August 2016
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 Video guest: Arancha González



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Monday, 29 August 2016

On June 13, just days before the U.K. referendum, the African Union announced that it would launch a single African passport — a move that came as a refreshing shift from looking at borders to keep out risks to viewing borders as gateways to achieve higher economic development. The e-Passport, which officially launched on July 17, is an electronic document that permits all AU passport holders to enter any of the 54 AU member states without visa requirements. Much like the efforts that shaped the EU, the AU passport is a big step toward deeper integration among African nations by mobilizing the vast, wide-ranging resources to strengthen self-reliance and economic solidarity.

The United Kingdom backs the East African Community (EAC) signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, its envoy to Rwanda has said, warning that failure do so would be "regretful". "The reason we support the EPA strongly is because we think it is a very good deal, particularly for the EAC. For any country that expects to become a middle income economy in the next few years, this offers, by the far, the best opportunity to ensure market access in the EU," British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ambassador William Gelling, said.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Britons' pull out of European Union has been extensively covered all over the world, more so, in East Africa, a region whose three founder members Britain colonised, and four of its member countries are affiliated to the Commonwealth. While the leave campaigners in the UK's referendum accused the "remain" camp of overplaying the repercussions of BREXIT, media houses in the EA region, confined their reports on the engines of globalisation-finance, technology trade, treaties, education, travelling and staying in the UK, underplaying as to why the British want to retain their say as a nation.

Of all the issues raised by the UK’s recent Brexit vote, one of those of the most concern is that Africa has been “downgraded”. Judging by the debate over the UK’s future relationship with the European Union and its trading partners, Africa is not even on the Brexit agenda. Across Whitehall and the civil service, the brightest and best minds are being pulled off other activities and into the Brexit negotiations, depleting the already under-resourced Africa teams.

As Britain chose to leave the European Union, sending shock waves through the global markets, experts remain uncertain on how this would impact African economies. Trade and investment would certainly be affected as most of the trade arrangements the UK has with African countries were negotiated through the EU. By 6:30 a.m. on 24 June, less than 12 hours after a successful referendum on Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union), South Africa's currency, the rand, took the first blow. It plunged by almost 8% from R14.33 to R15.45 against the US dollar, its steepest single-day decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

One of the main economic arguments used by Leave campaigners before the UK's referendum on EU membership in June was that the UK, freed from its EU shackles, would be able to cut its own bilateral trade deals entirely on its own terms, and much quicker than as part of the EU bloc. The UK will remain party to all EU trade agreements until it formally leaves the bloc, and cannot conduct any separate negotiations of its own (...) But the UK is not the only one in limbo. A fortnight after the referendum, Tanzania and Uganda abandoned plans to sign a regional trade agreement between the East African Community (EAC) and the EU citing the political turmoil caused by the Brexit vote.

The Select Committee on Trade and International Relations has called on government and the private sector to capitalise on the new economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Eddie Makue, said the potential for value-added products in the manufacturing sector is large and should be properly harnessed to benefit the regional economy. "The trade that SA does with EU members presents immeasurable opportunities for a growing and developmental economy such as ours.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The European Union (EU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have signed an agreement of over €1. 5 million for the technical co-operation facility (TCF) aimed at improving co-ordination and trade activities in the region. EU ambassador to Zambia and COMESA Alessandro Mariani said there is need for strong commitment and full involvement by all parties and member states for regional integration to be achieved. Mr Mariani was speaking during the signing ceremony yesterday.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Africa and Asia could take the EU’s place as exporters of fruit and veg for the UK following Brexit, retailers say. An overwhelming 43% of retailers anticipate a reduction in produce sources from the EU and around a third say they are considering sourcing from a different region. Africa is expected to be a key supplier, with 38% of respondents expecting to see more African products in the UK.

AfriAg Global PLC, a logistics solutions and food marketing company, has announced the launch of its new 100% owned UK subsidiary, AfriAg International Limited, to promote and sell fresh food produce from southern African producers directly in to the UK and European market places. AfriAg International is represented in the UK by Mr Tim Stokes working under the management of AfriAg Marketing, the Company’s 100% owned South African food sales and market division.

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