Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

SAA to add 64% new destinations as it rebuilds (Engineering News)

South African Airways (SAA) plans to add 64% new destinations from its hub in Johannesburg by the end of April as it rebuilds its business to focus on regional and international routes after a deal with an investor collapsed. The company is aiming to add nine destinations to its existing 14 and also plans to boost the number of aircraft by 50% to 21 by March, interim CEO John Lamola said, adding that the South African flag carrier has the cash to fund its expansion.

“We are cash positive as a company, and we are able to survive in the next 12 to 18 months on our own,” Lamola said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Johannesburg. “Our strategic position is to differentiate ourselves as a national flag-carrier to be able to offer the country the connectivity with key investment and trading partners.”

Zimra tightens vehicle import rules (The Herald)

Zimbabweans importing vehicles through the country’s borders, particularly Beitbridge and Plumtree, are now required to obtain number plates from the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) before leaving the ports of entry or the requisite transit-sheds where the import documents are processed. Only vehicles imported by diplomats or registered car dealers are allowed to leave the border on temporary registration plates under the new order.

The rule, that started on Monday, is set to reduce or eradicate customs fraud following an increase in cases where vehicles are smuggled into the country and later fraudulently registered.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) started implementing the new regulations at Beitbridge and Plumtree on Monday. According to a Zimra official at Beitbridge, who declined to be named, customs clearing agents were advised of the latest move at the beginning of June. The official said the law has always been there as provided by section 49A (Registration of imported vehicle) of the Customs and Excise Act Chapter 23:02 and the authority has decided to use it to curb rising cases of customs fraud.

Uganda oil imports land, end Kenyan firms’ fuel transit business (The East African)

The first oil shipment destined for Uganda docked at the port of Mombasa on Wednesday, marking an end of Kenyan oil market companies fuel transit business to the neighbouring country. “This is a milestone after more than 12 months of negotiations between Kenya and Uganda. We can assure Ugandans of cheaper fuel in the future and quick supply since Unoc has demonstrated capacity in delivering petroleum products to Uganda,” said Uganda Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa.

Uganda Airlines allocates $95m to promote local purchases (The East African)

Uganda Airlines plans to spend $95 million on procurement during 2024/25 fiscal year and is exploring ways of supporting local suppliers to earn a bigger slice of that spend. The money will be split among supplies, services and works. The national carrier also expects to hit the 700,000-passenger milestone at the end of 2024, on the back of capacity and frequency growth on key routes.

The numbers were announced this week at the carrier’s first supplier forum in Kampala, during which local suppliers were taken through existing and emerging opportunities at the flag carrier. According to Chief Executive Officer Jenifer Bamuturaki, the local supplier database has grown to 200, and Ush120 billion ($32.3 million) has been paid out in local contracts over the five years that the airline has been in operation.

She, however, lamented the challenges with quality and consistency, a barrier that has often forced the airline to foreign source products that could be produced locally. Local suppliers need to think becoming globally competitive, so that their growth can also support the carrier’s cargo operations and national export base, Ms Bamuturaki added.

‘Investment in Tanzania vital for EAC, SADC hinterland’ (IPPMedia)

Tanzania remains a strategic investment destination for hinterland markets in the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where Chinese investors can expect to prosper, the government believes. Exaud Kigahe, the Industry and Trade deputy minister, made this remark at the China-Tanzania Trade and Investment forum opening session in Dar es Salaam yesterday, involving representatives of 25 Sichuan province companies in China and 50 local businesses and dealers. He cited strategic areas of agriculture, infrastructure development and renewable energy, affirming that the forum was a significant event in discussing business and trade ties between the two countries.

Janson Huang, president of Sino-Tan Industrial Park, said that the forum seeks to further foster business connections, contributing to broad economic development and industrialization. “We hope to see increased investment and collaboration, driving growth and innovation in both countries,” he stated.

The minister cited political stability, an investor-friendly environment, market size, and a reliable workforce as among factors motivating investors to set up shop in Tanzania.

Nigeria’s GDP risks $30bn loss on fossil fuels divestment – Afreximbank (Businessday NG)

The total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria, the largest crude oil producer in Africa, risks taking a $30 billion battering on the back of fossil fuel divestment, compounding the country’s already existing revenue stream challenges. According to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Africa Trade Report 2024, divesting from fossil fuels could cost Nigeria and the rest of the African continent around $190 billion in GDP.

Data from the World Economics database revealed that Nigeria’s total GDP was $1.277 trillion at the end of 2023 in purchasing power parity terms. “The challenge for these countries and for the region will be how to fund development if they begin to divest from fossil fuels without first achieving robust economic diversification,” said Benedict O. Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank.

According to the report, for major oil exporting countries, including Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo, fossil fuel also represents the main source of export earnings and fiscal revenues, job creation, fossil fuel-based power generation and supply, and power to fossil fuel-intensive industries. “Divesting from fossil fuel could reduce GDP by as much as $30 billion in Nigeria, $22 billion in Algeria, $19.3 billion in Angola and an aggregate of $190 billion for the continent.”

Soaring Costs of Essential Medications: Nigerians’ Health at Risk’ (This Day Live)

Food and transportation inflation may dominate the headlines, because they affect the majority. However, a crucial issue, often overlooked, is the staggering surge in the cost of essential medicine in Nigeria. A World Bank report, “Healthcare Costs in Nigeria: Trends and Impact”, reveals a startling fact – the cost of essential drugs in Nigeria has skyrocketed by nearly 50% from 2020 to 2023.

The impact of this rise in price is significant and affects the Nigerian consumers, the pharmaceutical companies, and the healthcare ecosystem. The consumers have affordability issues, accessibility issues and health impact crises.  The impact on the pharmaceutical industry is enormous. The rising cost of drugs has affected demand for their products. The fluctuating exchange rate regime that has forced a great decline in the value of the Naira has increased the cost of production because of the high cost of imported pharmaceutical raw materials and drugs.

The statistics and medical imperatives presented here underscore the urgent need for interventions to control medicine prices and ensure that essential drugs remain accessible to all Nigerians.

Capital importation rises 210% to $3.38 bn (Vanguard)

Capital importation into the country grew Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ) by 210 percent to $3.38 billion in the first quarter of 2024 (Q1’24) from $1.09 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 (Q4’23). The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS disclosed this yesterday in its capital importation report for Q1’24. Similarly, Year-on-Year, YoY capital importation rose by 198 percent to $ 3.38 billion from $1.13 billion in Q1’23. NBS said: “In Q1’24, total capital importation into Nigeria stood at $3.38 billion, higher than $1.13 billion recorded in Q1’23, indicating an increase of 198.06 percent. “In comparison to the preceding quarter, capital importation rose by 210.16 percent from $1.09 billion in Q4’23.

IMF Executive Board Concludes the 2024 Article IV Consultation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (IMF)

Real GDP growth is estimated at 8.4 percent for 2023, supported by the robust growth of the extractive sector. Inflation remained high, peaking at 23.8 percent at the end of 2023, before easing gradually to 21.2 percent at end-May 2024. The economic outlook remains positive but is subject to substantial downside risks. Economic growth is projected at 4.7 percent in 2024 and an average of 4.8 percent during 2024-28, supported by the continued expansion of major mines and a gradual acceleration of non-extractive sector growth. Inflation is projected to remain elevated at 17.2 percent on average in 2024 and reach 12 percent at end-December 2024, before gradually reverting to the Banque Centrale du Congo’s target of 7 percent over the medium term.

Fiscal pressures are expected to persist, but good revenue performance and efforts to contain non-priority spending will help narrow the domestic fiscal deficit below 1 percent of GDP in 2024 and over the medium term. The main risks to the outlook arise from the escalation of armed conflicts in the East, further inflationary pressures stemming from oil and food price volatility, with negative effects on the real disposable income of households, an abrupt growth slowdown in China, and an intensification of regional conflicts, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East, which could weigh on export revenues and foreign direct investment.

World Trade Organization: Mozambique’s Trade Policy Review, July 2024: UK Statement (GOV.UK)

In 2023, UK exports to Mozambique grew by over 100%, whilst our imports from Mozambique increased in value by 175%. Close cooperation between our two countries, and regional partners, has enabled this rapid growth. We are grateful to Mozambique for its constructive work implementing the SACU-Mozambique-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into force in 2021 and underpins our trading relationship with Mozambique, as well as Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa.

The UK is fully committed to the EPA, principally as a means of increasing trade and investment to promote sustainable growth and poverty reduction in southern Africa. We look forward to holding the first EPA Joint Council and working with Mozambique and SACU partners to continue implementation and look towards deepening the Agreement and enhancing the benefits for businesses and consumers in the UK and Southern Africa.

We would like to take this opportunity to commend Mozambique for its Accession to another multilateral body: the African Continental Free Trade Area. The UK is a firm supporter of the AfCFTA, which has the potential to be a game-changer for intra-regional trade across the continent and thereby inclusive economic growth and development. The UK was proud to be the first non-African country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the AfCFTA Secretariat, and through our development assistance, we are working closely to support the AfCFTA Secretariat and Member States to get the agreement up and running.

Fighting corruption in Côte d’Ivoire: Customs commit to sustainable development of its integrity approach (WCO)

At the initiative of the WCO Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme, a workshop dedicated to the sustainable development of a culture of integrity was held in Abidjan from 25 to 26 June for the benefit of the Customs administration of Côte d’Ivoire.

Bringing together more than 25 customs officials and led by experts from the WCO A-CIP Programme and Mali Customs, this activity to strengthen the integrity approach enabled participants to acquire the tools and efficient measures needed to ensure the sustainability of the organisational changes undertaken within the Côte d’Ivoire Customs administration in line with the reform and modernisation initiatives deployed by the Customs of Côte d’Ivoire, particularly as outlined in its reorganisation plan initiated in 2020.

With the support of the Côte d’Ivoire Customs A-CIP Committee, participants formulated a series of individual and collective integrity commitments that will shortly be presented to the Directorate General for discussion and validation. In this respect, particular emphasis was placed on collective action, consolidation of the staff rotation system, updating work procedures, preventive actions based on effective management of risk mapping, strengthened and ongoing dialogue with internal and external stakeholders, and rigorous exploitation of existing data, including continuing to exploit the results of the Côte d’Ivoire Customs Integrity Perception Survey (CIPS) carried out in 2021.

Africa Prosperity Network to hold international symposium on advancing interoperability in Africa (Africa Prosperity Network)

Africa Prosperity Network (APN), organisers of Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat headquartered in Ghana, is set to organise an international symposium on advancing interoperability on the African continent. The symposium, which will take place on 5 July 2024, in Accra, at the Labadi Beach Hotel, will be held under the theme: “Scaling Up Interoperability: Using Mobile Money to Buy & Sell Across Africa.”

In today’s interconnected world, access to financial services is critical for economic growth and development. Mobile interoperability is a key component of Africa’s payment infrastructure, with the potential to significantly enhance cross-border payments across the continent. Despite regional integration efforts, market fragmentation persists, hindering economic activities.

Mobile interoperability, including cross-border mobile roaming and mobile money exchange, is crucial for creating an interconnected economy. The integration of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) could link telecom companies with commercial and central banks, boosting liquidity and currency stability. In 2022, mobile money transactions in Africa reached $1.26 trillion, underscoring the economic impact of digital currencies.

Related: Using mobile money to buy and sell across Africa - a fast track to economic integration (The Independent Uganda)

Integrate African continent into the G20 system - Mehta (The Business & Financial Times)

“We are not talking about India mainstreaming the AU into the G20, but that all forces including the AU Commission should find ways and means to integrate the African continent into the G20 and other global governance systems”, said Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International. He was speaking at a high-level roundtable titled “Mainstreaming the African Union into the G20”, organised by CUTS International and the Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi.

A historic milestone was reached for Africa as the African Union (AU) has become a full member of the Group of Twenty (G20) under India’s presidency in September, 2023 This marked a significant step forward for Africa’s involvement in global economic discussions and offers new opportunities for the continent to shape policies that drive sustainable development and economic growth. The G20, which encompasses the world’s major economies and represents around 80% of global GDP, is a vital forum for international cooperation and policy-making.

In the pdf 2023 G20 leaders’ declaration (1.41 MB) , India welcomed the African Union as a permanent member with open arms, expressing strong confidence in the AU’s ability to tackle global challenges. India’s statement highlighted the collective efforts of G20 members in bringing the AU on board and reiterated its commitment to closer ties with Africa, supporting the vision set out in Agenda 2063.

WTO at a “crossroads” in addressing trade and climate nexus (WTO)

WTO members are recognizing the opportunity to shape a global “win-win” approach for trade and the environment by combining green transition, green industrialization and trade cooperation, Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam said on 4 July in remarks delivered at the Trade Horizons Conference in Dublin. With uncoordinated green actions having the potential to fragment world trade and trigger unnecessary conflicts, the cause of the environment “will oblige us in the WTO to invent new forms of trade commitments and global cooperation.”

UNCTAD endorses Pro Consumer declaration for cross-border trade protection (DominicanToday)

Representatives from various countries endorsed the Dominican Republic’s Declaration on resolving cross-border conflicts and compensating consumers at the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Law and Policies of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Supported by over twenty nations, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Costa Rica, and various Arab League members, the Declaration urges UNCTAD member states to establish mechanisms for conflict resolution and compensation in cross-border cases. It calls for international cooperation and information sharing, and encourages consumer associations and businesses to participate in developing and supporting these mechanisms. UNCTAD is also called upon to prepare a proposal for implementation, to be presented at the 9th Ministerial Conference on Consumer Policy Review next year.

pdf Draft Declaration on cross border dispute resolution and redress for consumers - Proposal by the Dominican Republic (68 KB)

Brazilian proposal ignites WG discussions on trade and sustainability principles (G20 Brasil 2024)

The G20 Trade and Investments Working Group (TIWG) closed the second round of in-person meetings under the Brazilian presidency this Friday (28) in Rio de Janeiro. The WG had agreed to use the first draft presented by Brasil in which the guiding principles for the elaboration and implementation of sustainable development measures related to trade were introduced. This is one of the priority issues debated among the countries attending the event.

“We know that the issue is complex, that there are important divergences about it. The good news, however, is that the G20 countries have agreed to use the Brazilian draft, making suggestions, edits, additions, etc. so that we continue to seek convergence, which is our goal,” stated Tatiana Prazeres, Secretary of Foreign Trade at the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services (MDIC) during a press conference.

The Brazilian presidency’s draft proposal incorporates contributions received from group participants since the first TIWG meeting in January this year. It includes principles that are less controversial, such as transparency and coherence, as well as more complex ones that still require further debate.

BRICS surges to 35.7% of global GDP in 2023; G7 declines to 29% (Al Mayadeen)

In 2023, the BRICS countries collectively accounted for a historic 35.7% share of the global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), marking an increase of 0.6 percentage points compared to the previous year. Conversely, the G7 nations saw their economic indicators decline to 29%, the lowest in 30 years, losing 0.4 percentage points year-on-year.

Recent developments surrounding the US dollar have sparked concerns among international financial institutions, spurred by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement regarding potential currency reforms within the BRICS+ framework. Institutions like the IMF and JPMorgan have observed a shift away from the dollar by numerous countries, including BRICS members, due to geopolitical tensions and economic dependencies.

See also: Russia’s central bank outlines challenges with BRICS Bridge, Swift payment alternatives (Ledger Insights)

Quick links

A rare South African export success is threatened by crumbling ports (Engineering News)

Africa’s Trade Potential: Navigating Opportunities Amidst Global Transformations (Africa.com)

Unlocking growth: Empowering SMEs through trade finance (Euromoney)

Navigating Debt Challenges: G20’s Pursuit of Sustainable Solutions (E3G)


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