Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Kenya second-hand clothes imports from China rise 86pc (The East African)

The quantity of second-hand clothes imported from China, which is Kenya’s main source of the popular low-cost used clothing, jumped by 86.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year signalling increased demand.

Data from Chinese authorities shows the country exported 31,594 tonnes of second-hand clothing and accessories to Kenya between January and March 2024, valued at $22.732 million (Ksh3.03 billion). In the first quarter of 2023, the value of second-hand clothes imported from China was $20.651 million (Ksh2.768 billion) for 16,962 tonnes brought in.

Second-hand clothes, which are commonly known as mitumba, are popular, especially among low and middle-income earners due to their low price compared to new clothes which are more expensive. The trade is a multi-billion-shilling enterprise employing an estimated two million individuals, according to government estimates.

Traders imported 177,664.4 tonnes of second-hand clothes in 2022 valued at Ksh19.9 billion, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS).

Kenya economy to overtake Angola, IMF forecast shows (The East African)

Kenya will overtake Angola to become the fourth largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa this year, behind South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, a forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows. The forecast sees Kenya maintaining that position until the end of 2029.

Last year, Kenya’s GDP was estimated to have grown to $108.9 billion (Ksh15.14 trillion, using the current exchange rate) from $113.7 billion (Ksh13.37 trillion on the existing rate then) in 2022. Ethiopia, which has extended its lead over Kenya, is projected to overtake Nigeria in two years to become the second-largest economy in the region.

The size of the Ethiopian economy — which was smaller than Kenya’s in 2020 — continued to grow and is estimated to have increased to $159.74 billion (Sh21.165 trillion) in 2023, widening the gap between it and Kenya. Ethiopia’s economy is also expected to hold steady at the second position for three years to 2029.

Tanzania unveils priorities as new investment budget is tabled (The Citizen)

Completing the preparation of the National Development Vision 2050 and finalising the drafting of a new investment policy and its implementation strategy are among the priority areas for the Planning and Investment docket in the 2024/25 fiscal year.

The Minister of State in President’s Office responsible for Planning and Investment, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, who tabled his docket’s budget for 2024/25 on Monday April 22, 2024, said the focus areas also included completing the integration of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) which will result into establishing a new institution to oversee private sector investment issues.

Other priorities are initiating competitions on how regional secretariats and local government authorities attract investments and create a conducive environment for investment and trade; and revitalising the business and investment environment improvement plan that will identify new investment and business challenges in the country and how to address them.

Zambia seeks power imports for key mining sector (Engineering News)

Zambia’s State-owned electricity utility Zesco said on Monday it is seeking to import power to avert an energy deficit that could affect output in Africa’s second-largest copper producer.

The southern African country generates 86% of its electricity from hydropower stations. Power generation has been hit by a severe drought induced by El Nino - a weather phenomenon resulting from the abnormal warming of the waters in the eastern Pacific, which raises temperatures globally. As a result, Zambia expects a power generation deficit of 700 megawatts this year, Zesco said in a statement.

“We are negotiating additional electricity imports that will be strategically allocated to crucial sectors, including mining, agriculture, and manufacturing to support economic stability and growth,” Zesco said. It did not give details of how much power it seeks to import.

Lesotho CSOs Shape African Development Bank’s New Country Strategy (AfDB)

Lesotho’s civil society organizations (CSOs), operating under the umbrella of the Lesotho Council of NGOs, convened on March 21, 2024, to evaluate the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) portfolio performance in the country. The meeting with Bank representatives aimed to gather input on the Bank’s current Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Lesotho (2020-24) and to discuss the upcoming CSP for 2025-29. These CSOs play a pivotal role in implementing development initiatives spanning HIV/AIDS, agriculture, food security, climate change, education, health, child protection, WASH, and budget analysis, among other areas. Moreover, they are instrumental in advancing sustainable development goals and shaping responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery efforts in Lesotho.

Nigerians query high food prices despite dollar’s crash (Vanguard)

With Naira appreciating to N1, 300 to the dollar thus giving a ray of hope that the economy is recovering, Nigerians, including farmers and Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, are puzzled that the heartwarming development was yet to reflect on food production and prices. They pointed out that prices of farm inputs are still very high while interest rates are far above farmers can afford among other factors. However, they suggested how government can ensure the appreciation of the Naira is sustained to eventually impact on food production and make prices affordable by Nigerians.

The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Kabir, said stronger Naira will lead to higher purchasing power and more food would be bought. “The stronger the Naira the higher its purchasing power and the more food you can buy with it, therefore, food will become more affordable, which is a prerequisite for food security.”

Turkey to drill oil off Somali coast starting in 2025 (The East African)

Somalia says Turkey will begin drilling oil off the country’s massive coastline from next year, according to the Director General of the Somali Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mohamed Hashi Abdi ‘Arabey’. Talking to the BBC Somali Service, Abdi affirmed the recent assertion by a Turkish official on a plan for deep-sea oil drilling operation from early 2025.

“It is correct, and it is part of the agreement we reached (with Turkey). They will begin seismic works and drilling at the coasts facing Barawe and Hobbio districts,” Abdi, agreeing with information released by Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar last week. Barawe is about 200 km south of Mogadishu while Hobbio is about 500 km to the northeast. Somalia in early March had signed a new oil and gas deal with Turkey in which officials said will aid cooperation in exploration and exploitation of the hydrocarbons.

Pace of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is insufficient to achieve set targets by 2030 – Joint Report (UNECA)

Africa is making progress in 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the current pace of progress is insufficient to achieve the goals by 2030, according to an experts report on the progress on Africa Sustainable Development.

The report indicates that progress on the SDG agendas varies across subregions. West and North Africa are the best performers. While East Africa has relatively low performance. “None of the subregions is on track on achieving the SDGs goals. There is also a general issue of lack of data in tracking the progress in Africa,” says the experts report. Antonio Pedro, the Deputy Executive Secretary for Programme Support at the ECA underlined the lack of robust data as a major hurdle in tracking progress accurately. Improving data systems to effectively monitor and achieve the SDGs is essential, he stressed.

“Addressing wide-ranging challenges—including social, political, environmental, and economic—is essential; specific focus areas like women’s empowerment, peace building, and security need targeted attention,” said Mr. Pedro, stressing the need to take advantage of technological advances, including artificial intelligence, to target interventions and achieve the SDGs with greater efficiency.

pdf Summary of the report on African progress towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 (334 KB)

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the SADC Regional Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the SADC Regional Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) on the 22nd of April 2024 in Ka-Tembe, Maputo, Mozambique.

Following approval of the Charter establishing the SADC MCSCC by SADC Council of Ministers in August 2017, in Pretoria, South Africa, the Charter entered into force on 8th April 2023 after reaching two-third majority of Member States. With this, the State Parties to the Charter namely, Republic of Angola, Republic of Botswana, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kingdom of Lesotho, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Namibia, Republic of South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Zambia established the MCSCC as an international organisation and an autonomous and self-accounting institution of SADC. The Republic of Seychelles became the Party to the Charter following accession in July 2023.

Improving commercialization, post-harvest loss vital to food self-sufficiency: MoA (Ethiopian Press Agency)

Expanding commercialization and reducing post-harvest loss crucial to ensure food self-sufficiency in Ethiopia, said the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, MoA Food and Nutrition Coordination Office Head Alemtsehay Sergawi said that expanding agriculture commercialization, ensuring food safety and reducing post harvesting losses would contribute to ensure food self-sufficiency in the country.

The nutrition sensitive agro-food system strategy implementation, focusing on widely producing of green leafy vegetables and others would contribute to fill the micro nutrient deficiency. The process needed ensuring the availability of nutritionally enriched food products by affordable price to community, she said. Food import substitution would be achieved by properly managing agricultural products’ losses as well as enhancing quality production and productivity, Office Head added.

Step towards harmonized agricultural policies and regulations (COMESA)

COMESA is currently hosting a stakeholders’ workshop on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures from 22-30 April 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by sector specialists from COMESA Member States, its objective is to revise the COMESA Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Regulations, SPS Strategy, and develop Implementation Plans for the Food Safety, Plant Health, and Animal Health Technical Working Group (TWGs).

COMESA SPS Regulations were developed in 2009, with a focus on the harmonization of SPS policies and measures to facilitate trade in the region and beyond. However, these regulations have been facing difficulties in terms of implementation due to several factors, including lack of technical capacity.

UNECA: Agricultural innovation needed to aid food production in Africa (ProAgri)

African countries have struggled to attract green financing amid slow inflows of climate finance promised by richer countries. Experts say this, in turn, has exposed poor African countries to a cycle of missed food production targets, with analysts noting that governments must look for innovative ways to attract investment into sectors such as smart agriculture and drought resilient crop varieties.

This is despite years of numerous conferences to address these challenges, with Veronica Jakarasi, the Chief Director in Zimbabwe’s Climate and Meteorological Services, noting that: “To attract green financing, Africa needs to have policy and regulatory frameworks with set targets in line with ambitious development.”

See also: Reviving use of local seeds in African farming (SciDev.net)

The world’s electric car fleet continues to grow strongly, with 2024 sales set to reach 17 million (IEA)

More than one in five cars sold worldwide this year is expected to be electric, with surging demand projected over the next decade set to remake the global auto industry and significantly reduce oil consumption for road transport, according to the new edition of the IEA’s annual Global EV Outlook.

The latest Outlook, published today, finds that global electric car sales are set to remain robust in 2024, reaching around 17 million by the end of the year. In the first quarter, sales grew by about 25% compared with the same period in 2023 – similar to the growth rate seen in the same period a year earlier, but from a larger base. The number of electric cars sold globally in the first three months of this year is roughly equivalent to the number sold in all of 2020.

Substantial investment in the electric vehicle supply chain, ongoing policy support, and declines in the price of EVs and their batteries are expected to produce even more significant changes in the years to come. The Outlook finds that under today’s policy settings, every other car sold globally is set to be electric by 2035. Meanwhile, if countries’ announced energy and climate pledges are met in full and on time, two in three cars sold would be electric by 2035. In this scenario, the rapid uptake of electric vehicles – from cars to vans, trucks, buses, and two- and three-wheelers – avoids the need for around 12 million barrels of oil per day, on a par with current demand from road transport in China and Europe combined.

Multistakeholder Consultative Sessions on the Development of a Continental Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) (AU)

The unprecedented speed and reach of Artificial Intelligence have sparked international debates and caused both excitement and alarm, and raising important questions about the impact of this revolutionary technology on economies and societies. Artificial Intelligence is already becoming a reality with an increasing number of industries and government institutions integrating this technology and an increasing number of users of AI applications are recorded every day.

It’s within this context, the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council endorsed the Conceptual framework and tasked the AU Commission to expedite the development of a Continental AI Strategy that is comprehensive, forward-looking and action-oriented to effectively harness the potential of AI potential to transform the continent in line with the AU Agenda 2063 goals, while managing associated risks and harms.

In order to facilitate wide engagement and contribution into the Continental AI Strategy, the AUC will host a series of online consultations open to all stakeholders during April 2024.

Digital access to unlock Africa’s potential, President Ruto says (The East African)

Kenya’s President William Ruto has intensified calls to African government and business leaders to make the continent future-ready by incorporating technology. Speaking on Monday when he presided over the opening of the Africa Connected Summit 2024 in Nairobi, Dr Ruto told delegates that Africa stands to reap big from the digital revolution if those in positions of influence made the right decisions.

“Africa’s digital infrastructure coverage, access, and quality lag behind other regions yet it does not have to be this way because the most transformative interventions are just but a few decisions away,” he stated. “We must all be concerned by the fact that our rate of connectivity is poorer than the existing potential,” he added. The five-day summit has convened ICT thought leaders as well as policymakers from across the continent to assess ideas and partnerships.

Digital Tax Wave Spreads across Africa (Kenyan Wall Street)

African countries are racing to enact rules for non-resident suppliers to account for taxes on electronically supplied services (ESS), a new report by PwC indicates.

Out of the 54 countries in Africa, 21 have already enacted the rules for non-resident suppliers to account for value added taxes or the goods and sales tax on electronically supplied services with five more countries (Botswana, Ethiopia, Mali, Republic of Congo and Rwanda) in the pipeline. Some countries have also introduced a Digital Services Tax (DST) or a similar levy on the gross revenues derived by digital platforms and service providers from certain activities or transitions in their jurisdictions.

“As the digital economy continues to evolve, and as tax authorities continue to adjust to Africa’s remarkable digital transformation, it is essential for businesses to understand and closely monitor tax developments affecting the digital economy in every country where they supply digital services,” notes Job Kabochi, PwC Africa Indirect Tax Leader.

The PwC VAT in Africa Digital Services report notes that tax authorities have taken notice of Africa’s growing digital economy. When digital activities and transactions take place within their jurisdictions or among residents of their jurisdictions, tax authorities have a vested interest in collecting the tax revenue due from these activities.

Four new reports released on Open Internet approaches in Africa (EEAS)

New European Union (EU)-funded reports were released highlighting Open Internet Approaches in four African countries: Burundi, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa. By looking at case studies in Burundi, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, the four reports unpack Open Internet connectivity as a promoter of human-centric development. They also shed light on the crucial role of a free, global, reliable, affordable and secure internet in driving social and economic growth in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

According to the new reports prepared by a team of independent experts contracted by the European Commission “Digital technologies and the Open Internet are two distinct concepts that, if blended into a consistent policy approach, create a digitisation process that maximises the opportunities for social and economic growth.”

Each of the four reports serve as a roadmap for other countries and regions, for how Open Internet approaches can create an environment that will enable and support digital development, capitalise on its economic potential, while respecting fundamental rights and values.

Digital innovation can revolutionise trade in Africa (Africa LSE)

Africa’s trade landscape is experiencing a transformation, driven by digital innovations that dismantle longstanding barriers for small businesses. These businesses, crucial for growth and job creation, often struggle with financial constraints, adherence to quality standards, limited access to information, and logistical inefficiencies. Ebrima Faal examines these issues and explores how technology is paving the way for a new era in African trade.

Africa Needs $9 Billion to Expand Fuel Infrastructure, Puma Says (BNN Breaking)

Africa must invest $9.3 billion to expand fuel-transportation infrastructure to avoid supply disruptions as demand grows, according to Puma Energy, one of the continent’s biggest fuel retailers.

The continent has a sparse network of fuel pipelines that make up only a fraction of what’s been built in the US. Fuel distribution units of traders including Vitol Group see Africa as a place of transportation growth that’s reliant on gasoline and diesel — which will require investment. “You might have the right price, the right regulation, but if your ports are congested, if the roads are congested, if the pipeline leaks, if there is no storage, you will not have energy security,” Fadi Mitri, head of Africa for Trafigura Group subsidiary Puma, told a conference in Cape Town.

Demand for hydrocarbon fuels will grow 56% in Africa by 2040, while a lack of fuel-storage facilities and port access will create bottlenecks and slow the pace of supply, said Mitri, who cited new research by Puma and consultant Citac.

Africa needs to build more oil infrastructure (Engineering News)

Africa’s mid- and downstream oil products supply infrastructure is ageing and suffers from a lack of investment, outdated policy frameworks and insufficiencies in regional, national and urban energy planning when compared with other regions across the world.

Efforts have also not kept pace with rapidly growing populations and urbanisation trends, which has resulted in fragmented supply routes, bottlenecks and insufficient infrastructure capacity, contributing to an overreliance on trucks, congestion in cities and ports, and disrupted access to energy.

This collectively results in increased costs for governments and citizens, and is impairing the region’s socioeconomic development potential, energy company Puma Energy and Africa energy consultancy CITAC note in their ‘Fuelling Africa’s Potential: Bridging the Gap in Energy Infrastructure’ White Paper. Demand in sub-Saharan Africa for oil products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene and Jet A1 fuel, increased by 9.2% year-on-year in 2021 and by 3.7% year-on-year in 2022 to reach 91.3-million tonnes.

Hydrogen offers Africa an opportunity as big as its size (Kallanish Commodities)

Africa’s potential in the renewable hydrogen industry has been emphasised by different stakeholders both in the continent and abroad. The Africa Hydrogen Opportunity report published by the Hydrogen Council estimates renewable capacity factors of 69% for wind and 25% for solar, thanks particularly to northern and southern countries. Central African countries enjoy hydropower and in the East African Rift Valley, geothermal potential has been identified. Coupling these resources with abundant land, Africa is strongly positioned to become a renewable hydrogen and derivatives producer and exporter.

The report estimates that countries in the region could capture 15% of the expected globally traded hydrogen volume. Green hydrogen production for export could grow from 1 million tonnes/year in 2030 to 11m t/y in 2050. Overall, renewable hydrogen production could mobilise a cumulative investment of $400 billion in Africa, it forecasts. However, despite the major opportunities highlighted by the Hydrogen Council and a number of other stakeholders, major challenges need to be overcome.

Europe-Africa Forum returns to Marseille on 7 May to promote sustainable development (Afrik 21)

How can Africa and Europe work together to train a new generation of talent and leaders capable of meeting new expectations? This is one of the questions to be answered by the participants expected at the Europe-Africa Forum on 7 May 2024 in Marseille. At least 1,000 participants are expected in France’s second-largest city for this third edition of the forum, whose theme is “Explore, Succeed, Invest”.

“The 2024 event will highlight the challenges, opportunities and synergies between African and European nations, providing a unique platform for dialogue and the exchange of ideas. Africa is undergoing a major transformation, driven by its dynamic demographics and the vitality of its economic and cultural players. With its natural resources of energy and raw materials, Africa is ready to play a central role in global transitions. We are therefore seeking to catalyse these transformations”, say the organisers of this event, which is supported by the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area and the shipping company CMA-CGM.

Korea-Africa 2024: Prioritise trade, investment, industrialisation, AKEDA urges African leaders (The Sun Nigeria)

Ahead of the Korea Africa Summit 2024 scheduled for Seoul, Korea, from June 4 and 5, a private-public sector group, Africa Korea Economic Development Association (AKEDA), has challenged African leaders to utilise the opportunity offered by the summit to adopt sustainable economic partnership framework aimed at increasing trade relations and investment, inclusive growth, and upward review of official development aid from Korea in Africa.

The summit, the first in the history of Korea-Africa relations to be hosted by the government of Korea, would have in attendance participants from 54 African countries including heads of state and government, ministers, policymakers, private sector leaders, multilateral institutions, and United Nations system, regional development banks, among others.

“The partnership between Africa and Korea would gravitate towards mutually beneficial outcomes and outputs that support the aspirations of everyone. “The recognition of economy and investment potentials of Africa, which receives deserved attention of the government and people of Korea, through the decision to host this auspicious summit is pivotal in the history of Korea-Africa relations in the last 60 years.”

Transcript of African Department April 2024 Press Briefing (IMF)

Let me start with a bit of good news, which is that after four challenging years and multiple shocks, Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy appears to be on the mend. We expect growth to accelerate to 3.8 percent from 3.4 percent last year, after peaking at almost 10 percent in late 2022. We are also seeing inflation having been halved in the early months of this year, thanks to decisive actions by central banks. This includes slower food price increases, a positive development in a region where the cost-of-living crisis has been acute in recent years.

These are encouraging signs, but the region is not out of the woods. Far too many countries still face a funding squeeze. Their borrowing costs are high and funding sources curtailed. Government interest payments now account for about 12 percent of revenues, more than double the level a decade ago, and official development assistance concessional financing has become much more scarce.

What does this mean for countries? It means much needed funds are being diverted from spending on investment development to interest payments, with consequences for the region’s growth potential and its ability to withstand future shocks. Sustaining reforms will be important for macroeconomic conditions to continue to improve. This will ensure that countries in the region can build their resilience to shocks, generate jobs, diversify their economies, and improve living standards.

Global crises fracturing foreign investment, impacting developing economies (UNCTAD)

Launched by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 23 April, the report entitled “Global economic fracturing and shifting investment patterns” examines the complex landscape of global foreign direct investment (FDI). The report sheds light on ten transformational shifts in investment priorities across industries and regions, shaped by trends in global value chains (GVCs) and geopolitical dynamics, and emphasizes the necessity of integrating sustainability and development into investment strategies.

UN Trade and Development highlights key FDI trends that have evolved over the past two decades. Firstly, the growth of FDI and global value chains (GVCs) is no longer aligned with GDP and trade growth, indicating a significant shift in the global economy. Since 2010, global GDP and trade have continued to expand at an annual average of 3.4% and 4.2% respectively, even amidst rising trade tensions.

By contrast, FDI growth has stagnated near 0%, in the midst of rising protectionism, growing geopolitical tensions and increased investor caution. Additionally, there is a growing gap between the manufacturing and services sectors, with investments increasingly leaning towards services.

Related: Shifting investment patterns: 5 key FDI trends and their impact on development

UN chief urges ‘surge in investment’ to overcome $4 trillion financing gap (UN News)

According to UN estimates, the world is facing an annual financing gap of about $4 trillion to achieve sustainable development, leaving countries with hardly any resources to invest in better education, healthcare, renewable energy or social protection.

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are hanging by a thread, and with them, the hopes and dreams of billions of people around the world,” António Guterres said, addressing the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2024 Forum on Financing for Development. In particular, the UN chief urged countries to push for the SDG Stimulus of $500 billion annually in affordable long-term finance for developing countries, which he proposed in February 2023.

Recalling that the Stimulus was welcomed by world leaders at the SDG Summit last year, he stressed “now it’s time to move from words to action and deliver affordable, long-term financing at scale.”

DP World publishes Sustainable Development Impact Disclosure (Indian Transport & Logistics)

DP World has published a Sustainable Development Impact Disclosure (SDID), making it the first company globally to adopt and disclose its development impact in countries of focus in accordance with the recently released impact disclosure guidance from the Impact Disclosure Taskforce.

The disclosure serves as a framework for private sector companies and sovereigns, to demonstrate how they drive transformation through large-scale infrastructure development into emerging markets and developing economies. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO said: “This disclosure not only demonstrates our commitment to sustainable development but also sets a path for industry-wide accountability. It’s a call to action, to catalyse positive change and drive sustainable infrastructure development on a global scale.”

Quick links

White Paper on immigration fails Africa’s free trade aspirations (The Mail & Guardian)

Andrew Dabalen: Funding squeeze not behind Africa yet (The East African)

IDA-A Crucial Player in the Evolving Global Aid Landscape (World Bank)

UN policy forum opens with call for region to embrace digital opportunities and innovate for sustainable development (ESCAP)

Trade and investment core statistics book (GOV.UK)

Funding the Future: How MDB Reform Paves the Way for SDG Progress (Modern Diplomacy)


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010