Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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Africa Prosperity Dialogues: days two and three update

The Africa Prosperity Dialogues, or "Kwahu Summit" are continuing smoothly in Ghana. On 27 January 2023, discussions were focused on how to develop partnerships between the private sector and African governments, on the indissoluble connection between trade and foreign direct investments, and on the role of the African diaspora as a catalyst in driving economic growth and development in Africa within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The African Diaspora has been recognized as a potential source of investments in African economies which can be leveraged also for transferring human capital, knowledge, and technology into the continent. In this regard, African States have been invited to develop diaspora engagement policies to identify strategies for engaging, maintaining and developing relationships with communities of their citizens living abroad. The experiences of Ghana and Ethiopia were mentioned, two countries that have estimated communities of over 3 million of people living abroad. This topic was also discussed during the first day of the event.

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Africa Prosperity Dialogues day one: role of public and private sectors in AfCFTA operationalization

In concomitance with the celebration of the International Customs Day by the World Customs Organisation, the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, aka "Kwahu Summit" also started in Ghana. The event has been dedicated to the African Continental Free Trade Area, and it opened today under the slogan “AfCFTA: from ambition to action”. The Africa Prosperity Dialogues is a summit launched by the Africa Prosperity Network (a Ghanaian private not-for-profit organization), to give the opportunity to policymakers, captains of industries and representatives of International Organizations active in Africa to meet physically and discuss how to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement. Objective: to share thoughts and experiences on issues and initiatives required for Africa to achieve the goal of a more economically integrated continent. The day 1 of the Dialogues mainly focused on challenges that constrain African trade and their possible solutions. It was also an occasion to take stock of the achievements and lessons learned so far since the launch of the AfCFTA.

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From the WCO a guide for the private sector on the application of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin

In the end of December 2022, the World Customs Organization (WTO) developed a quick guide to help African traders to better understand, with a plain and concise language, how to apply the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement Annex 2 on Rules of Origin of the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade and its relevant appendices. The guide is now available on the WCO website in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

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Expansion plans for the Berbera port scale-up

DP World, the UAE-based operator that manages the port of Berbera in Somaliland under a 30-year concession contract, has revealed plans to increase the handling capacity of this port (which currently stands at 500,000-600,000 TEU per year), to 2M TEU/year. This will be done by extending its quay from 400m to 1,000m and by installing seven more STS gantry cranes.

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The status of trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

An article published on the website of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) points out that despite the signature and ratification of the AfCFTA has been achieved in record time (currently 44 out of 55 African Union members have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Chair of the African Union Commission) and despite the number of initiatives launched to sensitise the private sector on the AfCFTA benefits and to sustain the implementation of the Agreement, to date no commercially significant trade has yet occurred under the deal since its launch on 1 January 2021. As a consequence, no substantial results have been achieved so far in terms of increase of intra-African trade.

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