Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

South Africa calls for greater engagement with Turkish businesses (Daily Sabah)

Top South African trade official emphasized Monday the vital importance of bilateral trade relations with Türkiye, calling on the Turkish business world that wants to expand to Africa to boost investment and commercial relations. As a member of the BRICS group alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China and a G-20 member, South Africa ranks among Africa’s leading economies due to its robust financial infrastructure and advanced mining sector.

Continuing its status as Türkiye’s most significant trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa hosts all of the continent’s top 10 companies. “I believe that the trade relations between South Africa and Türkiye are absolutely vital,” South African Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said in an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA). He emphasized Türkiye’s strategic location, large population and significant economy, highlighting South Africa as the industrial hub of sub-Saharan Africa, the continent’s industrial base.

Patel noted that this situation makes Türkiye and South Africa strong partners, pointing out that Turkish companies already have significant investments and production centers in South Africa.

South Sudan oil industry: South Africa’s deepens ties (The Exchange Africa)

In a move marking the strengthening bilateral relations between South Africa and South Sudan, the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), South Africa’s state-owned petroleum company, convened a key meeting with South Sudan’s national oil company, Nilepet, in Juba last week. The meeting was a highlight of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state visit, underscoring the growing economic ties between the two nations.

The SFF, which operates Block B2 in South Sudan and collaborates with Nilepet through the Nile Orange joint venture, has recently completed a major phase of its oil and gas exploration campaign in Jonglei state. The initial aerial survey of the block was finished last month, setting the stage for further exploration activities.

During the meeting, both companies shared updates on the progress of their joint venture and outlined the next steps for the project. A crucial component of the ongoing work will be the environmental impact assessment scheduled over the next six months, starting with a site visit in Bor, the capital of Jonglei.

Namibia Customs strengthens its Rules of Origin competency through an advanced training workshop (WCO)

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union, the World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with the Namibia Revenue Authority (NamRA), held a national training workshop on rules of origin for Namibia Customs. The workshop was held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 15 to 19 April 2024 with the objective to assist NamRA in enhancing its knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin and contribute to a seamless implementation of the AfCFTA and relevant FTAs.

This workshop was conducted as part of the comprehensive technical assistance and partnership with NamRA, including in relation to the implementation and launch of an advance rulings system in Namibia in July 2022, and builds on the acquis from an intermediate training conducted in January 2023. The support provided under the RoO Africa and the EU-funded HS Africa Programmes allows for the deployment of all-inclusive and wide-ranging capacity building activities, to enhance the infrastructure and capacity of NamRa both on RoO and HS.

Kenya opens window for Uganda powder milk (The East African)

Authorities in Nairobi have placed order for more suppliers of milk powder from Uganda following reports that a drop in milk production is expected in the coming months. The EastAfrican has learnt that the Kenya Dairy Authority has opened a window for more milk powder imports from Uganda as the July-August and December-February dry months approach. During these months, Kenya is usually plunged into a liquid milk production deficit, which pushes up prices.

“Kenya is to increase the number milk importation permits to more milk powder from Uganda which they have been restricting to be landed on their market,” Akankiza Mpiira, executive director at Uganda’s Dairy Development Authority told The EastAfrican.

Dairy industry players say that for each kilogram of milk powder locked out, a market for 10 litres of liquid milk is created. “Liquid milk exports are accepted in Kenya but milk powder is restricted. This is because each kiligramme of powdered milk stopped, the market for 10 litres of liquid milk is protected,” the DDA says.

Kenya loses 42pc of Tanzania maize imports, seeks alternative sources (The East African)

Non-tariff barriers have pushed down Kenya’s maize imports from Tanzania to 63 percent of the total imports of the grain in 2022/2023 marketing year, from 97 percent in 2021/2022.

A new report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Kenyan traders imported maize from Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and South Africa, but imports from Tanzania dropped as a result of the imposition of export restrictions by Dodoma. Tanzanian restrictions on maize exports were in the form of requirements that exporters to Kenya apply for export certificates.

“Kenya traders have begun to source more corn from non-traditional sources such as Zambia and South Africa,” reads the report.

Historically, Kenya has sourced most of its imported corn from Tanzania. However, traders have had difficulty exporting corn from Tanzania following the implementation of new export procedures. In the past, the Government of Tanzania has imposed export bans or restricted access to export permits when domestic supplies are low.”

Imports from Zambia and South Africa increased to 13 percent and 10 percent from one percent and 0.38 percent respectively. Maize imports from Uganda constituted five percent of the total maize imports from 0.36 percent.

Tax pain for traders as states push for more revenues to pay debt, run projects (The East African)

Traders across the region are up in arms against heavy taxation by the ruling regimes that are hard-put to fund burgeoning budgets amid a cash crunch caused by debt servicing and slowing economies. The governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have proposed a raft of tax proposals aimed at generating more revenues despite protests from taxpayers.

Afreximbank pledges to assist Zim on framework for SME financing (NewsDay)

Afreximbank has pledged to assist Zimbabwe to develop a model law on factoring as the bank tips the sale of accounts receivables at a discount as a solution to plug the financing gap affecting small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking at a two-day regional conference on factoring, receivable finance and credit insurance which opened in Harare on Monday, Afreximbank executive vice president in charge of Intra African Trade Bank Kanayo Awani said factoring would plug the financing gap faced by SMEs.

A model law on factoring that enabled countries to create a conducive legal and regulatory environment was developed in 2016 and has since been used by seven countries in passing factoring laws.

WCO IPR border enforcement workshop held in Mozambique (WCO)

From 15 to 19 April 2024, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted a national workshop on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Maputo, Mozambique. The methods used by criminals to counterfeiting and piracy of goods have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. As a result, Customs must reaffirm the importance of IPR protection and, where necessary, update its officers’ knowledge while adapting its strategy.

This workshop was in keeping with the WCO’s approach under its IPR Strategy, aimed at combating IPR infringements and piracy in international trade, a central pillar of which is the organization of capacity-building activities.

This workshop gave experts an opportunity to present to participants the WCO’s new tool titled “Case studies and risk indicators to identify IPR, health and safety infringing goods related to e-commerce” and to explain how it could support Customs officers’ work when processing goods traded through e-commerce. Participants also familiarized themselves with the features of the IPR CENcomm tool, used for secure communication in relation to IPR infringements.

Trade Policy Review: Morocco (WTO)

Since its last trade policy review (TPR) in 2015, Morocco was able to increase its GDP per capita from USD 3,236 to USD 3,570. That period was also marked by a major recession in 2020 (-7.2%), owing to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. However, a strong rebound in 2022 enabled the Moroccan economy to return to its pre-pandemic level very quickly.

Dominated by manufactured goods, Morocco’s international trade grew considerably between 2015 and 2022. The European Union remained the Morocco’s main trading partner. Moroccan exports are fairly diversified, consisting primarily of chemicals, vehicles and transport equipment, electrical machinery and equipment, textiles, vegetable products and mineral products. Historically, Morocco has run a services balance surplus, largely thanks to tourism. Morocco remains highly attractive to foreign investors, as illustrated by the fact that the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased from USD 49.7 billion in 2015 to USD 73.0 billion in 2021.

Nigeria, China Sign Free Trade Zone Agreement To Boost Economy (TVC News)

Nigeria’s fertile land stands as a beacon of hope, providing a fertile ground for farming and trade and also accelerate transformative changes across Africa. This was the collective opinion of Stakeholders at the investment summit and Utopia free trade zone establishment ceremony in Nigeria.

Gathered in anticipation of a landmark moment are, These are investors from the financial sector, government functionaries, traditional rulers, and key figures from various ministries, departments, and agencies. They are here to witness the dawn of a new era, which is the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the Utopia Free Trade Zone between Nigeria and China. For these stakeholders, the main objective is to boost the Nigerian economy. They say that Nigeria has a significant advantage in fostering economic growth throughout the African continent.

ECOWAS Investment Forum shows opportunities in West Africa (ITC)

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) hosted the event in Lome, Togo, from 4 to 5 April. Togo Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé opened the forum, held under the theme ‘Transforming ECOWAS Communities in a Challenging Environment’. She emphasized the need for a wide range of investment across human capital, energy, the digital economy, and infrastructure.

Discussions during the forum addressed crucial topics such as food security, fortifying agricultural supply chains, and enhancing security in West Africa. Panellists proposed strategies for tackling challenges in agriculture, underscoring the significance of cooperation and innovation for sustainable development. They underscored major challenges around access to finance, which seriously affects small businesses, particularly for agribusinesses and young entrepreneurs. Among the solutions discussed were ways development finance institutions such as EBID could make facilitate access to loans.

This is one of the issues that the International Trade Centre (ITC) addresses with the ECOWAS Commission through the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP). WACOMP facilitated the participation of nine investment promotion agencies from West Africa. These agencies showcased investment projects in their countries. The delegates engaged with business leaders on investments in critical areas such as agriculture, infrastructure development, support to small businesses, energy and climate change.

African Development Bank rapidly exceeding climate finance targets (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina on Thursday called for more urgent action as climate change continues to wreak havoc in many African countries. He was speaking at a high-level roundtable on climate finance convened during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings.

Adesina said the ongoing devastating drought in several parts of Africa underscored the need for all stakeholders to come together to accelerate support and financing for Africa. “Africa is in the eye of the storm from climate change, accounting for 9 out of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change globally,” Adesina told participants. He added: “But Africa is not getting what it needs to adapt to climate change. Africa received just $30 billion per year for climate adaptation, while its needs are $277 billion per year, leaving a huge financing gap.”

Measuring Climate Results (World Bank)

At COP28, the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) agreed to developing a common approach for measuring climate results to complement tracking of climate finance. The MDBs have made significant progress in scaling-up climate finance commitments. However, there is recognition that climate finance neither measures the results nor the outcomes of climate actions.

This Note, MDB Common Approach to Measuring Climate Results, presents the first common structure to measuring climate results, a framework to define, measure, and link global progress on climate mitigation and adaptation with MDB results. This is a significant step which aims to provide stakeholders with a clearer view of the climate results of the MDBs related to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

AfDB secures US$7.3million fertilizer deal for African farmers (The Independent Uganda)

The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) has secured a CAD$10 million (US$7.3 million) funding commitment from Global Affairs Canada, aimed at enhancing food production and increasing income for about 800,000 smallholder farmers across Africa. This financial boost is part of a strategic initiative to empower fertilizer importers and aggregators with access to credit to ensure broader distribution and use of fertilizers across the continent.

Signed on March 25, this year, the funding agreement has earmarked (US$7.3 million, Shs 28bn) for the AFFM’s ‘Fostering Africa’s Agricultural Productivity through Fertilizer Value Chain Financing’ (FOSTER) programme. This programme is designed to accelerate the use of fertilizers and improve agricultural productivity in the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) regional member countries through innovative financing solutions.

How to end hunger in sub-Saharan Africa: fight inequality, gender imbalances and climate change (The Conversation)

A greater part of Africa’s population can’t afford a healthy diet than any other regional population. Food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by climate change, high levels of poverty, rapid population growth, low economic growth, inadequate infrastructure and conflicts. Women are the backbone of agricultural labour in the region. The problems of limited access to land, water and technology faced by these women also worsen food insecurity.

People have a right to food – to produce food, to be free from hunger, and to participate in policy decisions that affect food systems. The right to food is also recognised and protected by various international frameworks and agreements. But in sub-Saharan Africa, access to food has long been regarded as a privilege rather than a basic human right.

Our research found that governments across sub-Saharan Africa need to target inequality, gender imbalances and environmental degradation if they want to end hunger. This is because food sovereignty is very tightly interlinked with social justice and sustainable development.

Africa’s share of global poor rises significantly – UNECA (APAnews)

Africa’s share of global poor people has increased significantly, with one reason being low scientific and technological progress across the continent, a senior official of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said.

At the opening of the Sixth African Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum on Sunday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECA Antonio Pedro said Africa’s share of global poor people increased from 15 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2018 and may reach 90 percent by 2030.

Pedro said Africa must invest in human capital development, learn how to produce, sell and use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and genomics that are transforming every aspect of life.

FAO Regional Conference for Africa: Director-General highlights region’s agricultural potential, calls for sustainable livestock measures (FAO)

In the context of the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa being held this week in Morocco, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) QU Dongyu called for increasing collaboration and investment for a more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable livestock sector in the continent.

In a special event organized by the African Union Commission aimed to provide a space to exchange knowledge aimed at the effective implementation of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa, Qu emphasized the significance of the Strategy, hailing it as a major transformation instrument to guide innovative actions and achieve the sustainable development of the sector as outlined in FAO’s Sustainable Livestock Sector Transformation vision.

Qu explained that while 60 to 80 percent of rural households in most African countries rely on livestock for various purposes, the consumption of animal-source food in Africa remains relatively low but is expected to increase by 2050. This increase, he noted, would be driven by factors such as population growth, economic development, urbanization, and dietary shifts.

Africa should invest in Science, Technology and Innovation to Build a Prosperous, Just and Sustainable Future (UNECA)

Africa can build a more prosperous, just, and sustainable future if countries invest in science, technology and innovation, these are sentiments echoed by African leaders, representatives and experts at the opening of the two-day Sixth African Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

For his part, Antonio Pedro, Deputy Executive Secretary for Programme Support at the ECA said Africa must invest in human capital development, research and development (R&D), and in learning how to produce, sell and use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and genomics that are transforming every aspect of life. “Technology should advance the wellbeing of the millions of households, farmers, fishermen, and many others that still use basic tools to lift themselves out of extreme poverty,” said Mr. Pedro.

“Science and technology can play an important role in increasing the efficiency of service delivery to the poor, monitoring living conditions, predicting impending crises in crowded or remote areas and informing decision-making during crises,” said Mr. Pedro.

China needs to align investments with Africa’s energy transition goals (The Independent Uganda)

China should now focus its economic engagement with Africa towards supporting the continent’s energy access and energy transition objectives, recommends a new study by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Centre and the African Economic Research Consortium. The advice, the study notes, aligns with the overarching aims of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The study, published this month, analyses two decades (2000-2022) of the China-Africa economic relations, including trade, finance, and foreign direct investment (FDI), and highlights the need for a shift in the nature of the relationship. Moses Oyintarelado, a data analyst and database manager at Boston University’s Global China Initiative, says “future Chinese economic engagement with the continent especially in matters finance, investors, companies and trade facilitators, should now focus more on capital for electrification projects and renewable energy technologies that utilize Africa’s primary commodity inputs.”

According to the study China has become many African countries’ lead trading partner, surpassing the United Kingdom and the United States with trade between the two partners (imports and exports of goods) growing significantly from US$11.67bn in 2000 to a peak of US$257.67bn in total trade in 2022.

China-Africa trade gets a boost from critical minerals needed for EV battery production (South China Morning Post)

Trade between China and Africa defied economic headwinds in the first quarter of 2024, with two-way trade growing by 5.9 per cent year on year to US$70.86 billion, according to the latest customs data. This was despite a property crisis in China which affected copper demand, with a downturn in copper prices towards the end of 2023.

Mixed efforts to achieve energy goals highlighted at the end of Sustainability Week (UN News)

The unanimous declaration of the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012 aimed to hone on the importance of improving “access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services and resources for sustainable development.”

Dennis Francis said there have been both achievements and shortcomings in meeting the goal throughout the decade. He noted that developing countries experienced a 9.6 per cent annual growth in renewable energy installation and the global population with access to electricity has increased from 87 per cent to 91 per cent since 2015. Yet, he said, “the pace of energy transformations is still much too slow – and the benefits are not shared equitably.”

Sustainable transport, imperative for development, UN tells Nigeria, others (The Sun Nigeria)

The President of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Dennis Francis, has told Nigeria and other countries that sustainable transport is not an option, but an imperative for resilient, inclusive, and sustainable development. Francis stated this during the High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Transport at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States.

Francis said the crucial significance of the transport sector in the global economy cannot be overstated, adding that transportation is an industry in its own right, but it is also a vital input into considerable other industries and sectors, that themselves add to global output and growth. Francis also said transportation is a lifeline connecting communities and markets, facilitating trade, and thus driving economic growth.

World Creativity and Innovation Day 2024: ‘Transforming World, Promoting Sustainable Development’ (ETV Bharat News)

The day is focused on achieving Sustainable Development Goals through promoting and celebrating creativity and innovation. The United Nations (UN) recognised the importance of creativity and innovation in promoting sustainable development and included World Creativity and Innovation Day as a part of its initiative “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Improving the measurement of the creative economy (UNCTAD)

As a relatively new sector of the economy, the creative industries are hungry for reliable and internationally comparable data. But changes are underway. Ahead of World Creativity and Innovation Day on 21 April, UN Trade and Development puts forward an updated statistical framework, aimed at advancing the measurement of the creative economy.

“The framework represents a significant step forward in addressing the challenges of measuring the creative economy and trade in creative goods and services,” says Anu Peltola, director of statistics service at UN Trade and Development. Ensuring relevance and adaptability, the framework aligns with latest global statistical classifications for industrial activities and international merchandise trade statistics. It offers a tool to better quantify the economic impact of creative industries, especially where specific definitions and methodologies are lacking.

While the creative industries are an evolving concept, they generally entail creating, producing and distributing goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs. Some examples can be audiovisual products, design, media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts. As one of the world’s most rapidly expanding sectors, the creative economy helps power income, jobs, and export earnings. Latest data from UN Trade and Development re-emphasize the sector’s significant contribution to global trade.

Paper: Advancing the measurement of the creative economy: A revised framework for creative industries and trade (UNCTAD)

Related: West Africa’s fashion designers are world leaders when it comes to producing sustainable clothes (The Conversation)

Secretary-General calls for UN 2.0 to tackle 21st century challenges (UN News)

Amid multifaceted crises ranging from conflicts to climate, and poverty and inequality, the world looks to the UN “to help deliver the better, safer and greener world we need,” Mr. Guterres said. “But we cannot solve 21st century problems with 20th century tools – we need a UN 2.0,” he stressed, in a message opening the UN 2.0 week.

The transformation in skills and culture, encapsulated in the UN chief’s vision of a UN 2.0, is focused on fostering cutting-edge capabilities in data, digital solutions, innovation, foresight and behavioural science – to deliver stronger results and help countries accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In his message on Monday, Mr. Guterres also emphasized the need for a “forward-thinking culture” at the Organization, powered by rapid technological advances.

World Bank official calls for shake-up of G20 debt relief scheme (The Guardian)

The mechanism for providing debt relief to the world’s poorest countries is failing to produce results and requires a major rethink, a senior official at the World Bank has said. Indermit Gill, the bank’s chief economist, said that after four years the G20’s common framework – designed to speed up and simplify debt restructuring – had not provided a single dollar of new money.

More than half the 75 countries deemed poor enough to be eligible for concessional finance from the World Bank are either in distress or close to it, and Gill said cripplingly high repayments were entrenching poverty.

New Financing Tools Receive Major Funding Boost (World Bank)

New financial instruments designed to boost lending capacity and enable the World Bank Group to take on more risk for shared global challenges have received a significant endorsement. A set of 11 countries announced commitments today for the Portfolio Guarantee Platform, hybrid capital mechanism, and new Livable Planet Fund totaling $11 billion.

The World Bank Group’s unique leveraging capability enables the resources pledged to hybrid capital and the Portfolio Guarantee Platform to be multiplied six to eight times over 10 years. Under certain conditions, the leverage amount could reach tenfold.

Multilateral Development Banks Deepen Collaboration to Deliver as a System (AfDB)

The leaders of 10 multilateral development banks (MDBs) today announced joint steps to work more effectively as a system and increase the impact and scale of their work to tackle urgent development challenges.

In a Viewpoint Note, the leaders outlined key deliverables for joint and coordinated action in 2024 and beyond building on the progress since their Marrakesh statement in 2023, as their institutions work to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to better support clients in addressing regional and global challenges.

Chair’s Statement: 109th Meeting of the Development Committee (World Bank)

Development Committee members discussed the global macroeconomic and financial impact of current wars and conflicts including the war in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as well as the shipping disruptions in the Red Sea. While recognizing the Development Committee is not the forum to resolve geopolitical and security issues and these issues will be discussed in other fora, Development Committee members acknowledged that these situations have significant impacts on the global economy. Today’s era must not be of war and conflict.

G20 Leaders Urged to Finance Global Sustainable Development (Earth.Org)

The letter to G20 leaders came ahead of a $11-billion pledge by 11 wealthy nations to fund World Bank efforts to tackle global challenges and boost sustainable development.

G20 leaders were urged to reform the global financial system and step up efforts to achieve global sustainable development and fight the climate crisis in an open letter published ahead of last week’s Spring meetings of international financial institutions.

In the letter, the 135 signatories, which include actor Stephen Fry, film producer Richard Curtis, and singer Annie Lennox, appealed to the world’s largest economies to “triple their investments in multilateral development banks, end crippling debt for low-income countries, and make polluters pay.

New sustainability approaches in shipping: Strategies for decarbonising the industry (Trade Finance Global)

In an era where environmental concerns are at the forefront of global discussions, the maritime industry, often seen as a major contributor to pollution, is under increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices.

With approximately 90% of global trade relying on maritime transport, finding ways to mitigate the environmental impact of shipping has become imperative. Fortunately, innovative approaches are emerging, offering hope for a more sustainable future in the shipping industry.

The shipping industry is actively steering toward sustainability, addressing environmental challenges and striving for a greener future. Decarbonising international shipping is a critical endeavour to decrease the industry’s impact on the environment.

Quick links

Period poverty millions bleed in silence as prices of sanitary pads hit the roof (Vanguard)

‘Triple spending’: Zimbabweans bear cost of changing to new ZiG currency (New Zimbabwe)

Africa Is Ripe For US Business Interest And Investment (International Business Times)

What’s Next for the WTO? (Council on Foreign Relations)

Five Schools of thought reflect shipping executives’ current thinking on critical maritime issues (UNCTAD)

Working Party reviews new notifications and hears calls for greater transparency (WTO)


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