Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Climate Action Key to Kenya’s Upper-Middle-Income Country Aspirations (World Bank)

Kenya remains vulnerable to frequent climatic shocks that pose significant economic risk. Without adaptation measures, the impact from climate change could not only disproportionately affect the poor, but also result in real GDP losses of up to 7% from the baseline by 2050. Kenya is a relatively low emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generating less than 0.1% of global GHG emissions although its emissions have more than doubled since 1995.

The inaugural Kenya Country Climate and Development report notes that not acting to address climate change will set back Kenya’s poverty reduction gains and increase inequality. Inaction against climate change could result in up to 1.1 million additional poor in 2050 in a dry and hot climate future scenario. Kenyan households are already experiencing the effects of climate change. To cope with climate and other shocks, 37% of affected households reduce food consumption and 33% look for additional income sources, taking a toll on Kenya’s human capital.

Multiple key sectors critical for Kenya’s economic transformation are also impacted by climate change. Today, 70% of disasters from natural hazards are attributable to extreme climatic events. A considerable portion of public infrastructure is vulnerable to hazard risk.

Kenyan maize farmers urged to diversify, shift to high value crops (CGTN Africa)

Kenya wants farmers throughout the country to add more diversity to the types of crops they grow. The government believes more crop diversity will not only boost household food security, and improve overall nutrition among Kenyans, but will also increase income, especially for small-scale farmers. The Uasingishu County Executive Official for Agriculture, Edward Sawe highlights difficulties faced by maize farmers, in particular, including low returns, high input costs, and market saturation during harvest seasons.

“Some of the challenges we encounter with cereals is the problem of the market, Sawe says. Now cereals are rainfed and most of the crop is offloaded at the same time during which time the produce floods the market.” He says, that if farmers (especially those producing maize) would allocate part of their large tracts of land to other high-value crops such as coffee, avocado, macadamia, and apples, this would go a long way in boosting their incomes and better utilization of land.

Additionally, Sawe says that maize and wheat farming are capital intensive, farmers invest throughout the year, but returns come once a year. This depletes their [ farmers’] resources and for that reason, brokers or middlemen capitalize on the fact that farmers do not have cash flow, thus they access the produce at low prices.

Unoc monopoly leaves $270m oil logistics company on knife edge (The East African)

With the passing of the Petroleum Supply (Amendment) Bill 2023 this week, Kampala inched closer to sealing the deal that gives a monopoly to the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc) as the sole importer and supplier of fuel products into the country via a multimillion partnership with Swiss-based Dutch energy and commodity trading giant Vitol.

As the falling-out between Uganda and Kenya over the fuel supply deal unravels, uncertainty has gripped new investors in the industry as well as old players who fear that the new arrangement gives advantage to some oil marketing companies (OMCs) over others.

Among these is Mahathi Infra Uganda Ltd, a $270 million oil logistics investment and recent entrant in the industry, operating fuel storage facilities near Kampala. Its management is on knife-edge as directors wonder how, if at all, they fit in the new arrangement. The company also operates four barges on Lake Victoria, which move petroleum products from Kisumu Port to its reserves in Kawuku on the shores of Lake Victoria, 18km from Kampala. “All oil marketing companies, including us, will now be buying from one supplier, Unoc. We should have been given a chance to compete [because] buying from one supplier is a shift and creates a monopoly. We would wish to sit down with Unoc on the logistics framework,” said Mike Mukula, chairman of Mahathi Infra Uganda.

Mobile Money, Perception about Cash, and Financial Inclusion: Learning from Uganda’s Micro-Level Data (IMF)

Will mobile money render cash less dominant over time in Africa? Can it promote financial inclusion? We shed light on these questions by exploring individual-level and nationally representative survey data for Uganda, a country in a region that pioneered mobile money in the world. IMF Staff use the Propensity Score Matching method to robustly compare mobile money users and non-users across a range of indicators that capture individuals’ perceptions about cash, and the extent to which they remit, save, and borrow money. They present the first evidence that mobile money users, compared to non-users, are more likely to perceive cash as risky and less likely to prefer carrying large amounts of cash. They also confirm that mobile money users are more likely to receive and send remittances, save, and borrow, and in larger amounts.

Ethiopia Sets 2026 Deadline For WTO Accession (The Reporter Ethiopia)

The Ethiopian government has set 2026 as a deadline for its decades-old effort to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Official documents obtained by The Reporter reveal that around half of the preparations necessary for accession have been finalized, with officials planning to go two-thirds of the way by the end of this year. The preparations include 181 separate queries and demands from WTO member countries. According to the report from the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, the federal government is re-aligning legislation based on the requests

Officials are “revising avenues for goods and services” and “finalizing negotiation documents”, according to the document. Once these preparations, along with responses to the demands from WTO members, are wrapped up, the proposal will be tabled to the national negotiation affairs steering committee for approval. Officials foresee this will happen in the upcoming quarter.

EU-Angola sign first-ever Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement (European Commission)

The EU and Angola signed today a Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement (SIFA), the first EU agreement of its kind, during the EU-Angola Business Forum in Luanda. It responds to Angola’s ambition to diversify its economy beyond the oil and gas sectors, which historically attracted most foreign investment.

The agreement, with its commitments to improve business climate and sustainability across the economy, is expected to attract new EU investment to sectors where Angola’s potential is currently untapped. The EU-Angola Business Forum confirmed opportunities for investments notably in green energy, agri-food value chains, digital innovation, fisheries, logistics, and critical raw materials. The main objective is to increase sustainable investment by EU businesses in Angola, while Angolan businesses will benefit from facilitation measures and from improved linkages between foreign investors and domestic suppliers.

IMF Concludes Article IV Consultation with Cameroon (IMF)

“The Cameroonian economy has remained resilient in the face of a difficult external environment, including tight global financial conditions and high oil price volatility. Following an increase of 4 percent in 2023, real GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 4.3 percent in 2024. Headline 12-month inflation is expected to moderate from 7.2 percent in 2023 to 5.9 percent in 2024

“The overall deficit is expected to decline from 1.1 percent in 2022 to 0.7 percent in 2023 while the non-oil primary deficit is expected to fall from 3.9 to 2.5 percent over the same period. At the same time, the stock of public debt is expected to fall from 45 percent of GDP at end-2022 to below 42 percent at end-2023. Budget execution was supported by a significant increase in non-oil revenues. However, it also faced pressures from fuel subsidy in 2022, which was substantially higher than expected and carried over to 2023. A substantial portion of subsidy is also likely to be carried over from 2023 to 2024.

Africa Industrialisation Week 2023

Africa Industrialization Day, 20 November (United Nations)

Industrial development is of critical importance for sustained and inclusive economic growth in African countries. Industry can enhance productivity, increase the capabilities of the workforce, and generate employment, by introducing new equipment and new techniques. Industrialization, with strong linkages to domestic economies, will help African countries achieve high growth rates, diversify their economies and reduce their exposure to external shocks. This will substantially contribute to poverty eradication through employment and wealth creation.

Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the United Nations General Assembly, in December 1989, proclaimed 20 November “Africa Industrialization Day”. Since then, the United Nations System has held events on that day throughout the world to raise awareness about the importance of Africa’s industrialization and the challenges faced by the continent.

The 2023 African Economic Conference (AEC), jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was held in Addis Ababa at the UN Conference Centre and in hybrid format from 16 – 18 November 2023. The theme of this year’s conference was “Imperatives for sustainable industrial development in Africa”.

Innovation, technology and industrialisation in Africa (UNECA)

African nations can collectively drive industrialization by embracing technological diversity and fostering regional collaboration, researchers at the African Economic Conference 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have said.

During a research session on day 3, about innovation, technology and industrialisation in Africa, moderated by Mr Bartholomew Armah, Chief of the Development Planning Section, Macroeconomics and Governance Division at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), researchers pointed out the diversity in technological capabilities across African nations as a strength, rather than a challenge.

This diversity is marked by some countries showing robust technological prowess, with others playing catch up, and emerging contenders entering the scene. This landscape sets the stage for cross-country knowledge transfer, creating a conducive environment for collaborative endeavours.

Public-private partnerships needed to bridge Africa’s infrastructure development gap (AfDB)

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are crucial to closing the financing gap for infrastructure development in Africa, and governments and the private sector should work together to create effective PPPs, said Dr Robert Lisinge, Acting Director of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

He was speaking on Thursday at a plenary session of the African Economic Conference 2023 on Public-Private Partnerships to catalyse infrastructure development and innovative financing for industrialization in Africa.

“Financing Africa’s infrastructure is still a big challenge faced by many countries on the continent. To bridge the infrastructure gap, public-private partnerships are essential for infrastructure development in Africa,” said Dr Lisinge. He noted that the African Development Bank estimates that between $130 and $170 billion is needed for infrastructure development every year, leaving a substantial financing gap of $68 to $108 billion.

Experts call for the establishment of an African carbon market to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions (UNECA)

If fully implemented, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will considerably increase African trade without adding significant pressure on climate change, according to experts who presented their research findings at a session on AfCFTA and industrialization in Africa. They agree that whether establishing a single or several carbon markets in Africa, continental coordination through AfCFTA around carbon pricing is desired. The research session was held on day 2 of the African Economic Conference taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Although there is a trade-off between reducing GHG emissions and spurring economic benefits, establishing an African carbon market is particularly effective at reducing GHG emissions, while largely preserving foreseen economic benefits from AfCFTA,” said Mavel. He added that an African carbon market is more efficient than existing NDCs in meeting Africa’s climate objectives.

Seutame Maimele, an economist at Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), explained that to mitigate the impact of the European Green Deal (EGD) in Africa, countries need to advance climate-resilient development through the creation of a regional green industrial policy for the continent, utilizing the AfCFTA and creating transformative industrialization. “The African Union within the AfCFTA could lead to the creation of a regional carbon market which can be utilized for selling carbon credits. This market can also be used to retain the funds collected by the EU from the continent,” said Seutame in his research paper.

Cashing in on Africa’s ‘youth dividend’ (UNECA)

With skills development and supportive policies that avail entrepreneurship opportunities, Africa’s ‘youth dividend’ can give a good return on investment by driving economic transformation and sustainable industrialization on the continent. “Young people are the driving force behind what we see today as Africa’s economic transformation, they are creative, they are resourceful, they are energetic, and they are resilient and successful,” Bakare said in a summation of the discussion which called on governments to consider the youth in policy and entrepreneurial development.

New DR Report Unveils how to unleash Africa’s Untapped Potential on Environmental Goods Manufacturing (Development Reimagined)

On Africa Industrialisation Day, Development Reimagined is proud to release its latest report, Unleash Africa’s Untapped Potential on Environmental Goods Manufacturing. This comprehensive analysis shines a spotlight on Africa’s capacity to lead in environmental goods (EG) manufacturing, offering actionable strategies for sustainable development. Please click here for the report infographic.

Africa, despite contributing a mere 3.8% to global greenhouse gas emissions, bears the weight of severe climate hazards. Environmental goods, integral to environmental protection and sustainability, play a crucial role in mitigating these challenges. In 2020, Africa spent US$26.22 billion on EG imports, constituting 77.5% of its overall EG trade volume, raising concerns about potential dependency on EG imports in the long run combat against climate change. While Africa is at a crucial junction in its industrial journey, the report underscores that local manufacturing of environmental goods is not only economically prudent but vital for Africa’s climate and manufacturing resilience, positioning the continent as a key player in the global market for environmental goods.

The findings reveal Africa’s untapped potential for EG manufacturing, leveraging its rich natural resources, renewable energy, and mineral wealth. Integrated markets and regional collaboration can drive economic growth, competitiveness, and sustainability, supported by eco-friendly production policies.

Minister: Work towards maximising AfCFTA benefits (Tanzania Daily News)

Zanzibar Minister for Trade and Industries Development Omar Said Shaaban has called on Zanzibaris, particularly members of the business community, to secure the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA). Mr Shaaban made the revelation at the climax of the week-long celebrations of the African Statistics Day-2023 held at the Tourism College Hall, Maruhubi where he emphasised on the use of data in developing trade.

Comoros, Tanzania and Uganda gear up for AfCFTA implementation with ECA’s support (UNECA)

A series of trainings were organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the Governments of Comoros, Tanzania and Uganda to strengthen the capacity of public and private sector stakeholders to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement effectively. Maximizing the benefits of the AfCFTA for businesses: Strategies and tools for accessing the market was the key theme of the training, which covered topics such as market access opportunities, rules of origin, tariff concessions, trade facilitation, non-tariff barriers, dispute settlement and digital trade.

Why Tanzania is hesitant of EAC single tourist visa plan (The East African)

Tanzania continues to dilly-dally on the operationalisation of the East African single tourist visa, which would make the region a single tourist destination. Dodoma is still reluctant to be part of the East African Community (EAC) Single Tourist Visa (STV) on grounds that the bloc is yet to address security and financial implications of the scheme. Tanzanian officials raised the matter at the EAC Council meeting held in June this year. The major issues are security, revenue sharing, the efficiency of the single visa regime and visitor screening.

At a Tourism and Wildlife Management Sectoral Council meeting held on October 19, 2023 in Arusha and chaired by Burundi Minister for Environment Prosper Dodiko, the EAC resolved to seek consensus on STV before implementation next year. “The EAC Treaty provides for cooperation in the sector whereby partner states undertake to develop a collective and coordinated approach in tourism promotion and management of wildlife resources. I urge you to have fruitful discussions on this matter,” Mr Dodiko said. The current STV is issued to persons travelling to and within Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda for tourism. The arrangement, which Tanzania argues is a Northern Corridor affair, makes Kenya the first point of entry.

EA’s family businesses face challenges, study says (The East African)

East African family-run businesses have not prioritised research and innovation in a move to help them recover from the post-Covid-19 economic challenges. The latest survey by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that only 12 percent of the sampled family-owned businesses in the region have put significant focus on, investment and resources into innovation or research. In addition, the survey shows that the on-going wave of business digitalisation that is sweeping across the region is yet to take root in family-owned businesses, with only 46 percent of them saying they have strong digital capabilities.

Family-owned businesses in the region have strong growth ambitions over the next two years, with 75 percent them saying they expect to see growth. “There is great optimism even in the face of significant challenges and disruption, which speaks to the resilience of these family businesses and their owners, stakeholders and communities,” the survey says.

According to the survey, family businesses in the region are rising to the economic challenges with 64 percent experiencing growth with only 13 percent seeing a sales reduction. This is a significant departure from the 46 percent who reported experiencing growth and 31 percent sales reduction in 2021, largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dry Bulk in Africa Through the Eyes of an African Shipping Line (The Maritime Executive)

With Africa increasingly exploiting its vast mineral resources, its demand for carriage of dry bulk commodities is on the rise. From rich deposits of iron ore in West Africa to coal in the Southern African region, the heterogenous mineral distribution across Africa gives it a unique potential. Africa also has in abundance critical elements such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, whose demand is rising to support manufacturing of today’s clean energy technologies.

However, these commodities have to be moved from mines to their destination markets, mainly in China and India. Unfortunately, the capacity of road, rail and port infrastructure in some parts of Africa is a major impediment for exports. This, coupled with a dearth of African shipping lines, has made the situation dire.

This is the gap that Arise Shipping and Logistics company hopes to fix. As a Pan-African shipping line, Arise Shipping is working to fulfill new demand for integrated maritime and logistics services for mining and industrial clients operating in Africa. It is now a year since Arise Shipping launched. To give an update on the progress of the past year, Arise Shipping CEO Cpt. Pappu Sastry sat down with TME African Correspondent Brian Gicheru.

Sugar prices are rising worldwide after bad weather tied to El Nino damaged crops in Asia (AP News)

Skyrocketing sugar prices left Ishaq Abdulraheem with few choices. Increasing the cost of bread would mean declining sales, so the Nigerian baker decided to cut his production by half.For scores of other bakers struggling to stay afloat while enduring higher costs for fuel and flour, the stratospheric sugar prices proved to be the last straw, and they closed for good.

Sugar is needed to make bread, which is a staple for Nigeria’s 210 million people, and for many who are struggling to put food on the table, it offers a cheap source of calories. Surging sugar prices — an increase of 55% in two months — means fewer bakers and less bread. “It is a very serious situation,” Abdulraheem said.

Sugar worldwide is trading at the highest prices since 2011, mainly due to lower global supplies after unusually dry weather damaged harvests in India and Thailand, the world’s second- and third-largest exporters. This is just the latest hit for developing nations already coping with shortages in staples like rice and bans on food trade that have added to food inflation. All of it contributes to food insecurity because of the combined effects of the naturally occurring climate phenomenon El Nino, the war in Ukraine and weaker currencies. Wealthier Western nations can absorb the higher costs, but poorer nations are struggling.

Tackling illicit financial flows through technology (The Guardian Nigeria)

Maida, represented by the Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka, believed that robust ICT systems remained critical for preventing/investigating financial crimes or mitigating the risks associated with virtual assets in financial markets, saying that these systems facilitate compliance with established standards or regulations and also provide a platform that allows the monitoring, tracing, and analysing of digital transactions in real-time. Precisely, it is believed that the value has been worth more than official development assistance from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) donor countries according to the Global financial integrity report.

Nigeria rallies support for fight against illicit financial flows in West Africa (Premium Times Nigeria)

Nigeria on Monday called on the Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to develop an institutional framework for the enforcement of financial crimes regulations in the sub-region. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, made the appeal at the inauguration of the 27th Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of GIABA, in Abuja.

Mr Fagbemi, who is also the Chairperson of the GIABA Ministerial Committee, said member countries should prioritise their national systems on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism. “Our collective commitment to put in place legislative policy and institutional frameworks is necessary to protect the integrity of our financial systems from threats of money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing. “As we come to the close of the second round of mutual evaluations, I believe we need to take some time for introspection and an assessment of where we have fallen short.

“As we begin preparations for the next round of mutual evaluations, our goal must be to greatly strengthen results and outcomes being achieved by our regulatory, supervisory, law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities.

Dollar scarcity is pushing more African countries to crisis (Moneyweb)

African governments are scrambling for dollars, and that’s creating a new dividing line for investors. Amid a deepening shortage of hard currency on the continent, governments are turning to bartering, currency devaluations, central bank exchange controls, and help from the International Monetary Fund and Middle East to shore up their balance sheets.

Investors are rewarding nations whose efforts to boost dollar liquidity are paying off. But they’re punishing those that can’t guarantee access to the currency they need to invest and repatriate returns, and are steering clear of countries without adequate reserves to cover import costs or debt repayments. African currencies are the worst performers in the world this year, with about a dozen sliding at least 15% against the dollar.

Experts from Member States strengthen their capacity in Energy Information Systems (ECOWAS)

Energy experts from ECOWAS Member States strengthen their capacity in Energy Information System (EIS) during a workshop held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 14 to 17 November 2023.

The ECOWAS Energy Information System which was officially launched in March 2023 in Bissau, Guinea Bissau during the 14th meeting of ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Energy. This programme is implemented by the ECOWAS Commission, with the financial support of the European Union within the framework of the 11th European Development Fund. Its overall objective is to “contribute to poverty reduction through increased regional integration in the energy sector in West Africa”.

During his statement at the opening of the workshop, Mr Bayaornibè Dabire, ECOWAS Director of Energy and Mines highlighted the importance of the EIS system to provides ECOWAS and Member States with credible, consistent, reliable and regularly updated data and information on the energy situation of the region and the states. These data are essential for better planning, design and monitoring of energy sector strategies and policies. He urged participants to actively participate during the sessions, to provide the ECOWAS Commission with the most recent national data, and to formulate appropriate proposals to consolidate this tool and ensure its sustainability

Climate finance surpasses $1trn a year (Energy Monitor)

Six years on from the Paris Agreement, annual climate finance flows across the globe surpassed the $1trn mark in 2021, according to new research from US non-profit the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). However, that level still needs to increase fivefold by 2030 for the world to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the group warns.

The average annual flows in 2021 and 2022 hit $1.3trn, double the level of 2019 and 2020, according to the CPI’s report, Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2023, released this month. However, 28% of the increase was a result of the increased availability of data.

“While crossing the $1trn threshold is undeniably good news, it is important to emphasise that this represents just 1% of global GDP,” said Barbara Buchner, global managing director at the CPI, at a press briefing for the report’s launch. “All actors must accelerate investments now to significantly reduce future economic and social costs, but it is not just about costs – there are immense opportunities for businesses to pursue low-carbon and climate-resilient pathways.”

Growth accelerated in the climate finance provided and mobilised in 2021 but developed countries remain short and must continue scaling up to reach the USD 100 billion goal (OECD)

Climate finance provided and mobilised by developed countries for climate action in developing countries reached USD 89.6 billion in 2021, according to the OECD’s sixth assessment of progress towards the goal for developed countries to provide and mobilise USD 100 billion of climate finance annually for climate action in developing countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This shows a positive trend, representing close to an 8% increase over 2020, which is significantly higher than the 2.1% average annual growth observed from 2018 to 2020. However, one year after the 2020 target, developed countries remain just over USD 10 billion short of the goal to mobilise USD 100 billion a year.

Largest fossil fuel firms on hook for trillions in damages: study (Daily Maverick)

A landmark report released by climate research group Climate Analytics contains a staggering finding: The world’s largest fossil fuel companies, known as the “carbon majors”, are responsible for a combined $15-trillion (about R275-trillion) in damages caused by climate change. This figure represents just a fraction of the total economic and human costs incurred as a result of their unabated emissions. The report also notes that “economic damages from climate change will reach $1.7-trillion per year by 2025, and roughly $30-trillion [R551-trillion] per year by 2075 if the current warming trend continues”.

The report, titled “Carbon Majors’ Trillion Dollar Damages”, delves into the historical emissions of these companies and their associated financial gains. It finds that the 12 highest-emitting fossil fuel companies, both state-owned and private, collectively amassed $21-trillion in profits from their operations between 1985 and 2018. Yet, these same companies have simultaneously caused an estimated $15-trillion in damages due to their role in exacerbating climate change.

Making most of Africa’s strategic green minerals to build the continent (The East African)

With the global transition to cleaner technologies underway, Africa has the natural resources to race ahead. The continent is a major producer of the raw materials that will fuel the green revolution – including, for example, 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, which is essential for electric-vehicle batteries. According to the United States Geological Survey, Africa also has some of the world’s largest untapped mineral reserves.

If harnessed sustainably and strategically, these resources could foster green industrialisation and increase electrification, while building a better future for all Africans. At the moment, African countries are mainly involved in mineral exploration and extraction, and the few with processing facilities often generate low-value products. Meanwhile, countries outside of Africa are scrambling to develop their own critical-minerals strategies.

Climate action slowed significantly in 2022 while severe weather events increased (OECD)

National climate policy action across the countries that produce nearly two thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions only increased by 1% in 2022, the lowest annual growth recorded since 2000, and reflecting a deceleration in ambitions to meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals amid growing energy security concerns. In contrast, between 2000 and 2021, national climate policy action increased by an average of 10% a year, according to new OECD analysis of policy adoption and policy stringency of the 50 countries covered by the Climate Action and Policies Measurement Framework.

The Climate Action Monitor 2023 shows that climate action differs substantially across countries, with those with more stringent policies showing faster increases in climate mitigation action. The report also shows that, while the adoption of market-based policy instruments has slowed, actions on governance, international co-operation, targets and climate data are picking up pace.

G20-led summit for Africa highlights renewed interest in fast-growing continent (ETEnergyworld.com)

Leaders from more than a dozen African countries will gather in Germany over the next two days for the G20 Compact with Africa conference, which aims to help bolster private investment in the world’s poorest, but fast-growing, continent. Underscoring renewed interest in Africa, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be among those attending the summit in Berlin, hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to German government officials.

The Compact with Africa, which was created in 2017 under the German G20 presidency, aims to bring together reform-minded African countries, international organizations and bilateral partners to coordinate development agendas and discuss investment opportunities.

Scholz Promises €4 Billion for EU-Africa Climate Initiatives (Bloomberg)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged €4 billion ($4.4 billion) for the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative through 2030 and said Europe’s biggest economy will import “a large proportion” of its green hydrogen needs from the continent. “This is not about development aid according to the outdated patterns of donors and recipients,” Scholz said Monday in a speech marking the opening of a Group of 20 investment summit in Berlin.

“This is about investments that pay off for both sides,” Scholz told delegates. “For example, on the road to climate neutrality in 2045, we in Germany will need large quantities of green hydrogen and will import a large proportion of it from Africa.”

Openness crucial for APEC economies (China Daily)

Korea turns to Africa as China tightens graphite export curbs (Korea Times)

Korean companies and the government are shifting their focus to Africa from China to secure graphite, as Beijing attempts to control exports of the core mineral for rechargeable batteries next month, according to industry officials, Thursday. In an apparent retaliation against Washington’s trade restrictions, Beijing announced last month that Chinese exporters will be required to apply for permits to ship high-purity, high-hardness and high-intensity synthetic graphite, natural flake graphite and products made using the mineral.

Although the leaders of the U.S. and China met on Wednesday on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco, they maintained different views regarding the export controls targeting rival countries. Given that Korea has relied heavily on Chinese graphite, lingering uncertainties have led to various efforts to diversify suppliers of the mineral.

China’s policy strategies for green low-carbon development: Perspective from South-South cooperation (UNCTAD)

In 2022, UNCTAD published the volume of “China’s Structural Transformation: What can developing countries learn?”. The purpose of the volume was to facilitate peer learning among countries in the Global South by sharing policy experiences. That publication examined diverse policy aspects including macroeconomic framework, trade, industrialization, digital transformation and debt management, shedding light on the factors contributing to China’s economic transformation.

This “updated” volume, China’s Policy Strategies for Green Low Carbon Development: Perspective from South-South Cooperation, adds some valuable insights to the ongoing discussions on this topical issue. It aims to make a substantial contribution to the current discourse on China’s transition process, encompassing both economic and climate aspects. Furthermore, it will enhance the understanding of the binding constraints developing countries encounter at national level, and how to advance green structural transformation through proper policy strategies formulation.

WTO members examine proposals to deepen discussions on trade and environment (WTO)

WTO members welcomed the progress made in strengthening the role of the Committee as the main forum for dialogue on trade and environment. The Committee considered several proposals on improving its functioning, including through greater transparency and experience-sharing; the role of technology transfer to address climate change as well as several proposals on trade-related environmental measures. Several members expressed an interest in examining the effects on environmental measures on market access and its impact on developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs). In this regard, the importance of technical assistance and capacity building was acknowledged.

Intermediate goods exports continue to fall in second quarter of 2023 (WTO)

World exports of intermediate goods (IGs) fell by 8% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2023 to US$ 2.3 trillion, continuing the slump recorded since last year amid stagnating commodity prices and a marked contraction in global consumer demand due to high inflation and interest rates. The decline affected all regions and most IG product categories.

IGs refer to inputs used to produce a final product and are an indicator of the activity in global supply chains. All regions posted year-on-year declines in IG exports in the second quarter of 2023. Asia recorded a decline of 13%, followed by Africa (-12%), North America (-8%), South and Central America.

UK unveils White Paper to set approach to global development (GOV.UK)

The UK has today set out a re-energised approach to international development in a White Paper, aimed at working with partners to tackle global challenges in the years up to 2030. It sets out how the UK will take action alongside spending aid and put renewed focus on prioritising partnerships, mobilising international finance and driving global policy change. It also leads on harnessing science and innovation to address extreme poverty and climate change.


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