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China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, both overall and within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping.
In 2022, China accounted for 9.4% of South Africa’s exports and 20.2% of South Africa’s imports, according to the South African Revenue Service (Sars). In rand terms, exports to China totalled R188.4 billion, while South Africa imported R367.4bn, resulting in a trade surplus in favour of China worth R179bn.
South Africa’s exports to China are dominated by two categories, namely mineral products, as well as products of iron and steel. Mineral products are raw materials. In the case of exports to China, this is dominated by iron ore, but also includes coal, manganese and chrome ores, as China is the world’s largest producer of steel, accounting for 57.4% of global steel production in April 2023, according to the World Steel Association.
EU-Rwanda business forum to boost trade, investments (The New Times)
Hundreds of business operators from Europe and Rwanda will gather in Kigali, from June 26-27, 2023 for the EU-Rwanda Business Forum to explore investment and trade opportunities, as well as partnerships with businesses in the country, according to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
This first-ever forum is organised by the delegation of the European Union to Rwanda and the Government of Rwanda through RDB.
Held under the theme: “Rwanda-your gateway to Africa,” the two-day interactive event, open for all companies to attend, will feature plenary sessions on Rwanda’s business environment and investment opportunities with a focus on sectors with outstanding growth potential including agribusiness, mining, health and pharmaceuticals, financial and digital services, green and sustainable economy.
According to the latest Burkina Faso Economic Update, economic growth slowed to 2.5% in 2022, with the country posting the highest inflation rate in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), thereby exacerbating food insecurity.
Following a robust recovery of 6.9% in 2021, GDP growth slowed in 2022 to 2.5% (corresponding to a contraction in GDP per capita of 0.1%), owing primarily to a 13.7% decline in mining activity as a result of mine closures. Average inflation reached 14.1% while food prices increased on average by 23.4% over the year.
“Burkina Faso continues to demonstrate resilience, despite the security and humanitarian crises plaguing the country. These various crises are compounded by the country’s vulnerability to climate change,” says Maimouna Mbow Fam, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso. “In light of these overlapping vulnerabilities, Burkina Faso’s medium-term outlook will depend largely on whether it can improve its financial resilience to all kinds of shocks, including climate change.”
Kenya and Djibouti have endorsed the reciprocal abolishing of visa requirements for their citizens. Ruto said Sunday during a joint press conference with his Djibouti counterpart Ismail Guelleh, that the move is aimed at fostering people-to-people interactions, trade, and investment.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to eliminating the barriers imposed by visa requirements for Djiboutian citizens traveling to Kenya.
To improve coordination on labor migration and ensure predictability, President Ruto said that both governments had agreed to accelerate the negotiation and finalization of a comprehensive labor agreement between the two states. Ruto stated that to facilitate the process of harnessing Kenya’s skilled workforce, both governments had established a Joint Technical Committee dedicated to these efforts.
NPA expects trans-shipment cargoes at Lekki Port June ending (Tribune Online)
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it expects to receive the first set of trans-shipment cargoes at Lekki Port in three weeks time (June ending).
Speaking over the weekend during the commissioning for Lekki Port operations, two 80-Ton Bollard Pull Tug-boats christened M.T MAIKOKO and M.T DA-OPUKURO, the Managing Director of the NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko revealed that the agency recently had a meeting with officials from Chad, Niger and Cameroon over movement of their trans-shipment cargoes from Lekki Ports.
According to the NPA Managing Director, “By acquiring this Tug boats, which are the largest in Africa, we will be able to bring in vessels of all sizes. What this means is that there would be less waiting time and it will eventually lead to reduction in cargo dwell time.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), investors and business executives in Ghana and around the world have been assured of a robust economic gains by the Global-Africa Trade Advisory Chamber, (GATAC), through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This was revealed by the president of GATAC, Mr Dominic Oduro Antwi at the second edition of the Global Africa Business dialogue held in Dubai.
Following a successful launch of the Global Africa Trade Advisory chamber in Accra on the 10th of December 2021 and the maiden edition of the Global Africa Business dialogue in Accra, the second edition has been held in Dubai with the focus of revamping Africa’s economy by increasing trade investment through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Speaking at the event Dr. Arshi Ayub Zaveri, a special advisor to the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi acknowledged the chamber’s role in line with the government’s vision to promote trade and make Ghana the hub of investment and business in Africa.
Libya has been mired in conflict and political uncertainty since the fall of the Ghaddafi regime in 2011. Until recently, the country’s fragmentation hampered policymaking and the collection of key economic data. However, the country has made significant efforts to move forward and overcome the economic challenges brought by political conflict.
As Libya paves the way for its economic recovery, it has made recent improvements in data collection, sharing, and transparency that have enabled the IMF to resume its surveillance after a decade-long hiatus.
SADC Ministers responsible for Transport, ICT, Information and Meteorology and Infrastructure to meet and review progress on implementation of Infrastructure development in support of regional integration (SADC)
The Joint Meeting of Committee of Ministers responsible for Transport, ICT, Information and Meteorology and Infrastructure from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will meet virtually on June 16, 2023, to assess the status of implementation of decisions and progress made since the sectorial meeting held in July 2021 as well as the status of implementation of SADC Summit of Heads of State and SADC Council of Ministers decisions. The meeting will further receive progress reports on programmes and activities in line with the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020-2030), as well as the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP 2012-2027).
In support of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063, the Ministers will consider the status of implementation of regional infrastructure programmes that support the industrialisation agenda while promoting regional integration and economic growth in line with the SADC Vision 2050 and RISDP 2020-2030.
Building regulatory frameworks, which comprise a set of laws, regulations and implementation mechanisms that reference the planning, design, construction, and control mechanisms, have proven to be the most effective tools to protect health and safety in the built environment and reduce disaster risk. This is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa where population growth and a rapid transition from rural to urban development is expected to lead to a demand for hundreds of millions of new buildings over the next few decades.
This study, Building Regulations in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Status Review of Sub-Saharan Africa’s Building Regulatory Environment, supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), provides the first comprehensive snapshot of the building regulatory environment in the region. Data was gathered through a desktop review of regulatory documents from all 48 countries in the region, with additional information provided by survey data and interviews from public and private sector experts on the ground.
Manufacturers, free trade can help to overcome Africa’s energy crisis (Engineering News)
African manufacturers have a significant role to play in helping to remedy the continent’s energy crises by developing innovative solutions for energy storage and access. By creating products tailored to the needs of the African context, manufacturers can help reduce energy poverty, increase energy efficiency and spur economic growth.
However, this depends on whether the right environment is created to help manufacturers expand operations and pursue cross-border investment opportunities, electromechanical equipment manufacturer Actom Group CEO and Manufacturing Circle chairperson Mervyn Naidoo says.
Reducing energy poverty and spurring economic growth can only be accomplished once manufacturers achieve economies of scale. However, there is currently very little economic growth across many parts of the continent owing to a lack of investment in manufacturing capacity expansion.
In an uncertain world, budget revenue and spending often end up far away from government plans. Volatile growth, high universal subsidies, and loss-making state-owned enterprises expose many low- and middle-income economies in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan to such fiscal risks. These factors combine with adverse external developments such as recent interest-rate rises and food and fuel price surges to put public finances under pressure in many countries.
As we explain in a new paper, the “MENAPEG” region—a group that includes economies in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan but excludes high-income Gulf countries—is especially vulnerable to fiscal risks. In fact, small fiscal risks occur in countries every year. Importantly, larger shocks that cause debt to increase by an average of 12 percent of gross domestic product occur, on average, once every eight years.
Unleashing the Potential: India-Africa Business Engagement in the Global South (Financial Express)
The growing cooperation between India and Africa is poised to witness a boost, leveraging the emerging scenario of Global South collaboration. With a trade target of US$200 billion by 2030, a significant surge from the current US$90 billion level, and a goal to double Indian investments in Africa to $150 billion, the stage is set for a transformative partnership.
The 18th edition of the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Growth Partnership, themed ‘Creating Shared Future,’ is slated to take place in New Delhi from June 14-16, 2023.
The realization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) goals presents fresh avenues for Indian investments in Africa, with the potential to double cumulative Indian foreign investments in the region to US$ 150 billion in the years to come.
Africa needs deeper linkages employing its opportunity to champion in trade and investment of the global market, Trade and Regional Integration State Minister Endalew Mekonen said. Addressing the Africa trade and investment summit held in Addis Ababa today, State Minister of Trade and Regional Integration Endalew Mekonen said “Africa can be an opportunity of champion related to trade and investment in a global market.”
He added it is important that Africa goes to deeper and deeper particularly into continental market linkage among African countries such as AfCFTA.
State Minister of Industry Hassan Mohammed for his part mentioned the reform agenda which has been key in easing doing business in Ethiopia. ‘Let Ethiopia Produce’ movement is also one of the recent initiatives which is being undertaken by the government to promote the ample investment opportunities in the country, he indicated. Invest in Ethiopia’s manufacturing, mining, agriculture and other emerging sectors and opportunities and economic challenges shaping Africa’s future were among the points of discussion at the one-day summit.
A three-day ministerial conference on “The Blue Economy and Climate Action in Africa: Island and Coastal States at the Forefront” with a focus on the Great Blue Wall initiative will be held from 12 to 14 June 2023 in Moroni, the capital of the Union of the Comoros.
The conference will bring together ministers, experts, civil society representatives, and development partners to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the blue economy in Africa, as well as the best practices and policies to address the impacts of climate change on coastal and marine ecosystems. This meeting is expected to adopt a declaration and a roadmap for advancing the blue economy agenda in Africa, as well as a framework for cooperation and partnership among stakeholders.
DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I am profoundly grateful to Nigeria for formally accepting the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. I am proud to see the country’s continued commitment to sustainable development and its vote of confidence in the work of the WTO. Nigeria’s acceptance adds to our growing tally of members that have accepted the Agreement — we have received about one-third of the total that we need for the Agreement to enter into force. I hope that Nigeria’s action serves as an inspiration to other governments in Africa and the rest of the world to move swiftly to implement the Agreement and foster global cooperation for the benefit of our shared future.”
“This is a very uncertain time in the world,” said the Director-General. “The world economy is growing slowly. There are very serious geopolitical tensions. We have problems of the global commons like climate change, and we have the war in Ukraine. So there are a number of uncertainties that are facing the global trading system.”
The Director-General expressed concern about the existing geopolitical tensions between major traders, which are leading to an increasing narrative of decoupling into two separate economic blocs, deglobalization and the risk of fragmentation of the global trading system. She noted that this situation arises from the serious vulnerabilities in global supply chains and the trading system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. She said there is a need to be very cautious as having a world trading system divided into two or more blocs could be very costly for the entire global economy.
World exports of intermediate goods (IGs) fell by 10 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022 to US$ 2.3 trillion, reflecting the disruptions global supply chains faced in the closing months of the year due to the geopolitical context, commodity shortages, high energy prices and weak consumption. The decrease affected practically all regions.
The decrease in global IG exports can be partly traced to the product categories “parts and accessories (excluding transport equipment)” and “other industrial supplies,” which declined by 13 per cent and 14 per cent respectively year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022. World exports of ores and precious stones, meanwhile, decreased by 3 per cent, reflecting the downward demand worldwide and a decrease in prices, especially for iron ores. Food supply chains, in contrast, remained resilient with IG exports in the “food and beverage” product category rising by 7 per cent.