tralac Daily News
Dip in exports out east raises red flags for SA (Freight News)
The importance of China in South African trade cannot be overstated, considering the country’s economic well-being relies heavily on the export of minerals to the Eastern giant. These exports generate the crucial income needed to import the essentials that keep South Africa’s economy running smoothly.
According to Francois Fouche, an economist at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), with China standing as South Africa’s largest trade partner, the recent economic challenges faced by China, particularly in its real estate sector, have sparked concerns that could have profound consequences for South Africa’s trade.
“China has long been a key destination for our mineral exports, including vital resources like iron ore. These exports play a pivotal role in South Africa’s ability to generate the income necessary for importing essential goods, which are indispensable for the country’s economic functioning,” he told Freight News. “However, as China grapples with economic slowdowns, there is apprehension that Chinese demand for South African exports may decline.”
South Africa needs to look internally before going global on hydrogen (Engineering News)
As South Africa progresses its hydrogen strategies and plans as a means to mitigate climate change and to bolster security of energy supply, the country needs to look internally before embarking on global outflows.
Speaking at the Hydrogen Africa conference, held in Johannesburg from September 27 to 29, Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone Company COO Muze Shange said that amid the conversations surrounding hydrogen developments and exports is the need for focus around South Africa’s own needs and its own demands.
Expert speakers across the industry and world convened at the conference on Thursday to unpack the hydrogen economy, the opportunities and challenges and the potential for African – and global – trade of an emerging industry that could bring about significant economic gains and create thousands of jobs. Discussions were held on the advancement of the global hydrogen economy and market, hydrogen certification and standardisation, cross-border and global hydrogen trade markets and various regulatory frameworks.
Hydrogen can play a pivotal role in driving Africa’s energy transition and unlock a new era of sustainable development. However, collaborative leadership is required to seize the opportunity presented by hydrogen, Shange said, noting that such leadership will allow the country to drive hydrogen demand and growth, as well as various key initiatives toward cross-border and global trade markets.
EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement closer to approval (European Commission)
The EU-Kenya EPA will boost trade in goods and create new economic opportunities, with targeted cooperation to enhance Kenya’s development. It is the most ambitious EU agreement with an African country thus far as regards climate protection and labour rights.
The agreement foresees immediate full liberalisation of the EU market for Kenyan products, and will incentivise EU investment in Kenya, thanks to increased legal certainty and stability. The EPA contains strong trade and sustainability commitments, including binding provisions on labour matters, gender equality, environment, and the fight against climate change, and a dedicated chapter on economic and development cooperation to enhance the competitiveness of the Kenyan economy.
The deal will be supported by the implementation of the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package announced at the 6th EU-African Union Summit in February 2022. It will facilitate trade and investment, accompanied by trade-related development cooperation, with a view to further deepening the economic ties between the EU and Kenya, boosting sustainable economic growth, and creating jobs.
Once the Council gives its agreement, the EU will be able to sign the EPA with Kenya, that would then be sent to the European Parliament for consent. Following approval, the deal can enter into force.
The Zambian government on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to finalize the country’s national climate adaptation plan in time for the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.
Douty Chibamba, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, said Zambia wanted to join the few least developed countries that have submitted their national climate adaptation plans to the UNFCCC. He said that so far 16 countries in Africa have completed and submitted their national climate adaptation plans and Zambia would like to be counted in the next batch of countries that would have successfully done so. In remarks delivered during a national climate adaptation plan consultative meeting, Chibamba said the plan is an important milestone for every Zambian towards achieving resilience to the impacts of climate change.
A group of stakeholders has solicited US partnership to boost trade and investment opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The stakeholders, including ministers, shared the existing trade opportunities in various sectors at an event on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations Annual General meetings. The programme had Nigerian political, business leaders and their US counterparts, in attendance.
On the front burner was advancing trade relations between both continents. The event themed, ‘The Imperatives of Global Trade for SMEs as Game Changer for the Future Prosperity of the African Continent’, held on September 21 in New York
The comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between Ethiopia and China has deepened the bilateral cooperation in various fields, Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said. The 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was marked yesterday at the Sky Light Hotel.
During the ceremony, Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said China and Ethiopia have jointly made great efforts to promote peace and development in the Horn of Africa in a bid to make contribution to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. He also stated that the BRICS mechanism presents a new vision and new opportunities for the two countries’ common development.
“Ethiopia plays an important role in regional cooperation and global affairs. (Therefore) Ethiopia’s joining BRICS will bring new vitality and the momentum to the BRICS cooperation and to build the mechanism into a key platform for a fair and just global political order and economy with inclusive and sustainable development.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area has potential to increase cross-border remittances by migrants, a report by World Bank now indicates, even as international markets remain the largest sources. This comes as market projections indicate a possible slowdown in the growth of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa, expected to fall from 6.1 per cent in 2022 to 1.3 per cent in 2023.Risks to the outlook include capital outflows, measures to control foreign exchange and sanctions, World Bank notes.
Growth in remittance flows is expected to recover to 3.7 percent in 2024, with Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe among the biggest recipients in in the Sub-Sahara Africa.
Angola to Host the 53rd AASA Annual General Assembly (Airspace Africa)
Angola is set to host the 53rd edition of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) Annual General Assembly from October 5 to 8 in its vibrant capital city, Luanda. This prestigious event, co-organized by TAAG Angola Airlines, marks the first time that Angola has been chosen as the host country for this pivotal gathering.
The AASA Annual General Assembly serves as a critical platform for industry stakeholders, including airlines, regulators, manufacturers, service providers, investors, diplomatic representatives, and government entities, to come together and engage in essential discussions and networking opportunities. The assembly is dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities facing civil aviation in Africa, emphasizing cooperation and collaboration among key players in the aviation ecosystem.
One of the standout events of the assembly, scheduled for October 6, is the roundtable sessions. These sessions will feature over 200 delegates and top decision-makers from various corners of the aviation world. The discussions during these sessions will encompass a wide range of topics crucial to the industry’s growth and sustainability, including the competitive environment, connectivity, financing, supply chain, operating costs, regulatory aspects, and the future of African airlines.
Turnaround expert and an independent maritime consultant, Dr Dakuku Peterside, says sustainable development of the African maritime sector is crucial to unlocking the potential of the continent and making it a huge contributor to the world economy. Peterside made this submission at the Agenda For African Development Senior Managers Forum on Environmental Management System in African Seaports at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt.
Revealing statistics that Africa accounts for less than 3% of global trade and just about 15% of intra-African trade compared to Europe (68%), Asia (58%), North America (48%), and Latin America (20%), he argued that African leaders under the auspices of Africa Union (AU) must quickly activate the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aimed at boosting intra African trade.
The immediate past DG/CEO of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) noted that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimated that AfCFTA could boost intra-African trade by up to 33% and cut trade deficit by 51%, time was of the essence in promoting trade. According to him, “This increase in trade will lead to higher demand for maritime transport, create new market opportunities, and spur investment in port infrastructure.”
While stressing that the maritime sector will play a key role, he argued that it would involve tackling issues such as strengthening governance, improving infrastructure, investing in human capital, and improving the operating environment.
Inspired by China’s development over the decades, more and more African countries are seeking to follow the development paths that suit their own domestic conditions. At the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue held in South Africa’s Johannesburg in late August, Chinese President Xi Jinping once again encouraged African countries to find the path that suits Africa best.
Despite being rich in resources and boasting a large population and a vast market, Africa has remained the world’s poorest continent. “Obviously, by default, in almost every country in Africa, our conversations are Western-led or Western-engineered. But because the information flow is very easy now, people could really appreciate different voices and new perspectives,” said Paul Frimpong, executive director of the Africa-China Center for Policy and Advisory, a Ghana-based think tank.
Keeping Africa on track to SDG success (African Business)
For 30 years, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has been an advocate for African solutions to Africa’s problems by creating and deploying innovative solutions to eliminate barriers to the attainment of Africa’s developmental aspirations.
Created with a mandate to promote intra-African trade, Afreximbank is working in partnership with the AU and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to reverse the commodity and market concentrations that have historically stalled Africa’s development, especially due to the commodity dependency trap. Fundamentally, the Bank’s interventions in support of its member states are in alignment with AU’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
In response to the food security challenge on the continent heightened by geo-political conflicts, the Bank, working with UNECA, created the African Trade Exchange (ATEX), a platform that is already connecting buyers and suppliers of scarce agricultural commodities and fertilisers arising from the Ukraine conflict. In the long run, ATEX will facilitate the smooth integration of regional suppliers into the continent’s supply and value chains, vital for trading under the AfCFTA.
AFC secures $300 mn loan from CEXIM to boost trade finance in Africa (Africa Aviation News)
Africa Finance Corporation announced the successful signing of a $300 million loan facility agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM). This agreement, signed on the sidelines of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Annual meetings in Egypt, is poised to drive increased trade finance and investment across the African continent, fostering economic growth and development.
The release reads, “The 3-year $300 million loan facility is a significant development in AFC’s long-standing relationship with CEXIM.” The two institutions have collaborated since 2018, with AFC receiving $400 million in bilateral loans from CEXIM to date. The loan will provide critical financing to support trade finance and investment in Africa, further facilitating the flow of goods and services between Africa and China.”
“CEXIM attaches great importance to the China-Africa financial cooperation and AFC is an important partner for us. Over the past few years, CEXIM has provided loans to AFC to enhance the bilateral trade and investment between China and Africa.” said Wencai Zhang, vice president of CEXIM, “This new project has elevated our bilateral cooperation to a new level and will further enhance China-Africa trade and economic cooperation through the financial support of our two institutions.”
Executive Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) and Senior Partner of the Africa Legal Associates (ALA), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has stated that the economic integration of Africa is the surest pathway to guarantee the continent’s peace, security and prosperity for all her peoples.
Delivering his welcome address at the maiden edition of the Global Africa Forum (GAF) jointly organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) and the Africa-America Institute (AAI) on Thursday September 21st, 2023, on the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City, under theme: “Mobilising Global Africa Investment to Boost Intra-African Trade,” Mr Otchere-Darko said political and business leaders must prioritize the integration agenda of the continent.
The best way to achieve this integration in Mr Otchere-Darko’s view, is to have a mindset of Africa without borders. The concept of global Africa he said, will be much more meaningful and find expression if the continent gets rid of the borders that are dividing her currently. He told the gathering that investors who are not Africans in any shape or form, have invested in Africa and their investments have become profitable. The “global African,” Mr Otchere-Darko said, must see the need to also invest in the continent with profitability as a target.
9th BRICS PF Converges to Foster Multilateralism, Cooperation, and Collaboration (Parliament of the Republic of South Africa)
The 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum (BRICS PF) got off to a remarkable start today as approximately 250 delegates from about 15 countries across different continents converged for discussions that reinforced the BRICS Parliaments’ commitment to multilateralism, cooperation, and collaboration.
The 9th BRICS PF is hosted by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng Province under the theme: “Harnessing inclusive Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.”
Today’s debate centred around the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its potential impact on BRICS nations – as well as the crucial role that parliaments can play in maximizing its benefits. “This agreement presents BRICS nations with a significant opportunity by granting them improved access to the African market, creating new avenues for trade, and opening up possibilities for expanded investments,” said National Assembly Speaker Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), emphasised the BRICS group’s potential to significantly shape the future of the global economy, given its combined GDP of approximately one-third of global GDP after the inclusion of six new member countries, vast human capital, and advanced technological and industrial capabilities. He added that the BRICS can also redirect global atte
The development and delivery of infrastructure ought not to be dependent on the availability of public resources, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told delegates attending the Brazil Russia India China South Africa (Brics) Infrastructure Investment Symposium on Thursday.
In his keynote address, the Minister implied that, with the Global Infrastructure Hub projecting a need for $94-trillion’s worth of infrastructure investment by 2040, it is unreasonable to expect governments in “constrained fiscal positions” to fund much of the investment.
“With a further $3.5-trillion required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals [and] at the projected investment levels of about $79-trillion, there will be a financing gap of about $18-trillion by 2040.” As Brics countries constitute a third of this investment requirement, Gondongwana noted that a focus this year has been on exploring ways to fast-track infrastructure development and delivery through increased private sector participation.
“We know that infrastructure investments offer stable, attractive and long-term cash flow for investors. For this reason, while the financing gap is suitably large, through greater collaboration and effective partnership, the gap can close.”
Ukraine’s move to create a shipping channel for grain exports is a positive step for global food security, although efforts continue to reach a new agreement over a broader Black Sea corridor, the top U.N. trade official said on Wednesday.
Russia in July quit a U.N.-backed deal which had enabled exports from Ukraine to sail from three approved ports. Since then, Kyiv has launched what it calls a temporary humanitarian corridor in an effort to break Russia’s de facto blockade. Two ships have sailed in recent days from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk using the channel, which hugs the Romanian and Bulgarian coasts.
“We see the alternatives that are being explored to export in a very positive light because the important thing is to get the grain to global markets,” Rebeca Grynspan, who leads the implementation of the U.N. deal with Russia, told Reuters on the sidelines of a U.N. event in London. Grynspan said while the new corridor that Ukraine is trying to open is among “very important efforts”, she added that “the risks are higher”.
“The only thing that will take the risk away and stabilise ... the situation is an agreement that will be backed by all partners,” she said, adding she was unable to provide any timeframe for a deal.