Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, has signed a EUR 7,5 million (N$113,5 million) credit facility with Trustco Group Holdings Limited to finance small businesses and entrepreneurs in Namibia. At a ceremony held yesterday at Trustco's headquarters, the EIB, Europe's long-term lending institution, signed the agreement with Trustco Group Holdings Limited. “The European Investment Bank has a strong track record in supporting crucial investment programmes across Africa and around the world,” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice president.

According to South African table grape producers and exporters, one of the biggest breakthroughs since deregulation in agriculture has just been confirmed by the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). The producer organisation SATI is delighted that China changed the cold treatment protocol of South African table grapes to a more fruit friendly protocol. This creates a market opportunity to increase table grape exports from South Africa to China to about R2,5 billion over the next five years. DAFF has just confirmed that China’s cold treatment protocol is immediately effective from the 2016/2017 season.

Tuesday, 08 November 2016

China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and Fruit South Africa (FruitSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to broaden co-operative mechanisms for fruit trade. The MoU will allow South Africa and China to exchange information on quarantine and inspection, regulatory matters, market access, market development, technologies and other related issues, according to All Africa (South Africa). With China currently a major importer of South Africa’s citrus fruits to Asia, the MoU will also cover.

Monday, 07 November 2016

The UK coalition Government of 2010-2015 launched the Africa Free Trade Initiative (AFTi) in 2011 to help African countries to integrate into the world trade system, focusing on political, financial and technical support to boost trade between African countries, and trade of African countries with the world. To mark the fifth anniversary of AFTi the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade out of Poverty (APPG-TOP) appointed an Inquiry Committee of distinguished experts to review the achievements of AFTi so far, advise on whether there is a case for a successor-initiative – an“AFTi II” – and if so, what its targets should be and how it would work.

Thursday, 03 November 2016

The Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), the top policy and decision-making arm of the CARICOM agency, met on Thursday in Grand Cayman for its sixth special meeting. The meeting was held as part of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, which is hosted in the Cayman Islands under the theme “Investing in Food and Agriculture”. High on the Ministerial Council’s agenda are plans to develop marine capture fisheries and aquaculture across the Caribbean, with the aim of reducing the region’s US$4 billion food import bill, while building a Caribbean seafood cuisine brand that the region and the world can embrace as a safe and healthy choice.

While poultry farms are making serious efforts, including financial investments, to make the region self-sufficient, several issues such as illegal imports from Brazil and cheap ‘dump chicken’ from the US are harming the industry, local entrepreneurs say. According to Trevin Nairne, export manager with Jamaica Broilers, throughout the Caribbean B-grade chicken is being imported from the US “that clearly is being dumped”. Meanwhile, Brazilian, Mexican and Chilean chicken is also entering the regional market. Nairne wondered how it is possible that a large facility such as Jamaica Broilers, which produces high quality products, exists in the region and yet inferior quality chicken is allowed to enter the regional market.

The East African Community (EAC) is yet to fully implement the common market protocols which were meant to boost the region's trade, a new report has shown. The second East African Community Common Market Scorecard 2016 launched in Kampala, Uganda on Thursday shows that Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi still run their trades as separate and distinct markets, keeping their economies small and disconnected due to several bottlenecks in the regulations. This was blamed on failure by individual states to lift legal barriers like recognition of business certificates from each other and double taxation.

In recent times, the trade and investment potential of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been well-documented with many investors from emerging markets now tapping into the opportunity. But many Western investors are still undecided about its growth and return on investment prospects. Factors that influence investor’s decision regarding market attractiveness, particularly for the manufacturing and consumer sectors, include market size and market integration network for scale economies. Investors would most likely be interested in an integrated regional market that can be leveraged to link global supply chains.

Wednesday, 02 November 2016

Poor harvests, hunger and rising food prices: climate change threatens food production around the world. The solution to all of this could be free trade, researcher Hermann Lotze-Campen told EurActiv Germany. Hermann Lotze-Campen is chair of the department for Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and is the co-author of a new study on the influence of climate change on economic losses in agriculture. A new PIK study, which you co-authored, says that even a small increase in average temperature may have consequences on regional crops.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

African countries, such as Namibia, have demonstrated just how the implementation of the TIR (International Road Transport) Convention can boost intra-trade. TIR is the world’s only universal customs transit system and one of the most successful international transport conventions. The International Road Transport Organisation (IRU) says its recently published study, ‘Transit costs in East and Southern Africa’, has “clearly demonstrated how African countries implementing the TIR Convention can reduce the costs of trade in southern and eastern Africa by hundreds of dollars per container, thus saving billions of dollars and increasing GDP in African countries”.