Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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Monday, 29 May 2017

The Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment has received funding to launch two critical projects for the advancement of trade in Dominica. One project is geared at enhancing Dominica’s trading environment and trading capacity through the implementation of the European Union-CariForum Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the other is to build a robust consumer protection framework for trade on the island. The Hon Minister for Trade, Energy and Employment, Ian Douglas addressed the launching ceremony at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday, February 17th. “These projects are expected to increase the pace of the EPA’s implementation and upgrade food safety standards and management systems in selected enterprises,” he explained.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Angonabeiro has started exporting Angolan Ginga branded coffee to Senegal after being launching exports to the Cape Verdean market, the company said. “Café Ginga”, along with Delta and Delta Cafes Q, are the three brands of coffee owned by Angonabeiro, a subsidiary of Portuguese group Nabeiro, a leader in the coffee market in Portugal, Angola and Mozambique. In 2015 the Portuguese group invested about US$1 million in the acquisition of the entire capital of Angolan public company Liangol, which it had managed for 14 years, after having recovered and modernised it.

Rwanda has started implementing a series of strategies to stimulate its domestic market in light of the trade deficit the country is experiencing. Between 2012 and 2014, major exports from Rwanda were over 83 billion Rwandan Francs ($108 million) and imports exceeded 133 billion Rwandan Francs. To mitigate this deficit, Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation started the Made in Rwanda campaign and adopted a Domestic Markets Recapturing strategy to combat issues faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The 15-member SADC regional economic bloc is set to receive €1,6 billion (US$1,7 billion) from the European Union to accelerate the implementation of regional integration programmes and projects. This emerged after the EU signed a €4 485 million euros (US$4 948 million) technical co-operation facility with Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) recently in Zambia to support implementation of regional integration programmes for the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and India Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region. Head of the European delegation to Zambia and special representative to Comesa Ambassador Alessandro Mariani and Comesa secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya signed the agreement.

The year started off on a negative note for the South African economy. In the midst of discomfort over the weak currency, the rand, foreign investors may also worry about the country’s new policy direction on investment protection. President Jacob Zuma signed the new Protection of Investment Act (PIA) into law in 2015. The new Act replaces bilateral investment treaties, which offered investors from specific countries greater protection than local investors and other foreign investors. South Africa is the first African country to terminate its bilateral treaties.

In Egypt more than 1,500 public and private business delegates and state leaders agreed on 20-21 February to mobilise massive investments for the implementation of Africa’s largest trading bloc which was created last year by 26 African countries with a total of 620 million consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) nearing 1,2 trillion dollars. The agreement crowned the “Africa 2016” investment forum held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm El Sheikh with the participation of business leaders together with government officials and heads of international organisations to discuss trade and investment as engines of progress. African heads of state and government from Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Sudan and Togo took part in the forum. No official figures relating to the amount of these investments have been released.

Resource-rich Papua New Guinea (PNG) is seen as an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Islands with a state-led focus on resource extraction initially expected to drive one of the world’s highest growth rates of 15 per cent last year. But in the wake of falling commodity prices, GDP growth has plummeted from 8.5 per cent in 2014 to a forecasted 3 per cent this year. As the government faces a growing deficit between revenue and expenditure, exacerbated by high public debt, experts in the country believe greater efforts to diversify the economy are essential.

On January 27, 2016, a consortium of knowledge institutes composed of the African Studies Centre Leiden, LEI Wageningen University and Research Centre, and the European Center for Development Policy Management organized a scoping conference on the theme of regional trade and investment in West Africa. The consortium has recently started a scoping study, titled “Improving the perspective for regional trade and investment in West Africa: the key to food security, economic development and stability in the region?”. The study is commissioned by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and funded by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP).

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.

Africa is eating more rice than other food staples, though it produces less than it needs. This is good news for the cereal’s potential to help Sub Saharan Africa out of poverty according to researchers. Rice is the second most important source of calories in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), a research organisation working to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security. Thanks to fast urbanising Africa, consumption of rice is growing by six per cent annually. “Rice is important for Africa food security and the reasons are clear,” AfricaRice Center, Deputy Director General, Marco Wopereis, told IPS, adding that “consumers like it and the consumption growth is just mind boggling as a result of population and change of preference as people in cities want food that can be prepared quickly and stored easily and rice is just perfect for that.”