tralac Daily News
Cabinet has noted that the majority of independent poultry and egg producers have not been affected by avian flu as several South African farmers work around the clock to curb the outbreak. This is according to the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who said they were updated on containment measures to limit the spread and impact of avian influenza. The outbreak, according to the Minster, has “severely” affected the economy and the poultry sector. “The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, has met with retailers and the South African Poultry Association to discuss possible solutions in the short and the medium term to increase egg and chicken supply,” said Ntshavheni.
Competition is important to create efficiencies in the logistics and transport network, but collaboration is similarly necessary to ensure that all the public and private sector role-players can fulfill their roles in the recovery and improvement of South Africa’s underperforming logistics systems. Transportation experts during the ‘How to deliver socioeconomic development through a stronger transport system’ webinar, hosted by Creamer Media on October 18, emphasised that transportation and logistics were essentially about the economy and stressed that the design of the network must suit the needs of the users and communities.
“There is a clear need to bring parties together and a need for all parties to understand the reality of the costs of the crisis and the costs of the recovery plans that are being put forward, as well as their impact on government budgets,” said accounting, auditing and advisory company BDO advisory services director Christelle Grohmann, who moderated the discussion.
South Africa has a very open trade economy and depends on exports and imports for 60% of its gross domestic product. Further, 95% of all trade is in goods and products, which must be transported, highlighted industry organisation Minerals Council South Africa senior economist Henk Langehoven.
“In terms of local production, it is about the size of the market for products going into the rail network and ports. A perennial problem for South Africa is that the local market is too small to support the economies of scale required for local producers to compete with other suppliers.
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Uganda exported merchandise worth $669.88 million (about Shs2.5 trillion) during August 2023, which represented a 17.6 per cent increase from $569.78 million (Shs2.14 trillion) in July 2023. The Ministry of Finance said in its performance of economy report for the month of September released on October 17 that this was mainly on account of increased export earnings mainly from gold and coffee during that period.
The report shows that coffee export receipts during August 2023 amounted to $ 121.64 million (Shs457 billion). This is the highest ever amount received from coffee exports in a single month. This represents a 15.9 per cent increase compared to the $104.99 million (Shs395 billion) receipts for July.
“This increase was partly on account of the good crop harvest in the South-Western region and good prices on the global market which prompted exporters to release their stock,” the Ministry of Finance said.
Uganda achieves record coffee export revenues, generates $940.3 million (The Independent Uganda)
Today, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, met the ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray, during her visit to Abuja, Nigeria. She was also accompanied by European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The EU is a long-term supporter of regional integration, which produces prosperity through added value. Currently, ECOWAS operates in politically challenging context. It has a central role in stabilising West Africa by promoting democracy, rule of law and economic cooperation. The EU supports its work and regional leadership. Today, I was happy to sign financing agreements worth over €210 million contributing to ECOWAS programmes. Many of these actions align with the objectives of the EU’s positive and sustainable Global Gateway investment strategy.”
ECOWAS President Touray said: “We welcome the visit of the EU Delegation led by H.E. Ms Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, which aims at strengthening the ECOWAS-EU Cooperation. This strength of our equal partnership is being reflected today with the signing of 7 new financial agreements covering the areas of trade, migration, energy, and agriculture under within the context of the Team Europe Global Strategy and in line with ECOWAS 4x4 Strategic objectives and ECOWAS Vision 2050.
“As we draw this session to a close, I want to emphasize the unwavering commitment of AUDA-NEPAD to the Impact Assessment Study. We are fully aware of the extended mandate bestowed upon us and are prepared to collaborate closely with all stakeholders. Our collective efforts are aimed at fulfilling the vision set forth by our Heads of State and Governments in Niamey last year. We are committed to transforming challenges into opportunities and making significant strides towards our shared goals,” CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Ms Nardos Bekele-Thomas.
A declaration adopted during the Seventeenth Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on Industrialization and Economic Diversification was made to undertake country impact assessments on the implementation of Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) and the AfCFTA. The impact assessment is an essential tool for policy formulation and management. It is also a vital instrument for channelling stakeholder engagement and communicating the ramifications of policy changes, which Member States need to consider in implementing AIDA and AfCFTA within their national development plans.
The two-day convergence, is aimed at not only promoting economic and trade ties between the two countries, but it is also meant to create a platform to showcase the bond and cultural ties between the two countries. Already, this historic event has the blessing of the two Heads of State of the Republics of The Gambia and Senegal, Excellencies Adama Barrow and Macky Sall respectively.
This economic, trade and investment forum is also designed to provide an opportunity to boost investment opportunities and for Gambian entrepreneurs to access Senegalese market under special bilateral arrangements. This, according to organisers, would greatly help in promoting other trade frameworks within the framework of ECOWAS and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Africa needs to rethink how it manages its natural resources to avoid adverse socio-economic consequences that could hamper sustainable development on the continent, experts said at a recent webinar organised by the African Development Bank. The call came ahead of the 2023 United Nations Conference on Climate Change scheduled for November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The global conference (COP28) presents a milestone moment when the world will evaluate its progress on the Paris Agreement.
Merlyn Van Voore, Head of the International Resource Panel Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, said the world is grappling with the lack of appropriate tools and framework to ensure sustainable management of natural resources. “There are overlaps between managing natural resources and what it means regarding climate and the sustainable development agenda,” she said. She said the manufacture of electronics demanded attention. For instance, mobile phones at the end-of-life stage require the involvement of several actors, including manufacturers, extractives workers and companies, end users, and network providers, to manage the recycling of used phones.
Citing the African Development Bank’s Africa Economic Outlook 2023 report, Ushie said natural resources, including renewables and ecosystem services, generate around 62% of Africa’s GDP. “Nature is providing essential goods and vital services, and these are not just economic values but ecological, biophysical and environmental values as well. Without fully appreciating these services, we tend to underestimate the value of natural capital,” Ushie said.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said the African Continental Free Trade and Area (AfCFTA) must be implemented using a human rights-based approach. He has, to this end, asked that as the continent vigorously pursued the AfCFTA agenda, it must be mindful of its businesses and human rights obligations.
“Human rights due diligence must be at the centre of the business pursuit and where human rights are likely to be violated, we must put pragmatic and workable mitigative measures in place to address them,” he said. Dr Bawumia said this at the opening of the 14th Biennial Conference of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) in Accra yesterday.
The culmination of the recently held 10th Annual African Grain Trade Summit has sparked a new conversation about the need for influencing policy to accommodate women and young upcoming start-ups in the evolving landscape of food including grain trade in Eastern Africa.
This is after a presentation made by Dr. Roselyn Marandu-Kareithi, Jasiri’s Country Lead, Kenya, and a subsequent panel discussion which unpacked an analytical framework that could reshape the way we think about entrepreneurship and ecosystem collaboration to expand cross-border grain trade in the region.
Speaking on the use of policies private investment, David Kamau, the Managing Director of the Fortified Whole Grain Alliance (FWGA) spoke of the need to amend policies to incentivize financing. “Policy needs to make investment attractive, be it donor, financial service providers or individual oriented,” he said. “There is also need for affordable and available finance for entrepreneurs, including early-stage start-ups, and these should be involved in the discussion on how investment should be shaped.”
Senior government ministers, leading business executives and investors from seven African nations will join UK leaders at the second UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum (WCAF) taking place in London.
Organised by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, and DMA Invest, the Forum brings together prominent representatives from Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Senegal and Togo to discuss new trade and investment opportunities with their UK counterparts that will benefit British businesses.
The trade and investment meeting showcases the UK’s efforts to open up new export and investment opportunities for businesses, International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston said in the statement. “West and Central Africa is a huge investment opportunity for the UK,” he said. “The Francophone markets have a clear vision for delivering economic growth and prosperity, and the UK is ready to support those countries by building long-term, modern partnerships that are mutually beneficial.”
In the first of a series of meetings to be held in the lead up to the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady of Mauritius, the facilitator of the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, reported at a dedicated session on 18 October on her consultations with WTO members on the possible outcome at MC13 and heard members’ views on how to proceed in the remaining months, including on the moratorium on the imposition of customs duties on e-commerce.
Although infrastructure “is the foundation of everyday life for people and economies”, Mr. Guterres recalled that billions in the developing world still lack access to basics such as water and sanitation, electricity, schools, hospitals, and modern roads, bridges, tunnels and harbours.
This “infrastructure crisis” is occurring as people worldwide face soaring costs of living, rising inequalities and the impacts of climate change, and as progress towards sustainable development and climate action “is slipping into reverse”. He urged leaders to “turn the infrastructure emergency into the infrastructure opportunity”.
“The Belt and Road Initiative recognizes that we have a historic opportunity to build modern, green cities, communities and transportation and power systems that place resilience and sustainability at the heart,” he said, adding that it can make valuable contributions in two key areas of action.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly represented President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Wednesday, in the third session of the “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in Beijing. He took part in a high-level session titled “Connecting in an Open World Economy.”
In his speech, the Prime Minister said that Egypt and China are two friendly countries that have had historical ties since ancient times. He said that the Silk Road was the bridge that linked Asia and Africa and that the revival of that important corridor through the “Belt and Road” initiative is an important development that enhances the cooperation between the various countries of the initiative. He said that this would benefit the people of both countries and the world, and encourage cooperation to achieve development and progress for all.
Madbouly added: “Our relations with China have evolved during the past ten years. They reached the level of strategic partnership in 2014 and we launched the first executive program of that partnership in 2016. He said that Egypt’s participation in the third session of the “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” stems from the Egyptian state’s interest in the Belt and Road initiative launched by the Chinese President in 2013. He said that Egypt was among the first countries to join it because it aligns with the Egyptian priorities within the framework of Egypt’s 2030 vision for sustainable development, especially regarding the improvement of infrastructure in transportation, energy, and other fields.”
Reading 10 years of BRI from an African perspective (Observer Research Foundation)
Ministers of investment and enterprise participating in UNCTAD’s 8th World Investment Forum identified the agrifood sector as a top priority for global investment. They emphasized its pivotal role in addressing a $4 trillion annual investment gap in developing countries that needs to be bridged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and underlined its role in enhancing food security and preserving biodiversity.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan underscored challenges of attracting investment, such as risk reduction, capacity-building and reforming international financial structures.
Meanwhile, the ministers identified high debt levels and a volatile international investment climate as key obstacles. They reached consensus on the importance of fostering a business-friendly environment, attracting environmentally responsible investments and establishing strategic public-private partnerships.
Making data, information, knowledge, investment and innovation available for all, especially for Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), will be a game changer in transforming global agrifood systems to make them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. This was a key takeaway from a special event focused on enabling research, science, and innovation in LMICs and SIDS organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as part of the Science and Innovation Forum.
Climate-related disasters have become more frequent and intense taking a heavy toll on the most vulnerable countries: from deadly floodings in Libya, India and Pakistan; intense storms in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe; to intensifying heatwaves across the world. Between 2008 and 2018 the impact of these types of disasters cost the agricultural sector in developing economies over $108 billion.
“We need bold, ambitious climate action now, to scale up action to strengthen resilience, adaptation and reduction of risks across agrifood systems and rural areas,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said at the event noting that for climate action to be effective, it must be based on sound research, science and innovation, and cannot adopt a “one-size-fits-all” approach.