Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Economists see South Africa averting second-quarter contraction (Engineering News)

South Africa’s economy probably avoided a contraction in the second quarter, despite record power cuts, logistical constraints and sagging consumer confidence. In the view of analysts polled by Bloomberg August 4 to 10, the economy stagnated quarter-on-quarter, compared with a forecast for a 0.1% contraction last month.

Better-than-expected mining and manufacturing output contributed to revised projections. The sectors that make up more than a fifth of total gross domestic product grew 1.5% and 2.3% respectively in the three months through June, according to data published by Statistics South Africa last week.

“The supply side of the economy seems to have stabilised, despite ongoing loadshedding and domestic logistical constraints,” said Jee-A van der Linde, a senior economist at Oxford Economics Africa.

China, Angola hold meeting on economic, trade cooperation (Xinhua)

The Second Meeting of the Steering Commission for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Angola was held Sunday in Luanda, the capital of Angola. During the meeting, co-chaired by Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and the Minister of State for Economic Coordination of Angola Jose de Lima Massano, both countries jointly announced the conclusion of negotiations on the China-Angola Bilateral Investment Agreement and exchanged views on pragmatic cooperation in various areas, including trade, investment, infrastructure, industrial development, and human resources.

Wang said that under the strategic leadership of the leaders of both countries, the economic and trade cooperation between China and Angola has yielded fruitful results. China is prepared to collaborate in strategizing for the upcoming phase of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, enhancing the scope of trade and investment cooperation, strengthening the achievements in infrastructure partnership, and broadening engagement across sectors such as energy, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and fisheries.

Ghana’s trade with the US hits a record high $1.8 billion trade surplus (Business Insider Africa)

As Ghana’s leading development partner, the US government continues to promote economic growth. Over $150 million in bilateral aid from the United States to Ghana in 2022 will go toward initiatives promoting human rights, governance, economic development, agriculture, education, and security. Additionally, the US government gave Ghana about $32 million in agricultural aid last year. The U.S. Development Finance Corporation has announced expanded support for micro, small, and medium-sized firms in the agricultural sector in Northern Ghana totaling $25 million in finance.

The United States has announced a $300 million investment in data centers across Africa, particularly Ghana, to support the expansion of the digital economy. The value of U.S.-Ghana two-way trade in 2022 hit $3.7 billion. Ghana’s exports to the United States in came in at approximately $2.7 billion. Major Ghanaian exports to the United States include crude oil, cocoa (bean, paste, and butter), apparel, rubber, and cassava. The United States is Ghana’s fourth largest export market.

Decentralisation and AfCFTA capable of propelling Ghana’s growth - GDCA (BusinessGhana)

The Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) is committed to championing the cause of local governance in Ghana because it believes that decentralisation, coupled with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), can propel the country’s growth. Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director of GDCA, said this in the association’s release signed and issued on Thursday to mark this year’s African Decentralisation and Local Government Day.

On 10 August every year, African Union (AU) member states celebrate the African Decentralization and Local Development Day. This year’s theme is “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).” Alhaji Abdel-Rahman stressed that the AfCFTA initiative presents a huge potential for local development.

The Executive Director of GDCA said that the importance of integrating social accountability into the AfCFTA implementation strategy would ensure transparency, inclusivity, and effective progress tracking, thereby expediting the benefits of the AfCFTA for the people of Ghana.

Kenya’s Africa exports cross Sh200bn mark (Nation)

Kenyan traders earned an estimated Sh202.40 billion from goods sold on the continent in the first six months of the year, latest official statistics show, a 20.30 per cent growth over a similar period last year. Africa accounted for a record-high 42.23 per cent of the country’s Sh479.29 billion total value exports in the review period, according to provisional trade data collated by the Central Bank of Kenya. The share was higher than 38.84 percent, or Sh168.24 billion, in a similar period last year when total inflows from export of goods amounted to Sh433.15 billion. Kenya’s earnings from exports to African countries for the half-year period have crossed the Sh200 billion mark for the first time, giving a boost to President William Ruto’s push for increased intra-African trade.

The uptick has come at a time President William Ruto is championing the removal of trade barriers amongst African countries to ease the movement of goods, services and labour through integration of regional trading blocs. Africa’s under-developed transport networks have been blamed for raising the cost of goods and services by as much as 40 per cent, rendering intra-African trade uncompetitive compared with trade with developed continents such as Europe. For example, the first consignment of Kenya’s value-added tea to Ghana which left the country last October reached Port of Tema in February this year, highlighting the infrastructural, security and tariff hurdles hampering intra-African trade.

Kenya, Tanzania trade war cuts imports 30 percent (The Citizen)

Kenya’s imports from neighbouring Tanzania have slumped at the sharpest pace in seven years in a period renewed trade tiffs saw Nairobi bypass Dar es Salaam to buy more from as far as Egypt. Official trade statistics show expenditure on goods trucked from Tanzania in six months through June plunged by nearly a third on the back of restrictions on cereal exports to Kenya.

Tanzania imposed new guidelines on trade in grains between the country and its partners in the East African Community bloc in the review period, rules which largely restricted the importation of maize into Kenya. Data collated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicate the value of Kenya’s goods imports from Tanzania plunged 31.12 percent year-on-year to Sh18.68 billion in the January-June period. The drop from Sh27.12 billion – a record-high in the half-year period – in a similar period in the prior year was the fastest since 2016.

The thawing of trade relations between the two biggest economies in the seven-nation EAC bloc during the reign of former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart Samia Suluhu had pushed Tanzania to become the second-largest source market on the continent after South Africa. But the sharp drop in the value of imports through the Namanga border has seen Tanzania drop from second to fourth-largest source market for Kenya in Africa having been overtaken by Egypt and Uganda.

EA faces more food shortage as conflicts add mouths to feed (The East African)

This week, a food market report showed that a combination of factors – including erratic food supply in the region, high prices due to shortfalls, high demand in importing countries and poor policies – have made the region food insecure.

The East African Cross-Border Trade Bulletin July 2023, released by The Market Analysis Sub-group of the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, says the 2022 drought raised prices of grains as demand reduced supply. The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group monitors informal cross-border trade of 88 food commodities and livestock in Eastern Africa to quantify the impact on regional food security.

“In the first quarter of 2023, when it became known that Kenya could not acquire enough supplies from overseas due to higher prices and currency depreciation, cross-border trade was exceptionally high,” says the report. “The significance of the supply interchange between Uganda and Tanzania depends on the production and, in addition, the export policy of Tanzania, whereby, when domestic prices rise due to high domestic and regional demand, Tanzania reduces exports through various tools.”

President Ruto said the country is expected to harvest 44 million bags, compared to last year’s 32 million bags. But Kipkorir arap Menjo, a director at the Kenya Farmers Association, said the country remains food insecure because the government failed to set aside funds budget to cater for grain reserves.

Museveni and Ruto discuss trade, security (Monitor)

Kenya President William Ruto made an unannounced visit yesterday to his Ugandan counterpart, President Museveni, a week after he approved the blocking of Ugandan milk. He alleged that the milk was being imported from outside the region into Uganda. The two heads of State held a closed door meeting at State House Entebbe and talked about trade between the two countries and regional security.

The trade relationship between Uganda and Kenya has been worsening after Kenyan authorities blocked the importation of Uganda’s powdered milk to their market. Last week, President Ruto, while addressing the media in Mt Kenya region, Kenya, said Kenyan companies, which he didn’t name, import powdered milk to Uganda then process it to be able to access the Kenyan market.

Brookside Limited, a company owned by the former President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta has a big stake in Uganda’s milk industry and was one of the most affected companies by the blockage. The company has also cut jobs after the loss of the Kenyan market.

In January 2023, President Ruto sent a special message and it was delivered by his Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Industry, Mr Moses Kuria, to President Museveni where he allowed free access of Ugandan milk and chicken products to the Kenyan market.

Months later, Ugandan milk was blocked by Kenyan authority. On the security issues, Uganda and Kenya have deployed troops in the eastern DR Congo and they are engaging the Congolese government and M23 rebels to end the fighting. He had expressed concern about the blocking of Uganda’s milk in Kenya, but ruled out retaliatory action, saying they aren’t good for the development of the regional block.

SADC to hold 43rd Summit in Luanda, Republic of Angola, on 17 August 2023

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold the 43rd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Luanda, Republic of Angola on 17 August 2023.The 43rd SADC Summit will be held under the theme “Human and Financial Capital: The Key Drivers for Sustainable Industrialisation in the SADC Region”. The theme seeks to address two of the most critical enablers in supporting regional industrialisation, namely adequate human resources in terms of numbers and technical capacity within the context of climate change and 4th Industrial Revolution, and adequate financial resources to ensure more sustainable funding mechanisms.

Among some of the key issues, the 43rd SADC Summit will receive the report of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation; review progress on implementation of the priorities of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030, implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Road Map 2015-2063 and progress on the implementation of the 42nd SADC Summit Theme which is ”Promoting industrialization through, agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth”.

LCCI inaugurates ECOWAS/AfCFTA Committee (The Eagle Online)

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has inaugurated the ECOWAS/ AfCFTA Regional Integration, Trade & Investment Committee (EARI-TIC), as well as unveiled its pioneer members. At the inauguration ceremony, the LCCI President, underlined the priorities of peace, political stability, and good governance as some of the foremost promoters of regional integration, trade, and investment, indicating that the Chamber was establishing the strategic committee, in demonstrating its commitment to promoting regional integration, trade and investment as one of its strategic responses to the peculiar challenges in the sub-region as well as on the continent.

Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole stated: “In establishing this committee, we hope to leverage the expertise of Dr. Goodie Ibru, a trade specialist, renowned businessman, and a respected Past President of the Chamber, as the Chairman of the Committee. The Committee will work collaboratively with the other local and international stakeholders to promote regional integration.”

“The Terms of Reference for EARI-TIC include initiating and actively participating in discussions related to land border control, security, infrastructure, non-tariff barriers to intra-ECOWAS and intra-African trade. The Committee is also expected to contribute to strategic initiatives for developing and maintaining beneficial relationships between the LCCI and the ECOWAS Commission and other regional and international institutions, and actively participate in the discussion of private sector involvement in championing the ACFTA-guided trade initiative.

Kagame uses soft power to spread Pan-Africanism (The East African)

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is lobbying African countries to collaborate and do more business together to effectively address the challenges the continent faces amid heightened geopolitical tensions.

Against this backdrop, President Kagame has recently embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive visiting and hosting several African leaders. With a blend of soft power, including gifting cows — a symbol of wealth, friendship and appreciation in Rwandan society — to foreign leaders as a gesture of solid goodwill, proactive engagement signing several memoranda, President Kagame appears to be on a pan-African mission.

In Africa, President Kagame pointed out the pandemic, climate change, and the impact of geopolitical tensions have reversed decades of progress. However, African countries have to work together to address these challenges.

“Having these challenges is not the issue, the problem is leaving these challenges unaddressed. And for Africa, it is really sad because what are those problems that are insurmountable that have left Africa lagging behind the rest of the world forever?” President Kagame said, calling for a mindset shift among Africans to push back on the foreign influence that makes it difficult to work together and address their challenges.

‘Pilot Payment System’ for Intra-CARICOM, African Trade (The Washington Informer)

The idea of Barbadians doing trade with CARICOM and African countries in the Barbados dollar may be one step closer to becoming a reality, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced Friday, according to Barbados Today. The Central Bank of Barbados has agreed to enter into a partnership with the Central Bank of the Bahamas to pilot a payment platform system for trade within the region and with Africa, Prime Minister Mottley said.

Mottley made the disclosure during a ceremony at the Hilton Barbados Resort at the launch of the African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) CARICOM headquarters at the Trident Insurance Financial Centre in Hastings.

“The current Governor of the Central Bank has agreed along with the Governor of the Bahamas Central Bank, to be able to anchor the piloting of a programme that will allow for trade within the region and with Africa to be taken on the basis of settling the net differences, rather than having to look for hard currency for every single transaction,” Mottley said to applause.

BRICS Ministers sign declaration on agriculture (SAnews)

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has welcomed the signing of the Joint Declaration of the 13th Meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Ministers of Agriculture.

The Declaration outlines areas of collaboration, cooperation and agreement on various interventions among BRICS member countries on agriculture. These include reducing the impact of climate change on agriculture and food production; ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable; agriculture trade and investment; enhancing agricultural technology cooperation and innovation, and strengthening exchange of agricultural information.

“On climate change, the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture called for the provision of means of implementation for developing countries to enable them to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on food security by enhancing the adaptive capacity and resilience of people, food, and

Brics: South Africa push to fix trade disparity

BRICS to Discuss Accelerated Use of Local Currencies at Summit

Quick links

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