Today’s Topics 

Inflation and Omicron will dent world growth in 2022, says IMF (The Guardian)

Intra-African Trade Could Reach $300bn in 2025—Akinwuntan (Business Post)

Egypt's exports to Libya rise 64.5% during 2021 (Egypt Today)

East Africa council pushes for seamless trade (The Standard)

IMF to Meet With All Chad's Creditors by End of January (Today Online)

UK to Boost Trade in Nigeria by £2bn (Business Post)

Mozambique: African Development Bank Support for Agro-Industrial Processing (AllAfrica)



Inflation and Omicron will dent world growth in 2022, says IMF - The International Monetary Fund has sharply cut its growth forecast for 2022 with a warning that higher-than-expected inflation and the Omicron variant have worsened the outlook for the global economy. In a quarterly update to predictions made in October 2021, the IMF said it anticipated growth of 4.4% this year – down 0.5 percentage points – and emphasised the risks were of a weaker performance. The Washington-based organisation blamed the downgrade on rising cost pressures and the rapid spread of Omicron, and said while the 2022 outlook was markedly worse for the world’s two biggest economies – the US and China – few countries would be spared a slowdown. “News of the Omicron variant led to increased mobility restrictions and financial market volatility at the end of 2021. Supply disruptions have continued to weigh on activity”, the IMF said, noting bottlenecks had shaved between 0.5% and 1% off global growth in 2021. “Meanwhile, inflation has been higher and more broad-based than anticipated, particularly in the US. Adding to these pressures, the retrenchment in China’s real estate sector appears to be more drawn out, and the recovery in private consumption is weaker than previously expected.” The IMF publishes its world economic outlook each April and October, with updates in January and July. After pencilling in 2022 world growth of almost 5% in October, it has now cut its baseline forecast for every G7 country apart from Japan. (theguardian)

Key Words: World, Economy, Trade, IMF


Intra-African Trade Could Reach $300bn in 2025—Akinwuntan - The Managing Director/Regional Executive of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, has projected that intra Africa trade could reach $300 billion by 2025. He gave this forecast during an interview with Arise TV while speaking on the recently launched Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). He described the payment platform developed by Afreximbank as a good development, noting that it will serve as a backbone through which all the countries in Africa are able to actualize transactions done within the free trade area, adding that it will also create employment, wealth, and deliver values to exporters on the continent. “This common payment platform will enable Africa to move intra trade from the current 16 per cent, representing $70 billion to the range of 50-55 per cent in the next two to three years. This is huge because we could be talking about $300 billion intra African trade close to 15 per cent of Africa GDP.  (businesspost)

Key Words: Africa, Economy, AfCFTA


Egypt's exports to Libya rise 64.5% during 2021 - The Libyan market is one of the largest receiving markets for Egyptian exports in 2021, as it ranked 9th globally, with exports worth $938 million, compared to about $570 million in 2020, achieving an increase of 64.5 percent, according to Minister of Trade and Industry, Nevine Gamea. Gamea indicated Tuesday that the current period is witnessing tangible cooperation between the two countries in the industrial field aimed at transferring Egyptian industrial expertise to the Libyan economy with the aim of restoring the rotation of the production wheel and benefiting from the great potentials of the Libyan economy.  The minister said, in a statement, that the Egyptian state is keen to strengthen the frameworks of joint cooperation with the brotherly state of Libya in various fields and at all levels, pointing out the importance of building on the strong historical relations, neighborliness and Arabism, and translating them into concrete cooperation projects that serve the interest of the two brotherly peoples and the Egyptian and Libyan economies alike. She pointed to the possibility of strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the investment field. These statements came during Gamea’s meeting with Libyan Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Salama Al-Ghawil, to review the latest developments in the relations of joint economic cooperation between the two countries and ways to enhance trade, investment and industrial relations between Egypt and Libya during the next stage. (egypttoday)

Key Words: NA, Economy, Trade, Regional Integration


East Africa council pushes for seamless trade - The East African Business Council is pushing for the revival of business committees to facilitate the seamless flow of goods and services at border points. The regional apex body of the Private Sector Association and Corporate has embarked on an ambitious plan to revamp joint border committees in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi under the East Africa trade protocol. We are focused on revamping the joint border committees and work in collaboration with Kenya and Uganda revenue authorities and all other relevant agencies," said John Kalisa, the council chief executive officer. Speaking during a multi-agency forum that brought together different actors from both Kenya and Uganda at Malaba border yesterday, Kasila said they are focused on formulating robust systems that will guarantee fast clearance of trucks along the border towns of Kenya and Uganda. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Regional Director Pamela Ahango said they have deployed more staff in the customs department to expedite clearance of trucks. (standardmedia)

Key Words: EA, Economy, Trade


IMF to Meet With All Chad's Creditors by End of January – Spokesperson - The International Monetary Fund will present an updated macroeconomic framework to all of Chad's creditors by the end of January, an IMF spokesperson said on Monday, amid pressure for creditors to finalize a debt restructuring plan with the African country. "We can confirm that the IMF is planning to present an updated macroeconomic framework to all creditors by the end of the month," an IMF spokesperson told Reuters. The global lender on Tuesday said that public and private creditors need to finalize a debt restructuring plan with Chad by the end of March to restore durable growth amid worsening conditions in the African country. (todayonline)

Key Words: CA, Economy, Trade, IMF


UK to Boost Trade in Nigeria by £2bn - The United Kingdom has pledged to increase its trade foothold in West Africa by expanding its trade in Nigeria by about £2 billion. This is coming as data from the UK Export Finance showed that the country provided over £500 million worth of support for projects in West Africa throughout 2021, the most in over two decades. This will allow exporters to gain a foothold in the West African region, which accounts for over one-quarter of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product. As demand for UK products and services expands in West Africa, it will also be expanding its input to the region as it will increase support to build hospitals, roads and bridges. At last week’s Africa Investment Conference (January 20), the UK Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson said the UK is already one of Africa’s biggest commercial partners but was “determined to do much more – our shared task must be to ensure that Africa prospers from the green industrial revolution.” The conference is an annual showcase event, designed to partner investment projects in Africa with British investors. Over 3,000 delegates took part this year, boosting trade and investment ties between the UK and the continent. The government is also mobilising support from its export credit agency (UKEF) to boost exports to Africa – it provided support worth £2.3 billion in the past year, more than trebling the amount provided in 2018-19. (businesspost)

Key Words: West Africa, Economy, Trade


Mozambique: African Development Bank Support for Agro-Industrial Processing - The African Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant of US$47 million for Mozambique's Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor. The development corridor, running across northern Mozambique, is a Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone intended to stimulate agricultural production and help small scale farmers to move out of subsistence farming through providing infrastructure, marketing, and training. According to a statement from the Bank, the grant will support the first phase of the project which will improve agricultural productivity and agribusiness development in the northern province of Niassa and will focus on institutional capacity, skills, and entrepreneurship to spur growth in the agricultural value chain. The project will also pilot improved policy and development coordination between the authorities in Niassa province and national departments, especially with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. (allafrica)

Key Words: Southern Africa, Economy, Regional Integration