ATPC Weekly Digest 17 December 2018



17 December: Commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa (Link)

17 - 18 December: High-level Forum Africa-Europe, Vienna, Austria (Link)

17 - 18 December: UNCTAD MENA Programme Final Review Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland (Link)



EU launches initiative to increase Egyptian exports - The European Union launched an initiative to increase Egyptian exports through financing a new project launched by the Engineering Export Council. The initiative aims to rehabilitate Egyptian companies in this important sector in order to reach European markets by focusing on the axis of product innovation and development.  (10 December, Egypt Independent)

Keywords: EU, Egypt, Exports increase

Easing US-China trade tensions could save millions of jobs: Asia-Pacific UN report - The 2018 Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report, issued by the UN’s development arm in the region, ESCAP, suggests that an escalating “tariff war” and resulting drop in confidence next year, could cut nearly $400 billion from the global gross domestic product, drive regional GDP down by $117BN. (12 December, UN)

Keywords: US, China, Trade tensions, UN report

WTO reforms may go against the interest of Africa - World Trade Organisation (WTO), a global club of 164 countries that seeks to support free, fair and open trade, is currently facing its deepest crisis. This is a statement that at least majority of members agree is truer than before. (15 December, The New Times)

Keywords:  WTO reforms, Africa, Crisis

EU stepping up support to Morocco to address irregular migration - Just few days after Morocco hosted the intergovernmental conference that adopted the Marrakech Pact, the ground-breaking UN-led global agreement on migration, the European Union has renewed its support for Morocco’s migration-related policy and efforts. (16 December, North Africa Post)

Keywords: EU, Morocco, Migration



Future of Africa e-commerce looks bright as Nairobi event ends -  Africa’s next steps on the path to engaging in and benefitting from e-commerce were outlined on 14 December by UNCTAD in its Nairobi Manifesto on the Digital Economy and Inclusive Development in Africa, issued at the conclusion of the first Africa eCommerce Week in Nairobi, Kenya. (14 December, UNCTAD)

Keywords: Africa, E-commerce, Manifesto

Seven COMESA States have harmonised seed regulations - Only seven out of the 21 States in the Eastern and Southern Africa region have so far harmonised their national seed regulations with the regional seed trade harmonisation regulations. They are; Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (14 December, COMESA)

Keywords: COMESA, Seed regulations, Harmonisation

African countries a no-show at open skies agreement signing - More than 10 countries including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa failed to sign the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) last week in Nairobi. This is despite earlier indications that they would, exposing reservations countries still have in opening up their airspace. (15 December, The East African)

Keywords: Africa, Open skies, Agreement signing

Afreximbank announces inking deals worth $27BN during Intra-African Trade Fair - The African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced Saturday that it inked trade deals worth $27BN on the sidelines of Intra-African Trade Fair, that runs till Monday. The figure exceeds the bank’s target of $25BN, it said, noting that the signed agreements cover a number of development projects in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Borkina Faso, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. (16 December, Egypt Today)

Keywords: Afreximbank, Trade deals, IATF

The missing pillar in African trade - The World Bank estimates that the cost of intra-African trade is 50% higher than that in East Asia. And with only 18% of African countries' exports being exchanged within the continent, efforts must be made to reduce customs and port handling administrative procedures to boost intra-trade across the continent. (16 December, Egypt Today)

Keywords: Intra-Africa trade, World Bank, East Asia



Kenya women entrepreneurs go global during Africa e-Commerce Week - Digital platforms are playing an increasing role in ensuring greater participation of women in international trade by reducing the number of barriers needed to get goods across borders.  To help women entrepreneurs in developing countries take advantage of such digital opportunities, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is working with eBay, the global e-tailer, on an e-commerce pilot as part of the SheTrades initiative. (14 December, ITC)

Keywords: Kenya, Digital platforms, International trade

President Museveni calls for investment in leather, textile industry - President Yoweri Museveni has tipped small-scale entrepreneurs to invest in the textile and leather industry in the country as it has the potential to transform the economy of Uganda. The Head of State encouraged the businessmen to venture into businesses with ready-market, and the sector as it proves to has a ready market to accommodate the industry’s products. (14 December, The Exchange)

Keywords: Uganda, Textile industry, Investment

EAC states pledge to ease trade - Regional countries have agreed to make trade between them and with other countries cheaper, faster and simpler, in a significant boost for economic integration in East Africa and continental trade facilitation. Meeting in Nairobi under the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Africa e-Commerce Week, representatives from EAC member states said they would implement trade facilitation reforms. (15 December, The East African)

Keywords: EAC, Easing trade, Pledge

Tanzania taxman targets petty traders to raise revenue - Tanzania is targeting to collect Tsh80BN ($34.7M) in levies from petty traders by issuing them with government identity cards under a new system. The system, announced by President John Magufuli, will be monitored by the Tanzania Revenue Authority. It targets traders whose business capital does not exceed Tsh4M ($ 1,900). (15 December, The East African)

Keywords: Tanzania, Petty traders, Revenue increase

East African governments express concerns over scams in forex markets - A group of governments in East Africa has taken steps to cut down on the level of illegal foreign exchange trading going on in their countries. In a recent statement, the group’s capital market regulators and central banks said that they needed to tackle the problem of scam forex trading going on in the area. (16 December, The New Times)

Keywords: East Africa, Forex markets, Scams



Tunisia trains first set of drone pilots for agricultural productivity - Eight pilots have successfully passed their drone flight training in Tunisia following a two-week intensive training period organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia, the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park. The training which focused on handling, maintenance and the security aspects of flying drones, took place in Tunis from 19-30 November 2018. (14 December, AfDB)

Keywords: Tunisia, Drone technology, Agricultural productivity



E-commerce investment opportunities in mobile-only Zambia - E-commerce development in Zambia portends significant potential for the country whose economy is driven by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Some 1.4 million Zambian adults representing 17 per cent of the adult population derive their main source of income from owning and running their own business. (15 December, The Exchange)

Keywords: Zambia, E-commerce, Investment opportunities

ED hailed for promoting free intra-African trade - President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic has received high plaudits for pushing initiatives that promote free trade and movement across borders in the Southern African region. Zimbabwe, among other initiatives, is pushing for the establishment of one-stop-border posts, with Government engaging South African, Zambian, Botswana and Namibia over the matter. (16 December, Chronicle)

Keywords: Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa, Intra-Africa trade


Africa will still move forward if Nigeria does not sign AfCFTA -  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said it is absurd that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has not signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). He said Africa will still move on, with or without Nigeria.(16 December, Nigerian Tribune)

Keywords: Nigeria, AfCFTA, Ratification