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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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CEMAC's trade policy review reveals among the lowest levels of intra-regional trade in Africa for this Community

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has completed the second Trade Policy Review of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), whose findings are now available on its website. CEMAC is one of the few Customs Unions in Africa which, however, is not recognized by the African Union as one of the eight official Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the continent. CEMAC replaced in 1994 the former Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (Union douanière et économique d’Afrique centrale, UDEAC), which is one of the oldest regional groupings in Africa, established during the post-colonial era, in 1964, by Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad.


Kenya ranks low in the list of EAC countries where it is easier to conduct business

A recent survey conducted by the East African Business Council (EABC) assesses the business environment within the East Africa Community (EAC), ranking the ease of doing business in each Partner State, according to the perceptions of the companies interviewed. Based on the answers of respondents, Rwanda is indicated as the country in the EAC region with a particularly favorable (‘easy’) business environment (Rank 2.08), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the easiness of doing business is perceived as moderate (Rank 2.75): this is undoubtedly also a sign of improvement in the sense of security in the country. Similar conclusions apply to Uganda (Rank 3.05), Burundi (Rank 3.18), and Tanzania (Rank 3.32), all considered countries where the ease of doing business is “moderate”. Disappointing instead is the ranking of Kenya (3.43) - a country historically considered as ‘business friendly’ –  that despite sharing with Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania the status of moderately easy country for doing business, appears only second in the ranking, after South Sudan, which is the country in the region where it is harder to conduct business (even though the report admits that the responses from DRC and South Sudan were too low to make a conclusive assessment on ease of doing business in these countries).


EAC : a possible model for implementing other Customs Unions in Africa?

A paper from the Overseas Development Institute helps to understand how the EAC Customs Union model works, so to draw lessons for other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) wishing to undertake steps in the establishment of similar forms of economic integration.


The recipe for Africa’s growth: focus on industrialization, but without forgetting services

An interesting article published on the International Growth Centre (IGC) blog analyses the role of services in Africa in the economic transformation of the continent, raising the question of whether this sector can drive the growth of the African economies and at a rate comparable to manufacturing. Indeed, despite the remarkable economic growth of many of its economies in the latest years, Africa has not yet been able to replicate so far the rapid and sustained gains in incomes experienced by Asiatic countries during their race to industrialization.


Africa admitted to G20, what does it mean?

The Group of 20 of the world’s leading economies has agreed today to admit the African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the G-20. The AU asked to become a member of such a Forum about seven years ago, but it was never considered by the other economies, not even as an observer. Until now, South Africa was the only African country member of the G-20.


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