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The estimates are published on the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators Database. And a recent UNCTAD infographic report showcases preliminary estimates and findings on tax and commercial IFFs from 11 African countries.

Significantly reducing IFFs by 2030 is one of the priorities under the UN’s SDG 16. UNCTAD and UNODC are co-custodians of SDG indicator 16.4.1, which measures the total value of inward and outward IFFs in current US dollars.

“Such statistics are needed to shed light on the activities, sectors and channels most prone to illicit financial flows, pointing to where actions should be undertaken as a priority to curb these flows,” said Anu Peltola, who heads UNCTAD’s statistics work.

Why the World Still Needs Trade (Foreign Affairs)

Since 1990, the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has fallen by three-quarters. At the center of this great leap in human well-being was a 20-fold increase in international trade volumes, which helped lift per capita incomes by a factor of 27 over the last six decades.

This economic vision is now under attack, and its achievements are in danger. A series of shocks in the space of 15 years – first the global financial crisis, then the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine – have created an alternative narrative about globalization. Far from making countries economically stronger, this new line of thinking goes, globalization exposes them to excessive risks. Economic interdependence is no longer seen as a virtue; it is seen as a vice. The new mantra is that what countries need is not interdependence but independence, with integration limited at best to a small circle of friendly nations.

But dismantling economic globalization and the structures that support it would be a mistake. That is because, despite persistent rhetoric to the contrary, countries and people rely on trade more than ever in this age of “polycrisis.” Moreover, international cooperation, including on trade, is necessary to meet challenges to the global commons, such as climate change, inequality, and pandemics. Globalization is not over, nor should anyone wish for it to be. But it needs to be improved and reimagined for the age ahead.

World Oceans Day underscores need to protect ‘the foundation of life’ (UN News)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for greater action to protect oceans in his message to mark World Oceans Day on Thursday. “The ocean is the foundation of life. It supplies the air we breathe and food we eat. It regulates our climate and weather. The ocean is our planet’s greatest reservoir of biodiversity,” he said.

Besides these benefits, the ocean also produces resources that sustain communities, prosperity and health. Worldwide, more than a billion people alone rely on fish as their main source of protein.

The UN chief said human-induced climate change is heating the planet, disrupting weather patterns and ocean currents, and altering marine ecosystems and the species living there.

Marine biodiversity is also under attack from overfishing, over-exploitation and ocean acidification, fish stocks are being depleted, and coastal waters have been polluted with chemicals, plastics and human wastes.

Statement by the Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E Mr. Elias M Magosi in commemoration of World Oceans Day on 8 June 2023 (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) joins the global fraternity to commemorate this year’s World Ocean Day with a call for our region to enhance the conservation of oceans, including coastal areas, and their resources. The state of our oceans call for SADC Member States and partners to implement policies and programmes that will reduce plastic pollution, expand protection of marine areas, enhance tackling of illegal fishing and promote responsible fishing practices.

I appeal to develop effective monitoring and mechanisms to ensure compliance with existing regulations as outlined in the SADC Protocols for Fisheries, and Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement, and also in existing Regional Strategies on Biodiversity, Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance, Green Economy and Climate Change. To complement existing policy instruments and frameworks, the SADC region is finalising the development of Regional Strategies on Blue Economy, Circular Economy and Action Plan to Combat Marine Pollution to adequately conserve oceans in order to secure sustainable development of our countries and livelihoods of local communities.

It is my hope that Member States in our region, and all stakeholders will collaborate in promoting sustainable development in the ocean or blue economy, through investments in renewable energy, marine tourism and sustainable aquaculture as key drivers of economic growth.

World off track for reaching key goal on sustainable energy by 2030 (UN News)

Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report, from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO), warns that current efforts are not enough to achieve the SDG 7 on time.

There has been some progress on specific elements of the drive to reach SDG 7 – for example, the increased rate of using renewables in the power sector – but progress is insufficient to reach the targets set forth, in time for the 2030 deadline.

SDG 7 is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. The goal includes reaching universal access to electricity and clean cooking, doubling historic levels of efficiency improvements, and substantially increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix, said the report.


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