Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Kenya, Uganda to extend oil pipeline from Eldoret to Kampala (The East African)

Kenya and Uganda have agreed to jointly extend the oil pipeline from Eldoret to Uganda in a deal that will see Kampala import refined petroleum products directly through Nairobi. Nairobi says the extension will facilitate trade relations between the two nations. The two countries also signed a tripartite agreement paving the way for the Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc) to import petroleum products through the port of Mombasa.

“The agreement on the importation and transit of refined petroleum products through Kenya to Uganda whose signing we’ve just witnessed enables Uganda National Oil Company Limited to import refined petroleum products directly from producers in different jurisdictions thus bringing to an end the challenges faced by Uganda,” President William Ruto said, adding that the move serves to bring to an end to the myriad of challenges faced by the sector in Uganda.

Kenya to gain from COMESA post-harvest loss plan (The Star)

Kenya is among five countries in the region that have the backing of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to cut post-harvest losses in the horticulture sector. This is under the COMESA- EAC Horticultural Accelerator (CEHA) programme targets to improve production and distribution, access to quality seeds, training, establish standards and traceability, and strengthen post-harvest management while improving gains in the value chain.

While overall post-harvest losses in Kenya’s agriculture sector are estimated at between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, the horticulture sub-sector records losses of up to 60 per cent, according to the regional body. The five-year programme targeted at Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia is keen to cut the losses in horticulture to 40 per cent, or lower.

Tanzania, Uganda organize business forum to boost trade, investment (Tanzania Daily News)

The Uganda-Tanzania Business Forum 2024 is expected to uplift the trade volume and investment between the two countries. The forum will be held in the country’s business capital of Dar es Salam on May 23 and 24 this year in efforts to stimulate investment in manufacturing, logistics, trade, agribusiness, tourism, financial services and extractive sectors including oil and gases as currently the trade volume between Tanzania and Uganda stands at 400 million US dollars (about 1.04tri/-)

Speaking at the press conference on Monday in the country’s business capital of Dar es Salaam, TIC’s Executive Director, Mr Gilead Teri said the forum underscores the six phase government’s broad vision of attracting investments which in return can create jobs, stimulate trade, foster transfer of technologies and spur economic growth at large.

“The platform will provide an opportunity for investors from Tanzania and Uganda to meet, discuss investment opportunities, exchange information as well as develop joint strategies on how to invest together,” Mr Teri said. Furthermore, he noted that the business forum will enable investors to familiarize with investment environment available in both countries and forge collaboration in the spirit of the East African Community (EAC).

Lapsset special economic zone plan off starting blocks (The East African)

The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority has rolled out plans to establish a special economic zone (SEZ) with the search for a consultant to draw a masterplan for land use. The agency says in a request for proposal (RFP) that the special zone seeks to attract firms dealing in food and beverage, textiles, leather, automotive, warehousing and logistics.

“The key objectives of the master plan preparation for the SEZ include but are not limited to … creating a basis on which future physical and land use development plans within the SEZ will be prepared,” the agency said in the RFP.

The port and the upcoming SEZ are part of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project which is an ambitious infrastructure development designed to link Kenya and other regional economies. The project consists of seven key projects starting with a new 32-berth, interregional highways, a crude oil pipeline and product oil pipeline.

Zambia, DR Congo sign deal to enhance border crossing, trade (The East African)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia on Thursday signed a cooperation agreement to facilitate cross-border trade under the regional bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC). Ministers from the two countries discussed a draft collaboration framework and action plan that has been developed with the aim of finding long-term solutions to challenges facing transporters.

“The incessant calls from transporters in the SADC network about the difficulties they encounter daily in carrying out their activities have reached our ears,” said Kazadi. “DRC is concerned about this situation, which is hampering the smooth flow of trade between our two countries. We have agreed to work together with Zambia and find a lasting solution to this situation,” he added.

Manufacturers say tax burden threatening participation in AfCFTA (Businessday Nigeria)

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has decried the impact of multiple taxation on the operations of manufacturers across Nigeria, and its participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

According to Ajayi-Kadir, the increased taxation for Internally Generated Revenue has led to heavier tax burdens than anticipated, impacting manufacturers’ profitability and competitiveness. He explained that the taxes from federal, state, and local levels impacts manufacturing, exacerbating challenges and hindering development and competitiveness of the sector.

More news on Nigeria:

Indigenous shippers eye N11trn annual coastal trade (Daily Trust)

Nigeria’s power sector to benefit ‘significantly’ from AfDB’s $1bn fund, Bank says (ICIR)

Economic Update 2024: challenges and opportunities for economic growth in Guinea-Bissau (World Bank)

In Guinea-Bissau, economic growth and development are still constrained by structural challenges that prevent the country from reaching its full potential. The economy remains highly dependent on the export of raw cashew nuts. These make up around 90% of export value and provide income to around 80% of the population, mainly smallholder farmers. This dependency makes Guinea-Bissau susceptible to external shocks, including highly volatile international prices, and adverse climatic conditions, such as irregular rainfall or floods. In 2023, another difficult cashew campaign limited the translation of high production into economic growth.

The Economic Update 2024 shows that the public sector pension schemes face challenges with very high fiscal consequences for the country. Pension payments are made using the general budget which exacerbates already high budget rigidity and adds additional challenges to the fiscal consolidation objectives of the government.

Djibouti Digital Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Growth and Development (World Bank)

The World Bank has released today a comprehensive report on the state of the digital economy in Djibouti. The report, titled “Djibouti Digital Economy Diagnostic” looks at challenges and opportunities in the country’s digital landscape, the importance of digital infrastructure development, the need for improving broadband access and affordability, and the digital skills required for socio-economic development.

“Djibouti has made significant progress in its digital infrastructure, but there is still room for improvement in terms of affordability, quality and access to digital services,” said Fatou Fall, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “Despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa in terms of size and population, Djibouti plays a crucial role in providing high-speed internet access to neighboring countries.”

Joining WTO Key Component of Ethiopia’s Economic Reform Agenda: Amb. Mesganu (ENA)

Joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a key component of Ethiopia’s Economic Reform Agenda, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mesganu Arga said. The State Minister highlighted that Ethiopia has passed significant policy amendments and radical decisions in relation to trade and finance sectors that will assist advance the joining process. He further mentioned Ethiopia, being a major economic player in Sub-Saharan Africa, would significantly enhance the World Trade Organization’s stature by becoming a member.

Ethiopia Stresses Need For Policy Shifting, Promoting Infrastructure Dev’t In Africa Aviation Sector (FBC)

The Ethiopian government has been seeking to facilitate policy changes for a better infrastructure development and enhanced training capacities as well as human resource development in the African aviation sector, said Minister of Transport and Logistics, Alemu Sime.

The 12th Aviation Stakeholders Convention and Africa’s 1st Safety and Operations Summit is convening in Addis Ababa. In his opening remarks today, the minister said the Ethiopian government realizes the great economic value of air transport as a catalyst for driving the country’s economy forward.

Ethiopian Airlines Group, in particular, is considered as a vital institute that bears a profound responsibility in facilitating the seamless movement of people and goods.

Reforms, stable economies fuelling fintech boom (The Business & Financial Times)

Significant reforms in the formal sector over the past three decades have led to economic stability and predictable growth rates across African nations, particularly in Ghana, Vice President Dr. Muhammadu Bawumia has said. This stable economic environment has created a fertile ground for financial technology (Fintech) growth, which the Vice President believes must be strategically built upon to propel the continent’s economic transformation.

Speaking at the 3i Africa Summit in Accra, Dr. Bawumia stressed the transformative impact of these reforms. “African nations have undertaken significant reforms in the formal sector and achieved remarkable strides in macroeconomic management,” he said, highlighting the stability these efforts have fostered, paving the way for Fintech innovation.

Benin gives green light for Niger’s oil exports to China (DW)

Benin’s concession was a decisive step toward resolving a trade conflict between the West African neighbors that threatened to cause significant economic damage to both countries. The rapprochement came through the mediation of the Chinese government and the Chinese companies operating the newly inaugurated pipeline between Agadem, in eastern Niger, and Seme Kpodji, in southern Benin. In recent months, the closure of the Niger-Benin border has primarily affected Benin’s state revenues and increased food costs, which led to protests over the high cost of living.

IFC Report Shows Digitalization Holds Immense Promise, Economic Potential for African Businesses of All Sizes (IFC)

A new IFC report reveals significant opportunities for digital transformation across Africa, with more than 600,000 formal businesses and 40 million microbusinesses standing to benefit. The study underscores the pivotal role digitalization can play in enhancing productivity, increasing wages, and creating better quality jobs.

Digital Opportunities in African Businesses shows that despite 86% of African firms having access to digital tools like mobile phones and the internet, only a small fraction leverage these technologies to their fullest potential.

“The startup ecosystem in Africa is one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC Managing Director. “This groundbreaking report, backed by innovative firm-level data, clearly demonstrates the significant market potential for investors in digital technology startups and infrastructure. These investments could drive technology adoption in local businesses, boosting productivity, competitiveness, and inclusive growth – vital for a thriving economy.”

Development finance agency highlights Africa’s infrastructure needs and opportunities (Engineering News)

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), which exists to catalyse private-sector investment in African infrastructure, on Friday released its latest report, ‘State of Africa’s Infrastructure Report 2024: The infrastructure imperative: Igniting Africa’s Industrial Renaissance’. This found that the continent had an “unprecedented opportunity” to impel its development by bringing its substantial renewable energy resources, and solutions for its deficient infrastructure, into alignment.

The report highlighted that infrastructure development across the continent had failed to keep pace with the increasing needs of its growing population. African countries were still dependent on “pit-to-port” models, which were outdated and hampering economic growth. But the global transition to green energy, plus global supply chain shifts, were creating the opportunity for Africa to recast its role in the global economy by taking advantage of its youthful population and rich natural resources.

Annual Meetings 2024: old debt resolution for African countries – the cornerstone of reforming the global financial architecture (AfDB)

When African Development Bank Group member states meet from 27 to 31 May in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2024 Annual Meetings, the question of African debt will be one of the key discussion points. The event’s theme is: “Africa’s Transformation, the African Development Bank Group and the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture”.

The Bank Group estimates that Africa’s total external debt, which stood at $1.12 billion in 2022, had risen to $1.152 billion by end-2023. With global interest rates at their highest level for 40 years and as multiple bond debt securities issued by African countries reach maturity, there is no shortage of challenges in 2024. Africa will pay out $163 billion just to service debts in 2024, up sharply from $61 billion in 2010.

The growing burden of debt repayments has the potential to threaten achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals on the continent, particularly in health, education and infrastructure.

SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Energy, Water and Disaster Risk Management discuss sectoral impacts of El Niño (SADC)

The Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Energy, Water and Disaster Risk Management from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met virtually on 14 May 2024 to discuss sectoral impacts of El Niño induced drought and floods ahead of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.

His Excellency General Laborinho expressed concern over the sectoral impact of El Niño, particularly highlighting the El Niño climate condition has led to water scarcity thereby triggering food insecurity in the SADC region whose economy is largely agriculture based. He called for solidarity and coordinated efforts, involving all relevant sectors, to tackle the impacts of El Niño induced drought and floods.

The Executive Secretary of SADC, His Excellency Mr. Elias M. Magosi highlighted that the impacts of the El Niño are interconnected and continue to manifest across multiple sectors. He cited as example that, as a result of the low water levels, some Member States have already embarked on long hours of electricity load shedding, thereby negatively impacting the socio-economic fabric and productivity of the SADC region.

IDC in US$500m strategic shift to bolster Sadc push (The Zimbabwe Independent)

The State-run Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is pressing ahead with a plan to decommission its phosphate production facility at Dorowa, in a fresh move that will end with the establishment of a single manufacturing operation. Under the plan, which general manager Edward Tome said would require US$500 million, IDC plans to push products like phosphate and fertiliser into southern Africa — a region in which economically-troubled Zimbabwe still has a big role to play.

“We are going to have an all in one plant in Dorowa,” he told the Zimbabwe Independent. “It will produce everything from phosphates and other products. It will also be targeting the regional market. “The project is estimated to cost around US$500 million. Remember Zimbabwe was recognised (in Sadc) as the one that will push the fertiliser value chain.

East Africa turns to tech to curb $6 billion illicit trade (The Citizen)

East Africa is expected to adopt a track-and-trace system to streamline cross-border trade and help stem nearly $6 billion in annual losses resulting from illicit trade. The plan, which was announced in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday by the East African Business Council (EABC), will also help to improve health and boost collection of government revenue across the region. EABC executive director John Bosco Kalisa revealed the plan during a regional workshop for stakeholders.

Mr Kalisa said Wednesday’s discussions centred on a framework that will be used to create and operate the system. “We plan to start as soon as possible. Digital tax stamps and electronic cargo tracking systems are among digital technologies governments have rolled out with a view to tracking trade within the East African Community region. However, these technologies are more focused on authentication and tax verification solutions rather than tracking and tracing,” he added.

ECOWAS inaugurates drilling project in Kaduna (The Guardian Nigeria)

Worried by the lack of access to clean water, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has inaugurated a new drilling project, which aims to transform the lives of Luumo Kosam Dairy Cooperative in Chukun, Kaduna State.

This initiative aims to provide employment opportunities for youth through improved dairy and fodder production, specifically by enhancing local milk production through the establishment of family dairy farms and the management of cows and calves, increasing the availability and accessibility of feed and forage, and facilitating knowledge sharing among dairy farmers and stakeholders.

ECOWAS collaborates with Member States towards a harmonized regional tourism sector (ECOWAS)

The ECOWAS Directorate of Private Sector has convened experts and stakeholders from both the private and government sectors of the tourism industry for a five-day meeting in Abuja, Nigeria. The focus of the meeting is on the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for ECOTOUR 19-29 and the ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation Regulator, aiming to optimize resource utilization and enhance operational efficiency.

Mr. Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of the National Tourism Agency of Nigeria, called for the localization of policies taking into consideration the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of the region, which are very crucial to the successful growth of regional tourism and solidify West African cultural heritage.

Mr. Coker also urged both state and non-state actors work together to harmonize tourism regulations to provide guidelines for all activities in the sector. He emphasized the importance of introducing technology in tourism and training operators to compete globally. “We must embrace technology, or it will leave us behind,” he said.

Climate Change in the WAEMU: Trends, Macro-criticality and Options Going Forward (IMF)

This paper focuses on the trends in climate change in the WAEMU, assesses the criticality of climate change for the region, and reviews the related policy and financing options going forward. Climate change has been increasingly affecting the lives and livelihoods in the WAEMU. Temperatures have risen significantly, and climate-related disasters have hit the region more frequently in recent decades. Climate change can exacerbate the current challenges and hinder long-term economic prospects by threatening economic growth, food security, fiscal and external sustainability, and social outcomes in the region. Macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and cooperation among different parties remain critical alongside regional efforts, in particular to have access to necessary financing and bolster adaptation efforts.

Roadmap to operationalize Pharma Initiative into start-up Phase of the African Pooled Procurement Mechanism adopted (UNECA)

African Ministers of Health, Finance and Trade, experts and development partners have adopted an approach towards the transitioning of the AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative (Pharma Initiative) into the start-up Phase of the African Pooled Procurement Mechanism (APPM) ensuring continuity and keeping the momentum in advancing healthcare access, kick starting industrialization, and ensuring economic and health security on the continent.

AUDA-NEPAD, the ministers said, will accelerate the operationalization of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) to enhance access to quality, safe, and affordable medical products across the continent.

Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade Division at ECA said APPM will provide a collaborating framework of common regulatory and quality standards to ensure that pharmaceutical drugs and products are effective, affordable, and safe.

“Linking this health initiative to AfCFTA and AMA presents great opportunities with a potential to change lives, reduce poverty, and contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic development for the continent,” said Mr. Karingi. He noted that implementation of the Pharma Initiative is geared towards fostering inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development through a single market of approximately 1.4 billion African people who continually face disproportionate impacts of diseases and high costs of importation of critical life-saving health products.

AeTrade Group To Generate 80-125 M Jobs By 2037 (KT Press)

Hailemariam Desalegn, the chairman of Africa Electronic Trade Group (AeTrade Group), has indicated that the organisation has a daring target of generating 80 to 125 million jobs in Africa by 2037, with a commitment to get rid of penury on the continent. “We have a plan of the overall target of 80 to 125 million jobs by 2037 that contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty in Africa. This is a bold and ambitious target, which we cannot achieve on our own, hence we invite all our friends from Rwanda, Africa, and the rest of the world to come and bless this initiative,” Desalegn points out.

He was addressing the inauguration of the AeTrade Group’s continental headquarters, which was launched in Masoro’s Kigali Special Economic Zone on Wednesday, 15 May. The ceremony convened several dignitaries from in and out of Rwanda.

See: Remarks by Antonio Pedro at the Inauguration of the AeTrade Group Continental Headquarters (UNECA)

Sharp declines in critical mineral prices mask risks of future supply strains as energy transitions advance - News (IEA)

Pressure eased in 2023 on the market for minerals that go into electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels and other clean energy technologies, as supply outpaced surging demand. But a new report from the International Energy Agency finds that major additional investments are still needed to meet the world’s energy and climate objectives.

The Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024, published today, updates the IEA’s inaugural review of the market last year while also offering new medium- and long-term outlooks for the supply and demand of important energy transition minerals, such as lithium, copper, nickel, cobalt, graphite and rare earth elements.

Related: Critical minerals an opportunity for Zim to increase trade with China (New Zimbabwe)

UN Trade and Development chief to visit Panama Canal ahead of first Global Supply Chain Forum (UNCTAD)

During the visit set for 18 and 19 May, UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan will see first-hand the increasing impacts of climate change on the Panama Canal. This exacerbates existing geopolitical challenges that are straining global trade and supply chains. Notably, these include ongoing disruptions in the Black Sea linked to the war in Ukraine, and recent attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

The Panama Canal is a critical global trade route linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and confronting low water levels, due to below-normal rainfall driven by the climate phenomenon “El Niño”. Earlier analysis by UN Trade and Development estimated that total transits through the canal plummeted by 49% in January and 42% by April 2024, compared to the peak in December 2021.

The secretary-general’s visit comes ahead of the first-ever Global Supply Chain Forum, to be staged by UN Trade and Development and the Government of Barbados in Bridgetown from 21 to 24 May. Resilience and sustainability top the forum’s agenda, against the backdrop of geopolitical and climate-related challenges increasingly shifting trade patterns and reconfiguring supply chains. It seeks to tackle the unique challenges facing small island developing states and landlocked developing countries. Far from the main lines of trade, these economies are particularly vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

Development Committee: The Managing Director’s Written Statement April 2024 (IMF)

The global economy has been resilient and appears headed for a soft landing. Inflation continues to recede and risks have become more balanced globally. Nonetheless, medium-term growth prospects remain at the lowest level in decades and a smooth completion of the disinflation process should not be taken for granted. While the outlook for low-income developing countries (LIDCs) is improving, risks are tilted to the downside. The pace of convergence toward higher living standards has slowed, making it increasingly challenging to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Fostering faster productivity growth and facilitating the green transition are keys to improving long-term growth prospects. Multilateral cooperation is key to enhancing the resilience of the global economy in a more shock-prone world.

Members discuss proposals to reinvigorate technology transfer discussions (WTO)

The Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology discussed on 15 May members’ proposals on future topics for discussion and brainstormed on how to inject new energy into finding ways to increase flows of technology to developing economies.

Members discussed two proposals, by India and the African Group, on themes the Working Group could prioritize for discussion, with a view to increasing flows of technology to developing economies. Members supported WIPO’s request for observer status given the mandate in the Abu Dhabi Ministerial Declaration for the Working Group to continue working with other relevant international organizations and in view of the areas of common interest between WIPO and the Working Group.

‘As the world changes, so do we’: UN Trade and Development deputy chief (UNCTAD)

Speaking at a high-level event on 14 May in the Indonesian city of Bandung, UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno renewed calls for collective efforts to fulfill the promise of globalization that leaves no one behind. In Indonesia, Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno shares reflections on the global economy and the road to a better future – not for some, but for all.

Quick links

Mining-focused manufacturers see innovation as key to survival and future growth (Engineering News)

African Development Bank commits $2 billion as it leads the way at landmark summit for access to clean cooking in Africa (AfDB)

AU must boost Africa’s global role via G20 membership (Daily Maverick)

BRICS-members are not coordinating their West-Africa strategies (D+C)

Logistics Trade Bodies Urge Action on New EU Import Rules (Global Trade Magazine)

Measuring trade in hemp products: Why it matters and what needs to change (UNCTAD)


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