tralac Daily News
The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has urged government to put in place policies that will help especially small-scale poultry farmers to recover from the recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Sapa has also reported that the sector now seems to be recovering from HPAI, as a result of swift action by the industry, including the imposition of strong biosecurity protocols and monitoring programmes. So far, 8.5-million chickens have been culled (of which some 6-million were egg layers and more than 2.5-million were broiler breeder chickens).
Farmers were, however, finding it difficult to recover their costs, particularly during this recovery process. Many livelihoods were at risk. “A change in [government] policy is needed to support impacted producers, and such a cost recovery mechanism will serve well to keep consumer prices low and our farmers afloat,” urged Sapa Broiler Organisation GM Izaak Breitenbach.
SARS welcomes MTBPS revenue revision (SAnews)
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed the tabling of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), despite the statement’s downward revision of revenue collection by some R56.8 billion. The MTBPS was tabled by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana in Parliament on Wednesday.
“SARS has continued with its core functions of collecting all that is due to the fiscus. During the first half of the current fiscal year, we have collected gross revenue totalling R1 016.3 billion, growing by 4.5% and recording a surplus of R1.0 billion against the Budget 2023 estimate.
“This is a good news story and offers hope in a currently challenging environment. Through focused commitment, SARS has paid back to the economy through refunds for the first six months of the current fiscal year an amount totalling R212.2 billion, higher by R24.6 billion over the prior year and higher than the Budget 2023 estimate by R30.1 billion,” the revenue service said in a statement.
Investment, Reform and Recovery: Namibia’s economic vision unveiled (Namibia Economist)
Namibian Finance Minister, Mr Iipumbu Shiimi, delivered his 2023/2024 Mid-Term Budget review on 31 October 2023, providing amongst others insights into the achievements, challenges, and performances of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The Mid-Term Budget Review holds a pivotal role in the overall budgetary process as it sets the tone for the fiscal framework in the upcoming main budget. The budget serves as a cornerstone of the government’s economic strategy, reflecting the nation’s socioeconomic policy priorities by translating commitments into expenditures. This encompasses projections for key economic indicators like inflation, productivity growth, unemployment rates, and the balance of trade.
The economic outlook is scrutinized closely by investors, rating agencies, taxpayers, and the public at large. Attaining economic and fiscal stability hinges on optimizing domestic resource mobilization and enacting robust legislative measures to combat revenue leaks and illicit financial flows.
Angola forecasts 69 percent debt-to-GDP ratio for 2024 (CGTN Africa)
The Angolan government anticipates a 2.8 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP), with the total public debt ratio expected to be about 69 percent of GDP in 2024, said Ottoniel dos Santos, secretary of state for finance and treasury, Wednesday in the capital city of Luanda.
During the public exhibition of the International Monetary Fund’s report on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ottoniel dos Santos said that the Angolan government’s debt stock is about 52 trillion kwanzas (about 62.9 billion U.S. dollars), with 14 trillion kwanzas being domestic and 38 trillion kwanzas external, and the current debt-to-GDP ratio in Angola is 85 percent, according to Angola Press Agency, the official news agency of Angola.
“The Gambia has consolidated its democratic transformation in recent years and has weathered more resiliently successive exogenous shocks—the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine—relative to peer countries. Economic growth, supported by tourism and public and private construction (partly financed by strong remittances), is expected at 5.6 percent this year (up from 4.9 percent in 2022). However, headline inflation has continued to accelerate, reaching 18.5 percent (y-o-y) in September 2023, driven mostly by elevated international commodity prices, the adjustment in electricity tariffs, and some depreciation of the dalasi.
“Discussions also focused on the structural reform agenda to unlock growth potential, foster economic diversification, and harness the private sector’s full potential in creating jobs. Strengthening the business environment, expanding regional trade, and increasing women’s economic participation are crucial to boost growth potential. Given The Gambia’s high vulnerability to climate change, it is also important to enhance climate risk management and increase investment in climate-resilient infrastructure.”
The logistics sector in East Africa plays a crucial role in the economic development of the region. The sector encompasses transportation, warehousing, freight forwarding, customs clearing, shipping and related services that are essential for moving goods and services in the global supply chain. The region has a growing population, which has led to an increase in demand for consumer goods.
Advancements in technology, geopolitical shifts, an increase in service demand, industrial activities, e-commerce ventures and changing customer expectations continue to cause significant shifts in the industry. There is also the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement that came into force on 30 May 2019, whose mandate is to boost intra-Africa trade across all sectors of the continent’s economy. Increasing E-Commerce, adoption of Technology, demand for Sustainable Logistics, Green Customs, World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA), regional integration and the increasing need for end-to-end facilitation.
It is in this context that the Global Logistics Conference intends to discuss and analyze the latest trends, innovations, insights, and challenges in the logistics industry while providing an opportunity for logistics professionals from around the region and world to share their experiences and knowledge on the latest industry developments.
“As a signatory of AfCFTA, Kenya was among the first countries to pilot the intra-Africa trade by exporting tea and chloride batteries to Ghana. This conference shows the government’s commitment to growing and supporting the logistics industry. It will also provide an opportunity for MSMEs to conduct trade with the rest of the continent and world”, said Mr Emanuel Wangwe, Director Planning, State Department of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
Plans to boost intra-Africa trade underway (The Herald)
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with support from the World Food Programme (WFP) and in collaboration with the Ghana Community Exchange convened a meeting of heads of African commodities exchanges and associated entities in Accra, Ghana, recently to establish an Association of African Commodities Exchanges under the AfCFTA umbrella.
The Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX) along with other 15 African commodity exchanges participated in the forum held in Ghana and subsequently joined and became pioneer members of the General Assembly of the Association of African Commodities Exchange (A-ACX). Trade ministry officials from participating countries attended the meeting.
The A-ACX seeks to establish a framework for the operationalisation of intra-continental commodities trading under the AfCFTA protocol. To facilitate the immediate commencement of activities of A-ACX , a steering committee was formed comprising CEOs from five of the member commodity exchanges, including ZMX CEO Mr Collen Tapfumaneyi. Other members of the committee were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Tanzania.
‘‘In line with the objectives of AfCFTA, the A-ACX strives to enhance intra Africa trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy, thereby fostering economic growth for the continent. We are deeply honoured to have been appointed as a committee member. We acknowledge the significance of this appointment and the potential for ZMX AND Zimbabwe at large to play a meaningful role in advancing the objectives of the A-ACX and the broader AfCFTA initiative,’’ he said.
Ghana and Togo have pledged to address challenges affecting the smooth operation of the Noepe-Akanu Joint Border Post within six months. This is to ensure efficient operations at the post ahead of its management by ECOWAS next year.
Per the bilateral agreement, Ghana is to provide water and information and communication technology (ICT), while Togo will provide electricity for the facility. They have further agreed on a clear demarcation of roles of various focal persons of the two countries. This was the outcome of an inter-ministerial meeting on the operationalisation of the Noepe-Akanu joint border post between the two countries last Tuesday.
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will provide regional leadership in port competitiveness in Africa, Managing Director, Mohammed Koko, has said. Koko noted the event, holding from Monday at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, will further boost realisation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
President Bola Tinubu is to open the conference, titled: “The Role of Ports in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).” The forum is a platform for cross-fertilisation of ideas, experiences and knowledge sharing to guide policy action towards maximising the maritime comparative advantage of the sub-region.
State eyes freight profits by adopting cabotage law (The Standard)
Kenya targets a stake in international freight rates for imports and exports by strengthening its local shipping industry, a State official has said. Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya said the country is rallying other Africa countries to embrace the use of domestic shipping and maritime services to reduce payment of most of the freight to international shipping lines.
State officials preparing for the Africa Maritime Cabotage and Blue Economy conference slated for November 8 to 10 in Mombasa also said in interviews that Kenya spends Sh600 billion on freight rates paid to foreign shipping lines annually in imports and exports costs which can be reduced with implementation of a cabotage policy. They said the policy will protect and nurture the local shipping industry. The officials also believe the use of domestic shipping and maritime services will create employment for youth
African port development will mitigate flooding (Port Strategy)
World’s Ports get a step-by-step guide to implementing Port Community Systems (Hellenic Shipping News)
Following 24 months of effort from 88 contributors, the World Bank and IAPH has released the #IAPH2023 conference edition of Port Community Systems – Lessons from Global Experience. The edition offers port communities a step-by-step guide to implementing a PCS and explains its advantages for developing countries.
The report is a direct action following on from last year’s World Bank IAPH summary report “Closing the Gaps – key actions in digitalization, decarbonization and resilience the maritime sector”, and is aimed precisely at reducing the digital divide, with practical advice combined with concrete case studies of implementation in a diverse range of countries.
The publication describes how Port Community Systems have improved port operations around the world, from both high and low-adoption rate regions. It provides insights for policymakers, port authorities, and logistics providers on how to enhance PCS adoption and leverage its benefits. The study also clearly identifies where the gaps are in adoption, by examining PCS implementation in over 897 ports based on UNCTAD’s top ports listed in the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (2022:Q4) covering 201 countries and territories.
Tanzania, EAC competition body ink deal to boost trade (The Citizen)
Calls for increased cross border trade in East Africa were made here yesterday as Tanzania inked a deal with the regional competition authority. Officials in attendance at the ceremony said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) should also advance the competition policy and law. “This agreement should work in such a way as to facilitate cross border trade in the region,” said Ms Lilian Mukoronia, the Registrar of the East African Community Competition Authority (EACCA).
Under the MoU, the two institutions have set up a working group tasked with implementing the prioritised activities through annual work plans. Tanzania is the second country among the seven EAC member states to sign an MoU with the regional competition authority after Kenya. In May this year, the Arusha-based EACCA signed its first technical agreement with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK). The agreement laid out modalities through which the agencies will mitigate competition infringements with cross border effects.
East African nations take key step to creating a harmonized labour market (The Independent Uganda)
Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania have adopted a framework which will facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications and awards and subsequently free mobility of skilled labour and workforce and contribute to creating a harmonized labour market. The East African countries have validated, and adopted the Regional Framework for Occupational Competency Assessment and Certification (RFOCAC) and the Regional Policy Framework for TVET Integration (RPFTI) at a workshop held recently in Mombasa, Kenya.
The RFOCAC and RPFTI are two key documents that will help the three countries to establish harmonized and standardized occupational competency assessment and certification systems, through a well-integrated TVET system in the region.
Speaking at the Opening Session of the workshop, the Principal Secretary for State Department for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Republic of Kenya, Dr. Esther Muoria, said: “The development of the Regional Framework for Occupational Competency Assessment and Certification and the Regional Policy Framework for TVET Integration is a significant milestone in our efforts to integrate TVET systems in East Africa. These frameworks will help us to establish a harmonized TVET system in the region, which will facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications and awards and subsequently free mobility of skilled labour and workforce and contribute to creating a harmonized labour market.”
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has hinted that it has become a matter of necessity and urgency to deepen awareness of the imperative of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the manufacturing sector of the economy. This has become urgent considering the latest reports from the stable of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), putting the country’s manufacturing sector’s total output contribution at 10 per cent, with an average growth rate of approximately 2.3 per cent over the last five quarters.
The President of MAN, Otunba Francis Meshioye, who stated this during a chat with New Telegraph in Lagos, said the country needed to develop the right strategies to position the economy as the number one manufacturing hub of the African economy with AfCFTA implementation. Specifically, the MAN president explained that manufacturing sector development was key to industrialisation in Nigeria even though, sadly, industrialisation in Nigeria remains at a very low ebb.
According to him, evidences from several parts of the world, including China, the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea, have shown the importance of the manufacturing sector in building a resilient economy. Meshioye cited, for instance, in 2021, average manufacturing output accounted for as high as 35 percent of Ireland’s GDP growth; 27.44 per cent in the case of China, and 48 per cent of Puerto Rico’s economy.
Gambia hosts biennial Africa Competition Forum (The Point)
The ACF Biennial Conference serves as a platform for competition authorities across the African continent to come together, exchange knowledge, share experiences, and collaborate in the development of effective competition policies and practices. It also creates an opportunity for professionals to engage and learn and thus contribute towards developing solutions to enhance the effectiveness of competition regulation in Africa.
The event was held on theme -” Fostering Competition for Inclusive Growth and Sustainability in Africa”.
The African Competition Forum (ACF) is an informal network of African national and multinational competition authorities and the principal objective of the ACF is to promote the adoption of competition principles in the implementation of national and regional economic policies of Africa.
Ms. Senghore, however, reminded that signing and adoption of the Competition Protocol of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area welcomes a new era of cooperation amongst competition agencies operating in the Free Trade Area.”This is essential in creating a single market for goods and services in Africa with the ultimate goal of increasing trade within the continent and boosting economic growth. I hope this conference will lead to the strengthening of work relationships between the national Competition Authorities and Regional Competition Authorities in a bid to promote and enforce competition across Africa effectively and efficiently. We know that Governments cannot do it all alone and therefore the participation of the Regional Competition Authorities complement Government’s efforts” she stated.
Banks need to develop human capital (BusinessGhana)
Dr Jim Yong Kim, a Former World Bank Chief, has called on Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) to “step up,as they are much better placed than any other market-based solutions to solve the challenge of lost and insufficient human capital. According to the former World Bank chief, the African Development systems and other MDBs were well placed to help build human capital development systems and policies that are integrated across social sectors. “Investing in human capital is going to be a very powerful driver of economic growth,” he said.
Dr Kim was delivering the 2023 Kofi Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture at an online event organised by the African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) African Development Institute (ADI). The session, titled “The Changing Global Development Finance Architecture: Implications for Multilateral Development Banks post COVID,” also featured Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group.
While economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rebound 4% in 2024, up from 3.3% in 2023, resource-intensive economies will grow more slowly in the year ahead than more diversified, non-resource intensive economies. This was predicted in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, published in October.
IMF chief of division in charge of regional studies in the African Department Luc Eyraud presented the Regional Economic Outlook report at a South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) event, held at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), earlier this week.
Eyraud noted that the report projects that major gains for sub-Saharan African countries could be achieved through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which has “the potential to raise the real per capita income of the median African country by more than 10 percent. Signatories have agreed to eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of non-sensitive products by end-2025, and 7 percent of tariff lines on sensitive goods by 2030.”
On sub-Saharan Africa’s mineral abundance, the report notes that as cleaner energy becomes more sought after, natural resources, such as oil, may become less important, while resources, such as lithium, may become more important.
An IMF report, ‘Light on the Horizon?’, notes that, “Without reform, external funding is less effective. But without funding, reform is more difficult. Emerging from a long crisis and with some signs of light on the horizon, now is the time for the region and the international community to come together - the more we help the region make progress now, the more resilient the global economy will be for all.”
Absa and AfDB agree US$150mn trade finance facility (Global Trade Review)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$150mn trade finance facility to help South African lender Absa Group scale up its social and sustainable financing. The AfDB also agreed a ZAR 1.7bn (US$90mn) sustainability-linked loan to the lender and an investment of ZAR 1bn (US$53.8mn) in Absa’s first social bond issuance, both of which will be classed as qualifying capital.
The trade finance facility will focus on promoting access to funding for businesses, improving trade facilitation in low-income African countries and fostering intra-Africa trade, the AfDB says. It adds that the financing will enable Absa to increase its social and sustainable lending, particularly to SMEs, and support the provision of long-term affordable housing mortgage financing in South Africa.
Cameroon Becomes 25th State Signing African Air Transport Market MoI (Ethiopian Monitor)
Cameroon has become the 25th African Union member state to sign the Single African Air Transport Market Memorandum of Implementation, or SAATM MOI, the AU says. The signing took place at the AU Headquarters in the presence of AUC Infrastructure Commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid and Cameroon’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU Churchill E. Monono. Commissioner Abou-Zeid commended Cameroon for signing the MOI and the revised Constitution of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AfCAC). Such decisive actions are instrumental to achieving the much-needed economic integration of Africa, the Commissioner noted.
“Fast-tracking the operationalization and implementation of SAATM has been one of our topmost priorities in order not only to support the recovery of the aviation industry after the COVID-19 pandemic but to also reposition the African aviation sector on a renewed path that will enable Africa’s socio-economic integration”, said Abou-Zeid.
Currently, 37 countries have signed the solemn commitment and 25 have signed the Memorandum of Implementation. The member states that have joined the SAATM represent 90% of intra-Africa traffic and serve over 600 million people. As more nations participate, the benefits will likely grow exponentially. Dr. Abou-Zeid said it “will be a game changer for the African Aviation Industry.”.
SMEs in Ghana urged to use global standards to expand trade under AfCFTA (Ghana Business News)
Director–General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Prof Alex Dodoo, has urged Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises to utilise global standards and tools to expand trade across Africa under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. He said with Ghana hosting the AfCFTA, it was time the SMEs exploited the opportunity to boost trade on the continent and beyond. Professor Dodoo was speaking on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of GS1 Ghana, which manages barcode systems used by retailers, suppliers and partners in Ghana. It is an affiliate of GS1 Global.
Prof Dodoo noted that Ghana Standards Authority was already leading the way and giving guidance as needed, adding with international standards and internationally standardised means of identification, Ghanaian goods and services would sell widely. He announced that Ghana’s Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy would leverage GS1 barcodes and QR codes.
Stop blocking borders, African leaders told (The East African)
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Information and Communication Minister Patrick Muyaya has challenged African political leaders to stop “imprisoning” their citizens by blocking borders over political differences, as this is a barrier to intra-Africa trade. He said politicians should facilitate building of bridges with neighbours rather than erecting blockades.
“The DRC joined the East African Community to connect with the region. Even before we joined the EAC, we used to get food from Uganda. We would like politicians to stop being prisoners of past ideals and embrace the spirit of cooperation to build the subregion before we go out to trade with Africa and the world,” the minister said. He was making the keynote address at the East African Entrepreneurship Conference & Expo organised by the Nation Media Group in Kinshasa.
Senator Lelo challenged the EAC to produce goods for sale outside the region but underscored the need for cooperation and peace. “East Africans should stop being consumers only and produce their own goods. But we need to be comfortable everywhere in the region as we seek the raw materials for production. Africa is a gun and Congo is the trigger. The Congolese need support to trigger development,” Lelo said.
Panel stresses need for supply chain diversification (Engineering News)
As Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine, it has shone a spotlight on supply chains and the sourcing of materials. Speaking during a panel hosted by British newspaper Financial Times during its Energy Transition Summit, on November 1, Ukrainian energy holding company DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko pointed out that, because many international contractors had left the country owing to the conflict, local companies and government had had to learn how to transport goods safely from ports and how to install infrastructure even in such circumstances.
He said many countries could learn from how Ukraine had been building its energy sector, in part to be more resilient. Timchenko explained that, historically, it took one missile to destroy a coal-fired power station, whereas it required fifty missiles to destroy a Ukrainian wind farm. “We look at security of supply from a practical angle from what we have experienced in Ukraine. My advice is to learn lessons from this war, including being less dependent on gas from Russia,” he added.
The General Secretariat of The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, a multi-donor, Inter-regional program, announces the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s official membership in the AATB Program. This pivotal development marks a significant step towards advancing trade and to strengthen economic ties among Arab and African countries.
By welcoming Africa’s largest economy into the collaborative framework, the AATB Program demonstrates the attractiveness of its commitment to unlocking the untapped opportunities, increasing market access, diversifying trade partnerships, and heightening investment prospects for its member countries.
Commenting on the announcement, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC and AATB Secretary General, said: “The admission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria into the AATB Program is a major milestone and we are confident this new partnership with one of Africa’s economic powerhouses will strengthen investment flows, and trade relations between the Arab and African regions. Given the economic potential of Nigeria, we will support the country in its quest to diversify and grow its economy and access new markets across Africa and the Arab regions.”
African states urged to step up investments in tourism (The East African)
A global meeting on tourism has kicked off in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday with calls to African governments to step up investment in the sector to tap its potential to foster the region’s socio-economic development. This is because, despite the steady growth of tourism in Africa, tourism has not fully realised its full potential, a situation which is mainly attributed to several bottlenecks in the tourism sector such as the narrow tourism product offer which is mostly focused on wildlife-based tourism at the expense of other tourism segments.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan shared her insights on the vital role of tourism in Africa’s economies. She revealed that in Tanzania, the tourism sector contributes a substantial 17.2 percent to the country’s GDP and accounts for 25 per cent of total export earnings. This contribution she said, not only highlights the sector’s significance but also underscores its potential for economic growth and job creation.
China states position on COP28 (China Dialogue)
China has stated its “basic position” on the upcoming UN climate conference, COP28, in its annual climate change report. The report says China looks forward to collaboration from all parties to ensure that COP28 “continues and deepens ‘joint implementation’ and uses the global stocktake as an opportunity to send a positive signal of focused action and strengthened cooperation”. The government releases this climate action report every year, taking stock of progress in areas including mitigation, adaptation, and international cooperation, and stating its basic COP position.
The report states that non-fossil energy sources accounted for 17.5% of China’s energy consumption in 2022, and that its renewable electricity installed capacity stands at 1.2 terawatts, or 34.4% of the world total. When interpreting the report to the media, Xia Yingxian, newly appointed director of the environment ministry’s Department of Climate Change, concentrated on South–South climate cooperation and the COP28 position, reports Xinhua News.
Xia said that China is providing “pragmatic support” to African countries, small island countries, least developed countries and other developing countries. As of September 2023, it has signed 48 South-South cooperation agreements on climate change, built four low-carbon demonstration zones, carried out 75 climate mitigation and adaptation projects, and provided training courses for more than 100 developing countries, he added.
How CBAM threatens Africa’s sustainable development (Energy Monitor)
In pursuit of sustainable development, African nations are on a mission to boost trade. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – launched in 2020 – is set to create the largest free trade area in the world, potentially boosting Africa’s income by $450bn by 2035 and lifting 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty. The Nairobi Declaration – signed by all African nations at the close of the first-ever Africa Climate Summit in September 2023 – includes calls for “designing global and regional trade mechanisms in a manner that enables products from Africa to compete on fair and equitable terms”. It demands that “trade-related environmental tariffs and non-tariff barriers must be subject to multilateral discussions and agreements and not be unilateral”.
For now, Africa remains a small player in global trade, with the value of the entire continent’s exports currently lower than that of the UK. Much of the current multilateral trade discussions are about keeping the value chain of the continent’s resources on the continent: Africa is home to some 30% of the world’s mineral deposits, but 70% of mined materials are currently exported to Europe or Asia to be further refined.
At the same time, much of the industrialised world is embracing the most protectionist trade policy seen for decades.
Although the levy will apply from October, the first bill for companies will not come until 31 January 2024. The mechanism is being phased in, with it taking full effect by 2032. The European Commission has also indicated it will be lenient in the beginning, with the objective being “to serve as a pilot and learning period for all stakeholders” including importers, producers and authorities, “and to collect useful information on embedded emissions to refine the methodology”.
The ECA Offices for North and West Africa convened an expert group meeting on Wednesday, November 1st, in Accra (Ghana) under the theme “Transition to Renewable Resources for Energy and Food Security in North and West Africa.” The meeting took place within the context of the second joint Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) for North and West Africa. Participants examined the impact of climate change in both sub-regions, discussed practical measures for countries to adapt and safeguard their energy and food security, while advancing their development and made some important recommendations.
“Food insecurity is unfortunately a structural challenge in Africa, affecting 20% of the continent’s population compared to the global rate of 9.8%. In this context, three imperatives are evident: increasing agricultural and cereal productivity, mobilizing more domestic resources, and expediting the implementation of the AfCFTA, which serves as our cornerstone for poverty reduction and the acceleration of structural transformation,” said Ngone Diop, Director of the ECA office for West Africa.
Negotiators will meet 3 to 4 November in Abu Dhabi in a last-ditch effort to resolve issues preventing the Loss and Damage Fund being operationalized through a decision at COP28. Progress here will be a litmus test for success for the COP, writes Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation Policy.
The setting up of a Loss and Damage Fund at the UN climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh last year was the standout success of an otherwise underwhelming CO27. But with just weeks until COP28 in Dubai, the prospect of the fund being operationalized this year is slipping away – preparatory discussions in October collapsed over disagreements on technical issues.
The Fund was established to provide financial assistance to nations most negatively impacted by the climate crisis. Rapidly escalating climate-related disasters underscore the need for such a fund. One of the main issues holding up progress is the divided opinion on who will host the Loss and Damage Fund. Developed countries are pushing for the World Bank to be the host, whereas developing countries are calling for a stand-alone host, which will be under the authority and guidance of the COP.
Speaking at a formal meeting of the WTO’s General Council on 1 November, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said WTO members need to step up efforts to find common ground in order to achieve concrete outcomes at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi next February.
In her capacity as Chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee, the Director-General welcomed the results from the Group of 7 trade ministers meeting in Osaka, Japan, on 29 October, which also included the participation of a number of developing country trade ministers. The Osaka meeting followed a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at WTO headquarters on 23-24 October that focused on preparations for MC13.
AGOA Forum updates
Relief as President Biden endorses Agoa extension for Africa (Business Daily)
United States President Joe Biden has endorsed the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) upon its expiry in September 2025. This is after the White House urged Congress to address the matter in a timely fashion ahead of the annual AGOA meeting this year in South Africa.
“I strongly support reauthorisation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act— a landmark, bipartisan law that has formed a bedrock for U.S. trade with sub-Saharan Africa for more than two decades... I encourage Congress to reauthorize AGOA in a timely fashion and to modernize this important Act for the economic opportunities of the coming decade,” said US President Joe Biden in a statement.
“I am committed to expeditiously working with Congress and our African partners to renew this law beyond 2025, to deepen trade relations between our countries, advance regional integration, and realize Africa’s immense economic potential for our mutual benefit. In so many ways, Africa is the future – and so when Africa succeeds, the whole world succeeds.”
Some US senators had called on the Senate to prioritize extension of the legislation to expand economic opportunities with Africa. The reauthorisation of AGOA past 2025 will help eligible African countries to boost trade, economic growth and development, including increasing investments and US foreign exchange earnings through access to US markets.
Africa wants the U.S. Congress to renew its flagship trade programme for the continent for at least 10 years, the African Union’s top trade official said on Thursday, adding that any modifications to the initiative should only be considered later. U.S. lawmakers and the Biden administration have voiced support for renewing AGOA, which saw over $10 billion worth of African exports enter the United States duty free last year.
African manufacturing capabilities on show at the AGOA Forum (KZN Industrial & Business News)
South Africa’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, will host a senior delegation from the United States, led by Ambassador Katherine Tai, along with high-level delegations from various countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For African businesses, the “Made in Africa” exhibition offers a unique opportunity to discover new business partners, research novel products and services, and network with thousands of delegates from the United States and AGOA countries.
Visit AGOA.info for more