Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Friday, 23 June 2017

The European Union has agreed to provide the Tanzanian government with TSh487bn ($205m) in budget support over the next four years ending in 2020. The money will be used to finance priority expenditure in the Second Five Year Development Plan, particularly in the agriculture, energy, health and industrial development sectors. The first tranche will be dispersed this year, as the two sides have managed to separate the grant from their long-running dispute over the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $450 million about (Rwf372 billion) trade finance facility for the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank). The facility consists of a three-year $150 million unfunded risk participation agreement and a four-year $300 million loan to support exporters. According to Dr George Elombi, the executive vice-president for corporate governance and legal services at Afreximbank, the composite facility will help to expand Afreximbank’s risk bearing capacity for the confirmation of letters of credit and to support more trade through the provision of increased funding to financial institutions and corporate firms in Africa. The project is aligned with AfDB’s priority goals, including lighting up and powering Africa, and helping to feed and industrialise the continent.

GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. This has been made possible through the European Union’s (EU) E60 million 11th EDF regional Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade Facility programme. Speaking during the launch of the consultations on the development of trade in services strategy for the country, EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said the EU recognises the importance of services in the economic growth and development of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partner states. The launch was held yesterday at Mountain Inn Hotel in Mbabane.

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

There will always be the haves and the have nots of this world, the rich and poor, the upper, middle and lower classes. And in the global economy, there are the countries that are referred to as the super powers and then there are countries that are not even a part of the equation because they have no power at all. Let’s be realistic here. The Caribbean and the small islands around the world have a dependency on at least one or more of the super powers when it comes to their economy. It is like a big brother/big sister relationship. If something should happen to the larger country that takes on that role, then the smaller country has to brace themselves for the repercussions. Let me bring that into perspective for you as it relates to Britain and the Caribbean

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.

Changing context and challenges, DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories.[ii] Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade.

The Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for alleged abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgrow Potatoes, a local potato seed grower, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow the potatoes for sale to consumers as table potatoes. HZPC is the developer and breeder of the Mondial seed potato varietal. Its business is the cultivation and marketing of certain seed potato varieties across the world.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Trade between Tanzania and France is still low at around 200 million Euros in favour of Paris, as authorities in both sides figure ways of increasing the volume. Trade figures, according to French Embassy in Dar es Salaam, shows Tanzania imported goods worth 135 million euros while exported 70 million euros in 2016. France Embassy's Economic and Trade Advisor, Beatrice Alperte said trade volume from either side was low as most are pharmaceutical from Paris and raw agricultural goods from Dar.