Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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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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First baby steps for the design of the AfCFTA e-CO System take place in Nairobi

The AfCFTA Secretariat launched today in Nairobi, Kenya, a 4-day session of experts from the Secretariat itself and national States, dedicated to the development of the AfCFTA e-CO System, an electronic origin certification system where customs administrations and other designated authorities of the AfCFTA State Parties will be digitally interconnected in a network that will allow them to directly exchange electronic certificates of origin with each other, without going through traders, as it happens with the paper-based certificate. The certificate of origin is like a passport for goods that guarantees that a product is originating from a certain country. Such certificate is the precondition for accessing to preferential customs duties rates when imported in a country which is member of the same Free Trade Area of the one from where they are exported. The purpose of the AfCFTA e-CO system is to allow traders to benefit from such a preferential treatment under the AfCFTA without the need of going physically to Customs (or other designated authority), as they will be able to apply, obtain and monitor the issuance of the certificate through an online platform, that will dispatch the certificate directly to Customs (or other designated authority) of the importing country. This system is therefore expected to reduce the time and cost of issuance of certificates of origin, but also to minimise possibilities of frauds and of alteration of the certificate, being it totally dematerialised.

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AfCFTA Protocol on Investment: an empty shell without enforcement tools

Interesting article published on African Liberty analyses the AfCFTA Protocol on Investment, raising the need to ensure effective enforcement mechanisms for its provisions in case of violation by African States, by establishing a continental court with competency for hearing all disputes between state parties or between an individual/private party and a state party. Once amicable dispute resolution mechanisms are exhausted, the investors should be able to approach an African court that has real teeth when confronting African states.

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New edition of the US NTE Report on Foreign Trade Barriers shows still significant barriers affecting African trade

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), through the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), publishes every year a National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report) to describe the most significant foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services in the main markets abroad. Prepared on the basis of the input of US companies engaged in international trade in response to a notice published in the Federal Register, the NTE Report gives an overview of the main trade barriers in key destination markets of US exports, including in some African countries. The 2024 edition of the report describes trade barriers in countries such as Algeria, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia. The most frequent barriers that US companies indicate when exporting to these States can be summarized as follows:

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How Africa could become the future breadbasket of the world? A possible approach from FAO

In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a booklet titled “why Africa has become a net food importer?”. The publication argued that Africa started to grow its food deficit since the mid-1970s, despite its vast agricultural potential, due to a combination of factors such as: population growth, low and stagnating agricultural productivity, policy distortions, weak institutions and poor infrastructure. The booklet also noted that the wealthier countries in Africa are those with the highest food imports per capita (USD 185 per year in real terms), while Africa’s low-income countries, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, import far less food per capita (USD 17 per year), but have higher difficulties in covering their food imports bills, as the reserves of hard currency derived from exports are minimal, and insufficient to cover the costs of such imports.

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US look at African mineral sector to quench their thirst of critical minerals

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an American federal institution tasked with promoting conflict resolution and prevention worldwide, published a study conducted by a group of experts with knowledge of Africa mining policies to explore the role that United States could play in Africa to diversify their critical mineral supply chains and contribute at the same time to drive economic development and strengthen peace and security on the African continent.

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