Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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Thursday, 27 April 2017

TradeMark East Africa has proposed the need to adapt its engagement in Burundi by investing in projects that strengthen new export potential value chains, enhance cross border trade and increase the country’s participation in the regional market. The institution has identified a specific location in the country through geo-spatial methods where interventions will be implemented with the overall vision of improving the country’s trade balance in a phased manner, create jobs for traders and distributors and reduce poverty. TMEA has identified the ‘Greater Imbo Region’ as the location to implement its new programming. This is the zone stretching from Cibitoke in the North of Burundi bordering Rwanda, to Makamba in the South neighbouring Tanzania.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with regional trade facilitator TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to improve cross border trade and enhance trade links between the country and East Africa Community (EAC) member states. The government of the Netherlands has committed $6.7 million to kick-start the projects. TMEA will invest in projects involving already available resources such as water transport, simplifying trade processes through training and facilitating adoption of ICT around Eastern DRC. They will comprise dredging and rehabilitation of Kalundu Port on Lake Tanganyika; capacity building and implementation of Integrated Border Management Systems on the border crossings in Rusizi between Rwanda and Bukavu; rehalibitation of the Ports of Kasenyi on the DRC side and Ntoroko in Uganda; as well as infrastructure work at the border crossing at Goli, Uganda and Mahagi, DRC.

For the fourth consecutive year since 2013, East Africa remained the fastest growing sub-region in 2016 on the back of agricultural growth, an emergent manufacturing sector, improved public spending on infrastructure and resilient household consumption, among others. This is according to the 2017 Economic Report on Africa (ERA2017) recently launched in Dakar, Senegal. The report examines how to harness the opportunities from rapid urbanisation to speed industrialisation and accelerate structural transformation. It also identifies and analyses the drivers, enablers and policy levers for strengthening linkages between industrialisation and urbanisation.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided over 30 million U.S dollars to support South Sudan’s membership in the African trade, insurance and development body and also strengthen electricity distribution networks. AfDB said in a statement on Thursday evening it has approved 18.15 million U.S. dollars to Juba to help with required resources to support its membership in the African Trade Insurance (ATI) and Trade and Development Bank (TDB). AfDB also approved a supplementary loan of 14.57 million dollars to rehabilitate and expand the electricity distribution networks in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

South African group Shoprite plans to invest US$571.7 million in the expansion of its supermarket and distribution network in Angola under an investment contract signed with the Technical Unit for Private Investment (UTIP). The project involves opening 15 shopping centres over the next five years, 22 supermarkets (three already in operation since 2015), a warehouse and two residential structures for staff, as well as improvements in four supermarkets. The investment will cover 11 of Angola’s 18 provinces and includes the creation of 5,613 jobs for Angolans, of which 3,278 in Luanda.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A key matter before the Pacific Islands Forum economic ministers who are meeting in Suva is how to set up a regional finance facility. The ministers have had the idea of such a facility before them for several years as they look to ways to pay for development in the region. Don Wiseman spoke with the Forum's trade commissioner to China, David Morris, who's at the meeting and began by asking if the ministers have in mind an agency like a Pacific version of the Asian Development Bank.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

On Tuesday, March 7, the ASPI Independent Commission on Trade Policy released its new report, Charting a Course for Trade and Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific, at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C. The event featured a panel of speakers, including report coauthors Wendy Cutler and Peter Grey, three Asia-Pacific ambassadors to the U.S., and moderator Shawn Donnan of the Financial Times.

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017

The ability of sugar industry in the region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on 30 September, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official. The end of EU's quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. In an address on 23 March to the opening of a regional policy workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat programme manager, agriculture and industry, Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry's survival.

Monday, 03 April 2017

Between 26 March and 11 April 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Flavia Schlegel, is visiting Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji. High on her agenda will be a ministerial meeting on 29 and 30 March in Apia, Samoa, with representatives of 13 developing Pacific island nations

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Western multinationals used cheaper labour in underdeveloped countries to manufacture products that relied on inputs from all over the world and technologies developed in their more expensive labour markets. Studies now suggest these advantages are being lost. Labour is no longer as cheap in many places.

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