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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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New ITC report reveals strategic sectors for value creation in Africa

A new report titled “Made by Africa: Creating Value through Integration”, was released by the International Trade Centre (ITC) during the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niamey, held in Niger from 20 to 25 November 2022 at the Africa Industrialization Week. The report, elaborated in close collaboration with the African Union Commission and the European Commission, identifies 94 value chains where African countries have a comparative advantage or high export potential that can spur industrialization. Among them, pharmaceuticals, baby food, cotton clothing and automotives are indicated as the most promising.


AfCFTA exporter’s registration number and the proliferation of traders’ identifier codes in Africa

The Appendix I to the Annex 2 on Rules of Origin of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Protocol on trade in goods states in the notes for completing an AfCFTA certificate of origin that an exporter’s registration number “should” be inserted (this term indicates that it is not mandatory), “where applicable”, in the Box 1 of such certificate. The AfCFTA manual on Rules of Origin, despite mentioning in its introduction that one of its objectives is to provide guidelines on the registration of exporters, does not give any indications about how this process should be conducted. In this situation of confusion, some African countries have introduced a specific “AfCFTA exporter’s registration number” as a condition to apply for an AfCFTA certificate of origin - and therefore as a condition to trade under the AfCFTA - while others allow exporters to use their ordinary exporter’s registration number in the box No 1 of the certificate. Other, again, do not require any exporter’s registration number to be indicated in the form. Which one is the best solution?


African integration? Reducing trade barriers needs to go hand in hand with free mobility of people

Increasing regional integration is key for Africa’s prosperity, but reducing barriers to trade is not enough for achieving this objective. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been labeled as an historic agreement that sets the stage for the creation of one a single African market for goods and services. However, without free mobility of people, achieving this goal will remain an elusive dream, as described in an article published on the Horn of Africa Bulletin of the Life & Peace Institute (at page 11). In other words, elimination of non-tariff barriers hampering trade in Africa needs to be supported by the free movement of people.


A close look to the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX), another castle of sand?

Conceived as a tool serving the purposes of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), by facilitating inter-African trade transactions, the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) is basically a continental web-based e-marketplace platform whose objective is to stimulate the sale of essential products manufactured in Africa by connecting potential buyers to suppliers. Private consumers are not allowed to use the platform for purchasing goods, as the ATEX is essentially a Business-to-Business (B2B) tool specifically targeted to African businesses, in an attempt to help them to tap into new markets in Africa for the purchase of basic commodities that are much needed for their production or supply chain needs.


New Time Release Studies (TRS) conducted in Zambia

Two Time Release Studies (TRS) have been recently conducted at the Nakonde One Stop Border Post (OSBP) and the Mwami Border Post in Zambia to measure average clearing times of trucks at these borders. Launched on 3rd November 2022 with the support of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the European Union, the studies were conducted by a Technical Working Group made up of Customs and other cross border regulatory agencies, truck drivers and small-scale traders at both border crossing points.


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