Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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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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Dar-es-Salaam port gains competitiveness with respect to Mombasa

Currently, more than 95% of Burundi trade is channeled through the Dar-es-Salaam port, a share that is constantly growing. This port benefits since 2015 from a project called Dar-es-Salaam Maritime Gateway Program (DMGP) which aims at improving its efficiency so to support the economic development of Tanzania and of other landlocked countries in East Africa.

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The African agri-food sector and challenges in accessing the EU and other international markets

Africa has the reputation of a continent that trades much more with external partners than with itself. A post from the World Economic Forum dated 2016 ascribes the reasons of the limited intraregional trade in Africa to the poor infrastructure network, onerous customs procedures, visa restrictions, energy and internet constraints, and the failure to produce value-added goods and to diversify economies, so to reduce reliance on natural resources and agricultural commodities export. A sector that is experiencing a slow, but continuous transition to value added products in Africa is the food and agribusiness sector.

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Recent research shows Kenyan products whose export potential is higher

Despite the pandemics, in 2020, Kenyan exports managed to register a 3.3% growth to $6 billion, driven by continued world demand of Kenyan tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, and a quick rebound in demand for garments. The good level of diversification of Kenyan exports and of their destination markets is one of main assets and a resilience factor of the East African country, that during the past two decades has witnessed a continuous growth of its imports and exports (except in periods of external shocks). Nonetheless, the contribution of exports of goods and services to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has gradually decreased, from 23.6% in 2011 to 10% in 2020, suggesting that Kenya’s exports need to be further expanded in order to further diversify its economy and sustain its development plans.

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Nigeria committed to revive dormant dry port projects to decongest seaports

Due to the COVID supply chain disruptions occurred in the latest 2 years, African traders have experienced a true tragedy in their sourcing and distribution activities, with historic port bottlenecks aggravated by a surge in container freight rates (a phenomenon that has invested the entire world), making shipping operations extremely difficult and costly. In a period of strong congestion of African ports, West African countries are showing an interest in decongesting seaports through the development of dry ports located in strategic location inside their territories.

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Monitoring congestion at border points: a possible model for Africa

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted strongly on road transport in Africa, with long queues at borders and trade proceeding at a slower pace almost everywhere all over the Continent. To keep freight moving freely and efficiently across the EU, the European Commission developed in 2020 the so-called ‘green lanes’, i.e. border crossings open to all freight vehicles carrying goods where any checks or health screenings should take, in principle, no more than 15 minutes. EU Member States have accepted to minimise the control procedures involved in crossing these border points by implementing a number of rules, and primarily two: 1) checks and controls at border posts need to be carried out without drivers having to leave their vehicles; 2) drivers of goods vehicles cannot be asked to produce any additional document other than their driving license and other personal ID and, if necessary, a letter from their employer, with the possibility of submitting them electronically to border agencies.

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