Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

Leading banana and pineapple exporting company in West Africa, Golden Exotic Limited (GEL), has warned that Ghana risks losing millions of euros as government delays in ratifying the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with the European Union (EU) before it expires on October 1, 2016. In December 2007, Ghana initialled an interim EPA to avoid a similar tariff action after the preferential trade agreement enjoyed under a previous treaty, named the Cotonou Accord expired in the year 2000.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Orange Telecom has announced a €75 million investment in a Nigerian e-commerce company, Africa Internet Group (AIG). AIG owns several internet start-ups in the country and beyond. Through the investment, Orange, which has a common presence with AIG in 12 African countries, joins MTN, Millicom, Rocket Internet, AXA and Goldman Sachs in becoming a shareholder in AIG which owns a number of technology firms across 23 African countries. Orange said that it will help online retailer, Jumia, and other websites run by the company to accelerate growth and seize development opportunities in the region.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Ugandan small and medium-sized companies in the food value chain have received a boost from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) through the training of 80 firms. The trained food distributors are expected to start providing products that meet international sanitary and phytosanitary standards. Ugandan companies will now be able to sell their food to supermarkets, hotels, as well as regional and international markets. Comesa Business Council CEO Sandra Uwera said increasing the number of agricultural products sold in regional markets will boost Uganda's share of intra-Comesa trade and improve the country's balance of trade.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) intends to implement a new strategy aimed at driving Africa's industrialization and increasing intra-Africa trade by at least 50 percent in the next five years, the bank said on Wednesday. The Afreximbank Intra-African Trade Strategy will see the bank work with partners to ramp up trade among African countries to 250 billion U.S. dollars by 2021 from its current level of 170 billion dollars. "Intra-regional trade will drive value addition in Africa and help reduce the continent's dependence on commodities.

Monday, 11 April 2016

“Our future rests in our hands,” declared Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Mr. Haile Mariam Desalegn on Monday in his keynote speech at the opening of the Conference of the African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Integration, holding on 4 April 2016 at the Conference Center of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Reflecting on harmonising and coordinating the different policies of the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s own Agenda 2063, Prime Minister Desalegn urged African states to be “strategic, ambitious, rigorous and disciplined” if they are to achieve sustainable and inclusive development for their people.

Thursday, 07 April 2016

Belize’s exports, which fell by almost $80 million in 2015, continued to slide in the first two months of 2016, according to information just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, reported on Belize’s external trade in merchandise at a press conference held today. She noted that in January and February of 2016, Belize exported goods totaling $52.5 million—a decrease of 37.9% or $32 million from the $84.5 million recorded for the same period last year.

Tuesday, 05 April 2016

Following the First Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Negotiating Forum in February 2016, the ECOWAS Commission realized that a regional strategy for the CFTA was urgently needed to identify and promote common development interests of the 16 ECOWAS Member States during the negotiations. The meeting in Accra, organized by the ECOWAS Commission and supported by UNCTAD and the German Development Agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), served as a basis to start preparing such a strategy.

The promotion of the highest ethical standards in a company's business dealings across the East African Community (EAC) has been formalised. The new East African Business Council (EABC) Code of Conduct is intended to bring a sense of order by enhancing ethical business practices. The East African Business Council (EABC) members endorsed the document during their Summit held in Arusha. This was on the sidelines of the EAC Summit attended by four of the five regional presidents namely, John Magufuli for Tanzania; Paul Kagame of Rwanda; Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

While Barclays has revealed plans to exit its African exposure other international firms are attracted to the continent like a magnet. Slowing economic growth in Africa, soft commodity prices, and monetary policy tightening in the US have impacted heavily on the region, but a recent study says, in spite of this investors prefer the continent. The region has attracted a number of international investors largely due to the Africa rising narrative. Africa remains one of the fastest growing economic zones in the world. In 2016 the region’s GDP is forecast to grow 2.4 per cent.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The government has made good progress in issuing simplified Certificates of Origin (CoO) to improve trade with other East African Community (EAC) Partner States. Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, the Tanzania’s Prime Minister said the government has issued 3,222 simplified certificates as of June last year compared to 2,355 issued in 2014. He was addressing the East African Legislative Assembly in Arusha where it is having its current sitting.