Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

dtic seeks to create a competitive medical technology industry with new master plan (Engineering News)

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has launched the Medical Technology (MedTech) Master Plan, which is aimed at creating a proficient and competitive medical technology industry over the next three years that will supply domestic and international markets.

“The medical technologies sector offers a unique and significant opportunity for growth in South Africa. The sector has emerged as an increasingly innovative sector, developing technologies that can service both our local market and abroad.

“With the modalities for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreed, the African market provides a significant opportunity for growth in the sector. The African continent is currently a significant importer of medical technologies, with much of this demand within the scope of South African producers,” the Minister commented at a launch event on May 13.

Kenya eyes ripening avocado market in China (Capital News)

Kenya’s avocado sector is seeking improved cooperation with China in food safety to expand exports to the lucrative market. Kenya is one of the leading avocado producers in Africa, and China is a huge market for Kenyan avocado farmers and exporters. But many have failed to meet the strict food safety standards set by Chinese importers, and this has been a major hurdle for expanding Kenyan avocado exports to China, Muthomi Ernest, CEO of the Avocado Society of Kenya, said at the 4th International Africa Avocado Congress in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

New Finance Bill 2024 Proposes New Motor Vehicle Tax to Support Kenya Kwanza Government Projects (Capital News)

The Finance Bill 2024 has proposed the introduction of a Motor Vehicle Tax, levied at 2.5% of a vehicle’s market value. The government says the new tax is designed to provide a steady revenue stream to support the government’s ambitious development projects. The bill specifies that the tax will range from a minimum of Sh5,000 to a maximum of Sh100,000, payable at the time an insurance cover is issued. The amount is determined based on factors like the vehicle’s make, model, engine capacity, and year of manufacture.

Glovo Quits Ghana Market Today After Two Years (The Accra Times)

Glovo, a leading food delivery company, has announced that it will cease operations in Ghana today Friday, May 10. In an email to its restaurant partners, Glovo cited the difficulty in attaining profitability as the primary reason for its decision to withdraw from Ghana. The company has faced challenges in the market, which has hindered its ability to grow and sustain its operations.

The exit of Glovo from the Ghanaian market marks a significant change in the food delivery landscape. The company’s departure will likely impact its customers, restaurant partners, and employees, who will need to adapt to new options and alternatives in the market. Glovo plans to shift its focus towards expanding its presence in other African markets, where it sees more promising growth opportunities. The company aims to concentrate its efforts in countries like Morocco, Uganda, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire, where it believes it can achieve greater success.

Glovo says this strategic decision reflects its efforts to reassess its investment priorities and realign its strategic direction. By reallocating resources to regions with greater potential for success, Glovo seeks to optimise its operational efficiency and maximize returns on investment.

Government Intends to Leverage Fintech For SME Financing (The Accra Times)

The government has indicated it intends to leverage Financial Technology (Fintech) to provide capital to small and medium-sized enterprises. In Ghana, SMEs constitute 92% of manufacturing, 70% of growth, and provide 80% of jobs. Yet still, they usually face challenges accessing capital, Finance Minister Mohammed Amin Adam said at the inaugural 3isummit which opened in Accra on Monday, May 13.

“Our focus going forward is, therefore, to generate growth within our borders by increasing access to capital. This cannot be achieved without a strong fintech infrastructure; an important requirement to address the efficiency of delivering capital to SMEs and reducing the risks of recovery of funds by financial institutions,” Amin Adam said.

My Goal is for Ghana to have the First Blockchain-Powered Government in Africa - Dr Bawumia (The Accra Times)

With the increasing infusion of digitalization into the provision of Government services and everyday life, coupled with plans to adopt the highest levels of data security in the provision of such services, Ghana is well on its way to becoming the first blockchain-powered government in Africa and one of the very few in the world, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.

“We are going to adopt blockchain technology for government to ensure that all data and transactions in the government space are transparent and tamper-proof; no one can change them, and so ours could well become the first blockchain-powered government in Africa,” the Vice President stated in Accra on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

Huawei To Support Nigeria’s Digital Transformation, Sets $15m Incentives For Partners (Leadership News)

Huawei Technologies has restated its commitment to accelerating Nigeria’s digital transformation, even as it announced plans to incentivise its partners with a substantial investment of $15 million annually. This move was part of Huawei’s strategy to strengthen its relationships with partners and to explore how to enhance the “Partner + Huawei” ecosystem, enabling customers to create greater value through digitization and bringing the digital world within reach.

At the Huawei Nigeria Connect 2024, held over the weekend in Lagos, partners gathered to discuss ICT trends, industry advancements, and the company’s latest strides towards ensuring a fully connected, intelligent world.

The Managing Director of the Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Nigeria, Terrens Wu, sincerely appreciated the strong support and profound trust from valued customers and partners in spreading the reach of technologies. According to Wu, technology has enabled a lot of things, and we need to embrace the latest technology, including cloudification, decarbonisation, and digitalization in Nigeria. “Currently, everyone, every organisation, and all the countries are talking about the digital economy, and especially when we see the digits of the growth, we can easily find out the digital economy is growing rapidly. It is two times the regular gross domestic product (GDP) growth in most countries.

“So what it tells us is that as long as the industry, as long as countries embrace and accelerate the digital transformation, the digital economy will grow quickly and contribute more to the country’s GDP development.”

Mauritius formally accepts Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (WTO)

Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said: “I warmly welcome the formal acceptance by Mauritius of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. This is a concrete demonstration of Mauritius's commitment to the WTO system and to global efforts to improve the sustainability of the world's marine fisheries. The fisheries sector has historically been an important source of employment and exports for Mauritius and continues to figure prominently in its plans to develop its blue economy. A healthy ocean, built on strong and cooperative fisheries management, will be a reliable source of long-lasting economic and environmental benefits, paying dividends for future generations of Mauritians.”

Mauritius's instrument of acceptance brings to 75 the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement. Thirteen members from Africa have formally accepted the Agreement. Thirty-five more formal acceptances are needed for the Agreement to come into effect

Wamkele Mene predicts Africa’s economy will reach $16.3 trillion by 2050 (MyJoyOnline)

The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has projected that Africa’s economy will reach an estimated $16.3 trillion by the year 2050, positioning it as the 8th largest global economy. Speaking at the 3i Africa Summit in Accra, Mr Mene emphasised the crucial role of leveraging fintech for businesses to maximize outputs.

He urged African governments to harness all available technological resources to drive growth and sustainability in their economies, highlighting the necessity for achieving prosperity across the continent. “The existential economic sovereignty of our continent is precisely why the African Continental Free Trade Area was established so that we can leverage this market of 1.4 billion people, which by 2050 is projected to be the 8th largest economy in the world with $16.3 trillion, 27 years from now. But, if we don’t deploy these digital technologies, all of us are going to be discussing where we got it wrong.”

Gabby Otchere-Darko calls for need to invest in infrastructure to unleash Africa’s prosperity (GBC)

Founder and Executive Chairman of Africa Prosperity Network (APN), organizers of Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has called for the need to invest in infrastructure to unleash Africa’s potential and its drive to prosperity.

Speaking at the launch of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues 2025 at the secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Africa Trade House, in Accra on Monday, May 13, 2024, Mr Otchere Darko, said despite the continent’s potential, its infrastructure gap serves as a more potent blockade.

He said it has become critical now more than ever, because unlocking the continent’s prosperity depends on prioritizing investment in infrastructure, connecting people through infrastructure, and integrating to economies to create and spread opportunities and prosperity to every community.

“The success of AfCFTA hinges on key enablers, such as energy, water, R&D, ICT, transport & logistics, and the digital economy. This calls for substantial investments in infrastructure, that will yield even greater rewards, enabling our efforts to create a larger pool of good jobs with good pay,” Mr Otchere Darko indicated.

African countries urged to improve connectivity to boost tourism (Capital News)

African countries should work together to improve air connectivity, which would boost tourism and economic growth, South African Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille said on Monday. De Lille made the remarks on Monday evening during the African Tourism Ministers Dialogue in South Africa’s port city of Durban. She said Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) will spend 21.7 billion rand (about 1.18 billion U.S. dollars) to develop airport infrastructure in South Africa.

“The rest of the world is poised to make travel more accessible, and essential source markets like China and India are set to increase; we must partner to make it easier to travel to and in Africa,” said de Lille. “Now is the time to rethink development strategies in the tourism sector and strengthen regional integration and cooperation. We have to encourage strategic public-private partnerships, promote investment in the tourism sector regionally, and refocus efforts to implement impactful projects.”

IFC and Absa to boost East Africa coffee trade with US$60mn facility (Global Trade Review)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with Absa Group to extend a US$60mn commodity finance facility to support coffee merchant Volcafe’s operations in East Africa. The one-year facility comprises up to US$30mn each from IFC, the World Bank’s financing arm, and South Africa-headquartered Absa.

The financing provides Volcafe with working capital to purchase coffee cherries from smallholder farmers and local traders in East Africa, as well as beans from auction systems, and to facilitate the processing, storage and transport of coffee for export.

East Africa accounts for more than 80% of the continent’s coffee production, yet millions of smallholder farmers “lack access to relevant financial support, and crop production is impacted by the unpredictable effects of climate change”, IFC says. As well as boosting market access to more than 75,000 farmers, the facility also covers training on sustainable production techniques in order to increase crop resilience and profitability, it adds.

ECOWAS members urged to beat SDGs deadline (EnviroNews)

The Director-General of West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr Melchior Aissi, has called on ECOWAS member states to intensify efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before the 2030 deadline.

Aissi made the call on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Abuja, at the opening of the Health Experts Committee Meeting of the 25th Assembly of Health Ministers (AHM) of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Conference. The conference was organised by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), a specialised institution of ECOWAS responsible for health issues. The conference has “The Quality of Health Care in the ECOWAS Region, Determinants and Prospects” as its theme.

Abidjan-Lagos corridor: opening of the workshop to validate the results of the spatial development initiative study (Modern Ghana)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), is organising a validation meeting for the Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) study for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor from 14 to 16 May 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

These experts will discuss the results of the SDI study, including a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor, considering economic, social, environmental and logistical factors, that will enable them to obtain funding and support from international organisations, governments and private investors.

This study also aims to (i) identify and unlock the region’s inherent and latent economic potential, and ensure the commercial visibility of the project as well as the economic and industrial value chains, (ii) provide tools and methodology for an economic survey, (iii) propose a mechanism for building consensus among all key project stakeholders, (iv) shed light on existing institutional arrangements and propose alternative options, and finally (v) carry out detailed socio-economic assessments and market analysis of the selected priority projects.

Nigeria Calls for Collaboration Among ECOWAS States to Develop West Africa’s Tourism Sector in West Africa (Arise News)

Nigeria’s government has called for collaboration among the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to develop the tourism potential of the subregion and place West Africa in prime position to compete with other regions.

The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker, also called for the streamlining of policies on tourism in countries in the subregion while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the meeting of experts and stakeholders of the private tourism industry on the monitoring and evaluation mechanism of ECOTOUR 19-29 and the ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation regulator in Abuja on Tuesday.

Coker said: “It’s the season to collaborate not to compete,” adding that: “It’s in the spirit of collaboration that we will grow pan-African tourism.”

He said: “I want to encourage the localisation of policies”, insisting that policies would only be successful when localised.

Access Bank, Mastercard Partner to Expand Opportunities for Cross-Border Payments for African Businesses (The Accra Times)

A leading multinational bank, Access Bank Group, has launched an innovative solution in collaboration with Mastercard to expand access to cross-border payments and remittances to and from the continent, bringing Africa closer to the global economy. By leveraging the network and treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, Access Bank, through its cutting-edge Access Africa platform, shall empower individuals and businesses to enjoy instant, traceable, seamless, and cost-effective international transactions.

Effective today, the newly launched solution will be operational across Africa, with expansion plans in place for further penetration across the continent.- Advertisement - The solution offers a global gateway for businesses and individuals that are leveraging Access Bank Group’s deep understanding of African markets and forward-looking vision that aims to realise customers’ aspirations through innovative product sets.

Data Blog - Trade data reveal changing patterns in electric vehicles market (WTO Blog)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are radically transforming the transport sector, redefining the automotive market, and reshaping global trade in transport equipment. By the end of 2023, EVs accounted for more than a third of all car imports in value terms.

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in sales of various types of EVs — including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), but they were not separately considered in the trade statistics. As a result, in 2017 the World Customs Organization implemented an amendment to the classification system for traded goods — the Harmonized System (HS) introduced new categories to differentiate between traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and their electrified alternatives.

Success of continent’s digital economy hinges on collaborative efforts (The Business & Financial Times)

Chief Executive Officer-MTN Ghana, Stephen Blewett, has emphasised the importance of collaboration in unleashing Africa’s economic potential. Reiterating the immense promise of the continent’s digital economy, he noted that challenges such as infrastructure limitations and digital literacy gaps persist.

Speaking at the 2024 3i Africa Summit held in Accra, he called for a collaborative effort among leaders, innovators, businesses, financiers and investors to accelerate this transformation and create a sustainable and inclusive digital economy for Africa.

“The digital economy in Africa holds immense promise, but its success relies on our collective efforts to drive innovation, attract investment and create a positive impact. “As leaders, it is our responsibility to champion these causes; whether by supporting startups, advocating for policy reform, investing in infrastructure or fostering collaboration among various stakeholders. I believe that, together, we can shape an Africa which not only thrives in the digital age but also serves as a shining example of inclusive and sustainable development,” Mr. Blewett stated.

Mr. Blewett’s call came at a time when the World Bank, in its January 2024 Results Brief, reported that 160 million Africans gained broadband Internet access between 2019 and 2022.

Also, there was a 115 percent increase in Internet users between 2016 and 2021 in sub-Saharan Africa alone, while 191 million additional individuals made or received a digital payment between 2014 and 2021.

Let’s embrace technology to harness fintech, digital innovation (Citinewsroom)

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has emphasised the importance of fintech and digital innovation for African governments to fully benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He attributed this to AfCFTA’s potential to significantly alter the economic landscape and bring about transformation across the continent.

At the 3i Africa Summit in Accra, he underscored the necessity for African governments to adopt technologies that are currently reshaping the global economy and adapt them to the continent’s needs. President Akufo-Addo further highlighted the need for African governments to make substantial investments in digital infrastructure, formulate policies, stimulate innovation, and attract investments.

China-Africa grip tightens, as US, Russia eye fresh avenues (The Exchange Africa)

For the first time, the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) came to Africa, with Nairobi playing host last week. According to the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, it is expected to go around the continent, with different countries hosting the forum in the coming years. The Asian country is seen to be keen to continue with its influence and trade dominance on the Af

Private Sector Pumps $86B into Infrastructure in Low- to Middle-Income Nations (World Bank)

New World Bank data finds that private infrastructure investment in low- and middle-income countries totaled $86 billion in 2023. Investments declined 5% compared with 2022, however, were on par with the previous five-year average. Despite the decline in total investment, more countries received private investments in infrastructure across a wider sample of projects. In 2023, 68 countries received investments across 322 projects, compared to 54 countries and 260 projects in 2022. Guinea Bissau, Libya, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Suriname achieved their first private participation in infrastructure (PPI) transactions in more than a decade.

The Private Participation in Infrastructure report dates back to 1984. It tracks investments in 10,000 infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries on a continuous basis. As infrastructure financing becomes a bigger priority for countries around the globe, this dataset is an important resource for tracking progress and identifying trends.

“Getting the right infrastructure in place is crucial for people to live to their full potential. With government budgets under pressure and an infrastructure financing gap totaling multiple trillions of dollars, more private sector participation is needed to deliver infrastructure projects,” said Guangzhe Chen, Infrastructure Vice President at the World Bank.

Europe: Turning the Recovery into Enduring Growth (IMF)

Europe has successfully navigated through this tumultuous period, and a soft landing has now come within reach. But this also puts the spotlight on what may be Europe’s more fundamental problem: to sustain the recovery and lift its still miserable-looking medium-term growth outlook.

Here an important new debate has begun about the blueprint for Europe’s future growth model. Just two weeks ago, two important reports were released. Enrico Letta’s “Much more than a market”[1] and Christian Noyer’s “Developing European capital markets to finance the future.”[2] They outline in convincing fashion the case for a more integrated, green, and inclusive Europe.

What can Europe do? The way to higher growth may lead through the Single Market. A recent IMF study [3] finds that reducing remaining barriers to the Single Market for goods and services by 10 percent could raise European output by as much as 7 percentage points over the long term.

Trade integration in the EU is still only a fraction of the level observed among US states. Services trade, in particular in transportation, distribution, and logistics, remains constrained. These markets need to be opened up to raise incentives for productivity improvements.

New facilitator details next steps for dispute settlement reform talks after consultations (WTO)

Based on these consultations, she relayed that work will proceed in two configurations: monthly HoDs meetings and technical work by experts representing WTO members. Ambassador Dwarka-Canabady, whose appointment by members as facilitator was announced by the General Council Chair on 18 April, said she spoke to 34 delegations and group coordinators, which in total represent more than two-thirds of the membership, on how to take the work on dispute settlement reform forward.

IDA’s Role in an Increasingly Complex Global Aid Architecture (World Bank)

The burden on low-income countries The unwieldy growth has led to significant circumvention of government budgets. Additionally, many donors and varied channels have created obstacles for low-income countries with weak implementation capacity, particularly those already struggling with debt or in conflict and fragile situations. For example, The situation is dire in small countries. Tajikistan (w

Biodiversity Masterplan: Science, Technology Negotiations Underway (Inter Press Service)

Suarez said as parties to the CBD resume negotiations on crucial science and technology, “it is to develop and agree on a monitoring framework to track progress and implementation of the Biodiversity Plan. Africa, Biodiversity, Climate Action, Climate Change, Conferences, Conservation, Development & Aid, Editors’ Choice, Environment, Featured, Global, Headlines, Indigenous Rights, Natural Resources, Sustainable Development Goals, TerraViva United Nations

South Africa will be president of the G20 in 2025: two much-needed reforms it should drive (The Conversation)

The meetings will focus on issues such as the challenges facing the global economy and whether the current arrangements for global economic governance are able to respond effectively. There was a great deal of discussion about the inability of current arrangements to adequately address global challenges like climate, public health, inequality, poverty and digitalisation.

Quick links

Kenya floods: as the costs add up pressure mounts on a country in economic crisis (The Conversation)

Digital trade sector inches closer to solving reliability puzzle (Global Trade Review)

BRICS currency union: Will it dethrone the dollar’s hegemony? (The Herald)


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