tralac Daily News
Media Release: First Climate Change Legislation Underway in Parliament, Speaker Tells SADC Counterparts (Parliament of the Republic of South Africa)
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has informed the parliaments of the SADC region that the South African Parliament is actively advancing the climate change Bill, which represents the initial legislative step of its kind, in direct response to the challenges posed by climate change.
The Speaker was delivering South Africa’s country report during the second day of the 54th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, currently underway in Port Louis, in Mauritius
“The Bill is the first legal framework in South Africa to respond to the impacts of climate change. It seeks to enable the development of an effective climate change response and a long-term, just transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and society for South Africa,” the Speaker said. She added that gender mainstreaming is a key component of the country’s climate change response.
Kenya in talks to set up dry port in Uganda (The East African)
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) on Wednesday started talks with Uganda to establish a dry port in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. KPA Managing Director Capt William K Ruto who held talks with the visiting delegation from Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development, said the facility to be named KPA-Uganda, a joint venture between the two nations aimed at streamlining business operations for Ugandan importers.
“We want to make doing business easy for the Uganda importer such that if you have cargo, you just go and collect it from Kampala and then return your empty container there,” Ruto said in a statement issued in the coastal city of Mombasa after the talks.
Ruto lauded Uganda’s continued utilisation of the rehabilitated Kisumu Port, saying that a significant portion of oil products destined for Uganda are transported from Mombasa to Kisumu, where they are loaded onto ships for onward delivery to Kampala. He also hailed the important role played by Uganda in terms of cargo volumes handled through the Port of Mombasa, saying with an annual cargo volume of about 35 million tonnes Uganda accounts for 25 percent.
Museveni urges China to expand market for Uganda goods (The East African)
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to China to expand market access for the country’s finished goods, emphasizing the importance of trading in processed products rather than raw materials. Museveni made the plea on Wednesday during a meeting with a delegation from the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China, led by the standing committee’s Deputy Chairman Luosang Jiangcun at state house Entebbe.
In a statement released by state house on Thursday, Museveni highlighted significance of China’s market for Uganda’s prosperity, urging for an increased focus on finished products.
“Africa’s challenge has been the export of raw materials, resulting in less income and job loss. It is important for China and Africa to engage in trading finished products more,” Museveni said.
The African Development Bank’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Tanzania has been implemented over the last two years with the programmed operations during the period producing results that exceed expectations, according to the mid-term review of the CSP 2021-2025 published on 9 November.
“The support of the African Development Bank Group was aimed at enhancing the quality and sustainability of Tanzania’s infrastructure by creating high-quality, multimodal transport facilities, improving electricity production as well as transmission and distribution grids, and developing water supply and sanitation systems. The mid-term review found that significant results have been achieved for the first part of the CSP implementation period,” said Jacob Oduor, the African Development Bank’s Chief Country Economist in Tanzania.
Dar reinstates commitment to trade tie with Delhi (Tanzania Daily News)
TANZANIA has reinstated its commitment to strengthen economic ties with India to exploit further business and investment opportunities in both countries. Tanzania has a market share of 61.7 million population and member of the East African Community (EAC) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) boosting a market of some 417 million people. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Amb Mbarouk Nassor Mbarouk, said on Tuesday that investing in the country will guarantee the growth of both countries.
Tanzania’s main exports to India are cashew nuts, gold, tanzanite, legume, beans, pigeon peas and chickpeas, cloves, wood and sesame seeds. Dar es Salaam’s major import from India are mineral fuels, pharmaceutical products, vehicles and parts, sugar and sugar confectionery, machinery and building materials. India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Vellamvelly Muraleedharan said in Dar es Salaam that Dar and New Delhi share a longstanding and close relationship, particularly in trade, dating back centuries. “It is fitting to declare that, whether or not India is the largest trade partner, India is undoubtedly the best trade partner of Tanzania,” The Minister, who is visiting the country, said.
According to Indian statistics, the bilateral trade between the two countries has reached 6.4 billion US dollars in 2022/23.
Nigeria Hopeful of Economic Boom Following Investment Deals (Voice of America)
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is welcoming new trade agreements with Germany, including a deal that calls for the West African nation to export liquid natural gas. The signing Tuesday of two memoranda of understanding between Nigerian companies and their German counterparts was the latest in a flurry of investment deals clinched by the Tinubu-led administration in recent months. The signings come less than two weeks after Nigeria and Saudi Arabia agreed to a deal to revive the country’s nonfunctional refineries.
Under one deal, Riverside LNG of Nigeria will supply 850,000 tons of liquefied natural gas to Germany each year, working with German firm Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG. The first delivery of gas is expected in 2026, and the president’s office said gas exports may increase in future years.
Thirty countries in Africa will begin trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) next year as part of measures to implement the AfCFTA agreement, Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, Peter Joy Serwornoo, has stated. He said currently seven countries have been trading under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative, a programme to help African countries to start trading under the trade pact.
Mr Serwornoo, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the Regional Forum on AfCFTA for Anglophone West and North Africa to discuss progress made in the implementation of the trade pact which opened in Accra on Monday, mentioned the seven countries as Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda and Mauritius.
Mr Serwornoo said the seven countries had received their certificate of origin, and put in place their customs procedures.
He said trading under AfCFTA was currently being piloted, and full trading would begin next year. “A lot more countries would come on board and trade next year,” Mr Serwornoo stated. Asked about the value of trade between the seven countries, the Advisor to the Secretary-General of AfCFTA said, “It was too early to tell.”
Over 80% of African Executives Optimistic about AfCFTA’s Impact (Dailynewsegypt)
The Africa CEO Trade Survey Report 2023, an initiative by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC), reveals that more than 80% of African senior executives are optimistic about the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on their businesses. The report, now in its third edition, is based on a survey of over 1,000 senior executives from across Africa. It provides insights into the continent’s private sector’s views on trade, Africa’s economic outlook, and the impact of the AfCFTA.
A majority of respondents (56%) expect the AfCFTA to have a very positive effect on their businesses, while 24% believe it will have a moderately positive effect. Only 1% anticipate a negative impact. The respondents, primarily representing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), were located in 48 countries, 44 of which were in Africa.
The survey identifies information as the most critical form of support companies need to capitalize on the AfCFTA’s opportunities. Greater access to credit and an improved trading landscape through training, investments, and trade-friendly regulations are also seen as beneficial but fall short of addressing the information deficit. “Access to information, credit, and improving the trading landscape are crucial for SMEs to take advantage of the AfCFTA,” emphasized Prof. Utomi.
Increased market size, potential for new investments, and better access to raw materials are identified as the main perceived benefits of the AfCFTA. However, the erosion of both tariff and non-tariff barriers is also seen as a potential threat due to the increased competition it could bring, as cited by 27% of respondents.
The 44th COMESA Council of Ministers conducted today in Lusaka, Zambia provided an opportunity for the Secretariat of the regional bloc to highlight some key accomplishments of its regional integration agenda. These focused on its key pillars: market integration, physical connectivity, productive integration (industry and agriculture) and gender and social integration.
Secretary General of COMESA Chileshe Kapwepwe, who addressed the ministers underlined the enhanced growth in global and regional trade. In 2022, COMESA’s exports to the world increased by 15% while the value of intra-COMESA exports increased by 10%. Imports sourced from the COMESA market were ranked in fourth position and increased by 27% in 2022.
The uptake and utilization of trade facilitation programmes has notably been successful in terms of automated and digitalized customs systems, the Simplified Trade Regime and the Tripartite online Non-Tariff Barriers reporting, monitoring and eliminating mechanism.
COMESA has also continued to facilitate the smooth movement of vehicles, goods and persons within its Member States and between COMESA and other regions through the implementation of the Yellow Card and the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG) Scheme.
African MSMEs hold immense potential to drive innovation in Africa’s systems, representing 60 percent of the population under 25. However, limited access to resources and information poses barriers to their entry. Addressing these challenges is crucial to empower their engagement in productivity.
According to the African Development Bank, the AfCFTA possesses the transformative potential to establish a consumer market encompassing 1.3 billion individuals. Projections from The World Bank indicate that by 2035, the AfCFTA is expected to contribute an incremental income of $450 billion to Africa’s economy, alongside a substantial surge of more than 81 percent in intra-African exports.
In order for homegrown MSMEs to fully benefit from the agreement, they need to be equipped with the right tools and strategies to take advantage of the opportunities AfCFTA presents with a key entry point being in first optimizing local content within internationally funded projects so as to build local competitiveness. Financial Institutions have the responsibility, given their standing, to prepare Tanzanian communities and locally owned SMEs, to be able to take advantage and participate in projects like the EACOP, its cross-cutting sectors, as well as other strategic projects and investments.
A protocol on the Single Port Window to facilitate trade was signed on Monday in Lobito (Benguela) between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the International Maritime Organisation and the local port.
JUP is a digital platform launched with the aim of speeding up commercial activity between ports and their partners. It aims to facilitate the processing of processes, mainly goods clearance, in that unit of the transport sector.
Port of Lobito’s Chairman of the Board, Celso Rosas recalled that the Port of Lobito has signed up to a series of international conventions, which shows that the IMO believes in Angola, particularly in the port company that is going to implement the JUP project.
“Many commercial activities (import and export) are carried out from the ports and they have to be based on parameters and rules, and we are complying with them,” he said.
Celso Rosas said that the Port is preparing for the project to take place smoothly and transparently, above all in a very competent manner. According to him, after the test in Lobito, the project will be extended to the rest of the country’s ports.
‘Namibia’s corridors key to Africa free trade’ (The Namibian)
Deputy works and transport minister Veikko Nekundi says the development and security of Namibia’s trade corridors are crucial for the successful realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the socio-economic health of the nations sharing these corridors. The country’s corridors offer intra- and international trade access to several landlocked nations in southern Africa.
According to Nekundi, Namibia is particularly important to its landlocked members because of the port of Walvis Bay. He was speaking at the launch of the 13th Trans Kalahari Corridor Management Committee (TKCMC) Joint Law Enforcement Operation at Swakopmund on Tuesday, under the theme, ‘Safer Corridor #Brighter Future: Navigating the TKC to Safety’. During the event, law enforcement agents from Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, representing various stakeholders in trade facilitation, converged to establish checkpoints along the Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC).
Trans Kalahari Corridor launches joint security operation (Freight News)
Cross Border traders commend price stability measures (NewZimbabwe)
The Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) has commended authorities for employing holistic mechanisms which yielded price stability. The remarks come after monetary authorities maintained a tight Monetary Policy environment which is ring-fenced by instruments such as Open Market Operations Bills which have gone a long way to mop up excess ZWL liquidity and in the process prevent it from flowing into the parallel market.
Fiscal authorities have also complimented the efforts by scrapping duty payment requirements on all basic commodities with inflated prices locally resulting in price stability. Such measures have diluted the impact of errant price hikes which are hinged on the culture of profiteering as exhibited by local retailers.
“It is only through decent markups that Zimbabwean products will end up with a pricing structure which resonates with pricing models in the region and other competitive markets,” he said.
African countries still face significant capacity gaps in macroeconomic modeling, despite the huge strides they have made in terms of forecasting, analysis, and effective policy management, a new African Development Bank Group study has found.
The report, Benchmark Macroeconomic Models for Effective Policy Management in Africa, was launched in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by the Bank Group’s African Development Institute on 18 November on the sidelines of the African Economic Conference 2023.
Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, the Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, said the report provides an inventory of models and modelling capacity in African countries and examines their relevance to development realities as the continent faces recurrent challenges. He stressed the importance of macroeconomic models as tools for countries to effectively understand and predict the behaviour of their economies.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently noted that Africa needs to spend $250 yearly to meet its climate finance needs not only to comply with a greener world nicety but as a strategy for to grow its economy. Climate spending and economic growth, according to reports, have converged in recent years, with the World Bank arguing that every dollar spent on climate adaptation has a multiplier effect of $4 in economic benefits.
To address the huge funding gap, developed countries committed to a collective goal of mobilising $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries, including Africa, at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen in 2009.
The goal was formalised at COP16 in Cancun and COP21 in Paris, it was reiterated and extended to 2025. Total funding mobilised by developed countries almost doubled in the past decade, hitting $89.6 billion in 2021. Yet, different clusters of advocacy groups are seeking a common voice ahead of COP 28, to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30, to raise the bar.
But African and Asian development financial institutions (DFIs) are more inward-looking in their approach to the debate on mobilising funding for climate actions in developing countries. Through their associations – the Association of African Development Financing Institutions in Africa (AADFI) and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) – the institutions are exploring how the developing countries could smartly create home-grown financing options to tackle the challenges.
The inaugural Blue Africa Summit took place in Tangier from November 16–17, and attendees praised Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s “strong ocean commitment. “ The nations along the African Atlantic coast were urged to “join Morocco’s initiative of a coalition of united countries” in the Tangier Declaration, which was released following this summit, which was convened for the first time on African soil. They also called on all national and local authorities on the African continent to devise plans or strategies for sustainable development of their coastlines and exclusive economic zones, support the creation of maritime space plans nationally and internationally to develop a sustainable blue economy, and promote, among other things, the protection of these spaces and their precious biodiversity up to 30% by 2030.
New report: Africa’s priorities for COP28 (Mo Ibrahim Foundation)
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has released a comprehensive report titled Africa on the road to COP28: reconciling climate & development. The report outlines three pivotal priorities for the African continent as it gears up for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), scheduled to take place in Dubai from 30 November-12 December, 2023.
The report defines three key priorities crucial for Africa’s sustainable future: Focus on adaptation: build resilience and climate-proof development – from ensuring food security through climate-resilient food systems to fast-tracking renewables and incorporating climate resilience into city infrastructure, this section provides a roadmap for climate resilience. Unlock the potential of Africa’s green assets: add value locally and focus on governance – the second priority calls for unlocking the potential of Africa’s green assets by adding value locally and enhancing governance. This includes building green supply chains, responsible resource governance, and stressing the global responsibility of preserving Africa’s forests. Break the debt-climate nexus and grow Africa’s domestic revenues – the third priority addresses the critical issue of the debt-climate nexus, offering strategies to break the cycle of structural debt challenges and boost revenues through initiatives like new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and a global carbon tax.
Africa’s call for action on adaptation at COP28 (SDG Action)
A virtual meeting of the members of the G20 countries was held on Wednesday, November 22, which reviewed the progress on the decisions taken during the summit in India earlier this year. Participants reiterated their commitment to implement crucial decisions regarding the reforms in the global financial institutions and climate financing among others.
Indian PM Narendra Modi chairs the meeting of G20 leaders
Modi asked the world leaders to take serious steps to implement decisions related to climate financing, reforms in multinational development banks, and for the creation of a framework for ethical and artificial intelligence, AP reported. Chinese Premier Li Qiang criticized the “politicization of development issues” by some countries without taking any names.
“It is necessary to coordinate and cooperate more closely, revitalize multilateralism, continue to strengthen macro policy cooperation, and pay more attention to the concerns of developing countries in the reform of the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund,” Qiang said.
The need for internal investment among African nations is “colossal,” according to African Union (AU) Chair Azali Assoumani. Speaking at the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) summit in Berlin on November 20, Assoumani said that while investment in African nations from G20 countries is inching above pre-pandemic levels, it still falls “far short” of the record amount of almost $53 billion (€48.4 billion) reached in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Aiming to spark greater private investment in Africa, the CwA initiative brings 13 African members together with representatives from the G20 major economies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank.
Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said his country was “greatly satisfied” to be accepted as the initiative’s 13th member. CwA members need to demonstrate willingness to undertake the reforms necessary to attract investment, something that DR Congo has “clearly showed,” Lukonde told DW at the summit. “This membership, in fact, marks a kind of recognition of all these efforts that [DR Congo] is making,” he said. “Now we’re calling for investment.”
Launched in 2017, during Germany’s G20 presidency, the CwA has been running for six years now. “The results are hotly debated,” said Alex Vines, the Africa Program director at Chatham House, a London-based policy institute, adding that it’s unclear if initiative members are experiencing more
In a big step towards tax standardization, nearly 140 countries agreed in December 2022 on a 15% global minimum tax for large multinationals – a landmark deal to prevent "a race to the bottom” as governments compete to attract foreign companies. UNCTAD research shows that in one-third of tax jurisdictions, profit-based fiscal incentives allow multinational affiliates to often pay less than this rate.
The global tax deal will target particularly low-taxed income investment hubs. Under the new rules, for example, a multinational benefitting from a low-tax agreement with the local government could face higher taxes in its parent company's jurisdiction. “Such a change shows how global tax reforms interact with existing investment frameworks,” said Hamed El-Kady, an UNCTAD expert working on the issue.
An UNCTAD report published on 23 November explores the potential legal challenges under international investment agreements (IIAs) and the likelihood of investor-state disputes as countries align to the new global tax regime. The report underlines the need to accelerate IIA reforms to ensure they support the global minimum tax deal and other internationally agreed policies on issues like climate change and health.
The Committee on Market Access held on 21 November the first of a series of thematic sessions on supply chain resilience. The objective of this introductory session, which included speakers from the WTO and other international organizations, was to improve understanding of what is meant by supply chain resilience so that members have a conceptual framework from which they can take up certain topics and develop them among themselves within the framework of the Committee.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today concluded its seventy-eighth session, approving nine draft resolutions and two draft decisions on a range of topics, voting on a draft addressing international tax cooperation.
By that text, titled “Promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations” (document A/C.2/78/L.18/Rev.1), the Assembly would stress that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope and fully consider the different needs and capacities of all States, in particular developing countries and countries in special situations.
The representative of Nigeria, introducing the draft resolution on behalf of the African Group, said it represents a beacon of hope for developing nations. “It resonates with our aspirations as outlined in both the AU [African Union] Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development], reinforcing our commitment to strengthening tax systems and fostering tax equity,” he added.