Monday, March 20, 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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Less tariff barriers and NTBs, and harmonized rules will make Africa a more attractive market

An Africa with less tariff and non-tariff barriers, and with harmonized rules among its states will make the continent a much more attractive market for the U.S., allowing American businesses to operate more consistently across the continent. These are, in short, the advantages that US (and other foreign countries’) firms will obtain once the AfCFTA will be fully operationalized, as summarized in the transcripts of the recent held US-Africa business forum.


AfCFTA Secretariat signs Memorandum of Understanding with the United States

On December 14, 2022, a MOU was signed between the United States and the AfCFTA Secretariat to create a platform for a regular dialogue and address matters of mutual interest about the negotiation and implementation of the AfCFTA. The MOU indicates among its objectives the enhancement of competitiveness and attraction of further US investments to the African continent, as well as the expansion of the trade and investment relationship of US firms in Africa.


Compendium of Good Practices in implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: experiences from Developing and Least Developed Countries

A new publication from UNCTAD draws some lessons from some selected developing and least developed countries that have successfully implemented specific measures of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to guide other countries in designing, developing, and implementing trade reforms in the areas of: online publication of trade information; pre-arrival processing; electronic payment; risk management; Single Window; SPS-related measures; freedom of transit via border agency cooperation; and National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs). The Compendium is the first of a series of publications that aims to describe successful experiences in the implementation of all measures under the TFA, including their cost, fees and solutions aimed at guaranteeing their sustainability in the long term.


Existential priorities for the African Continental Free Trade Area

A new report from UNECA titled “Existential priorities for the African Continental Free Trade Area” analyses the exogenous and endogenous threats to the effective and beneficial operation of the AfCFTA. The report tries to draw some lessons from the regional integration processes launched by Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa, especially for what concerns the dismantling of the current barriers to the movement of persons and migration policies. It concludes that smaller groupings are those that move forward more easily, especially when their interests are aligned. The EAC, for instance, started with only three members (now seven, after the recent accession of the Democratic Republic of Congo), and was able to move forward rapidly, evolving from a free trade area to a customs union and is now in the process of consolidating its single market by removing any obstacle to the free movement of goods, services and persons.


Trade finance key for unlocking intra-African trade in West Africa

A joint report published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) titled “Trade Finance in West Africa” examines the main obstacles to economic growth in four economies in West Africa, namely: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. Despite all these countries have registered an increase in trade flows over the last decade, with more firms participating in cross-border commerce and exports, this growth is constrained by the high cost and limited supply by banks of financial solutions to support international trade. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of exporters rose by around 75 percent in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, while the number of importers doubled. However, raw materials still make up more than 70 percent of total exports in these countries, with a low participation in regional and global value chains.


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