Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Africa Climate Summit

Outcome document


Africa Climate Summit ends with call for action and pledge of $23bn in investment (Daily Maverick)

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit concluded on Wednesday with the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration, a document that highlighted Africa’s vulnerability to the climate crisis and called for more ambitious and progressive action from the developed world. Leaders of nations and their governments adopted the declaration, which called on the international community to assist Africa through investment in its decarbonisation agenda.

In addition to the declaration, the summit secured $23-billion in investment from various stakeholders. The funds will go towards “green growth, mitigation and adaptation” across Africa. The commitments included a $4.5-billion initiative from the UAE’s COP28 president towards 15GW of clean energy in Africa by 2030.

The declaration calls on countries to “invite development partners from both the Global South and North to align and coordinate their technical and financial resources directed toward Africa to promote sustainable utilisation of Africa’s natural assets for the continent’s progression toward low carbon development, and contributing to global decarbonisation”.

Africa Climate Summit fails to deliver on African solutions for a clean energy future (Greenpeace Africa)

The African Union released The African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action on the last day of the Africa Climate Summit. This week, 17 Heads of State, Ministers and Members of Parliament came together to discuss the nuanced issues of climate change, climate change finance and the future of Africa’s energy system.

Alongside this summit, 500 African Civil Society Organisations (Africa People’s Climate Assembly) organized the Real Africa Climate Summit to highlight the disregard of the interests and voices of the African people and to provide an alternative space to share experiences and provide solutions for real climate action.

During the summit, the overarching sentiment has been that Africa has to become a hub for clean energy and a leader in low-carbon economy-based development. However, civil society has been concerned about the agenda on false solutions such as carbon markets, carbon credits and the use of technology as a viable alternative to phasing out harmful fossil fuels. These concepts are led by Global North interests and are being marketed as African priorities when in reality they will embolden wealthy nations and large corporations to continue polluting the Africa.

As a response to the agenda that did not represent the people’s interest, civil society actors organised a People’s March and Assembly and launched a People’s Declaration to counter the official Declaration of the Summit.

Related: Natural gas is key to Africa’s industrialisation process and to ending the region’s massive energy poverty (Namibia Economist)

Africa’s vast natural gas reserves are key to bringing energy to Africa’s poorest countries, to a solid industrialisation process throughout the region, and significant poverty reduction.

The region is home to 33 of the world’s 46 least-developed countries (LDCs) with an average income per head of less than $1,018 a year. The continent’s poorest countries must expand at 6-7% a year if poverty is to be reduced in a big way and if the life chances of hundreds of millions of people are to be improved. To achieve this goal, these countries require abundant and cheap energy. Luckily, for many African states, the answer lies on their doorstep — natural gas. Gas has remained a niche fuel in sub-Saharan Africa — contributing only 5% of the total energy mix against a global average of 20-25% — but its potential is enormous.

A new vision for Africa is required — a crisscrossing network of natural gas pipelines that brings energy to all corners of the region. The continent’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is tiny and will only become slightly bigger if the region’s natural gas reserves are exploited. There is also a massive opportunity to wean poor Africans away from the use of biomass fuel and to help protect the region’s forests through the rollout of small, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) stoves. Climate change is an issue in Africa but poverty reduction is a bigger one. Poverty is the biggest killer in Africa today.

How SA’s trade relations with China are strengthening (Bizcommunity)

Trade between China and South Africa is set to grow further after several announcements on trade were made at the Brics summit, held in South Africa in August 2023. At the summit, the countries agreed to narrow the trade deficit by increasing access to Chinese markets for South African products.

In this regard, China has recently begun importing South African beef after a block on the product (due to foot and mouth disease) was lifted. The two countries also agreed to allow avocados to be exported from South Africa to China. China also announced at the summit that it would donate energy equipment worth around R167m ($8.97m) and a grant valued at around R500m ($26.9m) to South Africa to assist with its energy crisis, although no deadlines were given.

Kenya horticulture exports rebound on stronger euro (The East African)

Kenya’s earnings from horticultural exports for the half-year period through June recovered from a double-digit fall in the prior year amid a strengthening euro and moderating inflationary pressures, official data shows.

Sales from horticultural exports amounted to Ksh69.48 billion ($476.1 million) in the review period, according to data collated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), a modest 7.16 percent rise from Ksh64.84 billion ($444.3 million) in a similar period last year.

The increased earnings came at a time when the euro appreciated 16.54 percent against the shilling between January and June, boosting revenue for Kenyan producers who largely earn in the eurozone currency. About 70 percent of Kenya’s horticulture exports are paid in euros, according to industry estimates, while nearly a fifth of the consignments are paid in the British pound.

Mobile money now at 70% of Kenya’s GDP – report (The Star)

Mobile money transactions in Kenya has hit 68 percent of GDP as remittances continue to drive growth, according to data company Global Voice Group (GVC). It is estimated that Kenyans make an average of Sh21.7 billion worth of mobile money transactions, highlighting the pivotal role mobile money plays in the economy.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for the year 2022 shows that the overall value of mobile money transactions reached an astounding Sh7.91 trillion, marking a 15 percent surge compared to the figures reported in 2021.Increasing use of mobile money has sparked competition between mobile money wallets and commercial banks, as Kenyans gradually abandon cash-based transactions, which remain dominant, in favour of digitally enabled alternatives, particularly mobile money.

A paper titled “Data-Driven Transparency and Compliance in the Digital Financial Ecosystem in Africa”, by GVC shows that mobile money and remittances will continue to dominate Africa’s economic development if supported with tools to boost data-driven transparency and compliance.

AfCFTA’s success hinges on industrialisation – expert (The Business & Financial Times)

The African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) success hinges on the continent’s ability to embrace industrialisation and focus on boosting productive capabilities, Global Chair of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Business Council, Busi Mabuza, has reiterated. Equally important, she stressed, is the need for collaboration and cooperation to unlock the economic potential of respective nations. Also, embracing partnerships and alliances can create new avenues for investment and mutual growth, she said.

“We cannot afford to fail in unlocking the opportunity of industrialising the African continent. It is important that we move away from extractive relationships that the continent had in the past to where our partners come and help us industrialise... To make it a reality, we need a regional value chain; we need infrastructure to enable logistics, the transportation of goods and ease of providing services,” she told the B&FT in an exclusive interview. “Most especially, we need to unlock the energy opportunity in a manner that enables a sustainable future for us,” she added.

African trade agreements should include environmental provisions to drive sustainable agricultural growth, finds report (EIN News)

African trade agreements can boost agricultural imports and exports and curb the adverse effects of climate change by including actionable provisions, according to the latest Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2023. Published by AKADEMIYA2063 and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the 2023 AATM calls for concerted regional- and continental-level action toward sustainable trade flows and more environment-friendly trade policies. The report also delves into the negative impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war on fertilizers and food trade and recommends action to lessen the effects of the shocks on African countries and consumers.

Unveiled at this year’s Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the 2023 AATM provides high-quality trade statistics using consistent indicators to monitor trends in Africa’s participation in global trade as well as the status of intra-African trade. The report finds that Africa’s regional trade agreements (RTAs) do not exert a significant impact on its agricultural trade. The analysis attributes this to “shallow” trade agreements that focus on tariff reductions only, with limited impact on the agri-food market. The research highlights opportunities to include provisions on non-tariff measures and enhance their legal enforceability to accelerate intra-African agri-food trade. The report also calls for RTAs to include climate-related provisions to boost the contribution of trade to combat the negative impacts of climate change.

Africa’s poor interest in agriculture blamed for continual food shortage (The East African)

Africa’s low-level investments in agriculture is fueling continual food shortage on the continent, in what could indicate that lack of political will, rather than weather patterns or conflict is directly at fault. Leaders and experts gathering in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, have been told this week that continued poor investments in agricultural production including use of modern technology are hurting continental ambitions to feed itself. And its rising population is not helping.

Since Monday, Africa’s top brains in food security have been discussing proper policy in agriculture at the Africa Green Revolution Forum. And they have been consistent in calling for huge investments in agriculture to ward off food insecurity caused by the prolonged droughts.

Tanzania’s Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango told the forum inadequate financing of food value chains is also still a major constraint, mainly due to high cost of borrowing for the agriculture sector. Additionally, women and youth tend to be the most financially excluded segments of the population. The looming food deficit, coupled with rising import bills and a wide range of nutritional challenges, undermine regional output growth and the continent’s drive towards Agenda 2063.

Advancing a developed African Fisheries and Aquaculture (AU-IBAR)

The second meeting of the revised African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM), Think Tank Executive Committee (TTEC) is currently underway in Naivasha, Kenya. The event organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with AUDA-NEPAD seeks to review and enrich position papers and knowledge products that support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture across the African continent.

AU-IBAR conducted research on 53 AU Member States and reviewed best practices on fisheries and aquaculture. The findings provided essential insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. The study revealed that many African countries currently lack fundamental institutions and management required to achieve the objectives set out in the African Union’s Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS). Long-term commitment is crucial for building human and institutional capacity and realizing PFRS outcomes. Public sector programs often have short lifespans, whereas long-term programs are required for sustained growth.

The effectiveness of governance in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, as well as the development of value chains, now significantly rely on the efficiency of regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs), agreements within Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and the implementation of certification schemes. A comprehensive understanding of existing value chains, particularly in rapidly growing aquaculture sectors, is essential for designing effective interventions. Collaboration between strong governance institutions, including national governments, regional fisheries bodies, and non-state actors, is pivotal for building robust fishery and aquaculture value chains.

Technology can boost agric in Africa – Bagbin (The Business & Financial Times)

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has called on African governments to focus on innovation and technology in farming if Africa is to attain its potential as the world’s food basket. He was speaking at the Convention and 30th anniversary of the Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) in Atlanta, Georgia, under the theme ‘Empowering our youth toward innovative entrepreneurship in transformational agriculture’.

The Speaker said technologies such as GPS, sensors, drones and data analytics must be deployed in agriculture to optimise resource use, monitor crop health and improve yields. It will also enable the youth in agriculture to make informed decisions based on reliable data, reduce waste and increase efficiency.

“If governments direct resources into modernising agriculture and infuse technology into farm practices, more youth will opt for the sector. This will address the challenges of feeding a global population sustainably, create economic opportunities for rural communities and transform how we produce, distribute and consume food,” he said.

World Insights: Food insecurity looms for low-income countries in Mideast, Africa amid Black Sea grain deal stalemate (Xinhua)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday failed to yield a breakthrough in the revival of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to experts. Following the meeting, Erdogan expressed optimism about the initiative, but concrete evidence of a breakthrough remains elusive. Meanwhile, Putin reiterated accusations against the West for failing to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Analysts are concerned that the absence of the grain deal will threaten food security in low-income nations in the Middle East and Africa, urging the West to offer Russia the necessary guarantees to maintain a crucial food supply chain. The failure to resurrect the Black Sea grain deal could have far-reaching consequences on low-income countries which heavily rely on Ukrainian and Russian grain exports.

Before its suspension, the original deal facilitated the export of nearly 33 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine to global markets, benefiting developing countries, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement in July had already impacted global grain prices, raising concerns about food security and a potential worldwide food crisis.

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