Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2018
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EDITO
Sunday, 24 June 2018

Urbanisation, mobility, infrastructure, natural resources, telecommunications investments and inter-regional trade are just a few of the untapped opportunities making Africa the last growth frontier. The continent is set to become the second fastest growing region by 2025, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $4.5 trillion. In a new video, Mega Trends in Africa, Frost & Sullivan experts and C-level executives note that Africa is the only continent that has the potential to achieve double digit economic growth within the next decade.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s first state visit to Kenya last week sparked the interest Africa’s business community. Speculation was rife as to what the outcome of trade and political talks with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta would be. This is the fourth time in under three years that presidents of the two countries have held bilateral talks, whose ideal goal is the integration of the East and West African trading blocs. The plan would create a 450 million-strong consumer base expected to propel the two countries to new economic heights.

Satya Capital, a private fund established and chaired by African communications magnate Mo Ibrahim, in partnership with Portuguese group Sonae, has agreed to buy the Extra supermarket chain from the ADC group of Mozambique, according to online newspaper Zitamar News. Citing the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the newspaper also reported that the purchase will be carried out by S2 Africa, an acquisitions vehicle focused on retail set up in 2014 by Satya Capital, based in London, and Sonae Distribution, which owns the Continente hypermarket chain in Portugal.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched the US$15 million Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Yesterday’s launch follows a two-day meeting with more than 40 representatives from eight Caribbean countries, including government officials, technical advisors, NGO and UN partners to set out a roadmap to mitigate and adapt to climate change, in line with countries’ long-term strategies.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Sub-Saharan African sugar producers will shift sales to growing regional and domestic markets when exports to the European Union become less attractive after production quotas are dismantled in 2017, industry sources and analysts said on Friday. EU sugar production is forecast to expand when quotas are lifted after Sept. 30, 2017, diminishing import needs. Gavin Dalgleish, managing director of Africa's biggest producer Illovo Sugar, part of Associated British Foods, said that while the reform process had reduced the attractiveness of the EU market, it will have limited impact on the company’s growth strategy due to expectations of rising regional consumption.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The African Development Bank has approved two substantial loans to support agriculture in Uganda and Cameroon. A total of €89.291m will be directed at Cameroon’s oil palm, plantain and pineapple sectors to enhance the competitiveness of the three plants’ value chains by developing infrastructure such as roads and warehouses and training young entrepreneurs. The project will “also create jobs and sustainably improve stakeholders’ incomes in targeted crop sectors” and is expected to “boost inclusive growth” by creating jobs for young people and enhancing food and nutritional security. The project will see the development of rural roads, warehouses, markets, electricity networks and drinking water supply systems and provide support for the establishment institution-building farmer organisations, technical guidance and training.

xperts have called on Africa's three trade blocs of COMESA, EAC and SADC to expedite the harmonisation of rules of origin to boost industrialisation and intra-regional trade on the continent. According to the experts, harmonising rules of origin will encourage competitiveness for the African private sector, and accelerate regional integration. Rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. The importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend on the source of imports.

A conference to examine the strategic business links between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, Cuba and the State of Florida is set to take place on Wednesday, February 10 at the Miramar Cultural Center. The conference will place specific emphasis on examining trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, agribusiness, green energy and related sectors. The Trinidad and Tobago headquartered Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) will spearhead a special session that will address investment opportunities and incentives designed to reduce the Caribbean’s food import bill while identifying strategic links with Florida that could expand market access and trade.

South Africa and Liberia on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that seeks to create a legal framework to improve trade and economic relations between the two countries. The South African government said the agreement also seeks to foster mutually beneficial relations and stimulate private sector interest and other forms of economic activity in the respective countries. The Liberian delegation, led by Andrew G. Paygar-Flangiah (Deputy Minister of Commerce and Trade, responsible for small business and administration), was hosted by Deputy Minister of Small Business Development Elizabeth Thabethe in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The COMESA Business Councils (CBC) together with the East African Business Council (EABC) and the Association of SADC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) as part of the Tripartite Private Sector Platform will convene the inaugural Tripartite Regional Dialogue to ensure inclusive participation of the private sector in the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) negotiations, at Hotel Villa Portofino in Kigali, Rwanda. “It goes without doubt that African policymakers have recognized more needs to be done in trade policy reforms if the Africa rising narrative is to fulfil its full potential. What is more, this dialogue is a key step forward on that journey that will provide a platform for networking and fostering new relationship for business and advocacy purposes,” said CBC’s CEO, Ms. Sandra Uwera while speaking ahead of the dialogue.