tralac Daily News
SACU receipts account for major source of revenue - NamRA (Namibia Economist)
The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) on Thursday said contributions from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) were the major contributor to meeting 55.2% of its set revenue collection target for the year financial year 2023/2024. A statement released by NamRA’s chief of strategic communication and support engagement, Stephen Ndorokaze said the revenue collection agency collected N$37.4 billion by 30 September.
“The mid-year revenue collection is over N$9 billion better than the N$28.3, generated at the same time last year, which in turn was an improvement from 26 billion Namibia dollars at the end of September 2021,” Ndorokaze said. “The Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi set the annual revenue target for the financial year 2023/4 at N$67.8 billion, up from the adjusted N$53.4 billion for the year 2022/3,” Ndorokaze said.
Private sector implored to explore new market opportunities (Windhoek Observer)
Industrialisation and Trade Deputy Minister, Verna Sinimbo, has implored businesses, particularly in the private sector to explore new market opportunities like agriculture and invest in the production of goods and services that can be competitively traded within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) framework.
She said the private sector should embrace innovation and technology to enhance productivity and competitiveness, adding that all these activities can only be unlocked once appropriate funding mechanisms are availed. She reiterated that there have been deliberate efforts made to ease access to finance. Sinimbo made this remark at the Bank Windhoek Online Agriculture Series.
SA urged to adopt innovation as it confronts big waste management problem (Engineering News)
At the heart of South Africa’s environmental discussion is the pressing need to embrace a circular economy, but such a shift demands practical collaboration, inventive thinking and a resolute commitment to sustainable practices. During a recent Creamer Media-hosted webinar on waste management and the circular economy, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa’s Chris Whyte, who facilitated the discussion, stressed that South Africa has “a significant problem with waste management”.
The issue is multifaceted in nature and will involve the management of various waste streams, including electronic waste (e-waste) laden with precious metals and plastics, besides others. “It’s essential to understand the core principles driving the circular economy. It’s about eliminating waste and pollution through thoughtful design, and it emphasises the need to circulate products and materials, maximising their value and life span,” Whyte added.
Exporters challenged to think outside the box (The Herald)
Exporters should think outside the box to bust illegal economic sanctions for increased and sustainable exports that will improve the country’s economic fortunes, President Mnangagwa has said. This comes as the country and the region will next Wednesday, October 25, commemorate Anti-Sanctions Day, which was set aside by SADC to lobby the international community to rally behind the unconditional call for lifting sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Noting that the country surpassed its export growth target of US$7 billion by 2023 as outlined in the National Export Strategy, President Mnangagwa said a culture of hard work by his administration has been key. Addressing the 11th edition of the ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Conference in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said it is critically important to strengthen collaboration and partnerships for tapping into global export trends in line with the conference’s theme, “Exporting into the Future”.
“However, due to our own unique realities, primarily that we are a country under sanctions, we must always think outside the box and continuously guarantee competitiveness. “Our capacity to create and adopt a robust production, productivity and export-oriented ecosystem must urgently be enhanced,” he said. “As we plan to grow our exports, let us remain mindful of our collective national resolve to improve the quality of life of our people and attain Vision 2030.”
Against the backdrop of the continuous depreciation of the Naira following the new foreign exchange (forex) market policy, a former Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said that the only way to strengthen the nation’s currency is to increase productivity and capacity, and become export-oriented. Aganga, also a former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, stated this yesterday, in Lagos, while delivering the 3rd Adeola Odutola Lecture organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) as part of its 51st Annual General Meeting.
He added that for Nigeria to achieve 15 percent export to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, it needs to earn about $72 billion from non-oil exports. “Nigeria’s export to GDP ratio is also very low when compared to Malaysia 76 percent, South Africa 31 percent, China 24 percent and Brazil 12 percent. Nigeria will need to earn about $72 billion from non-oil exports to achieve 15 percent.”
The European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday signed seven agreements worth €212.4 million on promotion of trade and regional integration, energy interconnectivity and renewable energy, affordable and clean energy, sustainable food system, food security as well as migration.
Noting that ECOWAS currently operates in a politically challenging context, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen stated that the agreements have a central role of stabilizing the region through promotion of democracy, rule of law and economic cooperation.
The third agreement, which was in the area of trade in services in Sub-Saharan Africa, has €l1.5 million. It was to aid increasing the liberalization of services and exports for selected services sectors with the aim to increase intra-regional, continental and bilateral trade in services, enabling higher integration into regional and global value chains.
Information and communications technology (ICT) experts attending the Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC2023) in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, held on Oct. 17-19, have said African countries need to strengthen and speed up efforts in the deployment of 5G networks across the continent to revolutionize industries, enhance connectivity, and drive economic growth. “The rollout and deployment of 5G is expected to contribute to the growth of Africa by creating jobs and improving incomes. The ecosystem surrounding the 5G economy is much more powerful than any other technology that preceded it in the realm of digital communications,” Amir Abdelazim, a partner expert with Detecon Consulting, said in an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of MWC2023 on Thursday.
He added that African countries should put in significant efforts to ensure the rapid deployment of 5G networks, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for innovation and economic development on the continent. “It is remarkable to see how startups in Africa are working to find innovative solutions that can catalyze the rollout of 5G.”
Türkiye boosting trade, economic ties with Africa (Hürriyet Daily News)
Türkiye is “strongly implementing” its strategy for developing commercial and trade ties with Africa, Trade Minister Ömer Bolat has said, noting that the trade volume between Türkiye and the continent has risen significantly over the past two decades. Türkiye aimed to strengthen its ties with the continent in a balanced way under its “Strategy for the Development of Trade and Economic Relations with African Countries,” which was launched in 2023, Bolat noted.
The trade volume between Türkiye and Africa climbed from only $5.4 billion to $40.7 billion at the end of 2022, said the minister in a speech he delivered at the Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum in Istanbul. “Over the course of the past 20 years, our trade volume with the African continent has increased 7.5 times, while it had grown more than 11 times with the Sub-Saharan region.”
Mobilizing resources from the private sector will be key to bridging the financing gap that has undermined Africa’s capacity to tame the escalating climate crisis, senior officials from the African Development Bank (AfDB) said. The director-general for the East Africa Region at the AfDB, Nnenna Nwabufo, stressed that the continent should leverage capital and technology from indigenous businesses to boost green financing amid shrinking external support.
Our level of economic development has made it difficult to accelerate climate action and that is why we need innovative ways to increase climate financing,” she said at a regional civil society forum convened by the AfDB in Nairobi, Kenya, according to Xinhua. Nwabufo said that Africa’s private sector deserves some fiscal and regulatory incentives to boost its contribution to green financing.
According to the AfDB, African countries should mobilize 213 billion USD annually from the private sector to bridge the climate financing gap by 2030, given the strain on public finances.
Africa needs an energy transition that reflects its reality (Engineering News)
Africa is largely transitioning ”from nothing”, says South Sudan Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol. Speaking on Africa’s agenda for the forthcoming COP28 at the African Energy Week held in Cape Town this week, Chol said to “transition means to move – we need to move to energy first before can talk about an energy transition. We need reliable, affordable and accessible energy, no matter where it comes from.” “Our responsibility is to make sure there is food on the table – it is a luxury to say how this food must be cooked.”
Chol also noted that Africa, which still had 600-million people without access to electricity out of 1.3-billion, and rising rapidly – needed a global fair, just and sustainable transition that reflected the continent’s realities. He said developed countries seeking a cut in emissions should not tell Africa what to do, but should rather ask what African countries could potentially do to contribute to a cleaner environment.
China is using loans agreed through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote the yuan internationally, having already boosted the yuan’s share of global payments to record levels. During the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing that ended on Wednesday, China’s policy banks signed a series of yuan-denominated loan contracts with foreign lenders.
Many of the 130 countries that attended the forum belonged to the Global South, while most Western nations stayed away, and the presence of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin lent support to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambition for a new, multi-polar world order. “You can see that the countries that are basically using the RMB for trade settlements are mostly countries that have visited Beijing or have come up with strategic agreements with Beijing, Russia being the most obvious one,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, Asia Pacific chief economist at Natixis.
The BRI at 10, some hits, many misses (Observer Research Foundation)
UNCTAD’s 8th World Investment Forum came to a close on 20 October with a powerful call to public and private investors to play a pivotal role in reshaping the world economy, and seize the emerging opportunities offered by the energy transition, transformation of the agrifood and health sectors and the changing solutions for sustainable development.
Held against the backdrop of a politically fragmented global economy, the forum addressed the profound impact on trade and investment, with foreign direct investment experiencing a continued downturn as data from the first half of 2023 highlighted. UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno said the downturn “is of much concern as less investment means less economic growth and fewer means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs.”
As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, nearly 700 million people are barely scraping by, living on less than $2.15 per day. Over a billion people are deprived of basic needs like food, water, health care and education. Billions more lack sanitation and access to energy, jobs, housing and social safety nets. This is compounded by an outdated, dysfunctional and unfair global financial system that hinders developing countries from investing in alleviating poverty and achieving the SDGs. At current rates, almost 500 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030. This is unacceptable
The second edition of the Science and Innovation Forum, a key constituent of the annual flagship World Food Forum, closed here on Friday after three days of discussions and proposals on how technology can help agrifood systems deal with the climate crisis. Participants were also presented with the Action Plan 2022–2025 for the implementation of the FAO Science and Innovation Strategy, which provides a common framework for the agency’s action at country, sub-regional, regional and global levels.
In summing up the outcome of the three-day forum, FAO Chief Scientist Ismahane Elouafi offered the following takeaways: Our agrifood systems are facing unprecedented challenges due to the adverse effects of climate change. Science, technology and innovation are seen as the drivers of agrifood system transformation. Integrated approaches are preferable to “silver bullets.” Cross-sector collaborations and strong partnerships play a key role in the transformation of agrifood systems. There’s a need to embrace inclusivity and equitable partnerships and engage youth, women and Indigenous Peoples in shaping the future of agrifood systems. The forum demonstrated that climate resilience, adaption and mitigation cannot be achieved without science and innovation. Participants heard about the latest advancements in climate science regarding the assessment of loss and damage, as well as the potential of the global bioeconomy, which necessitates harmonizing and coordinating both national and international policies. Participants discussed the need to bolster local knowledge networks and research institutions.
Negotiations by countries at the fourth and final meeting of the UN Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage here today in Aswan, Egypt, are deadlocked over key differences. Countries remain divergent on fundamental issues to operationalize the Loss and Damage fund. These include issues around location, governance arrangements of the fund, sources of funding and eligibility issues, among others.
Developed countries, led by the United States, have insisted that the new Loss and Damage Fund should be set up under the World Bank as a hosted financial intermediary fund (FIF). Under such an arrangement, the World Bank would set up the Secretariat and provide Secretariat services for the new fund against a fee, following the conclusion of a negotiated agreement.
Ambassador Pedro L. Pedroso Cuesta, Chair of the Group of the 77 and China, expressed concerns about the inability of a fund under the World Bank to provide legal independence, legal personality, accountability to the Conference of Parties (COP) and CMA, and respond with speed to emergency events.
Small islands struggle to get help from the Green Climate Fund (Climate Home News)
Government officials from small island developing states (Sids) have said they find it difficult to get money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for projects to help them adapt to climate change. The GCF was set up in 2010 to distribute money from rich countries to poorer ones to help them cut emissions and adapt to climate change. The fund is supposed to pay particular attention to the needs of small islands as well as the world’s poorest countries (LDCs) and African countries.
Small island officials told the authors of a new ODI report that getting money from the GCF was preferable to getting it from other sources like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or the private sector.
But, they said that GCF money was handed out too slowly, the process of applying is too difficult for nations with small civil services and a number of requirements discriminate against smaller nations.