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July 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

South Africa's strategy of pursuing a “developmental trade” policy, in which trade agreements with other countries and regions specifically promote growth, employment and the industrial upgrade of the country, are undermined by unequal global trade rules, markets and power which favours industrial countries. However, South Africa's “developmental trade” policy is often torpedoed by self-destructive compromises to trading partners, wrong strategies and corrupt behaviour by leaders. South Africa's export growth for the past two decades has been at least 11% slower than its peers, India, Brazil and China. Most of South Africa's exports remain raw materials.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When it fully takes off, the newly-approved Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) is to advise the federal government on how best to go about resolving the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has said. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the establishment of NOTN to act as the pivot for the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries and agencies. The EPA, which is a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the European Union (EU) are incompatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rules, is a scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), but has been mired in controversy.

AFRICAN, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) have defended their trade with China dismissing claims that the Asian country wants to exploit the continent of its resources. The ACP was responding to criticisms by representatives of the European Union at the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Inter-sessional meetings of the ACP — EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Brussels in Belgium in March. According to a report on the meetings presented in Parliament last week by Masvingo Central legislator Dr Daniel Shumba, the ACP countries maintained that trade with the Asian economic giant was more sustainable contrary to the EU aid which involves cumbersome drawdown procedures.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is to be applauded for placing a new G20 Partnership with Africa on the agenda of the upcoming G20 Summit. The conference she is hosting this week in Berlin with several African leaders should be its first building block. As Africans and investors, we share her view of the potential of Africa’s many emerging economies. But there is great risk if we do not seize this potential positively. The continent’s population has doubled since 1985 and will double again to 2.5bn by 2050. Twenty-two and a half million new jobs are required each year. By 2050, two in five of the world’s youth will be African, outnumbering the youth of the European Union by 10 to one.

Monday, 12 June 2017

The massive need for investment in projects of public interest in developing countries cannot be met by the public sector alone, this is why the involvement of the private sector in reaching the SDGs is key, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview. Neven Mimica is Croatia’s first European Commissioner since the country’s EU accession in 2013. He has served as Minister of European integration and as Deputy Prime Minister. He is affiliated to the Social Democratic Party of Croatia.

Thursday, 08 June 2017

Known as Growing Business Together (GBT), the two-year programme seeks to support early stage enterprises to access finance and coaching from experienced Ghanaian and Dutch entrepreneurs. The programme is on the theme: ‘’Accelerating young entrepreneurs’’, and would have partners such as Impact Booster of the Netherlands and the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council to help in its implementation The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker, in a statement, said the selected entrepreneurs would go through a nine-month GBT Academy, a GBT Coaches Programme and also participate in the GBT Startup Investment Conference as part of processes to sharpen their skills and knowledge in business.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

The European Union has signed two Financing Agreements for a total amount of 68 million Euros to finance implementation of two programmes in the COMESA region. These are; Trade Facilitation programme (53 million Euros) and Small Scale Cross-Border Trade programme (15 million Euros). The Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and Representative to COMESA, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, and COMESA Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, signed the two agreements.The funds are part of the COMESA specific envelope of 85 million euros provided by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Indicative Programme for the East African, Southern African and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region signed in June 2015 for the period 2014 – 2020.

Monday, 05 June 2017

Weeks after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order #84 for the regulation of Liberia's fishing industry, the European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the order. In a letter to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the EU expressed concern over the implications of Executive Order number 84. It further said it was surprised to learn about the order through the media considering the longstanding cooperation existing between Liberia and the Union which culminated in the signing of the EU- Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in December 2015. Through its Ambassador to LiberiaMadam TiinaIntelmann, the EU said based onexperience in other countries, it believes that some of the measuresintroduced under Section 2 of the EO will not lead to sustainable investments.

The Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries has called for action on farm trade issues for the WTO’s upcoming ministerial conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this December, tabling an informal paper that notes “overwhelming” support for an outcome on agricultural domestic support. The new paper is the first joint statement of the Cairns Group’s stance after separate papers were tabled by sub-sets of its members last year. The coalition includes nearly 20 countries from both the developed and developing world, including different world regions. The group’s paper calls for action on three areas addressed under current WTO rules on agricultural trade: domestic support, market access, and export competition.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

East African heads of state have jointly agreed that the EAC members who have not signed the European Union-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) should not do so pending clarification of contentious issues that have been highlighted in the agreement. In a joint communique of the EAC Heads of Summit in Dar es Salaam last weekend, the presidents said the new chair Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been mandated to reach out to the EU within one month to communicate the EAC's decision.If an acceptable solution is not reached with the EU within the next six months, the chairperson, working with the Council of Ministers, is expected to explore the use of variable geometry in the implementation of the EPA by EAC member states.