Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 26 May 2017

The ministry of Trade together with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) are in advanced stages of developing a strategy to improve trade across borders. The proposed strategy lays out planned interventions and priorities that will eliminate some of the challenges faced by women and informal traders. Addressing the participants during a stakeholders' meeting to review the strategy held in Kampala last week, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said government is going to coordinate different stakeholders in different ministries charged with trade facilitation. "The strategy has also been developed and approved and we are now going to present to Cabinet. We are giving it less than a month. We are also going to ensure that they work on infrastructure and also approve the National Export Development Strategy which comprises all these projects," she said.

According to EY’s 2016 Africa attractiveness program 2017, staying the course, despite a relative slow down, Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Most East African economies continued to grow strongly in 2016, with Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia all among the fastest growing on the continent. Kenya, which is East Africa’s anchor economy (and SSA’s fourth largest), saw investment flag in 2016 after a bumper year in 2015. FDI projects were down 57.9%, while capital investment declined by 55.5%. However, if we take a longer-term perspective, FDI into Kenya has tended to ebb and flow year-on-year, similar to the experience of Nigeria.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are determined to "undertake the reforms needed to transform the ACP Group into an effective global player, fit for the 21st century, and responsive to the emerging priorities" of member states. This emerged from the two-day gathering of the ACP Council of Ministers who concluded the 105th session on May 4 with key decisions that will influence how the bloc of 79 countries will carve out a more effective role in the international arena. According to the President of the Council, Ethiopia's Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Dr Abraham Tekeste, "The current occupancy of the Presidency of the UN General Assembly by Fiji, and the current membership of Senegal and Ethiopia in the UN Security Council, serve to underscore the positive contributions by ACP countries at the global levels."

Alan Deidun, director of the International Ocean Institute Malta Training Centre was invited by the IOI, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and by the Schenzhen World Health Foundation to attend the ‘Healthy Oceans, Healthy Coasts’ International Leadership Seminar held in Hong Kong. The major scope of the seminar was to contribute in tangible means to the drafting of a position paper on how best to achieve the ambitious targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14 to be eventually presented at the UN’s The Ocean Conference to be held in New York in June The meeting was opened by IOI managing director Antonella Vassallo.

Nigeria has commenced exports of vegetables to the United Kingdom, Coordinating Director, National Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Vincent Isegbe has disclosed. He also stated the country is expected to earn about $100 billion from the export of pigeon peas to India following an offer received from the Indian government. Abuja, Isegbe said: “Currently, we have been able to introduce vegetable exports. Initially, it was done in a disorganised manner."Explaining how to do successful exports, he said interested exporters must first register with the NAQS and indicate the commodity to export. He added the Service will then conduct pest crop surveys on the farm to ensure that whatever is being exported from the farm is licensed and acceptable abroad.