Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

South Africa may curb Shell’s oil exploration over gas-pump exit (Engineering News)

South Africa’s energy ministry signaled it may grant fewer oil exploration permits to Shell over the company’s plans to exit the nation’s fuel-supply business. The oil major is selling its shareholding in Shell Downstream South Africa, which includes a network of 600 gas stations across the country, following a review of its business across regions and markets. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said he’s requested a meeting with Shell officials to discuss the matter.

“They still want to stay upstream, so what we should be doing, we should be more reluctant to grant licences and permits, at that level, to Shell,” Mantashe said in an interview Thursday on the sidelines of an election campaign event in Richards Bay. Shell’s oil-exploration business has faced multiple challenges in South Africa, where the company has relinquished licenses over legislative uncertainty. The nation’s Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill has yet to be finalized after a process that’s dragged on for years. Environmental groups have also blocked exploration for hydrocarbons in South African waters through legal action.

Green hydrogen community development toolkit launched (Engineering News)

Green Hydrogen South Africa (GHSA), with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has developed a community development toolkit (CDTK) to support project developers in effectively engaging with local communities. The CDTK will be piloted in June. Project developers who are interested in piloting the toolkit have been encouraged to submit their applications here before May 15.

This comprehensive resource will assist project developers to establish robust and mutually beneficial relationships with host communities. By adapting best practices from established sectors such as mining and energy to the unique needs of the green hydrogen industry, the toolkit aims to ensure accessibility, inclusivity and practicality.

Madagascar: mid-term review of African Development Bank Country Strategy Paper 2022-2026 highlights positive results (AfDB)

The government of Madagascar and the African Development Bank have agreed to consolidate the mid-term results of the Country Strategy Paper 2022-2026 and to maintain its strategic directions until 2026. This was the conclusion of the workshop of 6 May 2024 in Madagascar.

During the workshop, the two parties agreed to maintain the focus on the Bank’s key areas – transport, energy, agriculture and industry – for the next two years. The two CSP 2022-2026 priority areas thus remain transport and energy infrastructure development for inclusive growth, and support for transforming agriculture and developing manufacturing industries.

Namibia advocates for the combination of AGOA and AfCFTA (Windhoek Observer)

According to Iipumbu, combining the two trade initiatives will be a game changer in terms of increasing the size of the market for African countries by creating an attractive environment for investment and allowing the continent to industrialise. The minister was speaking at the Invest in Namibia session at the 16th US – Africa business summit that took place on Wednesday in Dallas, Texas in the United States of America.

She said Namibia is also calling for the inclusive extension of AGOA, which must include African Union member states that have signed and ratified the agreement establishing the AfCFTA. This is important because AfCFTA allows for cumulation among African countries and regional value chains to form and enable better utilisation of AGOA.

‘’It is our fervent hope that such cooperation around investments and entrepreneurship development will be the basic building block of ensuring the ultimate collaborations with the U.S are optimised fully. Competitiveness for Africa’s integration calls for frontloading digital capabilities that also support entrepreneurship.

Harnessing AfCFTA in Repositioning Africa’s Agricultural Sector (The Accra Times)

Africa’s agricultural sector is characterized by both immense potential and significant challenges. Despite the abundant natural resources on the continent, this sector remains underdeveloped, with a high import dependency value of $75 billion for 100 million metric tons of cereals annually.

The continent has the highest prevalence of chronic hunger, with about 278 million citizens exposed to acute hunger. Africa’s longstanding challenges, such as limited market access, fragmented value chains, inadequate infrastructure, and finance, are barriers to reaching its full potential in the global agricultural standing. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a unique opportunity for African countries to leverage free trade and overcome the challenges hindering this sector’s growth and development.

One of the key challenges facing Africa’s agricultural sector is its fragmented value chain. The fragmented value chain results from the lack of coordination and integration among its agricultural actors, including the farmers, input suppliers, processors, distributors, and retailers. The fragmentation hinders the efficient flow of agricultural products from farm to market and undermines Africa’s agricultural sustainability.

Kenya hosts China-Africa economic trade expo amid growing Sino-African ties (The New Times)

The China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) in Africa (Kenya) 2024 kicked off on Thursday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi as trade and investment between the two sides continue to expand. The event in Kenya attracted a high-level delegation from central China’s Hunan Province.

Rebecca Miano, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, said the three-day event is a living testament to the long-standing cooperation and friendship between China and Africa. “The real focus of the event is to serve as a catalyst for unlocking Africa’s unexplored potential by seamlessly connecting with China’s investment and trade community.”

Digital Cross-border Permits And COMESA Carrier Licences For Transport Operators Launched (Pindula)

Pursuant to the objectives of National Development Strategy 1 and the utility of digitalization as an enabler of economic development across the broad spectrum of growth factors, including in transportation, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development wishes to advise the public of the launch of the digital Cross Border Permits and COMESA Carrier Licences for passenger and freight transport operators with effect from Thursday 9 May 2024.

A digital Cross Border Permit is issued in terms of Article 4 of the Bilateral Road Transport Agreements signed between Zimbabwe and SADC Member States. Similarly, a COMESA Carrier Licence is issued in terms of Article 85 of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Treaty.

The Bilateral Road Transport Agreements and the COMESA Treaty are meant to facilitate the smooth and unimpeded flow of cross-border traffic between countries.

SADC Inter-Ministerial Task Force Meeting of Ministers of Trade, Transport and Security matters between the DRC and Zambia on the Resolution of the Challenges at the Kasumbalesa Border Post concludes in Kinshasa (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) held an Inter-Ministerial Task Force Meeting of Ministers of Trade, Transport, Infrastructure and Security Portfolios from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and from the Republic of Zambia on the Resolution of the Perennial Challenges Affecting the Kasumbalesa and other Border Posts on 09 May 2024 in Kinshasa, DRC. The Meeting was convened to consider the Draft Framework of Collaboration and Action Plan that was developed with the objective of finding and implementing long term solutions to the continued challenges faced by transporters and drivers at the Kasumbalesa Border Post between the DRC and Zambia. 

Delivering a statement on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Magosi, the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration, Ms. Angéle Makombo N`Tumba commended the Ministers, for their efforts and commitment towards finding permanent solutions to the persistent challenges at Kasumbalesa Border Post. She reminded the Meeting of the strategic importance of the Kasumbalesa Border Post to the movement of goods across our region as it is located at a point where several trade corridors in the region converge. These include the North-South Corridors, Dar es Salaam Development Corridor, Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor, Beira Development Corridor, and the Lobito Development Corridor. In this regard, Kasumbalesa is the second busiest land border post in the SADC region after Beitbridge, between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Apart from the road network, Kasumbalesa is also connected with the regional railway network.

SADC Business Council partners to grow air capacity in Africa (Southern & East African Tourism Update)

The SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance has announced a strategic partnership with AviaDev Africa to host an interactive workshop aimed at bolstering air access and tourism growth in the Southern African region. The workshop, scheduled to take place during the upcoming AviaDev conference in Namibia in June, will bring together key stakeholders from the tourism and aviation sectors to explore strategies for sustainable route development and increased visitor arrivals.

Air access isn’t just an element on the SADC policy agenda; it’s a cornerstone for growth and a top priority, says Natalia Rosa, the Project Lead at the SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance. “Effective transport systems, including air transport, are essential not just for tourism but for economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in the region.”

ECOWAS and Nigeria collaborate on stratergies to mitigate effects of climate change (ECOWAS)

As part of the implementation of the regional climate strategy, the ECOWAS Commission, through the Department of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, supported the National Council on Climate Change of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in organizing a workshop on the socialization of Nigeria’s long-term low-carbon development strategy, which took place on May 7, 2024 in Abuja.

African countries could leverage their vast renewable energy and natural resources to export premium carbon credits for new revenue streams (UNECA)

African countries could leverage their vast renewable energy resources, tropical forests, peatlands, and marine ecosystems to export premium carbon credits, providing a new revenue stream, according to the 2024 Economic Report on Africa by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched at the recently concluded tenth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The report says, carbon markets could support Africa’s goals of resilience and prosperity, in line with Agenda 2063. They also present a potential path for achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.

“A failure, however, to ensure credit additionality, appropriate governance, and high enough prices could lead to perverse market incentives that increase carbon emissions and slow the climate transition on the continent,” says the report.

Air freight leads recovery in logistics sector in March (Engineering News)

The road freight sub-sector of the index, which has grown notably in recent years and now accounts for 84.5% of all freight payload in South Africa, recorded muted growth in March, signalling that many challenges remain in the early months of 2024. After tumbling in October and November, reflecting the inability of ports to handle cargo owing to a number of factors, the sea freight sub-component of the index started to recover in December, continuing its recovery in the early months of this year.

EAC outlines efforts toward elusive regional currency (The Star)

EAC Partner States are in the process of implementing the Protocol on the Establishment EAMU, which was signed in November 2013 with the hope of having the use of a common currency by the end of this year. The talk dominated the 27th Monetary Affairs Committee ( MAC) meeting held in Juba, South Sudan, with more focus put on the establishment of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU).

Paris Summit Aims to Secure Commitments Toward $4B Needed to Close Clean Cooking Funding Gap for African Women (AfDB)

Development partners gathering in Paris on 14 May are expected to pledge towards the $4 billion needed to provide clean cooking access for 250 million African women by 2030. African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina will co-chair the Clean Cooking Summit, to be held in Paris, alongside President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway, and International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol.

The landmark event aims to drive significant change in clean cooking access for the nearly one billion Africans using polluting fuels, which cause the premature deaths of approximately half a million women and children every year.

The capital investment needed to ensure universal clean cooking access in Africa by 2030 is accessible. The $4 billion needed annually is a small fraction of the $2.8 trillion invested globally in energy each year. The summit aims to mobilize this much-needed finance. It brings together governments, development partners, private companies and NGOs to make concrete commitments and develop action-oriented strategies to accelerate progress on clean cooking.

US-Africa trade deal turns 25 next year: Agoa’s winners, losers and what should come next (Modern Ghana)

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) is a landmark piece of trade legislation enacted by the United States in 2000. Its goal is to promote economic growth, development and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa by providing qualifying countries with duty-free access to the US market for over 6,500 products. By eliminating import tariffs and quotas, Agoa aims to stimulate trade, attract foreign investment and foster economic integration between the US and African nations.

Agoa has made strides in boosting exports from eligible African countries to the US. Between 2001 and 2021, the annual value of US imports from Agoa-eligible countries nearly tripled, from US$8.15 billion to US$21.8 billion. The trade preferences have particularly benefited sectors like apparel, textiles, agriculture and light manufacturing. However, Agoa’s impact has been uneven across the region. Some countries have used the opportunities more effectively than others.

Global debt crisis impacting nearly 95 countries: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant (The Hawk)

Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, emphasizes the urgent need for inclusive growth strategies amid significant global challenges like the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Middle East tensions. Highlighting the pivotal role of G20 in promoting diverse ideologies and shaping a fair global order.

The Russia-Ukraine war and the ongoing tensions in the Middle East pose a significant challenge for global stability and economics, said G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant while speaking at an event in Delhi. Kant added, “In the face of a global debt crisis impacting nearly 95 countries, urgent action is needed to pursue inclusive and sustainable growth strategies. As we navigate these challenges, our focus remains on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.”

Quick links

The Horn Of Africa States: The Coming Danger To Its Blue Economy (Part II) (Eurasia Review)

Why the African Union Stopped the Donkey Hide Trade with China (ChinaFile)

A human rights and people-centered approach in Africa is key to ensuring no one is left behind (UNECA)

Why US offshore wind power is struggling - the good, the bad and the opportunity (The Conversation)

The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business celebrates 30 years of accelerating trade and investment in Toronto (Ventures Africa)


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