Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

ONE’s newest vessel unloads, loads containers in Durban (Engineering News)

Container and shipping company Ocean Network Express’ (ONE’s) newest vessel Recommendation exchanged 2 578 containers for import with 2 600 containers for export, including refrigerated citrus containers, at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 during the past week. The terminal deployed adequate resources to efficiently service the four-month-old vessel without interruption and within the stipulated window.

Improved operating and cost efficiency, as well as global competitiveness of the local port terminal network, are among critical elements of Transnet’s Recovery Plan, whose primary focus is the recovery of volumes from key operations and operating divisions across the organisation, said TPT Durban Terminals managing executive Earle Peters.

NGO wants EU-Kenya trade partnership annulled (The East African)

A Kampala-based NGO has gone to the East African Court of Justice seeking orders to block Kenya and the EAC Secretary-General from implementing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Nairobi signed with the European Union. The Centre for Law Economics and Policy on East African Integration (CLEP-EA), a think tank and research centre, says Kenya violated the EAC Treaty by signing the trade agreement.

CLEP-EA also faults the EAC Secretary-General for “abdicating his responsibilities and functions under the Treaty by failing to warn and/or stop Kenya from entering into the illegal EPA with the EU, and Kenya’s failure to share renegotiated EPA with the partner states.”

The agreement builds on negotiations for an EPA with the EAC partner states at the time – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda – which were finalised in October 2014. Kenya and the EU signed the EPA on December 18, 2023 and Kenya is the only EAC member to ratify the EU-EAC EPA seeking more access to the European market.

Tanzania urges maize farmers to eye export markets (The East African)

Tanzanian authorities have urged maize farmers to seek markets in neighbouring countries for their surplus. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the country expects bumper harvest, and the surplus will exceed the preliminary demand assessment of maize, more than 1.2 million tonnes estimated for export markets in neighbouring countries.

National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) executive director Dr Andrew Komba said the agency was set to start buying maize, rice and other food crops from farmers for storage and selling to local and foreign food markets beginning July. NFRA strategy was to manage food reserves to ensure sustainable supply that would meet both domestic and export needs, the food agency officials said. The agency had opened 14 crop purchasing centres in leading maize producing areas in the southern highlands. Ministry of Agriculture had allocated Tsh300 billion ($115 million) for buying some 300,000 tonnes of food crops during the harvesting season between June and July.

‘We’re constructing an ecosystem’: How a small, windy city could become a gateway for trade (CNN)

Dakhla, a small city in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which is mostly controlled by Morocco, is located on a long spit of sand between the Atlantic Ocean and a saltwater lagoon. Its consistent wind makes it a hotspot for kitesurfing enthusiasts, but a new port, currently halfway through construction, could turn the area into a gateway for trade.

The $1.2 billion megaproject is expected to complete in 2028. Spanning 1,650 hectares, the complex will include a trade port with an oil terminal, a fishing port and a shipyard. There will be a bridge linking the port to the land and a 7-kilometer road that connects the port with a national highway that runs along the coast as far north as Tangier and as far south as the border with Mauritania.

“We’re constructing an ecosystem,” Nisrine Iouzzi, the director of construction for the Dakhla Atlantic Port, tells CNN. Once operational, she expects the port to handle 35 million tons of goods a year. This will not only boost Morocco’s economy, she says, but it could help the country become a maritime hub for worldwide trade, connecting regions such as West Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, the Canary Islands and even South America.

Rwanda Launches Regional Program to Enhance Horticulture Sector (COMESA)

A regional programme meant to boost the horticulture industry in five countries in eastern and southern Africa has been launched in Rwanda. The COMESA, East African Community (EAC) Horticulture Accelerator Programme (CEHA) aims to accelerate the growth of the fruit and vegetable sub-sector in these regions.

CEHA initially focuses on three priority value chains: avocado, onion and Irish potatoes. These specific value chains face agronomic, logistical and regulatory challenges that are common to many other fruit and vegetable crops. Rwanda is the second country to launch the CEHA programme following Kenya.

At the launch of the CEHA Rwanda National Chapter in Kigali on May 23, 2024, ACTESA Chief Executive Officer Dr John Mukuka announced that the program will facilitate the modernization of regional horticulture value chains across East Africa. This will be achieved by leveraging Rwanda’s comparative advantages, infrastructure and technology. The priority crops, selected in 2022 through surveys, were based on production capacity, impact potential, market growth and value chain competitiveness, alignment with government priorities, and the degree of development partner investment.

FDI reaches highest level in decade… fuelled by N$33 billion oil, gas injection (New Era)

Namibia has attracted global attention due to the quantity and quality of its recent oil discoveries in the Orange Basin. These hydrocarbon discoveries have been a major factor for record foreign direct investments (FDI) made via equity injections for exploration activities as well as the uptake of intercompany loans.

Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) manager of investment attraction Selma Namutuwa said Namibia attracted N$73 billion in FDI inflows between 2021 and 2023, of which about 45%, which is N$33 billion, is attributable to the oil and gas sector.

“Namibia experienced a notable surge in FDI inflows during the second quarter of 2023, reaching N$13.5 billion. This marked the highest level observed in more than 10 years. The substantial increase was primarily propelled by investments in mineral exploration, hydrocarbons (oil and gas), and the acquisition of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) by Heineken,” she said.

Customs to leverage AfCFTA, AGOA to facilitate export trade at Nigerian ports (Eye Witness News)

Eager to align Nigeria Customs with modern tools for customs operations and administration as enunciated by the World Customs Organization(WCO), Adeniyi activated the use of twin modern tools for trade facilitation which are Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Advance Ruling concepts. Not done in his passionate efforts to enthrone efficiency in customs operations, Adeniyi said the service is committed to implementing the Lagos Continental Document produced through intensive stakeholders’ engagement and participation at the December CGC conference.

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

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union, the World Customs Organization, in partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), held a national training workshop on rules of origin for Nigeria Customs. The workshop was held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 27 to 31 May 2024 with the objective to assist NCS in enhancing its knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin and contribute to a seamless implementation of the AfCFTA and other relevant FTAs.

This workshop was conducted as part of the comprehensive technical assistance and partnership with NCS in relation to the implementation and launch of an advance rulings system in Nigeria in May 2024, and builds on the acquis from an intermediate training conducted in January 2024. The support provided under the EU-funded RoO and HS Africa Programmes allows for the deployment of all-inclusive and wide-ranging capacity building activities, to enhance the infrastructure and capacity of NCS both on RoO and HS.

Gabon: 2024 Article IV Consultation (IMF)

In August 2023, Gabon underwent a major political transition after a coup d’état had overthrown a decades-long regime. Despite multiple reform attempts, years of poorly managed oil wealth, weak inclusion, and stagnant incomes fragilized the political and socio-economic environment in the runup to the coup. The transition authorities now face a historic opportunity to pivot towards a more transparent and inclusive model of governance, but overcoming decades of entrenched institutional practice will require sustained reform efforts to achieve a point of no return. Meanwhile, the Fund-supported EFF program veered off-track soon after the completion of the first two reviews in 2022 and will expire soon.

African countries reap highest-ever fiscal benefits from tax transparency (OECD)

Launched today at the 15th meeting of the Africa Initiative in Lomé, Togo, Tax Transparency in Africa 2024: Africa Initiative Progress Report shows African countries collected more fiscal revenue through tax transparency, exchange of information and related measures in 2023 than over the 13 preceding years combined.

With EUR 2.2 billion of additional revenue reported by 7 African countries last year, the report makes a strong case for an ever-sharpening political attention on the matters of transparency and international tax co-operation. In total, since 2009, African countries have identified over EUR 3.8 billion in additional revenue as a result of the use of the exchange of information on request (EOIR), automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI), and voluntary disclosure programmes (VDPs).

China-Africa trade cooperation fosters inclusive, sustainable growth in Africa: UNCTAD official (The New Times)

China-Africa trade cooperation is playing a pivotal role in fostering inclusive and sustainable development across Africa, according to a senior official with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Xinhua reports.

“The China-Africa cooperation is aligned with UNCTAD’s goals of promoting sustainable development by enhancing Africa’s manufacturing capacities, increasing trade opportunities, fostering economic diversification, and integrating the African countries into the global value chain,” Diane Sayinzoga, UNCTAD’s chief of the Regional Office for Africa, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

She said Chinese investments in agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy development and various other sectors in Africa not only create jobs and boost local economies, but also serve as a platform for technology transfer and increase export and tax revenues.

South Korea agrees to lend billions to Tanzania, Ethiopia (The East African)

Tanzania and Ethiopia said they had signed accords with South Korea for loans of billions of dollars, part of broader deals that will give the Asian nation access to Africa’s crucial mineral resources and vast export market. South Korea is hosting at least 30 heads of state, including Tanzania and Ethiopia, at a South Korea-Africa summit this week.

Tanzania said it will borrow $2.5 billion over the next five years from South Korea through concessional loans. The country also signed two accords on Korean use of its ocean resources and minerals used in clean energy technologies such as nickel, lithium and graphite, presidential spokesperson Zuhura Yunus said on Sunday.

Ethiopia, a fast-growing economy with 126 million people, signed a $1 billion financing deal over four years for infrastructure, science and technology, health and urban development, the state-affiliated Fana media outlet said.

Presidents Ruto, Samia eye trade deals with South Korea (The East African)

East African leaders expect to close trade deals with South Korea during the first-ever Korea-Africa Summit, in which Seoul joins other major capitals such as Washington, Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi, Rome, London and Brussels to invite African leaders. Kenya’s President William Ruto is expected to arrive on Monday evening.

State House in Nairobi said the visit offers Kenya an opportunity to discuss a bilateral deal with South Korea to help balance their trade and investments. “The trip will also set the stage for Kenya and South Korea to initiate negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the two countries,” a dispatch said on Sunday.

Tanzania too is pursuing a similar arrangement and President Samia’s office said on Sunday they had already launched discussions for an EPA. An EPA is supposed to guide on issues of quality, sanitation, taxation and exemptions of exports, as well as decide quotas for imports.

Tanzania sees the EPA as a way to elevate its ties with South Korea as well, to a strategic relationship, and is eyeing investments in the blue economy, development of natural gas, and the creative industry such as film, transport and labour exports.

African countries must develop value chain from production to consumption (GhanaWeb)

Industrialisation and Supply Chain Management expert, Professor Douglas Boateng, has stated that African countries must develop the entire value chain of products and services on the continent for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative to succeed.

The process, which he referred to as “strategic sourcing,” means that individuals should move away from purchasing “cheap products” from abroad and instead add value to indigenous produce. That, he said, would help create a competitive advantage and reduce over-dependence on foreign goods.

To properly develop the value chain, from production to consumption, he noted that Africans must refrain from exporting the continent’s natural resources in their raw state. He said the inability to add value to local resources has led to excessive importation of foreign goods, resulting in “huge amounts of money leaving the continent.”

To create a common market as envisioned under AfCFTA, Prof. Boateng again called for the removal of “artificial borders” between countries to facilitate the movement of persons, goods, and services across the continent.

How Africa can harness critical mineral wealth to revamp economies (UNCTAD)

Africa’s mineral wealth is undeniable. From the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the manganese fields of South Africa, the continent boasts a treasure trove of minerals vital for the global transition to low-carbon energy and technological advancement.

The continent is the centre of attraction due to its huge deposits of the world’s reserves of minerals essential for renewable energy technologies like solar panels and electric vehicles: 55% of cobalt, 47.65% of manganese and 5.9% of copper, among others.

As the climate crisis intensifies, the global demand for these critical energy transition minerals could increase almost fourfold by 2030. This accelerating demand presents a unique opportunity for Africa to better harness them to generate more revenues and chart a new course towards prosperity, inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Limited and volatile development finance is holding Africa back, slowing down progress towards achieving development goals. But amid current multiple crises, limited fiscal space, slow growth and high debt, the time is ripe for African countries to turn the tide by seizing the opportunity presented by the critical minerals boom.

India eyes multiple mineral pacts with about a dozen countries in Africa (Business Standard)

India is planning to soon sign new and updated mineral pacts with about a dozen countries in Africa. The Ministry of Mines is in discussions with Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Business Standard has learnt, and more will be added to the list soon. “We aim to secure India’s mineral supply chain, and African countries have all the minerals we require,” said a senior government official.

Win For SMEs as African Stakeholders Rally For Financing To Drive Inclusive, Sustainable Development (Tuko.co.ke)

Key African stakeholders have called for collective support of Africa’s private sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to drive inclusive and sustainable development in the continent. Speaking during a panel discussion at the 59th Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank and Chairperson of the Alliance of African Multilateral Financial Institutions (AAMFI) “The Africa Club,” underscored the importance of the Alliance’s formation in helping Africa’s private sector.

“The key purpose of the formation of the AAMFI was to create a platform for all of our African multilateral financial institutions to work more closely to attain a common mandate. “These banks already serve complementary roles in financing the continent’s development and the private sector. The formation of the Alliance underscores the collective commitment of its members to support Africa’s self-reliance and private sector,” said Prof Benedict Oramah.

African Development Bank Joins the African Carbon Markets Initiative to Enhance Climate Finance (AfDB)

The African Development Bank has announced its official membership in the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) as of 30 May. This strategic move is set to empower African countries and the private sector in securing additional resources to combat climate challenges effectively.

Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth, made the announcement during a round table at the 2024 Annual Meetings of the Bank Group, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 27 to 31 May.

Kariuki highlighted the necessity of financial innovation and the immense potential of raising climate finance through carbon markets. He urged African countries to seize opportunities for trading carbon credits under the Paris Agreement’s compliance markets, where prices for emission reductions are significantly higher than in voluntary markets.

Blueprint for global financial architecture that works for Africa (The East African)

African leaders have finally laid out the blueprint for the financial architecture that many of the continent’s political bigwigs and economists have been calling for, clearly painting the picture that has been at best a silhouette in recent years.

Over the past two years, leaders on the continent, as well as civil societies and economic think tanks, have raised concerns over how the international financial architecture is designed, saying it does not work for Africa. The concerns arose in the aftermath of the recent multiple global crises that drove many African economies to their knees, with many sliding into a high risk of debt distress or default altogether, and government borrowings hitting record highs for many nations.

Africa’s debt stood at $1.152 trillion as of December 2023, which is about half of the continent’s GDP, according to latest figures by the African Development Bank (AfDB). This has been heightened by recent economic shocks.

IFC launches $4bn MSME finance platform for emerging markets (Trade Finance Global)

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched a new initiative to aid financial service providers in delivering funds to small businesses in emerging markets, with a particular focus on those owned by women and those in the agriculture and climate sectors.

The MSME Finance Platform (the Platform) will provide a financing package of up to $4 billion from IFC’s own account to banks, non-bank financial institutions, microfinance institutions, and innovative digital lenders that focus on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This support will be available to both new and existing IFC clients.

The Platform will also use various forms of credit enhancement to mobilise private capital, including an innovative Catalytic First Loss Guarantee, aiming to attract an additional $4 billion in financing from eligible financial service providers to expand lending to these businesses.

In emerging markets, MSMEs and the informal sector are essential to economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation. Recent crises have financially weakened financial service providers, limiting their ability to meet increasingly stringent lending requirements. As a result, businesses in emerging markets and developing economies are experiencing a credit contraction due to tighter credit conditions, rising interest rates, and a limited appetite for risk. As the largest development finance institution supporting the private sector in emerging markets, IFC is well-positioned to assist financial service providers.

New $135 million UNDP and GEF initiative will support Small Island Developing States tackle drivers of environmental degradation (UNDP)

UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched a new $135 million Blue and Green Islands Integrated Programme (BGI-IP) today during the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4). “With the invaluable support the Global Environment Facility, the Blue and Green Islands Programme will serve scale up nature-based solutions in the food, tourism, and urban sectors that help shift key sectors from nature-negative to nature-positive -- improving the daily lives of people in small islands and helping to revive the health of our natural world.”

SIDS go forward with ‘new sense of hope, solidarity and determination’ (UN News)

Speaking at the closing of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), Amina Mohammed stressed that despite increasingly existential threats to SIDS, “we do have reasons for hope and optimism”.

More than 20 world leaders and senior ministers from over 100 nations joined close to 4,000 other participants on the lush campus of the American University of Antigua through the week – together with representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia and youth – to tackle a raft of issues vital to the survival of the 39 SIDS in the face of the climate crisis and other shocks.

The deputy UN chief declared that the adopted outcome, known as the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda (ABAS), presented a “vision for the future that SIDS want and need”.

Ghana Advocates for Financial System to Protect Vulnerable Nations (News Ghana)

Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has addressed a forum of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and, alongside several leaders, advocated strongly for change to the structure of the international financial system to protect vulnerable nations. “Ghana is committed to the fight of the SIDS because it is right, it is necessary, and because we have the moral duty to do so,” Ms. Botchwey told the gathering which included UN Secretary-General Antonio Guttierez, and leaders from all over the world.

“Ghana urges support for the 2022 Bridgetown Initiative for the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture,” said Ms. Botchwey, referring to a global financial policy reform proposal initiated by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados whose capital city the idea is named after.

“SIDS face high import and export costs for goods and irregular international traffic volumes. Yet, they must rely on external markets for many goods due to the narrow resource base,” a UN office, dedicated to SIDS, Landlocked and Least Developing countries, explains on its website.

The African Development Bank and civil society unite in favour of Africa’s transformation and overhaul of the global financial architecture (AfDB)

Achieving inclusive growth depends on the involvement of all stakeholders in the design and implementation of development work. Such was the main conclusion of the debate under the title “Mobilising civil society to shape Africa’s transformation and reforms of the global financial architecture”, which took place on 31 May on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Nairobi.

The event was an opportunity to set out the institutional arrangements for involving civil society in the programmes and projects of the Bank. The panel reaffirmed that civil society has a crucial role to play in economic and social transformation in Africa. The involvement of civil society in decision-making brings real benefits, where transparency and equality of opportunity generate an inclusive approach that helps to improve the quality of public projects and programmes, making them better designed and better adapted to the needs of local communities.

Expanding on these points Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi said: “All stakeholders need to adopt a quantitative framework for measuring economic transformation based on five axes which are diversification, export competitiveness, productivity, technology and well-being.” This framework, she said, would make it possible to “guide political decisions and ensure that countries and their institutions are accountable on the basis of reliable data.”

AfDB seeks mutual ties with World Bank (The Zimbabwe Independent)

Unpacking its annual development effectiveness report at the AfDB 2024 annual meetings in Kenya last week, the bank’s senior vice-president Swazi Tshabalala said this year’s report provided the supportive development results of the bank’s global finance projects.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is pursuing discussions with the World Bank to promote mutual ties in various areas including procurement diagnostic tools and social environment safeguards. This comes as it is simplifying its business processes, and further collaborating with other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to promote mutual reliance.

“These development results represent a collective achievement delivered in collaboration and partnership with other international development banks and development partners, and of course, our client partners,” Tshabalala said. “In this year’s report, we’ve incorporated innovative tools and methods like satellite imaging to better capture and analyse the development impact of our investments. For instance, using high-resolution impact mapping, we were able to assess the impact of bank-financed water and sanitation projects on the living conditions of residents in 28 urban areas in Kenya.”

World Bank Group and IMF Joint Effort to Scale Up Climate Action (World Bank)

The World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are deepening their cooperation through an enhanced framework to help countries scale up action to confront the threat of climate change.

The collaboration will provide critical support for countries’ climate strategies—through an integrated, country-led approach to policy reforms and climate investments. Within their respective mandates, the World Bank Group and the IMF will leverage their analytics, technical assistance, financing, and policy expertise to enhance country-driven reform programs.


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