Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

S.Africa says cases against EU citrus measures progressing at WTO (The Star)

South Africa expects the World Trade Organisation to set up adjudication panels in July to examine its two cases against the European Union over its phytosanitary measures for citrus imports, the country said on Wednesday. The world’s second largest citrus exporter after Spain is challenging changes made in 2022 to the EU’s phytosanitary requirements for oranges and other citrus products.

South Africa, which says the EU measures “are unscientific and discriminatory”, this week requested the establishment of two panels at a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body to examine its complaints after consultations with the EU failed to reach a “satisfactory conclusion”. “This is the first time that South Africa progresses a dispute at the WTO beyond the panel state of the established DSB process,” South Africa’s trade and agriculture ministries said in a joint statement with the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa.

“While the EU did not at this time accept South Africa’s request for the two panels, the set DSB procedure is that the requested adjudication panels will be established at its next meeting in July 2024,” the statement said.

The EU has said it regretted South Africa’s decision to pursue panel proceedings in the two cases, but maintained that its pest control measures were entirely justified and that it would succeed in any dispute proceedings. The European bloc is the biggest market for South African citrus, accounting for 36% of total exports last year, according to the Citrus Growers’ Association.

South Africa continues to push for long extension to Agoa well ahead of 2025 expiry (Engineering News)

With the expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act 15 months away, South Africa is continuing to call for an early and substantial extension of the preferential trade arrangement, which has been in place since 2000. Department of Trade, Industry and Competition chief director for bilateral trade relations Malose Letsoalo reported this week that South Africa remained optimistic that Agoa would be extended beyond its September 2025 expiry date.

Speaking during a Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) discussion, Letsoalo highlighted ongoing bipartisan support for Agoa in the US Congress, which could consider extending the scheme for up to 16 years to 2041 in line with a Bill put forward by Democratic Senator Chris Coons and Republican Senator James Risch. African governments have argued that an extension of at least ten years was necessary to provide the certainty required for more countries to take fuller advantage of the unilateral scheme.

South Africa, whose Agoa status came into question last year when tensions over an alleged arms sale to Russia almost prompted an out-of-cycle review of the country’s eligibility, remains one of a handful of countries that genuinely benefits from the arrangement. TIPS executive director Dr Saul Levin quoted joint research undertaken with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) showing that, while much of South Africa’s commodity exports enter the US duty-free outside of Agoa, the country’s agriculture and manufacturing exports benefitted disproportionately from the country’s eligibility.


‘Champagne corks will pop in Beijing and Moscow’ if US fails to renew AGOA, trade expert warns (News24)

Sustainable Trade and Growth: AGOA’s Role in Ghana’s Economic Development (Modern Ghana)

‘Second wave’ of Operation Vulindlela set to prioritise ‘green and digital’ growth (Engineering News)

The ‘second wave’ of government’s Operation Vulindlela initiative is poised to be widened to include additional structural reforms to those that have been pursued to date in electricity, freight logistics, telecoms, water and skills with the goal of stimulating higher levels of economic growth over the coming five years.

Established jointly by the Presidency and the National Treasury in October 2020 to accelerate priority structural reforms to overcome problems identified as “binding constraints” to economic performance, Operation Vulindlela is expected to continue as a flagship programme under the government of national unity.

The Presidency’s project management unit head Rudi Dicks told attendees to a conference convened to deliberate on “Phase 2” that the intention was to consolidate the progress that had been made under the initial set of reforms, while adding additional reforms. The initiative will continue to focus on a small set of priorities but could include new areas with the potential to lift South Africa out of its current low GDP growth trajectory, which had averaged at a paltry 1.1% since 2010, resulting in South Africa decoupling from other middle-income countries where growth had been significantly higher.

While the new priority areas were still to be finalised, Musker indicated that there was an opportunity to harness South Africa’s unique strengths and advantages to unlock growth that was both “green and digital”. “Over the next five years, South Africa has an opportunity to accelerate growth through massive new investment in the energy sector, leveraging its unique solar and wind resources to reduce energy costs and power green manufacturing.” In addition, there was potential to position South Africa as “a major player in the digital economy, creating jobs in business process outsourcing and digital services while encouraging a dynamic ecosystem for high-growth startups”.

Kenya’s Ruto says finance bill to be withdrawn after deadly protests (Al Jazeera)

Kenya’s President William Ruto has said he will not sign a finance bill that led protesters to storm Parliament in anger over rising costs, adding that the bill containing tax hikes would “be withdrawn”. “I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 finance bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” Ruto said in a televised address on Wednesday. “The people have spoken.”

His comments came after dozens of people were reported killed and scores more wounded as police broke up rallies against the contentious bill. The move will be seen as a major victory for the week-old protest movement that grew from online condemnations of the proposed tax increases into mass rallies demanding a political overhaul, in the most serious crisis of Ruto’s two-year-old presidency.

Mainly youth-led, the rallies began last week in a largely peaceful fashion as thousands protested against the proposed tax increases, which, in the original version, included price rises on basics such as bread and nappies. However, tensions spiked on Tuesday as the Parliament of Kenya passed the bill. As police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on crowds in Nairobi, reports of live rounds being fired saw protesters storm Parliament and set it alight. Ruto then deployed the military.


United Nations, African Union condemn violence in Kenya’s protests (Citizen Digital)

Kenya Finance Bill: Why has it triggered protests? (The East African)

New system for e passport holders (The Herald)

Holders of Zimbabwean and SADC e-passports will soon be able to walk into Zimbabwe through a scanner on an electronic gate without queuing or the involvement of an immigration official, as part of measures to remove bottlenecks, delays and enhance promotion of ease of doing business, legislators have heard.

Immigration principal officer Mr Oscar Chitsa said the Immigration Department was working on a border management system that would see those holding Zimbabwean and Sadc e-passports served swiftly at e-gates where they will have their travel documents scanned electronically without going through the rigours of long queues associated with ports of entry experienced at places such as the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and the Beitbridge Border Post, especially during public holidays.

Mr Chitsa was giving oral evidence before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, who wanted to know what the Border Efficiency Management Committee was doing to address the ease of business environment at ports of entry. “We are working on a new border management system, which we will be launching this year and will provide efficiency at points of entry,” he said.

Resource management and capacity development a major pathway to economic growth in Nigeria (The Guardian Nigeria)

Resource management and capacity development are essential components for fostering economic growth in any country, including Nigeria. With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria has the potential to be a major player in the global economy. However, the country faces several challenges that hinder its economic progress, including heavy reliance on imports, undertrained employees, underemployment of highly qualified individuals, and the absence of adequate manual labor in key industries. In order to overcome these challenges and unlock its full economic potential, Nigeria must focus on improving resource management and capacity development.

One of the major obstacles to economic growth in Nigeria is the country’s heavy dependence on imports for goods that can be readily produced domestically. This reliance on imports not only drains the country’s foreign reserves but also stifles local industries and inhibits economic growth. By investing in resource management and capacity development, Nigeria can reduce its dependence on imports and boost domestic production. This can be achieved through the implementation of policies that support local industries, such as tax incentives, subsidies, and trade barriers.

Stakeholders to deliberate on Nigeria’s digital economy agenda (The Guardian Nigeria)

Key stakeholders in the country’s digital economy sector are set to converge at the forthcoming Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) to dissect and stimulate the effective implementation of Nigeria’s renewed agenda for the digital economy. PIAFo, now in its sixth edition, is slated for July 10 at Radisson Blu Hotels, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, with a thematic focus, ‘Accelerating Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency’.

According to the organisers, the strategic plan of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation Digital Economy (FMCIDE) released recently by the federal government is the anchor policy for the forum as the strategic plan embodies Nigeria’s digital aspirations. They noted that the current digital economy footprint puts Nigeria on track to attain many targets in years to come; adding that since PIAFo is an initiative designed to drive policies to fruition, the forthcoming conference underscores the need to leverage effective dialogue among relevant stakeholders to achieve the targets.

FG Bans Single-use Plastics In MDAs (Leadership News)

In a significant move towards environmental sustainability, the Federal Government has announced a ban on single-use plastics across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). This decision was revealed by the minister of state for environment, Iziaq Adekunle Salako, following a Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Salako emphasised that this ban aligns with the government’s broader plastic waste management strategy. He said the ban on single plastics in MDAs is preparatory to a nationwide ban next year. The minister highlighted the severity of plastic pollution in Nigeria, describing it as “a major issue in our country.” He explained that the ban is part of the administration’s efforts to promote responsible plastic waste management by refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing, and recycling.

He said, “The federal ministry of environment proposed and the federal executive council approved the ban on the use of on-the-go plastics, what we know as single-use plastics in all ministries, agencies and departments of the federal governments. This is in line with the 2022 national policy on from gas to waste management.

Fostering a Vibrant and Inclusive Private Sector is Key to Somalia’s Resilient Growth (World Bank)

Since Somalia’s private sector accounts for an estimated 95 percent of total jobs created, marshaling the private sector to support the country’s development is critical for reconstruction, transitioning from fragility, and generating more inclusive economic dividends for it’s people. The country also needs to focus on growth (to avoid falling back into debt), create jobs, and enhance economic opportunities for citizens.

Published today, the Somalia Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) notes that while private businesses have been remarkably resilient and presently provide most of the products and services on offer in the country, Somalia’s productive tradable sectors remain subdued and fall short of providing a strong basis for structural transformation. Furthermore, private sector activity is concentrated on commerce and other, mostly non-tradable, consumption-driven services. This consumption-driven growth often benefits a few firms that leverage their market-dominating positions. Therefore, most Somali firms remain highly disadvantaged, leading to a “missing middle” and lower overall productivity and job generation. The report also finds that low economic integration and a minimal complexity of foreign direct investment (FDI) weigh on the productivity growth prospects of the Somali private sector, limiting opportunities for trade, technological advancement, and efficient resource allocation.

“Somalia can develop and deepen reforms that enable effective and equitable formal institutions and regulatory frameworks that facilitate private sector-led economic transformation,” said Kristina Svensson, World Bank Country Manager for Somalia.

Egypt’s Financing Strategy to emphasize sustainable development goals (EgyptToday)

Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Ahmed Kamali, took charge of leading the meeting for the Technical Committee responsible for the preparation and oversight of Egypt’s Integrated National Financing Strategy. In this role, Kamali underscored the significance of the strategy, which outlines Egypt’s approach to financing sustainable development goals. He also highlighted that the strategy will continue to evolve with support from various United Nations agencies.

During the meeting, Kamali emphasized the crucial role of financing in achieving sustainability, whether through the Sustainable Development Goals or Egypt Vision 2030. Kamali further discussed the necessity of moving beyond simple resource transfers and embracing sustainable financing, which necessitates reorganizing financial flows to accomplish shared objectives. He elaborated on Egypt’s focus on five key sectors: health, education, sanitation, transportation, and social protection, all while considering gender equality and climate change.

Second Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of ECOWAS Member States as an Advisory Organ to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers

The ECOWAS Commission hosted on Wednesday 26 June 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria, the second meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of ECOWAS Member States as an advisory body to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers. This meeting which brings together the Ambassadors of ECOWAS Member States accredited to the Commission, is being held prior to the start of the statutory meetings of ECOWAS. The purpose of the meeting is to enable the Ambassadors representing the Member States to examine and review the various issues that will be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers next week. A number of issues will be discussed at this second meeting of Ambassadors. These include the presentation of a memorandum on the status of implementation of the trade liberalisation scheme in West Africa.

Africa gets all-in-one transport and logistics platform (The Namibian)

Thelo Group, which provides transport and logistics solutions for freight owners across Africa, is adding new services to combine different transportation methods (rail, ports and trucks) to create efficient routes for moving resources at lower cost. These resources are largely mining commodities, agricultural produce, containers and bulk liquids.

Thelo’s offering of interconnected transport corridors is in response to Africa’s transportation challenges, and a strategic move to support African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) single market. As a result of the AfCFTA, the transport sector is expected to expand by nearly 50%, significantly boosting intra-African trade. But its success hinges on improving Africa’s road, rail and transport infrastructure; a challenge that Thelo is actively addressing. Currently, transportation costs related to logistics in Africa are up to 75% higher than in other parts of the world.

“As an independent African company, Thelo is playing an instrumental role in developing, operating and managing national and regional development corridors. Importantly, Thelo’s multi-freight, multi-user approach will deliver more efficient transport solutions to multiple freight owners at economies of scale that will reduce transport and logistic costs,” Ntuli says.

The AfCFTA, Mastercard Foundation and TradeMark Africa Collaborate on a Four-Year Fisheries Program to Empower Women and Youth in Africa (Mastercard Foundation)

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and TradeMark Africa, has announced a four-year fisheries program to be implemented across seven countries to enable over 240,000 work opportunities and boost trade in fish and fish products by about $100 million by 2028.

The “Women and Youth Economic Empowerment in Fisheries” program will enhance the participation of women and youth in fisheries in line with the adopted AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade. This announcement was made during the 14th Meeting of the Council of Ministers responsible for Trade in Zanzibar. The program is designed to address structural challenges women and youth face when participating in the fisheries value chain. It will offer training, facilitate access to markets and finance, catalyze supply chain linkages, create digital solutions, simplify trade regimes, enhance compliance to standards and enable streamlined cross-border market access.

The program is a culmination of work between the AfCFTA Secretariat and the Mastercard Foundation. This work started with the development of the AfCFTA private sector strategy, where priority value chains were identified to boost intra-Africa trade and production. TradeMark Africa will implement the program to benefit Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Nigeria and selected Island states.

Fresh push for cryptocurrency trade in Africa (Nation)

There is a fresh push to have African countries enhance trading amongst themselves to growing their economies. The initiative, which mostly focuses on the youth, seeks to create a trading environment that allows them to not only exchange ideas, but provide a platform for buying and selling commodities that are made in Africa through peer-to-peer trading (P2P).

Driving the new push is a finance outfit under the banner of a Pan African movement by the name ‘noones.com’ which is providing an avenue for the continent’s 54 nations to trade and offer job opportunities for the youth who are hungry for instant results.

“We need a means of exchange as that is the biggest problem in the world. There is no form of payment in the world currently that is borderless; it is only cryptocurrency to put Africa on a level playing field,” said Noones.com app CEO Ray Yousef. “Once Africa can trade with itself, the result is simple – it is options. Imagine 20 cities like Dubai popping around Africa. Most of our traders are aged between 19 and 26 years,” he said.

We need to fast-track reforms at the AU (The Star)

Speaking in Naivasha during a retreat on the Institutional Reforms of the African Union on Tuesday, Ruto said the reforms must be commensurate with the magnitude, challenges, potential and ambition of the African continent.

Ruto added that the continent must build institutions that can be used to position Africa appropriately. “Under AU Agenda 2063, we have a coherent pathway to unleash the potential and propel the continent into the league of highly developed society,” he said. “We must intentionally align our pan-African institutions with the continent’s aspirations and configure them to be agile and responsive.” Ruto regretted that Africa is endowed with abundant potential that largely remains untapped.

“This denies immense opportunities in many sectors including agriculture, mining, manufacturing and energy. It is correct to say Africa cannot continue to play in the periphery,” he added.

Pan-African Conference on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFS) and Taxation (AU)

The Pan African Conference on Illicit Financial Flows (PAC) is the annual premier forum for the collective convergence of actors to discuss issues of illicit financial flows and taxation in Africa. The Conference (PAC2024) will take place in Tunis, Tunisia from 26th – 28th June 2024, under the theme: “Africa’s Tax Agenda in Combatting Illicit Financial Flows: From Words to Action.”

The expected outcomes for the PAC 2024 are: A collection of best practices and relevant continental-wide initiatives undertaken by institutions and partners in response to the HLP report findings and recommendations in combating IFFs in Africa; A review of the effectiveness of measures implemented in response to the African Union Heads of State and Government decisions and commitments to curb IFFs, meeting the financing gap for Africa’s development as envisioned under Agenda 2063 and the HLP report findings and recommendations in combating IFFs in Africa; A compilation of the contributions of the African Union Commission and stakeholders including the Africa Tax Administration forum, Tax Justice Network Africa and others in addressing IFFs; The establishment of a multi-stakeholder partnership to ensure inclusivity and broad-based support.

World Customs Organization Releases Illicit Trade Report 2023 (WCO)

The World Customs Organization (WCO) announces the release of the Illicit Trade Report 2023, a comprehensive analysis of the current state and evolving trends of illicit trade. This year’s report underscores the relentless challenges posed by illicit trade in an increasingly globalized world, highlighting its detrimental impact on legitimate markets, public trust, and the financing of criminal enterprises.

By examining case studies, open-source intelligence, statistical data, and enforcement challenges, as well as leveraging technology through the CEN Data Visualization Tool, this report sheds light on the scale and scope of illicit trade. It offers actionable insights for policymakers and stakeholders across the globe.

Mr. Ian Saunders, WCO Secretary General, has emphasized the importance of broadening perspectives, fostering creativity, and embracing innovative approaches to combat illicit trade. “With the insights gained from this report, we must enhance our understanding, engage actively, and improve our responsiveness and effectiveness,” he stated. “Customs administrations must remain pivotal in facilitating global trade and ensuring security amidst a constantly evolving landscape.”

In addition to providing an overview of current trends, the Illicit Trade Report 2023 highlights several success stories where enhanced enforcement actions have led to significant seizures and disruptions of illicit activities. These examples serve as a testament to the effectiveness of the strategies employed and the importance of continued vigilance and adaptation.

Remittances Slowed in 2023, Expected to Grow Faster in 2024 (World Bank)

After a period of strong growth during 2021-2022, officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) moderated in 2023, reaching an estimated $656 billion, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief, released today.

The modest 0.7% growth rate reflects large variances in regional growth, but remittances remained a crucial source of external finance for developing countries in 2023, bolstering the current accounts of several countries grappling with food insecurity and debt issues. In 2023, remittances surpassed foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA).

Looking ahead, remittances to LMICs are expected to grow at a faster rate of 2.3% in 2024, although this growth will be uneven across regions. Potential downside risks to these projections include weaker than expected economic growth in high-income migrant-hosting countries and volatility in oil prices and currency exchange rates.

“Migration and resulting remittances are essential drivers of economic and human development,” said Iffath Sharif, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. “Many countries are interested in managed migration in the face of global demographic imbalances and labor deficits on the one hand, and high levels of unemployment and skill gaps on the other. We are working on partnerships between countries sending and receiving migrants to facilitate training, especially for youth, to get the skills needed for better jobs and income at home and in destination countries.”

Trade deals: India exploring renewed negotiations with New Zealand, South Africa for new FTA deals (mint)

With a view to strengthen its economic ties and enhance its trade relationship with New Zealand and South Africa, India plans to soon start new free trade agreement (FTA) discussions with these nations, two officials aware of the matter told Mint. The strategic move is part of India’s broader effort to diversify its trade partnerships and reduce its dependency on traditional markets.

The scope of India’s trade ties with New Zealand and South Africa, which is a key constituent of the South African Customs Union (SACU), is huge as India already shares robust trade relationships with both the countries. A comprehensive FTA with these countries would further help India diversify its trade relationships and strengthen its position in the global economic order.

Experts emphasize the importance of direct engagement with South Africa to facilitate effective bilateral trade discussions. “As a crucial member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), direct negotiations with South Africa are essential for advancing towards a comprehensive trade agreement. Although initial talks with SACU began in 2005, progress has been inconsistent,” said Abhash Kumar, assistant professor-economics at University of Delhi. Therefore, prioritizing direct engagement with South Africa is essential to overcoming historical challenges and achieving substantial advancements in trade relations, he added.

Africa to tap into China’s tech expertise to drive industrialisation (ITWeb Africa)

Kevin Kariuki, group vice-president for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (ADB), believes that collaboration between Africa and China can advance sustainable development, alleviate energy poverty, and increase economic activity across the continent. Speaking at the bank’s annual meeting this week, Kariuki emphasised the importance of renewable energy in driving Africa’s industrialisation.

“Investing in Africa’s renewable energy infrastructure can enable China to help build large-scale solar farms, wind farms and hydroelectric plants. These investments can provide reliable and affordable energy, crucial for economic growth,” said Kariuki. The call for this alliance comes from Africa’s underutilisation of renewable energy resources.

According to the Africa Finance Corporation’s State of Africa’s Infrastructure Report 2024, the continent has barely utilized a fraction of its potential, with only 1% of solar, 5% of gas-to-power, 6% of geothermal, 7% of wind, and 11% of hydropower resources being used.

China-Africa infrastructure cooperation: Building the groundwork for a better future (Blueprint Newspapers)

From the plateau in the east to the coast in the west, from the landlocked countries in the sub-Saharan region to the small island states in the Western Indian Ocean, roads, railways, bridges, ports, schools, hospitals and power stations built with Chinese assistance repaving the groundwork for a better future for a land of promise and potential. It is a flagship Belt and Road cooperation project, and one of the two main lines of transport in the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa which China put forward in 2022 to support regional countries in addressing security, development and governance challenges.

BRICS to suspend admitting new members for a while (TASS)

BRICS nations have decided to “take a pause’ in terms of admitting new members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “By the overwhelming majority, the ten nations decided to ‘take a pause’ with new members to ‘take in’ the new members who have doubled the association,” he said at a meeting with speaker of Belarus’ Council of the Republic, or upper house of parliament, Natalia Kochanova. “At the same time, we are working on categories of partner countries as stages ahead of a full-fledged membership,” Lavrov, who is on an official visit to Minsk, said.

Gender-related aid doubled over past decade, but equality remains a distant goal (UNCTAD)

Yearly gender-related Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries doubled over the past decade, reaching nearly $52 billion in 2022. The 1% growth that year stood out against an overall 2% decrease in aid to these countries.Despite this progress, global gender equality remains a distant goal – 300 or so years away at the current rate. Halfway to the 2030 deadline, only two of the 14 indicators for the gender equality Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5) on track. Bolder and more focused efforts are necessary.

UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that an additional $360 billion per year is needed – equivalent to the size of economies like Colombia and Hong Kong, China. While aid alone can’t bridge this gap, it remains a crucial source for developing countries to address this funding shortfall.

DG Okonjo-Iweala: Aid for Trade is vital for developing economies to benefit from trade (WTO)

Trade offers up opportunities that developing economies can and should seize, said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the opening of the 9th Global Review of Aid for Trade on 26 June. Over two and a half days, government officials, heads of international organizations and trade practitioners will share insights on how to better integrate developing economies into global trade. The opening also saw the launch of “Aid for Trade at a Glance 2024”, a co-publication of the WTO and the OECD.

US$ 648 billion of funding helps to integrate developing economies into global trade (WTO Blog)

The WTO-led Aid for Trade initiative has contributed US$ 648 billion since 2006 to strengthen the export potential of developing economies and least-developed countries (LDCs). The impact of the initiative in improving these economies’ capacity to trade is revealed in a new publication — “Aid for Trade at a Glance 2024” — launched by the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)on 26 June.

Aid for Trade helps developing economies and LDCs to build more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies through the transformative power of trade. It promotes the integration of developing economies, especially LDCs, into the multilateral trading system and aims to galvanize support to build supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure in these economies. However, greater efforts are required to help developing economies and LDCs to benefit from emerging trade opportunities from digital technologies and the green transition.

Aid for Trade disbursements and commitments surged in 2022, the latest year where data are available, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Disbursements reached an all-time high of US$ 51.1 billion — a 14 per cent year-on-year increase in real terms. Commitments increased by 31 per cent to reach a peak of US$ 65 billion. Over 55 per cent of Aid for Trade is provided by bilateral donors, primarily countries that are members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. Africa and Asia are the main geographical destinations of Aid for Trade, accounting for 70 per cent of total flows.

DG Okonjo-Iweala: More collaboration is needed to help Africa reap benefits of cotton trade (WTO)

At the 9th Global Review of Aid for Trade on 26 June, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed progress made in the WTO-FIFA-led “Partenariat pour le Coton”, an initiative aimed at helping African countries move up the cotton value chain. Hailing the expansion of the multi-agency partnership and the completion of assessment studies, the DG emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration to help African cotton producers benefit more fully from cotton trade.

Quick links

African Development Bank Seeks Japan’s Support for Climate Action and Infrastructure Projects (AfDB)

Affordable, sustainable energy key to Africa’s economic and social development — IEA report (Daily Maverick)

Leveraging Power, Resilience of MSMEs to Accelerate Sustainable Development (ETV Bharat News)

Global Digital Economy Conference 2024: Strengthening ‘Five Major Platforms’ to Highlight July 2-5 Event (The Manila Times)

Green Building Revolution Could Open $1.8 Trillion Global Market Opportunity by 2030 (WEF)


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