Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Remarks by the Deputy President of South Africa, H.E Mr Paul Mashatile, on the occasion of the inaugural Saudi-Africa Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz International Conference Centre (The Presidency, South Africa)

Saudi Arabia is poised as one of the foremost partners to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which came into force in 2021, and represents a landmark step towards African integration and economic transformation. With its strategic position as a gateway between Africa, Asia, and Europe, Saudi Arabia can play a vital role in realising the full potential of the AfCFTA. By facilitating trade and investment, the Kingdom can contribute to the transformation of African countries from mainly being exporters of raw materials to producers of finished goods for both continental and global markets.

To this end, innovation will be the key to unlocking the full potential of our partnership and with their wealth of talent and creativity, our universities should collaborate in partnership to develop cutting-edge solutions to the challenges we face, from healthcare and education to agriculture and

Brics expansion holds threats and opportunities for SA business (Engineering News)

The expansion of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) bloc, announced during the fifteenth yearly Brics Summit in August, has raised questions about South Africa’s role in the group and whether the perceived spurning of its more traditional allies and trade partners will have adverse effects going forward. Gruzd says that the Brics organisation clearly believes that issues between members can be contained or “ever ameliorated”; however, the members’ individual relationships with the rest of the global community are trickier to manage, especially when many of the new members, and a significant chunk of the old ones, have been critical of the existing West-orientated world order.

Carbon credits and renewable certificates – what South Africa’s new trade platform means (BusinessTech)

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has launched the JSE Ventures Carbon Market, in collaboration Xpansiv, a US-based infrastructure provider for global environmental markets. The new trading platform allows local participants to buy or sell carbon credits and renewable energy certificates (RECs) held in local or global registries, and adds another tool to mitigate climate change.

Carbon credits are tradeable certificates that represent a one metric tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that companies can use to offset their own carbon emissions when it is not possible to do so through operational changes. The credits are generated through projects that reduce emissions, like renewable energy projects or reforestation efforts

Dates exports on the increase (Windhoek Observer)

Namibia exported fresh dates valued at N$2.6 million in September, which was destined to South Africa and Bangladesh. The Namibia Statistics Agency said over the entire period (September 2022 to September 2023), the value of fresh dates exported averaged N$10.3 million with the largest value of N$31 million recorded in February 2023 and the lowest values being recorded in September and December 2022 where no fresh dates were exported.

On the demand side, during September, Namibia imported fresh dates valued at N$31 038 solely sourced from South Africa.

In terms of trading blocks, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) maintained its first position as the largest source of imports for Namibia in September, contributing 40.9 percent and supplied Namibia mainly with, motor vehicles for the transportation of goods, articles of plastics and tractors.

Africa must do more to secure its own development (Engineering News)

Africa’s business sector and governments must push harder in addressing the challenges facing the continent, as the biggest threat to its development is complacency, said insurance and investment management company Old Mutual chairperson and former South Africa Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.

“Economic growth of Southern Africa this year is expected at 2.5% and may go higher over time. However, the demographic dividend suggests that the population is growing faster than the economy is growing. “Unless we engage with issues in a real way, per capita GDP [gross domestic product] will continue to decline because we are not attending to the big challenges present,” he said on the first day of consultancy firm The European House – Ambrosetti’s Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue. on November 9.

“Unless we deal with the issues standing in the way of development as the first order of business, we will be stuck feeling sorry for ourselves in the future. We have to identify the engines of economy on the African continent and recognise that something has to happen to drive change,” he stated.

Truworths boss says textile industry cannot benefit from AfCFTA (The Zimbabwe Independent)

TRUWORTHS Limited chief executive officer Bekithemba Ndebele says the local textile industry is too decimated to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as over 90% of formal manufacturers have shut down.

n an interview with NewsDay Business, Ndebele said the local industry was decimated and could not benefit from the AfCFTA arrangement. “As we stand, the clothing industry cannot benefit from any exports because it’s actually decimated. It is closed. You know this country historically used to be very strong in terms of clothing manufacturing. In Terms of AfCFTA regulations, you can only bring what you make. You can’t import from China then export,” he said.

Feasibility study of the multinational Kenya-Uganda Expressway project (The Africa Logistics)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) through its New Partnership for Africa’s Development and Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has approved US$1.4 million grant to EAC for the feasibility study of the Multinational Kenya/Uganda: Kisumu-Kisian-Busitema-Busia Expressway Project.

Kenya-Uganda Expressway project is part of the Northern Corridor that runs from Mombasa to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda through the port of Mombasa. It is the main corridor that transports the bulk of cargo that lands at the Indian Ocean ports inland to the five landlocked EAC Partner Sates.

Africa must tackle huge infrastructure gap to unlock opportunities for transformation – Report (AfDB)

Africa’s significant road infrastructure deficit creates increased production and transaction costs that must be addressed to scale opportunities envisaged under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, a new report has found.

The report, called Cross-Border Road Corridors Expanding Market Access in Africa and Nurturing Continental Integration notes that while roads are the primary mode of transport, carrying 80 percent of goods and 90 percent of passenger traffic, only 43 percent of Africa’s main population have access to an all-season road.

Afreximbank sees intra-African trade as key to unlocking Africa’s true potential as third Intra-African Trade Fair opens (Afreximbank)

The third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) kicked off in Cairo today with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Chairman of the IATF2023 Advisory Council, saying that intra-African trade holds the key to unlocking Africa’s true potential and fuelling economic growth, fostering industrialisation and creating job opportunities for the people of the continent.

Addressing participants and guests at the trade fair, Chief Obasanjo said that beyond being just an exhibition of goods and services, IATF2023 was a platform for networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing and was bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and policymakers from across Africa and its Diaspora to exchange ideas, forge partnerships and explore new opportunities.

President Obasanjo called on African government leaders, policy makers, and representatives to foster an environment conducive to trade by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, harmonising regulations and investing in necessary infrastructure. IATF2023 was a stepping stone towards a future where African nations traded freely, breaking down barriers and opening doors of opportunities for all, he added.

Egypt shows commitment to intra-African trade development amid tariff reductions (EgyptToday)

IATF2023 hosts launch of CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa (Afreximbank)

Kenyan firms eye share of $43 billion trade deals at continental fair (The Standard)

Zim to feature prominently at IATF 2023 (The Herald)

Africa Investment Forum 2023: Experts explore ways for Africa to leverage its strategic minerals (AfDB)

Experts gathered at the Africa Investment Forum explored ways to harness Africa’s strategic mineral wealth for the continent’s development, particularly by adding value by processing minerals before export. They were speaking at a panel session “Strategic Minerals: Financing a New Era of Global Prosperity” in Marrakesh, Morocco, during the Africa Investment Forum Market Days, held from 8 to 10 November 2023.

“Our natural resources are certain to create prosperity, so governments need to create the conditions to facilitate this prosperity,” said Georgette Sakyi Barnes Addo, Executive Director of Georgette Barnes Limited and President of the Ghana Women in Mining Association.

Opening Remarks By H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko Commissioner at the Recs Consultation Meeting on The CAADP Post-Malabo (AU)

As you are all aware, we have two years remaining to close-off the Malabo declaration; our Member States are far from achieving the set seven Malabo commitments, and this calls for a robust intervention on what we could possibly do, to support them stay the course in their agricultural performance, and create evidence based solutions where we can draw lessons to enable a strong Post-Malabo agenda.

Clearly, CAADP maintains its primary focus on agriculture, encompassing livestock, forestry, and fisheries, while recognizing the pivotal role of related sectors such as infrastructure, trade, energy, rural development, and ICT in facilitating agricultural growth. Its overarching objectives are to reinvigorate agricultural growth, ensure food security, and promote rural development across Africa.

In line with the emerging trends, the time remaining for the Malabo Declaration to expire, and given that the CAADP Agenda is fully embedded into the African Union Agenda 2063, it is important that we discuss the roadmap leading to the design of a Post-Malabo agenda.

Trade, Industry and Competition on hosting 20th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Forum (South African Government)

South Africa hosted a successful 20th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum on 2 – 4 November 2023 in Johannesburg.

The forum was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who started with a tour of the Made in Africa Exhibition which showcased industrial products and regional value chains that have formed in the continent. President Ramaphosa noted that “the extension of AGOA could also encourage the further development of value-chains across different countries”. Using the automotive sector as an example of regional value chains, President Ramaphosa indicated that local automotive companies source leather seats from Lesotho, wiring harnesses from Botswana, copper wiring from Zambia, steering wheel components from Tunisia and rubber from Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana and Cameroon.

Prior to the AGOA Forum, the African Trade Ministers met and agreed on a common position calling for the US to extend AGOA for at least 10 years when it expires in 2025, with all existing AGOA-eligible countries retained in the programme. The ministers also called for an early renewal of AGOA in order to ensure certainty and predictability for investors and buyers, and not put AGOA benefits at risk. In addition, the ministers called for the retention of all current AGOA beneficiary countries so as to preserve existing value-chains and to build on these to support Africa’s industrialisation efforts.

SIIPS 2023 Report Reveals Continued Growth In Africa’s Instant Payment Systems (Africa.com)

The SIIPS report was first launched by AfricaNenda in October 2022 to inform public and private sector stakeholders on the developments of instant payment system (IPS) in Africa, including an assessment of the inclusivity of such systems, with consumer insights and case studies. So far, only nine countries in Africa have access to a progressed Inclusive Instant Payment System IIPS through 3 domestic systems in Ghana, Malawi and Zambia and one regional system GIMACPAY in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

Fast-tracking implementation of eTrade Readiness Assessments - Third edition (UNCTAD)

In the context of the evolving digital economy and multiple crises, the potential of e-commerce to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains largely untapped. With the acceleration of ICT adoption and e-commerce, developing countries and regions face a growing range of opportunities and challenges.

UNCTAD's eTrade Readiness Assessments (eT Readies) have proven to be useful tools for governments, regional institutions, and the private sector to navigate their digital transformation journeys. This third Implementation Review provides an updated analysis of how eT Readies, and the policy recommendations they offer, are leveraged to strengthen countries' ability to engage in and benefit from e-commerce. 

Countries setting new FDI records in 2023 (fDi Intelligence)

A few countries have registered more greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) announcements in the first eight months of 2023 than any previous calendar year on record due to projects in the electric vehicle (EV), semiconductor and energy sectors. Between January and August, six countries – Morocco, Malaysia, Iraq, Israel, Democratic Republic of Congo and Finland – recorded planned greenfield FDI projects worth more than any twelve-month period in the past, according to preliminary fDi Markets figures dating back to 2003.

WTO members address trade and development dimension of cotton, potential MC13 outcome (WTO)

The trade and development dimension of cotton was at the heart of a series of meetings among WTO members on 7 November. Discussions also took place regarding the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) taking place next February, with the Cotton-4 countries (C-4, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) along with Côte d’Ivoire announcing plans to put forward a proposal for an MC13 decision on cotton. Participants also received cotton market updates, reflected on World Cotton Day 2023, and reviewed progress on the WTO-FIFA Memorandum of Understanding regarding cotton.

FAO Food Outlook predicts declining international trade in some basic foodstuffs (FAO)

Production prospects across most basic foodstuffs are favourable, but extreme weather events, rising geopolitical tensions and sudden policy changes pose risks for global food production systems and could potentially tip delicate demand-supply balances and dampen prospects for trade and global food security, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The latest Food Outlook, a biannual publication, offers updated forecasts for the production, trade, utilization and stocks of major food staples. Trade volumes in coarse grains and rice are expected to decline in 2023/24, even as global maize output is forecast to post a significant increase driven by increased plantings in Brazil and the United States of America.

Parties to government procurement pact welcome new party, new acceding country (WTO)

A meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on 8 November marked the first time North Macedonia has participated as a party to the Government Procurement Agreement 2012 (GPA 2012) and the first engagement with Costa Rica since it submitted its application for GPA accession. In a workshop focusing on the implementation of labour standards in GPA parties’ government procurement systems held the following day, Director-General Okonjo-Iweala underlined that government procurement can be responsive to people’s concerns about global trade.

Quick links

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Africa Sourcing Veteran Explains ‘Trickle-Down Effect’ of Delaying AGOA Renewal

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