Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

South Africa mulls trade options as bird flu hits poultry supply (Bloomberg)

South Africa’s government is assessing trade measures and the possibility of vaccination to ease shortages of poultry products and contain the spread of avian flu in the country.

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza will start work on improving the efficiency of issuing import permits for egg products, according to a statement emailed on Monday. On the broiler side, Didiza and Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel are assessing some trade instruments to ease the supply of chicken meat.

Patel reintroduced anti-dumping duties on bone-in chicken portions from Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Denmark in August to protect the local poultry industry. Groups including the opposition Democratic Alliance have called on the government to temporarily suspend tariffs on chicken to help address the projected supply shortfall and cushion consumers against price hikes of all poultry products.

Tanzania on course to become regional digital hub (Tanzania Daily News)

Tanzania is poised to become a digital hub within the East Africa Community (EAC) following the inauguration of the Centre of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE). Hosted by the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), the centre is established within the framework of the Excellence in Africa initiative, collaboration between Mohamed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) of Morocco and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) of Switzerland.

It is specifically designed to support the transformation of training and educational practices through digital tools and technologies in Tanzania and the EAC region.

Speaking during the centre’s inauguration on Monday, the Director of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Professor Ladslaus Mnyone underscored the role of the facility in advancing education provision in Tanzania. He said that embracing technologies and coping with rapid technological advancements had significant impact on both professional and personal experiences.

Punitive domestic tariffs threaten African trade (The Business & Financial Times)

Tariff and non-tariff barriers in the country remain a real threat to the vision of a liberalised African trade market under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This is despite the fact that Ghana’s legal framework supports free trade, says a study that revealed tariff barriers are imposed as taxes and duties on imports – while non-tariff barriers (NTBs) encompass protectionist policies against foreign trade. Combined, it said, they threaten the idea of a free continental free trade market.

Under the AFCFTA’s mandate for gradually reducing tariffs and eliminating non-tariff barriers, Ghana is expected to liberalise tariffs over ten years and remove non-tariff barriers. “Removing these restrictions will significantly increase trade within African countries,” says the study dubbed— Situational analysis of Ghana’s AFCFTA preparedness: a review of the legal, policy and regulatory Framework for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA in Ghana).

Produced by Ishmael Yamson & Associates and Sam Okudzeto & Associates on behalf of the University of Professional Studies-Accra (UPSA) Law School, the report underscores the necessity of addressing certain challenges within the domestic legal framework to enhance the AfCFTA’s implementation. These challenges encompass the absence of harmonisation in laws, regulations and standards across the continent. The report suggests the country should strive to align its laws with those of other African nations to facilitate the smooth movement of goods and services across borders.

Horticultural sector a critical contributor to Ghana’s economic growth-Netherlands Ambassador (News Ghana)

Ghana Vegetables, in collaboration with the Horticulture Business Platform, has organized the Fruit and Vegetables Fair 2023 under the theme “Harnessing the gains of the horticulture sector, with a focus on AFCFTA.”

This year’s Ghana Fruit and Vegetable Fair held at the Department of Parks and Gardens attracted producers, agro-input distributors, transporters, financial institutions, cold storage service providers, exporters, importers, insurance service providers, and aggregators of fresh fruits and vegetables in a grand style. The event provided an exceptional opportunity for these stakeholders to network, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations that can help drive the growth and development of the fruit and vegetable industry in Ghana.

Speaking at the event the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Jeroen Verheul, highlighted the long-standing partnership between the Netherlands and Ghanaian horticultural farmers and entrepreneurs. Emphasizing that the horticultural sector is a crucial contributor to Ghana’s economic growth. There are three key reasons to strengthen the horticulture partnership: promoting economic growth, improving diets, and creating more job opportunities.

Related: We remain committed to a quick turnaround of economy – Ghana Association of Banks (MyJoyOnline.com)

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia maintain fruitful bilateral coordination: Envoy (Arab News)

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have maintained a fruitful mechanism of bilateral consultations and coordination between them since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1961, according to Nigerian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Yahaya Lawal.

Speaking at Nigeria’s 63rd independence day anniversary function in Riyadh, the envoy on Monday said: “I am happy to inform you that for the past six decades, our bilateral cooperation, which was initially Hajj-centric, has witnessed diversification to cover a number of mutually beneficial areas. I am pleased to note that a large number of our compatriots and professionals, including valued Nigerian football players, are actively working and contributing silently to the strengthening of these relations in various fields. This is expected to receive an additional boost when more than a dozen agreements and MoUs currently under negotiation within the framework of the Nigeria-Saudi Joint Commission are concluded,” the envoy said.

Nigeria, like the Kingdom under its “Vision 2030,” was diversifying its economy away from oil dependence by focussing on agriculture, mining, the digital economy and tourism to promote sustainable development, he said.

“Our country is also cleansing and liberalizing the business environment to attract more domestic and Foreign Direct Investments. We have introduced in this regard a number of programs, which include a new National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy, the establishment of Special Agro Industrial Processing Zones, the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme and the Petroleum Industry Act, which seeks to transform and open up the oil and gas sector,” he said.

Africa’s economy could rival China or India, says WTO chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (GZERO Media)

The African continent has a population of 1.4 billion people, but it imports more than 90% of its medicines and 90% of its vaccines. WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says the time has come to open up the continent to globalization and encourage businesses to invest in African countries.

On GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, Okonjo-Iweala makes the case for decentralizing and diversifying global trade to open up new markets, bring Global South countries into the mainstream of the world economy, and reduce reliance on any one country for crucial goods and services.

Africa hasn’t yet globalized, but when it does fully integrate into the world economy, it could create a domestic market of over a billion people that rivals that of China and India. “Africa has about 3% of world trade, and that’s too small,” Okonjo-Iweala says. “When, not if, that experiment really gets going of Africans integrating better with themselves and trading, that is automatically very attractive for trade for the world.”

CABI shares expertise at 4th International Phytosanitary Conference 2023 held in Kenya (Krishak Jagat)

CABI has shared its expertise in helping countries achieve robust Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) systems to sustainably improve livelihoods and strengthen food security at the 4th International Phytosanitary Conference 2023 held in Kenya. Dr Morris Akiri, Senior Regional Director, Africa, attended the event which was hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) at its headquarters in Nairobi.

Dr Akiri gave opening remarks at the Conference – themed “Enhancing Phytosanitary Systems for Trade Facilitation, Climate Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Livelihoods” – and highlighted how CABI is working with its 17 Member Countries in Africa to enhance SPS measures along the food value chain.

Professor Theophilus M. Mutui, Managing Director of KEPHIS, emphasized that “the implementation of phytosanitary measures aimed at mitigating against the challenge of plant pests is key to Kenya’s economy.”

CABI’s Dr Ivan Rwomushana, Senior Scientist, Invasive Species Management in his keynote address at the event highlighted the range of digital tools within the PlantwisePlus Toolkit that can be used for horizon scanning and insight reporting when monitoring and managing phytosanitary risks.

Related: An annual loss of $5 billion in Africa’s food market has been attributed to an insect (Business Insider Africa)

Stakeholders in Africa Discussing Ways to Expedite Digital Transformation in Continent (ENA)

The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) regional development forum for Africa opened in Addis Ababa today with a view to accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the continent through digital transformation​. ​ The Forum will take place for the coming three days under the theme “Digital transformation for a sustainable and equitable digital future: Accelerating the implementation of the SDGs in Africa through digital transformation​”.​

Speaking on the opening event, ITU Department Partnerships for Digital Development Chief, Cosmas Zavazava said the forum is a platform for views exchange and matchmaking among stakeholders.

“The regional development forum is one of the key forums or events that we hold and the idea is to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm, to exchange ideas. But most importantly, this regional development forum is unique, unique in the sense that we are going to engage in a matchmaking exercise.” The aim is to convert pledges into concrete commitments that will result in the implementation of concrete impactful projects based on the priorities adopted and contained in the Kigali Action Plan, it was indicated.

The Kigali Action Plan is a comprehensive package that will promote the equitable and sustainable development of telecommunication/ICT networks and services, it was learned. We would like to make sure the 36.1 billion USD pledged to us is implemented for concrete works, he said.

African ministers call for new financing for continent’s development agenda (Anadolu Ajansı)

African ministers and officials of the African Union called for new sources of financing on Monday to supplement member states’ contributions towards the continent’s long-term development activities. They spoke at discussions on financing of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects during a retreat of the African Union Executive Council in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The three-day ministerial retreat was convened to discuss the second 10-year plan of Agenda 2063 spanning from 2024 to 2033.

“In order to achieve the progress we want, we must ensure we have the resources necessary to implement the programs of our agenda. The matters of resource mobilization and effective deployment of resources are key,” said Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s international relations and cooperation minister.

Noting that financing has proven to be challenging, Pandor called for an effective domestic resource mobilization strategy and better utilization of the private sector, since it holds massive capital.

The key barriers to financing of the continental agenda in the first 10 years of implementation highlighted include illicit financial flows, high debt levels and inefficiency of tax administrations to collect adequate revenue resources, according to officials.

African Global Economic & Development Summit Drives Africa Towards Biofuels and Renewable Feedstocks Aimed at AfCFTA (EIN News)

Former president Donald Trump Administration’s failed policies towards Africa predicated the summit organizers to move the three-day event to Africa. The 5th African Global Economic Development Summit (AGED) will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia October 25th through 27th, 2023. The theme of the 5th AGED Summit is: “Transforming Africa through the industrialization of its economies.” The summit is designed to discover investment and trade opportunities throughout the continent that not only uniquely diversify economies, but are also transparent, well packaged and ready for immediate take off.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

This year’s Summit will primarily focus on infrastructure development, agriculture, biofuels, renewable energy, and climate change. Africa is abundant in resources and is home to 60% of the world’s arable land, which provides African countries the opportunity to grow feedstocks for renewable fuels and biofuel. Thus, helping to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation industries through intercrop ecosystems and agroforestry techniques that also ensure food security, jobs, and sustainability throughout the continent.

SARA 2023: ECOWAS shares its experience of shocks mitigation mechanisms and the use of ICTs in agriculture (ECOWAS)

On the third day of the Agriculture and Animal Resources Exhibition (SARA, 1st October 2023), national and international partners were invited to take part in discussions at the inaugural conference on the central theme of “African agriculture in the face of internal and external shocks: structural innovations to improve agricultural sectors and guarantee food sovereignty”.

After outlining the various shocks facing African populations, the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Siméon Ehui, focused on the impact of climate change, which is making African agriculture more fragile. He called on stakeholders and decision-makers to prioritize the use of drought-tolerant agricultural technologies adapted to conditions of climate variability. He also called for rapid response mechanisms to be put in place to deal with shocks when they occur.

Continental Youth Consultation on delivering peace dividends through the implementation of the AfCFTA kicks off (AU)

Consultations on the meaningful engagement of the youth to advance democracy, human rights and governance in Africa have kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a pre-forum leading to the 12th High Level Dialogue. Youth from across the continent will review existing modalities and propose recommendations that leverage and foster meaningful participation of young people in delivering peace dividends through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The consultations will explore the role of African youth in advancing actions aligned to the nexus between the economic development, democracy, governance and peace and security. Amb Salah Hammad, Acting Head AGA-APSA Secretariat, at the African Union Commission, Department of Political Affairs, Peace, and Security observes that the youth discussions are timely particularly in the current challenging context of a wave of democratic governance reversals, military takeovers and Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCGs) and in considering the critical role of the youth to drive Africa’s sustainable development agenda.

He stated, “the youth’s voices and perspectives are important to the African Union. Through hearing young people’s perspectives, we will get to listen, understand and act in their best interest. We can jointly work with youth to identify key roles and facilitate their meaningful participation and inclusion in democratic governance, peace and security. Inclusion is key as it provides an enabling environment for AfCFTA implementation, but youth also must also play their part for constructive engagement by developing and sharpening their skills through training to take advantage of opportunities that will be brought forth by the continental free trade agreement.”

12th High-level Dialogue on Human Rights, Democracy and Governance in Africa

General Assembly: Second Committee (Economic and Financial) (United Nations)

GLADYS MOKHAWA (Botswana), speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, pointed to the lingering impacts of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, inflation and commodity price hikes on the ability of her bloc to achieve socioeconomic development, highlighting in this regard the rising inflation rate from 6.2 per cent in 2015 to 20.5 per cent in 2022. Ahead of the third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries, slated for June 2024 in Kigali, she urged seizing momentum to reaffirm the commitment to support the group of 32 States, representing 570 million people, with recovering from the effects of global crises and leapfrogging their economies towards 2030. In this regard, she asked the Committee’s assistance with the development of an ambitious new programme of action for landlocked developing countries with quantifiable goals, targets, commitments and deliverables.

Ahead of the Kigali summit, she emphasized the importance of international trade for the economic development of landlocked developing countries — which relies heavily on efficient transit transport systems — and called for special support to bridge the financing gap in building transit-transport infrastructure. Highlighting the need for improved access to energy and ICT, which are relatively low in landlocked developing countries, she stressed the importance of support for those States’ participation in e-commerce and digital business platforms, while requesting assistance in technology and capacity-building for modern technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data. Noting that landlocked developing countries need more support in the form of ODA, FDI, debt relief, migrant remittances, and collaboration with global and regional development banks, she announced that the preparatory process for the Kigali summit is in full swing.

MARTHINUS CHRISTOFFEL JOHANNES VAN SCHALKWYK (South Africa), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, called for the necessary will and regaining the momentum towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. “Significant work is required in the provisioning and mobilizing of predictable, at-scale, additional and accessible financial resources for the implementation of the SDGs,” he said, reiterating that ensuring sustainable development requires collective action by all countries, sectors and actors. There is no part of the world that is not feeling the dramatic changes to climate and extreme weather events. “Africa, least responsible for the climate crisis, also finds itself at the epicentre of the worst impacts, experiencing droughts, floods and cyclones,” he stressed, appealing to advance all three pillars of the Paris Agreement — mitigation, adaptation and support. “Now more than ever, the central role of the United Nations is required to provide much needed leadership in our collective multilateral effort for a sustainable recovery,” he concluded.

Related: Sustainable Development Goals’ Current Status (Welthungerhilfe.de)

Geoeconomic Fragmentation Threatens Food Security and Clean Energy Transition (IMF)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 fragmented major commodity markets. Countries have since restricted trade in commodities, with a more than twofold increase in new policy measures relative to 2021. Commodities, particularly minerals critical for the green transition and some highly traded agricultural goods, are especially vulnerable in the event of more severe geoeconomic fragmentation, as we show in a chapter of our latest World Economic Outlook chapter.

Further fragmentation could lead to turmoil in commodity markets, causing large price swings. While long-term global economic losses of about 0.3 percent would remain relatively modest due to offsetting effects in net producing and consuming countries, low-income and other vulnerable countries would bear the brunt. In our illustrative simulations, they could face long-term gross domestic product losses of 1.2. percent on average, largely stemming from disruptions in agricultural imports.

For some countries, losses could exceed 2 percent. This would exacerbate food security concerns, as low-income countries are particularly reliant on food imports to feed their population.

Recent shocks are an opportunity to undertake the structural policy reforms needed to improve medium and long term economic outcomes (OECD)

The after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine are an opportunity for governments to undertake the structural policy reforms necessary for strong and sustainable growth and more competitive, innovative and resilient economies in the medium and long term, according to the OECD’s Going for Growth 2023.

Unprecedented policy responses to recent shocks have helped protect lives and livelihoods during this turmoil, but long-term and long-standing challenges remain to be addressed. Weak productivity growth and declining business dynamism remain prevalent in many OECD countries. Structural problems in labour markets still prevail and skill mismatches continue to hinder effective resource utilisation. Moreover, while its urgency is widely recognised, environmental sustainability has often remained absent from most growth strategies.

The Going for Growth policy report analyses the structural reform priorities that can help economies bounce back from the shocks and offers policy makers country-specific advice to create the conditions for a decisive transition.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010